Feb 28, 2010

Challenge Wrap-Up: Winter Reading Challenge 2010!

The Winter Reading Challenge is the first reading challenge that I've finished. 
These are the books that I read for this challenge: 

1. Read a book not set in the USA or England.
 "Angels in Exile" by Paskal Gilevski - review

2. Read a book with “Ice”, "Frost", "Chill", "Cold" "Winter" in the title.
 "The Winter Queen" by Boris Akunin - review

3. For Valentine's Day, choose an author whose first or last name begins with “L”.
 "My Favorite Witch" by Lisa Plumley - review

4. Choose a book that is not part of a series.
 "Subterranean" by James Rollins - review

5. Read a book written in the first-person point-of-view.
"Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay - review

6. Read a book with “Mr”, “Mrs”, “Miss” or “Ms” in the title.
"Seducing Mr. Darcy" by Gwyn Cready - review

#15 - "Angels in Exile" by Paskal Gilevski

"Angeli na Progonstvoto"
(Angels in Exile)
by
Paskal Gilevski

 My summary & review:

Angels in Exile is a story that's set in the WW2 and after the WW2. It starts in the little village Setoma, where Paso lives. The fascists start to gather & grab the children, so one night they are escaping from their villages with the help of the partisans, so they can be saved. Although they were supposed to go only to the town Bitola & stay there, they travel through lots of countrys & are settled in lots of places for a short period of time and they end up in Hungary, in orphanages. The book actually covers the eight years the author himself had spent there, so this is a true story. In this book happens so much, that it can't be summarised in short, but all I can say is that it's a wonderful heartbreaking book full with suffering, sadness, hope, losses, mystery, first loves & all the experiences that one child & teen can experience for the first time. Also, it's not possible not to connect with the characters. This book is one of my favorites (I've read it at least 3 times before) and although I already know it, I still couldn't put it down. I'd like to recommend this book from the bottom of my heart, but I don't think that this book is translated in English. The title of the book Angels in Exile I translated myself from Macedonian & it really suits on the story of the book.

My rating: 5/5

Challenges:

Leaf Through Books #3

Leaf Through Books is a daily event that's inspired by MizB's Friday Finds. This meme begins from Saturday through Thursdays (except Friday) & is being hosted by Avi at My Little Feats!

LTB (Leaf Through Books) Meme is simple. All you have to do is find three (3) books or an author (and his series) that interests you, post the image(s) with a link to what's it all about (for example, book reviews or links from an online bookstore like Barnes and Noble or Amazon).
The point of this meme is really to discover and rediscover books that some of us might have overlooked. There's just a lot of good reads out there, and finding new ones with your help makes it easier.

Join the LTB Meme HERE


Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost
( The 1st book in the Southern Witch series)

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket - an heirloom that happens to hold Edie's soul - is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it's time for Tammy to find her inner witch.
After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers - and a 007 savoir faire to boot - but the locket isn't the only heirloom passed down in Tammy's family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

 Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost 
(The 2nd book in the Southern Witch series)

Welcome to Duvall, Texas, where new witch Tammy Jo Trask has just unleashed an accidental Armageddon - Oops...
Tammy Jo-s misfiring magic has attracted the unwanted attention of WAM, the World Association of Magic. Now, a wand-wielding wizard and a menacing fire warlock have come to Duvall to train her for a dangerous mandatory challenge. But is there more to their arrival than they claim?
When a curse leads to a toxic spill of pixie dust, the town comes unglued and the doors between the human and faery worlds begin to open. To rescue the town and to face the impossible magical test, Tammy needs the help of incredibly handsome Bryn Lyons, but WAM has declared him totally off-limits. To avoid deadly consequences, Tammy probably ought to follow the rules this time.
On the other hand, rebellion
is an old Texas tradition.
  
Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ebbotson 

Miss Minton and Maia are sailing to the city of Manaus, a thousand miles up the mighty Amazon river. Maia, a lonely orphan, is excited to be starting a new life with relatives she's never met. Mysterious Miss Minton has secret reasons of her own for making the journey. But years of living in the jungle have sent Maia's uncle and aunt slightly mad. And their twin daughters are definitely not like normal children... In her wildest dreams, Maia could never have imagined the extraordinary adventures that await her on the shores of the River Sea.





Feb 27, 2010

#14 - "Romeo, Romeo" by Robin Kaye


Summary:
Rosalie Ronaldi doesn't have a domestic bone in her body ...
All she cares about is her career, so she survives on take-out and dirty martinis, keeps her shoes under the dining room table, her bras on the shower curtain rod, and her clothes on the couch ...
Nick Romeo is every woman's fantasy - tall, dark, handsome, rich, really good in bed, AND he loves to cook and clean ...
He says he wants an independent woman, but when he meets Rosalie, all he wants to do is take care of her. Before too long, he's cleaned up her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog ...
So what's the problem? Just a little matter of mistaken identity, corporate theft, a hidden past in juvenile detention and one big nosy Italian family too close for comfort ...

My thoughts on the book:
I loved this book. I loved Nick & Rosalie as characters. I even loved Rosalie's dog Dave. It was fast , fun & really enjoyable contemporary romance that it was hard to put it down. This is the 1st book in the Domestic Gods series & I can't wait to read the other two. This one goes on my favorites pile. I definitely recommend this book!

My rating: 5/5

Challenges:

    Leaf Through Books #2

    Leaf Through Books is a daily event that's inspired by MizB's Friday Finds. This meme begins from Saturday through Thursdays (except Friday) & is being hosted by Avi at My Little Feats!

    LTB (Leaf Through Books) Meme is simple. All you have to do is find three (3) books or an author (and his series) that interests you, post the image(s) with a link to what's it all about (for example, book reviews or links from an online bookstore like Barnes and Noble or Amazon).
    The point of this meme is really to discover and rediscover books that some of us might have overlooked. There's just a lot of good reads out there, and finding new ones with your help makes it easier.

    Join the LTB Meme HERE
     
     
    Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell
    (The first book in the Witchcraft Mystery series)
     
    Lily Ivory feels that she can finally fit in somewhere and conceal her "witchiness" in San Francisco. It's there that she opens her vintage clothing shop, outfitting customers both spiritually and stylistically.
    Just when things seem normal, a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area. Lily has a good idea that some bad phantoms are behind it. Can she keep her identity secret, or will her witchy ways be forced out of the closet as she attempts to stop the phantom?
     
     
     
     
     
     
     Dating Can Be Deadly by Wendy Roberts
     
    Some gifts are easy to return-like the parrot earrings from Aunt Ruth-but when your gift is clairvoyance, Tabitha Emery finds there is a definite No Refund Policy. Now she's having visions of black magic rituals and dismembered bodies, and she's not sure what to do. She didn't ask for this talent and certainly doesn't want it, but it clings to her like a thong and is just as uncomfortable.
    Tabitha's goals are simple ones: A) to rise above law office receptionist B) to spend Friday nights uncovering the mysteries of butterscotch schnapps with her comrades, and C) to procure more than a passing glance from Clay Sanderson (Greek-god-type lawyer).
    But her second sight has turned her life upside down-and now she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation where the only clues are in her persistent premonitions-making her not only the key to solving the mystery but perhaps a suspect, as well. (On the plus side: she could use some legal advice, so now she and Clay have something to talk about.)

    And somewhere in the middle of all this is the real culprit, the mystery man, who wants this clairvoyant dead...
     
     
    Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie
    (The first book in the Oracles of Delphi Keep series)  
     
    Along the southern coast of England, atop the White Cliffs of Dover, stands a castle. And at that castle's old keep is an orphanage. Delphi Keep has seen many youngsters come and go through its gates, and Ian Wigby and his sister, Theodosia, are happy to call it home. Life has always been simple at the Keep, and the orphanage safe, until one day, Ian and Theo find a silver treasure box. And within the box, a prophesy. Three thousand years ago a great Greek oracle wrote of a quest. A quest on which the fate of the world depends. A quest that names two children - Ian and Theodosia. Suddenly Delphi Keep is no longer safe. And Ian and Theo, along with a very special group of friends, realize they must unravel the meaning behind the scroll of Dover cavern before darkness falls on the world. And before an unfathomable evil catches up with them.

    Feb 26, 2010

    #13 - "My Favorite Witch" by Lisa Plumley


    Summary:
    Dayna Sterling's always been betwixt and between. Born in a desert town populated by witches and blissfully ignorant humans, Dayna had magic, but no clue how to handle it. So she left to forge a workaday life among ordinary Joes. Which is fine, really - until the day one most extraordinary Joe turns everything upside down...The assignment is simple. Trace the runaway witch; bring her home for compulsory 'cusping' training. So why does Dayna set T.J. McAllister's half-warlock blood buzzing? Maybe it's the bonding spell that spontaneously connects them. Or the fact that T.J.'s powers go wonky whenever he's around Dayna. In any case, the attraction is making it damn hard for T.J. to accomplish his most important mission: prevent a dangerous uprising by locating a powerful witch prophesied to help him. She could be anywhere. She could be closer than he thinks...

    My thoughts on the book:
    I loved this book a lot! Although at one point I was little annoyed by T.J., that was for a really short time & I started to love the characters. There wasn't really a lot of romance in it, only a little passion, but  I didn't really care about the romance part (although I cared about the characters), 'cause I loved the witch world & the story  that the author created. I hope that she will write another book that will be set in Covenhaven (that's the witch town), 'cause I'd love to read that. This was really fun & enjoyable read, that kept me going & I couldn't put it down. That's why I think that My Favorite Witch will be one of the books that I'll be re-reading more than once & that's why I recommend it!

    My Rating: 5/5

    Challenges:

    #12 - "Pride, Prejudice & Jasmin Field" by Melissa Nathan


    Summary:
    It starts as a lark for Jasmin Field, the charming, acerbically witty columnist for a national women's magazine.  She joins a host of celebraties gathering in London to audition for the season's most dazzling charity event:  a one-night only stage production of Jane Austen's immortal Pride and Prejudice, directed by and starring the Academy Award - winning Hollywood heartthrob Harry Noble.  And nobody is more surprised than Jasmin herself when she lands the lead of handsome Harry's love interest, Elizabeth Bennet.  But things start to go very wrong very quickly.  Ms. Field's delicious contempt for the arrogant, overbearing Harry Noble goes from being wicked fun to infuriating.  Her brief moment of theatrical glory looks as if it's going to be overshadowed by the betrayal of her best friend, the disintegration of her family and the implosion of her career. And suddenly she can't remember a single one of her lines.  But, worst of all, Harry Noble - who, incidentally, looks amazing in tight breeches - has started to stare hard at Jazz with that sort of a glimmer in his eyes...

    My thoughts on the book:
    I loved this book. It's a really good re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. There were some "scenes" that I found it hilarious & I'd like to mention, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Also, I loved the characters. Overall, it was really fun & enjoyable read & I definitely recommend it.

    My Rating: 4.5/5

    Challenges:

    "The Arctic Incident" by Eoin Colfer

     
    Summary: 
    This sequel to "Artemis Fowl" finds old enemies Holly Short and Artemis Fowl working together for the first time. A bold and daring plan is necessary to fight the threat to the Lower Elements from the goblin B'wa Kell triad - and to rescue Artemis's father. 

    My thoughts on the book:
    I really enjoyed this book. It's really great sequel, even better than the 1st Artemis Fowl book. Don't know what more to say, except that I recommend it & that I'll definitely continue reading the series.

    My rating: 4/5

    Challenges:

    Friday Finds #6

    What great books did you hear about / discover this past week?

    Share with us your Friday Finds!

    Here are my finds:


    "The Prince of Mist" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    The novel begins when Max Carver's father - a watchmaker and inventor - decides to move his family to a small town on the Atlantic coast. They move into a house that was built for a prestigious surgeon, Dr Richard Fleischmann and his wife but was abandoned when the couple's son drowned in a tragic accident. Behind the house Max spies an overgrown garden full of statues surrounded by a metal fence topped with a six-pointed star. When he goes to investigate, Max finds that the statues seem to consist of a kind of circus troop. In the centre of the garden is the large statue of a clown set in another six-pointed star. Max has the curious sensation that the statue is beckoning to him. As the family settles in they grow increasingly uneasy: they discover a box of old films belonging to the Fleischmanns; his sister has unsettling dreams and his other sister hears voices whispering to her from an old wardrobe. But Max spends most of his time with his new friend Roland, who takes him diving to the wreck of a boat that sank close to the coast in a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man - an engineer who built the lighthouse at the end of the beach.During the dive, Max sees something that leaves him cold - on the old mast floats a tattered flag and on it is the symbol of the circle and six-pointed star. As they learn more about the wreck, the chilling story of a legendary figure called Prince of the Mists begins to emerge.


    "The Boneshaker" by Kate Milford

    Thirteen year-old Natalie Minks loves machines, particularly automata—self operating mechanical devices, usually powered by clockwork. When Jake Limberleg and his traveling medicine show arrive in her small Missouri town with a mysterious vehicle under a tarp and an uncanny ability to make Natalie’s half-built automaton move, she feels in her gut that something about this caravan of healers is a bit off. Her uneasiness leads her to investigate the intricate maze of the medicine show, where she discovers a horrible truth, and realizes that only she has the power to set things right.
    Set in 1914, The Boneshaker is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.


    "Blue Is for Nightmares" by Laurie Faria Stolarz


    I Know Your Secret . . . Boarding school junior Stacey Brown has nightmares too real to ignore. Her nightmares come true. This time they're about Drea, her best friend who's become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. To try and protect her, Stacey's working with what she knows-candles, cards, incantations, and spells...





    Feb 24, 2010

    Leaf Through Books #1

    Leaf Through Books is a daily event that's inspired by MizB's Friday Finds. This meme begins from Saturday through Thursdays (except Friday) & is being hosted by Avi at My Little Feats!

    LTB (Leaf Through Books) Meme is simple. All you have to do is find three (3) books or an author (and his series) that interests you, post the image(s) with a link to what's it all about (for example, book reviews or links from an online bookstore like Barnes and Noble or Amazon).
    The point of this meme is really to discover and rediscover books that some of us might have overlooked. There's just a lot of good reads out there, and finding new ones with your help makes it easier.

    Join the LTB Meme HERE!

     Here are 3 interesting books that I came across today:


    The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Euberg

    Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . . And, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . Which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . .



    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 

    In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
     The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
    Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

    "Waiting on" Wednesday #3: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan





    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


    Want to participate?
    Go here!






    My "can't-wait-to-read" choice is:

    "The Red Pyramid"
    (The 1st book in the Kane Chronicles)
    by
    Rick Riordan
    Puclication date:
    May 4
    Summary:
    Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
    One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
    Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

    So, what's your "waiting on" pick this week?

    WWW Wednesdays #3

    To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

    • What are you currently reading?
    • What did you recently finish reading?
    • What do you think you’ll read next?
    This weekly meme is being hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!


    What are you currently reading?

     Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow
    by
    James Rollins

    So far, I'm really enjoying this book!
    I can't seem to put it down, which happens to me always when I read James Rollins' books!








    What did you recently finish reading?

    My Favorite Witch
    by
    Lisa Plumley

    I loved this book & I highly recommend it!




    What do you think you’ll read next?
     
    Academy 7
    by
    Anne Osterlund

    I know I'm going to finish this one 'cause I enjoyed it so far and after that where the mood will take me!  

    Feb 23, 2010

    Teaser Tuesdays #7

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
     
    My teasers: 

    "They entered the remains of a gray stone building by climbing up a rubble heap and crawling through a hole in the wall. The interior was pitch dark and the air was dank and smoky, but at least they were within a windbreak."

    "Swan Song"
    by
    Robert McCammon

    One Lovely Blog Award


    I'm really happy that I received the One Lovely Blog Award from Christina T from Reading Extensively and Kailia Sage from Reading The Best Of The Best!
    Thank you very much both!

    The rules are:
    • Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
    • Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
    • Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
    I would like to pass this award on to the following lovely blogs:
    1. Teens Read and Write
    2. The Book Butterfly
    3. Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick 
    4. The Book Wars
    5. Brizmus Blogs Books 
    6. Gossiping About Books 
    7. Cleverly Inked 
    8. Wicked Awesome Books 
    9. Bloody Bookaholic 
    10. Jen's Book Talk 
    11. La Femme Readers 
    12. My Little Feats 
    13. The Bookologist 
    14. Park Avenue Princess 
    15. Parajunkee's View
     

    Feb 22, 2010

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #7

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a World of Books.


    This is a great weekly event where everyone can keep track of the books finished last week & the books planning to read this week!


    Last week I've finished The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin, (historical detective novel that's 1st book in the Erast Fandorin Mysteries, which I really loved & now is one of my favorites); I've finished The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer - the 2nd Artemis Fowl book & I loved it more than the 1st one & I've read Pride, Prejudice & Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan. I loved & enjoyed this one too & it's really great modern take on Pride & Prejudice.

    I'm really big mood reader, so often happens that I start a book, read it for a day or two & although I 'm enjoying it, I won't be anymore in a mood for that genre & I leave it. Last week I've started My Favorite Witch by Lisa Plumley & I loved it, but my mood changed so I have maybe 50 pages left. I also read half of Impulse & Initiative: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Abigail Reynolds, which continues after the 1st proposal & Mr. Darcy decides to go after Elizabeth & make her fall in love with him. I'm really enjoying this one, too. I've also started The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry, which from the beginning seems like a great thriller, but I'm not in a mood for thrillers anymore.

    So, this week I'll read Angeli na progonstvoto (Angels in Exile) by Paskal Gilevski (one of my favorites) or Vrakanje vo skaznite (Returning to the tales) by Bozin Pavlovski, because I should read a book that's not set in the USA or UK for a challenge that ends this week. These are both from macedonian authors & I don't know if the books are translated to english, so the english titles are translated by me. Also, I'll finish My Favorite Witch this week for the same challenge. Except for these, my other reading choices will depend on my mood & I think that this week I'm in a mood for YA & fantasy.

    So, what are you reading?
    Tell us now HERE!

    Feb 19, 2010

    Friday Finds #5

    What great books did you hear about / discover this past week?

    Share with us your Friday Finds!

    Here are my finds:


    "Brooklyn Knight" by C. J. Henderson

    Professor Piers Knight is an esteemed curator at the Brooklyn Museum and is regarded by many on the staff as a revered institution of his own if not an outright curiosity. Knight's portfolio includes lost civilizations; arcane cultures, languages, and belief; and more than a little bit of the history of magic and mysticism.What his contemporaries don't know is that in addition to being a scholar of all things ancient he is schooled in the uses of magical artifacts, the teachings of forgotten deities, and the threats of unseen dangers.
    If a mysterious object surfaces, Professor Knight makes it his job to figure it out--and make sure it stays out of dangerous hands.
    A contemporary on an expedition in the Middle East calls Knight's attention to a mysterious object in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum . just before it becomes the target of a sorcerous attack that leads to a siege on a local precinct house by a fire elemental.
    What looks like an ordinary inscribed stone may unlock an otherworldly Armageddon that certain dark powers are all too eager to bring about--and only Piers Knight stands in their way.
     
    "Red-headed Stepchild" by Jaye Wells

    In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.

    This time, it's personal.
      
    "Heresy" by S. J. Parris

    Set in 1583 against a backdrop of religious-political intrigue and barbaric judicial reprisals, Parris's compelling debut centers on real-life Giordano Bruno, a former Italian monk excommunicated by the Roman Catholic church and hunted across Europe by the Inquisition for his belief in a heliocentric infinite universe. Befriended by the charismatic English courtier and soldier Sir Philip Sidney, the ambitious Bruno flees to more tolerant Protestant England, where Elizabeth I's secretary of state, Sir Francis Walsingham, recruits him to spy, under the cover of philosophical disputation, on secretly Catholic Oxford scholars suspected of plotting treason. As one Oxford fellow after another falls to gruesome homicide, Bruno struggles to unravel Oxford's tangled loyalties. Parris (the pseudonym of British journalist Stephanie Merritt) interweaves historical fact with psychological insight as Bruno, a humanist dangerously ahead of his time, begins his quest to light the fire of enlightenment in Europe.
     
    "Reign or Shine" by Michelle Rowen

    As if trying to fit in at a new school isn't stressful enough, sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan just found out that her long-lost father is, in fact, the demon king of the Shadowlands - the world that separates and protects us from the Underworld. When she is brought there by the mysterious - and surprisingly cute - messenger Michael, she learns that her father is dying, and he wants her to assume the throne. To complicate matters, a war is brewing between the Shadowlands and the Underworld, her half-demon qualities are manifesting, and her gowing feelings for Michael are completely forbidden. Ruling a kingdom, navigating a secret crush, and still making it home by curfew - what's a teenage demon princess to do?
     

    "Can't Stand the Heat" by Louisa Edwards

    For sharp-tongued food critic Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple's kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. But she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: she has no idea how to cook.
    Adam's not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn't even know the difference between poaching and paring. He'll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own - teaching her what it means to cook with passion.and doing more with his hands than simply preparing sumptuous food.

    "Nightwalker" by Jocelynn Drake


    For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker - an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.
    The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted. 

    Feb 18, 2010

    #11 - "The Winter Queen" by Boris Akunin

    Summary:
    This is the first book featuring Erast Fandorin, a gentleman sleuth who solves murders and mysteries in Tsarist Russia. Moscow 1876. A young law student commits suicide in broad daylight in Moscow's Alexander Gardens. But this is no ordinary death, for the young man was the son of an influential industrialist and has left a considerable fortune. Erast Fandorin, a hotheaded new recruit to the Criminal Investigation Department, is assigned to the case. Brilliant, young, and sophisticated, Fandorin embarks on an investigation that will take him from the palatial mansions of Moscow to the seedy backstreets of London in his hunt for the conspirators behind this mysterious death. 

    My thoughts on the book:
    I just loved it. The Winter Queen is full with lots of  beautiful descriptions that really capture the historical period & has lots of twists. I started  this book 2 weeks ago & read only 40-50 pages & although I liked it, I didn't return to it until yesterday, so when I finally continue reading it, I just couldn't put it down until I finished it today! I really like Erast Fandorin as a character, so I'll definitely read the rest of the books in the series. Also I found out that for the last few years there has been a plan to make movie based on this book starring Milla Jovovich & Dan Stevens as Erast Fandorin (he was Edward Ferrars in BBC's 2008 Sense & Sensibility), although there already is a russian movie based on the book (which I'll try to find it, but I don't know if we have it here for rental), so I hope they'll finally start filming the movie, 'cause I'd really like to see it! That's how much I loved this book & I highly recommend it!

    My rating: 5/5

    Challenges:

    Feb 16, 2010

    #10 - "Hot Spell" by Michelle Rowen


    Summary:

    Everybody knows there's no love lost between paranormal investigators Amanda LaGrange and sexy Jacob Caine. They can't even stand being in the same room together..
    Well, unless it's an enchanted bedroom. And they're trapped there, at midnight. And the sexual tension suddenly becomes too powerful to resist.
    Then that bedroom gets really hot, really fast! But come morning, they still can't keep their hands off each other. Are they cursed forever? If so, neither one's complaining.


    My thoughts on the book:

    From the moment they meet, Amanda & Jacob are attracted to each other, but for the 2 years they know each other, Amanda avoids him. When they investigate a haunted house, they end up trapped & cursed by an enchanted clock. I loved this book. I just couldn't put it down until I finished it. I highly recommend it & I'll definitely read more of Michelle Rowen's books!

    My rating: 4.5 / 5

    Challenges:

    #9 - "Salt and Silver" by Anna Katherine

    Summary:

    Allie can't seem to get it together. Ever since her mom ran away to Rio with Rio - her tennis instructor - stealing Allie's trust fund and her comfortable way of life, Allie has been floundering. She works in Sally's Diner, and lives above it. And one night in the basement, she and her friends chant a ridiculous spell - for money, for luck, for love.and open a Doorway to Hell.
    Ryan thinks he's got it all figured out. When the Door opened he appeared out of nowhere, a Stetson-wearing demon hunter dressed in leather. He's assigned to the Door, and hangs out at the diner, and when the Door disappears he is certain that Allie had something to do with it.
    But something strange is happening in Brooklyn. Something bigger than Allie, and Ryan, and the Door in the diner basement. And when a meeting of demon hunters gives birth to a dangerous idea, Allie and Ryan are left to wonder if the fragile feelings growing between them can survive a trip to Hell.or if they themselves will survive at all. 

    My thoughts on the book:
    This book is a paranormal romance. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get into it  until the last few chapters when I finally did get into it. It wasn't boring at all, something was always happening, but I just didn't connect with the characters & when something bad would or could happened, I didn't really care. Maybe the problem was that I probably wasn't in a mood for paranormal book. Overall, I liked it.

    My rating: 2/5

    Challenges:

    #8 - "Aurelia" by Anne Osterlund

    Summary:

    Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy and one of Aurelia's oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line - her life, her kingdom, her heart - Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

    My thoughts on the book:
    I really really enjoyed this book. It was really easy to get into the book! It kept me interested all the way & I loved the characters, so I'm really glad that there'll be second Aurelia book & I can't wait to read more about Robert & Aurelia! This is a book that I would have loved it 10 years ago & I really really like it now, so I highly recommend it! Also, can't wait to read Anne Osterlund's 2nd novel "Academy 7".

    My rating: 4/5

    Challenges:

    Teaser Tuesday #6

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  

    My teasers:

    "Suppressing a groan, T.J. prowled the perimeter of the Covenhaven farmers market. He passed tented stalls filled with homegrown winter squash and crisp apples, vendors selling hand-dipped chocolates and homemade cactus jelly and merchants hawking everything from soy candles to heirloom beans to Native American handicrafts."

    "My Favorite Witch"
    by
    Lisa Plumley