Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last reviews of 2006

So, year 2006 will be officially over in a couple of hours... I guess it's fun and sad, both at the same time. I'm a bit glad. This year have been crazy and I'm hoping that the coming year will be a bit more relaxing. Although I have to say, time passes way too rapidly. It really flies by too fast.

anyway, hopefully, there'll be plenty of awesome books coming out in 2007 :)

So, I've been reading quite a lot lately and here are the last reviews for 2006. But first, I'd like to share with you the books I bought (yes, bought...) in the last week. I'm not going to list them, because, well there's too much and I'm too lazy. So, pictures = 1000 words anyway :D

The first picture is what i bought from the UBS store and the second, I bought at bookstore ^^; I know, I really went crazy... I hope they're all there. Ah well, onto the reviews now :D

Take a Chance on Me by Susan Donovan: 4/5

All right, I bought this one after it got a lot of praise over at Ames' blog :D

Hairy is a Chinese Crested dog; bald, small and pretty ugly. Not only that, his owner, Slick, was murdered in front of his eyes and now, Hairy can't stop shaking and peeing. Worst, he ends up in the care of Thomas Tobin, an attorney/amateur rugby player that does uncover work and poses as a killer-for-hire. Thomas has seen and heard all about the worse side of human nature and in result, he's been isolating himself, erecting walls around him. As the new owner of Hairy, Thomas brings the dog to see Emma Jenkins, a pet behaviorist in the hope that Hairy could stop shaking and peeing...

Hmmm, another bad synopsis. Maybe I should really do the next few ones in point form. Anyway, Thomas brings Hairy to Emma and immediately, he is attracted to her. It takes a while for Thomas and Emma to start a relationship, especially since Emma just divorced her crook of a husband. In addition to that, Emma is now in charge of LeeLee, her best friend's daughter. Also, in the course of everything, they realized that Hairy must have witnessed Slick's murder and therefore, try to get some clues from Hairy.

Okay, I've never been that much of a fan of Susan Donovan's novels, but I really enjoyed the story quite a lot :D Emma is quite the typical woman tho; recently divorced, trying to go through it + keep her business, in short struggling. As for Thomas, well I thought he had a really dark secret, but he didn't... and well, I thought his self-imposed isolation wasn't that necessary, but I guess if he didn't do it, he wouldn't be the same guy. Anyway, the love story was all right and the intrigue was too, although perhaps a bit far-fetched at the end. What I liked was actually the humour and I hoped Hairy would have "thought" more often, cos that was quite hilarious. In fact, if it hadn't been for Hairy, this book would have been lumped in the "okay, typical, not original" book.

Hidden Secrets by Cait London: 2/5

Let see if I can find the good words this time...

Spence has recently lost his sister, brother-in-law and nephew in a car accident and his mother, in another accident at home. He blames himself for not being there, not being able to protect them, not preventing their deaths and so, he has left his banker job in Seattle to move back to their little town. He now plays guide, organizes camping trips and search for the remains of his nephew for closure.

Then, there's Marlo Malone who's a psychic, but refuses to acknowledge her gifts. She and Spence have a past, but she's put it behind. She's also gone through a painful marriage and divorce and now, takes refure in her work. All she wants is peace and normalcy... However, lately, everytimes she sees the color red through glass, it makes her think of Cody, Spence's nephew, along with a feeling of anger that frightens her... She also believes that the accidents that took away Spence's sister and mother's lives weren't accidents...

Okay, I thought this book could have been way better, but instead, no. First, I got annoyed at Marlo. She's psychics... perhaps acknowledging her gifts would have helped her feel better. It also makes me mad that she can sense things, know things, but decides to remain passive. I mean, perhaps she could have prevented those events from happening and that would have save her some guilt trips. But no... then, there's this relationship between her and Spence. Oh man, annoying. It completely lost me. Spence and Marlo have a painful past together and I guess that the only person who truly knows Marlo is Spence... he can edge her, get a reaction out of her... he wasn't by her side in the past and so he thinks that he's worthless now and tries to keep away from her, but at the same time, he always, always comes back, edging her more. Like I say, completely annoying. Hey, if you love her, you have two choices: woo her or go away and let her have a better life if you think that's what she'll have. Instead, he comes over and over and just ruins everything. The intrigue wasn't so enjoyable either. Instead, I just kept getting mixed up... the timeline and flow of the story were difficult to follow in my opinion. One minute, this was happening, the other minute, something totally unrelated and it kept going and going. So yeah, didn't enjoy it.

Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson: 3.75/5

So finally, a book where the heroine is not "damaged." Well maybe a little, but not more than any other romance book.

Samantha Harrigan is a horse breeder and trainer with her own ranch. When she was younger, she married Steve Fisher, someone who was only after her money. But that's over, she's divorced him over a year ago and he's out of her life. Now enters Tucker Coulter, who've she met at this rodeo meet where she went against a drunk who was beating a horse. Both were arrested, but freed shortly after. Samantha has no intention to see Tucker again, but she needs a vet when two of her horses are poisoned... Soon, she's the prime suspect for insurance fraud...

So let see, this is the last of the Coulter siblings and I have to admit that the story was a bit different, but still enjoyable. For once, as I said, the heroine is not "damaged." Her ego and pride might be a bit bruised, but she's all right. Anyway, Tucker has never been my favorite sibling among the Coulter family, but he seemed to be portrayed quite differently in this book, seems to me he was gentler. Also, it seemed that the author, Ms. Anderson, was quite undecided about Tucker's faith... at the end of Sunshine, it was hinted that his mother would play matchmaker and she had a woman in mind, who knew how to stand her ground having grown up with 4 brothers. Then, at the end of the last book, he was heading for Colorado and I think the author intended to write the story there... then she came back to Samantha, who indeed has four brothers. *shrug* I guess it isn't that important.

So yeah, I did enjoy Sun Kissed. I guess I always enjoy Ms. Anderson's books. This one is just a plain, old romance with a little intrigue behind. The story went smoothly, but I have to say, the intrigue was way too easy to figure out. I mean, after reading the synopsis and page one, I knew who it was... now, that's way too easy. On the other hand, I actually quite liked Samantha - unlike the other heroines, she was quite confident. I mean, she knows what she's doing and she's proud of the results and that's something. She'd like to be more independent though, which is totally understandable. I think that her family might be a tad too protective. I mean, I usually like protective brothers with their big brother act, but Clint's answer was to beat out the crap out of anyone who hurt Samantha. Hmmm, no cute. Anyway, onto other matters, I also liked how Tucker was portrayed in this one. As I said, gentler and less jaded. Actually, he's quite like Isaiah, only sharper. Unfortunately, there wasn't that many romantic scenes though and it was quite understanble given the circumstances... but it still work. My only complaints are 1) we didn't get to see that many Coulters in the books... as the last Coulter's books, I'd have liked for an update for closure, but nope. 2) I bet Ms. Anderson was setting the characters for her new family series... I mean, Samantha has 4 brothers to marry now.

So although I enjoyed Sun Kissed, it didn't bring closure to the series. I also think I'm going to stay away from the new family series, because how much ranchers story can you write without it becoming too repetitive? Hah, I say that, but I'm probably going to crack. So not a bad book, not an oustanding book but an enjoyable one ;D

So that's it for 2006. I'm reading Demon Angel by Maljean Brook, but I doubted I'd be able to finish it before midnight :D

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sanctuary's Finest Giveaway!

Free books, free books, free books :D

Who can really resist to free books right? Not me :D No way. So head towards to Sanctuary's Finest to know more, or read bellow:

Happy Holidays from SF! Want Free Books??

This holiday season at SF, what's ours is yours. Please join us in celebrating the holidays by participating in our End of the Year GIVEAWAY!! (Ok, really? We totally stole borrowed the idea from Twisted Kingdom, but meh, whatever..LOL)

The rules are simple and easy.

Just copy/paste this post and/or put a link to it on your own blog, and then let us know you did so, either by emailing us, or leaving a comment here.

On January 1st, 2007, we'll draw two names and each lucky winner will have his/her choice of any THREE books from our Library Thing account. That's right, we're offering three books each, to two lucky people.

Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad,
Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa (and anything else we missed) and Happy New Year!!

My 100th post!!!

How apt that my 100th post is writing during the holiday season! Something else to celebrate about! :D

So how is everyone? Recovering from Christmas? Pace yourself, New Year is coming :D I actually don't have any plans for New Year... perhaps just go out and eat with my parents. For Christmas, my parents dragged me to their friends' house - their friends were having a family reunion and we were invited. Go figure. It's quite boring, because they all see each other more than once a year and after all, they're cousins... so my sister and I were quite out of the loop. I ended up falling asleep cos I was dizzy from lack of it.

I also hope no one was crazy as me to go shopping on Boxing Day! I just wanted to go to the bookstores - although I knew there weren't any sales - and everything should have been fine... I mean, the bookstores opened at 9am... but then, my sis decided she wanted to look at other stuff... I was there till 3pm and it was absolutely hell. I'm really sorry for my sister tho, cos she enjoys shopping and didn't really find anything. Actually, she was quite disappointed by the sales... but then, Boxing Day isn't what it used to be. Except perhaps in electronics... for the clothing, I think it's really not all that worth to brave the crowd. As for books, don't even mention it. There was only 30% off on hardcovers.... and the I-rewards card didn't even work. So hello, it's 34% off + 5% off online on hardcovers. Oh well. Didn't stop me from buying books of course.

I'm again in the mood - I want to read and have been reading, but no books really appeal to me and I WANT to go BUY books. Although once I'm there, again, nothing appeals to me. I'm sorry for those who sent me books, no I haven't read them yet. I know they are extremely good books, but I want to wait till I'm in a better mood :P by the way, I need some suggestions/recommendations! Esp. fantasy books - Mailyn, can you help me out? Also, I've decided to keep track of the books I want, buy and read :P I'm in a list-mode.

But still, I have a couple of reviews:

The Shop on Blossom Street and A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber: 3.5/5

I won't write a detailed synopsis, because it's two books. However, here is what you need to know: Lydia Hoffman is 30 years old, but has had two bouts of brain cancers, one at 16 and the other at 24. Both events have been very difficult on her, but she was able to overcame them because of her father who was her rock. As a result, her relationship with her older sister is a bit strained... Unfortunately, her father has passed away recently. She is at a turning point in her life and has decided to open a yarn store, because she loves knitting and had learnt while she was at the hospital. So in The Shop on Blossom Street, she offered her first knitting class, a baby blanket and in A Good Yarn, socks. So in both books, we follow Lydia's story as well as the ones of her students. Both books are really characters-orientated books and each characters are quite different.

The Shop on Blossom Street: Jacqueline, a socialite that isn't happy with her daughter-in-law and is having a difficult marriage. Caroline who is 37 y.o. and quitted her job to finally start a family with her husband, but it is not going well. Alix who is a rebel and taking the knitting class so she can deduct the hours from her community hours.

A Good Yarn: Elise, a recently retired librarian who has lost all her savings to a dishonest contractor and is now living with her daughter and her family. Bethanne who just went through a divorce with two teenagers. Courtney who has to live with her grandmother in a new city during her last year of high school while her father works in Brazil.

Personally, I thought that The Shop on Blossom Street was better than A Good Yarn and I bought A Good Yarn mostly to have updates on the characters. Also, the thing with both books is that they are both very passive. I mean stuff happens, but it's no action, it's because they happen. Also, there are the happy endings, I mean, you know that everything will work out perfectly.

In the end, both books are decent reads and entertaining if you're looking for something relaxing. What's interesting is that you follow the stories of different women, of different ages and experience who are looking for different things in life. However, I'm actually debating whether or not to get more books by Debbie Macomber, because I have the feeling that once you've read it, you've read them all.

Home Before Dark by Susan Wiggs: 3.75/5

Jessie Ryder is coming back home to her sister, Luz, and her family after 16 years. The thing is that 16-17 years ago, Jessie got pregnant and gave her baby girl, Lila, for Luz and her newly-wedded husband, Ian, to adopt. Then, Jessie went abroad to live an work as a photograph while Luz and Ian started their own family.

Now Jessie is coming back to meet Lila, as well as her three other nephews. Of course, in her mind, Jessie wants to tell Lila her origin, not to reclaim Lila, but so at least, she knows and understands where she comes from. See, Lila is going through adolescence, rebellion. One night, after sneaking out to join her friends, they all get into a huge accident.

Anyway, lots of things happening and Jessie also meets the neighbor accross the lake, Dusty, who has a sad past too, and falls in love with him. The ick to all this is that Jessie is going blind...

I know, my synopsis isn't really good. but I hope that giving my opinion will help. It was a really, really touching story. I cried from beginning to end, although I wonder if it's the book or my mood :P Anyhow, the book was well-written as always and Jessie's condition was revealed to the readers early on. So it was an enjoyable story, again more character-orientated. I do think it's a bit selfish tho that ppl with diseases and conditions always come back home at that moment. I know it's not so others can take care of them, but to make up and stuff like that... but I mean, they wouldn't be there if it wasn't because of their condition right? So there are a lot of issues and problems that Jessie, Luz, Ian and Lila have to deal with in this book and this take precedence over the love story between Jessie and Dusty. Personally, I didn't see the chemistry between them all that much. They fell in love very quickly, too fast to my taste. So a decent read, but not the best Susan Wigg's I've read...

Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas: 3/5

Growing up, Aline Westfield, daughter of a Marquiss, and John MacKenna, stable boy, fell in love. Of course, their relationship was discovered and Aline didn't have a choice then to send MacKenna away with harsh words and lies so he would never want her again. Few months after MacKenna's departure, Aline was involved in a fire in the kitchen and her legs are now scarred forever. Because of both events, Aline never married...

Now, John MacKenna has returned from America a very, very wealthy man. He wants revenge, but both still love each other... and you know the rest, they both dance this difficult dance around lies and secret. At the same time, there's also Olivia, Aline's younger sister who was also involved in a scandal and is now a recluse... She is attracted to MacKenna's business partner, Gideon Shaw, the never-sober-for-long wealthy American.

I did quite enjoy this book :D I liked how Aline and Olivia weren't innocent and inhibited like most historical heroines. They were not naive, they knew what they were getting involved in and you know, they were actually quite wise. I also liked how Marcus, their older brother, protected them. The three siblings had quite a nice relationship and that is rare I think in the historicals. Yeah, you do get to see over-protective older brother, but Marcus was different. He talked to his sisters and asked their opinions and so on. Then, I remembered... Marcus Westfield is the hero in It happened one Automn... I'm quite sad tho that he ended up with Lillian Bowan, the reason why i still haven't read that book.

Anyway, back to Again the Magic, it was quite entertaining, but then I thought it got dragged a bit because of the secrets and lies. I mean, yeah, Aline's legs are ugly and scarred and it's understandable why she wants to keep it a secret... but for the readers, it's too typical... you know easily what's going to happen. How the whole issue was resolved was a bit, dunno, not enough passionate ^^; See, the thing is that Aline and MacKenna's story wasn't enough to hold the attention of the readers and that's why in Again the Magic, there's also Olivia and Gideon's story and it was quite prominent. So that tells you something... Anyway, not a bad book, but not the best either ^^;

Goddess of the Rose by P.C. Cast: 3/5

Hmm, how to summarize this book. Mikaido Empousai, aka Mikki, has a gift with roses. Basically, from generations to generations, the women in her family perform a ritual which consists of mixing water and their blood to water the roses on the new moon. This results in sumptuous roses :) Then, through a series of accidental events, Mikki wakes up Hecates' Guardian, Asterius the Beast, and he transported her to the Realm of Rose where Mikki turns out to be Hecates' High Priestess. There, she learns the way and eventually falls in love with Asterius.

Not a bad book, but I guess not really my style. I don't really enjoy those stories where an independant modern woman ends up in another time period and you know, stands out and all. Also, anyone who has seen Beauty and the Beast know that a woman can fall in love with a Beast. Of course, the ending revelation reveals that Asterius was worried about more than the fact that he was a beast, but again... So the story wasn't bad, just a bit too passive to my taste which is due to the narration. The situation in which Mikki found herself is just a bit strange, because she really knows nothing about the rituals and everything, except for the roses... so I found it a bit boring all what she had to learn and I thought it impeded the storyline.

Okay, I'm not sure my reviews were helpful ^^; but hopefully yes and I hope you enjoyed the read :P Talk to you girls soon, probably with more reviews :)

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas everyone!

Enjoy your holidays and may the best happens to you this year!
I wish you all an awesome time and a lot of R&R and of course, lots of books!

Luv, Nath

Monday, December 18, 2006

Good morning ppl!

Hello guys ;D

so wassup? It took me the whole week-end to recover, since I was EXHAUSTED from writing that report. Right now, I'm a bit worried ^^; because I realized that there are some mistakes and stuff. but what can I do? Too late right?

All right, so what's been happening in blogland? I know it's been very very quiet and so I guess ppl are just busy with holiday season. But let me tell you, I do miss you all!

I haven't been able to read... I hope that goes away fast, because I want to read!! I crave to read! So hopefully, I'll be able to do it tonight. I'm also going to do some x-mas shopping :P

Anyway, have a great time everyone! Hope you're all doing well!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm done!

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done.

Just thought you'd like to know that I'm still alive... and that I'm done. Okay, I did submitted it almost 11 hours late, but at this point, who cares? I'm done, I'm done, I'm done.

I'll post more tonight, when my brain will be back.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In the Spirit of Holidays....

To make your Holidays even more enjoyable, Twisted Kingdom is holding a contest. All details here.

Quick updates

Hello everyone...

sorreh for not posting much or commenting much on your blogs... I'm pretty much exhausted. Writing the report is in progress and hopefully, I'll have time to finish it up. So yeah, been writing and reading the Tir Alainn trilogy by Anne Bishop, which requires some staying up late and so, I'm very much tired.

I still haven't started by X-mas shopping ^^; and have some stuff to send by mail. Well sorry folks, I don't think it'll be there in time for X-mas. By the way, one question... is there a lot of packages lost during X-mas times?

What else.. Oh, I've been reading a bit... still slumping a bit, but it's better, well I think. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish Staying Dead by Laura Gilmann, but perhaps, that's just because of my mood. In addition, I really didn't enjoy On Fire's Wing by Christie Golden. So now it's pretty sad because I bought the sequel to it ^^; same thing for the Laura Gilmann's book by the way. The only good think I read is the Tir Alainn trilogy by Anne Bishop. All I can say at this moment is that if you enjoyed the Black Jewels trilogy, you'll want to give this trilogy a try then.

So that's pretty much it for me at the moment. I'm going to pick up my new pair of glasses after work and make a quick stop at Indigo/Chapters and see if I can't come up with any gifts, since Kristie sent me a 20% off coupon.

ps - I need some HELP! Although my English is okay, I still do some grammar and other mistakes ^^; and I was wondering if someone could be kind enough to go over my report and proof-read it for me. You'd be a sweetheart and my life saver!

pps- I have another favor to ask... Anyone who read With No One As Witness by Elizabeth George and still remember the story?

Monday, December 11, 2006


Happy birthday Ames!

I hope that this year will be good for you
That all your wishes will come true

ps- I hope you don't mind the modification I did :P

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My room

Hey :D

Everyone had a nice week-end?

I'm still lazing off, so I'll probably be... well I don't know :P Writing furiously I guess... ^^; Anyway, I'm still in that reading slump. I don't know if it's because the books are bad or because I can't get interested in them :( The good thing tho is that I finally cleaned up my room!!! It's real nice... That is why I took some pictures :D I've been complaining that I don't have space for shelves and Mailyn asked for proof :P Well here it is:

So yeah, as you can see, not much space left. At least, not any for a piece of furniture... as for floatting shelves... only above the bed which I'm really not fond of because well, it would be above my head. Or above the desk, which would be a bit difficult of access because, well the desk :P

If you're thinking my closet space, well... let me show it to you:

There's already more stuff than clothes in that closet. You don't really get to see it in the picture, but the bottom is full of textbooks and class notes.

On the bad news side, my nightstand lamp is broken!!! I really need to go buy a new one if I want to continue reading in bed!

ah well, that's it for tonight... Have a nice evening and see you tomorrow!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mailyn's X-mas gifts from Blogland

Okay, Mailyn, please don't read this post! Instead, stare at HK's hottest boyos :D

All right, for the others! Hello :D Please highlist the text to read!

I want to be discreet about this, but really, I have no idea who's going to do what. Anyway, I just want ppl who are planning to buy Mailyn's a X-mas gift, please send me an email (natuschan[at]gmail[dot]com)... so we can coordinate stuff and not get her the same thing twice :D

Thanx a lot!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Long day...

Okay, where to start. Wow, my last post was on Monday... it's been like 3 days. So let's start this way:

- bought more books. Was bored and waiting till it was time to go pick up my sis. So went to the new Indigo, cruised around. Was looking for Eye of Heaven by Marjorie Liu, but still didn't find it. In the end I went home with the Dresden Files series... hmmm, so that was like 5 books.

- went to pick up my sis and then rushed to Best Buy and then Future Shop to buy Pirates of Carrabean II. It was 2$ cheaper at Future Shop and they were giving away this box to contain the DVD, really cool box. So I watched the special features. It's really worth it. It was fun and there was lots of information and stuff.

- So what did I do? Oh yeah, I went to Indigo downtown and bought books. Yeah, I know, I keep doing the same. I went a bit crazy tho and bought like 5-6 tradepaper books. Forget it, there's now a hole in my wallet. THe good news tho is that I finally found Eye of Heaven, which I read till midnight. So what books did I get? I don't even know ^^; Let see, Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara, Curse the Dark and Bring it On by Laura Anne Gilman, some books by Christie Golden. Okay, I'm going to stop here, cos it's getting really scary. I went to the cash and the guy was like: Your X-mas shopping huh? and I'm like: not even ^^; Then I went to the French manga store, cos finally, some of my manga arrived. AFterwards, rushed to the library where I had to look for some CD for my sis. (the library and manga store are close to each other). Then, I had to rush and pick up my sis again.

-All right, this is where things get worse and why I'm so exhausted at the moment. So it start with, I had an appointment with the garage for my car... just a check up. Appointment was at 3h30, so I was planning to leave work at 2h30. My mom calls me at 2h15 and told me my debit card got cancelled and I had to go to the bank to get a new one... and also call this 1-800-xxx-xxxx to know what happened. So I call and the guy is very nice... but he has to verify my identity and ask me questions. Seriously, i'm totally ignorant. Do I have any investment at the bank? Well I don't know! my mom takes care of that... How much $ in those investment? How the hell do I know? so well, I flunked the questions and he couldn't get access to my profile. However, he did told me it was security issues so either I lost my card and someone found it or it got cloned and someone else used it.

So okay, was all ready to rush back to the South Shore. Talked to my supervisor a bit to see his opinion on the experiment and he's like: can you read the plates with the other reader. So I did and lost 30 min. So I left work at 3h... no way I was going to make it on time. finally got there at 3h50. so I was late and I kind of lost my priority and so it'd take more time. Anyway, they drove me home. I got into my mom's car and rushed to the bank where I got a new clerk who didn't really know what she was doing. Later, I found out that my card was indeed cloned and someone has taken 1000$ out. Urgh. Ouch, that hurts. The worst is that the lady who usually takes care of situations like this is on vacation. Anyway, got a nice lady and I should get my $$ back within the next 48 hours. (well maybe early next week). BIG SIGH OF RELIEF HERE! Now the problem is... I went to 2 stores yesterday: Indigo and the french manga store... which means that that's where the highest probability my card got cloned. Youppi, those are the two places I spend most $$... Gotta be extra careful now ^^;

After the bank, I rushed to pick up my sis. Got home and my mom was like: Honda called almost as soon as you were out of the door. Your car is ready. So I had to call for the car service and wait for them to pick me up... and finally got my car and went home. So that's pretty much my day, but I'm totally exhausted. And there's this guy in my lab, he makes me feel so incompetent. Every time I ask him a question, he's like: you should know, you're a master student or you should understand this! and blablabla... and he'll never give me a straight answer. anyway...

So what does all this mean? Hmmm, I haven't started my report yet? I know I know, procastination is bad! Especially when I'm not even having fun while procastinating. Also, a random fact: I have 22 books in my bed... I've been sleeping in my single bed with 22 books and cushions on the side so those books wouldn't slide between the cracks and fall down. I can't stand having my books under the bed, I'M like: poor them, so much dust (yes, very dusty under my bed). so every morning, my left side's been pretty sore. The worst is that I didn't read 3/4 of those books in bed... and there's more on my nightstand and on the floor. Sigh... man.

So is this everything I wanted to say? I think so... I talked about my days, my report, books buying... hmmm, yeah. There's only two things left: Contest and reviews.

Pay if Forward Contest

Cool contest, really worth participating and very easy.

Get's all the details about the contest here, at Colleen's webpage.
All you need is to post the icon on your blog/webpage and do a good action.


Eye of Heaven by Marjorie Liu: 4/5

So after many trips to the bookstore, I finally got my hand on the book and it was quite worth it.

Blue is part of the Dirk & Steele agency and is tracking a man named Santoso in Indonesia who is the leader of some human trade business (that incl. prostitution and organ black market and etc.) Near his goal, Blue meets this older woman who almost kills him with a bomb.

So after being saved by Elena, one of the most gifted psychic healer, Blue returns to the USA... what's better excuse then his father's death? Not that Blue and his father was close, actually the man's a real SOB. The ick is that Blue's father is not dead. He only staged his death so his other son, Blue's half-brother Daniel would show up. However, Daniel has disappeared and the father's best shot is asking Blue... or actually blackmailing Blue. So if Blue doesn't agree, the father will reveal all of Dirk & Steele secret to goverment and scientists. Anyway, Blue doesn't have a choice if he wants to protect his real family. He finally finds Daniel in a circus in Las Vegas... but once there, Blue is more interested to Iris, this lady with golden eyes and incredible affinity to BIG cats.

So where to start... Blue's psychic power is electrokinesis as in, he's able to command anything that works with electricity which means the human heart as well. I mean, it's a real interesting power and I think it's the first time I've come across something like this power. However, he doesn't really explain how it works and so on. As most of you could guess, Iris is a shapeshifter, wow big surprise. Now, that's something I'd like Ms Liu to stop... stop adding shapeshifters everywhere. They're supposed to be rare... Yet in every book of the series, you get to meet one or two. So this dragon lady could go a 100 years without seeing anyone of her "kind," but Dirk & Steele just happens to stumble over 2 or 3 ones every months?

Aside from that, I quite liked Blue's character. He's not tortured, but his life wasn't easy, especially with the kind of father he had. However, interestingly, life wasn't easier for Daniel either. Blue and Daniel have never met and very reluctant to trust each other, but that's a given given their father. I wouldn't say Blue's such an alpha either. I guess in this book, focus was more on the plot than characters. I've never felt much affinity to Ms Liu's character. As for Iris, well she's fine. Not too strong, but not whiny or TSTL... A decent heroine. But really, thanx heavens the book was filled with action, because with only those characters... I probably woudn't have continued on.

So this book is full of action and it gets quite complicated. There might have been a bit too much coincidences, but I guess, there were necessary. What I actually like about this book is that altho it's part of a series, the book was focused on our two main characters. Ms Liu wasn't trying to set-up her next book. Another interesting thing is that you usually don't see the other from previous books. I think that we saw quite a few of the previous characters and I was quite happy. I like to have updates on characters I liked. So story is more action-filled and there's plenty of conspiracy again. As for the love story, a bit bland. Too quick attraction between Iris and Blue and I thought there wasn't much chemistry between them. Oh and Elena's twist was quite interesting.

Finally, I think there was something else, but I can't remember... it's 11pm. and my breain just shut down. So the book was quite interesting and much better than the last. Still a bit confusing, I think Ms Liu should make her "master-plan behind the scene" a bit less complicated. If you're a fan of this series, you'll really want to read it.

Last thing... I read Kay Hooper's short story in Guardian Angel's anthology. It was really the only one I was interested in. So it's mostly romance with a touch of paranormal: Alex is an earl who's been working as a spy. He crosses to France and come back with critical information. However, during once of his voyage, it doesn't go well when smugglers confuse him for someone else and shoot him. Luckily, this woman appears in front of him and saves his life. She'll appear a couple of more time, everytime when he was in danger... and he'll reach a point where he puts himself in danger just to meet her. Anyway, cute story, you can see Kay Hooper's soft style... I wonder where the Romance Kay Hooper went and left for Psychic Kay Hooper. Anyway, the problem with the anthologies is always the same: way too short.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Wishlist!

Okay, about 2 weeks ago (Thanksgiving week), Mailyn emailed me demanding where my wishlist was. Wishlist? What wishlist? I never keep a wishlist, because well, I usually buy books as they come out. I have my list of authors and titles and when the books are coming out and you'll see my at the bookstore within a week of the "date" to buy them. Or I check the web to see which stores have it in stock, at least twice a day ^^; Same thing for the manga. Yeah, I have no self-control...

Anyway, 2 weeks later, here is my wishlist :P
(I'm going to put the covers in the WANTED section on my sidebar as soon as I get home)

Anne Stuart
- A Rose at Midnight
- To Love a Dark Lord
- Lord Danger

Elizabeth Doyle
- Beyond Paradise

Holly Black
- Tithe

Stephanie Meyer
- Twilight

Marth Wells
- The Death of the Necromancer

Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall
- Amber
- White Mountain

Christopher Paolini
- Eldest

Katherine Stone
- Roommates
- Bel Air

*The books are in no order*

So that's my wishlist... I'm kind of proud of myself that I could come up with at least some books :P

So does everyone have a wishlist or is it only me?

I hate Mondays...

Seriously, Mondays suck.

Woke up this morning, the cellphone and the battery recharger were missing. My room is a mess and all my sis' homework is on my desk. MY desk. One of my boot has a hole in it and the other, the zipper is broken. There's snow outside... The first snow and so I wanted to wear my boots, but obviously, i have to bring them to a shoe repairman first. Then, been looking for a compound since last week and couldn't find it. Finally asked the guy to make some more and what happened? Of course, he finds it in the common stock and tells me I should look with my eyes. Argh. Mondays truly suck.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reading Blues...

Hey everyone!

Hmmm, what was I going to say? Oh yeah, remember: because of the presentation, I got a bit off schedule with my blog hopping and this is probably going to continue till December 15. So basically, I do go on other blogs and read messages, but I can't seem of think of comments... so I'm sorry if it seems like I don't read your blog... I actually do, but I don't know what to say because my brain is switched off or dead ^^; By the way, it also seems like the reading slump has caught up to me. I've bought so many great books, but I can't seem to get into them. I'll start one and won't feel like continuing. It really sucks.

Onto other news... i got new glasses. Glasses are so expensive. Also, how come ppl are so dense? First there's my parents that don't understand everything or decide to suit their interpretation to their taste... Today, I went home and ask my mom if she was washing clothes and what was she washing.... She answered clothes. Euh, yes mom. I know it's clothes... I meant what kind? Underwear, Pjs, casual clothing?

Yesterday, I went to the bookstore again. I was looking for Eye of Heaven by Marjorie Liu, because apparently they received it according to the computer. So I went and didn't find it. So I asked a lady to help me... That lady led me back to the shelving in romance to look and after that, in fiction. Yo, I'm a regular at bookstores... I wouldn't bother you if it was simply misplaced. Hey, I even looked under "M" because, she writes under Marjorie M. Liu. So we couldn't find it and she told me: you should order it. You'll receive it in about a week. Hello lady... the reason why I go to bookstores is mainly because I can't wait. If I could wait a week, then I would order all my books.

That reminds me of that day I was at the library. I was looking for Eragon; however, at that time, I didn't know it was Eragon. I mean, I've been seeing Eragon and Eldest's covers everywhere for years. Anyway, I wanted to read the two books because recently, Mailyn has commented on it (okay, so maybe not that recently). So I was at the library and I was: they probably have it, let's go check. I asked the lady at the desk and I'm like: I don't know the author, don't know the title. I only know it's two volumes, hardcover. One is blue and the other is red and both have dragons on it. I thought that as a librarian, she might recognized it. Turns out the lady wasn't a librarian, she was in charge of the multimedia (assigning computers and stuff). So she's like: can't you do a search? I was very polite and answered: Don't know the author or title. She answered: well you can enter a subject. Subject is often enough. Hello!!! What am I going to put under subject? Fiction? Young Adult? with no title and author? yeah, I so going to get THE result I want. And how am I going to know it's really that book I'm looking for. Anyway, I was a bit frustrated, because hey, I'm a regular at libraries and bookstores and I know how to search and look for books... What do I look like? stupid?

Anyway, that's it tonight. I'm going to do some re-read and perhaps try to get into my new books :P See you guys soon!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank you everyone!

Hello :D

Well I'm still alive! okay, let's be serious. First, I'd like to thank everyone who wish me good luck, it's always heart-warming to know that ppl care. So:


How did it go? Well. Well at least, that's what everyone told me... cos standing in front, I have no idea. For sure, I was nervous and I thought that it came out a bit wrong, hesitant and there was a lot of pause, but it seems it sounded good. As for the questions, I was able to answer every one of them. So I'm glad... All my labmates took the time to come to see me, so it was really nice of them and my supervisor seemed happy. My friend told me that he was quite proud (cos she overheard him talking to another prof) and that the other prof was quite impressed that I was able to achieve so much in such an short amount of time. My immediate supervisor (the one in France) also sent me an email to wish me good luck and to give me some advices. Although it came in too late, I was glad that he cared enough :) To tell the truth tho, I was quite nervous, because on Tuesday night, I was trying to practice and I think I only got the whole presentation twice... So I was quite worried and woke up at 5am to practice some more, but was interrupted by my parents... But yeah, this part is now over and I'm really glad. Soon, I'll be writing my report. Soon.

The cool part was after the presentation tho. I took the day off and hang out with my friends... it's been such a long time! And I had a great time. In addition, to celebrate a bit, guess what I did? Bought books of course! I used my mysterious card and got 5$... What pissed me off tho was that apparently, if you bought more than 50$, you got another card with a rabate of 10$... but I didn't get that. How unfair really!

I'm sure you're dying to know what books I bought! So here is my new purchases:

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (anthology): couldn't resist after reading the review at Ames'
Bad Girls Don't by Cathie Linz: currently reading
Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard: I didn't enjoy the first one that much, but it's Howard, so it deserves another try.
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara: It sounds good. As you know, i'm trying series by the Luna Harlequin and this one is one. The cashier girl told me it was a good book, so great :P
Eragon by Christopher Paolini: Well, I remember seeing the blue cover with the dragon on it for such a long time and I remember Mailyn saying something about it. I didn't know the author or the title, so when I went to the library last week, I didn't find it.... It's only when I bought it yesterday that I realized that it's Eragon, the one coming out as a movie soon. Yeah, I know, I'm clueless. Anyway, I got the book, the version with the dragon on it, in trade paperback format.

and that's it :D The only book I didn't find and that I wanted was Eye of Heaven by Marjorie Liu. Apparently, this one is good.

So that's pretty much for yesterday and today. Right now, I'm debating what to do after work... Going out with friends again tonight and I have about 2 hours to kill... so my choices are:

1) Going to Zellers and see if they got Eye of Heaven
2) Going to UBS
3) Going to buy manga
4) Going rental store.

hmmm, tough choices... I also have to come up with a wish-list of books. The trouble is that when I'm trying to figure out which book I want, well, I want it right... so having the list urges me to go buy the book right away and so I don't have any wish-list anymore.... but guess I'll try :P

Okay, that's it for today folks!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Almost the big day...

Hey everyone,

I really should be practicing my presentation, but my mind is numbed with stress... so I'll try to relax it with this review (I would start to read, but then, I'll never practice and going to sleep is unfortunately, not an option either)... So this is the book I read yesterday night and I really enjoyed it :D and it made me cry... I think that I needed to cry.

The Return by Dinah McCall (Sharon Sala): 4.25/5

I can't do a coherent synopsis, so here are the main facts that I would put in my summary if I write one:

- the Blairs and Joslins families have hated each other for years. Not ordinary hatred, a hatred so profound that they find ways for the other family members to have "accident"
- Fancy Joslin and Turner Blair fell in love when they were kids. When Fancy got pregnant, they married in secret and planned to run away and start a new life.
- Few hours after Fancy gave birth to Catherine, she entrusted her baby to the witch (Annie Fane) and then died, killed by dogs. Tragedy ensued and the three Blair sons are murdered, and another disappears. The only survivor is paralyzed by a stroke.
- Annie Fane runs away with Catherine and raises her.
- 25 years later, Catherine comes back to Camerune to bury Annie and faces the suspicions and supertitions of a whole town. Only Sheriff Luke DePriest is one her side.

All right, so where to start. Seriously, the beginning was so tragic that I couldn't help and cried. I don't want to give it away, but it's really poignant and touching. I liked both Luke and Catherine and I enjoyed how their relationship happened. Both characters are strong and good and everything, but Sharon Sala doesn't overdo it. You know how sometimes, a book has strong characters which override the story/plot... well here, it's really not the case. There is a great balance between characters and story...

Ok, seems my review isn't that great... All I can say is that I've always liked Sharon Sala's books and this is no exception. So if you like her style, don't miss this one. I guess what I like about her books it's that, the romance is subtle and there's always something happening. It's really not characters-driven and you know, it's plausible and no attempt to be extremely funny and so on.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Reads of the week-end

Hey everyone :D

So is everyone alive? It's been real quiet on blogland this week-end, but I guess that's because everyone's personal life is catching up + Thanksgiving. However, I do hope it comes back to normal soon. Oh and I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving :D and for non-US folks, I hope you had a nice week-end!

So guess what? Yeah, I finished my presentation! well at least the slides... now, I have to figure out what to say... and stupid as I am, I just realized that my results were the opposite of what I was expecting. Euh, really not fun!!! Anyway, I'm pretty proud of myself for the slides (I did very little powerpoint presentation)... So today, I have a practice... okay, that's not going to go well... The worst thing now is that my shoulders hurt as if there's a huge weight that sat on them, plus I'm always sighing... Another sign that I'm stressed. It's as if I need more air in my lungs and when I exhaled, it comes out as a sigh. Annoys my mom a lot :P Anyway, my torture is almost done! almost! Can't wait for it!

So, having to do my presentation didn't stop me from reading... Far from it. I finished two books over this week-end and here are the reviews:

Stuck in Shangri-La by Kasey Micheals: 3.5/5

Darcy Reed was once engaged to Cameron Pierce; however, all this is over. At least, that's what Darcy thinks... Until her uncle Horry dies. In his will, Horry leaves everything to Lucky, the 20 pounds bad-tempered cat that Darcy has given him 3 years ago, and stipulates that Darcy and Cameron have to co-habit in Shangri-La, his huge Victorian house, for a month if Darcy is to inherit the house or else, everything will be left to Uncle Edwin (who's never been part of the family). Of course, not everyone is happy, esp. Lily, Horry long-time housekeeper.

Okay, another synopsis that doesn't make sense. I think it's because my brain is tired. Basically, here is the break-down: Darcy is 26 y.o. and Cameron is 34. Cameron is ready to settle down and thought that Darcy wanted the same; however, Darcy just graduated from school and she wants to discover herself, see if she can do it on her own and stuff like that. So during an argument, Darcy blurts out that she has a 5 years career plans and only after that, will she settle down to have kids. This lead to an even bigger argument and when the next day, Darcy comes too Cameron's office to apologize, she sees him kissing his ex-gf. Of course, she blows up thing, break the engagement and moves to Pittsburg for her new job. Cameron wants to go after her, but Uncle Horry tells him to wait, that she needs space. Horry is an eccentric man and he changed his will as part of a plan to bring back Cameron and Darcy together... unfortunately, he never expected to really die. So now, he "haunts" his house and keeps Lucky company and see how all this mess is turning out.

So, so, so. Let's start with: I liked Cameron and I really wish I could meet a guy like him :P He really loves Darcy and he's making efforts to get to know her (because in Darcy's opinion, he doesn't) and he was going to make even more efforts to have a long-distance relationship once Darcy went back to Pittsburg and wait for her to be ready to settle-down. I mean, the guy is almost the dream guy... Okay, he does assume a lot of things and he's a guy, but if she talked to him instead of arguing, always jumping and taking everything as a criticism, I'm sure Darcy and Cameron could have work out something. Which brings me to Darcy. She's not bad, but she's annoying. She accuses Cameron of not listening, but she's not doing any efforts either. She says that she doesn't know herself and she needs to discover who she is... but in that case, how can you blame the guy for not knowing you? Also, I'm sure that she could have figured it out while still being engaged to Cameron. Man, I mean, they had a comfortable relationship. Anyway... I liked Uncle Horry and Lucky, Lucky was so damn sarcastic that it was funneh :D I gues this was meant to be a light comedy as the secondary characters are really exaggerated. Anyway, the story wasn't bad overall, but because I found the conflict avoidable and Darcy annoying, it did damper a bit the enjoyment. I also thought that some things were left unexplained: why was Cameron kissing his ex? Why did Uncle Horry not leave his house ever? Little details... So not a bad book, but Everything's coming up Rosie was better.

The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop: 4/5

Jared is a Red-Jeweled Warlord that has become a pleasure slave. Because he has killed the Queen he was servicing, he is now sentenced to the salt mines where he will suffer and suffer and suffer. However, for some unfathomable reasons, the Gray Lady (who everyone fears) has bought him at the slave auction saving him from the salt mines... But Jared is afraid, because of the rumors he've heard. No slaves that the Gray Lady has bought have ever returned.

At the same time, Dorothea SaDiabolo wants the Gray Lady dead, because she is one of true Queen and standing in Dorothea's way. So she gives this mission to her new Master of Guard with the threat that if this mission isn't successful, he'll suffer a very very sad and bad and painful fate.

Well, well, well. This is not part of the Black Jewels trilogy; however, the story occurs in the same world. Only two characters from the Black Jewels trilogy makes an appearance tho: Dorothea (who cares about her) and Daemon! Youppi! It was kind of cool to see Daemon in this story, because by the way, the story happens before the Black Jewels. So Daemon is real suave and all. The nice thing is that you don't really get to know what Daemon is thinking, but you get to see how others see him. So that was cool. As for the story itself, well Jared and the Gray Lady were nice characters. Strong and all. It had an interesting secondary characters cast as well and I did enjoy the book :P It's in the same vain as the Black Jewels trilogy really. Basically, the Gray Lady is going back to her territory along with the slaves she bought; however, she knows that there is a certain wrongness in the group and so she is making detours and all to figure out what is the wrongness and at the same time, avoid whoever wants her dead. If you liked the Black Jewels trilogy, you'll certainly enjoy this book as well.

The only thing I'm still figuring out is what does The Invisible Ring mean really?

So I'll go back to figure what I'm going to say for my presentation :P See you all later!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reads of the week

Hello :D

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrated it yesterday :D

nothing much to say, still working on my presentation... it's going slow-motion... extreme slow-motion :P

anyway, here are my reads of the week:

Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz: 2.75/5

My initial intention was to get Bad Girls Don't, but I didn't find it (would have had to go to another bookstore and I was lazy), so I got the first book of the "series" instead which is Good Girls Do.

Julia has been a librarian in the small-town Serenity's Falls for the past 3 years. She likes it there, actually love it as it provides her the stability that she lacked when she grew up with her New Age mom and little sister, always moving. However, her peaceful heaven turns into hell when the town bad boy, Luke Maguire, comes back after his father's death to settle family business and when Angel, Skye and Toni, respectively Julia's mother, sister and 4 y.o niece, show up at Julia's door. So in this little town where everyone knows everyone's secret, Julia and Luke have sparks, Julia's family is disrupting her life and in addition, Julia learns that her father is not dead.

Well the book wasn't bad per se, but I don't know... I found it a bit boring. Julia and Luke's characters were kind of bland... Luckily, Julia's family and the town's wackos kind of save the book with comedy relief. See, Julia has never fit in and she wants to fit in. Although she feels guilty about it, Julia can't help but think that her family is a disruption and that's pretty much the part I didn't like. The book pretty much focus on Julia and so, you don't really get to know Luke that much. I don't really know what to say... it wasn't bad, just bland. The book happens on a timeline of 6 months and too much things that aren't important happen and too little important things don't happen. I'm still planning to get Bad Girls Don't and I bet it'll be better, based on Sandie's review :P

Everything's Coming Up with Rosie by Kasey Micheals: 4.25/5

Douglas has enjoyed his bachelor life... a lot. However, now that he's just turned 40, he has some questions and some wonders. Does he really want to be nominated as Most Eligible Bachelor of Philadelphia again? Douglas is going to his second cousin's daugther's wedding... with the wedding party during a week. Already, he is dreading the matchmaking that his second cousin has in mind... However, the moment he shows up to the wedding, Rosie Kilgannon walks in his arms and asks him to kiss her like he means it. From here on, Douglas' life will never be the same.

When I read the synopsis of the book, I didn't realize that the wedding party would be a week-long... and so I was wondering, "yeah, Rosie is gonna kiss Douglas, they're going to feel an attraction for each other and what after? Go back to their regular life where they'll be pining for each other and then, call each other for dates and all" not that it would have been a bad book... but having the wedding party a week-long where Douglas and Rosie will spend almost every minute wit each other is a better idea. Basically, Rosie is just outrageous, but in a good way. She's 32 y.o. and very straightforward and honest. She tells what she thinks and likes to meddle in others' business. What I like about her is that she's very confident in herself and knows herself well. As for Douglas, well yeah, at 40 he's starting to ask himself some questions. It's time for him to change some things... Basically, I like Douglas and Rosie's interactions and their conversations :D

Aside from Rosie and Douglas discovering each other, what else is happening? Well plenty... to start with a groom that was bought to marry the bride... a bride that is not in love with the groom but goes on because if not, her mother will have a cow.... The mother who is obsessed with appearance and prestige... A father that at this point just doesn't care... Lots is happening and I doubt you'll find any of this boring :P

I got this book because of the great review at All About Romance and I agree with it (which I rarely do:P) Seriously, this book is worth it :D

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

a little of everything...

Hey everyone!

So it's Thanksgiving this week for the US right? I've been wondering if it was last week or this week :P Does that mean that US folk will have more time to blog or that you'll be too busy? (just curious :P)

All right, so little update on me... The good news: my supervisor finally emailed me back! Youppi! However, he's been having difficulty to adapt and all, so he might not have time to help me for my presentation... too bad. Talking about presentation, I still haven't done anything... 1 week to go, but I'm sure I can do it. There's such a difference between knowing when it's going to happen. remember at the beginning of the month? I was freaking out because I thought there was 2 weeks before the presentation, but I didn't know when exactly the presentation would be. Now, I don't feel nervous about the presentation, so I guess that's good. I have the presentation in my head, the analysis is 95% done... so now, just have to complete the 5% which is like statistic (beurk) and make some slides...

So that's the boring personal stuff in my life. Book-related now. Hmmm, the new Indigo store was a disappointment to me. Yeah, sucks no? Been waiting so long for it and it sucks. The store itself is really nice, but the arrangement of the shelves is no good. The separation between section isn't clear either. The romance section is pitiful... it's about 1/3 or 1/4 of the romance section at the Chapters or Indigo downtown. I guess it's the lack of space... the Indigo and Chapters downtown have 2 floors (Chapters even have 3) while this one only has 1 floor. So they're trying to cram everything together (English + French books) and so, they have to cut some corners... I guess it'll be good for the new releases... but if I want some older books (like 3-4 months old), I'll have to go in downtown still. Anyway, you can guess that I didn't spend the Customer day there... Instead, I drove downtown (hey, it was one day only, had to enjoy it!) and bought a couple of books:

- Conspiracy Game by Christine Feehan (rec. by Kris)
- Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz (Sandie rec. Bad Girls Don't, 2nd book of the series, but it wasn't there)
- His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver (Canadian author, so I wanted to try her out)
- Major Crush by Jennifer Echols (rec. by Dancechica)
- House of Gaian by Anne Bishop (remember, I bought the first 2 books at UBS)
- The Glasswrights' Apprentice by Mindy L. Klasky

and I think that's it... but I can't be sure ^^; You know, been buying a lot of books lately, hard to keep track ^^; Not bad right for a girl who didn't have much a specific book in mind.

While I was at the bookstore, I took a look at Shattered Dance by Caitlin Brennan, which is one of the sequel to Mountain's Call. (it's the third book in the series so far... not sure if they'll be more). I was hesitating whether to continue the series or not and so, I went and read the ending. You know me, if there's no HEA then, it's not worth to read... Spoilers (highlight to see) well, Valeria and Kerrec don't end up together. Kerrec end up marrying someone else and Valeria, for some reason, at the end end of the book, has decided to become the Barbarian Queen. End of Spoilers. So yeah, I'm going to sell Mountain's Call to UBS, unless anyone here wants it... Ames? since you already have the second book...

So what else, what else... Oh yeah! Remember, I was reading London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch? Well, it might take awhile before I finish that book... I went and skimmed through another of her regency book that I've bought during McGill charity book fair and well, I have a problem with her books. It's the way the brothers treat the heroine... They can't stop giving orders and be-littling (in my opinion) the heroine. That gets annoying. I'm pretty sure that that's what really happened in those time, instead of the heroine being allowed to do mostly what she wants, but in today's time, it's you know, insulting for a woman. I like Suzanne Enoch's contemporary, but I'm not so sure about the historicals... and it seems this happen in every of her historicals... too bad for me I guess.

So well, that's it... Now, i have two reviews! :D so what new books did I read? The lucky winners were Major Crush by Jennifer Echols and Conspiracy Game by Christine Feehan.

Major Crush by Jennifer Echols: 4/5

Virginia Saunter is 16 years old and the co-drum major of her school marching band. She shares the position of drum major with Drew Morrow, a senior and her crush. Drew was drum major last year and so, Virginia is having difficult to ascertain her authority within the band. It doesn't help that their first show was a complete disaster. Now, Mr. Rush, the new band director, is giving Drew and Virginia the choice: work together or he'll have someone else replace them.

What to say? This is a young adult novel, which explains why the H/H are 17 and 16 y.o. However, it is still a very cutsy story :D I did enjoy it, with all the drama and stuff... however, probably not as much as DC did. See, there's a lot of thing I didn't know and so I can't relate to... My school didn't have a marching band and actually, I don't think that many school in Quebec province has one... it's just not popular here. Also, we don't have the SAT exam here, so that's also something I cannot relate to. It's nice though that teenagers can find love... I've always liked the high school sweetheart romance :D

The only major problem I had with this book is that, well it's a young adult novel... these characters have their whole life in front of them. Sure, the ending of the BOOK is HEA, but for how long? Are they going to be together still in 20 years? Well, yeah, I'll never get the answer. I hope so too, but might not happen right? Anyway, good story. I'm wondering if the other from the series are as good... For a better review, you should go to DC's blog.

Conspiracy Game by Christine Feehan: 4.25/5

Jack Norton is a GhostWalker, i.e. that he's been enhanced physically and psychically. He leads a mission to Congo, to go rescue his twin brother Ken, whose been captured on a mission. Ken is saved, but it is now Jack who's been captured. Jack successfully escaped, but is severely injured. Luckily for him, he runs into Briony Jenkins... a woman who has also been enhanced physically and psychically.

Briony Jenkins is a very strong empath and being in large crowds hurt her... but that doesn't stop her from being part of the Flying Five and performing their flying act, because above all, Briony loves her adopted family. For some reason, the Flying Five (Briony and her 4 brothers) have been paid a huge amount of money to perform at the Music Festival in Congo. There, Briony runs into Jack and saves his life. Attraction sizzles between Briony and Jack; however, for Jack, ppl he loves and cares for are a liability and so, Jack leaves... hoping it'd be better that way for Briony... That is, until Briony is pregnant and someone is after her, but more importantly, after her baby. Having no choice, not wanting to endanger her brothers and also wanting to learn some skills to be able to protect her baby in the future, Briony turns to Jack.

As a rule, I'm not a big fan of Christine Feehan... Never got into her Dark Series and the only books that I've really read were Shadow Game and Mind Game, the 2 first book of the well, Game Series. I've actually given up on the Game series... Basically, what you need to know about the Game series is that you had a mad scientist, Dr. Peter Whitney, with a lot money experimenting on humans to give them or enhance their natural psychic powers. He did many experiments, but 2 stood out. His first experiment was on very young girls whom he got from orphanage in Europe. Because he couldn't keep all the girls at one point, he adopted them out, but kept one, Lily. Then, he started experimenting on soldiers (SEALS and another group)... so basically, what's been happening is: soldier meet orphan girl in dangerous situation and fall in love. It's basically the same thing happening over and again and that's why I decided to save some money. However, Kris said this one was good and I should give it a try and so I did and bought it during the week-end. She was right, this one is indeed pretty good.

So, I did really enjoy the book. I guess I liked the characters, Briony and Jack as well as Ken. I thought Briony's brothers were jerks at first, but then, they redeemed themselves a lot. I'm happy that we didn't get to see too many characters from previous books, but then at the same time, their little appearance was a bit too short.... so it makes the book unbalanced I think. Anyway, Briony is not your usual heroine... She's tough, but always afraid... what's make her stand out is that she learnt how to deal with her fear. She's strong and she's trained, but she's never been in a situation where she needed to use her training. In short, a nice heroine... not a TSTL and not a too tough character either. As for Jack, well he's tough and very controlling. He also has a dark monster in his past. He's the type of alpha that you usually like.

The plot was a good one, the way it was told was enjoyable as well. If I had a problem tho is that it seems the novel is not complete. Briony came to Jack's house for protection. They're safe for awhile, but then, gets attacked. The trio runs away and manage to escape, kill the most threatening man and then, that's the end of the book. Okay... There's just a lot of thing unanswered. Of course, you do get the answer in the next book which is Deadly Game and features Ken as the hero, but still. So that's the only major complain I have... Now, I'm still not decided though if reading Deadly Game is going to be good... seems like it's going to be a repeat of Conspiracy Game...

oh well, that's enough for today :D Have a nice day everyone!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

no, tell me it's a lie!

Shoot me now and end my suffering please!!!!!

I can't believe this!!!

So after being disappointed by Mountain's Call, I went to re-read Poison Study and Magic Study. Just out of curiosity, I went to see on Maria V. Snyder's website  if an except was out... After all, that's usually what happens, excerpt of the sequel is posted when the book comes out. Well, I wasn't disappointed, here is the excerpt for Fire Study.

But guess what I discover besides the excerpt? Sit down fans and start bawling. So Harlequin has moved the Study series from LUNA to MIRA. So, what's the big deal? Well, Mira wants to re-release Poison Study and Magic Study in trade paperback format... they will be out in March 2007 and September 2007 respectively, both with new covers... So this means that Fire Study will be coming out in.... March 2008. 2008!!!!!! Are you freaking playing with me? That's like 1 year 1/4 to wait, after I've already wait 2-3 months already!!!!!!!!!

You're being very very cruel Mira. Couldn't you just release Fire Study in hardcover when it should be released and have it re-released later on in trade paperback? I never thought I'd be asking for hardcovers, but yeah, I am. Anyway, this is crushing news to me, because I bet the book is already completed and everything... Boohoohoo T_T

Anyway, here are the new covers... I prefer the old ones, but at least, they are not ugly. Boohoohoo T_T

Friday, November 17, 2006

tired of checking emails...

Hey girls :D

nope, no book review, no new books to share :P I've started London's Perfect Scoundrel, but I'm not done yet :P Probably this week-end.

No, this post is going to be a mini-rant... I'm thinking maybe I should get a personal blog, but don't really feel like it... and anyway, this is a bit book-related. So, what's been up? I've been checking my emails a gazillion time/day this week. Why? Because I'm waiting an email from my supervisor... I sent him an email on Tuesday, and still haven't gotten a reply. Guess what, my presentation is in 2 weeks. Sigh. Major SIGH. I mean, I do understand I'm at the last minute and yeah, he's in France, so there's the time difference... but 3 days! Well according to my prof who got news from my supervisor last week (so I'm guessing he didn't die in the past week), my supervisor found a house... Grr, does this mean he's in the process of moving and he doesn't have internet connection? I hope not.

In addition to this, I went to see if the new Indigo has opened yet. Guess what? It's opening today!!! Youppi! I really got lucky. After seeing that the Indigo wasn't opend yet, I went to eat in a cafe and then, when I came out, I caught 2 employees and asked them. They told me it was opening today, but they were having an event on Sunday where everything in the store will be 15% off. Did I want an invitation? Hell Yes! So the girl took my email, told me that she would send the invitation tonight and I would have it. Guess what? Still didn't get it... now, I'm wondering if you really need the invitation or not? What if I show up on Sunday? Anyway, I'm going to pass by tonight and see if I can get someone to send me another invitation. This really sucks....

Oh by the way, I need some books suggestion :D Everything at 15% off and I'm hoping that with the I-rewards card, I get an additional 10%... that would be 25%!!! with a vast variety of books... so guys, any book I should really invest in? I'm thinking the third book in the Tir Alainn trilogy by Anne Bishop... going to see if they have manga too. Oh, and anyone who read Glasswrights Apprentice by Mindy Klashy? Saw them at the UBS, but wasn't sure if it was good.

anyway, that's it for now... so I'll see you guys latah :D

ps - what does skanky mean?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Review: Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan

Hey everyone :D

So wassup? I'm still in procastination mode concerning my presentation, but please, don't urge me to go work on it. My mood's been a bit gloomy lately - nothing to be happy, but not depressed or down. Work has been boring... and I miss my friends. Should call them up and go out...

So as I said, I've been reading Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan. I've been really curious about this book, because basically, I've seen it everywhere since September. Mountain's Call was reprint in paperback format and released in September and at the same time, she had 2 sequels (Song of Unmaking and Shattered Dance) coming out in tradepaper format almost back to back. The ick is that she really has nice covers and it's from Luna. I mean, Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder are also from Luna... See where I'm getting at? So I finally broke down last week and bought the first volume... I was a good girl and went: I'll see if I like it before buying the series. Smart no? So here is my review...

Mountain's Call by Cailtin Brennan: 2.75-3/5

In this world, magic and gods co-habit together. Gods being horses... but not any horses: white stallions and their Ladies. Young men who may become the white stallions Riders are "called" to the Mountain. "Called," you cannot deny it, your whole body has the urge to go to the Mountain. However, in a 1000 years, never a woman was called.

Valeria has been "Called" and so, she starts her journey to the Mountain, disguised as a boy, and abandoning her family. On the way, she's robbed and almost raped, but luckily is saved by Kerrec, a First Rider. Kerrec doesn't reveal that she's is a girl and so, Valeria passes the testings and has even become the Champion of the testing; however, her glory is short-lived as she is discovered. Not knowing what to do with her, i.e. kill her or send her away, she becomes Kerrec servant so he will be able to train her. Ah, and let's not forget the conspiracy of a prince to overtake his father's throne...

I guess I was expecting something like Poison Study and Magic Study and that's why I've been so disappointed. The beginning wasn't bad; although I found that the world building was not as well-explained as I would have wanted.

See, what makes a fantasy book a good book? Good characters, good plot, enough information on the world building and because these books often contain a quest of some sort, camaderie. The characters weren't bad, but I didn't like them. Not enough info and no camaderie... so what's left? Yeah, the plot was promising, but it wasn't supported well. So let started by the characters... Main character is Valeria... it reminded me of Valek :P Anyway, I don't even know what I feel about her character. Perhaps she was smart, but in my opinion, it's more like she's very intuitive and that helps her with her magic and the horses. She's strong-willed and determined. But emotionally... It's interesting because over at McVane, she brought up the subject of Mary Sue readers. Anyway, I'll admit that I have things that I like my characters to do and things that I don't like... one of them is sleeping with many persons in one book... Unfortunately, this happens in Mountain's Call and well, it made me like Valeria a little less... So Valeria discovers the pleasures of sex with Eun, the barbarian prince. Well that's fine. But then, when she realized that she was in love with Kerrec, I would have appreciated that she stopped having sex with Eun. In my mind, this speaks of morals. I might be old-fashioned, but well that's me. I mean, she knew that she didn't love Eun - it wasn't even undecision - she just craved sex... well that girl, is what usually breaks a relationship nowadays. So yeah, not a good point in her favor. Onto Kerrec now... well the man is okay, you don't really get to know him very much. He's very much like ice, very cold and arrogant. He's mind is flexible, apparently because he's the youngest Rider. You don't really get to know him very much throughout the story... once he starts to show emotions, it's to tell readers right away that he's in love with Valeria. All right, that's fine with me. Then, a chapter later, he hates her because she's a traitor. I guess the problem here is that although Valeria and Kerrec fell in love with each other, they didn't know each other that well and sure didn't understand the other. Kerrec thought that Valeria was a traitor and that was it, he despised her, hated her. Not once did he doubt that perhaps, Valeria had a motive behind. Even when later, it showed that perhaps Valeria wasn't a traitor, he denied it. I guess it boils down to, there was no trust between them.

What else? The writing style... I thought the whole story-telling was very passive. You were told what was happening and it seems to me, on a very monotonous tone.

So yeah, that's it. Perhaps I'm not very objective with this one and I set the bar quite high, expecting something similar to Poison Study... but I just can't help it. Maybe the rest of the story is better, but I don't really feel like buying it, since it's in tradepaper... Ames! read it and tell me if it's better! :P next book is probably going to be London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

some reviews...

Hey everyone!

Wassup? It's already mid-november. Time flies way, way, way too quickly!! Does someone know a way to stop time? Please, please, pretty please!

I just got Born in Death in the mail yesterday - how is it that everytime I'm the one picking the letters, there's NEVER anything interesting? How come my books always get in when my mom's the one picking up the letters? Can someone explain that to me? Cos, well my mom still frown at me when I get the new books through mail... altho it's cheaper. So, I have to admit, I haven't been that excited about the Born in Death... I mean, it's not a book that I was like: oh my god, must read it as soon as it arrives... but that's what happened. You know, when you've followed a series of more than 20 books, then you don't just stop buying them or reading them. It's really like manga actually. Would you stop a series just because the last few volumes suck? Hell no! Best example: Detective Conan. It's a detective (duh) manga and I have more than 50 volumes... So what if the latest are redundant?!? The good thing tho with manga is that the series might go in a little slump, but it always get interesting again. Anyway. Born in Death, yeah... I'm not totally finished with it, but I've read enough to have a review.

Born in Death by Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb: 3.75

Hmmm, want a synopsis? I don't think I can write a coherent one, so here are the main facts:

- two accountants who happen to be a couple very much in love with each other are murdered, the woman; tortured before dying by suffocation.
- Eve has to confiscate documents at the accountant firm; ppl fear that Roarke will have access to the documents and use the information to have the upper hand in business competition. Whithey shares concern; both Eve and Roarke pissed.
- Mavis is having her baby in a few weeks, so both Eve and Roarke have to go to birthing class. In addition, Eve is to host a baby shower.
- One of Mavis' pregnant friend, Tandy Willowby, disappears.

Now, link that all together, add a couple of murderers, suspects and you have the story. I'm not saying the book was bad, but that it was too complex for me to summarize it coherently. And also, I luv point-form... comes from years of study :P Anyway, I was sad that the couple was killed... I don't know, I like the victims... going to sound stupid, but yep. I mean, sometimes, in this series, victims deserve to die or they are random kills by psycho... In this case, there was a really good reason why the couple was killed, but the couple wasn't evil, wasn't bad. They were actually well-loved, very much in love with each other, and yeah, good I guess.

Anyway, I really liked the beginning of this book. You have a dead couple whose deaths shake up the whole firm with grief. Then, you discover that something in the accountants weren't right. I think that if Nora Roberts would have pursued that aspect and strictly that aspect, the book would have been better... more unique/original and less likely to be lumped in with other In Death books. However, she decided to add a series of murders of pregnant women... and the two are related it. That's what I didn't like... doesn't it seem too coincidental for you? I mean, what's the probably of international fraud has to anything to do with the death of pregnant women? I mean, yeah, Ms Roberts is able to link it nicely, because she's good at writing... but if it was anyone else, I don't think it would have work. I mean, it's just too coincidental and far-fetched in my opinion. So the beginning was good, but when Ms Roberts start to focus on the second end of the intrigue, I start losing interest and I thought the book started dragging.

The rest of the novel is typical In Death book. You have cynical Eve Dallas with charming mogul Roarke both scared to death of childbirth. Really, I think this was a bit hint that Eve is not going to get pregnant anytime soon and perhaps never. So readers who were hoping that, you can scratch it. I really think that it's more likely that one day, Eve and Roarke might adopt a baby... but Eve pregnant, seems unconceivable for me. You get to see a bit of Feeney, Peabody, McNab, Mira, Mavis and Leonardo... I miss Louise and Charles T_T

I think that the book was solid... Not the best, but not the worst either of the In Death book.

Venetia by Georgette Heyer: N/A

Well unfortunately, this one is not getting a grade, because it would just be unfair. I'm sure that this book is good, I mean Jennie loved it as well as Mailyn.

I've said in previous posts that I was having a hard time with the language, that didn't really change while I was reading. The writing style is quite "old" or perhaps "traditional." For a girl that's used to contemporary and whose English is not first language, I found it quite distracting. For some reasons, the whole while, while I imagine the characters... all their expression and action as well as the way they talk were exaggerated. I mean, when Venetia would say"Stoopid", I would imagine her eyes wide and with an emphasis on the "stoo"... you know, like in a comedy where characters exaggerate.

I have to say that I did like Venetia's character. She's strong, mature, happy, with a head on her shoulder. I liked Aubrey and Damerel too :) So the characters were a plus, that I can tell.

I guess that's it.

I'm reading Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan right now. Anyone who has read her books yet?