Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Traveling Through Tuesday (#3)




Traveling Through Tuesday

Do you like to read books that set in a certain city, state, or country? Do you ever find a town in a book that just calls your name and you can't wait to tell someone about it?

This fantastic new meme was Jen's idea from Crazy for Books and is hosted by Lori over at Lori's Reading Corner.


This Tuesday I am 

delving into the magical underbelly of Atlanta!


I have never been to the South of the US, and so I've only read about the humidity, the scorching heat, the lush vegetation and the monsoon-like rain.

Though I assumed as a big American city it would have its share of skyscrapers, I still imagined Atlanta to have mansion looking houses and wide lanes.

I found these photos when looking up Atlanta and its architecture, cityscape:

Atlanta in 1907:

Photo from Wikipedia

"In 1907, Peachtree Street, the main street of Atlanta, was busy with streetcars and automobiles."

And nowadays:


It came quite a long way, didn't it?


And where are you traveling this Tuesday?

Monday, 29 March 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#4)


It's Monday, What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

Books I completed this week

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison  and I enjoyed it very much! I'm hooked on this series and can't wait to start the second book.


Reviews posted this week



Books I am currently reading

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews  (wow, now I can see why so many people raved about Ilona Andrews and her books!)
Land of Falling Stars by Kita Diablo


Books I can't wait to start soon

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

I just realized today (*rolls eyes* I know, I know, but work kept me busy and quite under) that it will be Easter this weekend, so that means we'll have a long weekend (= lots of free time to read!) Yay! :-) Can't wait! And furthermore it is soo nice here: the sun is shining brilliantly, the sky is a vibrant blue and it is warm (18 Celsius), if it keeps up I'll be able to read in the garden this weekend! Yay! :-)


And what are you reading this week?

Saturday, 27 March 2010

In My Mailbox (#4)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

This week has flown by quite quickly, the weekend was here in a blink of an eye (for which I was grateful), but unfortuantely it is already Sunday, which means that tomorrow will be Monday, and I'll have to wait a whole week before being able to read without interruptions again :-(

Anyway, let's still enjoy the weekend while it lasts :-)

Today is my little sis' birthday and guess what she got from me: one of her presents was Before I Fall (she liked the theme of the novel), so I can't wait to hear how she enjoyed it /and of course to ask her to lend it to me ;-)/

This week I succeeded in staying strong and not incurring any more debts by buying more books. Truth be told, circumstances helped me, because when I accidentally saw that Monica McCarty's latest novel was finally released this week (The Chief) I so desperately wanted to buy it, but it seems it is only available in the US right now, on the Book Depository the release date is set to 1 August 2010! :-( So I'll have to wait.. grr! *sniff*

So let's see what I got this week:

Won:

Thaw by Fiona Robyn

Goodreads appetizer: Ruth is thirty two years old and doesn't know if she wants to be thirty three. Her meticulously-ordered lonely life as a microbiologist is starved of pleasure and devoid of meaning. She decides to give herself three months to decide whether or not to end her life, and we read her daily diary as she struggles to make sense of her past and grapples with the pain of the present. "Thaw" explores what makes any of our lives worth living. Can Red, the eccentric Russian artist Ruth commissions to paint her portrait, find a way to warm her frozen heart?
I love the cover of Thaw, the colours are so strong and yet peaceful, I can't wait to read this and see the story behind the cover! I won this from Helen at Helen's Book Blog, thank you Helen /and for the nice postcard too! :-)/!


Inked
Goodreads appetizer: From today's most provocative authors come four tales of urban fantasy and paranormal romance exploring body art that is more than it seems-in a world of magic and mayhem that always leaves its mark.
This captivating tattoo theme surrounds each author's popular characters and worlds: Karen Chance's war mage Lia de Croissets, Marjorie M. Liu's demon-hunter Maxine Kiss, Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld Intelligence Agency operative Camille D'Artigo, and Eileen Wilk's Lupi world.
This was the first book I won as a blogger, from Stacy at A Romantic Heart, thank you Stacy! (Stacy's having a 100 followers contest right now, so head on over for your chance to win a New Moon DVD and a 15 dollars iTunes card.)

Received for review:


Random by Craig Robertson

Goodreads appetizer: Glasgow is being terrorised by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands have been severed. If DS Rachel Narey could only work out the key to the seemingly random murders, how and why the killer selects his victims, she would be well on her way to catching him. But as the police, the press and a threatening figure from Glasgow's underworld begin to close in on The Cutter, his carefully-laid plans threaten to unravel - with horrifying consequences.
I received this ARC from Simon & Schuster UK because I particpate in the Suspense & Thriller Reading Challenge over at The Book Chick City.


Land of Falling Stars by Keta Diablo
Goodreads appetizer: Penniless, her parents and brother dead, Sophia Whitfield struggles to save her beloved childhood home during the Civil War. Another bluecoat is staggering down the hill, but before Sophia allows him to rob and pilfer like the others, she shoots him. How is she to know it is Gavin, the dark knight of her youth, carrying secrets too horrific to imagine and a passion that ignites her deepest desires?
As Sophia gradually learns Gavin's secrets-and enjoys his talents in the bedroom-she discovers how to finally know her own heart. Can she save the Land of Falling Stars, or will she lose it all to the horrors of the War and Reconstruction? And will the Southern lady and the Yankee soldier be able to recapture the bliss of their youth - this time in each other's arms?
 I received this eBook from CherryD for review, thank you!

And what was in your mailbox this week?

Reading Challenge: The Hollows Reading Challenge 2010 - Wrap up post

This is the place where I'll list all the books I read for this challenge:


1. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
 
 
Updated on 27 March 2010
 
 
I'm aiming for Hollows resident (= read all 8 books+novellas)

Progress so far:

1 / 8 books. 13% done!




The BookDepository

Reading Challenge: Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge - Wrap up post

This is the place where I'll list all the books I read for this challenge:
 
1. No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

2. Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong

3. Deadly Décisions by Kathy Reichs

4. Made to be Broken by Kelley Armstrong

 
Updated on 27 March 2010

4 / 12 books. 33% done!


Reading Challenge: The Speculative Fiction Challenge - Wrap up post

This is the place where I'll list all the books I read for this challenge.

1. No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

2. Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

3. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

4. Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole


Updated on 27 March 2010

4 / 12 books. 33% done!

Reading Challenge: The Romance Reading Challenge 2010 - Wrap up post

This is the place where I'll list all the books I read for this challenge.

1. Highland Warrior by Monica McCarty

2. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

3. Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole

4. Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

5. Wicked Knight by Tierney O'Malley

6. Land of Falling Stars by Keta Diablo



5 / 5 books. 100% done!


Updated on 27 March 2010

Book Review: Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole

 Grade: 5 stars
Novellus Perfectus!
Amazon appetizer: Nothing will stop Cadeon of the Rage Demons from finding the means to atone for the one wrong that haunts him. But once he captures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, he finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.
Raised as a human, Holly Ashwin never knew that some legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon, who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the Cade's wicked touch. Yet just when he earns Holly's trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs - and claim his heart?

My thoughts: This is the 6th book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. We have already seen glimpses of Cadeon in the 3rd and 4th book: he was also competing in the Hie (the big tournament of the Lore) and he almost vied for the attentions of Mariketa in book 4.

Cadeon is the younger Woede brother, having been blamed and feeling guilty for having lost Rydstrom's crown for the last 900 years, he is determined to do everything to atone for his past mistake and reclaim the crown and the kingdom for his brother. The Woede brothers are on the way of finding their last opportunity for that when Rydstrom disappears leaving Cadeon in charge while he tries to make sure Holly the one who was destined for him survives the constant attacks on her life.

This book was a very enjoyable read as not only was the story fast-paced and action packed, but the characters were likable and original. I particularly grew fond of Holly, with her peculiar OCD quirks (since I wasn't that familiar with this disease I really liked all the details Kresley Cole put into portraying it and making it such a crucial part of Holly's personality). You couldn't find two more different charcters: prim and polite, shy and professional geek that is Holly and the savage, crude talking, loud demon that is Cade. And yet their due is believable and the chemistry sizzles!

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 7/10

Verdict: Kresley Cole delivers the usual scorching hot attraction and tops it with fast-paced action. One of the best books in the series, don't miss it!




The BookDepository

Book Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus Superbus!
Amazon appetizer: From New York Times bestselling author, Kim Harrison, comes the first book in an exciting urban fantasy series; packed with the perfect balance of wry humour and thrilling action, which will delight fans of thrillers and fantasy alike.

Rachel Morgan is a white witch and runner working for Inderland Security, in an alternate world where a bioengineered virus wiped out a great deal of the world's human population -- exposing the existence of the supernatural communities that had long lived alongside humanity. For the last five years Rachel has been tracking down law-breaking Inderlanders in modern-day Cincinnati, but now she wants to leave and start her own agency. Her only problem is that no one quits the I.S. Marked for death, Rachel will have to fend off fairy assassins and homicidal weres armed with an assortment of nasty curses. She's a dead witch walking unless she can appease her former employers by exposing the city's most prominent citizen as a drug lord. But making an enemy of the ambiguous Trent Kalamack is just as deadly as leaving the I.S.
My thoughts: Another book, author and series I discovered thanks to blogger promotions and competitions (I won this book from Kenda at Lurv á la Mode, thank you Kenda!), and I'm really glad I did!

Dead Witch Walking is the first book in The Hollows urban fantasy series, and lucky for me and all new joiners, Kim Harrison has since published her 8th book in the series, so we have quite a few book to munch on to catch up :-)

In Kim Harrison's urban fantasy universe magic and all paranormal creatures are out in the open and known by the humas, trying to coexist peacefully.

I really enjoyed reading this book, because the writing is fantastic: it is detailed enough, just as I like it, but still moves at a fast pace. The story is always on the go, which made it very frustrating to me - who mostly reads on my way to work - to have to stop at exciting parts when I arrived at my destination, so I would recommend you read this book when you can read at your leisure, this is no book to read 20 pages and then stop. Kim Harrison is great at storytelling, Rachel's narrative is sarcastic and humourous, her dry wit and personal touch making the story even more real.

Kim Harrison's characterization is layered, interesting and deep. Her characters step off the pages and Rachel, Ivy and Jenks feel as real as if you knew them personally. Each of the characters, minor and major, are well developed, with their unique quirks and flairs (I especially love the pixy family: though in size Jenks is the smallest, he is one of the best charcters!). I love all the details Kim Harrison put into her characters giving them depth and more flesh.

Several issues weren't closed at the end of the book, so I hope the second book will address them.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 8/10

Verdict: All in all a great read, fantastic debut to a series, and I can't wait to read more! Kim Harrison is another author to watch and add to your urban fantasy to-read-list.

Dead Witch Walking only gets 4 stars because I feel this series will become even better, and I will need those 5 stars for the later books.



The BookDepository
 

Friday, 26 March 2010

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books is the one responsible for the fantastic phenomenon called the Book Blogger Hop (affectionately simply called "THE Hop").

Those who are new to the Hop might wonder what is "THE Hop"? Well it is Jennifer's wonderful idea to connect all book bloggers, old and new, to advertise your blog and discover the blogs of other book bloggers. It is not only to advertise but mainly to socialize and network, and of course to expand the number of blogs you follow and read :-)

So head on over to THE Hop's site over at Jennifer's blog to discover some new blogs you haven't heard of yet.

Monday, 22 March 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#3)


It's Monday, What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

Books I completed this week

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole
Wicked Knight by Tierney O'Malley
Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole

Books I am currently reading

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Books I can't wait to start soon

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Reviews posted this week

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

Awards won this week



And what are you reading this week?

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Book Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole


Grade: 5 stars

Novellus Perfectus!
Goodreads summary: Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her -- and those she loves.

Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.

From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia's greatest weakness -- her wanton desire for him.
My thoughts: This is the 8th book in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. It tells the story of Garreth, younger brother of Lachlain (the hero in Hunger Like No Other, the 2nd book of the series) and the valkyrie Lucia the Archer.

I extremely enjoyed reading this book because here the previous books were not simply referenced but events (at least in the beginning of the story) were parallaled in Pleasure of a Dark Prince and A Hunger Like No Other. It was interesting to see the other side of some events which were described or merely alluded to in Lachlain and Emma's story, how it happened and what it meant to Garreth and Lucia.

Garreth officially became my favourite IAD hero (sorry Sebastian): he has all the characteristics of a Lykae: he is tall, broad shoukdered, muscular, alpha male, and he has that irresistible Scottish brogue mmm... *shivers* furthermore Garreth is funny and laughs a lot (he doesn't have that dark, brooding air about him most of the other heroes do), he is gentle and thoughtful. And I can't help but swoon at how the well-being and happiness of the mate of a Lykae is above anything else and how selfless he is in order to make Lucia happy.

The attraction between Garreth and Lucia is sizzling, Kresley Cole sure knows how to make you squirm in your chair as the heat comes off the pages!

The plot was interesting and eventful, Kresley Cole is wonderful at setting the scene, her descriptions are so evocative, that although I have never been in South America or in a jungle for that matter, thanks to her detailed and vivid descriptions I could see it. I saw the big old fashioned worn ship, the lush buoyant exotic green trees, the untamed river and all those unseen and fearful weird wild animals (anacondas, caimans).
And the ending was perfect! I couldn't think of a better way to finish Garreth and Lucia's story.

As usual the characters were a handful :-) The males were swoonworthy and the valkyries made me laugh out loud several times, their sorority-like living style and the combo of such powerful and viscious creatures behaving so immaturely (their typical videogame playing, texting, make up and clothes mania) is hilarious. And thanks to the story being presented from Lucia's POV I got to like Regin, whom I couldn't stand before. Now I can't wait to read her story, especially after the cliffhanger the novel ended with!

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 9/10


The BookDepository

Reading Challenge: The Hollows Challenge

The Rules:

1. Read all eight books in the series plus the novellas. Any format will do.
2. Challenge will run from March 1, 2010 to whenever you finish the read--or February 28, 2011 (whichever comes first); that way we'll have time to read/collect/savor them all.

3. The levels within the challenge are as follows:
1 book=curious
2-3 books=IS Runner in training.
5 books (and a short story or two)=you've been pixed!
all titles=Hollows resident
 
I'm aiming for Hollows resident! :-) 
 
Lately I have come across so many people raving about Kim Harrison and her fantastic Hollows series and because of a stroke of luck having won the first 2 books in the series, so this challenge is perfect for me! 


art in banner © Harper Collins

The Best In My Mailbox! (#3)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

This week's In My Mailbox was the best ever!!
Though spring has finally arrived, birds are chriping nonstop, the weather is sunny and warm (18 Celsius!) it felt like it was Christmas. You want to know why? Because this darling man that works as a postman brought me 7 books (and some makeup I ordered)!! I could have done carthwheels! :-) I don't know how could all the books arrive at the same time, but who cares. :-D

Look at my beautiful goodies: 
/ETA: it looks this IMM was kind of Urban Fantasy themed lol ;-)/


Bought:

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Goodreads summary: When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way…


On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Goodreads summary: Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.
Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn't turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).
But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them, or the beasts will devour the Edge and everyone in it . . .
I have read so many wonderful reviews about Ilona Andrews and her UF series that I couldn't wait to get my hands on the first books of her series! Now they are on the top of my TBR pile, can't wait to start reading them.


Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Goodreads summary: Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.
Patricia Briggs was first recommended to me when I discovered the urban fantasy universe and fell in love with Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. I simply cannot say how come I haven't read her ever since. But now I took matters in my hands and ordered the 1st book in the mercy Thompson series!! This came highly praised too, so I hope I'll be in for a treat.


Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole
Goodreads summary: RITA Award-winning author Kresley Cole continues her bestselling Immortals After Dark series with this electrifying tale of a ruthless demon mercenary and the lovely young halfling who enchants him.A seductive beauty he cannever have, yet can't resist...

Cadeon Woede will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.A tormented warrior sheshould fear, but can't deny...

Raised as a human, Holly never knew that some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon's wicked touch.Surrender to dark desires...

Yet just when he earns Holly's trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs -- and claim his heart?
This is the 6th book in the series, I wanted to buy this before Christmas when I ordered the 5th and 7th books, but they ran out of stock so I had to read the series skipping Cade's story until now.


Won:

 I have discovered so many highly praised authors - previously unknown to me - thanks to book blogs, I can't wait to read their books.

Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry
Goodreads summary: Seattle. One minute you're drinking a vanilla breve, the next, some creepy old dude is breathing on you, turning you into a zombie. And that's just for starters. Now, the recently deceased Amanda Feral is trying to make her way through Seattle's undead scene with style (mortuary-grade makeup, six-inch stilettos, Balenciaga handbag on sale) while satisfying her craving for human flesh (Don't judge. And no, not like chicken.) and decent vodkatinis.
Making her way through a dangerous world of cloud-doped bloodsuckers, reapers, horny and horned devils, werewolves, celebrities, and PR-obsessed shapeshifters--not to mention an extremely hot bartender named Ricardo--isn't easy. And the minute one of Amanda's undead friends disappears after texting the word, "help" (The undead--so dramatic!) she knows the afterlife is about to get really ugly.
Something sinister is at hand. Someone or something is hellbent on turning Seattle's undead underworld into a place of true terror. And this time, Amanda may meet a fate a lot worse than death...
This is the first in the Amanda Feral series, I have won this from Steph at Paper Cut Reviews.



Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Goodreads summary: The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the "Inderlanders" reveal themselves, changing everything.

Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland's best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.

First in the Rachel Morgan/Hollows series, won this from Kenda at Lurv á la Mode.



The Good, the Bad and the Undead by Kim Harrison
Goodreads summary: Rachel Morgan s back, and in more trouble than ever! Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and other vampire novels won t want to miss the second novel in Kim Harrison s addicting--and already bestselling--supernatural series.
Former-bounty-hunter Rachel Morgan has it pretty good. She s left the corrupt Inderland Runner Service and started her own independent service. She s survived werewolves, shape-changing demons, bad-hair days, and sharing a church with her vampire roommate Ivy. She even has a cute (if human) boyfriend-what more could a witch want?
But living with a reformed vampire isn t all it s cracked up to be, particularly when your roommate s very bad ex-boyfriend wants her back, and wouldn t mind you in the process. And especially when he s six feet of sheer supernatural seduction, and you ve got a demon mark that makes vampires literally hotter than hell....
To save herself and Ivy, Rachel must confront the vampire master-and the dark secrets she s hidden even from herself.
Second in the Rachel Morgan/Hollows series won this from Kenda at Lurv á la Mode.

Thank you Steph and Kenda for these fantastic books!!


And what was in your mailbox this week?


Saturday, 20 March 2010

A new award


I received my second award from Melissa at Spellbound by Books , thank you Melissa! :-)


This award is to honor certain bloggers that are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendship through the blog world.



Rule: Nominate 10 bloggers you feel deserve the Humane Award.

1. Charlotte at The Book on the Hill
4. Helen at Helen's Book Blog
7. Carolyn at The Book Chick City
8. Jennifer at Reading with Tequila
9. Jennifer at Crazy for Books
10. Larissa at Larissa's Life

I enjoy reading all your blogs and thanks for introducing me to blogging! :-)


Thursday, 18 March 2010

My very first award!


I received my very first award from Jennifer at Reading with Tequila. Thank you!


Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link to the person that gave you the award.

2. Pass the award onto 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and think are fantastic.

3. Contact said Blogs and let them know they've won.

4. State 7 things about yourself.


So 7 things about me:

1. I'm a multilinguist: I speak English, French, Hungarian, Italian, a bit of German and Spanish and I even learned Latin and Flemish for some time. I love languages :-)

2. My biggest love besides reading is travelling! One of the greatest adventure of my life was visiting China!

3. I have had all sorts of animals while growing up: parrots, cats, hamsters, rabbits, ducks, birds and a dog who lived for 15 years (all this with my mom not liking and being afraid of animals).

4. I'm obsessed with lighthouses, I love them. I would love to spend a vacation living in one, it must be amazing to hear the constant sound of the waves and look out on such a vista.

5. I have two "little" sisters (though they are not that little anymore as they are 23 and 19 years old).

6. I almost drowned when I was 4: my family went with some friends to a swimming pool and while everyone was relaxing I walked down the steps of the pool, one step at the time, not really caring that the water was above my head. My dad's best friend yanked me out after he saw I was under.

7. I love horses and I would love to learn how to ride.


I am passing this award to:

1. Angie at Angieville

2. Suzana at Bookalicious Ramblings

3. Jessica at Book Bound

4. Cherry Mischievous

5. Jennifer at Crazy for Books

6. Sarah at Book Reviews from Inside an Igloo

7. April at Good Books and Good Wine

8. I Heart Monster

9. Amelia at Imagination in Focus

10. Meg at In Which a Girl Reads

11. Pattepoilue at One Book Away from Heaven

12. Rachel at Parajunkee's View

13. Sandy at Pirate Penguin Reads

14. Miss Eliza at Strange and Random Happenstance

15. The Bookologist 

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Traveling Through Tuesday (#2)




Traveling Through Tuesday

Do you like to read books that set in a certain city, state, or country? Do you ever find a town in a book that just calls your name and you can't wait to tell someone about it?

This fantastic new meme was Jen's idea from Crazy for Books and is hosted by Lori over at Lori's Reading Corner.


This Tuesday I am 

sailing on the Amazon in the middle of the jungle! 



As that is where for the most part Kresley Cole's Pleasure of a Dark Prince is set. Kresley Cole is wonderful at setting the scene, her descriptions are so evocative, that although I have never been in South America or in a jungle for that, thanks to her detailed and vivid descriptions I see it! I see the big old fashioned worn ship, the lush buoyant exotic green trees, the untamed river and all those unseen and fearful weird wild animals (anacondas, caimans).

I would love to go to South America, and although it would be interesting to see how the wild life  is in the Amazonas, a few days would be enough for me, I would prefer to travel and see the remains of ancient, lost civilisations, to climb the Machu Picchu, etc.


And where are you traveling this Tuesday?

Monday, 15 March 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#2)


It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

My sister came to visit the last week and we had family gatherings nonstop, so I didn't get too much reading done this past week. Most of the books I bought last weekend still haven't arrived, so now I don't know what to read next..hm..

Books I completed this week

I Never Fancied Him Anyway by Claudia Carroll

 
Books I am currently reading

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

Books I can't wait to start soon

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews


Reviews posted this week


Deadly Décisions by Kathy Reichs

This week's recipe

Strudel

 
And what are you reading this week?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Book Review: Deadly Décisions by Kathy Reichs

Grade: 3 stars   

Novellus Bonus!

Goodreads appetizer: Nine-year-old Emily Anne Toussaint is fatally shot on a Montreal street. A North Carolina teenager disappears from her home, and parts of her skeleton are found hundreds of miles away. The shocking deaths propel forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan from north to south, and deep into a shattering investigation inside the bizarre culture of outlaw motorcycle gangs -- where one misstep could bring disaster for herself or someone she loves. Kathy Reichs? astonishing bestseller pulses with cutting-edge scientific know-how -- and the narrative power of an award-winning crime fiction star.
My thoughts: I realized that there are some books for which I can't write a normal length or detailed review as they either didn't provoke that much thought from me, or I just don't have too much to comment. So from now on I introduce the "Mini Review".

Just as an introduction to the whole Temperance Brennan series:

As the majority of all those who read this series I also picked it up because I'm a huge fan of Bones, and wanted to read more of the Bones goodness. I saw quite early that the heroine of the books had only two things in common with the protagonist of the TV series: they were both called Temperance Brennan and they shared the same occupation, but beside these 2 you couldn't find two persons more different. Just to name a few as examples: the Tempe in the TV series is in her early 30s, while the book Tempe is over 40. The series Tempe was abandoned and had no family until recently, she is closed off and doesn't have too many friends, while book Tempe had a husband, has a daughter, sister, nephew, many friends and she is friendly and easy with new people. Anyway I won't detail this any more, you get the picture. You have to consider these books completely separate from the TV series or else you will be disappointed.

Deadly Décisions is the 3rd Temperance Brennan book. I confess I didn't enjoy the first book in the series that much, found it dragging and a bit slow, thought the second was an improvement, the plot was more interesting, but with this third there is no doubt Kathy Reichs' writing got better! The long scientific blabla is not boring and dull anymore, the story flows much more easily. I hope this tendency will continue and the 4th book will be even better.

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Writing: 6/10
Cover: 4/10 (the new covers and especially the UK cover are much nicer than this one I have.. :-/ )


The BookDepository

Sunday Treats: Strudel

Sunday Treats #3

Strudel




Biting in this soft, warm light dessert you are transported back in time: you hear the waltz, see frilly frocks and horse drawn carriages. Its origin is traced back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and has conquered the world since. It is called 'rétes' in Hungarian, but the world got to know it under its German name 'Strudel'.

Up until the last couple of months I wasn't too fond of the strudel as I imagined it must be a complicated dessert, the preparation of which was not only lengthy but also difficult. I couldn't have been more wrong! Since you can buy strudel sheets in pre-prepared packages in most stores the preparation of this delicious and extraordinary dessert only takes about 20 minutes.

The strudel can be sweet or salty and can be filled with anything, just a few ideas to inspire you: some salty fillings: spinach and ricotta filling, broccoli puree, pumpkin, cheese paste, bolognese sauce (almost like the one you use on spaghetti, but make it a lot less liquid or else it will leak out!!), some sweet fillings: apple, sour cherry, quark/curd cheese and raisins, poppy seed, etc.
/ETA: the instructions concerning the filling may sound much more complicated than it is in reality, so don't alarm yourself, once you start doing it you'll see how easy it is./

Preparation time: 10 minutes + 10 minutes baking time

Use 3 sheets of strudel sheet for 1 roll.

Ingredients for sour cherry filling: (for 3-4 bars)  Mix everything together:

1000 gr sour cherry (canned or fresh)
150 gr sugar (depending on how sour the cherries are)
cinnamon

Ingredients for quark/curd cheese & raisins filling:  (for 3 bars)

500 gr quark/curd cheese (use the kind of cheese you would use for cheesecakes)
2 eggs
3 spoons of cream
2 spoons of semolina
150 gr sugar
50 gr raisins
1 lemon's skin and juice
oil for greasing the strudel sheets
fine bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius and put baking paper on a baking tin.

2. Separate the egg yolks and whites and mix the yolks with the curd cheese, sugar, cream, lemon skin and juice, semolina and raisins.

3. Whip the egg whites until they are hard, then gently mix the whites in the curd cheese mixture.

4. Wet a kitchen cloth and put it on the kitchen table. Gently peel off one strudel sheet from the package and lay it down on the wet cloth. With a cooking brush grease the sheet with oil, don't soak it, just thinly oil the whole surface, then lay a second sheet on the oiled first one and grease this second sheet too, then do it again with the third sheet. Once the third sheet is oiled too, thinly sprinkle it with fine bread crumbs (it will absorb the extra moisture from the filling and thus preventing it from soaking the strudel sheets).

5. Put the filling in an approx. 4 cm wide line, but leave approx 2 cm on each side as well as 4-5 cm from the edge of the sheet. With the help of the wet cloth roll up the strudel sheet, put the roll on the baking tin and tuck its edges under, so the filling won't leak out.

6. Oil the top of the roll and bake it for approx. 10 minutes, until it is golden. Let it cool a bit before slicing up the roll in diagonal pieces.




Tell me what kind of strudel you made and what filling you whipped together, would love to try out new ones!

Guten Appetit! (just to stay in tone with the Austro-Hungarian Empire setting ;-) )

In My Mailbox (#2)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren


Last weekend I ordered a ton of new books, but unfortunately they haven't arrived yet.. :-(   I'm not too good at waiting patiently when I want to read a particular book this much, but hopefully they will arrive next week, until then here are the 3 books that were in my mailbox this week:

Bought:



Goodreads summary: #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole enraptures again with this seductive tale of a fierce werewolf prince who will stop at nothing to protect the lovely archer he covets from afar.
A DANGEROUS BEAUTY....
Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her -- and those she loves.
AN UNCONTROLLABLE NEED...

Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.

THAT LEAD TO A PLEASURE SO WICKED....
From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia's greatest weakness -- her wanton desire for him.
I love Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series, and have been waiting for Garreth and Lucia's story ever since the first novel! I'm reading it right now, and enjoying it very much!


Won: 



Goodreads summary: He vowed never to love again. She is afraid to love. A passion so strong they cannot resist.
Ruggedly handsome pediatrician, Dr. Tristan Knight, is done with marriage. Once is enough. Eager to avoid making another mistake of getting trapped in marriage vows, Tristan wields strong control to suppress his growing attraction to his sister's friend, Julie Parrish. But his resolve is tested when an unusual request for help lands on his lap--marry Julie.
Author and former model, Julie Parrish has been trying to keep her image clean; otherwise, her drunkard father will get the inheritance her mother has left her. She will never let that happen. But her stepmother, Marla, has learned about the will's stipulation. Since then, she's been attempting to prove to the lawyers that Julie is far from being clean. Fortunately, her mother has added an out to the will. Marriage. So when Tristan surprised her by offering his help end her problem with Marla, she accepts. But Julie wants more than just a ring. She wants the elusive doctor's heart.
Wicked Knight was voted Book of the Month over at Dark Divas Review . I won this book through Alaine from The Queen of Happy Endings. I can't wait to dig into this story, the reviews have all been great.


Since my sister came to visit for the week and we had nonstop family gatherings I didn't have too much time to read (or review), instead spent most of the time eating more and more delicious treats, one of which I will share with you in this week's Sunday's Treats, so check back a bit later for the yummy recipe and hopefully appetizing pics ;-)

And what books did you get this week?


Related Posts with Thumbnails