Monday, 31 May 2010

222 Followers Giveaway Update #1

Thank you all for spreading the word, I have reached 250 followers, so a new book is added! 

It wasn't an easy decision which one to add, but I picked the #2 book in Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, Blood Bound as this series is such a big favourite of so many.

Don't forget that after every 25 new  followers I gain I will add a new book (leave me some suggestions which books you would like to see on the prize list), and after every 50 new followers I gain I will add a new winner! (at 300 followers there will be 2 winners, at 350 followers 3 winners, etc.)


So here is what you can win in my 222 Followers Giveaway:


Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson series #2 book)

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels series book #2)


Changeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate series book#2)


The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber (The Strangely Beautiful series book #2)


Stolen by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld series book #2)


Highlander Unmasked by Monica McCarty (Highlander book #2)


Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione (Demonica series book #2)


International giveaway open until June 15.

You can find the rules and enter HERE.


Sunday, 30 May 2010

In My Mailbox (#11)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

This week was amazing, I just kept receiving and receiving books, I simply love how it feels like Christmas every week! :-D 

Book I have bought:

A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix

As you may have read, this book was chosen as the first book the Book Bloggers Anonymous shall read and discuss in June. It was about time it arrived (though a little late..) so I could read it in time for the discussion. 


Book I have received for review:

Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante
(review copy received courtesy of Simon and Schuster UK)

 I'm always up for a good chilling, bite-your-nails kinda read and this one sounds exciting!


Books I have won:

This week it rained books, see for yourself, I won:


Riding the Storm by Sydney Croft from Jen at That's What I'm Talking About
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead from Lindsey at The Book Guru
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr from Jennifer at Extreme Reader
The Tailor of Panama by John le Carré from Sue Fitz at Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
Between Friends by Kristy Kiernan from Kay at My Random Acts of Reading

Thank you all, I've heard great things about some of these novels and have been wanting to read them, and I can't wait to discover those previously unknown to me but praised by you. Thank you!! :-)

I was so swamped with work this week I was literally counting back the hours 'til Friday afternoon! Yesterday I went shopping with my mom, we had a nice day (time flew by so fast and unnoticed we ate lunch after 5pm), and today will be "busy" too: I really have to get going with A Rush of Wings as the discussions will kick off Tuesday and I also have to work a bit: one of my friends is taking a specialized legal language exam and I have to coach her, so this Sunday will be spent on me preparing topics and exercises for her. And what about you? How did you spend the weekend, what are your plans for today? Have a lovely Sunday! :-)

So that's what was in my mailbox this week, and what was in yours?

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Winner of Pretties by Scott Westerfield!

Hey Everyone!

The  giveaway for a copy of Pretties by Scott Westerfield drew to an end yesterday, so it's time to announce the winner, but first I would like to thank Reagan again for having me over at her blog and providing the book for the giveaway, thank you!!

So without further ado, there were 29 entrants with a total of 156 entries,


entry # 42 Josette!!

Congratulations Josette! I have already sent you an e-mail please respond within 48 hours or I will have to draw another winner.

Thank you all for entering the contest and don't forget that there is another giveaway still going on at Ex Libris: enter my 222 followers giveaway where you could win the #2 book in such amazing series as Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Underworld, Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate, Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels, Larissa Ione's Demonica series and many other great ones. It is open internationally and ends June 15! Enter HERE.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Book Blogger Hop (#9)


Hey Everyone!

Welcome to Ex Libris, humble home of my reading and bookaholic addiction :-)

It's Friday, so that means it's time to Hop! The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event created by the amazing Jennifer at Crazy for Books. If you'd like to sign up your own blog or to find other fantastic blogs, head on over to Jen's blog. And don't forget to spread the love and leave comments, we all love them! :-D

1) I have two book giveaways going on, don't forget to enter while you are here:

Hurry it is the last day to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Pretties by Scott Westerfeld it is open  internationally, anywhere the Book Depository ships!

And Ex Libris is celebrating having 222 followers (well already 228 now!), and I am hosting a 2nd in a series giveaway! It is is open internationally, anywhere the Book Depository ships and ends June 15!


2) Those saddened bloggers who were unable to go to the BEA in New York created the Armchair BEA! We had lots of interesting discussions and thought provoking posts and of course a lot of giveaways too!

You can read my Armchaiur BEA post on negative reviews and bloggers' conscience here.

 
3) And don't forget that Book Bloggers Anonymous will start discussing A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix next week over at Paranormal Haven and at the BBA Goodreads group, come and join us, you don't want to miss the fun! :-p
 

You can also find Ex Libris on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.


Off to hopping, hope to see you around and have a great weekend! :-)

Armchair BEA: 222 Followers Giveaway!


Wow! I have 222 followers!! *does happy dance* It calls for a giveaway!! :-D So what do you say, what books should I give away? Hmm..
well the 2nd books in a series!

Here is what you can win:

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels series book #2)


Changeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate series book#2)


The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber (The Strangely Beautiful series book #2)


Stolen by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld series book #2)


Highlander Unmasked by Monica McCarty (Highlander book #2)


Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione (Demonica series book #2)


Rules:

- Open internationally, whereever the Book Depository ships.

- Giveaway ends on June 15.

- When I reach 300 followers a 2nd winner will be added, and after that for every new 50 followers a new winner will be added (so at 350 followers 3 winners, at 400 followers 4 winners, etc.) who will have their pick from the above mentioned books.

- After every 25 followers I'll add a new book, you can post some suggestions in the comments, please note that those are merely ideas, they do not bind me!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. You must be a follower of Ex Libris

2. Leave your e-mail address in a comment below so I can contact the winner

You get +1 entry if you are an Armchair BEA particpant, please say so!

Extra entries: the usual:

+2 if you are a Twitter follower (@Stella_ExLibris) / Facebook fan / Network Blogs follower (+2 for each)
+1 for spreading the word (Twitter/Facebook, etc.) (+1 for every place you post)
+2 adding this giveaway to your blog sidebar
+4 blog post on your blog
+5 adding Ex Libris to your blogroll

Please leave the links to your extra entries so I can verify them. No link no extra entry.

Thank you and good luck!!



UPDATE #1 (May 31): I have reached 250 followers so a new book was added:

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson series #2 book)


UPDATE #2 (June 5): I have reached 275 followers so another book was added:

The Struggle by L.J. Smith (The Vampire Diaries #2 book)


UPDATE #3 (June 12): I have reached 300 followers so another book and a 2nd winner was added:

Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunter series #2 book)


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Armchair BEA: To post or not to post, that is the question...


In the past week I came upon several blog posts discussing the subject of negative reviews and whether a blogger should post them, whether it is ethical for an author to ask the blogger not to post a negative review and whether the reviewer shall comply with such request. I think this topic is certainly worthy of discussion, so here is what I think, and please tell me your take on this issue. 

As a reader you always come across some books that you didn't enjoy either because it wasn't your cup of tea or because the novel had some major flaws. As a book reviewer you tell your blog readers your thoughts about the books you've read and it is probable that your judgment will influence them in deciding whether they will bother picking up that book and read it or not.

It all becomes more complicated when the book you are about to criticize was offered to you by the author. Since through your communication with the author you got to know the person behind the name and novel and you don't want to hurt their feelings, but can you simply not post the negative review when you feel you have an obligation to your readers to tell them your opinion?

As book bloggers we always stress our honesty. That our reviews were based honestly on our enjoyment of the novel and that it wasn't influenced by the fact that we have received that book by the author/publisher for free. But if you don't post that review aren't you disrespecting that honesty by not informing your readers who trust your judgment?

If you didn't like a book but won't post your review saiyng that, isn't that as bad as lying in your review? Because omittance is a kind of lie. You leave your reviewers in the dark.

(Of course there are reviewers who prefer to avoid confrontation and state in their review policy that they will only post positive reviews, and that is fine: they have been honest with their readers from the beginning, the readers know that all they gonna see there are positive reviews. In my opinion this case is different than the one this post is about.)

I am a fairly new blogger, but I have been writing reviews for years now. Why? Because as a reader I realized how helpful they can be! When debating whether to buy something, who doesn't check the reviews on Amazon? And let me tell you, I have no problems with negative reviews when the reviewer states clearly why they didn't like it and what was their problem with the book/film/product, etc. I can at least see and decide whether those comments are pertinent to me and based on those complaints whether it is probable I would feel the same. However even negative reviews should be constructive: the reviewer shouldn't bash the book or the author and should never be malicious or hurtful on purpose. Rather they should state what in their opinion was the problem with the book, maybe even show examples by using a few sentences/paragraphs or state that though they didn't enjoy the book, it wasn't due to the writing or the novel itself, but rather to the fact that it wasn't their cup of tea.

Sorry, I'll try to wrap this up as I've been rambling on for a bit now: my bottom line is that as book reviewers our readers trust our taste and judgment, we owe them and ourselves to be honest and truthful. If you don't like something say so, just do it politely and in a constructive, objective way.

What do you think? Do you write negative reviews or if you didn't liek something prefer not to write a review? Has an author ever asked you not to post a not so stellar review about their books? Tell me your thoughts, I'd love to hear them! :-)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Armchair BEA: How well do you know your fellow bloggers? or Time to Network


As you could see on the Official Schedule of the Armchair BEA today is all about getting to know each other better. Since we cannot get together around some coffee and cookies at the BEA, it's time to chat virtually. Bloggers were paired up to interview each other, go and browse through their interviews, it's always nice getting to know more about the person behind the blog!

You can find the interview directory here at the site of the Armchair BEA.

So grab your coffee and cookie and read more about your blogger friends.

And as always: have fun! :-)




Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Welcome to Armchair BEA!


The time has finally come for the Armchair BEA to commence!! So sit back in your comfortable armchair or curl up on the sofa and have fun! The organizers have planned some fun events: blog posts, discussions, blogger interviews and giveaways among others, here is the official Armchair BEA schedule:


The Schedule for the Week of Armchair BEA

Tues. May 25th - BEA Related Posts

Wed. May 26th - Blogger Interviews

Thurs. May 27th - BEA Related Posts & Giveaways on Participating Sites

Friday May 28th - BBC Roundtables
 
 
You can read the Official Opening of the 1st Annual Armchair BEA welcoming post here.

As a participating blog I will have one (or two depending on my work schedule making it possible..) BEA related blog post and a giveaway, so don't lose sight of Ex Libris!

(For those of you who missed my introductory post and are wondering what is Armchair BEA, you can get back in the loop by reading this.)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Winner of Wind Warrior

Hey Everyone!

The Wind Warrior giveaway drew to an end yesterday, so it's time to announce the winner!

There were 17 entrants with 157 entries,


entry # 60 Bangersis!!

Congratulations! I have already sent you an e-mail please respond within 48 hours or I will have to draw another winner.

Thank you all for entering the contest and taking part in the 3 day long Cynthia Roberts event, and a huge thank you to Cynthia for being here and for offering a signed copy of her debut novel! 


ps: Don't forget that there is another giveaway still going on at Ex Libris: you could win a acopy of Pretties by Scott Westerfield, it is open internationally until May 28!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

In My Mailbox (#10)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Finally after a week of stormy weather, incessant rain, howling wind and glacial temperature (8 Celsius, we had to take out the winter coats again at the end of May! yuck!) seems spring is finalyl here to stay! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and birds are busy waking me up! :-)  

This week I received some amazing books I've been coveting for some time now after all the amazing reviews I've read about them.

Books I have received for review:



The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber
Hunted by the Others and Nocturnal (anthology) by Jess Haines

I couldn't wait to read The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber after all the exciting, glowing reviews and especially after I read in an interview that Leanna had Richard Armitage in mind when creating/imagining Alexi, the hero! (Richard Armitage is such a charismatic actor with a deep chocolate velvet voice that if you haven't seen the BBC's North and South  period mini series yet, then do! He definitely replaced Colin Firth in many women's heart! ;-) lol, but enough about the free advertisement!) The blurb of this book sounds amazing and I love the Victorian period, so I'll be diving into this one right away!

psst here are a few images of Richard Armitage so you can picture the hero of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker:

 



Thank you Leanna so much for not only sending me a review copy but also your sweet words!


Hunted by the Others and Nocturnal were sent to me by Jess Haines, thank you for the surprise and the kind words too Jess! Again, another book (HbtO) I have read great things about and can't wait to read, so I guess this will be next on my TBR list.


Books I have won:

This week I only won one book, but what a package it came with! Kelly from Bookend Diaries put together a fantastic relaxing/me-time package, are you curious what was inside? Kelly sent me these goodies:


The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli, a gorgeous book
some yummy chocolate-walnut biscuits to eat with
a cup of pomegranate and blueberry tea
and a beautiful card!

Thank you so much Kelly, I know I'll enjoy these!

Stop by Kelly's blog it looks beautiful with a peaceful vintage Audrey Hepburn feel.

So that's what was in my mailbox this week, and what was in yours?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Can't go to BEA? Join the Armchair BEA!


Are you going to BEA? If you can't for whatever reason, why not join the virtual version, the Armchair BEA, where you don't have to leave the comfort of your cozy armchair and yet take part in many interesting panels and discussions, and participate in fun giveaways?

This virtual BEA was created by Michelle, Emily, Tif, The1stdaughter and Florinda.

You can find out more about the program and how to particpate at the Official Armchair BEA Site.

And if you want to support Armchair BEA, please grab this button and spread the word, the more the merrier!


Friday, 21 May 2010

Book Blogger Hop (#8)


It's Friday, so Hop time again! The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event created by the amazing Jennifer at Crazy for Books. If you'd like to sign up your own blog or to find other fantastic blogs, head on over to Jen's blog. And don't forget to spread the love and leave comments, we all love them! :-D

Welcome to Ex Libris, humble home of my reading and bookaholic addiction :-)

What happened since last week?

It was a pretty busy week, a lot of exciting things happened:

1) I have two book giveaways going on, don't forget to enter while you are here:

You can enter until May 23 to win a signed copy of Wind Warrior debut novel of historical romance author Cynthia Roberts! (US&Canada only)

And the giveaway to win a copy of Pretties by Scott Westerfeld is open until May 28! (international!)

2) I was named Top Reviewer at Blog with Bite! I received this award for my review of one of my all time favourite urban fantasy novels: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. You can read my review here.

3) My first interview! I have been interviewed by Reagan Star from Star Shadow, check it out, you could win a great book!

4) Book Bloggers Anonymous was born! And we already have a book to read for June!

5) If you are curious as to my reading habits, you can find out more about me here.


You can also find Ex Libris on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.


Off to hopping, hope to see you around! :-)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Book Bloggers Anonymous Announcement: Book for June!


So the blog readers have spoken and chosen the book for the BBA to read in June. We will read:

A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix (The Maker's Song Book #1)



I already ordered my copy, hopefully it will arrive by next week so I'll be able to read it in time for the start of the discussions. This book sounds exciting, I can't wait to start reading it!

If you'd like to join us procure yourself a copy of A Rush of Wings and join the Book Bloggers Anonymous group on Goodreads!

We'll start discussing A Rush of Wings at Paranormal Haven from June 1st-15th, swing by because Stephanie and Athenna have planned tons of interesting posts, so bookmark your calendars, you don't want to miss this!

If you somehow missed my first introductory post on the Book Bloggers Anonymous, you can see what all the fun is about here.

And here are the particpating blogs, Honorary BBA Founder Members:
Steph and Athenna @ Paranormal Haven
Aly @ Fantasy4Eva
Stella @ Ex Libris (me)

So I hope to see you over at the BBA Group on Goodreads and at Paranormal Haven from June 1-15, until then
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Ex Libris featured in Welcome Wednesday at Star Shadow and Giveaway!

Hey Everyone!

I had my first interview with the lovely Reagan Star who asked all kinds of random questions and some brow-raising ones in her new weekly feature Welcome Wednesday. Head on over to Star Shadow to read the interview and leave us some comments!

You want to know some behind the scenes tidbits? I am quite an indecisive person, can't for the life of me choose one single favourite, I simpyl can't narrow down to only one, so my answer to the question regarding my favourite songs and musics was edited 3 times, and today I still would have answered it differently. Today my favourites are Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams, I Was Made for You by Zooey DesChanel, and 18 'Til I Die by Bryan Adams (today is a Bryan Adams day it seems.)

But regarding my answers posted on Star Shadow,  I first heard Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan on Buffy and it had such a profound effect on me I purchased the album without having heard any other sings by Sarah McLachlan previously, to this day it gives me goosebumps when I hear it.

Thanks to the generosity of Reagan Star, you can enter for your chance to win a copy of Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (the 2nd book in the Uglies trilogy).


Goodreads synopsis:

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.
To enter the giveaway:

Giveway is open anywhere the Book Depository ships and ends on May 28

1. You must be a follower of Ex Libris
2. Leave your e-mail address in a comment below so we can contact the winner

Extra entries: the usual:

+2 if you are a Twitter follower (@Stella_ExLibris) / Facebook fan / Network Blogs follower (+2 for each)
+1 for spreading the word (Twitter/Facebook, etc.)
+2 adding this giveaway to your blog sidebar
+3 blog post on your blog
+5 adding Ex Libris to your blogroll

Please leave the links to your extra entries so I can verify them. No link no extra entry.

Thank you and good luck!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Ex Libris presents: Book Bloggers Anonymous!

Hi, I'm Stella, and I'm a shameless bookaholic.

My addiction is something I'm very proud of and cherish, and I plan on continuing to feed it for a long long time! That's why I joined Book Bloggers Anonymous.


What is Book Bloggers Anonymous (or BBA as we like to call it affectionately) you might ask. It is a cyber book club for fellow book bloggers who share the love of reading, blogging and discussing books!

But who are the blogs and anonymous people behind BBA?

Steph from Paper Cut Reviews (BBA is her baby, meet the Creative Mastermind behind this amazing initiative!)

Beth from Maybe Tomorrow? (Event Coordinator, she's the one in charge of our social calendar, for any appearance requests, invitations, please contact her)

Amanda from Not Really Southern Vamp Chick (in charge of our Daily Frisson /as the French would say/)

Ky from Can't Find A Bookmark (in charge of Orientation, you don't find something, just ask Ky)

Chas from Livin' & Lovin' Life In The 808 (Fun Organizer& Party Staff Member - it's hard work, but someone's gotta do it)

Steph and Athenna from Paranormal Haven (in charge of Eye Candy, the poor girls spend countless hours casting presentable men, what, you thought those six packs just appear by themselves?!)

Aly from Fantasy4Eva (Head Cheerleader - need some support or just a friend to feel better? Aly is the one you should chat to)

Jo-Anne from Strange Candy Reviews (Lollypop Provider, we all need our sugar dose to stay this happy and sparkling ;-p)

Natasha from A Great Book is the Cheapest Vacation (Tour Coordinator, again, regarding appearance requests please contact her)

and if you haven't already guessed, I'm a not-that-anonymous member too:

Stella from Ex Libris (aka Me!) (part-time Sunshine Commitee Member - welcoming new members and making them feel right at home, full-time Daily Smile Provider)
 
So we are the BBA.
 
Each month we will read a book (chosen by our blog readers) and discuss it on our blogs and in the BBA Goodreads forum.

The BBA is unique as to how it works: it's like a great combination of a book tour and a book club as each month an other blog will host the event and the book discussions.

For the first BBA event our hosts will be Stephanie and Athenna at Paranormal Haven, please help us pick the book to read in June, head over to Paranormal Haven and cast your vote in the poll! 


Everyone is welcome to join the BBA Goodreads Group where we will post the discussions and all things that have to do with the BBA.

As Steph the founder of BBA said:
The true reason behind these two groups is to share, connect and discuss through great books:) So please support these groups to make it a success!

If you are interested in joining the tour or being a BBA blog please email me: papercutreviewer@gmail.com.

Hope to see you over at the BBA Goodreads Group and please cast your vote as to what you would like us to read for June at the poll on Paranormal Haven.

BWB Top Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong


The chosen book to be discussed in May by Blog With Bite was Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. As it was one of the first urban fantasy novels I have read and ever since remains one of my favourite ones, I knew I wanted to participate, and guess what! I was chosen as Top Reviewer over at BWB!

So I thought I'd share with you my review of Bitten, which was my very first review posted on this blog!! Hope you enjoy, and if you haven't read Bitten yet, you MUST! If you are an UF lover, then the Woman of the Otherworld series is a MUST, and if you are an urban fantasy virgin, you couldn't find a better novel to initiate you! The story is gripping the characters are interesting and the writing is brilliant. An amazing novel!





 



Grade: 5 stars
Novellus Perfectus!

Amazon appetizer:

Elena, heroine of Kelley Armstrong's impressive debut thriller Bitten, never planned that a casual sexual encounter would transform her into a werewolf. Neither did Clay, her lover and one of the leaders of the exclusive werewolf clique known as the Pack; women do not generally change or survive if they do.

Elena's considerable reservations about her new life come to a head and she walks out on the Pack to return to something like normality, finding herself a boyfriend who turns a blind eye to her occasional disappearances in the middle of the night.

She may have done with the infighting of werewolves, but they have not done with her; her former family call her back when they find themselves under threat from those they have excluded and dominated. Kelley Armstrong is very good on the sheer exhilaration of shape-changing, of running on four feet through forests, suburban greenery and urban back alleys; if there is a weakness here, it is that Elena's relationship with the taciturn, untrustworthy Clay is sometimes a little too conventionally romantic--but the dark poetry of the best of the book overcomes this entirely. --Roz Kaveney
My thoughts: Bitten is the first in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. It is narrated by Elena, a beautiful willowy young woman, who happens to be the only existing female werewolf! The story is fast-paced and exciting and Elena's voice is fresh and laugh-out-loud funny in Kelley Armstrong's typical sarcastic, witty way.

I discovered the paranormal, urban mystery universe 2 years ago, and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong was the 3rd book I have read in the genre, and the best one of all. Ever since discovering the Women of the Otherworld series and Kelley Armstrong, this series has been one of my favourite UF novel and Kelley my favourite UF author!

The writing style and quality are amazing, really brilliant! It made me determined to read more from Kelley Armstrong. (And apparently Angelina Jolie after reading the novel and loving it so much has bought the rights to do a movie of Bitten, so the movie is in the works.) What I love about her writing is not only the truly interesting twisting plot, but her quirky, funny dialogues, the dry wit of her characters, they make me laugh out loud, they are not only entertaining but also have so much humanity, that they are believable, real, 3D characters, they leap off the paper.

Not only the writing style is fantastic, but it is funny, bitingly sarcastic at times, and the heroine, Elena, is a great one. It all praises Kelley Armstrong's storytelling qualities that even though the heroine keeps resisting the hero's advances, that she keeps on hating him, being angry with him and not forgiving him for being the one responsible for changing her, she won't even consider or hear him out why he did it, that in spite of all this you don't want to slap Elena and tell her a piece of your mind. No, thanks to Kelley Armstrong's great writing you feel for her frustration and anger. Even though you see and understand why Clay changed her, and your heart goes out to him, at the same time you sympathize with Elena too and completely understand her anger and bitterness. Kelley Armstrong does it all brilliantly.

As Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat (quite a different kind of book, is it not?) has said of this book: "It's clever, quirky, hip, and funny, skating between genres with style and grace. More please!" I can only second that. This book has so many sub-genres, it is quite hard to label it.

Verdict: An amazing debut novel for a fantastic urban fantasy series! A must for any UF fans!

If you like urban mystery or paranormal novels, I would definitely recommend this book and author as they are exceptional!

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


The BookDepository
 


Blog With Bite Discussion Questions

1. Let's talk relationships. What did you think of Elena's relationship with Philip? Were her feelings for him genuine? Why or why not?

I think Elena WANTED to have feelings for Philip and though she liked him a lot, it just couldn't compare to what they had, what she felt with Clay. And I think she was aware of this, but as she was trying to get herself a new life, she wanted to persuade herself that her memories were better than reality, and that what she had with Clay she could have it or something even better with someone else not part of the pack and that secret universe.

2. Keeping secrets from someone you love, is it being true to yourself? Elena was hiding out in Toronto and away from the Pack. Did this make Elena a stronger character or whiny?

I think it made her stronger. She was alone, trying to make it own her own. Like when a rebellous child wants to show their parents/family that they have grown up and are capable of taking care of themselves. I think that most of all she needed the chance to choose and not just give up and blend in because that was the obvious solution. She wanted to try living on her own and see if SHE wanted to join the pack because she wanted that and not because as a werewolf and girlfriend of Clay she was assumed to do so.

3. Kelley Armstrong's werewolves lean more towards the traditional side of the wolf legend. What "were" type are you? Do you enjoy the pain riddled, desiring human flesh werewolves like the Wolfman or the intensely scary wolves like in the movie Silver Bullet or do you prefer painless shifters that keep a majority of human emotions...ie..Twilight and other light PNR novels?

I prefer more human werewolves. Who retain part of their humanity, human feelings even in wolf form. I found it unqiue in Armstrong's take taht these wolves didn't cahse to and from wolf form in the blink of an eye, that here it was a painful process which demanded precise concentration.

4.Could you forgive the man you loved if he were to BITE you like what occurred with Elena?

Though question. Emotionally I would say no at first. I hate it when my freedom of choice is taken away and don't know if I would be able to forgive that. BUT rationally it would ahve to arrive one day, since as a changed human, a werewolf I wouldn't be able to live a full life with someone outside this world. I wouldn't be able to share myself and my life completely with taht outsider and thus the only possible and logical solution would be to be together with someone else with the same condition.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Reading Habits

It's a completely grey, rainy Sunday afternoon and I'm too sleepy to read so I thought it was time for a fun leisure post :-)

I saw this meme at Book Crazy then at For What It's Worth, so I thought it was time I jumped on the train and told you about my reading habits. :-)


Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack:

While reading I only snack in the afternoon, at that time I like to munch on desserts.. yummy! I have a major sweet tooth *cough as you could have seen in my Sunday Treats posts *cough*

What is your favourite drink while reading?

Milk if I'm eating cookies, otherwise water or tea (green or fruit, I don't drink black tea), or sometimes a frothy caramel capuccino.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

Oh My! Never! I would never consider writing in a book (even with a pencil, what a horror!)! Lately I use post it notes or a simple blank sheet of paper I have in the book on which I scribble my notes.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

I use whatever bookmark I can get my hands on: magazine subscription cards, postcards, promotional bookmarks etc. I never lay down a book facedown, I do everything I can not to break its spine.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?

I read a few nonfiction a few years ago, but they are the exception. It's fiction for me all the way! I love my fantasy land thank you very much :-)

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

Generally I always tell myself I'll just read until teh end of the chapter, but if the chapter ends witha  cliffhanger I'll just keep on reading until it's too late and I really need to sleep. However, since I read on the commute to work, if I arrive at my destination before the end of the chapter, I'll have to stop :-(

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?

No, never. Books are sacred in my eyes, even if I hated the book. I either donate/give away/sell that book so it doesn't take place up on my shelves and doesn't remind me of how much it irritated me while I read it.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

No, I usually figure it out by the context, but sometimes I write it in my cell phone and when I have a bunch of unknown words, then I take the time to look them up.

What are you currently reading?

Just between books, finished Stop Me by Richard Jay Parker and am thinking about what to read next.. I'm leaning towards Embers by Laura Bickle.

What is the last book you bought?

For myself: the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and Stray by Rachel Vincent
For winner #1 of the Ex Libris 50 followers - Pick Your Genre Giveaway: Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kennon 

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

I usually have several books on the go, 3-4, and I pick up the one I'm in the mood for. It doesn't mean I'm parallelly reading them all, right now there is two books I haven't picked up in about a month.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?

I prefer to read in natural daylight, in sunshine. I love to curl up on the couch or in ym huge armchair and read there basking in the sunlight. But tehre is also something about devouring a book at night when the whole house is asleep and it's pitch dark :-)

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

Series! When I enjoy and love a book, I want more of it! It's always a joy to learn there are 5-8 more books for me to read! :-)

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?

Oh yes, Kelley Armstrong! She was one of the first UF authors I discovered and still remains one of my favourites! I love her brilliant writing style and her bitingly sarcastic, dry humour! For those who love Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice I keep recommending Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, amazing book and the BBC adaptation..wow!

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)

I could still improve my organisation, I only have them organised by major genres: chick lit, UF/paranormal, thrillers. My TBR pile is literally a big pile on the floor, I don't have enough shelves, would love to get more and have all my books neatly lined up! One day I'll have that.  


Well these are my reading habits, what are yours?

In My Mailbox (#9)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Ugh, the weather is awful, completely disgusting here! Despite the fact that it is the middle of May, it is 10 Celsius, dark November-like grey clouds, it's been raining at intervals all week, and raining nonstop for 2 days (ot just a drizzle, but the typical it's-raining-cats-and-dogs-type-of-rain!)!! And now there is such a howling violent wind, I feel like we are in late autumn and not at the beginning of summer! grr. Ok, enough about the weather report, here are the books that were in my mailbox this week. 

Book I have received for review:


Stop Me by Richard Jay Parker

Amazon appetizer: Forward this email to ten friends. Each of those friends must forward it to ten friends. Maybe one of those friends of friends of friends will be one of my friends. If this email ends up in my inbox within a week, I won't slit the bitch's throat. Can you afford not to send this onto ten friends?

Vacation Killer Leo Sharpe's life is shattered when his wife Laura suddenly disappears. His desperate need to find her turns to obsession when he becomes convinced she's the latest victim of The Vacation Killer who has claimed eleven lives already - is Laura going to be the twelfth?

The MO is the same every time - a woman disappears and within hours inboxes around the world receive a threatening email. A few days later, grim evidence of the victim's death is delivered to the police. But in Laura's case, nothing is sent. Has the killer spared her life? Why? And for how long? For Leo, the clock is ticking - he needs to do everything in his power to stop the killer before it's too late.

Books I have won:


Red-Headed Stepchild from Caroline at One Book Away From Heaven 
(I'm really surious about this one, have heard great things about this series, can't wait to read it!)

Tomorrow River from Ariel at Mysteries and My Musings 
(doesn't the cover look so lovely amd peaceful?)

Magic for Beginners from Velvet at vvb32reads

Thank you!!


That's it for me, but what was in your mailbox this week?


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Another batch of awards!

I have received a few awards in the past week, so it's time for me to display them and thank publicly the very kind bloggers who have thought of me!

I received the Prolifilic Blogger Award from Melissa at Spellbound by Books, thanks so much Melissa! :-)


"A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive, keeping up an active blog with enjoyable content. After accepting this award recipients are asked to pass if forward to seven other deserving blogs."
There are so many fantastic blogs so it took some time narrowing down my choices, but thankfully there is always another award and another opportunity to honour my fellow bloggers! So here are today's picks:

Felicia at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog: she is just one of the nicest people around and (among others) her Kindle Freebies features are amazing!

Amanda at Not Really Southern Vamp Chick: it is always exciting going over to Amanda's blog there is always something new and interesting to read.

Caroline at Portrait of a Woman: this is a blog I just recently discovered, but I know I'll check back everyday as Caroline updates it regularly and besides the fun pink layout she has tons of interesting posts!

Sullivan McPig at Pearls Cast Before a McPig: another new found and already a fabourite. Sullivan McPig is laugh out loud funny and the reviews and illustrating pics are so entertaining! I'd gladly read twice as much as is posted! :-D

Realms on our Bookshelves: a highly entertaining and colourful blog run by 4 good friends.

Page Turners a truly prolifilic blog.

Ariel at Mysteries and my Musings always find something to read and usually lose hours before realising tiem has flown by.


I received the Bodacious Award from Florie at Sweet Happy Endings, thank you Florie, check out her cute summer feeling blog!


The Rules: If you are given this award you must first accept it by leaving a comment on the post you were nominated on. Then copy and paste the post and add it to your own blog. Make a list of the last 5 books you read and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers (no backsies!). Please also identify the blog from which you got the award and don't forget to tell your nominees they have a blog award!

The last 5 books I read:

1. The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham
2. Inked by Karen Chance/Marjorie M. Liu/Yasmine Galenorn/Eileen Wilks
3. Sugar Creek by Toni Blake
4. Master of None by Sonya Bateman (AMAZING! You MUST read this!)
5. Stop Me by Richard Jay Parker

And the 5 blogs who I'd like to pass this award on to:

Tori at Book Faery


I received this Great Blog Neighbor Award from Priya at The Plum Bean Project. Priya is one of the sweetest and most genuine blogger I know, thank you Priya for thinking of me, you are a fantastic Blog Neighbour too!! :-)


This  award was created by Felicia at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog and she asks us to pass it along to five of our favourite blogs. So here are my favourite blogger neighbours today:

Sabrina at Cheeky Reads


Thank you Melissa, Florie and Priya for giving me these awards and for your kind words! *hugs*

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