Tuesday, 31 August 2010

500 Followers Birthday Giveaway! - Update #1


I now have 550 followers which means that a #2 winner is added!! woohoo!

Also, I'm changing the rules a bit: I previously said I will add one more book to the prize list after every 25 new followers. However as I've seen in the form, you would rather like to choose from the ones I have already offered and since I would really love to spread the word and love about these fantastic books, I delete that rule.

But since I read another fantastic book since the beginning of the giveaway, I will add that one to the pile:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman



Don't forget: giveaway is open worldwide and ends on September 13!

If I reach 600 followers by then a 3rd winner will be added, and another one for every 50 new followers! There's no limit to the number of winners!




I became an official Book Lover!!

Book Lovers INC

I have great news to share with you today: I was recently  invited to join the elite club of Book Lovers Inc.! *jumps up and down excitedly*

The Book Lovers are an international bunch of book obsessed reviewers (obsessed with reading, obsessed with book buying, obsessed with reviewing and obsessed with always discovering new authors and books to add to our TBR ;-D lol).

 If you haven't heard of Book Lovers Inc. yet, tarry no more: there are great features (hilarious cover debates, gorgeous pics exploring different corners of the world, rants and raves, spotlight on fictional hotties, and I could go on and on, because there are so many more great things to read there) and TONS of fantastic giveaways!! Drop by, take a peek, you can find us HERE.

Monday, 30 August 2010

From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-a-Thon - Wrap Up Post



I haven't had time to do an update of the last 2 nights as we had lots of family events keeping me busy during the day, so here is my recap post of what I read in this Read-a-Thon:

1st night:

On the 1st night I read about 100 pages of The Wish by Sasha Blake and read the short story Mercy by Eleri Stone.



2nd night:

The 2nd night was the worst for me, I only read about 80 pages of The Wish.


3rd night:

On the 3rd night I got back in the saddle because besides continuing on with The Wish, I also read 2 other novellas: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas and Desire in the Dark by Naima Simone.







4th night:

The 4th night of the Read-a-Thon was my best: I read an entire and long book, but yes I stayed up until 4am etter, besides reading again a bit of The Wish, I read Rakes and Radishes by Susanna Ives, which was a delightful read!








5th night:


I started reading Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James and couldn't stop until page 100. It is gripping!










So all in all I read a bit, but I discovered that although I won't go to sleep before dawn, I don't read at night, my favourite time to read is a sunny afternoon.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

In My Mailbox (#21)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

This week started out wonderfully, I received 4 books on Monday, but then nothing more for the whole week! lol  So here is what I received this week:

Books I have received for review:


The Wish by Sasha Blake (3rd book in the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge)
Sophia's Secret by Susanna Kearsley


Books I have won:


Blood Bound from Lydia @ The Lost Entwife won at the Read Your Own Books Read-a-Thon

Rise of the Poison Moon from Barbara @ VampAngel


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

Saturday, 28 August 2010

From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-a-Thon - Update #3



The 3rd night of the Read-a-Thon was better, besides reading again a bit of The Wish, I read 2 other novellas: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas and Desire in the Dark by Naima Simone.





Friday, 27 August 2010

From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-a-Thon - Update #2


My 2nd night of the Read-a-Thon has not been very productive: I only got home around 9pm, then after a quick snack we watched a family movie (a Poirot story) and after it I committed the error of logging on to my computer, which sucked me in for a couple of hourse (the curse of the internet), and then I was too tired to read around 1am (especially since I had to get up at 8am to got to work).




I only read around 60-80 pages of The Wish by Sasha Blake on my way home. I'm not enjoying this book that much, there are some details which really irritate me, but I guess I keep reading it because 1) I'm curious to see how it will resolve certain storylines, and 2)  I have to review it.


Hopefully I'll be able to read more during the weekend, the weather will definitely play along: it will be cold and rainy, so it won't be a hardship staying at home reading :-)






Thursday, 26 August 2010

Want to know me better?


I'm featured over at For What It's Worth where Karen for the Ultimate Reviewers Challenge asked me a few questions about me and my blog: how I started blogging, which are my favourite blogs, why is my blog called Ex Libris and other fascinating tidbits (insert sarcastic snicker ;-p) you might be curious about :-)

So if you are just as noisy as me and would like to get to know a few more things about the blogger behind Ex Libris, then head on over to Karen's blog, I would love to see you there! And you know what? If you are curious about something I haven't talked about, ask me and I'll answer as best as I can ;-) 


From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-a-Thon - Update #1


On the 1st night of the Read-a-Thon I have been reading these two books:



The Wish by Sasha Blake is the 3rd book I'm reading and revieweing for the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge.

I have only read about  80-100 pages of this book, so I guess you'll keep seeing it all through the week.









Other than reading The Wish I also read Mercy by Eleri Stone.

It is a paranormal/shifter romance novella about jaguars! Doesn't the cover look fantastic?

Mercy will be released on September 6 by Carina Press, so I'll post my review next week, but until then, if you are curious you can read an excerpt of Mercy here.




From Dusk Till Dawn A Read-a-Thon Starting Line

(I planned to post this yesterday but Blogger had some issues and wouldn't let me include images, so that's why I'm a day late)


Jenn at Book Crazy is the creative mastermind behind this latest Read-a-Thon, which will take place between August 25 and August 29. The Dusk Till Dawn Read-a-Thon  is a 5 day-long Read-a-Thon, but only those pages/books will count which are read between 8 pm and 8am! (But don't burn yourself out reading all night, get some sleep or you won't last all 5 days!)

A lot of blogs are participating and many will host challenges! yohoo! Come and join us, you know your TBR shelf will thank you ;-) You can sign up at the starting line at Book Crazy.

I was planning on posting the list of books I will be reading during this Read-a-Thon, but then I realized that I had no idea what I will be reading, so I'll just let my whims dictate the books :-)


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Guest Post by Tatyana Varenko author of Ordeal + GIVEAWAY

Today I would like to introduce to you Tatyana Varenko, the rhyming author of Ordeal, a unique and extraordinary paranormal novel told in verse all through its 212 pages!

You can read my review of Ordeal here.

It seems that Tatyana even breathes in rhymes, so I will cede her the scene to tell you about herself and her writing.


Who's Tatyana?


Tatyana's birth as human being
Took place in 1982,
In June, when weather was appealing
And sparkling with the morning dew.


As she grew up, too shy by nature,
Her friends were Pushkin, Dante, Wilde
Who wrote of love and of adventure -
She dreamt of the vampire kind.


As time went by, she took to versing
When she got hardly over ten,
And life was constantly coercing
Tatyana to employ her pen.


The Foreign Languages Department
She joined in 1999
Served as a very good incitement
For her verse writing to refine.


Then the first sketches were laid out,
When she was drawing to 18,
Ordeal began to come about
To lighten up her dull routine.


Now she's working as a teacher
Training her students' English skills
That her department has to feature
And help acquire in the drills.




Writing


What can I say about writing?
It is a motion of a soul.
It is so pure and exciting
To be in process all alone.


It’s been my way of relaxation
Forever since I can recall.
Writing brings thrill and fascination
In words intended to enthrall.




My world


My world’s a realm of fairy-tales and dreams
With raging passions and heroic deeds,
At the disposal of too changing winds,
With nothing quite the way it truly is.


This kingdom has no boundaries of thought,
It’s guided by emotions and by mood
And art is worshiped there quite a lot
Because its value will remain for good.


You can read more about Tatyana, Ordeal and what she's currently working on at her website.


GIVEAWAY:

Tatyana has generously offered 4 copies of Ordeal to lucky readers of Ex Libris!

3 eBook copies are for followers worldwide, but if you live in the US and would prefer to be entered for a paper copy, please say so in your comment.

Giveaway is open worldwide, ends September 1.


To enter:

1. You must be a follower of Ex Libris
2. You have to become a fan of Tatyana over at Goodreads
3. Please comment/ask a question/say something (meaningful) to Tatyana below
4. Leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!

You must do all 4 to be entered!!

For extra entries you can spread the word (Twitter, Facebook, blog sidebar, etc.). You'll get +2 for every place you post (please leave direct links or else you won't get the extra entry).


Thank you, and should you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me. Good luck! :-)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Book Review: Ordeal by Tatyana Varenko

Title: Ordeal
Author: Tatyana Varenko
Pages: 212
Publisher: CreateSpace
IBSN: 1450549896
Release Date: 7 February 2010
Source: Received for review from the author

For more information visit Tatyana's website

Buy Ordeal at Amazon

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!


Goodreads appetizer:

It is a verse-ornated story
About love, betrayal, wrath,
Royal vampires' bliss and glory
Bringing them straight to their death.

Luella, fierce, strong vampire,
Falls for a pretty human catch
Sent on her fiancé's desire
To celebrate they are engaged.

This unexpected turnabout
Is doomed to come to a dead end:
Her human sweetheart's dead to shroud;
Her fiancé's avenged for that;

And she is punished for blood treason,
Banished into a mortal child,
Whose human body is a prison
For all her powers to bind.

Her memories obliterated,
She is to find her love at last
Who proves to be too much related
To the misfortunes from her past.

My thoughts: At first when I heard that Ordeal was a paranormal story told in verse I was a bit worried and sceptical (I mean more than 200 pages told in verse?), not having read poems in years and not knowing if it would be something I would enjoy. All these doubts and worries solely because of its format. But I dived into the unknown and let me tell you, my fears were completely unfounded!

Ordeal is a wonderful, exciting and romantic paranormal story, yes told in verse in more than 200 pages! And because of that, it is even more amazing as a feat! Despite the narrative being in rhymes, the writing flows easily and effortlessly, it is humourous at times while romantic at others. Tatyana Varenko has created a quite unique and entertaining masterpiece.

Verdict: No matter if you enjoy or not poems, I would recommend you to give Ordeal a chance and read it, because it is a uniquely told, entertaining paranormal story, and I'm sure once you get the rythm of the narration the pages will just flew by (believe me, tht's what happened to me).

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Cover: 9/10

Monday, 23 August 2010

Where I have Been + In My Mailbox (#20)


Hey Everyone! :-)

I disappeared again for a few days but fear not, I will tell you all about my escapades, so sit down and get comfortable, a personal post is on its way ;-)

Sorry for the late posting but we went away for the weekend and I only got back late Sunday night and had a pretty busy day at work today. And if that wasn't enough the last 7 or so days were preetty busy. Wanna know why? Well because it was my birthday on August 20th (yep, I passed the big quarter of a century mark, and became 26 years old, thankfully I do not feel old - despite my childhood best friend's hysterics, who turned 26 a month ago - lol :-D), and spent all last week meeting with friends, going out for drinks and chats, going to the movies and of course collecting presents :-D

Furthermore my birthday is public holiday in Hungary (the equivalent of 4th of July in the US): it's a bank holiday, everything is closed, no work and fireworks at night, just for me! (kidding :-D well that's what my parents used to tell me when I was a kid). So I had a wonderful 3 day-long weekend, full of rest, doing nothing, sunbathing and reading, playing boardgames at night with my sisters and stuffing myself with the birthday cakes my sisters have baked. :-) 



I hope you had an equally wonderful weekend, and now let me show you all the great books which found their way into my mailbox last week :-)
In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Books I have received for review last week:



Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (thank you Marta for the vote of confidence and sending me a copy even though I don't live in Antarctica ;-) lol)

Beautiful malice by Rebecca James (have heard great things about this one, I'm really curious to read it, so thank you very much Rebecca!!)


Books I have won:


Some Girls Bite from Kate @ YzhaBella's Bookshelf
(already read this one over the weekend and can't wait to read the next books!)

Crimson and Steam from Velvet @ vvb32 reads in her Steam Pink events

Sherlock Holmes Handbook @ vvb32 reads at her Mansfield Park Mystery (this one looks really cool)

Blue Diablo won from Moira Roberts


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

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Book Review: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

Title: The Red Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Pages: 400
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN: 1847374573
Source: Received for review from Simon & Schuster UK

For more information visit Philippa Gregory's website

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!

Goodreads appetizer: The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses.

The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England.

Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

My thoughts: The Red Queen is the second book in Philippa Gregory's new historical series about the Plantagenet royal house. It is narrated by Margaret Beaufort, heir to the House of Lancaster through the descendants of Kathryn Swynford, life-long mistress and later 3rd wife to John of Gaunt (due to which many people claims that the York's claim to the throne was more valid as they are not descendants of "royal bastards"), but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Margaret is a very serious and religious woman, the novel starts with her praying at age 10 and having a vision of Joan of Arc, which connection to the warrior virgin and saint will accompany her all through the book.

There's no doubt that the real Margaret Beaufort had to be a strong, powerful, quite independent and very ambitious woman in her time, she wouldn't have been able to put her son on the throne of England otherwise; but Philippa Gregory really took on quite a challenge by writing a book told from Margaret's point of view as she is a very displeasing character.

It is not her overzealous religious beliefs which bothered me, it was the opposite: that despite always stressing and repeating what a religious person she is, she acts nothing like one: she is vain, self-centered, willful, uncharitable and always jealous. If she truly were such a good person, someone who God favoured because of her sacrifices and good and examplary behaviour, she would not be cruel, envious and vindictive. All through the novel she wants to be recognized by people and God, she wants to be revered and even feared, she begrudges Elizabeth's Woodville her remarkable beauty, her love with her husband the king, her fertility and many children, how the people love her and most of all her position as queen. A truly religious person would not care for such worldly details and especially not always stew in her own envy and jealousy. Margaret Beaufort certainly had a very hard and loveless life, but she is a very hard, bitter woman quite without any feeling. Even her relationship with her one and only son is nonexistant, not because he spends his life away from her, but because she feels no love for him, only that it is her mission to make him king. She even expressly states this at the end of the book: that if her son would not have had to become king, she would not have cared for him.  

With that said, it must be recognized, that Philippa Gregory outdid herself. The Red Queen is truly superior to The White Queen in both the writing style and story telling. The story flows on freely, the tiring and frustrating repetitions which one could often find in the White Queen have disappeared or are not that obvious, and Philippa Gregory does not break character for Margaret Beaufort, she remains constant and unchanging.

Verdict: One cannot review or talk about The Red Queen and not compare it to the first book The White Queen, as even Margaret Beaufort cannot help but always compare herself and her life to that of Elizabeth Woodville's. While Elizabeth is a much more engaging and charming character, Margaret's life is an equally interesting one, especially seeing how she succeeded in making her son king of England almost all on her own. While The White Queen is more romantic and has more of a fairy tale feel to it, The Red Queen is the  superior novel.

I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the Plantagenet series, which is planned to have 6 books (the next two will be about Elizabeth Woodville's mother Jacquetta of Luxembourg and Elizabeth Woodville and King Edward's daughter: Elizabeth of York, the White Princess).

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Ending: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Cover: 9/10


The BookDepository

Friday, 20 August 2010

Winners of Inhuman by Danielle Lee


Thank you all for entering the giveaway for Danielle Lee's novel and thank you Danielle for your generosity and offering 5 copies of Inhuman!

So without further ado here are the winners:

Robin K
Alina

have won paper copies of Inhuman


Eva SB
Kailia Sage
Leeswammes

have won eBook copies of Inhuman


Congratulations to the winners! I will send you e-mails shortly, please reply within 48 hours or I will have to draw new winners.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Book Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Title: The White Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Pages: 464
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN: 1847394647
Source: Received for review from Simon & Schuster UK

For more information visit Philippa Gregory's website

Grade: 4stars

Novellus superbus!

Goodreads appetizer: Philippa Gregory, "the queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) presents the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses.

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.

From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

My thoughts: I discovered Philippa Gregory a few years ago when I spotted the eye gripping and truly gorgeous cover of The Other Boleyn Girl at my local library, and which I had to read right away of course. Though I knew it wasn't historically accurate in many places, I found Philippa Gregory's storytelling enchanting: the way the Tudor court took shape before my eyes and how she wrote about every day details like what kind of food people ate, what dresses they wore, how they spent their daya all made that ancient period of history more human and easier to imagine. Once I discovered Philippa Gregory's writing I wanted to read more. However, unfortunately I found both The Boleyn Inheritence and The Constant Princess  disappointing. So it was with trepidation that I started reading The White Queen, not knowing if it would be like the gripping historical tale that The Other Boleyn Girl was or repetitive, dull and not too interesting like the other two novels. I have to say The White Queen didn't disappoint, Philippa Gregory is definitely back with an even more excitiong story to tell!

The White Queen is the first book in Philippa Gregory's new series about the Wars of the Roses. It tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, wife to Edward of York, mother of the Princes in the Tower and of Elizabeth of York, who later became the wife to Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII.

I have to admit that I was not familiar with the details of this time period and didn't know much about the details of the wars and tugs for power. And especially because of this it was very refreshing to read a novel and not knowing how it would end (not like with The Other Boleyn Girl, where one could never ignore the fact that Anne would be executed).

The White Queen is a love story at its core, the sweet and romantic love story between Elizabeth and Edward weaves through the historical events and wars, and we have to reckon that their love is not something Philippa Gregory created to suit her novel, since they had ten children together!

The novel is narrated by Elizabeth Woodville, a young widow and mother of two at the beginning of the novel, telling the reader how she met and fell in love with the king of England. Elizabeth Woodville is a sympathetic character (most of the time), she is charming, stunningly beautiful and had a very eventful and interesting life. Philippa Gregory used part of the legend about Elizabeth Woodville's heritage which claimed that her family was the descendants of Melusina the water goddess, and Ms. Gregory wove this part of historical legend together with mystical elements of witchcraft to make the story more interesting.

My only problem with the novel was the repetitive writing style of Philippa Gregory which appeared at certain times. I understand that this tool can be used to emphasize some aspects and may even make the novel sound more archaical and historical, but it irritated me to read the same few sentences for the seventh time (the locket scene for example). My other critique is that sometimes I felt Philippa Gregory made Elizabeth too similar to Anne Boleyn in certain aspects (using witchcraft to revenge her loved ones with the locket, and how the sweet natured woman would sometimes turn quite vicious and cruel), which I felt was quite out of character for the Elizabeth she created all along the novel.

Verdict: Philippa Gregory is back again with a very enjoyable and exciting story. Thankfully the heroine/narrator is an interesting and sympathetic character and the times and events Ms. Gregory chose to write about are definitely exciting. I'm sure that those who love historical fiction or period dramas will enjoy The White Queen very much!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 6/10
Cover: 9/10



The BookDepository

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 272
Publisher: Black Swan
Source: Received for review from Books at Transworld
For more information visit Gayle Forman's website and the If I Stay site

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!

Goodreads appetizer:

Imagine if all your choices were gone.

Except one.

And it's the only one that really matters.

The last thing Mia remembers is the music.

After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parents' car - even though she can't feel a thing.

All she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her.

As the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash - and what could come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all.

If she stays...

My thoughts: Even though tragedy strikes, If I Stay is not a novel about death but about life.

The story unfolds in two parallel levels: the present where Mia is in the hospital after the accident and the past, where through little snippets of flashbacks we get glimpses of Mia's life and memories. All the small, seemingly ordinary moments of her life, but which are truly the ones that one remembers when looking back on their life: the family barbeques, goofing around with her little brother, her first date and kiss and how she became best friends with Kim.

Gayle Forman's writing flows naturally and Mia's reminiscing has you turning the pages while losing all notion of the outside world and time.

One of the highlights of the novel are the strong characterizations: even the supporting characters leap off the page and the reader will remember even those minor characters who only made one chapter appearances (like Kerry and his unforgettable funeral memory).

The novel is narrated by Mia, who is a very serious young girl, more mature than her 17 years would let one presume. She is quiet but intense, focused and dedicated, loyal and genuine. She feels a bit out of place in her family as she has dark hair and eyes while her mom, dad and brother are all fair in colouring, they like rock and punk music while she is a classical music lover; but despite this sense of sticking out she deeply loves her family and feels best while with them. All the family scenes are fun and moving: the quiet affection and love shines through and it is clear this family has a great time even when doing mundane things.

Mia's parents are "cool parents": her dad was a musician and songwriter in a band until Mia's little brother was born and her mom was a rebel music fan/hippy, but even since they became "grown up parents", they kept this young, rebel, cool side of them and are still young at heart. All the light, funny banters in the car, at dinner, in the garden give a sense of this family better than any lengthy description could.

What I loved was how in spite of the shortness of the novel, If I Stay managed to show all the different facets of Mia's life: her life with her family, her grandparents, her best friend Kim, her boyfriend Adam and then of course with her great love: music. Mia's relationship to all these sides of her life was presented and laid out and the reader got a picture of what made Mia Mia. And I loved how these different facets of her life got equal importance and "screen time", that her friendship with Kim was not downplayed to leave more room for the love story with Adam, but rather how these different sides of her life were all interwoven.

I cannot highlight one part of the novel I liked better than the other, because Mia's love story with Adam was beautiful and touching, her friendship with Kim was funny and cute and her relationship with her parents and her little brother was heartwarming.

If I Stay is a wonderfully written and structured novel. All the flashbacks are meaningful and important, they have a role to support the present and show the reason behind Mia's indecision, feelings and doubts.

Verdict: If I Stay is a novel about choices, about decisions, about love. Because it is love that will ultimately sway the balance and make Mia decide either way. If I Stay is a moving and deep novel, and through the sad and heartbreaking loss of Mia it will still manage to make you feel alive and happy.

I absolutely loved If I Stay. It was a wonderful, emotional read, one I would definitely recommend for everyone. (It was also exciting to read that Gayle had no idea how If I Stay would end when writing the novel, that adds more to the thrill of the story.)

So imagine how happy I was when I saw that Gayle Forman is planning the sequel! Here is what she had to say about it: "It’s called WHERE SHE WENT. It takes place a little more than three years later and it’s told from Adam’s point of view. And that’s all I’m saying. It will come out in the spring of 2011 from Dutton."

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

The BookDepository

Monday, 16 August 2010

And the Winner of the Green Extravaganza is...


entrant #36: Amanda-Lee!

Congratulations Amanda-Lee! 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 and keep up being green, because besides knowing it helps our environment, it feels so good, doesn't it? :-)

Those who didn't win no worries, there is another 2 giveaways going on at Ex Libris: win Inhuman by Danielle Lee and enter my 500 Followers Birthday Giveaway! The more the merrier ;-D

Read Your Own Books Read-a-Thon - Update #2 - Wrap-up


The Read Your Own Books Read-a-Thon drew to an end, and though I've read quite a few books, since I've only spent half the weekend reading due to different family programs, I'm sure I can up these results next time if I can fully concentrate on just reading.

However, seeing the free time I had and the books read, I'm quite pleased (even if it didn't make a big dent in my TBR pile, even more since most were ebooks :-p LOL!): (completed books are in red)

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Druid Bride by Cornelia Amiri

and my ebooks:

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Three Over Par by Cathryn Brunet
Curran volume I by Ilona Andrews
Texas Tangle by Leah Braemel


Just a quick few sentences to summarize my thoughts and how I liked these books:

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory: It is the second book in the series, the first was The White Queen. Philippa Gregory is a great storyteller, I love how she transports me back in medieval England so that I can observe and "experience" how people lived, loved and made war back then. I  will post my detailed review in a few days.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: Such a short but deep and moving book. Will post my review tomorrow. at latest.

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts: Again a 2nd book in a series, and so far this series looks really good. It is about 4 childhood friends operating a wedding planner business, and each book is about one of them finding love. I love the interconnected novels of Nora Roberts, how minor characters in a novel become the main chaarcters in the next and that the readers get some follow up on the previous hero/heroine in the next books. And NR is incomparable when it comes to family relationships and friendships :-)

Curran volume I by Ilona Andrews: This was a short collection of scens recounted from Curran point of view. Nice but I would have wanted more, much more!

Texas Tangle by Leah Braemel: quite good ménage story with interesting characters and what I liked was that all 3 main characters got the same "screen time" and importance. Another highlight for me was seeing how realisticly the heroes and heroine tried to realize and live with this this situation in a small Texan town,  how these 3 people would make society and their families accept this arrangement.


So quite a few reviews to follow soon. I hope all those of you who took part in the Read-a-Thon did well and enjoyed reading over this weekend, hope you had a good time! :-)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Read Your Own Books Read-a-Thon - Update #1


Ok, so far here is what I have read from my initial list (completed books are in red):

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (read about 180 pages of 250)
Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Druid Bride by Cornelia Amiri

and my ebooks:

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Three Over Par by Cathryn Brunet
Curran volume I by Ilona Andrews
Texas Tangle by Leah Braemel


Will be back later for another update, gotta dash, dinner time!

In My Mailbox (#19)

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Last week was very bleak bookwise: not a single book arrived in my mailbox :-(  So I was hoping that this week would compensate for last week's empty mailbox and it thankfully did! :-D Look at all the great books the postman brought me:

Books I have received for review:

Taken by the Others by Jess Haines (thanks so much Jess! :-p)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (have heard great things about this one)
Beyond Ecstasy by K. Lynch

Books I have won:


Won Waking the Witch from Beth @ Maybe Tomorrow at her WoTO month (I LOVE Kelley Armstrong WoTO series!!)

We Hear the Dead from Christina @ Confessions of a Book Addict

Otherwise Engaged from Jojo @ Jojo's Book Corner at her Birthday Bash

Dawn od the Dreadfuls from I Heart Monster at their April Giveaway, I thought this got lost after waiting for months for it to arrive! Will be my first classic mash-up.


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

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Read Your Own Books Read-a-Thon - Join our ranks!


Monica from The Bibliophilic Book Blog is hosting the Read Your Own Books Read-a-Thon this weekend! So if you are like me (and countless others), whose TBR pile is scarily teetering and taking over your bedroom floor, and you have some free time this weekend, come and join us in this Read-a-Thon going from Friday August 13 until Monday August 16!

You can find the rules and sign up at Monica's blog, I'm still trying to decide what to choose to read this weekend. So tell me, what are you planning on reading?

Friday, 13 August 2010

500 Followers Birthday Giveaway!



Well the day has come: Ex Libris has 500 followers (502 to be exact)! Woohoo! :-D I'm completely speechless and ecstatic! :-D Thank you!! I never would have imagined I would be here after only 6 months of blogging. Thank you all for following and commenting, I love blogging because of you!

So this giveaway is to celebrate 3 things:

1) that Ex Libris has 500 followers - Yay!
2) that it is my half year blogiversary ;-)
3) and finally that it will soon be my birthday (on August 20).

And so to thank you all my amazing followers for sticking around, here is a giveaway!
So I've been thinking how to celebrate and how to reward you loyal followers and since there is so many great things to be happy about, I thought I would like to share with you my favourite reads of 2010, the fantastic books I discovered thanks to blogging!

So let's see what are the prizes! You can win:

Master of None by Sonya Bateman

This book was one of the revelations of 2010 for me. Fantastic debut author, extremely original writing, and unbelievably humourous narrator. A MUST read!


Embers by Laura Bickle

This is the 1st book in the new urban fantasy series by Laura Bickle, the sequel Sparks comes out at the end of August, yay! Laura's writing flows naturally, she is extremely talented at creating a completely unique,  athmospheric universe and transporting the reader there. Her writing is evocative and deep. Amazing urban fantasy debut, start this series right away!


Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

Again, not only a revelation, but an enlightment! Everybody, pick up this book, you won't be able to put it down! It has everything: swoonworthy/droolworthy drop dead gorgeous heroes, a kick-ass heroine, fast paced action, sensual love story and most of all a constant laugh out loud writing! Doctors should prescribe Touched by an Alien against depression!


Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Another revelation of 2010. Carolyn Crane's debut novel is incredibly original, finally an urban fantasy novel where the characters are not vampires, werewolves or demons, but disillusionists, and where the heroine is not a kick-ass woman but a very scared and worried hypochondriac! What do you say? I say pick Mind Games up this instant, you'll love it! (ps. of course the abundance of yummy and swoonworthy male characters and spark-flying chemistry doesn't hurt either! lol :-p)


The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

This is the first book in Leanna Renee Hieber's gothic fairy tale series. Her world, characters and story are all otherworldly and have that ethereal quality to them. This is a dark fairy tale for adults with poignant and moving writing. Read it on a rainy afternoon just so you feel as if you were there in foggy, dark, Victorian London.


Promise by Kristie Cook

Another first book in a debut author's series. Promise is book #1 in the Sould Screamers series which is not only the story of the ultimate battle between good and evil but also an earth-moving love story. Promise is a fantastic epic love story. The paranormal Romeo and Juliet. Better than Twilight!!


BUT if you have read all of the above books, then after every 25 new followers I'll add a book from your suggestions (in the form), so tell me what book you would like to win, which book was your top read in 2010 (or which book are you looking forward the most in 2010)?


Rules:

- Open INTERNATIONALLY, wherever the Book Depository ships.
- Giveaway ends on September 13
- When I reach 550 followers a 2nd winner will be added, and after that for every new 50 followers a new winner will be added (so at 600 followers 3 winners, at 650 followers 4 winners, etc.) who will have their pick from the above mentioned books.
- Only one entry per person please - duplicate/multiple entries will be disqualified.

- I reserve the right to change or cancel this giveaway without notice
- I have the right to remove entries from the draw without notice if they do not respect the entry rules
- I accept no responsibility for lost or damaged goods

HOW TO ENTER:

1. You must be a GFC follower of Ex Libris

2. Fill out THE FORM

You can get extra entries:

+1 for spreading the word (Twitter/Facebook, etc.) (+1 for every place you post)
+2 if you are a Twitter follower (@Stella_ExLibris) / Facebook fan / Network Blogs follower (+2 for each)
+2 adding this giveaway to your blog sidebar
+3 subscribing by e-mail to Ex Libris
+4 adding the giveaway button to your sidebar
+5 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.

There are a lot of extra entries to be gained, but they are not mandatory to enter!

All you need to do to enter is to follow Ex Libris and fill out the FORM!


Now look what a beautiful giveaway button the awesome Beth from Maybe Tomorrow made me! Thank you so much Beth!! :-D




Please sperad the word, display the giveaway button on your site and get +4 extra entries!


Thank you and good luck!!









You can spread the word (tweet, post on Facebook, Myspace, etc.) daily, so come back and just fill out this second form for every tweet/Facebook post.








Good luck! :-)


Update #1: August 31:  #2 winner added!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman added to the prize list


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