Monday, June 30, 2008

Annual BBQ

Hello everyone!!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week-end... not that I usually post much on the week-end... Anyway. This week-end is an extra-long week-end for me. Tomorrow is Canada's Day and we have off. Last week was the same scenario - holiday on Tuesday, therefore Tuesday off, but work on Monday. Since last week, I felt like I had 2 Mondays in a week... I decided to take a vacation day today... So I get a 4 days week-end... extra-long week-end :D

However, the week-end is quite busy for me. I'm hosting our annual BBQ tomorrow and I've been busy grocery shopping. This year, I'm having no help from friends (everyone's quite busy) and since I'm not very good in a kitchen... my mom is taking over ^_^; So I'm kind of glad, since that means the food is going to be good... but at the same time, I feel bad, because, well it's work for her. I try to help, but she always sends me out of the way... sigh.

Every year, around this time for the past 8 years, I've been hosting a BBQ with my friends. They like charcoal BBQ... Last year, the BBQ was also at my house, so I have the 2 BBQ/grills... however, I couldn't find the metal plaques that hold the grill above the charcoal... Have to admit I panic a bit and I've been going to all our versions of Home Depot to look for something that could make it work. Didn't find anything. In the end, I thought I could just use stone to hold it up... lucky me, we found the all of the metal plaques. Yay! So emergency aborted.

I still have to do some last-minute grocery shopping... mainly drinks, vegetables for dips and some fruits. Hopefully, it'll go smoothly.

So yeah, week-end has been busy... getting my room all clean up, the house ready and the food. I'm finally done with my room :D it's all clean and shiny... well at least, imo LOL :) I did find a box of books I forgot though ^_^;

Finally, I haven't been reading :( I did finish In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath... and that's it... on a long week-end, one book... it sucks :(

ps - For tennis fans, Wimbledon... one word: WOW! Lots of twists and drama... On the women side, all top 4 seeds gone... I see an all Williams-sisters finale :( Booo!! I'm sorry I miss all the drama of Murray-Gasquet's match. I caught the end, but oh my!! Li, it must have been thrilling!

pps - Books away... I'll be emailing everyone for confirmation and snail addies sometimes this week... probably on Wednesday :) Sorry for the delay

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Someone's non-keeper is someone else's treasure...

**This is a sticky post, scroll down for new posts**
Books away!!! Yay!!!

So as I mentioned in the previous posts, I've purged my bookcases and am offering the books to you, my fellow romance bloggers. Since I'm offering, I'll include the shipping :D

Here how it'll work. I'm going to post all the titles and you can either email me (natuschan @ gmail . com - without spaces) or write in the comment the ones you want. Once the books are going to be taken up, I'll cross them out of the list. I'd like to do it on a first come, first serve basis, but since many of us are in different time zones, I don't think it would be fair. So I'll put the names next to the titles... if you can work it out between you guys, great... if not, I'll draw a name. Sounds good?

*EDIT: Me again. Almost a day has passed and I think that everyone in any time zone has had the opportunity to check the list and send me their request. I had less requests for the books than I originally expected, so I'm going to do it on a first come, first serve basis. It'll also save me a lot of hassle (i.e. see the multiple requests and draw names). Sorry for the change.

You have till Sunday - June 29, noon (eastern time) to let me know which books you want. Then, I'll try to contact you on Sunday evening to confirm the books you're getting and your snail addy.
One more thing... I'll try my best to ship them off in a timely matter; however, don't be mad at me if I don't ^_^; Also, since I'm paying for shipping, depending on the number of ppl I have to send books to, it might take a couple of weeks.

and oh, last thing... I promise. I'm not known for keeping my books in pristine condition. I do my best, but yeah, I'm not good at it. Most of my books are in decent to good condition, i.e. no problem for reading... but if you're someone fussy who expect the books to be like as new or un-read, you might not want my books ^_^;

So here is the list in alphabetical order by author's last name:

Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
Touch of Madness by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
The Perfect Wife by Victoria Alexander Dev
Blooming All Over by Judith Arnold
Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur (hardcover)
Time Transit by Kay Austin
Madam Deception by Renee Bernard
Fast and Loose by Elizabeth Bevarly Dev
My Favorite Witch by Annette Blair Kimmy
A Highlander for Christmas by Sandy Blair Katie(babs)
Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann
Into the Night by Suzanne Brockmann
Into the Storm by Suzanne Brockmann (hardcover)
'Till There Was You by Dianne Castell (trade-size)
Tales from the Crib by Jennifer Coburn
Luscious Craving by Cameron Dean
Eternal Hunger by Cameron Dean
Passionate Thirst by Cameron Dean
Carolina Island by Jude Deveraux Dev
Special of the Day by Elaine Fox
Before I Wake by Anne Frasier
Play Dead by Anne Frasier
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner Dev
Betrayed by Jamie Leigh Hansen
Name Dropping by Jane Heller
The Secret Ingredient by Jane Heller
The Dare by Susan Kearney
Driven by Eve Kenin
To Catch a Wolf by Susan Krinard Kris
Much Ado in the Moonlight by Lynn Kurland Kimmy
'Scuse Me While I Kill this Guy by Leslie Langtry
Guns Will Keep Us Together by Leslie Langtry
South of Sanity by Suzann Ledbetter
A January Chill by Rachel Lee
Wedding Survivor by Julia London Dev
Runaway Duke by Julie Anne Long Ames
Beauty and Spy by Julie Anne Long Ames
Secret to Seduction by Julie Anne Long Ames
The Middle Sin by Merline Lovelace
Eden Burning by Elizabeth Lowell Dev
This Time Love by Elizabeth Lowell Dev
Howling at the Moon by Karen Macinerney Zeek
Trick my Truck and Don't Mess with my Heart by LuAnn Maclean Dev
The Forever Summer by Suzanne Macpherson
The Summit by Kat Martin
Body Count by P.D. Martin
The Shadow Runners by Liz Maverick
Lady Midnight by Amanda McCabe
Come Up and See Me Sometime by Lucy Monroe Kris
Real Deal by Lucy Monroe Ames
Goodness has nothing to do with it by Lucy Monroe Kris
An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn Kimmy
Angel with Attitude by Michelle Rowen
Taking the Heat by Kathryn Shay
Edge of Twilight by Maggie Shayne
Blue Twilight by Maggie Shayne
Twilight Hunger by Maggie Shayne
Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair Kris
Sheer Dynamite by Jennifer Skully
Drop Dead Gorgeous by Jennifer Skully
Dark One by Ronda Thompson Chantal
Untamed One by Ronda Thompson Chantal
Love on the Rope by Pat White

So there you go! You have till noon on Sunday :D

Friday, June 27, 2008

Adventures to the bookstore - Iron Hunt

All right, by now, you all know I suffer from the "must-have-NOW" syndrome when it comes to books and particularly new releases. I can't help it...

So the book I've been looking for all week was Iron Hunt by Marjorie Liu. I went to 3 different bookstore this week. On Monday, bookstore no. 1 told me that Iron Hunt was not released yet (it was coming out the next day) and to come back the next day. Hmmm, I doubt. I ask the guy to look for In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath which came out on June 13 and he couldn't find it in the backroom. What were the chances that someone would put the book on the shelves the next day?

On Tuesday, I went to bookstore no. 2. They just didn't have the book at all. Total disappointment... and they couldn't find Bound by Shadow by Anne Windsor, even though they had received it the Friday ago.

After bookstore no. 1 and 2, my only option left were one of the bookstore in downtown. I went to Indigo, just because I like it better than Chapters (the atmosphere) and also, Indigo downtown that's the store I've been complaining that they leave their books around in carts and boxes, so I can at least look for it myself. I knew they had 6 copies. I go to the bookstore and find Bound by Shadow on the new releases table. Good start! Now, where is Iron Hunt?!? Not on the new release table... not shelved with her Dirke and Steele series... I turned towards the carts: 3 of them and all extremely full. Next to them? 6 boxes piled up on top of each other... Hmmm. Let's the search begins!! (I was also on a time limit because I had to pick up a friend...) So I started searching through the carts... Nada. Nothing... and there I am, puffing and getting frustrated. I have to admit, I don't like to look through boxes though. It looks a bit impolite... I mean, books on cart, they're already unpacked... books in boxes? Looks a bit desperate... but there I am, desperate!!! Because this is the third attempt and I am not going back without it!! Oh no, I am not!! So I start look through boxes... the ones on top, so I don't have to move them around. Nope, not in them too.

So there I am, looking at the boxes, increasingly frustrated and still puffing... Should I move the boxes or not? Then I see this girl shyly starting to search through the carts. After a moment of hesitation, I asked her what book she was looking for. She looks up at me really weirdly. Did I mention, weirdly?!? as if it was none of my business. Hey, I'm just being nice here, helping a fellow book lover. So she tells me she's looking for the new Lorraine Heath. Ha, I pluck it out of the cart without hesitation! Isn't she lucky I asked her? Of course, sh wouldn't help me looking for Iron Hunt. So I turned to a clerk. Isn't that usually their job? We check the computers... and now, in my defense, here what I have to say... when I check online, it only tells me how many copies they have... it's only when you check in-store on the computer system that it tells you where you can find it... SCIENCE-FICTION!!!

WTH is it doing in Sci-fi?!?!? and there they were... I knew Iron Hunt was going to be less romance-y, but sci-fi?!? Anyway, I left the store with it... and since it's still the 4 for 3 sale... I got To Wed a Highlander by Michele Sinclair, Bound by Shadow by Anne Windsor and Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione (that one, i found in one of the boxes).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning is Kelley Armstrong first book in her YA trilogy - The Darkest Powers. Few months ago, when Personal Demon came out, I did a survey asking who would be giving this book a chance. For me, there was no question I was going to give this a try... I just love Kelley Armstrong's series Women of the Otherworld and even though we don't see any characters from the series, this YA trilogy is set in the same world.

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
published by DoubleDay (Canada), Harper Teens (USA) and Little Brown Sphere (UK) in July 2008

Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for 'disturbed teens'. At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems...? Chloe realizes that if she doesn't uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse...? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

Genre: urban fantasy, YA
Series: The Darkest Powers, book #1

The Story: Chloe Saunders is 15 years old and has the usual worries of a teenage girl: boys, school, club/hobby and first periods... Then, she starts to see people that nobody sees. While trying to run away from a burnt custodian in school, she hits a teacher and is thus sent to the Lyle House, a centre for 'disturbed teens' for evaluation. There, she meets Liz, Victoria, Rae and foster brothers Simon and Derek. While some are moody and others, unsocial... none seem to be 'crazy' or 'sick.' Does she really belong there? What about all the ghosts she sees? Is Lyle House only a centre... or more?

My Opinion: Loved it. LOL :) I thought it was a great idea that Ms Armstrong had, to explore supernatural teens coming into their powers. She did give us a hint when she wrote the short stories (Adam, Logan), but to have a full-fledged book is even better :D

So far, I really enjoyed the characters. Chloe is a good heroine. She's smart and has a head on her shoulders. She's also normal (well as normal as you can be when you start seeing ghosts)... she has some friends, isn't overly popular and is quite mature for a 15 y.o. girl. She lost her mother when she was a young kid and her father gives her money, if not affection and attention. I have to say, I'm curious to see how her relationship with her father is going to turn out... in the book, she mentions that her father probably hadn't want any kid, but he loves her mother so much... He's not very affectious and attentive to her needs and was actually out of the country. However, he did fly back as soon as he heard Chloe was in trouble.

My other favorite character is Derek... I guess because he reminds me so much of Clay LOL :) Of course, nobody can be as anti-social as Clay... but Derek is doing his best :) Simon is the happy-go-lucky boy. I like the loyalty there is between Simon and Derek and how they stick together and think of the other first. I think there might be some kind of love triangle between Derek, Simon and Chloe in the future... I hope it won't mess their brotherhood... The other characters are quite interesting and each is different. It's interesting to see that most don't know WHAT they are and their struggle with their problems.

Should you read the Women of the Otherworld series before reading this trilogy? No. Ms Armstrong does a good job incorporating the information readers need without overwhelming us. However, I think it's a bonus if you've read it. While I was reading The Summoning, I kept trying to figure out what they were and that was great fun. By the way, if anyone has an idea on Victoria, let me know... I have a theory, but am not quite sure :P For those who have read Ms Amstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, you'll recognize her style in The Summoning. Seriously, you get the same feel of mystery and wonder and it's great.

So far, the plot is quite strong and the intrigue, quite interesting. Some stuff, I didn't expect :) If you've enjoyed the Women of the Otherworld books, I'm sure you're going to enjoy The Summoning as well. Of course, the storyline has been adjusted to the audience (less violence, less romance); however, I don't think the plot was simplified at all. Ms Armstrong did a great job setting up for the next 2 books and I just can't wait to read book 2... however, I haven't found any information on it. My only concern is Chloe's power... she sounds very, very powerful... perhaps too much?

Ms Armstrong mentioned that The Darkest Powers storyline won't intersect with the Women of the Otherworld series... however, I can't help but wish that in the future, Chloe and cie will appear in the Women of the Otherworld series (hoping that the series will be extended)...

My Grade: A-. A solid first book that I truly enjoyed :D Now, anyone knows when book 2 is coming out?

My beautiful bookcases... in my messy room :P

Okie, you all know that I've been re-shelving my books... slowly LOL :) I know, I know... it's taking forever. Well I blame it on having too much books (which is not going to stop me from buying more), on reading and on not wanting to do it after work. What can I say? I'm lazy ^_^;

Anyway, I think that I am now done! Hurrah! All I need to do is finish cleaning up my room ^_^;
So here are some pictures:

So you've seen these 2 pics. That was two weeks ago, when I've just started and was so proud. I thought I was almost done... See how the bookcases are pretty full already (except for the one next to the computer)... Also, can you see all the boxes in the middle? I seriously thought it'd be done quite fast after it.

Of course, I was wrong. This is when I open the boxes and took out all the books:

Okie, obviously, these boxes can contain more books than I estimated ^_^; Can you imagine what it would have been if 75% of the books weren't shelved already? I had my wonderful sister helping me out to sort these alphabetically. Then, I had to shelve them... In the end, I had to re-think some of the organization...

So after finishing up yesterday, here are the final shots:

So what do you all think? I know that I'll have to start over soon, since again, I'm going to run out of place ^_^; but for now, that's how it's going to be LOL :) I have 2 baskets that you can't see containing books I want to read next and some urban fantasy series I've never gotten around to read. Also, I have a couple of hardcovers coming, not to mention the books I've been buying recently... but for now, that's it :D

By the way, I have been purging my books... See that Dell computer brown box? That's the treasure chest LOL :) I don't really like selling them at the UBS, because I think I don't get much for them... so I'm offering them to romance bloggers first! :) Then I'll give them to a friend or charity :) I'm going to have a separate post for it :) but here, you can still have a look:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm still here...

Hi all :D

I'm still here... haven't had much to say lately and most of what I've been reading was meh :( I thought of going to buy some books to cheer me up, but it didn't work :( I went to Chapters yesterday with a list of 4 books:

- In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath
- Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery
- Iron Hunt by Marjorie Liu
- Bound by Shadow by Anna Windsor

and I couldn't find any of them. NONE... and they were supposed to have 3 or them in-store! So I went home empty-handed... well that's not true. There's a Starbuck in the Chapters, so I bought 5 scones to cheer me up (4 blueberry and 1 raspberry). I swear, that Starbuck has the best scones... real scones.

Luckily, I had some books coming in from my online order. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (YA, but excellent YA) and She's no Angel by Leslie Kelly.

Today, it's Quebec province national day, aka la St-Jean Baptiste... so I'm off. Yeah, off on a Tuesday... it's weird... and apparently, you can't substitute (take Monday off instead). If your work place is caught working, you get a fine... well except for restaurants, convenience stores and those kind of stores. For some reason though Indigo/Chapters were still open. Hey, I'm not going to complain. So I went again to get the books... and I came back home with In Bed with the Devil and Sweet Talk. So at least, I got some books... but I'm bumped... because I really want Iron Hunt (they didn't have it) and Bound by Shadow (they couldn't find it)... and once again, they had to go to the backroom to find the books. Ugh. It's annoying that I can never find the books I want on the shelves :(

Ah well, I'll try again on Thursday...

ps - I'm annoyed at my computer too. It keeps bugging! Arghhhh!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My newest books!

LOL, seems like many are curious to see what I got! Thanks for showing interest! I would have posted it up earlier... but I ended up going to work super early today ^_^; Someone needed my results before 9am for a meeting... so I ended up being at work at 6am! Two good things about showing up at 6am... first, it wasn't wasted since I did get the experiment done on time and she got her results and was super happy... and I got to go home at 11.30am, because today was early summer Friday where we only work 5.5 hours. Thing is, my afternoon was a bit wasted since I got home and slept LOL.

So here are the books I bought yesterday. Turns out I went to the UBS at lunch time :P and 2 of 4 books I was planning to buy were available!!! Ugh, I still went to Chapters to buy books... but I hard to work hard to find 4 books... how sad?

So from UBS: (UBS is still having the buy 3, get 4th book free sale too)

- On the Prowl --> anthology. By the way, I read Alpha and Omega. It was a good (very) short story :P I like the twist of event and I'm definitively looking forward to Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs.
- Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
- Weddings can be murder by Christie Craig --> I'm really happy I found this at the UBS. I've heard a lot of good about Christie Craig, but her books are not in stock at the bookstore. I was going to order it, but now I don't need to :)
- Chances Are by Barbara Bretton --> I enjoyed Just Desserts last week-end, so wanted to try something else :)

From Chapters:

- A Match Made in Hell by Terri Garey
- The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs --> I want to try something else by her :D
- Bombshell by Lynda Curnyn --> Rowena reviewed Engaging Men not too long ago. While I can't find that one in store, Bombshell was available... at 5$
- The Funeral Planner by Lynn Isenberg --> didn't know what to get as my 4th book. This looked funny and it was also 5$

Unfortunately, I couldn't find Sweet Spot by Susan Mallery. I guess they just received it, so it wasn't on the shelf and I didn't feel like asking. I'll be looking for it before the sale ends :)

Onto other news, my room is getting somewhere. I got my sister to help me a bit LOL :) and as I expected, even with the addition of the new bookcases, not all the books fit :( but it's way better than before at least :D I'll be posting some pics up, like Holly over at Book Binge.

Oh and stay tuned, because I thought I'd offer up the books that I'm not keeping. So I'll be posting them the titles up sometimes next week and if anyone wants it, then it's yours :D

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Thursday, yay!!!

It's Thursday!!! Yay!! LOL :) You all know what that means right? It means I can rush to the bookstore after work and buy the books I want! LOL :)

Actually, there's not that many books that I want...

On the Prowl - anthology that contains Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs
Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins - LOL, I didn't know this was one of the Rita finalist book LOL :) Did you guys see the video over at Dear Author?
A Match Made in Hell by Terri Garey - I liked Terri Garey's first book Dead Girls are Easy. And her newest release sounds very good! Seems like we're going to get some background info on Nicki :)
Sweet Spot by Susan Mallery - her new Mira or HQN books trilogy.

So yeah, that's 4 books right? Of course, I'm going to browse the aisles... Any suggestions of what I should read or get? I always jot titles and authors down on a piece of scrap paper and end up losing them :(

In other news :) Look at my profile! I've changed my icon!! yay! Just seems like I had the same icon forever (well ever since I started blogging, so June 2006)... Which just reminded me, it's going to be my 2nd blog-niversary soon LOL :)

Also, I've updated my archives and there should be links to all my reviews now :D

ps- how are you all doing? It seems quiet on blogland lately....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TBR Day: Finding Mary Blaine and Fools Rush In

As you all know, I'm in the middle of re-shelving my books (yes, still) and so I've been going through the books, deciding which ones to keep, which ones to give away... As a result, I've been reading quite a lot out of my TBR pile (hurrah!), rediscovering what I had in it LOL :) So for this month's challenge, you get two reviews :)

ps. for those who are wondering, I haven't gone to the bookstore yet. One more day... one more day, but it's the most difficult because I have to pick up my sister in downtown. It's like a mantra: want book, but cannot go. Must wait till sale.

Finding Mary Blaine by Jodi Thomas
published by Mira in August 2004

Prominent attorney’s wife killed in bombing

The morning’s newspaper headline leaves Blaine reeling. Only a few hours ago she’d dragged herself dazed and bleeding from the smoking rubble, but it might as well have been a lifetime ago -- because now the world believes she is dead.

Before Blaine can reach her husband, the bomber strikes again. With terrifying clarity she realizes he’s bent on wiping out the witnesses to his crime -- and she’s one of them. Without money and ID she becomes Mary Blaine, hiding in a homeless shelter, knowing it’s to dangerous to go home.

Meanwhile, her husband, Mark, realizes his carefully managed life is beginning to crumble. After years of taking Blaine for granted, he finally grasps how nothing -- not even a promising career in politics -- is worth it without her by his side. Desperately he searches for anyone who was with Blaine just prior to the blast. But instead, he finds something -- someone -- much more important.

Genre: romantic suspense, contemporary
Series: none

The Story: Blaine and Mark fell in love during college and married. Years later, Mark is an attorney who is soon going to run for congressman. Blaine and Mark still love each other very much, but their relationship is at a stillpoint. One day, Blaine goes to a public health clinic, knowing that whatever the result is, it's going to change their life... Before she can talk to Mark, the clinic is bombed... After realizing the attack was aimed at her in order to hurt Mark, Blaine decides to hide in order to protect Mark. Meanwhile, Mark is realizing how much he's been taking Blaine for granted and how much he needs her.

My Opinion: This was a good book. Sure, there are some 'huh' parts and I don't agree with all the choices Blaine made, but it was nonetheless a good book. I like that Blaine and Mark were married from the beginning and that they were still in love. It's not that their relationship was without problem, but yes, they were still deeply in love and care for each other. I think that what happened to Blaine and Mark's marriage is something that could happen to everyone. It's just so easy to fall into a routine and then you start to justify why you work so hard. Mark was taking Blaine for granted and not paying her enough attention... and he regretted it so deeply when he thought that Blaine was dead. I like the changes it brought on him and how deeply affected he was... The scene where he heard that there was a bombing and Blaine was probably stuck there as a witness and he had to join her to help her out, because she doesn't do well in crowd... and then discovering that she was "dead." That scene was really poignant and sad. Definitively one of my favorite.

Do I think Blaine should have tried harder to contact her husband, absolutely. However, she didn't and there's nothing I can do to change it, right? The book focus on how Blaine does to survive and under the circumstances, she did well. The only part nagging me a bit is that she wasn't active enough into solving the mystery... if the bomber didn't reappear, how long would she have continued the life as 'Mary Blaine'?

Something else that was refreshing is that you don't get to see the villain's POV at all. I thought that was nice. Instead, you follow Blaine and Mark as they each try to survive and do something. It's definitively make Finding Mary Blaine different than most romantic suspense out there. It's actually not that much of a suspense, but at the same time, the romance was a bit weak since Mark and Blaine spend most of the book separate. It's hard to categorize this book. Still I enjoyed it, because you want to know what's going to happen. You want to know if Mark will find Blaine, what Blaine will do... Both main characters were interesting, strong and appealing. This book would have miserably failed if the characters weren't good, but they were and they kept me reading. I have to admit I would have liked for the author to add an epilogue at the end, for better closure.

My Grade: B. I like how this book is different than most romantic suspense. I love the main characters and seriously, there's nothing better than having the hero realized how much the heroine means to him and to see him get a second chance to cherish her.

Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins
published by HQN books in November 2006

Rewarding job as a local doctor on Cape Cod? Check. Cute cottage of her very own? Check. Adorable puppy suitable for walks past attractive locals? Check! All she needs is for golden boy and former crush Joe Carpenter to notice her, and Millie will be set.

But perfection isn't as easy as it looks--especially when Sam Nickerson, a local policeman, is so distracting. Sure, he needs a friend after being dumped by Millie's fortune-hunting sister, but does she really need to enjoy his company that much? He is definitely not part of her master plan. But maybe it's time for Millie to start a new list…

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: The back blurb is a pretty good summary, so I'm not going to try to write another one...

My Opinion: This was a great book and I really enjoyed it. Of course, I would have enjoyed it better if there's been more sex LOL :) As it was, the book was quite tame, a few kisses and non-descriptive sex, which gave Fools Rush In a chick-lit feel.

Ms Higgins definitively wrote a winner heroine with Millie. Not only was she great, but she kind of remind me of myself... except the part where she used to stalk and 'accidentally' run into her crush - Joe Carpenter. I didn't have a crush to stalk :P Millie is a good person and level-headed. She loves her family, especially her nephew and has a good relationship with her brother-in-law. She also has very good friends and loves being a family doctor. She comes back to Cape Cod with the intention of making Joe Carpenter notice her and her plan is to loose some weight and getting a better wardrobe. The only dark cloud in her life is her sister, Tracy. Tracy and Millie don't have a good relationship, part of it is due to Tracy selfishness and another part is jealousy between them, Tracy being the pretty one and Millie, the smart one. It doesn't help that Tracy cheated on Sam with a rich New Jerseyite which was the catalyst for the divorce. Let's say that Millie (and the rest of the family) doesn't approve of Tracy's cheating and asking for divorce.

I liked Millie because she was real and normal. She's not a tough or kick-butt cop ,or someone with a dark past, or someone overly klutzy or goody. She's just a girl coming back home after years of school to start her 'adult life' and find love. Ms Higgins did a good job not falling into a stereotype or over-exaggerating some character traits. Actually, the whole book feels real and normal... like how Millie idealized Joe and then realized he's not what she made him to be in her mind. What helps is the pace of the story. I was happy while reading it, because it wasn't too fast. Everything happens in its own time and I think the book spans a couple of months. I liked how it took time for Joe to notice Millie and even more time for Millie and Sam to realize their feelings. It helped that nobody fell in bed together too fast.

What put me off reading this book for so long is the fact that Sam is Millie's ex-brother-in-law. That's a weird relationship; however, it was really well handled. What I like is that Millie and Sam started off the book as very good friends. There's a 6-7 years gap between Sam and Millie and Sam has been her brother-in-law since she was 12 and so, there's a bit of hero worship in their friendship. I like that neither of them were in love with each other before or at the time of the divorce. Instead, it happened gradually after they started spending time together, without either realizing it... The great thing is that Ms Higgins was able to make it feel very natural and rational, so it wasn't out of the blues. I especially love knowing at which moment each character realized they were in love with each other :)

What I like most? Just seeing Millie interact with her entourage... her trying to matchmake Sam and her best friend (I would have done that), hanging out with Sam to cheer him up... helping her nephew with his college application and etc. Speaking of nephew... Danny is 17 years old and thank you Ms Higgins for making up a normal, regular teenager. It was really a nice change. Danny was such a sweet and loving boy... not an angry teenager who hates everyone and so on. No, he was mature and understanding :P

The only thing that I hated is that Tracy wasn't put in her place. There was a scene between Tracy and Millie at the end of the book where Millie tried, but I still feel that Tracy had the upper hand in the argument. I would have liked for Millie's parents to side with her openly and tear away Tracy's facade and make her realize how selfish she's been all those years. Also, I would have liked to see more scenes of Millie and Sam as a couple :P

My Grade: B+. It's a fun and real book and I'm definitively looking forward to read more of Ms Higgins book.
ps - Ames, the dog was cute :P Especially when he tried to jump Sam's leg LOL :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen

I read this book on Holly's recommendation, after she's reviewed it (here) over at Book Binge. I was hoping I'd have a buddy reviewer, but seems like no one has read it yet... so LOL, I hope ths review is going to make you rush over to the bookstore and buy it or dig it out of your TBR pile! :)

Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen
published by Signet in June 2008

As a Miami narcotics detective, Leah Daniels never knows how her day will turn out. But she certainly never expected to be strapped to a stone altar, the human sacrifice in an ancient Mayan ritual meant to coax up a demon from the underworld. Or that she’d be saved by a handsome warrior-priest king who claims to recognize her from his visions...

Jaguar Strike wishes he hadn’t made the mistake of reuniting his fellow warrior priests, or broken the law by saving their chosen human sacrifice. Now, he has no choice but to join forces with Leah and invoke dangerous magic in a death-defying race against the end of time.

Genre: paranormal romance
Series: The Last Prophecy, book #1

The Story: According to the Mayan culture and beliefs, the world will end in December 2012 and only the Nightkeepers, a mix of magician/priest, can prevent it. 24 years ago, following his visions, King Scarred-Jaguar led the Nightkeepers in a battle on the veil, a barrier that separates the earth and the underworld. Unfortunately, it ended up in a massacre where only the King's children, an adult Nightkeeper, babies and toddlers who haven't received their magic yet and their respective winikins (servant and protector) survived. Spread in the States, each lived their own life... unable to access the magic beyond the barrier.

For 24 years, Strike-Jaguar has been crippled... believing that the end of the world would still happen, but powerless since the magic is inaccessible... then the barrier starts to weaken and demons are appearing. Strike-Jaguar knows he must do something, but what can he do alone? Then, his winikin informs him of the survivors and Strike's only choice is to reunite them and teach them their heritage. Then, there's Leah Daniels, a Miami narcotics detective who is investigating a sect, Survive2012, and her brother's death. How is she connected to all of this? How can he keep her alive when the Gods are demanding her death?

My Opinion: Lots of things are happening in this book, so it was hard to summarize the story. I think Holly did a better job (here), so you can check it out. So what did I think of the book? I like the premises of the book, i.e. the whole Mayan culture basis. I think it's a nice change from the Greek or Egyptian mythology... However, I don't like how sex and sacrifice are so prominent in this culture... especially sex. For example, to have all the Nightkeepers so horny because they're receiving their bloodlines and magic tattoos. I don't find it appealing ^_^; That being said, it's different and interesting... Especially the fact that she didn't invent the idea of "doomsday" in 2012 as it seems the Mayan culture really believe that 2012 is going to be the end of the world. Instead, she took this and built a world surrounding it. Neat :P

Nightkeepers is an extremely busy book. Being the first in the series, it has to cover the world building, the characters introduction, the romance and the intrigue. Was it too much for one book? Yes. Did the author do a good job? So-so. First, the world building... there was too much, but at the same time, not enough. For example, the 13 prophecies are mentioned quite often, but I don't know what they are. It would have been nice if there'd been more information on the prophecies. However, I understand why Ms Andersen didn't do so... she seemed to have focus more on the Nightkeepers, which is totally understandable, but at the same time, quite overwhelming. What they are, why they exist, how they live, how they use magic, their beliefs and so on. In my opinion, it would have helped if she didn't introduce the whole cast of characters all at once.

Besides Strike-Jaguar and Leah, the cast comprised 11 other Nightkeepers, 2 kids, 6 winikins , a few mortals and let's not forget the villains. Definitively a huge cast, which is why not all the Nightkeepers received the same amount of attention. I understand why Ms Andersen would choose to focus more on the ones whose books are coming up, but it sucked to me. Ms Andersen opens part II of the book by telling some of the Nightkeepers that Nightkeepers really exist and that the king was calling them back. I would have liked to see the reaction of each of them. Yes, they were many Nightkeepers, but at least, it would have given the readers a slight idea on each person. Some Nightkeepers in the book only said one or two sentences!! I personally think that the book would/series would have been more interesting if Strike-Jaguar had to look for each of the Nightkeepers instead of having them answer his call and coming to him. At least, that way, we would have gotten to know each of them better and I think it would have decrease the series baiting feeling. Here's the good news: although the cast is big, it is finite... so that means the series won't be going on forever and hopefully, not too many characters will be introduced in each book *coughlikeDarkHunterseriescough* :)

What else about this book? I liked Striker. He was an interesting hero. Someone that's been waiting in limbo his whole life, not knowing if he'd ever get his magic and if he'd have to fulfill his destiny. At the same time, very reluctant to become king, afraid to do the same mistake as his father. I pretty much liked all the other Nightkeepers introduced. Especially Patience and Branlt. I hope that the author will be lenient towards them and that they'll have their own book. I also enjoyed the whole intrigue, although it could be confusing at times. It would have been more fun if this was really an introductory book, but hey, if we're going to be thrown into the action right away, this is good.

I have to admit that I didn't care much for Leah or the whole romance. I think that there was so much going on... even though Ms Andersen gave it a try, the romance seemed a bit forced too me. It didn't flow very well either, kept being interrupted by Nightkeepers elements, and the obstacles to the romance were meh.

My Grade: B. This is not the best first book I've read, but it was good enough to have me hooked. I'm definitively going to read the second book and see where it takes us :D If you're looking for a new series with a relatively fresh idea, give this one a try :D

P.S. Oh, I almost forgot! One thing about this series: it seems that it's going to follow our timeline... i.e that I'm predicting that the last book will come out in December 2012, to match the prophecy in the book. Isn't that cool?

Loosing battles...

Okay, it seems I have little control over myself and so everything ends up being a loosing battle... sigh. At the moment, I'm trying not to go downtown and buy books. 1) To save gas and 2) to save money as the sale 4 for 3 starts this Thursday. I mean, I should be able to wait till Thursday right? That's what, 3 days away... I'll let you know if I succomb or not... ^_^; At the moment, the book I want is Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins. Basically, I read Fools Rush In yesterday and I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to read something else by the author.

I was able to read 3 books this week-end (yay!): Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, Just Desserts by Barbara Bretton and Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins :P Reviews coming for all of them :P

So how was your week-end? I managed to clean another part of my room... so now, all the books and stuff are really in the middle of my room, like a little mountain. That's also another loosing battle, cleaning my room. My sister offered her help on Saturday night and I refused... then when I asked if the offer was still valid on Sunday, she said no. LOL :P And that's pretty much what I did this week-end. Clean my room, go to work on Saturday evening and read all of Sunday. Very nice week-end, unfortunately, I'm a bid tired today... which mean I won't be going to the gym.

So far, I've been able to go to the gym about 2x/week and each time, I exercise for at least 45 minutes. I'm trying to go more often, but stuff always comes up... or perhaps I'm making excuses?
By the way, I know this is a long shot, but I thought it was worth giving a try. I've read a blurb recently of a book that's coming out this summer about demon or something slayers... and it sounded funny. Anyone knows of this book? I know, that's very little information... but that's all I remember ^_^; I probably jotted down the title and author somewhere, but can't find the paper anymore...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Around the web...

Hi everyone :)

So what's new around the web? Well I'm probably the last one to realize that there's an excerpt of Demon Bound, new installment in the very good series The Guardians by Meljean Brook... I did the mistake of reading it and seriously, I want the book NOW! NOW!!! (click here for excerpt)


Also, Ms Naomi Novak has just put up an excerpt of Victory of Eagles, book #5 in the Temeraire series, on her website. I really enjoyed it and luckily for me, the book is coming out next month, so that's not too far away :P I might just survive the wait LOL (click here for excerpt)

Finally, the muse of blogging has been visiting me this week and I've been very productive writing posts and reviews LOL :) Result? I have reviewed In Twilight's Shadow by Patti O'Shea over at Book Binge :) (click here for review)

Review: When There is Hope by Jane Goodger

When the lovely Dev from Good Reads reviewed this book, I wanted to read it. Unfortunately, this is an older book that's out of print and no library in my vicinity carries it. After a few complaining of mine, Dev - did I mention how lovely she is?- asked me if I still wanted and sent it to me :)

So Dev, thank you very much :)

When There is Hope by Jane Goodger
published by St. Martin's Mass Market Paper in May 1996

When Susan Butler dies in a car wreck, she is transported back in time to 1888 and into the body of Margaret Johnsbury. Trying to deal with the fact that she isn't dead is only the beginning of what she must learn to accept. Not only must Susan overcome her grief at losing a husband she loved and the baby that died with her, she must struggle with the legacy that the former Margaret left her. Claiming amnesia, and calling herself Maggie, Susan begins the new life she's been given. At first, Maggie doesn't understand why everyone hates her. The servants hate her, the neighbors hate her, her husband hates her. Maggie hasn't a single friend in the world, but she is determined to change that. Beginning slowly, she first tries to win everyone over with her cheerful personality, but they are all unimpressed. Convinced she is playing some monstrous joke, no one believes for a minute that the person they knew as Margaret has changed her personality the way she changed her name. Once Maggie finally learns of the cruel things Margaret has done, she understands and sympathizes with everyone's distrust and dislike.

Carter Johnsbury hates his wife, and justifiably so. She has practiced deceit, treachery and adultery since the day he married her. She's selfish, lazy, and vicious. In fact, she doesn't possess a single redeeming quality. Still, he cannot understand what she hopes to gain by pretending to have had a change of attitude. Determined to learn her game, he waits for her to slip back into her previous behavior, but she remains consistent in her optimistic, kind and loving outlook. While wanting to believe the facade she presents, Carter is unable to reconcile his painful past with the wonderful present, and he remains torn between the miserable witch he is certain she is, and the loving wife he wishes she was.

Genre: romance, time-travel
Series: none

The Story: I don't think I need to go over it with the synopsis above.

My Opinion: Really good. I've always liked stories where the outgoing heroine irons out the stiff shirt hero :P which is pretty much what you get in When There is Hope, only with a twist... Susan is given a second chance and she intends to use it and so put all her efforts into adapting, getting to know her new surroundings and making amends for the old Margaret. I like her optimism and how she doesn't let people discourage her. I was a bit worried that Susan would wallow a bit too long on the fact that she's been brought back in time and the loss of her husband and baby... but she doesn't. Dev thinks that Susan got over it too quickly, me thinks that she got help from the angels to take away the pain and sadness... because everytime she'd think of her "past," she'd have a calming feeling.

As for our hero, Carter, I really liked him as well. I like stiff shirts, LOL :) But in Carter's case, it's warranted. After what he went through with his wife, his attitude and bitterness are not surprising. At first, he's suspicious, but little by little, he starts to trust Maggie and only to have his trust shattered again. I like the fact that Carter didn't give in to easily, i.e. trust the new Maggie immediately, and have their romance blossoms quickly. Instead, both have to work at it... but once he was sure, he stood by and up for her.

My favorite part is when Maggie becomes depressive and wants to die. I mean, for such an outgoing person like Maggie/Susan to want to give up, things have to go really bad. Then, when Carter realizes it and his fears. I thought it was sweet and it had my heart squeezing so hard for Maggie/Susan.

The only thing I dislike is how bad the previous Margaret was... because once Susan becomes her, she's the one who has to suffer the aftermath of it and deal with it... and it sure wasn't easy. Oh and I wasn't too fond of the ending either... not that it was bad, but I'm not too sure Susan/Maggie did the right thing... anyway, I'm not going to spoil it for you guys :P

My Grade: B+. I don't think that everyone would enjoy this book, but it worked for me :P

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New hair and shelves

Me again... no review for today I guess... but here are some pics!!

Ok, in this post, you'll find pics of my room BEFORE.

And here are the pics after. Okay, it's still a mess ^_^; however, it's just to show the difference.


And here are the pics of my new haircut. To tell the truth, it's not that different. However, it looks rounder... and it's shorter in the back and longer in the front. I don't have any BEFORE pics, LOL... however, if I can get my friend to send me the pics we took 2 weeks ago, then I'll post them and you guys will get to see.

Hmmm, my hair looks like a broom on the second pic... ah well.

Traffic nightmare...


Traffic nightmares... really... seriously!!! Guess where I am now instead of cozy at home? At the library... in downtown.

The day has been pretty nice... sunny and very humid, the typical weather for the past few days. I really didn't notice the "strong" winds... My co-worker was listening to this radio station and they kept mentioning "tornado-watch." Now... those two words are pretty foreign language here in Montreal. So I asked where the radio station was and apparently it's in Burlington in Vermont? So I didn't pay much attention to it and went for lunch... and when I came back around 2h20, gone was teh sun. Instead, it was very, very dark and I saw some very nice thunders...

Apparently, the winds were so strong (more than 100km/h) that some of the trucks on the Champlain bridge (you know, the one that I use to get home) fell on the side. As soon as I heard that, I was on my way, but still too late. There's a total of 4 bridges and 1 tunnel that connect the island of Montreal and its South Shore, where I live... and when one is down, it means major traffic jam. I was hopeful that perhaps I left early enough to miss the start of it (I left at 3h), but nope. My first option is Mercier bridge which I never take... I almost got on, but it wasn't moving... so I chose another option. Good thing though that I didn't take Mercier... cos apparently the highway after the bridge was closed down due to electric wires down ^_^; Now, I would definitively have been lost ^_^; My second option was a no-go either. Apparently, it's a one-hour-delay... but I bet my entire book collection that it's longer. Cos the cars weren't advancing either. Telling you, completely jammed... everywhere.

See, I'm not a patient girl... and I don't like traffic jams. I know, who likes them? But seriously... I'd rather take a detour or a longer route knowing that I'd be advancing (albeit slowly), instead of being stuck and waiting. So in the end, I decided to go to the library, the big one near the Fathers' place where I work on Saturdays. Even getting to the Fathers' place (for parking - seriously, it's really useful to be able to get free parking) was a challenge. So after 2 hours stuck in the car, here I am telling you guys :P I don't know what time I'll go home... I'm waiting for the bridge to be re-opened... but I guess somewhere along 8pm. Luckily, this time, I didn't need to pee.

So what about you guys? What's the worst traffic jams you've seen or been in. Of course, this doesn't beat the one I was stuck in this winter while it was snow storming... I mean, it took me 4 hours to get to work when it usually only takes me 30 minutes in the morning... and gosh did I need to pee that day... but still, this time... all I could do was looking at my gas indicator... Gas was 1.51$/L yesterday!!! Can you believe it?!?!? That's like 6$/gallon!!! Insane... (well I did gas at 1.37$/L, but that's still crazy) and there my gas going away because I'm stuck in traffic... and after 2 hours, I got nowhere. Sucks.

Okay, ending my rant here... I'll let you know when I get home :P My sister is finally back... with the camera LOL :) So I'll try to take pics of my new hair-do and also my new shelves :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Review: Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves

Last year, I bought and read Hot Wheels and High Heels, my first Jane Graves book. Unfortunately, it missed the mark for me as I found the heroine quite annoying. However, there was an excerpt of Tall Tales and Wedding Veils and it piqued my curiosity... enough that a year later, I did remember to buy it. Actually, I was really looking forward to it because it sounded like a fun book... and it was :)

Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves
published by Grand Central Publishing in June 2008

Marry in haste...

Accountant Heather Montgomery is a planner. So never in her wildest dreams did she think she'd run into sexy charmer Tony McCaffrey in Vegas, play lady luck, and celebrate his jackpot with a champagne-soaked night. And she certainly never expected to wake up the next morning married! How could this good girl pick a man whose fridge is empty and whose apartment is a disaster zone, yet still drives her so crazy with lust she can't see straight?

Lust at leisure!

Quickly hitched and happily ditched, Tony can't wait to gt back to his playboy ways. But when Heather's family is thrilled that their no-nonsense daughter is finally in love, he proposes a plan: stay married for a month to repay his good luck charm, even though she sterilizes his toothbrush and forbids anything between the sheets. But Heather is more than he bargained for--a sharp-witted, passionate woman who just might turn his near miss into wedded bliss!

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: loosely connected to Hot Wheels and High Heels

The Story: Heather Montgomery is 29 years old woman with a curvy body and a good, but boring career as a CPA. In the beginning of the book, Heather is trying out this horrible bridesmaid dress while her cousin Regina, the bride, and aunt Bev are belittling her because she is not married and has no prospect. Although Heather does not mind, she knows that the comments are affecting her mother and making her more desperate to see Heather marry. She is definitively not looking forward to this bride trip to Las Vegas where she'll have to endure Regina and the other 5 brainless bridesmaids.

Although Tony McCaffrey never expected to own a business, when McMillan, the bar and grill where he's a regular, come up for sale, Tony knows that's where his future lies. Only problem is that his silent partner bailed out and Tony is 20,000$ short... His last resort is to see how good is his luck in Vegas...

Heather can't believe her eyes when she sees Tony in Vegas. Although they frequent the same bar and grill, Tony has never paid her much attention as his type of women run more to skinny blondes. Believing that it's fate, Heather helps Tony win the 20,000$ that he's missing. After much celebration and champagne, they end up the proud owners of a marriage license with their names on it. After a bit of panic, they seek out an annulment... Only problem is that while drunk, Heather called her mom to announce the great news and when Tony gives Heather a ride home, the whole family is there to welcome the newly-weds. Since Tony owns her, he's willing to fake their marriage for a month, until Regina's wedding, so Heather won't be ridicule and pitied....

My Opinion: This book doesn't disappoint and I really enjoyed it :D I have to say, I like this kind of storyline where the H/H are married due to various circumstances and end up falling in love. So where to start... the characters :) I really liked Heather. She's not clueless or brainless. She's a realist, very level-headed and a bit anal... basically, the total opposite of Tony. She's quite honest with her feelings and her actions reflect her feelings. I also liked how she pitched in and help Tony quite a lot with the bar and grill. Not that she's happy to be married, but if they are going to be for a certain amount of time, then she'll act the part. I also liked how well she knew Tony and didn't delude herself.

As for Tony, well I guess he's the typical bachelor player. Someone who's not ready to commit, but finds himself married. I kind of like how Ms Graves didn't "idealize" him and that the idea of marriage still made him cringed... or the fact that his friends knowing that he was married and to whom didn't make him happy. Sure, that makes him a bit shallow, but what man who decides to remain an eternal bachelor isn't? Still, he has a good sense of loyalty and responsibility. I think that Ms Graves really did a good job at making him "real," especially once he owns the bar.

The chemistry between the H/H was good and convincing. It's like opposite attracts each other :) It was entertaining to follow them as they got to know each other and I like how easilty they fell into a routine. I guess they complemented each other well. I also liked the fact that they didn't fall in bed immediately. That's always a plus in my book :P All in all, I enjoy all their scenes together whether it is prior to the wedding or when they're putting up a front for Heather's family or when they're alone. The toothbrush scene was funny and I love the proposal scene. I also like how there was no big misunderstanding at the end. Yes, there was a conflict and I understand both of their positions. I probably would have done the same as Heather and Tony's reaction was natural. I didn't feel it forced in order to have a conflict... and the resolution was nice :P

There were no subplot really or secondary romance, so the focus is totally on the main couple as it should be. The only secondary characters that stood out for me was Annie, Heather's best friend, and I do hope she gets her own book next year. Heather's family was a bit stereotyped, but at the same time, it did feel real. A mother worried that her daugther would never marry, a protective father... and the aunt and cousin that have a superiority complex. Yeah, a believable family.

My Grade: B+. If you're looking for something fun and enjoyable, I think you should give this one a chance :) The story is not new and there's some typical parts, but overall, it was well written and carried out and it made it a very enjoyable book.

Blogging muses...

Wow, seems like the blogging muses were present this week-end! I don't know about you guys, but I usually find that blogland is very quiet on the week-end, but to my utter joy, there were many, many posts!! Now, I have to catch up on the commenting LOL :)

So how was everyone's week-end? It was extremely humid in Montreal, but finally, we got some nice weather... I wanted to blog so much this week-end, but I never got around to do it :( Also, my NEW computer is having some kind of bug, grrrrrr, and so Mozilla Firefox keeps crashing. Me extremely unhappy about it at the moment, because I love Firefox and I don't want to go back to Internet Explorer :( but then, I think it'd be stupid to re-format my computer after less than a month just for Firefox... but then again, now would be the moment since I don't have much on my harddrive to back-up... Ugh, sometimes technology can suck.

My sister came back from California yesterday after 5 weeks. It's weird to have my sister home now LOL :) I was able to clean up her room before she came back since I've been using it as storage place while I re-organize my room. I did forget some CDs, but that was it. As for my room, well, sigh. I'm not done yet. I know, I know... what am I waiting for? Well actually, I mostly have to shelve the books... but I run into the same dilemma. I was looking at my bookshelves (hey, I'm going to be able to take some pics now that my sister AND the camera are back LOL) and I'm like: well I already have no more space for hardcover books. Hmmmm, so I guess I'll move everything by one shelve? I'll try to have it done this week-end...

Quickly, here's an update of my To Do list:

1. organize all my books and clean up my chaotic room
2. sign up at the gym
3. return one of the cell phone
4. get a hair cut

I did get a haircut on Thursday. It's a bob... longer in the front, shorter in the back with some layers. It's not that different, but I guess there's a limit of what the hair stylist can do with my original length (shoulder-length) and not going extremely short... it was okay, but more expensive than I expected which sucks.

I didn't get a chance to read this week-end. I cleaned a bit on Saturday and read Nodame Cantabile. I really love that manga. Can't wait to see what happens next as Nodame proposed to Chiaki, but he seems to have rejected her :( Then, on Sunday, again, cleaned a little and then, went to see Iron Man with some friends. Pretty good movie, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it :D Tonight, I'm going to see Kung Fu Panda!! Apparently, it's very funny, so I can't wait for it!!!

By the way, anyone wants to buddy review any of these following books: In the Twilight's Shadow by Patti O'Shea and Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen? I'm going to have reviews all days this week :D

Ohhh, I almost forgot to ask!! What are the new releases you're looking forward to this summer? There's a couple of hardcovers that I'm looking forward in July and one or two others, but it seems that June and July are very quiet this year...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Monthly Reads May 2008

I was going to post this yesterday night, but I went to the movie. Guess what I went to see? Indiana Jones IV... despite the fact that I haven't seen the 3 first movies. Have to say though, it was a bit weird...

So here's my list for the month of May:

1) Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber: B-
2) The Hollow by Nora Roberts: B-
3) When There is Hope by Jane Goodger: B+
4) The Best Day of Someone Else's Life by Kerry Reichs: B
5) SEALed with a Kiss by Mary Daughtridge: B
6) Scream For Me by Karen Rose: A
7) Dial M for Mischief by Kasey Michaels: C-
8) Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole: B
9) Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings: B
10) Bait & Switch by Darlene Gardner: C
11) Taking the Heat by Kathryn Shay: C
12) Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson: B+
13) The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn: A-
14) Finding Mary Blaine by Jodi Thomas: B
15) The Waitress by Melissa Nathan: B-
16) The Duke and I by Julia Quinn: B
17) The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn: B
18) An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn: C
19) Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn: B+

So the tally is 19, which I'm pretty happy... considering that I went from 11 to 19 books in a week :P It's down from the previous months; however, I've been quite busy with my room... I know, excuses, excuses. Unfortunately, I didn't very well reviewing them all :( I'll definitively have to work harder on that. So again, I'll review on request, LOL :) Anyone wants to know what I thought of the books above? Just so you know, I'm supposed to review Dark Desires After Dusk, Not Another Bad Date and The Lost Duke of Wyndham for Breezing Through. I'm just waiting for my buddy reviewers to have time :P As for the Bridgertons series, I think I'll do something special as soon as I finish Eloise and Francesca's books :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Adventures to the bookstores

Hi everyone!

Miss me? I've been on blogland, lurking around and commenting... but for some reasons, I just couldn't blog. Whenever I sat down to write a post, I didn't know what to write or how to spin it... then when finally something came to mind, well it was lack of time... but here I am, catching up on the whole week-end! :) So bear with me, this might be a tad long.

Let's start with my adventure to the bookstore. If you've been on Canadian blogs (Ames, Cindy, Kristie and Chantal are the ones that come to mind), you'll know that Chapters Indigo were holding a double discount week-end. That means we were saving 20% on all the books bought instead of 10%. Seriously, who can resist to such a sale? So although I went crazy last Monday, I still went and bought more books this week-end.

So my adventure started early on Saturday morning when I checked online for books availability in the bookstore. Again, since I bought so many books in the past week, I didn't have much that I needed/wanted to buy except for new releases. To my utter joy, two bookstores already had received the new releases coming out on June 1 and 3... unfortunately, those two bookstores aren't my favorite ones... So my two choices were Indigo downtown and Indigo Brossard.

Here's my quirk with both bookstores... I used to love Indigo downtown. It's two floors and it's big and spacious and the selection is quite good. Problem is, it's also very busy and I think, recently, under-staffed. So for the past couples of months, although they get the new releases in advance, it always takes a while before they shelve the books. You also get the same problem with Indigo Brossard, except that it's smaller and the selection... well sucks compared to downtown. Ironically, they're always the first bookstores to get the new releases... I don't understand that. So my plan was to go to Indigo Downtown... because although it takes a while for them to shelve the books, they usually put them on carts or in boxes... so at least, we can look for the books we want... as opposed to Indigo Brossard where they keep all their stuff in the backroom and you have to ask the clerks to look for it. Then, there's always the "I'm sorry, but the book is not released yet" excuse or the fact that they couldn't find a needle in a stack of hay if they tried.

Anyway, here was my list:

Damien by Jacquelyn Frank (May 27, many copies)
In Twilight's Shadow by Patti O'Shea (June 03, 3 copies)
Tall Tales & Wedding Veils by Jane Graves (June 01, 4 copies)
Moose by Stephanie Klein (May 27, 4 copies)
Night Keepers by Jessica Andersen (June 03, 5 copies)
Through the Veil by Shiloh Walker (June 03, 7 copies)
How to Knit a Wild Bikini by Christie Ridgway (June 03, 3 copies)

My plan was to go to Indigo Downtown after work at the Fathers' place (9pm).

Lesson no. 1: do not go to the bookstore at 9pm on Friday or a week-end night anymore. Not only was it raining, but it took me 20-30 minutes to find parking space. Ugh. Lucky for me though, the spot I got was a good one, but still... with gas price so high, the last thing you want to be doing is circling around in the dark with reduced visibility due to rain and people jay-walking, looking for a parking place.

By the time I made it to the bookstore, it was somewhere along 9.30pm... that meant I had 30 minutes left to find all the books I wanted and I knew, I would have to search for them, so I hurried. I looked at the table of new releases and guess what? Lover Enshrined was there. Unfortunately Lover Enshrined I wasn't looking for. Damien* was the first book I picked up.

*Sidenote: Damien is the last try I'm giving to The NightWalkers series... If this book is no good, I'm not picking them anymore... unless Noah is the last book of the series...

Then to my great joy, they've already put out Night Keepers by Jessica Andersen on the shelves! Wow, that was a pleasant surprise! However, that was it... So still 4 books to go and let see, 3 carts and 7 boxes on the floor. I have to say, the nice thing about going so late to the bookstore is that there's less people and less clerks. So when you search through the books, people don't look at you weirdly (other customers) or annoyingly (clerks). As to my habits, I went to the carts first. Those carts are always packed full! Skipped the places with hardcovers and trade-size paperbacks. Lift, pull out, push back... nothing... look at the boxes, guess that's my only option. Oh a box with ROMANCE on it... look into it and see a yellow cover... and yes, found How to Knit a Wild Bikini. Three to go now... look in the box next to it, voila Through The Veil! I'm on a lucky streak! and since I've looked through 2 boxes already, why be shy? So looked through the others, move some of the boxes so I could get a look at the ones under... however, seems like my luck ran out. I went through the carts again just in case... and found Fire Study. Although I owned it already, I didn't have any keepsafe copay of it, so I bought another one.

They announce that the store is closing in 15 minutes. I decided to ask the clerk if perhaps she's seen Tall Tales and Wedding Veils or In the Twilight's Shadow. I mean, both covers kind of stand out so perhaps, perhaps she's seen them... but it's useless. The clerk takes a look at the release dates for both and tells me she can't "look" or "give" them to me since they are not "released" yet. Hmmm, I do my best not to point at Lover Enshrined on the new release tables or at some of the books I'm holding myself... but ugh. On my way to the cash, I quickly remembered Moose... which was in the biography section.

So I went to pay. Cindy mentioned that she bought her books on Friday so didn't get the 20%; however, the cashier told her to bring back the receipt on the week-end so she could get the missing 10%... so I tried and ask the cashier if I could get the 10% on my purchase on Monday.... but no :(

So at the end, I went home and was quite exhausted... and while searching the carts, I broke my nail... so injured as well... and disappointed because I couldn't find Tall Tales and Wedding Veils and In the Twilight's Shadow... those were the two books I was really looking forward to... TT&WV because it sounds funny and that's what I'm in the mood for and ItTsS... well it's by Patti O'shea, one of my favorite authors...

Of course, I couldn't let it go and on Sunday morning, at 9.10 (this time, am), I called Indigo Brossard and asked them if they had the two books. Of course, I knew they had them... the real question was, could they find them? Well the answer: they found one, Tall Tales and Wedding Veils. Sigh. So I went and at the same time, I bought some travel books for a friend, but still no In the Twilight's Shadow... which I'm definitively going to buy today... cos then, there'll be no excuse!

So that was my week-end adventures to the bookstores ^_^;

by the way, here's an update on my To Do List:

1. organize all my books and clean up my chaotic room
2. sign up at the gym
3. return one of the cell phone
4. get a hair cut

I'm still not done with my room, but I did clear out a path from my bed to the door :P That's a beginning, LOL :) and I add the haircut... my hair is quite long now and it's annoying me.

Okie, well this post was long :P I'll stop here... Oh and we're already in June... so I should have my list of monthly reads up soon.
ps. Kris, they got the cellphone on Saturday :P So either way (date of shipping or date of delivery), I was okay :)