July 30, 2014

Meg-A-Readers 2014 - A Challenge and Giveaway

Since I totally flaked on last year's Meg- A- Readers,   I decided to make it up this year by bringing you something special!

First off, thanks to Mandy and Diana for hosting this once more. 

And now...Off to the challenge!!!

Your Mission: 
In the image below you'll find cover details of 10 different Meg Cabot books, some are first editions, some are new editions, teen, historical and contemporary, and some might even be from the UK! 

Once you have looked at it, all you have to do is tell me which covers do you think they belong to, by leaving a comment on this post. (each image is numbered, so you'll have to say 1- Book X, 2 - Book Y, and so on and so forth). 

The Prize: 
Any Meg Cabot book of your choice (any format) up to 15 dollars.

The Rules:
1. One Entry per person
2. No need to be a follower to enter
3. First person to guess all 10, wins. 
4. In case no one guess all 10, the winner will be the one who guesses the most. 
5. In case of a tie, first comes first serve. 
6. Must be 13 or older to enter. 
7. Open Internationally (anywhere Book Depository ships to!) (and yes, even if you're in the US, I'll use Book Depository, since free shipping! :D, unless you want a digital edition)
8. Winner has 24 hrs to answer "You are the Winner!" email before a new winner is chosen. 

Time Frame: From July 30th 2014 to August 4th, 2014 - 1 AM Central. 

So, there you go! Good luck!

July 21, 2014

Book Review: Love on Location by Claire Baxter

At First Sight: Everything seems to be falling into place for Shayna, a location scout who is about to become location manager of a production for the first time in her career - a move that will take her one step closer to her dream of working in Hollywood. All she needs to do is find the perfect house for a high profile mini-series and the manager job is hers.

Luckily, she just found the perfect house, un-luckily the house's owner (and it's architect) wants nothing to do with the entertainment business and quickly runs Shayna off the property.

Lachlan might now spend his days designing beautiful homes and running a very successful architectural firm, but once upon a time he was a child-star, and part of a family that is considered royalty in the Australian entertainment business. A business that cost Lachlan his childhood, adolescence, first love and relationship with his parents.

But Shayna isn't one to give up and she keeps coming around, trying to convince Lachlan to let her use his house, and the more time he spends with her the more attracted Lachlan is to Shayna, making it very hard for him to keep saying no.

Second Glance: There was a lot I liked about this lovely Aussie romance (thanks, Random House Australia!). Even though the story is on the short side, I really got a sense of whom Lachlan and Shayna were and what drove them.

Shayna dreams of hollywood because, as a child in the foster care system, movies gave her something to strive for even when her life was bleak, and Lachlan has some really serious issues with his family because of the way he was raised to always be "on" for the cameras. And yet, they are pretty nice, well-adjusted adults and, in Shayna's case, even optimistic. I liked them.

I loved Shayna's job and how passionate she was about it - you do get a sense of what being a location scout and manager entails and how they are different to each other - it was pretty unusual, which I always adore.

There were a couple of downsides, though, like the fact the screw up/misunderstanding near the end of the story were a bit over the top for me (but I'll say that it was within character for the most part). And the fact that Lachlan basically lets Shayna use his house in the end because he wants to get into her pants. It's no actually sleazy but it did rub me the wrong way when it was happening. 

Other than that, I really enjoyed the story.

Bottom Line: I do recommend Love on Location a lot, it was a lovely, quick read that actually turned out to be one of the better contemporaries I've read this year. I really liked both main characters and Shayna's work in particular. 

July 19, 2014

What's Making Me Happy...

Okay, so... it's time for another What's Making Me Happy... 

There are a few things, like the Jersey Boys and Planet of the Apes movies which I'm planning to see this coming week and I'm very, very excited about it. 

There is also the fact that I found this movie I loved (back in, like 2001! when I first saw it) called Cherry, which is so not sold anywhere and so far I had only seen in VHS going for 50 bucks on Ebay. But today I tracked it down in Amazon and I got it on DVD. I don't know when I'll actually get it on my hands since I sent it to my cousin's in Texas, but at least I know I have it. 

Of course, I also blew the last of my book budget for the year so I can't buy anything else until december, but what the heck! I got the movie and a couple of other books that I found on the cheap. And I had already pre-ordered my Isla and the Happily Ever After, anyway, so I'm all set.

Oh, and I got a package from my friend Sofia and she sent me these really cute cloth bags for my books that she made herself, and they are basically covers so they don't get all damaged when you carry them on your bag or backpack, and she got me a surprise cover of Wuthering Heights. 

Finally, I wrote my first review ever, in Spanish, for the site I started with Sofia. 

Last but not least, I got my 400th subscriber!! :) I had been hovering on 398 forever! :D 

And that's pretty much it. :) Other than I hope to make some cinnamon rolls in the morning. 



July 17, 2014

Book Review: The Wedding Secret by Jeannie Moon

The Deal: Harper Poole has never done romance well, and she certainly isn't looking for a long-term relationship when she hooks up with pro baseball player Kevin Rossi at his sister's wedding. 

Harper has plenty to keep herself busy with as the right-hand woman of the CEO of a software company (who also happens to be married to Kevin's other sister), but after a few dates she almost feels like she is in a relationship, until she suddenly pulls the plug on Kevin and he takes a contract to play across the country. 

A year later, Harper has had a baby but hasn't told anyone who the father is and is trying her best to balance work and taking care of her daughter, when she suddenly runs into Kevin at a work event and realizes she shouldn't have kept him in the dark about their daughter for so long. 

But when she tells him, things don't go as expected. 

My Thoughts: The Wedding Secret is my second time reading Ms Moon and I can say that I liked it better than The Temporary Wife but it was far from perfect. See, both Kevin and Harper are quite nice and Harper has an interesting life and backstory, as she isn't the rich, trust fund type her Harvard education would suggest. She has many layers and I liked getting to know her. 

She knows she messed up and tries to make things right. Kevin isn't a bad guy per se but he is very insensitive at times and acts like a baby sometimes. So do the rest of his family, they are so offended Harper didn't tell them who her baby's daddy was and treat her badly as a result (it even jeopardizes her job, at which she has never been anything but efficient, because her boss' wife, Meg, gets mad at Harper). 

It just seemed really silly to me. And it really bothers me because, having read a previous book in the series, I know all of those people who got mad at Harper had far from perfect records, but got very judgy against her very fast. 

Other than that is actually a very readable book. 

July 12, 2014

Book Review: Sharing you by Molly McAdams

Not feeling this cover, no.
At First Sight: Kamryn Cunningham ran away from her rich family and started over in a small town, far way from the horse racing world she was brought up in. Now she goes by KC and owns a cute little bake shop. She has always made great friends with the girl who owns the dress shop next door, and it's through her that KC meets Brody Saco.

From the moment they met each other, there is an instant pull between KC and Brody, but there is the small problem that KC has been... lying by omission about who she really is; not to mention the fact that Brody is married.

Brody marriage was over from the moment it started, since he just married his pregnant girlfriend because she was pregnant and she has been manipulating him and guilt-tripping him ever since, as her behavior becomes more and more erratic.

But, soon enough KC and Brody find themselves immersed in an affair that might prove to be their undoing. 

Second Glance: I really need to stop reading books like this one. Seriously. Okay, so where do I start with Sharing You since it's pretty much a hot mess all around?

K.C. and Brody are nice enough, I guess, I mean I didn't hate them but they didn't seem fully fleshed out, and the author totes used insta-love to explain why they should be together, they see each other at a party and feel "the pull" immediately, and they fall into bed pretty quickly after that (I think in about a week?).

I didn't really buy their relationship, and I couldn't understand why Brody stayed married to his nightmare of a wife for so long when he was being hurt and manipulated and all his savings were going down the drain on his wife's whims. Really, made no sense. Guilt I understand, being TSTL? not so much.

Anyway, I didn't find much to the story, I read it but for the life of me I can't remember anything other than what I just told you (like the names of the other characters) because there wasn't much to them. 

Bottom Line: I know I'm in the minority here, but really, Sharing You didn't work for me on any level, and I hoped I would like it. I like seeing love win against all odds and all that, but I wasn't rooting for anyone in this book. And it was a hot mess. 

July 11, 2014

Book Review: The Moment We Began by Sarra Cannon

The Deal: Penelope Wright has been in love with the twin brother's best friend Mason since she can remember, and in the last year they started sleeping together and don't seem able to stop, but their 'relationship' such as it is has been kept a secret at Mason's request. 

In fact, he likes to parade around with a new girl practically every week and just sleeps with Pen on the side, which is causing Penny to spin out of control with her binge drinking and partying. So much so that she ends up stealing Mason's car and crashing it... and finding out she's pregnant at the hospital.

But, before he can tell him that, Mason announces he's skipping town, and that he doesn't really plan to return any time soon, but Penny isn't about to lose him so she goes with him, determined to risk everything - mostly her rich parents' displeasure - to be with Mason for real, once and for all. 

My Thoughts: Boy, where do I start? Well, I'll tell you that I wanted to like this book - because the back copy of it painted a slightly different picture - but it just never really happened. 

It started badly with Penelope being such a drunken party girl and practically lying down so Mason would stomp all over her. I was all: 'girl, where is your self-respect?!'. Then there is Mason, the man-whore himself who really does have sex with practically everything that moves and strings Pen along (he won't 'formally date her' for her own good, or so he says).

Even when they are supposedly giving each other a real chance, he flirts away with other girls and doesn't get why it would upset Penny and I never really got what was so swoony about him. And other than being a doormat, Penny was actually quite nice if very naive. 

And I just didn't believe their relationship would work, thrown in some other bad decisions, and comically evil parents (who just want to 'protect' their precious daughter, and by protect I mean control every aspect of her life) and you get The Moment We Began. 

I do have to say that there were two characters I did like: Penny's twin brother Preston and her best friend Leigh Anne. 

So yeah, not super-recommending this one but if you're more into NA than I am, maybe you'll like it. 

July 6, 2014

What's Making Me Happy...

Hello my peeps!

So I totally flaked on you with this section mostly because I first was super busy with all the stuff I need to grade (I lost count at 600 sheets of paper I looked at), and then I got pretty sick over the last couple of weeks - first tonsil infection and then something weird in my stomach and I ended up in the hospital twice. Fun times. 

But anyway, there are plenty of things keeping me happy and I've been keeping a running list:

1. Hearing my dad and uncle talk about football (soccer for US people), see my dad is one of those life-long fans who has seen pretty much everyone play through out history; and hearing him talk with my uncle is always so much fun. They know their football.

2. Even though, you know, I've been over the world cup since the moment it started. I have to admit that most of the matches have been pretty good, I remember last cup was BORING. This one has been pretty Okay.

3. This picture:

4. The Escapist Movies and TV Podcast - as I've said before, I'm a big fan of MovieBob from The Escapist, and now he's participating on a weekly podcast about all things movies and tv, he's just one of the unofficially permanent hosts, and it's pretty fun. 

5. This article from NPR -Monkeysee "Book girls will Inherit the Earth"

6. This video explaining exactly what FIFA is and how it works.

7. I finished grading on time!! now I just need to write up the personalized reports (oh, goody! Not)

8. Kaichou Wa Maid Sama - I started watching this anime last couple of weeks, and it's lots of fun. About a girl who has this super serious persona at school - which recently went co-ed - and keeps all the boys under control as the Student Body President (nicknamed The Prez); but after school she works at a Maid Latte - a maid themed cafe - to help support her family, and then the most popular boy from school finds out. Of course! Lots of fun.

9. Got new earrings from Pandora! I have been saving to buy them for a while and I LOVE THEM.

10.  And, lastly, the magic of antibiotics when you use them correctly!!! :D 

Bonus: My hair is about a month away from growing out of the really bad haircut, and currently it's at a decent-ish stage. 

So thats what has been making me happy these last few weeks! 

What about you?

July 4, 2014

Book Review: It's Complicated by L.A. Witt

The Deal: Brad and Jeff have been together on and off for almost two years, and after their last break up resulted in Brad moving out of the house they shared, they want to take it slow and really make a go of things this time around. 

Not that it will be easy, Jeff (who is bisexual) still works with is ex-wife Christine in the business they own together, one that it's very demanding on his time. And just when it seems like Brad and Jeff are headed in the right direction, Christine announces she's expecting Jeff's baby, product of a one-night stand a few months before (while Brad and Jeff were On A Break). Further more, she wants to move back to Denver and live close to her family. 

And suddenly, things are even more complicated between Brad and Jeff. 

My Thoughts: So, we are back at Tucker Springs for It's Complicated and this time with Brad and Jeff (I think they were introduced in the previous book, but I don't know because I haven't read that). And I have to stay that for the most part I liked this story.

It was fun to explore all the things that could keep a couple a part when love wasn't the issue, Brad and Jeff love each other very much, but it's the rest of their baggage and responsibilities that keep them apart, particularly on Jeff's side since he's a workaholic who can't say no to his business; and Jeff just bottles up his feelings about it until they blow up. 

That being said, it was a very uneven story. I mostly liked Brad and I was team Brad most of the way through because he really tries to be okay with the whole thing; but Jeff was quite jerky sometimes and Christine went between playing the victim to being kind of bitchy, and flipping back and forth all the time. She makes some very unilateral decisions and Jeff is swept up in them. 

And by the end it seems like everything just comes together haphazardly with Jeff making choices he should have done a long time ago but that for some reason he just... didn't?

All in all, I do enjoy these books, but the plot of this one was a bit, well, not thin exactly but not as well develop as this hot-pot of melodrama could have allowed. 

July 1, 2014

Book Blitz: The Captive by Grace Burrowes

Hello everyone!! 
So today is the release day of Grace's Burrowes The Captive and I'm part of the Blitz for it's release. So today I bring you an excerpt of the book and a cool giveaway! 

I do like this cover!


Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, survives by vowing to take revenge on his tormentors. Before the duke can pursue his version of justice, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, reminds him that his small daughter has suffered much in his absence, and needs her papa desperately.

Gilly endured her difficult marriage by avoiding confrontation and keeping peace at any cost. Christian's devotion to his daughter and his kindness toward Gilly give her hope that she could enjoy a future with him, for surely he of all men shares her loathing for violence in any form. Little does Gilly know, the battle for Christian's heart is only beginning.


The countess brought Christian’s hand up, holding the back of it against the extraordinary softness of her cheek. Until he’d taken liberties with her in the library, he’d forgotten how wonderfully, startlingly soft a woman’s cheek could be. As soft as sunshine and summer rain, as soft as the quiet of the English countryside.
“Shall we sit?” he asked, though she’d likely release his hand if they sat. He was a widower, though, and she ought not to begrudge him simple human contact when he’d been so recently bereaved.

She let him lead her to a shaded bench near the roses, the morning air faintly redolent of their perfume. When Christian seated her, the countess kept his damaged hand in hers.
“I was not allowed to garden at Greendale,” she said, fingers drifting over his knuckles. “The estate had gardens, because his lordship would not be seen to neglect his acres, but I was forbidden to walk them, or to dig about in the good English soil, or to consult with the gardeners regarding the designs and plantings.”
Based on the studied casualness of her tone, this prohibition had been irksome.
“You are free to garden here all you like,” Christian said. “I ask only that you not disturb my mother’s roses.”
“They are lovely.”
“She was lovely.”
Another silence, while Christian became aware of his surroundings beyond the small hand holding his. The roses were in their early summer glory, and why Polite Society insisted on staying in Town through most of June was incomprehensible, when the alternative was the English countryside. The sunshine was a perfectly weighted beneficence on his cheek, the scent of the gardens heavenly, and the entire morning aurally gilded with the fluting chorus of songbirds.
He wanted to kiss the lady beside him again, not in thanks, not as a good-night benediction, but for the sheer pleasure of the undertaking.

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Buy Links
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/1f76x6K 

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

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