Archive | May 2014

Epic Recs: May


Epic Recs is a feature hosted by Amber at Books of Amber and Judith at Paper Riot. It’s an informal book club of sorts, where it’s all about the book pushing. And reading, of course. Pick a partner or request a partner through Amber and Judith to join in the fun.

Last month I recommended The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook to Josephine. It was a fun read for her, although she didn’t feel like the characters were fully developed. The plot itself was a bit predictable for her, however she did enjoy the light read.  Josephine recommended North of Beautiful by Justina Chen for me. It was an interesting read for me and it was quite relatable since I actually know someone with the same issue. It definitely opened my eyes to how others see people with birthmarks on their faces. Overall it was a good read for me and I really connected to the main character.

In May, I am recommending The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson to Josephine. I remember when I read it, it made an impact on me and the story really stayed after I finished reading it. Josephine is recommending The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler. It was her favorite book last year so I am hoping I like it. 

The Book of Broken Hearts

Dark Witch Book Review

Dark Witch (The Cousions O’Dwyer Trilogy #1)  by Nora Roberts

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

Publisher: Berley Trade

Source: Library

Synopsis: With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.


County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

Personal Thoughts: I love reading books that I know are going to be trilogies. Add in the fact that there are witches and spells involved and it is set in Ireland and I am sold. I went into this book with high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved every part of it. Iona shows up in Ireland with the barest of essentials and hopes for the best. She’s there to find her family roots and it doesn’t take her long to find her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer.

The biggest surprise is her new boss at the local stables. Boyle is everything that she know she should avoid, but has a weakness for. As she is settling in with her new life, there a few mysteries that she needs to solve, for there is an ancient evil that has a long history within their family tree. Iona has a lot of learn but with the help of her cousins and Boyle, she is in good hands.

What starts out as an adventure into a new chapter of Iona’s life, there is more to be won than lost. She isn’t going to let anyone, whether an ancient evil, witch or mortal get in her way.

This is a story of family, friends, love and fighting for what matters the most. With Nora’s detailed descriptions, amazing settings and an imagination that takes us into unexplored territory, Dark Witch will please readers who love the unknown and the magic of family and friends. I highly recommend this book! 🙂

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: Festive in Death


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Festive in Death (In Death, #39)

Festive in Death by J.D. Robb

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

Publisher: Putnam Adult

Synopsis:  Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

Personal Thoughts: Ohh another  book in the series is coming out in the fall! I cannot wait!! Seriously these books are so good and so addicting. Once you are done with one you want to read the next one.  The good thing is that this one will be coming out in September and a new Nora Roberts will be coming out in late October. Fall is looking to be a great publishing season 🙂

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

#imPressManicure Review

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 I recently received an imPress Manicure Canada VoxBox! It was for the brand Broadway. I am not one to buy or even use fake/press on nails. However, when I received this in the mail I was excited to try it out. I received 4 different pattern sets and I started with the red/orange. I loved the pattern on that one. 🙂

The good: They nails themselves were very easy to put on once you laid them all out on the counter (the bed in my case).  The patterns were really cool and great for any season. I think it took me about 5 min or so to apply, mostly because I’ve never done it before, but it was still really quick. A lot faster than if I were the one to do my own nails and wait for them to dry.

The Bad: There were a few nails that didn’t fit my nails (not sure whether I have really big nails or something). So some of them had the natural nail showing a bit. Also, I noticed that once you washed your hands a few times or did the dishes, etc. they started to damage. I wore them for a few days and then had to take them off since they didn’t look that pleasing.

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Verdict: 3.5/5 Stars. Overall my experience using this product was a good one. I didn’t have too much trouble using it and my nails looked fabulous for a few days 🙂 Great product!


Stubborn Book Tour

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Stubborn by Jeanne Arnold

Release date: January 6th 2014

Purchase: Amazon
With a train ticket, a bad attitude, and an unfortunate scribbling of obscenities across her forehead, seventeen-year-old Avery Ross is tossed out of the frying pan and into the fire when she’s sent from New York to the vast oil field region of North Dakota. When a green-eyed boy with a sultry Texan accent comes to her defense, Avery has no clue that his actions will lead her into a passion-charged summer, full of temptation and loss.
Defiant and relegated to work at her aunt’s boarding house, Avery discovers a connection between her aunt and the striking boy. He and his brothers are seeking revenge for the wrongful death of their sibling, and Avery becomes entangled in their battle over oil rights, loyalty, and love. Avery falls for the brooding, younger brother, Gabriel Halden, against her aunt’s forewarnings and creates more tribulations than any of them could anticipate.
Personal Thoughts: The story line really grabbed my attention from the start. It was a fast read due to the adventure and the drama that was happening between Avery and the rest of the characters. Their whole story line made the book move in a fast pace.  I loved the romance between Gabe and Avery 🙂 It was really cute and it takes you back to what it feels like when you are still a teenager.
I don’t really know that much about the oil industry and the culture so it was really interesting to read about it and what kind of impact it has on people. Also, the family secrets and the family drama kept me reading until the end. There is just something that pulls you in when there is that kind of conflict.  One thing I didn’t really like was the portrayal of the abuse victim. That was a hard section of the book to read. I know that abuse exists and I have seen it but it always makes me feel vulnerable and out of place because I know there is nothing that can be done from my end.
For a first book that I have read by this author, it has a lot going for it. Definitely going to be checking out her other books.
Rating: 3.5/5
To check out the rest of the tour click here.
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Jeanne Arnold is the author of STUBBORN and other young adult romances. At a young age she found her creative outlet in art, and for years her fictional characters came to life in drawings and paintings, until they demanded a voice. Now they grace the pages of her stories. Jeanne shares her time with her fictional teenage counterparts and her human family in Central New York.

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Pongapalooza 2014

Pongapalooza 2013 winners

Pongapalooza Logo

This past Tuesday I volunteered again at Scotiabank‘s Pongapalooza which was held at SPIN Toronto. It is a great event that is hosted by First Book Canada to help raise money for books to give out to children in need across the country. There are a lot of teams that come and play to support this cause. In its 3rd year it is becoming the social event for the publishing industry. However corporate companies and spectators are more than welcome to join in the the fun and support this cause.

It was a fun night to participate in and help out. I know that without volunteers this event would not be possible at all so when ever I can, I help out. 🙂 It was good to meet some of the authors that were there and say hello to old friends that I know in the industry.  It was fun to watch and see just how hard core some people were when it came to their ping pong matches. 🙂  The food was delicious, the competition was fierce and the silent auction definitely had a lot of great prizes to be won.

Overall it was a great night and we raised a ton of money to help out kids and spread literacy. Here’s to a great event and to seeing it thrive as each year goes by.

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My new volunteer buddy Megan and I at the beginning, ready to get to work 🙂