Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, January 31, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #10

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads. 


Thanks, Mum.

Finally borrowed it from my girlfriend, because I feel like this is a book I have to read before college.


Oh man I'm so excited about this book! Words cannot even express!

*emotional keyboard smash* This book looks awesome!

What about you guys? Find any good books recently?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review of Beyond Belief by Helen Smith

Beyond Belief by Helen Smith


Genre: Mystery, Fiction


When famed psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts a murder will occur at England’s Belief and Beyond conference, her science-minded colleagues recruit twenty-six-year-old budding sleuth Emily Castles to attend the event as a “future crimes investigator.” The suspected victim: celebrated magician Edmund Zenon, who plans to perform a daring stunt at the conference—and is offering fifty thousand pounds to any attendee who can prove that the paranormal exists.

In the seaside town of Torquay, Emily meets a colorful cast of characters: dramatic fortune-teller Madame Nova; kindly Bobby Blue Suit and his three psychic dachshunds; Sarah and Tim Taylor, devastated parents mourning their late son; and religious cult members Hilary, Trina, and the Colonel. Tensions rise as believers in science, the supernatural, and the spiritual clash with one another. But once a body count begins, Emily must excuse herself from the séances and positivity circles, and use old-fashioned detective work to find the killer.


I have been looking forward to reading this book since I was approved to read it on Netgalley. And obviously, because of the rating, I was not dissapointed. 

As a fan of Agatha Christie novels, it is hard to find a true English murder mystery that can hold my attention in the same way. This book however, does just that. It is a light-hearted mystery, though definitely has become a murder mystery after the first body shows up. Like any great mystery novel, the reader has no idea who the murderer could be, and almost anyone has enough evidence against them for them to be a suspect. Personally, I went through about four or five suspects in my head, all believing them to be THE ONES.

I didn't realize that this book was part of a series, and quite frankly I don't think it is neccesary to read the first book in order to be able to enjoy this one. However, I know that I will be reading the first one as soon as I can get my hands on it, if only because I think it will be as great as this one. 

I was a tad bit disappointed with what happened with the murderer at the end, finding it a bit weak. However it was not enough for me to find it a great fault. Others have found the ending a rather poetic (and perfect) ending, so do not let that deter you. 

All in all, this book was a joy to read, and I know I will be rereading it soon!

Beyond Belief is released tomorrow, January 28th!

I would 100% recommend this book.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Other Books By This Author: Helen Smith has written a good number of books, including the children's series Of London, as well as other novels such as Being Light and Alison Wonderland. The first Emily Castles book is Invitation to Die.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads. 


In note, all three books were bought from independent book stores. The Grimoire was purchased from New Moon Gallery and Tea Shop, and the other two at Winder Binder Independent Bookstore. Support indie book stores!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top Ten Books - Top Ten Books I've Bought but Still Haven't Read

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!


I got this book because I thought I would need it for English class. However, I was introduced to it for the first time over the summer when my girlfriend and spoke with a Cambridge professor who worked with the Old English versions of the text, and translates them. I really should read it soon...

The movie came out and everybody loved it so my mum bought me the book to read, since I almost always have to read the book before I see the movie. However it is still setting on my bookshelf...


AP English Class last year, we were supposed to read it but we ran out of time. But it has serial killers (well actually just one) so I am pretty sure I will like it. If it is along the same lines as In Cold Blood, like everyone is saying...

This was freaking all over the place in the horse community, especially in the Parelli community. I got a copy for my birthday and have been meaning to read it, but it is still on my bookshelf, waiting. Grrr!


Vicki Vantoch is the best person ever, maybe even more so than her husband Misha Collins. Anyway, I got her book and have been meaning to read it, just like everything else. 

Agatha Christie and I get along every well. I've read many of her Hercule Poirot mysteries, but never Miss Marple. Time to try something new?


This was on my Stacking the Shelves...and it is still on the shelf. I WILL GET AROUND TO IT I SWEAR.

Gracias to my cousin Lucy for introducing me to this awesome book. I've skimmed the first couple pages, but haven't read it. Gosh darn it.


This is a screenplay so I'm excited to read it but when I bought it, I wasn't a fan of Stephen King. Now I am. 

I kind of give up. I need to read this freaking book. 

Of course there are plenty more, but those are the ones I think are most important.
Any books on your shelves you haven't gotten around to reading?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #8

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads. 


If you know me personally, then you know I love the dirty, outrageous and strange bits of history. It makes these grand old figures, royalty and rebellion leaders and presidents, seem more real, more human because they are no longer perfect. What ultimately drew me to this book (other than the $6 price tag) was that it featured a section on Victorian England, which is a time period of interest to me for an upcoming writing project.

Stephen Colbert (and John Stewart) are my BFFFs and I've been dying to get their books. However I can't afford to fork out $30 for a copy so when I found this one for seven dollars, I jumped on it faster than you could say "Colbert for President".

Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm

Ehem...I have a published novel that was originally based off of Cinderella--and not just the Disney version. I have this on Kindle but I felt that it was a wrong in the world that I did not have a hardback copy of this. I have righted it, finally, and am all the happier for doing so.


The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

I borrowed this from my girlfriend Samantha, and I am carrying it around in my handbag to use as sort of a "waiting room book", as in whenever I just have a moment to read I can do so, and it doesn't take much concentration to pick up where I left off. It is basically a conversation between Winnie the Pooh and the author and it is adorbs.


HEYY I finally got approved for this on Netgalley and I'm so excited! I haven't been on Netgalley for weeks because I seriously CAN'T get anymore books to read, I'm already drowning. But I still had my fingers crossed for this one! Eek I'm so excited!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review of The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank


Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance

The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.

Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.

The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.


I greatly enjoyed the Curse Keepers. It took me a few chapters to hook me in, but once I was, I was glued to my nook. (Which was a good thing because I was on a plane for several hours going to Boston.) Also I was rather suspicious of Collin as a character. The way he was presented in the first chapter made me believe he wouldn't be well develloped. Quite the contrary, in fact. I loved Collin as a character because his many flawes are believable, making him an incredibly real character.

Another thing I loved was the Native American lore (which I am a huge sucker for anyway) and the author's take on the Roanoke Colony. The author put a lot of time and effort into research and it shows in her writing. 

The novel had a good pacing which took place over the course of 7 days, making the build towards the climax steady.

Ellie, the main character, is a girl who is her own person and takes no shit, which was absolutely fantastic in my mind. She was very well develloped, with her background being revealed at the correct moments. I loved her, and found myself cheering her on on more than one occasion.

There were a couple negatives to this novel, but nothing too major. The story is focused towards young adults, especially with the plot and how the story is written, but there is sex. A lot of sex. Descriptive sex. (It certainly isn't for the young or innocent reader.) A couple of times, I became impatient with these scenes, finding them slightly ill timed when there were more urgent things to be doing to save the world, you know, outside the hotel room. 

And of course, this novel ends on a cliff hanger, which was pretty kick ass.  However it still means I'm waiting for the second book!

I would definitely recommend this book.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Other Books By This AuthorDenise Grover Swank has written a number of novels, her most popular being the Chosen Series and the Rose Gardner Mysteries.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 3

Day 3: Your Favorite Series

The Phantom Stallion Series by Terri Farley

Synopsis: (Book #1 "The Wild One") When 13-year-old Samantha returns home to her family′s cattle ranch in Nevada, she′s worried. She moved away two years ago to recover from a bad fall off her beloved mustang, Blackie, and she′s still not sure she can get back in the saddle. Her new colt doesn′t seem to like her, and the other ranchers treat her like the boss′s spoiled daughter, and Blackie has been missing since that fateful day.

But that′s just the beginning. When Sam suddenly finds the fate of a mysterious mustang who may or may not be the missing Blackie - resting in her hands, she has to learn to be a real cowgirl, ready or not. The classic theme of a girl and her horse is set against a backdrop of mustangs, tumbleweeds, and a West that′s still Wild. 
On a moonlit night, a mustang comes to Sam. Is it Blackie grown up and gone wild? Is it the legendary phantom stallion? Or could it be both?

Goodreads Link: Click Here

Why this series?: Well I can't put Harry Potter for everything, so this is my second favorite series. It was a tough choice between this and Heartland and Chestnut Hill, but I still have some frustrations with Heartland so voila. I really loved this series because it follows Sam over the years, from 13 years old till she is almost 18, and her adventures were truly wonderful. I already knew the world of Heartland when I was reading them, so it wasn't something new. I had never been out West before, never seen wild horses, and never experienced the Western lifestyle. There were a lot of things I didn't know, and a lot of things I learned. I think it also made the idea of America a little bit more bearable for me, as we were about to move back here and I didn't want to.

Monday, January 13, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 2

This 30 Day Book Challenge is part of the 30 Day Challenge Archive. This challenge will not be daily, as not to interfere with the "1-post-a-day" rule I have. So it will be posted around reviews, etc...

Day 2: A Book That You’ve Read More Than 3 Times

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

SynopsisMikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there's always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

Goodreads LinkClick here

Why this book?: I first read this book about two years ago and it was very different from anything I'd ever read. But the characters of Mikael and Lisbeth were so incredibly real, especially Lisbeth, that I fell in love. They weren't perfect. Hell, they are far from perfect. And that's why I loved them. Also this book introduced me to the fact that I like murder-mystery-messed-up type of books. But even then, there is nothing quite like this book.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #7 (Christmas Haul #2)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review of Color of Home by Rich Marcello

The Color of Home by Rich Marcello


Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance


Can two people stay connected for a lifetime and each know the complete truth about the other? When New Yorker Nick Satterborn falls in love with Sassa Vikander, he's convinced the answer is yes. Nick Satterborn. Songwriter. Dabbler on the spiritual path. Survivor.

Sassa Vikander. Stunning chef. Seeker on the path of most resistance. Survivor.

Contentment percolates for a time, until the two are hurtled into a life of uncertainty, self-evaluation, and growth. Each dreams heroic dreams of overcoming his/her past, rising out of sadness, rediscovering home, finding peace. Their worlds dissolve and reform. People and events threaten to tear them apart.

The Color of Home is a story of love, of loss, of digging deep down to the bottom of things until maybe, just maybe, Nick and Sassa find the strength to become whole. Their journey offers a unique, honest glimpse into the life and love of a palpably rare relationship of our time.


Aha! I've finally finished it! God, I know I'm awful. I meant to post this review when the book actually came out on December 3rd. But unfortunately due to exams and impending high school graduation, I had to put it aside. I think that speaks for the novel. It was interesting, as in I picked up and read it after exams and such, but it wasn't so interesting that I couldn't put it down in the first place. (You know that feeling--when a book is so good that you spend every free moment reading, and even put off other things such as school work and feeding your pets to keep reading it.) 

So yes, I did enjoy this novel. It was realistic adult fiction, which was a change for me. I took great interest in the setting, which was New York City, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine. Also, the descriptions of food (Sassa is a chef) are absolutely mouth watering. I've never been craving a vegeterian dish before, but this book changed that...multiple times.

A little bit of a pet peeve are the names of characters in this book. There are a fair share of normal names, such as Debbie and Jessie and Rachel, but there are also a lot (too many) of freaking bizarre names. Some examples are Ashoka, Adira, Niveille, Myrina, and Halfa. Like come on. I dunno, it is just sort of a pet peeve of mine. 

The people in this novel were real, with flaws and mistakes and imperfections and it was glorious. However I have a problem with the dialogue. We are only witness to the dialogue that is extremely deep and existential. There is no way that the only conversation that these characters can have with each other is always so deep and important and life-revealing. It isn't real. Sometimes people stumble in what they are saying, sometimes they don't quite get the words out right. Sometimes they just have meaningless conversations that aren't always about such heavy topics. That is what makes them real.

This book's plot was so incredibly original for the most part, that I really liked it because it didn't give any indications of having any of the cliches when it comes to "will they, won't they get back together" (in the cliches, they always do end up together.) Instead, this story kept me guessing and I loved that. There was a real possibility that this novel would end in a way I didn't expect. Then the Conan O'Brien incident happened. And it was all predicable from there on out. 

This novel was a good novel, don't get me wrong. But I don't think it was perfect, which appears to be an unpopular opinion. I do very much love the very last line of the book, though. It was wonderful.

I would recommend this book.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Other Books By This Author: This is Rich Marcello's first novel.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WWW Wednesday #2

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. A post where I answer three questions:  What have I just finished reading? What am I currently reading? What do I think I'll read next?

Just Finished

Finally finished it! The review will be up tomorrow!

Currently Reading

I've heard raving good reviews about this. Not disappointed so far.

Next to Read

Working my way through my Netgalley shelf, and it is also my first book for my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge. Whoop whoop!

What are you reading right now?