Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Monthly News

Welcome to the July edition of Monthly News!
We celebrated Canada's 145th birthday on the 1st.
One of my many shots of the fireworks display at the Bay.





Yearly Total: 79 Books, 19 Products, 1 Movie


 FREDA'S FAVE FIVE (In No Particular Order):

BOOK OF THE MONTH:
(Affiliate Link)



 
 BLOGGER/MONEY-MAKING RESOURCES:
1. Canadian Opportunity via LikeNET.ca  (U.S soon to be added)
2. Superpoints 
3. Zuuzs 
4. SwagBucks 
5. Sponsored Tweets 
6. VI.Bee at HappyFreebie 
7. Paper Coterie 
8. BlogTrain


ANNA KARENINA READ-A-LONG:
1. Part one and two discussion
2. Part three and four discussion
3. Part five and six discussion 
4. Part seven and eight discussion
5. Final Review


SPONSORED POSTS:
1.  Weekend Kindle Freebie: Harald Hardrada: The Last Viking - Michael Burr
2. Hereafter Cover Reveal & Excerpt 
3. Sears Optical Gets Families Ready For Back To School 
4. Free All Weekend: To Take Her Pride - Anne Brear 
5. Frozen Heart - Annabelle Blume (Promo & Excerpt) 
6. Weekend Freebies 
7. Free for Kindle: Monday and Tuesday


SPONSORED GIVEAWAYS:
1. A Work in Progress - Brad Cotton 


CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
1. 2012 ARC Reading Challenge

Teaser Tuesdays


(Affiliate Link)
"Ta-da," said the resident pain in the ass. "Here it is."
"Bully for you. Only the real problem is that you found it."
"Sorry, what?"
"Haven't gotten to Irony 101 yet, then?"
"No, we're still on Scathing Remarks, Offhand Commentary and Derision."

Monday, July 30, 2012

#79: Kitty Steals the Show - Carrie Vaughn (With Giveaway)

(Affiliate link)

Kitty has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies, taking place in London. The conference brings together scientists, activists, protestors, and supernatural beings from all over the world—and Kitty, Ben, and Cormac are right in the middle of it.
Master vampires from dozens of cities have also gathered in London for a conference of their own. With the help of the Master of London, Kitty gets more of a glimpse into the Long Game—a power struggle among vampires that has been going on for centuries—than she ever has before. In her search for answers, Kitty has the help of some old allies, and meets some new ones, such as Caleb, the alpha werewolf of the British Isles. The conference has also attracted some old enemies, who’ve set their sights on her and her friends.
All the world’s a stage, and Kitty’s just stepped into the spotlight.
 
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (July 31, 2012)
  • ISBN: 9780765365668
Author Bio:
 Carrie Vaughn is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kitty Norville books, including Kitty’s Big Trouble and Kitty and the Midnight Hour. She is also the author of the stand-alone novels After the Golden Age and Discord’s Apple, and the young adult books Voice of Dragons and Steel. Vaughn had the nomadic childhood of the typical Air Force brat, with stops across the country from California to Florida. She earned her B.A. from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and a master’s in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has worked as a Renaissance Festival counter wench, a theater usher, an editor, a buyer at an independent bookstore, and an administrative assistant. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

My Opinion:
 Even though this is book 10, I still enjoyed reading it and didn't feel lost at all. This is one of those series that seems like each book is a new adventure or plot, so no matter how you read them it's all good. At least, that's the impression it left on me. I do have a couple more books in my tbr pile to check the authenticity of those impressions, which I will soon.
Kitty is one cool character. She kicks ass, has a great personality and is surrounded by interesting people. I enjoyed the relationship with Ben, and think they suit each other well. I also love the book didn't stick to that relationship, and rather brought excitement through in other parts of the story.
For me, this is more of a paranormal suspense novel than a fantasy, but to each his own.

3/5

Recommend? Yes


DISCLAIMER: I received a copy for review. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.


AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY....
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

#78: Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

(Affiliate Link)
Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. While previous versions have softened the robust, and sometimes shocking, quality of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This award-winning team's authoritative edition also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for generations to come.
  • Paperback: 862 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (May 31, 2004)
  • ISBN: 9780143035008
My initial post HERE 
My post for Discussion Week 1
My post for Discussion Week 2 
My post for Discussion Week 3 
My post for Discussion Week 4

My Opinion:
If it wasn't for incredible writing, I wouldn't have made it through. It was a tough book to read, invoking many emotions. It seemed like every couple of parts I liked then the next couple I didn't. A real flip-flop of emotions all the way through.
I had a favorite character in Levin throughout most of the book. However, by the end, his distance and the way he treated his wife and son bothered me. Greatly. 
I disliked Anna for the whole thing and wondered why someone would write a book about her? Even if a fictional her. Then I remember how intricate the storytelling is and you don't care anymore that her name bears the title. You realize it's the story behind her that brings it all together. All the things you dislike about her, or even like about her, end up showing you what one person's choices can do to a bunch of people. It's that "ricochet-effect" that Leo Tolstoy puts across that teaches the reader that every choice has a consequence, good and bad, for every choice made. And that choice bring more choices, for yourself and all the people connected to you. We don't walk this earth alone and our lives affect the people who share it. 
Well, I will admit, I won't be reading War and Peace any time soon, but I must say, this book is worth reading just to talk about it.
So what are you waiting for?

3.5/5

Recommend? Yes

DISCLAIMER: I acquired a copy. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Anna Karenina Read-A-Long Discussion Week 4



My initial post HERE 
My post for Discussion Week 1
My post for Discussion Week 2 
My post for Discussion Week 3


Part Seven and Part Eight
Oh what an up and down ride this book has been. It seems every other discussion I love it, and the alternate not-so-much. I am thankful that it's over and also happy I completed it.

I may have disliked Anna, but I think I disliked her even more when she threw herself in front of that train. She blasted the pathetic meter a little too hard for me.

Levin I liked through most of the book, but the longer he was married to Kitty, the more I became distant from enjoying his character. I still cherish his value and moral system, when dealing with people he is not married to, but his wife got shut out pretty quick. Then again she did no part in making things better.
I also wasn't crazy about his reaction to his child when he was born. That is just sick he felt that way. 

Vronsky decided in his solitude to go on a suicide mission himself. I don't know if that makes me like him, or think he is just as pathetic as Anna. I do think Anna broke his heart terribly and maybe he felt too coward to commit suicide in other ways. Maybe a more noble route would make him a better person.... or just a dead one.

In all you will have to find out my final conclusion in my review post that will soon follow. I do have some strong opinions, as we all do, but I can't give it all away here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 84 with me!  
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.
(Affiliate link)
 
Ah, baaahhh. Bad reception. He thumped the polished silver dish, and the image came clear.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Frozen Heart - Annabelle Blume (Promo & Excerpt)

Release date: August 7, 2012

 
A decade surviving on her own. Three days with the enemy. Can love conquer all?

Cressenda knows how to survive. With her sled dogs as her only companions, she’s spent the past ten years hiding in the snow covered wilderness from the oppressive regime of the Affinity. When a routine trip to civilization takes a turn for the worst, Cressenda is forced to take refuge with the enemy or lose her life to the frozen countryside.

But Beckett, a Guard of the Affinity, is more than a man in uniform. His desperate need to help Cressenda escape both the blizzard and the Affinity, makes her feelings for him all the more troubling. Will Beckett be true to his word and set Cressenda free? Will her heart let her leave after all they’ve shared?


Author Bio:
 
Annabelle is a Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Romance author, that is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.
Her Sociology degree did nothing to progress her writing skills, but has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle's unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.
She's also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at Vitacost.com, where she expounds her knowledge of being a vixen clad in sweatpants.

Twitter: @AnnabelleBlume

Excerpt:
You…you’re a...sympathizer.” It sounded dirty as the words passed between my lips. I wanted to snatch them back and swallow them down again. The sting of my insult was evident in the painful expression that settled on his face.
It doesn’t matter what I am. You want to be free, don’t you? Then go.” His authoritative facade crumbled and the innocent hurt of a young boy dripped from his soul as he spoke. “You won’t get far enough if you don’t get out now.”
I placed my hand over his, unlatching his fingers one at a time from the tender inside of my bicep. My steps were measured and controlled as I backed away from the Guard. I neared the clear walkway of the Trade Path just as a shrill alarm sounded. Every transaction halted and everyone held their breath for a split second, merchants and traders alike. In the blink of an eye, the entire population of the Path turned to the entrance and moved hurriedly, as if they were trying to contain a generalized franticness.
What is it? Where are they going?” I asked no one in particular.
It’s a blizzard warning.”
I cursed. A blizzard. I’d never make it home now. Conditions would be impossible: no visibility, forty-foot snowdrifts, and gale-force winds. The boys and I would never survive. I stood, motionless, while bodies spun and twirled on the periphery of my consciousness. I was stuck in the Collective with nowhere to go and, worse, nowhere to hide.
Come with me,” the masculine timbre commanded over my shoulder before lacing his fingers in mine. His gentle hold of my hand gave me comfort and lulled me into a hypnotic state. The Guard led me forward until I broke from my daze.
Let me go!” I yanked my hand from his. “I have to get out of here. I have to beat the blizzard.”
Before I could break into a sprint, the Guard whirled me around. I teetered, stunned by the force. He moved in close and arched over me while he spoke. Not to intimidate but to cover me, protecting me from the eyes around us.
You’ll never make it. Never. Come with me. You can wait out the storm at my cabin. When it’s over, you’ll be free to go.” His eyes searched my person for the answer to the question in his mind. Wherever it is you live.
I stared at him, doubtful and distrusting. I had only seconds to decide if this tall, hulking citizen of the Collective, official of the Affinity, could really, truly be a sympathizer.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

#77: Losing Faith - Denise Jaden

(Affiliate link)
When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies in a fall from a cliff, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood, Brie must also contend with increasingly distant parents, her boyfriend’s betrayal, and her sudden outcast status at school. And once she’s over the initial shock of Faith’s death, Brie is encountering more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. She soon uncovers Faith’s role in a dark and twisted religious cult…a cult that now wants Brie as a member

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Original edition (September 7, 2010)
  • ISBN: 9781416996095
Author Bio:
 Denise Jaden is, or has been, everything from a professional Polynesian dancer and fitness competitor to a mushroom farmer and church secretary. Most of her time now is spent homeschooling or playing with her young son or in front of her computer writing.
Denise Jaden's short fiction has appeared in Mississippi Crow Magazine and The Greensilk Journal. The first draft of her first novel for teens, LOSING FAITH, was written in twenty-one days during NaNoWriMo 2007. It was released from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster in September 2010, with her next one, NEVER ENOUGH, out in summer 2012. Her first non-fiction work, WRITING WITH A HEAVY HEART: USING GRIEF AND LOSS TO STRETCH YOUR FICTION, will be out in fall 2012.
She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son.

My Opinion:
When I first realized it was about teenage suicide, I thought to myself, the author really needs to pull this together properly for it to be a YA novel. Teens are impressionable, and the last thing I'd want my kid to read is about suicide. I imagine it's a tough subject for any parent.
However, this becomes more of something gone wrong and you begin to ease up on your previous feelings.
I really liked this book, even with it being such a sensitive subject. The writing is beautiful, and you really read the book fast because it flows so well.
I really liked Tessa. I think anyone who reads it will end up choosing her as a quick fave. She is strong, smart and not what you think her to be. Exactly the type of girl I would hang out with.
I think older teens would be alright to read it, but you know your teen more than anyone, so maybe give it a read yourself first. You might be surprised to find you devour it too.

4/5

Recommend? Yes

DISCLAIMER: I won my copy. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Teaser Tuesdays


(Affiliate Link)

For most of the next day, I look for Tessa and can't find her. She doesn't show up at her locker and I wonder if she's skipping. I can't help think that it could be because she doesn't want to bring me home after school. I already told Dad, and he seemed pleased I was going to a friend's house.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Work In Progress - Brad Cotton (Promo & Giveaway)

A Unique Lit Fiction Novel with Moving Dialogue!




A Work in Progress is a new literary fiction novel by author Brad Cotton. The book has received great reviews and is on sale from July 23rd to August 3rd! Download your copy here.

In addition, Brad is doing a big giveaway, including a $100 gift certificate to Amazon and signed copies of his book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tweet, like, follow, share, blog and grab a copy of his book to enter.

Get your copy of A Work in Progress today! On sale on Amazon only.


About A Work in Progress

Writer Danny Bayle’s life is in shambles. His true love has left him and his grandfather — the last and most important influence in his life — has just passed away. Danny has spent the last few months languishing, unable to write a single word, but at the urging of a friend ventures out into the world in an attempt to jumpstart a new life, befriending in the process an interesting assortment of characters including an author, a musician, an artist, and an elderly retired nurse. Garnering the attention of more than one woman, Danny sees his new friends unwittingly begin to shape what could just be the story of his life. But will he ever let go of the girl that got away?

About the author

Born and raised in Toronto, Brad Cotton has been writing professionally for over a decade. An average guitarist, a subpar painter, and a horrible juggler of anything larger than a tangerine, he is currently married to a woman, but does not have a cat, a drum set or any children. A Work in Progress is his first novel.


Learn more about the author and his work at: http://www.bradcotton.com/

Saturday, July 21, 2012

#76: The Radleys - Matt Haig

(Affliate Link)
Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives. One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking—and disturbingly satisfying—act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara’s trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radleys’ marriage.
The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescent bonds of family love. Read it and ask what we grow into when we grow up, and what we gain—and lose—when we deny our appetites.
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (September 20, 2011)
  • ISBN: 9781439194010
 My Opinion:
I saw this book being reviewed on another blog and couldn't get over how groovy it sounded. The idea that vampires try to abstain and live like living people, it appealed to me greatly. The cooler part was the blogger sending it to me. (Thank you Julie, if you read this.)
I love this book! 
It was everything I hoped for and then some. It had a couple more twists in it that really fit well in the story. I just thought it was very clever and entertaining writing mixed in with a great premise.
People who read paranormal will love this, and people who enjoy suspense will love it too. It does say age 14+ for reading, but I disagree due to the semi-graphic and violent nature and think 18+ is more appropriate.

4.5/5

Recommend? Yes.

DISCLAIMER: I received this copy from a friend. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Anna Karenina Read-A-Long Discussion Week 3

My initial post HERE
My post for Discussion Week 1
My post for Discussion Week 2


PART FIVE AND PART SIX

This book got stale for me again. So much socialism and politics that I started to drift off. It has been an emotional rollercoaster of a read for me, and I am so glad the ride is almost over. I feel like this book has been read forcefully instead of with my usually easy gait. How I dread book that make me feel that way. But I digress, it is too close to the finish line for me to give up.

I still like Levin the most, even though he has changed since marriage. I think he is still a top character, though I don't like how he seems to ignore his wife. Maybe it's just me, but I find myself asking why did they get married in the first place... he's supposed to be infatuated with her and now he got her it's lost it's luster. 

I dislike Anna more and more all the time. She still pines for a life she could have always had, if she kept her legs closed. She is one lost soul, and she brought it on herself. I hate that she blames Vronsky, like he did this all himself. It takes two to tango lady! I also hate her morals as a mother. How can she be so distraught over one and not give love to the other? That made me sick to read her feelings, as a parent it killed to know she could feel that way to her daughter. She was repulsed by her and that repulsed me.

I do appreciate Vronsky is not the slimeball I initially thought him to be. He has good and virtuous intentions. It's Anna that can't get it together. He wants the divorce and she is ignorant as to why. I can't believe she wouldn't want the same after Stepan took her son away. Again it boils back to Anna being an idiot, and enforces why I dislike her so.

That's all I got to say this week. See ya on the next one!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Free All Weekend: To Take Her Pride - Anne Brear

1898 Yorkshire - Aurora Pettigrew has it all, a loving family, a nice home, a comfortable life. She’s waiting for the right man to offer her marriage, and the man for her is Reid Sinclair, heir to the Sinclair fortune and the love of her life.

But, Reid’s mother, Julia, is against the match and her ruthlessness unearths a family secret that will tear Aurora’s world apart.

Unwilling to bring shame on her family and needing answers to the allegations brought to light by Reid’s mother, Aurora begins a long journey away from home. She leaves behind all that is familiar and safe to enter a world of mean streets and poor working class.

Living in the tenements of York, surrounded by people of a class she’d never mixed with before, Aurora struggles to come to terms with the way her life has changed. By chance, she reconnects with a man from her past and before he leaves with the army to war in South Africa, he offers her security through marriage.

Aurora knows she should be happy, but the memory of her love for Reid threatens her future.

Sears Optical Gets Families Ready for Back to School

SEARS OPTICAL CELEBRATES AUGUST’S NATIONAL EYE EXAM MONTH BY GETTING FAMILIES READY FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL


WHAT:           Sears Optical founded National Eye Exam Month in 1989 to build awareness about the importance of eye health and annual eye exams. During the month of August, as you are getting your family ready to head back-to-school, Sears Optical reminds you to make an appointment for an annual eye exam.

During the back-to-school season, Sears Optical customers can take advantage of special offers for the entire family. Adults and kids are able to receive two complete pairs of eyeglasses made with Ultralight lenses for $99.


WHEN:           Now – September 11th


WHERE:         Sears Optical Stores Nationwide
To find a store near you visit www.searsoptical.com


DETAILS:       Families across the nation are preparing for back-to-school and annual eye exams should be part of the routine. 80% of what children learn comes through their vision and undetected vision problems can lead to learning difficulties.

Eye exams are important for adults as well. Many vision-threatening eye problems such as glaucoma can be treated and prevented if discovered early enough.

With over 50 years in the eye care industry, Sears Optical is the expert in family eye care. With experienced opticians and quality brands with a great frame selection, Sears Optical is the one-stop-shop for all your family’s vision care needs. Make an appointment with your eye care provider to schedule an eye exam for your family today.

Hereafter Cover Reveal & Excerpt

Why let a little thing like death get in the way of a good time?
Thirty-six year old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.
This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The only problem is that, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Eternal Press
Number of Pages: 356
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Author Bio:





Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats.
Twitter: @_TerriBruce


Excerpt:
A boy appeared in her path. She veered around him and then skidded to a halt. Something about him made her stop. She turned around to look at him and realized he was staring at her, his face a mask of astonishment, his mouth hanging open.
“Hey kid, watch where you’re going!” she said, more surprised than annoyed.
He was maybe fourteen and nearly as tall as her, at that “beanpole” stage, as her grandmother had called it—the tall and scrawny look of one growing too fast. What little of his face visible under a curtain of straw-colored hair was pointed and sharp—cheekbones, chin, and nose. His hair, cut in an asymmetrical bob that left it longer in the front than the back, was parted on the side and hung in his face, concealing his left eye. Somehow, the way one washed-out hazel eye was visible and the other hidden reminded her of Pete, the dog from the Little Rascals.
She realized he hadn’t moved a muscle and was still staring at her gape-mouthed.
“Did you hear me?” she asked.
He gave a little shake of his head, as if he was doing a double take. The motion caused the curtain of hair hanging over his eyes to sway. “Yeeesss,” he said in a slow, cautious, drawn-out way.
“Why are you staring at me?”
“Well, it’s just, because…you know. You’re…” He trailed off.
Irene narrowed her eyes. “I’m what?”
The boy turned beet red and took a step back, giving a hard gulp that made Irene fear he had swallowed his tongue. “Well…dead,” he stuttered.




The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 83 with me!  
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.
(Affiliate link)
 
She is, in this moment, more powerful than a thousand warriors. The world suddenly holds no fear, as her body holds no pain and no nausea.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Giveaway: Tigers in Red Weather - Liza Klaussmann

Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.

Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena's husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena--with their children, Daisy and Ed--try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.

Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.


Thanks to Anna and Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies up for grabs!
Fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oasap: Sleeveless Print Slim Vest

Oasap is a global online store dedicated to high-street fashion by offering various kinds of women’s apparel, bags, shoes, jewellery, accessories, etc.  
Oasap was founded in late 2011, however, had already had thousands of SKU by far.  They keep updating products at a high rate every day.

Now they update more than 500 new products each week. Those products mentioned definitely belong to the latest fashion trend. 

Oasap's mission is to make you close to the planet's most cutting-edge fashion, no matter where you are or what class or age group you are in. Pursuing fashion is the right of every woman.

They do free shipping worldwide with speed and precision and have a 30 days unconditional return policy.



Oasap Blog
Oasap Facebook
Oasap Twitter
Oasap Pinterest
Oasap Tumblr


My Opinion:
I love this site and could literally browse and wishlist things all day long. It seems like there's a style for every girl on here, whether you are more classic in look, a little edgier rocker chick or even bohemian, they have something for you!
I chose a tank, urban in style, my tastes for sure.
When it arrived, it came in a garment bag with the designer's name, Agatha Garcia. I thought that was a nice touch. Then I pulled the tank out of the bag, and at first contact loved how soft the material felt. I decided to hang it on a hangar first, to get a good look at it. It was a beautiful tank. It flowed straight down, and sometimes I have found the seams on the side of tanks to be a bit off when you hang them up, but not this tank. I also really appreciated the art work on the tank. It is a movie poster, but what really stood out for me, is the inside of the garment where my neck is, has the missing piece to the poster, so when not worn and you hold it up, you see the whole thing. I'll have to check the movie out, it says Mark Ruffalo is in it and I like him.... anyways back to the tank.... This tank is very well made. I like the stitching is almost invisible on it. It fits perfectly too. I am a small lady as you see, and this pictured above is a medium. So know your measurements ladies!! If all else fails, they have a fab return policy. So ladies, don't keep reading this any longer... get to Oasap and start shopping!!!

5/5

Recommend? Yes

DISCLAIMER: I received clothing for review. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays


(Affiliate Link)

Helen gets up to answer the phone, but it stops ringing before she is even out of the dining room. That's odd, she thinks, and has a vague sense that something is wrong. She turns back to their guests, to see Mark Felt's spoon carrying a substantial quantity of summer pudding into his mouth.

#75: He Said Beer. She Said Wine - Sam Calagione & Marnie Old

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He Said Beer, She Said Wine is the first fully illustrated book on the market to give in-depth instruction on how to successfully pair both beer and wine with a wide variety of foods. Co-authored by Marnie Old, an esteemed sommelier, and Sam Calagione, owner of the renowned craft brewery DogFishHead He Said Beer, She Said Wine teaches you everything you need to know to get the best out of your beverages, with food or without. Each author divulges the secrets of their respective trades, using clear, easy-to-understand language-and, of course, a little good-natured banter to keep things lively. The book is full of fantastic tips and tricks, specific beer and wine recommendations, and interactive elements to help you identify your preferences along the way. So, from cheese to dessert, you'll always know what drinks to serve for sublime flavor combinations.
Never ones to skimp on a bit of fun, Marnie and Sam also show you how to host your own at-home version of their sold-out He Said Beer, She Said Wine tasting events, where diners taste one beer and one wine selection with each dish, and then vote on their preferred pairing. He Said Beer, She Said Wine gives you easy-to-prepare dishes, complete with step-by-step recipes and sumptuous beverage selections.
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing (June 15, 2009)
  • ISBN: 9780756654498
  • Amazon.ca
  • DK Canada
My Opinion:
I have a new favorite book in the food department!
This is a great book to know what pairings accompany the meal you eat. Or at least you get a great idea of the flavors you would match best, and can choose your own kind based on those tastes.
We decided to do the Pepperoni Pizza and Booze night.
It called for a different Merlot, and a different beer, but we found the closest match based on body, flavor, etc.... only because the store didn't have the exact ones.
It was a hit too!
They say you need a fruitier wine and sweeter brown ale to pair up with Pepperoni pizza. They are correct! It was a perfect compliment of each other. I drank the wine, though I did taste the beer which was good, and I felt the wine brought out the flavor of the pizza, between the tomato sauce and mild spice of the pepperoni, it was a perfect combination.
I aim to try more pairings in this book too. Just need to pace myself... don't want to become a drunk!  (^_^)

5/5

Recommend? Yes.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy for review. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Anna Karenina Read-A-Long Discussion Week 2


My initial post HERE
My post for Discussion Week 1

PART THREE AND FOUR

It still is not my favorite book of all time, however I will admit, it has gotten a smidge better. I guess as soon as Anna was honest about her infidelities, I felt better about reading it. Then the story changed focus and got more interesting for me. It's sad for me to admit, but, I'd rather read about someone on their deathbed than someone on their lovebed. Especially when cheating is involved.

I really have to say I enjoy Levin a whole lot! I think he's a top lad and am so happy he finally got the girl! I found myself wondering if she deserved him after it all.... but that remains to be seen. I think the fact Levin gets his hands dirty and works with the "peasants" is endearing. I really enjoy the relationship he has with the old man too. It's part of how I came to realize my respect for Levin's character. And he is certainly my favorite so far.

I don't dislike Karenin like I did either. And quite frankly, it wasn't until the end of part four that I really said, "Ok, he's not that bad."  I don't think he should ever stick to the idea of taking her son from her. That's so malicious it's sickening. It would also make him as despicable as her in my book.

I can't respect a character like Vronsky. He not only ruined someone's marriage with his own selfish desires, he then decided it was smart to shoot himself and end it all. When that didn't work, he certainly looked like the boob he seems to be.  Then again Anna is just as stupid and selfish as him. Maybe they are made to match!

Well, we'll see how I feel next week, but by golly I am not impressed with the same characters still, only now for more than the previous reasons. Thankfully I enjoy the others to keep a faint but growing interest.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 82 with me!  
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.
(Affiliate link)
 
"I think she's outside heckling the opposition. She's as much an activist as ever." He glanced at the front doors to the protest outside, then noticed my frown and lined brow. "You think this is going to turn serious?"


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#74: Rage of the Dragon - Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman

(Affiliate Link)
Skylan Ivorson is the gods-chosen Chief of all Vindras clans. But the gods from whom the Vindrasi draw their earthdwelling power are besieged by a new generation of gods who are challenging them for the powers of creation. The only way to stop these brash interlopers lies within the Five Bones of the Vektia Dragon—the primal dragon forged during the creation of the world—which have been lost for generations.
With the Gods of the New Dawn amassing a vast army, Skylan finds allies in former enemies. Calling upon the ogres to fight their common foes, the Vindrasi soon find themselves in the middle of an even larger war. Skylan and his Vindrasi clan must sail the Sea of Tears into the heart of the Forbidden Empire of the Cyclops, to implement a cunning yet delicate plan that risks his life and leadership at every corner. But a new enemy lies deep in the sea, one who draws upon powers never harnessed by land dwellers.
Master world-builders Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, who have entertained generations of fans with the Dragonlance series and the Death Gate Cycle, prove they’re at the top of their game.

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (April 24, 2012)
  • ISBN: 9780765319753
My Opinion:
A great adventure!
It doesn't even matter that this is the third in a series and I hadn't read the first two. I admit, at the beginning, some of the references to past adventures were lost on me, but I quickly caught on to it all.
Farinn is my favorite character too! All I can tell you is he's 16 and fae. He is a delight, but not heard from much. I do hope later on there will be a book just about him.
At the end was a sad part, for like a millisecond, then you get another twist. I love when a book leaves it on a twist, that's how you know there's more to come. I can't wait for that, heck, I may even backtrack for the first two and see what I missed.

4/5

Recommend? Yes!

DISCLAIMER: I won my copy. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Teaser Tuesdays


(Affiliate link)
 
The Dragon Kahg decided he liked living at the bottom of the ocean. All these years, he had sailed to the top of the sea, riding the waves in the Vindrasi ships that carried his spirit with them, viewing with pity and disdain the lowly creatures forced to swim.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bookmark Monday



Source: etsy.com via Freda on Pinterest


Feather bookmarks.... too cool.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Anna Karenina Read-A-Long Discussion


See my original post HERE.


PART ONE AND TWO


I have to admit, after starting to read this book, and seeing how long it is, I wondered why I bothered.... I am not crazy about infidelity, so the story itself is not one I would normally choose, but it's a classic. Now, I say to myself, yeah, I may not be into the story with all the cavorting and canoodling going on, but Leo Tolstoy sure knows how to tell a story. Whether you like brown or not, if Tolstoy described it in his eloquent way, you would all of a sudden want brown in your life. He's that good!

I'm with Steph too on the opening line being amazing! 

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

 How true does that ring to you?? I took 15 minutes reflecting on this opening line. No wonder it has taken me this long to get this far in the book.

So this is my first time reading this book, but I have seen the film with Greta Garbo in it. (1938-ish). I find it's alike but so different too. I am enjoying the words I read much better than ones expressed in dialogue from the film. I admit though, when I read Anna's parts it's hard not to visualize Greta. I am reading the link that was provided by Steph on the initial sign up, which is free for those catching this now, but couldn't tell you who translated it, I missed that part...

Anyone else having a crap time pronouncing these names? It's gotten to the point where I only say the first name and not the last, save myself some frustration.

I'm still getting a firm idea of the characters.I don't care for Stiva, but frankly, I don't care for Anna either. I get she was lonely and needing some emotional relationship, even physical, that she didn't get from him, but infidelity? I am not keen on persons with those morals, and though I empathize, I have a hard time liking her. I do believe she feels guilt and remorse for her actions, but not enough to stop and that troubles me. She almost seems to flaunt it at times.

As for Kitty, I think she is bitter and it's that chip on her shoulder that talks of not marrying. I believe she will think differently later.

So that's how I feel so far. Of course, it's all subject to change the further I get along. I may even grow to love it more than I do currently. Right now I sit at midway, hoping the writing will stay amazing, and the story will grow more depth. If it stays focused on infidelities, it may become a chore to read.

Friday, July 6, 2012

#73: The Color Encyclopedia of Incredible Airplanes

(Affiliate link)
The perfect gift for dads, grads, and aviation fans of all ages, The Color Encyclopedia of Incredible Airplanes gives a complete rundown of 150 of the world's best-loved flying machines, from the first biplanes to military jets and jumbo airliners to today's most technologically advanced planes.
Presented chronologically to clearly show technological advances, The Color Encyclopedia of Incredible Airplanes has easy-to-use, at-a-glance profiles and more than 750 photographs and illustrations, from the Boxkite Voisin Biplane to the Sopwith Camel and the Boeing B-52 to the Lockheed F117A.

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: DK CHILDREN; Reprint edition (April 16, 2012)
  • ISBN: 9780756695750
  • Amazon.ca
My Opinion:
I love all things aeronautics. Airplanes, Helicopters, Gliders, Parachutes, if it's airborne, I'm interested. I have no idea where I get it from either.
This book is amazing for an airplane lover like me. It has everything, and I mean everything, from the start of air-time to now. The photos accompanying the paragraphs about where the plane came from, really give you a sense of looking back in time. I had a couple, "Whoa!", moments when reading.
I think people of all ages will enjoy this. Of course you do need a slight fascination for the obvious, airplanes, but it pulls in the smallest adorer.

4/5


Recommend? To airplane fans, yes.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy for review. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

Cottonelle Clean Care and Decorative Roll Cover

Cottonelle Clean Care™ Toilet Paper is 30% stronger, and with extra-absorbent ripples, it's the only bath tissue worthy of respect.
 Since January, you can get your own limited edition Jonathan Adler designer roll covers available exclusively from Cottonelle.

My Opinion:
First the toilet paper.
Oh, so soft.
There is a nice line pattern that really looks and feels better. I like the thickness of the rolls, and notice I use less sheets.
It's mighty absorbent too! I have grabbed sheets to clean a spill, and couldn't believe it's absorbancy.
Now the toilet paper cover.
My loo.
It fits that big roll, and still has some room. I enjoyed the colorful pattern too. Since it's mostly white, the colors helped bring it out. 
I did struggle for a fraction of a second getting it open, but no problems since then.
I do wish it held more than one roll, so less back and forth, but for one it's perfect!

4/5

Recommend? The toilet paper, not the cover.

DISCLAIMER: I received products for review. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 82 with me!  
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.
(Affiliate link)
 Vronsky looked wonderingly at the prince with his resolute eyes, and, with a faint smile, began immediately talking to Countess Nordston of the great ball that was to come off next week.
 "I hope you will be there?" he said to Kitty.


Stella & Dot

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