07 March 2017

[Book review] 33 Ermine Street



Blurb:

“Religion is a human invention – love isn’t. It lives inside every person, no matter who they are, or what they do or do not believe in. Love is the only thing a person truly needs to believe in to receive love in return.”

Being an only child growing up in a Chinese immigrant family, Shen lives a relatively quiet and sheltered life in comparison to most other British teenagers. His parents, who ended up running a small Chinese restaurant, work tirelessly to make sure their only child is given the opportunities that they missed out on in life.

It's a day like any other, when Shen becomes witness to a traumatic incident on his usual route to school. From that moment on, his peaceful and uneventful teenage life takes a drastic turn as he struggles to cope with the grim memories of that fateful morning.

Shen embarks on a very personal journey in an attempt to understand what happened. In the weeks and months that follow, he finds himself hurled into a turbulent world driven by fear, prejudice and social injustice.



Rating: ✮✮✮✮

My reviews vary on what mood the book gave me, and this is one of those books that I have to review a bit differently.

I always save the best stuff for last so let me start with my review with the thing that annoyed me in this book.

1: TEA! I love drinking tea, but this book pushed it to a higher level. That was a lot of TEA! By 70% I'm praying not to read another "tea." Gosh, do they drink anything else?

2: I find Shen's interaction with his parent a bit formal, he rebelled a bit but still, the way their actions and way to speak with each other just seem stiff most of the time (but maybe it's just me)

3: I wish it the book is a bit longer... huhuhu :'(

Moving on. Funny details.

1: I was prepared to read the Philippine names after reading one of the reviews on Goodreads but reading Bayani just cracked me up. It's a very old name (in my opinion) for someone so young in the modern time. Besides, the only person I know with this name is Bayani Agbayani, my favorite Filipino comedian.
- EDIT NOTES March 18, 2017: Author has updated the book so this part feels different now.


2: Malik lines hilarious I wish I could quote all of it here, but I'll give his best line ever:


The man is just so cool. It's a bit sad that the author didn't show more after the last incident with Amihan :( He's a good person. He deserves a happy ending.

Now for the overall review. Three words. I love it!
Shen annoyed me at first. He appeared spoiled and very sheltered, and I just can't connect with him, but he quickly captured my attention especially after he met Amihan.

The story seems a bit dull at first, but after passing a quarter of the book, I could hardly wait to read it again. (Except for the constant offer of tea. Sorry, I just can't get over it.)

33 Ermine Street is quite exciting. The hidden hideousness behind what seem to be perfectly normal society will grip your heart and never let go. This is a memorable read.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Links:

Website:
http://www.33erminestreet.com

Amazon link:
https://www.amazon.com/33-Ermine-Street-Harvey-Lincoln-ebook/dp/B01HJRQERO/

Goodreads link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30748022-33-ermine-street

~~~

About the Author

Harvey Lincoln was born and raised in the south of The Netherlands. He lived there for many years before moving to the UK in 2002 where he studied for both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Graphic Design. He has since returned to The Netherlands where he lives together with his English wife.

33 Ermine Street is his first novel.
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21 February 2017

[Book Review] Letters to Cora


Blurb:

Finding one letter was inspiring to her story. Finding a second was exciting. But when Nell finds the third letter in the rock wall of her newly acquired estate, she’s a little more than curious as to what really happened to Joshua and his beloved Cora.

For this detached author who is starting her life over, Nell finds herself sucked into the idea of the intrigue, yearning and hoping that the lovers found a way to be together.

After asking a couple of new acquaintances in the nearby village about the estate’s history, she meets Reid, a historian and descendant of Joshua himself. They start to put together the pieces of the puzzle that seem to be a Romeo and Juliet style romance in the 1800’s.

Doubts, fears and suspicions threaten to interfere. But what they do learn is that Love sometimes crosses boundaries and time to happen, even in some of the most unexpected ways.



Rating: ✮✮✮✮


Romance overload!

When I first read the blurb, I immediately know that I wanted to read this book. The heroine or more correctly put one of the heroines is a writer, therefore, I was curious how the author would make me (a writer ) excited about the story. I tried to guess various scenarios and got most of them wrong, and I love that.

At first, I couldn't care less about Nell and Reid. All I wanted was to read more of Joshua's letters to Cora. Somewhere along the way, however, I started to get hook with Nell's romance, maybe not as much as Cora but yeah...

A lot of heartbreaking situation was revealed especially with Clive (Joshua's son) but the drama in this book isn't tiresome.

I enjoyed reading this book and recommends it any paranormal readers.

***PS: I was given an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review


~~~~

Author Bio

Colleen Nye started writing as a teen. Through her school days, she won awards for her poetry and short stories including a Sarah Endres Award for Young Writers. As an adult, she now has short stories in Writing at the Ledges’ second and third anthologies, Seasons of Life and Voices from the Ledges, as well as various publications.

In 2012, she published first solo novel, the romantic comedy series, The Unattainable Series: When in Maui. In 2015, When in Maui moved to Blue Deco Publishing with her second novel, Immersion, a dystopian thriller. January 2016, the first book in an anthology series that’s truly unique, designed by Colleen Nye, was released. The series is named The Lunch Time Anthologies. They are full length novels with a variety of authors writing pieces that are embedded into the over-arching storyline written by Colleen. The first book is Gable Heights, and it is a crime drama.

Also in 2016, she released several projects including The Unattainable Series: Book Two, When in Doubt and a coming of age drama called The Long Summer. She co-lead and appeared in each of the 5 books in an anthology series release called The Debut Collective. In Sept 2016, From Pen To Page: A Biographical Poetry Collection was released that is the poetry of biker Alonzo “Chacho” Gomez that is chronologically arranged within his biography, written by Colleen Nye.

For 2017, Colleen is working on a paranormal romance, Letters To Cora, slated to release February 2017, sci-fi and fantasy books yet to be titled, and book three in The Unattainable Series: When in Love. Colleen also writes press releases and content for newspapers, magazines and online blogs, web sites and more, makes book covers and book trailers and formats novels and anthologies. Oh, and she is the proud owner of Blue Deco Publishing.

You can contact her online or at author.colleennye@gmail.com
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13 February 2017

[Book Blitz] Letters to Cora


Title: Letters to Cora    Author: Colleen Nye  Genre: Paranormal Romance

Tagline:

…With all my heart.

Blurb:

Finding one letter was inspiring to her story. Finding a second was exciting. But when Nell finds the third letter in the rock wall of her newly acquired estate, she’s a little more than curious as to what really happened to Joshua and his beloved Cora.

For this detached author who is starting her life over, Nell finds herself sucked into the idea of the intrigue, yearning and hoping that the lovers found a way to be together.

After asking a couple of new acquaintances in the nearby village about the estate’s history, she meets Reid, a historian and descendant of Joshua himself. They start to put together the pieces of the puzzle that seem to be a Romeo and Juliet style romance in the 1800’s.

Doubts, fears and suspicions threaten to interfere. But what they do learn is that Love sometimes crosses boundaries and time to happen, even in some of the most unexpected ways.

-Teaser-


Links



~~~~

Author Bio

Colleen Nye started writing as a teen. Through her school days, she won awards for her poetry and short stories including a Sarah Endres Award for Young Writers. As an adult, she now has short stories in Writing at the Ledges’ second and third anthologies, Seasons of Life and Voices from the Ledges, as well as various publications.

In 2012, she published first solo novel, the romantic comedy series, The Unattainable Series: When in Maui. In 2015, When in Maui moved to Blue Deco Publishing with her second novel, Immersion, a dystopian thriller. January 2016, the first book in an anthology series that’s truly unique, designed by Colleen Nye, was released. The series is named The Lunch Time Anthologies. They are full length novels with a variety of authors writing pieces that are embedded into the over-arching storyline written by Colleen. The first book is Gable Heights, and it is a crime drama.

Also in 2016, she released several projects including The Unattainable Series: Book Two, When in Doubt and a coming of age drama called The Long Summer. She co-lead and appeared in each of the 5 books in an anthology series release called The Debut Collective. In Sept 2016, From Pen To Page: A Biographical Poetry Collection was released that is the poetry of biker Alonzo “Chacho” Gomez that is chronologically arranged within his biography, written by Colleen Nye.

For 2017, Colleen is working on a paranormal romance, Letters To Cora, slated to release February 2017, sci-fi and fantasy books yet to be titled, and book three in The Unattainable Series: When in Love. Colleen also writes press releases and content for newspapers, magazines and online blogs, web sites and more, makes book covers and book trailers and formats novels and anthologies. Oh, and she is the proud owner of Blue Deco Publishing.

You can contact her online or at author.colleennye@gmail.com
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26 January 2017

And so it ends!

Hello! It's been a while since I posted anything. Not that you can blame me. First because of pregnancy then a difficult birth. Not that I'm complaining, because I now have an adorable 3-month-old son. Come on, drop me those lovely congrats! Hahaha :D

Anyway, if it weren't for these two reasons I would have more updates and the review below would have been posted by the time I finished it.

So, my first post this is...

Drumroll, please!





 And today's book is...
..................................
............................
....................
..........
.....


 

Blurb:

College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It's her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She's had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he's destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she's figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It's not like she doesn't have any options for a classic college romance though. There's Diego, God of the Sea and Quin's best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?


Rating: ✮✮✮✮
 
 
Interim Goddess of Love trilogy will still be my most favorite out of all the books I read by Mina. However, this volume gave me the most complicated feeling. I'm happy and disappointed at the same time. Just like how Hannah felt that she have everything and nothing at all.

This volume was quite an adventure.

It's unbelievable how cool I was with Quin not caring how it will end for him in the whole story, then care so much in the last two chapters. I felt sorry for him because he made his decision based on what he have seen, but I was annoyed at the same time that did not fight for the love he has been waiting for.

And Hannah? Don't even get me started! I understand her, but that's not stopping me from feeling that her choice was unfair for both men. I'm glad one of my wishes after finishing volume 2 came true just not the way I wish. (Congrats Robbie!)

Now for my next wish. Mina, please write a story for Diego!
 
____________________
About The Author 

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to "Is this story based on you?" is always, always "No."

http://minavesguerra.com
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31 October 2016

[Book Review] The Fool’s Apprentice - Book tour



Title: The Fool’s Apprentice

Author: Kelly Hess

Genre: YA Fantasy

Blurb:

In the kingdom of Dragon’s Launch, young Denrikk’s aspirations of becoming a knight are dashed when he is instead apprenticed to the king’s fool. Embarrassed and devastated that his new position will ruin all hopes of winning the hand of the girl he loves–the princess Alendria– Denrikk reluctantly begins training under his new master, Fumbles, the king’s aging fool. He quickly learns, however, that being a fool in Dragon’s Launch is much more than juggling and laughing like a hyena.
But when a shocking murder within the castle walls shakes the palace, all evidence points toward Denrikk. Now, with his new skills, a bit of luck, and the help of some unlikely friends, the fool’s apprentice must race to prove his innocence, all while evading capture.

Buy on Amazon (Kindle)  -- Buy on Amazon (Paperback)


 Rating: ✮✮✮✮

Review:

When I asked to have the review copy of this book for the blog tour, I was kind of sure that I would like it. But the story still exceeded my expectations. I love this book more than I can explain, so it's now one of my most favorite reads this year.

The actions, the unexpected twist, the characters everything in the book is amazing I can barely hold myself from reading where I left off. I could babble so much why I love the book, but that will probably bore you to death. So, I'll simply recommend you to read it because I think you'll love it too and will be wishing for book 2 like I do.

_____________________________

Author Bio


Kelly Hess is the author of the BlackMyst Trilogy. Kelly grew up with a love of reading science fiction and fantasy which inspired him to write his own books for young readers. He lives in Vacaville, California with his wife and son where he is currently working on his next adventure.

Links




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22 October 2016

[Book Review] Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love Book 2)



Blurb:

If you've been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don't worry -- Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity's love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn't as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It's frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).

In the meantime, she's decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn't exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it's not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it's not what people want.)


Rating: ✮✮✮✮

After reading Queen of the Clueless some weeks ago, I decided to finish reading the 3rd book in the series before writing my review because this book left so much for the next. But I can't resist the nagging feeling inside me that wanted to express my emotion. And that I think this book deserves a review now that I'm reading the last book of the Interim Goddess of Love trilogy.

Very early in the book, my heart bleed for right off the bat. I felt bad about Diego's past and wanted to be there to pat his shoulder. (He will probably just send me off, though. Haha :D)

As I continue, the lack of Quinn's reaction to Hannah's feelings for him made me tired of it. I even rooted for Robbie to get her until I saw the pool scene. I love, love the pool scene with Diego! I seriously can't understand how Hannah can withstand all that charm without drooling. I know I will. (Whispers sorry to my husband ^^) and oh my god, Hannah's first kiss made me want to jump around the room screaming if only it weren't past midnight already.

Lastly, Robbie was really cool in this volume. I wish that he'll find someone to love him back in the last book. Quin is... I don't know, mysterious (I guess) but I still wish for Diego and Hannah together.


____________________
About The Author 


Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to "Is this story based on you?" is always, always "No."

http://minavesguerra.com
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16 October 2016

Featuring #booktungan: MVREDEMPTION

Hello, readers! Today I have a special kind of review to share. And that is #MVREDEMPTION, bookbed‘s first #booktungan story, which released every Sundays. The story is a collaboration between 8 authors. It's all about friendship and everything in between.



I haven't read all the episodes but the first, and second episode promise a good story ahead. This online serial is easy and light to read and a great diversion between long reads.

So, whenever you're ready, head to Bookbed.org now or click the link below and start #MVREDEMPTION.

https://bookbed.org/2016/07/10/booktungan-mv-redemption-episode-1/

Click Here to see all the episodes


______________

About the Authors

LUCILLE DE MESA is an aspiring dentist who likes reading and writing. She spends her free time taking care of her five fur babies, reading books that cater to her short attention span, trying out pocket-friendly beauty items and writing it all on her blog. She is on Twitter@laughteraddict and Instagram @laughter118.

BAZ GRIMM-PITCH: Lover of words, yet not a wordsmith. Inspired by others and wishes to write for them.

CELESTINE TRINIDAD is a licensed physician based in the Philippines, specializing in Pathology. In her spare time, she writes fictions—speculative fiction, romance and children’s short stories.

IBYANG RIOT is an educator, teacher trainer, writer and lifelong student. She currently works for a publishing company.

SARAH BULALACAO: Kasalukuyang nagtatrabaho bilang kawani ng gobyerno, pero nangangarap magkaroon ng bahay kubo sa isang liblib na kakahuyan sa probinsiya.

MARIA CRISELDA SANTOS loves books, lipstick and cats. A member of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING), she has also written stories and comics for children, young adults and the young at heart.

BJ MEDINA researches about Philippine mythical creatures and compiles them into one single list. He create stories or does modern retelling of Philippine myths and legends.

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