Saturday, July 31, 2010

Books Read in July

5 Star

Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory
In the Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries
To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
One Night with a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

4.5 Stars

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas (e-book)
Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow

4 Stars

Dangerous Games by Keri Arthur

3.5 Stars

Geek Abroad by Piper Banks
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Sins of a Wicked Duke by Sophie Jordan

3 Stars

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Dates from Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland
Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

2.5 Stars

The Lost by J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, and Ruth Ryan Langan

That makes 19 books for the month of July. I took a little break from reading at one point, but then I read Leviathan and it really renewed my excitement for reading. I can't wait for Behemoth to come out!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!!


I am lucky enough to be part of CSN Stores Preferred Blogger Program. Because of this I am able to have this giveaway for my readers!

The winner will recieve a $50 promotional code to use at CSN Stores.

This giveaway is open to US and Canada ONLY
There may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products.

Mandatory entry:
Leave a comment letting me know what you might buy from CSN Stores

Extra entry:

+1 New follower
+2 Old follower

(Please leave your Google Friend Connect name in the comment)

Giveaway ends August 5 at 11:59 pm EST

*Thanks to CSN Stores for the opportunity to do this giveaway*

Book Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 19, 2010)
Amazon Description:

The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!

Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

**************************

I didn't think it would be possible, but Crescendo surpassed my high expectations. I loved Hush, Hush and knew Becca Fitzpatrick wouldn't let her fans down with Crescendo. So what did she do? She managed to write an even better book than the first! In Crescendo, Nora and Patch go through a rough...er...patch in their relationship. Nora doesn't know how to deal with the distance Patch seems to put between them and she reacts by lashing out at him. Trouble always seems to find Nora and without Patch by her side 24/7 she seems to be in constant danger. Nora is trying to find out who killed her father, Scott (a boy who played with Nora as a kid) has moved back to town but is hiding something about his past, Patch is spending an awful lot of time with Marcie, and on top of all this some truth bombs are dropped that are sure to shock us all. The ending leaves you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. From start to finish I could not put this book down. This is a read you do not want to pass up.

5/5

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for this review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

CymLowell


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday #8

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


Behemoth (Leviathan Book 2) by Scott Westerfeld
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 5, 2010)
Amazon Description:

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.

CSN Stores

CSN Stores is a great place to shop with over 200+ stores where you can find just about anything. One of the many things you can find is luggage. CSN Stores prices run from very affordable to very high end so there is something for everyone whether you are shopping for quality items on a budget or you want to indulge and spend a bit more.

This luggage set is cute and bold...easy to spot at the baggage claim in the airport.
This one is perfect for a young girl. Hello Kitty is adorable!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday #7

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


The Ivy by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (August 31, 2010)
Amazon Description:

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with—

Gregory
the guy she loves to hate

Evan
the guy she'd love to forget

Clint
the guy she'd love to love

and Matt
the guy she really should love

—all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1) by Cassandra Clare

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (August 31, 2010)
From Amazon:

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

*********************

I fell in love with Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series so I was very excited to read the first book in her new series, Clockwork Angel. The Infernal Devices series is meant to be a prequel to the Mortal Instruments, set in London 1878. It is not necessary to have read the Mortal Instruments to enjoy this book, however it is such an amazing series I recommend that you do read it if you already haven't.

Tessa is a teenage girl who travels from America to London to meet her brother after her Aunt's death. When she arrives at the docks her brother is not there, but seems to have sent someone for him...the Dark sisters. From there on her world is turned upside down. She has a power she had no idea she even had and she is forced to do as the sisters tell her or they will kill her brother. Will, a Nephilim and Shadowhunter, rescues her and brings her to the Institute where she meets Jem, Charlotte, Henry, Jessimine, and their servants Agatha, Sophie, and Thomas. Their goal is to stop the Magister and his evil plan.

This story definitely took a slow start. For about 1/4 of the book there wasn't much excitement happening but things did pick up. Every one of the characters is fascinating. Will is an enigma and I can't wait for some of the mystery about him to be revealed. Jem is such a kind and tragic figure it is hard not to fall in love with him. Jessimine comes off as spoiled and snobby but I think in the end she will surprise us all. Charlotte is not much older than the others but she is in charge of the institute and is married to Henry, who is an inventor (although not quite successful at it). There are some sad moments, action, and a possible love triangle...It will be difficult waiting for book 2 to come out because I want to devour the series right now. The Infernal Devices has the potential to be an incredible series and I look forward to reading more.

5/5

All opinions are my own, and have not been influenced in any way

CymLowell


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book Depository 10% Off Coupon Code

The Book Depository is celebrating their 6 year anniversary! If you leave your email address in the comments I will send you a 10% off coupon code. I believe I can only send up to 10 though, so comment away!

If you have never shopped at The Book Depository I must tell you it is a great place to get books. They ship for free, internationally, and they often have preorders for half the price!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 3: Read-A-Thon Recap and Wrap Up

Today was once again filled with errands, I caught up with all the stuff in my google reader, and I watched Big Brother, Top Chef, and Work of Art. In between all that I have been reading The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries. It was not on my list but I figured since I was on a roll with historical romance I might as well just go with it. Oh, and I made strawberry-banana-mango smoothies today...YUM!

So to wrap things up with this challenge I read:

Dates from Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland
In the Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries
To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
One Night with a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
AND
about 1/2 of The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries

I am pretty disappointed with myself. I slacked off and did not push myself. It is not out of the ordinary for me to read this many books in 3 days so obviously I slacked off and did not push myself. I think I will do better in the next challenge I participate in and be more dedicated to reading. I really enjoyed participating in the mini challenges. I think that they were very creative. It has been fun reading people's updates and whatnot as well :)

Book Trailer: Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Day 2: Read-A-Thon Recap

I did not accomplish everything I wanted to on day 2. I did read the 2 Sabrina Jeffries books I had planned on but I didn't read anything else. At 10 pm when I could have started reading another book I was listening to music instead....and then the internet sucked me in and I didn't surface until about 3 am (I got caught up on some shows online).

Today I am running some errands and then I hope to read at least one more book. This is my first read-a-thon and it has been fun but next time I participate in one I am really going to try to crack down and get A LOT more reading done.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 2: A Blog About Nothing Mini Challenge

A Blog About Nothing:
Cast characters of a book

The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks

Jean-Luc
played by Matthew Gray Gubler

Heather Westfield
played by Emma Stone

Robby MacKay
played by Logan Lerman

Billy (Sheriff)
played by Kellan Lutz


The casting is a bit young but overall I think they fit the parts pretty decently. I just cast the 2 main characters and 2 secondary characters because there are TONS of great characters and it would've taken all night to pick and choose among them :)

Book Review: To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries


To Pleasure a Prince (Royal Brotherhood book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (March 1, 2005)

Beautiful Lady Regina Tremaine has turned down so many suitors that she's called La Belle Dame Sans Merci. The truth: she won't marry because she carries a dark secret. She sees no good reason, however, why her brother shouldn't court the lovely Louisa North -- even if the girl's brother, the notorious "Dragon Viscount," objects.

Marcus North, Viscount Draker -- bastard son of the Prince of Wales -- is rumored to be a monster who holds women captive in his dark castle to have his way with them. He has been exiled from polite society for years. But when Lady Regina makes a plea on her brother's behalf, Marcus proposes an outrageous deal: her brother can court Louisa so long as Marcus can court Regina. Can the beauty and the beast survive a proper courtship when the devastatingly improper passion between them threatens to cause the scandal of the century?

****************************

This is the second book in a series, although I believe it could be read on its own. Marcus' sister is having her season and he learns that a friend of the prince (whom he despises), Simon (who he also despises), wants to court his sister. That doesn't go over to well. Simon 's sister Regina agrees to allow Marcus to court her as long as he allows Simon to court his sister. The basic gist is that Regina is held in high regard in society and Marcus is rude and looked down upon in society...and they go on an emotional roller coaster together.

I really enjoy Sabrina Jeffries books. It is really what you would expect from a historical romance and it is done very well. The characters are interesting and the relationship development isn't ridiculous. I don't like when details just get glossed over and so far in my reading of Sabrina's work she is not guilty of that. Although her character's have issues in the beginning (usually the guy is being something of a jerk at some point), by the end of the book I am rooting for the romance and not yelling "How could you marry that idiot!", which unfortunately happens with quite a few historical romances I have read (but never Sabrina's!). Her characters are redeemable and go at great lengths to prove themselves to be so.

5/5

http://cymlowell.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-review-party-wednesday-giveaway_13.html

Day 1: Read-A-Thon Recap

Today was another example of my awesome mad procrastinating skills. I got up at 10 am, didn't start reading until noon (I have no clue what I did for two hours), then I finished my first book, Dates from Hell, sometime mid afternoon...after that I completely got off track. My computer sucked me into some sort of time warp and all of a sudden it was 9 pm. Feeling lowly about tossing my reading plans aside for my internet addiction I decided to squeeze in another book before going to bed. I ended up reading In The Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries (who is an excellent author to read if you like historical romance). Soooooo plans for tomorrow:

catch up on my internet stuff (2 hours MAX)
finish reading the remaining 2 Sabrina Jeffries books I had planned on reading
At least start reading either Clockwork Angel ARC OR Matched ARC (I won these in 2 different contests and they arrived Monday)
Head out to the used bookstore and Panera Bread (pastries to keep my energy up for reading!)

Those are the plans, now let us see if I can actually stick to it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 1: Book Crazy Mini-Challenge

Book Crazy

Pick your favorite book or character and pair it with a song or photo that reminds you of the person or setting in the book.


Character: Acheron of The Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Song: Diamond Eyes by The Deftones

I think this song is particularly fitting when Ash is feeling "blue" (hehe)

Day 1: The Eager Readers Mini-Challenge


The Eager Readers

Part 1: Favorite Fictional Couples:

  • Gideon and Scarlett from The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter
  • John Matthew and Xhex from Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
  • Bowen MacRieve and Mariketa the Awaited from Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole
  • Vanda and Phil from Forbidden Nights with a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
Part 2: Crossover Couples:

Anya from The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter and V'Lane from The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning....they are both trouble and it would be interesting to see V'Lane with someone who has a lot of power herself.

Read-A-Thon Begins

It is time for Once Upon A Read-A-Thon hosted by Pure Imagination, Reading Angel, and Candace's Book Blog. It starts today and ends Wednesday.

Even though I have 230+ unread books on my shelves (GAH!!!!), when I went to the library to donate books I couldn't help myself and I got some books to read (it was a compulsion...I need to work on that). So I will be reading my library books for this challenge:



  • Dates from Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland
  • In the Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries
  • To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
  • One Night with a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein

Friday, July 9, 2010

Steampunk Movies


In celebration of Steamboyz Week over at vvB32 Reads I have compiled a list of some Steampunk movies. Feel free to add more in the comments!

The Golden Compass***reviews are bad, but I actually enjoyed this one
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen***Amazing movie
Van Helsing***Enjoyable
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea***Classic
Howl's Moving Castle***Quite a bit different from the book, but still excellent
Steamboy***Have not seen this one yet
Wild Wild West***Don't watch this, you will never be able to get that time back!
The Time Machine***Haven't seen it yet
The City of Lost Children***Haven't seen it although I have wanted to for years
Atlantis: The Lost Empire***Disney does steampunk for the kiddies

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Books Read in June


5 Star

The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

Red Demon by Deidre Knight

Heartless by Sara Shepard

Wanted by Sara Shepard

The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter


4 Star

Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Never Seduce a Scoundrel by Sabrina Jeffries

Let Sleeping Rogues Lie by Sabrina Jeffries

Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jeffries

Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur

Tempting Evil by Keri Arthur


3.5 Star

Wicked Become You
by Meredith Duran
Lucan by Susan Kearney

Beware a Scots Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries


3 Star

Rion by Susan Kearney
Only a Duke Will Do by Sabrina Jeffries
Mysteria by MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, P.C. Cast, and Gena Showalter
Mysteria Lane by MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, P.C. Cast, and Gena Showalter

2.5 Star

Viking in Love by Sandra Hill

An Earl to Enchant
by Amelia Grey

Total= 22 books read in June

Waiting on Wednesday #5 and #6

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

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Poppy (October 11, 2010)

Amazon Description:

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.

But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.


Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star (September 21, 2010)

Amazon Description:

Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans . . . and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trailer: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

check out the contest at Bree's blog