Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart

Posted by Wajiha Q at Sunday, June 29, 2014 0 comments
Title: Shattered Veil
Author: Tracy E. Banghart
My Rating: ★★★★★
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian
Published February 28th 2014

Description from Goodreads
When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?

War has invaded Atalanta’s quiet villages and lush woodlands, igniting whispered worries in its glittering capitol. Far from the front lines, 18-year-old Aris Haan, a talented wingjet flyer, has little cause for concern. Until her beloved Calix is thrust into the fray, and a stranger makes her an impossible offer: the chance to join a secret army of women embedded within the all-male military. 

Aris’s choice to follow Calix to war will do more than put her in physical danger; it will make her question everything she believes about herself. When she and her enigmatic commander uncover a deadly conspiracy, her expert flying may be the only hope for her dominion’s survival…and her own.

It’s Mulan meets Battlestar Galactica, with a heroine who is strong enough to save a nation…but only if she’s willing to sacrifice everything, even the one promise she swore she’d never break.

My Review

Wow. Just wow. This book is AMAZING! It kept me awake all night, and I just didn't want it to end. I'm totally on a book hangover, and can't read anything else. 

I've been putting off writing this review because I find it difficult to write whenever I'm overwhelmed. Though a week has passed from when I finished reading Shattered Veil, I'm still very obsessed with it. My feelings are still all over the place, but I'll try my best to write a coherent review.

Alright, so what's it about? Shattered Veil is a Sci-fi/Dystopian book, and it's about a girl called Aris who disguises as a man to become a Military flyer. Now, in case you guys are wondering why she has to cross-dress, let me explain it to you. Women in this book can't join the military. The story takes place in the future, and after decades of war the population has diminished drastically. So, the government decided to ban women from doing any kind of dangerous work, as they wanted to ensure the survival of the human race.

Aris has never cared about the war, she decided to enter the military just to be with Calix, the guy she loves. She's the silly type of girl who's hopelessly romantic. Initially, I was a bit annoyed at her because I wanted her to join the military for a honorable reason, and not because of a man. Things developed quickly though, and I soon saw her change as the story progressed. 

The transformation from Aris to Aristos was very different. It wasn't the usual 'breast binding' and 'dressing like a man' transformation. It was more complex, and really extreme. I mean, she shaved her head to look like a guy!

There wasn't much romance in this book. Aris did have a long distance relationship with Calix, but it was obvious from the beginning that they weren't meant to be. So, I kept wondering if there was some other guy. Although the book didn't really focus on the romance, I was glad that there was indeed another guy!

The book is told from different point of views which helped building the climax towards the end of the story. The mystery aspect was beautifully executed. I liked how everything unfolded, and that ending!

Shattered Veil left my mouth wide open, so READ IT!

Edit: August 1st 2014
SHATTERED VEIL has a new title and cover: Rebel Wing.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Marionette by T.B. Markinson

Posted by Wajiha Q at Friday, June 27, 2014 0 comments
Title: Marionette
Author: T.B. Markinson
My Rating: ★★★★★
Genres: YA, LGBT, Contemporary
Published November 7th 2013
Format: Ebook, 255 pages
Copy provided by Author

Description from Goodreads
Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her wrists. Paige isn't insane, but she acts like she is. Why? 

After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn't believe that therapy will help her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn't want to find herself and she doesn't want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn't had since her birth. 

During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy, when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn't come forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family. 

To add to Paige’s woes, while attending a college in a small town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a threat of violence. She isn't out of the closet and pretends to be straight at school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?

My Review
Marionette is not type of book I usually pick up. To be honest, I've never been interested in LGBT books, and must confess that this is the first one I've ever read. The author requested to review it, and I happily accepted since I haven't read any book that discusses homosexuality. However, it took me some time to get in the mood to read it.

Marionette tells the story of Paige Alexander, a young college student, who has always hidden the fact that she's gay; not because she's ashamed of it, but because she fears that her parents will find out. She has a hard time dealing with her childhood trauma; her controlling father and evil mother see her as a possession, a thing they can bend to their own will. Furthermore, her twin sister doesn't seem to care about her at all. The story is told from Paige's point of view, and gets us involved as we follow her around, and see how she deals with with all the issues in her life.

Paige is a very pleasant narrator. She is sarcastic, and has a great sense of humor. She isn't very open with people, and doesn't make much conversation with those who are out of her inner circle of friends. So, it was really entertaining to read whatever was going on in that little brain of hers. She is a very complex and interesting character which is why I enjoyed Marionette so much! Initially, I didn't understand why she attempted suicide, but as I learned more about her past, everything brilliantly clicked into place!

Although she has grown neglected by her parents, Paige does have Jess and some friends who truly care about her. Jess is Paige's girlfriend, and is a very lively and loving person. Unlike Paige, she doesn't hide the fact that she's gay; on the contrary, she passionately fights for gay rights. I love their relationship! The author beautifully conveys their feelings for each other without focusing on the physical aspect. Aside from Paige and Jess, the other characters are notable and I feel that their vitality is what made this book really fun to read!

Overall, I really loved this book! It discussed a lot of deep topics, but still managed to make me laugh. It wasn't too serious, and had tons of hilarious parts that kept me from being bored. The main character had so many issues, but I've grown to care for her. If you're looking for an issue book that doesn't take things too seriously then you should read it!

Thank you to the author for providing me with an ecopy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Trailer & Giveaway! Mysteries of the Grand Canyon by Marie von Minden

Posted by Wajiha Q at Friday, June 27, 2014 0 comments
Mysteries of the Grand Canyon by Marie von Minden
Title: Mysteries of the Grand Canyon 
Author: Marie von Minden 
Publication Date: March 21, 2013
Publisher: Adventures of Discovery: Independent
Pages: 110
Recommended Ages: 5 to 12 (read-aloud for younger children) 
Summary: The author of the first interactive Grand Canyon ebook for children takes her readers on an exciting journey as a lively little dog befriends a California condor and an Abert’s squirrel, and together they explore the canyon. What child wouldn’t want to go on the adventure of a lifetime with a great pup like Kristi Kay and follow her on a multimedia journey that is both fun and educational? Amazing stories told by her new friends keep you wondering what surprising new secrets they will reveal next. What happened to the people that lived in the canyon? Will the condors in the rescue program survive? This adventure story for elementary grade children offers an engaging way to experience the Grand Canyon. For those who would like to learn more about the issues touched upon in the story, additional information is provided in the Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger section at the end of the book via interactive media, photo galleries, maps, charts, and links to external websites. This interactive ebook is especially appropriate for children 7-11 years old, and as a read aloud for younger children, and it would also be well-suited for an educational setting. Divided into 12 chapters, the book lends itself to be read in several sessions at the age appropriate pace. “Mysteries of the Grand Canyon” is the first book in the A Cairn Terrier Travels to National Parks series, a series of educational adventure stories created to inspire appreciation and stewardship of our precious parks. 
Book Trailer
iBookstore Purhcase Button   
The Buzz
"Mysteries of the Grand Canyon is educational, exciting, and entertaining all rolled into one. Marie Von Minden gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the canyon's past as well as the creatures that still call the Grand Canyon home. The interactive function allows for further learning and the brilliant photos visually stimulate children and help instill the knowledge found within the story." I highly recommend picking up a copy of Mysteries of the Grand Canyon." ~ BeachBoundBooks

"A must have experience for young people. With its cute, intelligent looking dog, and a bird that looks like it was conceived by Dr. Seuss, it puts us into an animal society - so beautifully conceived in its civility, generosity, and interest and care for the world - that it is reminescent of books like Winnie the Pooh. These elements, set in the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, beautifully brought out by magnificent photographs and videos, make it a compelling book from both parents' and teachers' points of view. ~ Mr. Naturally, iBookstore Review

"Overall, this iBook provides a great introduction to the Grand Canyon to children who are about to visit it or who just want to learn more about this important National Park. It includes lots of beautiful photographs, the story is engaging and there is a huge wealth of information included. I found it a great opportunity to talk about the Grand Canyon with my son, and tell him about my own experiences visiting the park and hiking into the crater. I also really enjoyed learning about the California Condor and all the effort that has gone into the Recovery Program; it provided a great opportunity to talk about Endangered Species and our responsibility to help preserve them." ~ iMum

"More than just a story, the book has incredible imagery that appears to lift off the page – a true photographic journey." ~ Mom's Lifesavers

"Readers of all ages will enjoy this engaging story to discover one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World at the Grand Canyon National Park. This photographically rich and entertaining ebook is especially appropriate for 7-11 year olds and as a read aloud for younger children, and it would also be well suited for an educational setting." ~ The Appy Ladies

"As a teacher, I am grateful to use this amazing book with my class! My students loved learning about the Grand Canyon from precious Kristi Kay's point of view, and they were excited to participate in the interactive aspects of the book; they didn't want to put it down!" ~ A. Gillette, iBookstore Review 
About the Author
KK and Marie for websiteJPG
Would you like to live each day surrounded by unsurpassed beauty and deeply connected to nature? Marie finds it hard to believe, but this is now her lifestyle and she wants to share it through her photography and stories. Marie von Minden was born and raised in Poland. She immigrated to Canada in 1982 and in 1999 she and her husband relocated to the United States. Like many Europeans, she was overwhelmed by the vastness and the beauty of North America and she developed a passion for landscape photography. They began camping in the wilderness and connecting with nature on weekends and holidays, first in a tent and later in a cap-over camper. It was during those camping trips that a dream of full-time traveling and living in an RV evolved. In 2002 that dream became reality and they have been traveling in a 34 foot Airstream trailer ever since. America’s National Parks continue to be one of their favorite places to visit. When Kristi Kay, a Cairn Terrier, joined them, the idea of a children’s book series about America’s National Parks as seen through Kristi Kay’s eyes grew as a natural extension of their lifestyle and love of nature. Through interactive adventure stories enhanced by photography selected from her vast photographic library, animation, sounds, videos, and unique graphics Marie hopes to express her gratitude for what has become her home, and to help cultivate appreciation and stewardship of these precious resources. Website | Twitter | Goodreads

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: 2 x $50 Amazon Gift Cards or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) 

Contest ends: July 25, 11:59 pm, 2014 

Open: Internationally 

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Marie von Minden and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. 
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fan Art Up! (1): Letters To Juliet

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, June 26, 2014 0 comments
FAN ART UP! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This is a new feature that I found out thanks to Kel @ Booked Til Tuesday. I really LOVE fan arts, and drawings in general, so I'm very excited to share what I've come up with. :D

Today's fan art is inspired by Amanda Seyfried's movie Letters to Juliet!

I enjoyed watching this movie so much! It was visually beautiful, and I loved the songs that were used, plus the story was set in Italy. :D

My favorite quote from the movie:

"I'm sorry, I didn't know true love had an expiration date."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Understudy by Cheyanne Young

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, June 25, 2014 0 comments
Full tour schedule here.
Hi guys! So, today I have yet another blog tour to share with you! I'm so excited to talk about this YA book because I've never read anything about performing arts. When I found out that Understudy was going on tour, I just knew I had to sign up and read it. Check out my review below!
Understudy by Cheyanne Young
My Rating: ★ ★ ★☆☆
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Published February 14th 2014 by 336 Love
Format Read: Ebook, Oops! I read a book again BT
Purchase: Amazon, B&N

Description from Goodreads
The high school play is in two months and senior Wren Barlow just became director. Wren still isn't over the fact that she got stiffed as a stagehand instead of the lead role that she totally deserved. Now she is in charge of rehearsals, costumes, navigating around cast member hookups and managing the real life drama at home.

The principal counts on her to succeed because tickets have been sold and the money has been spent. But when he drops a gorgeous bad boy on her and wants him to help the play for extra credit, she falls hard for someone she knows she can't date. With everything spinning out of control, the mysterious and secretive detention king named Derek has a few tricks up his sleeve and wants to help—too bad Wren is scared to give him a chance to prove himself.
My Review:

Wren's aunt. I didn't like Wren's aunt because I couldn't understand her motive for leaving the play. How could she expect a bunch of kids to organize a school play by themselves? They would use the rehearsal time to do whatever they wanted, and that was exactly what happened. Total chaos! Anyhow, I believe that she should have a valid reason for leaving the play, but it seemed like she just didn't care.

It's short. The book is barely 150 pages which is relatively short compared to other YA books. I felt that some things were rushed, and I would have preferred the book to be longer so that things could have been developed in depth.
5 Reasons why you should read it!

The Play. I really like how this book focuses on acting and theatre because, as I've said earlier, I've never read books about school plays. I also love how it reminds me a little of the High School Musical movies! I love watching those movies, and if you're like me then you will definitely enjoy reading Understudy.

Understudy. Whenever I think about theatre themed books, I always expect the main character to be the lead role in the play, but after reading this book I realized that being an understudy can be fun too! Well, Wren didn't think the same when she landed the role of understudy.

Teenage Crush. If you haven't guessed it already, this book is full of romance! Wren instantly crushes on Derek, but then she discovers that he has a bad reputation. Everyone says to stay away from him, but her instinct says the opposite.

Cliché. I enjoy reading books like Understudy from time to time. There's no pressure. No stress. Just pure, simple fun! It's the sweet and light hearted kind of book that will keep you entertained, and make you smile.

Fairy tale vibe. The best thing about this book is that it has a fairy tale vibe to it, and we all know how much I love fairy tales!

Final thoughts:

Although I had some disagreements with this book, I enjoyed reading it. It's a quick and sweet story, and if you're looking for a light hearted book with a fairy tale vibe to it then Understudy is for you!

I received this book from Oops! I read a book again Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author
Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.
She also writes under the pen name Amy Sparling.

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Excerpt + Giveaway! True Colors by Kysten Lindsay Hager

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, June 25, 2014 0 comments
True Colors CoverTrue Colors
Landry Albright enters a modeling competition with her two best friends, but runs into jealousy when she advances to the next level without them. Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut of the modeling contest. Devon seems like the perfect new best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition? Throw in a new boy, jealousy and loyalty issues, and insults from hair stylists. How’s a girl to deal?
The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

Krysten LAbout the Author
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. Her debut novel, TRUE COLORS, will be out June 17th from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows.
INT Giveaway
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Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 

Ends 8/8/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): The Right Design by Isabella Louise Anderson

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, June 23, 2014 0 comments

The Right Design is Isabella's debut novel. Check out my review below!
Full tour schedule here.
The Right Design
by Isabella Louise Anderson

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Genres: Women's fiction, Chick Lit
Published March 8th 2014 by Chick Lit Goddess
Format Read: Ebook, CLP BT
Purchase: Amazon - UK, CANB&N, Kobo

Description from Goodreads
Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.

Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job—Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be cad.

But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him—something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist.

Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one…?
My Review:

I was in really a bad mood when I decided to read this book, and all I wanted to do was dive into a new story, get invested with new characters, and just forget myself. So, I clicked with Carrie almost immediately, and was entirely absorbed in everything that was happening in her life.

Carrie had been dating Rodger for 6 years, he was everything to her, and she knew that he was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She was hoping that he would finally propose to her, so that they could live a happy married life. But as expected, that didn't happen because on their 6th anniversary, Carrie found him cheating on her with another woman, and that obviously lead to the end of their relationship. After her break up with Rodger, Carrie moved to Florida to start over, and find what to do with her newly single life. I think moving to Florida was a great thing to do, she needed to run away from home to forget all the lies. I like how she didn't look back and didn't forgive Rodger for what he'd done. She figured that he didn't deserve her, so she moved on with her life.

Carrie is truly passionate about home decor, she loves her job as an interior designer and she's really good at it. She takes her job seriously and doesn't play around with her clients, but moving to Florida changes a lot of things. Everything was different from what she's used to; huge projects, amazing people and lots of new experiences awaited her.

The romance played a huge part in this book, and although I believe that Carrie fell in love with Brad a little too soon, I think they were cute together. The fact that he was her client should have urged her to slow things down between them, but as I said earlier a lot of things changed when she moved to Florida. There is also a lot of focus on family, which is another reason why I thought it was a great read. I really like Carrie's relationship with her sister, the two are best friends and don't hide anything from each other. They are so alike, both are confused and all, and it was nice to read how they overcome their fears.

The Right Design has the perfect mix of family drama and heartbreaks! I think it's a great summer book to read on the beach. I highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys reading chick lit!

I received this book from CLP Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

About the Autor
Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn't blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing. Isabella Louise Anderson created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies! She loves featuring authors and their books. She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading. Isabella's short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig's Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

Chick Lit Goddess: Website - Facebook - Twitter

Get THE RIGHT DESIGN for just 99 cents during the tour!
**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a The Right Design prize pack! Prizes include an eBook of The Right Design, plus a mug and pen! Please note this is open to US/CA residents only!**

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Inked Armor by Helena Hunting

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, June 18, 2014 0 comments
Title: Inked Armor
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Clipped Wings book 2
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Published March 4th 2014
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Format Read: eARC, NetGalley

Description from Goodreads
In this follow-up to Clipped Wings, the emotional love story continues between Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

In the wake of losing Tenley Page, tattooist Hayden Stryker's tumultuous past is haunting him. Plagued by nightmares about the murder of his parents, Hayden reaches out again to Tenley. Having run from the man she doesn't believe she deserves, Tenley finally lays her guilt to rest. Despite their intense physical attraction, Hayden and Tenley struggle to repair their fragile emotional connection. As Hayden gets closer to the truth, he must find a way to reconcile his guilt over his parents' death in order to keep the woman who finally cracked his armor, and found her way into his heart.

My Review
The ending of Clipped Wings was heartbreaking, so I had to pick up Inked Armor almost immediately, to know what happened next. I felt so bad for Hayden, Tenley left him without any explaination, and didn't even say goodbye! Needless to say that he didn't take it well.

The book started with Tenley still in Arden Hills, taking care of Connor's estate while Hayden was falling apart, thinking that she would never come back to Chicago. I was really impatient for Tenley to figure things out, so that she could go back to Hayden, and I think that if she'd known that he was ruining himself, she wouldn't have stayed away for so long. When Tenley finally decided to return to Chicago, things didn't go as she expected. There was no happy reunion and everything started badly, and I feared that it would take Hayden and Tenley forever to work out their already-fragile relationship. 

In Inked Armor both characters were more confused than ever. Hayden was on the edge most of the time, and just snapped at everyone. Tenley was still dealing with her past, and occasionally had mood swings. But thankfully, even with all the complications in their life, the two characters were more open with each other, and really tried to work things out.

Unlike Clipped Wings, Inked Armor didn't focus much on the tattoos. There was a mystery aspect in the story, though, which I really liked; it kept me intrigued and eager to continue reading. After I finished Clipped Wings, I felt that some things were left hanging, for instance, there were unresolved issues between Cross and Hayden. So, I expected to see more of Cross in Inked Armor, and I also suspected him to play the part of the villain who would, somehow, separate Hayden and Tenley from each other. But surprisingly, it didn't turned out as I expected, things were more complicated than I thought, and I'm glad that the story wasn't that predictable.

Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed this book more than Clipped Wings. Tenley and Hayden were more open to each other, and I liked how their characters grew as they finally learned to cope with their past. 
I don't know if this is the last book in the series, I think that there's a possibility for the story to go on. And if there will be a third book I will defintely read it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Post + Giveaway! Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, June 16, 2014 0 comments
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
Release Date: 06/17/14
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Harper Teen

Description from Goodreads
When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.
Undercover with Sarah Tregay’s Novel Fan Art

I listen to a lot of audio books, and from time to time I’ll read something on a Kindle. While both are convenient ways to get immersed in a story, I miss seeing the book itself. Because I am a graphic designer in my day job, I enjoy the little details in a printed book, such as the typeface, an illustration, or a beautiful chapter heading. Hardcover books are a treat because you can peek under the jacket and see the art on the binding.

So, in case you borrow a copy of Fan Art from your library or read it on your iPad, here is the art under the cover: 

Also, Melissa DeJesus did an amazing job illustrating the graphic short story within Fan Art:

About Sarah Tregay
Raised without television, Sarah Tregay started writing her own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she's not jotting down poems at stoplights, she can be found hanging out with her "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sarah lives in Eagle, Idaho with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots. Her next book, Fan Art, will be released in June.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Posted by Wajiha Q at Friday, June 13, 2014 0 comments
Title: Clipped Wings
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Clipped Wings book 1
My Rating: ★☆☆
Published March 4th 2014
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Format Read: eARC, NetGalley

Description from Goodreads
An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?

My Review

I've read so many good things about this book especially from Ella (The Filipina Booknote), so I decided to give it a shot even though I'm not a big fan of the NA genre. The premise of the book didn't truly intrigue me, and if it hadn't been for Ella's lovely review, I wouldn't have read Clipped Wings. So, definitely go check out her review!

This book is about two broken souls, Hayden and Tenley. They both want to be with each other, but it's really hard for them to open up and start a new relationship because they're hunted by their dreadful past.

Both characters are full of complexity. Hayden is a tattoo artist who may look intimidating because of all his tattoos, but when you get to know him better, you learn that he isn't a bad person. I like how this book focuses a lot on the tattoos. I've always thought that tattoos were just a type of art that you put on your skin, and I've never really gave much importance to why people put them on their body which was really silly of me. So, I really like how, for Hayden, the tattoos are more than body art, and that they have a significant meaning to him. He had a really dark past, which was unfolded as the story went on, and I liked that he could still be cute even with everything he'd been through. On the other hand, Tenley has just experienced a tragedy, and she blames no one but herself for what happened to her. So, she lived alone, pushing everyone away.  But when she met Hayden she was instantly attracted to him, and she realized that she craved to be near someone, and that she was done with being by herself.

People say that opposites attract each other, well, that's not quite the case with Hayden and Tenley. They have a lot of things in common, they are both filled with pain and guilt, and I think that's why they are drawn to each other. Well, aside from the physical attraction. Initially the two were awkward towards each other, but after a month or so of stolen glances, self awareness and burning curiosity, they finally gave in. 

Although I think Clipped Wings tells a really great and engaging story, I had some minor issues with it. The first is that I couldn't relate to the two main characters because I  haven't gone through anything so horrible in my life. I have never felt the deep feelings of loss and guilt that Hayden and Tenley experienced, and I can only be grateful for my bright and happy childhood. The other thing, is that I was a bit annoyed by Tenley. I didn't like the choices she made, and if I were her I would have done things differently. I get that it's hard for her to share her past, but I seriously wanted her to trust Hayen. 

Overall, I really liked Clipped Wings. The phasing was perfect, and I easily got involved with the characters. There are a few sex scenes which I skipped because I don't feel comfortable reading explicit scenes in general, and I'm glad I was able to enjoy the story even without reading those parts. The book ends with a cliff hanger, so I'm really curious to read the Inked Armour to know what happens next. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kdrama Review ✿ Scent of a Woman

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, June 10, 2014 0 comments
Scent of a Woman 
여인의 향기 (Kdrama)
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Genres: Romance, Drama
Episodes: 16
Original run: 23 July 2011 – 11 September 2011
Starring: Kim Sun-ah, Lee Dong-wook, Uhm Ki-joon and Seo Hyo-rim

Synopsis from Viki
What would you do if you were told you only had six months to live? Yeon Jae has spent her entire life catering to others, both at work and at home. When she is diagnosed with terminal cancer and told she has only six months to live, Yeon Jae is determined to finally live for herself. She quits her job and decides to travel the world. On her travels, she meets Ji Wook, her former boss’s son. As they go through her bucket list, will Yeon Jae be able to experience love in her last months of life?

My Thoughts:
I came across Scent of a Woman while I was scrolling through the dramas on my Viki app. And I'm really glad I decided to watch it! I won't lie, though. At first I did had some anxieties. It's about a woman who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, so I was a bit afraid that it would be a really sad story, and that I would get all emotional and cry my eyes out (reminds me of how I felt with The Fault in Our Stars). And I was right. I did cry, but not because it was depressing. I cried because it was so touching. I also feared that it would end like A Walk to Remember, but thankfully it wasn't a tragic story.

Lee Yun Jae is a woman in her 30s who's worked in the same travel company for years. She's always let her boss and everyone at work walk over her, but when she learns that she has only 6 months to live, she quits her job and finally stands for herself. She writes a list of things she wants to do before she dies, and while she lives life to the fullest she eventually finds true love.

I like how Yun Jae grew throughout the drama. At first she always bowed her head to everyone and let them mistreat her, it was a bit annoying that she never fought back and stood her ground. But the revelation of her near death opened her eyes, and she realized how pathetically she lived her life. Although it may sound stupid, I think that somehow cancer saved her, if she hadn't known that she was going to die she would've never changed. I believe cancer made her feel alive, if that's even possible! It made her passionate, bold and strong. It's what made her go for what she wants because she knows she has nothing to lose. I think she's a really great character, and you learn a lot from her. I also really liked her bucket list. Everything she wanted to do before she died are not memorable things; on the contrary, they are really ordinary, like make her mom smile everyday, go cycling along the coastline etc. And I really admire her for finding happiness in those simple things, and not in doing something that's extraordinary.

After learning that she had cancer, Yun Jae treats herself on a much-deserved vacation where she meets Kang Ji Wook, the head of the huge travel company she worked for. He's super rich, but unlike the rich characters from other kdramas I've watched, Ji Wook isn't arrogant and doesn't look down on poor people. The romance between these two characters developed slowly. Initially Yun Jae just wanted to try dating him once before for she died, which I think was really selfish, while Ji Wook was instantly attracted by her sunny personality. And as they learn more about each other, and spend more time together, they eventually fall in love. Aside from Yun Jae and Ji Wook, the side characters were notable and have really interesting personalities. Particularly Yun Jae's doctor, who was also her former classmate and childhood friend. He's really reserved, and indifferent towards his patients which makes you wonder why he decided to become a doctor in the first place. 

Although this drama focuses a lot on romance, there are also other aspects that I enjoyed like the mother-daugther relationship, true frendship and learning tango. I also liked how there are so many life lessons that changed my perspective in living. It's a great bittersweet drama that will take you on an emotional roller coaster. I highly recommend it!

The Master's Sun ♥
You Who Came From The Stars ★
Emergency Couple ☎
It's Okay, That's Love!

Monday, June 9, 2014

LIST OF AWESOME (2): YJ’s bucket list, things to do before I die...

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, June 09, 2014 0 comments
Photo: Public Domain CC0 from Pixabay
Lists written by fictional characters!

Today's list is written by Lee Yun Jae, a character from the drama Scent of a Woman. She is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has only 6 months to live. So, she makes a list of things she wants to do before she dies.

1、letting mom smile once everyday
2、take revenge on people who’s done wrong to me
3、learn tango
4、don’t hold back on things I want to do, eat or wear
5、put on wedding dress
6、a date with Junsu (Korean singer)
7、go cycling along the coastline
8、be just like the heroine in a movie
9、find my first love
10、to sing a love song with the one i love
11、have a proposal that all women in the world would die for
12、contribute whenever I can
13、get my mom remarried
14、to have S forgive me (Lee Yun Jae's high school teacher)
15、to be a meaningful person to somebody
16、to leave the traces of my life
17、to leave a real cool impression in front of people i know
18、to get kissed while having a white christmas
19、do everything in this list with the person i love
20、to close my eyes in the arms of my beloved one

Excerpt + Giveaway! The Artful by Wilbert Stanton

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, June 09, 2014 0 comments

The Artful by Wilbert Stanton (Shadows of the City #1) 
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult


New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.

Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels – their playground. They aren’t heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.

On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.

Cigar turned his head to the side until his neck cracked, then again to the other side. He reached for one of his guns. I knew my face went pale, my hands began to shake, and the prospect of throwing myself through the glass window seemed more and more inviting. He put the gun on the counter with a noticeable thud, taking care to aim the muzzle at Dodger. 
“Now, now, Fred, we’re all friends here.”
“Name’s not Fred, and you’re no friend of mine.”
“And here I invite you into my place of business and offer you my liquor, thinking we shared the bond that comes with supply and demand―”
“I’m beginning to wonder how you came to own this place. Last I been here, the bartender was a lot older.”
Dodger slammed a cup down on the counter. Prying the whiskey bottle from my frozen fingers, he poured a drink and chugged it down. “Maybe you don’t want to find out.”
This made Cigar laugh, a slow chuckle. “You got a set on you, huh? Now why don’t you tell me where this vault is, and pray to God that there’s more value in it than in turning over a couple of Gutter Punks!”
The game was over. He knew who we were. Frankly, it wasn’t surprising. Dodger and I had made quite the reputation for ourselves, but this, this wasn’t in our favor. And the threat was on the table in the form of a shiny gun. 
Dodger held up his hands in mock surprise. “Ahh, you made us. Fine, maybe we can help each other. I tell you where to find the vault, and you walk away?”
“I’ll decide on that when I see fit.” 
Dodger looked at me and winked. I knew the look. It meant I had to stay on my toes. After taking a swig of the whiskey, he went through his pockets and produced the lighter I stole at the Empire. I sat on the tip of my stool as he held it out to Cigar, who smiled in turn. 
“Smart boy,” he said, holding out his cigar in Dodger’s direction. Dodger opened the lid and flicked the wheel, causing the flame to spark. As soon as Cigar leaned in close enough to light his cigar, Dodger spit the whiskey at him, and the lighter’s flame in-between ignited the flammable liquid, shooting a hail of fire into Cigar’s face. 
He yelled, clawing at the flames. His beard caught on fire; the smell of burning hair was instant. I used the distraction to my advantage and jumped for the gun before his wild hands could find it, training the muzzle on him before he could regain composure. Dodger and I tensed as he got up, brushing the last of his scorched beard from his face.
“You boys really made a mistake. What you fixing to do, huh? Shoot me? Look at you, ain’t no man in you! Shaking like a leaf. What makes you think I think you have the balls to shoot me? You got the fear of God in your eyes, but you know what, boy? I ain’t God… I’m the Devil.” 

About Wilbert Stanton

Wilbert Stanton was born and raised in New York City. From an early age, Wilbert decided he would either write books or take over the world; everything else was just a precursor to his end game.
Along the way, he has studied Psychology, English, and Computer Science. He’s held jobs in a wide range of fields and met people from all walks of life. Wilbert is constantly learning and growing as a person, in order to solidify his dreams.
In the end world domination was a bit tedious, so he decided to focus on writing books.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

$50 Book Blast! Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer by Aldo Fynn

Posted by Wajiha Q at Saturday, June 07, 2014 0 comments
Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer

About the Book

Title: Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer 
Author: Aldo Fynn
Illustrator: Richie Vicencio
Publication Date: November 5,2013
Publisher: Boa Press, LLC.
Pages: 156
Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 
Summary: All Iggy Rose wants is for the kids at the Naysayer Academy to like him, and one special girl in particular. But instead, he gets teased and taunted. Every day, he eats alone in the cafeteria and gets beaten up after school on the playground. But when a cruel prank leads to Iggy's escape from the academy, a wild, unimaginable adventure begins. Why is King Naysayer offering a hefty reward for Iggy's capture? When Iggy joins forces with an eclectic cast of characters, he discovers the answer. But before he can escape from the kingdom of Naysayer, Iggy must first reclaim what is rightfully his. Does this sad, lonely boy have the courage to battle the biggest school bully, a mean headmistress, and a greedy, cruel king? Will Iggy finally believe in himself and discover his true destiny?  


Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print)

The Buzz

“An entertaining fantasy with a quirky, inventive storyline that shows how things invariably turn out badly for bullies.” Kirkus Reviews

“The book is going to be devoured by readers of any type, whether they're looking for some fun fiction, a comical read, or a page-turner.” 5 Star Review, San Francisco Book Review

"Fynn's book reminded me a bit of Harry Potter, but he adds his own cast of characters and a boy (Iggy), fun dialogue, and an amazing story that you can't help but root for. If you are looking for a great book to get your kids hooked on, then I recommend the Prince Iggy series." 5 Star Review, The Pen and Muse Book Reviews, Amazon

“Has the flavor of a Dickens and a Harry Potter story while remaining wholly original. It just shares those characteristics that make it such an enjoyable read. This book should be on every child's must read list and if I'm to be perfectly honest it should be on every adults list too. It has enough subtle adult humor well within its boundaries to make it an entertaining read for the parents too. It certainly has a modern message. It shows just how heartbreaking bullying can be by children as well as adults. It's a story about losing yourself and finding yourself. It shows being a bully doesn't pay off but believing in yourself does." 5 Star Review, April S., Amazon 

About Aldo Fynn

Aldo Fynn
Aldo Fynn enjoys writing wacky, fantastical stories. Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer is his debut novel. It's the first book in the Adventures of Prince Iggy Series. He's also written two wacky, laugh-out-loud picture books. He lives under his desk and promises he won't come out until Book 3 in the series is complete. Which is a shame because his desk is based in Los Angeles, where it's sunny and 70 degrees most of the year. Book Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway

Amazon $50 Gift Card
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) 

Contest ends: July 4, 11:59 pm, 2014 

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, Boa Press, LLC. and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. 

Jiha's file © 2014 - Graphics by Jiha's file

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