Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself by Cheryl Rainfield


Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself
by Cheryl Rainfield

  • Because you do not deserve to be hurt, not by anyone, not even yourself;
  • Because you deserve the same compassion, kindness, and love that everyone else does, and that you would give to a friend;
  • Because if you hurt yourself, you are repeating and reinforcing what your abusers or people who put you down told you, and none of that is true;
  • Read more HERE

I think what Cheryl said is very true. We should never inflict harm upon ourselves no matter what. There's a Chinese adage that says, "Every inch of your body is given to you by your parents, so take good care of yourself." In life, there is no dead end. As long as you think positively, you fill certainly find a way to solve your problems. It's just a matter of do and don't. Think twice before you hurt yourself.

Cheryl is having a giveaway on her blog. Please click the link below to be directed to her contest post. Good luck!
Win 1 of 10 Copies of SCARS, 1 of 3 $10 Amazon giftcards May 15-June 15
Contest runs from May 15 til June 15, 2011. Open worldwide.

Book Review : Frost Moon by Anthony Francis

Frost Moon (Skindancer, #1)
Frost Moon (Skindancer, #1) by Anthony Francis

Product Details

In an alternate Atlanta where magic is practiced openly, where witches sip coffee at local cafes, shapeshifters party at urban clubs, vampires rule the southern night like gangsters, and mysterious creatures command dark caverns beneath the city, Dakota Frost's talents are coveted by all. She's the best magical tattooist in the southeast, a Skindancer, able to bring her amazing tats to life. When a serial killer begins stalking Atlanta's tattooed elite, the police and the Feds seek Dakota's help. Can she find the killer on the dark fringe of the city's Edgeworld? Among its powerful outcasts and tortured loners, what kind of enemies and allies will she attract? Will they see her as an invader, as a seducer, as an unexpected champion ... or as delicious prey?

Frost Moon is a brilliant urban fantasy novel packed with action, magic... and tattoos that come alive. Our heroine - a gutsy, stubborn magical tattooist named Dakota is being asked to investigate the murder of some people that involves their magically tattooed skin being cut off by a maniacal killer. As Dakota helps to find out the 'Grim Reaper', she notices that the clues all point to Wulf, one of her soon-to-be clients.

Intrigue, suspense and unexpected twists are the important elements in this story. You will find yourself in awe with the various types of magical tattoos that Dakota can ink on her body. The battle scenes are full of hard punches that will knock one's teeth out - real and gritty.

The most interesting character in this story would be Cinnamon, an orphaned weretiger who cannot change her form and only remain as a cat-like human all the time. She is just like any young teenage girl, except that she has strange looks, extraordinary speed and a heart that yearns for a family. She loves to stick by Dakota and teases her about Special Agent Philip. I can see that she really cares about Dakota and vice versa.

When the villain is finally revealed, I'm quite shocked because I never expected it to be XXX. Well, this is good in a way since it would be so boring if I knew it was XXX all along. But I'm not sure about XXX's motives of nailing the victim's magically tattooed skin on a box. I hope more will be revealed in the sequel. In a nutshell, this book is an enjoyable read, but it would be so much better if the frequently present F-words are deleted. 5 Frostbites for Frost Moon!

Note: There is excessive usage of the F-word. This book is suitable for adults only.

Rating: 5

Anthony Francis is a computer scientist who works at the 'Search Engine That Starts With A G'. By day he studies human and other minds to design intelligent machines and emotional robots; by night he writes fiction and draws comic books. He received his Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from Georgia Tech. He lives in San Jose with his wife and cats but his heart will always belong in Atlanta. You can follow @DakotaFrost on Twitter to get updates on the Skindancer series.

Winner of The Blackberry Bush


The Blackberry Bush

True Random Number Generator


Congratulations to Adelinde Dilys! Adeline, I don't see your e-mail in the comments nor in your blogger profile, so I'm sending you a message via Twitter. If you don't get it, please e-mail me at aikychien at yahoo dot com to claim your prize.

For those who entered but didn't win, you can still buy yourself a copy of the book on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository. Thanks for entering this contest!

Book Review : Possessions by Nancy Holder


Possessions (Possessions, #1)
Possessions (Possessions, #1) by Nancy Holder

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; 1 edition (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781595142559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595142559
  • Available on: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn't help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago.

What Lindsay doesn't yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead...

And that someone is Lindsay.

Lindsay got herself into an impressive boarding school called Marlwood Academy for Girls on a scholarship. Once there, she spotted a group of girls having a strange ritual beside a lake. Later, she discovered that the leader of the group, Mandy was an estranged, rich girl who loved to play crazy games to spook her friends.

The story was well-written, but not much happened in the first half of the book. The words used were rich and descriptive, and these provided a clear image of the places in Marlwood, giving it a menacing atmosphere. The girls' characters were well-developed and we could observe their personalities easily.

The leader of the "mean girls" - Amanda Winters, or Mandy in short really unnerved me. She felt strange, and maybe a tad bit psychopathic but I could not pinpoint my exact feeling towards her character. She loved her brother, Miles (who was in rehab) a little more than she should. She's someone her friends love and hate at the same time, with the exception of Lindsay who had only negative feelings for her.

At times, I couldn't help but question Lindsay's sanity. I wanted to trust her but I found it hard because she was haunted by her own past, and only she alone experience "paranormal disturbance"(but she turned out fine every time). I wondered if she was actually scaring herself, but then she didn't look like the scaredy-cat type.

It was creepy at times, and I could feel myself in Lindsay's shoes, looking at the mean girls' all-black eyes and the otherworldly apparition hanging on their bodies, talking in a Southern accent. The plot was interesting and full of twists and turns, but I wished the author had inserted more eerie and bone-chilling moments.

The ending is left hanging there without a conclusion, so I'm expecting an explanation in the sequel, The Evil Within. I would like it better if the whole story was not summed up in the synopsis, but rather scattered between the pages to be discovered piece by piece by the reader. Nonetheless, Possessions has reached a certain standard to be labeled as a successful ghost story. If you like reading supernatural stories, Possessions is the perfect book for you!

Note: There is mention of sex and a kissing scene.

Rating: 4.000

My deepest gratitude to author Nancy Holder and her assistant Erin for sending me a review copy of Possessions by Nancy Holder. A great thank you to both wonderful ladies!

Image of "Nancy Holder"
New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Holder was born in Los Altos, California, and her family settled for a time in Walnut Creek. Her father, who taught at Stanford, joined the navy and the family traveled throughout California and lived in Japan for three years. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany, and later relocated to Frankfurt Am Main. Her books include the Wicked series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.

{Nancy Holder's Online Connections}

Giveaway: The Blackberry Bush by David Householder

The Blackberry Bush
The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder

I've decided to give away my gently read ARC of The Blackberry Bush, which comes out on 1st June to a lucky reader of mine. To enter, please leave a comment with your e-mail address in anti-spam format. (ex: aikychien at yahoo dot com)

Extra entries: (Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry done)
+1 Leave a comment on my review HERE
+1 Follow David Householder on Twitter @RobinwoodChurch
+1 Like Blackberry Novel on Facebook
+1 Add The Blackberry Bush to your to-read list on Goodreads.

  • This giveaway is for residents of Malaysia only.
  • Giveaway will end on 30th May, 2010.
  • The winner will have to pay for the shipping.

Book Review : The Blackberry Bush by David Householder


Two separate continents...

two unfinished stories...
two connected destinies

The Blackberry Bush
The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder

Product Details

Who are You, and what are you doing here?

Two babies—Kati and Josh—are born on opposite sides of the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls. You'd think such a potent freedom metaphor would become the soundtrack for their lives, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite his flawless image, Josh, an artistic and gifted California skateboarder, struggles to find his true role in the world, and his growing aggression eventually breaks him.

Kati, a German with a penchant for classic Swiss watches and attic treasure-hunting, is crushed with disappointment for never being “enough” for anyone—most especially her mother.

Craving liberation, Kati and Josh seem destined to claim their birthright of freedom together. After all, don't the “chance” encounters transform your life…or are they really chance?

When David asked me whether or not I would like to review his upcoming novel, The Blackberry Bush, I read the synopsis on Goodreads, and the very first line caught my attention: Two babies, —Kati and Josh, —are born on opposite sides of the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls.

This is actually a novel about family relationships, interweaving destinies, and journeys of self-discovery. David successfully brings out this story in a creative way - the story is layered with words of wisdom and the plot moves on with a suitable pace with the help of passages of the past and current events. Although this book has something to do with Christianity, it is not written in a "preachy" style, so readers of other religions can read it without problems of any sort.

I can totally relate to Kati's hurt that involves her not being pretty and likable enough. She has pale skin, black hair and a big nose, and her mother, mutti is never proud of her. She is always comparing her with her beautiful elder sister, Johanna. She always chastises Kati's appearance without even trying to see her good points. Kati's (only) best friend is her grandfather, Opa Harald who looks past her appearance and loves her unconditionally. Opa teaches her all sorts of things, and she loves hanging out with him. The loving relationship between grandfather and granddaughter is really heart-warming.

On the other hand, Josh is a gifted child, but he seems a bit unsure about how he should live his life. I'm not sure how to describe him, but I feel like I'm a little like him in some ways. I'm glad that both Josh and Kati eventually find their ways in life, discover the goodness of God's love and the beauty of life itself.

In a few words, The Blackberry Bush is a moving, thought-provoking novel in which lies a powerful message. It is a book to read and keep.

"Life is like a coin with two sides--destiny and random chance. The truth is, each side grows out of the other. Quantum stuff. And life spins and spins."

Rating: 4.500

David Housholder, Fulbright Scholar (University Bonn ’88–’89) and international conference speaker, speaks three languages and earned his M.Div. at Chicago’s Lutheran School of Theology.

An avid philosophical-spiritual influencer, sponsored snowboarder, and surfing instructor at his home break, he enjoys tinkering on his ’71 VW Bus. Currently he leads an indie-warehouse California beach-church, where he dreams and works for a better world. He has been happily married to Wendy for all of his adult life. They have raised one son together. They can’t do life very well without cats around.

Official site of The Blackberry Bush Novel

Exam's Over!

Yo, peeps! Do you miss me?
'Cos I'm officially back!


The Blackberry Bush
P/S: I will be posting a review of The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder tomorrow. I'm sorry it took so long, David! And I'm planning to pass my ARC copy to a lucky reader, but I'm actually quite poor (I'm sure you know that by now), so the winner has to pay for the shipping fees. How does this sound? Good? Bad? Let me know and I'll decide whether or not to do this giveaway.

The Book-Story Challenge

This is a story I'm writing for The Book-Story Challenge hosted by A Casual Reader. It is about Leila, a pitiful 7-year-old Afghan girl who was forced to marry someone she barely knew because of her lawless felon of a father. This story was inspired by the real-live happenings in Afghan, a place where a girl's purity is highly regarded, where men often used their religion as a weapon to shield their notorious crimes. Please let me know what you think of this story. Thank you!

Afghan Girl
Leila was only 7 when she was married. She was so young, so fragile, so weak, so helpless. She was such a pretty girl, but she would never smile again. She was tormented in the ways one could never imagine. She was abused mentally and physically. Her heart was sore and wounded, her soul was in patches, her life shattered, her joy never to be found again.


Yusuf stepped into the threshold of his house, calling out loud to his wife. His wife, a pretty woman named Nadia quickly put down the food on the dining table and ran out of the kitchen. She feared him because of his hot temper and intolerable ways. He was the head of the house, the big boss. No one was ever allowed to question his words and decisions.

"Our daughter will be marrying the son of Karim in three days time. You are to teach her whatever she needs to know." Yusuf said.

"But she is merely 7 years old!" Nadia replied with a controlled tone, even though deep inside she felt shocked and frustrated.

"You will do as you are told." Yusuf replied icily, his tone harsh.

"Please tell me what has happened. Leila is only a young girl, how can you do this to her?" Nadia pleaded, her eyes starting to water.

Yusuf remained silent, and his wife's tears eventually broke free as she thought of all the bad things that would come upon her daughter for marrying at such a tender age.


Nadia later found out the truth behind her daughter's sudden marriage. And she realized what a beast Yusuf actually was. A week ago, her good for nothing husband snuck into Karim's beautiful 18-year-old daughter, Aisyah's private chambers while no one was looking. He later forced herself unto the still sleeping Aisyah and robbed her innocence. When Karim discovered the terrible fate which had descended on her beloved daughter, he was furious and wanted to bring Yusuf to the Justice Hall. But Yusuf threatened that everyone would know his daughter was impure and this would bring his family great shame and humiliation. Karim shivered in anger and pulled out his sword from its sheath. He vowed to seek vengeance for his poor daughter. Yusuf immediately thought of a way to save himself - to give his daughter to Karim's son to be treated in any way he wished.


On the day of her marriage, Leila was not dressed up in extravagant, luxurious marriage robes, neither did she receive any kind words from her father. She was scared and sad to be leaving her home, and she expected the worst after marrying a stranger whom she barely knew. Her marriage was one full of shame and dishonour, for she bore a terrible burden - the guilt of her father's beastly acts. The only sounds she heard before departing were her mother's weeping and irrepressible moans.


After eight miserable years under Karim's roof, Leila had learned to shut herself in. She spoke nothing at all, and she had already turned invincible to the curses showered upon her whenever she did a mistake. Her body was covered with with scars and stripes. Her in-laws constantly caned her, and once in a while they would whip her like a horse and burn her skin with hot iron just for fun. Her painful cries were drowned by the cackles of her 'family' who were evil at heart. Her heartless husband once kicked her down a fleet of stairs when she was sick and unable to work. Sometimes, she wondered if heaven really exists. She often wished she were dead. She was a living dead girl, anyway. No one could save me, she thought. To her, joy, peace and happiness did not exist. Her days were full dark, no stars. Looking at the small bottle in her hands, she unscrewed the cap and finished the contents in a gulp. Before she fell, she prayed to God that He would grant her her only wish. She didn't care if she ended up in Hell, because staying in this ugly, twisted, loveless house was worse than Hell itself. For the first time since forever, she closed her eyes and smiled as her consciousness slowly faded away.


In the evening, Leila's husband walked into their bedroom, only to find his wife's lifeless body on the bed.

"This damned woman! She can't even find a better place to die!" he cursed and spat on Leila's cold body.

In My Mailbox {18}

Before you start wondering if my exam is over, the answer is 'no', unfortunately. I just can't resist the urge to update my blog as I've received some great books this week. Feel free to leave a comment if you like, and have a nice day! :)

For Review:
Possessions (Possessions, #1)
Possessions (Possessions, #1) by Nancy Holder

I'm super-excited about this book! Horror is a genre I'm learning to explore. And from what I hear this book has a high 'scare' factor. Even the book cover looks somewhat creepy! Special thanks to Nancy and Erin for sending me this book!

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula(Cassidy Jones Adventures, #1)
Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula(Cassidy Jones Adventures, #1) by Elise Stokes

I won this book from a giveaway hosted by the author herself. Thank you for signing this book, and sending it to me, Elise! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Gift / For Giveaway:
Possessions (Possessions, #1)
Nancy's assistant Erin sent me two copies of this book - one for review and one for giveaway! So you'll have the chance to win a brand new copy of this book for yourself soon!

Author Megan Crewe kindly sent me some *signed* bookmarks. I'm including one of them in my 300 Followers Giveaway! It's INTERNATIONAL and ends 31st May, 2010.

For Sale:

All 3 books are SIGNED by the author! The King's Bastard (#1) + The Uncrowned King (#2) + The Usurper (#3) by Rowena Cory Daniells

Category: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Description: Brand New, Signed by author
Price: RM 81

The author sent me a set of these books. As I've already owned a set, I'm selling these books and donating half of the proceeds to the Japanese Relief Fund. Please contact me at if you wish to inquire about / purchase these books.

New May Releases

OK, so I broke my no-blogging-while-there's-exam ban. But for a good cause. There are new book releases for May which I can't help but blog about!

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

I've heard lots of good things about this book. I'm officially adding it to my wish list.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)
Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum

Rose Tremlett, Press Officer of Orbit and Atom, Little, Brown Book Group agreed to send me a review copy of this book! *Squeals!* I'm patiently waiting its arrival.

Dreams of Joy: A Novel
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

I can't wait to read this book! Dreams of Joy is the sequel to Shanghai Girls, which I adored and rated 5-stars. You can (read my review) of Shanghai Girls.