Cover Love #1

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Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1)
Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1) by
Paperback, 320 pages
November 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...

Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Cover Love Comments

I love the Gothic feel of the cover. The girl stepping into the photo frame also hints at something relating to the synopsis of the book. Her dress is lovely, too.

Giveaway Winners!

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Congratulations to the winners!



You've each won a paperback copy of Andy McDougal and The Crypt of the Chimera by Kevin Richardson! Please send me a reply within 3 days with your name and e-mail address to claim your prize.

If you didn't win but would love to read the book, you can get your own copy of the paperback version or e-book of Andy McDougal and the Crypt of the Chimera on Amazon. You can also follow the author on Twitter or to get updates on the book.

FLASH GIVEAWAY: Do you want a bundle of free books?

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Update: The winner is #9, TheGirlOnFire! Please send me a reply via e-mail within 24 hours with your name and address to claim your prize.

OK, so here's what I'm offering. A package of 5 books for a lucky winner from US/CA. I won these goodies over at Tundra books, but I didn't notice the contest rules which say that the giveaway is for US/CA residents only. So, I'm passing these books to a bookworm out there. If you're one, feel free to enter this contest. I will be picking a winner tomorrow (30/7) at 8.00 pm Malaysian time.




To Enter: Leave a comment with your name and e-mail address.
(You must be a follower of The Bookaholics to enter. One entry per person.)

By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to the rules:
  1. I'm not responsible for the mailing of prizes; neither I nor Tundra books will hold any responsibilities for late, damaged or missing prizes.
  2. You must be a resident of US/CA OR if you're international, have a friend staying in either US/CA who is willing to accept the prizes on your behalf.

Book Review : Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

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Overprotected

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing, LLC (February 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193396300X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933963006
  • Available at: Amazon / The Book Depository

Ashlyn: A lonely society princess living in New York City.

Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard.

Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector.

Daddy thought I’d be safe. He thought I’d never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever.

Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin.

Daddy was wrong
.

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What would you feel if you were protected like a princess, with bodyguards eying your every move, not unable to make friends like a normal person? Stranded. Lonely. Depressed. It's what Ashyln felt all along.

Unable to overcome the trauma of her daughter's kidnap when she was a child, Charles vowed to do everything he can to keep her safe. He hired bodyguards to keep an eye on Ashlyn, restricted her every move, banned her from a normal social life. Unable to sense her daughter's trapped feeling, he was sure that what he did was right. He was merely protecting her, wasn't it?

Jennifer Lauren's Overprotected is a book that, while quite unbelievable, still manages to charm me. The theme of 'a bird in a golden cage' which she adeptly applied to this story is a convincing approach. The words flow smoothly, and I especially enjoyed the parts where she described Ashlyn's talent with the piano.

The characters felt real and I could relate to their actions, especially Charles. Ashlyn's mother Fiona was a sympathetic creature who hungered for her husband's love and attention. She even tried to ignite her husband's jealousy by faking to develop a romantic interest for Colin, which repulsed Ashlyn.

Overprotected is definitely one of Jennifer Laurens' better novels. I like this much better than Falling For Romeo. However, my favourite is still Heavenly.

Rating: 3.685

Notes: This book contains some kissing fantasies on Ashlyn's part, a real kiss scene between Colin and Ashlyn, a clubbing / partying scene and an attempted (but failed) rape scene.

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Jennifer Laurens, aka JM Warwick was born and raised in Southern California and her hometown of Palos Verdes Estates flavors her books: A Season of Eden and An Open Vein. She doesn't limit herself to writing one genre, and was the first to author four romance novels centered around the popular sport of ballroom dancing. Now, she focuses on writing young adult. She has YA novels published under her YA romance name of Jennifer Laurens: Falling for Romeo, Magic Hands, Nailed and the Heavenly series: Heavenly ( 2009) Penitence (2010) and Absolution (2010) A Season of Eden and Overprotected. Two are under her other YA author name: JM Warwick - A Season of Eden and An Open Vein. Jennifer lives in Utah and has 6 children.

Website Blog

Book Review : The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley

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This book is listed for sale at Happy Fish Books at RM 22.

The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
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An electrifying epic, based on the incredible true story of a Chinese princess turned spy.

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This book is a fictitious memoir of a Chinese princess of the late Qing Dynasty who chooses to pledge loyalty to Japan rather than embracing her Chinese roots. Eastern Jewel is portrayed as a notorious, cruel and selfish person, and her personality is reflected clearly in various aspects. She wants to be love and accepted, but everything she does only brings her a short-lived joy and sense of excitement. Right from the beginning, she is a rebellious girl who wants to control her own fate, not realizing that her many actions are gradually condemning herself. I think she might have come to better terms were she born a son and not a daughter.

Having being sent to Japan at the tender age of eight after witnessing her father's liaison with a fourteen-year-old maid, Eastern Jewel's life is fated to be hard and full of thorns. She was adopted by the Kawashima's and was given the name Yoshiko. As she grew up to be a beautiful woman, the patriarch of the family, an eighty-year-old man named Teshima became interested in her and proceeded to sexually approach Eastern Jewel, who was still fifteen years old at that time. She then underwent a repeating process in the hands of her stepfather Kawashima.

Eastern Jewel is portrayed as a female with unusual sexual appetite, she had uncountable lovers and had bedded many of the high and powerful. The author seemed to concentrate on describing her uncountable sexual affairs that I couldn't help but question whether this book is supposed to be a historical fiction. I detested Eastern Jewel's wild, notorious behaviours in her adult years, but I also couldn't help but feel pity for her for what she had gone through in her childhood.

Eastern Jewel had a complex character. She yearned for love but did not scorn the idea of being unfaithful. Instead, she seemed to enjoy having various partners at a time. She hated it when people regarded her as a Chinese and was undoubtedly loyal towards Japan. I think this has something to do with her growing up in a foreign country and learning to adopt the Japanese mindset.

Eastern Jewel's life is full of adventures, affairs and political intrigues. To say that she is a unruly woman would be an understatement. As much as I hated her character and way of thinking, I somehow liked how she is portrayed - a multifaceted espionage with a wild streak. Maybe she was meant to be born just for the sake of leaving an unprecedented history about a Chinese princess who has a Japanese heart.

Rating: 3

Note:
This book contains adult contents, obscenities, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. Not for readers under 18 years of age.

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Maureen Lindley's picture
Having worked as a photographer, antique dealer and dress designer, eventually trained as a psychotherapist. She has one daughter and lives in the Wye valley on the Welsh borders with her husband.

Book Review : Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll

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Beyond the Dead Forest
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Product Details
  • Perfect Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Tate publishing and enterprises (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161566436X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615664368
  • Available on: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

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It just appeared one day out of nowhere—a dead forest that the partners had never seen before. Carter and Kat think they know every tree, river, and rock within five miles of their homes, but this section of wood, completely devoid of life, was not supposed to exist. Stepping through a doorway into a bizarre world filled with darkness, terror, and death, they embark on a quest to discover the greatest treasure of all. Aided by a strange old man they called the Guardian, and armed with spiritual weapons, their wits, and a growing arsenal of wisdom, they battle against forces of darkness that are determined to destroy them. Hitch a wild ride with the arrogant Mr. Stewborn with a raving madman in hot pursuit. Come stay awhile in the inescapable People Rule Inn and experience a place where nightmares are real. Travel through the depressing Valley of Shadows, and meet dark creatures you have never imagined. Join Carter and Kat as they venture Beyond the Dead Forest and discover, with our heroes, the unsurpassable riches of wisdom that can empower you to change your life and your world.

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Beyond the Dead Forest is a book with depth and layered meanings. I enjoyed reading about Carter and Kat's adventures in the strange places they visited along their journey. The events in the story catalyze their inner growth and increased their determination, wits and strength. This book is interesting and likable, but I believe it would be better if the story is cut short as it is intended for middle graders, and it spanned a good 416 pages. I discovered some typos and found some strange dialogues and descriptions. But anyway, this book is nicely written and would be a great gift for young readers.

Rating: 3.685

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Steve Groll
Steve Groll has written and published his first novel, Beyond the Dead Forest. Groll has worked with children and families for over 40 years. Steve's goal is to write suspenseful adventures that take place in strange worlds and that are both intriguing and profound. Though his novel is geared to older children and younger youth, many adults enjoy the excitement, and wonder at the wisdom found in his uniquely dark, tense, and personally challenging novel.

In My Mailbox {22}

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Won:
Reckless (Reckless, #1)
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Thanks to the Star NIE (@StuffatSchool) crew!

The Autumn Palace (Ondine, #2)
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Thanks to Ebony McKenna for ordering this book for me!

Purchased:
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by The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel
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I saw this on the internet earlier. Not sure if it is good, but the cover is attractive. The design is infused with an Oriental style.

RAK

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Isalys and Vanessa from Book Soulmates have started Random Acts of Kindness or R.A.K. Through this program, you can choose a gift from a book blogger's wish list and present it to him or her free of charge as an act of kindness.

Rules:
  1. Sign up each month you'd like to participate in
  2. Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available
  3. Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  4. If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
  5. At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
    Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes :)
Here's my wish list:




Ripple
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Fins Are Forever (Fins, #2)
Fins Are Forever (Fins, #2) by Tera Lynn Childs

Delirium
Delirium by

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)
The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4) by

Bad Taste in Boys
Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2)

Inside Out (Inside Out, #1)
Inside Out (Inside Out, #1) by

Miles from Ordinary
Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

In My Mailbox {21}

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Won:
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Thanks to Suzanne Johnson from Preternatura!

Nightwalker (Dark Days, #1)Afterlife (The Resurrection Chronicles, #1)
by by
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Plus a huge swag pack!
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DT_J8VBJhlg/Te4-esYiDMI/AAAAAAAAAK4/IckdWnx62EY/s1600/DSCN2122.JPG

Thanks to Sharon from I Smell Sheep!

Gift:
Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1)
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I received this book via RAK from Deanna at Polishing Mud Balls. Thanks, Deanna!

Borrowed:
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Thanks, Ke Jia!