Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fan Art Up! (4): My Mehndi

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, July 31, 2014 0 comments
FAN ART UP! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

Last week I didn't share any fan art post because... hmmm... what can I say? I've been lazy. But for this post I have something different to share with you guys!
Ramadan has just ended and as tradition, my sisters and I apply mehndi to our hands to celebrate the day of Eid. So today, I'm excited to show you guys my mehndi!

These mehndi/henna art are recreations of samirasamira's designs. She has an amazing collection on instagram, and I've fallen in love with some of her designs. So, I asked my sister and cousin to recreate them for me; I'm not good at applying mehndi. :P
Thanks to my sis, I love this!
See photo over on my instagram

This other one was done by my cousin!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up (1): Korean Drama Craze and Book Haul

Posted by Wajiha Q at Sunday, July 27, 2014 0 comments
The Sunday Post hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

What I read this week.

Korean Drama Craze.

- What I watched this week.
Hotel King
Witch's Romance

- What I started watching.
Fated To Love You
Trot Lovers
It's Okay, That's Love

Fan Art.
This week I wasn't able to share a fan art, but I'm currently working on something so I can post it next week. If you'd like to see my previous works, I have the links for you guys! 

My July Fan Art posts inspired by:

Book Haul.

- For review (via NetGalley)

- Thank you again to Katy @ I Am a Reader. I won an Amazon gift card, so I used it to purchase some books.
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Cinder by Marissa Meyer 
The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas 

Giveaways.
Don't forget to enter the current giveaways:
True Colors by Kysten Lindsay Hager - INT
French Toast by Glynis Astie - INT
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda by Tara Lee Reed - INT
Son of War, Daughter of Chaos Book Blast! - INT

Hope you guys had a wonderful week!

Review: Blood Crown by Ali Cross

Posted by Wajiha Q at Sunday, July 27, 2014 0 comments
Title: Blood Crown
Author: Ali Cross
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published February 20th 2014
Format read: eARC, NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them. 

But it wasn't always so.

Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering anew human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorum was to be humanity's crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space.

But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead. 

Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight.

When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes--but Sera's Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.

Their only hope is the Blood Crown--but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.

My Review

Let me start by saying how much I love the book cover. I mean, it's SO PRETTY!!! I can't stop looking at it. *Sigh*

I really enjoyed reading Blood Crown, and I think it's a great book. After reading Shattered Veil (read my review *cough* my fangirling here), I was like "I want to read more Sci-fi books".  And when I saw Blood Crown on NetGalley I requested it without even reading the synopsis; I was totally swayed by the gorgeous cover.

I'll be honest, though. I did have some issues with Blood Crown. First of all, I have to say that it was hard for me to get into the story, because like I said earlier, I didn't bother to read what it was about before diving into it. Also, Blood Crown is told from different points of view which is another reason why I struggled with it. However, when I finally clicked with the characters, I couldn't stop reading. Another issue I had was the insta-love. I couldn't understand why Sera felt instantly attracted to Nick, and the affection these two felt for each other didn't seem realistic to me. But later on, I discovered that <spoiler>the two had formed a bond when they were little kids</spoiler> which explained the "strong connection" they felt. And I was glad that everything made sense.

The world building. I think the world building was great! While I was reading, everything took place clearly in my head. So, I liked that it wasn't confusing, and appreciated that there weren't a lot of information to take in all at once. But I was left with a couple of unanswered questions, such as, "How do they produce food on space?" and "How can they live with infinite electricity?"
The book was fast paced, and I was focused on the fight between the Mind and humans, so my questions didn't pop up until after I finished reading the book. And I know these questions are probably irrelevant, but I'm kinda curious. I hope they will be dealt with in the sequel.

The characters are a strong point in Blood Crown. The plot was great too, with a few twists that I didn't expect, but I think the characters are the reason why I highly enjoyed this book. Sera is a wonderful main character; I loved seeing how this lonely girl, whose only wish was to be accepted, grew confident and found her rightful place. She is strong-willed, but she also has some insecurities, and I like that she isn't perfect. On the other hand, we have Nick. Now, if you ever read this book you will probably fall in love with Nick. As a prince, he has lots of responsibilities; I like that he's passionate, and that he fights back. The side characters were notable, too. I particularly liked Archibald, and was amazed with how loyal he was. 

Overall, I think this is an amazing book. I did have some issues with it, but I ended up really enjoying it. If you love reading YA and Sci-fi books, then I would definitely recommend this book to you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, July 22, 2014 0 comments
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Published August 13th 2013 by Hachette Audio
Format read: Audiobook, SYNC
Goodreads/Amazon/Audible/Book Depository

Description from Goodreads:
How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last?

Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he'll do. He'll say goodbye.

Not to his mum - who he calls Linda because it annoys her - who's moved out and left him to fend for himself. Nor to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor's daughter and a teacher.

Most of the time, Leonard believes he's weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he's not. He wants to thank them, and say goodbye.

My Review:

I'm not sure how I feel about this book, but I think I kinda liked it, so I'll give it a 3 stars.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is about Leonard, a teenage guy, who delivers presents to his "friends" on his eighteenth birthday, before he goes to kill his former best friend and then himself.

Leonard is a very strange character. He's pessimistic and sharp, and the way he sees life has made me think a lot, which I believe is the reason why I kept putting this book down. Also, he can be irritating sometimes, and I have to say that I really got annoyed with certain things he said. At first I thought he was being overly dramatic, and I found it hard to relate to his overwhelming feelings. However, I was also curious to know more about him; I wanted to know why he felt the way he felt, and to fully understand why he was so negative about life and his future. And when I finally understood, I truly felt sad for him. I think he is a very complex character. And although I didn't like him at first, as the story progressed he grew on me and won me over.

One thing I really liked about this book was reading about Leonard's inner struggle. He was determined to accomplish his mission, but I kept noticing that he was constantly looking for "excuses" to do otherwise. This fact was what made me think that maybe there is still hope for him.

The side characters were interesting enough, but Herr Silverman was the only one I ended up liking; I wish I had a teacher like him, but I think he's too good to be true.

The ending. Well, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. <spoiler>I want to know what happens with the characters</spoiler> so I'm disappointed with how the story ended, but at the same time I think the ending was beautiful. So, like I said, I'm very confused.

The audiobook. The narrator did a good enough job narrating the story. I think his voice was a bit harsh, but it suited Leonard's personality well; it didn't bother me so much, and after a few chapters I got used to it. What I didn't like, though, was that I often got confused with the characters because the narrator's voice didn't vary much. Overall, I think it was a decent performance.


Son of War, Daughter of Chaos Book Blast!

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, July 22, 2014 0 comments
Son of War
Son of War, Daughter of Chaos
by Janette Rallison
Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.  

Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour

Janette RallisonAbout the Author
Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)
  book blast button       
  Blast Giveaway 
 $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 8/17/14 
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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, July 21, 2014

Blog Tour (Excerpt & Giveaway): Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda by Tara Lee Reed

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, July 21, 2014 0 comments
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
Author: Tara Lee Reed
Purchase: Amazon

Description from Goodreads
“The End” is Only the Beginning. 

Elle Masters is over dating. It used to be fun: the drama, the angst, the exhilarating beginnings, the bittersweet middles, the blowout endings. Then the tears, hangovers, rebounds, and another addition to the shoebox of memories in her closet. Now Elle can’t remember the last time a guy made his way into her box. 

When her friends Rachel and Valerie insist she snap out of her post-breakup funk with a girls’ night out/rebound hunt at a San Francisco bar, Elle isn’t expecting tall, dark, and hummuna-hummuna, Nick Wright. This is no rebound guy. He’s definitely, maybe, The One. 

In Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, the interactive romantic comedy where you direct the plot, you play Elle as she and her pals put the “antics” in “romantics.” Get ready to question everything you thought you knew about love, over-analyzing and second-guessing your way through hundreds of modern dating dilemmas and passionate predicaments. Will you accept a last minute date? Freak out if Nick wants space? Be the first to use the ‘L’ word? Live in sin? Or hold out for a ring? Wait, do you even want a ring? 

With 60 good, bad and inexplicable endings, you’ll always have another second chance at love with Mr. Wright.
Full tour schedule here.
EXCERPT

“Call him yet?” Rachel asks the moment you answer the phone. She’s never beat around a bush in her entire existence.
You tuck the phone between your chin and shoulder. “Call who?” Thanks to the nervous energy you’re directing into dusting, your voice sounds remarkably casual. Especially given it’s Monday night, which means you can officially call Nick without looking desperate.

“Oh, I don’t know… Nick? The reason you annoyed the fuck out of me all weekend with questions like, ‘What if he met someone else?’ and, ‘What if I call him on Monday and he’s away on a month-long business trip?’ and, ‘What if he eloped over the weekend?’”

“I never said that!”

“Not out loud.”

Maybe.

You sigh. “No. I haven’t called.”

“After all that, what are you waiting for?”

“I’m in the middle of something.” Yeah. In the middle of waiting until 7:12 p.m., which you’ve decided is the perfect, seemingly random, after work, after dinner, before whatever bachelors do at night, time to call. Calculated torture.

“6:57 or 7:08?”

“Shut up.”

“I’m going with after seven.”

“7:12.” You rapidly rub at the tip of your itchy nose and fight the urge to sneeze.

“So lame. Fuck you, buddy!”

“Aw, that’s sweet. You know, you’re my best friend, too.”

“Not you. Just some old broad who probably shouldn’t have a licence.”

“I’ve always loved that you never exclude the elderly from your road ragings. It’s very progressive.”

“I’d be mayor if it weren’t for my misspent youth.”

“And adulthood. Where are you headed anyway?”

“Weekly stop at my dealer’s. Just pulling up.”

“Your grandmother’s glaucoma is the greatest thing that ever happened to you.”

“I know it. Call me later?”

“Sure. Kiss Roma for me.”

You hang up and check the time. It’s 7:02.

Screw it. Good enough.

You find Nick’s name in your contact list, deciding you like how it looks there - like it belongs. You take a moment and loosely script some small talk before hitting send.

It’s ringing.
Still ringing.
Damn. Voicemail.

You weren’t expecting that. Recorded messages are not your forte.

To leave a message after the beep, turn to section 38.
To hang up and try again later, turn to section 21.

About the Author
Tara Lee Reed is the accidental writer from Toronto, Canada, not that chick from Sharknado. When her career in public relations was forced into hiatus by a jerky plot twist, she wrote the first in a series of interactive novels. When she received offers of single and multi-book deals from top houses, she turned them down to publish independently. Because she’s crazy.
She was voted Most Sarcastic Female at her high school prom, which she went to alone. (Not that she thinks about it.) She can fit her whole fist in her mouth (which makes the prom thing surprising), and she can sing with her mouth closed, but she can’t do both at the same time.

Her tweets on The Bachelor have been aired in a live broadcast and picked up by national media. She once appeared on the cover of a romance novel with her longtime partner, who has done 79 more – with other women. She thinks that’s qualification enough to write this book.
INT GIVEAWAY
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, July 17, 2014 0 comments
Title: Sealed with a Kiss 
Author: Rachael Lucas
My Rating: ★★★★
Genres: Women's fiction, Chick Lit
Published May 8th 2014
Format: Paperback, Won

Description from Goodreads:
* The Top Ten Kindle bestseller, now with brand NEW material! *

Kate is dumped on her best friend's wedding day by the world's most boring boyfriend, Ian. She's mostly cross because he got in first - until she remembers she's now homeless as well as jobless. Rather than move back home to her ultra-bossy mother, Kate takes a job on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor as an all-round Girl Friday. Her first day is pretty much a disaster: she falls over, smack bang at the feet of her grouchy new boss, Roddy, Laird of the Island. Unimpressed with her townie ways, he makes it clear she's got a lot to prove.

Island life has no room for secrets, but prickly Roddy's keeping something to himself. When his demanding ex girlfriend appears back on the island, Kate's budding friendship with her new boss comes to an abrupt end. What is Fiona planning - and can she be stopped before it's too late?

This funny, big-hearted novel is the perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde.

My Review:

Sealed with a Kiss follows Kate, a woman who has always chosen the "easy option"; she settles down with a guy (Ian) out of convenience, and not because she has affectionate feelings for him. And when her relationship went downhill, she grabs the opportunity to escape to a remote Scottish island, and figure out where to go from there.

Kate is an adorable character. I like that she's silly in a cute way, but doesn't make stupid choices. She has a really tender and sweet personality which makes it easy for you to adore her. On the other hand we have Roderick who's another character I really loved; he is Kate's employer, and the owner of the island. He's a gorgeously handsome guy who has lots of responsibility thrust upon him, and I love how he and Kate work together to save the decaying island.

As you can deduce from the title and the beautiful cover, this book focuses on the romance. But unlike other novels with a not so believable insta-love, Sealed with a Kiss has a slow building romance. It takes things really slowly, and makes you savour every moment. I've lost count on how many times I re-read some parts and dialogues because they were extremely romantic, and made me smile.

The setting is wonderful, the book beautifully describes Scotland in its winter glory. I can imagine myself in one of those cottages with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter's day. *Sigh*

This book makes you feel warm inside, and I'd say it's a great book to read during winter holidays.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Updates: Book Haul & Upcoming Tours

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, July 16, 2014 0 comments
The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling
Publication date: February 2013
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Steampunk

No one performs on the circus trapeze like 16-year-old Rémy Brunel. But Rémy also leads another life, prowling through the backstreets of Victorian London as a jewel thief. When she is forced to steal one of the world’s most valuable diamonds, she uncovers a world of treachery and fiendish plots.

Meanwhile, young detective Thaddeus Rec is determined to find the jewel and clear his name. Will Thaddeus manage to rescue the jewel? Or is it really Rémy that he needs to save?

I got this book from NetGalley a few months ago, but unlike the other books I've received, this one wasn't available on kindle. So, I had to download an .acsm file which I didn't know how to open, but after a lot of googling I finally figured out how it worked! Yay! #FeelingAccomplished

Fury by Charlotte McConaghy
Publication date: March 2014
Genres: YA, Dystopian

When emotions are erased from the world, creating a civilization of mindless drones, only those with fury can survive.

On the same day each year Josephine Luquet wakes naked, shivering and covered in blood that is not her own. Under the cold gaze of the blood moon she is someone else entirely, but when dawn breaks her memories flee and she is left with only an icy horror, a burning fury. Amid a sea of drones, she alone hasn’t been cured. 
It will be the same each year: atrocities forgotten, truths hidden and pieces of herself left to die.
Until Luke. 
He isn’t like the other drones. With secrets whispering behind his eyes and a hunger for all things Josephine, he is the only one determined to help her discover the truth before the next blood moon rises. 
But time is running out. Is Luke willing to risk his life to be near her? Does he truly understand what violence she is capable of? 

Raw and full of passion, Fury is a story of love in a dystopian world, and how much we are willing to forgive in the struggle to remember our humanity.

I won this book from a giveaway, and I've heard that it has a Divergent vibe to it. Hope it's good!

Closing In by Sue Fortin
Publication date: May 2014
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.

Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s brutal past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.

But Ellen can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong.

Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in? 

This one sounds really intriguing. I enjoy reading mystery books from time to time.

Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
Publication date: April 2014
Genres: NA, Paranormal

A broken engagement sends Graciela Harper crawling back to Heron Creek with her tail between her legs, but finds the sleepy little town too changed to set her life right. Not even her budding drinking problem can obscure her Gramps’s failing health, or erase the mental picture of her first love happily married to her childhood best friend. To top it all off, she’s having a heck of time convincing the town’s dashing young mayor of her unfit-for-dating status.

When the ghost of 18th century lady pirate Anne Bonny starts insisting on a near daily audience, Graciela has to confront something else she never expected—being certifiably nuts at twenty-five years old.

Her brand new "I don't give a crap" attitude makes it easy to dismiss the mysterious threats that seem to be tied to her search for more information on the long dead pirate, but when her family becomes a target, Gracie knows she needs to find out why the ghost insists on being a constant, reeking companion. 

If Graciela can put aside her prejudice against people without a pulse, she may discover that Anne Bonny’s problems are intricately linked with her own. The past harbors answers could help the cantankerous spirit find closure, but she is, after all, already dead. If Graciela doesn’t move fast, she might find herself doing the haunting, instead of the other way around.

I received this for a blog tour which is scheduled in August. It's about ghosts, and kinda reminded me of The Master's Sun.

Swans are Fat Too. This book took so long to arrive! But I want to thank the author who was very kind, and sent this book to me. The book is about Polish history, and I was instantly attracted by the title; it's so creative!

Sealed with a Kiss. This one is set in Scotland; review to come!

CURRENTLY READING:

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. 
Yup, I'm still reading this book; whenever I listen to the audiobook I fall asleep which is strange because the narrator's voice isn't soothing at all!

Blood Crown.
Received this from NetGalley. The cover is simply gorgeous! I love reading Sci-fi/Dystopian books, and I'm enjoying this one so far.

UPCOMING TOUR:
Tour Page

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fan Art Up! (3): UFO Baby aka Daa! Daa! Daa!

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, July 15, 2014 0 comments
FAN ART UP! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

Today's fan art is inspired by a popular anime/manga UFO Baby (aka Daa! Daa! Daa!).

My fan art:
UFO Baby is one of my all time favourite anime series!!!

A brief description.

Miyu's parents leave for the States to work for the Nasa, and while they're away she has to stay with a long-time family friend, Hōsho Saionji (a monk who lives in an old temple). However, Hōsho soon departs for India, leaving with Miyu alone in the same house with his son, Kanata. When a UFO lands at their house, Miyu and Kanata find an alien baby (Lou) and his sitter (Bau Meow) who looks like a cat/dog.

Fun facts.

First episode. Kanata accidentally sees Miyu while she's having a bath, and she starts hating him ever since. This is actually an anime cliché, it happens in most anime series, but it's so funny.. he he xP

Another fun fact is that Lou can fly, and when he sees Miyu and Kanata he's convinced that they're his parents. So, the three start living together like a family with Bau Meow as a house-sitter.
Where are your parents?

PREVIOUS FAN ART POSTS:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog Tour (Excerpt & Giveaway): French Toast by Glynis Astie

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, July 14, 2014 0 comments
French Toast 
Author: Glynis Astie
Series: French Twist #2
Purchase: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

Description from Goodreads
Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met? 
As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months. 
With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast…

Full tour schedule here.

Meet Sydney Durand

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  She couldn’t possibly be serious.  Could she?  I opened my eyes, looked over at Louis and tried to smile.  I can only imagine the look that registered on my face, but I highly doubt it was anything remotely positive.  Louis had just finished telling me about his mother’s latest plans for our wedding.  I took another deep breath and reminded myself, yet again, that I had agreed to let her plan the wedding in its entirety (with the exception of choosing my wedding dress.)  Why would I agree to something so completely insane?  It might have had something to do with the fact that this would be our third wedding. 

That’s right, I said THIRD wedding and no, I do not have an Elizabeth Taylor complex.  And I can prove it!  Allow me to give you the short version.  After a disastrous romantic history dating back to college, I, Sydney Bennett, was swept off of my feet by the incredible Frenchman, Louis Durand.  Louis was in California on business, but following our first week together, he accepted a transfer from his company’s Paris office to the San Jose office.  To the great shock of our families and friends, we became engaged a few weeks later.  We began planning a beautiful wedding in Monterey for the following September, only to be thwarted by Louis’ unexpected job loss in January.  In order to avoid his deportation, we were married shortly thereafter in my home town of Haverstraw, New York.  So that my dreams of a beautiful wedding would not be crushed, we elected to have the originally planned event in Monterey as well.  Everyone needs gorgeous wedding photos!  The first wedding was definitely more practical than gorgeous.

One would think that two weddings would be more than enough for one couple in love, but due to Louis’ status as an only child with an extremely large extended family and his mother’s dream of a wedding that his whole town (population four hundred) would attend, we simply had to have one more wedding.  Besides, a wedding in the beautiful French countryside sounded amazing, right?   This way my family and I would have the opportunity to experience the wedding customs of Louis’ country as he and his family would experience the customs of ours at the wedding in Monterey.  (The first wedding was kind of light on customs as it was predominantly a vehicle to keep Louis in the country.)  My mother and siblings were thrilled at the prospect of a trip to France, while my father bemoaned the fact that he would have to set foot in traitorous territory.  He is German and likes to complain.  Although I was absolutely sure that he was practically drooling at the prospect of the gastronomic experiences in his future.

While three weddings did afford a certain amount of stress, in the end, I think that it helped me.  My mother had planned the first wedding (in the span of one week), I was planning the second wedding (in the span of one year) and Louis’ mother was planning the third (in the span of Louis’ lifetime.)  This allowed for all parties to end up with a wedding they were happy with.  I must admit that the idea having three different wedding dresses is kind of fun.  Hey, now!  There is no need to judge!  The three events are very different levels of formality.  The first was an informal town hall wedding, the second would be a formal evening wedding and the third would be an afternoon wedding in the French countryside.  If you really think about it, you will realize that having three wedding dresses is an absolute necessity.

    Now that my seemingly ludicrous statement of three weddings has been explained, we can return to the problem at hand.  Louis has just informed me that his mother, Simone, has purchased an ensemble for me to wear to the rehearsal dinner.  (Honestly, this is becoming comical.  This will be our THIRD rehearsal dinner.)  Let me remind you that Louis’ mother has a very...particular fashion sense.  All of the garments she wears are short, tight, brightly colored and/or bedazzled.  Given the fact that she is sixty years old, my hat goes off to her.  I hope that I have the guts to wear miniskirts into my sixties.  She is my hero!  Having said that, I have never been one to dress that....um...how do I put this?  Let’s just say that my taste is slightly more conservative.

    Louis was practically in tears from laughing so hard as he described the dress to me.  Simone had chosen a gold sequined halter mini dress with red satin roses on the straps and red satin ruffles along the bottom of the skirt.  She also saw fit to purchase red satin stilettos with matching red satin roses on the toes.  I resisted the urge to strangle my husband and began to pace the room.  Clearly I made a serious error in judgment when I allowed Simone to make all decisions for the wedding except for my wedding dress.  In my defense, I really didn’t think that her purview extended to my wardrobe choices for pre wedding events.  It was becoming quite obvious that I had a lot to learn about her…

About the Author
Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien, in six short months. The end result became her first novel, French Twist.

As this novel is only the beginning the story, Glynis has just released the sequel, French Toast and has begun writing the final chapter in the trilogy, French Fry. When she is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.
Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads
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Book Trailer + Giveaway! This Summer by Katlyn Duncan

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, July 14, 2014 0 comments
This Summer
Author: Katlyn Duncan
Release Date: 07/09/14
Publisher: Carina UK

Description from Goodreads
Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.

Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt - for leaving, for coming back... Now he's just passing through to tie up loose ends but it's clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it's built on two years of lies...

This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change - again?

BOOK TRAILER
EXCERPT

I enter the room, thankful that not many people have shown up yet. Lily is in front of a table at the far corner, talking with Tyler, only recently a rotating regular in our group of friends. Lily cackles about something Tyler says but when she sees me, her expression turns serious. 
I can’t deal with questions so I plaster on a smile and walk to them. "Hey Tyler," I give him a one-armed hug. His arm wraps around my waist and stays there. 
Lily’s eyes dart to the door then back to me. I shake my head slightly. Not now.
"Did you have fun on the cruise?" Tyler asks.
How could Carter do this? And where would Dad have found a replacement? At the very least he could have warned me last night. My throat constricts as I calculate the number of people in the room. With the last minute change in plans he has to pick someone who is already trained. I rack my brain thinking of who else was at the training. 
Tyler clears his throat. "Sounds fun."
I force a laugh. "Sorry. I’m just a bit distracted right now. I’m going to see if my Dad needs any help." And if he has any more surprises for me today.
"I’ll come with!" Lily offers. No doubt she wants more information about what happened with Carter. I don’t have the energy to argue. 
The door opens and Dad steps into the room. A herd of others come in right behind him and filter through the rows of chairs to their seats. Carter is the last to enter the room and I turn around, bumping into Lily to get the furthest seat from him. I can’t even look at him. 
"Welcome staff!" Dad says. A few of the returning lifeguards cat-call him and Lily offers a loud whistle. "I’m so glad you are all here, and on time," he eyes the stragglers who came in after him. But his smile quickly returns and as much as I’m pissed at him, I can’t help but smile. 
"I hope you are hungry because there is more than enough food to go around." His green eyes widen as he takes in the group. "Before we start orientation I’d like for the pool staff to head into the other room with Head Guard, Heath, for your assignments while I partner up the counselors." He runs down the names of the pool staff. 
Daisy and Ethan stand from their seats along with a few others I recognize from the training we had during spring break. As much as the two groups work together at the camp, the counselors and pool staff form strong bonds within their groups during the summer. 
Carter’s name is called and he slinks out of the room. I don’t look up even though I can feel him looking at me.  
"Uh." Lily slaps my arm. 
"Yup," I say, heat prickling my neck. "So did I." I glance around the room and note that someone is missing. Each age group is co-ed which warrants a male and female counselor. And without Carter in the room, I’m the odd man out. Fantastic.
With a few minutes to process the situation, and with Carter out of sight, I make a promise that even he can’t ruin the summer for me. I’ll make it fantastic with whoever I’m paired with. 
Dad continues. "As for the rest of you," his eyes are on his clipboard, as if he hasn’t memorized the list already, "I’m going to call your assignments."
He’s halfway down the list and hasn’t mentioned my name yet. I sink further into my chair and try to act happy when I hear Lily’s assignment with Aiden, the elusive mid-year transfer to our high school. He floated among the groups at school not picking one, but he was the shiny eye candy for most of the girls. And by the glint in Lily’s eyes, I can tell she's happy with the pairing.
The door to the meeting room opens and Dad’s eyes flick up.
"Are you happy?" I ask Lily. 
She turns to me smiling, but her eyes lift to something behind me, and her jaw goes slack. She grabs my arm and squeezes. 
"Ow," I say. 
"Looks like we’re all here now," Dad says. 
I meet Lily’s eyes, nearly popping out of their sockets. "What is wrong with you?" I turn to the newcomer, and all of the pieces fall together. 
I take in the apparition in the doorway. My breathing slows and I blink a few times, my mind not quite believing who is only a few feet away from me. In a few steps I could touch the person who shattered my heart into a million pieces nearly two years ago. 
My previous next door neighbor, Will Carson, looks the same, but different. His boyish face is a golden brown and the lines are more pronounced. His hair is shorter than I remember, barely touching the tips of his ears. My fingers numb knowing what the strands feel like. Or what they used to. He was thin as a boy, his strength coming in the later years of our friendship. But now his lithe muscles are tight. His chest fills the black t-shirt in a way that elicits a shiver down my spine. 
His jaw clenches in that nervous way as he looks around the room. It tightens further when his hazel eyes meet mine.

About the Author
Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July. Great month in dramaland!!!

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, July 09, 2014 0 comments
I've been bad at blogging this past few days, and it's all because of the great dramas that I'm currently watching. I'm totally in kdramaland, and can't stop fangirling. ♥_♥ Thus, the lack of reading and blogging. But I thought I'd write an update, to share with you guys what I'm watching at the moment.
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(WARNING fangirling mode: ON!)
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Let's start with Hotel King. I just.. I can't even.. It's just sooo good !!! Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook are now my latest favourite couple ♥. They're so adorable, and their on-screen chemistry is PERFECT (and the BTS photos & videos... SWOON. I've been spending a lot of time on Youtube and Tumblr because I can't have enough of these two).
I recently read that they've already worked together in the past; there were a lot of fans who have been enthusiastic to see them together again since the 2005 drama My Girl. It's rare to see kdrama couples working in new dramas together again, so I can totally understand all the excitement at seeing Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook reunited in Hotel King. And 8 years of waiting! My gosh, that's a lot!
I hadn't watched My Girl before watching Hotel King, but I immediately went to marathon it when I ran out of Hotel King episodes. And My Girl was amazing! I laughed like a madwoman because it was so hilarious. And I'm actually working on a fan art because I'm so in love with Ju Yoo-rin and Seol Gong-chan.

Doctor Stranger was a total and utter disappointment. The drama started out really really good; I liked the mystery aspect, and the competition between Park Hoon and Han Jae Joon, but towards the end I felt like ehhh... what the heck is going on? Truthfully, the cute and funny moments were the only parts that I loved about this drama. And obviously Lee Jong Suk. I always love Lee Jong Suk. His acting was mind blowing! He's improved so much since School 2013 and I Hear Your Voice, and I just wish he doesn't enlist in the military soon because I will miss him.
Cute Hoon ♥

OMG. Fated To Love You! I haven't watched the Taiwanese version of this drama, but I'm so loving the Korean version. Jang Na Ra is a great actress, and she looks very young and cute, despite her age!!! The first episode wasn't that great, and to be honest after seeing the shampoo commercial scene, I was like what did I just watch?!? LOL
But episode 2 was great, and I can't wait to see what will happen next.
MY THOUGHTS IN GENERAL: The cast? Perfect. The acting? Superb. Have I ever watched any Korean drama in which the main character gets pregnant? Hmm.. I don't think so. Therefore, the story is fresh and unlike any other drama I've watched.

Sneak Peek: It's Okay, That's Love. Can't wait to watch this drama! The two main leads are talented actors who I'm so impatient to see on-screen. And after seeing the teaser photos. Me. Totally. Fangirling. Hyo Jin playfully slaps In Sung. 
This made my day.
 

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

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