My husband and I are very proud to announce that our second bundle of joy had chosen to arrive on 27 September morning! She weighs 2.9kg (equivalent to 6.4 pounds) and we have not decided a name for her yet as we intend to consult a master based on her date and time of birth.

Despite my gynae's "warning" beforehand, I was still quite taken aback of her early arrival; after all my due date is supposed to be in the middle of October. Anyway, we are all very happy that both the baby and I are healthy and fine. I have also engaged a confinement lady so she is currently staying in our place and helps to take care of my baby and do some simple household chores and cooks for the family. Frankly speaking, I do not know what I would do without her assistance during this "recuperating" month.

Well, I hope everyone is doing great and had a great weekend! :-)

Picture taken at home

Picture taken at the hospital


ISBN-13: 9780451224750
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: August 2008

First sentence: Victoria opened her eyes.

Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy returns to London after her taut encounter and an attack with vampire Beauregard. Though she has her two vis bullae to thank for from being turned to an undead, she still feels the uncertainty as there is vampire blood flowing in her veins after all.

To complicate things, now she is unable to detect the vampires with her heightened senses and to make things worse, some vampires appear to be stalking the streets of London during the daylight and Victoria is held as a suspect behind all these mysterious attacks.

Besides fighting against the darkness in herself, she is also torn between Sebastian Vioget, the great grandson of Beauregard but is now taking his role as a Venator, and Maximilian Pesaro, an ex-Venator who had lost his power in order to break the control of vampire queen, Lilith.

I would say this instalment is focused more on Victoria fighting with her inner self, dealing with her emotional issues and her mixed feelings towards Sebastian and Max than the action scenes as compared to the other instalments. However, readers would be thrilled to read more of Lilith in this instalment as she is back into her actions and Victoria will come face to face with her again.

Colleen Gleason has once again succeeded in captivating her readers in When Twilight Burns with fine woven plots and compelling characters that will definitely leave them hunger for more. Be sure to look out for the next instalment As Shadows Fade to be released in March 2009.

Other Blogs' reviews:
Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Guest Appearance: Colleen Gleason)
(Let me know if I have missed your review.)

Booking Through Thursday

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?

And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?

I read a lot of fiction books, and occasionally memoirs but I rarely read inspirational books. Although I find most of them useful and informative, sometimes I think the contents are a little too dry for my reading pleasure.

However, I find Brendon Burchard's Life's Golden Ticket (you may read my review here) unusual because although it is more of a motivational novel, it does not read like one because the author has skilfully attribute all the necessary points by a way of storytelling, and this is what made the book so interesting and a joy to read.

And then of course, with the attractive cover, there is no way I could turn this book down.

Proximidade! Award
To translate the gift from Portuguese to English, it means: "This blog invests and believes, the proximity" [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' -being close through proxy].

They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate?

Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to 8 bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.

I Love Your Blog Award

Alice, thank you so much for passing these two awards to me! I love your blog too because you always have so many things to share with your friends and readers. Also, thank you for your friendship! Here is a friendship quote for you:

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
- Anais Nin

Because awards are meant to share, I would like to pass these awards to the following friends:

I am very happy to know you ladies; and as always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog! :-)

Edited to Add (25 Sep):
I just noticed Iliana presented the above award to me too when I visited her blog earlier. Thank you so much, Iliana! :-D

Labels: 19 comments | edit post
This week’s theme is: catch up on… something.

Some suggestions:
Catch up on….

…organizing your sidebar
…updating lists of some sort (I need to deal with my giveaways list!)
…making links wherever (challenge lists, monthly reading summaries, etc.)

…your TBR pile
…your library books
…updating your blogroll
…updating your reader

How to:
1. Decide what you need to catch up on.
2. Write a post if you feel like it, telling your readers what you intend to catch up on. If you do that, you can sign Mr Linky right away with the link to that specific post.
3. Catch up!
4. Write a post near the end of the week (Thursday or Friday) summarizing how your catch-up week went. If you didn’t sign Mr Linky with your intentions post, sign it with your summary post.
5. Don’t forget to visit other Weekly Geeks and encourage them in their catching up!

Some of the things I need to catch up...

On my priority list will be getting things all ready for the arrival of my baby next month! I cannot believe that time flies by so quickly and in another three weeks' time (if the timing is accurate), I will be a mom again and will be holding my darling baby in my embrace soon! My blog may go hiatus for a while since I will be busy with my little one, but that does not mean I will give up blogging and not reading your blogs!

Then again, there are the reading challenges which I have participated and have yet to be completed! And of course I have no one to blame but myself since several of the books listed not read is due to my ever changing reading mood. I also get influenced by fellow book blogger friends' recommendations easily so I usually end up reading the books they suggested or reading the latest releases. It is one habit which is hard for me to break.

Coming up next is organising my bookshelves and/or TBR book piles. I need to pack those books which I read into a box so that the books not read could move into their places. As my bookshelves are already filled to the brim, I stack my other TBR pile into four towers in the storage room and all of them are taller than me! (My estimated height is 1.61 meters so go figure!) I got the 'look' from my husband because one of them collapsed last Sunday, hehe.

I also have to thank My Friend Amy for coming up with a great event like BBAW and this has allow me to explore many book blogs which are new to me, and that means I need to update my blogroll as well.

I think that is about all for me at the moment. What about you?

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today:

"I don't sense any undead," she told Sebastian as she stepped on something horribly squishy. A rank odor squelched afresh into the air, and with her next step she felt something hard and cylindrical roll beneath her boot.

When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason (Pg 15)



Let's talk books this week.

1. Name a few of your favorite books.
I have too many favourite books on my list, but I shall name a few which have made it as my top reads this year:

2. Is there an author that you don't like, yet so many people seem to love?
Paulo Coelho. I wanted to like his books, but for some reason I just could not get into his stories.

3. Name a book to film adaptation that you really like. Name one you think was done poorly.
Whenever someone asks me if I would prefer to read a book or watch a movie first, I would always say, "Read the book first!". Naturally, one reason is that: a book offers more details than the movie, and so far I have not came across any book to film adaption that I really like. However, I really enjoyed watching Lord of the Rings, but it would be unfair of me to name this since I have yet to read the books.

As for a film adaptation which was done poorly, The Da Vinci Code sprang to my mind not because it was badly shot or anything, but it is just that some of the scenes were just not clear and was confusing. And this further conclude why I prefer reading a book than watching the film adaptation.

4. Where do you buy your books?
I love buying my books from brick and mortar bookstores, but occasionally I do buy them online too.

5. What genre do you read the most?
I always read a mixture of genres, but lately I have been reading a lot of paranormal and crime thrillers.

6. What genre do you dislike?
I do not have anything against any particular genre. I could only say I am not much of a sci-fi fan.

7. Is there a book that has changed your life?
Not really, but they did change my views on some issues in life.

8. Have you ever met an author? What author would you like to meet?
I wish I have! Some of the authors I would love to meet are: Neil Gaiman, Mo Hayder, Nora Roberts, Anne Stuart, Tana French and J K Rowling etc.


Friday Finds

Here are some of the books which I bought lately:

The authors of the first three books are new to me; I am quite intrigued by their blurbs (and not to mention they have wonderful covers!) so I just have to pick them up.

Natsuo Kirino is not a new name to me, but I have read so many good reviews about her book, Out that I have to add it to my pile. I also added her other book, Grotesque to the pile because it seems like another winner to me.

I did not expect to find Neil Gaiman's latest release, The Graveyard Book under the new releases section, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to grab hold of a copy. It is a UK version so the cover differs from the US but honestly, I do not really care as long as I am able to get hold of his books quickly.

So did you buy any books lately? Do share them with me.

Booking Through Thursday

Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?

You know, I wish we have four seasons here! Living in a tropical country meaning we have summer all year round (although we expect the monsoon season towards the end of the year), and it gets kind of boring having the same season all the time. Nevertheless, the weather (since the changing season does not apply to me here) has no effect on my reading habits. Even though if I live in a country with changing season, I guess I will still answer the same - I will read as much as I can; the choice of books will depend on my moods and that is about it.


Have you visited Amy's blog? Do check out her blog if you haven't because she has lots of exciting news to share, especially on the Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) Awards. (You may wish to click here for the BBAW Awards 2008 Presentation Schedule.)

And guess who won under the best carnival/event/meme category? It is none other than Amy, the hostess herself for her Book Blogger Appreciation Week! I think it is very well deserved since she has done a great job in putting this event altogether.

Congratulations, Amy!


Amy also talked about blogging and offered some of her tips. I think her questions are very interesting, and here is what she asked:

What is one thing you wish you knew about blogging when you started or what advice would you give a newbie blogger? What is your best blogging tip?

You know, when I first started blogging, I knew nothing about blogging and have no idea what is html codes or how to play around with my blog except simple posting and attaching pictures! Not giving up and trying to learn more about blogging, I began to explore on my own and fiddling with the html codes (and I always make sure to have a backup copy!) until I understand the concepts behind them. I then added several links and from there, I slowly build up my blog till what you have seen today. Besides self exploring, I also googled some sites that offered advice and tips on blogging, and I find them very useful. Till present, I am still learning and am not shy to ask advice from fellow blogger friends if I need some answers concerning blogging.

As for blogging tip, I think the first thing you should do before starting up a blog is to ask yourself what would you blog about? Is it about your daily life? Or will it be something more classified, e.g. blog about books? Once you have decided which direction you want to go, work on the theme and think of a suitable header for your blog. Once everything is up and running, visit other blogs and leave some comments. You may think you are writing for yourself, but other readers do visit and read your blog too. And I think it is always good to hear some feedbacks from fellow bloggers, even though if it is just a simple hello. Friendship starts from there, and I am sure most of us love receiving comments anyway (at least I do!). :-)


ISBN-10: 0099484927
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 2005
Translated by: Julia Lovell & Esther Tyldesley

First sentence: When I was five years old, I heard a snatch of conversation on a Beijing street that lodged in my mind and would not leave: 'The Tibetans cut his body into a thousand pieces and fed it to the vultures.'

In 1994, the author, Xinran travelled to Suzhou from Nanjing to interview Shu Wen after she received a call from one of her listeners at a nightly radio programme she presented. Piqued with curiosity, Xinran decided to interview Shu Wen, a Chinese woman who had spent years searching for her missing husband, Kejun, after she had learnt that he died in Tibet during his service as a doctor in the People's Liberation Army.

Just newly married for less than a hundred days, Shu Wen could not accept the news of his death and thus, she decided to leave her homeland to Tibet so that she could find an answer of her husband's disappearance since the Army could not provide any information regarding his cause of death. She was determined to join her husband's regiment and using her qualifications as a dermatologist, she managed to join the army as they were desperately short of doctors and many soldiers in Tibet were suffering from altitude sickness.

However, all the hardship she endured did not waver her determination in searching for her husband. There, she rescued a Tibetan woman named Zhuoma and was later separated from the army after they were ambushed by some Tibetan rebels. Left alone with no one except each other, Shu Wen and Zhuoman trekked on the vast landscape until they stumbled upon a nomad family who was kind enough to offer them their tents as shelter. The two women learnt a lot about each other during their stay with the Tibetan family; and the family treated them as members of their own as the time passed by. She then returned home only after she had found the answer she had been searching for during the years.

Sky Burial is a heartwrenching love story, filled with descriptive details of Tibetan history and culture. The story is so powerful and haunting that I was left speechless after reading this memoir in one sitting, for my mind was filled with vivid images of Shu Wen's drastic life as portrayed under Xinran's skilful writing. I have nothing but great admiration for Shu Wen's courage and determination, for who would think a woman of her age at that time would go to such extent to search her husband and stayed in Tibet for about thirty years?

After the end of this memoir, Xinran had written a short letter to Shu Wen, asking where she is and hoping that they would meet again as she still has a lot of questions to ask from her. I hope she managed to get in touch with Shu Wen.

Note: A BIG thank you to Marny of Traveling Bookworm for sending this book and a bookmark band to me.

ISBN-13: 9780451223265
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: February 2008
Series: Gardella Vampire Chronicles Series #3

First sentence: The lair of the Queen of the Vampires was tucked away in the snowy mountain range of Muntii Fagaras.

**Consists of some minor spoilers**

In this third instalment of Colleen Gleason's The Gardella Vampires Chronicles, the heroine, Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy inherited the title and responsibility of Illa Gardella, in which she will lead the team of Venators to fight off the undead.

Aside from trying her best to wipe out the vampires breed, she also learns that the demon Akvan is plotting to break through the Door of the Alchemists to attain something valuable as he believes this will further strengthen his power. Although she knows she can rely on Maximilian, her other Venator partner for this task, she is also aware that he is still under Lilith, the Vampire Queen's control as he had been bitten by her some time ago. Though Lilith has yet to do or summon anything from him, all the Venators knew that in a way, Max still belongs to her. However, there is a way he could break free of her control but that also means he will lose all his power as a Venator.

Meanwhile, Victoria is still skeptical about Sebastian Vioget, since she is not sure if she could trust him entirely; after all he is the great grandson of Beauregard who happens to be a vampire. And now, it is up to Victoria, Maximilian and Sebastian to stop Akvan. But whether or not if they are able to do so is what everyone wonders, given the circumstances of their complicated feelings towards one another.

Having read and enjoyed the previous two instalments, I was very eager to pick up this book because I just could not wait to find out what would happen next. There are a lot of conflicts in this instalment; and though it seems there are not as many action scenes as compared to the previous book, here I find it leans more towards the emotional part. The relations between Victoria, Maximilian and Sebastian are getting more complicated. Also, it is in this book that I get to see a whole new light of Maximilian and Sebastian.

Well, what can I say? This is one irresistible historical paranormal series that got me hooked since the first instalment, and it is getting more intense as I read further. It the the plots, and most of all, the characters that make this series an exciting read. And it goes without saying that I will be reading When Twilight Burns next!

Other reviews:
(Let me know if I have missed your review!)

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today:

Eight red eyes glowed in the darkness, and they appeared to be talking excitedly among themselves; probably planning where and when to stalk the victims for their evening feed. She hated to interrupt their dinner plans, but... she lunged from the covering of a pine tree, the needles brushing over her cheek, her stake raised.

The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason (Pg 29)


Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the treatment of books!

Do you treat books carefully, or do you just treat them as any other object? Do you have certain things you refuse to do with books (write in them, etc)? If so, what are they?

I love my books. So yes, I treat all of them very carefully, even though if they do not belong to me. I do not bend the book when I am reading, and neither do I dog-ear the page. I always make sure to have a bookmark in hand, or a small loose sheet of paper (another alternative: post-it notes) to mark the page.

However, I did scribble in my school textbooks in pencil during my school days. I wrote notes and highlighted the passages for easy references because I hate to refer to loose sheets and then worrying about losing them.

I suppose all booklovers are the same and treat their books with care, don't you think?

Yesterday was Mid-Autumn Festival (it falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, when this day the moon is the brightest and fullest). During this time and as a tradition, family members will gather around to admire the full moon while eating mooncakes, steamed mini yams and pomelos with servings of tea while the children have fun playing with their lanterns.

So on Saturday evening, my husband and I decided to bring our daughter to a lantern festival held at the Chinese Garden. This year's theme is "F8-Hello Kitty Go Races!". As this was the first time she attended to such event, we could tell she really enjoyed it a lot. Here are some of the pictures we took at the said event:

There were a lot of people and it was hard to get your pictures taken with some people jostling around.

Vroom! Vroom!
"Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engine!"

Congratulations to Kitty, who got first prize in the race!

It's party time!

We were thrilled to see some fireworks. We did not take many pictures of them as my husband had captured it all on video.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the sea...

Some Chinese ladies blowing their flutes.

One of the highlights in the Chinese Garden - The Pagoda. The lighted figurine at the top is Lady Chang'e, who is believed to be the Chinese goddess of the moon.

A carp out of water.

Well, I hope you enjoy viewing these pictures. I just had a quarter piece of a mooncake before putting up this post, and it was delicious! ;-P


ISBN-13: 9780451221469
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: June 2007
Series: Gardella Vampire Chronicles Series #2

This second instalment picks up right after the end of the previous instalment. Victoria Gardella is still recovering from the shock of the tragedy that happened so quickly that had left her numbed, but she knows she could not afford to waste more time in dwelling too much of the past for she must continue to fight against the evil as what every Venator should do.

Here, she meets up with Sebastian Vioget once again by chance. Though she is still not sure if she could trust him entirely, she could feel there is a slight mutual attraction lingering between them. But of course she would not allow such minor issue to take over her mind, since she has learned that a major tragedy is going to descend upon earth if she and other Venators could not stop it in time. With an indestructible object known as Akvan's Obelisk, it is a large spearlike stone made from obsidian and as legend states, once it is activated, it gives a vampire or a demon capabilities to call on and control the souls of the dead. And if that happens, the evil will not be defeated for no one would be able to fight an army of that strength and number.

Victoria travels to Italy in the hope of gaining this powerful artifact before Nedas, the son of the Vampire Queen activates it. During her stay there, she has acquired a few information on the formation of The Tutela, an ancient secret society whereby members protect and provide services to the vampires; one such service is bringing the mortals to the undead for their pleasure and nourishment in exchange for immortality.

Besides watching out for the artifact, the vampires and members of The Tutela, Victoria also shows her vulnerable side when faced with several emotional issues such as questions of trust, betrayal and the meaning and act of sacrifice.

Once again, Colleen Gleason has weaved an intrigue, intense and fast-paced story in Rises the Night. Do not expect any cliché in this story as it is filled with suspense, not to mention a few twists and turns along the way. Besides having more action scenes in this second instalment, it is also darker and very emotional intense. I have to admit I am hooked to this series because they are getting better and better; another reason is each instalment always ends with a cliff-hanger so I cannot wait to find out what would happen next.

Other reviews:

Friday Fill-Ins

1. I enjoy doing a lot of things, but spending time with my family and reading remains the top on my list.

2. When will I deliver is something I wonder about often lately.

3. In your heart, you knew you could do anything if you have great faith in yourself.

4. Take a packet of instant noodles, add a little spice into the boiling water and you end up with a bowl of steaming hot noodles soup.

5. Life has gifted me with a loving husband, an adorable daughter and a baby soon on the way.

6. Taking a break to do something you enjoy is an instant vacation.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, tomorrow my plans include visiting my dad and reading some books and Sunday, I want to do laundry and household chores!


ISBN-13: 9780451220073
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: January 2007
Series: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles

I love reading about vampires. There is just something mystique and attractive about them which I could not really explain. Besides being a fan of urban fantasy genre, another reason I picked up this series is due to the historical setting. I just love reading anything Regency.

Through generations, selected members of the Gardella family are chosen to continue the family legacy of vampire slaying. This time, the latest member to take up this role is Victoria Gardella. Besides having to behave like a demure young lady like every lady suppose to be, she has to keep her other self a secret from everyone else except Aunt Eustacia, a former Venator; and she acts as Victoria's guide when vampire slaying is concerned. Maximilian Pesaro is another vampire executioner but Victoria's personality seems to clashes with his as both have a streak of stubborness in them. Despite this, they made a good team and both vowed to locate the Book of Antwartha before Lilith, the Queen of vampires get ahold of it and create havoc to earth.

Although Victoria's heart is into vampire slaying, but deep inside she yearns for a marriage with Phillip de Lacy, Marquess of Rockley. Thus, when Phillip finally asks her to marry him, she is thrilled but she wonders how on earth she is supposed to keep this secret from him, now that they are to live together under the same roof.

I enjoyed reading this book so much that I am going to jump into the next instalment right after this. Victoria Gardella is one extraordinary heroine; I liked her attitude and also I find it entertaining regarding her exchanges with Max, Phillip and even Sebastian Vioget, a rather mysterious man who seems to have his own agenda. I was also amused by Victoria's mother and her two lady friends' witty behaviours as they fuss over Victoria's happiness like overly protective mother hens. There are a lot of action scenes but fans of romance genre will not be disappointed with this book as there is a fair share of romance element in it too. Needless to say, Colleen Gleason is one of my favourite authors now and I will definitely look out for her future releases.

In this week's WG
, Dewey asked us to pair up with another Weekly Geek participant and interview each other about a book we read recently. I was paired with My Friend Amy.


Here are some questions I asked Amy on Up Pops The Devil by Angela Benson.

1) What made you read this book? Have you read anything by this author?
I was offered this book for review by a blog tour group I belong to. I've never read anything by this author, but I've seen her book The Amen Sisters around in the stores. I have to admit the cover and the title were very attractive...I'm easily swayed. ;)

2) I learnt from the blurb that this novel is leaning more towards Christian fiction, do you think non-Christians readers will enjoy this story too? Will you recommend this novel to them? Why?
I have to admit, I was really surprised this book wasn't under the Avon Inspire imprint, which is the inspirational or Christian imprint of Harper Collins Avon. I read a great deal of Christian fiction and it really varies, from books that may only mention God once to books that are a bit more, uh, direct. This book talks about God a lot. My guess is that someone with different beliefs would still enjoy this very human story and struggle for redemption. As far as recommending it, it would depend on the person. Some people enjoy reading Christian fiction because it tends to be free of foul language and explicit sexual scenes even if they believe differently. Others can't stomach any of it. So I would need to know their feelings on that first.

3) What do you think of Preacher, who is the protagonist of this story? Is there any characters you like or hate? Why?
Preacher is extremely likeable as he wants to change his life around and atone for his past mistakes. Sadly, the women in this story get on my nerves. They each have their own agendas.

4) Why do you think the women in Preacher's life are making things difficult for him?
I think they each have different goals and expectations. They want him to be the person he used to be before prison, but he's changed and they have to come to terms with that, and it's difficult for them.

5) What is most inspiring about this book?
That love and forgiveness are the keys to beating the devils in our lives. ;)


And here are some questions Amy asked me on In The Woods by Tana French.

1) Why did you decide to read this book?
I picked up this book while browsing at the bookstore one day. I was hooked by the intriguing blurb, and then of course I am a huge fan of crime thrillers. I did not read this book immediately; I tend to stack them in my TBR pile until the mood strikes do I pick up the books to read. It was after reading a review by a fellow book blogger that I decided to read this book, because she made it sounds so good!

2) Were there any elements about this book that surprised you?
Yes! There are a lot of twists and turns in this book. The psychological element is the one that get to me. You can just feel all the emotions in this story. It makes me ponder about things like: sometimes a person who appears to be strong (both physically or mentally) does not necessary means so, and vice versa.

3) Were you able to empathize with the characters?
Yes, I do. The author has done a great job in weaving this story with very good descriptions. I felt the most with the protagonist amongst all in this story.

4) Was this a compulsive page turner or a leisurely read at will sort of book?
Definitely a compulsive page turner to me. I could not put the book down; I wish I had read it earlier.

5) How did this book compare to other books in the same genre?
Each crime thriller author has his/her own writing style and therefore, each book is unique to me. What I find this story refreshing is reading the issue and the dilemma the protagonist has to deal with, given his profession being a detective and also one of the victims of a disappearance case during his childhood days. I had wondered how the author would pull this off towards the end, and I think she had done it nicely.

6) Will you read more books by this author?
Yes! In fact, I am currently reading her next instalment – The Likeness. It is much better than In the Woods in my opinion.

7) I have this book in my TBR pile...should I bump it up?
I would highly recommend this book! This is one of my favourite reads this year. I am hoping to read your review on it soon.


I would like to thank Amy for these great questions! Please click here to read more interviews by fellow Weekly Geeks participants.

Jennifer of Literate Housewife is hosting the great BBAW contest for book blog readers!

Here is what she says:

Book bloggers would be no where without our readers. Many readers also happen to have their own blogs, but not all do. During Book Blogger Appreciation Week, we would like to take time to honor those who do not. You are so special to us and we want to recognize you for all that you do for us. If you are a loyal reader to one or many book blogs but do not blog yourself, this is the contest for you!

To enter, simply fill out the following sentence in 200 words or less and email them to me (Jennifer) at literatehousewife (at) gmail (dot)com:

“I read book blogs because…”

All of the entries received by end of the day (EST) on Saturday, September 13 will be considered. Of those entries, the top 10. What happens to the top 10? First, they will be posted on The Literate Housewife Review on Monday, September 15 to help kick off BBAW on my blog. But it gets even better!

Those entries will also be sent to Joshua Henkin, author of Matrimony! Josh has been a great supporter of book clubs and book blogs and I couldn’t be more thrilled that he was ready, willing, and able to help us honor you. He has graciously agreed to read them all and select the first, second and third place winners. The winners will be announced here at noon on Friday, September 19th.
Please click here for more details.

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today:

"You thought I was a vampire."
Victoria forbore to point out that it was an honest mistake; with his gleaming black hair and sharp-planed face, he looked dangerous and untrustworthy.

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason (Pg 21)


Musing Mondays

Today's MUSING MONDAYS post is about changes to the bookselling industry in the last century.

Do you like the changes that have come to bookselling in the last several decades? Do you shop online? Do you prefer big chain stores, or do you prefer small, independent shops? Why?

When I was a student, I used to shop at smaller, independent bookstores because it is convenient and is within our neighbourhood. Those big chain stores are mostly situated in the town areas, and at that time, I would rather borrow books from the public libraries or buy my favourite books from these smaller stores.

And then of course, there are also small used bookstores around so we have a choice to buy or rent the books if we want. At the used (rental) bookstores, we will pay the full price of a latest release (cheaper if it is an older release) and if we decide not to keep it, we can always return to the stores within a month (or two months depending on how many books you rent) and they will refund part of the money to us. In this case, we paid only a few dollars as the renting fees. I find this works best for me if I am not sure if the books I want to read are keepers.

I love browsing and shopping at bookstores, no matter if they are big chain stores or small, independent stores but I do shop online too, because it is convenient and/or I find the books I want are not available or hard to find in bookstores. I was quite happy to find some out of print books on ebay lately because I know I would never find them in bookstores. Thus, I do not really have any preference when it comes to book shopping, as long as I get what I want.

My Friend Amy has posted the awards finalists for her Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Do visit these blogs and cast your votes here.)

Best General Book Blog
Books on the Nightstand
Devourer of Books
J. Kaye's Book Blog
Loud Latin Laughing

Best Kidlit Blog
A Patchwork of Books
Christian Children's Book Review
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Well Read Child
Young Readers

Best Romance Blog
The Book Binge
Dear Author
OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!
Rip My Bodice
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Best Christian/Inspirational Blog
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Becky's Christian Reviews
Books, Movies, Chinese Food
Free Spirit Blogs
Relz Reviewz

Best Literary Fiction Blog
The Bluestocking Society
Caribou's Mom
Everyday I Write the Book Blog
Loud Latin Laughing

Best Book Club Blog
Book Club Girl
Books on the Brain
Everyday I Write the Book Blog
Literate Housewife
Reading Group Guides

Best Thriller/Mystery/Suspense Blog
Cheryl's Book Nook
Detectives Beyond Borders
Jen's Book Thoughts
Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Best Non-fiction Blog
A Striped Armchair
The Discerning Reader
Letters on Pages
Non-fiction Lover

Best YA Lit Blog
The Book Muncher
Bookshelves of Doom
The Page Flipper
Presenting Lenore
The Story Siren

Best Publishing/Industry Blog
Book Club Girl
Book Ninja
Buzz, Balls, and Hype
From Where I Sit
Galley Cat

Best Community Builder
5 Minutes for Books
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
J.Kaye's Book Blog
My Friend Amy

Best Challenge Host
1 More Chapter
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Maggie Reads
Stainless Steel Droppings
Thoughts of Joy

Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
Books'N Border Collies
Civil War Blog
Historical Tapestry
Medieval Bookworm

Best Design
Books on the Brain
Books on the Nightstand
The Friendly Book Nook
Stainless Steel Droppings

Most Chatty
Age 30: A Year in Books
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin?
J. Kaye Book Blog
OCD, vampires and amusing rants, oh my!
Ramblings on Romance

Most Concise
Calico Reaction
Literary License
OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!
Thoughts of Joy

Most Eclectic Taste
Becky's Book Reviews
Books on the Nightstand
Mary's Library
OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!

Best Name for a Blog
Bloody Hell, It's a Book Barrage!
Books on the Nightstand
Rip My Bodice
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Best Author Blog
Camy Tang
Colleen Gleason
John Scalzi
Meg Cabot
Neil Gaiman

Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Booking Through Thursday
Book Blogger Appreciation Week
The Hidden Side of a Leaf 24 Hour Readathon
Tuesday Thingers
Weekly Geeks

Best Cookbook Blog
Books and Cooks
Crockpot 365
Karina's Kitchen
Soup's On!
Tomato Preserves

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror/Spec Fic Blog
Fantasy Book Critic
OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!
Stainless Steel Droppings
Stuff as Dreams are Made On
Things Mean a Lot

Most Extravagant Giveaways
Bookroom Reviews
In the Shadow of Mt. TBR
J.Kaye Book Blog
Maw Books Blog
Tree Swing Reading

Funniest/Most Humorous Blog
Bloody Hell, It's a Book Barrage!
Book Lady's Blog
Books I Done Read
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin?
Rip My Bodice

Best Commenter/Commentator
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!
Peeking Between the Pages
Rip My Bodice
Trish's Reading Nook

Best Book Community Site
Book Roast
Good Reads

Most Altruistic Blog
Note: This category was added because Amy received several write in nominations for one blog in particular. She is not going to link to the site directly, because it is an adult content blog. You can visit it, however, at
Devourer of Books
Maw Books Blog
Up for Grabs
West of Mars

Best Book Published in 2008
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Congratulations to all the finalists! I am very happy to see some of my fellow book blog friends have made it to the finalists! You guys rock!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amy is also looking for some helpers:

1) A Graphic Designer

2) A Children's author

3) A horror and/or sci-fi and/or fantasy author

So if you have any experience in any of the above, please contact Amy ASAP at bookbloggerappreciationweekATgmailDOTcom

On Monday, I posted a collage (six close-up images of various book covers) for the Weekly Geek's post and invited all readers to make a guess of the titles.

So here are the actual covers. Did you guess them correctly?

You may also wish to click onto these links for my reviews on these books:

ISBN-13: 9780307388995
Publisher: Vintage Books
Published: 2006

First sentence: There were times when she wished he were dead.

Ridley Jones' life supposed to be simple and peaceful, but after an attempt of saving a toddler from being hit by a vehicle on a busy street in New York, she is caught in an unwanted attention when her heroic acts made it on the news. From then onwards, her life is never the same anymore.

First, she receives an envelope in the mail with no return address which contains some old photographs of a man, a woman and a little girl. Accompanied these photos is a note that asks this question: 'Are you my daughter?' When she confronted her parents, they assured her they are her parents although she got a feeling they have something to hide from her.

Things get more complicated when at this time, she is also attracted and intrigued by her new neighbour, Jake, who seems to have a few secrets of his own. Jake seems both eager and interested in helping her to solve her past, but Ridley has her own doubts. On top of this drama, she also has problems with a drug addicted brother, Ace, who is estranged from the family and her overly protective ex-boyfriend, Zachary.

Through her persistent digging and with the assistance from Jake, who turns out to be a PI with an agenda, they unveil a case of the disappearance of a girl, Jessie Stone back in the seventies after the murder of her mother. It also leads her to get to know more of her beloved late Uncle Max, whom she later learns he had set up a Project Rescue for bringing up the abandoned children, and that her father used to be the pediatrician to Jessie as well as to other abandoned children.

Lisa Unger has weaved a taut and intriguing suspense in Beautiful Lies told from the protagonist, Ridley Jones' perspective as the readers follow her twisting journey in finding her secret past and her true identity. The author has also successfully built up the climax by building the suspense of the people surrounding Ridley. I liked the ending; it has led me to think about the choices sometimes we have to make in life.


Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by JM:

I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.

Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.

Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

Well, I would be lying if I say no. There are times I do feel a little pressured for wanting to read something everyone else are reading. I try not to succumb to the urge of buying it immediately and I guess it has to depend on the situations, for example, is the book a hardcover? As we all know, hardcovers are more expensive. Also, I will have to ask myself if the story is good enough for me to pick it up. What everyone thinks is a good read does not mean I will like it.

I suppose being a reviewer has to keep up on the current trends in one way or another; after all he/she cannot possibly only review the older releases. For me, I will try to read the books which are sent to me for review first; this is my way of saying thank you to the senders for forwarding the books to me, and I know they are eager to read the reviews as soon as possible.


Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today:

Somewhere outside or up above us a man I thought I loved, along with other men whom I couldn't identify, are trying to kill us, to protect an awful truth that I've discovered. I am hurt myself, in so much pain that I I might pass out if I didn't know it meant dying here in this condemned building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger (Pg 12)


Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about rereading books!

Do you ever reread books? Do you have any favorites that you like to reread over and over, maybe once a year? What are they? What do you think you get out of rereading a book? Why do you do it?

I rarely reread books; not because I do not want to, but because I have too many unread books waiting for me to read. To make matters worse (like any booklovers will do), I keep buying them so it is like the pile never goes down despite my efforts to keep up with my reading.

However, I do reread books once in a while. Usually they are the ones which left a deep impression on me and/or I love the stories so much that I want to relive that great reading pleasure again. Here are a few titles which I would like to reread over and over again:

  • Tokyo (aka The Devil of Nanking) by Mo Hayder
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • In the Woods by Tana French
  • Talyn by Holly Lisle
  • Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  • Sweet Dreams series by various authors

So are there any books you would like to reread?


This week, Dewey asked us to take a close-up photos of book covers and see if our readers can guess which books they are.

How to:
1. Take one or more (as many as you like!) close up photos of book covers.
* You could make this harder for your readers by posting covers specific to your country, posting older covers of classics, etc.
* You could make it easier for your readers by limiting your photos to books you’ve mentioned recently, so that your blog readers will already have seen the covers.
* You could also make it easier by posting some cover close-ups and a list of correct titles, asking your readers to match titles to books.
2. Decide on how you want to run your guessing game. Do you want to give prizes? Do you want to announce the correct answer as soon as someone guesses it? Do you want to post photos only of books you want to give away, and give the books to the correct guessers? Organize it any way you want!
3. Come back and sign Mr Linky, so other Weekly Geeks will be able to find your post.


I chose six books I read and created a collage from them.

Can you guess what are these titles?
(If possible, list out the authors too if you like)

(Note: I will announce the answers on Friday, September 5. )