Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekend Reads - Summer Edition

Do you know what every summer needs? A vacation! Between getting another job, competing in fitness competition (see my progress and updates at http://www.kuklae.com/), this summer has been pretty crazy! But have no fear! Because books are here and they totally have saved my ass haha
Here's a list of what I have been reading during my vacation and a short summery of what I thought about it or think about it so far :)



Truth or Dare (Truth or Dare, #1)

So far? Actually intriguing. Not going to lie, I really freaking want to know who the darer is!! Grr
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

So far? My love for monsters have died down over the years but not going to lie, this has been a pretty interesting one. So I'm hoping for the best! 



The Good Kind of Bad

So far? I typically would have been bored already but I really freaking want to know what kind of "dangerous" twist this will bring. Overall, they did promise drama hehe




What are some of your favorite summer reads so far? 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

[Book #Review] The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

the casquette girls banner

the casquette girlsTitle: The Casquette Girls
Author: Alys Arden
Publisher: Skyscape
Date of Publication: November 17, 2015

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.
**
After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter,normalneeds a new definition.
As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.


The Casquette Girls is hands down one of the best books that I have read in 2015. Filled with mystery, fantasy, romance, and magic, I couldn't put it down. Taken place in New Orleans after a huge storm destroyed the city and left so many families stranded, it also shows a different side of magic that's hidden in the broken windows. 

“And when all was done and all was said, we sat silently staring at the moon's reflection on the rippling river, soaking it all in. The differences between people, cultures and times.
The monsters. The myths.
The heroes.
The victims.
The love and loss.
Loss and love.”

Story begins with Adele Le Moyne returning from living with her mother back into New Orleans to stay with her dad. And just because her wardrobe improved, doesn't mean that she isn't still the same girl that had to leave her house when the Storm started. Struggling with the destruction around the city that she knows so well, Adele witnesses way too many strange things that should not happen. Even being able to move things without even touching them starts to wake her up. When she meets two brothers that are even stranger than anything she have seen, her life would be changed forever. 

“In the words of the great Monsieur Baudelaire, 'The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he doesn't exist.”

I loved Adele, I really did. Although she seemed to be naive and a little too immature for my taste, I learned how to appreciate her personality and view on the world. The book had a good pace, was entertaining, and will make a great read on those cold windy days! 


Alys
Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittering drag queens of the New Orleans, French Quarter. She cut her teeth on the streets of New York and has worked all around the world since. She either talks too much or not at all. She obsessively documents things. Her hair ranges from eggplant to cotton-candy-colored.
One dreary day in London, while dreaming of running away with the circus, she started writing The Casquette Girls. Her debut novel garnered over one million reads online before being acquired by Skyscape in a two book deal. Rep’d by ICM.
Website | Twitter: @alysarden | Facebook | Blog


Giveaway

2 physical copies open US only.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

[$50 #Giveaway Book Blast] Seaside Christmas by Stacy Claflin

seaside christmasSeaside Christmas by Stacy Claflin
He can’t stand her. She thinks he’s crazy. Will their feelings stay etched in permanent ink?
Cruz Hunter has always stuck out in his small hometown. Now that he’s covered in tattoos, the residents peg him as even more of an outcast. It seems like the whole world is against his dream of opening a local tattoo parlor.
When he finally finds the perfect place for his new business, Cruz discovers a pastor and his daughter have already bought it. The only thing more irritating than the change in his plan is Talia, a beautiful and feisty argument in a dress. Cruz would like nothing more than to have her out of his life and his mind, but for some reason, she’s the only thing he can think about.
If Cruz and Talia can stop arguing long enough, opposites may do much more than attract.
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Meet the Hunter brothers of Kittle Falls…
The Seaside Hunters novels are a series of contemporary sweet romances. They’re set in the beach town of Kittle Falls, following the Hunter brothers as they make their way back to their hometown and find the loves they couldn’t elsewhere. Each book is a standalone.
Seaside

StacyAuthor Stacy Claflin
I don’t stick to a single genre in my writing, reading, or viewing. My favorite shows include Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, Lost Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Once Upon a Time.
I’ve been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my story telling would get me into trouble because I would try to convince others that my stories were real.
When I’m not busy writing, I like spending time with my family and friends. I also educate my kids from home.
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$50 Book Blast Giveaway
Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/20/15
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 readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

$300 Holiday Cash #Giveaway

Holiday Cash Giveaway
$300 Holiday Cash Giveaway – December 1st to 21st
An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!
We’re giving away $300 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $250 Amazon.com eGift Code!
Sponsor List – Thanks to these awesome bloggers & authors for sponsoring this giveaway!!

Sponsor List
I Am A Reader
eBooks for Review
Lori’s Reading Corner
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Author Inger Iversen
D.E. Haggerty – author
Author Ednah Walters
Leisure Reads
Glistering Bs Blog
Jennifer Bardsley 
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Suzi Love
B. Kristin McMichael
Laurie Here – Contemporary Fiction and More – Book Reviews
Raven Haired Girl
Rae Lori
Here We Go Again…Ready?
Author Dorothy Dreyer
Julie Antonovich Reece
Pat Esden, paranormal romance author
Author Melissa Wright
Coupons and Freebies Mom
Melissa Giorgio
Cynthia Luhrs Author
Author Deb Atwood
Melissa A. Hanson, Author
Lisa Orchard
Nicole Tone
Kathryn Purdie
Y.A. Chit Chat
Kelsey Ketch
Simple Wyrdings
Pintip Dunn
Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through the Ages
My Reading Spot
Every Free Chance Books
Spiced Latte Reads
Megan Tayte (YA author)
Hannah Fielding ~ Romance Novelist
Lorca Damon
Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm
Book Nerd Addict
HOT LSITENS
YA author Nina Rossing
Auggie @ AuggieTalk
Amy McNulty
Everly Frost
Heather Gray, Author
Literary Winner
Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}
Giveaway Details
$300 in Paypal Cash or a $300 Amazon.com eGift Card
Ends 12/21/15
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or who can redeem an Amazon.com Gift Code. 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 authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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[$50 #Giveaway Book Blast] The Poppy Peters Mystery Series by A. Gardner

SouthernPeachPieSOUTHERN PEACH PIE AND A DEAD GUY
(Poppy Peters Mysteries Book 1)
Book Summary:
After an injury derails Poppy Peters’ ballet career, she gathers the courage to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and attend Calle Pastry Academy in a small-town in Georgia. Poppy has her work cut out for her not only fitting in with her charming (and not-so-charming ) Southern classmates but also proving her worth to her teachers after her first publicly humiliating attempt a making the school’s famous peach pie. But Poppy’s pastry problems go from bad to worse when she’s suddenly accused of stealing expensive black truffles, and her attempt to clear her name goes awry…resulting in her finding a dead body instead! If Poppy’s going to survive this culinary experience, she’ll need to find the missing truffles and track down a killer, all while honing her baking skills to compete in the school’s dessert competition for a coveted pastry internship in Paris. Can Poppy prove she’s one tough cookie? Or is her life about to crumble?
**Recipes Included**

    

ChocolateMacaronsandaDeadGroom (1)CHOCOLATE MACAROONS AND A DEAD GROOM
(Poppy Peters Mysteries Book 2)
Book Summary:
When Poppy Peters takes an internship in Paris working for a top pastry chef, she realizes that bakery life isn’t all cupcakes and frosting. The sous pastry chef dislikes foreigners, her mentor only speaks French, and to top that all off she finds the groom of the wedding she’s catering dead in his own backyard. But Lord Dovington wasn’t just a handsome royal waiting to sweep his bride-to-be off of her feet. He was also a well-known playboy with a long line of vengeful exes.
Now, as one of the prime suspects, Poppy must prove she’s innocent . . . and that her recipe for chocolate macaroons isn’t to blame. But the clock is ticking, and with a missing diamond, a break-in, and a hot batch of reporters on her tail, Poppy has a lot of sifting to do. Will she find the killer before she too gets baked?
**Recipes Included**

     

BananaFosterandadeadmobsterBANANAS FOSTER AND A DEAD MOBSTER
(Poppy Peters Mysteries Book 3)
Book Summary:
Reluctant sleuth Poppy Peters is back in Georgia, and her last semester of pastry school is no icing on the cake when a body is discovered at the local farmer’s market, and the murder weapon has Poppy’s name on it. Not to mention, the victim belonged to a deadly southern crime family. Now, Poppy is being tailed by the mafia, and it doesn’t help that the school’s new pastry instructor has her working with her worst rival. But after a heart-stopping car chase, a frightening discovery at an old jam factory, and a spontaneous trip to New Orleans, Poppy discovers a secret that makes her past feats look like a piece of peach pie. Poppy’s chances of making it to graduation day are about to go up in flames just like her Bananas Foster.
**Recipes included!**

     
Praise for the Book
“A sweet and satisfying mystery that will leave you hungry for more! A. Gardner’s Poppy Peters Mysteries have earned a place on my keeper shelf!”
~ Gemma Halliday, New York Times bestselling mystery author
“Charming cozy mystery featuring likable characters.”
~Debbie Wiley, Fresh Fiction
“A. Gardner cooks up one fabulous mystery with this Southern suspense.”
~Pauline Michael, Night Owl Reviews
Excerpt
My first encounter with a southern guy isn’t going so well. So far I’ve admitted I have never tried sweet tea, and my big toe is a little too long for the shoes I am wearing. Nice one, Poppy. Now he is going to think I am a weird westerner with a foot fetish. I try hard not to look down at my black, high-heeled boots. Why am I the only one on campus wearing any black?
“My name is Cole,” the man says with a grin on his face. I reach out to shake his hand. My palms are sweating just like every other place on my body. I haven’t even turned thirty yet, and I’m already having hot flashes. It is going to take me some time to get used to this heat.
“Poppy Peters,” I reply. I wipe my forehead and underneath my eyes. I bite my lip when I see a bit of smeared mascara on the side of my finger. It is so humid my makeup is melting off. “Is it always this hot here?”
“Welcome to Georgia.” Cole chuckles and shrugs as we walk towards the student bakery. Cole is one of the first students I bumped into at the registration office. His lemon-colored T-shirt shines bright compared to his dark skin, and his impressive physique makes me look at him twice. His eyes are intriguing—an even mix of blue and green.
As we walk, I can’t help but admire how lush the vegetation is on campus. Every tree outstretches towards the sidewalks, providing a much needed break from the glaring sun. The patches of grass remind me of ocean waves, if the ocean sparkled like emeralds. Even the flowerbeds near the Administration building had bundles of purple and orange wildflowers that couldn’t be contained.
“What’s that smell?” I ask. “And don’t say it smells like fresh meat. I heard a teacher in the Registrar’s Office use that joke about a hundred times.”
“I’ll show you.”
 I follow Cole across campus until the heavenly smell of baked bread and sugary doughnuts grows stronger. I long for that smell sometimes. It takes me back to my schoolgirl days when I spent my weekends in the kitchen with Grandma Liz. My Grandma Liz came to Calle Pastry Academy when she was in her early twenties. I imagine her tiny frame and long, dancer legs. It’s a miracle that she came to this school and still stayed so thin.

A GardnerAuthor A. Gardner
A. Gardner is a native westerner exploring the sweet bites of the south. After years of working in the healthcare industry, she moved across the country with her husband and adventurous baby boy. She is a mystery and romance writer with a serious cupcake obsession and a love of storytelling that began at an early age. When she is not writing, she is either chasing after her son, out for a swim, trying out a new recipe, or painting her nails bright blue.

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$50 Blast Giveaway
Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/20/15
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 readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

[Book #Review] Popular by Lauren Urasek

PopularPopular
by 
With more than 15,000 4- and 5-star ratings, an average of 35 messages per day, and hundreds of thousands of profile views from interested suitors, Lauren Urasek was dubbed "the most popular girl on OKCupid" byNew York magazine. She then started a popular Tumblr detailing her experiences with Prince Charmings (and Not-So-Charmings), and now tells all in a series of frank, funny essays about the ups and downs of dating in the city that never sleeps. She's run the gamut of the nominally "single and ready to mingle" males of New York City, from dudes who went in for a kiss within the first ten minutes to one who conducted an impromptu “girlfriend job interview.” And in between the horror stories and dating disasters, Lauren shares some real talk about what works—and what doesn't. Her tales of wooing and woe will leave anyone who's ever tried online dating rolling in the aisles.
 
Lauren's 19 essays are punctuated by cheeky yet informative sidebars on:
- 10 male accessories or clothing items that'll turn a girl right off
- Red flags you should NEVER ignore
- Quirky/weird/offbeat ways to find out whether a guy's not right for you
- The 15 WORST usernames
- A comparison between different online dating services (OKCupid, Tinder, Match, etc.)
- And much more!



Popular by Lauren Urasek could be viewed as an open window to single woman's life in NYC where all she's trying to do is date and find someone who gets her. But add the personality of the author itself into what should be a simple novel, and you get an awesome book worth checking out! Starting out as an introduction and an honest note that she doesn't know why in the hell would anyone choose her as the most popular women on online dating websites, this book also continues into short stories of past experiences and advice on what to do and not to do on those awful blind dates. 


Urasek really touched me with the honesty that the book was written. All of the embarrasing stories, everything that women are afraid to say, she said it. Going from trying to get over a long-term relationship to daily dates could be tough, specially when you have creepy guys messaging you day and night. 
"Insecurities can get the best of us when meeting someone new - or even when we're in an already established relationship. I've been known to fuck up both dates and relationships because of baggage stemming from the bullshit self-esteem issues I grew up".
Urasek really touched me with the honesty that the book was written. All of the embarrasing stories, everything that women are afraid to say, she said it. Going from trying to get over a long-term relationship to daily dates could be tough, specially when you have creepy guys messaging you day and night. But from the insecurities and some of the past that she had to deal with, I related to her. I do wish that the book stayed the same pace as it was from the beginning but this is a solid 4 star rating for me. Just because she swears. ALOT. And has a pretty badass sense of humor ;)