Friday, May 30, 2014

Orange Is the New Black Season 2 - Announced!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Netflix announced the starting of Season 2 which is June 6! Only 1 week until I get to enjoy more drama of the Women's Prison and get deeper into every woman's story. Ever since this TV Show came out, I couldn't stop watching it and was so sad when it ended. Now that Season 2 is out, I am determined to have a complete marathon and devour it. Here comes the TV Show hangover! 

Gloria - Lay It On Thick. Black Cindy - Get Out Of My PadPoussey - Locked Up & Loaded. Alex Vause - Ex Marks The SpotRed - Tough As Nails. Piper Chapman - Ready For Round 2. 

Orange is the New Black is actually a memoir by Piper Kerman that was published back in 2010. There are some differences between the book and the TV Show but both are still enjoyable and definitely worth checking out. I have reviewed the audiobook few months ago and was pleasantly surprised:

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Make sure you check out the TV Show Instagram to get all of the behind the scenes & mark June 6 on your calendar. Because it's going to be!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thoughts On Amazon vs. Hachette Nonsense

Amazon's Announcement about Hachette Books has come as a complete shock to a lot of the bookworms since a lot of us like to pre-order copies of them to ensure that we stay within the buzz of everything that happens. With the public dispute that has been going on between the two companies, Amazon finally made a statement that may have set things back for the publisher. Here is what Amazon's statement looked like:

We are currently buying less (print) inventory and "safety stock" on titles from publisher, Hachette, than we ordinarily do, and are no longer taking pre-orders on titles whose publication dates are in the future. Instead, customers can order new titles when their publication date arrives. - Amazon Books Team
From the looks of it, seems like the two companies have never came to agreement on working with each other and now that Amazon is watching out for their own back, Hachette might bite back on some of their income. Amazon is, hands down, the MOST popular online seller when it comes to books and not having an option for pre-order or having to wait for a book to be in stock is extremely frustrating. What I do like is that Amazon stated that it knows how this affects the authors' but either way, it's a business world out there & they need to do what benefits them the most. 

I do have to say that Hachette is one of my favorite publishers out there & I love all of the books that they represent. Here are some amazing titles that they have been a part of marketing and definitely made some profit over the years:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Roomies  Reality Boy Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock The Coldest Girl in Coldtown  The Geography of You and Me

Book people are crazy. Trust me. And when we don't get the book we want because we can't "pre-order" it or it's "out-of-stock", we get pissed. Like really pissed. & I really don't want this to be the reason why a lot of the readers would not discover their next favorite read. Here is what Hachette replied back to Amazon's statement:
Authors, with whom we at Hachette have been partners for nearly two centuries, engage in a complex and difficult mission to communicate with the readers. In addition to loyalties, they are concerned with audience, career, culture, education, art, entertainment, and connection. By preventing its customers from connecting with these authors' books, Amazon indicates that it considers books to be like any other consumer good. They are not.
This is a gold statement. And I hope Amazon will start to understand this. You can't just let the readers not be able to get that new book in readers' hands because it is a lot more than just a simple book to us. It is a way to escape and discover the world where we feel like we belong. 

Do you think this will affect Hachette's way of doing things? What are your thoughts on this?
Comment & Share below! Thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

[Book Review] Here's Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane

Here’s Looking At YouHere's Looking At You

What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed?

Here's Looking At You is, in essence, an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Anna returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there.

Now in her 30s, Anna wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognizes her when she arrives. Losing her cool, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again.

But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Anna's major crush back at school. But alas, as a crony to the bullies, Anna to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like…

Full of laugh out loud humor, Here's Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

From the very beginning, Here's Looking At You seemed like a complete cliche when the bullied high school girl meets the guy that bullied her at a reunion, they fall in love and everyone is happy. & in a way, it is the actual story of the book. However, I must give credit to this book because it is a lot more than just a simple chick-lit story. It's funny, witty, & even though it's quiet predictable, it's definitely a fun read. 

Our main herione is Anna who is... CAN YOU GUESS? Yes! Was bullied in high school. She was overweight and of course with that comes low self-esteem and a complete miserable high school experience. But all the years later, she now has a great job, a lot of amazing friends, and even though her love life might suck a little bit, she has a very optimistic personality. 

The love interest that's presented in this book is James - your typical jock who bullied girls in high school but have changed throughout the years. I wasn't too attractive to his characters in the beginning just because I couldn't connect with what he represented but he definitely was a good fit for Anna. 

Overall, this was a great read and even though (again) it was a little cliche, I'm glad I picked this up and discovered this author. It takes a slow turn in the beginning and might take awhile to get into the story but if you have time or want something light - this is the book for you!

Mhairi McFarlane _AUTHOR PHOTO

Mhairi McFarlane was born in Scotland in 1976, and has been explaining how to pronounce her name ever since (MH=V sound!). She is the author of You Had Me At Hello, and is based in Nottingham where she’s a freelance writer and blogger. You can follow her on Twitter: @MhairiMcF.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[Book Review + Giveaway] Below the Surface by Tim Shoemaker

Below the Surface (Code of Silence, #3)Below the Surface 

Something is wrong with Cooper. 

He's plagued by a fear he doesn't understand and can t control. Cooper just wants to escape, and a summer vacation aboard the restored cabin cruiser, The Getaway, with best friends Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk seems like the perfect way to do it. Two weeks of fun---with no mysteries or life-and-death danger. That's the plan. But their plans are shattered the very first night when they witness a murder. 

Or did they? 

Despite their intentions of leaving the investigation to the police, narrow misses and creepy encounters lure them in. Is there really a body floating in the underwater currents of the lake? The closer they get to the truth, the deeper into danger they get. Too late they see the trap. Now each of them must face their own buried fears . . . just below the surface."

Below the Surface is the third installment in the Code of Silence trilogy but also can be enjoyed as a stand-alone. The story begins when Cooper and his friends are planning on pulling a prank on a near-by boat during their vacation. This is the last summer before they have to go to high school and after everything that has been going on, it's the perfect way to relax and enjoy the sun. 

When their prank goes wrong, Connor and his crew think that they witnessed a murder but since everything happened so fast, they are not sure if it was true. With different things set in motion, they are now being watched & might be in danger. With everything else going on, Connor is faced with a new fear that comes for him in the darkness of the water. Whatever is down there, scaring Connor needs to be put to stop and his friends are here to help. 

Below the Surface was an amazing story about friendship along with action packed story that was appropriate for middle grade readers. What I really enjoyed about this story is that even though this was the last book in trilogy, everything was still explained without making the reader confused which was very helpful. The only thing that I found weird is that children weren't very much around adults and that was the main reason for them getting in trouble. But I really enjoyed the writing and the excitement and the story line that was produced and definitely recommend this one. 

You can purchase Below The Surface at the following Retailers:
The Quick Bio
  • Happily married for more than thirty years to Cheryl, the love of my life.
  • Dad to three grown sons and two daughter-in-laws
  • Elder Chairman in my church and high school small group leader
  • Full time speaker and author since 2004
  • Living in the greater Chicago area
  • Grateful for God’s incredible grace and mercy to me in countless ways
My Passions
  • To be a man of integrity, who loves God and others with all my heart.
  • To be an extraordinary husband to Cheryl, the wife of my youth.
  • To love my sons, daughters-in-law, grandkids and extended family with everything in me.
  • To impact kids and youth in ways that cause them to become true men and women of God.
  • To help parents teach their kids about God and the principles He’s given us to live by.
  • To help couples experience the richness that comes from a marriage guided by God.
  • To help men see what a Christian man should be in all the various facets of life.
 3 Winners will receive a Copy of Below the Surface by Tim Shoemaker.
1 Winner will receive a Complete Set of The Code of Silence Series by Tim Shoemaker.
Must be 13+ to Enter
INT Giveaway
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Monday, May 26, 2014

[Audiobook Review + Giveaway] Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple by Lars Guignard

Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #3)Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple
Zoe and Zak have learned some things since their first semester at Moonstock Himalayan Academy in India:

#1 Don't trust the parrots.

#2 Don't eat the food.

#3 And most importantly . . . don't stick around if something crawls out of the lava hole beneath your school.

Last semester, Zoe and Zak returned the first lost Noble Truth to its rightful home. Now, the seventh graders are back in India for their second semester at Moonstock, their boarding school high in the Himalayan mountains where impossible things seem to happen on a regular basis. School kicks off with the Activity Week Challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan where the students must deliver medical supplies. Things take a turn for the worse when Zak becomes deathly ill after an encounter with a strange floating bubble.

On returning to Moonstock, Zoe and Zak discover that a creature has come through the lava hole far below their dormitory. When Zoe and Zak follow the creature, they soon learn what they must do. They have been tasked with finding the second lost Noble Truth--the Tiger Eye of Justice.

Finding the Tiger Eye sounds like an impossible mission, and it's only made more confusing when Zak discovers that he has been given a powerful gift to help with the task. But Zak's new gift is a double-edged sword, and if Zoe and Zak don't find the Tiger Eye quickly, Zak's time will run out. The Tiger Temple takes Zoe and Zak deep into an exotic world of magical enchantment and heart-pounding action. It promises to be the most thrilling Zoe and Zak adventure yet.

The Tiger Temple is the third installment in the Zoe & Zak Adventures series and is an exceptional MG adventure novel! With great character development, detailed Indian culture and amazing visual graphics, it is one of my favorite Middle Grade series that I've read. 

Zoe & Zak are back at Moonstock, the unique boarding school in the Himalayas, that they have been attending and are getting ready for another semester. With so many things happening, they hope for a quiet school time. But when Zak gets struck by a balloon and suddently starts showing the "Creature Teacher" powers, they need to find the Second Noble Truth before Zak's time runs out. 

With everything that is going on, Zoe & Zak still have to deal with the new kid - Vijay. With his fancy maids, private jets, and clothes, he is the new popular kid at school and everyone wants to meet him. But Zak knows that something is not right about him and it doesn't matter how charming he is but he is involved more in the story than they would have liked to. 

Another amazing novel by Guignard! He never stops to amaze me on the level of creativity and details that he comes up with. When you're reading the story, it feels like you're there and you get transferred to Himalayas with Zoe & Zak. I loved reading about Indian culture and exploring more of the land & its living. I was also glad to see a lot of the characters from previous books and meet new ones. I love Mon Sta, no matter how gross or creepy he might be lol

Audiobook Notes: Sonja Field has done it again! She is so perfect with the characters and the flow of the novel, I tend to forget that it's only one person who's narrating and not a whole lot of people doing different voices. I said it before & I will say it again: She is perfect for this series! Loved it!

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #1)Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #2)

About Lars Guignard

Author Lars Guignard
Lars Guignard is a former film and television writer and a graduate of both McGill University and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His debut thriller novel, Lethal Circuit, has been an amazon top 100 Technothriller since its release.

Guignard has wanted to write Indian stories for kids ever since he attended a boarding school in the majestic Himalayas. The time he spent in the “school above the clouds” affected him profoundly, and once he returned home to North America he was struck by the lack of children’s stories from India available in our culture. Since India is such an incredible country, he decided to write a series of action adventure books for young adults about India to introduce young readers to this magical, mystical land. So if you’re looking for a great book adventure for kids, try Ghost Leopard today!

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