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30 November 2012

Uncovered (41): Insomnia

Hello again and welcome to another week of Uncovered, my weekly cover lost post. This week we have Insomnia by J.R. Johansson. I feel like this book has been popping up on a lot of blogs lately. When I first saw it, I was struck by how totally creepy it looked. There's just something about those jagged lines all going towards the eye as well as the slightly dead look to the eye itself. This book is, as you can tell, about insomnia and dreams. I have always had really vivid dreams and am interested in things that talk about or involve dreams. So this book is right up my alley. Plus, it sounds really scary. 

Anyone else like creepy book covers?

27 November 2012

Rogue Rider - Review

Publication date: 20 November 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 10/13: 0749955570 | 9780749955571
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Paranormal, romance, amnesia, siblings, horsemen, redemption
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
Source: e-ARC received from Netgalley

*This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.*


Rogue Rider is the fourth and highly anticipated story of Reseph, Horseman of the Apocalypse, aka Pestilence, the horseman who went band and almost destroyed the world. Rogue Rider picks up soon after the events of Lethal Rider. Reseph wakes up naked in the snow with no memory of who his is or how he got there. Jillian is out preparing for a storm when she finds him. Living out in the middle of nowhere while recovering from a demon attack, Jillian is wary of Reseph but decides to take him in. While trying to figure out Reseph’s past, they start to fall for each other. But when a string of violent murders occur in the area, Reseph starts to suspect that he may be the one putting Jillian in danger.

The first half of the book focuses on Jillian and Reseph’s love story. I really liked Jillian. She’s a survivor. She made it through a vicious demon attack and, though she is still recovering, she is capable and knows how to take care of herself. And I liked that, even though Reseph wanted to take care of her in some instances, he also knew that she was strong and didn’t treat her like a damsel in distress. Reaver put them together so that they could help heal each other and I think they did. With Jillian, Reseph learned to be himself without all of the pressures of being a Horseman and without the knowledge of what Pestilence had done. And in Reseph, Jillian found a partner who admired her strength but who would also support her.

Of course things don’t just go right to happily ever after. After learning that their brother is alive and could possibly become Pestilence again, The Riders come for him, triggering the return of his memories. With the knowledge of the horror he caused as Pestilence, Reseph goes a bit batty with guilt and remorse. I think Ione does a good job showing how bad Reseph feels about what Pestilence did. He doesn’t expect anyone to forgive him – and they don’t, at least not right away. Ione really makes Reseph work for his redemption.

So why didn’t I love this book? Though all of the right elements were there – hot romance, characters I like, and action packed drama, I still felt there was something missing. The story was predictable and there were no big surprises. Even Reseph’s “fight” with Pestilence was anti-climactic. And my favorite part of the story, Jillian and Reseph’s romance, got a little lost in the second half of the book.

While I enjoyed this book and thought it was a good read, it wasn’t my favorite of the series. I do enjoy Ione’s writing though and it’s always fun to jump back into this world. I was happy to see some of my favorite characters again. And wow – what is going on with Reaver and Harvester? I am dying to know! I am so glad that the next book will focus on them.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at www.larissaione.com and follow her on Twitter @LarissaIone

26 November 2012

Anna Karenina - Trailer

You've probably all seen the trailer for Anna Karenina by now. Even though I am not the biggest fan of Kiera Knightly (seriously does her mouth ever close?) but I do really want to see this. It looks like it's going to be such an interesting interpretation and visually, it's quite stunning. Love those costumes!

Anna Karenina just hit theaters on Nov 16. Anyone see this yet?

25 November 2012

Stacked (31)

Happy Sunday, all. Is everyone recovered from their turkey and pie comas yet?  I had a really nice visit with my family and I hope you all had a really nice holiday, too. I had a pretty small book haul this week. I bought a few things at Half Price Books as well as a really good Black Friday book deal. It's weird but there aren't a ton of book sales on the biggest shopping weekend of the year, which is a shame, but probably better on my wallet. 


About That Night by Julie James - I am a big fan of Julie James's FBI series and I picked up the third book about Kyle, the Twitter Terrorist over the holiday weekend. I've already read it. :)

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas - You know I love Lisa Kleypas's historical romances, but I have only read one of her contemps. I liked it but it wasn't my fave. However, I've heard good things about her Travises series and this was only $2.

Beta by Rachel Cohn - I've been wanting to read this and it was only $9 at Target on Black Friday!

Night Shifted by Cassie Alexander (ebook) - I read a review of this one on Under The Covers this week. It just sounds like a fun urban fantasy and it was super cheap on Kindle.

That's what I have for you guys this week. Did anyone else find any great book deals this week? 

24 November 2012

Mama - Trailer

Hello, Saturday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend so far. It's actually a bit rainy this weekend in SoCal and I am super excited. I love rain and it's so rare that it happens down here. I am hoping to get out to a movie this weekend, though I am not sure what just yet. I think I saw a lot of the good ones already so we'll see.

Today I wanted to show a trailer for Mama, a horror film coming out in January. I just saw this trailer in the theater and it actually looked scary. I love horror movies but at lot of the current ones really suck. This one looks like it might actually be pretty good. I mean, Jessica Chastain's in it. That means it's serious, right? I might end up watching this when it comes out. Anyone want to come with me and hold my hand?

23 November 2012

Uncovered (40): Ironskin

Happy Black Friday! I hope that everyone has recovered from their turkey and stuffing comas. While you're taking a break from your Black Friday shopping or eating leftover pie (yum!), take a gander at the lovely cover to Ironskin by Tina Connolly. I am really loving the ethereal and creepy mix to this cover. The fog and overall color scheme give it a really dark, Gothic vibe. I like the pose of the woman on the cover and how her dress mimics the fog. Overall I find this cover to be very pretty and atmospheric. I also know it's a sort of re-telling of Jane Eyre, which makes this book even more awesome.

Has anyone read this one yet?

22 November 2012


Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. Even though Thanksgiving is a very American holiday, I like to think of it just as a day to remind myself to give thanks for all of the wonderful people in my life.  

It's been a crazy year. I can't believe that this blog is already over a year old (yay!). I wasn't sure if I could stick with it originally but, even though there are challenges and it's a lot of work, it's been extremely rewarding. I love being a part of this wonderful and imperfect community of book lovers. I am thankful for all of the new friends I've made this year (you know who you are) as well as those whose continued friendship makes my life richer and more fun (you also know who you are). 

Thanks to everyone who visits the blog and another thanks if you've ever left a comment. I know we all have busy lives and I really appreciate anyone who takes the time out of their day to visit. 

I hope everyone has a safe and yummy holiday. I plan on stuffing my face with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie (not all at once) and getting my fill of gingerbread lattes. I will leave you all with a scene from Home For The Holidays, probably my most favorite Thanksgiving movie (are there any other Thanksgiving movies even?). 

Happy Thanksgiving!

20 November 2012

Non-Fiction Review: Sewing In A Straight Line

Publication date: 19 July 2011 by Potter Craft
ISBN 10/13: 0307586650 | 9780307586650
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Non-Fiction Crafting/Sewing
Keywords: Non-fiction, crafts, sewing
Format: Paperback, eBook
Source: Library

Thuy's Review:

Have you ever wanted to learn how to sew but were afraid to? Perhaps you think it’s too hard or you’re just not sure where to start. You’re not alone. Author and crafter Brett Bara sets out to prove that anyone can learn to sew in her book, Sewing In A Straight Line. With only a few basic materials, she will show you just how easy and simple it is to start sewing and, in no time at all, you’ll be making your own chic garments and accessories.

The book starts off with a brief intro into the materials you will need to start sewing. This part is pretty basic and gives you just enough information without being overwhelming. I would have preferred a few more illustrations on some of the techniques like the basic hand stitches (since I am terrible at hand stitching), but that’s just my preference. I do wish that the section on buying a sewing machine was more extensive. Buying a sewing machine is quite personal so I understand the author leaving the decision up to the buyer but, if you’re going to have a section about it it should be more informative. I would have even appreciated some links to sources online that might help me choose a machine.

The book breaks down projects into three categories - fashion, home, and gifts. All of the clothing items are really simple, but cute. Since this book is all about sewing a straight line, all of the patterns are based on basic shapes like squares and rectangles. You don’t have to worry about learning to read or use paper patterns with this book. I think this makes the projects much less daunting and more accessible to the novice sewer.

The fashion items range from a one hour skirt to cute belts, bags, and blouses. While I thought the projects were pretty, I don’t know if I would wear a lot of them. I like my clothes more fitted and most of these garments don’t have shaping. The skirts were my favorite of them and I would not mind making the sewing school skirt that is on the cover of the book.

one hour skirt

top and tote
My favorite section of the book was the home items. There are cute quilts, blankets, pillows, and containers to make to spice up your home. I could see making a lot of these items to change up the look of my apartment. The projects, again, are really straight forward and rely on simple shapes. The last section on gifts has fun things to give including some plush toys, a sewing kit, and jewelry case. My favorite was the box bag though, perfect for holding a knitting project or cosmetics. 

love this duvet cover

All in all I was impressed with the projects in this book. It’s a great jumping off point for someone hasn’t sewn before or maybe has a little experience but needs that push to make more complicated projects.

Visit the author online at www.brettbara.com and follow her on Twitter @brettbara

Red Dawn - Trailer

I know, I know. I am the queen of trailers lately. Today I want to talk about Red Dawn. I am just going to admit that I don't get this one. I never saw the original so maybe I am not the right audience. But, to me, this trailer is just...I don't even know. It just seems uber patriotic and maybe a little dated. Even as I say that I don't want to see this movie, I have a feeling that I'll somehow be persuaded to go to it. It looks kind of awful but Chris Hemsworth is definitely nice eye candy and Peeta is in it, too. Does anyone else have an opinion on this one? It seems to be under the radar though I hear that the trailer played before BD2.

And just for kicks, I am including the trailer for the original Red Dawn film from the 80s. OMG it's Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey back together again.  Looking at this, the new film seems to follow it pretty closely. But is that good or bad? I don't recall people thinking the original Red Dawn was very good.

Yay or nay? Anyone else think this movie is kind of an oddball or do you all think it looks awesome and I am crazy pants? Anyone love the original? 

Movie Review: Wreck It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph
Genre: Family/Children's Animated
Directed by: Rich Moore
Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch
Release date: November 2, 2012
IMDB, official site


Wreck-It Ralph is probably the best animated movie Disney has put out in a long time and really has that Pixar feel to it with fantastic animation, a great story, interesting characters, spot on voice acting, and a compelling and emotional story. Ralph is the bad guy in a video game who, after 30 years, is sick of being an outcast. He just wants to be accepted and liked but no one can see past his bad guy rep to the good guy underneath. Ralph leaves his game in order to prove to the townspeople that he can be a hero, too.
Ralph is a character that people will really relate to.  I think we've all felt like we didn't fit in or isolated at one point or another. Unfortunately Ralph's role has been set and it seems like there's no way out. Even his fellow villains at his support group (which is a hilarious scene) don't believe that Ralph can change his fate and urge him to just accept his role as a bad guy. But Ralph is determined to change his fate, no matter what it takes.

And that's how he ends up in Sugar Rush, a candy filled car racer game. It's also where he meets Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) an adorably exasperating young girl who is determined to win the big race. Vanellope is a glitch, which means she has a problem in her programming that the other characters fear and it makes her an outcast. The other racers try to keep her from competing but Ralph agrees to help her train for the competition in order to win his medal back. Ralph and Vanellope develop and unlikely friendship that is really sweet and heartwarming. I don't normally cry at movies (ever) but I did get misty eyed a couple of times during this movie. 

Like all great movies there is also an incredible supporting cast. Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) is perfect as the earnest fixer-upper Fix-It Felix, Jr. And how much do I love Jane Lynch as Calhoun, the ball busting military leader of a modern first person shooter game? She's brilliant! The movie is also filled with a lot of classic video game characters and references. It must have been a licensing nightmare but I am so glad that Disney did it right. Coming from the generation in which most of these games were really popular, it was really fun to see them all come to life.

Even though it looks like a fun popcorn movie on the surface, Wreck-It Ralph is much more. A heartwarming and smart story with clever dialogue and fantastic visuals, it's really one of the best films I've seen this year. I highly recommend it. 

 Wreck It Ralph is in theaters now.

Thuy is probably consuming a gingerbread latte while she writes this. See more of her caffeinated musings on twitter @fishgirl182.

19 November 2012

Les Miserables - TV Spot

Looks like there is a new TV spot out for Les Miserables. This one is touting it as "the motion picture event of the holiday season." That sounds pretty intense. :) This spot has a lot more narration than the film trailer that you've probably seen. This one is much more commercial and not quite as epic. The theatrical trailer features mostly Anne Hathaway's version of "I Dreamed A Dream." Even though I think Anne Hathaway is kind of annoying, I can't helped but be moved by that song.  I am not totally sold on this movie just yet but I'll still see it. It looks quite beautiful and has a great cast. 

Anyone else excited for Les Miserables?

18 November 2012

Stacked (30): The One With Days Of Blood And Starlight

Hi everyone! Welcome to Stacked, my weekly post where I share with you what books I've bought, borrowed and received during the week.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is around the bend. Seriously - where has this year gone? I am super excited to go back home though and see my adorable niece. It's been almost 2 months since I last saw her, which is just too long. I am not usually a huge Black Friday shopper but I'm crossing my fingers that Amazon does a Kindle sale or something. Mine's on its last legs and I'd love to get a replacement.  And Breaking Dawn came out this week. I know the movies are kind of awful but I see every one in the theater. Unfortunately I will have to wait until after Thanksgiving to see it since my usual posse and I won't be able to get together until then. So you guys go see it first and let me know if you like it. :) Let's dive into the books!

Assassin and the Empire - Short story set in the Throne of Glass world. I really liked ToG and am excited to read more in that world.
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks - This is my book club book this month. Not really sure what it's about but it looks historical.
Stealing Parker by Miranda Keneally - I've been getting a lot of contemp books lately. I hear Miranda Kenneally's books are really fun.

For Review (NetGalley)
Naughty & Nice by Ruthie Knox, Molly O'Keefe & Stefanie Sloane - I don't usually go for holiday/theme reads but I am a fan of Ruthie Knox and this looked short and fun.
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard - I am a fan of older Linda Howard (After the Night is the best). But I've heard mixed things about her newer stuff. This one popped up on NG so I figured I would give it a go.

Easy by Tammara Webber - Lucy at The Reading Date gave this one a really good review that made me want to read it ASAP. Thank goodness for Kindle because I was able to buy it in seconds. :)

And last, but certainly not least - I bought a copy of Laini Taylor's new book Days of Blood and Starlight on Friday. She was in town for a signing and I was able to attend. Laini is always super fun to see and I am very excited about her new book.


That's what I have this week. Does anyone else have any fun Thanksgiving plans?

16 November 2012

Uncovered (39): Iron Hearted Violet

It's Friday, which means that it's time for some cover love. This week's pick is a really awesome looking  middle grade book titled Iron Hearted Violet. I love the whole vibe of this cover. It looks fantastical and adventurous and a little bit dangerous. The dragon looks great and the font even has a kind of medieval feel to it. I always love illustrated covers, too, so this one is right up my alley. I think it appeals to both kids and adults. I, for one, cannot wait to pick this one up. 

15 November 2012

The Host - Trailer

The full trailer for The Host is finally out and I am actually really intrigued. I haven't read this one yet but now I kind of want to. Looks like a good mix of sci fi, action, and romance. I also really like Saoirse Ronan, making this a movie that I will definitely be seeing. Pretty sure my friend Bookyurt has already planned an outing for us. :)

Anyone else planning on seeing this? Should I try to read the book beforehand?

Look for The Host in theaters on March 29.

14 November 2012

Heaven, Texas - Review

Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars #2) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publication date: 01 April 1995 by Avon Romance
ISBN 10/13: 0380776847 | 9780380776849
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Keywords: Contemporary, romance, realistic
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
Source: Library


Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star -- and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can't get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat.

But nothing's more dangerous than a wildcat with an angel's heart in a town too small for a bad boy to hide. And all hell breaks loose when two unforgettable people discover love, laughter, passion -- and a match that can only be made in Heaven.

Thuy's Review:

Two unlikely characters fall in love in this so-so book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Gracie is your average "homely" woman who has little experience with men. Of course, when she meets the arrogant and beautiful Bobby Tom, she falls in love with him despite his chauvinistic ways. I was annoyed by the constant reminder that Gracie isn't beautiful and ill dressed until her makeover where she suddenly becomes pretty. I was also somewhat offended when Bobby Tom decides that he's doing Gracie a favor by offering to teach her the sexual arts since she's a virgin and shouldn't let just any ol' guy be her first. More unbelievable is that Gracie agrees to it. I am not sure if she believes his reasoning or if she's just so in love with him that she goes along with it.

I did find it kind of satisfying at the end when he had to beg Gracie to stay. It took him awhile to figure it out but he finally admits to himself and her that he loves her. That's not to say that the book didn't have its moments. Phillips does know how to write a good love scene and her characters Bobby Tom and Gracie have good chemistry. It wasn't my favorite book but I did finish it in about 2 days so it was pretty compelling. I just wish the characters were a bit more well rounded.

Visit the author online at www.susanephillips.com, follow her on Twitter @SEPauthor, or Facebook.

12 November 2012

Warm Bodies - Trailer

The trailer for Warm Bodies has finally been released! I actually haven't read the book yet (oh, giant TBR pile) but I love anything to do with zombies. This looks like a fun mix of comedy and drama, with zombie gore. What's not to like? Anyone else excited about this movie?

Warm Bodies hits theaters Feb 1.

Alethea would also like to invite you to join us when we watch it, if you are in the Pasadena, CA area - RSVP here! Time of show will be decided closer to the date, February 2, 2013.

11 November 2012

Stacked (29): The Jon Klassen Edition

Hello! Stacked is going to be short this week because I am writing this post pretty early. I'll be gone this weekend for and out of town baby shower and decided to write this up early in the week. I am going to try to go to a bookstore while I am out of town but we'll see. I don't know if any other guests are readers so I might not be able to get to one. So this week, I just have two books for you.

I went to the Jon Klassen signing for This Is Not My Hat last weekend at Nucleus. Jon writes and illustrates really awesome picture books and my friends and I are huge fans. I picked up his newest book, This Is Not My Hat, along with a copy of House Held Up By Trees. I also bought a print from This Is Not My Hat, which I forgot to take a picture of. Just imagine something super cute.

jon drew me a crab!

We had a lot of fun at the signing. If you wore a hat, you got a discount. Needless to say, my friends and I donned our hats proudly. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a great weekend!

hats, ahoy! photo by @frootjoos

10 November 2012

Vote for L.A. to host the Opal Book Release Party

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I've been asking for votes for L.A. in the Opal Release Party Contest. I am a huge, huge fan of Jennifer Armentrout and really want her and Pepe (aka cute over model) to come to my town.

Right now, Los Angeles is trailing behind Houston by about 54 votes. C'mon, L.A.! We can do better than that. Please, please, if you have a moment, go vote for Los Angeles. Even if you don't live in SoCal we would appreciate the vote. I can't promise that we'll win but, if we do, you can bet that I'll be getting some books signed for a giveaway.

Link to vote: http://www.entangledinromance.com/2012/11/03/opal-release-party 

That's it. No hard sell. If you 'd like to support Los Angeles, you are awesome. You can only vote once per IP address, so multiple votes from one computer are only counted as ONE VOTE.Voting ends November 13 midnight PST.

If you want to tweet about it, use:
Vote for Los Angeles to host the Opal Book Release Party! #DaemonInvasion http://tinyurl.com/atvlnvs @EntangledPub
Please use hashtag #DaemonInvasion to encourage your friends to vote! THANK YOU!

09 November 2012

Uncovered (38): The Painted Bridge

Hi and welcome to another week of Uncovered. Today we have the really cool looking cover to The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace. I saw this one over the summer at one of my local bookstores. It immediately caught my eye with its bright blue textured cover. The black and white image is kind of spooky and it makes me wonder who the woman is and what's she doing out in the middle of the road. It's creepy but also pretty. This is a historical novel and I think the cover reflects without being dated. I need to buy this book soon. 

Thanks for stopping by Uncovered this week!

06 November 2012

What In God's Name - Review

What In God's Name by Simon Rich 
Publication date: 07 August 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books
ISBN 10/13: 0316133736 | 9780316133739
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Adult Fiction
Keywords: Fiction, satire, religion, God
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Source: Library

Thuy's Review:

What In God’s Name is a funny and irreverent look at what the world would be like if God ran Heaven as a corporation. As CEO of Heaven, Inc., God has an entire staff of Angels on hand to handle His Earthly affairs. Unfortunately, He is more interested in the Yankees and getting Lynyrd Skynyrd back together than with the plight of humanity. One day God decides to retire and focus on his real passion – an Asian Fusion restaurant – and sets out to destroy the Earth and its human inhabitants in 30 days’ time. While most of Heaven, Inc. is ecstatic about not having to go to work anymore, Craig and Eliza, two Angels in the Miracles department, don’t want to see the humanity go. So they make a deal with God. If they can make two hopeless people fall in love before the 30 days are up, God agrees call off Armageddon.

I picked up this book on a whim after spotting it at my local library. I’d read a good review of it somewhere and thought that the premise was really original. God is like Michael Scott from The Office and Eliza and Craig are Jim and Pam, just trying to hold things together. After too many years of working in an office, some of the situations in the book are painfully familiar. I found Craig and Eliza to be very likable characters. They both want to do a good job and make a difference in people’s lives, unlike God and the other angels. That kind of earnestness is refreshing. I also really liked the idea that there were thousands of “potential miracles” waiting to happen every day, and that even a small thing could become a miracle in someone’s eyes.

The romance that Eliza and Craig are supposed to facilitate involves the two most awkward and clueless love interests you've probably ever met. They were actually so clueless as to be a little unbelievable, but it makes the point. Meanwhile Craig and Eliza are having their own romance issues. I guess even angels find dating a challenge.

This was a cute read but the story was very predictable and, ultimately, forgettable. I don’t think it’s as original as it wants to be. That said, I definitely think you’ll get a few laughs out of it. I’d recommend this to fans of Christopher Moore and religious satire.

Visit the author's Goodreads page