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31 May 2013

Uncovered (66): Eleanor & Park

Hello and thank you for stopping by this week's installment of Uncovered. Today I have Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (how awesome is that name?), which is a book that I've had my eye on for a while now. I love how simple it is. You can tell right away that music will probably play a role. I think it's very clever how the headphone wires are incorporated into the title. The cover is pretty sparse but it get its message across. This cover definitely stands out on a bookshelf.

I don't have much else to say about this cover except that I really like it and need to add it to my library soon. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Have a great weekend!

29 May 2013

Love Me Blog Tour & Author Interview with Diane Alberts


If you have been reading our blog recently, you know that I (Liv) am a big fan of Diane Alberts.  Recently, I reviewed her latest book LOVE ME (Take a Chance #2) and loved it.  I was thrilled that Diane was able to stop by and answer some questions for our readers here at Read Now Sleep Later/Nite Lite.  Let's welcome Diane to the blog.

I read somewhere that you have 4 children. That is enough to keep anyone busy. How do you find time to write and where do you like to write? 

I do! They range from the age of 14-4, and they keep me busy, busy, busy! I generally only write during the day, primarily from the hours of 11am-4pm. If I’m on a deadline, then I’ll write all day until they come home from school, but that’s only when needed.

The rest of the day, I’m mommy…or wifey, if the time merits. ;)

And I write at my desk, which is positioned in front of a window in my Dining Room. It’s my mini-office.

Not that long along, I went into one author’s writer space and her whole wall was covered with things that inspired her for her current WIP. Do you like to post pictures and note cards with details about your characters and setting while you are writing? Or are you more high tech and prefer something like Pinterest? 

I actually keep a huge, yes, huge, whiteboard. I make an outline of all the things I need to know. And then on my desk I keep a synopsis next to me, and cross off stuff as I write the book.

Occasionally I’ll look for pictures to give me better idea for my characters, but for the most part, I just go off of my head. ☺

Since I discovered (and fell in love with) the Take a Chance series, I am slowly working my way through all of your books. One of the things I really love about your books is your characters, how do your create your characters and do they ever end up doing something that surprises you? 

That makes me very happy to hear! A lot of the time, I worry my characters will come across as blah, or will be too similar. It’s nice to know they’re not!

But I try to create flawed characters. One of my very first books I wrote, a lot of people said the hero was too perfect. And I looked at him, then realized they were RIGHT. Who wants to read about perfect little people in their perfect little worlds? I try to create real people with real issues—and then do my best to stay true to those characters. My editor helps me a lot with that, thankfully! ☺

It’s almost summer time. Aside from your books (which I would highly suggest to anyone for summer reading), can you name a couple of books that you consider great beach reading?

Oh, any of the Brazen Books from Entangled Publishing. I’m seriously hooked on that line. Can’t wait until mine come out! ~happy dances~

What is the funniest/strangest reaction you have received when you tell someone that you write romance stories/books? 

A lot of the time they kind of look at me and go “O-Oh. I don’t read those, or I’d check them out. But give me your card.” And then you just know half of them are going home and looking it up later. ;)

Thanks Diane for stopping by and answering a few questions! - Liv

Thank you for having me here today. - Diane

Check out Diane's latest book, LOVE ME:
Thomas Jones has come to Vegas to win yet another account for his marketing company. But when he sits across from beautiful and sensual Brianna Faulk to deliver his pitch, his desire to leave Vegas as quickly as possible is replaced by the need to get close to her. Yet she resists his charm. 

Brianna knows a date with Thomas could jeopardize her job, but he’s so maddening and insistent, she has a hard time denying him just one date. But that’s all it can be: one date. Because she has to protect her job and her secrets, even if it means giving up a chance at a life she never thought she’d have again.

About Diane:
Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling author with Entangled Publishing, Swoon Romance, and Decadent Publishing. She has, as of this date, four books with Entangled Publishing, one book with Swoon Romance, and five older books with Decadent Publishing. Her February release with Entangled Publishing, ON ONE CONDITION, hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list, and TRY ME hit #76 on Amazon. Her Swoon Romance novella, CAPTIVATED BY YOU, hit #31 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list. Diane is represented by Louise Fury from the L. Perkins Agency.

Where you can find her:
Website: http://dianealberts.com
Blog: http://dianealberts.com/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Diane-Alberts/121705201245084

Where to find LOVE ME: GoodReads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

For more interviews and guest posts check out the Blog Tour for LOVE ME, here.

Diane is giving away a Kindle and a customized LOVE ME cover, if LOVE ME makes it into the Top 100! Click here to read more about the giveaway and enter or just enter the Rafflecopter widget below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

27 May 2013

A Week of Bookish Events (Fangirl Squeee!)

June is promising to be a good book month for me. There are a ton of really awesome books coming out in June and some really great local book events to go with them. I am going to 3 (yes, 3) events the first week in June and I am super excited about them because they are for some of my all-time favorite authors. Details on the events are below. If you happen to be going, give a shout out. I'd love to say hi.

Leigh Bardugo
Monday June 3, 2013 7PM
Siege & Storm Launch Party

Hemingway's Lounge
6356 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90028
Facebook event page

Nalini Singh
Tuesday June 4, 2013 7:30PM
Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling series)

OMG you guys know how much I love Nalini Singh. I am super excited to see her again and Tues is the release of her newest Psy-Changeling book. It's going to be epic.

Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Richelle Mead
Wednesday June 5, 2013
Gameboard of the Gods
Another total fangirl event. I LOVE Richelle Mead. 

Barnes and Noble
1201 3rd St Promenade
Santa Monica, CA

Note from Richelle on the event
*Event will include reading, Q&A, and signing.
*I will sign up to four books per person--one personalized and the others just autographed. We'll do pictures if time permits.
*No tickets required, but if you purchase Gameboard of the Gods in advance or at the event, you'll get a priority spot in line.
*If there any of my books you want to buy and don't have, PLEASE support the store and buy them there! It's a lot of time and expense for them to host me. Thanks!

Mark your calendars and come out to one of these great events. Hope to see you there!

say "twee!"

26 May 2013

Stacked (56)

Alright so I lied and there is a Stacked post today. As you can probably surmise, this post is being scheduled in advance of the long weekend. I received a couple of NetGalley books for review and figured I'd do a quick post and schedule it ahead of time.

For Review

The Devil's Pearl (House of Trent #0.5) by Jennifer Haymore - This is a short story in what appears to be a new series by Jennifer Haymore. I have only read one short story by Haymore previously but I liked her enough to want to give this a go. I was also looking for something fun and quick that I could read this weekend and this fit the bill.

The Favor by Megan Hart - I have a friend who loves Megan Hart but I have yet to read any of her books. They seem pretty sexy but also pretty intense and deal with a lot of emotional issues. This one looked good though and it's another one I am hoping will be a good summer read.

Thanks to Forever, Harlequin and NetGalley for these awesome reads. That's my down and dirty haul for this week. Hoping everyone is having a great holiday weekend. Eat a lot of BBQ and see some movies for me!

25 May 2013

Lord Of Secrets - Review

Lord of Secrets by Alyssa Everett
Publication date: 25 March 2013 by Carina Press
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo 

Category: Adult Historical Romance
Keywords: Historical, romance, maritime
Format: eBook
Source: Bought


Lord of Secrets is the story of a young woman, Rosalie Whitwell, who’s spent most of her life sailing the globe with her father. When he suffers a fatal heart attack in the middle of the North Atlantic, she turns in her panic to a fellow passenger–the moody, mysterious Lord Deal.

Having witnessed his father’s suicide years before, David Linney, Marquess of Deal, has withdrawn from society, living the life of a recluse. Even so, he’s drawn to his pretty shipmate, like him the victim of family tragedy.

The end of the voyage spurs David to propose. But on their wedding night, Rosalie meets with an unwelcome surprise: her handsome husband is strangely unwilling to consummate the marriage. Is her own lack of allure to blame, or is there some other reason for David’s reluctance? To find the answer, Rosalie must unlock the secret of David’s past.


I am usually a fan of tortured heroes, characters who do not think they are good enough or unworthy of love. There's just something about those types of characters and their journey to self-acceptance that gets me every time. Given my love of a good tortured hero, I really expected to like Lord of Secrets. Instead I found that the buildup to the big secret to be overly drawn out, causing me to lose interest along the way.

The book got off to a pretty good start, with Rosalie and Deal meeting aboard a ship returning to England. Lord Deal is a solitary figure, seen as haughty and moody by his fellow passengers. However, Rosalie sees a different side to him, one that is reinforced after the sudden death of her father, when Lord Deal becomes a confidant and friend. He surprises her even more when he proposes to her.

I thought that Lord Deal and Rosalie has some very promising chemistry. Their interactions were sweet and a little awkward. Though it appears as if Lord Deal doesn't like people, it becomes clear in his interactions with Rosalie that perhaps some of that is due to some social awkwardness and also need to conceal his big secret. They finally arrive in London and get married, despite Deal's warning to Rosalie that he will only hurt her.

Now this is where it kind of went south for me. They two get married and it's clear that something is up because Deal will not consummate their marriage. There's a lot of inner dialogue from Deal and he is consumed with guilt - from this secret and also from keeping his secret from Rosalie. It started to become clear to me that we weren't going to learn what Deal's secret was for some time. I held out hope at the 50% mark, then 60%, 70%...

We don't learn what the big secret is until about 80% in and, by that time, I was a fed up with both of them. Deal was very moody - attentive and charming one minute but aloof and cold the next. Keeping his secret resulted in him treating Rosalie very poorly and I was mad at him for it. It was no wonder that Rosalie started having doubts about his feelings towards her. And Rosalie, while very sweet and understanding, was a little too understanding at times. I wanted her to get mad and yell at Deal for acting like an ass. She didn't show much gumption but, when she did, sparks flew. There was definitely potential there but it never really panned out.

Since most of the book is the buildup to the revelation of the big secret, I really wish we had gotten more time to see the characters deal with it. I felt like it just wrapped up too quickly and we missed a chance to really get at the heart of these characters.

While it has some sweet and funny moments, overall, Lord of Secrets was a bit of a letdown for me. The chemistry of the characters fizzled while we waited to learn the big secret and the payoff wasn't worth the wait.

Visit the author online at alyssaeverett.com and follow her on Twitter @Alyssa_Everett and Facebook.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

24 May 2013

Uncovered (65): Seraphina

Happy Friday! I hope you all either have the day off or are getting off early. I am working today but will hopefully get to cut out a little early. Today on Uncovered, I have Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I really love this cover. There is so much illustration in the drawing and it just makes me want to look at it close up. This is a really classic cover that just screams epic fantasy. It looks a little old fashioned but only in the best sense. It's timeless and I think it would still look great 50 years from now. Plus, that dragon looks freakin' awesome.

Writing this reminds me that I still haven't read this book and really want to. Perhaps I shall start it soon. Have a good long weekend, everyone, if you get one. Otherwise, just have a weekend. :)

22 May 2013

Knit Your Socks On Straight - Advance Review

Publication date: 18 June 2013 by Storey Publishing
ISBN 10/13: 1612120083 | 9781612120089
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Knitting - Crafts/Hobbies
Keywords: Knitting, socks, fiber arts
Format: Hardcover (spiral-bound)
Source: e-ARC received from Netgalley


Now you can knit SOCKS on the straight needles you love! Alice Curtis developed the technique, and in Get Your Socks on Straight she explains exactly how to do it. She also includes 20 original patterns featuring a wide variety of yarns, motifs from cables to argyle, and instructions for a wide range of sizes. You'll love the beautiful, cozy socks you'll make, and you'll love making them without double-pointed needles!


Though I am not a prolific sock knitter (I tend to lose steam after the first sock), I do enjoy making them and am always trying to encourage people to take the plunge and knit them, too. One of the most common excuses I hear for not knitting socks is that people don't know how to use double points or that using them for socks seems too difficult. Of course I have heard of knitting socks on straight needles but they never seemed like anything I would want to wear. Socks are meant to be well fitting and comfortable and I did not think that a seamed sock could be either of those things. However, when I saw the title of this book along with the very cute pair of socks on the cover, I was intrigued and requested this book for review to see for myself what this innovative technique was.

The first part of the book explains the anatomy of a sock and the basic construction using two straight needles or a circular used a a straight needle. It also goes through the technique for seaming the sock with a crochet chain, which produces a straight, smooth seam. The author also goes into some detail about toe and heel types. There is a basic sock to start with, that will help familiarize you with the technique. From there you can choose from a wide variety of sock styles to knit. From intricate lace and cables, ribbed patterns, and even some colorwork, there's really something for everyone.

The patterns are laid out neatly and are easy to read. The instructions are clear and I had no problem understanding them. I also love that there were a lot of really gorgeous pictures of the socks, including close ups of pattern stitches. So many modern knitting books are more concerned with having pretty girls in dresses with out of focus knits, so it's really nice to see really good, attractive pictures that still focus on the knitting.

My favorite socks were the Maple Seed Whirlies, which had a pretty cable pattern. I also really liked the Blue Tranquility socks, which have an allover knit/purl pattern that give the socks a very squishy, soft look. My least favorite pair of socks were the Moccasoks which have some unfortunate fringe. Many of the patterns are also unisex and would be great for both men and women.

I was initially a little skeptical about this book, believing that socks knit on straight needles would not be as attractive as those knit the traditional way on double points. However, this book has proven me wrong. I don't know if I want to put away my trusty double points but, if I wanted to knit socks on straight needles, I would definitely use this book and the techniques in it, to do it. Knit Your Socks On Straight would be great for a new sock knitter who is not ready to take the step to double points just yet or even for a more advanced knitter who wants to try a new technique.

*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 on Ravelry or Goodreads

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

20 May 2013

No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop (US ends 5/27)

Welcome to the No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop! Like the title says, this is a giveaway with no strings attached. Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting. This hop run May 21 - 27, 2013 and is for US residents only. We're giving away a couple of really awesome prizes. Check it out below.

Our first prize is a copy of The Sapphires CD. Never heard of The Sapphires? Well check out The Sapphires website (we'll wait). Done? Great! I personally have not seen The Sapphires yet but my good friend Alethea over at Read Now Sleep Later has and she loved it. It sounds like a great story and the music sounds awesome as well. We want to spread The Sapphires love so we're giving away a copy to one lucky winner. 

But that's not all! (I sound like an infomercial) The same winner will also get to choose one book up to $10 from Amazon to go with their CD. Awesome, right? It's even more awesome because you don't have to do anything for it except leave your US mailing address in the Rafflecopter below. Easy peasy. Official rules are below. Good luck and don't forget to visit the other blogs on the hop as well. 

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open in the U.S.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Manicure Monday (17): Dead Man's Deal

Good morning and happy Monday. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Thanks for coming by to my Manicure Monday post, a weekly feature where I show off one of my current reads and a manicure to go with it. This week I am reading Dead Man's Deal by Jocelynn Drake.

Dead Man's Deal

Please pardon this super awkward pose, but I wanted to get all of my nails in the pic. As you can see, I am reading an e-copy version of the book. While I love my e-reader, a b&w cover does not inspire much. Luckily I had my computer at hand to see what this cover really looked like in full color glory. 

Dead Man's Deal

You can see a bit of a sneak peek at what I did to my nails above. This is a really fun and vibrant cover. I really like the mix of blue with the orange. I wasn't sure what to do with this one at first since it seemed to have a lot of stuff going on but nothing that I could think of that would translate to nails. In the end, I decided to do a sponged gradient on my 4 fingers with shades of white and blue. I knew I wanted to do an accent nail with a skull as well and decided to incorporate the orange into that nail.

Colors used:
  • Wet N Wild French White (white)
  • Wet N Wild Black Creme (black)
  • Barry M Cobalt Blue (med blue)
  • Studio M Decidedly Devious (dark blue)
  • Zoya Thandie (orange)
  • Sinful Colors black striper pen (black brush striper for skull teeth)
Dead Man's Deal

The gradient came out better than I thought it was going to though it's not perfect and I could definitely benefit from practicing it more. But, for a first try, I think it went pretty well and I am happy with the way the colors match.

The skull came next and it was my favorite party. I used this tutorial online for my skull face, and it as super easy. I really liked how it came out and I am still wearing the little skull even though I took the rest of the manicure off. I could definitely see myself rocking a full skull mani for Halloween. 

Dead Man's Deal

Yeah, I love that skull. As for the book itself, I am about 30% in and enjoying it so far. I've been having a hard time concentrating for the past few days so I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked but I am enjoying the story. I am a fan of Gage's and I hope he can find his way out his troubles in this book.

Just a side note that I'll be away this upcoming weekend for some fun bridal shower shenanigans. This means that there probably won't be a Stacked or Manicure Monday post this upcoming week. I'd like to say that I'll schedule those posts beforehand, but I have a feeling that I won't have time to do it. So if you don't see me, you'll know where I am. I will be back after Memorial Day, hopefully relaxed and with some books read.

Thanks for coming by and let me know what you think of this manicure in the comments below.

19 May 2013

Stacked (55)

Hello, again. Hope everyone has been having an awesome weekend. By the time you guys read this, I should have already seen Star Trek: Into Darkness. I hope it's awesome. This week's book haul isn't too crazy. I received a few e-ARCs for review. I also went to the Summer Lovin's Tour (recap here), where I was the picture of restraint and only bought one book. Let's check it out!

Quarantine by Lex Thomas - My friend recently went to a big signing where the two authors behind Lex Thomas were present. It just made me curious about their book so I checked it our from the library.

The Clockwork Scarab bu Colleen Gleason - Sherlock Holmes's niece and Bram Stoker's sister. 'Nuff said. Thanks to Edelweiss for this one.

This Girl by Colleen Hoover - OK so I still need to read Slammed but I could not resist this when I saw it on Edeleweiss. Lucy from The Reading Date always has awesome things to say about Colleen Hoover and I think I will like this series. 

Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger - This is on sale for only $2.99 right now on Kindle. You know I can't say no to a Kindle deal.

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler - This is the one book I purchased from the Summer Lovin' event (the others I already owned). I am a big fan of Sarah's and was so happy to finally meet her. This books sounds really good and it may have some romance in it. You know how I feel about romance. :)

That's what I have to show you guys today. Man I can't believe that next weekend is Memorial Day already. Where is the time going? I'll be going up for Ojai for a bridal shower weekend over the holiday and hope to get some good reading in. If anyone has any suggestions for good vacation/poolside reads, let me know. Have a fantastic day!

17 May 2013

Uncovered (64): The 100

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a good week. I ate about 3 pounds of sugar (in baked goods) yesterday, so the week hasn't been too bad. :) This week on Uncovered, I have a book I just found out about called The 100 by Kass Morgan.  I really like this cover. It looks very sci-fi but with a romantic element. I love this effect where there is an image within the text silhouette. I think it's just really cool and a little unusual for a book cover. I also like that there are really distinct images in each letter/number and that they all give a little clue as to what the book is about. It makes me want to see the whole picture or at least a closer look at it. If you haven't heard of this book yet, check out the synopsis below. 

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland...before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust-and even love-again.

Teens, spaceships and a dangerous and unknown planet - doesn't this sound awesome? Unfortunately this one doesn't come out until September. Anyone else plan on picking up The 100 this fall?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

16 May 2013

Love Me - Review

Love Me (Take a Chance #2)
by Diane Alberts
Publication date: 13 May 2013 by Entangled Publishing
ISBN 10/13:
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Keywords: Romance, second chances, ever after
Format: eBook
Source: e-ARC from Entangled Publishing

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Thomas Jones has come to Vegas to win yet another account for his marketing company. But when he sits across from beautiful and sensual Brianna Faulk to deliver his pitch, his desire to leave Vegas as quickly as possible is replaced by the need to get close to her. Yet she resists his charm.

Brianna knows a date with Thomas could jeopardize her job, but he’s so maddening and insistent, she has a hard time denying him just one date. But that’s all it can be: one date. Because she has to protect her job and her secrets, even if it means giving up a chance at a life she never thought she’d have again.

Some things make me very happy. Getting to read a copy of a much anticipated novel before it is released is one of those things. I had read Try Me (Take a Chance #1) a few months ago and really loved it. I knew there would be another book in the series, but wasn't sure when that would be happening. And then, last week, we received an email about reviewing the e-ARC for Love Me and I think I squealed and danced some when I read that email. A couple of days later, I moved Love Me to the top of the "to-read" pile, curled up and read this in one sitting.
Here is a snippet of my conversation with my co-blogger Thuy and author, Diane Alberts after reading it:

As you can tell, I liked the book a lot.

In Love Me, we get to see more of Erica's brother Tommy (or Thomas as he prefers).  Thomas originally managed marketing accounts in Las Vegas for his company in order to see his sister regularly.  With Erica now living in California, Thomas doesn't really have any reason to be in Las Vegas - until he meets Brianna Faulk.  Thomas needs to convince Brianna to accept his marketing proposal, but by the end of lunch, it is much more than a marketing campaign that Thomas wants to propose to Brianna.

Though the book kicks off with a lot of insta-attraction between Thomas and Brianna, things end up slowing down.  Thomas and Brianna both have issues that they carry into their relationship with one another.  As the story develops, readers learn about those issues and secrets and find themselves rooting for Thomas and Brianna.  There is a lot of great chemistry between the two which translates into some really hot scenes, but also some very tender ones too.  Some I want to talk about but won't since I don't want to spoil anything.  Alberts had me teary at some parts, fanning myself at other parts, and laughing, too.

Overall, this was a great read and once you start, you won't want to put it down.  Love Me is longer than Try Me.  I would have been really okay if Alberts had made this one even longer and developed some of the story a bit more.  However, I was just as happy with it at the length it was and I will definitely be re-reading parts of the book again - just for fun.  As for Diane Alberts, she is my new favorite author and I can't wait for the third book in the Take a Chance series, Play Me.          

*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.dianealberts.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @dianealberts

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

15 May 2013

Kick-Ass 2 - Trailer

This trailer has been kicking around for a little while now. I knew that they were making a Kick-Ass 2 but I had no idea that they had already gotten this far with it. I liked the first Kick-Ass though I don't think I was impressed with it as much as everyone else was. I've never read the comic either so I am just going by the movie. I do like Chloe Moretz though and there is a good chance that I'll be seeing this when it comes out.

Anyone a big Kick-Ass fan? What are you most looking forward to in the sequel?

14 May 2013

The Golden Lily - Review

Publication date: 12 June 2012 by Razorbill
ISBN 10/13: 1455508306 | 9781455508303
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction
Keywords: Young adult, paranormal, vampires
Format: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook
Source: Purchased

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?


Sydney and the gang are back in The Golden Lily, the second installment in Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series. Adrian, Jill and Eddie - return with a few friends. Dmitri Belikov (yes, that Dmitri) and Sonya Karp (another former Strigoi) join the "family" in Palm Springs to do research on the possible effects of spirit and how it might be used to eradicate the threat of the Strigoi. There's also a new girl in the mix - Angeline, a dhampir with few social graces.

I am a such a huge fan of Richelle Mead. Her characters feel so real and genuine. They're usually far from perfect but they're likable you really want to root for them.

In The Golden Lily, Mead continues to peel back the layers of both Adrian and Sydney. She shows us where they come from and some of the forces that shaped each of them. I know a lot of people don't like Sydney very much but I can actually relate to her. Her position in the group isn't easy and the Alchemist attitude of fear and prejudice of magic is a hard one to break. But it's clear that she cares about her ragtag family and she takes a lot of risks to protect them. She's also pretty funny when she relaxes a little and is an extremely loyal friend.

Of course we can't forget Adrian. I think I fall for him a little more with each book. In The Golden Lily we get to see a much more vulnerable side to Adrian. He lets Sydney see parts of him that no one else sees. And while he still has self-destructive tendencies at times, he's really coming into his own. He is slowly evolving into the man I think we and Sydney believe he is. And that's someone who is smart, loyal, dependable and who loves to get under Sydney's skin.

I think Adrian and Sydney have great chemistry together, even if Sydney is a bit clueless most of the time. And yes, there is KISSING in this book. Finally! Of course it comes with a killer cliffhanger ending, but I'll take what I can get.

Though Sydney and Adrian were my favorite part of the book, it was also nice to see everyone again, especially Dmitri. Jill, who had tendency to be sort of whiny, wasn't so bad in this one. Of course there's a mystery to solve, one that leaves more questions than answers. Answers which I am hoping that Mead answers in the next two books.

Definitely loved this one. Things are really heating up and I cannot wait to read The Indigo Spell! Speaking of which, I think I shall go read it right now...

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

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13 May 2013

Manicure Monday (16): Because You're Mine

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another week of Manicure Monday. Basically you pick up your current read and, either create a manicure based on the cover, or juts show us your current manicure. I am a big nail polish lover (and am slowly experimenting with nail art) and I wanted a meme to celebrate both my love of nail polish and my love of books. Hence, Manicure Monday!

So there are going to be quite a few pics this week because I am actually pretty proud of this week's manicure. It's a lot more involved than most of my manicures and I think the results are pretty good for a first try.

Because You're Mine

Because You're Mine

As you can see, the book is Lisa Kleypas's Because You're Mine, which I picked up from the library last weekend. You guys might know that I am a big Kleypas fan and I can never resist when I find one of her books at the library. I've read most of them but I still come across new ones occasionally.

I decided to do and abstract rose manicure to go with the rose on the cover (which is also mentioned in the book). I've been meaning to try this for a little while now and I thought the theme went really well with this cover. There are lots of rose tutorials out there and they are all pretty similar. I read a few of them and just winged it. But some good ones are here, here, and here. I used dotting tools to make my shapes and it worked pretty well. I think it would have been a little better if I'd had a small paintbrush but I am satisfied with the results. I used a bunch of polishes so I am just going to list them below.

  • Avon Sunshine - golden creamy yellow which I also think is aptly named since the heroine in this is quite optimistic.
  • American Apparel Downtown LA - bright red
  • Wet N Wild Black - black used to make roses
  • Nubar Greener - dark green for leaves
  • Orly Fresh - bright green for leaf highlights
Because You're Mine

Because You're Mine

So there you have it.  A really fun, pretty easy rose manicure. If you decide to participate in Manicure Monday, please leave a link in the widget below. Thanks and have an awesome week!