Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My Guest Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

I read and reviewed Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs. You may read the review at Becky's blog The Bookette right HERE.

SUMMARY: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Guys and Molls: Speaking in the Slang of the 1930s (Goodies Included)

Guys and Molls
Event production by
Random Magic Tour
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)


Can you imagine a gangster and a lady meeting in a bar during the 1930s? I sure can. But their intriguing meeting would have been recorded with different words than we use today every day and here's a challenge for you, guys and molls. I invite you to read the text this moll wrote for you in the slang of the 1930s and do tell how much you understood and learned anew.

I invite into the world of speakeasies and jazz. Enjoy.


The moment he stepped into the speakeasy, his eyes were all for the pretty canary on the stage, her form togged to the bricks. She was a sweet patootie and she blew his wig alright. A few greaseballs were trying to get her attention, but he knew her type. She was too good to be anything but a moll. He sure wouldn't mind a honey cooler from her lips. He might just ask her to sing at his big jolly up next week. She looked determined, a hard-boiled muffin, and he bet she sure wouldn't mind performing in a cave full of grifters. He didn't exactly have a tin ear, but he could listen to her all day, even if the songs were off the cob.

Her blinkers fluttered as the tune ended and she looked straight at him when he inhaled the bitter sweet smoke from his snipe. She walked off the stage and intended to go past him, but he stopped her, gently wrapping his fingers around her arm.

"That was wobby, doll."

"Kippy," she replied as if automatically. She seemed to be joed from up close. "You can take a powder now. Not interested."

"Not even in a kippy sum of suds? You'd be a perfect addition to the hop at my cave next week."

She smiled. "Keen. I'll think about it."

He returned the smile. "Abbyssinia then, kitten."

She gave him a wink before returning to the stage. A dame's peepers never lied and he knew what he'd seen in hers. Oh, it was definitely a date.


To crack the slang code, refer to this website, lovelies. Did you enjoy the story?


Guys and Molls - Goodies

WIN this hilarious deck of flashcards, and you'll have fun learning how to sling some lingo.

About: Get a line on this racket: flashcards feature famous one-liners and slang from 1930s gangster classics. Dish out some gangster speak and your pals and enemies will think you were made for the silver screen. 30 movie flashcards, boxed.

Preview: Check out the deck


WIN this great multi-title DVD, which includes four of the best gangster movies that were ever made. Host your own 1930s mobster movie marathon!

About: There are four vintage films included on this DVD.


The Public Enemy (1931) - A taut, realistic time capsule of the
Prohibition Era, showcasing James Cagney's powerhouse breakthrough as
a streetwise tough guy who rises high in the bootleg racket.

HOW TO PLAY: There are four steps, but they're all fun and easy to do.

1. Leave a comment on this post, giving your take on this question: In the 1930s, would you have been hanging out with flappers, cops or bootleggers? Which group do you find most intriguing and why? Feel free to sign it with your own mobster nickname or syndicate, or
Twitter name.

2. Comment on ANY other second Guys and Molls post. (Browse event schedule)

3. Comment on ANY other third Guys and Molls post.

4. Share a link to ANY Guys and Molls post on Twitter.

Note: Please remember to include email address in entry form so you can be contacted if you win.

Additional info: International. DVD is region 1/NTSC but should play on multi-region player. Winner will be selected at random using random.org.
Ends December 15, 2011, midnight, EST.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Coming Soon! Guys and Molls (November 10 - 17)

Guys and Molls
Event production by Random Magic Tour
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Schedule of events

November 10 – 17, 2011

November 10
vvb32reads (@vvb32reads)
Lit noir – Fictional henchmen

November 11
This Miss Loves to Read (@MissIrenne)
Concrete shoes and tommy guns – How to talk like a gangster

November 12
Double feature
vvb32reads (@vvb32reads)
Secret doors and liquid fire – Speakeasies
Theater of the air – Radio show: Angels with Dirty Faces

November 13
Beyond Strange New Words (@StrangeNewWords)
Sing, you sinners! – Vintage mobster music

November 14
I Love Books (vlog) (@Booklover_622)
The Book Addict (blog) (@Christina_622)
Mob rules – A mafia code of honor
Splash of our Worlds (@SplashOOWorlds)
Rogue's gallery – Top 15 vintage mob flicks

November 15
The True Book Addict (@truebookaddict)
Kings of the boardwalk empire – Atlantic City's real-life wise guys
Reviews from my First Reads Shelf (Twitter N/A)
Jimmy Blue Eyes and the Wizard of Odds – Mobster nicknames

November 16
Story Wings (@StoryWings)
The bitter end – Assassinated gangsters
Inky Pages - Coffee and a Good Book (vlog) (@inkypages)
Inky Pages (blog)
From ink to screen – Mob movies based on books, short stories or plays

November 17
Spellbound by Books (@Meeka_21)
Pinstripes and fedoras – Gangster fashion

And event goodies! Details available on event posts.

*****COMING SOON*****
November 10 – 17, 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

This great feature is hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

I came up with five books.

Here is my list in no particular order, with explanations as to why I wish I could read some already read books for the first time:

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Jane Eyre is one of my favourite novels of all time. I read it for the first time when I was sixteen and I have re-read it a few times since, but that first impression I got of the book cannot be repeated. I loved how surprised I was to learn the truth behind all the mystery and how thrilling that was. Now I know what to expect, so there are no surprises anymore. In my opinion, Jane Eyre contains one of the best plot twists ever written.

2. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.
This is my favourite novel and I think it'd be thrilling to be able to discover its beauties for the first time. The best experience I had when reading this novel for the first time was that I gradually learned to love and sympathise with the main character - the Phantom. As I re-read it now, I delve into the world already knowing his history and loving it, so I'm biased. That first journey of discoveries was quite magical.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
This is a little known fact, but the first time I read this famous novel, I didn't think much of it at all. I enjoyed it, but I quickly forgot it. I only began to appreciate its value when the BBC series began to air. Then I returned it, more mature and better versed in literature, and saw it in a different light. I wish I could read it for the first time now because my reading tastes have changed dramatically since I was fifteen.

4. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz.
This has been one of the best and most spiritual reads I have ever experienced. I would like to experience this type of reading again, with this amazing book.

5. The Wyndspelle trilogy by Aola Vandergriff.
For me, these books provided me with such thrill! I have re-read the trilogy, but it's just not the same. I'd love to experience that thrill again.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

GENRE: contemporary fiction/family drama

Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her widowed father, Andrew, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance, and her own search-and-rescue bloodhound, which she uses to find missing persons. But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can't recall. And then a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a secret that changes the world as she knows it. In shock and confusion, Delia must sift through the truth - even when it jeopardizes her life and the lives of those she loves. What happens when you learn you are not who you thought you were? When the people you've loved and trusted suddenly change before your eyes? When getting your deepest wish means giving up what you've always taken for granted? Vanishing Acts explores how life - as we know it - might not turn out the way we imagined; how doing the right thing could mean doing the wrong thing; how the memory we thought had vanished could return as a threat.

Vanishing Acts is a touching, gripping and thought-provoking novel about family and betrayal.

Delia Hopkins is a happy woman. She is engaged to a man she has known almost all her life, has a daughter with him, a supportive best friend, a job that pleases her and a father she can always turn to. Things were not always easy for Delia, but in general, she has led a good life. The only thing that mars her happiness are the memories of things she doesn’t remember experiencing herself and that fills her with much confusion. Then, one day, the police come to arrest her father for kidnapping a child more than twenty years ago and Delia learns the shocking truth: the child her father kidnapped was her and she used to be called Bethany Matthews.

Delia embarks on a difficult and heart-breaking journey of self-discovery, trying to determined if her life has been a lie and if she can still love her father after his great act of betrayal, or learn to love the woman who says is her mother.

Picoult focuses on very serious and important topics in this novel. In the foreground is the question of whether something that is labeled a crime is a really a crime when done for honourable reasons, and the reader is provoked into answering the question with a startling answer. The author also discusses alcoholism, child abuse, how far one would go to survive, as well as Indian spiritualism and its effects on someone who has been yearning for answers all their life. There is certainly no lack of themes in the book and they are all difficult issues with no easy answers. Picoult explores all sides of one issue, leaving space for several different interpretations. Life is not only black and white, and the author definitely attests to this truth.

The problem I had with this novel was, in fact, that there are perhaps too many story lines. While I must compliment the author for truly focusing on every character and on every circumstance that they come upon with skill and thoroughness, I must confess that I did not always see the point in all of them. I know the author tried to cover all possible aspects of this shocking tale, to truly make the reader see and feel sympathy for different people, but some scenes were redundant and did not really serve a purpose. As much as I am interested in Native American culture, for example, it seems that almost everything connected to the Indian character in the novel, and to this culture, was just the author’s way of expressing her vast knowledge on the topic that she has used in another novel. I appreciate the effort, but sometimes it distracted me from the actual problem.

Delia also makes drastic changes in her love life. I understood why she would feel that was necessary, but it still seemed a bit fast for my taste, if not slightly forced. She seemed to happy about it, which means something, but I can’t help but feel that her heart was not really in it.

Still, the novel was a highly enjoyable read and it was ever so thought provoking. I agreed with certain things I might have otherwise condemned, and vice versa. The novel focuses on all those gray areas in life, when something that’s wrong is actually right, and something that feels right is really terribly wrong.

In my opinion, the novel has a satisfactory conclusion which proves that justice is still appreciated in this world, that child protection is encouraged and desired, and that love can overrun all obstacles. Some may not agree with me, as it’s easy to accept the things that happen in the novel, but reality is not always easy, anyway.

This novel can be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good family drama and who is not afraid to be faced with difficult answers and situations. The novel will leave you emotionally raw, but it is a rewarding read. I am fast becoming a fan of Jodi Picoult.


Monday, 3 October 2011

Bookie Brunch: Favourite Classic Novels + Chance to Win a Prize

Welcome to Bookie Brunch
Come join the discussion!
Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
* Every Sunday*

Today's host: This Miss Loves to Read
Next week’s host (October 9): Amanda-Lee at StoryWings
This week’s discussion open through: October 5

Your host this week:
Irena at This Miss Loves to Read

Her guests this week:
Yiota at Splash of Our Worlds
Pepca at Beyond Strange New Words
Jazmin at Books!!!

Welcome to the Bookie Brunch! Created by the wonderful Sasha Soren, the Bookie Brunch is a traveling event where bookish people get together to discuss bookish things. Every Sunday, readers will share their opinions on a particular topic, and you are welcome to join us!

Please join me in welcoming Yiota, Pepca and Jazmin to This Miss Loves to Read!

Which is your favourite classic novel, and why?


Yiota says:
Hmmm...I will go with Hobbit, even though I'm not sure it counts. I've seen it in classic novels lists. Anyway, I love epic fantasy. It's my favorite genre.
Hobbit is not only the first epic fantasy book I got, but also probably the most magnificent and perfectly created world out there. I might find the details tiresome at some point but I love the scenery, the ideas, the elves' language, the story! It's funny and easy to read it. Also has a dragon and Gandalf in, so 'nuff said.
If Hobbit doesn't count as classic I'm going with Emma by Jane Austen. I have read almost all of her books but Emma is my fav. It's more light and funny and I was giggling all the time with the main character.

Pepca says:
My favourite classic novel is In Desert and Wilderness by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It is considered to be a children's/young adult novel, but I think it can also be viewed as a classic because it deals with universal themes which are still reflected in the present. It can certainly be enjoyed at every age, because of its dynamic story of adventure and exploration of new cultures, through which the main protagonists learn about the world and themselves as grow-up a little. This well-written story takes the reader to unknown places and it broadens one's horizons.

Jazmin says:

My favorite classic novel is The Odyssey because of its vivid imagery and engrossing (even if people find it boring), and I just love a good tale with the Greek gods.

Irena (the host) says:
There are quite a few wonderful classic novels to be considered for this question, but I am alternating between two: my favourite novel, which is The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I suppose you could say I am a great fan of Gothic literature. I love the passion this genre creates, the suspense, the mysterious and darkly beautiful scenery it brings to life, and the way it honestly, although dramatacally paints human nature in its extremes. In both the novels I chose, all of it is very evident in the stories. I especially love how the characters evolve, grow, excell and change. I love the message that redemption is possible for everyone, and that love itself is a redeeming factor. The romantic in me can't resist such a thing.


What are YOUR thoughts on the matter?


Brunch Goodies

About: Charming miniature of a late-20th-century perfume that wears like an older, more glamorous classic. Launched by design house Givenchy (founded by Hubert de Givenchy), Amarige is classified as a sharp, oriental, floral fragrance. This luscious, feminine scent possesses a blend of violet, mimosa and other florals, blended with soft, sweet spices and hint of orange blossom. Created by master perfumer Dominique Ropion.

From Fragrantica: Intense, merry and unforgettable; so opulent and
floral that it seems like its composition includes every beautiful
flower that exists in the world. (MORE)


Shown above: Here's a brief video review of Amarige, by actor and beauty products broadcaster Petra Bryant.

Details: To win this lovely brunch gift, please leave email info and
thoughtful or interesting comment below. A winner will be picked at
random. If host and guests agree that a specific visitor comment is
substantial, outstanding, or in some other way has particular merit,
they can override random.org pick at their discretion. Eau de
toilette, miniature, 4mL (0.13 oz.). International. Through November
1, 2011, 12 midnight EDT.

Brought by: Sasha Soren

Thursday, 29 September 2011

International Giveaway: Love at Absolute Zero by Christopher Meeks

Hello, everyone!

I'm very happy to be able to host A GIVEAWAY for Chistoper Meeks' wonderful novel Love at Absolute Zero.

Love at Absolute Zero is about Gunnar Gunderson, a 32-year-old star physicist at the University of Wisconsin. The moment he’s given tenure at the university, he can think of only one thing: finding a wife. His research falters into what happens to matter near absolute zero (−459.67 °F), but he has an instant new plan. To meet his soul mate within three days—that’s what he wants and the time he can carve out—he will use the Scientific Method. Can Gunnar survive his quest?

You can read my review HERE.

- the giveaway is international,
- there will be two winners; the winner from the USA/Canada will be able to choose between a physical copy of the book and an e-book, the international winner will receive an e-book,
- the giveaway ends October 6, the winners will be announced October 7,
- to enter the giveaway, simply leave your e-mail address in the response box below,
- you do not have to be a follower of This Miss Loves to Read to participate.