Saturday, November 30, 2013

[Wrap Up] November 2013


I look back at my November with pride and warmth!
Above all, it was definitely the stress that sucked me dry for the duration of November. 
Oh, well. I got through that, too. 

I've surpassed the final exams from the first semester (some of my grades have not been released yet though) and I got through typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan safely with my family WHILE studying for my said final exams!

Oh, and worthy of mention is the fact that I PASSED TAXATION 1!! I did not pass it with flying colors, but I PASSED IT!! Also, I got a high grade in Evidence!! I was so ecstatic when I found out, I jumped up and down like a lunatic! haha!

Woot! I also volunteered in the relief efforts in San Dionisio and distributed relief goods to the victims devastated by the typhoon, and arranged one blog tour for another non-fiction title! Oh, and to top it all off, I WROTE 50,000 words in 30 days for NaNoWriMo 2013, BABY~! HAH. I am awesome. Hee.

See my NANOWRIMO 2013 Winner's Facebook Cover? HAH!
I realized that having a wrap-up post at the last day of every month actually makes me feel so positively blessed. I'm literally counting my blessings whenever I do a wrap-up post! It just feels surreal sometimes. Before, I don't really try to pay attention to the things that happen to me every month. I just usually breeze through everything and not look back, but when I started writing wrap-up posts, I came to appreciate even the smallest victories. This makes me feel as if I'm in the right direction, as if I'm exactly where God wants me to be. And that makes me feel really awesome. =)

Anyways, enough with contemplation. I'm here to wrap-up everything for the month of November 2013, so here are the books I've read and reviewed:
★★★★ 
★★★★★
★★★
★★
★★★★
★★★★
★★
★★★★★
And that's it! Come at me, December! I'm so ready for you!

Friday, November 29, 2013

[Blog Tour - Book Spotlight] Ngumiti si Andoy

"Ngumiti si Andoy" 
Kuwento ni Xi Zuq
Guhit ni Dominic Agsaway
Inilimbag ng Adarna House (2013)

Link: Goodreads


Tungkol sa Aklat:
Ngumiti si Andoy. Ito ang simula ng kuwento ni Andrew na nagsimula sa kanilang Heroes Park. Gusto lamang niya na iguhit ang estatwa ni Andres Bonifacio nang matuklasan niya ang ilang lihim sa buhay ng bayani.

Sa pagdiriwang ng ika-150 kaarawan ni Andres Bonifacio, inihahandog ng Adarna House ang Ngumiti si Andoy, isang aklat tungkol sa buhay ng bayani. Batay ang kuwento at guhit ng aklat sa mga nagwagi sa 2013 Philippine Board on Books for Young People-Salanga at Alcala Prize [pbby.org.ph]. Hanapin ang Ngumiti si Andoy sa Adarna House showroom at sa pinakamalapit ng book store sa inyo.

Excerpt:

Left - Original Text
Right - Translation

Una kong iginuhit si Andres Bonifacio, ang Ama ng Himagsikan.

Matapang at matikas niyang itinuturo ang kaniyang bolo sa mga kaaway.

I first drew Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Revolution.

With strength and courage, he aimed his bolo at the enemies.

Habang nagbubura ako ng mga maling linya, may napansin akong gumalaw!

Nakaupo na si Andres Bonifacio! Hinablot pa nito ang isang postkard ko!

“Ginoong Andres Bonifacio,” nangangatog kong sabi, “ibalik ninyo na po

ang postkard ko.”


While erasing some wrong lines, I thought I saw something move.

Andres Bonifacio was sitting in front of me! He even grabbed one of my postcards!

“Mister Andres Bonifacio,” I said, my voice shaking, “please give me back my postcard.”

Hindi siya sumagot. Binabasa niya ang postkard na may mukha niya.

“Ama ng Himagsikan,” Kumunot ang noo ni Andres.

“Opo, bayani po kayo,” sabi ko sabay lunok ng laway. “Pakibalik na po ang postkard ko.”

Hindi siya sumagot. Binasa niya pa ang mga nakasulat sa likod ng postcard.


He didn’t answer. He read the details printed on the postcard about him.

“Father of the Revolution,” Andres wrinkled his forehead.

“Yes, you’re a hero, sir,” I said and swallowed hard. “Please return my postcard.”

He didn’t answer. Instead he read what was on the back of the postcard

“Ay! Kung gusto ninyo po, sa inyo na lang po ‘yan. Magpapabili na lang po ulit ako.”

Dahan-dahan akong tumalikod para tumakas nang biglang kinalabit niya ako.

Sumenyas siyang lumapit ako sa kaniya.

“Lalapit po ako pero ibababa ninyo po muna ang bolo.”

At ibinibaba nga niya ang bolo.

Umupo ako nang may isang dipang layo mula sa kaniya.


“Ay! You can have it if you want. I’ll ask Nanay to buy me another one.”

I slowly turned to escape when he suddenly tapped my back.

He signaled me to come near him.

“I’ll come closer if you put down your bolo.”

And he put down his bolo.

I sat an arm-stretch away from him.


“Maraming kulang sa postcard mo,” sabi ni Andres Bonifacio sa malakas na tinig.

“Tulad ng ano po?” tanong ko sa maliit kong boses.

“Na puwede mo akong tawaging Andoy. Na mas madalas ako humawak ng baril kaysa

bolo. Na di lang mga Espanyol ang naging kaaway ko. Na walang kapantay ang

pagmamahal ko kay Oryang.”

At doon nagsimula ang mahaba niyang kuwento tungkol sa buhay niya.


“What you have in your postcard is not complete,” Andres Bonifacio said in a loud voice.

“What have I missed, sir?” I asked softly.

“That you can call me Andoy. That I held a gun more often than a bolo. That the

Spaniards were not my only enemies. That nothing could match my love for Oryang.

He then started on the long story of his life.

Tungkol sa Manunulat:



Si Xi Zuq ay isang guro, manunulat at mambabasa mula sa Lungsod ng Heneral Santos. Kasapi siya ng Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING) at Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA). Bisitahin siya sa www.xizuqsnook.com.



Si Dominic Agsaway ay isang ilustrador ng komiks at librong pambata. Siya ay miyembro ng Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan. Nagtapos siya sa Unibersidad de Santo Tomas (UST) at madalas rin tumambay sa parke habang naghihintay ng sundo. Maaari ninyo siyang ma-email sa agsaway@gmail.com.




Thursday, November 28, 2013

[Blog Tour - Author Interview] Marie Claire Lim Moore

Today, I have the honor of featuring Author Marie Claire Lim Moore for an Interview about her book Don't Forget the Soap!

Let's not dilly-dally, shall we?

Question: Most of the stories from your book were about experiences you had in connection with your parents’ reminders and lessons, I’m interested to know if you ever experienced something you consider a mistake and what that experience is?

Answer: There are 2 mistakes I’ve made that are never far from my mind. One of them I describe in the book about not taking the time to prepare for a big presentation. It sounds somewhat trivial but ultimately I lost a golden opportunity to make a strong impression on someone who would have been an amazing mentor and business sponsor. The other is related to remembering anyone who has touched your life. When I was studying abroad in Seville, Spain, my junior year in college, I became very good friends with my inter-cambio. An inter-cambio was a local Spanish student you were set up to meet weekly. You practiced Spanish, they practiced English. Her name was Salud and she was great. She and her family welcomed me into their home. They took me on their family trip to Portugal. Her younger sister, Puri, even made me a mix tape with all my favorite Spanish songs. When I got back to the US I got busy again with school, with life. I received a letter from Salud and planned to write back but kept procrastinating. I would have to carve out a lot of time to write the letter in Spanish so I would continue to put it off until I had more time. Months went by and soon enough I found myself too embarrassed by how much time had passed without me writing. I somehow convinced myself that she would probably just think I never got the letter. Things got lost all the time in the mail, right? Eventually the day came when I could no longer live with myself if I didn’t write the letter. Of course, by this time I could not find her address. (This was well before all our digital communications and files. My college Filofax was somewhere in storage and I had misplaced the envelope with her return address). Almost two decades later I still feel guilty about never getting back in touch with Salud.

Q: What lesson did you learn from such experience?

A: a) Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. I always try to send a thank you right away. b) It’s never too late.

Q: Did you tell your parents about such experience? What did they say about it?

A: Yes, they tell me I should still try to find her on Facebook. I’ve tried but for the life of me I can’t recall their family name.

Q: Let's go to another topic. I love how your Dad chose to make you look like an ugly dork rather than stand aside and let you entertain boys. Was there ever a time, in your teenage years, when you had a serious suitor who had enough courage to face your Dad?

A: In my senior year in high school I had my first “friend.” We continued seeing each other throughout college and he accompanied me to all our family events but my father never acknowledged him as my boyfriend, which did bother him, but there was never anything close to confrontation with my dad.

Q: How did that experience turn out for you? And given a chance, would you like to re-live it just for kicks? 

A: There’s so much of childhood – of my life -- I would love to re-live for kicks. I think that’s part of the reason I wrote the book!

Q: Lastly, thank you so much for sharing your story with us! What’s next in your career as an Author? 

A: Most welcome. If we have a third baby I hope to write my next book on maternity leave! Kidding, sort of. It is hard to find time to write with my job at Citibank but I’m working on a few bylined articles to contribute to magazines / columns and constantly making notes that could be used for a next book.

Don't Forget to Join the Giveaway!

Author Profile:
Twitter: @MariClaireLM

Marie Claire Lim Moore is a Filipina-Canadian-American working mother and author of Don't Forget the Soap. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Claire moved to New York City and attended the United Nations International School. She went on to study at Yale, climb the corporate ladder at Citi and travel around the world. She met her husband, Alex, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil and they married in Manila, Philippines shortly before moving to Singapore. Now Mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia. She enjoys juggling career and family and likes to throw in community and politics for fun by campaigning for US political candidates, fundraising for organizations that advance the role of women in business and promoting foreign direct investment in the Philippines. She is also a guest contributor at Sassy Mama Singapore.

Don't Forget the Soap
by Marie Claire Lim Moore
Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
At the center of many good stories – inspiring, entertaining, admittedly corny – is Marie Claire Lim Moore. Ask her about the time she and her family sat down with former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. Or the time she built houses in Mexico alongside former American President Jimmy Carter. Equally engaging are her every day experiences and perspective on life. You will be interested to hear what she thinks is a relationship “deal breaker” or why Christmas should be regulated or why kids shouldn’t say, “I’m bored.”
Don’t Forget the Soap is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force. These stories will warm the heart and resonate with people of any culture.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[Blog Tour - Book Review] Don't Forget the Soap




Don't Forget the Soap
by Marie Claire Lim Moore
Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

At the center of many good stories – inspiring, entertaining, admittedly corny – is Marie Claire Lim Moore. Ask her about the time she and her family sat down with former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. Or the time she built houses in Mexico alongside former American President Jimmy Carter. Equally engaging are her every day experiences and perspective on life. You will be interested to hear what she thinks is a relationship “deal breaker” or why Christmas should be regulated or why kids shouldn’t say, “I’m bored.”
Don’t Forget the Soap is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force. These stories will warm the heart and resonate with people of any culture.

Monday, November 25, 2013

[Blog Tour - Cover Reveal] Ngumiti si Andoy


"Ngumiti si Andoy" 
Kuwento ni Xi Zuq
Guhit ni Dominic Agsaway
Inilimbag ng Adarna House (2013)

Link: Goodreads


Tungkol sa Aklat:
Ngumiti si Andoy. Ito ang simula ng kuwento ni Andrew na nagsimula sa kanilang Heroes Park. Gusto lamang niya na iguhit ang estatwa ni Andres Bonifacio nang matuklasan niya ang ilang lihim sa buhay ng bayani.

Sa pagdiriwang ng ika-150 kaarawan ni Andres Bonifacio, inihahandog ng Adarna House ang Ngumiti si Andoy, isang aklat tungkol sa buhay ng bayani. Batay ang kuwento at guhit ng aklat sa mga nagwagi sa 2013 Philippine Board on Books for Young People-Salanga at Alcala Prize [pbby.org.ph]. Hanapin ang Ngumiti si Andoy sa Adarna House showroom at sa pinakamalapit ng book store sa inyo.

Tungkol sa Manunulat:



Si Xi Zuq ay isang guro, manunulat at mambabasa mula sa Lungsod ng Heneral Santos. Kasapi siya ng Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING) at Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA). Bisitahin siya sa www.xizuqsnook.com.



Si Dominic Agsaway ay isang ilustrador ng komiks at librong pambata. Siya ay miyembro ng Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan. Nagtapos siya sa Unibersidad de Santo Tomas (UST) at madalas rin tumambay sa parke habang naghihintay ng sundo. Maaari ninyo siyang ma-email sa agsaway@gmail.com.





Don't forget to join the giveaway!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

[Blog Tour - Book Spotlight] Don't Forget the Soap


Don't Forget the Soap
(Excerpt Reveal)
by Marie Claire Lim Moore
Non-Fiction, Autobiography

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
At the center of many good stories – inspiring, entertaining, admittedly corny – is Marie Claire Lim Moore. Ask her about the time she and her family sat down with former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. Or the time she built houses in Mexico alongside former American President Jimmy Carter. Equally engaging are her every day experiences and perspective on life. You will be interested to hear what she thinks is a relationship “deal breaker” or why Christmas should be regulated or why kids shouldn’t say, “I’m bored.”

Don’t Forget the Soap is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force. These stories will warm the heart and resonate with people of any culture.
Excerpt:

" Mom Moment "

When I first started working at Citibank in New York there was a cleaning lady who would come by everyday around 5 pm to empty the trash. She had a very warm demeanor, and I was always happy to engage her in conversation at the end of the day. Her name was Maria, and she was from the Dominican Republic. At one point I asked if I could practice my Spanish with her, and she was delighted. It was great for me as my language skills hadn’t been put into practice much since I studied abroad in college. Through our exchanges I learned she had a son and daughter in high school. I shared with her pictures of my family from our recent trip to the Philippines.

When I got promoted my boss finally managed to secure an office for me, which was not an easy task given the internal politics and lack of space. It was kind of a makeshift office with a hodgepodge of furniture including an old desk, mismatched chairs, a broken file cabinet and a wobbly conference table but I didn’t care. As long as it had a door I felt like I had made it to the big league. On the first morning in my new digs, I opened the door to find what looked like a completely new office. The desk was sparkling, the conference table looked new, the chairs all matched and the broken file cabinet had been removed. The entire day everyone who walked by congratulated me on my promotion and asked how in the world I got my office in such shape. I had no idea. Maybe the maintenance guys realized someone was moving in and cleaned everything up? No way, everyone highly doubted it.

Then 5 pm came around and Maria stopped by to collect my trash. She had this proud grin on her face and said, “Te gusta?” So Maria was behind it! I got up to thank her profusely. I couldn’t believe she had gone through such trouble. “De nada. De nada. Un placer,” she said and then proceeded to explain that it was the least she could do after everything I had done for her. Everything I had done for her? What would that be? I started to wonder if she mistook me for another person but no, she was referring to the fact that I would take time to say hello everyday when she came to clean my work space. It turned out that this gesture alone made all the difference when everyone else rushed past her or didn’t say word. “Before you moved to this floor I could have been invisible,” she explained. “Now I enjoy coming to work.” It was one of the first times in my adult life when I felt like I was turning into my mother. And it was a good feeling.

JOIN THE GIVEAWAY TO WIN FANTASTIC PRIZES!!


Author Profile:

Twitter: @MariClaireLM

Marie Claire Lim Moore is a Filipina-Canadian-American working mother and author of Don't Forget the Soap. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Claire moved to New York City and attended the United Nations International School. She went on to study at Yale, climb the corporate ladder at Citi and travel around the world. She met her husband, Alex, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil and they married in Manila, Philippines shortly before moving to Singapore. Now Mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia. She enjoys juggling career and family and likes to throw in community and politics for fun by campaigning for US political candidates, fundraising for organizations that advance the role of women in business and promoting foreign direct investment in the Philippines. She is also a guest contributor at Sassy Mama Singapore.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

[Cover Reveal] Pieces For You


Pieces For You
by Genna Rulon
Release Date: December 17, 2013

Synopsis:

"The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise.” -Miguel de Cervantes

Samantha Whitney survived unimaginable tragedy only to discover she had been betrayed by a man who claimed to love her. Shattered, Sam spends months at a safe haven trying to piece herself back together. Ready or not, the time has come for her to return home.

As Sam struggles to resume a life that no longer feels familiar, she finds unwavering support in an unexpected, familiar face. Confronting Sam’s raw emotions and open wounds head-on, Griffin manages to take two steps forward for every step she retreats.

But when Sam is once again threatened, Griffin must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the woman he wants…knowing the cost of her safety is the risk of losing her.

Pieces For You is a captivating journey of survival, healing, and sacrifice—teeming with honesty, humor, unexpected twists, and love’s unsurpassed endurance.


Friday, November 22, 2013

[AU] Relief Operations to San Dionisio


AU stands for Alternate Universe, which could also mean "alternate reality". AU depicts an entirely different reality than the canon or official universe where a character in a book or movie lives or exists. 
Example: Canon - Harry Potter is a wizard studying in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; AU - Harry Potter is an ordinary teenager with a knack for science, and is studying at the Michigan Institute of Technology.


The objective of AU is simple: blog about something other than books for at least once a month. It could be about movies, food, fashion, TV shows, etc., just as long as it's not about books.


"Relief Operations to San Dionisio"

San Dionisio is a far-flung municipality in Panay Island, Visayas, Philippines. It's a four-hour drive from the City of Iloilo, and is a coastal area, so it was one of the many areas which typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the hardest. As of November 21, 2013, there's still no supply of electricity in San Dionisio, and the broken houses, fences and damaged properties are still strewn all over the municipality. 

Last November 21, 2013, students from my school took up efforts to bring relief goods to the people in San Dionisio. You can easily tell from the uprooted trees and broken houses that Yolanda gave their municipality a hard hit. It wasn't a pleasant sight, that much I could tell you.

I have a video which shows more of the damage to San Dionisio but it's a pain to upload on YouTube so I'd rather share the few pictures I've taken.

Panoramic view of the poblacion of San Dionisio.
Everything seems to be fine, but look closely.
This picture shows only but a fraction of the damage to San Dionisio.
Panoramic view of a small portion of San Dionisio Poblacion.
Why am I blogging about relief efforts for typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan when it's already all over the social networking sites and the media? Simple. Because I want other Filipinos to know that the victims of the typhoon aren't simply forgotten and neglected. I want them to know that we're still here for them and that we're doing our best to help, no matter the anomalies plaguing the government. 

I did not do this to be praised, to be liked, or to be seen as a good person, because frankly, I could not care less about what other people think of me. (If you see me in real life, I make Bellatrix in Harry Potter look like a fluffy bunny.) I decided to donate and volunteer because I genuinely wanted to help. There are still people who genuinely care and want to help. There's still a chance to rise from tragedy. 

The truth is, I originally wanted to buy toys for the less fortunate children in our neighborhood. I had some money saved up and I was thinking of a great way to put it to use. Even before typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines, I've been planning to do a good deed for the children in my neighborhood because the Christmas season is drawing near and I've always seen them playing around with broken, second-hand toys. (My little brother has made a habit of collecting his old toys and giving them away to our neighbor's children during Christmas.)

When the typhoon hit, I was in the middle of studying for my final exams, but my school immediately head-started relief efforts by gathering donations. I saw a chance to help, so I did. I donated noodles and canned goods, and decided to volunteer for the actual relief efforts to distribute the relief goods.

When we came to San Dionisio, the municipality was silent. The only audible noises were the ocean waves crashing at a distance and the rhythmic banging of hammers coming from people trying to rebuild their damaged houses. There was no TV or radio playing, not even noises of kids laughing and playing around.

"Puta, grabe meg. Daw si Treebeard ang kahoy nga natumba." Most of my companions couldn't help but curse at the degree of destruction and point out big uprooted trees and houses reduced to piles of broken bamboos and crumpled steel roofs.

But we were on a mission that day and we were determined to do what we set out to do. We gave what little help we could offer to the people who need it. We were able to visit six baranggays and give out about 1,300 packs of relief goods.

Was it tiresome? Sure. It was a four-hour drive to go to San Dionisio and another four hours back.Was it uncomfortable? Oh, yes, standing beneath the heat of the sun without an umbrella while trying to give out packs of relief goods to people who flock around you is not a very comfortable position. 

But was everything worth it?




We were met with wide smiles and thank-yous. For what little we could give, we were met by people who wished us blessings ten-fold, and for what small candy and bread we could offer to children, we were given radiant smiles. 

Yes, it was absolutely worth it.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[AU] Sheldon Cooper Appreciation Post!



SHELDON COOPER APPRECIATION POST!
(Why? Because I just felt like it.)

AU stands for Alternate Universe, which could also mean "alternate reality". AU depicts an entirely different reality than the canon or official universe where a character in a book or movie lives or exists. 
Example: Canon - Harry Potter is a wizard studying in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; AU - Harry Potter is an ordinary teenager with a knack for science, and is studying at the Michigan Institute of Technology.

The objective of AU is simple: blog about something other than books for at least once a month. It could be about movies, food, fashion, TV shows, etc., just as long as it's not about books. 

Sheldon is a Caltech theoretical physicist who shares an apartment with his colleague and best friend, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki). Sheldon exhibits a strict adherence to routine, a total lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of humor, a general lack of humility or empathy, and displays textbook narcissistic behavior. He also has a very hard time recognizing irony and sarcasm in other people although he himself often employs them. These characteristics provide the majority of the humor involving him, which has caused him to be described as the show's breakout character. Despite speculation that Sheldon's personality traits may be consistent with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and asexuality, co-creator Bill Prady has repeatedly stated that Sheldon's character was neither conceived nor developed with regard to any of these conditions. (source: Wikipedia)

Yes, I love this guy. Oh, and let me count the reasons why.
(A little graphic-heavy post. You have been warned.)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Book Review] Practically Perfect

Practically Perfect
by Dale Brawn
July 6, 2013
Dundurn Group
Non-Fiction, True Crime

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
A man murders the first four infants he fathers with his lover, then tries again with a fifth. Two men have three things in common: each commits what seems like a perfect murder, each marries his victim's wife far too soon, each has an overdue appointment with the gallows. A man cuts up the body of his victim into little pieces and gets away with the crime until he slaughters another neighbour six years later. 
"Practically Perfect" details the crimes of killers who very nearly got away with perfect murders, including the tale of Marie Beaulne, who laced her husband's food with poison, only to be found out when a priest recalled someone else dying that way in his village. Each tale provides specific details on the planning of each murder, the events leading up to the discovery of the criminal, and the results of the trial, usually resulting in an execution.
Rating:
★★

Monday, November 18, 2013

[Book Review] Only For You

Only For You
by Genna Rulon
September 24, 2013
New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
“In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent. It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!”

All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned.

When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar by her best friend, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, a tempestuous relationship is born.

Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate—that fickle shrew—continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant. The only complication…Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication…by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh’s ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal. 
Only For You is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption—brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love’s unassailable perseverance. 
• This story is appropriate for readers 18+• Only For You is the first book in the For You series by Genna Rulon. Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone novel.
Rating:
★★★★

My reactions while reading Only For You:

Yep, it was THAT good.

Friday, November 15, 2013

[Linking Up] Feature and Follow #38


Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. 

I wouldn't really say that the movie was better than the book. It's just that the chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun was just superb and it made the movie amazing, in my opinion. 



Thursday, November 14, 2013

[Book Review] The Truth About Letting Go


The Truth About
Letting Go
by Leigh T. Moore
February 21, 2013
Young-Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing and played it safe until her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. Then she meets Jordan. He has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe.

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.
Rating:
★★★★

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

[Book Review] Save the Date

Save the Date
(Better Date than Never #4)
by Susan Hatler
June 30, 2013
 Hatco, Inc.
Contemporary Romance, Chick-Lit

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
Kristen knows men hide things. Case in point, her last boyfriend turned out to be married. Just like anyone else, Kristen is devastated. However, since Kristen evaluates people for a living, her ex’s duplicity has her searching for a new career as well as swearing off men.

Touring history museums with her sexy friend Ethan doesn’t count, because he has a girlfriend, and has only shown friendly interest in Kristen. He even helps with her career counseling tasks. Although Kristen has a secret crush on Ethan, spending time with him is safe. Until she discovers he’s actually single. Gasp. And now he’s flirting with her, too.

Suddenly, Ethan is way too dangerous. Not to mention tempting. Sure, he seems like sixty shades of perfect, but how’s a girl with bad judgment supposed to detect what skeletons he has in his closet?
Rating:
★★
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