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Helpful Votes: 34

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King Hall (Forever Evermore Book 1)
King Hall (Forever Evermore Book 1)
Price: $2.72

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chuckling, Snorting, and Teary within a few chapters, August 15, 2013
My first reaction after I finished the book: Was. So. Very. Extremely. Frustratingly. UPSET.

Why?!??! I really needed that disclaimer that this book ends with the Mother of a Cliffhanger. Bah! How in the world am I supposed to survive waiting for the next book?! I don¡¦t even know when that will be!

Before I began reading, I was actually in a bit of a rut and wasn't in the mood to read (Sorry, what?!? I know, the weirdest feeling ever). However, the humorous beginning lured me right in and though I was worried that this world might be a little bit complicated at that time of the morning, I was totally sucked in by first the humour, Lily as MC, the idea of lifemates (I'm a sucker for that type of romance), and then broken hearted. Within a few chapters, King Hall has had me chuckling, snorting [eye-roll moments], and crying (well, quite teary at any rate). I was raving about it a couple of hours later at lunch to my colleague who probably thought I was a little bit nuts since we haven¡¦t seen each other in a while but all I could talk about was this book I¡¦m reading. [Errm, I love you too!! xx]

King Hall is the name of a college for Mysticals (ie. non-humans / Commoners). There are 4 types of Mysticals: Shifters, Vampires, Elementals, and Mages. Whilst showing a united front to Commoners, Mysticals do not like to mix and each group has their own ruler. Lily is not supposed to be one. In fact, she¡¦s not supposed to even exist. However, she and 3 other Mysticals are the next in line to ruling each groups. Whilst relationships between rulers are usually quite reserved and sometimes, strained, due to the segregation, a tragedy brought these 4 together and forged a beautiful friendship. Of course, due to their Mystical natures, they are all beautiful physically and "friendly", so there's that very interesting aspect of their friendship.

The friendship between Lily, Ezra, Jack, and Pearl was amazing to behold. It was an unfortunate tragedy which truly brought them together but they stayed strong together, trusted each other and truly accepted each other as different as they are. This was one of the best bits of the book. Of course, the quirky, snappy, sarcastic comments were most entertaining. And any sparks between characters helps the total enjoyment of the story. There was always something happening and it keeps me swiping through to the end [Note: only available in ebooks so there is no turning to be done, only swiping ;)].

I¡¦m a little confused with the world building though as I feel there are some things that weren¡¦t explained properly (or if it was, I completely missed it). For example, each Mystical have different powers but what exactly are their nature? I don¡¦t understand how vampires are walking around in daytime and have body heat though I love the significance of hair colour ¡V just imagine what a colourful the world it is.

King Hall was un-put-down-able for me. I had to keep on reading just one more chapter till I suddenly reached the end. I hope book 2 will come soon with lots of answers to questions I had from this book though I wouldn¡¦t mind (in fact, I would totally love it) if there is a prequel of some sort about Lily & Dominic. psst, Dawn, I may just forgive you for this cliffhanger ending, if I can have this prequel to tide me over whilst waiting for book 2 This book will be one of those I¡¦d recommend waiting for the next book, unfortunately. Can't you just tell how very upset I am.

Thank you, Harlequin Australia for providing copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

Pooka in My Pantry (A Monster Haven Story Book 2)
Pooka in My Pantry (A Monster Haven Story Book 2)
Offered by Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price: $3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Fun & Easygoing Fluffy Read to De-stress, April 9, 2013
I had such a fun time reading the first book that I really couldn't resist when I saw book #2 was on Netgalley.

I still love Zoey's fun, bold & quirky fashion. She loves to dress to her taste and yet, there were times where she was also self-conscious and that's really something all women can relate to. Her compassion and empathy was fully played in the first book but now, we get to see her strength and courage as she fought for what she believes.

This book continues on a few months after the first book. Things apparently haven't been that good with Riley and bad luck has come to town. All over the town, there are "funny" sort of accidents and Zoey has to cope more than her share of it because she not only had to stand against the Leprechaun Mafia but she's also being tested by the Board of the Hidden.

A fun and easy-going read if you're after something fluffy to de-stress. It's sort of like cozy mystery in Monster Haven ;) There were kisses but other than that, a clean (and *sighs* sweet) romance.

Thank you Carina Press & Netgalley for the privilege to read & review galley.

Simply Jesus and You: Experience His Presence and His Purpose
Simply Jesus and You: Experience His Presence and His Purpose
by Joseph M. Stowell
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Encouraging & Helpful, April 2, 2013
`Simply Jesus' - a slight volume (a mere 60 pages) that packed a punch. It reads simply and clearly but it's made its point and met its purpose.

If you feel something is missing in your Christian walk or even if you wonder if this is it (of being a Christian), you're probably missing something. Joseph M. Stowell shared that there is more to it - that experiencing Jesus in this life "makes the brightest treasures of life look dull by comparison". You will be so taken by Jesus that there will be no looking back because you only want more of Jesus.

Asides from some examples and life-stories of how possible it is for ordinary people to have this kind of Jesus experience, this book also included some guidance of how we can have that ultimate experience. These tips may help but only if you're willing.

Thank you WaterBrook Multnomah via Edelweiss for the privilege to read & review ebook
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2013 6:25 AM PDT

What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronicles)
What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronicles)
by Kat Zhang
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.98
107 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Conflicted & Painful to Enjoy thoroughly, December 29, 2012
My first thought was: hhmm, and interesting spin to Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). And it really was fascinating. And then, as the story unfolds and characters were questioning the cruelty of the world against hybrids (ie. unsettled personalities), I thought... What a cruel & stingy Creator! 2 souls in one body? Just too miserly to create the extra bodies for these `extra' souls? And I just couldn't get this thought out of my head...

Therefore, I couldn't say that I enjoyed the book very much. I did find it a gripping sort of story but I was too conflicted with whether I agree with this world or not. What's to agree when it all seems to be so cruel whether these souls settle or not, there are always pain for both souls. Not a one escape.

The story is told from the perspective of Eva -the recessive soul who should have died but instead have hung on in bare existence. Of course, because of the sharing of body with Addie, the dominative soul, I sometimes found it a bit jarring and have to keep reminding myself they're in 1 physical body and therefore, the actions are being done through 1 body whilst the one to actually activate / move the body may be Addie or Eva.

I do love the characters and the plot but I don't think I'll be keeping up with this series. As I said above, it feels too conflicted and painful for me (maybe I'm overly sensitive?). If you know of a child reading this book, especially ones who know someone with MPD, I'd recommend parental guidance and stress that this is fiction (just in case).

Thank you HarperCollins Australia and NetGalley for the opportunity to read & review

Touch of Power (Healer)
Touch of Power (Healer)
by Maria V. Snyder
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.75
67 used & new from $2.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Magical Romance, December 15, 2012
I've loved (or at least, really liked) all of Snyder's previous works and this one, definitely, did not disappoint. This is one of those books which kept you riveted because there is always something happening within a few pages' of `rest'. A book that you don't want to put down because you want to know what's going to happen next, what will she choose to do next, what will happen to her because of her courage to choose the right thing to do, etc etc etc.

The opening of the book was excellent as you feel the suspense straight away as Avry put herself at risk in doing what she thinks is the right thing to do. It doesn't hurt, of course, that it was followed by some pretty explosive action and pretty shortly afterwards, we are being introduced to Kerrick. I have to confess that, at first, I wasn't keen on Kerrick at all! Especially not at the way he treated Avry but as Avry (and therefore, I) got to know him better, I grew to like him more and more.

I loved the magic in this story and I think this is only a scratch on the surface as there seems to be a lot more going on and I CAN'T wait to find out (as it happened Scent of Magic (Healer) arrived yesterday -thank you, Harlequin Teen Australia!). This particular genre being my comfort zone, it is no surprise that I loved it but please, do not ask me to choose which is my fave Snyder's book! *I can't!*

I, Wolf
I, Wolf

3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Entertainment for a slow day, December 11, 2012
This review is from: I, Wolf (Kindle Edition)
From the title and the blurb, it's pretty obvious what we're dealing with here: werewolves. Whilst I sometimes appreciate knowing what type of supernatural creatures the book will be about, I think I'd prefer not to know for this book. The beginning of the book could hold the promise of the mystery but as we're already told what it's going to be... well, it kind of ruined the mystery.

The most enjoyable parts of the book were the descriptions of running (Romy jogs) and the hunts. I, myself, aren't a jogger but reading these descriptions made jogging / running to be such a pleasure that I'm almost (almost!) tempted to go for a run. The battle scene was also pretty awesome though the ending was slightly lacklustre.

Romy himself was okay but not the brightest character (I'm not referring to his intelligence, just that he's pretty average). I much prefer Dimitri and Nat - Romy's friends, with interesting backgrounds and they definitely helped the mood in the book.

The plot may not be unpredictable but I did enjoy this world and it was a very easy read. There appears to be signs (from the ending of the book & the ending of the battle) of a sequel of sorts but I don't even know if it's supposed to be a series. I would be very interested in the sequel *keeping my fingers crossed*.

Thank you to HarperCollins Australia & NetGalley for the privilege to read this eGalley

White Ninja
White Ninja

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Adventurous Read, December 6, 2012
This review is from: White Ninja (Kindle Edition)
Not my usual cup of tea but I just couldn't resist this time. It's just not what I would normally read as its intended audience is a lot younger (10-13 yo) than I am and I don't usually read books for this age groups. However, this book sounded like so much fun that my curiosity is aroused.

I loved the variety of characters from the popular gorgeous older sister, the tough evil bully and his cohorts, the overweight insecure BFF, to the mysterious good looking boy. Even the mother and her partner have such unique characteristics that I'm a little bit jealous since my family is relatively normal ;)

Whilst I myself am not into martial arts, hubby is, but I do love watching martial arts movies. There is something mystical about ninjas though and that is what really intriguing. Even though the fighting scenes confused me a little with all the roundhouse kickings and axe kicks and flying kicks and so on, I still found the whole book to be very entertaining.

I would fully recommend this book to the truly adventurous and also to the adventurous at heart (like me). I'm planning to gift this as a Christmas present for a niece of mine -can't wait to hear her thoughts!

Thank you Harper Collins Australia and NetGalley for the privilege to view & read ARCgalley.

The Hunter
The Hunter
by Julia Leigh
Edition: Paperback
35 used & new from $4.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frighteningly sad, November 29, 2012
This review is from: The Hunter (Paperback)
M. (aka David Martin, for this trip at least) is being sent on a hunt of a nearly extinct, borderline mythical, creature, the thylacine (a Tasmanian tiger). He is, above all things, a hunter. M is solitary, efficient, and ruthless; lacking the social skills to interact with his kind with ease. This is the man of whose mind we inhabit in reading this book.

As the book is being told from the perspective of M, in fact, we are privy to his thoughts whether it runs to his awkwardness is social situation, his delight in setting up good traps, his pain, his secret wish...

"She is happy to see him. At of the sound of his car she has come out of the house to wait on the lawn, with one hand deep in her pocket and the other waving - feebly, it seems - in greeting. She's smiling that big smile. He manages to twinkle the fingers of one hand in response, thinking: What's this? A Welcoming committee?"

This was an interesting take to the story which opened the flaws of the character directly with the reader however because of this, we are missing other things that are outside of his mind and I felt this keenly. As with many other readers, M. is not a character you'd come to love so whilst I can definitely appreciate this bend of creativity, I can't fully enjoy it. It became just so very sad...

On the other hand, the setting of the book was not picturesque. Rather, it was wild unforgiving relentless yet daunting in its beauty (or maybe, it's the beauty of the words that I've been called to).

"This is no god's country, this is god-forsaken: it is perfect and precise. Perfect thousand-year-old trees, their lowest feathered branches almost tip-tipping; an open, soft and fragrant floor; the hard petals of each pine cone divisible by the golden mean. It is cold in here and dark, too, freckled with the faintest light."

A short novel with utterly flawed protagonists and powerful language.

The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Traditional and Modern Ways to Make and Eat Kimchi
The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Traditional and Modern Ways to Make and Eat Kimchi
by Lauryn Chun
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.45
57 used & new from $9.29

20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drool worthy, November 27, 2012
My background, though of the Asian variety, is not Korean. In fact, I remember not liking kimchi in my teen years. We had some Korean guests who stayed with us for a few months and when they made kimchi, *phew* the smell was just overpowering. I don't quite know when it is that I began to appreciate the taste of kimchi (yes, despite the aroma) however my obsession started sometime earlier this year, due to this book: Ancient Garden

Each time I read (it was a pretty chunky book so it took me some time to read), they were always eating kimchi and most of the time, accompanied by beer. So I found myself, drooling & craving over kimchi at 7am (on my commute to work, before I had breakfast). Since then, I would have kimchi at least once a fortnight if not a week. If I wasn't eating out to eat kimchi, I would probably have eaten it more often ;p Hence, my curiosity over this book.

I found out that kimchi is basically just means pickles but there is whole variety of them. Originally, I thought it refers only to the cabbage ones but there are numerous types of kimchi for different seasons to be served with different types of dishes. Of course, I was drooling pretty much through this book.

It was beautifully put together; a clean neat layout with photos of fresh ingredients and yummy dishes. There is a bit of background on the author, a background on kimchi and some basic explanation to what they are, the methods, and how to store. Then follows many kimchi recipes which really tempted me but which I will never attempt as they are all very time consuming.

The last chapter was dedicated to cooking with kimchi. At first I thought, ooh, this might be interesting but then proceeded to grimace through the recipes like Egg Benedict with Kimchi Hollandaise, Kimchi Risotto, Grilled MILKimcheeze Sandwich, Kimchi Grapefruit Margarita, etc (with the exception of the fried rice, yum!). After a few nights contemplating Kimchi Risotto though, I'm kind of sold on that idea and broached the subject with hubby. Unfortunately, he wasn't impressed. Nonetheless, it's something I'm going to try when hubby is not dining at home ;)

Overall, a book I'm happy to have for my coffee table but may attempt only one or two recipes (due to time constraints). It was great fun to read for a noob kimchi fanatic.

With thanks to Ten Speed Press and NetGalley for the privilege to read & review this book

Heart of the Dragon's Realm
Heart of the Dragon's Realm
Offered by Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price: $1.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet romance in fantasy background, November 22, 2012
This is more of a comfort read to me. A fantasy romance novella I could devour in a single sitting with a cuppa and a bikkie. *sighs* just lovely!

Unfortunately, Princess Kimri sounded like a brat right off the beginning. Understandably, she has just been sold to be a bride of a king of a mountain kingdom (a far and isolated kingdom) for a bunch of weapon. I supposed she has a right to be angry but silent treatment? That's just a bit childish! So, it was a rough beginning.

Thankfully, it wasn't long before her true goodness shines through and I loved her for her caring loving nature, acceptance of cultural differences, willingness to change, her strength and courage. Her relationship with the king is one that develops slowly but sweetly. And it sufficed to say that he is just lovely.

It was an easy relaxing sweet read that I thoroughly enjoyed and I fully recommend it for those looking for fantasy romance (as opposed to anything epic).

Thank you Carina Press and NetGalley for the privilege to read & review eGalley

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