Gratitude Giveaway Winnners!!!

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Wow! Over 200 entries plus the extra tweeting and posting you all did! This was a great giveaway hop! The lucky winners chosen by Random.org are:
1. Charlie @ BitsyBlingBooks
2. Danielle @ RomanceBookJunkies
3. Nikki B
and since there was such a huge response, I added 2 extra winners!
4. Jess G.
Congrats to all 5 of my Gratitude Giveaway winners!!!
I’d like to once again thank Kathy at I am a Reader Not A Writer for hosting this amazing giveaway hop. I was so overwhelmed with how many entries I had in my giveaway that I decided to add 2 more winners! Making it 5 total lucky readers receiving their choice of my favorites from the Book Depository. The winners have been notified by email and when they respond I will officially announce them. Right now, what I really want to do is sincerely thank every single person that entered, followed, tweeted, or otherwise participated in this fun giveaway as well as all of those bloggers who were part of this. I can’t wait until the next one!! Remember, the Midwinters Eve Giveaway Hop, also hosted by Kathy, is coming up soon! So stick around. There will be more goodies to win.

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Larissa’s Bookish Life: 3rd Blogoversary & Xmas Giveaway!

November 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Welcome to Larissa’s Bookish Life: 3rd Blogoversary & Xmas Giveaway!:

Larissa is having a combination 3rd Blogversary and Xmas Giveaway from Nov. 25th to Jan 11th. There will be at least 3 winners, but in true Larissa fashion, she has hinted at possibly 5 or more!! What is she giving away? Well, books of course! She has 9 (so far) of her favorites listed so far for the winners to choose from. But thats not all, she’s also throwing in an Amazon giftcard for 3 of the lucky winners! Don’t miss out on this fabulous giveaway at Larissa’s Bookish Life!
And Happy Blogversary Larissa!!!

In My Mailbox

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been wanting to join in the In My Mailbox meme hosted by The Story Siren for the past couple weeks, but things have been quite hectic around here and I just haven’t gotten around to doing it. So with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas packages arriving, I’ve managed to get a couple “presents” of my own!

I received for review and in anticipation of his upcoming blog tour and a guest post on my blog, Blue by Lou Aronica

Goodreads description: Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris’s fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman – and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble. Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed
I am so excited to read Blue, it sounds like a wonderful, moving story! 
The other book I was excited to receive this week was Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul. I requested this book from http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/ because I wanted something Christmas related to read this month. 

Goodreads description: Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball. Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together. This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?
I can’t wait to start both of these great books! I’m hoping for even more goodies to post about as I start opening my Christmas gifts! I’ve left enough hints! (by hints I mean spamming family members with my book wishlists) 

Get Free $25 Amazon Gift Card. Join me for a Christmas Gift Contest.

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Get Free $25 Amazon Gift Card. Join me for a Christmas Gift Contest.: “http://www.itsthoughtful.com/christmas-gift-contest/24271/ln/”

Along with this is an even bigger contest, $500! Simply share your favorite gift ideas and the gift with the most votes will receive a $500 Amazon gift card! Do you have some incredible, unique, imaginative gift giving planned this Christmas? Share your ideas and get possibly win yourself some extra shopping dollars!! Thats what I’m doing. Check out www.itsthoughtful.com/christmas-gift-contest/24271/ln/ for your chance to win!

Leave me the link to your gift idea so that I can go and vote for it! And if you want to help me out, you can vote for my idea here www.itsthoughtful.com/gift-idea/3763/christmas-contest/

Movie Review: Harry Potter 7 pt 1 (yes another one)

November 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

 
I have read so many of the reviews about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1 that I just felt that I had to throw my own opinions in the mix. I am such a huge fan of these books, they are probably my all time favorite series and I reread them (or listen to them on audio) regularly. Stephen Fry brings these characters to life for me in a way that the movies haven’t. I guess its because I’m so invested in these books that every time I would watch one of the HP movies, I would find myself so disappointed when they would skip over or re-imagine things that were, for me, a very important part of the story even though I understood their reasons and time constraints or what have you. This one, however, was different. There were still large parts of the book that were skipped over without mention and a few extra things thrown in that weren’t a part of the book but I was extremely surprised by how much I truly enjoyed this movie. 
I was so happy to see characters that I love from the series have a bigger role in this film. Movie-goers finally got a better glimpse of Fred and George’s humor, Mad-Eye Moody’s gruff bluntness, and most importantly we got to see Dobby again. I really missed him in the previous movies. Bella was, as always, outstanding. She is my favorite “love to hate” character from the movies and fits so perfectly how I always imagine Bella to be. Voldemort himself had a much bigger role in this movie and his performance was also gratifyingly scary and appropriately snakelike. 
Some of the scenes were completely different than how I imagined them when reading, the initial chase scene was wonderfully done and much more exciting to watch on screen. I LOVE how they changed the scene with Hedwig. The first scene of the movie, with Hermione and her parents, was heartrending and somber and really set the tone for the film. Visually, I thought the movie was stunning. The scenes when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were travelling, the film was able to adequately convey the beauty of their surroundings as well as their isolation from everyone they know and love. 
The few things that they did differently from the book really worked for me. This in itself is unusual since I dearly dearly love these books. At one point I found myself wishing that Rowling would have written a particular scene that way! 
The stand out performances for me were Hermione, Bella, Voldemort, Dobby, and Nagini. None of the characters were really lacking performance-wise though and there wasn’t a lot for me to complain about.
What I didn’t like: 
1. I didn’t understand the invisibility of the invisibility cloak.
2. Why didn’t they finish the scene at Bathilda’s house. I thought this was important. 
3. I wanted to see the Dudley/Harry goodbye.
4. Poor Kreacher’s moments were completely disregarded. 
5. Potterwatch would have been a good way to show how they kept up hope after so long away from everyone. 
The end result was that I laughed, cried, and at a couple points almost jumped straight out of my seat! I left the theater surprised, happy, and not in the least disappointed. I am looking forward to Part 2. 
Rating: 4 

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Review: Second Sight

November 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Second Sight (Lifesong, #2)Second Sight by Greg Hamerton

Tabitha Serannon can perform miracles of healing, yet people are dying in her hands. A prophecy points a crooked finger beyond Eyri and Tabitha must abandon her followers to rescue the source of her power. Every step takes her farther into the terrors of Oldenworld, but she must liberate the essence of life before it is corrupted by chaos. This is no game: a traitor lurks among the wizards, a ruthless enemy hunts her with whips of wildfire and she could lose her closest friends with one wrong move. On the journey to mastery, whom can she trust? She has only her faith in love and her fading song to guide her

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Greg Hamerton takes on the epic concept of “good vs evil” in a big way in his novel, Second Sight, the second novel in his series Tale of the Lifesong. This novel is beautifully written, a little on the “flowery prose” side at times for me. However I know others enjoy that, so its not necessarily a bad thing. I simply prefer a more “simply” written book. Second Sight contained some of the most amazing world building, and the chararacters were compelling as well. Tabitha was inspiring and I laughed and cried with her throughout her journey. The “bad guys” were simply heinous!! You know that the characters are great when you have to sit the book down in anger from time to time! There was so much going on, and I was so fully invested, that I’m almost at a loss as to what may be a spoiler for someone just coming into the series. Every detail is relevant to the storyline.

I think Hamerton is certainly a strong new voice in epic fantasy. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to be utterly swept away into a story of epic proportions. I was quite honestly blown away by this book and cannot wait to see what new and amazing things come from this author.

*I received this paperback for review from the author. I am not compensated for this or any other review and do not guarantee a positive review of any books I receive.

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Review: Darkfever

November 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Darkfever (Fever, #1)Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I heard such great things about this book and it was recommended to me by more than one person so I was really hoping that I would like it a lot more than I did.

What was good: The audio book narrator was wonderful. She had the perfect, and I mean PERFECT Georgia accent for MacKayla Lane. A lot of what got me through the book was the great narration. The plot was interesting, Mackayla makes her way to Ireland in search of her sister’s murderer and finds out that everything she believed about herself and the world was wrong and that she really didn’t know too much about her sister at all. She meets some pretty awful characters/things/creatures and a few fairly rude “friends” along the way. The effects that certain fae have on humans were quite interesting. There is one particular scene in the museum that had me laughing out loud. All in all, the plot was intriguing enough to get me from start to finish while keeping my attention.

But it wasn’t amazing. When I stopped listening, I didn’t find myself eager to get back to it so I could find out what happens next. I think that a lot of my problem with this book comes down to my love of traditional fantasy, and although I do like a unique re-imagining of things, I simply cannot buy into the “fae are aliens” thing. I honestly did not like that aspect of the book at all and is the main reason why I won’t be continuing the series. I had no issues with the writing itself. I didn’t find it to be overly descriptive, the dialog fit with the situations and wasn’t overdone. Even the fact that Mackayla talked a lot about her clothes and could be a bit immature, I felt that would most likely lead to her really growing as a character in later books.

So, for anyone who would enjoy a book where the fae are aliens and some come in a many-armed many-mouthed variety, I would recommend this book. Its simply not for me.

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