Reading, makes me feel relax.
Reading, helps me to de-stress.
Reading, makes me ponder a lot, reflect my own life.
Whether it is romance, suspense, thriller, mystery, historical, horror, or chic-lit,
Reading, brings me a new level of pleasures and satisfaction.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Title:          The Restorer
SubTitle:     Book I in The Graveyard Queen series
Publisher:    Harlequin
Imprint:      MIRA Books
Pub Date:   04/26/2011
ISBN:        9780778329817
Author:      Amanda Stevens

When Amelia Gray was 9 years old, she saw ghost for the first time. Since then, her father who is a cemetery caretaker tells her the 4 rules that she must remember and follow:

Never acknowledge the dead.
Never stray from the hallowed ground.
Never get close to the haunted.
Never, ever tempt fate.

Now at the age of 27, Amelia Gray is a graveyard restorer. Her latest job is to restore an old Charleston graveyard. However before she can complete her job, a body has been found at the graveyard and she is requested to assist in the investigation together with John Devlin, the police detective who in charge of this case.

Amelia is attracted to John Devlin but Devlin is haunted by ghosts due to his guilt that he holds for his past. Amelia has vowed to keep away from this haunted man but she breaks the rules again and again, making herself more and more dangerous. At the same time, more bodies are found and the killer started to leave the hints at Amelia's blog. The clues to the killer and to his other victims; lie in the headstone symbolism that only she can interpret.

The Restorer is the Book 1 of The Graveyard Queen Series. The story is thrilling and chilling too. It is fast paced, full of mystery and suspense, very well plotted with lots of twist and surprises. At the same time the feelings between Amelia and Devlin, how she struggles to keep away from him, are presented very well. The characterizations are quite vivid; some parts can be quite creepy so if you are the nervous type maybe it'll be better if you don't read it at night. 

I enjoy reading it very much. And I'm looking forward for her next book in this series. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Here is the The Graveyard Queen series book trailer:

The Graveyard Queen Series:
Prequel: The Abandoned (April 2011)
Book I: The Restorer (May 2011)
Book II: The Kingdom (November 2011)
Book III: The Prophet (May 2012)

Click here for more info about this series.

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher Harlequin via Net Galley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Wife for a Westmoreland by Brenda Jackson

Title:         A Wife for a Westmoreland
Publisher:  Harlequin
Imprint:     Harlequin Series
Pub Date:  03/29/2011
ISBN:       9780373730902
Author:     Brenda Jackson


A Night to Remember…

For weeks, Derringer Westmoreland was haunted by memories of a woman whose face he could not recall. But he wanted—he needed—to share that intense passion again. Now. When he finally traced his mystery woman, he was met with a surprise. His fantastic one-night stand was Lucia Conyers, his sister-in-law’s best friend. And Lucia wasn’t about to become one of Derringer’s women. For the first time in his charmed life, the ranch owner had some wooing to do. And if he wanted to win Lucia’s heart, he’d better be ready to risk his own…

I requested this book because of the author. The last book that I read from her is good even though the storyline is not so much to my liking. Thus when I saw there is another new book from Brenda I want to give it another try. And I'm not disappointed. This book is one of the Westmoreland Series. It is a short, sweet romance with happy ending. The plot is simple and good for me to relax my mind after reading few books that made me think a lot.

I rate this 3 out of 5 stars.

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher Harlequin via Net Galley.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Baklava by Debby Mayne

Title:         Sweet Baklava
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
Imprint:     United Methodist Publishing House
Pub Date:  03/11/2011
ISBN:       9781426708701
Author:     Debby Mayne


The product of a split home, Paula Andrews is conflicted about the only guy she's ever loved, Nick Papadopoulos, on leave from the military.  When the two see each other after years of separation, the awkwardness is replaced by pounding hearts and memories sweeter than the baklava in Nick's aunt's bakery.

Nick's dad begs him to leave the military and join the family to keep their struggling sponge-diving business alive.  Although Nick loves the military, he's willing to put it aside to be with Paula.  However, she doesn't want to do anything that will make him resent her.

Paula experiences all sorts of emotional tugs - from Nick going back to his base in Texas to her mother coming to her for emotional support.  Nick's cousins are relentless in their scheming to keep the flame burning.

Years later, and after their lives have grown apart, is it possible for these two people to rekindle what they once had?

This is a sweet romance. Nick has a very big and supportive family and everyone was trying to help to create chances for Nick and Paula to be together. Although Paula and Nick grow up in a very different background, but the Papadopoulos family accept Paula full heartedly. They are very loving and caring to Paula.  Nick and Paula also help another teenage girl and her broken family to unite and get closer to God. It is not just a book  about romance; it is also a book about family value. It will be perfect if there is a little more sparks between Nick and Paula. Nonetheless I enjoy reading it very much.

I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

Here is the book trailer:

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher Abingdon Press via Net Galley.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Playful Learning

Title:         Playful Learning
SubTitle:   Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder
Publisher:  Shambhala
Imprint:     Trumpeter
Pub Date:  08/09/2011
ISBN:        9781590308196

This book offers fun and engaging learning-based activities for children ages 4 to 8. The subjects covered in this book including reading, writing, math, science, art, music, multiculturalism, and social and emotional development. Through the hands-on projects, parents can engage their children in the fun and creative ways. At the same time, it creates good bonding time for the parents with their children. Each subject area is introduced with an overview of children stages of development, helping parents to understand how their child learns and how they can help. The activities are easy, for example clip counting (putting clips on the cards, count the clips together) , cloud gazing (watching the huge clouds gracefully dance across the sky, evokes an awesome sense of wonder), the life cycle of a seed (watching a simple bean seed sprout).For each project or activity, materials needed are clearly stated, objective and the process are well explained, a More to Explore section and Books to Inspire to further enhance the learning process.

There are 7 subjects covered in this book: -
  1. Nurturing young authors
  2. The joy of reading
  3. Mathematicians at work
  4. Scientific investigations
  5. Exploration of art and artists 
  6. Glowing globally
  7. Raising the citizen of tomorrow

The book also include advice for engaging in the learning process with one's children and building a culture within the family that celebrates learning, information on teaching methods and learning models, and creating a space conducive to learning.

Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher via Net Gallery.