Sunday, March 31, 2013

Take Control of Your TBR Pile

Take Control of our TBR piles! from 

Yes! I finally completed the challenge hosted by Kimberly from Kimba the "Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
The challenge began from March 1st, 2013 to March 31, 2013. You were asked to read books from your TBR pile. ALL books must have been published before March 2013.
So far, I managed to finish reading 6 books from my TBR. Woohoo!



It's not as many as I hoped, or it's not exactly the way I planned to since those books were certainly not the oldest from my TBR list. Also, I'm still to lazy to write down a proper review for each book, but I kinda relieved because I managed to reduced the list of reading a copy I own. I guess that's the whole point to enter a challenge, to help you focus on what you must do. 
Thank you very much, Kimberly, for hosting such challenge. It's was surely fun. ^^

Alright, hop to the next challenge!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Know Me Better (4)

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Each week she will pick 5 questions to answer and you can share your answers to these questions as well.  You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

This Week's Questions:
  1. What was the last thing that made you cry?
  2. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
  3. What is your favorite form of exercise?
  4. What is your current desktop picture?
  5. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

What was the last thing that made you cry?
I cry very easily. Last time was 2 days ago, after one of my lecturer lecturing me about my attitude, about me being selfish and working very slowly over my paper. I was mad at me and blamed myself for making those mistakes. It was after all my mistakes. :(

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Ironing. I'm very slow at it, it usually takes 10 minutes for 1 clothes only. :p 

What is your favorite form of exercise?
Walking or moving my body (I'm not sure I could call it dancing) while listening music. 

What is your current desktop picture?
Solid BLACK. Both my laptop and PC. Sometimes I use it for profile picture too. It's simple.

You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
Bengkulu, one of Indonesia's city to visit my sister's family. I miss my niece. She's going to be 1 year in March 22. ^^

So, what about you? I'd like to know. You can share your answers as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton

Some rules simply beg to be broken...

A dressmaker in London's busiest shop, Miss Anabelle Honeycote overhears the ton's steamiest secrets—and (occasionally) uses them to her advantage. It isn't something she's proud of, but the reluctant blackmailer needs the money to care for her gravely ill mother. To make up for her misdeeds, Anabelle keeps to a firm set of rules:
• Never request payment from someone who cannot afford it.
• Never reveal the secrets of a paying client.
• Never enter into any form of social interaction with a client.

Her list keeps her (somewhat) honest—until she encounters Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford. Not only does Owen nip Anabelle's extortion plans in the bud, the devilishly handsome Duke soon has the sexy seamstress dreaming of more than silks and satins. With Owen, Anabelle enjoys pleasures she never imagined . . . until a scandal from the past resurfaces. Now her rules could mean his family's ruin. Owen's searing kisses carry the promise of passion, but how will he react when Anabelle's most devastating secret is finally revealed?

Mass Market Paperback, 379 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Forever

My Thought:

It's my very first of Anne Barton. And, well, it's her novel debut. :D
I got this book as a birthday gift from one of my book best friends. She knew I love anything related to Wicked things. Besides, since I loved When He Was Wicked from Julia Quinn, which the one I had was the red cover version, she thought this novel would be a great pair for that one. :D

While I found Michael Sterling from When He Was Wicked was indeed very wicked, I can't say the same for Annabelle, who I found was not wicked enough, at least to fill my expectation. But perhaps it's due to her lack of experience, compared to Michael Sterling.

The story line was not exactly that great. Things happened too fast in the beginning. How could Owen easily offered Annabelle to live in his house after what she did was unbelievable. I can understand if he's attracted a lot to her, people do silly things when in love/lust. But it wasn't even described very clearly. Also how she easily agreed and got comfortable in his house. 
Somehow, I kept on reading and pretty enjoyed it. I even felt sympathy when Annabelle was forced to leave by Miss Starling threat. But after that, the climax was a bit disappointing. Especially when Rose finally spoke for the first time after two years. When Owen finally proposed to Annabelle, I didn't find it romantic or heart-moving. It felt just ... flat.

Overall, it's a good start for a novel debut. I really hope Anne Barton do a lot better for the second novel. I also hope there would be story about Olivia, Averill, and Rose. ^^

What I Loved about this novel:
- The Cover! It's beautiful.
- The vocabulary explanation under the chapter number, which related to sewing stuff, also a certain action or situation which lead to the beginning of the scene. It's a great way to begin the chapter.

Book I Can't Wait: Lisa Kleypas - Ketika Kau Datang (Then Came You)

  My all time favorite novel is being translated!

Then Came You (Gamblers of Craven's #1)
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Avon

Reckless and wild, beautiful Lily Lawson delights in shocking proper London society - and will break any rule to flaunt her independence. And now she is determined to rescue her helpless sister from an upcoming, undesired marriage to Lord Alex Raiford, the arrogant Earl of Wolverton. Through fair means and foul, the headstrong hellion succeeds outrageously - but her handsome adversary is not to be outdone. A master gamesman, Lord Alex counter's Lily's scorn with kindness, and parries her blistering barbs with gentle words and a soft, sensous touch. For he has resolved to make the spirited miss pay dearly for her interference - with her body, her soul...and her stubborn, unyielding heart.

* * * * *

Most of my book best friend knew that I really really liked this book, especially the hero. That's why I'm so excited when my friend told me that it's (finally!) being translated and published in Indonesian. I have the English version, of course. But since I liked it a lot, I must buy the translation too. I don't think both covers are special, but I don't mind either. For Indonesian cover, it's typical of the this publisher to have this kind of cover for their translated historical romance. And I think it's better than those flowery and very bright covers.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky In Love Blog Hop

This hop is hosted by Carrie Ann Ryan

I really don't know what to share for the hop, except that I felt like joining in because I like the title. And it got me wonder, am I lucky in love?
I'd say I'm pretty lucky. Not that I'm involved in so many relationships with so many guys, but compare to some of my girlfriends who's never been in a relationship before, I consider myself lucky enough. I'm also blessed with family, a huge family, both from my mom and my dad in which I believe there are so many love and care involved.
I don't believe in coincidence, and I do believe in luck. I believe luck is a matter of chance you made for yourself. When a person feel grateful that he/she's being blessed with anything, I think he/she's a lucky person. And the more you feel blessed, the more you got lucky. In any way, love, wealth, job, relationship, anything. Most of the time, I think luck is a good karma. :)
I know nothing about St. Patrick's Day. Because I've never celebrate it. As matter of fact, to be honest, I don't think I've ever heard it before since in Indonesia, we've never celebrate it. But right now, I am in love with green color. Go Green! :D

How about you? Are you lucky in love?
It's a time of luck and wealth...or not. With each romance we find ourselves in a new world of love and memories. Are these just by chance? Is it luck? Welcome to your second annual Lucky in Love Blog Hop where we want to hear about your love, your romance, and how much you love St. Patrick's Day!!! Are you wearing green? Ready to get pinched...or you like that?

Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love! 

But that's not all....

We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
(US only)

Every visitors who comment on this post with their email address will get a chance to win the GRAND PRIZE.

For an additional prize from Buku-Buku Didi,
One person who win will get a paperback copy of book from the list below from The Book Depository or Amazon

Just fill the rafflecopter below and remember to hop to other blogs to have bigger chance to win the GRAND PRIZEs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March New Release Giveaway Hop (INT)

The January New Release Giveaway Hop is hosted by Book Twirps & Refracted Light Reviews.

Hi, guys!
I'm sure you're all so exciting about this giveaway. Me too!
For this month, I guess I don't have as many as I had on February. Maybe because this month I really have to save some of my money considering last month I had to pay my college fee. So I have to be very picky this month. But still, there are some list I badly want.

- Victoria Alexander - The Emperor's New Clothes (Historical)
- Adele Ashworth - Stolen Charms (Historical)
- Jeaniene Frost - Twice Tempted (Paranormal)
- Kristen Hubbard - Wanderlove
- Allison Rushby - Shooting Stars
- Rachel Hartman - Seraphina
- Julie Kagawa - Immortal Rules
- Victoria Scott - Collector
- Andrew Beasley - The Claws of Evil
- Libba Bray - The Diviners
- Martyn Bedford - Flip
- M. L. Buchman - Wait Until Dark
- Jaci Burton - Thrown by a Curve
- Vivian Arend - High Risk
- Julia London - The Last Debutante
- Terri Brisbin - At Highlander's Mercy
- Shelly Laurenston - Wolf with Benefits
- Victoria Dahl - Too Hot to Handle
- Cynthia Garner - Heart of Demon
- Kristen Callihan - Winterblaze

Ooops! Turned out it's a long list! :D
I'll add the pictures soon. :)

So, those are my picks. I'm certainly you have your own choice. Lots of people waiting for Clockwork Princess so badly. Am I right? :)
Anyway, for the giveaway, there will be ONE winner and that winner can select book(s) of their choice, worth up to $11 from The Book Depository. So you can choose one, two, or three, BUT... , it MUST be a book (or books) released in March. And yes, this is INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository ships to your country (you can check it here)

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter. And remember to check out the other blogs on the hop as well!
Good luck! ^^

Enter my other giveaway HERE

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Know Me Better (3)

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Each week she will pick 5 questions to answer and you can share your answers to these questions as well.  You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

This Week's Questions:
  1. Things you’d rather be doing right this moment
  2. Time wasters
  3. Books they should make into movies
  4. Things you wish you knew before.... (for authors the question is before you published but fill in the blank with whatever applies to you)
  5. Games you like to play

Things you’d rather be doing right this moment?
Sleeping or reading

Time wasters
Blogging, entering giveaway, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, whatever), browsing... 

Books they should make into movies
Eleanor & Park, Sandra Brown's thriller novels, and ... tsk, I have too many of them.

Things you wish you knew before you started blogging
That it's actually time consuming, a lot of commitment, HTML stuff ...

Games you like to play
Onet, onet, onet ... Pastry Passion, Feeding Frenzy.

So, what about you? I'd like to know. You can share your answers as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post. :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lunar Love Giveaway Hop (US)

2nd Annual
Lunar Love Giveaway Hop
March 8th to 13th

This hop features books with paranormal, supernatural, science fiction or space travel element or books that have something to do with the moon or have a moon on their cover.

I don't think I've read a lot of books that have something to do with the moon or have a moon on their cover. But as soon as I read the title of this hop, The Lunar Chronicles from Marissa Meyer popped up in my mind. I haven't read these two though I've already have it (Scarlet is on her way to my house. :)), but I like both cover. A lot. As for the other choices, I just came up with these three for the alternative since I guess some of you already have or read The Lunar Chronicles. :)

There will be ONE winner to get the paperback of one of these books from Amazon. Sorry, it's US only for now. The winner will be mentioned at Twitter or will be emailed.

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter. And remember to check out the other blogs on the hop as well! Good luck! ^^

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feed My Reader (1)

This is my very first time posting this meme hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer ... 
I realized I often requesting books from Net Galley but reading it later so slowly. Or, buying/downloading some from Kobo. But by putting it to this post, I'll have a reminder on how much money I've spent or how many books I keep putting on my TBR list.

So here's for this week:

Peregrine Harker & The Black Death by Luke Hollands

Peregrine Harker is about to learn you're never too young to die.

London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…

When boy-detective Peregrine Harker stumbles across a gruesome murder he sparks a chain of events that drag him on a rip-roaring journey through a world of spluttering gas lamps, thick fog, deadly secrets and dastardly villains.

Every step of Peregrine’s white-knuckle adventure brings him closer to the vile heart of a terrifying mystery – the true story behind the Brotherhood of the Black Death.

Playing the Maestro by Aubrie Dionne

Melody Mires has sworn off dating musicians, but when the sexy European conductor Wolf Braun takes over her struggling symphony, her hesitation almost flies out the window with the notes of her flute—until he opens his mouth. Wolf is arrogant, haughty, and seems to have a personal vendetta against Melody. Oh, and he’s her boss. If she wants to keep her job as principal flutist, she’ll have to impress Wolf while simultaneously keeping her undeniable attraction to herself.

Wolf came to America to get as far away from his past as possible, and to recover some of the swagger he had as one of the world’s best maestros. He never imagined being forced to reassess the entire orchestra’s talent—and potentially fire anyone who doesn’t make his cut. Dating the attractive flutist is out of the question, but as their feelings reach a fever pitch, can they risk both their careers for a chance at love?

His Reluctant Rancher (Three River Ranch #2) by Roxanne Snopek

The last place city girl Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living at and working on a ranch, much less butting heads with the ranch’s sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble. But that’s exactly where she ends up after an incident at work leads her to her best friend Rory’s doorstep. Desiree is a gifted physical therapist, and Rory knows exactly where her brand of tough love is needed the most.

Zach’s been through hell and back. A devastating car crash left his brother gone, his father paralyzed, and him with mental scars a mile wide. His survivor guilt alone makes him sure he doesn’t deserve to find love. But as Des works her way into his ranch, his family, and his life, suddenly the last person who belonged there is the only one he believes belongs…with him.

The Empowerment Mindset: Success through self-knowledge by Calvin Helin

The Empowerment Mindset takes readers on a powerful journey of self-discovery so that they can transform unfulfilled lives to instead reflect happiness, success, and genuine empowerment. Helin notes that, “If you don’t acquire the knowledge to improve your life, you will trap future generations of your family in the same cycle of disappointment.” Beyond vague platitudes this book shows the practical way to greater success and happiness through the adoption of an “empowerment mindset”—a way of living that empowers people to take charge of their lives. If Helin’s past books are an accurate gauge, The Empowerment Mindset, is destined to become the most influential empowerment book of the 21st century.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review: The Lass Wore Black by Karen Ranney

Release Date: 29 January 2013
Publisher: AVON BOOKS
Format: Paperback
Source: My own copy
Buy It: The Book Depository or Amazon
Add It: Goodreads

He was her Highland lover, but would he be her savior?
Catriona Cameron was once famed for her seductive beauty and charm. Now she saw no one, hiding from the world...and no one dared break through her self-imposed exile.
No one, that is, until Mark Thorburn burst into her home, and Catriona's darkened world began to have color again. Thorburn, secretly the heir to an Earldom, claimed he was a footman. But Catriona didn't care about the scandal their passion could cause...for this very touch sparked her back to a life of sensuality, one she thought she'd never have again.
Little does she know that Mark is part of a masquerade. One that will end when they become the target of a madman set on revenge. Mark realizes he will have to do more than win her love...he will have to save her life as well.

* * * * *

My very first of Karen Ranney, and I liked it, a lot.
At first I didn't really like Catriona. She's indeed spoiled, self-destruct  and selfish. But I guess that's her flaws and it made her more real. After all that she's been through, it kinda made sense that she's bitter than before. I liked this dialogue between Sarah, Mark's assistant, and Catriona.

"Pain does something to a body. I've seen enough of Dr. Thorburn's patients. Some of them, pain makes angles. Some of them, it makes into devils. Which one were you?"
"I'm afraid I was a devil," she said softly.
Sarah nodded. "I'm thinking I'd be the same."

I realized that I might be just like her, or worse. Who knows? But it's a good thing that she learned the lesson. That's another lesson I learned from this novel. You can be a bitch nobody like. But you can change it. Either they'd like it or not, it doesn't really matters. What matters the most is that you change yourself to be better. And it'd make you feel good inside.

I liked Mark, a lot... I liked the idea that even though he can't save them all, his patients, the poor people he met and care, he never gave up to do his best. I liked the face that he kept pursuing his dream to be a doctor although his father and bothers despised him. It's a good thing he's close enough to grandfather.

This novel was almost like any other historical romance. Not that difference, but I always like novels where the heroines or heroes has some flaws. Aren't we all?
Also, there are so many things I learned after reading this novel. It's not something new, but it's a reminder.

1st lesson:
Since I'm a student, there were great sentences (or dialogues) from this book that  taught/reminded me of things related to my study:
- A wise man observes.
- "The patient will always know more than we do," Dr. Cameron had once said. "They don't know that they know, but listen to their complaints. That will tell you as much as your examination."
- Dr. Cameron had also insisted that he write out his notes within minutes of visiting a patient. "Don't wait until the next day. You won't remember the details that can make the difference between life and death. Write down the patient's color, his demeanor, whether he talks about other things or only his health. Is his aspect good, or do lines form on his face? Are his pupils expanded? Is the sclera white or gray? Are there dark circles beneath his eyes? Is his breath foul? Your words might prove invaluable to a physician who comes after you." <--- Ha! This is the opposite of me. I procrastinate very often. It's a BIG reminder for me.

2nd lesson:
Most of the time we think that our life was harder than everyone. But there's always anyone else who's more suffered. Always see things from the bright side. 

3rd lesson:
Be more grateful. You should be grateful and more grateful.

4th lesson:

You can't save all of those people who need help. But you can at least touch one life.

How could they help each one of them?
When she'd said as much to Dina, the older woman only smiled. "We can't, my dear. But we can touch one life, and then another. We can bring some beauty and joy to some, if only for a moment."

It kinda reminded me to what one of my lecturer had once said: "Be the light in a darkness."

In the end, I can't tell you about the characters, the plot, the flow of the story ... I didn't really think it's that different. But the lessons I've learned that made me love this book.
And it turned out that her previous book, A Scandalous Scot, is about Jean, Catriona' sister. Guess I should read it too.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Take Control of Your TBR Pile

It's March. And it's time for

Take Control of Your TBR Pile challenge!

The rule's pretty simple: 
Beginning March 1st, 2013 and ending March 31, 2013 at midnight read books from your TBR pile ALL books must have been published before March 2013. 

That's totally helpful to reduce your TBR pile, isn't it?
Of course, I need to read books for another challenge. So I might books that cover all of them (of course, except for the ARCs from Net Galley)

So, I planned to read at least 7 books this month. There are some candidates:
1. The Lass Wore Black by Karen Ranney - DONE
2. Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas
3. Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
4. Loving Evangeline by Linda Howard
5. Delicious by Sherry Thomas
6. Doukakis's Apprentice by Sarah Morgan
7. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day
8. The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
9. Lothaire by Kresley Cole
10. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
11. The Revenge of Lord Eberlin by Julia London
12. When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton
13. Slightly Tempted by Mary Balogh
14. The Scoundrel Takes a Bride by Stefanie Sloane
15. Defiant Impostor by Miriam Minger
16. The Captain of All Pleasures by Kresley Cole
17. Werewolf in Denver by Vicki Lewis Thompson
18. Nerd who Loved Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson
19. Nerd Gone Wild by Vicki Lewis Thompson
20. Darker than Night by Kim Lenox
21. Leaping Hears - J.R. Ward
22. Shadow's Claim - Kresley Cole
23. Infinity - Sherrilyn Kenyon
24. Barbara Freety - The Way Back Home
25. Claimed by the Highlander by Julianne Maclean
26. Taken by Sin by Jaci Burton
27. Black City by Elizabeth Richards
28. Texas Rain by Jodi Thomas
29. The Near Witch by Victoria Schawb
30. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Too many to chose? What do you think?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February Wrap-Up

Okay, this is absolutely one of my habits: being lazy to write down reviews.
My excuse would be because I have papers to work on. :p

So here's the list of books I read in February

To fulfill my reading challenge(s) : 
- E-copy from Net Galley (My own challenge. I requested more than I could chew) : 2, 3, 4
2013 TBR Pile Challenge (Only books released in 2012 and earlier, no ARCs) : 1, 5, 6, 7, 8
- "Sports" Reading Challenge : 3 (It's about golf)
- 2013 Series Reading Challenge : 5,6,8 (Wild About You Series by Vicki Lewis Thompson, 1 book left)
- 2013 Reading Romances Challenge (February: Foreigners do it better!) : 8, 9 (Russian and Scottish)

Hmmm... I've just realized that I read about werewolves 4 books in a row. Ha! 
The only book I spent some times writing the review seriously was Eleanor and Park. As for the rest, it's just few sentences. Hopefully I can do better next month. Not for the reading, but for writing down the review. Although I doubt it. :p