zondag 29 december 2013

Review "See Jane Score"

Some information

Title: See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team #2)
Author: Rachel Gibson
Pages: 303
Published: January 2003
Publisher: Avon
My Source: Boekenfestijn Antwerpen 2013
My Score on Goodreads: 5 stars



A little subdued. A little stubborn. A little tired of going out on blind dates with men who drive vans with sofas in the back, Jane Alcott is living the Single Girl existence in the big city. She is also leading a double life. By day, she's a reporter covering the raucous Seattle Chinooks hockey team—especially their notorious goalie Luc Martineau. By night, she's a writer, secretly creating the scandalous adventures of "Honey Pie"...the magazine series that has all the men talking.


Luc has made his feelings about parasite reporters—and Jane—perfectly clear. But if he thinks he's going to make her life a misery, he'd better think again.


For as long as he can remember, Luc has been single minded about his career. The last thing he needs is a smart mouthed, pain in the backside, reporter digging into his past and getting in his way. But once the little reporter shed her black and gray clothes in favor of a sexy red dress, Luc sees that there is more to Jane than originally meets the eye.

Maybe it's time to take a risk. Maybe it's time to live out fantasies. Maybe it's time to....


My review

Oh how I love the writing style used by Rachel Gibson! Every single book of hers captures my attention from the first page on. I can't put them down and have to force myself to read slowly. I hate the idea that my book would be read in one single day. Less time to enjoy it... So I devour it as slowly as possible.

This book is the second one in a series, but what I love about these books is the fact you don't have to read them all or read them in order to comprehend the story. In fact you don't need the other books in the series at all. Aside from a little reference here and there these books are perfectly capable of standing alone.
I have read the first one in the Chinooks Hockey Team Series too, but that's just because Rachel Gibson is starting to be my favorite author! This is REAL chicklit and sometimes a girl just needs real chicklit! 

I'm just going to state the obvious, but in this book Jane Alcott is our main character. A short and natural woman of 30. For her job she writes fiction for women (and men!) in magazines. Some of her stories wouldn't give you the idea she's a calm and quiet person, but she is. When the Chinooks Hockey Team hires her as the reporter for their matches, she immediately accepts. She needs the money and a little fame wouldn't hurt her writing carreer. The problem is the team doesn't like the idea of a female reporter travelling with them. Maybe she's bad luck... You never know...
While Jane struggles to find her place in this team of big and bold men, she starts to get to know their goalie Luc Martineau better and better. He's arrogant and doesn't like Jane at first, but as always in a good chicklit book they discover a friend and even more in each other. Luc and Jane grow towards each other and soon love is in the air. They have to struggle through a few problems, but in the end they admit they need the other one in their life! Even Luc has to admit he loves this litlle reporter with the big mouth... And that's a completely new thing in his life!

Why are the books written by Gibson my favorites? She just knows how to create good and credible characters. In this book Jane was so recognizable for us, normal women. She doesn't look like a Barbie and has to persuade people with her character. This time she really succeeds to persuade a man with her character. Luc doesn't stand a chance when he meets this reporter. He hates her kind, but immediately feels she's different. Though Luc seems an arrogant sportsman at the beginning, he turns out to be a great brother for his sister Marie, a good man and a super lover for Jane. It feels good to see a "normal" girl and a "star" loving each other for who they are, putting their prejudices aside.
This book made me hold my breath at some times. I knew how it would all end, but still I couldn't stop reading. It's a book you can read in one day without a problem (it only is SUCH a shame if you do :p ). In my opinion these books would make great movies (for women :p).

zondag 15 december 2013

December - Christmas: Santa Claus is coming to town!

Here I am! After a long while, I'm back with some ideas about the books I read this month! For the first time I'm on track with my Goodreads Reading Challenge and it feels good! That's all due to the Christmas themed books I read the past two weeks. I'll put them all below and I'll give a short review (really short). Can't say I disliked one of these books because they were all full of love and the Christmas spirit. That's why I will only read one more Christmas themed book after the one I'm reading now. I wouldn't want to become tired of Jingle Bells and Candy Canes... 

Spirits of Christmas by Nicky Wells
For my review on this book, just check the one below. I loved this book! It made me want to read the original "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. This is certainly a must read! Hot chocolate and cookies are needed while you read this "cozy" story! 

Be mine for Christmas by Alicia and Roy Street
This short story was really a nice read. I loved the fact is was so short but despite its shortness was able to tell a beautifull story where you really get to know the two main characters, Ellie and Reece. When Ellie struggles to find a good job and Reece offers her one at his Christmas tree farm, she doesn't know this new boss will turn out to be the man of her life. Slowly the two start to like each other and realise they don't want to go on without the other one after Christmas!

Miss Kane's Christmas by Caroline Mickelson
When I started reading this book, I didn't really know whether I would like a book about a real Santa Claus and his family. I love Christmas, but to say I believe in Christmas... That's one bridge too far. After reading a chapter however I liked this book a lot and couldn't put it down... It also is a short story, but I didn't mind it at all. There were no unnecessary parts in this book. I loved reading this one and the cover is so simple but cute! 

Jingle This by Stephanie Rowe
My God, I hated the cover on this book! It's not ugly, but it doesn't give you the impression there's a good story behind it. It looked cheap to me and I didn't have high expectations on this one. Again I was mistaken and loved this book once I started reading it. The story developed well and I liked the characters in it (the good ones that is). 

Bah, humbug! by Heather Horrocks
When I read the covertext of this book, I didn't know whether it would be a read I'd like. I tried the book anyway and look at it now! It's on my "Favorites" shelve on Goodreads which means I liked it more than a lot! In this book we meet Lexie and Kyle. Lexie is extravert, loving, caring and a mother. Kyle is introvert, doesn't know how to show love to the people around him, suffers a writer's block and feels all alone (maybe because he is all allone). When these two meet each other they don't like the other one a lot. They have a big fight over a snowman, but after that they become good friends and realise they could use someone in their life to love! 

Mistletoe and Magic 
Insanity Claus by Carolyn Hughey
The first little story in this book was really adorable. We meet Mallory who owns a Christmas shop with her sister. She's a widow with two teenage daughters, struggling to have a good relationship with her eldest. Not knowing what to do when she meets the handsome stranger A.J. Miller, she pushes him away. Luckily for her he knows she wants him as badly as he wants her, but she's afraid her eldest daughter will disapprove a new relationship after the death of her father. A.J. tries his best to win the daughters for him too and shows Mallory they can have a happily ever after together.

The gift of Magic by Gina Ardito
I'm still busy reading this book, but it's a good one so far. In this story we meet Polina, a girl with a difficult childhood. When she's 28 y.o. her mother dies and wants her to put her ashes in the family grave... in Poland... Polina hates the idea of going to Krakow! It represents everything her mother stood for, everything she hated in het mother. Magic, the idea of romance, love,... What Polina didn't expect was that she would find the magic and romance over there for herself... Maybe it's even love... But will she admit that??

Voila, now you have an idea of what I've been reading this month so far. I loved all these little books! Again, I can't let you go without a Christmas song! Enjoy! Greatings from Santa Claus and me! 

zondag 8 december 2013

Giveaway at "This Chick Reads"

Oeeeh, nice giveaway on the blog of "This chick reads". You should definitively check it out! 

Click on the link and enter the rafflecopter. Best of luck dear friends and early Merry Christmas to all of you!
Visit this blog: http://thischickreads.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/all-i-want-for-christmas-international-giveaway/

vrijdag 6 december 2013

Review "Spirits of Christmas"

Some information

Title: Spirits of Christmas
Author: Nicky Wells
Pages: 126
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Createspace
My scource: the author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars


Spirits of Christmas: A Rock’n’Roll Christmas Carol

At one time, up-and-coming rock singer Jude had it all: a great band, a platinum record, a loving girlfriend. This Christmas, however, he is well down the road towards spontaneous self-destruction. 

Unwitting at first, Jude has progressively alienated his band and driven away the love of his life. Tonight, the night before Christmas Eve, he has broken the final taboo during a disastrous gig. Yet Jude doesn’t see how badly his life has derailed, not until a ghostly procession of legends passes through his bedroom with a series of vivid and powerful wake-up calls.

Will the Spirits help Jude put the friendship, love, and rock music back into his Christmas?

Spirits of Christmas is a modern-day rock’n’roll adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella will enchant romance readers, rock lovers, fans of ghost stories, and everybody who adores the festive season.

My review

I have to admit something... I've never read "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I know, I should be ashamed of myself... Well, I can say that after reading this adaptation I probably will pick up the original book one day. I liked this new and fresh version a lot! Nicky Wells was able to create a beautiful short story where you get to know the character soooo well and you really are curious about what will happen to him next. A real Christmas lover like I am, has to read this book. You will be in the festive spirit right away. 
After deciding I would read some Christmas themed books this month, I chose this one as my first and I don't regret it. I started singing Christmas songs, drinking hot chocolate and buying Christmas presents without hesitation (I mean it :p I only need a tree to put the presents under now). Nicky writes in a way you really feel the cold air around you (even when you're reading inside), where you're almost able to see the christmas tree in Jude's house, you feel his anger and frustration. You even feel Jude's regret after he has pushed all his loved ones away a few days before Christmas...

Talking about Jude... Jude is our main character. A young, once successful singer-songwriter with a little band, called "The Blood Roses". Once succesfull... Jude is unfortunately ruining his career by being a hateful person. He wants all the success for himself and doesn't want to share it with someone else in his band. His girlfriend also suffers his explosive character and his anger. Nobody wants to live a life near Jude anymore. He has ruined it all but believes he doesn't need anyone anyway. If they don't like him and support him, that's up to them. He's able to do it all by himself and to live his life alone. 
Just while Jude is thinking this a spirit apears. Here it all starts. Jude meets three spirits, one who shows him his past, one who shows the present and just guess what the third one shows him. The ghosts don't do this without purpose. They want Jude to learn a lesson. To see how he is with people, how they once loved him but started to dislike him more and more. It's important Jude learns his lesson... Otherwise he WILL be alone for the rest of his life, just like he wanted...

I really loved this story and recommend it to every reader, but especially to everybody who loves Christmas. Just take some hot chocolate, a cookie, a blanket and curl up with this book. You won't regret it! 
In fact this would be the best time to get it! Enjoy the promo in honour of St. Nikolaus. Buy yourself a little present! 

About the author

Hi! I’m Nicky Wells, your ultimate rock chick author. My books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity ~ rock, pop, movie or other ~ you’ll connect with my heroes and my leading ladies!

Like my first leading lady, Sophie, I love listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When I’m not writing, I’m a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!

Because this book really ROCKS and because Christmas music also Rocks, I wanted to give you this little song to end with! I chose this one because of the title. ;) 

zaterdag 23 november 2013

Review "The Travis Club"

Some information

Title: The Travis Club
Author: Mark Louis Rybczyk
Pages: 381
Genre: mystery, detective
Published: June 2013
Publisher: Mark Louis Rybczyk
My scource: the author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars


Taylor Nichols is a young writer who pens obscure historical guidebooks about his hometown, San Antonio, Texas. His books receive little notice until he unearths a 100 year old mystery that the powerful had hoped would never have been uncovered. 
How far will the city's power brokers go to silence Taylor and his band of friend known as The Travis Club? Intrigue and romance bring this mystery alive in a one of a kind city, San Antonio.

My review

Not expecting a book that would be my genre, I was completely surprised when I couldn't put this book down and really wanted to know what would happen next! Normally I read very predictable books (chick lit :p ), but this time I loved the fact that I didn't know how it would all end. This story was really exciting, build up good and provided us with characters you really get to know along the way. Author Mark Louis Rybczyk was able to arouse my interest for a topic I didn't know a thing about. Writing about old buildings and "lost" treasures that need to be preserved for the future, he striked a chord. As I try to preserve old things every day (teaching dead languages), I liked this subject a lot!

While reading this book, I had the feeling I became a member of the Travis Club. A club of men who try to keep "alive" the old buildings with history in town. They are confronted with rich developers who want to buy everything and turn it into modern buildings. Their base of operations is San Antonio and to their dismay developer and rich man Noel Black is buying a lot of buildings with a beautiful history to knock them down for his big profitable projects. This mr. Black turns out to be one of the biggest enemies the Travis Club has ever had. At the same time he will be the one leading them to their biggest discovery ever. A discovery that changes the lives of all our characters.

Talking about the characters... Our main character in "The Travis Club" is young writer Taylor Nichols. It's not like he's one of the most successful writers in town writing books about historical buildings and the local water reservoir, but because of his 10 book deal he's able to be fulltime writer. Taylor is happy with the simple things in life. His big idol is architect Randall Hugley about whom he also wrote a biography. The most important persons in Taylors life are his friends from the Travis Club. None of them is the most successful or is building a big career but they have one more (important) thing in common. They all love history and they all do whatever they can to save it from destroyers.
What I liked most about Taylor is his enthusiasm. The author is able to let this enthusiasm beam over to us, readers. In his big search you feel along with him and you want to help him digging through big dusty books to find what he's after. It's really easy to get excited about the Travis Club projects. One moment I really got carried away and read 3/4 of this book in a few hours. That's always a good sign!

I have to admit that sometimes the long descriptions in the book about water reservoirs and all that kind of stuff got a little boring. Luckily this was only SOMETIMES the case. The rest of the book was great and it deserves some credit! Even if you're not into this genre or subject... just try it out!

Curious about this story? Watch this trailer! 

donderdag 21 november 2013

December - Christmas is coming!

I'm so excited about next month! For the first time in my life I'm planning on reading only books about a certain topic. Because I'm a sucker for Christmas, it wasn't hard to find the topic for next month! I decided to read 4 books about Christmas and I'm looking forward to it! It was hard to choose only 4 books for my challenge, but at long last I found these wonderful books!

I love every single day of the year, but I love Christmas just a little more. Maybe I even love the period just before Christmas the most! It's the time of waiting, looking forward to, cosiness, beautiful things in the shops, hot chocolate, ... All the things I need in my life collected at one moment. As a teacher I'm so lucky I have two weeks off during this wonderful period! I'm looking forward to it and will decorate my classroom too in the weeks before this holiday. 

If you have other tips for Christmas themed books (I prefer the ones with lots of love in them), you may certainly let me know! ;)


I cannot let you go without a Christmas song!

woensdag 20 november 2013

Wonderful want-to-reads on Wednesday

November has been a great month so far! I didn't have much time to read (too bad), but I had time to buy some new books, I got a good rating at the school where I teach Latin and History, I realised Christmas is coming... Nothing bad to mention at all! 
I really wanted to share my new books with you because they look so beautiful and their stories seem great. I can't wait to read them! The biggest pile I bought at a book fair that's organised at Antwerp, Belgium, every year. It's a big event here in Belgium with thousands of books, authors, gadgets for readers,... I can't skip this. I just HAVE to go every year! This is what I bought there the 3th of November. 

I know this is not the biggest pile of books you've ever seen, but the sad thing is books at this book fair in Antwerp are more expensive. Each year I say to myself "Don't buy books over there... They're cheaper in a store!", but each year I end up with a small pile of books. You can't go to a book fair and return without books, can you? 

What did I buy exactly?

Me Before YouSee Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team, #2)Rescue Me

Any Man of Mine (Chinooks Hockey Team, #6)Nothing But Trouble. by Rachel Gibson

Did you notice my love for books written by Rachel Gibson? Hehe, I love her books!

The last one I bought, is a little different. It's a book written by somebody who was signing his book at the fair. Because there was nobody interested and because he wrote a book about the things I teach about, I bought the book. It even is an autographed one :p (one of the few... hahaha).
This book "Romeinen en Barbaren" tells us the story about the fall of Rome in the West. I already saw a lot of books on this topic, but most of them were huge and when I read books for school, I don't want them to be huge. They just have to tell me the most interesting parts in not so many pages.

And now... last but not least... the book my mom bought me a few days ago because she thought it was "totally me". When I saw the book, I was sold immediately! I don't know if I can use this phrase in English :p. I just LOVED it right away! Here's a picture.

I adore this cover!!!
My mom knows me soooo well! This story is (obvious!) inspired by Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility". I believe it's a modern retelling of the same story. Looking forward to read this one! You all know I'm obsessed with Jane! :D

That's all I have to say for now! I'm planning on reading 4 books about Christmas in December. I will keep you updated and this weekend I'll probably  post something about that plan! I totally love Christmas, so it would be great to read Christmas themed books next month! 

Enjoy your evening or day and see you next time!
Lots of love!

zondag 17 november 2013

Review "The Great Gatsby" - short

Some information

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pages: 122
Genre: Classics, historical fiction
Published: 1993
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions ltd.
My Scource: Boekenfestijn Gent
My score on Goodreads: 3 stars


Generally considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's finest novel, The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the 'roaring twenties' and a devastating exposé of the shallowness of the 'Jazz Age'. Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920's, to encounter Nick's cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the dark mystery which surrounds him.

The Great Gatsby is an undisputed classic of American literature from the period following the First World War, and is one of the great novels of the twentieth century.

My (short) review

Well, I'm glad I read this book! Still, because I want to write honest reviews, I have to say I didn't like it that much... I don't know why it wasn't my thing. Everybody else seems to believe this is a great book, well written, a good story,... I thought it was well written, but the story just wasn't for me. Those hollow characters and their hollow deeds probably have some depth, but I couldn't find it. I think that if I would have read this book at uni for some classes, I would have appreciated it more. I like it when there are different levels in a book, when you can link a lot of items to each other. This time I just wanted a book to relax, so I didn't jump into this book. Nevertheless I'm curious about the movie and still want to see it!

zaterdag 9 november 2013

Look what I found! Pride and Prejudice...

You all know (and if you didn't, you do know) that I LOVE Jane Austen and especially her novel "Pride and Prejudice". My love goes so far that even the background on my phone is based on a novel by her and if you call me, everybody around me hears the team of P&P from the BBC show. Because I sometimes don't know what to do (hum hum), I randomly surf the internet. Look what I found!!! Turns out I'm kind of a Bingley. I'd rather be Lizzie, but sometimes I'm a little to shy to be her...

Click here to see it bigger!

dinsdag 5 november 2013

Review "The love of a cowboy" - Mini

Some information

Title: The love of a cowboy
Author: Anna Jeffrey
Pages: 368
Genre: Romance
Published: July 2003
Publisher: Onyx
My Source: Amazon
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars


In this exquisite and sensual debut, Anna Jeffrey takes us to Callister, Idaho, where one woman discovers the love of a cowboy--and a passion as powerful and untamed as the rugged land they share...

Texas beauty Dahlia Montgomery isn't looking for trouble when she agrees to spend the summer with her best friend in Callister, Idaho. But the young widow's dreams of tranquility are shattered when she encounters Luke McRae--a long, lean cowboy who'd like to charm Dahlia into his bed. With his devastating smile and sinful swagger, Luke is something of a legend in these parts. Even though the last thing Dahlia needs is to fall for a man who's sworn off love and marriage, she finds it impossible to resist his sexy charm. But when one sultry night turns into another, she starts to believe that love--whether or not you trust in it--can happen when you least expect it...

My Review

Why do I like cowboys so much? I really don't have an idea... When I was younger I just LOVED to watch McLeod's Daughters. I still have all the seasons on DVD in my room and I'm planning to watch all the episodes again. I love ranches, cowboys, horses, ... although I don't have one of those elements around me in everyday life. Maybe that's why I like them so much. ;)

I liked this book by Anna Jeffrey about a woman who falls in love with a stubborn cowboy, Luke. It's a very typical story and that's the reason why I only gave 4 stars. You just know how it will all end, but that's also part of the fun. 

A sidenote: sometimes the story was very slow. You know what will happen next, but it doesn't seem to come. I don't like waiting for things I already know will happen. The book could be 50 pages shorter without a problem. But that's just a little thing I didn't like. It was a good read for lovers of chicklit and cowboys, nothing less, nothing more.

I know this is in Australia, but just because I love it: a little bit of McLeod's Daughters for you :D 

zondag 3 november 2013

Interview with Nadia Kim, author of "Reflection"

Hello everybody! Remember the beautiful book "Reflection"? Well, on the bottom of my review I promised you an interview with the author, Nadia Kim. Here it finally is! Sorry for the delay!

For those of you who wonder who is Nadia Kim, here's a picture. When you click on it, you'll be guided towards her own page on facebook where you can find some more information about her.

Before I start, I want to thank Nadia again for doing this interview and for sending me a digital copy of her book!

The interview!

1. Is Jess a person you could be friends with in real life?
I could be friends with her, in general she is very nice but can be overly critical of herself. I would hope that I could be a positive influence in her life to help her overcome some of this unnecessary judgement she puts on herself.

2. Did you base her character on somebody you know?
I think that in more of a general sense Jessica represents an internal ideal that many woman have that may not be on a conscious level. Does she over do it? Oh yes. She is extreme in her thoughts and maybe it's a little more balanced with some people, but I think it's important to recognize the aspect of Jessica in all of us. Because I think the image of what a woman should look like and act like is not the norm. It's society driven over time and has created these unrealistic ideas, which then make a girl/woman feel bad about herself when she is being told this is what you need to look like. Even worse, the image doesn't just  affect women but boys/men as well because they are chasing after what they too are seeing as what the "Normal woman should look like". Now I think that today this is changing dramatically. In television and in the media you are seeing more women fight back against this idea and start to accept who they are but the battle is not yet over.  Okay I am getting off my soap box. 

3. How did you come up with the idea to write a love story with some paranormal elements in it? 
Well its actually funny, it wasn't my first thought or even the plan. Along the way as I was writing I started thinking that none of us change over night. Well... not saying it's not possible but we are all works in progress. To me given just how drenched Jessica was in her own negative thoughts she would need something dramatic to change her life. And so I tossed around a few ideas but then came up with the idea that since the change needed to come from within, why not go really deep. If you know what I mean. I'm trying not to give away parts of the story.

4. What do you love about writing?
Creating wonderful dramatic stories that leave you craving more and also leave you with a lesson that will help you better yourself.

5. Is there a special reason you write stories with a message like this?
Yes, I think that it's important that people realize they don't have to be unhappy with how they look. They just need to learn to accept that is they way they are and embrace it. And also know that just because you feel or think a certain way one day doesn't mean that you can't get up tomorrow and know you can change. It all starts in the mind and thoughts. If you change them then you change your life. 

6. What does a day of writing look like for you? 
Well I have a full time job not writing and I also have three small kids to take care of as well as me and my kids do Kung Fu so there is no such thing as a day of writing. It's ad hoc in spurts when I can find time to sit and really drill out my story. These days the story is busting to come out I just haven't had the energy to do it. But that is something I need to change. If I want the energy to do it then I'll have it. It's my own desire that I have to work on. 

7. Are there special elements you can't miss around you when you're writing? 
Well I always have to have a romance element. Other than that I'd say I'm game for mostly anything. But also all my stories have to have a positive message. I think that is a critical piece for me.

8. Can you tell us something more about your next books/projects?
Early this year I published my first book in a new series called Love Curse. And I have a new novel that I have been working on for almost a year that I want to put out Spring/Summer of 2014. It's an inspirational novel with romance, drama and a wonderful message. That's all I'm saying about it for now. :)

Another "thank you" for author, Nadia Kim! I wish her best of luck with her new series and hope you'll all read a book written by this wonderful author!

Take care!

zondag 27 oktober 2013

Review "Reflection"

Some information

Title: Reflection
Author: Nadia Kim
Pages: 350
Genre: chicklit, paranormal
Published: June 2012
Publisher: Bookbaby
My Scource: the author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 4 stars (deserves a half more)


Her soul is fragmented; she is but an empty vessel. Jessica Hamid isn’t your average African American/Middle Eastern woman. She’s broken. As if her childhood wasn’t bad enough. Because of all the kids who teased her for having a big butt or being mean to her, hurting her physically and mentally, she chose never to deal with those issues to bury them deep down inside, locking away the key. And now after landing her dream job the insecurities she developed have come back to haunt her in ways no one could imagine. Something is coming for her; she has no idea.

To make matters worse, despite obviously hiring her because of her excellent writing skills her boss at Teen Savvy Magazine hates her style and her coworkers want nothing to do with her. In fact, the only one giving her any attention is the mysterious photographer, Mark, whose charm is more torment than pleasure to Jessica as she struggles to figure out if he is for real or just out for another piece. 

This is a story of a woman who struggles with her own insecurities to break into the person she was meant to be. Will she overcome them and allow love to shine its light through her, or will she become the property of another, more sinister force, never able to reclaim her identity again?

Reflection is a page-turner not like any other. It’s a love story with a twist of fantasy, playing to the moral fibers of a person. The depth of the characters help create a three dimensional world. And the angst experienced by Jessica is felt by the readers on an intimate level, evoking many emotional responses along the way, from hurt and sadness to the funny moments when the ever clumsy Jessica makes a mess of things.

My review

To be honest I didn't know whether I would like this book or not. The title, cover and covertext didn't attract me that much and I hate to say it but for me those things can make me buy books and read them. Now I have discovered once more that you can't judge a book by its cover (or title or covertext) and that's also the message this book tries to give to its readers!

My favorite genre still is chicklit. I love to clear my head and read some love stories without much depth. On the other hand I also like classic novels and stories because their characters seem more real and they really have something to say. Combine those two elements and you have "Reflections" by Nadia Kim. This author wrote a book where she combines a beautiful love story with some paranormal elements. These elements give the book a second layer in which we can learn several things about life. 
In "Reflections" we meet Jess, a young woman who works for a teen magazine and loves her job. The only problem is that Jess is and has always been very insecure and this attitude doesn't really fit the world she lives in for her job. When she was younger she always was the center of ridicule. Most of the girls didn't want to be her friend because she was a little different and this made Jess horrible at finding new friends and truly trust them. When people acted like they liked her, they had other intentions most of the time (like really hurting her afterwards and laughing because she believed they wanted to be friends with her). That's why Jess is very closed and doesn't trust people around her, especially not when they're beautiful and work for a teen magazine.

Of course this makes her life difficult, because she really loves doing her job and is good at it. It becomes even more difficult when she meets the photographer (and owner) of the magazine, Mark. He really seems to like her, but Jess doesn't believe it at all. She already met some men in the past who liked it to trick a girl and make her believe they loved her before dumping her. Jess isn't going to let that happen again and keeps Mark as far away from her as possible. He, on the other hand, persists and makes Jess wonder if he really means it. Just when she starts to like him, he leaves because both of his parents died in an accident. Jess waits for him and hopes he will call her or email her, but she waits in vain and believes she's tricked once again. 
When Mark finally returns to the magazine, it seems like he started a relationship with Jess's boss. At this point Jess really starts feeling depressed. All her hopes are gone and she starts having very strange dreams. 

At the beginning Jess doesn't think much of these dreams. Everybody has strange dreams... But when those dreams start to get more real and frightening, she wants to learn more about them. Jess discovers she's in great danger and is followed by some sort of demons in her dream. Bad thing is these demons are more real then she thought in the beginning. For me these monsters, who try to get a grip on Jess's body, are the bad feelings she remembers from her past. The demons of her past keep following her, especially when she's insecure and hates herself once more. Just when Jess started to leave these monsters behind her because she fell in love with Mark, they started to follow her again because he left her. Just when she started believing somebody could really love her, she was dumped all over again. The demons start to catch up with her and it won't take them long to have her completely under control.
What Jess doesn't realise is that those demons have been there most of her life. They are the bad feelings she dragged along with her untill she met Mark. Can she leave them behind for the rest of her life or is she lost?

I'm not going to spoil the story for you, so if you'd like to discover how it all ends for Jess and Mark, you should really read the story. It's a beautiful one and it will keep you interested until the end (whether you like paranormal elements or not).
Enjoy it!

Interview follows soon!

dinsdag 15 oktober 2013

Review "Villa Honeymoon"

Some information

Title: Villa Honeymoon
Author: Ilse Spall
Pages: 320
Genre: chicklit
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Sijthoff
My Source: Standaard Boekhandel
My Score on Goodreads: 5 stars


Mandy’s lust en leven is Villa Honeymoon, hét hotel voor pasgetrouwde stellen, waar ze als assistent-bedrijfsleider werkt. 

Als de bedrijfsleider ervandoor gaat, de kamermeisjes steeds te laat komen en de tuinman ontslag neemt, besluit de eigenaar het lot van Villa Honeymoon in Mandy’s handen te leggen. Samen met zijn zoon Thomas moet Mandy ervoor zorgen dat de omzet binnen een jaar met 40% stijgt. Daarnaast moet ze erop toezien dat rokkenjager Thomas zich niet met de vrouwen in het hotel inlaat. Als Mandy faalt, verliest ze haar baan, maar als ze slaagt in het plan krijgt ze een bonus én promotie! 

Mandy heeft goede hoop, totdat ze Thomas ontmoet – en als een blok voor hem valt…

My review

Oooh, this book was really welcome. I could use some cheesy chicklit with lots of love and without many depressing parts. A book with an ending you can predict before you start reading it, a book with beautiful main characters who don't really do a lot expect loving each other. I don't say this book was completely brainless! I loved the writing in fact... it made me want to read further. I kept on reading and reading... Conclusion: if you like chicklit and you don't speak Dutch/Flemish, you have to start learning it and read this book. Ilse Spall wrote a very good chicklit book! 

In "Villa Honeymoon" she tells us the story of a beautiful hotel for newlyweds in Drenthe, Holland. Our main character Mandy puts her heart and soul in the hotel, lives there and does everything for her guests. Too bad the manager of the hotel disappeared with a cleaning lady and left the hotel in a poor condition. Mandy tries her best to save the hotel, but needs the help of the big bos. He wants to help her and send her his son, Thomas, to get the hotel out of trouble. One little issue. Mandy has to promise him she won't end up in Thomas' bed and she has to get him to work. Mandy accepts without thinking twice. Like she's ever going to love a womanizer?! Let alone that he would love her with her big scar on her face... Mandy doesn't believe any man will love her ever again because of this scar she has after a terrible car accident. When Thomas' father also promises her a big bonus and promotion if she succeeds in her part of the deal, she immediately says "YES!" to it.
Mandy has high hopes in it untill she meets Thomas and sees how he really is. Beautiful on the outside and the inside... This was a little thing she didn't expect... How about her deal with his father, her bonus, her promotion,...? The hotel was everything she lived for... untill now...

Great read!

woensdag 9 oktober 2013

Review - Interview - Giveaway "The Grotto under the Tree"

Some information

Title: The Grotto under the Tree
Author: John A. Theo Jr.
Pages: 139
Genre: Young Adult
Published: February 2013
Publisher: Astraea Press
My Scource: author and Candace's Book Blog
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars


Sebastian and Sara mistakenly descend into a mystical land where elves, mermaids, gnomes and other mythological creatures live. The two discover they have stumbled into an ancient battle between these fair folk and evil creatures called the Kylo. Their guide on this journey is Capri, an elf lord who is on a quest to find his lost tribe. The Kylo chase the children and Capri in his flying galleon north into the Arctic Circle where they find the most unlikely ally. During the final battle the children learn about sacrifice, love and ultimately forgiveness.

My Review

What a great experience to travel back in time and read the kind of book I used to read when I was younger. As a child/young adult I adored heroes of my own age who discovered the most special places on earth and got to know the most wonderful creatures in that world! 
With "The Grotto under the Tree" John A. Theo Jr. provides us a good read for young and old. A book you can appreciate at every age and no matter what kind of books you normally like to read.

In this book we meet Sara and Sebastian, two young children who are neighbours and go to school together. Outside their school stands a beautiful oak tree who survived many storms and is known by young and old in the neighborhood. Sara and Sebastian too have played under it many times. When the tree is severely damaged in a storm, the two friends discover some strange things around it. Their curiosity leads them towards a very special world with very special creatures in it. Too bad for them their encounter isn't so peaceful because of some bad forces trying to attack the beautiful creatures Sara and Sebastion just met. Both necessity and friendship take the children along in this big battle between good and bad, a battle that must be fought for every living being on earth (and beyond).

What I loved about this book is the fact it can learn the young readers lots of lessons. You have to take care of your friends and you have to keep on believing in the good things even though that's not always easy. Also the fact there were some totally unexpected turns in the book was appreciated here. The author is able to keep the story going and to keep it exciting without making the story long or boring. 

Interview with the author

First we want to get our author a little better. Here's some information!
John Theo Jr. has numerous published articles on arts, culture and sports figures. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During the day John serves as Vice President of Operations for Blue Sky Holdings, which owns many commercial fitness clubs. John is also an adjunct professor at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, where he teaches screenwriting. John's Book, The Grotto Under The Tree, has been released by Astraea Press.

Talk about some things in the book that are more personal to you, or some places in the book you've visited, or want to visit.
I wrote a scene where Sebastian finds his mother in the living room during a thunderstorm. He knows she never liked thunderstorms. He tries to comfort her by crawling into her lap like he did as a little boy, but instead she rocks him back to sleep. This was a subconscious homage to my mom who passed away in 1996. My way of sending her a hug.

How you came up with some of the more unique elements?
For Father Christmas' character it was a knee jerk reaction to the charicature of the fat red-suited santa claus our society has portrayed him as. I researched the historical Saint Nicholas and what I found amazed me. Ironically I made him more like the historical person which no one in movies or books has done before. He ends up being more like Gandalf in The Lord of The Rings than a chubby man in a red suit who delivers toys. I think people will really like this version of him.

Can you give some facts about the city or place the book takes place in?
It takes place in a town similar to the one I grew up in. The school and oak tree are based on Great Oak Elementary School where I went in Danvers, MA. I did alter the town to make it a seaside town though.

Can we meet the characters?

(Tell us about your main characters! Looks, personality, some background story, and/or maybe a few quotes from the story?)

Sebastian is the intellectual 5th grader who aces all his tests yet cannot throw a baseball. Sara is the popular athlete who struggles in school.

How do you come up with those special names for the characters? It seems like a difficult part of writing the book.
I keep a journal of names that jump out at me from time to time. When I go to sit down at with a story I can pull from them. It makes it an easy, and fun, part of the writing process for me. With that said, names are a tool that should not be overlooked. I teach my students that names offer another layer and opportunity to "show" rather than "tell". For example, Tolkien is a master of this in his Lord of The Rings trilogy. You have characters like "Wormtongue" and "Treebeard", but he (being a philologist) had almost every name mean something. Names of swords, names of rocks and mountains, etc. It's another layer to the story that, if the reader peels back, offers a reward of discovery. With that said, sometimes you just want to name a character Stu and leave it at that. 

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