Sunday, October 30, 2011

Did they all take the same flight?


All these books arrived more or less at the same time, within days only although they were requested at different times.  It does make me wonder how the local postal system works as some of them were being held up in the post office for quite a while.  Perhaps Mr Postman enjoys reading too?

My homework are :

1. Hope Underground - The 34 Chilean Miners. A story of faith & miracles by Carlos Parra Diaz

2. Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart

3. Triple Dog Dare (1 year dynamic devotions for boys) by Jeremy V Jones

4. Truth & Dare (1 year dynamic devltions for girls) by Ann-Margret Hovesptan

Much as I look forward to start them, I don't know which to start first!?  Perhaps all at once and confused myself in the process?  At the same time, I want to go to Logos Hope.  I haven't been yet, have you?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Logos Hope is finally in Kuching

Logos Hope in Kuching - photo courtesy of Jerrick Studio

After an exciting wait, Logos Hope is finally in Kuching, Sarawak. The ship will make Kuching its home from 28th October – 13th November 2011. It will be berthed at the Sim Kheng Hong Port, Pending. Everyone in Kuching should know where that is.

For those interested to go, please note the following opening hours :

Tues – Sat : 10.00 am – 10.00 pm
Sun : 1.00 pm – 10.00 pm
Mon : Closed

With exceptions :

Mon, 7th Nov : 10 am – 10 pm
Tues, 8th Nov – Closed

Entrance fee is RM1.00 per pax and it’s free for children 12 years and below but must be accompanied by an adult.
a brochure which I picked up a while ago

The ship promised a total of 5,000 titles of books. I can’t wait to go. If you see someone going absolutely royally loco over the books, that would be the Purple Queen Fairy! :)

See you there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seminar by AZAM on responsible blogging

AZAM is loosely translated as Sarawak Movement for Progress

Blogging is still something very new to me. It all started with me loving to read and having no platform to express my opinion on what I have read. A blog serves that purpose. However, the more I blog, the more my interest grow (and still growing) and such, it was a lucky moment when I was selected to attend a seminar on ethics and responsibility of blogging recently.

I arrived super early for this event as I received numerous messages to be there by 8 am so I actually arrived before that as an act of being responsible! Anyway, I brought Tami Hoag along to keep me company so time passed pretty fast while I waited for the seminar to start. It was supposed to start only at 9.30 am!  I also had time to post on my FB and that made me felt real savvy indeed! hah!

Tami came along for the ride

The seminar had a pretty interesting mix of speakers. Actually, any mix would be interesting to me at this point! I super loved Dr Danilo Arao from the Philippines. He was an ideal choice as the opening speaker as he spoke extremely well, exceptionally humorous while being able to disseminate the information to the audience effectively. The next speaker was Prof Salleh Buang, a well know personality in the legal world. For someone who’s in his 70s, he also spoke with conviction but unfortunately, the subsequent speaker, Mr Edruce did not make any positive impression on me at all.

Mr Cyril Dason, the speaker from Sarawak Bloggers, the person whom I owe my invites to, spoke passionately about the importance of total freedom of speech for blogs, tweets, etc. According to him, without such freedom in social media, there’s no point to having a social media plateform. He wasn’t a polished speaker (can see that he's nevous) but his raw undiluted passion shown through and I am convicted by what he shared. Great job, Cyril.

The highlight of the event was the session by Rockybru, a journalist as well as a controversial blogger with lawsuits behind his name. He shared that he had 16 million unique visitors to his blog so I guess a lawsuit or two don’t really bother him. Speaking on the topic on gatekeepers, my expectation from him was extremely high and I hung onto his every words hoping for that pearl of wisdom to drop but unfortunately he wasn’t that impressive in his presentation and didn’t get that pearl I was looking for. Instead, I felt like I just had a cup of lukewarm coffee.

Rockybru is on the left. 

I was extremely zonked when I got back home after this whole day event. Even though I just sat and listen, it was mentally tiring but the experience was worth it. Thank you, AZAM for the opportunity.  It was a great effort and is fully appreciated!

Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery just as the event was starting so one takeaway lesson would be to equip myself with backup battery for the camera. I have to make do with the camera from the phone.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feature Author – The Other Side of Me by Sidney Sheldon

Synopsis :

Growing up in 1930s America, Sidney knew what it was to struggle to get by. Millions were out of work and the Sheldons travelled America in search of employment. Grabbing every chance he could, Sidney worked as bus-boy, a clerk, an usher but dreamt of being so much more – a writer and what’s more, a writer in Hollywood.

By a stroke of luck, he found work as a reader for a top Hollywood producer. Then, writing through the nights, he slowing built a reputation and found himself in demand. Although the war and pilot training for the US Army Air Corps interrupted things, Sidney returned to work with the hottest producers and starts in Hollywood including Cary Grant, David Selznick, Irving Berlin and Judy Garland. And his future was brighter still....

This is the self biography of Sidney Sheldon which he entitled The Other Side of Me. Sidney told his life story in the same way like how he told the stories that many loved...Naked Face, Rage of Angels, Master of the Games, If Tomorrow Comes, etc. The book is very typical Sidney Sheldon and if you love his novels, you would enjoy The Other Side of Me. I certainly did.

The focus in this book is more on how Sidney struggled to be a script writer and producer in Hollywood and in Broadway in NY. Perhaps many fans might not known (I certainly didn’t) that before Sidney started writing his novels, he has many credentials of working in movies, theatres and even wrote and produced television series under his belt. Many also might not known that he wrote the scripts of many well know movies as well as produced well know series such as The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart. Well, you would know after you read this.  He had 7 writing credentials on broadway plays, 25 wiritng credentails for motion pictures and created 4 television series.

Sidney shared very briefly on his experience on writing the novels and only towards the end of the book. I would have like it better if he shared more but like the title said, perhaps he wanted the world to know the other side of him - the one who’s not a novelist but a writer in general.

Highly recommended to fans of Sidney Sheldon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

'READ' bookshelf

This image was in a forward email I received.  You might have received it too.

Would you like for your books to be housed in this?  I certainly would!  It's so innovative and I can imagine how happy my books would be in such a shelf. :)


I'm not sure whom to give the credit to but it's certainly a wonderful design.

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

So your car has been blown up (again).
A local gang has put a contract on you.
There’s a psycho on the loose.
When did going out for nachos get so complicated?
When you’re Stephanie Plum, kick- ass bounty hunter.

Life is never easy for this super-sassy Jersey girl and when Stephanie witnesses a robbery on her lunch break, things start to get a whole lot tougher. She must not only keep the local bail-jumpers in line but also find a ruthless killer known as the Junkman, before her finds her. And then there’s the mother of all challenges – staying faithful to her cute cop boyfriend, Joe Morelli, by resisting the charms of her seriously sexy mentor Ranger.

Sounds like a tall order but this is Stephanie Plum. And when your partner’s an ex-hooker with a penchant for lurid spandex and your grandma likes to pack heat, you take it all in your stride.

She’s sassy, she’s tough and she kick ass. At the same time, she’s vulnerable and can get real soppy. That’s Stephanie Plum for you. Throw in Grandma who has a gun in her handbag, Lulu, the filing clerk where Stephanie works who never does any filing and Sally, a bus driver by day and cross dresser band member by night. Don’t forget too boyfriend, Morelli and co-worker, Ranger who added much spices in Stephanie’s already too much exciting life.

I wasn’t sure if I would like this book having didn’t really like an earlier book of Janet Evanovich that I read beginning of this year.  However, me think that since this is the famous Stephanie Plum series, the one that generates big bucks for the author so there must be appealing factor. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a good entertaining read.  If you are reading this while waiting for someone/something, you might probably wish you can wait a little bit longer so that you can continue reading this book!

This is the 10th book (duh!) in the Stephanie Plum series. The title Ten Big Ones refers to the reward for bringing in the ruthless killer Junkman and you will be surprised as to who’s the one collecting! A google search reveals that there's now about 20 books in total for this series. I have some serious catching up to do.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills by Kim O’Brien

Synopsis :

It Was a Relationship of Convenience. . .Until It Became a Romance

Millie Hogan and David Denvers both have big problems in small town Deer Park, South Dakota. Millie—a waitress with designs on Hollywood—has a mother who keeps setting her up on disastrous blind dates, even though Millie’s never met a man she could trust. David—a widowed dentist with an almost-teenaged son and opinionated parents—is being stalked by an amorous former patient.

When a lost filling lands Millie in David’s office, the two of them cook up a plan—a fake relationship. No one gets hurt, and no one gets nagged. It’s a great plan—until they really start to care. Now what will they do? Turns out, it probably doesn’t matter: when Millie learns a shocking family secret she wonders if she’s really wife material. Maybe it’s best to stick with the plan and head for Hollywood. And since David’s folks think Millie’s all wrong for him, well. . .he realizes he may have to let her go. Isn’t that what you do when you love someone?

This is a rather delightful read. It is pretty predictable how this story would end for this type of book but the process towards that expected ending was rather quaint and delightful.

Millie reminded me of the pretty girl that every other girl hated in high school whereas David could have been the dork that admires Millie from afar. But high school is over and now David is the persona of success and stability and Millie, while still pretty, is now at the other spectrum of popularity.

They are both lovely characters and singles whose families and friends are forever trying to hook them up on dates would appreciate what these two are going through. I love the ‘aunties’ as well as the other supporting characters in this book. A wonderful read if you are looking for something relaxing and enjoyable.

One takeaway lesson for me from this book is to view the offer of gifts from our family or friends differently. Never ever reject gifts from your loved ones as the gifts are signs of their love and by rejecting these gifts, you are rejecting the message behind the gifts.  Even thought you dont like what was given, be it clothes or even food, by rejecting them, you are rejecting their love unconciously.
I have no idea why the title is A Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills. Could it just referring to the ending? Perhaps a different title would be more appropriate. Anyway, this book was released by Barbour Publishing last month.

I review this for NetGalley.com.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wreath by Judy Christie

Synopsis :

What do you do when you’re too young to be on your own but have no one to turn to?

Sixteen-year-old Wreath Willis makes a list: Find a place to live. Buy cheap food. Finish high school. Get a job. Go to college. Now she’s finishing high school by day and squatting in a junkyard by night, flying below the authorities’ radar while she makes a few awkward friends and searches for an illusory “good life.” But when a teacher grows too suspicious, Wreath is afraid she’ll have to move on before she graduates. Could it be this was a good life?

Believe it or not, Wreath IS the name of a girl in this book – Wreath Wisteria Willis. Although categorised as a young adult (YA) fiction, just about anyone from teens and above can read it. 

I can’t help but to root for Wreath as she tries to fit in and be invisible to the world around her so that she can finish high school and go on to college. At the same time, she has to learn how to survive and alone without anyone in this world to turn to, she actually turn to God without knowing it. God answered her prayers and sends good people to watch out for her. There’s Clarice, a lawyer whom she met on the road and gave her a ride, Julie, a teacher from school who bumped into her while at a park, Law, the guy whom Wreath has a crush on, Faye who gave her a job and needed Wreath just as much without realising it and JD, owner of the hardware store who is the wild card in this story.

Wreath would make teens felt ashamed of their constant whining for all things frivolous from their parents. Parents can’t help but to feel for Wreath when her mum died and as a mother, I can't help but shade a tear or two.

Although you might felt that there’s no way this could have happened in a real situation as how can a girl be homeless without anyone knowing, how could she have stayed in that junkyard for so long without attracting attention but as a book, you might be encouraged and challenged by her surviving sprit and her simple faith and especially her love for her mother whom she misses terribly. Wreath does give you that feel good feeling and if you like something like that, you will enjoy this book.

Wreath is published by Borbour Publishing and will be out this Fall (October 2011). I review this for NetGalley.com.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Turnabout’s Fair Play by Kaye Dacus

Synopsis :

The matchmaker has met her match. . .

Flannery McNeill has sworn off men. . .at least the handsome, charming kind who is nothing but trouble. So when handsome and charming Jamie O’Connor shows up as an usher at her best friend’s wedding, Flannery tries her best to avoid him. But it seems like someone is conspiring to throw them together. Two someones, to be exact—Flannery’s grandfather and Jamie’s grandmother.

Maureen O’Connor thinks Kirby McNeill’s granddaughter is perfect for her grandson and convinces Kirby to help make the two a couple. But soon the matchmakers find the tables turned when Flannery conspires with Jamie to play matchmaker, too.

As the juniors scheme to bring the seniors together, a hilarious tumult of mayhem and misconceptions ensues but will it end in romance?

This is the 3rd book in the Matchmaker Series by Kaye Dacus. I didn’t read the first 2 books which is not a problem since the stories are not related. The characters in the first 2 books were mentioned in this third book so I guess if you have read them, you would know what to expect.

Turnabout’s Fair Play is a fair read. The storyline is quite simple, nothing that would surprised you and makes your heart goes pitty-patter but it’s the way the characters interact with each other that makes them real. I especially enjoy reading the romances between Maureen and Kirby and just can’t have a smile on my face whenever they made appearances in the book.

I find it extremely cute when the author throw in references to book review blogs as the main character, Flannery is an Editor of Christian Fictions in a publishing firm. Jamie is a super nice guy, a real knight in shining armour except that his amour is slightly dented due to issues in his life. I think Flannery is lucky to catch the eyes of someone like Jamie.

This title will be released by Barbour Publishing in November 2011. Go and get your copy. I review this for NetGalley.com.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stolen Hearts by Jane Tesh

Synopsis :

David Randall is a lively, carefree fellow with a talent for finding things. His perfect family life is derailed when he loses his little daughter Lindsey in a car crash. He is haunted by her in dreams, fearful she blames him. Thrown out by his second wife and wanting to leave a dead end detective agency to start his own, he reluctantly accepts his psychic friend Camden's invitation to stay in Camden's boarding house. Here he meets Kary Ingram, the lovely young woman who'll become the love of his life; Ellin Belton, Camden's intensely ambitious girlfriend; and an ever changing assortment of Camden's tenants, all searching for a home and family.

Randall's only clue to the murder of Albert Bennett is a notebook filled with odd musical notation. When his client, Melanie Gentry, hires him to prove her great grandmother was murdered by her lover, John Burrows Ashford, over authorship of "Patchwork Melodies," Randall sets out to find a connection to Bennett's murder, as well as the murder of a Smithsonian director, who was preparing a new PBS documentary on early American music.

When Randall's investigations lead him to another notebook, he finds not only "Two Hearts Singing," John Ashford's most famous song, but a valuable early copy of Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna," hidden in the cover. Things become even more complicated when Ashford's spirit parks himself in Cam and refuses to leave until Randall proves Ashford's innocence.

Sometimes you read a book that makes you happy, sometimes, it makes you sad or angry and there comes a time when you just felt perplex after finishing a book.  That’s how I felt with Stolen Hearts. It was quite a lunatic experience. With ghost visitations, alien abductions, fortune telling, clairvoyance, psychic networks, etc., it’s not my kind of book and certain not one that I would recommend to friends.

The only thing that tugs my heart string is how Randell longs after her daughter who died in a car accident and how he has to forgive himself and let go. I was also touched about how he goes out of his way to locate Camden’s birth mother but I fail to see how the case of the stolen locket comes into play in this story.

I quick read* the book for the purpose of this review. I am sure Stolen Hearts it would find its fans among the many readers out there but I will not be one of them.

I review this for NetGalley.com. Stolen Hearts will be published in October 2011.

*Quick read – my defination of reading quickly through, skim through the pages.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cruel Venus by Susan Lewis

Synopsis :


Allyson Jaymes has it all – celebrity, power and a glamorous marriage. Until her world is destroyed by the bitterest betrayal of all: her husband’s explosive affair with her 19 year old assistant, Tessa Dukes.

Tessa’s ambitions burn fiercely. Her chilling manipulation of fame and her steady destruction of so many dreams and ambitions lead all concerned into a fatal minefield of sexual obsession, psychotic jealousy and deadly treachery.

Moving from the dazzling, yet sinister, lights of London, to the deceptive haven of Italy’s romantic Amalfi Coast, Cruel Venus is a suspense-filled story of love at its very best – and absolute worst.

Read a couple of Susan Lewis’s novels years and years ago but can’t remember any of them. That’s how unmemorable they are. Having said that, they do made good read while it last but just not memorable. Oh, I said that already. Hm...I can apply that to a lot of other things and/or people as well....hmmm.

I would classify this as suspense and romance Anyway, I read this again after being left with it by some mean rental outlet. I’m just trying to get my money’s worth before I sell this off. By the way, I’m organising a sales of some of my books to make way for all the new stuff that I bought recently.

Cruel Venus started from the perspective of Allyson, then it was Tessa’s turn and after that it was Shelley’s. Shelley is the producer and the ‘best friend’ to Allyson.

Enter lust and betrayal and you would have anger and hurt in your hand. Exit the husband and enters a new man, you would have more lust and more betrayal than you can handle. Add that all up and you have murder to content with as well. At the end of it all is the big question of ‘who did it’.

Go and get a copy of you like all the above ingredients.