Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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Guest Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

This review was written by…

MoonlightGleam
(Click banner to visit her blog)

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
Release Date: March 21, 2011
Overall: 5/5

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository US/UK

Source: ARC sent to Tynga by Harper Collins Canada, lent to Moonlight Gleam

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.  The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.  Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.  But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

 

The opening scene describes Princess Azalea, the eldest of twelve girls, getting ready to attend her first Yuletide Ball for her coming of age. Before she attends the ball, she visits her very ill mother who is pregnant with the twelfth princess. Her mother encourages Azalea to dance with all the fine gentlemen and find one that she admires most. Azalea is then asked to promise the Queen to watch over and take care of her younger sisters. What should have been a wonderful evening soon turns into sadness when the Queen dies at childbirth. The princesses and their father, the King, begin their year of mourning as the tradition of their culture dictates. During this period, the princesses are to wear black dresses, stay in doors, curtains drawn, and are forbidden to do what they love most, dance.

When the King goes off to war, they discover a magical passage to an enchanted forest within the castle walls. There they meet Keeper, a charming, handsome, and mysterious man who possesses incredible magic powers. He encourages the princesses to return each night to dance in secrecy, in exchange for a promise that they would help him escape his imprisonment there. The girls also take a personal oath, preventing them from telling anyone where they go each night to dance. When the King returns from war and discovers what the princesses were up to and of their oath, he places an advertisement for gentlemen who wish to visit the palace as guests. During their visit the men must attempt to solve the riddle of where the princesses dance in order to become Azalea’s husband and future King.

While all of this occurs, the princesses continue to visit the enchanted forest to escape mourning and to dance. Keeper’s abilities intrigue Azalea and her sisters however, once they discover who and what he truly is, it is too late for the princesses to go back on their word, putting everyone they care for at risk…

In the original tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses by The Brothers Grimm, the reasons for the princesses dancing each night or how they found the enchanted forest is never revealed to readers. Also, the men who cannot solve the riddle have their heads cut off however, in Entwined they are simply asked to leave the palace to allow another gentleman to have a go at it. An element I enjoyed was Heather Dixson’s addition to having the princesses named after flowers, plants, and in alphabetical order: Azalea, Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Evening Primrose (Eve), Flora, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale, and Lily. Another aspect I enjoyed was how Heather Dixon stayed true to the original tale while giving it an intriguing spin.

Dancing was the main focus of the novel, the title Entwined stemming from the dance Entwine. This is illustrated through the memories of Azalea, where while alive, their mother taught the girls romantic dances such as the waltz and the Entwine. Although in mourning, the princesses cherish their mother’s memory through dancing which is also very symbolic. The strong sisterly and loving bond is evident in the novel. This is deepened through their dancing and closely kept secret. Another focus of the novel is romance. As royalty, rules dictate that a man shall be chosen for Azalea; however, she is given a window of opportunity to find true love thanks to the King. Her sisters also experience romance throughout the novel, encountering men who are very fond of the eldest ones Bramble and Clover.

Azalea and the King are definitely my favorite characters in the novel. Azalea is a brave, compassionate, and selfless protagonist who grows throughout the novel as a character, taking matters into her own hands and learns through her mistakes made along the way. Although the King is at first presented as bitter, cold, and careless in the first few chapters, readers soon discover that he is far the opposite, even wanting his daughters to find true love. There are many underlying messages presented in the novel, one being that love is more powerful than anything, especially a family bond. The main message being, that the magic within yourself is most important.

Heather Dixson’s writing style easily flows, describing rich and engaging characters, and beautiful setting flawlessly. The forest is also beautifully described. Her words will make you believe in all things magic, especially the magic within long after reading the last line.

Entwined is a remarkable debut that incorporates magic, romance, humor and will leave you rooting for the princesses until the very end. I recommend Entwined to those who enjoy Young Adult fiction, fairy tales and magic.

Browse Inside

Random Act of Kindness–May Summary

It’s now time to show you the books that were kindly given to me this month, from the Random Act of Kindness program ^^

I received three amazing books, and all were donated by my good friend Lucy <3


Dante Valentine: The Complete Series 
Destiny Kills (Myth and Magic, Book 1) 
Mercy Burns (Myth and Magic, Book 2)

Thank you so much darling! You Rock!

 

I also offered books to fellow book lovers,

First I offered Kindling the Moon to Michelle Greathouse

I also offered an ARC of Wildefire to Lucy <3


Wildefire

That’s it for this month, don’t forget to come back in a couple of days to find my wish list for next month =)

In the mean time, I’d like to remind you that Book Depository’s 10% off sales ends today, so don’t miss out!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cover Reveal: Taken at Dusk by C.C. Hunter

The cover of Taken at Dusk, third book in the Shadow Falls series, was revealed and it’s gorgeous!

Taken at Dusk (2)

I think it fits perfectly with the previous two books and I really like the color scheme.

The book is schedules for 2012, I couldn’t find a product description and it’s not available for pre-order just yet (as far as I know), so we’ll have to wait a little while to get our hands on this pretty!

What do you guys think of it?

If you haven’t read the series, why not grab the prequel? it’s free on Kindle!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Wedding Day =)

You’ve been asking for pictures and here they are. Those are just the shots from my camera and my moms as I won’t have the photographs pictures for a couple of weeks at least, but hopefully this will sate your appetite for now *g*

First here’s a video of my day:

There isn’t any videos of the ceremony or the party afterwards because my husband (Gah! I love calling him that!) wanted to keep those private, but there are some pictures ^^

First some shots of my family and I before we left for the church:

My Bouquet, the flowers hasn’t as pretty as they originally were because I took that shot later during the day, but still ^^

Now, some pictures of the ceremony. I don’t having any shots of it, but I was crying the whole walk down the aisle lol

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He signed, he is now mine! *evil laugh*

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My sister and I in the park. I didn’t include pictures of my other bridesmaid because she wouldn’t want to have her face online lol

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My sister and I pretending to be car babes, As you can see I fail at it LOLDSCF0876DSCF0877

Awwww…..

 

And hilarious moment of the party.

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Let me explain LOL There was this game in which the guests were challenged by the DJ, if they had the right answers Dennis and I would kiss, if they were wrong, they had to kiss the person to their left. I was over sitting with my friends, to the left of Roselyne (the girl with the red dress), and she hates to be kissed lol So I took a challenge and wanted to answers wrong so I HAD to kiss her haha. And I had to guess in which movie the song playing was featured and it was the last song from Dirty Dancing. So this our reenactment of this famous scene. Obvious isn’t it? LOL

 

I really had an amazing day, and I was so happy to be surrounded by my friends and family for this special occasion =)

When I do have there official pictures, I’ll make sure to share some with you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The W Day!

iStock_000003037707XSmallToday is the big day!!!

As you are reading this I am about to/just married the love of my life <3

We’ve been together for 7,5 years exactly today and I want to spend the rest of my life by his side!

I love you Dennis!

I wanna try and capture of video with updates of the entire day, as much for your pleasure than for memories, we’ll see how that goes lol

Have a great day =)

Friday, May 27, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox

Before getting to serious business, I would like to thank The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week =)

Sorry no time to link all the books this week, I’m sure you’ll understand =)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tynga’s Reviews on Facebook!

After chatting with my good friend Lucy from Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf I decided to create a fan page on Facebook for Tynga’s Reviews!

It will be another easier to follower everything that’s going on here on the blog, but also to strike some discussions with me, and talk about our favorite books ^^

Feel free to Like the page!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cover Reveal–Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I am super sad I can’t be at BEA, I was really hoping I’d go for the first time this year, but let’s be honest, I prefer getting married *smirk* S&S revealed this morning, at BEA, the cover of Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare!!

The ladies at Mundie Moms got the honor to do the online reveal, hence I can now share this shiny cover with you!

HydeIsn’t Jem stunning? I mean WOW! And he looks exactly the way I pictured him too ^^

Do you remember my Clockwork Angel cast post? I mean look at him! He’d be perfect hehe

I couldn’t find a product description just yet, but here’s what’s available on the Infernal Devices website:

Tessa Gray descends into Victorian London's dark underworld to search for her missing brother, with the mysterious Shadowhunters as her only allies.

 

Clockwork Prince is already available for pre-order *squee* but we’ll have to wait until December 6th, 2011 to enjoy it’s awesomeness.

Amazon | Book Depository US / UK

Shift Giveaway

Thanks to Simon & Schuster I have an awesome prize pack, of an awesome book to offer you guys!

Shift is the second book in the series and you can see both covers and Shift’s description below:

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to. Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by

her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift. As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

 

I really liked the first book, I though the world building was really original so I’m really excited for Shift!

If you are as excited as I am, you’ll be happy to know S&S is offering the following bracelet and a copy of Shift!

  • Open to US Only
  • To enter leave a comment letting me know what you think of the book’s trailer
  • You can earn one extra entry for spreading the word (provide in a second comment)
  • Tweet: Win! Shift by @jsmithready and a pretty bracelet! http://bit.ly/ih5GDI @Tynga #giveaways Pls RT
  • Ends June 8th, 2011 (My BDAY!)

Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cover Reveal!

Today Kresley Cole revealed the cover of her next release, Lothaire. I’m still not up to date in this series (dragging the pleasure) but I’m super excited anyway!

Release date: January 10th 2012

lothaire

Immortals After Dark #12

From the humblest of beginnings a millennia ago, Lothaire the Enemy of Old rose to power, becoming the most feared and evil vampire in the immortal world. Driven by his past, he will not rest until he captures the vampire Horde’s crown for himself. The discovery of his Bride, the female meant only for him, threatens to derail his plot.

Elizabeth Peirce is a mere mortal, a glaring vulnerability for a male with so many blood foes bent on annihilating anything he desires. Yet soon he discovers his Bride’s secret. A magnificent power dwells inside the fragile human, one that will aid his quest. But to possess that power, he will have to destroy her. Will Lothaire succumb to the torments of his past, or seize a future with her?

 

I like it, not as much as the latest ones in the series but it’s very intriguing! Can’t wait to get my hand son a copy =D

What do you think?

The Dark City Giveaway

Catherine Fisher is the author of the New York Times bestselling duology Incarceron and Sapphique is coming back to us with a new series, Relic Master!

It’s first book released on May 17th and I have two copies to share with you! But before I give you the details, here’s a bit more about the series:

Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters-some human, some not-that also want the relic's power and will stop at nothing to get it.
 
RELIC MASTER is a four book series. Each book will be released over four consecutive months this summer:
Book One: The Dark City, May 17
Book Two: The Lost Heiress, June 14
Book Three: The Hidden Coronet, July 12
Book Four: The Margrave, August 9

Now onto the giveaway details:

Two (2) will each win one (1) copy of The Dark City

Open to US & Canada

To enter, just leave a comment letting me know why you want to read this series

Don’t forget to include a way to contact you

You can earn 1 extra entry  for spreading the word (pls leave a second comment)

Tweet: Win! The Dark City by Catherine Fisher http://bit.ly/kAIsoy @Tynga #giveaway Pls RT

Ends June 7th, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

Book Stats:
Genre: Steampunk Young Adult
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 251 KB
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 1, 2011

Series: The Steampunk Chronicles prequel

Reviewed by: Tynga

Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is such a great prequel! We are introduced to an amazing steampunk world in which Finley sticks out like a sore thumb. Something is wrong with her, she knows it, but has no idea what it is. And it’s growing, getting stronger, taking over her body and accomplishing violent deeds. She is strong and fast, more than any full grown man. She’s trying so hard to keep her abilities hidden and under control but she might have to use them to save her new friend, Phoebe.

I really enjoyed this prequel, Kady did a great job of introducing her world and leave you craving for more. The Girl in the Steel Corset releases tomorrow and I really need to read it! Everything is so mysterious in this setup and I’m expecting answers in the first book. Don’t get me wrong though, the prequel has a story that stands on it’s own, with a satisfying conclusion.

Finley is a great character. She knows she’s different, but she tries so hard to fit in. She has a big mouth in a culture where girls are only suppose to look pretty and it’s refreshing. You she her struggle, wondering if she should speak her mind or not, it’s great.

This is a fairly quick read, and it’s currently available for free so I strongly suggest you get your hands on it and give it a try =)

The Girl in a Steel Corset Trailer


Music Deal

This is a deal I’m freaking jealous I can’t buy, because it’s open to US only.

Today only, the entire album, Born This Way by Lady Gaga is available for download for only 0,99$!
You also get free upgrade to the 20 GB tier for your amazon cloud player.

I mean c’mon? I want it!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quick FIY

Hello Guys!

I just wanted to let you know that I turned off comment moderation and turned on word verification for the next two weeks.

I know word verification is annoying but I’ll be too busy to moderate comments but I still want to keep spammers at bay.

Everything will resume to normal around June 3-4th.

Thanks for your understanding =)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox

Before getting to serious business, I would like to thank The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week =)

Won:

Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione [Amazon | Book Depository US/UK]

For Review:

Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston [Amazon]
The Graveminder by Melissa Marr [Amazon | Book Depository US/UK]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This review was written by…

MoonlightGleam
(Click banner to visit her blog)

 

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Stats:
Publisher: Viking Adult
Format: Hardback
Pages: 579 
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Overall: 4/5 - An Enjoyable Read, Well Written.

Series: All Souls Trilogy #1

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository US/UK

Source: Borrowed from Tynga (sent by Penguin Canada)

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research.

Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

After the discovery of a lost manuscript, Ashmole 782, there are many supernatural creatures showing up wherever Diana went. Diana is a witch who does not practice magic; however, is afraid of being discovered as such by humans. She soon meets scientist Matthew Clairmont who is a Vampire that is highly respected for his academic work and achievements. Although she is unsure as to why she is drawn to him, Diana is quickly enveloped into a world of adventure, desire, danger, magic and history. Diana is forced to explore the depths of her neglected abilities; however, she does not know the potential and true strength of her powers. She must decipher the secrets concealed within the manuscript that may explain the origins of witches, vampires and demons so that she may protect herself and those she cares for.

Diana is a scholar and studies a wide range of old text books and scrolls. She is portrayed as an independent, determined and bright woman, who shows passion for her work. Although she is a witch, she does not want anything to do with magic and she displays many emotions that make her seem more as a regular human. The story portrays the fast developing forbidden romance between a vampire and a witch named Matthew and Diana, two characters who have a large interest in this ancient manuscript. So much happens in such a short period of time. The novel also incorporates historical myths and facts through Matthew’s past and personal experiences. There were also vampires and other supernatural creatures presented in the novel which was a great addition to the
world-building; however, there were so many details about the different creatures that I found myself not connecting with the main characters as much as I would have liked to. I did keep questioning Matthew’s intentions for the most part, as he is described to want both the manuscript and Diana, but not which he wanted more at first.

It is evident that Deborah Harkness has done extensive research in writing this novel. A Discovery of Witches is longer than most paranormal romances and did take me quite a bit of time to finish due to the incredible amount of detail. It is notable to mention that  although it did take a long time to complete reading, it did not affect the quality. The first few chapters were a little slow paced for my liking however right after 150-200 pages into the novel, the story and plot kicked off to an interesting plot. The build up of the setting was well worth the wait.

I appreciate the colorful descriptions of the old university libraries, the smell of leather in the air and the soft sound of pages flipping, I felt as though I was alongside the main characters each time they visited the libraries. Another element I enjoyed is the close attention to detail the author presents throughout the novel. There is so much information that you must take your time and read everything thoroughly as it all closely relates to one another.

A Discovery of Witches is a powerful debut that has a combination of different elements of mystery, suspense, romance, history, science and wonderfully incorporated three- dimensional characters. With so many diverse elements, the novel is well-rounded and can easily appeal to lovers of all genres. I am looking forward to learning more of what lies ahead for Diana, Matthew and the other supernatural creatures of the novel.

I believe Deborah Harkness has wonderfully incorporating her colorful imagination, vast historical knowledge, and noticeably extensive research presented in this novel. I recommend A Discover of Witches to anyone who enjoys Paranormal Romances and historical fiction.

Read an Excerpt

Audiobook excerpt:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

M.I.A & Bridesmaid Party

Hello everyone!

I’d like to start by apologizing for my being missing in action, I’m insanely busy right now. My wedding is in just 10 days *squeeeeeeeee*, and got a promotion at work *squeeeeeeeeee again* and I got my “bridesmaid party” (I’m using quotations because neither of my bridesmaids could make it to the party…) on Saturday and my glasses didn’t survive the encounter so I had to hurry to the optometrist today to get new glasses lol

Now I bet you’d like to see some party pictures right?
Beware those are not for the virgin eyes out there.
There’s no nudity, but some pretty sexually charged pictures LOL

 

**** Mature Content Alert ****

 

First my friends kidnapped me at water-guns point…

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I was assigned a crown, a veil and a garter…

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My fiancé also had to submit during the whole encounter lol

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When then jumped in the car to head to the spa, where I could relax and a cold and rainy weather LOL

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Yes I also had to wear my “wedding kit” at the spa… hahaDSCF0728DSCF0732

After all this hard work, we went to the restaurant…

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… where I had to endure a hot waiter removing my garter with his teeth… and drink from shooter in a rather sexually charged fashion lol

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We, after all this excitement, headed to a male stripping club, and for obvious reasons, we don’t have any pictures of this part of the evening hehe, but I can tell you my friend Mélanie (the girl in red above) enjoyed this part A LOT LOL

 

I haven’t been able to do a lot of reading, so review will be scared in the next two weeks, but stay tuned because I have a couple of giveaways for you guys ^^