Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts- review

I stumbled upon this author accidentally on the web. She was having a contest and was blogging about it on someone else's blog (don't remember whose). I've entered the contest and won this lovely tote bag full of small gardening tools.

I was intrigued by the story of her new book called Love in Bloom and decided to order it. And I wasn't disappointed.
Here goes the blurb:
Hope Walker survived early breast cancer at just thirty-years-old, but a mastectomy left her with a lot of scarring—and some serious fears about dating. Hope owns Changing Seasons, Heart Lake’s most popular flower shop. When it comes to love and relationships, she’s able to work magic through her expert flower arranging…for everyone but herself. Then one day a handsome contractor starts coming into her shop, but Hope knows he’d rather have a whole woman than someone like her.
When Hope stakes a plot of ground at Heart Lake’s community garden, she finds that a woman can grow all sorts of things there: flowers, herbs, vegetables and even friendship. As she gets to know the two women who share neighbouring plots, they discover that they can learn a lot from each other—not just about gardening, but about life. And Hope realizes that in order to live life to the fullest, sometimes you have to take a chance on love.

Sure, this is a romance story, no doubt about it, but also this is a story about value of friendship. Even when you have family, health, self-confidence, money or any other problems, friends are the ones who will cheer you up and help you. I loved the main character Hope. She had a breast cancer and feels incomplete. Her best friend is her gorgeous sister Bobbi who helped her through chemotherapy. That is a reason why Hope helps Bobbi to win over handsome and so good contractor Jason in spite of being in love with him herself.
There are other characters whose stories take a great part of the book. They are also love stories; one about seventy-seven year old Millie and the other about young wife and mother Amber whose chef husband lost their restaurant business.
All three of them met at the community garden where they reserved their own parcels for totally different reasons. But although they have different background, ages and motivations for gardening, they become very good friends. Sheila describes all kinds of different loves: sister love, marriage love, love between mother and daughter, romance love and love at the old age; very interesting and profound.
The book is divided by different helpful gardening tips.

I liked this book and enjoyed different stories but the end feels too rushed, like there wasn't enough pages to finish the story in a way its first 2/3 were written.
That's the reason I'll give it 4 feathers but I recommend it as a very good emotional read (I did drop a tear or two at the end)- heart-warming.

Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (March 31, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312384815
ISBN-13: 978-0312384814

For more information about the author and her other books please visit http://www.sheilasplace.com/

Weekend pictures

As I mentioned before, I had busy weekend. The house was full of children and adults. I don't want to brag (OK I do :)) but I am a favourite aunt. It's interesting that I am also the strictest adult. I don't like spoiled children and I like order and discipline. But I also enjoy playing with children and don't mind getting all muddy :) They are always running after me like three ducklings. This picture was taken on Sunday while I was feeling ill and was reading in my swinging chair in my bedroom. My sister said that they were playing in the living room and next thing they got up and went to my room. They entered without a word, sat on my bed and each took a book/magazine and set reading. They were adorable! They knew I needed peace and quiet and didn't say a word. They just started reading - and do I have to say that only one of them knows how to read and she picked up Cosmo :) because it was the only thing in Croatian.On Saturday I had a cycling race in the afternoon and my nephew wanted to try on my helmet (before going for a walk to town) and I had to wear my niece's. So here is a picture of us (he's very ticklish, you mustn't touch him, he's all giggles immediately)

Monday, 29 June 2009

Fun weekend

Well not as fun as good :)
From Wednesday till Sunday I had a full house of guests. We had a birthday celebration for my nice and my sister, that doesn't live in the same town as I do, came to visit us with her husband and son. Naturally they stayed in my house and I had an opportunity to hang out with my lovely nephew (and at the same time decided not to have children for another 2 or 3 years - I'm bad I know:))
Three years ago I joined local cycling club (for the size-of-my-butt and health reasons) and I've been involved in organisation of big cycling race. For the last two years I did all promotional and administrative work, but this year I've decided to join as an escort driver for the short race. Mostly children drove the short race (13 km) and my job was to take care of them. It was fun and who knew that children were so fast. I mean, I'm in a good condition (I drive every second day for 20 - 30 km mostly uphill), but those guys were adrenaline bombs! I did keep up with them (despite my boyfriend's claims I'm in no shape to follow those guys - I did prove him wrong!!!!) and had very funny day driving with children.
You can see me in this picture (from back I'm afraid, there were no pictures of me from front - I think because I was too FAST :)))

I caught some kind of stomach flu and was lying through whole Sunday. I'm better today, thank God.
How was your weekend?

Cyber party with great prizes!!!

Go over to the Nalini Singh’s blog. She's giving away lots of goodies in celebration of her upcoming release Branded By Fire on July 7, 2009.

You are still here? GO, GO, GO!!!

This was just a quick post, I'm in a hurry. Lots of good stuff happened over the weekend and as soon as I get some free time I'll post about it :)

Friday, 26 June 2009

Am I Moody?

Last evening I was driving in a car feeling like a sh** (pardon my French). Why? I don't know. It was a busy day. It was a national holiday and we had a big birthday celebration for my niece at my house. We had a barbecue and birthday cake. All in all 20 grownups and kids. Everything was fine, I was happy and we all got along. After all the cleanup I took a shower and went to some book signing (boring stuff, work - related). And that went fine, too. Afterwards I went for a drink with my boyfriend and then my mood snapped. I became cranky and went to bed angry. Nothing happened, one minute I was perfectly content and the next all hell broke loose :)

This happens to me on a regular basis (twice a month at least). It's not PMS related :), it just is.

Do you have these mood swings? Please say you do or I'll think I'm getting into premature menopauses :) Wait a minute; I do have hot flashes...

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

New Moon & some happy news

I saw this at Cecile's blog and I just had to put it on mine :) Thanks Cecile!

It looks great, doesn't it?

Also, I have happy news. Although it's not about me it did made my day. Him (being my other half :)) has won the first place in a cycling race. This is very happy news because he had a tough season and this was a major breakthrough!
My weekend consisted of lot of rain, reading and nail biting while I was waiting for news from the tracks.
Oh, another happy announcement - my older sister is pregnant and she'll make me an aunt for the fourth time (it's her second son, and my other sister has two girls). I can't wait for this little boy!
Hope you all had a great weekend (I'm sorry to ask this on Wednesday, but it's been a crazy week so far :)).

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon - a review

Fantasy Lover is the first book in Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This is series about Greek gods, demons, vampires, were-people but most of all about love and redemption. I started reading this series in the middle when I found a free e-book a year from now. It was a confusing way of entering a completely new world. I don't recommend it. But I was curious, and I started buying sequels. Yesterday I finally finished it. And what an irony - with the first book in the series.
Fantasy Lover kept me awake through the whole night. But I don't regret a minute of the lost sleep. It was great. It was heart wrenching and I cried a few times but I smiled too. It’s a book about lost youth and hard childhood. It asks the question about what we are prepared to do to earn love from other persons. It has a strong message about self-respect and a price of love.
S. Kenyon was an abused child and I think that's the reason why she can describe so well a suffering of unwanted child or even a grownup. Through all Dark Hunter series this theme is present. But that's the reason I just LOVE IT.

Here is the blurb:

Dear Reader, Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day.As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace--the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?—Julian of Macedon

Although this is the beginning of Dark Hunter series, Dark Hunters themselves aren't mentioned yet. I loved Julian and all his good and bad qualities. I was a little suspicious about love-slave theme at first (hence the reason this was the last book in series I read), but there was no reason for suspicion - Kenyon is a great storyteller and she did it great, again. Grace is a great person who won't succumb to their mutual sex appeal just like that. She wants it to mean something. And it will mean a lot more then you or they expect at the beginning. This is the book that you read with your heart not your mind.
All in all - great read.

I give it 5 feathers:

There is another series called Dream Hunters which takes place in the same world as Dark Hunters and many of the characters appear in both. I strongly recommend both.

Here are all books in the both series (minus anthologies and free read that you can download on S. Kenyon’s web) - from my own bookshelf.

For more information about the book, other series and author please visit:
http://www.officialsanctuary.com/ or http://www.myspace.com/officialdarkhunter.

The new redesigned webpage is expected soon.
The next book in the series is called Bad Moon Rising and it will be available on August 4, 2009.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The first ROMANCE review

Ok, this is my first review in ROMANCE review contest. I like short and informative reviews myself so this is going to be one of them.
As a first, I read Elisabeth Naughton's book called Stolen Fury. I won this book in a contest. Ms Naughton not only sent the book to me in a very short time but also included mouse pad and some promo materials in the package. She also signed the book form me. Don't you just love when authors and people in general are generous? I was very happy to receive this presents. And I must confess that this had made me like the book more before I even started to read it. It's a first book in a new trilogy. Elisabeth was a new author for me, a discovery really!
Here goes the blurb:

"Oh, is he handsome. And charming. And sexy as all get out. Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn’t the type to go home with a guy she barely knows. But, hey, this is Italy and the red-blooded Rafe Sullivan seems much more enticing than cataloging a bunch of dusty artifacts.After being fully seduced, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. She’s staked her career as an archaeologist on collecting the three Furies, a priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs. Now the one she had is gone. But Lisa won’t just get mad. She’ll get even.She tracks Rafe to Florida, and finds the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Miami sun. He may still have her relic, but he’ll never find all three without her. And they’re not the only ones on the hunt. To beat the other treasure seekers, they’ll have to partner up—because suddenly Lisa and Rafe are in a race just to stay alive"

This is a fast paced book. The main characters, Lisa and Rafe, are very lovable from the start. You can really relate to them. I don't want to post spoilers here, so I'm sorry if this sounds wage. The issues both characters fight with are real and very common nowadays. But although Lisa is tough scientific woman with one goal in front of here, she's underneath very real. She's not soft and that's what I like about her. Although she's been through a lot, she's still strong and independent. It's such a relief to find a strong female character in romance book. Because, this is exactly that - a romance book. Rafe seems like a crook at first, but after you find out what are the reasons behind he's behaviour you just have to like him. There are a bunch of side characters, that aren't shallow but well written and developed, and if you are bad with remembering names (as I am) you will have to be concentrated while you read. I don't recommend reading it in bed because it will keep you wake till early morning hours. It's not one dimensional book, it has layers and the romance part is not in focus the whole time. At the same time, you are not bombarded with scientific stuff but only with necessary things to understand why things happen the way they do and why characters do them. Another thing I like is, although the fire between Lisa and Rafe burns from the beginning it still takes it's time. Nothing feels rushed but on the contrary very natural. The dialogs are well written and there aren't too many sex scenes. I would say this book has a right amount of everything; not too much of anything :) If you like adventurous stories with romance elements, this is the book for you. I recommend it highly.

I give it 5 feathers

The second book in the series is called Stolen Heath and it' comes out on July 28, 2009 and the third book is Stolen Seduction and it comes out in January 2010.
For more information and excerpts here's the link to Elisabeth's web site: http://elisabethnaughton.com/

P.S. You have probably already noticed that English is not my mother tongue, so I apologise for any and every mistake I made.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

A day at a beach

I went to the beach today. It's only 45 minutes drive away from my house. It was great. The sea was a little bit cold because we had a rainy week. We went in the afternoon and after a quick swim I fell asleep. I have very light and sensitive skin, and guess what happened? I got burned! While I was sleeping the shade slipped away and my left arm and leg are red! And when I say red I mean RED! I really don’t know how I’ll wear a T-shirt tomorrow :)
All in all, it was a fun weekend - which was totally unexpected.
Have a great week!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Unplanned trip to the National Park

I had a great day. It didn't look like it in the morning. Day started like it was going to be really bad, but in the afternoon He asked me to go to the National Park that is 60km from the town where I live. Since it wasn't planned trip, we couldn't take a long tour through park. I've been there several times before, but my last visit was five years ago so I was very happy to go there. We arrived in the late afternoon and took an electric train to the most attractive part of the park. We usually walk the whole trail, but as I sad we had a late start. The only means of transportation in NP is by electric train and electric boat or, of course, on foot :)
Here's what you see when you get off the train
Then you have to go down this stairs and through the cave
This is me at the end of the cave And look at the view when you get out This is Him on the trail

The view of the waterfalls

The Great Waterfall And going home on an electric boat

We had a great weather, saw different kinds of fish, birds and ducks. It was a really great day. And I'm so exhausted, the fresh air just kicked me in the lungs and I swear they are bigger now. I have to go to sleep and rest my, now bigger, lungs. :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Today, I went on a business trip and during the break in the meeting I went to a nearby shopping mall. Look what I bought: Two bunny baskets! They look so cute. They are birthday presents for my niece. But they are so lovely and pink (they go very good with the colour of my bedroom - lavender). I'm soooo tempted to leave them for myself :)
But I will be a grownup aunt and give them away.
I also bought another presents. Three milk cups. They are for my nieces and nephew because they stopped drinking from their bottles (all at the same time, as an agreement).
That's all from me. It's been a crazy weekend and crazier beginning of the week. We had a wind storm on Saturday. It wasn't raining but wind was blowing like crazy. We didn't have electricity on Saturday and some of the trees in the city park were broken. Luckily, nothing was broken around our house except a few tree branches. On Sunday I had to do all my housecleaning plus ironing which I hate to do. This is usually my grandma’s job but she's away for three weeks so I'm already behind whit it.
And on Monday and Tuesday I ran from one business meeting to another so I don't have anything exciting to blog about. I didn't have time to read or anything else.
Hope things will calm down. Also, Thursday is The Body Day (I hope this is a correct English term?) which is Christian holiday as well as national holiday. So I have an extra day free :) Maybe I'll catch up on my reading. . .

P.S. After closer examination, I'm not sure if those are bunny or dog baskets? What do you think?

Friday, 5 June 2009

New Moon


I know it's a little late to post this, but I just had to have it on my blog :)

P.S. How do you like it? I think it looks great so far ;)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

I won, I won!!!

Lucky me! I won (at I Don't Want to Wait I Want the Book Now) what appears to be an ARC since the book is out on June 9

Thank you Greta for a great contest.

Also thanks Bree and Donna (that together make Moira Rogers) for giving this great prize!

This is a sequel to Cry Sanctuary that I have read a week ago. Both are e-books for now, but they will be combined into one 'real' book and published soon. I'll post the rewiews of both novellas together after I read this one.

Once again, THANKS GRETA!!!


This idea came form Cecile's blog. It's a reading challenge and I have never done one of these before.
The rules:
1 - you need to read seven books in six months.
2 - the title or author's name will need to begin with the letters R-O-M-A-N-C-E (list them on your blog, you can change them during the challenge)
3 - the books/authors must be classified as a romance novel (this includes as romance sub genre including contemporary, historical or paranormal).
4 - The books have to be read from June 1st through November 30th.
5 -go to Royal Reviews and sign with Mr Linky (with a link to your post about the challenge)
6 - every time you read the book you have to post a review and tell it to Mr Linky
7 - when you finish the challenge there will also be a Mr Linky for that
8 - for this challenge cheerleaders prize will be given out
9 - put up the Button for this challenge in your side bar with a link to Royal Reviews

Here it goes:

R - Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon
O - Dim u Ogledalima by Jane Ann Krentz (Croatian translation)
M - Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
A - In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix
N - Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton
C - Sweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson
E - Hot Shot by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I had problems with 'O' but then saw one of the rare books (that I have) translated into Croatian - it's Smoke in Mirrors by Jane Ann Kertz - so I bent the rules a little bit :)
This contest shouldn't be hard to complete since I have all this books on my TBR pile beside the bed except the ones that aren't out yet - but I have preordered them. Also my two weeks vacation starts in July.
Here it is - my contest pile (minus 2)

And here is my non contest pile - the books I plan to read but couldn't match the letters or the genre doesen't fit.
And as Cecile said - if anyone cares to hope aboard.... please feel free...!!!!

Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Are you curious? I am definitely very curious person. Perhaps that's the reason I love to watch detective series and movies, especially Agatha Christie’s Poirot. I can't wait to find out who did it. And I believe that my curiosity is another reason why I keep reading book series that I don't really like but I want to know what happens next. I thought that this was a virtue, but I've discovered that people often feel like I'm being nosy. This usually happens at work and especially with my bosses. Well not anymore because I've altered my behaviour because I didn't want to get into trouble. But how can you work properly and get the work done professionally if you don't have all the information? It's hard when other colleagues don't want to share information and give them only on the need-to-know basis. I think there is a fine line between nosiness and curiosity. But then many people have secrets that they don't want to revel so they act paranoid. I'm not curios about other people's lives, if you tell me a gossip I'll probably forget about it in a half an hour (two days tops, and then it has to be something really interesting:)) I'm only curious about the things that concern me; like when/if I'll sign my scholarship contract or why did Cecile tell me to e-mail her (I've been checking my inbox every 10 minutes to see if her response arrived:)).
So tell me; are you curious person? Can you wait to unwrap your birthday or Christmas presents, or maybe not ;)? How about at work, are you secretive or do you share the information?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

New award

Thanks Lea!!!! for awarding me with this great "Angel On My Blog" Award

I'm so happy! This whole blog community is great! You girls/ladies rock!
Thanks to everyone who has ever visited my blog and even bigger THANK YOU to all of you who care enough to leave a comment. I hope you like my blog and that I'll see you more around here.
Once again, THANKS LEA, it's a great honour to receive this award and the hunk angle will go perfectly with my own pair of wings ;)

Monday, 1 June 2009

Great weekend and a pretty good Monday start

First of all - THANKS CECILE for awarding me with The Literary Blogger Award. It was such a nice surprise for me this morning. "This grand award (and I quote Cecile), acknowledges bloggers who energize and inspire reading by going the extra mile! These amazing bloggers make reading fun, and enhance the delight of reading!"
It's such an honour to receive it and it really did make my day (especially because it's that dreadful Monday:)). There are rules for passing it to the other fellow bloggers:
1) Put the logo on your blog/post. CHECK
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs.
And the nominees are:
Sanna @ Misbehaving Angel
Mistress Heidi @ Wips and Chains
Barbara @ Happily Forever After
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. DID
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog. NEXT THING TO DO
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award. THANKS CECILE!

And now about the reason I found out about this award only today (although it has been awarded to me on Saturday) - I went to my first MTB XCO race! No I didn't drive (I'm not that crazy) but my boyfriend did. He won the 7th place, which is great because He had a bad season this year. For those of you who aren't familiar with this stuff - it's an extreme bicycle race through mountains. The path is 5,5 km long and there are different categories on which depends how many rounds you drive. He drove 4 rounds (22 km). Each round took him about 29 minutes. How hard this is you can conclude from the time it took him to finish it. When he's practising, he finishes 5,5km long mild trail in about 10 minutes and now it took him 29 minutes!
But enough about the technicalities. I have to say ladies - go to the cycling races! Oh, what a gorgeous men, half naked and six pack is compulsory. They get ready on the parking lots (yes that means they get undressed there :) It's a scary too (not because of the men but because of the way the track looks :)). We went the day before the race so He can try out the track and I've decided to walk the track. I usually go with Him to these tracks seeing and then try it out on foot. But, oh boy, I've never been to one steep like this one. Half way downhill I was stuck - didn't know what to do, if I went back I would have to crawl and if I continue I could easily fall on my head! I decided to be brave and continue. Nothing happened, luckily, and I finished the trek in 1,5 hour. In the evening we went to the cinema and decided to see Angels and Demons.
A very good movie, I liked it better then The Da Vinci Code. And I think that Tom Hanks is a great actor, but the end was a little predictable.

On Sunday was a race day. Oh my, I had to be in the feed zone (that was one of the reasons I went with Him to the race) to pass Him a drink every lap and to take the pictures at the same time. I thought I was the only one stressed out with all the instructions but when I arrived (and to enter this zone you had to have a special permit dangling around your neck) I met half a dozen other girlfriends with the same tasks, rehearsing their moves - how to pass the bottle into the drivers hand while catching the thrown one (because the feed zone was uphill and you could easily lose the spare bottle - a big no-no) and taking a picture without moving. Imagine that! We got a few pointers from the professionals. Did you know that there are people who get paid to pass the bottles to the drivers? OK, they have to know how to change the chain if needed during the race or how to change a wheel (they don't change the flat tires during the race but the whole wheel - it's much faster) - but how hard can that be?
Anyway, after the race we went to watch Elite category (from around the world) drive. We were standing on the track, and it was scary - the way they go downhill without even touching the breaks, truly scary. And the women drivers (there are women too :)) are so petit.
We arrived home at 6.30 p.m. and I fell asleep immediately after taking the shower and slept until this morning. Twelve straight hours of sleep!
I blame the adrenaline (but as my friend said this morning: "And you didn't even drive the race!" while sadly nodding with her had :)) and the cold (the wind was blowing hard and it rained the night before so it felt wet cold on the race day). But all in all - it was a really funny weekend.

P.S. I'll post some pictures later - I have to recharge batteries from the camera (they were mistreated a lot yesterday:))


The Track (downhill)

Him (it doesen't look too steep, but if you look closer you can see how He's bent forward to keep the balance)

This girl was late for the bottle exchange (I wouldn't want to be in her shoes)

NO NAKED GUYS, sorry girls but I was too ashamed to even look (a few peeps were allowed:))