Friday, 31 July 2009

(Un)tidiness

How tidy is your house? Mine is so-so. It depends on the time of the year. It's the cleanest in the winter when I'm stuck in the house and I see every little dust peck. During the spring and the summer I'm mostly outside gardening, mowing the lawn or just enjoying myself. And it's too damn hot to do anything anyway :) Most of my cleaning is done during the Saturday when I have a day off.
So, how about you?

And this is something to motivate you to start cleaning :)
video
Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

What's on your desk Wednesday...errr. ..Thursday

I've been kind of tagged by Cecile to this :) And I'm happy to report that my TBR pile isn't as big as many of yours :)
But first (for those who haven't heard about this yet) here's little about this meme:
"What's On Your Desk Wednesday is a weekly book blog meme hosted by Sassy Brit of Alternative-Read.Com.
Here are the rules, and they are pretty straight-forward.
You can do one of two things or both.
1. Grab a camera and take a photo of your desk. Or anywhere you stack your books/TBR pile. And no tidying! Add this photo to your blog.
Tag at least 5 people.
2. List at least 5 BOOKISH things on your desk (Examples are TBR pile or books you haven't shelved...) List at least 5 NON BOOK things. (Like some of the more unusual items on your desk/table?)
Tag at least 5 people to do the same.
Once you're done, go to Sassy's blog and post your link. That way people can visit your blog and see the pictures you have posted."

I took Cecile's model and I'll post pictures not only of my TBR pile but about my reading habits :) The pictures were taken on Wednesday and remember nothing has been moved to make pictures look better, so excuse all the mess...
This is the place where you can find me reading (my bed), I like peace and quiet while I'm reading and this is the only place where those conditions are met.

This is a table that I use as a nightstand and is full with my TBR books (as well as my current reads)

TBR 1

TBR 2

TBR 3

This is my mostly-English-language shelf

This is the table with my PC (I'm currently trying to decide with what I should replace it) and shelves full of mostly-Croatian-language books and my Susan E. Phillips and Harry Potter collection

More mostly-Croatian-language books

And more...


I don't feel comfortable tagging anyone so if you're up to it please feel free to hop on this train and do your own What's on your desk Wednesday.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cooking contest over the weekend

Looks like I often have to apologize for not being around my blog these days.
I had a hectic weekend and one hell of a week beginning.
Over the weekend cooking contest was organised in my town. It’s for tourist promotion purposes and was held in the city park. 18 teams were cooking traditional stew in a kettle over the fire. My team was actually my cycling club team (a few members).
This is our kettle


And these are mine and colleagues hands preparing tomato for the stew (mine are on the right - can you see my 100$ worth French manicure?)


And this is the cooking team (I'm the blond - fifth from the left)



This is me (on the left) through smoke - it was a windy day and smoke was everywhere :)

We didn't win anything but we did have a great time.

On Monday I had an appointment with a dermatologist. I have a few hundred birth marks all over my body and very fair skin so I've decided to go and get them checked. I did it at right time because the doctor said one was in pre-melanoma phase and has to be removed as soon as possible. All in all I have to remove two of them and I'll go through minor operation in September. It's nothing to be worried about but I won't know for sure if they are benign until after the operation.

Yesterday I went on a business trip and today was the first opportunity I had to write something here.
On a more cheerful note - Cecile from All I want and more has a great interview with author Kimber Chin and great GIVEAWAY - HURRY!!!

This was all from me, for now. Hope you had a great weekend.

And check this out


Thursday, 23 July 2009

In The Blood by Adrian Phoenix- ROMANCE review no 2

This isn't an easy review to write. I really don't know what I think about this book, I like it - I don't like it. It's a second book in The Maker's Song series, you can read my 'review' of the first one A Rush of Wings here. Here goes the blurb:
DANTE LIVES.
Vampire. Rock star. Begotten son of the fallen angel Lucien. Dante Baptiste still struggles with nightmares and seizures, searching for the truth about his past. It is a quest as seductive as his kiss, as uncontrollable as his thirst, and as unforgiving as his determination to protect one mortal woman at any cost.
KNOWLEDGE KILLS.
FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace now knows the extent of the Bureau corruption that surrounds her, but worries she is losing the battle. And when Dante and his band Inferno come to Seattle on tour, Heather can't help but be drawn back to the beautiful, dangerous nightkind. But what Heather and Dante don't know is that new enemies lurk in the shadows, closer than they think...and even deadlier than they fear.
DESTINY UNFOLDS.
Shadowy government forces have pledged to eliminate all loose ends from Project Bad Seed -- and Heather and Dante are at the top of the list. Elsewhere, the Fallen gather in Gehenna, intent on finding their long-awaited savior, the True Blood nightkind whom Lucien DeNoir would die to protect. And a damaged and desperate adversary, with powers as strange and perilous as Dante's own, plots to use Dante as a pawn in a violent scheme for revenge. But only one of these lethal forces holds the key to Dante's past -- a key that could finally unlock the secret of his birth and the truth of his existence...or destroy him completely.


It's a complex book, with lot of characters and subplots. I highly recommend that you read the two books one after another. I had a problem remembering details (that are very important when you read these books) because I've read the first one back in April. You have to be concentrated while you read it or you'll very soon lose the track of who-is-who.
I love Dante a little better now, although rings, piercings and collars aren't my thing :) Heather is also well developed character but her sister Annie - is just too predictable. She causes most of the trouble. And you'd think after first or second one she'll try and think, but no-no. She keeps going on towards disaster. Maybe this is because she's bipolar, I really don't have any experience with that, but this looked like too naive behaviour for a woman of my age :) And I really don't like this kissing stuff that Dante has going on - he kisses with everyone in the mouth. It really isn't appealing to me.
I recommend it if you like dark Goth stuff and even if you don't. Just remember - this isn't a midnight read, it takes too much effort to keep up with the story. There are a lot of loose ends that will be (I hope) resolved in the third book BENEATH THE SKIN (coming January 2010).
I give this book 4 feathers and I'll definitely buy the third one (just to find ot how everything ends).
Book info:
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket; 1st Pocket Books Trade Pbk. Ed edition (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416541454
ISBN-13: 978-1416541455

For more information about the author and her books please visit hers not-so-up-to-date site http://www.adrianphoenix.com/ .

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Just a quick report

I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while, but I've been busy at work and so drained that I just didn't feel like I could write anything interesting and positive at all. I am feeling better now so here’s my attempt to write something worthwhile (don't judge my toady’s attempt to harsh :), please).
First - thanks Cecile for this GREAT reward!!! I am honoured you chosed me and declared me to be your friend-to-keep :)


I've been busy this weekend. I went to two cycling races with my boyfriend. It was raining heavily on Saturday and I got all wet. On Sunday the sun was so strong, that even though I put a sun protection cream with factor 50, I got lovely cube shaped burn mark on my cleavage :) I can't even describe how lovely I look in shirts with V-shaped cleavage :( All in all I had a good time. Cyclists are funny people, always ready to laugh even on their own expense. Although I had an assignment to be a photographer, I can't show you any pictures because I didn't have time to download them before the club took them to post them on the their website. They haven't done that either (those men, uh) so even I haven't seen what they look like.
My week has started in a hectic manner so I don't have time for anything. And it has been so hot these couple of weeks that I don't have will power to go anywhere :)
Hope everything's fine with you?

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder - a review

Again, I have to start this blog with announcement that I haven’t actually bought this book but won it at Bitten by Books – call me lucky :) I didn’t know a thing about it, didn’t have time to surf the net for information. I just took it with me on my vacation and read it on the beach. From the start I could tell I’ve landed in the middle of the story – I was confused. Without the Internet, I couldn’t do anything but dive in and try to figure things out on my own. Very soon I’ve figured out that this was YA novel, but nevertheless interesting and exciting. One adventure follows the other and you are pretty fast drawn into this magical world of Sitia and its tribal way of living. Pure magic...

Here goes the blurb:
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known

This book, although YA, is in a way a sequel to Study series (adult books) which consists of 3 books (Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study) where the main character Opal is introduced and (if I understood correctly) plays a significant part in first two books. As I said before, I haven’t read first three books so I had a hard time following the story – I had to concentrate (not an easy task on the beach).
I liked Opal and could identify with her. In a world full of magic, she think she’s one-trick wonder (this would be proved wrong latter don’t want to spoil surprise here :)). Because of that, she has a hard time believing she was chosen for a very important task and also to be an object of attention from not one but two boys (one is very important in magic world). We follow her adventures while she struggles with her self-esteem. This book brought back a lovely memories from my teens and the way love works when you are eighteen–nineteen.
I give it 4 and a half feathers because when I searched author’s website I haven’t find the reference that it was connected to the Study series and that it should be read as a forth book.
If you want to know more, please visit author’s website http://www.mariavsnyder.com/
Book info:
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Mira (April 28, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778325644
ISBN-13: 978-0778325642

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Great contest at Elisabeth Naughton's!!!

stolen heat
enter contest
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elisabeth naughton

I've read Stolen Fury - and it was great!!!
Now you have a chance to win great and valuable prizes as well as Stolen Fury and Stolen Heat!
Contest ends August 15th and it's open to all!
Click ‘enter’ on the widget above to go to Ms Naugton's page and find out about the rules and how to enter.

Broken by Megan Heart

I've read this great review by Cecile at All I want and more of Megan Hart's book called Broken. And I just had to have it. Unfortunately it was sold out. So my great friend Cecile offered to borrow it to me and sent me the book over the ocean to Croatia. I immediately started reading it. It's erotic novel but you'd be wrong to assume it's an easy read. Actually, I could read only two-three chapters a day because of all strong emotions that overwhelmed me. The book started me thinking about my own relationships: with my boyfriend, parents, sisters and friends.
I loved the book but I don't have a desire to read it again soon. It drained me and left me thinking about more things that I ever wanted to think about at the same time.
So, you ask what's this book all about? Here goes the blurb:

"This month, my name is Mary.

My name is different every month -- Brandy, Honey, Amy...sometimes Joe doesn't even bother to ask -- but he never fails to arouse me with his body, his mouth, his touch, no matter what I'm called or where he picks me up. The sex is always amazing, always leaves me itching for more in those long weeks until I see him again.

My real name is Sadie, and once a month over lunch, Joe tells me about his latest conquest. But what Joe doesn't know is that, in my mind, I'm the star of every X-Rated one-night stand he has revealed to me, or that I'm practically obsessed with our imaginary sex life. I know it's wrong. I know my husband wouldn't understand. But I can't stop.

Not yet. "


I have several book parts that are my favourite but this one struck a nerve and I couldn't go on with reading. I had to stop and think about my life :)
"I'd always wondered why people who'd throw away an appliance that had ceased to function would hang on to a marriage that no longer worked. Next to my husband, the only man I'd ever loved, ever made love with, ever slept beside, I thought I knew. Hope." - Sadie

The book is not about some married woman wishing she had a better sex life and trying to compensate it with the stories from single hot guy every first Friday in a month. It's about how your life can change in one second from happy to extremely difficult. It's about how we think we'll stay forever young with bodies intact and capable of doing whatever whenever we want. In Sadie's case, her husband is paralysed from neck down and in their thirties they are struggling to keep their marriage from falling apart. As I said, very emotional read.

If you want to read more detailed review, please visit Cecile's blog. She'll hook you up, and I guarantee you'll run for the nearest bookstore.
For more information about the author and her other books go to www.meganhart.com.
This was my first book by M. Hart but I'll keep on reading her work (although I'm not into erotic novels so much).
I give it five feathers

This is a theme song for Sadie and Joe’s relationship (with video from Grey’s Anatomy) - Joshua Radin's What If You





Monday, 13 July 2009

Love?

"I'd always wondered why people who'd throw away an appliance that had ceased to function would hang on to a marriage that no longer worked. Next to my husband, the only man I'd ever loved, ever made love with, ever slept beside, I thought I knew. Hope." - Sadie from Broken by Megan Hart

"In relationship, the power lies in the hands of one who cares less" - can't remember where I heard or read this one, sorry.

So what do you think about those two quotes?
For me they struck the nerve. I can't stop thinking about them and my own relationships. I think they are so true. Are we stubborn when we stay in relationships that no longer work? Is the power balance always misbalanced actually? In Croatia we have a saying that Hope dies the last, is this true? Do we hang on hope longer then is healthy for us?

Please tell me your opinions and experience. We are all here (mostly) romance readers but I'm not talking only about relationship between man and woman but between parent and child, friends, etc.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

I'm back

I've been away for 6 days but it feels like ages! I had the best time and I didn't have an Internet connection. I think I'm cured of my net obsession (well not really, I had a glimpse of the www on Friday and last night as soon as came home I had to check my e-mails :))
For those who don’t know I went to visit my pregnant sister. We wanted to spend some time before she has her second child. She lives at the seaside and the weather was marvellous all week (despite the weather forecast that kept foreseeing the rain every day). In the mornings I went to the beach all by myself and spent my time sunbathing. The sea was warm and I just couldn't resist swimming the whole morning away. In the afternoons we would pickup my nephew from the day-care and had a marvellous time. We went shopping, to the cinema, had dinner in a restaurant, gone to the birthday party - every evening was something new!
I took with me 3 books (I was convinced I'd have to buy another one there because 3 couldn't be enough) and been able to read only one. I just didn't have time!
I feel out of the place today, don't know what to do. I don't want to go to work tomorrow!!!
I'm whining, I know - can't help myself.
Oh, and you may ask where are all the pictures? Well, there aren't any. My camera broke the first day and my sister borrowed hers thinking I'm coming with the better one anyway!
I took few with my mobile phone camera but they aren't so good. So you are stuck with these two:

The sea


and my bathing suite :)

I hope you all had a great weekend!?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

M.I.A.

Hi to you all!
I had a great weekend. Gone shopping (spent half of my salary in one day:)) and saw Ice Age 3. Not a bad movie but not as good as the first one. Didn't see it in 3D because it was a late show and I couldn't wait so I saw the 'normal' one.
I'm going on a trip for a week and I'm 99% sure I won’t be able to go on-line However I will check my e-mail so if you have anything important (or not so importanat:)) to say, please feel free to send me a letter or two (it would be nice to hear from you :))
See you on Sunday!

Have a great week!

I'm off packing my luggage.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Ice Age 3 - Dawn of the Dinosaurs



I just can't wait to see the whole movie! The first two were great :)

P.S. I've just reserved seats for tomorrow - can't wait! Hope nothing will come in a way between me and the cinema :)

Temptation of the Warrior by Margo Maguire - review

This author is one of the nicest persons I had contact with. I won her book Wild at The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills blog (great blog btw, check it out) and when she contacted me she decided to give me one more book (my choice). After her parcel had arrived I discovered that she didn't send me two books but three (third was her choice and the one I'm reviewing today) with bunch of promo stuff and signed bookplates of the other Jaunty authors.
The first I've read was Temptation of the Warrior (it's paranormal historical) because I prefer paranormal over normal historical (which were the other two books). So here goes the blurb:

A new land, a new time . . .

To protect his people from a great evil, Merrick Mac Lochlainn, newly crowned high chieftain of his clan, must travel forward in time nearly 1,000 years. But when he awakens in nineteenth-century England, he has no memory of his mission to save his race, nor can he recognize Jenny Keating, the spirited young beauty who calls herself his wife.
A new love . . .
Orphaned and on the run from a cruel headmaster, vulnerable and alone, Jenny never dreamed of being rescued by any man, much less a chivalrous and handsome warrior like Merrick. Drawn to his powerful physique and mysterious ways, she begins a dangerous deception and poses as his beloved. But her feelings of desire are all too real. Together they will battle a dark threat that jeopardizes their very lives, all the while tempting each other with a passion too powerful to resist.

Margo Maguire is the author of twelve historical novels, mostly of the medieval era. This one is historical with paranormal elements, but most of the story is set in 19th century. Of course this is a second book in the series (I usually read series backwards :)), so I had difficulties following the story at first (I haven't read the first one A Warrior's Taking, of course) but after a chapter or two I did catch up and enjoyed the story.
Merrick and Jenny are believable characters and the whole story is well written. I've read it in two days, and the second day I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. because I wanted to find out what happens at the end. Great part of the story involves trip with a Clan of Gypsies so you get to meet them and you are given an insight into their way of life. The story line is fast-paced from the opening and never slows down until the confrontation. It's a story about evil vs. good and love vs. destiny.
I give it four feathers because the end feels a little bit rushed and I would love to know a little bit more about what happened with Merrick and Jenny's lives after the confrontation with the evil forces :) I will buy A Warrior's Taking to find out how did the story begin at the first place :)

Book information:
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (March 25, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061256374
ISBN-13: 978-0061256370
Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.2 inches

For more information about other books and author herself please visit her website http://www.margomaguire.com/.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Be warned - brags only!

If you are tired of my bragging for the last couple of posts feel free to skip this one because it's only about me and my brags!!!
But I just have so many reasons to brag!!! First of all - THANK YOU CECILE for awarding me with this great blog award!!!!!

You are sunshine and smile bringer in my life! I am so happy and privileged to know you and to be able to call you a friend. You always have a kind and supportive word for me. I know that all of you who know Cecile will agree with me on this ;)
About the award:
The Humane Award is in order to honour certain bloggers that I feel are kind-hearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world.

I'll just have to think hard about who I'll award with this special award (since it can't go back to Cecile - or maybe it can?)

My second brag is about my niece. She has just finished her first grade of music school. She plays piano and I am so proud of her! We have a special relationship since the day she was born. I am her godmother and I've been looking after her on a daily basis for two years (my sister has demanding job and works for 12 hours regularly). She had a concert (with the other students of her school) on Tuesday and here are the pictures.

This is her playing


And the two of us after the concert