January 31, 2015

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

Hello and welcome to the last day of the Withering Hope Book Tour brought to you by the awesome people over at Xpresso Book Tours!

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen
Publication Date: January 19, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.

As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.
Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours and to the author for this wonderful opportunity,

What I love about this book is that the characters are mature. Aimee can pretty much stand up on her own. Based on her flashbacks, she's a very independent woman and I think that's what made Tristan fall in love with her. Aimee is engaged to her best friend, Chris. Both of them are very successful professionals too and everyone expects them to be together forever. But seeing Aimee struggle in the Amazon with Tristan changed that.

Tristan, on the other hand, only got a few chapters in but then that's good too because it just adds to his charisma as a really good leading man. He's more determined in keeping Aimee alive than himself really. He's very strong and we see him try his best just to get over the demons of his past.

It's not one of those very sappy romances (although I like those too). This gives you a new look in life and love. You really can't help who you fall in love with in the end. It's just a matter of fate and time.

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough.

Website || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter

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January 27, 2015

Reasons Why I Haven't Read Anything Yet

Well, hello there. As seen above, I haven't done any reading for the past week,. WEIRD, I KNOW. Aside from dying over my undergraduate thesis, I'm squeezing in some telly. I mean, I'm watching a bunch of shows all at the same time and it's taking up my time. Most of them just came back from their mid-season finales okay.

Arrow (The CW)
Seasons: 3
Episode I'm Watching: Season 3, EP10

The Flash (The CW)
Seasons: 1
Episode I'm Watching: EP10

Downton Abbey (iTV)
Seasons: 5
Currently Watching: Season 2, EP01
I need to catch up on this one!

Jane The Virgin (The CW)
Seasons: 1
Currently Watching: EP01

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)
Seasons: 1
Currently Watching: EP09

I just realized that I'm practically watching everything that is on The CW. I'm going to fangirl a bit because Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin) won a Golden Globe for Jane The Virgin and Joanna Froggatt (Downton Abbey) won a Golden Globe for Downton Abbey. Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) also won a SAG Award as well as the whole cast of Downton Abbey! I am so happy right now.

Weekend is upon us and I swear to everything that is holy, that I will pick up a book! I'd like to know what you're watching right now.

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} Sing For Me by Gracie Madison

Hello and welcome to the Sing For Me Blog Tour brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Below you find my review. Click on the image above so you can also see the list of the different blogs participating in this tour.

Sing For Me by Gracie Madison
Publication Date: January 23, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Madeline Noel fled war-torn Heaven to hide within the mortal world, but the blessing that could protect her from evil is the holy realm’s forbidden power.

As a talented soprano for the Eden Theatre Company, Madeline hides among prima donnas and tone-deaf flutists. Her perfect voice may entertain audiences, but a careless laugh may shatter glass, and her greatest scream can kill. To control her unrestrained voice, the angels forbid Madeline from embracing the emotions that strengthen her song. Anger. Fear.


The demon-hunter Damascus vows to defend Madeline from Hell’s relentless evil, but he cannot protect her from her own feelings. Though they deny their dangerous attraction, her guardian becomes her greatest temptation.

Surrendering to desire may awaken the gift suppressed within Madeline’s soul, and neither Heaven nor Hell will allow such absolute power to exist.

I would like to thank Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to participate in this blog tour.

This ain't your ordinary paranormal read okay. (Oh look, I used a sort of oxymoron!) You see, this book is smoking hot. Like, literally smoking.

Madeline is hiding in the mortal world from the evil Corinth who is out to wreck the Realm into pieces and ruin everything good in it. She works in the theatre as a very gifted soprano and she's very good at it. What amused me from the start of this book is Danielle, the prima donna of the production. Frankly, she was scarier than Corinth.

She and the theatre producer, Natalie, was attacked by demons sent out by Corinth to kill Madeline but was saved by Damascus. Now, Damascus is a heavenly soldier and is bound to protect Madeline at all costs.

I am so used to seeing Young Adult and Paranormal Romance mesh together. But never New Adult. I was wrong. You see, each character is written intricately and when they interact with another character, it all becomes perfect.

Madeline didn't need constant saving from Damascus. She can do that herself. While she was in Heaven, Choirs like her weren't allowed to feel. This caused a great deal to Madeline when she came down in the mortal world because her feelings were all over the place. After learning how to control herself, she can wield her voice with such power she's unstoppable.

The lore in this book is so intriguing as well. I've only read a handful of books about angels and demons. Each lore is different from the other. This book proves it.

Gracie Madison would spend every day, all day writing…if it were socially acceptable.  Ever since she was a little girl scribbling with a crayon, Gracie’s dedicated herself to her books and all the supernatural and paranormal, creepy and beautiful stories and characters born within the pages. Now Gracie is committed to finally sharing those books with the world.  When the laptop is pried from her hands, Gracie is probably working her day job, rooting on the Steelers, or out with her husband searching for Pittsburgh’s best sushi.

Check out Xpresso Book Tours for more awesome blog tours, book blitzes and more~

January 13, 2015

Wicked Review: Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern

Published: November 8, 2004
Publisher: HarperCollins
Acquired: Paperback

From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family move from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good.

Rosie's lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland.

Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles - or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love?

I just want to thank my sister for giving me this book. She's a big Cecilia Ahern fan and when I told her that this is going to be a movie, she was like, "I will give you the book this Christmas. You cannot watch that movie if you didn't read it." And I did. I enjoyed every single minute of it.

Rosie and Alex's relationship is definitely one for the books. One they could tell their grandkids and their grandkids will tell the world eventually. This friendship is so special and I think everyone deserves to have a Rosie and an Alex in their lives.

I had a hard time reading this book because it wasn't the conventional paragraph-dialogue form. It was in email and letters. You definitely have to read this very carefully so you won't get confused. I've heard a lot of people say that this is your typical girl best friend falls in love with guy best friend but guy best friend moves away and they never see each other again.

Well, you're sort of right. But you're wrong,

You see, the things that Rosie and Alex went through was hard. I mean, getting pregnant when you're just 18 is like the hardest thing in the world. You're still a kid. But thankfully, Alex is there for her. When people say that when one of you gets married or is in a relationship, you sort of lose your friendship? It's all about how you hold your friendship together. Especially when one is across the Atlantic Ocean and several hours ahead or behind of your country.

I love how Rosie grew up. She matured after having her daughter Katie. Not only is this book about Rosie and Alex's relationship, it's about family and friends and life in general. Ruby...OMG Ruby is the best ever! I just love how she's just so spunky and their email exchange reminds me of Beth and Jennifer from Attachments. Stephanie, Rosie's older sister, reminds me of my older sister who's in Dubai with her French boyfriend. Stephanie has a French boyfriend too! Cool, huh? Those moments with Stephanie and Rosie definitely made me cry and made me think of my sister.

The frustrating part of the book is when their chances are almost there but not quite. So, Alex gets divorced from his first wife, Sally. You'd think that this is it. They'll be together. But no. Rosie gets married to Greg!

I KNOW RIGHT?! Fate is bipolar. You never know when it'll give you the right time and the right place for that thing or that person you want. This is what Rosie and Alex endured. 585 pages later, they lived happily ever after. This goes to show that no matter what you're age is, you can still find love.

Cecelia Ahern was born on September 30, 1981 in Dublin, Ireland. She is the daughter of the former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. On 14th December 2009 it was announced that Cecelia had given birth to her first child with partner David Keoghan, a girl named Robin. She was secretly married on 11 June 2010 in County Kildare, Ireland. Her older sister, Georgina Ahern is married to Nicky Byrne of Irish pop group Westlife. Cecelia was a member of the Irish pop group Shimma who finished third in the Irish national for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000. She attended Griffith College Dublin and obtained a degree in Journalism and Media Communications. 

Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, PS. I Love You when she was twenty-one. It was published in 2004, the number 1 bestseller in Ireland for 19 weeks and sold in over forty countries. The book was adapted as a motion picture directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and released in 2007 in the United States. 

Her second book, Where Rainbows End (US title: Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne) won the German CORINE Award in 2005. She contributed with short stories to charity books and is also the co-creator and producer of the ABC comedy Samantha Who?

Her other works include If You Could See Me Now (US title: A Silver Lining), A Place Called Here (US title:There's No Place Like HereThanks for the Memories (US title: Desire LinesThe Gift The Book of Tomorrow.

January 9, 2015

Wicked Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Published: April 14, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Acquired: Paperback
Amazon || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Fullybooked

"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

I'm still shaking from this book. I mean, OH MY GOD is all I can really say. All I saw were rainbows (see what I did there), hearts, unicorns, butterflies and puppies! *dreamy sigh*

Beth Fremont is definitely someone worth being friends with. She's straight to the point and she's really funny. There's really nothing to hate about her. Even if she was stuck with a douchebag for nine years.

I love the email exchange between Jennifer and Beth. Their friendship is something to be jealous of. They listen to each other. They don't upstage each other with the amount of problems they face. That's what friends are. :-)

Lincoln, on the other hand, I had a hard time picturing in my head. He's tall and big and he's the IT guy. Somehow, when I think of IT guys, I think of thin dudes with eyebags and huge glasses. But he's different.

In the US, when you turn 18, you're expected to move out of your house and start your own life. Either you go to college or you start working. Lincoln went to college and got a double degree and is still living with his mother. And he's almost 30. He is, for me, the epitome of a lost soul. He's got a crappy job; to snoop through people's emails. He's single. He's not a big fan of going out.

He likes Beth. And he doesn't even know what she looks like.

But oh, fate is such trickster. Beth and Lincoln have crossed paths already and reading about Lincoln reading Beth's email to Jennifer about seeing Lincoln is enough to send me over the edge and start laughing and kicking my feet up because fate is just so tricky!

It is bad enough that someone has gone through your email and it's worse when that someone is actually someone you like who is paid to look through your email. I haven't stressed this enough.

What scares me is how they fell in love with each other so fast. When they sat beside each other in the movie house and they started making out, I was like, WOAH OKAY. I don't think I will ever be ready for that kind of love.

Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

(Photo grabbed from WeHeartIt)

The year 2014 gave me so many experiences and opportunities that I never got before. I am indeed very thankful for it.

I started blogging on February 23, 2014. I've always wanted to start one. The problem was, I never continued it. But I vowed that I will continue. Eleven months and 109 posts later, I'm still going.

Book Signings
I've heard about book signings. I've seen a local bookstore put up posters of the signings they'll be organizing in their stores. Back then, I wasn't really serious about collecting books. But then, when they organized the book signing for Becca Fitzpatrick, I knew I was in for the ride. Little did I know, I'd meet my best friends!

Tinig is a short film that I've written with my classmate for our entry in Sinepiyu, our school's film festival. On a whim, I volunteered to write a fifteen minute short story about a deaf girl who's addicted to watching porn. I intended for the film to be darker and my groupmates agreed as well. But alas, we had to reduce to a safe yet dramatic film. Writing for film is one of the things I wanted to do and I can definitely say, I've accomplished it.

Turning 20
The big 2-0 is a big deal to me. It means I have to leave my teenage years. I have to be mature! No kidding. I mean, I don't have to leave my teenage years. I just have to relive it in my twenties and make mature decisions.

Goodreads Challenge
I've read 86 books in 2014. Mostly YA and NA. This year, I'm aiming for 100 because I'm awesome like that. Hopefully, I can open myself to other genres as well.

Here's to another year of books and more fun! Happy New Year!

January 2, 2015

Wicked Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Published: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Kids UK
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Acquired: Paperback

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Well, how do I even start? Here's back story. I had no idea that this series has 6 books. I was so excited that I bought the UK editions of the three books. And I hate long distance relationships. And waiting. Like, waiting for the next book to come while your head is filled with conspiracy theories.


This is where we learn more about Celaena. She's actually a force to be reckoned with and the King of Adarlan should be scared for his sorry life. She went to Wendlyn to learn about the Wyrdkeys not knowing what dangers lies ahead.

Now, we meet Prince Rowan, personal guard of Maeve, Celaena's aunt. Rowan brings her to Maeve where she seeks out her knowledge of the Wyrdkeys but it comes with a price. Maeve wants to see Celaena's power. In order to accomplish that, she must train with Rowan.

It brings back memories with Chaol in the first book where they trained for the Tests to become the King's Champion. This is where things sort of get together-for lack of a better phrase. Celaena's flashbacks certainly help with understanding the world of the Fae.

Across the sea, Dorian's friendship with Chaol is hanging by a thread as secrets are revealed. I used to think of Dorian as a playboy and carefree. In this book, he mans up. He starts talking back to his abominable father. I  feel so sorry for both of them. Well, mostly for Chaol, because he's torn forever between duty to his King and his love for Celaena.

In the mountains, however, the witches are rising. Manon Blackbeak is the strongest witch of all the covens. All of the other covens were tasked by the King to train with wyverns in the upcoming war games in exchange for their former land. I got more attached to this story than with Celaena mainly because Manon is such a beautifully written character like Celaena.

Sarah J. Maas has done it again. Now, let me crawl back inside my cave and hibernate till book four comes out.

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). Starting in Spring 2015, her New Adult Fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well. 

Sarah lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the California coastline with her husband.