Nov 3, 2015

Book Review: The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Leah is the star in Allie's life. Allie adored her perfect big sister. Why did she kill herself and why did she do it on her own? Allie wants to know the truth, but does she really? Allie keeps seeing Leah, but that can't be real, because Leah is dead. She lives with her mother who has her own problems. Her father isn't the kind and loving type. She has nobody who supports her, except maybe Nick. Nick is a good guy from school who's there for her when Allie needs him, but is he right for her? Will Allie be able to handle the truth about Leah and what happened the night she killed herself?

The Sister Pact is quite a shocking book about two sisters who made a pact together, only one of them didn't stick to the plan. Now Allie is left behind with a lot of questions. She's looking for comfort in the same way as her mother and sister. Does it help and is it right? I often felt so sad for her and wanted to tell her to make wiser decisions. It's up to her to decide though and I kept hoping she would see the error of her ways. Allie is traumatized and hurt and in her hurt she isn't looking out for herself well enough.

The Sister Pact isn't light reading. It's a crude and heavy story. It's moving, sometimes so much that I found it tough to keep reading. I was very much affected by this story. It's about pain, but also about hope. Stacie Ramey is a good writer, I liked her style. I also loved the artistic sides of both Leah and Allie. She uses their creativity to give them personalities. Allie communicates through her art and the descriptions of her work and use of colors are dynamic and they make her come to life really well. Because I could picture everything so vividly I felt like I could almost touch Allie's hurt. It's often connected to her sister and it's like a main character. I was certainly impressed by everything I read. What happens is horrible sometimes and Stacie Ramey makes the reader face it all. The Sister Pact is raw, terrible and absolutely amazing at the same time.

Giveaway: Blue Seed & Turquoise Bracelet


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a blue seed and turqoise bracelet made by Flor. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Nov 2, 2015

Giveaway: L'Occitane, Shopper, Jewelry, Books by Sarah Morgan, Magnets and Felt Duck


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win this sunny L'Occitane, books by Sarah Morgan, jewelry, magnets, shopper and felt duck giveaway. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

A Little Bit of Sunshine in November


About Suze

Several of my friends have issues with the month November. Even the themes of a lot of my review books are sad. For many people November is the worst month of the year. The days are getting shorter, the weather is often grey and the winter isn't there yet, so there are many sad days to come. I wish I could swap continents sometimes for constant summer weather. November can also be a lot of fun though. For me it's usually a good month. I'm going to make my blog as cheerful as possible and am starting with this post. Her are some tips to make your November better:

1. Start your preparations for Christmas at the beginning of the month. Read a lovely Christmas book to get in the mood, get yourself some of your favorite Christmas candy and allow yourself some fun and festive music each day. It really helps.

2. Thinking sad thoughts always makes you feel worse. It's easier said than done to get rid of them, but being aware of this fact already helps a little bit. Try to change your sad thoughts into happy ones or find a distraction when you start to feel down.

3. Make sure you sing and dance for at least five minutes every day. Be as silly as you can. It helps to give you a boost.

4. Choose a book instead of watching a television show. Books generally make you happier than television. If you really need some cheering up reread your all time favorite story. It will definitely make your evenings better.

5. Treat yourself. Of course this doesn't mean you have to empty your bank account or eat everything in your cupboards, but do something nice just for you. Give yourself an early Christmas gift, buy a luxurious beauty product or get yourself that book that has been on your wish list for months. You can also bake a cake or get some delicious desert.

6. Go out and meet friends, your loved one(s) or family. Make sure your November is as social as possible. Meet people who make you feel loved and cherished and spend quality time with them.

7. Go to the cinema instead of watching a movie on the sofa like you usually do. Go to the theater to see a musical, visit a concert or go bowling or paint balling with your friends. A change of scenery often works and day or night out is the way to do it. 

8. When you feel good on the outside you'll feel better on the inside. Take good care of yourself. Go to the hairdresser, have your nails done or get that beautiful eye shadow, pamper yourself. Wear your best clothes and spend time on your appearance. It will help.

9. Stay away from too much comfort food. It will make you feel worse instead of better. Instead eat fruit and vegetables and if you want something sweet make sure it's worthwhile. 

10. Surround yourself with colors. Make sure your days are as bright as possible. Don't let the grey win. 

Agi and Suze's Christmas Countdown


Last year Agi and I organized a wonderful Christmas event. It was a big success, so we've decided to repeat it this year, but with a slightly different angle. The feature is for both authors and bloggers. We'll start on November 29th, the official start of the advent and will count down until December 24th. We would love it if every participant could answer a few Christmas related questions and donate a small giveaway. It's a lovely way to make someone happy, but also to find some new readers for your book(s) and/or blog. If you don't have a blog, but would like to participate you'll of course be very welcome.

For me Christmas is about sharing love and happiness. The size of the gift doesn't matter, it's the thought that counts. I love reading about Christmas traditions, special gestures and wonderful food and drinks. The idea behind our event is that it's something fun and heartwarming. I hope you will join us. If you'd like to take part you can send a message to librarianlavender@gmail.com, https://twitter.com/Agi_mybookshelf, https://twitter.com/ScintillatingSZ or you can contact us on Facebook. 

We have a giveaway for those who are taking part as well. One of our participants will receive a lovely, personal surprise gift. I can't wait to celebrate Christmas and hope you will celebrate it with us. 

Love, Suze

Book Review: Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Paige is on her way to her father's ranch to spend the summer there. After traumatic events at home she needs a change of scenery before the start of her first semester as a student. Jake, a nice guy who isn't much older than Paige, is picking her up from the airport and he's taking her to the place that used to be her home. When she arrives at the ranch nothing is like she remembered it. Her father has ALS and while before there were plenty of people now there are only two people left who are taking care of him. Slowly Paige's body is starting to heal and she's finally able to tell her story. She writes it all down in a diary. Even though she likes Jake she isn't ready to let someone in again, too much has happened for her to be able to do that...

Paint My Body Red is a beautiful story about a girl who's had a difficult time. Paige needs to get away from that life. At Paige's high school students were committing suicide. Heidi R. Kling managed to write about that in a sensitive way. I was curious to find out what happened to Paige and could really feel her pain. I read this book in one sitting, because I couldn't put it away. I had to keep reading to see what would happen to her and to find out what happened in her past. There are two different types of chapters, a then and a now part which works really well. It's clear what is what and it makes the story easy to follow.

I instantly liked Paige, but because of what she says about herself I was on guard. She went through something traumatic and when she arrives at the ranch another difficult situation is waiting for her. I think Heidi R. Kling wrote about ALS in such an honest way. It was both sad and loving. Paige has so much to deal with. Sometimes life is like that and I admire the sensitive way Heidi R. Kling deals with all of those issues. She's written such an excellent story. Her writing is gripping and I think this book is really, really good. 

Lapis Lazuli Necklace Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful lapis lazuli necklace made by Que Cuchi. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Nov 1, 2015

Book Review: Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Pearl is living at Seed. She's fifteen years old and has just become a woman. In seed they worship Nature. Papa S. is their leader. He's enigmatic and Pear has learned to both fear and admire him. There are strict rules at Seed and everyone has to work with their hands. Pearl knows nearly nothing about what's going on outside Seed. She's uneducated and has never questioned the world she's living in. She's happy at Seed. She loves spending time outside and she cares about everyone she's living with. 

Pear is close to Jack and Kate. They're more or less the same age and they spend a lot of time together. Things are changing when Papa S. lets outsiders stay with them. A mother with her two children is allowed to join. At first they are happy to be there, but slowly bad things are starting to happen. Pearl will be forced to think about who she is and what Seed is really like...

Seed is a gripping story about a small group of people who are living in a community where things are going on that the younger members aren't aware of. Slowly the truth starts to come to the surface and Pearl is right in the middle of it. She doesn't know what she should believe any longer. She used to live a happy and protected life and I felt bad for her that it was about to come to an end. I really liked her and wanted her to be safe. I couldn't stop reading until I found out what would happen to her and the people she loves. 

I loved the idea behind Seed. It's obvious that Lisa Heathfield has thought it through really well. The details were all exactly right. I immediately felt suffocated and loved that I was able to get so close to the story. This book is so creepy and the idea of not knowing what would happen next scared me as much as what actually did happen. I didn't want to know and I did want to know. I wanted to keep my eyes closed, but I also couldn't stop reading. Seed is unique and it's scary, it's a story that gets under your skin and will stay there for a very long time.

Hop Sign Ups: November New Release Giveaway Hop


You can sign up now for the November New Release Giveaway Hop! This hop will be hosted by me and Shannon from It Starts at Midnight.

Sign up because it's fun to host a giveaway together with other bloggers. You can attract new followers and readers by signing up. This hop is very active and there are plenty of readers who absolutely love it. Hops generate a lot of extra traffic and the people who like your blog will keep following it which means you can increase your audience.

Rules:

This giveaway hop is especially for books that will be released in November 2015.

  1. The prize has to be a book that has been published in November 2015, both ebooks and paperbacks are allowed.
  2. You can also give away additional items like bookmarks, gift cards, etc. as an extra prize.
  3. Don't use too many entries. I won't be really strict, but keep it easy for people to enter.
  4. Please be clear if you will be sending worldwide or not. Put it in the linky, so people will know. As you can send books via the Bookdepository for free, it would be great if you could send worldwide.
  5. Add the linky to your blog post ( I will send all the necessary information to you by email a few days before the start of the hop ).
  6. Please keep this hop family friendly. 
7. Have fun as that's the best part of hops! 


Doll Necklace Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful doll necklace made by Prigioniera Di Un Sogno. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Book Review: Children's Book of Magic by Konrad Modzelewski

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Anniek

The Children's Book of Magic is such a great book. It contains magic tricks for young wizards. Even though my son is not old enough yet I will absolutely keep this book until we can practice together. The recommendation is to start from the age of 4.

I love the setup. You can find your favorite trick at the beginning of the book together with the difficulty level. The more rabbits shown with the trick the more difficult it is. Not only will you know how skilled you must be or become, but you also know what props you have to have.

The book is really made to be magical for children. The rules that are in there will make children feel like real magicians. When you get to one of the tricks it starts with a comic that shows you what kind of effect your trick will have on others. On the next page you will be shown how to do the trick step by step. It is really easy to follow because of the clear and helpful graphics. After using this book with your child(ren) you will have a real magician in your home.

The advice you can find at the end of the description of every trick is very sweet and gives children some extra pointers. It's all absolutely very well done! I can't wait until my little one is old enough. I will certainly use this book at a birthday party so we can create a lot of young magicians. Children will understand it perfectly because of the way it has been written together with the clear images. Every child who is into this kind of stuff will love this book. 

Giveaway: Books I'm Grateful I read Hop


There are so many books I'm grateful I read, so I've decided to go with one I recently read and loved which is Shifting Colours by Fiona Sussman.


The winner of this giveaway will receive a paperback copy of this amazing story and a book of choice worth $10. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween Giveaway 8: Books, Jewelry, Candy & Decodelire Pouch


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books, candy, a Decodelire pouch, a candy necklace and earring set and a druzy necklace. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Halloween Fabulous Freebie Book Review: David Warkentin's Death by Halloween

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Anniek

This book is all about YOU. Death by Halloween is an interactive 'choose your own adventure' story. You start in the safety of your own home and from there you decide what you do and where you will go. Will you choose to stay in areas with lots of people and be relatively safe or will you be a daredevil and seek out danger? It is really is all up to you.

Of course your choices will also bring you monsters and perhaps even death if you choose the wrong course. This book promises you over 100 choices and more than 50 endings. You can also be sure about running into all kind of horrors like ghosts, zombies, demons and murderers. How will your story end?

I loved the fact that I could choose my own way. It's like writing your own book without actually having to use your pen and paper (or computer). Because of all the different choices you can create a different story each time. During the story I felt compelled to choose the more dangerous paths and couldn't stop reading to find out what my choice would bring me.

Death by Halloween will keep you busy for lots of hours. For me this was the first time I read an interactive story but it certainly will not be my last. David Warkentin's adventure got me hooked and I am in need of more. Until I find a good new interactive book this one will keep me busy until the late hours of the night.

Because of the graphic scenes and violence this book is meant for the adult readers among us. Join me with you own adventure and enjoy the horrors that will have you hiding under the covers.

Halloween Giveaway 7: Black Cat in Pumpkin Necklace


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful cat necklace made by Airalys. This necklace is unique and has been made especially for my blog. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

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