Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Blurb: The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1) by Jeaniene Frost



This is the first book in a new series by Jeaniene Frost. As per every other book I've consumed by this author, I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Tavia Gilbert. Categorized as Young Adult, I would personally categorize it New Adult instead.

This story about Angels, Demons, and Destiny was enjoyable for me.  You can go to Goodreads to read a summary of the book.  I thought the concept was interesting, as I have not yet read many other books with this type of theme, though I know there are several out there. As I finished this audiobook, I was reminded of the reason I don't start series before they're done or nearly done, because now I have to wait to find out what happens next!  Tavia Gilbert's narration is excellent as usual.  If you haven't listened to any audiobooks narrated by her, I highly recommend you check her out.  Of course, I also recommend Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress Novels if you're interested in books about Vampires and Ghouls, though those are categorized as Adult.

I listened to the audiobook on Scribd.  If you don't already have a membership to their service, you can get a free two month subscription by following the link. Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress novels and the audiobook versions narrated by Tavia Gilbert are also available on the site, if you might be interested in those.

PopSugar Reading Challenge: A book with non-human creatures, check!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shopping: Haul from Image Beauty and Fashion

On Valentine's Day, I decided to get me a few presents  o((*^▽^*))o I'll list all the products at the bottom of this post.

There were a couple products from the Kose Sekkisei line that I had been interested in picking up last week on our trip to Mitsuwa. This particular line is for whitening and the products are all locked in a glass case or behind the sales counter. Understandable, because the products are pricey, but this also means you have to get help from a sales associate to purchase the products. Unfortunately, no sales associate there wanted to help me. I went to the counter 3 times and I could not get help from anyone standing behind the counter, not because they were busy (because there were no other customers at the counter) but they just didn't want to help me I guess.  Their loss because I found another store that carried the products I was interested in.


Hello Image Beauty and Fashion! I had found them (or I should say they found me) after liking one of my photos on Instagram. I saw that they weren't too far from me so I decided to take a little trip to visit them. 

I was looking at the Kose Sekkisei skin care and went to pick out my products when I was approached by the sales associate. Thank goodness I asked her about the products because I almost made the mistake of purchasing the extra moisturizing version of the lotion/toner (which I definitely don't need). I thought that the Sekkisei Excellent Line had more whitening properties, but it has more moisturizing properties. She also let me know that with a purchase of $65, I could get a free gift and showed me the gift which was a sample set. 

I also bought the mask which made my purchase eligible for the free gift. My daughter and I continued to walk around the store and we saw that the Darkness Lashes were Buy 3 Get 1 Free so we picked up a few. My daughter also found a hand cream she liked, so we picked that up as well. 

Upon check out, the sales associate also offered me some samples to try. I received 4 packets of Cure Natural Aqua Gel Exfoliator, along with verbal directions for use, and 4 packets of Complete Choice Color Change Cream which is like a CC Cream. 

All in all my experience at their store was excellent and I will definitely be back to purchase again.

Products:

  • Kose Sekkisei Lotion 12.1 fl oz
  • Kose Sekkisei Herbal Esthetic (Brightening Mask) 5 oz
  • Darkness Lashes in VZ, LA7, LA6, and LA 4
  • Aroma Resort Fine Apple & Gardenia Hand Cream 70 grams
  • Kose Sekkisei Gift Set containing Clear Cleansing Oil 1.1 oz, White Liquid Wash 0.67 fl oz, Lotion 24 ml, Cream 0.2 oz, and Herbal Esthetic Brightening Mask 1 oz
  • Cure Natural Aqua Gel Exfoliator samples
  • Complete Choice Color Change Cream samples
I also found The Face Shop in the same shopping plaza and I'll post the haul from that store separately. Have you tried any of these products? Please let me know if you have and your experience with them

Until next time, Take Care and Smile Always!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Blurb: Cinder by Marissa Meyer


The classic tale of Cinderella with a cyborg twist and a deadly disease running rampant.

I started Cinder last year and just wasn't getting into it. This is the book I put on the side and then didn't read anything else for the rest of the year. I decided to pick it up again, and finished it in a day! Maybe it was just the story set-up that was boring to me?  Once I got into more about the disease and the Evil Queen, the pages flew by.

You still have your expected cast of characters, with the addition of the Doctor (well, maybe he's the Fairy Godmother?) and her robot friend Iko (maybe the equivalent of Gus Gus if I had to guess).  The land where this story takes place wasn't as fleshed out as I needed it to be. I couldn't really imagine where New Beijing was. In my mind I was in a land that was a mix of Star Wars and Agrabah (I say Agrabah because every time the Prince showed up in the Marketplace to talk to Cinder, I pictured him as Aladdin incognito.  I don't know why). Not even sure if that's remotely close to what it's supposed to look like. To add to the confusion, the names are Chinese and Japanese, which just seem so out of place to me.

In the end, I am still interested to find out where the story is going. I know the next installment in this series introduces another fairy tale, and it should be interesting to see how that story line weaves itself into this one. I have already started Scarlet and will be letting you know if things in that book help to solidify and sort out the world for me and if that story grabs me more fully than this installment did.

PopSugar Reading Challenge: A book I started but never finished....until now, check!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Blurb: No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie


I mentioned that When brought me out of my reading rut. So much so that I jumped right into this other new book by the same author! No Ghouls Allowed is the 9th installment in Victoria Laurie's Ghost Hunter Series.  You would think that with series of this length, things start to become less interesting than they were when you first started the series, but that is completely not the case here. I really enjoy this series, not only for the spooks we are introduced to, but the places and of course, our Ghost Hunters. 

This installment takes place in Valdosta, Georgia which is MJ and Gilley's hometown. Our Ghost Hunters are supposed to be taking a break from their job, but when MJ's father's fiancé mentions that she's been having strange occurrences at the mansion she has bought and is now trying to renovate, MJ offers to take a look. It becomes apparent that this spook has some kind of connection to MJ's Mother's past. The mansion itself also has history of it's own in the form of a child that went missing several decades ago. The ghost busting commences as our team finds out what the spook's connection is to MJ's Mom and if it has another connection to this missing child.

I was a little concerned before I started reading, because several people had stated that this book was super scary.  The scariest book in the series even.  I'm one that can usually handle a semi-scary book, but I absolutely can not watch a scary movie.  Not knowing how my imagination would amplify the scenes I would be reading about was the concern.  Thankfully, this book was not as scary as I anticipated it to be, at least not to me.  I guess my mind keeps a good leash on my imagination so I can sleep at night LOL.  That being said, this book did not let down my expectations of it being an excellent read.

There are several mentions in the book of a local ice cream shop.  This of course totally made me crave ice cream while I was reading.  If you like ice cream, I'd suggest that you have some on hand when you read this book. You may also want a tissue or two as there are a couple scenes where you may need them.

As I have finished the most current installment of this series, I look forward to jumping into Victoria Laurie's Abby Cooper Series while I wait for another Ghost Hunter Mystery to be penned.

PopSugar Reading Challenge: A book published this year - check!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Blurb: When by Victoria Laurie




I devoured this book in just a couple hours. It was in 2013 that I discovered Victoria Laurie's books at my local library. I dove right in and read all the books in her Ghost Hunter Mystery series and have been a fan since. As expected, I loved this book and do recommend it, especially if you like a little supernatural with your mystery.

This story is about a high school girl named Maddy, who can see a person's date of death just by looking at them, whether it be in person or from a picture.  She had been able to see the numbers floating on people's foreheads since she was small, but it is not until her father dies tragically that her family realizes what the numbers mean. As the years go by, Maddy's Mom becomes an alcoholic and to make ends meet, she starts advertising Maddy's gift.  For a small fee, Maddy begins doing readings for these clients from a small room at the back of their home. Would I want to know what date I would die? Probably not, but there are people who would. One day, a client comes in regarding her daughter who is in the hospital with cancer. Happily, Maddy tells her that her daughter will live a long life, but then Maddy catches a glimpse of the woman's other children from a photo that was in her wallet..  She tells the woman that one of her sons will not live as long as her other children.  In fact, his death date is next week!  This of course doesn't fly to well with the client and when her son disappears the next week, guess who becomes the prime suspect in his disappearance?

This book is marketed as Young Adult.  There is no love triangle, no hot and heavy high school romance or anything like that.  There is a little bit of violence and bullying present.  I also enjoyed exploring if it was in fact possible for one to change their fate throughout the book.

Though this is a stand alone book, I can see the possibility of it turning into a series.  Truthfully, I would be super happy if there are more installments featuring this cast of characters.

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2015: A book you can finish in a day - check!

Reading, Crocheting, Knitting & KDramas: What I've Been Up To

Ok...I'm a terrible blogger LOL.  Truthfully, I'm still trying to figure out this whole blogging thing.  Should I put up a blog if it's only going to be a couple sentences is a question that runs through my head a lot.  You can tell that the answer to that question is always No, which is why you haven't heard from me in over a month, Sorry!

I've been up to a few things, and thought I'd fill you in.  First off, if you recall at the end of 2014, I wrote a blog about my failed attempt at the Reading Challenge that year.  I just became uninspired to read from the middle of the year to the end.  The books I was reading at the time, just weren't grabbing me.  I put them on the side and didn't feel the need or want to pick them up or to even read anything else. Hence the failure (╯︵╰,)

I'm attempting the Reading Challenge again this year and of course got off to a rocky start.  I have just completed my first book of the year and I enjoyed it so much that I not only finished it in one day, but I dove right into another book!  Though I am still behind what my pace should be if I am to complete the challenge this year, at least I'm into reading again.  The book that brought me out of my rut? When by Victoria Laurie. 



I'll do a blurb on it in a separate post, otherwise this post will be super long (as if it's not going to be super long as it is).  The very short review is that I loved it and totally recommend it. I don't think I've ever read a book (first time through) in one day.  I did re-read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling in one day years ago (in preparation for the movie), but the first time I read it, it took me much longer to get through it.

As a reference guide to my Reading Challenge this year, I'm incorporating the PopSugar Reading Challenge.  I say reference guide, because I will probably not read all the suggested themes on the PopSugar list, but I will use it for reference if there is ever a time I have no idea what to read next. Plus it will be fun to see what themes I do check off with what I do decide to read throughout the year.  I'm checking off  "A book you can finish in a day" with When.

On the crochet side of things, I am working on a super secret project.  I can't really say anything because it's a gift for someone and I want it to be a complete surprise.  What I can say is that it's taking me FOREVER to finish, but it will be worth it when it's done.  I'll also be working on a Crochet-a-long this year with Totallee.net.  If you haven't seen Lee's work, I highly recommend you go take a look on her blog.  She makes these awesome crochet portraits and I'm excited to be participating in a CAL with her.  I'll be posting updates here on my progress with that, so keep an eye out!

As far as the knitting goes, I've completed the knit portion of my These Are The Breaks Capelet by obliviousknits for the #hooigkal2015 on Instagram.  



I posted about the #getyouryarnwishesgranted tag that was going around Instagram last year, and a knit-a-long was created as a continuation of that tag.  I am happy to report that the fundraiser was a success!  As for the KAL, it runs until the end of this month and I just have to block my capelet to be completely done and entered to win some awesome prizes.

Lastly, I finished my first Korean Drama of the year.  Like reading, Korean Dramas got pushed to the side a bit about the same time my reading did.  The two dramas we were watching were just OK and I didn't feel any urgency to finish them at the time.  We did finally finish one of them, Bachelor's Vegetable Store.  In the end, I really did enjoy the drama.  It's just a little hard to read subtitles and work on a project that also needs your complete attention, which is another reason dramas got pushed to the side.  I actually owned the soundtrack to this one before we even started watching the drama, because I found it for a great price on YesAsia during one of their sales.  Now that we've completed the drama, I'm glad that I have it because there are a couple of tracks that I love.  I'm not much of a drama re-watcher, but I do re-live the dramas through the soundtracks.  You'll know if I enjoyed a drama if I own the soundtrack.



Well, that should do it.  Guess this should teach me to not wait until I have a whole bunch of stuff to write about before I post again ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
Anyway, I hope you've been great and until next time...

    ^
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/___\   Take Care and Smile Always!