Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book Review: The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters by Alicia Hou

Title: The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters
Author: Alicia Hou
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. (August 25, 2010)


★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

The story is about a Chinese mother, Lotus, who was forced to abandon her daughters and son once the Communists implemented the one-child policy in China. This is narrated by Mimi, Lotus's daughter by her American husband, Jim.

For 20 years, Mimi and Gigi (Lotus's first daughter from her first marriage - Chinese husband) were not aware that they have sisters and a brother left in China. This secret was revealed to them when they consulted a fortune-teller. Upon knowing this secret, they traveled to Panama and China to see their other siblings.

I liked the story. It was the unique storytelling with the character sketches that made it such an enjoyable read. However, as the story continues, I found it hard to remember all the characters, I had to go back to the introduction once in a while to help me remember them. I also noticed that the author made too many conflicts in the story which were easily resolved. No time for the reader to wonder where the story is heading because the author provided them for the reader. Lastly, the writing style is basic with too much dialogue. The dialogue should read as real speech and would have been better if there are expressions that people use when they're talking to each other.

Aside from the things mentioned above, it was still a beautiful story of love, loss, and forgiveness.

About the book:

When the Communists took over China and the strict implementation of the one-child policy was put to practice, the Chinese were greatly affected. Some of them were forced to commit abortion, abandon their daughters (because most of them prefer sons), and flee to other countries, where they were guaranteed with safety and a normal way of life.

Lotus Kingsbury, a Chinese woman, is married to Jim Kingsbury, a Caucasian. They live in Los Angeles together with their daughter, Mimi, and Lotus's daughter from her first marriage, Gi-Gi. For twenty years, Lotus kept her secret that she, in fact, has three more children from her previous marriage with T. X. Chen.

Lotus's secret has been revealed when Gi-Gi consults a fortuneteller. Gi-Gi meets her other siblings, but conflicts occur among them and their mother. With the help of the fortuneteller and the Chinese belief of karma, all the family members get through the turmoil of life.

Chinese tradition, customs, and beliefs--karma, virginity, reincarnation, etc. may be peculiar to some nationalities, but to them, they are unique, lifesavers, and lessons that should be taught in general. - Amazon

About the author:

Born in China, Alicia Hou presently resides in Los Angeles, California and works for an insurance firm. Her grandmother, her Chinese upbringing, and her experiences inspired her to write this book, which focuses on the power of karma, family, and friendship. Aside from English, she is also fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.

Per the author's point of view, causing many new born girls missing in China is not the government's fault; it is the consequence of the cruel son-preference culture. Very soon, 25% or more Chinese single male will face difficulties of finding a wife. The author hopes the Chinese parents learn to treasure their daughters from now. - Amazon

I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Alicia Hou. The review posted above is based on my  personal thoughts while reading the book.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Want a Dimitri and Rose (Vampire Academy) story?

Author Richelle Mead in her Facebook account, wrote something that followers of Vampire Academy will love! 

She said that she will write a short story about Dimitri & Rose visiting his family in Russia if Spirit Bound wins in the CBC awards. 

I need this story pleaseeee. I really hope SB wins. Here's the voting link if you haven't voted yet: CBC

For more updates, visit Richelle Mead's website HERE

Give away Winners: Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin

This book give away is now closed.

Congratulations to:

I will be sending you guys confirmation email in a while.
Thank you to David Halperin for the book giveaways!!

Give away Winner: Cheat by J.E. Medric

This book give away is now closed.

Congratulations to:
The author will be sending you a confirmation email in a while.
Thank you to J.E. Medric for the e-book giveaway!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Flavors by Emily Sue Harvey

Title: Flavors
Author: Emily Sue Harvey
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Story Plant, The (March 1, 2011) 


★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This book reminds me a lot of childhood memories.The story of Flavors is like reading my diary, I could relate to some of the things mentioned in this book. I remember those summers spent at my grandparents house. Wow, reading this definitely made me stop and think of those people I met during those summer vacations and my crushes! And look at the book cover, loved that book cover! I'm really fascinated with flowers and the color is perfect for the theme of the book.

Though I have to mention that while I liked the story, this was kind of slow read for me. I don't know. This is one of those books I liked to read but couldn't finish in one sitting. I guess I could say that the story is good but the narration of Sadie's life wasn't that great. Overall, if you want something relaxing to read, a heart-warming story, you might want to try this book.  

About the book:

Emily Sue Harvey’s first novel, Song of Renewal, was praised by New York Times bestselling author Jill Marie Landis as “an uplifting, heartwarming story,” by bestselling author Kay Allenbaugh as a work that will “linger in the memory long after readers put it aside,” and by Coffee Time Romance as “a must-read book for anyone doing a little soul searching.” New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry said, “It captures your attention, and whets your appetite for more,” while Peeking between the Pages called it “quite simply a beautiful book.”

Now, in Flavors, this master storyteller of the human heart sweeps us along with twelve-year-old Sadie Ann Melton as she enters a life-altering season. The summer of 1950 will change everything for her. For in that summer, she will embark on an odyssey at once heartbreakingly tender and crushingly brutal. At times, she will experience more darkness than she has ever witnessed before. At others, she will thrill to lightness and joy she never imagined. By summer’s end, the Melton women in Sadie’s journey &ndash loving her, coaxing her, and commanding her &ndash will help shape her into the woman she becomes. And they will expose Sadie to all of the flavors of life as she savors the world that she brings into being.

Filled with charm, wisdom, and the smorgasbord of emotions that comes with the first steps into adulthood, Flavors once again proves Emily Sue Harvey’s unique ability to touch our souls with her unforgettable stories. - Amazon

About the author:

Emily Sue Harvey’s writing to make a difference. Her upbeat stories have appeared in  dozens of anthologies including “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” “Chocolate for Women,” “From Eulogy to Joy,” “A Father’s Embrace,” “True Story,” “Compassionate Friends Magazine,” and “Woman’s World.” Emily Sue served as president of Southeastern Writers Association in 2008-2009. Her first novel, Song of Renewal, published by Story Plant, was released in the spring of 2009. For more information visit

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from Pump Up Your Book Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In My Mailbox

IMM (In My Mailbox) is a weekly meme hosted and created by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This is a way to share the books we received for review, bought, and also books borrowed from the library.


From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil. 

Callie is shocked when she is ripped from her home in the middle of the night. She is taken to a city that she never knew existed only to find that she has a strange connection to her sexy captor. To top it all off, he tries to convince her that she is not even human. She learns that she is actually a fairy. Not just any fairy, but a fairy who has been destined to become queen of the fairies. The only problem is that the current queen is a cruel tyrant and Callie will have to fight for the title that she was meant for. She is not completely convinced that this is a life that she wants to live. She would love nothing more than to go back to being the normal human girl that she always thought that she was. When tragedy strikes, Callie finds that she no longer knows who she can trust. She must learn to survive on her own in a harsh underground world. She finds herself dealing with the struggles of life and love for the first time. Two gorgeous guys, a bunch of new friends, and a whole new world. Will it be more than she can bear?


Friday, April 15, 2011


Hi guys! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I haven't been online or blogging for some time now. Things aren't so great with my life *sniff sniff*. My daughter is in the hospital right now and we had to stay at my mom's place for a while. Would you guys still be around if I don't post much this month? I'm really struggling in reading and blogging the past weeks (or months). 

I'd like to apologize too for the for the winners of my giveaways, I will try to post them all by tomorrow - hoping my daughter would be discharged from the hospital today.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Waiting for : Oh mi gawd - tru blaaad!

True Blood season 4 premieres June 26, 2011!
Yay!!!  Witch war, I'm really looking forward to watching the fourth season. 

Awww love this guy sooo HOT!

Wow what a booody!

Want True Blood season 4 spoilers? Click HERE

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guest Author and Giveaway: David Halperin

For months before Journal of a UFO Investigator was published, I struggled to find a single sentence to describe the novel.  At last a friend pointed out that I already had one.  It was a gift of novelist Keith Donohue, in the praise he kindly wrote for the book:  “A compelling reimagining of the myth of UFOs … intertwined with the deepest longings of a teenage boy.”

 I was a teenage boy somewhat like my book’s narrator, his awareness bounded and shaped by his longings—for all the normal things teenage boys yearn for, plus a few unique to him.  (Like, that his terminally ill mother somehow get well.)  Like “Danny Shapiro,” I coped with these longings by becoming a teen “UFOlogist,” as we UFO buffs proudly called ourselves.  Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the things that happen to Danny in the book never happened to me.  “The UFO fell from the sky,” Danny’s story begins, “on the night of December 20, 1962, the week of my thirteenth birthday.”  It nearly crushes Danny in the process.  That never happened to me.  To this day, I’ve never seen a UFO.

 There’s a sense, though, in which this first scene of the novel is autobiographical.
 How vividly I imagined it, when I was thirteen like Danny!  I would be standing outside my house, not far from it, gazing up into the starry sky.  A glowing red disk—large enough, close enough that it had to be real, could not possibly be anything ordinary—would blaze its way, as I watched, across the heavens.  I never saw this; it never happened.  But it could happen.  It would happen.  These disks, mysterious and uncontrollable invaders of our skies, were there for me to see.  Sooner or later I would see them.
Then there’s the dream.  (Or perhaps it was a waking fantasy; at this distance of time, I can’t be sure.)  I had it sometime when I was a teenager.  In the dream—or fantasy, but I think it was a dream—I was in a rambling old house somewhere out in the country.  I’d come for a meeting of ultra-serious teenagers like myself, scientific sorts, dedicated to exploring the mysteries that lie just beyond the boundaries of science.  There was a short, pudgy boy with blond hair, dressed (as was I) in jacket and tie.  And a beautiful girl, also blond, wearing an evening dress.

 For 35 years that dream stayed with me.  When I sat down to write Journal of a UFO Investigator, I set it in motion.  You can read it as the scene, about a sixth of the way into the book, where Danny visits the old farmhouse that’s the headquarters of the “Super-Science Society” and meets his rival-to-be Tom.  Also Rochelle, whose charms will seduce him into alien worlds of wonder, terror, ultimately wisdom.

Keith Donohue was right.  UFOs are a myth.  That’s what Jung called them, in one of the last books he published before his death, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies.  By “myth,” Jung didn’t mean “bunk,” “hooey.”  He intended something supremely important, a sort of collective dream of the species, emerging dream-like from our shared unconscious.  For most of my adolescent years that myth lodged itself in my soul, where all true myths belong.  It got itself tangled up with more mundane longings for … well, for a girl kind of like Rochelle.  Who herself takes on mythical dimensions as the story unfolds—sexy and dangerous, but also sage and mentoring.  Free-loving teenager and archetypal Wise Woman in one.

 Now, many years later, I’ve told the UFO myth as my story, my dream. 

 That, in one sentence, is what Journal of a UFO Investigator is about.

To learn more, to watch the video trailer, go to

“Danny Shapiro is an isolated teenager of the 1960s, living with a dying mother, a hostile father, and without friends.  To cope with these circumstances, Danny forges a reality of his own, which includes the sinister Three Men in Black, mysterious lake creatures with insect-like carapaces, a beautiful young seductress and thief with whom Danny falls in love, and an alien/human love child who—if only Danny can keep her alive—will redeem the planet.”

Be a follower and leave a comment to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 hardcover books. The contest is open for US and Canada residents only - sorry. The contest will end on 21 April. Goodluck!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review: Virtual Pulp by Henry Brown

Title: Virtual Pulp
Author: Henry Brown
Paperback: 140 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (October 13, 2010)


★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Virtual Pulp is a collection of 5 short stories: The Bloodstained Defile, Barbarian Nation, Radical Times, Thus Spake the Bard, and Fever Dream Nemesis.

I enjoyed this book, though only liked the first and the third short stories. The first story is about the 3 warriors from different races, united by their will to survive the war from an evil sorcerer. The third one is about the love story of a white man and black woman set in the time where union of white and colored people is not allowed.

This is recommended to all readers who like to read short stories and into historical-action-adventure.

 About the book:

From medieval Europe to Reconstruction; from a post-apocalyptic future to an alien world's Dark Ages, the drums pound in adrenaline-charged unison. Strap yourself in for a wild escape from the mundane, into adventures that transcend space and time.Allan of Barnsdale pledges loyalty to a doomed knight in exchange for inspiration to craft his tale of King Arthur...never imagining they are en route to an ambush by outlaws in Sherwood Forest.Pick Garver returns to his hometown after the Civil War a hero to some, a turncoat to most, and less likely to be with his true love than when he left.Three warriors from vastly different races must battle a sorcerer, an invading armada, and each other, while desperately seeking honor in a world where treachery is the norm.Mechanic, armchair engineer and hot-dog pilot Rebble Rauser and his fellow citizens of the "Barbarian Nation" have their hands full protecting their sovereignty with blazing wing guns when an old rival of Rebble's makes a surprise visit during a war in a chaotic American future.The convenience of E-reading is given a pulp magazine flavor in this fusion of quality writing with the imaginative adventure-lust of yesteryear. - Goodreads

About the author:

Men's fiction/retro-pulp writer Henry Brown has been a voracious reader for most of his life. In addition to devouring fiction of most genres, he has been a history buff from a young age, and a WWII afficinado by the age of 17. Dude-lit, action adventure and pulp fiction topped his reading list for many years. He entered the military upon graduation from high school and volunteered for an elite unit. Upon his return to civilian life years later, he earned a degree in the arts, but spent most of his college elective credits on military history courses. His passion for dude-lit led him to create the Two-Fisted Blogger web log, where he plans to help reawaken an interest in fiction for men. - Amazon

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Henry Brown. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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