Thursday, February 28, 2013

Random Thoughts: 10% off at The Book Depository!!



The Book Angel is BACK! With more 10% vouchers! If you'd like one, please EMAIL me as the voucher code will be sent to you.


Feel free to email me at reviewsbyabby (at) gmail (dot) com and put Book Depo in the Subject line for convenience.

The promo ends 15th March.



Oh yes, do check out my post from last week about Book Depository's Bargain Bucket HERE. Do take into consideration that some prices might have changed in the last week.



Have fun shopping!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Giveaway Goodies: Printed Books Giveaway Hop Winner!

 

So sorry about the long wait. Was away doing my annual Chinese New Year house-hopping.

Anyway, we have our winner!

Monica C. from Philippines! Who chose:

She has already confirmed so that's all for this giveaway folks!



No worries everyone because there will be a new Giveaway Hop next month! I hope to see you there then.

Ciao for now!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Bookworm: The Emerald Tablet by Joshua Silverman

  • Title: The Emerald Tablet 
  • SeriesLegends of Amun Ra, Book 1
  • Author: Joshua Silverman
  • Format: Paperback 408 pages
  • Publisher: Enchanted Forest Press
  • Published: September 13, 2012
  • Genre: Sci-fi, History, Mythology
  • ISBN 13: 978-0985207038
  • ISBN 10: 0985207035
  • Source: Gifted for Review 
  • Buy:  The Book Depository|Amazon|Kindle

In an apple core (The Bookworm’s version of a nutshell)

A mix of Egyptian and Greek mythology brings about a colourful landscape coupled with interesting characters who are not what they seem. An adventurous ride through history and fantasy. 


Summary

Leoros doesn't have many friends. As the son of a scientist and archeologist, he is constantly on the move. But when his parents make a startling discovery in Egypt, his world is turned upside down.

Do you wish you could have the power of a god? Would you use it for good or for evil?

When an archaeologist discovers the mythic Emerald Tablet buried beneath Egypt’s desert, her son decodes the ancient text leading him to a distant world.

On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together by forces neither understands.

Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed.

Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming.

Together they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin's blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it?

There is darkness in everyone.


My Thoughts

It seems like there have been a lot of mythology books and movies in the market recently. And The Emerald Tablet is but a new addition to that growing list. The Emerald Tablet is like reading a combination of the Percy Jackson series, Harry Potter and even parts of The Mummy movies all rolled into one but with a twist. It was interesting how the author added his own interests in comic books into the book. His research of the Greek and Egyptian myths is so extensive that sometimes he piles on too much information at certain parts of  the book. Those bits made the reading process slower as you try to take in all the history involved.

I found the cities interesting and fresh but lacking in substance and would have liked more depth and time to explore them. The only area that was properly developed was the Temple of Amun, which was truly a fantasy to live in. Being a story about Greek mythology, we are taken into the clouds and the world beyond. Those scenes were realistic and lovingly created.

One of the strengths of this book lies in its characters, from the first turn of the page we are introduced to one of them, exactly who I cannot tell you for the sake of not spoiling the secret. The Emerald Tablet is full of complex characters and each battle with who they really are inside. All the characters are unique in their own way and really represent the thin balance between good and bad. The book touches on slavery and equality and how just having someone who has faith in you can make you so much stronger as a person. 


Everything is a matter of perspective.


Unfortunately, I think that this book would have been stronger had it been edited better. Besides a number of various errors, some parts of the book did not flow smoothly for me. As someone who reads books practically word for word, I spotted quite a few too many errors for me to properly enjoy the book. There was quite a bit of repetition in the book as well, which to me was unnecessary as anyone reading the book would already know what was going on.

The ending was a bit of an anti-climax with the characters facing uncertain futures. While I do believe that the author intends on bringing back some of the characters somehow, the way it was done fell short for me, leaving me wanting a glimpse of hope of their survival. A more dramatic ending would have been nicer but it seemed like the author just wanted to leave the story with a proper ending. It felt like this could actually be taken as a stand-alone book rather than it having a major cliffhanger which I prefer in a long book series.


This book series could be a potential big budget mythological book-to-movie blockbuster that needs to have a few corners ironed out and some bits reinforced, but is almost there. I hope the author makes the rest of the series more concise and it could become quite a hit.

Give Joshua Silverman a Buzz




WARNING: There are some consensual sex scenes in this book along with some brutal torture. Parental guidance is advised.


Disclosure: I was sent the book for review but was not compensated financially or otherwise. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience.

Random Thoughts: The Book Depository 100 Books, 100 Offers & Bargain Bucket Offers!


promo Free worldwide delivery

Here are a few Bargain Finds I found. Lots of YA books too so grab them while you can! They are both Bargain Prices but Stocks are low so get them now!

Until I Die (Die for ME) by Amy Plum $5.94 



Destined: A House of Night Novel by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast $4.63 



Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake, Evan Daugherty,  

John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini $4.50


Alice in Wonderland (Hardback) Retold & Illustrated by 

Emma Chichester Clark, by Lewis Carroll $9.27 



Alice in Wonderland (Paperback) by Lewis Carroll $2.37 


Sin Undone (Demonica Novel) by Larissa Ione $5.88 


Angels and Demons by Dan Brown $5.65 


Others in the Bargain Bucket
Nora Roberts
Mark Billingam
Stephenie Meyer


Don't forget to check out the 100 books on offer!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Bookworm: Goodnight, Brian by Steven Manchester


  • Title: Goodnight, Brian
  • Author: Steven Manchester
  • Format: Paperback 308 pages
  • Publisher: The Story Plant
  • Published: 08 January 2013
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • ISBN 13: 978-1611880618
  • ISBN 10: 1611880610
  • Source: Gifted for Review 
  • Buy: The Book Depository|Amazon|Kindle|Nook

In an apple core (The Bookworm’s version of a nutshell)

A wonderful book of love and faith that can be enjoyed by all ages and will keep on teaching you about never backing down and having the courage to stare adversity in the face. A true must-read and a real keeper!


Summary

Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.

An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, Goodnight, Brian is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.



My Thoughts

The first few chapters of Goodnight, Brian shocked me, as I did not fully anticipate what the story was about. It hits pretty close to home for some families because of its truth and the reality of the topic. I feel that I cannot write an honest review unless I tell you about the story. Be warned, these are some pretty major spoilers!

After baby Brian was born and started on a milk formula, he started getting sick no matter what the doctors prescribed for him. It was later found that the formula Brian was on was causing him irreversible damage. That is the jist of it anyway. Does that sound familiar? I remember reading a similar case about baby formula sold in China, and that is what shocked me about this book. This may be a touchy subject for families hurt by similar incidences but know that this book is about so much more than just giving up. It is about the complete opposite. 

At the root of this story is a tale of unforgiving love and faith.

It talks about a family's faith in God and their unending belief that nothing is impossible or set in stone no matter the hurdles put in front of them. To me, the main character is not Brian, although the story is about his story. The main character is the person affectionately known as Mama, Brian's grandmother, who talks about God and the way He works so subtly that you don't realize that you've just learned something new, and she does it without being preachy. Mama is one of the bravest book characters you'll ever read about, not because of her outer strength but more importantly, her demeanor and inner strength that compels her to take the reins when others could not. The author also added in stories of Italy to lighten the mood of the book, with pages upon pages dedicated to sweet-smelling, home-cooked Italian cuisine that made my Italian food-loving palette hungry for a taste. But in no way should you let that distract you from the words in this book that are so simple yet so profound.


The author used Brian as a vehicle to teach us about how our actions bring about consequences. When people were trying to change him, he was the one who changed their lives and gave new meaning to their lives and the way they lived those lives. The characters in Goodnight, Brian all play a different part in teaching us about humanity. That sometimes, even though you don't want to give up, that there is just so much a person can take, and that it is okay. It is okay to admit defeat one day because that gives you another chance to fight another day. 

 "When God closes one door, He opens another." Acts 16:6-16:10


Goodnight, Brian is truly a book that has no bounds when it comes to good values. It is also one that cannot really be explained in a summary, it has to be read to be understood. I must admit that I struggled to write this review. Not because it was tough in any way, but because I couldn't find the right words to express the complexity and the love I have for this book. I dare say, that if there is one book that everyone, no matter their age, should read, it should be Goodnight, Brian. You will keep on learning something new even after you've read it a hundred times. There is nothing I can say to take away from this wonderful piece of artistry.



Goodnight, Brian will have you reaching for the tissues at almost every turn of the page. It is an uplifting story that will stay with you long after you've finished it and gives you the strength to believe that nothing is impossible, if you work hard and believe, no matter what.


Author Bio:  Steven Manchester is the published author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (the holiday prequel to Goodnight, Brian). He is also the Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.



Give Steven Manchester a buzz:


Other Books by Steven Manchester
Twelve Months - The Book Depository * Amazon
Pressed Pennies - Amazon
The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy - Amazon


For more information on Goodnight, Brian, or to read an excerpt from the book, check out my Book Blast post HERE.




Disclosure: I was sent the book for review but was not compensated financially or otherwise. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Foodie Hunt: Birthday FREEBIES! And Cupcake Chic Cupcakes!

My birthday was in January and I had the opportunity to get some foodie freebies on my special day with my Worthy Book coupons!







Amongst them, I got a FREE cupcake of my choice from Cupcake Chic at The Curve! I do like a good cupcake once in awhile. Who doesn't right? It's a mini cake so you don't feel so guilty eating it.





 But the good part is that even if it's not your birthday, Worthy Book has a Buy 1, Free 1 coupon for cupcakes or macarons! So if you don't want others to feel left out on your lucky day, use both coupons and get 3 yummy cupcakes for the price of 1! What a steal.


Anyway, we didn't want 3 cupcakes as we'd already planned a heavy dinner so we settled for 2. Here are my birthday cupcakes! Aren't they pretty?


















There were lots of other things I could have redeemed. Like FREE sushi! Have you ever heard of that!? And FREE ice cream and loads more. But the thing was, those outlets were pretty far away from my planned birthday dinner so I didn't get to use them. Sob.


Anyway, I am thankful for my Worthy Book coupons which has allowed me a wonderful cupcake on my birthday as well as many more yummy treats at other restaurants! Like Carl's Jr! Yum yum....

The great thing about Worthy Book is that they allow you to view all the coupons in the book from their website before buying so you'll know whether the coupons suit you. And you get lots of cool coupons for just RM 29.90. Check out their social media outlets for more updates too as they often have giveaways.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - Emily Castles Mystery Series by Helen Smith Blog Tour & Giveaway

Three Sisters and Showstoppers by Helen Smith

Three Sisters and Showstoppers are two novella-length stories in the Emily Castles mystery series. The first full-length novel, Invitation to Die, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in October 2013.

The Emily Castles mystery series is set in present-day London. It features twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles and her neighbor, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel Crowther. In Three Sisters, Emily goes to a party in a big house at the end of her street. She's sure she witnesses a murder, but no one will believe her. She teams up with Dr. Muriel to investigate.

In Showstoppers, Emily helps out at a local stage school run by her neighbor, Victoria. Soon she's mixed up in a blackmail plot and two deaths. Emily and Dr. Muriel team up to prevent further a massacre live on stage during the end of term show.


Praise for the Emily Castles Mystery Series

Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious... Helen Smith is a master story-teller.
~Socrates Book Reviews

It grips you from the very beginning.
~Babs Books Bistro

Bright, colorful and full of surprises.
~Amazon Vine Reviewer

Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one.
~Eva’s Sanctuary


Praise for Helen Smith

Smith is gin-and-tonic funny.
~The Booklist



Author Helen Smith

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She's the author of bestselling cult novels Alison Wonderland, Being Light and The Miracle Inspector as well as the Emily Castles Mystery Series.


Amazon * Facebook *  Twitter * Blog


Tour Schedule





BookBlast $50 Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/22/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Giveaway Goodies: Printed Books Giveaway Hop






Printed Books Giveaway Hop
February 1st to 7th

"Ebooks are becoming more and more popular but there are still many people who prefer printed books. " as quoted by the wise Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, our wonderful host yet again. The cool thing that makes this Hop different from others is that this hop features ONLY printed books (no ebooks allowed!! Woot! And that's how I prefer my books so this is the perfect Giveaway Hop for me.




Your choices are:




















Other Choice:
Megabest Jokes - VJ Times









So have fun and take part if you see something you like.

P.S. Please click for summaries. Some of the books have yellowed pages or spotting but are still in readable condition.

Don't forget to check out my Birthday Giveaway to win a $10 Amazon GC. You can get an extra entry in that Giveaway by entering this one!

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Linky