January 28, 2013

Reviews (V)

Title: Shadows of the Past
Author: Carmen Stefanescu
ebook provided by author for an honest review
Reviewed by: Cassie
What we say: mysterious and magical!

Summary (from Goodreads.com)

When Anne and Neil leave on a one-week holiday hoping to reconcile after a two-year separation, little do they know that destiny has other plans for them. Their discover of human bones and a bejeweled cross in the hollow of a tree open the door to a supernatural realm and the anguished life of Genevieve, a nun from medieval England.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve her eternal rest?

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

Shadows of the Past isn't a book I would normally read; I usually read only YA because I'm pretty picky. And my dad would throw a fit if he saw romance/adult book covers. That being said, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with this! Despite what the cover may suggest, this has few romantic aspects (you know, steamy hot scenes) which was kind of a relief to me. Why? Well, my older brother somehow saw my phone while I was skimming a romance book and never looked at his little sister the same way again.

Anyways! So.

Shadows of the Past switches back and forth from the past and the present. I'm fine with this, and it actually was a really good choice. It made me intrigued by the historical mystery, yet kept it so that I wasn't so fed up with it that I quit the book. Normally I don't do historical fiction, but the parts of this book that were historical fiction actually made me like the book more.

Now, we don't really get much look into the characters- an aspect I was 'eh' about. Usually the characters make or break the book for me. If the characters are really well done, I LOVE the book, and vice versa. In Shadows of the Past, it's done in 3rd person, so we don't really get much insight to the characters. I still felt pretty sad for Genevieve and Andrew, but I felt a bit detached from them.

With a refreshing plot, thought-worthy mystery, and sweet romances, Shadows of the Past is a book you should definitely give a try. I didn't even have an inkling as to what happened to the nun and priest in the past, and although I couldn't relate to the characters because they were older and pretty seriously in love, I still enjoyed them.

January 23, 2013

Book Reviews : Listen To The Heartbeat by Liliana Soare

All romance lovers out there will enjoy Liliana's debut novel Listen To The Heartbeat.

Edward Whitfield dies, leaving his daughter, Lucy, a very wealthy orphan. Until she turns eighteen, in five months, she just changes her jailor. Andrew Langston becomes the new guardian to the frail but stubborn girl who'd sunk her teeth in his arm, years ago. 

Lucy is beautiful but don't be fooled by her appearance; she is stubborn and determined as well. And her heart is given to a wonderful and rich young man, Peter Randall. Her attempts to be with him are continually hindered by the tyrannical jailer, Andrew. She will do everything in her power to be with the love of her life, Peter, on the one hand, while Andrew's heart melts under her gaze, on the other.

The story picks up momentum from the moment Andrew and Lucy meet and never once falters in its intensity. Taming the shrew, Lucy has become after her father's death, is not an easy job for Andrew as Lucy behaves naughty, reckless and immature at times that had me rolling my eyes in frustration.

I enjoyed the original and intriguing plot and the sizzling sensual chemistry that she creates between her romantic leads. Liliana's story includes all the ingredients for a pleasant, entertaining read: love, grief, cheating and peril. It's the kind of book you want to keep reading, but never want it to end! I enjoyed the story and the writing. I give it  5 stars.

January 21, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Wow! This came as a great and pleasant surprise. Oana from All Fantasy Worlds and Cassie - Rafia from Fiction Fairies , nominated me for the Liebster Award.  
Thank you!

If you don’t know: Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers that have less than 200 followers and the purpose is to get to know them since we think that they deserve it. The word “Liebster” is German and means favorite. So, basically, I’m nominated for favorite blog award.

The steps are:
1. Tell 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions from the bloger who nominated you.
3. Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
5. Get in contact with those 11 bloggers in order to inform them that you nominated them

11 things about myself
1. I live in Romania, known to many as Dracula's country.
2. I am a teacher of English and German in my native town.
3. I've been reading and writing since I went to nursery.
4. My life-long dream to become a published writer has become reality.
5. I love Louis de Funes's movies.
6. I have two grown-up daughters and a three year-old grandson.
7. I have pets: several cats and a dog; a permanent source of both amusements and annoyance.
8.  I am fascinated by computers. If I'd been twenty years younger I'd have changed my job and become an IT engineer.
9. I am suspicious of people who don't read.
10. The words that characterize me: forgiving and perseverant.
11. My favorite places - libraries and bookstores; favorite color - purple.

Now the answers for the questions I received from Oana:
1. What other hobbies/ obsessions do you have besides reading and writing?
            Playing computer games. Mostly, role-playing games.
2. Do you lend your books to friends?
I do, even if, sometimes they tend to forget returning them. I like other people to read books I found interesting, captivating.
3. Have you ever convinced someone who hasn’t read a book in their life to start reading? How?
As I am a teacher I had this opportunity more than once. I asked the pupils to make comments on certain books and in the end they had to read them.
4. What book did you hate despite everyone saying it was awesome?
I will never hate a book. Or, anyway I've never had the opportunity to read something and hate it. I don't deny there may be books that urge people to hate their fellow-beings, that are full of hatred, prejudice, intolerance. I will absolutely hate such books.
5. Which book character would you like to date and why?
Edmond Dantes, from The Count of Monte Cristo. I found him fascinatingly courageous, honest and determined.
6. If your life would be turned into a movie, which actress/ actor would you like to play you and why?
Meryl Streep. Although she's not the glamorous type she is charismatic and friendly looking. I'd like to be acted by her.
7. Which is your favorite villain?
"Don" Vito Corleone from Mario Puzo's Godfather trilogy.
8. Is there a genre you would never read?
Non-fiction. Only if absolutely necessary, that is, something linked to my PC's management.
9. Which is your favorite classic novel?
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Like Hardy I believe in fate and the predestined path of our existence.
10. What magic power would you like to have and why?
I'd like to be one of the characters in role-play games: a wizard having the power to make all bad things disappear from my country and from the whole world.
11. Who is your favorite author and what question would you ask him/ her if you had the chance.
I have more favorite authors. Let's choose one who's still alive: Stephen King. I'd ask him if he'd ever experienced any of the strange events going on in his books: It, The Shining.

My questions for the nominees:
1. Why did you get into blogging?
2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
3. Do you have a favorite classical author?
 4. If you could swap the place with a famous author who would this be?
5. If you are a writer, too, which do you prefer best: writing on the blog or writing your book?
6. How do you feel when rejecting a review request from an author who asks you nicely?
7. How do you decide which book to review?
8. If you could choose a famous author to cooperate with you for a project who would this be?
9. What's your favorite book turned into movie?
10. What character in a book you've reviewed so far do you hate/love most?
11. If your life would become subject in a book what genre would it be: romance, thriller, horror, sci-fi and why?

I nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award:
1. Shawn from http://srhowen1.blogspot.ro/
2. Liliana from http://lilianasoare.blogspot.ro/
3. Terri from http://territalleyventers.blogspot.ro/
4. Estefania from http://bookaholiccorner.blogspot.ro
5. Julia from http://asyouwishreviews.blogspot.ro/
6. Natali from http://bookcupid.blogspot.ca/
7. Marcia from http://bookmusterdownunder.blogspot.com.au/
8. Amy from http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.ro/
9. Josie from http://josies-haven.blogspot.ro/
10. Sonia from http://soniafogal.blogspot.ro/

January 17, 2013

Marketing is a very important stage after having your book published.
Here is a very interesting and useful site I want to share with authors: http://authormarketingclub.com/
It is, in my opinion, an important resource for everyone interested in getting advertising for their books. Enjoy!

January 11, 2013

Book Reviews: The Inadvertent Thief by Leti Del Mar

It took me a little while to get into the storyline, but once I did it was hard to put it down. The world building is well done. One of the things I enjoyed about the book was the suspense. Leti Del Mar's take on the suspense will certainly hold your attention. She does a great job of providing you with just enough information that you want to keep going.

I liked how Vivien and Walt/Nathan interacted in the beginning and how she saw him as a challenge and tried to keep her distance, refused some of his favors and managed to stand her ground even if she felt like melting at his feet.

From the very first word, the details build into a crescendo of tension, along the main plot and the romantic arcs.

The star of the story is Vivien. I was engrossed immediately and Leti Del Mar kept my attention as Vivien, Walter, George and Carlos, the main characters at the core of the story, are involved in finding the "infamous" thief.

It's a story full of twists and turns and keeps you guessing to the end. An end that will bring a smile to your face.
The Inadvertent Thief is an entertaining read, a clever combination of action and suspense. I give it a solid 4 stars.

Carmen Stefanescu

January 8, 2013

Reviews (IV)

Shadows of The Past
by Carmen Stefanescu
Historical Fiction / Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Pub. Date: December 4, 2012
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

 ~from Goodreads~

When Anne and Neil leave on a one-week holiday hoping to reconcile after a two-year separation, little do they know that destiny has other plans for them. Their discovery of human bones and a bejeweled cross in the hollow of a tree open the door to the supernatural realm and the anguished life of Genevieve, a nun from medieval England.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve her eternal rest?

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

My Review:

I would like to thank Carmen Stefanescu for giving me a copy of her wonderful book.

I like to read  historical fiction that is set in the Middle Ages to the Victorian Era. I also love to read Paranormal Romance. So when I read the summary I became intrigued and I definitely wanted to read this book.

Shadows of the Past started out strong and it continued at a wonderful pace through out the book. The main characters Anne in the present and Genevieve from the past were written well. Anne is a strong woman who has decided to reconcile with her boyfriend, During their trip she experiences dreams and visions of a lady from the past, which is Genevieve, whose story needs to be told to give her peace. Genevieve is from a time that being a woman is difficult and on top of that, faces many tragedies in her life. She struggles to survive with evil that keeps crossing her path. They both meet friends along their travels.

This is a story with suspense, mystery and romance. It made me cry and it put me on edge. Genevive's story became difficult to read at times. At the last chapter everything becomes full circle and seems to be heading towards a happy ending, then as I finished the last page, it left me with questions and eager to read the next book.

Check out her website: