August 22, 2015

Fangirl Diary ~ This Week's Book Haul

This post is a little lengthy, but it's all about books, I promise. *wink*

All of the books I have acquired in the span of one week. Don't judge.

My local book store held a warehouse sale where the books were up to 90% off. Being the bookworm (and book hoarder) that I am, of course I didn't let the opportunity pass. I mean, dude, that's 90% off! Who wouldn't take that bait? So I went with my friends and cobloggers, A and Djan. Unfortunately, what seemed like every reader in the country decided that they'd go check out the sale, too.

The place was very crowded. There was a long line in the entrance, and it was even worse inside. I couldn't go anywhere without rubbing or bumping against other people. Sometimes we had to push past people just so we wouldn't get stuck in one place or be squeezed into a corner. I didn't dare take a picture of the place because I was afraid I'd bump someone and drop it and lose it altogether in a sea of people. I think a club's dance floor is more roomy than that warehouse at the time.

It was hard to get good books because of the number of people looking for the same good titles, and the copies of recent releases and bestsellers were limited so we had to grab it fast when we see a book we wanted. Fortunately, I was able to find some really good titles, even though I only got five.


Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi - I've already read this in ebook, but I loved it so much so I want to collect the whole trilogy in paperback edition. The first two books weren't on the sale, or at least I didn't see them so I still have yet to acquire those. I got it for P50, which is just a little more than $1.

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter - I've already read this one in ebook, too. I wasn't thinking of collecting the series, but then it was only $75 or less than $2. I couldn't let it pass. *wink*)

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) by Pittacus Lore - I've been wanting to read this one. I am so glad I found it on sale because buying it in its original price is too expensive considering it's an ongoing series. I'll just have to get the sequels in book sales, too. LOL

The Care and Taming of a Rogue (Adventurer's Club #1) by Suzanne Enoch - I became a bookworm because of historical romances. Until now I am still addicted to those rogues-in-the-clothes-of-a-gentleman heroes. *hands in the air*

A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall #5) by Sabrina Jeffries - That title. I like my heroines with a steel backbone, and I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this one. *grin*

I'd like to say I have full control over myself when it comes to buying books even when they are on sale, but that's not the case. I am totally not myself the moment I enter a book store. It's like a bibliophile spirit is possessing me and I'm having this urge to buy lots of books so I'll never run out of reading materials. So the next day, I went to one of my local book stores called Chapters and Pages. They sell used books for cheap prices. I bought four books: one for my mother, one for my sister, and two for myself. *sheepish grin*


Secret Song (Medieval Song #4) by Catherine Coulter
The Wedding Night of an English Rogue by Jillian Hunter
Holding the Dream (Dream Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts
Castles (Crown's Spies #4) by Julie Garwood

I'd like to say my book hoarding adventures ended there, but no. Not even close. I also bought four books with their original price.

A few days later, the mailman came knocking at my door with two packages for me. I love it when I get something in the mail, be it a letter or a parcel. My favorite thing to receive in the mail is swag packs, because that means signed items. I love signed bookmarks because it's the most affordable thing I can have with an autograph, since the shipping cost for a book is expensive. We don't get many authors here (certainly not self-published ones) so it's the most affordable way I can have their autographs.

Anyway, let's go back to the mailman carrying two packages package for me. The first one is a book I won from a giveaway in Facebook. I'm also a sucker for giveaways because they're fun to participate in. Not many are open internationally, and that sucks for me especially when I really want the item being given away.

Signed by Brenda Kennedy
Shattered Dreams by Brenda Kennedy

Shattered Dreams (Freedom Trilogy #1) by Brenda Kennedy - I haven't read any of her books, but I hope I'd like this one.

The other package is amazon, containing my happiness. It had only two books, but I decided to put all four in one picture since I bought them all without discount.


What I bought from Amazon:

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland - This is one of the books I bought from Amazon. It's not available in my local bookstores so I decided to take the plunge and pay for shipping just so I can get this book.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone - This is one of the books in my must-have-physically list, no matter how expensive. There aren't many books in that list, and I think that's saying something. :)

What I bought in my local book store:

Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1) by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) by Tamara Ireland Stone

Guys, if you only know how much I wanted Tamara Ireland Stone's books. I have lost track of how many months I've been wishing to have Time Between Us and its sequel, and now that I finally have them, I feel like doing cartwheels. As it is, I'm already doing my routine: fangirl butt shake. Just look at all three of them together:

Tamara Ireland Stone books

Beautiful, aren't they? ;)

That's not the end of my book hoarding adventures, though. I know, I know. I myself can't believe that I bought quite a number of books in just one week's time.

So another local bookstore held a sale in their main branch, but they didn't announce it in their social media pages so only a few readers were there when we went. Thankfully, I've controlled myself and only bought one book. I just couldn't resist it.

Embers and Echoes

Embers and Echoes (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight - I'll have to hunt for the first and last book, but that's okay. I don't have a problem buying more books. LOL

Finally, we're getting to the end of my post. If you  this far, thank you for reading this lengthy post of my book hoarding adventures. Who knows, maybe you buy more books in one week. Maybe not. Tell me in the comments if you do, and mention the most number of books you have acquired in just one week. Tell me I'm not the only one. Tell me it's okay. Tell me there is nothing wrong with me. LOL!

That's it. For now. It's the 36th Manila International Book Fair next month, so I'll be posting more. *wink*


~ Zee

August 14, 2015

Review ~ Get Dirty (Don't Get Mad #2) by Gretchen McNeil

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The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.

Purchase Links:

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The dirty bits.
When I first picked up Get Even (the first book in this two-part series), I was expecting it to be a little more on the chic lit side than McNeil's other books. DGM or Don't Get Mad is a group of girls from different, shall we say, social peers. Kitty is a volleyball player, Bree is the rebel daughter of a senator (kinda cliche, that one), Olivia is the wannabe-actress who swims at the popular kids' pool, and Margot is the loner, smart one who doesn't seem to have any close friends due to her strict parents. These characters have only one thing in common: they are the avengers of those who bully, taunt, and discriminate other kids in their high school. However, a recent turn of events have made them the targets.

I've been a connoisseur of mysteries, riddle-laden books, and the likes since I read The Study in Scarlet by Conan Doyle all those years ago. This series really filled my craving because of the different twist and turns in the books. Be forewarned, however, if you are one of the impatient kind or you just can't stand riddles, because this book may be hard for you to follow as it really has plenty of those.

One of the best parts I loved is how the mixed personalities of each girls complements what they have to do in DGM. Like how Olivia as an actress is the contact person who does the investigative job using her acting skills, and how Bree is the one doing the odd jobs like, err, breaking and entering.

The only thing I have to say about this is the ending has a pretty weak reasoning by my standards. I also hated the fact that they seem to 'trust' other people besides themselves rather quickly in this book, which seems to be out of character for a shadowy group bent on punishing high school bullies.

~ Djan

August 12, 2015

Blog Tour ~ Worthy of Love by J. Lea (Review, Teaser, Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop at the Worthy of Love Blog Tour, hosted by Reel Ladys Love Smut Promotions. Scroll down for a teaser, other books by J. Lea and a tour-wide giveaway!


They say everything happens for a reason. Maybe they are right, but I don`t really agree.

When I was 14, the life I knew, turned upside down. I was devastated.
Every time I looked myself in the mirror, I saw this ugly girl looking at me. Love obviously wasn't a part of my plan anymore. How could it be?

But then I met him.
And it happened.
Suddenly and without a warning.
I want him.
I crave him.
Every fiber of my being yearns for him.
He is the one who makes my heart sing, and the one who hunts my dreams at night.

But I can never have him.
After all, he is forbidden...

Purchase Links:

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Other books by J. Lea:

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About the author:

J. Lea is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories. Her other loves include her family as she is also a mama of a little boy and girl who keep her busy when she's not writing hot books. Lea also loves spending time outdoors with her family--skiing, hiking, and more.

Her novels include Because of You, Once Again, Never Again, and Worthy of Love.
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August 03, 2015

Blog Tour ~ Caught In Us (Lost #3) by Layla Hagen

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Welcome to my stop in the Caught In Us Blog Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. In this post, you will see an excerpt, teasers, blurb, my review of Caught In Us, and a giveaway! Don't forget to hop on to other blogs to see more reviews and excerpts!

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Dani Cohen knows Damon is trouble the second he walks in during senior year. He has bad boy written all over him. . .from his arrogant smirk to his perfectly toned abs. He is arrogant, intense, rebellious.

Dani has her future all planned out. She’s not the type to fall for a bad boy, no matter how panty-melting his grin is or how shamelessly he flirts. But something about Damon draws her in, awakening a desire she’s never felt. Slowly, she uncovers the secrets Damon hides: underneath his arrogance lies a tortured soul, his flirting smile masks despair.

Damon arrives in Dani’s life against his will. Carrying the scars of a dark past and facing an uncertain future, he knows he should stay away from her, but can’t. Her innocence consumes him, as does the desire to indulge in the passion igniting deep inside her.
An all-consuming bond blooms into a reckless love. But when mistakes from the past threaten their already fragile future, can their love survive?

A steamy and emotional full-length, standalone love story from the USA Today Bestselling author of Withering Hope.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo


I don't know how Layla Hagen manages to write stories that feels like they are part of me, but I hope she doesn't stop. Caught In Us is enthralling, sweet, and heartbreaking all rolled into one.

I didn't know what to expect from this book while it was still in the works. The author never gave a hint about how the story will go. Right from the start Dani was a mystery to me, and the anticipation of her story intensified when we got a hint of who might have stole her heart in Found In Us.

Dani Cohen is a character that burrowed herself deep in my heart. I felt her pain and her longing for that feeling of being a part of a family in every word. I felt her kindness and innocence whenever she interacted with Damon. I felt everything she felt throughout the book, but what struck me the most was her struggle in being acknowledged by her parents. I can't relate to her on a personal level, but I still felt her. I liked it that despite all the things that is lacking in her life, she had a backbone and a fighting spirit.

Damon (oops, sorry, I can't remember his last name!) has been the most mysterious character, but I like it that he didn't feel like a stranger when I started reading. He has issues with himself, and some of them stemmed from his father being absent most of his life. Despite his tough exterior, he's harboring a gentle heart. He once said that Dani was his breath of fresh air, and to my delight those weren't just empty words. I saw the proof of those words in his POV.

Seeing the way their story unfolded made me feel like I was getting to know new friends. It felt like I was there with them without feeling like I was either of them. I loved how Layla Hagen executed their story spanning from high school through their happily-ever-after without giving the story a slow pace. There wasn't a dragging moment in this book. I read their whole life together without getting impatient. It's brilliant, really. I relished every moment, every word.

I also loved it that although this is Dani and Damon's story, I got to see another story unfolding before my eyes without feeling as if the focus is shifting from D&D. Hazel and Chase are such lovable characters, and even though I only saw a few glimpses of their story I felt like I knew every bit of it. I don't know how Layla Hagen squeezed several years' worth of Dani and Damon's story but still managed to add a second love story in this book without it feeling overloaded or dragging, but it was brilliant.

Oh, wait a moment. Have I mentioned that I've fallen in love with James all over again in this book? No? Well, I HAVE! He's just amazing! If I can't have James, then I'd at least want him to be my brother.

I don't say this very often, but I wish I could read Caught In Us again for the very first time. Dani and Damon's story is something that I want to experience over and over again.

~ Zee


As usual, I get too engrossed in my reading and am almost late for class. Sitting next to Hazel, I take out my books when Damon appears in front of our desk.
"You dropped your phone in the hallway," he says politely.
"No, I didn't." I look in bewilderement as he drops my smartphone in my hand. Damon smiles mischievously, walking over to his desk as Ms. Evans enters the class. Wouldn't I have noticed if my phone had fallen on the corridor during our altercation? Not really...I was too preoccupied with him to notice anything else. My skin heats up at the memory of his closeness. I swivel to ask Hazel something and find her staring at me with curious eyes.
"Do you have anything to share about your morning?"
"I read a book," I mumble.
Ms. Evan starts talking about the Bronte novel we had to read when I receive a text. 
You should take better care of your things.
The sender appears only by number, not name, but I know who it is. Sure enough, one glance in Damon's direction confirms my suspicion. He's not looking at me or his phone, but lifts the corner of his lips. It dawns on me that I might not have dropped my phone at all. He must have taken it from my pocket.
And you shouldn't steal other people's things, I reply.
Hey, you were eavesdropping, so don't go all saint on me. You were the first offender.
I smile, overcome by a strange giddiness. I can't believe he stole my phone, or that he got my number, or that he's texting me right now. I'm grinning like an idiot. It's the first time a guy has written to me and not asked for my notes or something similar. Given our less than friendly interactions yesterday and this morning, this is a surprise. Sometimes it takes a healthy fight and a familiar pain to gain a friend. 
"After the battle of stares yesterday follows the battle of messages?" Hazel murmurs, smiling. "Bad boy is showing quite an interest in you."
"No, he's not." Something light settles in my stomach.
"I heard that a junior tried very hard yesterday to make him ask for her number and failed. He must be very interested in yours if he got it on his own."
"This doesn't mean anything." The lightness grows, the giddy feeling bubbling up inside me. 
"Maybe not." She leans in conspiratorially. "Maybe it does."
When Ms. Evan announces she'll question us about Wuthering Heights, I have the feeling Damon might take this opportunity to display the same unpleasantness as yesterday.
Be nice if Ms. Evans asks you something, I type quickly. Please.
 He doesn't type back, and as Ms. Evan begins to ask questions, I brace myself. She deliberately avoids asking him anything though. Then she asks Beckett what his opinion is about the motives behind Heathcliff's behavior. He stares at her with a blank face, clueless.
It's Damon who answers. "Heathcliff felt out of place. He didn't belong to their class, and everyone else never let him forget it."
Ms. Evans' eyes widen, but all she says is "Do you think that justifies him?"
"No. That's no justification for being a dick to everyone," Damon says nonchalantly.  
Ms. Evans flinches. "That language doesn't belong in the classroom, Damon." Her tone is firm. I'm proud of her. "I'll let you out of the questioning round because you're new, and I gave this assignment a week ago."
Damon's lip twitches, and I can tell he's about so say something obscene back. I sit up straighter, staring at him intently. He catches my eye and winks at me. I instantly flush, dropping my gaze to my hands. 
"I had to read the book in my junior year," Damon replies. Ms. Evans nods, and then continues questioning Anna. I think about something the principal mentioned today... Damon scored mostly A’s at his old school. My assessment was spot on yesterday. Under the mask of carelessness hides a perfectionist. Someone who is clearly smart. As Ms. Evans instructs us to look up a certain passage in the book, I shift in my chair, holding my copy in my hands and pretending to flip through its pages. In reality, I am sneaking glances at Damon. Who was he before he came here and whom did he lose?
Thank you for not being rude, I text him under the desk. I receive an answer almost immediately.
Ouch. That sound like something you'd tell a dog. I'm not a poodle; don't try to train me.
I write back quickly. You're definitely not a poodle. More like a pitbull. I hear those are hard to train. Whatever they do, it's because they want to.
There is a pause in which I wait breathlessly, and then my smartphone vibrates. They also tend to attack their owners.
 My fingers almost snap as I hurry to reply. I don't believe that. They just have a bad reputation. Don't believe everything you hear. It's all appearances.
Another short vibration. Ms. Evans looks at me, so I just chance a quick glance at my phone. So what should I make of your Linkin Park t-shirt?
Frowning, I text back as best as I can while pretending to pay attention to Ms. Evans. What's the harm in liking Kinky Fuck?
Damon's next message confuses me. Is that an invitation? I read what I wrote before, and shame washes over me.
Abandoning all pretense of paying attention to the teacher, I write It was autocorrect. I meant Linkin Park. OMG, I'm so sorry.
He doesn't write anything back, and when I look at him, he appears on the verge of bursting out laughing. 

(I super loved this part!)

Author Bio:

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.

I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.

I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with th
e world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough.

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