Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My co-workers!

Hello everyone!

Not a very active blogging week this one, but my sleep hasn't been at its best, and despite having awesome books to talk about and other goodies to share, my brain hasn't been at its most coherent!

Today for Thankful Thursday I want to give a huge shout out to all my co-workers, that are not just awesome professionals and fantasticly humane nurses that I'd love to have taking care of me, but also great people to work with, that cheer me up when I need it, that help me when my brain is not at its best and/or work is completely overwhelming, and also, that help me get more time to spend with the bf by exchanging days and covering for me!

Thank you so much to all of you my dears!

At work and out of it, I'm super thankful for you all!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Photos!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today this is gonna be a short post, sharing a few shots of a photoshoot that I did for a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He's a magician and wanted some shots for his website and business cards, and I did my best to try and get him some good shots!

So for today's Friday Photos, I give you: Emilio the Magician!

And the final photo is of Emilio with his girlfriend Gema, one of my bffs!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Books are a girl's best friends

I'm sure you've all heard that "Diamonds are a girl's best friends", well, in this particular's girl's case, books are my best friends.

And so today for my Thankful Thursday I'm going to say thank you to all the books I've read and loved, that made me laugh, that made me cry, that made me cringe and that in one way or another have made me feel.

I want to say thank you all the writers that have shared with us their experiences and the worlds inside their heads, writing a book is first and foremost as any other part of the arts, a labor of love, so thank you for having stories for us to read.

Thank you to all the books I've read, regardless of the genre, for inspiring me, for making me a citizen of the world, for expanding my horizons, for improving my Spanish and my English, and for always being those friends I can count on to hide from the world and from my own mind when everything gets to be too much for me to deal with. Thank you for being there to help me cope and thank you for giving me all sort of worlds to lose myself to, to live a thousand lives, to dream a thousand dreams.

Thank you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mark This Book Monday: Apollyon by Jennifer L Armentrout from the Covenant Series!

And back again!

This Mark This Book Monday post was due last Monday, but I was still so overwhelmed with the book & "ALL THE FEELS!" that I couldn't manage to grangle all of that into a somewhat coherent review. Today, I'm gonna atempt it, and bear with me if I still do ramble a bit, I tend to do just that!

Apollyon by Jennifer L Armentrout (Covenant #4)

Apollyon is the 4th book in the Covenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout, and after it, there's only one more book coming, Sentinel, due to be released in December. Apollyon was due to be released on April 9th, but I found out through Twitter that it was released two days early on Amazon (via Jennifer L Armentrout herself) so I went to my Kindle app and got it. I had worked night shift the previous day, so I spent the whole Saturday very happily reading the book!

The Covenant series is based on Greek mythology, which was the reason I decided to check the series in the first place. It follows the story of Alex, a Half-Blood descendant of the Greek gods. Half Bloods are the children of Pures and humans, and therefore considered inferior in the society of the Covenant. Not only fantasy, Greek gods, action, romance and witty sarcastic humour are present in these books, there's also a look at social issues along with tradition and stagnation.

Apollyon starts where Deity (book 3) and Elixir (novella 3.5) left us. Alex has come into her Apollyon powers and has connected with Seth, and not just connected, but she has lost herself to the connection, and Seth has taken over her. This makes the beginning of the book a painful one to read, since I love the headstrong, independent and witty, if a bit foot-in-mouth, Alex, but this possesed-by-Seth-Alex is frustrating, scary and slap-worthy, every time she said "My Seth" I wanted to slap her! Thankfully it is short-lived and once she manages to overcome it, set up her defenses and get her own mind back, we have our old Alex back, as witty and arse-kicking as ever, but a bit more mature than in previous books. She doesn't approach everything head first and leave a disaster behind like a bull in a china shop, but finally learns to think first, at least a little!

Aiden and Alex, their relationship keeps on growing, getting them through thick and thin, continuing to love each other with or without other's approval, respecting each other choices, and growing together... they have to be one of my favourite book couples ever! And of course, Aiden is very much one of the very few characters that I could call a book crush for me! Reading about their relationship just gives me that "all the happy feels!".

There's a lot of action on Apollyon, and a lot of gods involvement, and a lot of bad news all around... war has started in full, and all hell as broken loose! I guessed who the bad guy was, but not who he was posing as, that was quite a surprise, although I knew he really was up to no good!

The ending is a very unexpected one, and leaves you with a strange sense of peace, but also a big dread about what happens next... Being at war with the gods, and with Seth still being completely blind to anything that is not what he says... Things are going to get even tougher in Sentinel, I know, and December won't get here soon enough!

Mark This Book Monday: Gold by Talia Vance (my first ARC!).

Hello everyone!

Happy Monday! Today I'm gonna have no one but two Mark This Book Monday entries! I could have done a combined entry of both books, but I thought each book ought to have their own very entry, since one of them should have been last Monday's entry!

So, for the first Mark This Book Monday, I'm going to review my very first ARC copy that I've got through NetGalley!

Gold by Talia Vance (Bandia #2).

As I've said before I requested this book on NetGalley and my request was approved, so I was sent a digital copy of the ARC of this book. As it is an ARC it is not a final copy and might differ from the finished book when it is published, but being able to read it in advance since it doesn't publish till September 8th was amazing!

I read Silver, book 1 in the series and really liked it, but this one I love! I give it 4 and a half stars out of 5!

Gold starts where Silver left us, but not exactly, since Silver left us with Brianna choosing Blake and in Gold Brianna is running to Ireland to clear her head and save her life, and she does it without Blake. And ends up at Austin's ancestral home of all places. And let me tell, this book is big on Austin time!

Through some flashbacks we find out why Brianna came to Ireland without Blake, and during Brianna's exploring of the surroundings of her refuge she gets two big surprises: one of the charms of her bracelet allows her to go back in time, the time before all Hell broke loose and the Feud started; and all of a sudden, Austin is back from the Underworld!

In Gold, we get a much deeper look at all the characters, a new threat, and discover more about how the present, the future and the past get intertwined. The plot deepens, and shows us that nothing really is as it seemed at first, with some very unexpected twists and turns!

Brianna's character goes through a lot, and how she grows to accept who and what she is, the choices she makes and why she makes them, it kept me rooting and feeling for her through all the pages and trials she has to deal with.

There's a love triangle here, and despite my absolute lack of interest on love triangles, this one never buggered me at all. The way it was presented and developed must have made sense enough for me, so I understood Brianna's affections and choices without thinking "arrgh, not another love triangle!!". Also, silly little me hadn't made sense of the book titles before, but mid-book I had a "Aha! That's why book #1 was Silver and book #2 is Gold!" moment. Austing and Blake, Blake and Austin, and surprisingly, I completely got to understand why Brianna makes the choices she does. But, I'm not gonna say anymore on that!

Talia Vance waves a very intrincate story with Ireland as the background, their myths as the inspiration and a look at human nature, choices and Fate as the main drives of it and delivers a great story that will have you turning each page wondering where Brianna's choices will lead her and the rest of the characters.

The ending is heartwrenching in more ways than one, with loss, casualties and a goodbye to Ireland, but also has a glimmer of hope in the end, and I just can't wait to read book 3! Hopefully the title will give us a little hint of what's to come!

Are you wondering if after reading the ARC copy I'm likely to buy the book once it comes out, since I already know what happens? Well yes, this is a book I want to add to my collection!

Stay tuned for the second review of the day, coming later!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My friends

Hello everyone! Happy Thankful Thursday!

What am I thankful for today? Today I'm choosing to be thankful for being so lucky to have such amazing friends as I do!

First off, my friends from college/nursing school! We started calling ourselves the DUE-PACs (like a pack of DUE that's the acronym for the official name for nurses in Spain) and we've been friends since out first year in college and through our training days, boring classes, birthday celebrations in the cold, Náyade moving to Italy and all sort of life things... Here we are 12 years after graduating and still friends! The photo was taken last year at Pilu's wedding, and boy did we have a blast!

Some friends have been there for so long, even I don't see them quite as much, but those friends that are childhood friends always hold a very dear part of your heart.

Then we have my friend Gema, with whom I've been friends for over 20 years and going strong, her boyfriend Emi and Emi's brother, Alber, who are also two very dear friends of mine!

And last but nowhere near least, my very dear friend Irene, who I've also know for many years, and met through other friends.

As I've said before, I consider myself extremely lucky to have such great friends around me. Thank you, I love you all!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

Hello everyone!

Today is Thursday, and once again I'm here to say thank you!

Today I'm thankful for two small things, but that have helped me feel much better!

For starters, this past Tuesday I finally decided to sign up for NetGalley, a website where "professional readers" as well as teachers, librarians, can get ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copy) of books. The idea for ARCs is that they are uncorrected proofs, released in small quantities, and some changes are sometimes made between them and the final books.

Well, right the next day, yesterday I was told one of my two first requests was approved, so now I have my very first ARC in my hands! (well, technically, my tablet & my phone). It's for Gold by Talia Vance, from the Bandia series. So super happy bookworm me - check!

And the second reason is that today at work, the son of one of my patients gave me this sweet little gift!

My own super cute EVA foam mini-me! Complete with curly hair! Ain't that just super sweet?

So once again, THANK YOU!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mark This Book(s) Monday: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye and Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett!! !!

Hiya everyone!

Happy Monday (may it be Easter Monday or whatever else it might be to you)!

This week I have no new recipe of cupcake to share with you, and this time is not for lack of time, but for lack of inspiration. I've had a few days off, but I've barely done anything productive, unless practicing saree draping while listening to Iron Maiden or Pearl Jam counts!

So today, we're having a Mark These Books Monday! Instead of just one book, I'm gonna recommend you three different books!

So let's start!

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Well, I was expecting good things from this book, cause the only other book of Sara Beth Durst that I read, Drink, Slay, Love, I loved, and this one didn't disappoint at all!

What a gem of a book! The world building here is fantastic! From the legends of the lands to the gritty sand storms to the sand worms and the Gods... everything is so well weaved, you just feel like you are there!

Liyana is a wonderful character, and I was rooting for her from beginning till the end of her journey! I loved her practical side, how she faced all adversities focusing on the task on hand, one day at a time, and one hour at a time when things threaten to overwhelm her.

An absolute must read for anyone looking for a great YA fantasy or just for any fantasy lovers out there!

The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater & Kody Boye

No photo available cause I read this one on my phone's Kindle app, and I don't know how to take a screen cap on my phone!

 I so thoroughly enjoyed and loved this book!

This is not your usual YA book, there are bits of horror and the romance is not really what you'd be mostly used to see, but whatever makes it different, also makes it great!

The characters feel as real teenagers, despite the paranormal bits, from the "outcast" witch that it's still growing into her powers (can you imagine dealing with all the crap that being a teenager is AND worrying about whether if you'll finally come into your witchy powers or remain a fraud-ish?) to her gay best friend, that has to deal with not being popular and being gay in a town full of straight and mostly not-gay-friendly people. Changelings, vampire hunters and loads of geeky references to Buffy!

The story weaves from the personal to the paranormal, from dealing with first loves and relationships to saving the world. And it's done in such a great way you just can't help to keep on turning the pages!

I so hope we'll get a second book for Christy, Adam and the gang!

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

 This book was so much fun! Full of magic and teenagers, but taking a look at magic in a different way, and exploring magic beings that don't usually appear so much in books.

A magic school is nothing new, neither is a magic sleuth, not even a teenager one, or mundane mixed with the whole story, but this book does it in a very refreshing way, and despite our dear Dusty being a headstrong and slightly oblivious to common sense kinda main character, you just have to like her.

There's also a look at much bigger issues that the high school ones in the shape of the magic world politics, and in way that it mirrors our world, an issue of what we are allowed to use our powers for, and why should we not use them for the wrong reasons.

All in all, a very refreshing read, and I'm really looking forward to book 2: The Nightmare Dilemma.

That's all on books for this week! Next Monday more books for sure, and maybe some cupcakes too!