Sunday, 27 June 2010

In My Mailbox 7

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
I got one book for review this week.
My Soviet Kitchen: AND Companion Guide: Ivy's Guide to Life in the Ex-USSRLIST OF INGREDIENTS: Memory loss, homo sovieticus, and a wandering phD student. This is Neo-chick lit. with a darker side, a vodka twist and a generous slice of post-Soviet living.
It’s 1994 and English Ph.D student, Ivy Stone, wakes up in a Moscow flat with a hangover and a vague sense of unease…
Unable to remember what she did last night or why there is a cryptic Post-It note on her fridge, she begins an emotional, alcohol-fuelled journey via an Uzbek wedding, an Estonian sauna, and a Georgian serenade. What dark past haunts her new Russian man? And will she ever find the author of the mystery Post-It note?

The book came in its own little bag:

And then when I opened the bag look what I found:

How cool is that?

Thanks to Roast Books for sending me the book.

By the way, if you like the look of the book you can read an extract at the author's website.

Well, that's all I got this week. What did you get?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Winner of My Name is Memory

The winner is...

Kailia Sage


Thanks everyone for entering.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney

The CheerleaderThe cheerleader... Beautiful, popular, exciting - the girl Althea longs to be. But Althea is a nobody - she gets no phone calls, shares no laughter, has no friends. Then one day she meets him - a vampire who offers to make her the cheerleader, in exchange for a simple bargain. Soon Althea has everything she desires: beauty, friends, success. But Althea wants more - and she'll do anything to get it...
Althea wants to be popular and would do anything to get in the cheerleading squad, so when the resident vampire offers to make her dream come true, she agrees. But the vampire wants something in return, he wants to be fed...
Althea has a choice, save her friends but lose her popularity, or sacrifice her friends to get what she wants.

There is a cute romance sub-plot in this book, thankfully not involving the vampire, who is pale, has nails like foil, and smells like death. He also seems to like flapping his cloak around a lot.

This was a fairly quick read. It was creepy in places, but not overly scary.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Quantum Breach by Mark Powell

Quantum BreachAs Mark McCabe observed the financial market meltdown in the Dealing Room, his nerves tight and on edge, he felt too old for the game. At 45, why the hell was he doing this, putting himself under such stress, and for what? It had been eight years since he left the regiment. Forex trading was a world in which he felt he did not belong. The adrenaline that fed his veins was risk of a different kind.
Then he receives a call from Brian Stowe, a former Special Forces buddy, now MI5 spook. A suspected money-laundering plot linked to a drug cartel was going on in the very bank that he works. Stowe enlists McCabe and his Singaporean assistant, the highly intelligent and very attractive Ying Lee, a 26-year-old trader, to uncover the money trails.
The chase leads to a terrorist cell known to McCabe from his own murky past, and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse across Asia and the Middle East ensues. Along the way, questions are raised and loyalties become suspect. How is the British government involved? Who is this shadowy MI6 informer, the Rain Angel? Is she with them - or is she against them?
My thoughts: This was a thrilling adventure story set around the international banking world. The money-laundering scam was interesting, I don't know much about the financial world, but everything was explained in a way that I could understand. The investigation, and ultimately the conclusion, were well set up by the author. Although there were hints along the way, the ending was still a surprise for me.
There were some torture scenes, which were a bit uncomfortable to read in places, but not too gruesome.
The characters were well developed, and the author did a great job of introducing aspects of each characters' past that helped to understand why they act the way they do in the book.
I really enjoyed this book. It was full of action and was never boring. I thought it was a really good first novel, and I was really pleased that Mark decided to send it to me for review. He even signed it for me too:

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Brilliant Book Blogger - The Book Scoop

Today I'm joined by Rowena from The Book Scoop. She was kind enough to answer some questions for me about herself and her brilliant blog.

Can you tell us a little about you and your blog? Sure thing, I'm an avid reader from Torrance, CA. I read about 10-15 books a month and a huge heaping of those books are YA fiction. I co-run the book blog, Book Binge which is a romance novel book blog catered to adults. I needed some place where I could share my love of YA novels and that's where The Book Scoop came into play. Outside of reading, I love to write, blog and bake.

How would I describe my blog in 3 words? Hmm, that's hard. I'll have to say, cute, light and fun.

What's your favorite thing about having a book blog? The community. In my real life, not too many people read the books that I do (or at all for that matter) and I love knowing that outside my real world, there are plenty of people that do and book blogging brings me to those people. I have met some wonderful people through book blogging, people who have enriched my life in so many different ways and that sense of community is what keeps me coming back for more every single day.

When you're not blogging, what are you doing? When I'm not blogging, I'm usually reading or at one of my daughter's basketball games. She plays club basketball (travel ball) so our weekends are usually filled to the brim with basketball tournaments and practices. I'm also big on TV shows and movies. Right now, my sisters and I are knee deep in The Unit which is a military tv show about a special ops team that goes on different missions for our country. Soooo good.

Do you prefer finishing a book or starting a new one? I prefer finishing a book. If I'm almost done with a book that means that I'm in the thick of the story, I'm at the good stuff...sometimes starting a new book, you have to get over that beginning hump so for me? I'm all about that happy ending..=)

What are your favorite books of the moment? Hmm, I just finished My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent not too long ago and I adored that book then I read and loved Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison, Going too Far by Jennifer Echols. Oh and The Oracle of Dating by Allison van Diepen. All great stories.

If you could live in any book, which would it be and why? Oh goodness, this is such a hard question. When I was in high school, I would have loved to live in any of Meg Cabot's books because I would have loved to be one of her heroines...maybe either Jinx or How to be Popular.

What advice would you give a new blogger? Be consistent and have fun. You should blog because you want to not because of what you can get out of blogging. Blogging is a labor of love and you should enjoy it so have fun!

If you could recommend one blog to us which would it be? A new to me blog that I'm enjoying right now is Chachic's Book Nook, everyone should be reading her blog, it's great! You can visit at:

Anything else you'd like to say? I'd really just like to thank you for having me over. This is my first official guest blog for another blog since I started my YA blogging adventure and I couldn't thank you enough for that. At The Book Scoop, you'll find two regular women discussing all things YA and having fun while we're at it. Come join us, we're fun, I promise!

Thanks Rowena! If you're interested in being one of Literary Enchantment's Brilliant Book Bloggers please fill out this form.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets & Other Stories by Stephen Crane

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Other StoriesMaggie is an astonishing novel of social realism, which parallels many of today's ills. Set in the urban squalor of New York in the 1890's,it follows the careers of the innocent Maggie and her brother Jimmie, children of brutal and drunken parents. It is a tour-de-force equal to The Red Badge of Courage.

Also included in this volume are seven of Stephen Crane's short stories. The Monster is a novelette which provides a bitter commentary on man's inhumanity to man; The Blue Hotel, a tale of murder in a small Nebraska town; His New Mittens, which concerns the reflections of a runaway boy, is followed by four stories of sensation and excitement.
My thoughts: These stories were, as with most short story collections, a bit of a mixed bunch. Some I liked (The Monster, His New Mittens), some not so much.
Overall the book was ok, but I felt like I was missing something. Half of the stories just left me feeling confused and like "What the...?".
The title story Maggie started off really well, with Maggie and her brother as children. I thought I was going to enjoy it, but then it jumped ahead to when Maggie was grown up and it just went a bit weird.
I liked The Monster. It was about a black slave who tries to save a boy from a burning building and is badly burnt in the process. His face is scarred for life, and the story tells how instead of being treated as a hero he is treated like a monster.
I also liked His New Mittens which is about a little boy who runs away from home because his mother is angry at him for losing his new mittens. The little boy in the story is sweet and his main reason for running away is to punish his mum for being angry at him!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Bloggiesta Finish Line

Phew what a weekend! I'm a bit late posting up this final post because I had two job interviews this morning, but that's another story. Let's see what I achieved this weekend shall we?

-Wrote two reviews - less than I'd planned to do, but it's a step in the right direction.
-Write book-related posts - not done, but I did think of some ideas.
-Get some guest posts - I've now got two blogger interviews ready to use, and one more waiting to come back. The first one will be posted later this week.
-Clean up tags - Epic fail!!
-Read list and review list both brought up to date.
-Tidied the sidebars slightly, still need to find out how to add a favicon. I did it once before, but now I've forgotten how to do it!
-Challenge lists brought up to date.
-Stopped blogger from automatically adding line breaks to all my posts.
-Organised google reader, added folders/tags to each blog I subscribe to.

I only managed one of the mini challenges, and that was the embracing community one. I found 10 blogs that were new to me and left a comment on each of them. And, just because they're awesome, here are the 10 blogs I found and commented on:

Sunday, 13 June 2010

In My Mailbox #6

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

I bought three books this week. The first is Moonshine by Christina Jones, this sounds like a fun light read.
Moonshine Cleo Moon is starting life over again after a divorce. She lands a job as PA to Lady of the Manor - Mimi - having settled herself in a caravan in the sleepy little village of Lovers' Knot. But the trouble starts when the most beautiful boy in the world - Dylan - turns up on her doorstep drunk one night.

The second book is Remember Me by Margaret Thornton.

Remember Me It is the year 1907. William Moon's heart swells with pride at the achievements of his daughter, Maddy. When, at eleven, she won the talent contest held by the Pierrots on Scarborough beach, William knew it wouldn't be long before she asked to join their touring company. Now that day has come; his talented young daughter has grown into a fine young woman - beautiful, and with a voice so pure it would make angels weep. And William isn't the only man to notice. As Maddy journeys around the north of England with Morgan's Melody Makers, she makes new friends everywhere she goes. Now seventeen, she is eager to take her first steps along the road to love. But, as she is to discover, the course of true love never did run smooth, and her heart is taken on a bumpy ride as she experiences the highs and lows, the rapture and the heartache, of falling in love for the first time. Will her dreams of romance and happy ever after come true?
And finally, Mastered By Love by Stephanie Laurens. I didn't realise until I got home, but this is actually number 8 in a series, which is a bit annoying, but I'm sure it'll still be good on it's own. I absolutely love the cover on this one!

Mastered By Love (Bastion Club, #8)The men of the Bastion Club proved their bravery secretly fighting for their country. Now their leader faces that most dangerous mission of all: finding a bride.

As the mysterious leader of the Bastion Club known as "Dalziel," Royce Varisey, tenth Duke of Wolverstone, served his country for decades, facing dangers untold. But as the holder of one of England's most august noble titles, he must now take on that gravest duty of all: marriage.
Yet the young ladies the grand dames would have him consider are predictably boring. Far more tempting is his castle's willful and determinedly aloof chatelaine, Minerva Chesterton. Beneath her serene facade lies a woman of smoldering sensuality, one who will fill his days with comfort and his nights with sheer pleasure. Determined to claim her, he embarks on a seduction to prove his mastery over every inch of her body . . . and every piece of her heart.
It's funny how they're all romance type stories, that wasn't intentional. I may have to buy some more books tomorrow because the shop where I bought these from had the whole set of the Morganville Vampire series, and they were 3 for £5, so it's the perfect excuse to give the series a go!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Bloggiesta Update

My Bloggiesta is going ok, I perhaps haven't got as much done as I originally planned, but that's only because I keep getting sidetracked by other things that need doing! Here's what I've got done so far:

Write reviews. - I've only managed to type up two so far, but hey that's more than I had yesterday so I'm happy :)

Write some book-related posts to be scheduled for the future. - Haven't written any yet, but have brainstormed some ideas.

Put out invitations for guest posts/interviews. - I've had one response back and will be posting this up later in the week.

Clean up tags. - Haven't even looked at them yet!

Make sure read list and reviewed list are up to date. - Done and done.

Clean up sidebars, add a favicon, some other random layout adjustments. - Tidied up the sidebar slightly, still need to figure out how to do favicon.

Clean up and update challenge lists. - Done.

Clean out and organize feed reader and blog subscriptions. - Spent ages on this, and completed it last night.

Change post settings to stop it automatically putting in line breaks. - This was something that cropped up as I was working on something else. Was a really easy fix and is done now.


Write Your Blogging To-Do List - Have only had a quick look at this and have got a few ideas to explore.

Embracing Community - Have commented on about 5 new (to me) blogs, aiming to comment on about 5 more.

Write an Opinion Post or a List Post - Have got a few ideas, but nothing concrete yet.

Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer

Death in the StocksA moonlit night. A sleeping village. And an unaccountable murder.
An English bobby returning from night patrol finds a corpse in evening dress locked in the stocks on a village green. He identifies the body immediately. Arnold Vereker was not a well-loved man, and narrowing down the suspects is not going to be an easy job. The Vereker family are corrupt and eccentric - and hardly cooperative.
It's another case for the resourceful Superintendent Hannasyde, who sets off on the trail of a killer so cunning that even his powers of detection are tested to their limits.
My thoughts: This was an excellent mystery story. When Arnold Vereker's body is found locked in the village stocks the main suspects are his family. I did find the Vereker family a bit annoying and stupid at times, but on the other hand they were quite realistic with real flaws. The whole book is basically the Vereker's discussing how each of them could have been the murderer and it seemed like they were all trying to protect each other by making false statements and confessions.
As the book drew to a close I was convinced I knew who the killer was, but the real killer was a huge surprise!
This book was a great cozy mystery and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries that are a bit light-hearted.

Friday, 11 June 2010


I'm taking part in my first ever Bloggiesta. I'll be spending the weekend working on some blog tasks that have been piling up in the background. To find out more about Bloggiesta and to sign up yourself visit Maw Books Blog. I'll be posting some updates throughout the weekend to let everyone know how I'm doing.

So what will I be doing this weekend?

Write reviews. - This is probably my main task for the weekend. I have a ton of reviews that need to be typed up.
Write some book-related posts to be scheduled for the future.
Put out invitations for guest posts. - Please see this page to become a guest poster.
Clean up tags.
Make sure read list and reviewed list are up to date.
Clean up sidebars, add a favicon, some other random layout adjustments.
Clean up and update challenge lists.
Clean out and organize feed reader and blog subscriptions. (I need to create some folders in there)
Change post settings to stop it automatically putting in line breaks.
Anything else that I think of while I'm working.

Mini-challenges I want to attempt:

Write Your Blogging To-Do List
Embracing Community

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)'You're not Mia Thermopolis any more, honey,' Dad said. 'You're Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo. Princess of Genovia.' A Princess?? Me??? Yeah. Right. One minute Mia's a totally normal Manhattan 14-year-old. Next minute she's heir to the throne of Genovia, being trailed by a trigger-happy bodyguard, taking princess lessons with her bonkers old grandmere, and having a makeover with someone called Paolo. Well, her dad can lecture her till he's royal-blue in the face, but no way is Mia going to turn herself into a style-queen. And they think she's moving to Genovia? Er, hello?
My thoughts: I was really looking forward to reading this book, I never read it as a kid, but I've seen the movie several times and really liked it. However, this book really disappointed me. I'm not sure what it was, but I just did not enjoy this book. I didn't like Mia at all and that made it really hard for me to get into the story. I found her and her friend Lilly quite annoying.
Maybe this is one book that I'm too old to understand, but to be honest I don't think I'd have enjoyed it when I was younger either.
I thought the movie was way better than the book in this case!

New layout and new blog title

My layout had been bugging me for ages and I was going to wait until Bloggiesta to make a new one, but then I thought I may as well do it now because next week I probably wouldn't feel like it. There's still a bit of work that needs doing on it, like I need to tidy up the elements in my sidebars and stuff, but right now it's 1:30am and I think it's time I went to bed!

Also I changed the blog title to Literary Enchantment. I know it's kind of flowery, but it's a bit more fun than plain old Kat's Books. Anyway, the URL is still the same, so it's really just a cosmetic change.

Well, I really love my new layout, so I hope everyone likes it as much as I do! Thanks for listening to me ramble on... Goodnight! (Or good morning, depending where you are in the world)

Sunday, 6 June 2010

In My Mailbox #5

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

I bought Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. I'm currently reading this and at the moment and I really love it.

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)

I received these two in swaps:
The Magic Cottage

The Magic Cottage by James Herbert. I read this when I was 16 and really enjoyed it, so I want to read it again now.

Omnibus: The Dressmaker, The Bottle Factory Outing and An Awfully Big Adventure
Beryl Bainbridge omnibus including The Dressmaker, The Bottle Factory Outing and An Awfully Big Adventure. I've never read anything by this author before, but the books sounded interesting.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares + Giveaway

My Name is MemoryDaniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

A magical, suspenseful, heartbreaking story of true love, My Name is Memory proves the power and endurance of a union that was meant to be.
My thoughts: The book follows the story of Daniel and Lucy through their many lives. Daniel falls in love with Lucy in his first life and in his following lives he is constantly searching for her and trying to get her to remember him. The book starts off in present day with Daniel and Lucy still at high school, the story continues forward from there, but there are also chapters set in the past. At first I was a bit confused, especially as all of the characters except Daniel have different names in each time period. But as the story went on I got used to the way it jumped around through time and it started to make more sense.
My favourite part of the book was the bit set in England in 1918, this was when Lucy first started to believe Daniel about their past lives, and for me it was where the 'love story' really started.
The book seemed to take a while to get started properly, but towards the end things start to get more exciting, the final part of the book is full of adventure.

The author did a great job of describing how the past life/reincarnation works in this story. At the start of the book some things didn't seem to make sense to me, but they were explained throughout the book. So any questions I had, such as do men always reincarnate as men?, were answered further on in the story.

The ending of the book is a bit open-ended and I can't wait for the sequel because I'm dying to know what happens next!

I have an extra ARC of the book to giveaway, so if you'd like to win in it, please fill out this form.
Open internationally! Closing date June 20th.   This giveaway is now closed. Sorry!
Thanks to Hodder UK for providing the book.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Monthly Round-up May 2010

Well, once again I'm disappointed in myself for not posting more reviews. Maybe one of these days I'll get into the habit of posting every couple of days instead of just once a week or something.

Books read in May
A Necessary Evil by Alex Kava
EyeLeash by Jess C. Scott
Quantum Breach by Mark Powell
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging by Louise Rennison
Tracking Down Your Ancestors by Harry Alder
Cover Her Face by P.D. James
The Crows by Amy Hayle
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
East End Tales by Gilda O'Neill
Collins Bumper Play Book (Collection of children's short stories)
Summer, Sun and Stuff According to Alex by Kathryn Lamb
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Total read: 12

Books reviewed in May
EyeLeash by Jess C. Scott
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging by Louise Rennison
East End Tales by Gilda O'Neill

Total reviewed: 4

My favourite book read this month was Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging by Louise Rennison. I found it really hilarious.

Challenge updates
50 books in 2010: completed on 6th May. I'm now aiming for 100 in 2010.

Books received this month: 14
Books added to wishlist this month: 16

What's coming in June?
I'm thinking of doing some features/interviews with other book bloggers. If you're interested in being featured, please fill out this form.