Monday, September 30, 2013 books

Cover Reveal:
The Secret Diamond Sisters
by Michelle Madow

The Secret Diamond Sisters will be published by Harlequin TEEN on February 25, 2014

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.
The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

PRE-ORDER: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository ] 

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014. 
Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.
She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter.

Connect With Michelle:

If you are living in the USA you might be interested in the book release party on March 1, 2014 at Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL. Click here to RSVP!

To celebrate the cover reveal of The Secret Diamond Sisters Michelle is hosting a Giveaway for an ARC of the novel. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway pictures

This week's topic will be: 

Markt / Market

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 30th of September and the 7th of October
(11:59 pm CET).

Thursday, September 26, 2013 books

The Heist
by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

First sentence:
Kate O'Hara's favorite outfit washer blue windbreaker with the letters FBI written in yellow on the back, worn over a basic black T-shirt and matching black Kevlar vest.

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.
Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.
Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
As you probably all know by now, I am a huge fan of Janet's writing and when I discovered that she started writing a new crime series with Lee Goldberg, who is a screenwriter for TV series like Monk, I knew I had to have this book as soon as it is published. Two days after the official release date I went to my local bookstore and checked if The Heist was available, which isn't always the case in Austria, bought it, read it and loved it!

The Heist is the beginning of the O'Hare and Fox series and the perfect introduction. I loved the storyline, the characters and the plot was really unique. Nick Fox is FBI-Agent Kate O'Hare's greatest enemy and she can't think of anything better than finally bring him in. Nick, who's a clever con-artist, however manages to escape imprisonment due to a great deal he negotiates with Kate's boss. Now she is stuck with him.

Kate is the super though FBI-Agent who's sole purpose in life is catching the bad guys and who hasn't really got a life outside her job. She must not always stick to the rules but when her boss informs her that she'll be working with Nick Fox she isn't thrilled and cannot believe how she deserves being on a mission with him.
Nick is the cool and relaxed con-artist whom nobody and nothing can surprise and who seems to always be one step ahead of Kate and all the others.

Together the find a team who's crazy enough to pull one hell of a con and each and every one of the team members is hilarious and truly amazing.

I read this book on my way to work and had to laugh out loud more than once, which always brought me a mixture of confused and amused looks from all the other commuters.

If you like crime stories and are looking for a highly entertaining book, pick this one up. The Heist is one of the best books I read this year.

The other books in the O'Hare and Fox series are:
  • Pros and Cons (O'Hare and Fox #0,5)
  • The Heist (O'Hare and Fox #1)
  • The Chase (O'Hare and Fox #2) expected publication: 25th of February, 2014
For more information about Janet Evanovich visit her Homepage, Facebook or Twitter page.
For more information about Lee Goldberg visit his Homepage, Blog, Facebook or Twitter page.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls want to know my  
Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

I am only including sequels I have already read. There are other sequels many many of my bookish friends love and which I am really looking forward to.
Changeless by Gail Carriger 
(and all the other books by Gail Carriger)
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier 
(and all the other books in the series)
The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud 
(even though I have just started it)
The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis 
(and all the other books in the series)
Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Murder on a Bad Hair Day by Anne George 
(and all the other books in the series)
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich 
(and all the other books in the series)
The Chocolate Bear Burglary by JoAnna Carl 
(and all the other books in the series)

Monday, September 23, 2013 pictures

This week's topic will be: 

  Grau / Grey

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 23rd and the 30th of September 
(11:59 pm CET).

Friday, September 20, 2013

...on the blog

It's that time of the year again - it's Bloggiesta!

Fall Bloggiesta runs from today to Sunday and gives us all the opportunity to set aside a special time to work on all those little things that need fixing on our blogs. For more information visit the Bloggiesta Homepage.

Here's what I am planning to do over the weekend:
  • write reviews (23 to write)
  • update my List of Review
  • plan my Second Blogoversary
  • update my About page
  • update my Bookish Buddies 
  • update links
I hope I'll get everything done but the most important thing is to have fun!

Are you participating? What are your plans?

Thursday, September 19, 2013 books

The Fascination of Steampunk

This was originally posted on the 6th of August on Once Upon A Time for Clockwork Carnival

Have you ever wondered what Steampunk is exactly?

According to Wikipedia:
“Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art.”

Steampunk is up and coming not only in the YA genre but all over the place. Since 2009 many great  Steampunk series such as Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate novels (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless), Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy (Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath) and Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess) were published and since 2003 with the release of the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen the film industry produced many Steampunky movies such as Van Helsing (2004), The Golden Compass (2007) and both Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (2009 and 2011 with a third film that should come out in 2015).

Everywhere you look Steampunk is a thing right now and everyone knows the term. Many can name certain books or movies that deal with this theme and almost everyone knows that Jules Verne’s works could be classified as Steampunk although he lived from 1828 to 1905.
In my family Steampunk is well known, not only because I read a lot and there are a fair amount of Steampunk novels on my shelves but also because my uncle and my cousin’s long-term girlfriend are huge Steampunk fans. Whenever I see my uncle we start talking about Steampunk and last year he decided to transform my aunt’s office into a Steampunky one. It matches their house perfectly and in June I finally had a chance to look at it and I have to tell you it is fabulous. My cousin’s girlfriend got Steampunk jewelry for Christmas and when I was talking to Hannah about her Clockwork Carnival I immediately had an idea for a blog post.

I asked my uncle, my cousin’s girlfriend and Hannah what fascinates them about Steampunk.
Here are their answers:
My uncle, who is so not a reader at all, told me that he is fascinated by the huge variety of things that can be seen as Steampunk. The small machines that consist of so many components and are all built with love and devotion, the different takes on Steampunk films, that Jules Verne experimented with this genre over a hundred years ago and that he is seen as the “Godfather of Steampunk”.

My cousin’s girlfriend sees Steampunk as something special and unique. For her those little hidden gems of Steampunk are those things that fascinates her the most. There are so many different ways of expressing your love of Steampunk and so many different people loving this genre.

I love the variety of Steampunk – it can be found in books, films, jewelry, fashion, etc. It is a way of life! Exploring all those different ways the genre expresses itself and stumbling over little hidden references towards Steampunk is something I appreciate a lot. Whenever I read a Steampunk novel I can see the story evolve before my inner eye because all of those I read are written so well and suck you into their world. Every time someone talks to me about Steampunk I see a dark, dusty and foggy London and cannot help but smile. For me this genre lives from the huge variety and the large amount of feelings it awakens in all of us. Steampunk is unique and combines the love of the old (aka Victorian times) with modern features (aka the machines and inventions) and a very special way of transporting them either via screen or via the pages of a book, which clearly is my favorite way of
experiencing Steampunk.

When I asked Hannah she wrote the following:
”Ooh good question.. Steampunk is unlike any genre out there. You find it as a setting for fantasy novels, a world in urban fantasy, and the stories in Science Fiction. It can be subtle and flamboyant and it is fascinating to see how different authors use it. However, it is also so much more. For many Steampunkians it is a culture and a way to express themselves. There are so many aspects to Steampunk and I love to explore them all.”

Steampunk Steampunky office

And with this wonderful declaration of love to Steampunk I will leave you now but not without asking you why you are fascinated with this genre and what is your number one book or film you can recommend me reading/watching?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls want to know my 
Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

If you followed my blog for a while now, you might know that I am not good with sticking to TBR lists. I will still tell you which books I would like to read during fall but it might happen that I in the end read many other books and non from my list - whoops!
  • Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
  • Shadow and Bones by Leigh Bardugo
  • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  • Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
  • School's Out by Jack Sheffield
  • At Last by Jill Shalvis
  • The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer
  • The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger (expected publication: November 5th)

Monday, September 16, 2013 pictures

This week's topic will be: 

  kariert / checked

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 16th and the 23rd of September 
(11:59 pm CET).

Sunday, September 15, 2013 books

Showcase Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits & Tea which was inspired by In My Mailbox from Kristie at The Story Siren.
It is a possibility for us to show what amazing books we got during the week.
It's been some time since I did a Showcase Sunday but this week I got some books I really really wanted and needed. I'm currently in a huge (cozy) mystery reading mood so I bought some more. 

Due or Die (Book 2 in the Library Lover's Mystery)
Book, Line and Sinker (Book 3 in the Library Lover's Mystery)
Red Velvet Revenge (Book 2 in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
Going, Going, Ganache (Book 3 in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
all by Jenn McKinlay

Trouble at the Little Village School (Book 2 in the Barton in the Dale series) 
by Gervase Phinn

I also bought some Debby Books. What do you mean you are not familiar with Debby Books. Debby, or Snuggly Oranges as she is known in the Book Blogging Community, is the queen of recommendations. This week I got some from her and felt the immediate need to buy them and that's what I did. All of these were bought as e-books.  
 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Golden by Jessi Kirby

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Angelfall by Susan Ee

Pivot Point by Kasie West

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The Lightning Thief (Book 1 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series) by Rick Riordan

Friday, September 13, 2013 pictures

At the beginning of the summer I bought an annual ticket for the local zoo in Vienna. I always loved going to the zoo. When I was a little kid my mum took me to the zoo regularly and even when I grew older I loved going. Over the years many things changed at the zoo - cages where rebuilt and enlarged, new animals came, the panda bears got three puppies (the last one two weeks ago), ...

At the beginning of September I went there again and took some (around 500) pictures. 

The panda mum days before shegot her new baby bear.
Me and my mum love the red panda - one of the cutest animals I know!

Hippo mum and hippo baby

The meerkats recently got puppies too.
Seal love
The penguins had chicks too.
The Andean Bear was just hanging around!

One of the Rhinos was exploring.


I adored the otters. We have two and they are the cutest, smelling little animals.
If you look closely you can see him playing with a small stone. 
 Elephants - they got a baby too last week.

One ape was also hanging around. 

Orang-Utans are kept occupied.

If I have to pick a favorite animal I would pick the coatis.
We started our tour at the pandas and ended it at the koala bears.