Sunday, July 29, 2012 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. 
This week was amazing! 
As some of you might have seen, I got two great books on Wednesday. You can read all about it here
I also downloaded some on my Kindle:

Intuition by J. Meyers
The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P. Jones
Why I love Singlehood by Elisa Lorello and Sarah Girrell
Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler

Friday, July 27, 2012 pictures

Next week's topic will be:
Olympics / Olympische Spiele

I know that this topic will be a hard one but you can each interpret it in the way that suits you perfectly. I am looking forward to your pictures and different approaches.

Please link you post to mine in time.
Submission period is between the 27th of July and the 4th of August.

(11:59 pm CET)

I would like to ask you all if you have any ideas for topics for the following months. I am sure that each and every one of us has this one (or more) topic she wants to see transfered into a picture by us all. It would be great if you would leave me a comment and tell me your favorite topic so that I can include them in our Photochallenge! books

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Ginger at GReads!
This week she wants to know:
Christmas in July: If Santa were to come down your chimney in the middle of summer, which books would you want him to leave for you under the tree?

If Santa has the ability to bring books that aren’t published yet then I would love to receive:
From Notting Hill to New York…Actually by Ali McNamara
sequel to the awesome book From Notting Hill with Love…Actually

If he isn’t that powerful I would love to receive: 
Timeless by Gail Carriger
I love the Parasol Protectorate series but I still don’t own the final book books

The 2012 Olympics in London start today!

I love watching the Olympics – winter and summer! This year I will also participate in the Olympic Readathon hosted by Random House Canada. Check it out here.

The Readathon runs for the full time of the 2012 Olympics which means from today (July 27th) until August 12th. How many books can you read in 2 weeks? I hope to read 1000 pages. I have to work (English tutor) each day for the next four to five weeks and it takes me about 45 minutes each direction – plenty of time to read!

I will write a wrap-up post at the end of each week (4th and 12th of August) but I will post my page count in the sidebar so you and I can keep track of the pages I read. Leave me a link if you participate too. If you want to find me on Twitter, where I will post some updates, you can find me under the name @life_of_karin. Find all the updates, discussions and rambling about books under the hashtag  #OlympicReadathon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012 pictures

This week's topic was Vegetables!

In Vienna you can currently find many advertisments where there is nothing else on it than many green apples, plums or strawberries. This inspired me to take this picture of cherry tomatoes: books

The Year of the Unexpected
by Erica Bauermeister

The author:
Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of the novel The School of Essential Ingredients and the upcoming novel Joy For Beginners (June 9, 2011). The School of Essential Ingredients is currently being published in 22 countries and Joy For Beginners was recently selected to be performed as part of the New Short Fiction Series in Los Angeles (June 12, 2011). Erica Bauermeister received a B.A. from Occidental College and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She is also the co-author of 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide and Let's Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her family.
source: Goodreads

First sentences: 
Life came back slowly, Kate realized.

Seven women gather to celebrate their beloved friend Kate’s remission from cancer, only to discover that she is living in dread over her daughter’s unusual gift to mark the occasion, a white-water rafting trip to the Grand Canyon.
Torn between a lifelong fear and the thrill of doing something that terrifies her, Kate gets a little help from her friends. They pledge to help her take the leap with their own ′bucket list′ - to each do the one thing that scares them most before the year is out. The only condition is Kate gets to choose what that will be.
Whether it’s getting a tattoo, finally letting go of a lost love or giving away a collection of treasured books and their memories, each woman discovers the unexpected joy of facing your fears - and knowing that you will always have friends to catch you if you fall.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
I bought this book a year ago and it took me quite a while to pick it up. It definitely wasn’t because I was not interested in it; it was because I need to be in the right mood for a book.
But when I picked it up I couldn’t put it down again!
I loved The Year of the Unexpected so much! The story was brilliantly written, the characters so well portrayed and the structure of the novel was something you don’t see very often.
The story is about seven women in different stages of their lives. Each and every one of them has something they need to conquer and Kate forced them to face their fears. Each chapter tells us the challenges each woman faced individually and how/if they manage to do it.
Sometimes I was deeply moved by the story, felt the need to start baking and from time to time I had to laugh out loud.

The Year of the Unexpected or Joy for Beginners (US title) is available at Amazon in hardback and for your Kindle too. You can also buy it at Book Depo.

For more information about Erica visit her homepage or her Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 books

This week the postman came daily. Unfortunately he always brought something for my mum or the train tickets we ordered.

But today was different! When the doorbell rang (10 minutes ago) I was irritated because everything we waited for was here already. It was a package for me – yeah!
Ripped it open and out fell a wonderfully wrapped parcel with two books in it.  

 Thank you Monica!
Monica McInerney, the wonderful author, sent me two of her books – Upside Down Inside Out and A Taste for It (the first book I read from her) and they are both signed! My FIRST signed books! If you know Kristie from The Story Siren she often mentions that she does her happy dance and this is what I did today – my very own version of the happy dance! 

I am still smiling writing this post and I am pretty sure I won’t stop for a long long time. These books mean so much to me and I am really grateful that I “met” Monica (only via e-mail) and she is really lovely.

Thank you Monica I am really looking forward (re)reading those books! 
You made my day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week’s question is:
Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

I love love love this week’s question! There are so many great places, worlds and settings in books.

Here are my Top Ten:
the Inkworld as portrayed by Cornelia Funke in her Inkworld trilogy
the Isle of Tara from Ali McNamara’s Breakfast at Darcy’s
Tuscany as portrayed in Anne Fortier’s Juliet and in Frances Mayes’ wonderful novel  
Under the Tuscan Sun
I would love to experience Paris with Etienne as Anna does in Stephanie Perkins’ book  
Anna and the French Kiss
New York as portrayed in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – yes, with shadowhunters, vampires and all the rest
the Discworld from Terry Pratchett’s many Discworld novels
Victorian England as portrayed in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protactorate series
New York with Dash and Lily and their Book of Dares
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – I don’t need to tell you that it is the main setting from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book, right? 
Diagon Alley also from the Harry Potter books 

Monday, July 23, 2012 books

Breakfast at Darcy’s
by Ali McNamara

The author:
Ali McNamara attributes her over active imagination to one thing - being born an only child. Time spent when she was young dreaming up adventures has left her with a head constantly bursting with stories waiting to be told.
As a child Ali suffered badly from Rheumatoid Arthritis, and as a result was unable to participate in sport at school. But more than made up for that later in life when she qualified as a Personal trainer and Fitness Instructor, with a special interest in exercise as an aid to healing medical conditions.
When stories she wrote for fun on singer Ronan’ Keating's website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too.
Ali lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband and two children, and when she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching too much reality TV, eating too much chocolate, and counter-acting the results of the previous activities with plenty of exercise!
source: Goodreads

First sentences:
I’ve always liked funerals.

When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn't expect any sort of inheritance - let alone a small island. Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn't been lived on for years, but according to Molly's will Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit, and she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy has to leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies. Between sorting everything from the plumbing to the pub, Darcy meets confident Conor and ever-grumpy Dermot - but who will make her feel really at home?
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
I love reading Ali McNamara’s books. Her way of writing appeals to me and her stories always make me dream. Breakfast at Darcy’s is her second novel and I have to say it is as good as her first (From Notting Hill with Love…Actually).
The characters are all likeable and well portrayed. Darcy is one of my favourite main characters of all my romantic comedy novels. She tries to be nice and to please to everyone and accepts with great difficulty that this is not able when you have to make important decisions.
I pre-ordered this book when got published last year and counted the days to its release. I received and read it in one or two days and when I reread it this week to write my review I loved it as much as I did the first time. This book appeals to my inner adventurist and world traveller. Living on a remote island with at least 15 strangers – sounds scary at first but fabulous when you think about it.
If you like funny and entertaining romantic comedies a la Sophie Kinsella then I strongly recommend picking up on of Ali’s books.

Breakfast at Darcy’s is available at Amazon in paperback and for your Kindle too. You can also buy it at Book Depo.

For more information about Ali visit her homepage, her Facebook or Twitter page.

Sunday, July 22, 2012 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.

So, here I am – Showcase Sunday time!

It took me quite some time today to write this post. Every time I sat down to write it something interesting happened. There is a special program on TV today about airplanes, airports and flying and I was watching some of this, then I tried to write this post and my book almost jumped into my hands and begged me to read a bit and last but not least the Tour de France finished in Paris today and I watched the last kilometers.

But finally here I am to tell you that I only bought two books this week:

Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

French Lesson by Ellen Sussman

I read an incredible book this week which I can highly recommend to all of you:
Friendship Bread by Darien Gee

A wonderful book. I was absolutely blown away by it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012 pictures

This week's topic was Summer
There wasn't much of a summer in Vienna this week but that seems to be the case in most of Europe right now. But I managed to take one picture that resembles summer for me.

During the summer months I tend to read all the huge books I haven't read during the semster. Due to the fact that I take a book with me where ever I go I usually take lighter books (300-400) pages with me because my bag is usually really heavy and I don't want to make it heavier with a 600 pages book. So I usually read all these books (600 pages upwards) in summer.

Next week's topic is:
Vegetables / Gemüse

Please link you post to mine in time.
Submission period is between the 20th and the 28th of July.
(11:59 pm CET)

I would like to ask you all if you have any ideas for topics for the following months. I am sure that each and every one of us has this one (or more) topic she wants to see transfered into a picture by us all. It would be great if you would leave me a comment and tell me your favorite topic so that I can include them in our Photochallenge!

Friday, July 20, 2012 books

Author: R. Rodriguez

R. Rodriguez is the author of Grace - An Eternal Beloved Novel (check out my review here) and she agreed to doing an author interview and a giveaway of an a-copy of her novel here on My Life...

During the preparation for this interview I mentioned that this Special Guest post will go online on July the 20th and she answered that this is her birthday. 

Happy Birthday R. Rodriguez! I hope you have a fabulous day!

What inspired you to write your novel “Grace”? How did you get the idea?
After high school and during the college years, women are faced with different dilemmas that can affect the rest of their lives for better or worse. My concern for this audience sparked my ideas. I didn’t want the books to be so serious, so I combined my message with my love of paranormal romances, to create a book with a message in a paranormal romance setting. Grace is about a young woman who has always wanted to commit suicide. She almost achieves it, but is saved unexpectedly. Death has already noticed her, though and doesn’t let go. The book details her efforts at self development, her setbacks because of bad decisions, and the power, only she has, to change her destiny. The main themes are suicide and abuse. This series is not a saga or a trilogy. 

How many parts of the Eternal Beloved series are planned?
The Eternal Beloved Series is a series that will contain four books in total. Every book in this series has a female protagonist that tackles a central theme in a paranormal setting. 

How does your typical writing day look like?
I am career woman, as well as a writer so I schedule in two hours to write every day. Some people have asked me if I have a writing ritual. I don’t. I do have some preferences, though. I like writing by hand first, on a legal pad and then onto my laptop. I also listen to my iPod during the whole creative process. I can write various chapters by listening to just one song over and over again. There are certain songs that inspire me during the creation of a certain part of the story. 

Do you have a favorite authors or book?
I am an avid reader so I have many favorite books. I would say that I have favorite books for every one of my life stages so far. As a kid, it was the Ramona Quimby Series, anything by Judy Blume, and V.C Andrews.  As a teenager, my favorite books were The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders. As an adult, I enjoy many genres. My favorite books include Memoirs of a Geisha, Anna Karenina, The House of Spirits, The Twilight Series, and especially Paulo Coelho’s books.

Can you tell us about the next book in the Eternal Beloved series “Chastity”?
Chastity is the second book in the series. It should be out by the end of July. In Chastity, the themes of promiscuity, neglect, and the pain caused by tragic death are explored.

Do you have any tips for new authors? How do you motivate yourself? What do you have to do to self-publish?
This is a tough business. While breaking into traditional publishing is brutal, being a self published author is even harder. The best advice I can give an aspiring author is to be persistent. Giving up is not an option in this business. Fortunately, with the appearance of eReaders we have more options to become published.  Writing is my passion so that’s my motivation. It doesn’t feel like work because I extremely enjoy it. To self publish, you have to not only write a book, but take care of all the behind the scenes aspects of publishing that a publishing house would normally take care of. Some of these tasks are editing, formatting, marketing, and distributing your book.

Is there something else you want to tell my readers?
I hope to touch as many lives with my writing as I can. My target audience with my first series is young women. I hope to build a network of young women in search of empowerment.
My books are available at, Amazon, and
You can follow me on Facebook.


I will give away one e-copy of R. Rodriguez's first novel  
VII - very important information:
  • to enter please follow the instructions in the rafflecopter form
  • you must be at least 13 years old or have your parents permission to enter
  • this giveaway is open internationally.
  • the winner will be announced on the blog after the giveaway ends.
  • to protect your privacy please do not leave your e-mail adress in the comment section.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 16, 2012 books

by J. Meyers

The author:
J. Meyers grew up in Vermont and now lives in Central New York. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s chasing her four kids around, exploring the outdoors with them, relishing the few quiet moments she gets with her husband, baking sweet treats, and forgetting to make dinner. Though she cannot actually see the future nor heal with a touch of her hand, she likes to think her children believe she can. Intangible is her first novel.

First sentences:
“Shall she be the first to die, Seer?”

Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.
Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
When I first started reading Intangible I had difficulties getting into it. It took some time for the action to start and even as the story progressed and you as the reader get more information the story felt slow paced for me. I really like the way the story is told though. The characters are loveable and extremely well portrayed, the story per se has an interesting storyline and is so well written that the story felt like a film and not like a book – you know what I mean, right? When you see the story develop before your inner eye for me that is a sign for a well written book.
In the last third of the book the action became so fast paced that I almost couldn’t keep track of them. From this moment on there was no chance to put the book down once and everything and all the suspense that was well build up before came into action, was resolved or left as a cliffhanger.
Intangible is part one of a series and I will definitely check the others out as well.

Intangible is available at Amazon in paperback and for your Kindle too.

For more information about J.Meyers visit her blog, her Facebook or Twitter page.

Thank you to J. Meyers for sending me a review copy of Intangible

Sunday, July 15, 2012 pictures

This week's topic was refelction and it was a hard topic. After many attempts to take the picture I wanted I finally remembered a picture I took in August 2010 when on vacation with my mum in London (our once-a-year-girl-quilt-show-and-book-shopping trip).

The Reflection of the Tower of St. Stephens in an office window 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.

I thought that I hadn’t bought any books this week but then I checked my Amazon Kindle account and found three.

Easy by Tammara Webber
a recommendation from Ginger at GReads! She recommended Obsidian from Jennifer L. Armentrout to me and I loved it. So I had to buy this books too.

Paper Towns by John Green

Agatha Raisin and the Perfect Paragon by M.C Beaton

So thanks to some awesome Kindle Deals this week I had some books to show you today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012 pictures

Next week's topic is:
Summer / Sommer

Please link you post to mine in time.
Submission period is between the 13th and the 21st of July.
(11:59 pm CET)

I would like to ask you all if you have any ideas for topics for the following months. I am sure that each and every one of us has this one (or more) topic she wants to see transfered into a picture by us all. It would be great if you would leave me a comment and tell me your favorite topic so that I can include them in our Photochallenge!

Friday, July 13, 2012 pictures

As you may know a good friend of mine had a baby in March and I immediatly fell in love with him. Such a sweet boy! Last Friday we met at Schönbrunn and went for a walk through the park. When we sat on a bench I snatched him out of his mum’s arms (she has him all the time) and she took this gorgeous picture of us.

Thanks you two for this wonderful day!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

... in books

Day 3
Wonderful day but I only managed to read 5 pages before going to sleep.

This is a total of 280 pages and 17% that I read during this read-a-thon so far.
All in all I loved participating in this read-a-thon and enjoy the hours I spend reading my book(s), blogs and tweets.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 books


Day 2
I met a friend for lunch so I had a lot of time on public transport to read, read, read. BTW a hot day and public transport are such a bad combination. :(
I read the last 83 pages and finished Breakfast at Darcy's and reads 17% on my Kindle. 

This is a total of 275 pages and 17% that I read during this read-a-thon so far.

One of today's challenges is hosted by Christy at The Reader Bee.
She wants to kow:  
What is your most anticipated book for 2012?
(It can be an upcoming release, or one that's already been released.)

The book I am really looking forward to is Ali McNamara's From Notting Hill to New York...Actually which will be released on November 22nd.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 books


Day 1
I decided to participate in the Once Upon a Rad-a-Thon after I saw it mentioned on Twitter twice! Wrote my introduction post and then went to university because I had an exam at noon. Afterwards I came home and read with some breaks for walking the dog, having a cup of coffee with my mum and a friend, having dinner and watching an episode of CSI Miami.

I read 192 pages from Ali McNamara's Breakfast at Darcy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

... in books

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
by Morgan Matson

The author:
Morgan Matson was born in 1981 and grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan's three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW "Flying Start" book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize. It has since been published in five different languages and six different countries.
In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.
Her second book, Second Chance Summer, will be released in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2014.

UK cover
First sentences:
I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac.

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. But since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip. . .and has plenty of baggage of his own. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected may turn out to be the ones you need the most—and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

My opinion:
I Love Road Trips!
I love taking them, I love reading about them, I love dreaming about them and this book combines at least the last two. The book tells the story of Amy and Roger’s incredible road trip through the United States in Amy’s mum’s car. The book contains the story of the actual road trip, of the events leading to this trip and is also filled with scraps, pictures and memorabilia.
Amy & Roger’s road trip is really epic and takes you from California to Connecticut with some detours you just can’t expect – geographically as well as emotionally.

This is another book you can put on your “Travel books I have to read” list. If you don’t have a list like that go get it. There are too many awesome travel inspired books out there to miss just one.

I was really sucked into the story and loved every minute of the trip I took with Amy and Roger. There are not enough words to describe how much I loved this read and I am really sorry it took me so long to buy and read it. Morgan’s next book is a sure buy for me.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is available at Amazon for $ 9,99 / EUR 7,60 / £ 4,69 and for your Kindle too. You can also buy it at Book Depo for $ 9,04 / EUR 7,24 / £ 5,79.

For more information about Morgan Matson visit her Homepage, her Tumblr, her Facebook or Twitter page. 

Last but not least and incredible book trailer: