Chachic's Book Nook


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New Release: Black Dog Short Stories by Rachel Neumeier

YA urban fantasy Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier was one of my favorite reads last year and I wanted to read more from this world as soon as I finished reading the book. Thankfully, a set of short stories, called Black Dog Short Stories, has been released this week! I wanted to give the rest of you a heads up in case you missed it.

Black Dog Short StoriesNatividad is delighted when the Master of Dimilioc gives her permission to go Christmas shopping in a real town, since she definitely needs to find gifts for her brothers. But did Grayson have to assign Keziah to go with her?

Étienne Lumondiere has annoyed Miguel once too often, throwing his weight around and belittling ordinary humans. But Miguel’s going to fix that. He just needs to work out a few more details of his clever plan.

It’s tough for a black dog raised outside Dimilioc to adjust to being a team player. But Thaddeus is determined to impress Grayson . . . until he is unexpectedly confronted by a black dog kid who reminds him a little too much of himself.

The Dimilioc executioner is the mainstay of the Master’s authority, as Ezekiel knows better than anyone. He has never questioned his role in Dimilioc . . . until now.

“Christmas Shopping,” “Library Work,” and “A Learning Experience” all take place between Black Dog and Pure Magic. “The Master of Dimilioc” is a prequel story that takes place several years before the events of Black Dog.

I’ve received review copies of this and the next book in the series, Pure Magic, from the author and I look forward to reading both! I believe Pure Magic will be released sometime in May.


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Reading by the Beach: Pico de Loro Cove

I haven’t been to the beach in YEARS and then suddenly got the chance to go two weekends in a row. Being a book blogger, I think it’s a given that one of my favorite things to do is read by the beach and I wanted to share some pictures from my trips. The week before last, I went home to Manila for a visit and was able to go on a road trip with girlfriends (ala Open Road Summer) to a beach a few hours away from the metro: Pico de Loro Cove at Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Pico de Loro - Beauty and the Beast

I was looking for comfy flip-flops for the beach when I came across these Beauty and the Beast-themed slippers by Ipanema. Of course, I had to get them! And they inspired me to reread one of my favorite fairy tale retellings, Beauty by Robin McKinley.

Pico de Loro - Beauty

I think it’s always fun to read at the beach. I can spend a whole day just lazing around – sunbathing, swimming and reading – by the beach. What about you, do you also enjoy reading at the beach? Are there any particular types of books that you consider good beach reads?

More pictures of Pico de Loro: endless blue, beach umbrellas, moscato, shuttle, greenery, jellyfish sign, pool.


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Cover Reveal: All For You by Laura Florand

If you have been following my blog for a while then you would know that I have been bibliovangelizing Laura Florand’s books. I have been talking about her nonstop since I discovered The Chocolate Thief back in 2013. Back then, she only had two Amour et Chocolat books that were out. I’ve closely followed her new releases since then and I even organized a blog event about her writing. So it comes as no surprise that I was thrilled to find out that she has a new series in the pipeline. Her newest novel, All For You, features one of the secondary characters in The Chocolate Touch and I’m looking forward to reading more about her! I also think the cover looks great, I love how the color red stands out. I also like how the font in all of her self-published covers have been pretty consistent.

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Laura Florand, bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, The Chocolate Heart) and the Vie en Roses series (Once Upon a Rose) now brings us her sexiest, sweetest series ever, Paris Hearts. Three young women strive to make their way in the male-dominated world of French haute cuisine. But in Paris, you must always place your heart on the line…

All For You

Some crushes aren’t meant to be
When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.
Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

Release date: May 5, 2015

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Laura FlorandABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Florand burst on the contemporary romance scene in 2012 with her award-winning Amour et Chocolat series. Her international bestselling books have appeared in ten languages, been named among the Best Books of the Year by Romantic Times and Barnes & Noble, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

After a Fulbright year in Tahiti and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, and several years living in Madrid and Paris, Laura now teaches Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate. For more information, please see her website: http://www.lauraflorand.com.

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PRAISE FOR LAURA FLORAND’S NOVELS:

“Chocolate, Paris, and a Greek god for a hero; this delectable confection has it all!” – Library Journal Starred Review

“(Florand) captures the nature of love, its fierce, soul-warming necessity, in a way that will make you as happy as the finest bonbon could.” – Eloisa James, The Barnes & Noble Review, a Best Book of 2013 selection

“Florand outdoes herself with this exquisite confection… painstakingly crafted and decadent as the sweets it portrays, leaving the reader longing for just one little taste.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Adorable, charming, whimsical.” – Smexy Books

“Florand serves up a mouth-watering tale of slow-burning passion and combustible consummation that’s as perfectly crafted as the hero’s surprisingly complex confections and as silky and addictive as the heroine’s dark chocolat chaud.”– RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, TOP PICK!, RT Seal of Excellence, RT Reviewers Choice nomination Best Book of 2013

“A delectable summer bonbon.” – NPR Books

“This is one of the cleverest, most persuasive enemies-to-lovers stories I’ve read in a long time.” – Dear Author, RECOMMENDED READ

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Books That Make Me Bibliovangelize

The credit for this post goes to my good friend Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile who also wrote about this topic. I got the word “bibliovangelizing” from professional book pusher Angie and I thought it would be fitting for this post. You know how some books are just SO GOOD that the moment you finish reading them, you just want to share it with the whole world? You want to convince all your friends and everyone you know to read these books? Well, those are the titles that make me want to bibliovangelize by spreading the word about them. That’s one of the reasons why I have a book blog, because it’s the perfect platform for pushing people to read the books that I love. To the point where I won’t shut up about the books and would even organize and host blog events about them. For some of my favorite series, I’m including only one book to represent the series. Click on the covers to check out my reviews (if I have them). Here are my choices, broken out by genre:

Fantasy:
QueenOfAttolia Crown Duel Blue Sword Fire

Howls Moving Castle Son of the Shadows Scorpio Races UK Medair

Urban fantasy:
Magic Strikes Burn for Me

Historical fiction:
The Sunbird Code Name Verity A Countess Below Stairs Nine Coaches Waiting

YA and NA contemporary:

Jellicoe Road Australian cover for The Piper's Son Such A Rush The Understatement of the Year The Deal I'll Meet You There

Adult contemporary romance:
The Chocolate Thief Once Upon a Rose Nowhere But Home Girl Before a Mirror Something About You

Fairy Tale Fail_Summit Carolina Home Big Boy The Story Guy

Sci-fi:
Touchstone Trilogy Silent Blade

I might have missed out on some titles but these are the ones that I could think of while writing this post. What about the rest of you, what are the books that make you bibliovangelize?


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CNY 2015

CNY 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who celebrate it! I don’t really do anything special for CNY but there will be a celebratory lunch and lion dance in our office in the coming days. Also, I got the red packets pictured above. :) Thursday and Friday were public holidays in Singapore but I didn’t make any plans to travel because I have to finish packing this weekend. Moving day is scheduled for March 1. It seems like I just moved into this current flat and now I’m getting ready to leave again. I really don’t like packing and unpacking so it’s been slow going for me. I feel like I’ll never finish! Also, I’m amazed that I have so much stuff when I’ve been in Singapore for only two and a half years. I need to stop accumulating crap.

So this is why I haven’t been able to work on any blog posts even though I want to review three books that I’ve read and loved in 2015 so far:

Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand
Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I can’t even squeeze in reading time. I apologize for the radio silence on the blog (what’s new, right? Haha I barely update anyway) but it looks like I wouldn’t be able to come up with posts until things have settled down. Hope you’re all having a good weekend and have some fun activities lined up that don’t involve packing (or unpacking).


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Favorite Literary Couples VI

Every year on Valentine’s Day, I post a list of fictional couples I’ve loved from books that I’ve read in the previous year. You can check out posts from years past through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. I can’t believe this is the sixth time I’ve created a list like this!


Image from We Heart It

Medair and her love interest from Medair by Andrea K. Host – I’m being purposely vague to avoid spoilers but I just wanted to say that I really loved the slow burn and unexpected romance in this duology. More readers need to pick up Andrea K. Host’s books (one of my fave couples from last year was from her Touchstone trilogy).

Layla and Matt from Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand – I’m a huge Laura Florand fangirl (see Amour et Florand) and she’s one of my go-to contemporary romance authors. Loved this sweet and tentative romance set in the beautiful region of Provence, the first full-length novel in what is sure to be a lovely series.

Nevada and Mad Rogan from Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews – Ilona and Gordon’s books are auto-read for me and they gave me another couple to love in Nevada and Rogan. Love-hate romance filled with banter that will span a whole trilogy? Yes, please!

Rikker and Graham from The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen – I believe this is the first time I’ve read a male-male romance and I adored it. I loved the whole Ivy Series by Sarina Bowen but Rikker and Graham’s bittersweet story lingered with me days after I finished reading the book. These two just went through so much together.

Sidney and Vaughn from It Happened One Wedding by Julie James – It’s always fun to read a Julie James novel because it’s like a chick flick in book form. Really enjoyed the banter in this one and I liked that Sidney is a bit older than the heroines in Julie’s earlier books (and therefore has a different set of problems).

Runners-up for the past year are:
The couples from Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island series because I couldn’t choose just one
Anna and Lincoln from Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
Reagan and Matt from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Mili and Samir from A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Sarah and Patrick from The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand

Who are your favorite fictional couples from books that you’ve read within the previous year? Are you planning to do anything special this Valentine’s weekend? I don’t have anything planned but will definitely try my best to curl up with a romantic book sometime this weekend. Happy Hearts Day, everyone!


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Cover Reveal: Gravity Series by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series was one of my favorite discoveries last year. I can’t wait to read the next book in that series! In the meantime, Sarina is relaunching her Gravity Series and I’m participating in today’s cover reveal for the three titles. Check out the shiny, new covers for the series as well as all the relevant information for Falling from the Sky.

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Gravity Covers

Here is the description for FALLING FROM THE SKY:

Angsty Vermont snowboarders, anyone?

She’s the woman he doesn’t remember. He’s the man she can’t forget.

Bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he’s landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead.

Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient’s heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she’s afraid to risk her own. So she doesn’t confess to the clinic’s newest patient that they met just before the accident, an encounter that he doesn’t remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won’t admit she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department.

With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a hand out from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.

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Purchase at Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1EY6tyy
Purchase at Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1KivHc9
Purchase at iBooks: http://bit.ly/1KldR8j
Purchase at Kobo: http://bit.ly/1BX4g5E

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“One of the highlights of my 2014 reading year.” — Jane Litte at DearAuthor.com

“4.5 stars. Hank and Callie are an inspiration to love stories everywhere. HOT.” — RT (Romantic Times) Book Reviews

“What a book! I’m always looking for different, inspiring, more in my books and Sarina Bowen delivers every time.” — The Bookish Babe

“Sexy and heartwarming, Falling From the Sky is a story of redemption, trust and falling in love.” — Mandi Schreiner of SmexyBooks

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To celebrate the cover reveal of this series, Sarina is hosting a Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY (open internationally): click here for the giveaway

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