Year: 2014

GIVEAWAY: Pacifica Wanderlust Beauty Set (INTERNATIONAL)

Pacifica Wanderlust Beauty Set

Let’s kick off the Christmas season with a giveaway, shall we?

I’ll have a new giveaway starting each week on Friday throughout the month of December. Each giveaway will be open for one week. This week I’m giving away a Pacifica Wanderlust Beauty Set, which includes a BB cream, a tinted lip balm, and two eye shadows. All are vegan-friendly.

All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally through December 12th, 2014. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ten on Tuesday: forgotten photos, new phones, and Words With Friends

Ten-on-Tuesday_zps5f6ec02b

1. I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner meal. How lame is that?

2. I also forgot to post for the first day of an Instagram photo challenge yesterday. Good. Grief. I’m blaming the headache that wouldn’t go away for my forgetfulness. To be fair it was selfie day, and I hate taking selfies. At least I posted today, for “something red” (my coffee mug).

3. I’M GETTING A NEW PHONE TODAY AND I’M SO EXCITED. I know, that’s kind of lame that a new phone is the highlight of my week, but allow me to explain. I’ve been using my little flip phone for six years now–no need to fix what ain’t broken, right?–but as it’s finally wearing out, and I found a new phone on sale, I finally made the switch. My friends are teasing me about finally joining the 21st century but I don’t care. My little phone served me well all those years. (Though I admit I’m thrilled to finally have Instagram on my phone!)

4. I got a new rug for our bedroom this weekend to hide our old blue carpet. (The ups and downs of renting–I know, I know, #firstworldproblems.) It’s so cute and makes the whole room feel brighter. Love it.

5. I started playing Words With Friends and now I’m hooked. Look me up if you want a match!

6. One upside to feeling crummy: I’ve read a lot this weekend. Like, a ton.

7. I did get most of my Christmas decorations up this weekend. We’re putting up the tree today.

8. There’s a new bookstore in town! But I can’t remember the name of it…The Literary Moose, maybe? Will have to investigate further.

9. Coconut Bliss ice cream is the best.

Coconut Bliss iceam cream

10. I’ve got one of my friends hooked on one of my favorite books ever, The Shadow of the Wind. He actually likes it so much, he took it home from work to read instead of playing his PS4.

Book review + GIVEAWAY: ‘The Magician’s Lie’, by Greer Macallister

(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book mentioned in this post in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

The Magician's Lie, by Greer Macallister

The Magician’s Lie, by Greer Macallister (hardcover, 320 pages). Publication date: January 13, 2015. Preorder it now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or add it on Goodreads.

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I have only one word to describe this novel: mesmerizing. I would have read it in one sitting if I hadn’t needed to stop for Thanksgiving dinner preparations; once you pick it up it’s very hard to put down, so make sure you’ve blocked out a few hours of free time before you get started.

The novel opens at a crowded theater in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1905. The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of the early twentieth century, a novelty in a time when women are relegated to the assistant’s role in a magic act. She’s most notorious for The Halved Man, an illusion in which she appears to saw a man in half on stage. Feisty and seductive, she decides to put a last-minute spin on her most famous act by swapping her saw for a fire ax–but when her husband’s body is later found under the stage, it seems that Arden was using the act to disguise an all-too-real murder.

Or was she? Young policeman Virgil Holt saw everything from the audience, so when he encounters the fleeing magician, he immediately takes her into custody, certain of her guilt. But Arden protests her innocence, and as she begins to weave the tale of her life, he realizes that as with her stage act, not everything is as it seems. Arden has a dark and spellbinding story to tell, and as the night unfolds, Virgil becomes less and less certain of the truth. It will take everything he has to decide if her story is true, or just another elaborately crafted illusion.

A lot of glitz and glamour goes into Arden’s stage act, but her life’s story is anything but enchanting. It’s a dark, gritty, and often painful journey from her childhood as Ada Bates to her reinvention as The Amazing Arden. It was difficult to guess how events would play out, and even once I thought I knew what would come next, I ended up getting a surprise in the next pages. Arden is an enchanting storyteller, leading you through the highs and lows of your life so that you’re dying to know what comes next, and holding your breath that her luck will take a turn for the better.

There was one teeny thing that bugged me about the ending of the book, but it’s very spoilerish, so I’m not going to put it in this post–but you can click over to my Goodreads review to see the blacked-out spoiler!

And now for the fun part: Sourcebooks is generously giving away a copy of The Magician’s Lie to one lucky reader! All you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will close on December 13th. Good luck!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Oh, the to-be-read pile. It looms over my head…literally. And that’s just if you stack the TBRs currently in my house. My total TBR list, according to Goodreads, numbers somewhere around 700 books and counting.

Well. It looks like I’d better get busy then!

Night Film, by Marisha Pessl

1. Night Film, by Marisha Pessl. This is actually a re-read. It’s one of my favorite books EVER, though. It’s just…dark and creepy and amazing and…(flails)…and also very hard to review without disclosing any spoilers. But I said it was amazing, right? That’s enough to make you go peek at it, right? (Be warned, the blurb on Goodreads doesn’t make it sound that special. I almost passed it over because of this. But it is really AMAZING if you skip the blurb and give it a chance.)

Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers

2. Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers. I mentioned last week how excited I am about this book. I think the cover should easily explain why. Assassin nuns? Hell yes.

The Troop, by Nick Cutter

3. The Troop, by Nick Cutter. I almost bought this on sale, passed it up, ordered it from the library, realized that their only copy was lost, and then FINALLY found a $2 used copy online that I’m now impatiently awaiting via the postal service. I loosely gather that it’s about zombies and Boy Scouts, which sounds like a great combo to me.

Will Not Attend, by Adam Resnick

4. Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation, by Adam Resnick. Because…well, look at the title. How “me” is that?

The Paper Magician/The Glass Magician, by Charlie Holmberg

5. The Paper Magician and The Glass Magician, by Charlie Holmberg. I love stories about magicians. The Night Circus, The Prestige, The Illusionist (movie)…all awesome. I have to admit here I totally thought Charlie was a dude, so finding out these were written by a lady with an unconventional name somehow makes me want to read them more.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, by David Foster Wallace

6. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, by David Foster Wallace. Well, come on. With a title like that, you have to peek inside. I’ve never read DFW but I’ve been promised that his writing is amazing, so hopefully that turns out to be true. Also, he apparently lambasts cruise ships in this book, and as someone with a firmly set fear of boats, I applaud this inclusion.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat, by Jen Mann

7. People I Want to Punch in the Throat, by Jen Mann. Admittedly, if the blurb is accurate, Jen Mann and I would not get along very well; she’d want to punch me in the throat because I treat my pets like children. Guilty as charged. But come on, that title! I can almost always think of someone I’d like to punch in the throat. Depending on the day it might *cough* be several someones.

Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard

8. All the rest of the Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepard. I know, I know. These are pretty trashy. But so addictive! Kind of like eating sugar out of a jar.

Shift/Dust, by Hugh Howey

9. Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey. I can’t wait to see how the Silo Saga plays out. Wool caught me off-guard and now I’m hooked on Howey’s world. When I first started reading I totally thought that the protagonist would be male, and then suddenly this strong, stubborn female stepped in to take the reins, and that was just the end of that. I’ve barely been able to lay it down. (Nothing wrong with a male protagonist, BTW–but Jules is awesome.)

The Fever, by Megan Abbott

10. The Fever, by Megan Abbott. I’ve heard high praise for this book, so even though I don’t really know what it’s about (I’m not necessarily a big blurb reader), I grabbed it from the library. Here’s to hoping I’m not let down!