Thursday, July 26, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway~The Prince of Powys by Cornelia Amiri

*To read my review click here*

Guest Post:

The Prince of Powys by Cornelia Amiri

The Anglo Saxon Chronicles records in the year of our lord 750, Cuthred of Wessex fought Ethelbald of Mercia. It not only states that these two Saxon War Lords battled each other but that they both battled the Welsh. In 760 in the Battle of Hereford, Elisedd map Gwylog of Powys and his son Brochfael map Elisedd led the Welsh to victory  against Mercia. Elisedd’s great-grandson, Cyngen map Cadell built a monument to Elisedd known as the Pillar of Eliseg. It stands to this day. From the dark ages, the time of warrior kings like Ethelbald, Cuthred, and Elisedd springs my young adult tale of The Prince of Powys.
Branda, a Saxon princess of Mercia helps Blaise, a prince of Powys, escape her father’s stronghold. In turn, he vows to escort the princess to her sister in Scotland so she can escape an arranged marriage. Instead, he holds her captive as his hostage in the unbreachable hill fort of Dinas Bran, where she captures his heart. Will Blaise be forced to throw away his honor for love or tear out his heart for honor?

Here’s a short excerpt:
After sleeping off the ale, he rose at dawn recommitted to keeping Branda, and prepared for his mission in the old ways.

Scan bore the woad and the limewash Neilyn had mixed. Blaise washed his hair with the powdered limestone and water mix then spiked his mane until it stood as thick as a hedgehog's coat. With the woad dye, Neilyn painted magic symbols of the gods upon Blaise's forehead. Painted tattoos liken to the sacred images engraved on the long stones in the tombs. The swirls began small and curved into larger loops. The gods shielded him with these mystical symbols.

The druid chanted ancient words of power as Scan strummed the harp.

"Before the sky and the earth and the sea,
Before the sun and the moon and the stars,
I place a circle of safekeeping around you.
Oh Blaise, bind yourself to Bran's power,
mighty is its strain, oh Blaise.
Magical energy will enliven,
And empower you on the field of battle.
Thrust the Saesneg with the sword of Nuada.
Around you, I place a circle of protection,
To bind Bran's power to you, oh Blaise."

Scan continued to strum the harp and Neilyn drew blue circles upon Blaise's legs, arms, and chest as he continued the enchantment.

"Win your princess as Bran foretold,
So the two of you shall return to us,
To live a life full of honey,
With peace as ample as the sky.
Be this nine times eternal.
I place a circle of protection around you.
Oh Blaise, bind yourself to Bran's power."

Blaise picked up a bronze mirror adorned with Celtic tracery. The image of a warrior prince painted with the magic of the old gods gazed back at him. Pride and determination filled him with a warm glowing sensation of peace and invincibility.

Before he vaulted onto his steed, Neilyn presented him with Nuada's sheathed sword of power. Blaise drew the blade from the serpent etched sheath. The gleaming bronze hilt, curved in never-ending circles of life, mesmerized him as rays of sunlight danced upon the long, powerful sword, which glistened with an ethereal luster.
Neilyn bent his head down and kissed the gleaming blade. Blaise brandished it high in the air as Brochfael, Elisedd, and all the gathered Cymry praised its power.

For more on my young adult fantasy/romance, The Prince of Powys, please visit my publisher’s site at


Enter below to get a chance to win a Celtic leather bracelet and an autographed paperback copy of The Prince of Powys!


    1. Giveaway is for US residents only.
    2. It'll end on 3 August, 2012 & the winner will be announced on the same day.
    3. You can only enter once.
    4. Winner will be chosen randomly.
    5. Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.
    6. Winner will be sent a signed copy of The Prince of Powys and a Celtic leather bracelet by the author.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Giveaway~From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer & Valarie Thomas

    I posted a review yesterday of From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valarie Thomas and Stacy contacted me to let me know that she'd be happy to provide a signed copy of her book for a giveaway. How awesome is that? If I were you I wouldn't pass up the opportunity of owning this amazing book! So fill out the form below to enter to win a signed copy of From What I Remember!

    A HUGE THANK YOU TO STACY & VALARIE! They're the nicest people I've ever met!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Book Review~From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valarie Thomas

    Title: From What I Remember
    Author: Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
    Publisher: Hyperion
    Publish Date: May 15th 2012
    Format: e-book (epub)
    Pages: 329
    Reading Level: 14+
    Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Book Site

    Summary: KYLIE: MEXICO WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

    MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome. 

    WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started. 

    LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.

    Rating: 10/10
    Source: Bought

    Cover Talk: I like it. But to be honest if I saw this on a bookshelf I wouldn't really pick it up. And even if  did, and read the synopsis, I doubt I would have bought it.

    Reason I read this book: I participated in My Book Boyfriend last week and a fellow blogger left her link in the comments. I checked out her Book Boyfriend and it was none other than Max Langston! The moment I read the quotes she had posted, I was dying to get my hands on this book. And I finally did! =D

    My Thoughts: When I started this book I had no idea I would love it this much! I expected to like it, because most of my friends on Goodreads did, but never thought it would actually end up as a favorite.

    I started this book last night at about 12. I read about 2 chapters and then went to go to sleep. But my thoughts kept wandering back to the book. From the moment I started the book I was hooked. And now I wanted to know what happened next. So at last when I couldn't control myself, I went back, turned on my laptop and started reading.

    You see, my dad gets really annoyed if we stay up at night. He's a doctor and he says that it's unhealthy. So when he saw me, I got scolded. But hey! How could I stay away from such an amazing book?! So I kept reading and after some time he and my mom stopped trying to get me to go to sleep.

    Oh God, this book is a perfect mixture of action, suspense, emotion, humor and romance. I read it all in one go, even when I was so damn sleepy! This happens to me with very few books. In fact the only book (till now) that had me awake all night was A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Other than that I've never craved a book more than I craved this one.

    Beginning: How in the world does someone start off like that?! I mean seriously? It was such a teaser! And after reading that prologue who wouldn't be tempted to read the whole book? It was a perfect way to start a book, to reel people in....

    Story: OK so this book was full of cliches. Like seriously full of them! At times it's so cheesy. And things happen out of pure coincidence that could never happen in real life. With a mixture like this you would think 'how could this book be any good?' But it is! Beyond good! I don't know how it works, but it does! These cliches and cheesy moments and non-real coincidences are what makes this book amazing! 

    Oh and the plot of course! Seriously this book is genius! I especially loved the movie quotes at the beginning of every chapter.

    Characters: The only other book I've ever read with various POV is Magenta Orange by Echo Freer. And I kinda liked it. It's fun getting the story from different character's POV. And I guess it must be hard to write it too. So Stacy and Valarie did an amazing amazing job at that! Every character's voice is different. And it was nice to get into each of their heads, get their side of the story. 

    The other thing I liked about the characters was that they were like regular high school seniors. They were people, teenagers. They had their qualities but they had their flaws too. Their lives were messed up, like most people's are and you could seriously relate to them.

    For example I can really relate to Kylie. She a A+ student, so am I. She worries too much and thinks things through a lot, so do I. She has a lot of pressure from the family, so do I because I'm the oldest child. And her temper is exactly like mine. Also, I don't have many friends and I hate to admit it but like Kylie I too shut myself out to the world out of fear of getting hurt.

    So anyway, you get my point. I enjoyed reading from Max's POV the most. And next comes Kylie. Will was so funny! I really had a few good laughs while reading his parts (though I had to stifle them because my mom was sleeping). I also liked reading from Jake's POV. He reminded me a lot of my little brother. Just like Kylie, I love him so! Lily really annoyed me sometimes. But I also felt sorry for her. She was a bit selfish. But I don't think she could help it. Charlie annoyed me too sometimes. But it had more to do with the other character's emotions than mine. He was likable.

    I really felt connected to all the characters. If they smiled, I smiled. If they were angry, I was angry. If they were scared, I was scared. And you get the point.

    Ending: I'm a sucker for happy endings. And seriously? This was the perfect happy ending! I loved it! I wish there would be a sequel because I would love to read more of this!  

    Favorite Quotes: (I liked a lot of quotes from this book but I can't fit them all in, so here are a few)

    Guys find me neutered, detached, invisible. I’m Switzerland. The girls Max dates are Brazil.
    (This really cracked me up! I loved how Kylie compared things. I also loved the nick-names she gave people.)

    “Here’s the list of stuff I don’t like: apples, the fork in my bowl, Honey Nut Cheerios, eggplant parmesan, worms, watching baseball, and Taylor Swift.”
    (I know it's weird but I found this really sweet. Jake said this to his father. Jake doesn't like Taylor Swift =( But I love Taylor! =P)

    “You were worried about me?” “Of course I was, buddy. I would never have forgiven myself if something had happened. You didn’t think I’d be worried about you?” “No. I didn’t think you cared.” Dad looks sad. And surprised. I’m not sure why. “Really, buddy? You didn’t think I cared?” “No.” “Well, I do. A lot.” “Okay.” “I guess I need to do a better job of showing you.” “Yes. You could do a better job.” Dad laughs. And he hugs me again.
    (This was such a bittersweet moment. It was the only point in the book that got tears in my eyes.)

    “We both smile at the classic misunderstanding. It’s all so cliché-ridden, it’s embarrassing. I wish our story could have some more original twists and turns. Maybe one of us will turn into a vampire or something.”
    (Haha! 'nuf said!)

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    My Book Boyfriend~2

    My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by The Unread Reader.

    So my book boyfriend today is the one and only Prince Blaise from The Prince of Powys! And he is played by the dreamy Hugh Dancy

    Here's some information about my boyfriend ;) :
    • He's from The Kingdom of Mercia, England, 756 AD
    • He's the youngest son of King Elisedd of Mercia.
    • His mother died while giving birth to him.
    • He is seventeen years old.
    • He has one brother, Brochfael, who is married.
    • He has flaming red hair.
    • He's a good swordsman.
    • He's strong and brave.
    • He's not afraid of commitment.
    • He's smart and caring.
    • “Yes.” The Prince spoke in a low whisper. The sound sent a warm flutter through her, but she had no time to wonder about the strange feelings he invoked.
    • “Call the guards.” He crossed his arms and stared. “I thought not. What you would say: ‘I ran into the hostage while I sneaked out of the palace, refusing to obey my father’s command to marry Cuthred, the only chance my people have for an alliance of peace with Wessex.’?”
    • A shrill scream pierced the air, and he turned to see Branda, eyes wide and face red. A chuckle rumbled deep in his chest. The Princess saw something she couldn’t talk about. She was a maid indeed. Branda covered her eyes, turned her head and ran toward the grazing horse. “Branda,” he called between snorts of laughter, “join me.” “You are bare, every bit of you.” She stood with her back to him.
    • An ear-piercing squeal sliced through the air, startling them. Blaise wheeled around. “Princess, what are you doing here?” “Saving your life, I think. He almost killed you.” She pointed to Brochfael with menace in her eyes. Laughter bubbled up in Blaise’s throat. “Branda, this is the practice yard.”
    • Blaise covered her mouth with his and a sweet, melting sensation filled her. He slid and twisted his lips over hers as he hungrily kissed her. Then he pulled her into the warmth of his arms, so male and embracing, and carried her away into his bower at Dinas Bran.
    • He should ask the Druid for some tonic of sorts for no doubt he’d caught some Saxon illness, which possessed him to pick silly flowers. Yes, it must be so. He couldn’t think of any other reasonable explanation.
    • “Is it true? Is it Scan?” Branda yelled with glee as she ran to the door. “Princess!” Scan smiled and opened his arms to hug her. Blaise stepped back, feeling a tinge of jealousy. I got the fool released. Where is my hug?

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Movie Review~Pan's Labyrinth

    Title: Pan's Labyrinth (SpanishEl laberinto del fauno, "The Faun's Labyrinth")
    Writer & Director: Guillermo del Toro
    Main Cast: Ivana Baquero as OfeliaAriadna Gil as Carmen and Sergi López as Captain Vidal
    Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
    Release Date: October 11, 2006
    Running Time: 122 minutes
    Language: Spanish
    Links: IMDb ~ Wikipedia  ~ Amazon ~ Movie Site
    Synopsis: Spain,1944. The end of the Civil War. Recently remarried Carmen moves with her daughter Ofelia  into the house of her new husband, coldly authoritarian Vidal, a captain in Franco's army. Finding her new life hard to bear, the young girl seeks refuge in a mysterious labyrinth she discovers next to the sprawling family house. Pan, the guardian, a magical creature, reveals that she is none other than the longlost princess of a magical kingdom. To discover the truth, Ofelia will have to accomplish three dangerous tasks, tasks which nothing has prepared her to face...

    My Rating: 9/10
    My Thoughts: I've been watching a lot of movies lately. I've got a lot of free time on my hands and besides studying & reading, I've been watching movies.

    I normally watch happy movies with happy endings and all. I especially like romantic comedies. I do watch crime & suspense sometimes, but only when I'm in the mood. These days I've been watching a lot of RomComs.

    Well anyway, while looking for movies to watch, I stumbled upon Pan's Labyrinth. Now I don't usually watch these kind of movies but the ratings were high and almost all the reviews said that the movie was great. So I thought why not give it a try. I decided that if the movie didn't appeal to me within ten minutes then I'd watch some other movie.

    I was hooked to this movie from the start. Oh my God, this movie was amazing! So definitely not what I usually watch but it was truly amazing! It was.....

    Yup, I have no more words... The story was incredible! I've never seen/read anything like it, and I really did like it.

    Oh a note here! I watched this movie in Spanish with subs. I don't know Spanish =P

    Back to the review (a little warning here: this review contains spoilers): The acting was amazing. The characters were brilliant, truly brilliant. The main character was Ofelia:

    This girl really played her part well. She was a strong character. A smart girl with courage. But she really pissed me off when *spoiler alert* she started eating the grapes in the lair. (this wouldn't make sense if you haven't watched the movie =P) I mean

    The faun tells you time and again to NOT EAT ANYTHING and you still do!!

    Now the mom. She was ok. I was mad at her for marrying such a douchebag (to say the least) but I understand her reasons. It was still sad when *spoiler alert* she died. But I still didn't cry when she did. 'Cause really, if I were in her place, I would've NEVER married that.... that.... oh you'll know what I mean.

    Mercedes was my favorite character. I liked her best from the start.

    She was so kind and sweet and brave. And what she did to Vidal, after that I loved her even more!

    There was also this creature, Pale Man, who looked a lot like Voldemort. Except that he didn't have eyes (actually he had them but they were on his hands)...

    There were more creatures but the most important one was the Faun:

    The make-up on the Faun was amazing! I mean look at him!

    Now comes our last character, Captain Vidal. I knew I would hate him from the moment he said "They're fifteen minutes late." (That's the first time he appeared in the movie.) Just the look on his face and the way he said it gave off the vibes that he was a very evil and bad person. I hadn't read the synopsis or watched the trailer so I had no idea what the story was about and who was the bad guy (I just knew it was a fairytale, mystery) which just goes to show how well the actor played this character. Oh any person would totally hate this... this....

    I mean the way he killed that poor man with the bottle, and it wasn't even his fault! I swear I just wanted to grab a bottle and start hitting his face like that!

    So when Mercedes cut his mouth, boy was I happy! 

    I'm not the violent type, but honestly, he deserved it! Which comes to another part that I wanted to discuss. There were some really gruesome scenes in the movie and I had to cover my eyes because I just couldn't take them. Like the bottle scene & the mouth cutting scene and Vidal beating up people scenes....

    I even paused at moments to collect my thoughts and to register what had just happened.....

    I'm sssooo glad this movie had a happy ending! I could not have been ok with Vidal living..... Though *spoiler alert* Ofelia did die. And that was the only part of the movie when I cried....

    But only when Mercedes starting humming the lullaby.....

    All in all it was a great movie! It was full of suspense and adventure and even violence and it was not my usual cup of tea (not that I like tea) but still, I liked this movie. It had me on the edge of my seat and there was a moment when I was holding my breath without even realizing it. I'd highly recommend it to others.

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    It's my birthday!! Plus announcement for the Summer Giveaway winner!

    Hello world! It's my sweet sixteen today! Sooo....... I'm giving away an e-copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth! And the winner iiissss.......

    Emilia M. Riaz


    Note: If Emilia doesn't respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Book Review~The Prince of Powys by Cornelia Amiri

    Title: The Prince of Powys
    Author: Cornelia Amiri
    Publisher: Eternal Press
    Publish Date: January 6th 2012
    Format: e-book
    Pages: 114
    Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Book Site

    Summary: In an age of heroes, Branda, a Saxon princess helps Blaise, a Prince of Powys, escape her father’s stronghold. In turn, he vows to escort the princess to her sister in Scotland so she can escape an arranged marriage. Instead, he holds her captive as his hostage in the unbreachable hill fort of Dinas Bran, where she captures his heart. Will Blaise be forced to throw away his honor for love or to tear out his heart for honor?

    Rating: 8.5/10
    Source: Received a copy from author (a big thank you to Cornelia and I'm sorry for testing your patience!)

    Cover Talk: One word: hot prince! Yup, I have a new book crush *sigh*

    My Thoughts: Before I jump into this, let me confess: I'm VERY lazy! And authors/publishers, if you don't give me a deadline, I'll end up reviewing your book months after you ever gave them to me. That happened with this book. This is the first book ever I got for a review by an author, back in January. And lazy as I am, I kept pushing it down my to-be-reviewed pile. (But it wasn't ALL due to my laziness! There was school & life & etc). 

    So anyway, now that I'm on vacation and I have some free time on my hands I decided to catch up on my to-be-reviewed pile and started with the first book I received. Let me just please take a moment to apologize to Cornelia. I'm really sorry Cornelia!!

    Now onto my review: Why in the world did I postpone reading this book for so long?!! It's amazing! I read it in one go, not just because it's a small book but also because I was so caught up in it.

    I love reading books that paint pictures (with words of course) so vividly that I feel like I'm actually in the book. While reading TPOP I felt like everything was happening before my eyes, like I was watching some movie.

    The story was amazing! When I first started it I thought it was going to be one of those typical romances that have you rolling your eyes on every other sentence. But I was so wrong. This was such a sweet romance. And I loved the witty dialogues between Blaise and Branda and how there relationship grew. 

    There were parts during which I had this big stupid grin on my face, parts which I found sweet and funny. For example:

    He should ask the Druid for some tonic of sorts for no doubt he’d caught some Saxon illness,
    which possessed him to pick silly flowers. Yes, it must be so. He couldn’t think of any other reasonable explanation.

    This was when Blaise had picked daffodils for Branda but didn't understand why he'd done that. It's so cute!


    “Is it true? Is it Scan?” Branda yelled with glee as she ran to the door.
    “Princess!” Scan smiled and opened his arms to hug her.
    Blaise stepped back, feeling a tinge of jealousy. I got the fool released. Where is my hug? 

    Aww! Don't worry though. Blaise got his hug.... and a first kiss ;)

    I would definitely recommend this book for people who are looking for a light read with romance and adventure in it. =)


    Extras: I found my Prince Blaise! 

    It's Prince Char (played by the dreamy Hugh Dancy) from Ella Enchanted. I was watching this movie and then I see Prince Char I was like "OMG that's Blaise!" So here goes, some more pictures of our hot prince ;)

    Sunday, July 1, 2012


    Hey guys! Just a short note here. My former English teacher has started a new website and it's amazing. She's a great writer and she has taught me a lot about writing. Here is the link to her website: So please visit and enjoy! =)
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...