Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Confessions of a Call Center Gal by Lisa Lim

Summary: Maddy Lee just finished college, but in this diminishing economy, finding a job is a hopeless task. When she visits her best friend in Pocatello, Idaho, they both find jobs at the Lightning Speed call center. So Maddy moves in with her friend and enters the crazy world of rude customers, strange yet endearing coworkers, and drama with her hot, belgian friend/coworker. Confessions of a Call Center Gal embarks on a drama filled and addicting journey of the life in a call center. 


Review: Wow. I loved every single freaking thing about this book! I could relate to Maddy like she was an older me, someone who loves Zac Efron (because trust me, I LOVE Zac Efron) and a night in watching reality tv. And Bridget Jones being one of my favorite movies, I fell in love with Maddy's Bridget-esque personality, never being able to get things to go exactly her way. There were parts where I would find myself laughing out loud and other times cheering Maddy on in her trials as a call center gal. This book is full of hilarious moments in the everyday life at a call center. The workers at the call center are all crazy and lovable in their own way, from a hunky Belgian to a Vietnamese gay best friend. What I also loved was how nothing ended up happening perfectly. Maddy goes through trials and things take time to happen, just like real life. I just wanted to keep on reading every second so that I could figure out who would call in next to Maddy. I got this book for review from the author as an ebook, but after reading it I know I'm going to buy the hard copy so I can escape into Maddy's hilariously sweet world whenever I want to. Confessions of a Call Center Gal is the perfect chit-lit to curl up in bed with. Check out my interview with Lisa Lim and my giveaway of 3 ebooks of Confessions of a Call Center Gal right here! 




Author Interview/Giveaway: Lisa Lim

I am thrilled to announce that today, I have my very first interview/giveaway with the gracious and talented Lisa Lim. Lisa's debut novel, Confessions of a Call Center Gal was just published this year and she is here to share with us a little bit about herself and her new book! 


In only three words, how would you describe Confessions of a Call Center Gal?
Bridget Jones meets The Office (I know, I cheated. It's 5 words. But maybe "Bridget Jones" can count as 1 word and "The Office" can count as 1 word too?)

How did you get the idea of writing about a girl finds a job at a call center?
The story is essentially art imitating life. I’m an ex-call center gal who served time in the trenches for many years. Suffice to say, my head was bursting with stories from the call center purgatory.  

If you could be one character from your book, who would you be and why? 
I’d love to be Truong for a day—Maddy's fabulously gay Vietnamese BFF. He's essentially the lead protagonist’s evil twin. Always dapper and debonair, Truong exudes a sort of Parisian air. I am obsessed with going to Paris one day. I'd stroll around the streets with a baguette in my mouth; I'd ride around in a Vespa with a hot Frenchie named Marcel and spot Gerard Depardieu in a crowd. Whoopsie, I veered off topic there a bit. Back to Truong . . . I admire his confidence, his wit, his candor and his filthy sense of humor. Plus, Truong’s family owns a Japanese restaurant and I lurrrrrrrrve sushi rolls, especially California rolls.  

Why Writing? Have you always loved it or is it something new? 
To quote Moliere ~ "Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for the money."
I've always loved to write. And there was no doubt in my mind that I always wanted to become a writer. In college, I majored in journalism and I was technical writer for a software company for several years (boring stuff) before I started at a call center. And now I write to pay the bills. 

 

What are your inspirations when you write? When you get stuck, what do you do?
Music is my inspiration. I try to get out of my comfort zone and listen to music that I’ve avoided in the past. In my case, it’s Mariachi music because I simply don’t enjoy it, but I’ve found that it helps my creative juices flow. Although sometimes it gives me headache. When I get stuck, I snack on chocolate, chips and Cheetos. Then I watch a bit of telly before I plop down in front of the laptop and start banging up my manuscript again.

What do you do when you're not writing? 
I enjoy walking my furry companions but I find it mildly annoying when people ask, “Oh are you walking the dogs or are the dogs walking you?” Me: *Dry laugh*
I also spend a lot of time reading, gardening, shopping and hanging out with (correction—looking after) my munchkins.

 

What is your favorite book/author and why? 
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. It is a moving tale of war, love and loss. Simons has an extraordinary ability to make you feel the emotion of the characters, whether it be good or bad. It’s a love story that blows Romeo and Juliet out of the water and it’s an emotional roller coaster that you cannot help but ride.

What's next?
YA chick lit. But I’m hoping it will also appeal to fans of chick lit, hen lit and maybe even lad lit.

Thank you so much, Lisa Lim,  for the interview! If you want to know more about Lisa Lim, check out her blog, Confessions of a Call Center Gal! Now, off to the giveaway! 


***Giveaway*** 

Confessions of A Call Center Gal by Lisa Lim
Summary from Goodreads: A fun chick lit romance that will appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes. Bridget Jones meets The Office. Madison Lee is a fresh college grad, ready to take on the world of print media. But she has zero luck landing a job. Unemployment is at ten percent and on the rise. Desperate and left with no other options, she accepts a position as a service rep at a call center in Pocatello, Idaho. At the Lightning Speed call center in Spudsville, Maddy plunges into the wild and dysfunctional world of customer service where Sales is prided over Service and an eight hour shift is equivalent to eight hours of callers bashing her over the phone. Oh sure, the calls are bad. But Maddy manages to find humor on the phone and off the phone. And with all the salacious drama behind the calls, there is never a dull moment at the Lightning Speed call center.
Lately . . . Maddy has been pining for her smolderingly gorgeous co-worker Mika Harket. Now things are heating up on the phone--and elsewhere. Don't hang up on this novel. Working at a call center has never been this garish . . . or this delightful.  **Review soon to come**

Lisa Lim generously offered 3 ebook copies of her new novel, Confessions of a Call Center Gal! 

To enter: 
-Post a comment on this interview with your email
-You do not need to be a follower, but it would be greatly 
appreciated if you were! 
-3 winners will be randomly chosen and announced on July 6th
-Winners have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen

***For more information on Lisa Lim's debut novel, check out:



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

Summary: Brooke has been hopelessly in love with Scott for the past two years. The only problem is that he barely knows she exists. So when Scott moves to New York for senior year, Brooke decides to follow him and live with her dad, who she hadn't talked to in after the divorce. Once she gets there, though, Brooke figures out that Scott already has a new girlfriend. But New York holds more for Brooke than Scott. It holds new friends and shows Brooke who she really is. 


Review: When reading this book, you either have two reactions to Brooke: You either like her or you hate her. I decided to like her. Yeah, she may have been crazy to follow a guy she had only talked to twice while saying creepy stalker things like, "He'll see we belong together," but she could pull that stuff off. I liked how much she grew as a person and found herself in New York. In New Jersey, she was more shy and reserved, but in New York, she is daring and speaks her mind. My favorite character in the book, though, was John. He was so crazy and weird, but he made it work. He was who he was and didn't care if people looked at him weird or made fun of him for it. And he really cared about Brooke, helping her find her real self in New York that she never was able to be in New Jersey. I was a little disappointed in the end where we didn't actually get to see more of what Brooke finally decides to do, but it was still nice knowing how it all ended. I wouldn't say that this is one of Colasanti's books, but it was still a sweet read for a nice summer day.




Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Sweet Light by Jen Wylie

Summary: During the war, Shara was hired to be a Healer for the Kingdom in order to use her gift to heal the injured with only her mind. No sooner than the war started, Shara is thrown into the battle, having to tend to those injured by the enemy. When they are attacked, Shara is forced to flee into the woods, having to find her way home. Shara stumbles across a badly injured soldier and takes him with her on her journey back to the kingdom. During her trip, Shara and the soldier fall in love. When she finally returns to the kingdom with her new-found love, a captain puts himself in charge of protecting her, seeing as her gift has grown powerful and threatening to their enemies. This captain, along with a fellow Healer and old lover, fall for Shara and she must deal with the three men who love her, along with harnessing her powerful gift that is just starting to grow. Can Shara deal with this new life of hers without hurting every person she's ever cared for? 


Review: I absolutely LOVED this book!!! Everything about it made me want to read more and more and more! I stayed up all night reading this book and when my mom interrupted me when I was at a really good part, I actually got mad and was just itching to get back to reading the entire time I had to talk to her. Yeah, it's one of those books :) Shara was such a good main character for this book, with her subtle beauty and growth in confidence and power. I loved following her story and feeling everything she felt as not one, not two, but THREE men fell in love with her. When I thought about the three different guys that liked one girl, I was like there is NO way I am going to like a book like this, but I loved it! I must say my favorite of the three guys was Dric, with his protective ways and an overall strong, manly aura about him. I can't tell you who she actually end up with, but I really liked how it ended. Maybe there's room for another book about this storyline? I hope so since it's Jen Wylie's debut novel! I would love to see more of Anna, David's sister, because she worked so hard to make everybody around her happy that I don't even know if she was happy herself. But the only problem that I had with Sweet Light is I felt like some things moved too fast. I would have loved for things to develop more slowly so that I could have more time enjoying the emotions and moments with the characters. I don't know, maybe I just didn't want this book to end! It was such a good fantasy romance that had a hint of the historical genre (with kings, castles, and battles), which is exactly my cup of tea.




Celebrating 100 Followers!!


I just wanted to take the time to celebrate that yesterday I reached 100 followers!!!! Yay!! When I started this blog, I didn't know how well it would do, but look where I am now!! I want to thank everybody who's following me and let all of you know how much I appreciate it! And I love all of your comments, so keep them coming! Please! I don't have any giveaways for you quite yet, but I'm working on it! So hopefully within the next couple of weeks I can get a giveaway going to show how much I love you guys! But for now, here's a HUGE virtual hug from me to all of you :)





Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Review: The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Scalf Linamen

Summary: Ever find yourself in the midst of a dull, bitter life? We Karen Linamen knows just the recipe for a sweet, addictive life that will have smiling for no reason other than just being happy. Take a trip down the rocky road of life, including stories of people just like you and fun chocolate recipes that are guaranteed to brighten up any day. 


Review: The only reason I picked up this book was because I really liked the cover and I got it for free from the publisher WaterBrook. I had no idea it was about how to be happier in life and enjoy living. This being said, this book was just okay for me. I enjoyed the stories of other people that I could connect with, especially the chapter on why journaling makes you happier, but the rest I felt was rambling. I felt like the author said the same things over and over and when she had examples from her own life, some were vague and very jumpy from different times. If she's writing a book about how to be happy, the she should be able to tell the details of her own life that went wrong so we know we can listen to her! I felt like she left out some personal stuff that would have filled in the gaps of some of her stories. And I felt like the chocolate aspect was just thrown in there because she likes it. Most times, there is nothing that has to do with chocolate and she would just ad in, oh, and eat some chocolate to feel happy! Since I'm not that big of a fan of nonfiction or self-help books, The Chocolate Diaries didn't really do it for me. Maybe I'm just the wrong audience, but as a whole this book just wasn't all that great.



In My Mailbox (3)



In My Mailbox is a meme that I picked up from The Story Siren's blog. It's where we share the new books that we've gotten for that week with our readers. These books could be from the library, the store, or from the writers/publishers for review. Whatever the reason, I will share my new books every Sunday! 

From the Library:
 

Since I already have a ton of books I have to read, I didn't get that many from the library this week. The books I did though I'm super excited to read! I love Susan Colasanti and hope this book is as good as her other ones! 

From Half Price Books: 

Yes, I went to Half Price Books again, but I can't help it! Any time I see a movie at the dollar theater (which is often) I HAVE to stop in because they are right next to each other! But this trip I limited myself to only one book! It's by Cecelia Ahern, who wrote PS I Love You, so I hope it's good! 

From Library Book Sale: 
 

There's a wall of books at my library with books for only $1, so I almost always find books I want to take home with me when I stop by. These two are what I found this week! I love me some good romance novels :) 

From the Author/Publisher 

This week I had three books come through the actual mail for me and let's just say I was extremely excited! I love receiving free books to review, so I can't wait to read these! The only problem was, for a couple of them, I didn't remember where they came from! So I had to dig through my old emails to remember who sent them! Needless to say they were pleasant surprises to find in my mailbox! I just hope I have enough time to get all of these books soon! 

From Netgalley 
 

Netgalley has honestly been my best friend since I got my Nook! It gives me free ebooks that haven't been released yet or were just released if all I do is review them! I love having these ebooks for anytime I feel like reading something new. It gives people like me who don't have enough money to spend on real books AND ebooks, the chance to read new books anytime they want! It's a dream come true for book reviewers and bloggers  

That's it! What all was in your guys's mailboxes this week? Please share! 


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review: Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

Summary: Caitlyn has always been an outsider, haunted by nightmares and dreams she can never understand. So when she is given the opportunity to go to the Chateau de la Fortune, a French boarding school, she immediately accepts. But once at school, Caitlyn starts to have vivid dreams of meeting Raphael, a gorgeous guy who lived at the school 400 years ago. As Caitlyn continues to see Raphael in her dreams, she begins to fall for him. Can Caitlyn and Raphael be together if one of them isn't even real? 


Review: Wake Unto Me ended up being completely different than how I thought it would be and I loved it! Instead of just being about a girl falling in love with a ghost (like the cover insinuates), the story ends up taking twists and turns you would have never suspected in Caitlyn and Raphael's relationship. I loved Caitlyn and how even though she was alone and scared of her dreams, she faced them head on. But you know who I really loved? Raphael! He was so sweet and wasn't afraid to love Caitlyn whole-heartedly. Not only was the love story between Caitlyn and Raphael really sweet, but the whole journey they embarked on together was interesting! Caitlyn's dreams took her back 400 years, so it was a historical romance mixed in with a paranormal romance. I enjoyed all of the history that the author incorporated into the book (which the author explains in her note at the end). Then, when the story all came together in the end, it was so cool! I loved how everything that happened had a purpose and tied into Caitlyn's discovery in the end. In all, Wake Unto Me was a very good romance that surprises you with love, ghosts, and a dangerous mystery to be solved.



Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday (2)


This is a meme hosted every Friday by Parajunkee, where book bloggers answer a question each week and check out how others answered it. It's a cool way for bloggers and viewers to connect and learn more about each other! 

Question: In light of Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

Answer: My favorite fairy tale is Cinderella. I have loved Cinderella ever since I can remember and wish I could be her so much!! I know her life wasn't all that great with a wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters, but she ends up marrying the man of her dreams who is madly in love with her. I guess every girl wants to be like Cinderella and have her happily ever after with her prince charming. Who wouldn't want to find the one person who loves them and treats them like a princess? The little, cute talking mice don't bother either! I would love to have my own Gus Gus :) 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen

Summary: When Ava Spencer was in high school, she was publicly humiliated when popular Cade Gallari slept with her in order to win a bet with his friends. Now, 13 years later, Cade needs Ava's assistance in making a documentary in a mansion that was inherited by Ava and her two best friends. Ava doesn't want anything to do with Cade, but he makes her an offer she can't refuse. So now, Ava must work side by side with Cade and soon finds herself attracted to the man who betrayed her trust and broke her heart. But Ava's more than willing to play a little dirty before she can truly forgive and forget what happened in high school. 


Review: Let me just start of by saying that this book is in no way a bad book, it just got off to a really really slow start. For me, it took about 200 pages to actually get interesting, which only left 150 of a really good story. If I could, I would give the last part of the book 5 stars, but since I am judging the book as a whole, I have to give it a 3. I really liked Cade and how sweet he was to Ava (after he was a jerk in high school) but their connection didn't actually come alive in the book until way later, when the story actually became good. I also like Ava and how she embraced her body and tried not to care what other people thought, but I didn't really care about her story like I cared about Poppy's in Bending the Rules, which is the second book in this series. I feel like Anderson's past books were full of so much more chemistry and had a much more interesting storyline than this new one. Playing Dirty just didn't have the same "I want to read more" feeling that Bending the Rules did. So if you have the patience to wait through an okay story until you can get to the good stuff, then try this book out. If you don't think that it's worth the wait and effort, then this book isn't really for you.




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

Summary: David Ponder has felt like there's nothing left in his life until the archangel Gabrielle visits and tells him that he must figure out how to save humanity. If David fails, then mankind will be destroyed. David comes together with the most brilliant minds in history to try to find the two words that describe what humanity needs. But as time runs out, the correct answer gets harder and harder to reach. Can one man truly see trough the faults of the world in order to find the one answer that can save life as he knows it? 


Review: When I finished this book, I kind of felt like there wasn't really anything that happened. About 95% of the book happened in one room where all they did was talk. Sure they had to try to figure out how to save all of humanity, but in order to do so all of the important figures in history had to talk about the solution. I haven't read The Traveler's Gift, which was the book before this one and introduced the whole concept behind the main character being able to travel through time to meet historical people, but I think it was probably a lot more interesting than this book because things actually happened. It was cool hearing all of the history and stories of certain people, like Joan of Arc and Winston Churchill, but that was basically the entire story. I didn't feel the real weight of the situation- that if they didn't solve the riddle of how to save humanity then God would wipe out the earth with another great flood. There wasn't really any emotion or action, just people sitting around talking. So this book wasn't really "the quest" to save humanity, it was more like the discussion to save humanity.




Book Review: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Summary: No parents. Living with your best friend. What would any teen do? Well, that's exactly what April did. She is finally on her own and must learn how to juggle first loves, friendships,  and just holding her life together. But living on her own isn't as glamorous as April thought it would be. She has to finally make choices on her own and, well, they're not always what she should have done... 


Review: Where to begin? I loved everything about this book! Even though it might not be realistic for a teen to be able to move in with her best friend with no parents, everything they had to deal with was so real. I loved the characters, especially Vi because even though she was all tough and cool on the outside, she still cared what people thought of her, like everyone else in this world. Yeah, there might be a lot of sex and alcohol in this book, but that's what kids deal with these days! This book showed how teens really think and how important it is to have people there for you. Not only did I like the characters and story, I loved the way it was written. The beginning started out in March, then it went back three months to explain how it got to that point (kind of like an extended teen version of The Hangover). During the book I felt like I was in April's head and new exactly how she was thinking. Everything was explained, from past to present events, yet it wasn't ever just a boring recount of what happened. And you know what else I loved? That nobody really turned out perfect in the end, because that is really how life is. Not everybody has their happy ending and yeah, maybe April was happy in the end, but she was far from perfect. So for a more updated version of Judy Blume's Forever... and something that just tells you how life is, pick up Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have). You won't regret it.




 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review: Yours To Keep by Shannon Stacey

Summary: When Sean Kowalski left the army, he expected to be coming home to his big and crazy family, not a fiancĂ©. Emma Shawn needs a man in her life to stop her grandmother from worrying about her and Sean seemed like the perfect guy. But when her grandmother decides to visit Emma for a month, Emma needs Sean to move in with her and pretend to be madly in love. As they live with each other and their mutual attraction grows, it gets harder and harder to remember that what they're feeling is all just pretend.  Isn't it? 


Review: You know those books that you just can't seem to put down no matter how late at night it is? Well, that's how Yours To Keep was for me. I just couldn't get enough of Emma and Sean's chemistry and where their story was leading to next. Even though the story of faking being in love, then actually falling in love is a used and abused storyline, Shannon Stacey makes it her own by using fun characters and passionate relationships. I loved how Emma was strong headed and wouldn't take any crap from Sean, which is exactly why Sean started to fall for her. Sean's cute and caring ways with Emma made me fall for him with every page. But what I really fell in love with was Sean's huge, loving family. Something was always happening with their family and they were always there for each other, yet they were far from perfect which made them even more lovable. When I was reading this book, there were times I laughed out loud and times I was so into the story, I lost track of time. Yours To Keep is a must-read if you're looking for a nice romance for the summer.





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