Saturday, 10 December 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #30

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.

So let's see what I got In My Mailbox this past week.


From Random House Canada
Everyday Food Light - Martha Stewart
Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran
The Jefferson Key - Steve Berry

Blood & Fire - Shannon McKenna
Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare


Demon Lover (The Fairwick Chronicles #1) - Juliet Dark

Because of You - Jessica Scott

So that's it for my mailbox this week.  If you are into cookbooks, you need to check out the selection from Random House.  They are amazing.  I am quite enjoying Everyday Food Light and the recipe's are quick, easy and delicious.

I of course had to pick up a finished copy of Clockwork Prince.  I have already read and reviewed it (you can read it here) and I also bought a paper copy of City of Fallen Angels to complete my Mortal Instruments collection so far.

That's it for me.  What did you get in your mailbox this week?
Wednesday, 7 December 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Waiting on Wednesday #18

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Basically, it’s a chance to highlight one of the many books that you want to read but hasn’t been released just yet.  This week I have selected 2 books.

My Waiting on Wednesday picks for this week are…

Title: What She Left Behind
Author: Tracy Bilen
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 1, 2012

“Don’t even think of leaving…I will find you,” he whispered. “Guaranteed.”

Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it. Each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

I seem to be choosing much darker books latetly.  Not really sure why.

Title: Snow White
Author: The Grimm Brothers
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
THE REISSUE OF the classic Grimm tale of a beautiful young girl with skin as white as snow, lips and cheeks as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony is breathtakingly realized by acclaimed artist Charles Santore in this lush, lovely picture book.

Just how amazing do those illustrations look?  How can you possibly resist getting this version?  I think I may just have to preorder it.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Title: Poughkeepsie
Debra Anastasia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Pages: 384
Source:Digital ARC
My Rating: 5*

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.

Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.

Livia felt her rage ignite. "Well Oily Comb-Over, looks like I need to buy you a load of Shut Your Mouth for your birthday."
     "I...was...screaming like a man...with a cat on his nipple."  Beckett slapped his hand of his desk.
Livia held her spatula as Blake whispered in her ear. “I see us just like this a hundred years from now, old and deaf. I’ll be the luckiest man.”

Emotion caught her—this was all she wanted. Simple, beautiful frittata moments with this man.

“Someday, Livia, I’ll be man enough to buy the food,” he continued. “I’ll give you an oven. I’ll try so hard.”

I have said it before and I will say it again, I love Debra Anastasia.  This love began with her debut novel Crushed Seraphim, and it then followed into my love for her on Twitter (you can follow her here).  So when I was contacted about possibly reviewing a copy of her latest book Poughkeepsie, I didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance.  Best. Decision. Ever.

                I admit, that when I started reading Poughkeepsie, I had absolutely no idea what the book was about.  The fact that Debra wrote it was more than enough to get me to read it and I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed.

                It’s still hard for me to define Poughkeepsie and tell you exactly what it was about, but I will give it a shot.

At its core Poughkeepsie is about a romance between Blake and Livia.  But to say that that was all Poughkeepsie was about is to seriously sell the book short.  Yes, it is about romance.  But it is also about family.  It’s about connections.  It’s about the resilience of the human spirit.

The characters that Debra Anastasia has created are just phenomenal and support the story so well.  You have Livia who has a heart of gold, Blake whose spirit is so heartbreakingly beautiful, Kyle who is lost an constantly searching to be enough, Cole who has struggled to contain the rage inside of him, and Beckett.  Who could forget wonderful, conflicted, loyal and naughty Beckett?  On the surface, none of these characters seem to have anything in common with one another.  As you dive further and further into the story, you see the ties and bonds between them and you watch as they are tested, reformed and strengthened.

There is plenty of action, suspense, romance and hilarity to be found in Poughkeepsie. Debra Anastasia has outdone herself with her latest novel and as long as she keeps writing like this I will keep reading.


There are 2 eCopies of Poughkeepsie to give away on the blog today.  To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget below.

Good Luck!

Friday, 2 December 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #29

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.

On Friday afternoon, myself and some of my bookish friends met up for a shopping trip to the World's Biggest Bookstore in downtown Toronto and then headed over to grab some dinner at the Pickle Barrel! It was great fun, and great to catch up with a bunch of ladies I absolutely adore.  *Waves hi to Angel, Michelle, Christa, Natasha, Sara, Jen and Wendy*

Anyway, lets see what I got in my mailbox this week.



  1. Melody Burning - Whitley Strieber [Amazon | Goodreads]
  2. Wintertown - Stephen Emond [Amazon | Goodreads]
  3. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins [Amazon | Goodreads]
  4. Rosebush - Michele Jaffe [Amazon | Goodreads]
  5. I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to be your Class President - Josh Lieb [Amazon | Goodreads]
  6. The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove - Lauren Kate [Amazon | Goodreads]
  7. Faking Faith - Josie Bloss [Amazon | Goodreads]
  8. Cryer's Cross - Lisa McMann [Amazon | Goodreads]


After the Snow - S.D. Crockett [Amazon | Goodreads]

Touch of Power - Maria V. Snyder [Amazon | Goodreads]

On A Dark Wing - Jordan Dane [Amazon | Goodreads]

Enchanted Again - Robin D. Owens [Amazon | Goodreads]

Allegiance - Cayla Kluver [Amazon | Goodreads]

New Girl - Paige Harbison [Amazon | Goodreads]

The Night She Disappeared - April Henry [Amazon | Goodreads]

Life is But a Dream - Brian James [Amazon | Goodreads]

Pride - Penny Jordan [Amazon | Goodreads]

Seal of My Dreams - Various [Amazon | Goodreads]


Never Enough - Denise Jaden [Amazon | Goodreads]


Yeah, can you tell that I am making use of my new e-reader?  Oooh and I somehow got on Harlequin's auto-approve list on NetGalley.  I am not really sure how, but who cares?

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, 1 December 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)
Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Pages: 497
Source:ARC provided by publisher
My Rating: 4.5*

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

This was Jem – her friend, as steady and reliable as a heartbeat. Jem did not set her skin on fire or make the blood rush fast inside her veins until she was dizzy.
“Until death,” Jem replied gently. “Those are the words of the oath. ‘Until aught but death part thee and me.’ Someday, Will, I will go where none can follow me, and I think it will be sooner rather than later.”
Tessa did not need to touch Jessamine’s mind to know what she was thinking. Even the diamond had not been real.

     I was got an ARC of this book from the lovely Jen from Rayment's Readings, Rants & Ramblings and I am so glad that I did.  Getting the ARC actually pushed me to read book one in the Infernal Devices Series, Clockwork Angel.  After reading book one and enjoying it, I immediately picked up the ARC of Clockwork Prince and dived right in.  Seriously, I have no idea how I am supposed to wait for book three now.

     All of the things that I loved in Clockwork Angel were brought right back and doubled in Clockwork Prince.  The setting, the characters, the history and story were just developed so beautifully and at such a great pace.  The story just unfolds effortlessly and hooks you right from the very first page.  Clockwork Prince is definitely one of my favourite books of 2011.

     Remember how in my review of Clockwork Angel I said that I didn't like Will?  Well let me revise that statement to say that I didn't like Will in that book, but loved him in Clockwork Prince.  I found that learning that there was a motivation and reason behind his behaviour made him much more likable.  In fact, by the end of the book you actually begin to see him for what he really is; a seventeen year old boy trying to make the best of a bad situation to the best of his ability.

     Tessa still annoyed me, but it was nice to see her experience some personal growth.  Jess still made me want to light myself on fire every time she appeared.  There really is no other character, that comes to mind, that has ever made me giddily anticipate the moment they finally get what is coming to them quite like Jess does.  Jem finally showed some grit and determination.  There was some steel in his spine and fire in his eyes and it really made me like him that much more.  And of course Magnus Bane is still made of awesome and win.

     Clockwork Prince is a fabulous follow up in the Infernal Devices Series.  If Cassandra Clare keeps writing like this she will continue to cement her place in the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Waiting on Wednesday # 17: Lost Girls by Ann Kelley

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Basically, it’s a chance to highlight one of the many books that you want to read but hasn’t been released just yet.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick for this week is…

Title: Lost Girls
Author: Ann Kelley
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 10, 2012

No parents. No rules. No way home.

Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.

Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal, Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.

How coold does that sound?  It's like Lord of the Flies, but with girls.  Even though I already have an ARC of this one, I am forcing myself not to read it until at least May.  We will see how well that works out.

What is your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week?

Review: Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman

Title: Want to Go Private?
Sarah Darer Littman
Genre: YA, Social Issues
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Pages: 330
Source:Finished Copy
My Rating: 5*

Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.

Abby is starting high school—it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke—he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

 “...I grab my laptop and log on to Within minutes, I'm surrounded by friends, even though I've never met any of them. There, I can pretend that my first day of school was fantastic, because no one is going to know anything different. I can be anyone I want to be when I'm online and I don't even have to wear makeup.”

This book had been sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time. On a whim, I decided to pick it up for what I thought was going to be some 'light' reading. Yeah, so not a good call. While I would consider this book an 'easy' read it is definately cannot be considered a 'light' read. Want to Go Private? reads as a cautionary take depicting the alienation and grooming of a vulnerable teenager by an online predator and her journey to heal.

The story is told mainly from the prespective of th emain character Abby. There are instances where a portion of the story is told by one of the cast of supporting characters. Watching Abby go from a happy, but insecure teenage to a victim is pretty difficult. Want to Go Private? is pretty detailed and in my opinion fairly accurate in showing jus thow Abby was being groomed and not even realizing it. There was something so disturbing about watching Abby descend down this path unaware while you, the reader, is fully aware where this is headed.

Reading Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman was like watching an episode of Dateline's How to Catch a Predator, but in reverse.

Saturday, 26 November 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #28

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.

I have to admit that I have been slacking this week something fierce.  I didn't do much reading nor did I do any posts.  I was just so unmotivated this week, but I am back on track for next week.

Anyway, let's see what I got in my mailbox this week....

So on Tuesday I attended a Fish & Chips Party at the Harper Collins Canada HQ.  This party was in celebration for author Peter James winning an ITV Crime Writer's award.  While we were there, I received a copy of his newest standalone novel Perfect People which comes out in December 2011.  I also received a copy of Arcadia Awakens which comes out in February 2012.

Perfect People - Peter James
Arcadia Awakens - Kai Meyer

Of course only I would forget that the Holiday shopping season is now in full effect and venture out to the mall at 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon.  I consider it a great success that I didn't go postal on anyone during my afternoon out.  I didn't even make any children cry *pats self on the back*.  While out I picked up some books.

Peter Nimble - Jonathan Auxier
Touch of Frost - Jennifer Estep
Kiss of Frost - Jennifer Estep
Variant - Robison Wells

The whole point of my shopping excursion was to finally pick up a new e-reader to replace my broken Kindle.  I got my hands on a Kobo Vox eReader and I have to say I am loving it.  Thanks to the instructions from my lovely Gwen, I was able to get my pdf books to work on it.  Even better, I was able to log back into NetGalley for the first time since July to actually request new books!  Oh the Joy!

I picked up the all black one and a blue case to put it in.  Best $250 spent ever!

Somehow this week, I also managed to break my DVD player so I had to pick up a new one.  I took the plunge and picked up a blu-ray player to replace it.  Of course when I got home, I discovered that I should have picked up two players as the one in the living room is broken as well! I just can't win!

It only cost my $130 so I am headed out tomorrow morning to pick up a second one!

Best thing about the new eReader is that I can stop trying to read e-books on my laptop.  I can also start accepting e-books for review once again.  In celebration, I bought some new ones and I got one for review.

Poughkeepsie - Debra Anastasia

The Grunt - Latrivia S. Nelson

Dmitry's Closet - Latrivia S. Nelson

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, 19 November 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #27

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.

I have to admit, I had a pretty epic mailbox this week.  On to the books!

So first, I got this package of awesome from Crystal at Raincoast Books!  They are absolutely amazing and sent me some ARC's of upcoming 2012 YA releases, some finished copies of 2011 YA releases, and a couple of catalogue's for me to go through.  I must say, I do like looking through the physical catalogues as opposed to the online versions.

  1. Tempest - Julie Cross [Amazon | Book Depository] January 17, 2012
  2. Switched - Amanda Hocking  [Amazon | Book Depository] January 3, 2012
  3. Cinder - Marissa Meyer [Amazon | Book Depository] January 3, 2012
  4. Embrace - Jessica Shirvington [Amazon | Book Depository] March 1, 2012
  5. If I Tell - Janet Gurtler [Amazon | Book Depository] October 1, 2011
  6. The Predicteds - Christine Seifert [Amazon | Book Depository] September 1, 2011
  7. Glow - Amy Kathleen Ryan [Amazon | Book Depository] September 13, 2011

Up next, I got three books from Kaitlin at Hachette Book Group Canada.  They included some very highly anticipated ARC 2012 YA releases.  I think the earliest one that comes out is in April 2012 so the reviews for these ones are a long way off, but maybe I'll do some 'Teaser Tuesday' posts.

  1. 172 Hours on the Moon - Johan Harstad [Amazon | Book Depository] April 1, 2012
  2. The Last Princess - Galaxy Craze [Amazon | Book Depository] May 8, 2012
  3. Lost Girls - Ann Kelley [Amazon | Book Depository] July 10, 2012
Then I got this package of win from Shannon at Harper Collins Canada.  I <3 Shannon so much!  She includes notes on all of her books reminding me of what the release dates are, which I confess, is sometimes very desperately needed.

  1. Archon: The Books of Raziel - Sabrina Benulis [Amazon | Book Depository] December 27, 2011
  2. 40 Things I Want to Tell You - Alice Kuipers  February 21, 2012

Then I won a book from Gabrielle over at Viking Books who I happen to follow on Twitter.  God, I love Twitter!  Since I actively started blogging and joined twitter back in May, I have met so many great people, won some very cool stuff, or been invited to some really cool events.  Some of the best networking ever!

  1. Mortal Syntax 101 - June Casagrande [Book Depository]
Of course with me, you know that no week is complete without me hitting up a bookstore.  This time I went twice and picked up a few new books each time.

Trip #1

  1. Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi [Amazon | Book Depository] November 15, 2011
  2. When She Woke - Hillary Jordan [Amazon | Book Depository] October 4, 2011
  3. Hunger Games Box Set - Suzanne Collins [Amazon | Book Depository

Trip #2
  1. The Boy in the Suitcase - Lene Kaaberbol & Agnete Friis [Amazon | Book Depository] November 8, 2011
  2. Dreams of a Dark Warrior - Kresley Cole [Amazon | Book Depository] February 15, 2011
So that is my mailbox for this week.  I must admit, I have already begun reading several of the books I received.  I am going in chronological order in my reading schedule, well as far as ARC's go.  For finished copies of already released books, I am just reading whatever I feel like.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?