Wednesday, 28 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Waiting on Wednesday #13: So Pretty It Hurts

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: So Pretty It Hurts
Author: Kate White
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 20, 2012

Bailey Weggins, the thirty-something, true crime journalist for Buzz, a leading celebrity magazine, needs a break. Plenty busy with her day job, her freelance work, and trying to get her first book noticed, she barely has time for her recently exclusive boyfriend, Beau Regan, much less herself. When Beau goes out of town, Bailey accepts an invitation with her friend Jesse to a music mogul's weekend house in upstate New York.

But, the relaxing weekend getaway turns out to be more like an Agatha Christie whodunit. A weird tension has infected all the guests—a glamorous crowd of journalists and models, including the famous, and famously thin, supermodel Devon Barr. An impending snowstorm only adds to the tension. When Devon’s cold, lifeless body is found in her bed, Bailey immediately suspects foul play: she can’t shake the memory of a fearful and angry Devon shivering in the woods outside the house, whispering , “I have to get out here . . . It’s not safe for me.”

When evidence goes missing from the crime scene, Bailey once again finds herself a moving target—running closer to the truth and farther from safety.

I have only read one other book by Kate White, but I loved it.  Plus, how awesome does that cover look?

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Monday, 26 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Edge of Grace by Christa Allen

Title: The Edge of Grace
Author: Christa Allen
Genre: Christian Fiction
Rating: PG
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Pages: 336 Pages
Source: Finished Copy Provided by Author
My Rating: 3*

[Goodreads | Amazon]

In a matter of seconds her entire world shifted...

An early morning call shatters Caryn Becker's world. Unable to cope with her brother's news that he is gay, Caryn rejects him and disappears into her own turbulent life as a young widow and single mom. But when David is attacked and nearly killed, Caryn is forced to make hard choices about family, faith, and her own future; choices that take her to the very edge of grace.


     "I heard you.  I'm just not all that shocked," she said with a tender weariness - like when I tell Ben for the umpteenth time to stop digging snot out of his nose when we're in the grocery store - and patted my hand.  "Caryn, click your heels together.  It's time to leave Oz.  Your brother's gay.  He's still your brother.  The same brother you loved seconds before the phone call."
     "Seriously?  You're telling me this is okay?"  She couldn't be.  Of all people, Julie would share my outrage, not intensify it.
     "He's your brother.  Want to ignore him?  Sure.  Who's left?

My Thoughts

Let me preface this review by stating that I normally do not read and review Christian fiction, but for some reason this was a book that I kept coming back to and when I had the chance to be a part of the blog tour, I jumped at the chance.  I can honestly say, I am glad that I did.  Christa Allen tackles what is a very difficult topic with tact and sensitivity.  The book did not leave me feeling like I was being preached to, but rather left me thinking about some of my own long standing beliefs and ideals.  While this book does have religious overtones, I don’t really feel that it is limited to a Christian audience.  It really speaks to basic human understanding of themselves and those around them.  

Caryn is a single mother trying to raise her child and build up her own business.  She gets the shock of her life when she receives a phone call from her brother David to inform her that he is gay.  Struggling to reconcile her beliefs with her reality, she chooses to cut her brother out of her life due to his lifestyle.  Her world changes once again when she receives a phone call informing her that her brother has been the victim of a hate crime.  She decides to help work on the case with her brother’s lawyer and soon her  business begins to suffer as a result of her brother's lifestyle.  She ends up being forced to do some soul searching in order to make some very hard choices about her faith and her family.

While the circumstances may be different, the general idea of something happening that is at odds with who you are and what you believe in is not so far fetched.  It something that happens to people everyday.  Therein lies the appeal of The Edge of Grace.  Not only does it take a topic straight out of a news headline but it does so in a non-judgmental and meaningful way.

Sunday, 25 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #19: September 18 - 24, 2011 Edition!

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 week!

For Review!

Dark Passage by M.J. Putney [Goodreads]
Dead Politician Society by Robin Spano [Goodreads]
Dead Man's Grip by Peter James [Goodreads]
Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay [Goodreads]

I won Dark Passage in a Goodreads giveaway.  It is book number two in a series and I of course then had to purchase book number one.  Dead Politician Society was sent to me by ECW Press as part of an upcoming blog tour for the book.  I received Dead Man's Grip courtesy of HarperCollins Canada when I attended their Peter James event earlier in the week.  Can't wait to crack this one open.

I was so excited when I received Double Dexter in the mail from DoubleDay.  I did a little happy dance around my office.  I have not watched the show, but just love the books.  I love them so much, that October is going to be Dexter month here on the blog.  Stay tuned for that as there will be a giveaway attached to that.

Big thanks to everyone who sent me books this week!

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer [Goodreads]
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer [Goodreads]
Dark Mirror by M. J. Putney [Goodreads]
Lost Voices by Sara Porter [Goodreads]
After Obsession by Carrie Jone [Goodreads]
You Against Me by Jenny Downham [Goodreads]
Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen [Goodreads]

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, 23 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Banned Books Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Banned Books Giveaway Hop!  The hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & I Read Banned Books.

The hop is scheduled to run from September 24 - October 1.

You can enter as many giveaways as you want, so please visit the other participating blogs and support the love of reading and freedom of expression.

The giveaway on All I Ever Read is open internationally!  To enter you must be a follower of my blog.  The winner of the giveaway will get to choose from three of the books listed below!  Yes, I did say three books.  Good luck!

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Thursday, 22 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Peter James: How to Make a Career Out of Murder (Writing) Event!

I seriously have to say that I love twitter.  I have gotten more opportunities to attend events through twitter than by any other means.  Last week HarperCollinsCanada sent out an invite on twitter to attend an event at their Toronto HQ.  They were having author Peter James at their office where he would be talking about How to Make a Career Out of Murder (Writing).  Let me tell you, it was so much fun!

Peter James signing copies of his latest book Dead Man's Grip

Peter James, on top of being a supremely talented author, is absolutely hilarious.  He was dynamic and engaging and had all of us listening eagerly all night long.  He really comes across as the kind of writer you would like to take out for a drink and just talk to for hours on end.

While telling us some stories about things he has gotten up to all for the sake of research for his books, one of the attendees asked why he would do some of the things he has done to conduct research for his books?  His response is something that really hit home for me.  He told us that for one of his earlier novels he wrote purely from paper research and for him he felt like he was cheating his readers.  He decided from then on that he would experience the things that he was writing about first hand, as much as he possibly could, in order to be able to write them authentically.  Wow!  That is amazing.  To me it was simply fabulous to see that he such dedication and respect not only for his craft, but also for his audience that he was willing to go to such extreme lengths to make sure he got it right.

Everyone received a copy of Peter's latest book Dead Man's Grip and he graciously took the time to sign every last copy and then some.  Kudos to the HarperCollinsCanada staff for putting on such a great event and making everyone feel so welcome.  Thanks specifically to Shannon and Corey who were on hand to organize and participate.  

Look at Shannon's handy packaging skills!

His latest book making a home on my shelf!

*Side Note* Peter is nominated over at ITV3 for a People's Bestseller Dagger Award.  Click here to go and vote for him!  While you are at it, you should check out his books.  I mean seriously, who wouldn't read a book written by someone who used to write for Polk-a-Dot Door!  Canadians will know what I am talking about :)

[Interview + Giveaway] Reena Jacobs , author of I Loved You First

Hi Guys!  So we have a big day on blog.  Reena Jacobs, author of I Loved You First has taken the time out of her seriously busy schedule to provide us with an interview.  She has also set up a giveaway of some super cool swag for us.  Seriously, how amazing is that?  

So without further ado, let's start the interview!

N: Nicole
RJ: Reena Jacobs

N: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

RJ: I'm not overly fond of animals, but for some reason they love me. I'm guessing animals sense I'm not one of those people who'll break into the "I'll love you and hug you, and I will call you George" routines. I'm safe, but if they need a little attention, I usually will give them a pat on the head... then find the closest place to wash my hands.

N: If you were going to pitch the book to someone to get them to read it, how would you do that?

RJ: If you love me... Oh wait! That only works on my husband. How about: I Loved You First takes a show like Queer As Folk and presents it entirely from the straight girl's perspective. Consider those times when Daphne was out of the picture. Now readers get to see what was happening in her life, discover her thoughts and feelings about the situation.

N: Who or what inspired you to write 'I Loved You First'?

RJ: The college rock station from the Sims 2 University. Some of the songs are even mentioned by title in the book, plus Steadman gave me permission to feature a few lyrics from their song Come On. Wicked cool!

N: What made you decide to put this twist on the theme of 'unrequited love'?

R: I honestly have no idea. I wish I'd written down what I was thinking at the time so I could share it with readers. Seth was straight and quite the womanizer in the original outline. My best guess is I might have been on a gay movie spree when I finally sat down to write.

N: I found myself feeling sympathetic for Seth even though for the most part I found his behaviour selfish.  Do you think that as a character, if he had been heterosexual instead of homosexual, that readers would have still felt that same sympathy for him based on his behaviour and treatment of others (namely girls)?

RJ: I don't know. From the feedback I've received, people aren't excusing Seth's behavior based on his sexual orientation. Gay, straight, or bi - a jerk is a jerk, right? I didn't realize his personality was so unpleasant until my beta reader mentioned it. I truly tried to temper his attitude a bit, but he wasn't having any of that. Some characters just know who they are.

N: I found that you tackled the issues of homosexuality, bigotry and self-discovery with a lot of tact and sensitivity.  How difficult was it to do that?

RJ: Let me just say, thank you for being kind. :) In truth, I didn't go out of my way to be tactful. Instead, I tried to write realistic characters and situations. There are no perfect solutions in life. People make mistakes, and people get hurt. My stories portray imperfect people in an imperfect world.

N: Watching Alex go through her journey of self-discovery was quite interesting.  How important was it to show that struggle and journey?

RJ: Extremely important. I don't think Alex's story is unique. I'm sure we'd find at least one girl in every school (high school and college) who settles for less than she wants. Despite being externally complacent with her situation, Alex truly wasn't internally. She wouldn't straight out admit to herself that she deserved a better life, and that caused her a bit of bitterness. Much of her growth focused on aligning the inner with the outer self and reducing some of the dissonance which held her back from being a whole person.

N: If there is a lesson you would like someone to take away with them after having read 'I Loved You First', what would it be?

RJ: Dare to be yourself. Not everyone is going to like the true you. Then again, not everyone will like the fake you either. So why not just let people get to know you for who you are?

N: Finally, what can we expect next from you?

RJ: The bane of my writing career is editing and polishing a work once the first draft is finished. Right now, I have the next two books of the Stripe Ones series written, but in desperate need of polishing. Likewise, I finished Control Freak: Regina's Story this week, and it also needs polishing. :) Once I get those out of the way, I plan to work on a Trilogy featuring Trinity. Her first book is partially written. It was a work I started before the muse called me to write I Loved You First.Thanks for having me, Nicole.

I would like to thank Reena for the interview.  If you haven't already picked up a copy of I Loved You First, you really should.  It's a wonderful read!

 On to the Giveaway!

Reena is offering up some pretty cool swag!  Included in the Swag pack is the following:

  • A signed rack card
  • Stickers
  • Signed postcard
  • Mini-bookmark
  • A Magnet

This giveaway is open internationally (as long as the USPS ships to your country).  

This giveaway will run for exactly one week.  No entries will be accepted beyond Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 2 pm (EST)!

Saturday, 17 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #18: September 11 - 17, 2011 Edition!

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 week!

Bed Bugs by Ben H. Winters [Goodreads | Amazon]
She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott [Goodreads | Amazon]
He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott [Goodreads | Amazon]
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen [Goodreads | Amazon]
Across the Universe by Beth Revis [Goodreads | Amazon]
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [Goodreads | Amazon]

Bed Bugs was sent to me courtesy of the publisher.  Thanks Random House Canada and Quirk Books!  She's So Dead To Us, He's So Not Worth It and What Happened to Goodbye were sent to me by Chapters Indigo.  They were part of that twitter contest I won a couple of week ago.  Part of last weeks IMM (Half Brother was also part of this same contest).  Thanks ChaptersIndigo!  I purchased a copy of Across the Universe and it's taken everything in me to resist cracking it open and reading it this week.

On Tuesday Random House Canada (@RandomHouseCA) and ChaptersIndigo (@Indigogreenroom) had a launch for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  The launch was held in Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto and Robson Square in Vancouver.  There were circus performers at the event, and Random House distributed copies of the book to attendees and passersby.  I attended the event with Mel (@hefollowedme) I got my second copy at the event w00t!  I might even go for a third and order the UK copy as it looks pretty cool.

Thursday, 15 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Cleopatra's Moon

Title: Cleopatra's Moon
Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Rating: PG
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Pages: 353
Source: Purchased Finished Copy
My Rating: 5*

[Goodreads | Amazon]


"The Luxe" meets the ancient world in the extraordinary story of Cleopatra's daughter.

Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony—the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies—until she reaches out to claim her own.

This stunning novel brings to life the personalities & passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, & offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.


 Octavianus squatted once more, facing Ptolly eye to eye.  "Now.  Where did Caesarion go?"
Do not answer him, Ptolly.  Please!
Ptolly jutted his jaw.  "I told you already!  To the desert!"
Octavianus gritted his teeth.  "Which desert?"
Tell him you don't know.  Tell him you don't know.  But I could feel Ptolly's emotional storm gathering like thick black clouds, crackling with vicious bolts of lightning.  And I knew it was too late.
"The desert on the other side!" he roared.  "The one that goes to India!"

My Thoughts

     I loved this book.

     I, being a lover of historical fiction and all things Ancient Egypt, have read my fair share of books on Cleopatra Selene and her mother Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt.  Like all books, some are better than others and one usually becomes the standard by which all other books on that same topic are measured.  Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter is that standard.

     Told from the view point of Cleopatra Selene, the book follows the children as they are forced to leave Egypt by Octavianus, known to history as Augusts, and watch as they try to navigate and make sense of their new lives and circumstances.  Living in Octavianus's household, the children, more specifically Cleopatra Selene, attempt to figure out just who to trust while trying to maintain both their faith and ideals.

     What I really liked about this book is the role reversal of two of the characters.  In every other book I have read or movie I have watched about this period and instance, these particular characters have been portrayed in the opposite fashion.  It was really refreshing to see that character reversal, whether it was true or not.  I also liked the fact that even though you know the basic premise of the story, you never find yourself thinking 'well that certainly didn't happen' or 'that's not realistic at all'.  You are able to immerse yourself in the story and simply enjoy it for what it is.

   In Cleopatra's Moon, Shecter has managed to create dynamic, engaging and flawed characters that bring to life one of history's most fascinating time periods.  Weaving the tale of the little known story of what happened to the children of Cleopatra once Egypt finally fell into complete control of the Roman empire, the story contains both mystical elements and a love story that leaves you questioning just what is fact and what is fiction.

Sunday, 11 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: The Night Circus

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fiction & Literature
Rating: PG
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Pages: 387
Source: Finished Copy provided by Chapters Indigo

[Goodreads | Amazon]

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


"Well then," Chandresh says.  We are set as far as contortionists go.  That's a start."
"Shouldn't there be more than one?" Lainie asks.  "An entire tent, like one for the acrobats?"
"Nonsense," Chandresh replies.  "Better to have a single perfect diamond than  sack of flawed stones.  We'll make a showcase of her, put her in the courtyard or something."
The matter is considered settled for the moment, and throughout dessert and after-dinner drinks, the only subject discussed is the circus itself.

My Thoughts

     The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is absolutely masterful and after having read it, I can say that it has been without a doubt my favourite book of 2011.  The Night Circus is one of those books that you come across very seldom and it's one of those books that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.  The kind that you find yourself picking up and reading more than once, and every time you do read it again, another facet of it's brilliance is revealed.

     The prose is lyrical and almost poetic and with that same sense of fluidity Erin Morgenstern has created a world that leaves the reader with a longing to experience it for themselves.  The book is a feast for the senses.  As you are reading you feel the silk of a dress worn by one of the performers, taste the food at one of the midnight dinners, or smell the caramel in the air as you walk from tent to tent exploring all of the delights that the circus has to offer.

     I personally don't understand the comparison to the Harry Potter series.  To me, the only thing that they share in common is that they are both written by extremely talented women, on paper, and they both deal with magic!  That's it.  To say that The Night Circus is the second coming of Harry Potter does a great disservice to both stories.  The Night Circus is not a series, but rather one stand alone book.  It is a richly written tale that uses the circus itself as a backdrop.  It is not a book about magic.  It is not a book about vanquishing the most evil wizard of all time.  The Night Circus, at the end of the day, is a love story.

     The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is to me, much more than a book.  It is an experience to be savoured and treasured by all of those who read it.

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

In My Mailbox #17: September 4 - 10, 2011 Edition!

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 week!

Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane [Goodreads | Amazon]
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel [Goodreads | Amazon]

Both books look really interesting.  Children of Paranoia was sent to me by the publisher.  I am on Trevor's Blog tour and he will be stopping by on October 26 for an interview so keep your eye out for that.  Half Brother was sent to me by HarperCollins Canada after I won a contest on Twitter run by ChaptersIndigo (I <3 twitter contests).  My copy is actually a paperback copy, which I don't think has been released yet!  It's also the second Kenneth Oppel book that I now own.  Unfortunately, I haven't read either of them, but I promise to rectify that soon!

What's in your mailbox this week?

(ARC) Review: Shelter

Title: Shelter (A Mickey Bolitar Novel)
Author: Harlan Coben
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller
Rating: PG
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Pages: 304 pages
Source: ARC Courtesy of the Publisher
My Rating: 4*

[Gooodreads | Amazon]

A young adult debut from internationally bestselling author Harlan Coben

Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.

First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author.


     "Evil remains.  Always.  You can combat it, but you can never fully defeat it.  You settle for small victories.  IF you overreach, you lose everything.  But every life matters.  There is an old saying: 'He who saves one life saves the world.'  So we pick and choose."

My Thoughts

Now I know that I am a fast reader, usually reading at least one book a day, but I absolutely devoured this book. I think in total it took me an hour and half to read it. That is fast, even by my standards. After having read the book all I have to say is why haven't I read a novel by Harlan Coben before?

I was hooked from the first page and when I finished the book, I immediately wanted to read another one. Unfortunately, Shelter is Harlan Coben's first foray into writing a YA novel. Having said that, I really hope he writes another one. The novel was the perfect blend of suspense, intrigue, humor, and sensitivity. The character's, who were all very different, came across as authentic and real in both their relationships and interactions.

The protagonist Mickey is currently living with his uncle Myron after having lost both his mother and father in some shape or form. Mickey is both a likeable character and an honourable one. He has a tremendous sense of right and wrong, and a very deep social conscience that is not usually displayed at his age. He, despite the recent trials and tribulations he has been through, remains steadfast in the belief that you should help those who are in need despite the personal cost, and displays this throughout the novel on his search for his missing girlfriend.

All in all, I found this a very enjoyable and easy read. It can get a bit suggestive at times, but it's really nothing more than you would see on TV in any prime time show. 
Saturday, 3 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

100+ Follower Giveaway

Technically, it's a 100+ Follower Giveaway!  I wasn't really paying attention to my numbers, so 100 went by without me noticing! *Bad Nicole*  I promise to pay better attention in the future.

Anyway, in celebration of reaching 100+ followers on the blog *wipes away a tear*, I am having a giveaway!  I have decided to give away one of 2011's most anticipated books!

That's right, I am giving away three copies of Erin Morgenstern's brilliant debut novel The Night Circus.  I am not even finished reading this book and I am so entranced that I keep telling everyone about it.  I think I may be obsessed!

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway.  One copy will be given to a winner from Canada, one to a winner from the U.S. and the third and final copy will go to one international winner (provided Book Depository ships to your country).  The giveaway will run from September 3, 2011 - September 30, 2011 at 11:59 EST.  The winner will be announced on October 1st!


1. Must follow this blog! Old Follower (+2 Entries), New Follower (+1 Entry)

2. Following on Twitter (@Nicoleabouttown) +1

3. Tweeted about the giveaway +1

4. Blogged about the giveaway +2

*Maximum 6 entries*

 Note: If Google Friend Connect is not working, you can follow the facebook page!

Fill in the form here to enter!

There is also a button in the sidebar for this giveaway!  If you blog about the giveaway, please use the button!  Good luck!

In My Mailbox #16: August 28 – September 3, 2011 Edition!

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 week!

So I am not even gonna lie, this week was pretty epic!  On Tuesday I went to the Chapters Indigo Fall Party 2011.  I took Evie from Bookish and met up with Gwenyth from Rants-n-Scribbles, Brenna from Esther's Ever After and Jenn from Lost In Great Book.  You can read about it and see pictures here!  As I mentioned in that post, Evie, Gwenyth and I had to leave early.  Shortly after we left, Brenna sent me a message to tell me I won a book, but because I wasn't there it went to someone else.

I was super bummed because I have been dying to get my hands on said book for months.  Well the lovely people at Chapters Indigo saw my blog post about the party and contacted me on Thursday morning and offered to send me a copy of the finished book.  I squealed like a 13 year old girl at Justin Bieber concert!  The people at Chapters Indigo (waves hi to Chandra) had the book sent over to my office that same afternoon.

What is this mysterious book you ask?  Good question!

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: September 13, 2011

[Goodreads | Amazon]

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

I still can't believe that I own this already.  Of course as soon as I got it, I cracked it open.  I can say this, if you haven't already pre-ordered this one, do so now!  It's amazing.  Or you could just stay tuned as I will be doing a giveaway for this book starting on Monday today!  Once again I have to give a huge, huge thank you to everyone at Chapters Indigo HQ.  I am so amazed by your customer service and humbled by your dedication to your customers and to your promotion of the love of reading!

Courtesy of the Publisher

On Wednesday, I dragged Evie over to the PenguinCanada HQ to meet with the lovely and awesome Bronwyn and Vimala.  They were both super cool and awesome.  We got a tour of the office and they were gracious and wonderful hosts.  After getting some goodies, we headed out to Starbucks with them for a some drinks and a chat about all things book related and not so book related.

Title: Born Wicked - The Cahill Witch Chronicles
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: February 7, 2012

[Goodreads | Amazon]

A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

This is next to read in my pile, though the review won't be posted till closer to the release date.

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

Follow Friday #3

Welcome to Follow Friday and the weekly blogger hop.  I absolutely love this idea as it is a great way for me to find new blogs and meet more bloggers.

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, and the Weekly Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books.

I haven't done one of these in a very, very long time!  I'm not sure why, but I kind of miss doing this so lets try it again.

Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?

*May Contain Spoilers*

A. That is a tricky one.  I think out of all the books that I have read recently that I wish I could change the ending, it would have to be practically any of the Harlequin Romance Signature series.  The books are never long enough for the kind of stories they are trying to portray.  They always come up with these complicated plots that really can't be resolved well or believeably in 170 pages, yet they do it every time.  Sadly, despite knowing how much it will annoy me, I continue to read them in hopes that one will actually be done well for a change.  I'll let you know if I find one.

Book Blogger Hop
“What are you most looking forward to this fall/autumn season – A particular book release? Halloween? The leaves changing color? Cooler temperatures? A vacation? (If your next season is other than fall/autumn, tell us about it and what you are most looking forward to in your part of the world!)”

I am most excited for the cooler weather, falling leaves, and beautiful colours of fall.  There is nothing better than taking walk through the park on a Sunday afternoon and experiencing nature in all her glory!

*Note* Everyone who leaves a comment on this post or a follows me always gets one back.  Looking forward to meeting everyone.