Monday, August 30, 2010

Mailbox Monday (08-30-10 edition)

    Image licensed from bigstockphoto.com
    Copyright stands

    Mailbox Monday is brought to us by The Printed Page. Here are just some of the books I've received over the last few weeks:

    The Lion (John Corey Series #5) by Nelson DeMille
    Won from Thoughts in Progress


    Detective John Corey, last seen in Plum Island, now faces his toughest assignment yet: the pursuit and capture of the world's most dangerous terrorist — a young Arab known as "The Lion" who has baffled a federal task force and shows no sign of stopping in his quest for revenge against the American pilots who bombed Libya and killed his family. Filled with unrelenting suspense and surprising plot twists at every terrifying turn, THE LION'S GAME is a heartstopping race against time and one of Nelson DeMille's most riveting thrillers.

    (For some reason, I received two of these audiobooks: one abridged and one unabridged. I'll be giving the abridged version away some time in the future.)


    Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter's Last Goodbye by Ann Putnam Won from Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways

    "This is the story of my mother and father and my dashing, bachelor uncle, my father’s identical twin, and how they lived together with their courage and their stumblings, as they made their way into old age and then into death. And it’s the story of the journey from one twin’s death to the other, of what happened along the way, of what it means to lose the other who is also oneself.

    My story takes the reader through the journey of the end of life: selling the family home, re-location at a retirement community, doctor’s visits, ER visits, specialists, hospitalizations, ICU, nursing homes, Hospice. It takes the reader through the gauntlet of the health care system with all the attendant comedy and sorrows, joys and terrors of such things. Finally it asks: what consolation is there in growing old, in such loss? What abides beyond the telling of my own tale? Wisdom carried from the end of the journey to readers who are perhaps only beginning theirs. Still, what interest in reading of this inevitable journey taken by such ordinary people? Turned to the light just so, the beauty and laughter of the telling transcend the darkness of the tale.

    During the final revisions of this book, my husband was dying of cancer, and he died before I could finish it. What I know so far is this: how pure love becomes when it is distilled through such suffering and loss–a blue flame that flickers and pulses in the deepest heart.

    As I finish this book he is gone three months."


    Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued by Kim Meeder Won from The Smug Cloud

    An unwanted dog. An emotional rescue.
    Two lives forever changed.

    Laurie's dreams had been shattered before she came to work at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch—the ranch of rescued dreams—where broken horses and broken children encounter healing every day. In an attempt to soothe her aching soul, Laurie reached out to save a dog in need. And she soon began to realize that the dog was rescuing her. An inspiring true story told through the engaging voice of Kim Meeder, Blind Hope reveals poignant life lessons Laurie experienced from her ailing, yet courageous canine friend. Despite the blindness of her dog—and her own heart—Laurie uncovered what she really needed most: authentic love, unconditional trust, and true acceptance, faults and all. As Laurie and her dog, Mia, both learned to follow the lead of a master they couldn’t see, Laurie discovered the transforming power of God’s grace even for imperfect and selfish people—and she experienced a greater love than she had ever known.


    Rita Awards Giveaway (Won from Yankee Romance Reviewers):

    One Scream Away
    by Kate Brady
    For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper
    Knight of Pleasure by Margaret Mallory
    Kill for Me by Karen Rose
    To Beguile a Beast (Legend of the Four Soldiers Series #3) by Elizabeth Hoyt
    My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel



    Received from Barnes & Noble for their First Look club:

    The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart

    On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of “the only woman he’s ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple’s fourth boy, Karel. From an early age Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. But Karel is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father’s eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. Confident only in the saddle, Karel is certain that the horse “wants the whip the same way he wants his pop’s strap . . . the closest he ever gets to his father’s touch.” In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brother’s futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.

    Reminiscent of Kent Haruf’s portrayals of hope amidst human heartbreak and Cormac McCarthy’s finely hewn evocations of the American Southwest, Bruce Machart’s striking debut is as well wrought as it is riveting. It compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.

Post Title

Mailbox Monday (08-30-10 edition)


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/mailbox-monday-08-30-10-edition.html


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Monday Blues~

    How I wish things could be a little bit more different as maybe we could start work abit later and end normal. I wonder if there is anyone (working people) in this world ever do love or atleast like Mondays.

     

    Well mondays are mondays. Came into office as usual to listen to all the moans and groans from everywhere. Facebook, twitter, blogs, colleagues, friends and even customers. How depressing.

     
    It's sad I know. Never remember any Mondays where I've been crazy hyper or happy about. =(

    That's when I actually saw this quote which says ,


    Coming to think of it. Yea how true. LOL. The only great news so far is that tomorrow onwards my schedule has changed to 10.00 - 20-00! How glad that I could actually move around even slower in the mornings before work! I love to laze around in the mornings as am never a morning person but sadly work is daytime. 
    How nice would it be if everyone works in the night? That's cool ain't it? XD

    I know I did mention about a post about the most beautiful girl I've known here but I am still gathering the pics of her so hope you guys could wait till the suspend unreveals! =)

Post Title

Monday Blues~


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/monday-blues.html


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Book Giveaways in Blogworld (08-29-10 edition)

    Note: A reminder that you are free to email me about any giveaways that you are having, if you want me to blog them, and I'll be happy to try to post them even if I am not entering them. Just include a link to the giveaway, what you are giving away, how many copies are being given away, and the deadline in order to assure being included. Email me at nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com.

    Here is a list of some giveaways going on in Blogworld*. Please note that new giveaways that were added this week are indented in Blockquotes:

    MomStart is giving away a gift pack of the book White Heat, White Heat lip gloss, and $25 Visa Cash Card. Deadline is August 30. US only.

    Bookin' with Bingo is giving away Amish Proverbs. Deadline is August 30. US only.

    The Eclectic Reader is giving away your choice of 3 books. Deadline is August 31. International!

    Reading for Insanity is giving away 3 copies of The Reapers are the Angels. Deadline is August 31. US/Canada only.

    Just Jennifer Reading is giving away 5 copies of Wicked Intentions. Deadline is September 1. US/Canada only.

    Ellz Readz is giving away 3 ARCs. Deadline is September 5. US only.
    Readaholic is giving away Everything Matters. Deadline is September 5. US/Canada only.

    A Good Addiction is giving away an ARC of Clockwork Angel. Deadline is September 6. US/Canada only.

    The ABCD Diaries is giving away 3 copies of Ah-Choo. Deadline is September 6. US/Canada only.

    Let's Just Give it Away is giving away 2 copies of Ah-Choo. Deadline is September 6. US/Canada only.

    Let's Just Give it Away is giving away 2 copies of The Glamour of Grammar. Deadline is September 6. US/Canada only.

    Carol in Print is having a massive ARC giveaway! Deadline is September 6. International!

    Beth's Book Review Blog is giving away 3 copies of Eating Animals. Deadline is September 6. US/ Canada only.

    Dark Faerie Tales is giving away 2 copies of Mockingjay. Deadline is September 7. US only.

    Leslie Loves Veggies is giving away 2 copies of Mosaic Meals. Deadline is September 8. US/Canada only.

    Heavenly Savings is giving away 3 copies of The Glamour of Grammar. Deadline is September 8. US/Canada only.

    Just Jennifer Reading is giving away 5 copies of Desperate Deeds. Deadline is September 8. US/Canada only.

    Leslie Loves Veggies is giving away 2 copies of Mosaic Meals. Deadline is September 8. US/Canada only.
    Babbling Flow is having a massive ARC giveaway! Deadline is September 9. International!
    The Book Vixen is giving away an autographed copy of Linger and signed bookmark! Deadline is September 10. US/Canada only.

    Radiant Light is giving away 2 copies of Blind Man's Alley. Deadline is September 13. US only.
    In which a girl reads is having a "humongous" giveaway! 3 winners, six books chosen from a group of twenty-five! Deadline is September 19. International!

    Tequila Reader is giving away 6 books to 3 winners in her massive 1000 follower giveaway! Deadline is September 30. International!

    A Journey of Books is giving away 2 copies of Cold Rock River. I can't find any deadline mentioned. US/Canada only.

    *Courtesy Note: Please keep in mind the many, many hours of work that goes into me compiling this list each week. Please be courteous and thoughtful, and do not steal my text. Either recreate your own list, or link to this list and direct your readers here for giveaway information. Thank you so much for your consideration.

Post Title

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (08-29-10 edition)


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-08-29-10.html


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Steam Boat Night~!

    Yesterday was my best friend's birthday. Thomaz Chee Chee (just joking) has officially joined the 2D club! Yep! He is 20 years old now! So to celebrate we all went out for steamboat with a couple of guys from my old condo with whom we did alot of crazy stuffs.

    Since I've been to Tasty Pot Steamboat a couple of times, decided to go there again.

    Yep! That's the place!! It's kinda cheap for how it looks though. RM26.80 per person for buffet steamboat and then plus drinks and all about 30 bucks per person? LOL I dunno... XD

    The do have alot of choices of food. Though I wasn't really a fan of steamboat, I really wouldn't mind to go here and eat! It's cheap and nice!!! Plus I can eat as much I want until I wanna explode also still same price! XD


    Well steamboat is not the only thing they have over there! They also have.......


    Looking at all this pics am hungry already!! *drools and pat pat tummy* Gosh the food is really really awesome over here!!! Those who haven't been there, fast fast go!!!

    At night this place could really be super crazy pack! Like last night it was really really packed! Though 1 of my friend was supose to upload all the pics, which he obviously didn't.... I had to steal these pics from Tastypot Steamboat Restaurant's Facebook site! *smack head*

    The address for this place is :
    No 9 jalan PJS 8/18 Dataran Mentari Bandar Sunway. 
    2nd branch: D1-17-G, Jalan Multimedia 7/AJ,
    CityPark,i-city,40000 Shah Alam
    Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, 46150
     
    Contact : 03-56301282
     
    Mon - Sun : 16:00 - 01:00
     
    So basically they are open 7 days a week! How awesome is that? Though they are open until only 1am, it's still good enough, no?
    LOL!!! Still waiting for my friend to upload the pics online and once he does, would put it in!! Well for that night we had fun as after food went for Left for Dead 2 : Versus mode!! That was seriously Dope!!! More stuffs coming up soon guys!!
    With next weekend Sunday planning of Sunway Lagoon waterpark coming up, alot of things are happening this next week!! Those who wanna join us for the theme park, you can contact me here!! =)
     


Post Title

Steam Boat Night~!


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/steam-boat-night.html


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Friday, August 27, 2010

I Wanna...In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

    SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES

    SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND

    Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.

    Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone's life changed forever.

    Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.

    The year was 1956.

Post Title

I Wanna...In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-wannain-land-of-cotton-by-martha.html


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Grown Ups~!

    The other day me and one of my good friends were supose to be hunting for our favourite satay when eventually we realized that due to Puasa, they are closed! So ended up going for nasi lemak ayam and then sudden plan for movie.

    Apparently the only movie available was....

     
    And it was 25th Night!!! I was so happy because I so wanted to watch this movie and I knew this wasn't a movie to be missed!

    Story plot is below...

    *******************************************************************************
    In 1978, five friends win their junior high basketball championship. During the celebration, their coach "Buzzer" (Blake Clark) encourages them to live their lives in a similar way to how they played the game.
    32 years later, the five friends have since separated. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a high powered Hollywood talent agent who is married to Roxanne (Salma Hayek), a fashion designer. Together, they have two sons, Greg and Keith, and one daughter Becky, all of whom have become spoiled, much to Lenny's annoyance. Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) is now a co-owner of a lawn furniture company (but he says he is just to impress his friends) who is married to Sally (Maria Bello). Together, they have one daughter, Donna and one son Bean, who still breastfeeds despite being four years old, much to Eric's chagrin. Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a stay at home father who is married to Deanne (Maya Rudolph), the primary breadwinner of the family. Together, they have a son, Andre, and a daughter, Charlotte, while Deanne is pregnant with a third child, and her mother, Ronzoni, lives with them as well. All of them harass Kurt for not being more useful. Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) is a thrice divorced pacifist vegan married to Gloria (Joyce Van Patten), who is 30 years older than him. Marcus Higgins (David Spade) has become a single womanizer.


    When they learn that their coach has died, they all return to New England with their families for the funeral. Lenny rents the lake house for the 4th of July weekend for his friends to stay at, but Lenny can't stay for the whole weekend because Roxanne has a fashion show in Milan. While at the lake house, Lenny is annoyed that their kids would rather play video games than spend time outdoors, so he and the others force their kids to spend more time outside while at the house.
    At a local restaurant, Lenny runs into his old nemesis Dickie Bailey (Colin Quinn), who works as a cook there. Dickie is still upset at Lenny because he allegedly had his foot out of bounds when he made the long-ago game winning shot and challenges him and his friends to a rematch, but Lenny declines, declaring it a waste of time. During dinner, the group discusses spreading the coach's ashes in the morning, but Lenny says he can't be there because of Roxanne's fashion show. Roxanne angrily storms off because Lenny painted her negatively. She allows him to spread the ashes, but demands they leave early the following morning.

    In the morning, the five guys row out to an island to spread the ashes. When Rob is spreading the ashes, he breaks down and tells the guys that he screwed up his previous marriages and that he's nervous about meeting his daughters who are coming. When they get back to the house, they finally meet Rob's daughters, two of them, Jasmine and Amber, who seem too gorgeous to be Rob's, and one, Bridget, who very closely resembles him. To calm his nerves, the five guys play a game called "Arrow Roulette", in which an arrow is shot up into the air and the last person who runs away wins. Rob wins, but the arrow lands in his foot.

     
    That evening, when Roxanne is packing, Becky's tooth falls out, but Roxanne is too busy to notice and she tells her that she'll put a dollar under her pillow later. When Becky asks why she would do it instead of the Tooth Fairy, Roxanne tells Lenny that she's worried that she ruined Becky's childhood. When Lenny hears his kids supposedly talking on their cellphones, he comes into their bedroom to find them actually talking on "cup phones" with the other kids. Happy that the kids are starting to have the same kind of fun he did at their age, he asks everyone to install cup phones around the house. Roxanne then tells Becky through the cup phone the truth about the Tooth Fairy.
    In the morning while packing the car, Roxanne sees all the kids having fun down by the lake and decides that they can't leave the lake house. Happy with his wife's new attitude, Lenny decides they should head to a waterpark for a day. There, Bean learns to drink milk out of a carton, while Marcus flirts constantly with Jasmine and Amber, much to Rob's dismay. The group run into Dickie again, this time with one of his friends Wiley (Steve Buscemi), who ends up in the hospital after a zip line accident.

    Back out the house, Deanne becomes suspicious of Kurt when she sees him spending time with Rita, Lenny's nanny. That evening, the adults spend time together drinking and dancing, while reminiscing about their pasts. In the morning, Rob suspects that Marcus had sex with either Jasmine or Amber or both of them and confronts him. Jasmine and Amber assure him that he didn't and Marcus assures him that he never would. Roxanne then confronts Lenny about the fact that he canceled their Milan plane reservations before the funeral behind her back. Lenny claims that he felt their time at the lake house was necessary because their kids were becoming too spoiled, but was unsure if Roxanne would go along with it. He tells her he won't lie to her again. Deanne confronts Kurt about supposedly flirting with Rita. Kurt assures her that he wasn't flirting with her, but he enjoyed having an actual conversation with her because he doesn't feel like he gets that with Deanne. Deanne offers to take him out on more dates. Eric then admits to the group that he isn't co-owner of a lawn furniture company and that he was laid off two months ago. He just didn't want everyone to think of him as a failure. Lenny resolves to offer Eric an investment opportunity. Gloria then tells everyone that despite their recent hostility, she senses love between everyone.
    The group then head off to a 4th of July barbecue, where they are once again challenged by Dickie and his friends to a rematch of the basketball game. Wiley, in a massive body cast, had escaped intensive care to watch. Rob suggests that their coach would want them to take the challenge and despite everyone's being out of shape and Rob's injury, they agree to a game. The game is close, but most of the players get too tired to continue, leaving only Lenny and Dickie on the court. They bring out their sons to continue playing. When Lenny has the chance to make the game winning shot, he deliberately misses and allows Dickie to win, giving him a sense of victory. Lenny and the others take the loss in stride.

    While watching the fireworks, a drunken Marcus decides to play another game of Arrow Roulette, causing everyone to run away, except for Wiley, who can't move, and the arrow lands in his foot and he passes out as the movie ends.

    ********************************************************************************

    The delight of the movie was that veteran actresses looked ever young with the two hotties in Jamie Chung and Madison Riley was all just so great combination!

     

    But of all of these my eyes only to 1 who always have made my heart race whenever I watch her on screen.

     
     
    God she is freaking hot and pretty!!! Salma Hayek!!

    She is freaking pretty ain't she? But then I still do know someone who is even prettier and hotter than this lady over here. Someone who could literally make my heart skip beats, stop, beat faster and even make me melt! 
    Post about that pretty lady is coming up guys!! So stay tuned to know who she is!!!

Post Title

Grown Ups~!


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/grown-ups.html


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Unexpected!!

    I am sorry if I am abit dumb over this! Recently I realized there was alot of visitors from overseas and being a newbie blogger thats freaking awesome for me!!! LOL

    So I was abit curious and kinda so I went off to make a search what was it that brought foreigners to ma blog. And realized my post about Men's PMS is the popular search and eventually I was in the 2nd in the list!!! XD


    Photobucket

     
    This is the pic!!  OMG!!

    I know I sound so bimbotic but this is just awesome for me!!! XD

    Also managed to catch "Grown Ups" already so the review would post it up soon!!!

Post Title

Unexpected!!


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/unexpected.html


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Attention Whore!!

    The past 3 days have been really tiring for me as my car decided it's going to get all the attention it could from where ever it could!!


    It all started on last Tuesday that when I just got off work and I just got past Kelana Jaya LRT when my car started to let out tiny "honks" every time I turned my steering. I thought there was something wrong with me that I actually pressed it accidentally and eventually it stopped once I passed that area there was no more problem until I just turned into Sunway.

    I was just in the lane between Pyramid and Public going into Pyramid jamming, and my car just got off "BBBBBbbbbbbbbbeeeeEEeeeeeeeeEeeeePPPPpppppPPPPP" all the way and I totally panicked!! I was like wtf?! Everyone over there was already giving all kinda weird looks! *hide face under shirt*

    Some even came up to me as if I was the 1 doing in purpose until they saw my hand was away from the steering that they just burst and walked away.  It was still honking non-stop until I actually reached a secluded industrial area. I was like "phew" wiping of my sweat.

    Then thinking it was all right, I go touch my window and there it goes again!! It was so irritating and making so stressed that I eventually just sad in my car for like 15 mins not moving! (I know that the dumbest thing I could do) Then being super giler despo all of a sudden, I just went berserk as I plugged a wire from my steering thinking that was connecting the horn but eventually I was wrong and it went off again.

    Then starting to be able to think straight I walked out and was looking for the place they place the horn and eventually I couldn't find it as am not so familiar with old Proton. The best what I could have ever done was that I just a wire and only to realize later that I just disconnected my vipers! Cursing my luck, I went back to work again and during then a "bangla" came up and scared the shit outa me!! I got so shocked and jump into ma hood which just came down crashing on me!

    Thanks to that I've got a swollen eyebrow!! Finally ma papa came and ngam ngam he was there I found the thing and just plugged it off happily!! Thought that was it!

    But I was wrong!! Went to catch a movie yesterday and since around 1 plus there was no electricity in Pyramid parking hence it was freaking dark and parking was free. The car's battery died!! *buawWwwwww!!!*

    Eventually a couple of people came to help the car and hence it became popular again!!! How nice!!

    This morning nobody around it was working find... Hopefully it still works when I go start it later after work!! *sweat*

Post Title

Attention Whore!!


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/attention-whore.html


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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Donate for Adoption and Enter to win a Signed Shiver/Linger

    Babbling Flow is having a great giveaway in an attempt to help raise money to adopt a young girl from China. CJ Redwine is adopting an orphan from China, and after five years of waiting, the time is nearly here!

    Unfortunately the process has dragged out, and during that time China has significantly raised the cost of adoption in their country, and they have found themselves short $8,000 to complete the adoption.

    So how can you help? Just click the "Skip a Starbucks" button above, and donate! And if you donate at least $5, you will be entered to win a signed set of Shiver/Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, thanks to Babbling Flow!

    The deadline is August 26th, and there are several ways to get additional entries. Go now! It's for a great cause! Click here to enter the giveaway and learn more!

Post Title

Donate for Adoption and Enter to win a Signed Shiver/Linger


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/donate-for-adoption-and-enter-to-win.html


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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cop Out~

    Been like missing out on everything due to busy weeks with work while weekends too exhausted so end up hibernating so didn't really go out much. But eventually yesterday I managed to catch some time out with a few of my friends to go out drinking.

    I so don't wanna talk about the drinking part as it was kinda lame.... But after done, we guys went to one of my mate's house to watch a movie. We had 2 options which was either Cop Out or Behind Enemy Lanes II but the rest opted to watch Cop Out.

     
    Since I used to watch Bruce Willis alot, this movie was damn dumb! Hated it so much that I felt literally sober watching the movie. It was that bad! However if you were the type who loves the American Jokes then this is a movie to watch!

     
     
     
     
     

    Well there isn't much to talk about this movie as it was kinda standard NYPD movie. Hoping to catch some new movies soon. Next week have 2 birthdays coming up so saturday next week seems like a busy week. Hopely would be able to get some pics so could post it up!! XD

    Sorry for no updates for the past few days. Been busy and alot of things happened too...

Post Title

Cop Out~


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/cop-out.html


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Saturday, August 21, 2010

REVIEW: The Good Son by Michael Gruber

    Synopsis

    Somewhere in Pakistan, Sonia Laghari and eight fellow members of a symposium on peace are being held captive by armed terrorists. Sonia, a deeply religious woman as well as a Jungian psychologist, has become the de facto leader of the kidnapped group. While her son Theo, an ex-Delta soldier, uses his military connections to find and free the victims, Sonia tries to keep them all alive by working her way into the kidnappers' psyches and interpreting their dreams. With her knowledge of their language, her familiarity with their religion, and her Jungian training, Sonia confounds her captors with her insights and beliefs. Meanwhile, when the kidnappers decide to kill their captives, one by one, in retaliation for perceived crimes against their country, Theo races against the clock to try and save their lives.

    About the Author

    Biography

    Michael Gruber, in his own words:

    I was born and raised in New York City, and educated in its public schools. I went to Columbia, earning a B.A. in English literature. After college I did editorial work at various small magazines in New York, and then went back to school at City College and got the equivalent of a second B.A., in biology.

    After that I went to the University of Miami and got an M.A. in marine biology. In 1968-69, I was in the Army as a medic.

    In 1973, I received my Ph.D. marine sciences, for a study of octopus behavior. Then I was a chef at several Miami restaurants. Then I was a hippie traveling around in a bus and working as a roadie for various rock groups. Then I worked for the county manager of Metropolitan Dade County, as an analyst. Then I was director of planning for the county department of human resources.

    I went to Washington, D.C., in 1977, and worked in the Carter White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy. Then I worked in the Environmental Protection Agency as a policy analyst and also as the speechwriter for the administrator. I started writing freelance at that time, and shortly after being promoted to the Senior Executive Service of the U.S., I left Washington and settled in Seattle. I worked for a while for the state land commissioner, but since 1988 I have been a full-time writer.

    I am married, with three grown children and an extremely large dog.

    Good To Know

    Some interesting anecdotes from our interview with Gruber:

    "My first job was writing copy for Classics Comics, which was the best job I ever had. Reducing Tolstoy to thought balloons!"

    "I did my Ph.D. on the relation between moray eels and octopuses. As a result of this work, I am one of the few people who have been bitten by both a moray eel and an octopus. Being bitten by a moray is much like catching your finger in a car door. Being bitten by an octopus is like being snakebit. Your arm swells up and turns black."

    "I was once a member of a traveling commune called the Hog Farm. I was the cook on one of the buses. My roadkill dumplings were famous throughout the mobile counterculture. I once made eggs Benedict for 14 hippies on the banks of the Rio Grande. Aside from that my life has been fairly dull and no fun at all."

    "I have no hobbies. The only thing I do with my time is reading, writing, and research. I walk my dog. I occasionally dig in the garden, but we have a gardener and this tends to upset her. I never unwind, except I get drunk with a bunch of journalists every Friday. Every Wednesday I teach snippets of Catholic theology to people who wish to join the Church."



    My Thoughts

    A son and mother at odds, never quite connecting. The mother, Sonia, is a Jungian-trained therapist and finds herself kidnapped in Pakistan as part of a group. The son, Theo, is a military soldier determined to rescue his mother at any cost.

    I liked this book within the first few paragraphs. I found the writing style to be very comfortable. However there are moments of startlingly brutal truth.
    This is one of the crappy old buildings where they keep soldiers who are too busted up to fight but who the army hasn't gotten around to kicking out yet. Peeling paint, black moldy walls, really decrepit; they were supposed to fix all this up but they haven't got around to it yet. Personally, I'm not surprised or shocked. This is how the army is. What surprises me more is that people think they'll get anything different from an organization whose main purpose is to kill people and whose leaders are easily distinguishable from Mother Theresa.
    The one drawback is that there were moments when I would get lost in the technical military mumbo jumbo. I'm more a dialogue kinda gal. I guess that's one of the reasons that I like Stephen King so much-- he tends to write lots of dialogue between the characters.

    The story really started to pick up, and by page 150 I was wondering where this was going to go. I felt like I was being given insights into a culture that Americans find mysterious and dangerous, and thereby quite a bit frightening.

    Something about the character of Sonia didn't sit well with me. Something about her didn't feel real. I never really felt that I "knew" her, but then again her own son didn't really know her. So I guess that made sense. Who was I to know her when her own son didn't even know her?

    I disliked most of the scenes that took place in the NSA with Cynthia. Although there were some interesting insights into what I gather was probably a pretty good representation of the inside workings of some areas of government, I found that this took me out of the "real" story. I wanted to learn more of the captive lives of the kidnapped individuals, and I wanted to delve in deeply to the lives of mother Sonia and son Theo. The internal working of the NSA were just a distraction from that.

    At one point, this book made a point that had not occurred to me before.
    ...From Pakistan to Morocco, the Muslims invent nothing, manufacture nothing that anyone wants to buy. Is there a Muslim cell phone? Is there a Muslim car? Is there even a Muslim gun or a Muslim bullet? You know there is not, although you use these things happily enough?
    This reminded me of something I've heard before about invention and prosperity. It is said that in times of prosperity invention stagnates. When things are going well, there is no need for development. It is just the status quo. So it makes sense that the Muslim world, where there is enormous material wealth and prosperity for many due to a wealth of oil, there would be a lack of invention and creativity.

    This was a pretty good story. I just felt that it was too superficial and technical for my tastes. I would have enjoyed it more had it delved more deeply into the inner workings, thoughts and feelings of the people involved, mainly Sonia and Theo. However this would probably be perfect for individuals who like military stories.

    My Rating: 8 out of 10

    (My thanks to Jason of Henry Holt Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Post Title

REVIEW: The Good Son by Michael Gruber


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Book Giveaways in Blogworld (08-21-10 edition)

    Note: A reminder that you are free to email me about any giveaways that you are having, if you want me to blog them, and I'll be happy to try to post them even if I am not entering them. Just include a link to the giveaway, what you are giving away, how many copies are being given away, and the deadline in order to assure being included. Email me at nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com.

    Here is a list of some giveaways going on in Blogworld*. Please note that new giveaways that were added this week are indented in Blockquotes:

    Peeking Between the Pages is giving away a copy of Never Say Goodbye. Deadline is August 21. US/Canada only.

    Peeking Between the Pages is giving away 3 copies of Follow Me. Deadline is August 22. US/Canada only.

    Historically Obsessed is giving away a copy of The Red Queen. Deadline is August 23. US only.

    Broken Teepee is giving away 3 copies of Wicked Intentions. Deadline is August 24. US/Canada only.

    Just Jennifer Reading is giving away 3 copies of The Glamour of Grammar. Deadline is August 25. US/Canada only.

    Chocolate & Croissants
    is giving away a copy of Hot House Flower. Deadline is August 25. US only.

    Butterfly Book Reviews is giving away $80 for CSN Stores! Deadline is August 25. US only.

    Lori's Reading Corner is giving away 2 copies of Venom. Deadline is August 26. US only.

    Crazy for Books is giving away 2 copies of Venom. Deadline is August 26. US only.

    In the Hammock is giving away 5 copies of Captured by Desire. Deadline is August 27. US/Canada only.

    Simply Stacie is giving away a copy of Her Fearful Symmetry. Deadline is August 28. US/Canada only.

    Passages to the Past is giving away The Russian Concubine. Deadline is August 28. International!
    Bookin' with Bingo is giving away a White Heat prize pack. Deadline is August 28. US only.

    MomStart is giving away a gift pack of the book White Heat, White Heat lip gloss, and $25 Visa Cash Card. Deadline is August 30. US only.

    Bookin' with Bingo is giving away Amish Proverbs. Deadline is August 30. US only.
    The Eclectic Reader is giving away your choice of 3 books. Deadline is August 31. International!

    Reading for Insanity is giving away 3 copies of The Reapers are the Angels. Deadline is August 31. US/Canada only.

    Just Jennifer Reading is giving away 5 copies of Wicked Intentions. Deadline is September 1. US/Canada only.
    Carol in Print is having a massive ARC giveaway! Deadline is September 6. International!
    In which a girl reads is having a "humongous" giveaway! 3 winners, six books chosen from a group of twenty-five! Deadline is September 19. International!
    Paperback Dolls, For What It's Worth, and Obsessed are having a HUGE Hunger Games/Mockingjay giveaway! Deadline is August 29. International!

    Parajunkee is giving away 2 copies of Mockingjay! Deadline is August 31. US only.

    Ellz Readz is giving away 3 ARCs. Deadline is September 5. US only.

    Babbling Flow is having a massive ARC giveaway! Deadline is September 9. International!
    Tequila Reader is giving away 6 books to 3 winners in her massive 1000 follower giveaway! Deadline is September 30. International!

    A Journey of Books is giving away 2 copies of Cold Rock River. I can't find any deadline mentioned. US/Canada only.

    *Courtesy Note: Please keep in mind the many, many hours of work that goes into me compiling this list each week. Please be courteous and thoughtful, and do not steal my text. Either recreate your own list, or link to this list and direct your readers here for giveaway information. Thank you so much for your consideration.

Post Title

Book Giveaways in Blogworld (08-21-10 edition)


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Friday, August 20, 2010

I Wanna...Hot House Flower: and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin

    In the heart of New York City, hidden in the back room of an old Laundromat, are nine rare and valuable plants. Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire tells the story of this legendary garden, and the distance one woman must travel—from the cold, harsh streets of Manhattan to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula—to claim what is hers.

    Lila Nova lives alone in a plain, white box of an apartment. Recovering from a heartbreaking divorce, Lila’s life is like her home: simple, new, and empty. But when she meets a handsome plant-seller named David Exley, an entire world opens up before her eyes. Late one night Lila stumbles across a strange Laundromat and sees ferns so highly-prized that a tiny cutting can fetch thousands of dollars. She learns about flowers with medicinal properties to rival anything found in drugstores. And she hears the legend of nine mystical plants that bring fame, fortune, immortality, and passion.

    The owner of the Laundromat, Armand, presents Lila with a test: if she can make the cutting from a fire fern grow roots, he will show her the secret of his locked room. But Lila is too trusting, and with one terrible mistake she ruins her chance to see Armand’s plants. The only way to win it back is to travel, on her own, to the Yucatan.

    Deep in the rain forests of Mexico, Lila enters a world of shamans and spirit animals, snake charmers, and sexy, heart-stopping Huichols. Alone in the jungle, Lila is forced to learn more than she ever wanted to know about nature—and about herself. An exhilarating journey of love and self-discovery, Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire bringstogether mystery, adventure, and heat, in every sense of the word.

Post Title

I Wanna...Hot House Flower: and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Great Giveaway for Book Clubs!

    I'm not currently a member of a reading group, so this one doesn't fit me. But I wanted to alert those of you who are involved in book groups that ReadingGroupGuides.com is having a big giveaway.

    ReadingGroupGuides.com was begun 10 years ago in hopes of connecting book groups with books and authors. Presently with more than 11,000 newsletter subscribers, 10,000 registered book groups and 3,000 discussion guides listed, it has become an online community for more than 185,000 unique visitors each month.

    This month ReadingGroupGuides.com will be giving away $10,000 in prizes in the ReadingGroupGuides.com 10th Anniversary Contest. To enter to win, just have your reading group share your "Top 10 Favorite Discussion Books." The prizes are 50 $200 gift certificates to treat book clubs to a month’s worth of discussion books. The contest is open through August 31st . You can find more at: http://readinggroupguides.com/contests/1005-10th-anniversary-contest.asp.

Post Title

Great Giveaway for Book Clubs!


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Innocent Lives~

    I was actually going through some readings online and then somehow I had to come across an article about Infants being dumped here and there....
    I mean I do understand that accidents happen but don't have to go all the way to throw them or dump them here and there right? This is just so insane and sickening....

    The news article is as below....
    *******************************************************************************

    'Most infants die in dumps'



    KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 472 baby-dumping cases were reported nationwide in the past five years and more than half of the infants were found dead.
    Federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin said there was an alarming increase in baby-dumping cases each year since 2005.

    This year, 65 cases of baby dumping were reported. Twenty-six of the cases involved baby boys, 25 baby girls and the remaining 14 were foetuses. Most of these babies died after being dumped.

    "From the 65 cases, 21 individuals, mostly the babies' mothers, were arrested.
    "Six of them have been charged in court while two have been sentenced," Bakri said here yesterday.

    The latest case happened on Sunday, where a baby girl was found dead on the banks of Sungai Tambun, near Cova Square in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

    The baby, believed to be less than a day old, was found inside a black sling bag, wrapped in a piece of towel and green cloth.

    Last year, a total of 79 cases of baby dumping were reported.

    Twenty-nine of them were girls, 25 were boys and the remaining 25 were foetuses.

    Bakri said police have identified two major factors that contribute to baby dumping, including illicit sex due to the influence of pornographic materials in the Internet.

    Such pornographic materials can easily be shared through handphones.

    Another factor is a poor family institution and less parenting care towards children.

    Baby dumping cases are investigated for concealment of birth by secret disposal of a body, which carries a two-year imprisonment and a fine upon conviction.

    Resource : Nst Online

    **********************************************************************************
     If you can't take care then no need a baby! You don't wanna have 1 then freaking have safe sex! Don't simply go around throwing kids! They are your own freaking blood right?! 
    Sorry kinda really pissed. That many lives just wasted like that is really depressing. Though I do understand that having a baby nowdays is freaking expensive as everything is like super priced but that doesn't mean they don't have a right, no?

    Hope this article can be moved around to everyone so that we could stand up againts this problem. Let's make the world a better place to be in! Though we start small I am sure many would join in and eventually we could make it happen!




Post Title

Innocent Lives~


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/08/innocent-lives.html


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Mailbox Monday (08-16-10 edition)

    Image licensed from bigstockphoto.com Copyright stands.

    Mailbox Monday is brought to us by The Printed Page. Here are just some of the books I've received over the last few weeks:

    Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us and How to Know When Not to Trust Them by David H. Freedman
    Won from
    Just Jennifer Reading

    Our investments are devastated, obesity is epidemic, test scores are in decline, blue-chip companies circle the drain, and popular medications turn out to be ineffective and even dangerous. What happened? Didn't we listen to the scientists, economists and other experts who promised us that if we followed their advice all would be well?

    Actually, those experts are a big reason we're in this mess. And, according to acclaimed business and science writer David H. Freedman, such expert counsel usually turns out to be wrong--often wildly so. Wrong reveals the dangerously distorted ways experts come up with their advice, and why the most heavily flawed conclusions end up getting the most attention-all the more so in the online era. But there's hope: Wrong spells out the means by which every individual and organization can do a better job of unearthing the crucial bits of right within a vast avalanche of misleading pronouncements.


    Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
    Won from A Mom After God's Own Heart

    Screenwriter Solomons's debut novel is the pleasant, ripped-from-the-family-archives story of German exile Jack Rosenblum and his unlikely postwar quest to build a golf course in the Dorset countryside. Fresh off the boat and with a “Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for Every Refugee” pamphlet in hand, Jack dives passionately into assimilation, starting a booming carpet business, buying his suits at Henry Poole and his hats at Lock of St. James, and avoiding his native tongue at all costs. And while he can afford golf clubs at Harrod's, he can't check off the last item on his list: join a golf club. On impulse, he buys a damp acreage and embarks on the final leg of his assimilation. Meanwhile, his wife, Sadie, obsesses over the past, churning out Baumtortes and other confections. It's undeniably winsome, and while the pace is lackadaisical at best, the details of postwar Britain are nicely observed, and the narrative offers a sweet perspective on some very heavily traveled turf.


    Innocent by Scott Tudrow
    Won from A Mom After God's Own Heart

    The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark bestseller Presumed Innocent, INNOCENT continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, twenty years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.




    Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
    Won from
    Jo-Jo Loves to Read

    Former Marine and CIA agent Jack Morgan inherits his father's renowned security and detective business—along with a case load that tests him to the breaking point. Getting to the bottom of an NFL gambling scandal and an unsolved LAPD investigation into 18 school girl slayings would be enough. On top of all that, Morgan takes on solving the horrific murder of his best friend's wife.

    As Morgan fights the urge to exact brutal revenge on that killer, he has to navigate a workplace imbroglio that could blow the roof off his elite agency. And it's an especially explosive situation . . . because the love affair is his own.


    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herbodsheimer
    Won from Ecolibris


    The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Beekeeping has all the information a begin­ning beekeeper needs to know to start a hive and keep it buzzing. Expert beekeepers Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer, owners of Golden Rule Honey, take readers step by step through the entire process-from information on the inhabitants of a hive and how it works to collecting bees, keeping them healthy, raising a queen, harvesting honey and wax, and stor­ing hives for the off- season.


    Books that I ordered from Barnes and Noble. Most of the books, other than Leviathan, were only $1.99 or $2.99 with free shipping. Can't beat that!:


    Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan Series #1) by Kathy Reichs

    "I'm on a first-name basis with the odor of death," remarks Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. Tempe thought she had seen it all until she was called upon to examine a brutally butchered body on the grounds of an abandoned Catholic seminary in Montreal. This macabre scene begins her gripping and unforgettable manhunt in Déjà Dead, a riveting debut novel by real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs.

    Déjà Dead's suspense takes off when Tempe connects the mutilated, headless body to another case, one the police were never able to solve. The deeper she digs for clues, the more it appears as if Montreal has a serial killer on the loose, one with a penchant for carving flesh and rearranging bones. However, Tempe's attempts to warn the police are met with icy resistance, and the head of the investigation cuts her out of the loop. When another woman turns up dead, Tempe decides to investigate the murder alone, unwittingly putting her best friend, her daughter, and even herself at risk.

    In her search for the "blade cowboy," Tempe Brennan proves herself a keen hunter. But so is her prey. The only question is: Who will get to the other first? With its grisly detail, adrenaline-inducing story line, and spirited heroine, Déjà Dead is sure to catapult Kathy Reichs into the top ranks of crime-fiction writers.


    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

    Westerfeld paints his picture on a realpolitik canvas absent from Priest's domestic frame. The year is 1914, and war is imminent, upon the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. But aside from that, all is different in this alternate continuum. The Germans and their allies, known as "Clankers," have perfected super-mechanized craft of war. The British, or "Darwinists," rely on bioengineering: aerial whales, souped-up tiger draft beasts, and so forth. Garnering our attention among the Clankers is Prince Alek, only child of Franz and commoner Sophie, on the run from the Austrian Emperor. Among the Brits, Deryn, a young girl masquerading as a male midshipman in the imperial airforce. Their personalities are fierce and real, their inevitable meeting staged nicely and with zest.


    Sanctuary by Beverly Lewis and David Lewis

    Best-selling author's story of a woman in danger fleeing for her safety. Will the Amish community where she chooses to hide keep her safe?









    The Island by Victoria Hislop

    The Petrakis family lives in the small Greek seaside village of Plaka. Just off the coast is the tiny island of Spinalonga, where the nation's leper colony once was located—a place that has haunted four generations of Petrakis women. There's Eleni, ripped from her husband and two young daughters and sent to Spinalonga in 1939, and her daughters Maria, finding joy in the everyday as she dutifully cares for her father, and Anna, a wild child hungry for passion and a life anywhere but Plaka. And finally there's Alexis, Eleni's great-granddaughter, visiting modern-day Greece to unlock her family's past.

    A richly enchanting novel of lives and loves unfolding against the backdrop of the Mediterranean during World War II, The Island is an enthralling story of dreams and desires, of secrets desperately hidden, and of leprosy's touch on an unforgettable family.


    Wish You Well by David Baldacci

    Precocious twelve-year-old Louisa Mae Cardinal lives in the hectic New York City of 1940 with her family. Then tragedy strikes–and Lou and her younger brother, Oz, must go with their invalid mother to live on their great-grandmother’s farm in the Virginia mountains. Suddenly Lou finds herself coming of age in a new landscape, making her first true friend, and experiencing adventures tragic, comic, and audacious. But the forces of greed and justice are about to clash over her new home…and as their struggle is played out in a crowded Virginia courtroom, it will determine the future of two children, an entire town, and the mountains they love.


    Blood Ties (The Castings Series #1) by Pamela Freeman

    A thousand years ago, the Eleven Domains were invaded and the original inhabitants forced on the road as Travelers, belonging nowhere, welcomed by no-one.

    Now the Domains are governed with an iron fist by the Warlords, but there are wilder elements to the landscape which cannot be controlled and which may prove their undoing. Some are spirits of place, of water and air and fire and earth. Some are greater than these. And some are human.

Post Title

Mailbox Monday (08-16-10 edition)


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