My Face Book by Star Bright Books

Author: Star Bright Books
Genre: Children, Board Book
Release: August, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description: Babies love looking at other babies and these charming baby faces, smiling, frowning, and laughing are sure to captivate and delight toddlers and babies. They will ask to look at and to read the book again and again. Self-expression has never been more adorable!

Review: This is a cute board book for parents of toddlers. It features faces of other toddlers with different facial expressions. And I must say, the babies are so precious! I love the fact that it features babies of different races...not just one. My Face Book is a short and sweet read!


Random Thoughts Thursday

My friends have convinced me to go camping with them tomorrow evening. In the desert. We're supposed to be doing it Bedouin (i.e. nomad) the Emiratis did before they came into all this money. I must admit. I'm not big on camping. I mean, I like having the luxuries a home would provide: bathrooms, a bed, know stuff like that. Yeah, I'm prissy...ain't no shame in my game, ya feel me? I'm not too keen on sleeping on the ground. In tents. I went camping in the woods several times when I was in the girl scouts. Had fun cos I was with friends, but could care less about the camping part. Besides, being surrounded by too much greenery set off my allergies (so I'm a prissy nerd). For whatever reason, I didn't think sand would affect my allergies as bad as greenage does, but boy was I wrong! So yeah, I'm definitely gonna have to bring allergy meds. Just in case.

And now, my brother has me paranoid about the camel spiders. THIS is the pic seen all over the world...

Of course, when you research "camel spiders" it tells you pics like this are an exaggeration. They don't get that big. BUT, it does say they can get to 12 inches long. TWELVE INCHES. I don't know about you, but seeing a foot long spider is just as bad in my book. I'm praying HARD that we don't come across any creepy crawlers...or snakes...or rodents...or scorpions...or any of the like.

My Abu Dhabi experience is all about me trying new things...stepping out of the comfort zone that I've been in for more than 30 years. This desert safari will definitely get me out of that zone. So this time tomorrow night, I'll be camping. In the desert. Me in all my prissy-ness.

I'm not gonna back out cos I said I'd go, but I can't help but to think: WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO???

More on this later...


Mayhem by Artist Arthur

Author: Artist Arthur
Genre: Paranormal, YA, Fiction
Release: July, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Description: A lot can change in a few months. Jake Palmer is living proof of that. In a short time, the once-shy loner has discovered his incredible supernatural abilities and forged a tight bond with his fellow Mystyx. What’s more—he’s fallen for his best friend, Krystal. And fallen hard.

Still, some things remain the same—like the jocks who keep bullying him. Even though they have no idea how powerful Jake has become. And while he tries to follow Krystal’s advice, he may not be able to keep his cool much longer. But there are bigger problems ahead, because the darkness that’s been hovering nearby is about to descend on the town of Lincoln, Connecticut. And when it does, the Mystyx will learn who to trust, who to fear and just how much is at stake…

Review: Mayhem, the third book in the Mystyx series, focuses on Jake Kramer. Jake is known at school as a "tracker" - a person from the wrong side of the tracks - and he's bullied because of it. In Mayhem, Jake struggles not only with being bullied and loving Krystal (from Manifest) from afar, but he also has to struggle with a darkness raging inside of him that's trying to woo him to the other side. Does he fight this darkness or succomb to it? You'd have to read the book to find out!

What I Didn't Like

  • Honestly, I can't think of what I didn't like about this book. It was slow at times, but not often. The action made up for it.

What I Liked

  • I liked Jake's character. I liked that he struggled with succombing to the darkness. He didn't automatically ignore it; there were times he really wanted to give in. This made him well rounded and believable. I mean, the darkness was offering things that would make life easier for Jake. It wouldn't have been believable had Jake completely ignored the darkness and didn't struggle. I found myself rooting for Jake throughout the book.
  • Jake and Krystal's relationship. I liked seeing their relationship grow from book 1 to now. I'm not going to say much because I don't want to give it away.
  • There was more excitement in this book than the others. It could be because the series is reaching the end, but Mayhem had a little more action in it than Manifest and Mystify.
  • A few more questions were answered here, especially questions about how the Darkness started and why the 4 were chosen, etc.

I can't wait to read the 4th (and final?) book in the series, Mesmerize.


Tickle-Me Tuesday

There were a bunch of cute memes making their way through Facebook. Had to share. A few of them pertain to me.


Man-ificent Monday: Devin Thomas

This week's cutie pie is 25-year old, Devin Thomas, a wide receiver with the New York Giants. He came on the NFL scene in 2008 when he was drafted by the Washington Redskins. He later played with the Carolina Panthers and in 2010, was drafted by the Redskins. If you look closely, you'd see that Devin Thomas has some gorgeous eyes. And I've noticed he's a lefty. YAY for lefties! Look through his pics and you'd see that this is one beautiful man!

Word(s) to Describe: Beautiful; HOT; Mmm mmm mmm!


2012 Challenges

Okay, so I'm a little late in posting this, but better late than never, right? I've decided to join a few challenges this year. I've done this in the past. Some I'd stuck with it...others I hadn't. This year, I'm determined to see all the challenges thru to completion. So, here are the challenges:

This is a new one for me. I haven't really been reading any dystopia books. There were a few that caught my attention, so I figured why not. Since I'm kinda new to dystopia, I'm gonna go for the 1st level (Asocial: 5 books). I may move up if I find more books. I only have 4 books I have on my list so far: Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, and Shatter Me. I'd started reading Hunger Games before it became overly popular, but for whatever reason (not because I didn't like it...cos I did), I didn't finish.

Interested in joining? Sign up here.

This is a challenge to read books you've been meaning to read, but never got to it. I have a HUGE TBR pile, so why not join the challenge, right? And because my TBR pile is huge, I'm going for the highest level: Married With Children (41-50 books). Yeah, my pile's that big. I'm not gonna list all the books as my pile is big, but here are a few:

  • All I've Ever Wanted - Adrianne Byrd
  • The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross
  • The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter
  • Inside Out - Maria V. Snyder
  • Outside In - Maria V. Snyder
  • Uncommon Criminals - Ally Carter
  • Fury of the Phoenix - Cindy Pon

Interested in joining? Sign up here.

The goal if this challenge is to read 12 minority YA books for the year. Since I'm always on the lookout for YA with characters of color, I so wanted to join this challenge. I think I may pass the 12 books, but we'll see. Here are a few books on my list:

  • Fury of the Phoenix - Cindy Pon
  • Spirit's Princess - Esther M. Friesner
  • Living Violet - Jaime Reed
  • Team Human - Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Mesmerize - Artist Arthur

Interested? Sign up here.

The goal here is to read 12 YA/MG books from authors making their debut this year. I think I can pass 12. Hmmm...

Interested in signing up? Click here.

This one's from Goodreads. I've chosen to up the ante, so to speak. Last year, my goal was 100 books, which I passed. This year? 150 books. Let's see if I can do it!

Last but definitely not least a blog challenge...

I did this last year and LOVED the challenge. This year, I plan to participate again not only with this blog, but also my other blog, The International Diva. It's gonna be a challenge, but I'm up for it.

Interested? Join here.

Well, that's it my friends. Lots of challenges, no? We'll see how I do. :D


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Man-ificent Monday: LL Cool J

This week's cutie is none other than James Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J, who came on the hip hop scene in the 80s. I Can't Live Without My Radio, I Need Love, Going Back to Cali, Hey Lover, and Doin It are just a few of his numerous hits. Now, you can see LL every Tuesday evening on CBS's show, NCIS: Los Angeles, one of my fave shows (not cos LL's on it...honest). LL is known for his physique, but I'd say his trademark is also the licking of his beautiful lips. Other celebs have tried to look sexy licking their lips, but they can never touch LL's sexiness! And doesn't he have a gorgeous smile? I love a man with dimples. *swoon* Yes. Ladies really do love Cool J!

Word(s) to Describe: Sexy; Oh La La; YUM!


Another Star Gone...

R.I.P. Whitney Houston 1963-2012
R.I.P. Whitney Houston 1963-2012 by classy-n-glamorous on

OMG! So sad. Before Sade, Whitney Houston was my favorite female singer. I LOVED me some Whitney. She had a beautiful voice and a gorgeous smile. I will truly miss her! I love this tribute to her by classy-n-glamorous. And below is the Dubai Fountain synchronized to her hit, "I Will Always Love You."


Inspirational Sunday

God is calling for His children to put EVERYTHING in His hands. I can tell you through experience, it's easier said than done. You want to hold on to certain things. Maybe it's because you have a hard time relinquishing control over to someone else, let alone a Being you can't even see. Or maybe it's because of fear that He'll let you down. Oh, but when you've given everything over to Him who knows & sees all...what a relief! What peace you get! What freedom you experience!

Once it's in His hands and you've decided to fully trust God to be God, you'll totally understand Philippians 4:6-8, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." The peace that surpasses all understanding: when all hell breaks loose in your life, and you're still calm, smiling, and keeping a positive's that kind of peace; when bills are due and money is low, but you're not's that kind of peace; when you have NO idea where God is gonna lead you or what "crazy" thing He may have you doing, but you trust Him enough to know He's got your's that kind of peace.
I've given Him my all...will YOU?