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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! TOP 5 Romantic Reads + Love Poem by Rusty Fischer (+ Giveaway!)


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

To celebrate this very special day I asked my favorite book-ish people to share their TOP 5 Romantic Reads with us today! Here's what they said:


Lena Coakley, the author of Witchlanders:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Heathcliff’s only redeeming quality is his love for Catherine, but that love is so strong, it conquers even death. Emily Brontë created the quintessential bad boy, and many of the romantic heroes who came after him, from Rhett Butler to Edward Cullen, have a little bit of Heathcliff in them.

A Room with a View by E.M. Forester

So what if Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson hardly say three words to each other? Their romance, set against the gorgeous backdrop of Florence, Italy is the perfect dream of young love. The movie, starring a young Helena Bonham Carter, is wonderful, too.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Maybe I should say Mockingjay, because it’s at the end of the Hunger Games trilogy that the love triangle between Katniss, Gale and Peeta is finally broken and Katniss chooses the right path and the right man. No spoilers!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Do true lovers ever find their happy ending? Not if they are Russian, my dear. Anna’s tragic tale is the favorite of many authors: William Faulkner called this novel, “the best ever written.”

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Westley and Buttercup.  The classic fairytale romance.  Sigh.



Witchlanders
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Atheneum 

High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future. It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him.

My review | Goodreads |Lena Coakley's website


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Kendare Blake, the author of Anna Dressed in Blood:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This was the first romantic classic I ever read, and after it, nothing else compared. Jane and Rochester are an excellent match. They both have so many issues. And they like it about each other. Gad, what a couple of misfits.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Is this a romance? No, but there's something about how Lyra and Will go to the same park bench in different dimensions to tell each other about their day that just gets my romantic goat. Oh, you hopeless lovebirds and your futile actions. 

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

For a girl in love to have to accept the idea that her boyfriend and everyone around her will forget she ever existed, but not to worry because they'll be better off...dammit Suzanne Young. What a bitter, fantastic pill to swallow.

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Big boned, funny girl catches the eye of the college rugby star? Scandal and heartbreak ensues? Yes please.

So Shelly by Ty Roth

Not exactly a romance either, but there's a lot of love going on in the pages, and a lot of terrible, and a lot of tragic. But it's mostly beautiful and interesting. It has a very gothic feel.


Anna Dressed In Blood
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Tor Teen

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life

Goodreads |Kendare Blake's website









Girl of Nightmares
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2012 by Tor Teen

In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Goodreads |Kendare Blake's website


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Elizabeth Miles, the author of Fury:

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

This is one of my top five favorite books of all time -- a heartbreaking, bone-chillingly honest treatise on love, jealousy, the works. The first time I read it, I remember shaking my head, flabbergasted by how well Greene could convey the fragilities and insecurities of love.


His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

Will and Lyra! I have some problems with the progression of this series overall, but not with the portrayal of Will and Lyra's deep, intelligent, emotional connection.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Dorothea and Will bring out the best in each other. That's pretty much the ultimate goal of a romantic partnership, no? (Little known nerdy fact about me: I am a George Eliot freak. I have three editions each of Middlemarch and Silas Marner.)

Love Story by Erich Segal

I only recently read this book for the first time (devoured it in one sitting, no less). It's terribly sad, of course, but the love between the two main characters has a redemptive -- not to mention fun and flirty -- quality.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman

Another recent read. Min Green does what so many of us desire to do when a relationship crumbles: analyzes it to absolute death, points out for the other person everything that went wrong, and revels in the moments when it really seemed like it would last forever.


Fury
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Simon Pulse

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.
ENVY (The Fury Trilogy #2) comes out in Septemeber! I'm SUPER excited for it!!!


My review | Goodreads |Elizabeth Miles' website
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J. Gabriel Gates, the author of Dark Territory:

Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Sure, you’ve seen the musical, but have you ever read the book by Gaston Leroux?  This was one of my all-time favorites growing up.  It’s romantic, scary, tragic—what more could you ask for?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 I just read this book recently, and it’s great.  The protagonists are two young sorcerers who have been pitted against one another in a contest that’s played out in a rather extraordinary circus.  Two magical lovers dueling to the death—it doesn’t get much better than that.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

 Sure, roll your eyes, high school English class kids.  But there’s something extraordinary captured it the longing Pip feels for Estella.  And in my view, it is that painful, hopeful, desperate expectation that lies at the heart of a great love story.

Le Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory

When we think of King Arthur, we normally think of epic duels, jousting, and the quest for the Holy Grail.  But this awesome tale also features one of classic tragic love triangles of all time between King Arthur, his queen, Guinevere, and his best knight, Lancelot. 

Dark Territory, The Tracks, Book 1 by J. Gabriel Gates

 Shameless self promotion?  Maybe.  But I stand by my choice.   You have a bad-boy from the wrong side of the tracks fighting for the heart of the girl he loves—with kung fu.  If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.


Dark Territory
Paperback, 504 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by HCI Teens

Star-Crossed Love, Martial Arts, and Supernatural Evil meet at the Abandoned Tracks in the Deceptively Quaint town of Middleburg...When Ignacio Torrez moved from the rough streets of Los Angeles to a small town dead smack in the middle of nowhere, he never expected to find himself in the midst of a gang war. But, he soon learns, these are no ordinary gangs. The wealthy, preppie Toppers on one side of the tracks and the working-class Flatliners on the other adhere to a strict code of honor and use their deadly martial arts skills, taught to them by the wise Master Chin, to battle one another for pride, territory, and survival. When Raphael, leader of the Flatliners, falls for Aimee, a Topper girl, the rival gangs prepare for a bloody, all-out war. The only hope for peace between them lies within the dark territory of the abandoned train tunnels where the tracks cross. Under the direction of the mysterious and frightening Magician, the awesome power within the crossing sends the rivals on a terrifying mystical quest to fight the malevolent force that threatens the existence of Middleburg.
Goodreads |My Review |J Gabriel Gates' website




Ghost Crown
Paperback, 480 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2012 by HCI Teens

After their harrowing adventures, Middleburg's teens are hoping life will return to normal. Despite a tentative alliance between the goth Flatliners and the rich, preppie Toppers, any hope of peace is dashed when Topper girl Aimee arrives at the homecoming dance with Raphael, a Flatliner. A fight erupts between the two gangs and, in the midst of the rumble, a bizarre catastrophe occurs when Middleburg's homecoming queen discovers she has supernatural powers.
To make matters worse, Middleburg real-estate moguls who have bought up most of the land in the Flats have started evicting their tenants. They are searching for a priceless treasure prophesied in ancient Chinese writings and will stop at nothing to find it. But Raphael and his impoverished Flatliners vow to get it first and use it buy back their homes. Meanwhile, a handsome, charismatic half-angel, half-human comes to Middleburg with plans to steal Aimee from Raphael. As Raphael and his Flatliners and Zhai and his Toppers work to perfect their supernatural abilities and find the treasure, Aimee begins kung fu training, intent on becoming strong enough to locate and rescue her missing mother. When she discovers that the mysterious treasure may be the key to finding her mom, the race to find it intensifies.
But there are others who seek the treasure, too, forces powerful enough to reduce all of Middleburg, and perhaps the world, to ashes…

Goodreads |
J Gabriel Gates' website

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Shannon Parsons, from The Savvy Reader:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This is one of my favourite books of all time, and features my very favourite couple, Henry and Claire. Ah, doomed love due to time travel. Don’t you just hate that?

Little Princes by Conor Grennan

At first glance this non-fiction story doesn’t look like a love story, but during Conor’s time in Nepal he met his wife Liz, and their blossoming relationship is a really lovely part of the story.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. Girl and boy realize they are doomed because they live in a dystopian society where love is considered a disease!

Furious Love by Sam Kashner & Nancy Schoenberger

The great Hollywood love story ever told. Period.  

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

It just wouldn’t be a list about love if I didn’t include Romeo and Juliet. Beautiful, timeless, and heartbreaking.

Shameless plug – Looking for books on love & relationships? Savvy Reader names 10 Books We Heart here. :)

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And now something even more awesome!
Rusty Fischer, the author of Zombies Don't Cry and Vamplayers, is here with us today for the most perfect Valentine's Day guest post ever: A LOVE POEM!

Enjoy!

My Vampire, My Valentine:  
A Valentine’s Day Guest Post by Rusty Fischer, author of Vamplayers

He brought it at night
Yes, straight to my door;
A Valentine so pretty
I couldn’t ignore.

His hands as he passed it
Were pale and so cold;
The look in his eyes
Was centuries old.

His features were dashing
His dress rather formal;
I knew that this night
Would be far from normal.

“T-t-thank you,” I stammered
While sounding the fool.
As at my feet gathered
A puddle of drool.

I could not look away
From those dark, liquid eyes;
Even as they appeared
To cut me down to size.

“I hope that you like it,”
He said with a grin.
“And that, if you do,
You’d… invite me in?”

His voice sounded desperate
At clash with his face;
Which smiled rather slowly
At an iceberg’s pace.

I’d seen him at school
I’d heard all the talk.
But why had my doorstep
He’d bothered to stalk?

The girls they all wanted
A taste of his kiss.
So why had he come here?
Why now? Why… this?

And oh, there were rumors
Of late nights and dread.
That said our boy Chester
Was one of the undead.

A vampire, they claimed
Who’d suck dry each vein.
But what did those girls know
Of his smoldering pain?

And yet, I was wary.
I liked being living.
Though a peck on my cheek
I wouldn’t mind Chester giving.

“You see,” I said slowly
While stepping outside.
“My sister’s quite shy.
She might run and hide.”

“I’m great with the kids,”
He said with a sneer.
“They all gather round
When Chester comes near.”

“Well Chester,” I hemmed
“That’s all well and good
But it’s getting quite late.
I don’t think I should.”

Now Chester’s eyes grew
Quite narrow and dim.
And I worried that he’d think
I was rejecting… him.

“That’s fine,” he sighed slowly
While turning around.
“I’ll try finding another date
On more… fertile… ground.”

And his parting did cause
My pulse quite to race.
As I frowned there to see
The sad look on his face.

“I guess, just for now,”
I sighed with chagrin.
“It would be okay
If you would come in.”

His smile then it beamed
And I thought that I spied;
Two fangs pass his lips
Yes, one on each side.

And just as I turned
To open the door;
Those fangs pierced my skin
And I slumped to the floor.

“No, no,” Chester sighed
Catching me round the waist.
“I just want a sip;
I just want… a taste.

“You see, I get lonely
This time of the year.
It would be nice to have
Someone who… wanted… me here.”

I couldn’t believe it
My heart filled with strife!
The most romantic line I’d ever heard
Was the last line of my life?

So take my advice
On this Valentine’s Day;
If onto your doorstep
A vampire should stray.

Think twice before accepting
His antique Valentine;
For while you are reading
On your neck, he may dine!










About the author: Rusty Fischer is the author of several YA supernatural novels, including Zombies Don’t Cry, Ushers, Inc., Vamplayers, I Heart Zombie and Panty Raid @ Zombie High. Visit his blog, www.zombiesdontblog.blogspot.com, for news, reviews, cover leaks, writing and publishing advice, book excerpts and more!



Vamplayers
Paperback, 1st Edition, 384 pages
Published December 13th 2011 by Medallion Press

At the Afterlife Academy of Exceptionally Dark Arts, the vampires in training follow one of two tracks: they become either Sisters or Saviors. Of course, everyone wants to be a Savior, swooping into infested high schools in matching red leather jumpsuits and wielding crossbows, putting down swarming vampires with deadly efficiency.

But Lily Fielding is just a Sister—a Third Sister at that, a measly trainee. When Lily and her two Sisters, Alice and Cara, are called out to their latest assignment, she figures it’s just another run-of-the-mill gig: spot the Vamplayer (part vampire, part player), identify the predictably hot, trampy girl he’s set his eyes on, and befriend her before the Vamplayer can turn her to do his bidding.

Finding the sleek and sexy Vamplayer, Tristan, and his equally beautiful and popular target, Bianca, is easy. And when Lily meets the adorably geeky Zander, she too falls under a lover’s spell. But this assignment turns out to be trickier than most when the Third Sister must battle the baddest vampire of all.
GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the fabulous Rusty Fischer, we have a copy of VAMPLAYERS up for grabs! 
To enter:

Leave a comment on this post (including your email address!) telling me: 
What is your all-time favorite romantic story?

Open to: INTERNATIONALS
Ends: February 25th

For extra entries:
+5 Follow Rusty Fischer on Twitter: @Ruswriteszombie
+ 5 Follow Rusty's blog: HERE 
 +5 Tweet about this giveaway using: Win a copy of #Vamplayers by the fabulous @Ruswriteszombie over at @SeoEvie Bookish blog! International! #yalit http://evie-bookish.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-valentines-day-top-5-romantic.html

Happy Valentines!!!

30 comments:

Mocha ღ Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) said...

Wow, excellent post, Evie! I actually never heard of Dark Territory and Vamplayers until now, they both sound fantastic by the way.

My all-time favorite love story? Hmm, I'd have to say that it's a tie between Lancelot and Guinevere, and Tristan and Isolde. Now that I think about it...I sorta have a thing for tragic love, don't I? Odd since I'm such a hopeless romantic >.<


Happy Valentine's Day, Evie!!

(venturinhawendy) [at] (gmail) [dot] (com)

Mocha ღ Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/CaffeLatteQUEEN/status/169561054668537857

M.A.D. said...

What an awesome Valentine post & giveaway!!! Funny you mentioned that about Phantom of the Opera as just recently I was actually thinking about it being one of the few *classics* that I needed to read :D

Okee dokee - MY most favorite love story is one I think that a lot of readers would really enjoy if they have not read it yet, and that is
"The Silver Metal Lover" by Tanith Lee!!! It's a young adult Sci-Fi so amazingly written & an all around beautiful tale that you will want to read it more than once!

Happy Valentine's and thank you for the super sweet giveaway :)

GFC Mary DeBorde M.A.D.
zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

Angie said...

Oh gosh, my favorite romantic story? That's so hard! Probably Georgina and Seth from Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series. Their relationship was sweet and heartbreaking!

pinkindle[at]hotmail[dot]com

I follow Rusty on Twitter as @pinkindle

Tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/pinkindle/status/169587224847978497

Shae Carcar said...

OMG! That last line scared the crap out of me! I loved the poem but geez! Warn a girl! Favorite romantic story...? Hmm? I love a walk to remember, but then again who doesn't? I also really adore Rose and Dimitri's relationship in the VA series, but I'm also all for the classics and swoon everytime i read Romeo and Juliet... even though theirs was so sad and tragic :(
shae_carcar@yahoo.com
Happy Valentines day!

Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

Melissa said...

Awesome Valentine's post! I hope you and your hubby are having a good Valentine's Day!

I've given your blog the Stylish Blogger award (http://writergrrlreads.blogspot.com/2012/02/stylish-blogger-award.html) Thanks for being one of my first blogger friends!

Krazzyme(Young Readers) said...

All time fav. love story? Hmmmmm...... I think Hermione and Ron <3

youngreadersathomeATgmailDOTcom

Tea said...

My favourite love story is somewhere between Ash and Meghan in the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, or maybe Benedict and Deatrice from Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.

Heyxtara@gmail.com. Have also followed Rusty on twitter (Heyxtara).

Miri said...

Favorite romantic story? Oh, that's a hard one, because that really changes a lot due to what I'm reading and how I feel with my own life.

Right now the first thing that came to my mind was the story of Hazel Grace and Augustus in "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. This story is just extraordinary awesome and so is the love story.

miriamreads [at] web [dot] de

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Favourite romantic story ~ Henry and Claire in Time Traveller's Wife. Also Oliver and Jenny in Love Story.

vinni said...

My favorite love story Georgina Kincaid series and VA.
Thank you for the giveaway!
vvinni789@gmail.com

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

I may be a weirdo, but I love Todd and Viola in Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness - and I would've said that even if we wouldn't have talked about it the other day Evie!! I know they're young, but every time Todd calls Viola "my girl" I MELT. Completely gone. And that ending? Please!!!! Best ever. (followed by The Night Circus, had to throw that in there too. Celia and Marco have tension like WHOA.)

asheley.tart@gmail.com

Thanks Evie! xoxo

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Jaimie and Claire from The Outlander series. Their love story is pretty epic! :)
Thanks for a great giveaway!
impy80 at hotmail dot com

Aik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aik said...

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman!

+5 Follow Rusty Fischer on Twitter: @3velyna
+5 Follow Rusty's blog as Aik
+5 Tweet about this giveaway:
https://twitter.com/#!/3velyna/status/169815702725869571

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Niahara said...

My favorite romantic story? There are so many! If I had to pick one I'd have to say Katniss and Peeta's from Hunger Games.

+5 Follow Rusty Fischer on Twitter: @niaharaerskine
+5 Follow Rusty's blog as Niahara
+5 Tweet about this giveaway:
https://twitter.com/#!/NiaharaErskine/status/169836626166562816

vaire@ymail.com

micia said...

Tatiana and Alexander in The bronze horseman by Paullina Simons

+5 Follow Rusty Fischer on Twitter: @micia18
+5 Follow Rusty's blog as micia
+5 tweet https://twitter.com/#!/micia18/status/169880121468141568
blogmicia(at)yahoo(dot)it
thanks

Jackie Briere said...

What is your all-time favorite romantic story?

Brahm's Stokers Dracula .
jackiebriere(at)shaw(dot)ca

Sofija Kapranova said...

My favorite romantic story is Gone with the wind.
+5 Follow Rusty Fischer on Twitter as @soni_sonik
+5 Follow Rusty's blog as Sofija Kapranova
+5 tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/soni_sonik/status/170064502333775872

kapranova.sofija@gmail.com

ZaraAlexis said...

My favourite romantic story is "Tristan & Iseult." A classic. I read that book and fell in love. As many times as I read it, I never change my mind!

Thanks Evie,
Zara

Email: zgarcia(dot)alvarez(at)gmail(dot)com
On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

LittleRedReads said...

I love this post! Such a great idea to ask your favorite bookish people their top 5 favorite romantic reads! There are some on there that I am going to have to add to my list to read!

Also...
There is a book tag that is going around that other bloggers get tagged and asked questions. I tagged you in my post. Go check it out and join in on the fun!

http://little-red-reads.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-tag-fun.html

xo
Stephanie

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Oh my gosh, I just loved this post. Everyone's faves made me smile.

miki said...

I don't know these books but i will check them

thansk youa lot for the international giveaway

all the best

isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

miki said...

oups i forgot my most romantic story: beauty and the beast ^^;;

Bonnie said...

Evie, there was so much awesome in this post I don't even know where to start! :) There are actually quite a few books mentioned here that I haven't read yet...

I don't know what's better: Rusty's poem (*love* him!) or his profile picture.

Cayce said...

My favorite is a classic, Pride and Prejudice :)

+5 twitter follower: Cayce_23
+5 following Rusty's blog: GFC Cayce
+5 tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/Cayce_23/status/171672563318128640

Thank you for the giveaway!

Cayce said...

oh, and my email is:
cayce006 at yahoo dot com

Ginemoon said...

Awesome Giveaway!
Ginny and Harry!.. I loved it!
Ohh Sayuri and the Chairman (Memoirs of a Geisha)

Followed: Humaniqui
GFC: Ginemoon
Teewt: https://twitter.com/#!/Humaniqui/status/171858965372739584

Thank you!

Cristina said...

My favorite love story is Romeo and Julieta
GFC: Cristina
+5 Follow Rusty Fischer on Twitter: @cristina_otel
+5 Follow Rusty's blog as Cristina
+5 Tweet about this giveaway:
https://twitter.com/#!/Cristina_Otel/status/173483174012268546

Gisele Alv said...

My favorite love story? Tatiana and Alexander from The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons!! It's so GOOD!

5+ Twitter follower: @Gisselle_Alv
5+ GFC follower - Rusty's blog: Gisele Alvarado
tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/Gisselle_Alv/status/173491711014748161

Thanks for the chance to win this book!
ilepachequin(at)hotmail(dot)com

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