Friday, April 30, 2010

Here's The Winner!!

Welcome May! Sure, it'll be beautiful month, but in Jakarta, it's obviously hot! Yesterday, it reached 36 degrees of Celsius! However, life must go on, right?
I am so glad to see your participation in Magical Giveaway. I really appreciate it, and honestly I was shocked to see how big your attentions are. I used to think fashion giveaway is more interesting than book, but, well, there are few people like you, who still love book!! Glad to know that!

So, pretty difficult to decide the winner, because I don't want disappoint you at all. I consider to give more than one book in next giveaway, so I can choose more winner. But, today, I must pick only one. And the lucky one is..


Congrats dear! Well, send your complete address soon to yuliadeladacrea@yahoo.com. I hope you'll enjoy Alice. Smooch! XD

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview with Alanda Kariza

After successfully publishing Mint Chocolate Chips, Alanda now back with her newest novel, Vice Versa, which is gonna published soon. But, before reading her book, you should read my short interview with Alanda. With her business, managing Indonesian Youth Conference, college tasks, and book launching, Alanda still prepare some times for answering my question. What a humble girl! :)
  (images from alandakariza.com)
 
Tell us, why did you choose “Vice Versa” as your book’s title? 
"Vice Versa" means "the other way around". The book is a compilation of 18 short stories I have written in the past 5 years, and "Vice Versa" is the title of one of the stories. I used to define an issue, including love, can be seen from different perspectives, can be turned upside down, can mean the same in a different way towards people.

It’s been several years since you’re writing your first book. Do you see any differences in your writing style now and before? 
Yes, my writing style is very much different, indeed. I have read different books, learned a lot of new things, met tons of inspiring people, including authors. Now, I write from a deeper level in my heart and my mind. I write my concerns and thoughts, not only my imagination.

You’ve been very busy lately, involved in many activities, included Indonesian Youth Conference. Do you see writing as hobby to spend your spare time or considering it as your future profession?
 It can actually be both. I am very interested in meeting new people through having a lot of activities, and I want to bring a greater good, a positive impact to my society. I want to be a social entrepreneur, and to achieve it, I need to learn a lot, and I am learning through these activities. Wish me luck!

What did inspire you in writing this book? 
 My surroundings.

How long did you need to finish this book?
 Selecting the stories only took me a few weeks, but I have written the stories since I was 14, I guess. So, 5 years to write, 5 weeks to compile.

Who is your favorite writer? Why?
 Sapardi Djoko Damono, because he makes "nothing" into "very special things". His writings go deeply in my heart. I can absorb his emotions, only by reading what he writes. I want to be able to write like him.

Do you have any writing tips for beginners who are going to start their writing career? Don't give up, you have nothing to lose.

Where and when will you launch your latest book, “Vice Versa”?
Insha Allah at Warung Pasta Kemang, Sunday, May 2, 2010. Let's hope that the books have been printed by then.

I’ve heard we can order the book before it’s launched. How can we order it?
Yes, you can! Just fill out this form and Terrant Books will contact you: http://viceversa.alandakariza.com/?page_id=7/. You can always log on to http://viceversa.alandakariza.com to get some useful info :)

 I guess it's all from me. We can't wait until the book launching, right? Good luck for Alanda, and for you, don't forget to get the book! Bye!

Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

Few days ago, when I was writing a post for MINDCUBE, suddenly I was reminded to my Shopaholic collection. They are settled peacefully in my book shelf at home. Coincidentally, I was going to go home that day (for you, who haven't known yet, now I stay in Jakarta, while my hometown is in Sukabumi, little town, which is 4 hours-distance from Jakarta. Ah, google it. :) ) So, yesterday, I dismantled my collection to find out those books, and re-read them.
There are five books, include:


First, I was gonna to post each series in different posts, but well, I thought about it again, and revealed that they are must united. They essentially tells about life of Rebecca Bloomwood, a journalist from England. She loves to shop, oh, who's the girls on earth don't? But Becky, that's what she used to be called, has addiction about it. She has a thousand reasons to shop continuously. Nothing can stop her. Even, when her bank manager mails her, and say she has exceeded her credit card limit, she still find a way to get chance for shopping. Becky, oh Becky, I am sure, most of you, girls, will be grinning while reading the book, and think, "Oh, it's so me!". Well, i do that! Except, credit card part, and lying part.

First book share us life of single Becky, who spends her money irresponsibly, whereas she works as financial journalist! Ironic, huh? Then, she meets Luke, who's gonna be her soulmate later through funny accident. And, how finally she gets so much trouble because of her shopping habit. (Girls, read it carefully!)

And in second book, for the first time, Becky goes abroad! She visits New York, in order to Luke's job (oh yes, they are getting more serious here), and goes mad when she hangs out, and find a lot of fancy shops there! Branded things with cheap prizes! Madly, Becky always assume dollar as toy's money, because it's look unreal than poundsterling! Ooooh, big problem! When she finally faces bankruptcy, she realizes that her relationship with Luke is also broken. How can she fix it? Becky, of course can do it!

Well, short story (oh, please apologize for my laziness to review all of book), next three books tells phases of Becky's life later. How she gets married with Luke (even their marriage run dramatic! Should I say that Becky can't choose one of dress to be her wedding dress? She buys five! Holy moly), then she finds that actually she has a sister (who doesn't like to shop at all. I am serious. Can you imagine how disappointed Becky is, where she has imagined to shop together with her sister?), and gets a baby!!! Lucky baby, as a mother, Becky has bought a lot of things to you. She even plans to bought baby box with NASA technology! Superb!

Oh, well, I am a bit overjoyed. Shopaholic series are light, simple readings, you don't have to think too hard while reading them. But, the spirit (ladies, be prepared! you'll read many brands that could make you drooling over!), and messages included there. It's not about shopping, and spending your money to unimportant stuffs. We can find many messages here, affected with family and friendship, and love relationship of course. You'll learn what's most important in life, and take care of it carefully.
Interesting, funny, hilarious. One complete package for you. And, oh, guys, maybe you should read them too to know what's inside girl's head.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Morning, Noon, and Night by Sidney Sheldon

Last week, I decided to buy some books from Vixxio. I went gaga and lasted with purchasing 7 items in my shopping cart! What a shame! After all, I didn't regret it, though I bought used books, but they are all in good condition.

What should I review first? Three of them are Sidney Sheldon's, but most catching one is Morning, Noon, and Night. 


Summary


Cruising on his yacht, Harry Stanford, one of the world's wealthiest men, drowns under mysterious circumstances. Now, a young woman appears at the family gathering following the funeral claiming to be his daughter and heir. As the respected Stanford family seeks to learn whether she is genuine or an imposter, a hidden web of blackmail, drugs and murder emerges from behind the facade.

As his other book, Sheldon often presents twisted plot, which is revealed perfectly in ending. First, we will be fascinated with life of Harry Stanford, his luxurious business, always surrounded with lovely women everywhere. But, then he dies mysteriously,told as an accident.

Then, we're introduced with his heirs, Tyler, Woody, and Kendall. Three children with different characters, but same attitude. All of them takes no matter with their father's death. What they want is legacy, inheritance, money. So, when a young woman, named Julia, comes and claim to be Harry's daughter, they accuse her as an imposter, even call detective to investigate her parentage.

While Julia's history is investigated, family's secret starts to be revealed. It tells why Harry's children show hatred to their father. How they are underestimated along their life, unsupported to reach their dream, even often treated by harsh words. Then, we begin to wonder, is Harry's death really an accident? Or, one of his children, who hates him so much, plans to kill him? Is Julia real heir, or she is fake?

Many surprises be found in middle and ending of this story. Finally, like every stories do, truth is always be the winner.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview with Cassandra Niki

If you have been blogged for long time, you probably recognize this girl. Her name is Cassandra Niki, well-known as Casseybunn. Cassey is a talented photographer, also an active blogger. Who knows her passion of blogging world takes her to be a writer? Now, she’s officially a writer, after publishing her first book in February. Her first book titled “Letters, Stories, and Dreams” and published by Terrant Books.
To be frank, I am one of her huge fans. So, one day, I had an idea to interview her for this blog. So, I emailed her and asked for her willingness. And I was so honored when she said yes. So here it is interview between me and Cassey.

Tell us, why did you choose “Letters, Stories, and Dreams” as your first book’s title?

Believe me or not, I didn't have a title until 2 days before it was up for printing. So, under pressure, I just thought 3 basic things that were the most important parts. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was stories. Because I'm practically turning myself into a storyteller telling stories of my life. Then, it was dreams, which is like "bonus chapters" in my book. Eight "Dreams of a Dreamer" chapters which contains my secret dreams. And last but not least of course my letters. Which were the most personal parts of this book. Because it started and ended with a letter. Putting those words together was tricky. But I thought of one of my favorite songs, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which was a Beatles song about a kind of drug, Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD which makes you hallucinate things like Lucy in the sky with diamonds. I'm not on drugs, but that song means a lot to Jonas (the main character of the book) so I decided to name the whole book Letters, Stories, & Dreams. LSD for short! Simple and easy to remember by readers but also personal and meaningful to my close ones. The short name LSD is also a 'hidden joke' for close friends.

What did inspire you in writing this book?

Mostly everything that happened around me. What inspired me the most was the fact that what I've been through really was common in between my friends and family. I just have to share to the world!

How long did you need to finish this book?

The writing process itself took 8 months. Editing, printing, publishing took 2 months. But the whole book took 2 years of my journal entries.

Did you encounter any obstacles while writing this book? How did you solve them?

Of course. The same old same old, handling writing with my studies and my work was pretty hard. But the worst obstacle I had to go through was my personal problem which was breaking up with my boyfriend. How I solved it? I went on vacation and came back more inspired than ever. 

I’ve observed that your book become best sellers everywhere. Congrats! In your opinion, have you received enough appreciation (royalty) for you hard work? 

Hahaha thanks! Well, if you're speaking money. I think that's pretty private :p but yeah, it's good so far. Hahaha. What means a lot to me actually isn't the money but look at all those readers. Having a 'name' out there is really really WOW! The perfect appreciation. 

Which part do you love most from Letters, Stories, and Dreams? I, myself, love the part when you’re dreaming as rock star! Every one must have that moment in their life.

I can't pick only one part. Everything supports everything. Without one or other my story isn't complete. Writing each part was fun; the whole book is my favorite. I love it so much :D 

Beside a writer, you’re a talented photographer too. Which one is harder? Writing or taking photos?

Writing is definitely harder. Taking photos is a hobby to me. It only needs my eyes and my heart and I have no need to fulfill anyone's expectations. As for writing, which was once a hobby too, now is a job. I think more when I write, not only I must make my writing readable I must make it likable. Now, isn't that a pickle? :p

Many readers are waiting for your book’s sequel. Have you planned to write it? We’re absolutely anxious of your relationship with Jonas after crying scene in last chapter.

Well, well, well. Here's a surprise. I AM currently writing a second book. However though, it won't be the sequel of Letters, Stories, & Dreams. But, don't be disappointed just yet. I'm gonna arrange a nice surprise considering to tell all my readers what happened after my last letter in this second book. It will be a little epilogue perhaps? I don't know yet. You'll have to wait and see. But I promise, I'll tell you what happened ;) 
Do you have any messages for teenagers who have relationship problems as you did?

Hmm. Maybe I'd like to say that it is time to differentiate love and obsession. As obsession is one of my weaknesses in this book. But either than that, let's realize the importance of fighting for what you need not what you want :)


Who is your favorite writer? Why?

Tough question. Lemme think. Mitch Albom & Chuck Palahniuk. Mitch Albom writes simple everyday activities but touches you so badly, I always cry on reading each of his books. He writes with the simplest words, not poetic or anything just how it is. But it's like so real and so close to you. Chuck is more theatrical, he writes every moment in detail, what a person wore, how the lighting was, how the temperature was, where every drop of sweat fell, etc. He is super cool. Reading his work is like watching a movie.
 
Describe your self!

If you were a canvas, you’d be painted by… Andy Warhol. A common thing but colorful & unpredictable.

If you were a microphone, you’d be sung by… J√≥nsi. The only person I'd die to be sung by.

 If you were clothes, you’d be worn by… An early 90's rockstar. Simple, a tee & jeans.

I can’t live without… Internet, music, & body lotion. Enough said.

My favorite quote is… "If it hurts, you know what, it's probably worth it" -The Beach.

If I were a movie, I'd be directed by... Sofia Coppola. Beautiful cinematography with complex hidden meanings and a hot soundtrack.
That it is! If you haven’t got a copy of “Letters, Stories and Dreams”, go to nearest bookstore. It will be effortless to find it, because it always placed on “Best Seller” shelf!
But, for you, who want extra discounts, you can visit Terrant Books website for ordering this book.  You can get 35% discounts! So, what are you waiting for??

Monday, April 19, 2010

Interviews!!!!

Hello readers!

I've been considering for many times, what if I'm adding new column for this blog? Well, I've talk with two young writers from Indonesia, and they willing to be interviewed for this blog. Interesting, right? I still try to contact other author, hope I can do it successfully! :)

So, as soon as possible, I'll post my interview with one of them. And, thanks for being loyal readers this whole time.
Don't forget, you still have time to join my giveaway!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Janda-Janda Kosmopolitan by Andrei Aksana

Funny to see how I adore foreign books than our own domestic book. But, about a week ago, I decided to give a try to a metropop for Indonesian writer.


Janda-Janda Kosmpolitan (in English it means "Cosmopolitan Widows") written by Andrei Aksana, published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Summary

Rossa become a widow in her young age. Married instantly, divorced rapidly. However, she meets Inge and Dilla, two pretty women who had similar marriage failure. How do they struggle with "widow" label attached on their name? Missed and abandoned. Teased and underestimated.

Could they survive without men? Silent night, cold bed.

Love comes and leaves in Rossa's life. Who will she choose? Charming man who gives her Bvlgari diamond's ring? Or, high school boy, her niece's boyfriend, who delivers her a bucket of red rose?

Hilarious!
I can't stop laughing when I read this book. It's absolutely both entertaining and educating. Andrei Aksana uses very light words, simple jokes, but however successfully makes me simply smile, and sometimes laugh. He describes cosmopolitan world very well. Well, for me, who are far far away from cosmopolitan world, I can imagine it with my own way. Glamorous dress, 12 cm high heels, make-up, luxurious lunch. 

Rossa, described as middle-age woman, has one daughter, struggle with her loneliness. What makes it harder is her position as a widow. In our country ( I have no idea in other countries), widow often be underestimated. Especially, young ones. Rossa and her two friends should face it every day. They find many men keeping away from them, because their status. And, for Rossa, her daughter Adys, sometimes can be boundary for every guys who like her.

And, Nunung comes. Nunung is Rossa's new housemaid, but different from usual housemaid, Nunung is high-educated, has excellent style, loves to read, simply she is no house-maid like. She states that Indonesia's future laid on house-maid's hand, because they often spend time with their boss' kids. When she waits for Adys in school park, Nunung meets other house-maids. With her faith, she teaches other maids to start reading, demand for their rights.

Nunung and Rossa, two women from different culture. But, you can see how beautiful their friendship are. They prove that boss and maid can be together, while they have so many differences.

PS!
My Magical Giveaway still open until the end of April!
you can get Alice's Adventure in Wonderland for free!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Daddy's Little Girl by Mary Higgins Clark



Surprisingly, I’d been enlightened by Vixxio, one of used book store in Surabaya, that I won their free book giveaway. I was flattered, because I knew that many people want to win this book. Haha, sorry everyone! For mend your broken heart, I am going to share short review about this book.

Written by Mary Higgins Clark, queen of suspense, and titled “Daddy’s Little Girl”. I got one published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Indonesian-translated copy.

Summary


Ellie Cavanaugh was seven years old then her older sister was murdered near their home. Ellie, with tearful eyes, testified that Rob Westerfield, nineteen year old boy from upper class family, who did it, and successfully put him in a jail. Twenty-two years later, Rob, who maintains his innocence, is paroled. Ellie, who keeps certain that Rob is guilty, starts writing book that will conclusively prove Rob’s guilt. As she delves deeper into her research, however, she uncovers horrifying facts that shed new light on her sister’s murder. With each discovery she comes closer to a confrontation with a desperate killer.

Beyond my expectation before, it’s actually a must-read book, especially for suspense lover. First, I love how Clark describes the night when Andrea was murdered. I can feel deep fear, parents’ discomfort of her daughter missing. Whereas I haven’t had a child! In last minute, I still wish the girl is alive, though I’ve read its summary, and know for sure that she’ll be dead. And, when Ellie found her blood-drenched sister, screaming out and running to her parents hug, absolutely I am able to sense what she felt that night.

I love how Clark includes psychological effect in her book. It shows that Ellie’s parents, in some way blame Ellie for hear sister death. Ellie was abandoned, and we can read how she herself started to feel guilty, sheered of her parents. Even, after several years, she still can’t forget it, and forgive her sister’s murder. That’s why when Rob is arranged for parole, she keeps trying to throw him back to the jail.
What makes interesting is new evidences, which is collected by Ellie in her hometown, bring us to a million dollar question, was Rob actually murdering Andrea? Or, was it just Ellie imagination, testified Andrea’s fear to Rob? Ellie, herself, starts to hesitate her presumptive, and search other possibility that maybe somebody else, who murdered Andrea. It appeals us to consider many possibilities, and I feel annoyed, emotionally involved, and almost try to unlock the last page.

Finally, truth is revealed. So sorry, can’t tell you here who the murder is! Hahaha, just go get this book. Or, if you still feel anxious to find out, just email me! *wink*

PS. Visit Vixxio, to find other great books. Well, for everyone who asking about Vixxio, yes, it’s a book store. Yes, it sells used books (but still in good condition!), so you can purchase cheaper books here. But, nooo, it’s not mine. I just befriended with them. For further information about its winner, go visit Fanda’s blog. She’s an amazing reviewer too. I learn a lot from her! 

The Village Bride of Beverly Hills by Kavita Daswani



Summary

After matchmaking in India, Priya moves with Sanjay, her husband to Los Angeles, and share their house with her husband’s family. Responsibility as daughter in law from traditional family requires her to complete all household task, cooking, cleaning and tidying house, and because she hasn’t got pregnant, she ought to seek a job.
Anyway, she gets expected job, but unfortunately her parents in law are bothered with this. Priya should survive with double life, as an obedient wife, and as a journalist, which is kept quiet from her parents in law.
Uneasily, Sanjay obey his parents far too much. What makes it more complicated, Sanjay has discerned with Priya just for a week before marriage! Could their fragile love survive against of collision between tradition and ambition?


Two thumbs up for Kavita Daswani! She successfully accumulates complicated life, which is happened to a family who still heading towards tradition. The setting takes India family; Daswani tells us that it’s so familiar if every marriage began with matchmaking. Daughters, especially, should receive her spouse that have been chosen for her in all modesty, and believe her family has decided the best for her. Priya is one of them. With her elder sisters’ failure in marriage, she has to try not repeating it, or she’ll disappoint her parents.
First, we’ll be brought to see how excited Priya is, when she first go abroad from India. She get a bit disoriented when she have to live in big city, it is fun to read how she learns everything one by one. Problem comes, when she doesn’t get pregnant, her mother in law forces her to look for a job. We can see she is kind of confused; India wives shouldn’t get a job besides taking care of their husband. But Priya has no other choice, for pleasing her parents in law; she tries to find a job.
It’s annoying to witness how Sanjay’s parents intruded into Priya and Sanjay’s marriage. Priya doesn’t have any authority to manage her own life, and for honor sake, she follows every Sanjay’s parent’s rules. It is described that frequently Priya tries to put her relationship with Sanjay, which is broken because of Sanjay’s parents’ accusations, back together, but seemingly Sanjay trusts his parents more than everything. Priya often think to come back to India, but she doesn’t want disappoint anyone from her family. In India, divorced widows are having bad reputation. She’s petrified with that.
I’ve learned a lot from this story. Obviously, it’s presenting for women. Living in developing country, where many families still hold on old tradition, it clearly tells that wife should obey her husband. Husband is leader of family, his words is law. But, after all, we should be strong. As a woman, we still have right to maintain our quality life. I am not a feminist, I still believe, serving our husband is our duty. But, don’t forget to think about yourselves. Are you happy? Is your opinion heard? Many women are scared of neighborhood rumors if they are getting brave and demand for her rights. Priya teaches me lot. I don’t want what has been going on with Priya, falling on all of us. It’s important to know better your husband-to be, discuss about your future life, what you will reach in life.
Good lesson. One of educating chicklit, and must-read items for you who will get married, or even for you who married!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Magical Giveaway: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll



Maybe all of you have watched nice movie titled "Alice In Wonderland", genius creation from Tim Burton. Have you? Nice movie, isn't it? Well, I was fascinated to see how creative, how Gothic... and how's the way he imagine about grown-up Alice. But, have you known about little Alice? I mean, her story when she first visited Wonderland?

I must admit, story of Alice in Wonderland sounds familiar to me, but actually I never read whole story. I just know, she's little girl, who slipped to the hole under the tree, and found magical world with many amazing creatures. But after that, I really don't know, how the story continues, and how it ends. So, about a week ago, I went to a bookstore, searched for this Alice book. And I found it. The one which is published by Wordsworth Classic. This book also includes its sequel, "Through the Looking Glass". I was so glad to find it's so affordable, so without thinking twice, I bought it. And, I didn't regret it.

Now, I've already finished it, and frankly it was great. Simple language, dreamlike, atmosphere, and fantastical characters with famous illustrations. And, I was thinking on time, oh, you should read it too! So, I decided to give this book for one of you. For free!!!

What you have to do are..

1. Be this blog follower.
2. Leave comment in this post. Submit your name and email.
3. Share this giveaway with your friends in your blog, tumblr, twitter, facebook, or whateva! Don't forget to give me the link.


This is it! Simply easy, right? I'll be waiting until.. umm.. how about the end of April? Ao, I'll announce the lucky one on May 1. I can't wait for your participation! :)


Love,
Dela