Thursday, 1 October 2020

Books read in 3rd quarter of 2020

Time sure flies and we've reached the end of 3rd quarter of 2020! So here's a recap of books I have read during this quarter:

Definitely a productive quarter with lots of reading and sewing completed! I sure hope I'll have more opportunities to read more ARC's aside from clearing my TBR's LOL! Also hoping to realize my dream and living it eventually *fingers crossed*!

Anyway, it has also been 2 years since Nyc Nat Nook has been born! We did not go all out due to our own commitments plus with COVID-19 still abuzz but we do promote it occasionally online. We do have plans on growing our brand and products coming soon so lets hope 2021 will be a more productive year *fingers crossed*!

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

[Crochet] Cat Bookmark

I was recently asked to explore cat bookmarks and found this super cute pattern from Supergurumi! I managed to recreate the pattern based on the picture and the rat bookmark pattern I had. All the guessing and frogging has paid off as it did turned out fine albeit not as near perfect as the original LOL! Oh well, it was fun and at the same time challenging trying to get it right!

What I've used:

  • 100% acrylic yarns
  • styrofoam pellets
Frontal view

Back view
A wishful thought: crochet more cute animal related bookmarks! However, due to my frozen shoulder, crochet has to take a back seat for a very long time :-(

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

[MPOV] Leather and Gold (The Masters of Mayfair #1)

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4.43/5
Published: August 2020
Author: Gemma Snow
Genre: Historical romance, erotica, BDSM


If there was a single word to describe the desire Emmeline Westington Wright, widowed duchess of South Framley, felt for Captain Alexandre Pierron Simonnet, that would be it. Forbidden. Captivating. Tempting. Dangerous.

She sent him away eighteen months ago, ostensibly in search of her errant brother, the Marquis of Fulton. But when Captain Simonnet returns to South Framley and the duchess's estate, she must admit to herself that the errand was nothing more than a way to keep the devilishly handsome captain on the other side of the world…and her own wicked desires at bay.

Now he’s returned home. And it could destroy them both.

Because despite herself and her raging need, Emmeline’s want goes deeper than a salacious affair. And if she’s willing to share her secret room and most intimate needs with the man who knows and understands them and her better than anyone, she might just share something even more essential—and even more scandalous: her heart.

But not even a duchess can hold an explorer’s attention for too long. Can she?

Thanks to BookSirens for this e-ARC in return for my honest review.

A breeze to read this but definitely not for the faint hearted, LOL! This is a historical romance, true to it's root, but with elements of BDSM that made this novella more of an erotica. It was unusual for me as it's premise being a regency romance and all as such I did not expect this. Mind you, I have read EL James and the likes but theirs were modern day romance and not historical. Hence it took awhile for the story to set in for me. I guess I'm a little old fashion here :-)

Once settled, the overall storyline was kinda enjoyable with Emmeline and Alexandre "pushing and pulling" drama, teasing each other at the start and slowly gave in to the relationship. Since this is a novella, it did feel like their courtship was briefed and ended in marriage very fast LOL! All in all, it's a sexy happy ever after albeit a very devilishly desirable one!

Monday, 21 September 2020

[MPOV] Money Stories from Malaysians Volume 1

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.46/5
Publisher: self-published
Published: March 2019
Author: Suraya Zainudin
Genre: short stories

Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1 is a compilation of 10 short stories from 10 different authors.

9) Read a Book by a Malaysian Author OR a Book set in Malaysia

This month's read is a Malaysian themed book written by Malaysians set in Malaysia. Coincidentally it's also Malaysia Day on 16th September 2020 with 57 years since Malaysia has been formed from Peninsular to Sabah and Sarawak.

I've enjoyed the short stories a lot especially since it is relatable with humour and lots of monetary references. Well, it is a book about 'money' LOL! Honestly, with funny jibes and all, it is not a boring book. These 10 authors have put much thought and plot into their stories to make it worthy. A breezy read to boot!

If you are interested to read this awesome book, you can purchase it directly from here:

FYI, Volume 2 has been recently released so I'll definitely get it once I've settled all my pending e-ARC's :-)

Sunday, 13 September 2020

[MPOV] The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope #9)

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.36/5
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Published: September 8th, 2020
Author: Ann Cleeves
Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense, crime fiction

On the first snowy night of winter, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets off for her home in the hills. Though the road is familiar, she misses a turning and soon becomes lost and disorientated. A car has skidded off the narrow road in front of her, its door left open, and she stops to help. There is no driver to be seen, so Vera assumes that the owner has gone to find help. But a cry calls her back: a toddler is strapped in the back seat.

Vera takes the child and, driving on, she arrives at a place she knows well. Brockburn is a large, grand house in the wilds of Northumberland, now a little shabby and run down. It’s also where her father, Hector, grew up. Inside, there’s a party in full swing: music, Christmas lights and laughter. Outside, unbeknownst to the revelers, a woman lies dead in the snow.
As the blizzard traps the group deep in the freezing Northumberland countryside, Brockburn begins to give up its secrets, and as Vera digs deeper into her investigation, she also begins to uncover her family’s complicated past. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for this e-ARC in return for my honest review.

I've always loved a good mystery crime fiction and The Darkest Evening definitely delivered it. Although it's part of a series, the story itself was a standalone with many references to the past so no confusion here. I liked that it is as detailed as it can be but at times it did feel a little tiring having to follow up with so many casts and plots. Other than that, it was an awesome read till the end.

I have been kept guessing 'who did it?' and gotten it all wrong! With so many casts involved, it sure caused many confusions for me. At first, I thought it could be Karan or Harriet or Juliet. Then Mark or Josh. But in the end, it was the not so obvious choice! Oh well, it was a good one too which kept me engaged from the start until the end.
I honestly felt it could have been shorter as there were many fillers to me with thoughts from various casts pondering about the case or about each other. I know that makes the case more solid but it did feel a little too much at times.

All in all, it was a crime fiction that I've enjoyed. I was surprised at how realistic it was, such a believable story and well described that I can imagined it easily. With a little art and poem, the mystery became more artistically challenged LOL!

And miles to go before I sleep ~ Robert Frost

Thursday, 3 September 2020

[MPOV] Allertoin creams - week 1

I have recently been given the opportunity to participate in Allertoin's Eczema and Dermatitis Advocate Program. I am so glad for this as I have been having eczema (I didn't know it then) for years since I was in my early twenties! I have tried many creams and soaps but to no avail. I finally visited a doctor and was diagnosed as having eczema. At that time, I was apparently allergic to some materials hence I can only wear cotton material. Medication and change of soap and lotion helped but the damage has been done. I couldn't remove the scars of over scratching it left behind. It has been under control though bouts of flare will tend to return as and when I'm stressed or just suddenly. I've been off meds for a long time but controlling it using non-perfumed soap and body lotion plus making sure my clothes are cotton made. Of course, there are cheat sheets at times where I would use some perfumed soap or lotion LOL!

Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked and rough. Eczema can vary in severity and symptoms may flare up or subside from day to day. If severe, it can disrupt sleep and increase risk of infection.

Anyway, I have already given up hope to any cure that exists so when I was given this chance to try Allertoin Cream, I was definitely doubtful of it's effectiveness. It is a non-steroid cream for eczema which I am glad as it means I can use it many times without much side effect. Fragrance free, preservative free, paraben free and without mineral oil, it has been clinically proven of it's efficacy and safe to use always.

Allertoin Cream and Allertoin Cream for Kids are more than just basic therapies of eczema and psoriasis. These Ectoin-containing products can be used between exacerbations to stabilise the skin barrier and protect the skin against external stress factors. Ectoin was discovered in extremophiles which supports the living of the microorganism's in hostile environment. It hydrates and protects the cells from allergens or other harmful substances. 

I have used it for one week and I can immediately feel the difference. I have been using it twice daily each time after shower. The first thing I've noticed is that it didn't feel as itchy anymore. There are also less flaring thus far even though I was stressed with a vertigo attack. I am surprised that the cream, though looked thick but was actually light and after applying it felt smooth and doesn't feel sticky nor oily. 

Anyway, here is my subject diary after a week of use:

I do hope that the scars will eventually lighten and disappear so that I can wear bikini worry free LOL!

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

[MPOV] Surviving Tomorrow

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3/5
Publisher: Aeristic Press, 25 & Y, Valeron and Boralis Books
Published: Jun 1st, 2020
Edited by: Brian Thomas Schmidt
Genre: speculative fiction, dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy, anthology

Thanks to Peter J. Wacks and team for this e-book in return for my honest review.

SURVIVING TOMORROW is a collection of 29 stories about survivors 
by writers like Neil Gaiman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Cory Doctorow,
Robert Silverberg, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, Andrew Mayne,
Scott Sigler, Orson Scott Card, Alan Dean Foster, A.C. Crispin, and more.
All profits go to providing COVID-19 tests directly to the front lines of this crisis.

Surviving Tomorrow is a collection of 29 short stories from various author's like Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Scott Sigler and many more. With such anthology, we have the chance to read many types of stories in various genre's and writing styles since it's from different authors. Overall, it's such a refreshing read about survival in one form or another and getting into momentum to read it as fast and as many since I can stop at any section easily and won't get hung up LOL! It's a mixture of dystopian, science fiction and speculative fiction kinda anthology which suit many palates or taste buds. I have enjoyed going through each story and liked that it is brief (although there were a few which was more of a novella) and not as over-empowering. Definitely great for a fast and easy kinda read.

This anthology is in support of COVID-19 relief and tests provided directly to the frontlines of this crisis. To know more, please click on the website below:

Thursday, 27 August 2020

[MPOV] Ghost Knight

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.71/5
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Published: 2012
Author: Cornelia Funke
Translator: Oliver Latsch
Illustrator: Andrea Offermann
Genre: Young adult, mystery fiction, fantasy, paranormal

8) Read a ghostly book OR a food memoir

I've picked this ghostly book for #tbntbookchallenge and I have not regretted it at all. I had a few in mind but this hardcover was the prettiest of them all! Thankfully, a spark joy cover with a spark joy story!

Jon is an 11 year old boy going through a hard time accepting his mother's boyfriend, Matthew. His father has passed away earlier on and he doesn't want Matthew to replace his father. He has even nicknamed Matthew as The Beard. With more trouble and mischief, his mother finally sent him to a boarding school. Unfortunately a new trouble started brewing at this boarding school when Jon is being hunted by a ghost who kept calling him Hartgill! Coincidentally, his mother's surname is Hartgill. He found comfort with a new friend named Ella and together they embarked in an enthralling journey of ghosts, mysteries and murders.

As it's a book for young adults, I have expected it to be a breezy read. I did not expect it to be distinctly English and yet easily absorbed. I could imagine the story itself with a little help from the many lovely illustrations. Overall it was an entertaining book which I've thoroughly enjoyed. As the print on the cover says it: 'A perfect English ghost story.'

I liked that it touches on relevant issues faced by many young teens and the way it intertwined, coming in full circle was a really good one. Jon having trouble accepting a new stepfather but in the end having to solve the mystery with the said stepfather, who would have thought that? A strong female character, Ella, helped to balance the story as Jon's partner in crime, touché!
"My best friend is a girl," I said. "And you know her uncle. In fact, you're going to marry him."
It did slow down a bit at times especially when Jon was overthinking but the overall momentum was good enough to keep me entertained. I honestly liked the illustrations which were simple yet adorable!
I saw Longespee leaning against the wall. He looked so much like a living man that it was hard for me to believe he'd been dead for centuries.
"You are my squire, Jon Whitcroft," he answered. "You can call me any time. And I, you."
I have yet to read Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy (I've watched the movie many times as I love it!) which has been on my TBR pile for a long time. I guess it is time to bump it up! Anyway, if you are looking for something light yet with some mystery, Ghost Knight is a good pick :-)


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