D.A. Adams’ Greatest Influence

Posted on 30 April, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to the awesome D.A. Adams, author of The Brotherhood of Dwarves.
He has written a wonderful post for you all about his greatest influence.
Hope you enjoy it, and we’d love to hear YOUR greatest influence too!



My Greatest Influence by D.A. Adams

In terms of influence, Harry Crews had the greatest impact on my career.  I got to meet him at the University of Memphis when I was 19 or 20.  At that stage of my development, I honestly had no idea what I was doing other than wanting to write, and because I had grown up in a rural environment in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, I often felt like a misfit in the university setting.  Though many of my classmates were more intelligent than I, few of them had the life experiences I did, and there weren’t many people in the English Department with whom I could relate.  At that age, my confidence was fairly fragile, and that feeling of not fitting in created huge amounts of self-doubt, causing me to question my worthiness to pursue writing as a career.

Then, Harry Crews came to town.  He was in his late 50’s then but was still an imposing presence with his Mohawk and gritty drawl.  He had grown up a sharecropper and served in Korea as a Marine.  He had spent a lifetime around bikers, weightlifters, circus freaks, and various other misfits.  He was also a pretty successful novelist with a cult following and international acclaim.  I got to eat breakfast with him, and we spent nearly an hour talking about everything except writing.  He reminded me of my grandfather, not in a sentimental, nostalgic way, but rather in that both men were tough as iron, raised in hard times, tested in infantry combat, and real in a way few people will ever know, myself included.

After that experience, I no longer felt as much self-doubt about my opportunities to become a writer.  There was living proof that someone who didn’t grow up in a cul-de-sac and attend private schools could make it in this industry, and ever since that morning, I’ve believed that I, too, could find success as a novelist.  That one hour at breakfast did as much to shape me into the writer I am today as all the years of education combined because I learned that being a writer is much more than having knowledge or being intelligent.  It’s about dedication, discipline, hard work, and a good imagination.

I went on to read most of his books.  My favorites are The Gypsy’s Curse, The Knockout Artist, Body, A Feast of Snakes, and All We Need of Hell.  There’s a realism and a grit to his work that moves me deeply; few other writers have spoken to me on such a personal level.  I recognize that there are more talented, more refined writers in this world, and my connection to his work is as much about our similar socioeconomic backgrounds and that hour long conversation at breakfast, but there will always be a place in my heart for him and his work because of the influence.  On March 28, 2012, Harry Crews passed away at 76, and even though he probably never remembered me after that day we met, I mourn for him like I’ve lost a family member.  Rest in peace, Harry.  You were one hell of a unique individual.


So there we have it! What a lovely post! If you’d like to know more about D.A. Adams, you can find his bio and books, here!

And, if this inspired you enough to pick up his book, watch out on Amazon and on my twitter tomorrow and wednesday as his book; The Brotherhood of Dwarves will be available for FREE.

What about you guys though? What is YOUR greatest influence?

Posted on 30 April, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Blogspiration #7

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. This meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers and writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the authors choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.
 
I think if there is something this community needs this week it is inspiration. A reminder that we are all still brilliant, fun loving, wholesome human beings and that nothing can knock us down. Yes? Well, I know, that is certainly the case for me! So, it took me a while to think about what I wanted to do for this post today, I’ve got a few blogspiration images backlogged and I finally decided on this one. I felt that a reminder of how much books do for us is exactly what the community needs right now.
We’re here to share our love of books, we’re not here for hate or lies or bullying. And, it is only with love that this community can really function properly. And guys, I’m saying this because I freaking LOVE you. Yes, yes I do.

Blogspiration

I found this a few weeks back while surfing through the awesome Pinterest. And I honestly couldn’t love a graphic more than I love this one. It is so… perfect.
Books, every single book we read (whether we like them or not), teaches us something. Some books teach us how to smile, some books teach us how to get along with others, some books teach us the value of friendship or relationships, some the value of family, of trust, of love, of being true to ourselves, but every single book we read, teaches us something and with these lessons, we just keep on climbing to the top, whatever or wherever that may be.

For me, the top is being published. The top is being happy and alive. The top is being surrounded by family and friends and loved ones and knowing that you wouldn’t be able to last a day without them. The top, is just being the best I can be.
And I know that I can be at the top, that I am very often at the top, because of the lessons I learnt from the books I read. The books I loved taught me how to escape reality and calm down when I need to, they taught me that it’s okay to be different and they taught me that no matter what, things will be okay eventually. Even if it’s only for a short while, there is never a time when things are always bad.

So I love books. I love the journey to the top. And I love this community. We may have had a bad week, lines may have been crossed and bad traits may have come to life but there is no doubt in my mind that this is the right place to be because for every harsh word spat, a hundred nice words were used. Because, at the soul of this, at the soul of us, is love.

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments


Treeless Mountain (2008) – Aidy’s Review

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hey Guys!
So today we have Aidy from Aidy’s Reviews! This was supposed to be posted on Tuesday but because I took too long with my cross review, it’s being posted today instead. Aidy has reviewed Treeless Mountain for you all.
I reviewed Hacker by Malorie Blackman for Aidy, and this can be found here.

Treeless Mountain

Director: So Yong Kim
Writer: So Yong Kim
Stars: Chae Gil Byung, Jung Gil Ja and Shin Hyun Je
Year: 2008 (UK Release: 2010)
Country: South Korea
Production Company: Parts and Labor, Soandbrad and Strangeloop Entertainment

 

 

     FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆

Treeless Mountain is a touching 2008 film made in South Korea, directed by So Yong Kim, born in Seoul, but raised in the United States since she was 12. It is about the struggle for two sisters, Jin (Hee-yeon Kim) and Bin (Song-hee Kim), to survive with their nonchalant relatives after being abandoned by their mother (Soo Ah Lee).

Jin is a lovely, intelligent child who adores going to school and math is her favorite subject. Every day after school, Jin enjoyed playing games with her friends. But this would make her late to pick up Bin from their neighbor’s apartment. One evening, the neighbor informs their mother she no longer will be able to watch after Bin. Realizing she can no longer afford her apartment or take care of her children, the next day, the mother heads off to meet up with her sister-in-law in order for her to take them back to her home. The girls have nicknamed her “Big Aunt”.

Before taking her leave, their mother gives Jin and Bin a piggy bank. She informs them when they fill up the piggy bank, she will return. It is evident their aunt doesn’t want them around; she uses what little expenses she has on Soju (an alcoholic beverage), instead of purchasing enough food for the children to eat. The title of the film originates from the children standing atop a rock covered hill they identify as a mountain, and using it as an observatory to wait for their mother to return to the bus stop. The girls earn money by cleaning around the house (recycling the many bottles the aunt has acquired from her binge drinking) and selling roasted grasshoppers to the neighborhood boys–three for ten cents.

While in their new surroundings, Jin and Bin befriend Hyun, a boy with Down syndrome. As a symbol of her gratitude, his mother welcomes the girls to visit her home when they desire and treats them to a copious amount of sweets. Summer begins to wane, and the grasshoppers go into hiding as cold weather approaches. Jin gets a brilliant idea after Bin uses one of the high value coins in their piggy bank to purchase a sweet bun–exchange the large coins for one cent coins. That way, they could fill the bank! The two sisters hurry to the shop keep to exchange their coins and then happily run back home to count their bounty.

Filling the bank finally, they sit at the bus stop, awaiting their mother’s return. Jin promises Bin they will come back the next day to wait. But then Big Aunt interrupts their plans with a letter from mom. She informs the girls she cannot come back, and they will have to relocate to their grandparents’ farm. Upon arriving, the grandfather immediately is upset and sees the children as a huge burden. However, their grandmother welcomes them with open arms and warms them with a fire.

Life on the farm isn’t bad to the girls; they have a grandmother that loves them and teaches them about family bonds. She helps them with daily chores and in return, they give her the piggy bank in gratitude in order to buy new shoes. Even still, they promise each other to wait for their mother.

Treeless Mountain is an enjoyable film, though it would have been better with more dialogue. The sisters were precious, and over time their sprits grew strong due to the sudden interruption in their normal way of life. It was admirable how they quickly adapted to survive in their new neighborhood and taking care of each other. Jin going out of her way to educate her little sister on what remainders she had of school life was a tender moment, and I feel this was partly due to their grandmother’s influence. She taught them the importance of being together as a family, and Jin used their grandmother’s advice to watch over Bin.

Aidy

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Treeless Mountain (2008) – Aidy’s Review

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hey Guys!
So today we have Aidy from Aidy’s Reviews! This was supposed to be posted on Tuesday but because I took too long with my cross review, it’s being posted today instead. Aidy has reviewed Treeless Mountain for you all.
I reviewed Hacker by Malorie Blackman for Aidy, and this can be found here.

Treeless Mountain

Director: So Yong Kim
Writer: So Yong Kim
Stars: Chae Gil Byung, Jung Gil Ja and Shin Hyun Je
Year: 2008 (UK Release: 2010)
Country: South Korea
Production Company: Parts and Labor, Soandbrad and Strangeloop Entertainment

 

 

     FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆

Treeless Mountain is a touching 2008 film made in South Korea, directed by So Yong Kim, born in Seoul, but raised in the United States since she was 12. It is about the struggle for two sisters, Jin (Hee-yeon Kim) and Bin (Song-hee Kim), to survive with their nonchalant relatives after being abandoned by their mother (Soo Ah Lee).

Jin is a lovely, intelligent child who adores going to school and math is her favorite subject. Every day after school, Jin enjoyed playing games with her friends. But this would make her late to pick up Bin from their neighbor’s apartment. One evening, the neighbor informs their mother she no longer will be able to watch after Bin. Realizing she can no longer afford her apartment or take care of her children, the next day, the mother heads off to meet up with her sister-in-law in order for her to take them back to her home. The girls have nicknamed her “Big Aunt”.

Before taking her leave, their mother gives Jin and Bin a piggy bank. She informs them when they fill up the piggy bank, she will return. It is evident their aunt doesn’t want them around; she uses what little expenses she has on Soju (an alcoholic beverage), instead of purchasing enough food for the children to eat. The title of the film originates from the children standing atop a rock covered hill they identify as a mountain, and using it as an observatory to wait for their mother to return to the bus stop. The girls earn money by cleaning around the house (recycling the many bottles the aunt has acquired from her binge drinking) and selling roasted grasshoppers to the neighborhood boys–three for ten cents.

While in their new surroundings, Jin and Bin befriend Hyun, a boy with Down syndrome. As a symbol of her gratitude, his mother welcomes the girls to visit her home when they desire and treats them to a copious amount of sweets. Summer begins to wane, and the grasshoppers go into hiding as cold weather approaches. Jin gets a brilliant idea after Bin uses one of the high value coins in their piggy bank to purchase a sweet bun–exchange the large coins for one cent coins. That way, they could fill the bank! The two sisters hurry to the shop keep to exchange their coins and then happily run back home to count their bounty.

Filling the bank finally, they sit at the bus stop, awaiting their mother’s return. Jin promises Bin they will come back the next day to wait. But then Big Aunt interrupts their plans with a letter from mom. She informs the girls she cannot come back, and they will have to relocate to their grandparents’ farm. Upon arriving, the grandfather immediately is upset and sees the children as a huge burden. However, their grandmother welcomes them with open arms and warms them with a fire.

Life on the farm isn’t bad to the girls; they have a grandmother that loves them and teaches them about family bonds. She helps them with daily chores and in return, they give her the piggy bank in gratitude in order to buy new shoes. Even still, they promise each other to wait for their mother.

Treeless Mountain is an enjoyable film, though it would have been better with more dialogue. The sisters were precious, and over time their sprits grew strong due to the sudden interruption in their normal way of life. It was admirable how they quickly adapted to survive in their new neighborhood and taking care of each other. Jin going out of her way to educate her little sister on what remainders she had of school life was a tender moment, and I feel this was partly due to their grandmother’s influence. She taught them the importance of being together as a family, and Jin used their grandmother’s advice to watch over Bin.

Aidy

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Letterbox Love #1

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments

Hey Guys!
It’s been a bit crazy this week, hasn’t it? With all the issues floating around the book blogging atmosphere at the moment, participating in IMM is something that I just did not want to do. In all honesty, apart from last week it had been a fairly long time since I had joined that meme anyway. This week, however, I got a few books I really wanted to share and wasn’t really sure how to do it.
Then, Lucy from ChooseYA (my blogger spotlight), asked me if I would be participating in Letterbox Love. This is a very new meme, so new in fact that the people who thought it up (Kirsty, Laura, Carly, Lynsey, Emma and Leanne) aren’t sure who’s going to host just yet, but that’s okay! It seems like it’s going to be great!

But what is it? I hear you ask?
Well, that’s where the fun comes in! Letterbox Love is a UK meme for UK bloggers to highlight any books (and in my case films), that came through their letterbox that week!
(*If you’re not a UK blogger, or not participating in this meme, but want to showcase me what you got this week, feel free to link me to whatever meme your using in the comments! I love seeing them!*)

Without further ado;
 
I got seven exciting new products this week! And, because this is a new meme and I don’t have that many, I’m going to add some comments to each one! YAY!
First up, these are the items I bought this week;
CSI: NY (Season 1: Part 1): This was bought for an extremely cheap price because it is second hand! It was bought to prep me for my upcoming exam on Wednesday as it is on contemporary US crime and television. I have a lot of hours to spend getting to grips with this show, that’s for sure!

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder: The first book of Maria V. Snyder was Touch of Power (Review here), and I absolutely loved it! It was one of the best books I had read in a while and it was just great! My blogger friend Brodie has been trying to get me to read more of her and so, because it was on offer, I got Inside Out and I am really looking forward to digging into this!

A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warbuton: This book was bought, again because of a recommendation from Brodie, and when I told her, she was extremely happy for me but also Lucy told me that it was a brilliant read and that the author is lovely! I am so looking forward to reading this and joining the love train.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday: I had no purpose behind buying this book, I hadn’t even known that the film (with the same name) was based on a book but when I went to purchase my ticket for the film at my local Odeon, I was asked if I would like to purchase the book for £1.99 along with my ticket. Of course, the avid reader and book&film blogger in me simply couldn’t resist. I then enjoyed the film and am now interested in reading the book and doing a lovely comparison review!
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr: This was recommended me to by the lovely Kathe of Good Lit Green Tea. She told me that it was one of the best fae stories she had read and said it was better than The Iron King, so I really hope she was telling the truth! I got this on my Kindle and I am so excited for it!
Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer: This was free on amazon so I didn’t exactly buy it but I needed to showcase it! I read it on Friday Night/Saturday Morning and it is possible the best pre-quel that I have ever read. It really got me hooked and I now cannot wait to go and read Storm! My review of this will be up at some point over the next week!
Second up, I got this for review this week;

Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid: I first off want to say thank you to Penguin for sending me this book for review. I read the summary and was instantly hooked. I honestly cannot wait to read this (and it’s third on my ‘read next’ list so I’ll be getting to it very shortly!). After it arrived through my letterbox, I watched the book trailer of it and this just spurred my need to read it that much more! I will definitely be adding the trailer to my review when it gets posted!!

And finally, this is what I won this week;

Bookmark Monsters!: These cute glorious little fellows were won from Jen at At Random and I absolutely love them!! They so cute and I’m already using the purple chequered guy! Heehe. And I got them while my friend was around revising with me and she gave me odd looks for loving them so much but then I put one on the corner of her macbook and she smiled. See, they’re awesome! :D

That’s all I got this week! So tell me,
what did you get? =]

Posted on 29 April, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments


Blogger Spotlight – INTERVIEW

Posted on 28 April, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments

Hey Guys!
I am a bad blogger, and have been holding on to this interview for AGES! It was supposed to be posted last week but life got in the way. For that I hope Lucy forgives me!
Instead of postponing it any longer, ON WITH THE INTERVIEW!

Lucy Spotlight

Hello Lucy, welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! Let’s start with something simple, tell us a little something about yourself!
My name is Lucy, I’m 22 and live in the UK. I am doing a masters in writing at the moment and working on my first YA novel which I started for a uni submission. I also prefer cats to dogs, love coffee and am currently addicted to coconut yoghurts.

How long have you had your blog?
I started it at the end of October, 2011 so just over five months now!

Do you enjoy running your blog?
Oh, definitely! I’ve loved connecting with fellow bloggers and book-lovers and adore sharing my  thoughts on books. I won’t lie, sometimes I put off reviews and things but 99.99% of running ChooseYA is the best. I think it’s one of the best ideas I followed through on in a long time and I’ve got to connect with awesome people!

When you started, did you ever think that it would end up the way it has?
No way, I can’t believe that publishers send me free books or invite me to events, or even that people read my little blog. Every time I get a book in the post, or approval from NetGalley, or even a comment from a follower I am so excited. 

Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog, if there is, tell us!
Hmm,  well I wanted a good name and went through a lot of alternatives. I like the pun of YA and ya and wanted something that put the power in the reader’s hands so choose your books, or ChooseYABooks/ ChooseYA. I also like the double meaning that people should read YA.

As we’ve got this far without mentioning it, why not tell us a little something about your blog, what you post, how it runs, who you cater to, etc.
It’s just little old me, I try and post 2-3 times a week minimum dependent on how uni and work is going. I cater to YA fans, but I hope all book lovers would find something they liked from it. I post a mix of reviews (the majority), discussions, memes and giveaways.

Do you participate or host and blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
I just started WoW and I also take part in IMM. I think I prefer waiting on Wednesday as that way I don’t get book envy from other people’s in my mailboxes and we’re all waiting for the book so on even footing.
(UPDATED TO ADD: I no longer do IMM but am looking at joining a similar British meme to talk about my books and blog news of the week :))

What about blog tours and blog hops? Have you ever or do you ever want to participate in them?
I’m taking part in a blog tour for a debut novel called How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro in May with Egmont/ Electric Monkey. This will be my first official one so I am very excited. I’m also scheduled to take part in the tour for The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland in May which will be great.

What is the best book you read in 2011?
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. I would love to write with even half of the emotion and style she does.

What about in 2012?
Right now it’s Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Bryne, that book just got me in the heart strings and had a Perks of Being a Wallflower vibe (one of my favourite books)

Has there ever been a book that you haven’t been able to finish? If so, what was it? And why couldn’t you finish?
A few sadly. The plots either felt ludicrous ( The People Next Door just didn’t work for me in that way) or I wasn’t engaged with the characters or plot at all.

What is your favourite book genre?
Hmm, this is hard as I love so many different types. I have always had a soft spot for ‘realistic’ fiction though.

Quick Fire Round

ebook or hardcopy?
Hardcopy

ya or adult?
Both? No, right now it’s YA because I write it, but I need to read adult too.

vampires or werewolves?
Werewolves -I’m veggie, no blood drinking for me, I would be a nice tame werewolf.

chocolate or vanilla?
vanilla ice cream, chocolate as a substance if that makes sense.

harry potter or twilight?
Harry Potter

four or peeta?
Agh! Um, um, Peeta as I had three books of him so I need more Four before my official decision. 

series or single?
  I love a good stand alone, but sometimes want more so series are great in that respect. That said, I hate it when a series is there just for the sake of it. I suppose a great stand-alone that leaves me satisfied but able to imagine more is more for me.

blogger or wordpress?
  Well blogger has GFC and allows JavaScript which as a WordPress.com user I wish I had, but I do like WordPress….

And finally, is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
I can’t think of anything but thank you so much for having me, Faye!

 

So there you have it! You know lots more about the wonderful Lucy! And if you’re not following her blog, ChooseYA… go do so now! You won’t regret it! =]
Faye

Posted on 28 April, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments


Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Posted on 26 April, 2012 by Faye - 4 Comments

bosworth-struckAuthor: Jennifer Bosworth
Publisher: Random House Publishing (Doubleday Imprint)
Published: April 26th 2012
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Advanced Reader’s Copy
Goodreads: Add It

Summary:

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆

Struck is a book that really threw me. I loved it, it was so much fun to read, it was enjoyable and interesting. I also didn’t like it. That, there, is my dilemma. I finished the book a fair few days ago now and it has taken me this long to get my head around the book to really contemplate how I felt about the book, and yet still, I sit here, not sure how to really write this review. It has occurred to me, however, that the reason I feel so unsure about this book was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. It felt, in my opinion, a bit like the end of the seventh Harry Potter, the little ‘epilogue’ that just seemed unnecessary. I personally think that this book would have been perfect if it had ended before the epilogue. It didn’t need the end, and I feel that it ruined the mood of the rest of the book, which is extremely annoying because the rest of the book was brilliant.

The first thing that really needs to be mentioned is just how powerful this book is. It’s not a light-hearted read, but one that is full of punch, and I have to say, that is why I liked it so much. It wasn’t your typical YA that is covered in triangles and love romances, it is something so much more than that. It does have its romance in it and I will get to that in a bit, but yes, this book is not for those of the light-hearted. I would also warn people about the religious aspects of this book. I personally loved it, I loved seeing it set out like that and understanding that this is what happens, especially when the world is set out to end, but I know with certainty that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea. The religion is heavy in this book, I feel that strong Christian’s would not wish to read it and maybe even firm Atheists, but anyone in between should be fine, I would hope! I, for one, am an atheist and, like I just mentioned, I loved it, and found the Religious aspect to be right on par and to be a rather interesting view of it all. But, I also believe that anyone can have their faith and if that is what helps them in life, than good for them, so this may also be why. But yeah, just a warning on the religious front anyway.

The concept of Struck is definitely unique and equally compelling. It was so interesting to read a story about a girl who was simply obsessed with being struck by lightning. But I also loved the world that Jennifer created. It felt perfect, it felt real. I have never been to Los Angeles myself but from what I’ve seen I can imagine exactly what Jennifer was trying to say about the place. Tentville was one of the most spectacular pieces of imagery in the story and I loved it, it tugged at my heartstrings and I just fell in love with this world. I also loved the idea of the energy, the spark of the electricity, the undercurrent under the pavements. It was imaginative and creative and just really brought this world alive. There is nothing but glowing recommendations from me for this concept, a brilliant dystopian world.

I found Mia to be a slightly annoying protagonist at times, she didn’t really flow well for me during some parts but the rest of the time, she was perfect. I loved how she felt about her family and how she acted around Mr Kale and Katrina. Her story about why they moved to Los Angeles is also heartbreaking and I found it really brought Mia to life for me, so it was a shame that it wasn’t something that was shed to light straight away. I understood that she wanted to take her own path, she didn’t want to constantly have to decide which way to go and she certainly didn’t want to leave her life to fate, or destiny and I really liked that about her. All in all she had a few flaws but she was a rounded person who was easy to read and get behind.

The romance in this novel, however, I just couldn’t get behind. It may be known by now, but I have issues with romances in novels and am a bit… negative when it comes to them not being just right, in my book. I don’t like it when relationships seemingly spring up from the blue and unfortunately, this is what happened in this book. I totally understood why Jeremy was fascinated with her, I understood that he was infatuated with her so soon but I honestly just didn’t understand why she liked and trusted him so soon, especially after how he treated her when they first met. It seemed to me that she was only after him for the same reason she was after lightning, she was obsessed. That, for me, just didn’t hit the right bone, unfortunately.

The ending. Ah yes, the ending. First of all, I will admit again that I do love this book, I loved the two sides, the middle and the in between that Mia has to deal with but by the end of the book, I was left a little stumped. In all honesty, by the end (before the epilogue), I was still confused as to what had really happened. It seemed both sides wanted her to be where she ended up, but both believed something different would happen, or something. It was slightly confusing, or maybe I was just tired when I read it that I didn’t quite understand. Then there was the epilogue and I was certain that it would help to explain what had just happened, but unfortunately it didn’t. The tone of the epilogue is actually so different from the rest of the book that I couldn’t get my head around it. I felt that with it being so different in atmosphere and mood, it just brought the entire book down. It was sort of like there was a happy ending, after the happy ending and it just confused me slightly I suppose.

Despite how this review looks, I did really enjoy reading this book. It is one that I would happily pick up again. It was easy to read, it was quick to read and it was truly enjoyable. The world was delightful, the characters were easy to get behind and it was just interesting and imaginative. It was a book that I had been waiting to read for months and one that truly delivered when it landed on my doorstep. If you’re looking for a YA dystopian novel that is something new and exciting, then Struck is the book you’re looking for and I recommend you go and get yourself a copy.

* I received this book from Random House Publishing in return for an honest review *

Faye

Posted on 26 April, 2012 by Faye - 4 Comments


Pet Peeves? How About Rational Irritations?

Posted on 26 April, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to H. David Blalock, author of Angelkiller Triad series.
He will be telling you all about his literary “pet peeves”! The title of this blog post was his own creation as well, I take no claim to it!
Are you ready?
Good!!

There are three main irritations I have with today’s literature. These will probably label me as a literacy snob. So be it.

1. Disrespect of the language
As a writer and editor, I often find myself unable to read a book without automatically criticizing its grammar and structure. In fact, I have to consciously remind myself I’m picking up this book for entertainment, not business before I can enjoy it simply for what it is. In spite of that, there are some things that break through even that preparation.

With the proliferation of social networking, there has been an explosion of published writers who have forgotten how to spell simple words like “lose”, “chose”, and “breath”. Texting has generated an entire new set of abbreviations for already short words. The English language, one of the most difficult languages in the world to master, is being savaged hundreds of times a day. Maybe thousands. It seems like everyone with a telephone is guilty.

My tools of the trade are words. With those words I make sentences. With those sentences, I create stories and novels. I write commentary, reviews, and articles. Words, to me, are what makes me what I am: a writer. And those same words are being disrespected every day. The words to which we trust the recording of our lives, our history, and our beliefs are being mauled. The words we use to cherish and honor with the safe-keeping of our past, the reporting of our present, and the expression of our dreams of the future, are being reduced to phonemes and gibberish.

2. The rise of less than honest “publishing houses”
With the ready availability of new printing processes came the growth in so-called “publishers” who were perfectly willing to look at your manuscript with an eye to publication. Before print-on-demand technology made it profitable, these were few and far between. Now, however, they are more and more common as time goes by. Some are blatantly obvious frauds, most not quite so. It all comes down to the fine print.

A writer’s contract is usually a straightforward agreement that simply states the rights bought, the distribution of royalties, if any, and the responsibilities of the parties involved. Over the years, the publishing contract has achieved a more or less standard form. With the entrance of the new “publishing” houses, this standard form has taken on a less honest form. Rights are bought outright in perpetuity, or for extended periods of time. Hidden clauses in very fine print deny the writer any rights whatsoever to their work after signing. How many aspiring writers, excited that their work is finally going to see print, read the entire contract? Ask customers of PublishAmerica, or Author House, or XLibris, or iUniverse if they really looked closely. Had they known then what they know now, would they have signed on the dotted line?

3. The fall of quality in published writing
An inevitable side effect of print on demand is the publication of material that never should have seen print. The internet is rife with mediocre to horrible material in even the best of web magazines. A lot of this has to do with taste and style, immeasurable and subjective in the extreme. Even so-called journalism is not immune to this. Blogs, the inevitable manifestation of unfettered thought, are the worst. Thankfully, many blogs actually inform. The majority, however, are simply vehicles for venting to an anonymous audience; a vicarious shouting at the world. It is the reverse of voyeurism, the exhibition of one’s soul in its best and worst forms.

Writing in general has suffered. With the combination of failing grammar, increasing misspellings, and uncaring editing, the world, or at least the US, is flooded with substandard writing. From novels to websites, from magazines to roadside signs, writing is a dying artform.

In spite of these three irritations, I try to maintain an open mind toward publication. Somewhere in the future, hopefully not too far off, I hope sanity will return to publishing. Writers will once more spend time learning their trade before submitting their work for consideration. Editors will be more discerning of the talent, or lack thereof, in the work they examine. Publishers will work harder to present quality products.

The public is very forgiving when it comes to the creative arts. “I may not know art, but I know what I like” is a good way to describe how people react to what is presented to them. I think we, as writers, editors, and publishers, have a duty to the public to provide them with the best possible product so whatever they choose will be worth it.

 

So, there we have it!
To find out more about H. David Blalock, you can find his bio and his book, Angelkiller
, here.

 

What about you though? What are some of your literary pet peeves?

Posted on 26 April, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments


Redheads Are Soulless by Heather White {COVER REVEAL}

Posted on 25 April, 2012 by Faye - No Comments

Hey Guys!
So today I am participating in my very first cover reveal! Exciting, right? :)
So, without further ado, let me show you, Redheads are Soulless.
RedCoverFinal
High School senior, Sofia Black, has had a very hard life. Since her father’s death 7 years ago, she has had to look after her drug addicted, alcoholic mother. School isn’t any better for her either. The other kids constantly tease, and ridicule her. All she wants is to get out of her small hometown in Alabama.

When new student, Jason, shows up, Sofia’s world is turned upside down. She doesn’t understand why he wants to befriend her so badly… And, just when she thinks she can trust him, trouble appears.

Jason’s twin brother, Robbie, moves into town, and things go haywire. Sofia is now running for her life – and Jason is forced to share hidden secrets with her. She learns the truth about her father’s death, and finds out that she may not be as “human” as she once thought. She struggles to accept her fate, while fighting for her life.

Redheads are Soulless
To find out more about Heather White you can find her on her blog, here!
This cover was designed by SupaGurl Books who can be found here!
So, what do YOU think of the cover?
I personally think it looks stunning!!

Posted on 25 April, 2012 by Faye - No Comments


Indie Giveaway Hop

Posted on 23 April, 2012 by Faye - 14 Comments

Hey Guys!
Welcome to the Indie Giveaway Hop!
This Hop was created to support Indie authors who are struggling to get their books out there. Therefore, all participants of this hop are offering their followers books by indie authors.
For this giveaway, the wonderful Michael Cargill is offering up FIFTEEN copies of his book, Shades of Grey.
You may remember Michael Cargill from the interview I held with him, here, just a few days ago. Therefore, you should know that he is a great guy and definitely deserves this spotlight.
For your chance to win a copy of Shades of Grey, all you have to do is comment on this thread with your e-mail address.
This giveaway if INTERNATIONAL, as the copies of his book are in ebook format and will be given to the winners via Smashwords.
Don’t forget to check out my giveaway policy!
Now, leave me a comment with your e-mail address and hop along to the next stop on this giveaway hop!
And continue to SUPPORT indie authors!

Posted on 23 April, 2012 by Faye - 14 Comments