The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

Posted on 23 May, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments

* Click Banner for all stops on this tour *

 

Author: Shannon Greenland
Publisher: Speak
Published: May 10th 2012
Pages: Unknown
Format: Ebook (Kindle)
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads: Add It

Summary: (From Goodreads)

A great summer beach read filled with sunshine, cooking, and—of course—romance!

Elizabeth Margaret–better known as Em–has always known what her life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard, and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is, it’s not what she wants. So when she gets the opportunity to get away and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em learns that her family has some pretty significant secrets. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn’t. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels that for the first time ever, she is really living life on her own terms.

FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★★

This is a novel that captured me not from the first page, but from the title. I loved it. It sounded so… inviting. Instinctively it encouraged me to read the summary and I knew that this was a book I simply had to read. Now, after finishing that book, I can say with a degree of finality that it was one of the best decisions I have made in regards to picking a book to review. I wasn’t highly sure of what to expect with this book. I thought that it might be a nice ‘coming-of-age’ tale, maybe a light contemporary read and one that just grabs at you. In many ways, I was correct in these thoughts but it is also so much more than it all. It has depth that I didn’t expect to find and it holds a message that I really hold close to my heart. This novel teaches you to simply be you. And I should love it just for that reason alone, but that really just helped me to love it that much more.

Elizabeth Margaret comes from a very upper-class family. She is expected to follow the rules and expectations that her parents and grandmother have set out for her. She is always doing what they want, well, almost always anyway, and now graduating from her senior year at high school, she starts wondering if this life is exactly what she wants. So, when a chance to take a break from her parents and their scheduled lives, Elizabeth Margaret jumps at it and somehow persuades her strict parents to let her go. In my opinion, the contrast between Elizabeth Margaret and Em are outstanding. One in the same person, but Em is free-er, she is happier and braver and stronger and I absolutely loved her. I loved getting to know this character and understanding what she has dealt with and how she has been repressed. I enjoyed witnessing her transformation from the rigid Elizabeth Margaret into the much more experimental Em. You could really see her becoming happier with herself and it was great to witness.

My other favourite character in this book, is, without a doubt in the world, Cade. He was… stunning. Not in the ‘oh my goodness you’re so hot, I’ve got to have you now way’ – although his half-smiles were swoon-worthy – but more in the just… real way. He was a real person with a heavy upbringing and a deep secret and a dark background that he just carries around with him wherever he goes. I loved that he didn’t let it get to him, I loved that he was still able to laugh and smile and joke and be happy and he just showed how strong a person he was and how just brilliant a character he was. I honestly loved every second that he was on the page and wanted to treasure him every single time. He was, in every sense of the word, the perfect guy simply because he wasn’t perfect.

The other characters in this story were all great, they each had their own distinct personalities and I found myself feeling like I knew how they all fell together, what brought them together and how it just all fit. They all helped to make the story great and I just wanted to hold them all in my heart for years to come. They complimented the story but they didn’t overshadow it. They were all there for specific reasons and without it seeming like a burden. I loved them all. There wasn’t a single character that I truly disliked because, to me, they were all too real and just great to hate them. Yes, her parents and grandparents were irritating but that was just how they were, that was what they were like and from experience I just know that some people are. I didn’t like how they raised Em but I also appreciate that they did it in the best way they knew how. They still, at the end of the day, loved her and that, is all that matters.

I loved the setting of this book. I loved that I felt at piece reading the descriptions and imagining the places so vividly in my minds eye. I love that, even within the book it shows that the area can’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I know that without a fact I would have fit perfectly on that island. I would have made it my perfect little corner of the world and would never have left. And I think, if anything, one of the best messages of this book is simply that everyone is different. We all act certain ways because of the things around us, the way we were brought up and who we are but that, at the end of the day, we are all different and should be treated that way. Em was brought up in a strict household and yet she still learnt to do what she loved best and knew how to be who she wanted to, she just needed that little push to get her there. I just loved it so much. We are who we are and we should cherish that every day.

The writing style and the plot of this book was magnificent. I was swept away by the descriptions, I could see what was happening perfectly and I just felt like I was right there. The characters all had their own distinct voices and didn’t feel forced or made up and they were made up of some great varieties too. I loved the plot. I loved the journey that Em and her family went on. I loved the romance that wasn’t just there but was built upon. You were able to see why she liked him, why he found an interest in her because you felt that way about them both. You could see the way he looked at her and understood and you knew why she was so smitten with him, even if she had taken a disliking to him at the beginning. It was so brilliant to read and I really think that they quickly became one of my favourite couples of 2012.

All in all this was a novel that left me feeling happy and alive and just good. I loved the last line of the novel and I feel that it is something that everyone should feel about themselves. It was such a great read that I am looking forward to reading again and again. I would recommend this book to just about anyone who likes reading YA, wants a fun, quick contemporary novel that will have them smiling at the other end. Bear in mind, however, that there are parts that will shock you, that it does get deeper than it feels like it should but that it is just perfect. It’s not too much, it is just… it’s brilliant. Honestly, if you like reading YA, you need to read this novel. It will, hopefully, take your breath away and make you have a kind of restored faith in humanity and all it can offer us.

** I received this novel from Netgalley in return for an honest review **

Faye

Posted on 23 May, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments


Carnage (2011)

Posted on 22 May, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Title: Carnage
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written by: Yasmin Reza
Production Co: SBS Productions
Country: France

Main Cast: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly

Summary: Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the evening into chaos.

 

 

FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆

This film was one that made me leave the cinema with a smile on my face and questions racking about in my head. Simply put, it was a wonderful film that truly captured me and left me feeling good and happy (yet maybe slightly cynical of adult behaviour).

Kid one has hit kid two with a stick in the playground and their parents have come together to discuss it. What starts out as a polite and formal way of dealing with the matter, quickly transcends into something altogether more deeply disturbing. It is quickly shown that both couples, (as well as every individual), has issues and these are thrust into the middle of this somewhat hostile yet also peaceful environment.

The interactions between the characters felt natural, in the sense that you could see their uncomfortable feelings and behaviour while being able to relate to it and understand it. Soon these interactions provided full-on entertainment for the audience as they watched things within the room steadily go from bad to worse. It is probably a common thought among viewers, “thank god that’s not me,” while also hoping that if they were ever put in such a horrid predicament that they would act with a lot more dignity. Of course, the whole idea behind the film is that in reality, they probably wouldn’t.

Adapted from a play, it is easily noticeable how character-centric this film is. Set in only one location and with nothing but each other to act and react around, this film could have quite easily fallen flat on its face but, thankfully, this was not the case. The style of the film actually made it more interesting, it pulled you in closer to the film and helped to make it a more riveting experience. It isn’t often, after all, that films use only one apartment as a location for an hour and a half long film. But it uses this technique with style and I would certainly be interested to view more films like this. Then again, I have always enjoyed the theatre…

The actors of this film are truly inspirational and have really managed to capture the strong characteristics of their characters. They help to make the film seem more realistic and believable while managing to fill the screen with the uncomfortable atmosphere that stays throughout the film. It is this atmosphere that keeps the audience laughing throughout the film and just really manages to make it entertaining. Roman Polanski is known for strong character films and this film is definitely no exception to that and it is true to state that he is quickly becoming a director that I will be keeping an eye on.

This is definitely a film that makes you think, it gives you an insight into human behaviours and the irony of the things that we fight for and against. It also provides a distinct and unique view into the behaviours of adults and I just found it to be a truly compelling film that I really enjoyed watching. It is one that I would definitely be happy to watch again and again and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants a bit of entertainment and an hour and a bit of some fun, light but also heavy, film watching.

A truly spectacular and unique film that really hits the right spot.

Faye

Posted on 22 May, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Lighting A Hundred Small Fires

Posted on 21 May, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to the brilliant Robert Downs, author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Detective
He has written a lovely guest post on marketing. I hope you find it as interesting and enlightening as I did!

I read in one of my writing magazines that you need to light a hundred small fires to be successful in the marketing of your novel, and nine months into the marketing of my debut MANfiction novel Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator, I’d say this is an accurate way to look at the novel marketing process. Why? There is no set formula in novel marketing, otherwise the publishers would all have an unlimited supply of bestsellers on their hands, and all authors would pull in six figure incomes. We’d write all day long, instead of spending quite a bit of time in the promotion of our work. So what’s wrong with the process? Nothing really. With 500,000 or more novels in a given year, consumers have an unlimited supply of products to choose from, a limited amount of disposable income, and only a limited amount of reading time. So we as authors need to attack this giant forest, light fires on every available twig we can find, and sit back and watch the fruits of our labor.

Unless you receive a bit of luck early in the publication process, or you’re a household name with a built-in audience, you need to start feeding the marketing machine like an overstuffed teddy bear. Whether you’re with one of the big six, an independent publisher, or you self-publish, the marketing machine is going to become your new best friend, and early on, it may be your only friend. Whether you like it or not, novels are sold based on buzz, or word-of-mouth. It’s a chain reaction. If you’ve taken your lighter with you everywhere you go, very quickly the chain can get out of control. And so we’re back to 100 fires again. Without initial luck, it’s all based on level of effort.

Since my day job involves finance, the analogy I keep coming back to is building a client base as a stockbroker. I’ve read articles on the topic, worked for a successful broker for an entire summer, and at one point in my life, even interviewed to be a broker. So what did I learn? For the first five years, being a stockbroker is the hardest job in the world. You’re building a client base from the ground up, literally from scratch. The term for it is cold calling. You remember how much you hate telemarketers, don’t you? Well, when you’re a brand new broker, that’s literally your job for your first several years of existence. You’re picking up the phone and talking to people who have absolutely no reason to talk to you, other than the fact that you discovered their name on some list, and you’re lighting so many fires that the days actually run together, and you have nightmares about people hanging up on you.

As it was explained to me by a good friend of mine, and former colleague, it’s a numbers game. You have to start with a really large number to actually find the one. In my case, he was talking about finding the one you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with. Well, I found her, and it wasn’t easy, and so it is with books and the brokerage business. But this same analogy about relationships and marriage can be used for brokers and authors. It is very much a numbers game, and you have to decide what your number is going to be. If you want to sell a thousand books, then you better plan on reaching 50,000 or more people. If you want to sell 100,000, that’s great. But you better plan on reaching 5 million people. And these are actually conservative estimates. In most cases, the numbers will actually be significantly higher.

How do you reach these people? You need to think creatively. You attacked that blank cursor that blinked at you mockingly with every fiber of your being, and so it goes with book promotion. As my dad told me: if you put in the hard work, you will eventually find success. If you don’t put in the effort, then you’re going to lose before you even start the game, or in the 100 fire analogy, you won’t have any fires to light.


Robert Downs is the author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. A sample chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or his main character, can be located at his website.

 

Debut, hard-boiled mystery fiction for men. Stephen King’s son describes a fitting genre as MANfiction (the opposite of Chick lit).

Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention. So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn’t what it seems to be and he doesn’t have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey’s challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.

Posted on 21 May, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Blogspiration #10 – Happiness

Posted on 20 May, 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.

So, this week I’ve actually got a non-book, non-film quote for you all. But it’s on a subject that I hold dear to my heart; happiness. I remembering hearing this quote and it just stuck in my mind and I always come back to it whenever I’m having a bad day and it makes me remember that it’s okay to not always be happy.


We’re always thinking that someday we’ll be happy; we’ll get that car or that job or that person in our lives that’ll fix everything. But happiness is a mood, and it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired or hungry, it’s not permanent. It comes and goes, and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness a lot more often.

- Julian Baker, One Tree Hill


I love this quote. Like, hand on heart, head on pillow, love this. It’s just so perfect and I honestly could not agree more. Every aims for happiness, they aim to reach it’s destination by doing the things they think will equal it. Surrounding themselves with friends, buying things, getting a job, reading, watching movies and while these things are all good and they can indeed, make us happy, and that is brilliant and it is, as humans, what we need, but it isn’t the end all of everything. It’s overrated.

By this, I mean, that it’s okay to feel sad or angry or depressed or alone because without these feelings, without the negative ones, we’d never appreciate the positive ones like being in love, feeling happy and safe and secure. We can never know happiness until we’ve known pain. Kids understand this more than anyone. They can feel happy, scrape their knee, cry and then get up and carry on. They know that it’s okay to cry, that it’s okay to be sad for a little bit because in a while it’ll be over and they can get on with their lives.

I feel this can be said of everyone. We may feel sad at times, we may feel like the world is weighing us down and holding us back and that we’ll never feel happy again but it’s the knowledge that, at the end of the day, happiness will come and it may be fleeting but it will be there that makes everything okay. Things will never be perfect and trying to get to this point will only lead to sadness. Happiness may not be a destination, but it will be impossible to be happy if the journey we’re on is surrounded by what we feel is failure.

In the end all, I feel that this quote means that it’s okay to be sad at times, it’s okay to let the world get us down because we are only human. But I also feel that it’s trying to say that to help us be okay with ourselves is to be free. To let the world go on around us without trying to overthink and overanalyse things, but to just be.

Or something like that anyway.

What do you think? Do you agree that happiness isn’t a destination but a mood? Do you agree with me? Or do you have something else in mind? :)

Posted on 20 May, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments


Letterbox Love #4

Posted on 20 May, 2012 by Faye - 10 Comments

Letterbox Love is a new meme that was created by Kristy, Laura, Carly, Lynsey, Emma and Leanne and is being hosted on Lynsey’s blog, here.
The logo on mine is not the actual one. I made this myself before I realised a graphic had been made already but I love mine so I’m keeping it.

This week has been another slow week for me but it’s also, in turn, been a good week and I cannot wait to get stuck into all of my new reads!

bought

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: I have seen this one around the blogosphere and it looks like a really interesting read that lots of people have enjoyed and so when I got an e-mail from Amazon saying that it was only £1.99, I simply couldn’t resist picking it up! And I certainly am itching my fingers to read it!

The Incredible Hulk (2008): I watched this film in the cinema when it came out and I actually haven’t seen it since but I remember really liking it and with my love of the Avengers movie and re-watching Iron Man and Iron Man 2, I simply couldn’t resist purchasing it! Next up; Thor.

loan

Wither by Lauren DeStefano: So, last week I showed you that I received Fever and noted that I hadn’t yet read the first in the series. So I quickly reserved it at the library and this week was able to go and collect it! I look forward to reading it as I have heard so many great things about it and can’t wait to see if any of them are true!

for review

Saving Mary: The Possession by Deidre Havrelock: I’m reviewing this book for it’s book tour and I just think it sounds like a really interesting book. Really, anything paranormal that involves ghosts or spirits always grabs my attention but this one definitely caught my eye and I am really looking forward to reading it!

That’s all I got this week!

what did you get?

Posted on 20 May, 2012 by Faye - 10 Comments


Helens of Troy by Janine McCaw – Character Interview

Posted on 18 May, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments

Hey Guys!
So today as part of the Bewitching Book Tours I am introducing you all to the wonderful Ryan Lachey, one of the characters in Janine McCaw’s novel, Helens of Troy!
Hope you like the interview! There will also be a chance to win a copy of the novel at the bottom of this post!

Hello Ryan, and welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! Let’s start with something easy, describe yourself to us in three sentences.
Slammin’ and jammin’. I’m the runner with the thunder and the man with the plan. Two’s good, right?

*chuckles* Two’s good indeed! Now, I know you like football, but how old were you when you first decided you loved it?
I was twelve. My buddy Tom, he’s got this smile that can charm a chic in five seconds (I’ve counted). So one day he tells me he likes Jenny Smith and he’s going to meet her behind the portables after school. Well, I liked Jenny Smith, and Tom knew it. This did not sit well with me, even when I was twelve. So I waited across the ball court and watched for him to try hook up with Jenny. Sure enough, as soon as that bell goes off I see his skinny little ass running over to her. He runs like a girl. Just when he’s making his move, I took this other kid’s football and threw a perfect pass that hit Tom right in his million dollar smile. He needed sheet metal in his mouth after THAT toss. Unfortunately, the gym teacher saw the whole thing. He sentenced me to afternoon ball practice every other day for a month. In the end I got a new sport, Tom’s parents got a sizable dental bill that I think Betty (she’s my Ma) had to help pay for, and some book nerd got Jenny. Go figure.

Sounds like a nice little coincidence! But tell us, when you’re not at school, playing football, or with girls, what do you do with your time?
I play guitar. Betty bought me a six string a few years back, so I like to lay down the chorda when I get some time to myself. I know I’ve got this image as a big tough dude, but I like to chill and play a little country music from time to time. Don’t tell Tom, I play G&R when he’s around but I really like Toby Keith better. Ya know that song where he sings “How do you like me now?” to the chic that wouldn’t look at him when he was a nobody? That’s like my theme song. I’m going to get a scholarship and I’m going to turn pro, and I’m going to be fly with the ladies and Tom will be all, “dude, can I come along?” And I’ll be all “I’ll think about it.” I’ll let him, but I’ll make him sweat a bit.

That really makes me want to know, how did you and Tom become friends?
I don’t know what was in the water when they were doin’ the nasty in Troy, but when I got to grade one, there were only like five guys in my class. It was loaded with girls. I like chics now, but in grade one man, I was like “cooties”, so I went to the front of the class so I wouldn’t have to look at them. Tom was up there too because he was freakin’ blind and didn’t have contacts yet. He couldn’t see the stupid chalk board, so I had to keep whispering answers to him. I got him an “A” and he got me detention for talking in class. I guess I was a rebel even then because I still liked the guy and we’ve been buds ever since.

Each to their own I suppose! So, what I’m sure we’re all dying to know is; what were your first initial thoughts about Ellie?
When I first saw Goth-Chic under that streetlamp on Halloween, I thought she was a freakazoid. She was all dressed in black and her hair was hanging down over her face. She shot me a look that was creepy…but hot at the same time. Hot in a Wednesday Addams kind of way. My brother Stan called her Cruella. Stan’s pretty observant for a kid. Then I figured out she knew my neighbour, Mrs. LaRose. Mrs. LaRose makes my pants get tight, know what I mean? Tom thinks that’s weird because she’s the mom of a mom, but the throbs man, they happen when they happen, right? But Goth-Chic and I are friends now.

Okay then, that gets me curious about who you do like so, tell us, what type of girls are you most attracted to?
Tara’s not going to read this, is she? She thinks she’s my girlfriend and if I say anything, she’s going to do my head in. Okay, when I was fifteen, I was all into the blonde thing. And then I met Jacey Sumner. She’s super fine to look at, but she sucks the energy right out of me, and not in a good way. I can only listen to her for so long and then my brain starts to swell. That’s not what’s supposed to be swelling around a chic. So now I’m leanin’ towards babes that aren’t all THAT, if you know what I mean.

I sure do Ryan, I sure do! So what were your initial thoughts to all the supernatural goings on in Troy?
When Goth-Chic first told Tom and me about the dream she had about the vampire, we damn near pissed ourselves, we were laughing so hard. Little Brook Quinlan was in Goth’s dream too, and she had gone missing for real. I got to thinking…how did Goth know about the old bridge out by Tara’s place? She’d just moved to Troy. She’d never even been there. So I figured I go out there and take a look. Whoa! BAD decision.

Off topic now though Ryan, I think we all want to know, what are your top three favourite movies, and why?
1. The Avengers. Tony Stark, man. That’s me in five years, but I’d lose the suit.
2. Rudy. I don’t know how you can be a football player and a Hobbit, but Sean Astin was pretty good in it.
3. Jerry McGuire. Show me the money.

Okay, okay, and who are your top three female celebrities?
The Kardashians. I like big butts and I don’t know why.

Quick Fire Round

Tea or Coffee?
Coffee.

Pepsi or Coke?
Coke.

Chocolate or Vanilla?
I like it when they come out of the same machine at Dairy Queen.

Xbox or PS2?
Xbox all the way. I play Halo with Stan.

Guitar or Piano?
Guitar.

Younger or Older?
HAHAHAHAHA….this is a trick question, right?

Most Cherishable Memory?
The whole thing with Goth-Chic and the vampire dude. Helena did something to my Mom and Stan, so they don’t remember anything about it, but I made her promise she wouldn’t do it to me.

Memory you most want to forget?
Don’t tell ANYONE that vampire tackled me and wrecked my shoulder for a while.

Thank you Ryan, it’s certainly been a pleasure getting to know a little more about you! I’m sure everyone is now dying to read more of you in your story!

And, if that truly is the case, then you should enter the giveaway to win a free e-copy of the novel!

Helens-of-Troy

by Janine McCaw

Genre: FANTASY/SUPERNATURAL

“The Gilmore Girls meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Fifteen year old Goth-chic Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch. All on the first night!

But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having — the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy — because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.

Then there’s the little matter between Helena and Gaspar BonVillaine, the teenaged vampire who is learning to feed on young prey. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.

To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether its time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy”.

Author Janine McCaw (Olivia’s Mine, Feb. 2006,) has written this 100,000 word novel, the first in a fantasy series about “the Helens”. The three generations of gatekeepers will take the reader on a trip to a realm mere mortals fear to visit alone, and they’ll make her want to stay a while.

Giveaway is open to EVERYONE.
You do not need to follow my blog. You can live anywhere, with any e-reader (or computer).
All you need to do is comment with your e-mail and on June 1st I will use random.org to pick a winner!
GOOD LUCK!

Posted on 18 May, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments


Behind The Blog #2 – Looking at the Parents

Posted on 17 May, 2012 by Faye - No Comments

Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
This week, because of the recent celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re looking at parents. Be free with it: Maybe write a good memory you have with them. Or ponder something like: How did your parents affect your life? What do you feel about other people’s parents? What’s it like being a parent yourself? Take it and make it your own!

For my post this week, I’ve decided that I’m going to tell you a little bit about my mother. And the first thing I will admit is that I love her, and she is basically the best thing in my life, period. She is, without a doubt and without any other way of describing her; my rock. Whenever I have a problem, she’s the first person I turn to. Whenever I just need someone to chat to or to take life’s troubles away, she’s always there, just a phone call away. She would drive to come to my rescue if it called for it and she would do it all without blinking an eye. She keeps me stable when I feel like I’m about to fall apart and there is just no one else on earth that I love more than her. Therefore, it was not rocket science to decide that I needed to dedicate a post to her.
Even with how much I love my mum, I never truly appreciated her as I was growing up. Yes, I loved her and I liked having her around but as a teenager she was always just there and I was always just waiting to get away and spend time with my friends, outside of the house. I was ready to be independent. I wanted to just do things on my own without being coddled every time I came in the house. So, when I went away on a gap year at eighteen, I was happy to finally be free. And I really enjoyed my time away, I loved being independent and looking after myself and growing up and I realised that I was good at it all because she taught me how to be that way. She taught me how to cook, how to clean, how to look after myself and a lot of my character today is just because of her. Saying all of that, however, even being across the pond, I still didn’t felt that I needed her. I was growing, I was being independent, and I certainly didn’t need my mum around.
I survived my gap year and when I came home, it felt odd to be at her house again, under her eye and having to ask permission to do things, or tell her where I was going to be everyday. It didn’t feel right. Then I went to my first year of university and again, I was fine on my own. I was ready for the world; I had done this before. And that year passed with barely any problems and I managed it and I lived to tell the tale. Then came second year, things got tougher, I was suddenly organizing all the bills and rent and living in close quarters with three friends who just didn’t live the same way I was used to. Everything was different and unsure and I quickly found myself searching for my mum, calling her when I could to get her opinion on things or just to talk and see how things were going. It was this year that I first started to feel homesick and I ended up driving home more often than not, craving to spend time with my mum. I learnt how much she meant to me, I saw how much she did for me and I knew that she was the greatest person in the world.
Third year got harder still, especially in December when things took a turn for the worse and our house got burgled. They came into my room and stole my laptop. That would have been bad enough, but then it was the not being able to sleep, even after I had quadrople checked the door was locked, of the nightmares that awoke me in the middle of the night, my heart beat racing as I glanced at the backdoor to make sure it really was shut. I jumped at silly noises in the house that I barely paid any attention to before, and I just became scared and fragile. Then, there was my mum. Who picked up the pieces of me, talked me through things, helped me to get back on my feet. And that was when we got the scare. The ‘is-it-cancer’ scare and my heart literally broke. I found myself thinking about life without her and I broke down at the thought. It became unbearable to hear other people’s “small problems” when I was worried that my mum wasn’t going to be around much longer. I quickly learnt to appreciate her more. I told her I loved her more than I used to, and I just made sure to show her how much she meant to me.
That scare was just a scare, my mum is perfectly healthy (you-know, minus the menopause and forgetfulness) and I couldn’t be more thankful. There are still times when I crawl into a deep dark hole when I think about life without my mum in it. I get upset when I hear others talk about their mums who have passed or aren’t well and I want to comfort them, to tell them that I understand, even if it’s never happened to me. I am an independent woman. I am strong. But I am these things because of my mother. She raised me to be these things. I also know that it is still possible to be independent while going to your parents for advice. They’re there for you. They only ever want success for you and my mum has never been anything but proud of me. She pushes me on when I’m slacking and builds me up when I’m down. She is my rock and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Books
So, now, to relate all of this back to books, somehow, I’m going to talk about some of my favourite parents in some of the books I’ve read.
  • Lucas by Kevin Brooks; I love Caitlin’s dad. He is a writer, but he also encourages her to be a writer herself. He helps her to sort out her emotions and her story and is just there for her when she needs him. I found him to be an inspiration.
  • Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling; I adore Mr and Mrs Weasley. They are just the best parents. The perfect mix of strict (Mrs) and laid back (Mr) and they brought up an amazing family while still happy to open up their family to others (Harry and Hermione) and I know that one day, I’d be proud to be like them.
  • Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult: There is no doubt in my mind that Mariah is a brilliant mum. She is so protective of Faith, she only wants to look after her and make her life the best it can be. It is so inspiring and you can just tell that things are going to be perfect for them both.

There we have it! I was going to add Films into this as well but my brain is quickly diminishing and I can’t, for the life of me, think of any good parental role models in films at the moment. I’m sure that this will change and I may edit my post a bit later on, but for now, I’m just going to leave this bit blank.
But now that you’ve got to here, why don’t you join us!
Behind the Blog is a new meme for bloggers themselves. To find out more, check out the introduction on my blog or that on Kathe’s.
Are you joining us? Here are our rules:
  • The hosts’ Behind the Blog posts go live at midnight on Friday, GMT + 0:00. Feel free to post before that and then just link up on Friday!
  • Feel free to make use of the button shown above or, if it clashes with your blog colors, e-mail us or make your own.
  • Read, write, and connect! The Linky is there for you. Make use of it!
  • Last but not the least, have fun!

Posted on 17 May, 2012 by Faye - No Comments


Lyrical Press Author Blitz Day!

Posted on 17 May, 2012 by Faye - 11 Comments

Prizes are: 1 winner will win one copy of an ebook from Annie’s Back list and one winner will win Stephanie’s Unraveling Midnight. All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog post.

Visit the 5 other blogs also doing Blitz’s Day for more opportunities to win.

Jagged Edge Reviews

Jess Resides Here

Book & Movie Dimension

Spellbound by Books

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

 

Sigma   The Vanguards: Book 5  
To defend and protect, at any cost.   Sam is Sigma of his pack, defender of the innocent and frail. Too bad the one time it mattered most, though the urge to guard the weak runs strong in his shifter blood, he failed to protect his best friend from an attack. Just when his self-confidence can’t go any lower, he becomes entangled in a vampire skirmish and is left with an injured female in his arms.   Vampire accountant for Pal Robi, Inc., Clementine can’t believe her master would ask her to commit corporate espionage. She’s shot when discovered, but a shifter comes to her rescue. It’s as if he’s made of her fantasies, and in the few hours with him she lives more than the decades she’s spent among her clan.   Hiding with him on the streets of Chicago, in the midst of fighting together to stay alive, can a petite vampire break through her hero’s jaded heart?   WARNING: Hot dominating sex, an action packed evening, and a first date gone all to hell.


 Bio:  Annie Nicholas writes paranormal with a twist. Her stories are off the beaten path as she creates romantic, suspenseful, attention grabbing fiction. She hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont, where she dreams of different worlds and conflicts to pit her characters against. Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging over the hills and dales of her adopted state. The four seasons an inspiration and a muse. Visit Annie Nicholas at http://www.annienicholas.webs.com/  


Unraveling Midnight by Stephanie Beck
Blurb: An entanglement with a werewolf brings unexpected turns. Scott, a lone werewolf expelled from his pack, bends over backward to give his kids everything he can – including knitting lessons for his daughter. Learning to knit becomes much more appealing with Lucy Jamieson as the teacher. His heightened senses tell him the compassionate and beautiful human might be what he and his little band need, yet getting involved with Lucy means exposing her to his paranormal reality. Although Lucy’s childhood skewed her expectations of family, she recognizes and respects Scott’s desire to protect and provide for his kids. When Scott is hit by a truck, Lucy offers to help with the kids–and gets more than she bargained for after learning Scott’s true nature.

Excerpt: Scott still rested when Lucy turned on the little lamp beside the loveseat on the opposite wall of the room. He was so big, yet on the couch, he looked smaller. Pain did that to a person and her heart broke a little. She wished she could do something for him. She twisted the metal cap off the beer bottle and tried to be quiet, but it hissed when it released. Scott’s eyes flew open and she wished she’d grabbed a glass of water.

“Sorry I woke you,” she whispered. “I hope you don’t mind.”

“No, not at all. Help yourself to whatever you want.” He looked a little off, but she couldn’t quite place what was wrong. Were his eyes blurry?

“Are you feeling okay, Scott? Can I bring you some water or anything?”

“I feel funny,” he said, his grin cockeyed and adorable. Cute or not, warning bells went off in Lucy’s head.

“Fever, maybe?” She set aside her beer and hurried to him, pressing the back of her hand to his forehead. “Oh, honey, you’re burning up.”

“Mmm.” He rubbed his head to her hand like an animal begging for a petting. His hand snuck out from his blanket and Lucy started when it wrapped just above her knee. “You smell so good.”

She laughed lightly. “I’m glad you think so, Scott. I need to find your Tylenol. Where do you keep it, so I can get you some to bring this fever down?”

“No meds. It’ll pass.” He kept rubbing his face to her hand. “Mmmm, so good. Everyone should smell as good as you.”

“Oh.” He massaged her thigh and, though his hand didn’t move up, it kept her attention. “Scott, you need to let me loose so I can get you some medication, sweetie.”

“I’d like to be your sweetie,” he said. “I’d even let you call me stupid stuff like cupcake.”

The fever had to be loosening up his tongue. The stoic, tough Scott she’d known so far wasn’t so chatty, but still, it was incredibly nice to hear his silly words directed at her.

“You should come snuggle me,” Scott said, tucking her hand beneath his cheek. “You know, in case I get the chills or something.”

“Right, I don’t see that happening, big boy. You need to sleep this off if you don’t think Tylenol will help.”

“Naw, doesn’t work. Just snuggles and pets soothe the wolf.” Her confusion at his odd words was probably the reason she let herself be tugged down to sit on the sofa near his head. In a flash, he had his head docilely in her lap and the crazy talk was done, Scott back to sleep.

She sighed. How she got herself into situations like this, she’d never know. Maybe she was too nice. She should have been more firm with Scott. If she had, she’d be enjoying her beer. She rested her hand on his shaved head. It was a little warm and since it seemed to soothe him, she stroked her hand from his forehead to his neck. She had to admit the change of seating wasn’t that bad. If she were across the room in her chair with a beer, she wouldn’t be touching Scott.

The unexpected tradeoff was better than she’d have thought. He was softer than he looked and even though he always said she smelled good, he was the one who really smelled different. A really wonderful different.


 
 Bio: Even before she understood what all the thrusting meant, Stephanie Beck loved reading romance. When the stories didn’t end the way she wanted, writing her own was the perfect solution. From ridiculous humor to erotica, Stephanie loves being transported within a story. When she’s not elbow deep in words, her husband and three beautiful command her attention. After they are sleeping she knits or bakes cookies…or squeezes in more writing.

Links: www.stephaniebeck.net www.facebook.com/StephanieBeckAuthor www.twitter.com/StephBeck123


Posted on 17 May, 2012 by Faye - 11 Comments


Amethyst Eyes by Debbie Brown

Posted on 16 May, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments

Amethyst Eyes2

Author: Debbie Brown
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: August 29th 2011
Pages: 292
Format: Ebook
Source: Review Copy from the Author
Goodreads: Add It

Summary:

The biggest thing on 15-year-old Tommy’s mind is convincing Mom to let him go to the drive-in, but when an accident claims his mother’s life and puts him in the hospital, the arrival of his estranged, alien father brings more changes than he had bargained for.It doesn’t take his father long to figure out that Tommy knows nothing about who or what he is. Without any explanation, Tommy finds himself onboard his father’s spaceship where he is forced to trust a man he does not know in a world he knows even less about. Adapting to his new life seems overwhelming, and his father’s solution may prove to be Tommy’s finest challenge yet…Jayden. A few months younger than Tommy, high strung and always in a mood, the doctor’s daughter definitely didn’t like being ‘told’ to help Tommy fit in. Jayden is not the most welcoming or patient of tutors, let alone a friend.As fate would have it, Tommy quickly learns that none of these things compare to the peril that comes from being born with amethyst eyes.

 THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★☆☆

I feel that the first thing I need to say before I start this review is that I never used to like Sci-Fi. In fact, I avoided it completely, certain that it was not a genre I was going to like. The problem being that my view of Sci-Fi was that it was all like Star Wars, Star Trek, or Battleship Gallatica; shows that really did not appeal to me at all. Then, I realised that avoiding an entire genre based on a few shows/films was a silly thing to do and since then I have realised that while I’m still not a lover of sci-fi shows and movies, I am finding some absolute gems in the book department. And that is what brings me to Amethyst Eyes. This was a book that I really enjoyed reading. It was inventive and imaginative and was a real treasure that I think everyone should go and read when they get the chance!

So, you’re now probably sitting there after reading that and wondering; but why three stars? Should I explain my rating system to you? Maybe. I do not like half stars. I find them irritating, a sort-of scapegoat to the five star system, if you will. You might as well be grading it out of ten if you’re going to use half stars. With that said, this book was truly difficult to pick a rating for. At times I raced through the words, making me know I was ready to give it four stars and then at other times I felt that it really should be a three star. In the end, because I couldn’t quite come to a decision and was in that middle “grey” area, I have decided to give it three stars.

I’ve already said this, but I feel it needs reciprocating. I loved the inventiveness of this novel. Debbie has really dove into her imagination on this one and bought to life a new world, one full of bizarre technology and frightening dangers unheard of here on Earth. It was such a unique galaxy and space and I just really loved reading about it and hearing more about it. I found myself wanting to know more about the world, wanting my own questions about the world answered instead of Tommy’s. It was magnificent and is, I am starting to realise, one of the best things about sci-fi novels. The creative worlds that authors imagine is just, dazzling and inspirational. And I was certainly inspired.

The characters in this story were really interesting too. I liked Tommy, while at the same time I disliked him. It was hard to get where his head was at because, well, let’s face the facts, I’m not a fifteen year old boy, but I feel that the fact I couldn’t always understand his decision or his thoughts just showed how well Debbie was able to write his character. I really liked Jayden, especially when you really got to know her and she came out of her shell. She was a great character to root for and I certainly found myself rooting for her! Tommy’s dad was really well placed as well, he was the Colonel, he had to be distant but at the same time he was a dad and he wanted to be protective and care for his son and the switch between his two roles was often admiring. I liked how he took control whenever he had to but that, at the same time, he was willing to lose it when it was necessary. He was a great character to get to know.

This story was not short on action. From the very first chapter, the reader is thrown into the action of it all and while it does stop, there is always something else just waiting around the corner. These action scenes were also well written. They weren’t confusing so you didn’t know what was going on but were well thought out and described everything in just enough detail. Some of the non-action scenes did seem to go on for a bit, it was at these parts that my rating of the book slipped but I also know that these were necessary scenes for the novel to work, it was the background that needed to be explained for other parts of the story to work as well.

Along with the action, the plot of this story was really interesting. I liked witnessing the journey that Tommy took, but also that of Jayden and his father. I was intrigued with how things happened and I really wanted to know what would happen next. It was interesting to witness how it was all connected and worked together and I just loved reading through it all. I especially loved the ending. I loved how it all came together, how the changes all the characters went through affected them and how they acted in this final scene and how it has essentially set the scene for the next ‘chapter’ – so to speak. The ending truly grabbed at me and made me want to read more and I am certainly waiting on tender hooks to see if another book will be written. In a way, the ending is ambiguous, it could be left where it is but this reader hopes that there is more on the way.

This book is one that is easy to read, it is fun and interesting and creative. It is action-packed and really grabs a hold of the reader. It has a really brilliant storyline and the ending really packs quite the punch. It is not a complicated read and is definitely something that everyone should consider picking up and giving a go. It deserves all the love it can get and I hope that it gets it! I would recommend this to younger readers (aged 15-18), readers who love sci-fi and adventure and to anyone who just wants a light but imaginative and fun read that will hook them in and make them wish for more.

Before I read and wrote this review, I had the pleasure of interviewing Debbie Brown and if you missed it, you can find that review, here.

** I received this book in return for an honest review **

Faye

Posted on 16 May, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments


Blogger Spotlight – INTERVIEW!

Posted on 16 May, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments

Hey Guys!
So I’m finally going to let you all get to know Theta a bit more! In my opinion he’s absolutely awesome, but here’s just evidence of that so you can all see it too!
Without further Ado;

ThetaBloggerSpotlight1

Tell us a little something about yourself!
Firstly, thank you for the interview.  It’s nice to be given airspace on somebody else’s blog.

For those of you who either know me through Twitter or through chatting to me, I’m a major film addict and try to get to my local cinema once a week.  I also enjoy theatre, which I never thought I would do after the torture of enduring Shakespeare at High School (cough, splutter) years ago (it was “The Scottish Play”), but I now try to get to London’s West End at least once a year to see a few plays and musicals.

I returned to reading as a leisure activity after an absence of quite a few years where I would half read books and throw them away, but a friend of mine, who we’ll come to later persuaded me to join Goodreads and then get into blogging.

Oh… and I’m a major Whovian too.

How long have you had your blog?
The blog’s been going since just after New Year 2012.

Do you enjoy running your blog?
Yes, I genuinely do.  Not so much the whole “What have I got to write about?” thing, but I do enjoy coming up with a finished product.  For me, it’s the whole pleasure of “meeting” new readers, albeit virtually, finding out what other people are watching and reading, and making some new friendships.

When you started, did you ever think that it would end up the way it has?
Well, it was a bit of an unknown quantity for me when I first started so I was genuinely nervous about blogging because I thought, “Have I got something to say that other haven’t said?” and I did feel like I was bursting in on a well established “family”.  However, I’m now of the mindset that it’s not so much a case of saying something that someone else hasn’t said, but making my opinion known alongside other people’s opinions, which are equally as valid.

Plus, it’s lovely to get ideas of new books to read and speak to new people.  An example of this is the fact that I’ve got into YA and really enjoy it.  (I could go on and on about how YA is important).

Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog, if there is, tell us!
Well, it’s not an interesting one, really.  I used to write reviews for the Rotten Tomatoes website and due to a variety of factors I decided to strike out on my own following some prompting by a group of friends who I made through the site, including Reanna from the “On The Shelf” blog.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I decided to start my blog shortly after New Year and the only name that popped in my head was “Resolution Corner”.  Sorry, as I said, not that interesting, really.

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.
I started it up as just a book and film blog as they are my two main interests where I would get a regular output.  However, after I went to see the John Williams Birthday Concert back in February I decided to include theatre.

I did include a couple of reviews for the “Sherlock” series and genre series reviews may return if people want to read them… especially when Season Seven of “Doctor Who” returns.

For the regular postings, I do book, film and theatre reviews as I read or seen the book/film/play in question – what can I say, I have a poor memory plus I try to bring out the original impact of how it felt to me as I do get personally attached to something like a book that I’ve read for a while, whether my opinion is positive or negative.

I try to keep a regular format so people can get an idea when certain articles take place, but I’m not afraid to experiment on the basis that if I get bored writing the blog it’ll show up, which means people will get bored reading it.

Do you participate or host and blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
Hmmm… I don’t know if they’re memes as such, but I do host several regular articles within my site plus I’m trying out a couple of new ones.

Every week I host “Vlog Of The Week” where I promote vlogs which have caught my eye and give a little bit of background of the person behind the blog.  I am looking to change things up a little and I may be alternating this one with my new regular posting “Desert Island Books” where I ask a blogger or vlogger to say which books they’d like to be stranded on a desert island with.  (If anyone wants to take part in either of these, please Tweet me as it’s my way of saying Thank You to the people who have supported me).

I do a once a month Book Haul where I say which books I’ve bought or got as freebies through Amazon by keeping an eye out for free book promotions on Twitter.

The final one that I am experimenting with is “Book v Film” where I compare the experience between the book and the film which was an idea given to me by one of my readers, Tabetha.  The first one was on “The Hunger Games” and having read all three books, it was interesting to compare the book against the film especially knowing what I know now.

*EDIT* Rather than doing the once a month Book Haul I mentioned, which was problematic this month as it was getting too unwieldy.  I am now going to take part in the new weekly meme created by Vicky from “Books, Biscuits and Tea” called Showcase Sunday, which is her replacement for IMM.

What about blog tours and blog hops? Have you ever or do you ever want to participate in them?
Never participated on a blog tour.  They’re not something that’s on my radar just yet, but never say never.

I do read a lot of other blogs out there, more to get ideas of what to read rather than any kind of blog hopping activity.

What is the best book you read in 2011?
This is the one where I’m on dodgy ground because I really only got back into reading because of my Kindle that I got at Christmas.

What about in 2012?
A really tough question.  I would have to say “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green just for its emotional impact and “Live for the day” message.  But there are honourable mentions for “Divergent” by Veronica Roth which was my first Dystopian read and “The Hunger Games” trilogy.

My favourite independent book so far is “10 Ways To Kill A Cupid” by Leigh Parker.  It is so funny and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

Favourite non-fiction is a tie between “Nerd Do Well” by Simon Pegg and “America The Edible” by Adam Richman

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?
My most recent one, not for the want of trying, is “The Gift” by Cecelia Ahern.

I am a sucker for “Christmas Fable” type stories (my favourite film is “It’s A Wonderful Life”) and last year was the third year in a row where I tried to read this book cover to cover… and the third year I gave up.

What is your favourite book genre?
I seem to be gravitating towards YA at present, but I’m trying to add new books into the mix every now and then, especially after reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy back-to-back-to-back.

On the main, it’s a case of anything that takes my fancy.

Quick Fire Round
ebook or hardcopy?
E-book.  I am a confessed lazy reader and e-books keep my interest which leads me to think that it’s a psychological thing about book size.
ya or adult? At present, YA with a dash of adult
vampires or werewolves?
As a fan of George from the UK version of “Being Human”, werewolves every time.
chocolate or vanilla?
Easy answer – chocolate (especially chocolate cupcakes and chocolate cake).
harry potter or twilight?
Get me on that Hogwarts Express, it has to be Harry Potter… plus the fact that the word “Expelliarmus” has featured in a “Doctor Who” episode along with the Tenth Doctor’s confession that the seventh book made him cry.  “Good Old J.K.!!!” indeed.
four or peeta?
I can only answer this as a male reader, but at this stage the jury’s out as I’ve only read “Divergent” (at the time of writing) which is only one book in comparison to the three that have featured Peeta.  However, both are well written characters who have faced some really nasty trials.

Katniss or Tris:
As for which side of the fence I sit on Katniss or Tris.  It has to be Katniss.

The reason I say this is based on Katniss’s motivations throughout the whole “Hunger Games” trilogy.  Katniss is guided by some moral instinct to protect others – whether it be her family and friends in District 12, the friends and “allies” that she makes in The Capitol or The Hunger Games, and most predominantly Peeta.  This behaviour starts right from the opening chapters of “The Hunger Games” when she becomes a Tribute in Prim’s place and this becomes her default setting throughout the book.

Tris’s choice at the start of “Divergent” appears to be guided by self interest in so much as she feels that she doesn’t belong in Abnegation.  Granted, she does make some difficult decisions which are borne from the fact of her personality traits, but I have to say that it’s that first choice which could be seen as self interest that sets the template for Tris whereas Katniss does what she has to do out of necessity and a moral urge.
series or single?
No preference.
blogger or wordpress?
Blogger – it’s easier for this particular techno-incompetent to use.

And finally,

Is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
Just a big thank you to everyone who has either commented, suggested, tweeted or just said Hi.  You’ve been really supportive in these first few months of the blog.

That means a great deal, confidence wise, to me and it proves what a great community the book blogging/vlogging community is.

Finally, if you want to be in a “Vlog Of The Week” or a “Desert Island Books”, please get in touch.

So there you have it! You now know more about Theta now. All you need to do now is hop along to his blog here and follow him because he is awesome.

Posted on 16 May, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments