Behind the Blog #14; Summer Extravaganza!

Posted on 19 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments

BTB4

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!

As summer slowly winds down, I thought it might be nice to reflect on the sunny season. Did you take any fun trips this summer? Make an amazing memory you’d like to share? What’s your favorite summer activity? In relation to books: What are some good “beach reads” you’d recommend for these last few weekends of summer?


* First off, I just want to apologise for not posting this on Friday, things got a little busy but better late than never, right? :D*

I have always preferred winter over summer. I like the rain and I like being able to curl up in front of the fire with a nice hot cup of cocoa and just settle down with a good book. I like the cold that winter brings and how it makes it seem okay to just sit back and relax. Summer, on the other hand, is notoriously known for it’s activities, and day trips, and fun, fun, fun. Which, you know, I don’t have a problem with but it can get a little on the busy side.

My summer has definitely been busy. Between graduating, moving home, working and socialising, it’s felt like I’ve never stopped. Being back at home, my little sister – being the active person she is – is constantly bored and wanting to do something; and she doesn’t class reading or watching tv and films as something. So I’ve been more active in the house than I have been in a long time which has also helped to cut down my reading time.

But I have loved it.

This summer, while all over the place, has been a good one. I am craving the winter months but I have enjoyed myself this summer despite that. I’ve been to my first proper wedding and it was beautiful, I’ve been on a spontaneous holiday that was brilliant and I’ve been getting more active then I’ve been in a while. But it’s definitely not a lifestyle that I could keep yearly. I think this summer has worked out for me because I know that in a short while, the winter will arrive and life will start to slow down again and you know what – I can’t wait!

Really the best thing to happen to me this summer was my graduation. I still can’t believe I’ve graduated – feels so surreal – but I’m so happy for it and the day itself was just brilliant, stressful and hectic, but brilliant none-the-less. What was your best moment this summer?


In relation to books, my memory of books I read when I was younger is shady at best but I do know that I don’t tend to read many summer-y books, preferring to stick my head into paranormal and fantasy books! But the top three books I would choose as great summer reads (they may not particularly be about summer but are great books to read in the summer) are;
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington; I have actually only just finished this one recently and I loved it. It was brilliant and the whole road trip going throughout the book just reminded me of summer holidays because that’s the best time to road trip.
  • If You Could See Me Now by Cecila Ahern; There really isn’t a book of Cecila’s that I don’t absolutely love but this one was so magical that it would best be read in the summer. It’s about imaginary friends on the surface but underneath it’s about being who you are and not who you think you should be. It’s simply amazing.
  • The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland; This book just really moved me. It was set in the summer – the summer before college and it was a coming-of-age story that just really shook me. Charming and beautiful, a perfect read for a beach day.

There are probably a lot more books I’ve read that have that perfect summer feel but these three are so magical and moving that they simply had to be spotlighted!


There are so many films out there that have some aspect of summer in them but I definitely think the best films to watch in the summer are animations. It’s a time to come together as a family and to sit and watch a good film that is heart-warming and charming all around. Three films I would suggest as great summer films are;
  • Up (2009); This film will always be one of my absolute favourites. It is the only film that has ever made me cry within the first two minutes and yet manages to make me laugh throughout the rest of it. It is beautiful and inspiring and a brilliant film to watch after a glorious day in the sun.
  • Wall-E (2008); There is something so touching about this film, don’t you think? Barely any words are spoken in this animation and yet it is such a moving and marvellous film that captured thousands of people’s hearts. I love Wall-E and Eve and think that this film would make for perfect watching in the summer months.
  • Finding Nemo (2003); This has been my favourite animation since I first saw it. I could watch this film over and over again and never get bored. It is so dynamic and fun and amazing that it would be impossible not to like. This is a great summer watch as afterwards you can go to the aquarium nearest you and find nemo and dory and well, the whole gang just waiting for you. A brilliant film.

There are many more animation films out there that are perfect for the summer, but these three are ones I would easily watch over again while the sun shone perfectly in the sky.


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Posted on 19 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments


Blogspiration #18; Dreams

Posted on 19 August, 2012 by Faye - 6 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.

Okay, so this week has been quite hectic on my side of things. I went on a spur-of-the-moment holiday trip which was busier than I thought and when I returned, after eating out for so many days I decided I needed to do something about it and my little sister has actually started running every day as well as working out on the Wii Fit for 30mins too and I decided I would join her. With that, my volunteering, my job and socialising, time to spend on the blog just went way down. This blogspiration, however, is about making the best of who you are and what you can be; which is what I plan to do with this blog and off this blog!

While on holiday we went shopping and in one of the shops, there were some really pretty and really inspirational quotes on small little plaques. Eventually I took the plunge and bought one – and it turned out to be the last one of that type! Anyway, this is what I bought;

 photo
* sorry for the low quality photo – taken on iTouch*

Dream
Take all that you’ve become
to be all that you can be,
soar above the clouds
and let your dreams
set you free.

So, it’s probably no mystery that recently I’ve been feeling a little lost. After graduating from university and having a lot of decision to make, it just felt like my life was taking me backwards instead of forwards. It’s been a struggle and while I’m not fully in the clear and probably still have a long way to go before I can finally say I know where I’m going in life, this message really struck home for me.

University has, at times, felt more like a burden to me lately. Some employers like that you’ve graduated but some frown upon it – because surely you’re too intelligent to work for us. It’s been an internal battle for me but now I know that it is a journey I have loved and taken and while it may not have given me vital work experience, it has helped to shape who I am.

So I am going to take all who I have become to be all that I can be, I’m going to soar above the clouds and let my dreams set me free. I am going to apply for every film or book related job that comes my way that is in the field I’m most interested in – organisation. I won’t let university be a waste, it’ll be a part of who I will forever be.

With that in mind, I say to you all to do the same thing. Don’t get yourself buried in nonsense, let your mind at rest and let your dreams set you free.

I hope that my blogspiration can inspire you as much as it has me.

Posted on 19 August, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments


GIVEAWAY! One-Year Anniversary Approaching!

Posted on 15 August, 2012 by Faye - 81 Comments

Holy Cow Batman! As of today this blog has been up and running for ELEVEN MONTHS. And I am shocked. The above plug picture says it all really. I am beyond words. I never, never, never thought I would stick around this long. I thought for sure that this would be a project that I would have long since given up on and yet, here I still am, approaching my blogs first true birthday.

And let’s face it, I’m a proud mama bear.

Given that I’ve been around for so long, I thought that it was only fair that I share my happiness and gushiness with all of you. I am still in awe about how many followers I have and I love each and every one of you so much! I know I haven’t said it a lot lately but I promise, you mean more to me than so many people I know IRL. <3

*cough*

But you want prizes right?

There will be FOUR winners!
Those winners will have the choice of ONE book out of the following collection*

*these books are all books I have loved reading since having my blog but if there is a book someone REALLY wants and it’s within price range, I may be able to budge :-)

    

   

    

   

so, you know, only a few choices…

Giveaway Stats
- Open INTERNATIONALLY (as long as TBD ships to you)
- You do not need to follow this blog to enter but extra entries are available to you if you are/do!
- Did you fill in my Harry Potter Questionnaire? You get an extra entry! Just enter your name and e-mail in the Rafflecopter.
- Giveaway ends 15/09/12 (15th September)
- I refuse the right to cancel this giveaway at any point.
- Please refer to my Giveaway Policy

Now all you have to do is fill in the rafflecopter! YAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on 15 August, 2012 by Faye - 81 Comments


Last Summer by Rebecca A. Rogers

Posted on 14 August, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Blog Tour Banner

Today I am the stop for the Last Summer blog tour and I have a lovely review for you all! Hope you enjoy it!
*Please Note* Last Summer is a NEW ADULT book, not a YA book*

Author: Rebecca A. Rogers
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: July 18th 2012
Pages: 230
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for author in return for review
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon

Summary:

All Chloe Sullivan wants to do is get through the summer. Her life has been in disarray for more than six months, and she knows the only reason her parents made one final trip to Sandy Shores is because of her. They are, after all, two seconds away from filing for divorce. When Chloe stumbles upon a boy in one of her childhood hangouts, she’s in for more than just a relaxing summer vacation.

Logan Andrews is exhausted, famished and, quite frankly, kaput. His parents kicked him out when he refused to attend a rehabilitation program for his drug addiction. Now, he wishes he would’ve listened; he’d be receiving appropriate medical care rather than living in a dingy, godforsaken shack, holing up from money-hungry drug dealers.

Logan’s godsend arrives in the form of Chloe, who can’t hold her tongue when it comes to matters of the heart. They’re both in for a rude awakening when Logan’s past catches up to them, though. Can they escape the drug dealers showing up at every twist and turn, or will things end much worse than they ever imagined?

WARNING: contains strong language, drug use, and sexual situations, including an explicit sex scene and a near-rape scene. Mature audiences only. 17+

Three Starsthree out of five hearts

The Journey Begins
I have been waiting to read this book for many months now. Ever since I saw it and read the synopsis I was desperate to get my hands on the book. Luckily the book did not disappoint as I read it. It was a good, easy and quick read that was entertaining and one that I enjoyed. There were a few problems I had with the book, but nothing that fully deterred me from continuing the book and liking it. It dealt with a lot of issues throughout the book and was therefore a little stronger then some of the other books I have been reading lately but I still liked it. It is one that kept me interested and kept me intrigued in the characters and everything that was about to happen.

An Unexpected Turn
The plot of this book was really interesting. It was always full of something to keep you interested and there was never a truly dull moment. Everything fell apart to be able to fall back together again. It was nice to have the split POV as it helped to get inside of the characters’ heads a bit more. To understand what they’re both going through and why. In that ways it made their characters’ a little bit more believable as well as the interactions that they had. It had all the workings of a climatic novel, starting out slow, getting more tense until the final showdown scene where things catapult. Rebecca did a great job of leaving the reader unsure if certain things were going to end in certain ways or not.

Unfortunately, there were places in this book that were also slightly stilted. Some of the dialogue seemed a little rough around the edges, as did some of the emotions. The book was fast-paced and sometimes it was hard to see how far the characters have come because you haven’t personally witnessed the relationship come together in that way. There were times when the characters would behave as though they’ve known each other for weeks or months when they’d only met a few days before. Luckily though, this wasn’t a major problem for me but it may not work for you, or it could be one of the best things about the book for you.

Players Lining Up
I liked Chloe and I could completely understand her settlement. For the past six months her parents were on the brink of disaster – she knew and they knew a divorce was on the way but they were all too willing to play pretend happy family for her for one last summer. While this hasn’t happened to me persay, my parents are divorced and so I could sympathise with her predicament. She doesn’t want to stick around in this world of lies and so she tries to find something to keep her mind at bay and that is when she meets Logan, a teenager addicted to drugs and she promises to save him. I liked that she said what was on her mind without worrying about the consequences and I enjoyed that she was still unsure about things. But there were still some things that annoyed me about her. I didn’t like how easily she let Logan in. As a character who had never had a boyfriend before, it just seemed a little unrealistic but that could just be my thoughts.

Logan is a different ballgame altogether. I’m undecided as to whether or not I like him. I did at the beginning because I understood him. He was the bad boy who was the drug addict, he made some poor choices and this is who he became. I think if he had been a little more rough around the edges for longer than I would have liked him a bit more. As it were, he seemed to be able to give up his addiction too quickly for my liking. There were few side effects to his withdrawal and then he just seemed fine without it. It all seemed a little too unrealistic to me. Which is fine, I was able to look past it but if you’re looking for a realistic style book on drugs, this book will not be the one for you. I did, however, like how Logan ended up at the very end of the book and think that if there was more of this in the earlier parts of the novel I’d be able to like his character a bit more.

The Final Whistle Blows
All in all this was an enjoyable and entertaining read. It should definitely be noted, however, that this will not be a book for everyone. Some people will truly love it but I can see that others may find it extremely dissatisfying. I found it to be a quick and easy read and, despite it’s flaws, I found myself pulled into the story by the end, wanting to know exactly what had happened. I will say that even if I hadn’t been posting this for the tour or even being sent it for review, I would have continued reading the book to the end. I was hooked to the words. I may have cringed from time to time but I still needed to know more, wanted to read on. As a writer there were a few things that I would change but really, this book was a decent read and one that I am entirely glad I got the chance to read. Here’s hoping that you find yourself enjoying it too!

Faye

Posted on 14 August, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Bout of Books 5.0 Goals

Posted on 12 August, 2012 by Faye - 16 Comments

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
 
So I participated in Bout of Books 4.0 and I really enjoyed it so when it was announced that there was a date for the next one, I quickly signed up. I’m really looking forward to this week and hope that it is just as good as last time!
 
Not sure what Bout of Books is?
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team

With all of that in mind, this post is to outline my goals for the week! Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it, I booked a spontaneous holiday trip for this week last week and so I will, on two days, have less reading time but should on two days have more reading time. So hopefully that will counter-balance itself out and I’ll manage to achieve my goals, but who knows!

Goals
Anyway, without rambling more, here are my goals!

  • Read at least four books
  • To meet a fair few new book bloggers
  • To comment on five blogs each day – if I can!
  • To participate in two challenges
  • To go to at least one twitter chat!

Books
And the books I am thinking about reading include;

   

  

Turf by John Lucas
Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Afterlife by Eric Edstrom
The History Keepers: Circus Maximus by Damian Dibben
Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
How I Found You by Gabriella Lepore
My Fairytale Life by Heather M. White

Knowing me, these will change throughout the week but I will make sure to keep it all updated! These are also all review copy books and will be helping with my Review Copy Cleanup month as well so wooo! Go me!


Updates

Monday
Number of books I’ve read today: 1/2
Total number of books I’ve read: 1/2
Books: finished Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman and started Turf by John Lucas

Tuesday

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/4
Total number of books I’ve read: 3/4
Books: finished Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman and continued Turf by John Lucas

Wednesday

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/4
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Books: finished Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman and almost finished Turf by John Lucas

Thursday

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/4
Total number of books I’ve read: 1 1/4
Books: end of Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman and Turf by John Lucas.

Friday

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/2
Total number of books I’ve read: 1 3/4
Books: end of Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman and Turf by John Lucas and halfway through Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Saturday

Number of books I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books:

Sunday

Number of books I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books:

Faye

Posted on 12 August, 2012 by Faye - 16 Comments


A Character Conversation – Comeback Love

Posted on 12 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to the talented Peter Golden, author of Comeback Love.
He’s written a guest post for you all, a conversation between the two characters in his book.
Hope it helps you get a better insight into him and his novel!

Gordon & Glenna: A Conversation

“So what do you think?” I asked Glenna.

We were sitting across from each other in the living room, and she had just closed Comeback Love and put it on the coffee table.

She said, “Kind of personal, no?”

“What’d you mean?”

“Well, for starters, I spend a fair amount of time not wearing any clothes.”

“Me too.”

She laughed. “That’s what makes it personal.”

“Are you sorry I wrote it?”

“No, only sorry we had to—”

“Had to what?” I asked.

“Had to live lives worth writing a novel about.”

“Most people do.”

“You think?”

“If they fall in love, yes.”

“Never easy, is that it?”

I said, “In the movies, sometimes. And in songs. And if you’re very lucky.”

“We weren’t that lucky.”

“Lucky enough. We’re still married.”

“True, but I am wondering about one thing you wrote.”

“What’s that?”

“You ask yourself how old you’ll have to be before you stop thinking I’m the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.”

“I did.”

“So what’s the answer?”

“One hundred and seventeen,” I said.

“I’m a doctor, remember? That’s not very realistic.”

“No. But it’s true.”


Comeback_Love_book_cover

Author: Peter Golden
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Published: April 3rd 2012
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: Paperback
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD

Summary:

A debut novel about a man and his romantic quest to find the woman he loved and lost years before.

Like Nicholas Sparks and Robert James Waller, first-time novelist Peter Golden knows how to write the kind of nostalgic fiction that men and women alike fall for. In Comeback Love, a universal story about lost love, he offers an evocative debut that begins in the tumultuous 1960s and ends in the feverish thrill of present-day New York City.

Over thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without.

Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globetrotting consultant with a grown son, an exwife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they become caught up in the passions that drew them together before tearing them apart. And as the evening unfolds, Gordon finally reveals the true reason for his return.

Comeback Love is a bracing journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s. Plumbing the depths of youth, regret, and desire, Peter Golden deftly illuminates the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change.


Peter_Golden_author_photo

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist and the author of six full-length works of non-fiction and fiction.

Some of his work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press Magazine, Albany Times Union, New Jersey Monthly, Microsoft’s eDirections, Beyond Computing, Electronic Business, Midstream, The Forward and Capital Region Magazine.

Golden’s Quiet Diplomat, a biography of industrialist and political-insider Max M. Fisher made the Detroit Free Press bestseller list. Among those he interviewed were Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush; Secretaries of State Kissinger, Haig and Shultz; and Israeli Prime Ministers Shamir, Peres and Rabin.

With J. Stanley Shaw, Golden wrote I Rest My Case: My Long Journey from the Castle on the Hill to Home, a memoir that chronicles Shaw’s life from his childhood years under the supervision of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum in the 1930s to his career as one of the preeminent bankruptcy attorneys in the United States.

Golden re-interviewed Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and other world leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev, for his nonfiction look at the Cold War, O Powerful Western Star (Gefen Publishing, May 2012).

His debut novel Comeback Love (Atria Books, April 2012) tells the story of a man and his romantic quest to find the women he loved and lost years before in the 1960s.

Golden grew up in South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey, and lives today outside Albany, New York with his wife and son.

Posted on 12 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments


Blogspiration #17; Inspire to Create

Posted on 11 August, 2012 by Faye - 6 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.

Blogspiration19

So on Friday I was having a yummy and scrumptious dinner in the marvellous restaurant that is ASK when I pick up the menu and turn it over. Here I see these words; “It’s so good, it inspired us to create.” – Of course, they were talking about some kind of food that they created but these words just struck me about how amazing inspiration can be.

Inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. If it’s good or brilliant or just better then anything you could imagine to create, we can feel inspired to create something that is amazing because we want to be great. We want to show the world that we can go that one step further, that we have imagination and creativity within us.

I love being inspired. I love inspiration. But what I love most is creativity. I love creating something. Being able to take a step back and say that whatever I just made or wrote or did, that was all me. It is this which is truly amazing. Even if it’s worthless, or not as good as something else, at least I tried which is better than anyone could really ask for.

So this blogspiration is about being inspired enough to create. Therefore I am asking you, what has inspired you lately?

Faye

Posted on 11 August, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments


Blogger Spotlight! – Magical Menagerie

Posted on 11 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments

alexbloggerspotlight

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to the sweet Alexandra from Alexandra Scribbles.
She has written a brilliant – if I say so myself – guest post on her favourite fantasy creatures.
Hope you enjoy it!

Hi everyone!  So Faye has graciously allowed me to wander over to her blog today in order to share my love of magical animals with you all.  (Thank you Faye!)

I grew up reading a lot of fantasy, and playing a lot of imaginary games with my younger brother.  Because we didn’t have a television, most of our games reflected the books we were enjoying at the time.  So, depending on the day, we were hunter-gatherers, or knights, we were mer-people, or royalty, or magicians.  We journeyed across vast plains, through forests, up mountains.  We interacted with dragons and talking animals and other wonderful creatures.  And even when I got too old for such games, I still kind of wanted the animals we’d imagined up to play with.
Forget a goldfish or a hamster, I want…

A Unicorn
I know, I know.  So stereotypical.  But the fact is, I have adored unicorns ever since I can remember.  With their quiet grace and elegance and nobility, I would love to befriend a unicorn.  Although I have a sneaking suspicion that if I actually had a unicorn, he’d be tubby as with short legs and lots of attitude.
Maybe I could go for the Chinese unicorn, the Ki-Lin, which radiates beautiful colours, has a voice like thousands of windchimes chiming together, and walks so softly its hooves make no sound.
If I couldn’t have a unicorn, my back-up option is Skinfaxi (“Shining mane”).  In Norse mythology, Skinfaxi is one of the horses of the sun, lighting up heaven and earth with his beautiful golden mane.

A gryphon
(or two.  or three)
Gryphons are usually depicted as a lion with the head and wings of an eagle.  But as my Dad pointed out, why limit yourself to a lion?  Why not have a panther-gryphon, or a tiger-gryphon, or a leopard-gryphon?  Or ALL OF THEM.  In the legends, gryphons deliver justice, fight evil, symbolise power and protect the sacred.  Basically, they are the superheroes of the mythical animal world.

A Fox

So I know they’re not mythological, but they’ve got such a significant presence in world folklore that they totally count for this list.  One of my favourite legends associated with the fox comes from Finland.  There they say that the aurora borealis is caused by foxes running across the snow, sweeping it up into the sky with their tails.  So in Finland, it’s called “revontulet” – “foxfires”.
Foxes are the tricksters of the animal world, but they can also be helpful.  Even the Japanese fox-shifters, the Kitsune, who tend towards malevolence, have been known to lend a helping hand/paw to those who need it.

A Cath Sith/Sidhe
(pronounced ‘Cat shee’)
This is the faerie cat of Scotland, a great black cat the size of a dog with a white blaze upon its chest.  I feel you could have adventures with a pet like this.

A phoenix

According to Herodotus, the phoenix looks like an eagle with red and gold plumage.  When it comes to the end of its life, it builds a pyre of sweet-scented wood and spices, and burns itself to ashes.  Then from the ashes, it is reborn.
In Chinese mythology, the phoenix embodies the Five Virtues – Benevolence, Righteousness, Propriety, Wisdom and Sincerity.
And last of all,

A pukis/pukys

This one comes from Baltic folklore, and is described in my encyclopedia of mythical creatures as a small household dragon which takes the form of a cat on the ground, but transforms into a dragon when it wants to fly through the air.  It has a tendency to be a bit of a trickster, and to hoard and guard treasure.
How cute does it sound!?  I love the idea of it being able to shapeshift between those two such different forms, depending on what it feels like doing.

So that’s my list.  What creatures – mythical or otherwise – would you love to have as a pet?

Like this post? Why not go run and follow her blog now for even more awesome posts and reviews!

Posted on 11 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments


Behind The Blog #13; We’re Dreaming Big

Posted on 9 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments

BTB4

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 draws the main Olympics to a close. So many hundreds of athletes have been competing for three prestigious medals – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Every single one is sure to dream one day of holding a Gold medal in their hands – one that they won themselves. Unfortunately for many it will not happen as they dream but that doesn’t mean they ever stop trying. In light of this, this week we’re asking you what are some of your dream goals? What are your opinions when it comes to goals that never seem to turn into reality?
In relation to books, which characters have you loved witnessing achieve their goals or whose dreams you have loved and cherished? Are there any goals you have acquired because of characters you’ve read about? Tell us all!


Growing up I had a few dreams that kept changing but the one that stayed all the way until I turned 17 was the desire to become an actress. I loved acting, I felt like I was good at acting but, eventually as I grew older I lost my self-confidence. Could I really do it? Was I even good at all? After years and years of getting the “chorus” roles and only average grades, my thoughts that I could actually achieve my goal dwindled. It was then that I looked more closely at films and everything behind the scenes and now it is simply my wish to work within the film or television industry. I don’t particularly mind about what I want to do, but if it involves film or television then I just know that I’ll be happy.

What I learnt from my dream of acting was that everyone has that one thing that wish to do in their life. That one thing they just want to achieve but there are always so many people who will try to stop you. Don’t aim so high as you’ll only be disappointed. You’re one in a million of people who want to do the same thing, you’ll never make it. What makes you better then everyone else? These questions and statements are all horrible and are reasons why so many people will eventually give up on their dreams – like I did – because it suddenly feels so unrealistic. It’s okay to have that kind of dream as a young child but as we grow up, it’s almost as though adults want to scream at you, “no, do something normal and achievable.” It’s devastating.

But not everyone listens.

And the Olympics and Olympic Champions are proof of this. Everyone who competes are individuals who had a dream to become the best contester of their preferred sport. They dream to be the best; to become the best in the entire world. So it is safe to say that while there can be said to be a lot of negativity surrounding the Olympics – inside and out – there is also a lot of positivity. Every single contender is an inspiration because these people are standing there telling everyone else that you could do it. If you work hard enough, believe enough, live enough and have enough motivation and support, you have every chance to achieve your dreams.

So I know that one day I will work in films. One day my name will be on those credit lists and I’ll be extremely ecstatic about it. It will be tough, it will be gruelling but if I try hard enough, it’ll come true. And if, for some reason it doesn’t, I will make it to being a lecturer and I’ll be able to inspire others the way that I have been inspired by my lecturers. My dreams may no longer be unattainable in the same way but with the way the economy is going at the moment, it won’t be an easy climb. But I believe I can do it and the Olympics have helped to remind me of that.


Books I loved that had unachieveable dreams;
  • Harry Potter; Look at me like that all you want but the idea that Harry was able to defeat Voldemort? It should have been impossible but only because he worked hard and kept at it did he finally achieve his dream.
  • Throne of Glass; Caelena may have been the world’s greatest assassin at one time but after being in prison for a year, it was unlikely that she could win, and so she really had to train and work hard to do what she had to.
  • The Hunger Games; I couldn’t not mention this, could I? There was no way that Katniss could have thought she’d win the game. It may not have been her dream until she was a tribute but it certainly appeared as soon as she was! And aren’t we glad she achieved her goal?

There are so many films that involve characters dreaming big and winning, it seems to be an easy plot for directors and scriptwriters perhaps but there is just one I want to mention today.
  • Black Swan; This film was stunning. But the dream within it was utterly amazing. She worked hard, she trained to the end of her tether and she became her character so much. She was truly perfect. A brilliant inspiration – if a slightly morbid one!

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Posted on 9 August, 2012 by Faye - 2 Comments


Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted on 9 August, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington
Published: August 28th 2012
Pages: 432 pages
Format: Ebook
Source: Review copy from Netgalley
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD

Summary:

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake — this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

The fuse is lit…

five stars
five out of five hearts

The Flames Spread Far
Just when I thought that Brigid Kemmerer had given all of her talent up in her first two books, I was proven wrong. Spark was a book that, if given the chance, I would not have put down once. I ended up reading 68% of the book in one sitting because it was so enthralling and amazing that I simply couldn’t take my eyes away from the page. It was a fantastic novel that truly captivated me and reminded me that there really are great writers out there who need all the love and awards in the world. Really, if this is how great her books are now, I don’t dare think what her next book, Spirit will be like when it is released next year. Want to know why I loved it so much? Look below to find out!

The Fire is Lit
The storyline in Spark is so compelling. It is fascinating and brilliant and I just loved it so much. I gasped in so many places, I bit my lip in others and clenched my fists a few times as well. It made me feel so many different emotions and the writing is just so brilliant that it felt like it was happening right there in front of me. I was living it, feeling it, witnessing it. And the journey that not only Gabriel – I’ll come to him later! – but also Layne goes on is simply astounding! I am really struggling to find the right words to put here. I don’t want to ruin the story by gushing too much, but I really, really want to do this book justice and give it the review it deserves.

Spark is about more than dealing with being an elemental in an ordinary world. It’s about being human in an ordinary world. It faces the challenges of family, friendship and love. It deals with bullying, judging and feeling betrayed and angry. The topics within the book are so real and raw and I am still left feeling completely overwhelmed with just how powerful and amazing this book was. I really want to go and read it again like, right now. Brigid Kemmerer has stolen my heart and it is safe to say I am now truly a fan.

The Flames Burn Rapidly
While Storm focuses on the story of Becca, Chris and Hunter, Spark is definitely Gabriel and Layne’s story. It would be easy to say that this book could be described as belonging to the romance genre but somehow, despite being a large part of the plot, I still felt that the romance didn’t overcrowd the book, that it felt more like a subplot to everything else that happened. I think that this could be why I loved it so much. Brigid has somehow managed to create the perfect balance between romance and fantasy and there was never a moment when it felt like it was too much or too little.

Gabriel is such a fantastic character. I didn’t get much of a feel for him in Storm, and while I liked his powers and thought he had an interesting personality, he never really felt like someone I could connect with but I was wrong. Very, very, very wrong. I have fallen in love with his character. That is really the best way to describe it. He had so much going on, so much to deal with and the way he copes with it just spoke to me because he was very similar to me in many aspects. He was strong, caring, protective, charming and funny and I just admired him so much. Of course, he always was nasty and mean and full of pent-up anger but despite these flaws, he was nothing but lovable and realistic and I just wish I could put my arms around him and give him the biggest hug ever. A truly magnificent character.

Move aside Becca, welcome Layne! Oh, I loved her. I loved her spirit and her stubbornness and her fearlessness. I admired her courage and loved that despite it all, she still went weak at the knees over things. She was insecure and worried, an average teenage girl with so much to hide and worry over. Such a brilliant protagonist that I just wanted to hold on to and make sure that she was always happy. She was a delight to read about and the total perfect match for Gabriel because they were so alike and yet so different all at the same time. She was protective yet passive, strong yet weak, fiery yet worried. She was just this amazing character that really helped to bring the story alive.

This review would be incomplete without mentioning Simon, Layne’s brother whom I absolutely adored. He was so cute and loving and lovable. I wanted to help him so many times and yet, at the same time, I loved the way his dad helped him – even if it was a little unorthodox. He may not be a spotlight character but he is one that will be in my heart for a very, very long time.

It Goes out of Control
It would be impossible to complete this review without talking about the ending of this book. There were so many things that happened and I was just enthralled with it all. I loved the very ending of the book, I found it to be such a perfect way to end it – kind of reminding me of “I’m not going home, not really.” from the HP film. But before then, a couple of bombs, so to speak, were dropped that lead so well onto the next book that I am itching to read what happens next. It was such a brilliant ploy to keep readers interested but lord knows I didn’t need too much to keep me hooked! All I know is that as soon as Spirit hits the shelves, I will be picking up a copy and storming through it. (yeah, yeah, lame pun, I know.)

Almost as though it has Spirit
Needless to say, Spark is not a book to be missed. It quickly became one of my top ten of 2012 and I would not only happily re-read it again and again but I would also recommend it to others in a heartbeat. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. A great, fast-paced read that will keep you interested and alert. It’ll pull you in and keep you held for a very long time. If you’re looking for a book that is full of electricity, fire and spark, then this is one that you really need to pick up. It is truly magnificent and a book that needs to get all the love it deserves – which is a lot!

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

Other bloggers who have loved this book include (but not limited to);
Brodie @ Eleusinian Mysteries
Sarah @ Saz101
Claire @ Claire Reads
Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

Unfortunately Spirit doesn’t hit the shelves til June 2013 so this ends our Elemental Series week. However, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Spark on August 28th!

Faye

Posted on 9 August, 2012 by Faye - 7 Comments