So today I am hosting Desert Rice by Angela Scott for the blog tour. I have for you my review and a lovely author bio under that.
But, more importantly, there is also a giveaway for the tour of 10 ebooks (INT) and 5 paperbacks (US Only).
Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.
It All Starts
The very first thing that should be noted for this review is that while the protagonist is twelve throughout most of the book, this is not a book for children. With the topics that are covered in this book, it is definitely aimed at older young adults and adults themselves. It is a very cleverly written novel that I found myself reading in almost one sitting and enjoying every minute of it. When it first started, I was unsure whether this would be the book for me but as the story progressed and my intrigue was piqued, I soon found it incredibly difficult to put the book down until I knew exactly what was going on – because the thoughts in my head were definitely spiralling out in all directions! This was a read that I would easily recommend to others and these are the reasons why.
They Must Run
This novel starts out with a rather gruesome scene, two children are carrying their dead mother back into their trailer. The descriptions are very intense, seen through the eyes of a twelve year old, giving the scene a little bit more punch. The story continues as the children flee, running away so that they don’t get split up by the social services. With many different obstacles, the story is very entertaining and compelling – you simply need to know what will happen next. The writing style was truly magnificent throughout this book. I have read one other book that is written through the eyes of a young child and the one thing I found amazing was the way you knew what was going on without it being explicitly stated simply because you were an adult. Desert Rice was extremely similar to this. There were many moments in this book that were simply eluded to, seen through the eyes of someone who doesn’t understand and translated by an adult reading the book with understanding and knowledge. A very clever and interesting style.
They Must Hide
It is nearly impossible not to like Sam in this story. There are times when you may have felt like rolling your eyes but, taking in her situation, it is soon reminded that she is just a twelve year old girl, struggling in a new and foreign world. She has her flaws, she has her positive traits and it is her story that we’re essentially reading. Sam is scared, she’s worried and she doesn’t know what is going to happen but she’s also strong, curious and cautious. All in all, she is a well put together character that I found myself liking. Jacob, on the other hand, is a character that it took me a while to like. Some of his actions caused me to grit my teeth and clench my fist but not because he was necessarily a badly written character, but just because I couldn’t understand his mentality – just as Sam couldn’t. My feelings towards him changed dramatically towards the end of the book and I found myself annoyed that I had disliked him so throughout the rest of the book. There are other characters in this book that I truly admired, like Boone and Laura, who helped to give me hope in my heart and were just really amazing characters full of soul and life.
They Must Remember
The plot of this story, the way that it all came together was truly amazing. I had guessed a few things along the way in the story but the actual conclusion came as such a surprise that it actually caused me to stop reading for a few moments. Angela threw me through a loop, one that instantly made me like this book more because I simply wasn’t expecting it but also because it made the rest of the book make sense. It was the kind of ending that truly tied up every single plot hole that had been left. The actions of the characters were suddenly understood, the beginning changed entirely in my eyes and the entire story took on a whole new level and meaning. This helped to make the book so much more intense and brilliant and is possibly one of the most shocking endings to a story I have read in a long time.
They’re All Alone
Overall, this book was a completely stunning read. It kept me captivated and forced me to simply carry on reading. I found it incredibly difficult to stop as I just simply had to know what was going to happen. It was brilliantly written with interesting scenes and a clever writing style. It is a book that I would easily be able to read again but probably not straight away. The message and themes in the book are hard-hitting and heavy and this isn’t a light, fluffy read by any means. If you’re looking for something with a bit of humour and some light-hearted romance, steer clear of this book, but if you’re looking for something a bit darker, more realistic, and one that holds an incredibly powerful punch, then this is definitely a book that I would recommend. This book tells the tale of a twelve year old and a fifteen year old who are alone in the world and just want to be able to stay together. It is full of twists and turns and moments that will cause you to rethink the world you live in. A marvellous read.
Angela Scott hears voices. Tiny fictional people sit on her shoulders and whisper their stories in her ear. Instead of medicating herself, she decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. She’s not crazy. She’s an author. For the most part, she writes contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, she found herself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West–and loving it. Her zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, she wouldn’t suggest it. She lives on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. She graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of her love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. She can’t spell, and grammar is her arch nemesis. But they gave her the degree, and there are no take backs.
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NaNoWriMo is just around the corner and starts in just two days! (or well, one and a half now!). This is a warning message to let you know that I will probably be blogging even less than usual but if I’m not then I somehow managed to get my butt in gear and actually fall into a routine – who knows, it may happen!
Now, if you’ve been stalking my twitter, you may know that I have been looking for other bloggers participating in NaNo aswell, this is to set up a sort of support unit for everyone. The sign ups for it will be open throughout November, and really the sign ups are just so I can contact people via e-mail but feel free to reach out on twitter instead!
How I plan to help?
You may have witnessed these sprints from following the @Nanowrimo twitter, but basically throughout the month I will use my twitter (and a hashtag) to encourage you to write solidly for say, 10mins. And so on and so forth.
Very similar to twitter sprints, a time goal will be given and then once that time is up, the winner of the “war” is the one who has written the most words. A brilliant encouraging tool that truly helped me out last year!
You know how the NaNo Staff send weekly e-mails to keep you on track? I plan to do something similar for you but keeping in mind that we all have blogging commitments to keep as well. These will help us to feel less alone while we trek towards that 50k mark.
These are still in the process of being made, but I plan to make some pretty graphics for different things. (ex. if you write about a witch in your story, you may get a witchy graphic, or when you hit 10k, you’ll get a badge to prove it!)
Sometimes the best ways to keep motivated is to talk about our ideas! Obviously, we don’t need the entire story told to us but if you’re stuck at any point, you can come to us and we can give you pointers on how best to continue on. And sometimes just explaining our idea can help to rekindle any lost motivation for it – or so I’m told.
I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a facebook or goodreads group for this, if you think it’s a good idea, let me know and I’ll get right on it. Especially if you have a personal preference. These could be used in the same way as twitter but longer and people would be able to comment and help easier!
I may come up with some more ways to help encourage everyone throughout the month but that’s all I’ve got so far! If this sounds like your type of encouragement, do comment or sign up on the linky list. The more the merrier! And your blog doesn’t have to be a book blog, btw, if you’re an author partaking in NaNo and have a writers blog, that’s totally okay! Or well, any blog really. Let’s all just help each other!
The Daily Goals
The aim of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That equals to 1,667 per day. So this is what your word count should look like every day – but never fear if it doesn’t!
Day One – 1667
Day Two – 3334
Day Three – 5001
Day Four – 6668
Day Five – 8335
Day Six – 10002
Day Seven – 11669
Day Eight – 13336
Day Nine – 15003
Day Ten – 16670
Day Eleven – 18337
Day Twelve – 20004
Day Thirteen – 21671
Day Fourteen – 2338
Day Fifteen – 25005
Day Sixteen – 26672
Day Seventeen – 28339
Day Eighteen – 30006
Day Nineteen – 31673
Day Twenty – 33340
Day Twenty One – 35007
Day Twenty Two – 36674
Day Twenty Three – 38341
Day Twenty Four – 40008
Day Twenty Five – 41675
Day Twenty Six – 43342
Day Twenty Seven – 45009
Day Twenty Eight – 46676
Day Twenty Nine – 48343
Day Thirty – 50000
A lot of the time you probably won’t be on target. Some people may start off ahead, others may fall behind and do large sprints to catch up, whereas some will rely heavily on the weekend due to their jobs. No matter what happens, do not worry if you feel it becomes too much. While the goal of Nano is to reach 50k, the aim of nano is simply to write.
So, let’s get our hats on and get writing!
And for those of you who would also like to add me on nanowrimo.org my profile can be found here.
This week’s blogspiration comes from the book that I was reading this week – or well, finishing. I saw this quote and knew that I simply had to show case it. It is such an amazing and truthful quote, but I’ll let you decide just how powerful it is.
So if you’re a writer, or a potential writer, don’t give up because the ability to write, to share your stories is a gift that could one day save someone. And as a reader, having had books have this affect on me, I know just how true this truly is.
Stick with it, okay?
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!
Halloween is almost here! Halloween is a day of scares, candy and fun. It’s also a day of spooky legends and scary lore. Some say that the veil between this world and the “Otherworld” is at it’s thinnest, which allows beings like ghosts, demons, spirits etc. to enter our world. Do you believe this is true? What is your favorite Halloween memory, tradition, or costume? What are your Halloween plans?
In relation to books/media: What are some scary books that you’d recommend? What about horror movies?
I have always had very mixed thoughts about Halloween. On the one hand, as a child, I loved getting dressed up and going door to door to get sweets and money – what kid didn’t? – but now that I am older, I am under the very likely impression that Halloween nowadays is simply a consumerist holiday. If the stores can get more money out of us, why wouldn’t they take that chance?
Now, let’s not make this post a depressing one. I do actually like Halloween because I love watching “scary” movies with friends, I like having parties and having a good time – even if I don’t really understand the whole reason behind the “holiday”. But who am I to turn down having a good time?
So for this post I am going to tell you about my Halloween plans for this year. I’m actually really excited this year as I’m going to a house party and it’s been a long while since I’ve actually been to one. But, before that, I’m first going to be going to an author meet in Foyles called Fearfest where I will see the authors like C. J. Daugherty, Laura Powell, Karen Mahoney, and Ruth Warburton. I’m also meeting up with Lucy from ChooseYA and Daphne from Winged Reviews, so I reckon it’s going to be a hell of an afternoon!
Then, once I’m all delirious about that, I’ll be trekking to one of my friends’ house for her house party. Most likely I’ll help with the decorations and from the way she’s been talking, I’m pretty certain this is going to be pretty epic. One of the better things about Halloween house parties are the fact that you have the chance to make houses scarier and more fun then they ever have been before. In truth, Halloween is that one day a year when we can be who ever we want to be, we can hide between our masks.
My costume this year went through many different thoughts, it took a while before I stuck on one idea. Eventually I have come to the conclusion that I am going to be a zombie school girl. Not the most original idea, granted, but it’s fairly cheap, it’ll be interesting and fun too. I’m not the biggest fan of fancy dress – I know this post doesn’t seem that way – because I don’t like paying large sums for an outfit I’ll only wear once, whereas this costume is one that I can make from my wardrobe and just a touch of make-up and that works perfectly for me.
This will all be happening this Saturday (or tomorrow), but on the actual date I will probably find myself sitting in front of the television watching “scary” movies and laughing at how just utterly unrealistic they seem. That or I’ll make sure that I spend the day reading a scary novel because sometimes it is just nice to get into the festive mood, isn’t it?
What about you? What are your festive plans?
I’m going to be doing this a little differently as I don’t remember many of the scary books I read a while back so I’m going to highlight the selection of books I have to choose on reading this halloween.
We’d love to have you join us for Behind the Blog!
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Princess Alyrra’s strength lies in silence. Scorned by her family, she avoids the court, spending her time with servants. When her marriage is unexpectedly arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, Alyrra feels trapped. As the court celebrates her match, dark rumors spread about the unexplained deaths of the women of her new family. Alyrra begins her journey with mounting trepidation; betrayed while traveling, she seizes an opportunity to start a life away from court.
Walking away from a prince whom she doesn’t know should have been easy. But from the moment she sets eyes on him, Alyrra realizes that her freedom could cost him his life. Without any magical defense of her own, she is plunged into a lethal game of sorcery and deceit. Now Alyrra must decide whom she can trust and what she’s willing to fight for—before her silence proves fatal.
Before It Starts
This book is a retelling of the traditional Grimm fairy tale of The Goose Girl, and while I am fairly certain that I have read this fairy tale before, it has not been read by me for a very long time. I feel that this distance from the original may have helped me to like this book that much more. But this could be untrue as it may be very different from the fairy tale but I cannot judge this as I cannot truly remember the original. Having a slight premonition of what was going to happen helped to make the book more interesting because the less I remembered, the more I wanted to keep reading to remember within this story instead of the original. Due to this distance from the original, I will not be using this review as a comparison, but simply explaining why I loved this story as though it wasn’t an adaptation.
As It Is Written
The very first thing that drew me into this novel was the writing style. It is written in the present tense. A definite unique selling point that truly drew me in. It is a style that really makes you feel like you are right there, watching what is happening – a very film-like quality. I know that some may struggle with the style to begin with but I found it incredibly easy to get on with and as the story continued, I didn’t even notice anything different because I was just completely and utterly wrapped up within the story. Intisar has a way of writing that really takes you from the seat you’re sitting on and right into a new world. Everything is described so well and with it being present tense, it truly feels like you are going on the journey along with Alyssa. It was really interesting to read and just really helped me to become emotionally invested in this book as I continued to turn page after page.
There Are People
Can I just start by saying that I completely adored Alyssa? She was such a real character. Flawed but also so loyal, protective, tender and just stronger than she believed herself to be. There were times when I wanted to shake her but then she would do something and I would be reminded of just how great she truly was. A really interesting and well-written character. I truly adored all of her friends, Laurel, Ash, Rowan and Violet. They were so true too, each with their own individual selling points that made me grin – oh and Joa was pretty damn awesome too!
These characters are all shadows in comparison to Falada. This character blew me away. I loved how loyal he was, and wise and protective. He was such a grand character that I found myself falling in love with. He was really well written and very interesting to read about. Kestrin was also a charming character that I took to instantly. His small little smirks, the way he looked at Alyssa and was also so mysterious, yet cunning with his words. He was such a brilliant character to read. On the other side of things, I found the villains in the piece to be really interesting mix of characters as well. It is definitely noticeable that Intisar has a way with characters as I truly wish there was another follow-on story from this so that I could keep reading more.
Whom Take Twists
The last reason that I found this book so enjoyable and entertaining was how brilliant and intriguing the plot of the book was. As noted above, I don’t really remember The Goose Girl tail and so I was not expecting the twist and I found it to be a true shocker that kept me reading more. I was intrigued to know where the story would go and as such, I am so glad I carried on going. There was so much going on within this story, with lots of plots and subplots throughout the book that really kept me interested. I was quickly very emotionally invested within the tale and found myself crying and laughing and smiling at different points. The entire story pulled me in and I found it incredibly difficult to let it go and put it down. Whenever I wasn’t reading it, my mind was going back to it and living within that world all on it’s own. It was a captivating story with a powerful and surprising plot that simply blew me away.
But Survive It All
All in all, this is a book that is a must read and one that I would recommend easily. It is a book with depth and heart, with characters that will make your heart ache and your soul bleed and a story that will open your eyes to so many different things. It is truly remarkable written and really manages to grab you by the arms and keeps you there. This is one book that I am so glad to have given a chance and it is one that I will read over and over again easily. It is a book that will sweep you off your feet, not because it is a simply fairy tale retelling, but because it is so much more than that. So, go and get your copy now and get reading!
** I received this copy in return for an honest review **
So the read-a-thon ended yesterday! I enjoyed myself immensely with this one as I hadn’t read a fairy tale or a retelling in a really long time and so it was nice to be reminded of some of them!
I managed to surpass myself and actually managed to read 4 books (okay, one was a short novella!)
Thorn by Intisar Khanani
A Bite’s Tale: A Furry Fable by Veronica Blade
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
I really enjoyed Thorn and Scarlet, they were both really great reads. (And Scarlet even made me watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves again! hehe). A Bite’s Tale was a really cute story. Whereas I am undecided about how I feel on Kill Me Softly. It was an okay read but didn’t really give me a spark of anything, unfortunately!
As for my mini-challenge, there were fourteen entries but only five had all the answers correct. So please, put your hands (or keyboard fingers) together for;
As for the answers, here are the full covers;
1. 2. 3.
6. 7. 8.
Thanks for participating in the mini-challenge! I hope you had fun.
Today I am the host for the last mini-challenge and giveaway of the Fairy Tale Read-A-Thon! I want to start by thanking Debz for hosting this readathon as I’ve had a great time participating and I hope you have too!
Now onto the challenge;
I have taken ten book covers and selected a small section of them each and it is your job to guess the books. Just a title will do but if you can guess the title and author, that’s even better!
1. 2. 3.
6. 7. 8.
For the giveaway, you need not participate in the mini-challenge but can get extra entries if you do. And you don’t even have to have the correct answers :)
The giveaway is only open to participants of the read-a-thon.
Winners will get their choice of a fairy tale book from Smashwords up to the value of $5
To make things easier, here are some books that I have read and liked or just really like the look of;
To enter, simply fill in the Rafflecopter!
- Open to all participants.
- Open Internationally
- Ends at 11:59pm EST on 27th October 2012
- Winners will be notified by e-mail
Winners will have 72 hours before a new winner is chosen.
- Please read my giveaway policy here
Today is the last day of the 56th Annual London Film Festival #lff, so I thought that it was the perfect day to write a post about my own experiences at the festival last Sunday. Despite living so close to London for the entirety of my life, I have always been too busy or too broke to find myself attending the festival and so it was with happiness that I realised that this year I could actual go! After finding someone to go with, I got click happy and started buying tickets. Unfortunately, due to not having a full time job yet, I still didn’t have a lot of money so only had enough to see three films on one day but that was still better than nothing!
The day started early, getting the train at 10:20am to get to London for 11:20am (the usual fast 30min trains do not exist on Sundays!) and once there we navigated through the tube system to find our way to the very first screen. Cine Lumiere is a French cinema that was one of the nicest ones we went in all day. The entrance was posh and welcoming and the seats were actually really comfortable! The film we saw was called Dreams For Sale and it was introduced to us by the talented director, Miwa Nishikawa.
This film was a really interesting one and I found it difficult to turn away from the screen. The storyline was complex and intriguing and it brought about some interesting discussions between me and my companion. I feel that a second viewing would be needed to fully understand some parts of the film (as I had forgotten the beginning by the end) but it was definitely a film that I was glad to have seen.
When that ended, we found ourselves only having an hour to get across to the other side of London to the start of the second film. While this should not have been a problem, we had forgotten to check the state of the underground disruptions and found ourselves hurtled off the train, three stops before our changing stop. Having a quick look at the sat nav, we decided we could walk to the next tube station we needed to get on a different tube. Unfortunately we got it all wrong and ended up walking for an hour to the cinema through some very intriguing parts of London! This, unfortunately, had us arriving 30mins late to our next film, Memories Look At Me by Song Fang.
This film was hard to get into. I have reason to believe that this is because we missed the beginning and therefore I feel it harsh to judge this film based on what we saw. However, it wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting to see and I, unfortunately, found myself glad when the film finished. The acting in the film, on the other hand, was truly remarkable and I could see other brilliant traits of filmmaking and directing, I just missed the reason why we were watching the film. It simply did not hit the right mark.
At the end of this film, we had two and a half hours before the start of the final one and so we decided to go and find somewhere to eat dinner. Deciding it was better to eat in Leicester Square where the final film was being shown, we made our way to the nearest (working) tube station and were disgruntled to find it was only a fifteen minute walk away and we could saved all of our earlier walking if we had better planned our journey. As we entered Leicester square we made a quick decision on where to eat and ended up having a yummy pizza and the always wonderful Bella Italia.
With more time to spare we went looking at some of the London tourist shops in and around the square – which is where I saw my new cup with the words ‘Keep Calm and Drink Tea’ on, and in the perfect shade of blue! – and my companion got some new fridge magnets for his office. Then we made our way to the screen of the third and final film of the day, Broken by Rufus Norris at Odeon West End. There was a red carpet outside of the screen with reporters, cameramen and security guard stationed around as well. Personally I have never actually seen a proper red carpet so it was a nice little surprise – and I got to walk down it myself!
Once we had entered the cinema, my companion went to get himself a drink while I watched the people around us. As soon as he returned with his drink we witnessed Will Young walking down the red carpet and then just casually walking in and getting his ticket for the film. It was actually pretty surreal as we were within walking distance of this guy – not that I’m a fan of his but it is just odd being so close to celebrity figures! We were soon ushered into the screening as the cast were about to make their way across the carpet and they needed the space once they got into the building, apparently, and so we didn’t get to see them walk in which was a little bit of a shame!
Eventually, with the entire audience seated, the cast members walked in and then stood at the side of the cinema. At which point the manager of the Odeon took the stage and introduced the film and then the director himself. The director spoke first about his film and then brought the cast on and introduced them all to us and then thanked everyone who helped to make the film. When it was all finished the cast then started to take their seats within the audience and the film started.
Broken was easily my favourite film of the day. It had such a unique and brilliant storyline that touched on so many different issues and themes and it held such a great feel of British filmmaking. I found myself laughing at so many parts and then the next moment I was close to tears – and probably would have cried if I wasn’t in the middle of such a grand audience. It was a truly inspired journey that I was glad I had the chance to watch. The cast were all brilliant but the star of the film was definitely Eloise Laurence. It was her debut film and I can only hope that this amazing child has a great acting career planned ahead of her as she totally deserves it!
Our day was finally over and we picked ourselves up and headed home. It was definitely a great day that I was glad to have experienced! There were a few films that I wished I could have seen but couldn’t, such as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Key of Life, and Rust and Bone, but I know that I am glad that I got to at least see three films and look forward to seeing more next year!
Now for anyone who is interested, the London Film Festival Awards were chosen yesterday and you can find all of the winners here.
Did you go to the festival? Have you ever been to a film festival? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
When I went to the London Film Festival last week, I was standing on the tube platform waiting for the underground train to arrive when I took a look at the adverts lining the wall. That was where I saw this advert for our national bookstore, Waterstones. I loved everything about it. The text, the picture, the placement… it was all so awesome and I just admire that they’re trying to help inspire people to read!
** I take no responsibility for the ad, only the picture I took of it. **
Reading is Everything.