Tears of a Clown by M.B. Mulhall

Posted on 20 October, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Author: M.B. Mulhall
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: 15th July 2012
Pages: Unknown
Format: Ebook
Source: Complimentary copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon US, Amazon UK

Summary:

Some girls wear makeup to enhance their natural beauty.
Some wear it to make themselves look sexy and mature, in the hopes to attract the attention of a paramour.
Darcy wears hers as a mask, a deterrent, a tribute of sorts to the musical group who got her through her parents’ messy divorce.
When she’s uprooted from her hometown in Detroit and plopped down into rural Georgia, the townsfolk don’t know whether she’s an escapee from the circus or a devil worshiping antichrist looking to kill their pets and corrupt their children.
Much to her surprise, Darcy finds herself in the middle of a bizarre love triangle; the preppy good-looking popular boy that all parents would love on one side, and the bad boy heartthrob that would have fathers sitting on their porches with shotguns and mothers buying chastity belts on the other.
Not surprisingly, Darcy also finds herself the object of cruel jokes, bullying and pies in the face. While she’s trying to stand up for what she believes in and exact revenge on those who treat her and her friends badly, she also has to decide between the two guys vying for her attention.
Will one of them really be able to see beyond the makeup and love her for her? Or will she end up just being a pawn in a long standing rivalry between the boys?
*Recommended for older teens age 15+*

The First Step
There is often a time in our lives when we feel like an outcast, a feeling of sadness may descend upon us and we believe we find ourselves very much alone. It is this feeling that first caused me to pick up Tears of a Clown as it is one I used to feel a lot. This book is the kind of story that would help others to understand that they are never truly alone. It is an intriguing and inspiring book that is full of friendship, love, forgiveness and family. Of course, aside from that, it also holds an element of fun and it is possible to truly feel alive as you read the words on the page. Or at the very least, that is exactly how I felt as I read this.

Defines Everything
Darcy has come from a broken home, her parents divorce striking her to the core and she has had to find a way to survive the pain that settles in her chest. When her dad remarries, she is moved across country to live with her new stepmother and stepsister and to start a brand new school. While this is hard enough as it is, Darcy uses make-up to cling onto the only thing that helped her survive her childhood, a band that spoke to her when she needed it most. Soon her clown make-up causes her to be bullied, as well as bringing the attention of two popular boys in a much nicer way. This book details the journey that she takes, it shows her strength and stamina and is really a great coming-of-age tale about dealing with peer pressure, bullying and the true greatness of friendships. It is a story that is full of greatness that will have you tearing up one minute and laughing hysterically the next.

And Everyone
I truly adored Darcy. Right from the beginning of the story I found myself attached to her character. I felt for her because she had a true heart and was just a girl trying to deal with new circumstances. She was a strong character who had a lot to face but never let herself be backed into a corner. She was quite stubborn but she was also loyal and protective – even when she didn’t have to be. But even with all of these good things, she could also be a royal pain. She had a quick, sharp tongue and was quicker to snap at the people around her rather than explaining what was really happening beneath it all, preferring to push those away who got to close then having to lose her heart all over again. She had her flaws, helping to make her seem like a much more realistic and likable character.

Jazz was my second favourite character in the novel. She had some flare, a large, fun personality who seemed like she wasn’t afraid of anything. Deep down she wasn’t quite so fearless and strong, admitting her weakness to Darcy within the story but this just showed her to be stronger in my eyes as despite it all, she still stuck around and brought with it her live and vivacious personality. She is the kind of friend I would love to have. Judd was not my favourite character to begin with. I found him annoying and jarring but I soon found myself really enjoying his company on the page and I am still not sure as to when my feelings towards him changed! I adored Chaz, he was so charming and I just loved the way he was around Darcy when she acted like a clumsy little lady. He was always the perfect gentleman and you could just feel the kindness evaporate off of him.

Until You Change
Generally speaking, I am not a great lover of romance triangles in stories. I can sometimes feel them jarring as they just don’t seem realistic. And, in all honesty, I did feel this way at the beginning of this book and well, probably until half way through the book but this is all simply my own personal feelings towards it. Putting that aside, I feel like, as far as triangle’s go, this one was a very interesting one with an intriguing dynamic that kept the reader interested. When things settled down, I actually found myself happy with the way things panned out and realised that it probably worked out best the way that the beginning of the story went. The romance in this book was definitely well-written and I loved the way that the characters just felt so perfect for each other.

The Perspectives
While I loved the story, and I enjoyed the characters immensely, it did take me a short while to get used to the writing style. I am uncertain if this is due to the fact that I was reading the story on a small screen for a large portion of the book, or if it was just the style I had trouble with. There were times throughout the book that I struggled to understand who was speaking and I had to re-read passages a few times over. I could see what was needed to be done but found it lacking and therefore almost got confused at some parts. Fortunately, this didn’t happen often and once I got used to the style, it was much easier to contend with and didn’t distract from the story itself. I have a feeling that many readers will have no problem with this style at all but it just wasn’t something that I was used to!

Surrounding It All
All in all this book is one that I am incredibly glad that I read. It was truly entertaining and interesting and one that I was simply truly invested in. I loved the characters and felt a small sadness when I realised I had finished the book and no longer had them around for company. I felt that the serious topics brought about in this book were all handled well, even with the humour that was spaced throughout the story. It is a read that I would easily recommend to other readers who love a good contemporary YA story, especially one that is light but heavy all at the same time. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time and one that I can imagine reading time and time again. I thoroughly enjoyable read.

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

Four Stars
four out of five hearts

Faye

Posted on 20 October, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Behind the Blog #23 – It’s in the Family

Posted on 18 October, 2012 by Faye - 5 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!

Every family is different. This week we’re asking you about yours. Do you have any siblings? If you do, can you tell us anything about them? If you don’t, did you have any friends who felt like siblings to you? How has the ideas surrounding brothers and sisters shaped your life?
In relation to media; are there any sibblings in books or films that you truly love? Any that you wish were your own?


I’m one of those lucky – or unlucky depending on how you see things – people who hails from a rather large family. While this could have meant that no one got along, it actually just led to us all living very family-led lives. Now, that’s not saying that we don’t have our drama and negative issues but aside from that, we’re very much a “put family first” set of people. A while ago I used to think that I wasn’t like that, that I could put distance between me and my close family members and it would be like a breath of fresh air but I soon found myself craving the craziness and wackiness that is my family and I realised that I am very much a family girl at heart. (shhh, don’t tell anyone!)

That being said, this post is to tell you all about my sibblings and not the entirety of my extended family – we would be here for much too long if I tried to do that! – and so, to start of really simply; I have two biological sisters. The first is older than me by two and a half years and the second is younger by two and a half years – almost exactly to the month, one born in Dec and one in Jan. I also have three step brothers, one who is two months older than me, one who is two years and three months older and one who is five years older than me.

Growing up, I really did not get along with my eldest sister. We simply did not mesh well, we argued all the time and – unfortunately – more often than not came to blows. The problem was that we were too alike and too different all at the same time. She was “popular”, liked hanging around with people and just having a good time, whereas I preferred to be alone, spending my time writing online or reading and just not being that social which made me an outcast in her eyes but we were both very stubborn and aggressive and I would never let her back me into the corner. Nowadays, however, I am happy to report that we get along a LOT better. Sure, there are odd times when I still would like to push that smug smile off her face but generally speaking we argue a lot less and can actually, you know, have full blown conversations which is nice. I do believe that the distance away from each other really helped!

My little sister, on the other hand, was someone I had to share a bedroom with and while we were never incredibly close, we definitely got along better than I did with my older sister. We used to play-fight a lot, and talk about things but it still never got completely personal between us. It’s a shame but I know that our relationship is still one that I treasure. Once again we’re two very different people – with her taking after my oldest sister a lot more than me – but fortunately we didn’t come to blows quite as often as I did with the eldest. Of course, we still came to blows a few times, when you’re sharing a room with someone, it is difficult not to! Nowadays we’re more distant with each other as we’ve spent a lot of time apart but we still get along like chalk and cheese when we do see each other so it’s all good there!

I’m going to lump my step brothers all together for this bit. Growing up, I only saw them every other weekend and on the yearly family holiday – and christmas, easter, etc – and that was perfect, I think. The youngest step brother was pretty much my best friend throughout primary school and so it was just like going round to his house to play on the weekend – with him round mine every weekday – and it was just nice to think of him as my brother. The middle was good to get along with too and apparently we were always partnered up in games – which we always won because you know, we’re awesome – and I get along with him well. I do tend to have arguments with him now that I’m seeing him a lot more recently but nothing major which is always good! As for my older brother, we get on well but I think it was difficult with him being so much older than all of the rest of us, he would always be the one with the responsibility of keeping everyone together and safe, you know? Now though, we can have pleasant conversations and it’s always nice to see him.

So there we have it, the kids of the whacky family. I may despise some of my sibblings some of the time but I do count myself lucky to have such a large family with such a dynamic of personalities. I couldn’t even imagine growing up as an only child, or even one with just a single sibbling.


There are a thousand books that I could talk about with characters I would love to have as sibblings, or even relationships between sibblings that I wish I could have but since I don’t want this post to be too long, I’m going to list my top three fictional sibblings – you may just notice a pattern :P
  • Harry Potter Series; The Weasley Sibblings
    Yeap. I loved them. They were all so wacky and awesome and did sort of remind me of my big crazy family when I grew up. Of course, Fred and George were my favourites!
  • Elemental Series; The Merrick Brothers
    Not only are they *drool* worthy, they’re also just damn brilliant. They function just as a normal family would. They each have their own different personalities – and elements and are just brilliant. Also… Gabriel and Nick? Mmm.
  • The Truth About Forever; The Catering Team
    Okay, so these are not technically sibblings but they mesh so well and I would just love to have them all as sibblings. And they’re cousins so you know… it kind of works! haha.

Yeah… I have a thing for whacky, friendly families and… twins. I always wanted to be a twin.


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 18 October, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments


Magnificently Magic Read-A-Thon Announcement!

Posted on 18 October, 2012 by Faye - 13 Comments

MMReadathon

Hey Guys!

So, I am posting it now even though it’s like… two months away, just to see if this is something that people are interested in!

But what is the Magnificently Magic Read-A-Thon?
Well, Christmas can be a very magical time of year with the snow on the ground (if you’re lucky), the pretty trees and lights all aglow and just the general feel of that festive time of year. Therefore, I thought it would be quite nice to have a readathon during December reflecting this wonderful time. (There may even be some Christmas surprises throughout the read-a-thon!)

The idea is to read any magical books.
That could be books with witches, books about fairy’s (or fey), books that just feel magical (*cough* Celia Ahern *cough*), books with a winter setting, or even Christmas themed books!

I have also made this two weekends before Christmas as, if you’re anything like me, the weekend before will most likely be incredibly busy with family things, last minute shopping, etc, etc. But if this date doesn’t work for you, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do!
*edit: The date is now all set for 13th-16th Dec*

Throughout the readathon there will also be a twitter chat and maybe some mini challenges – if you’re up for hosting a challenge or even a giveaway, please contact me here.

So there is still a lot of organising to do, but I just wanted to get this out there and see if people are interested! If you do decide to sign up, I would appreciate either a tweet or a post to say you are so that others can join in the fun! Also, that button at the top is free for you to “steal” as well.

Oh, and from now on, feel free to use the hashtag; #MMReadathon

Posted on 18 October, 2012 by Faye - 13 Comments


Fairy Tale Read-A-Thon! (Goals & Updates)

Posted on 16 October, 2012 by Faye - 10 Comments

Woohoo! The Fairy Tale Read-a-thon is upon us!
I only heard about this recently, actually, but I have been excited about it ever since! I love fairy tales and am really looking forward to reading some of the books in my collection that I haven’t got around to reading yet.

I’ll be using this post to explain what I hope to read (I doubt I’ll get through them all but there we go!) and I’ll also be using it for my updates throughout the read-a-thon.

Choices
   

 

Thorn by Intisar Khanane
A retelling of The Goose Girl in the Grimm Tales. Will probably be starting with this one.

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
What sounds like a really interesting take on fairy tales with the main protagonist on a journey to help save her brothers (as I gather from the synopsis!)

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
A very unique retelling of Robin Hood told from the perspective of Will Scarlet, a girl in man’s clothing. Very intrigued to read this one.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
This one has been one I’ve been meaning to read for ages. An interesting take on a Cinderella fairy tale – I think! (correct me if I’m wrong!)

A Bite’s Tale; A Fury Fable by Veronica Blade
A short novella of an interesting Cinderella retelling where Cinderella is a werewolf and the prince a vampire. Seems intriguing and an interesting read.

So that’s all the books I have to choose from for this read-a-thon. I may change some around but for now, I’m sticking with these! I hope to read three or four of them. *fingers crossed*

If you’re participating, I’d love to see what you’re planning on reading! Link me?

Faye


Updates

Day One
Book Reading: Thorn by Intisar Khanane
Progress: 25%
Overall Progress: quarter of one book.
Thoughts: I am really enjoying Thorn and wish I had, had more time yesterday to read but am hoping to get a lot more of it read today and maybe even finish it!

Day Two
Book Reading: Thorn by Intisar Khanane
Progress: 25%
Overall Progress: Half of one book
Thoughts: This book is really keeping me entertained. I was busy again and didn’t read as much as I wanted to but when I wasn’t reading it, I was continuously thinking about it! Hoping to finish it today.

Day Three
Book Reading: Thorn by Intisar Khanane & A Bite’s Tale by Veronica Blade
Progress: 60%
Overall Progress: One book, and 10% of a novella.
Thoughts: Oh wow! Thorn was brilliant! And I finished it like I wanted to, woo! Hope to finish A Bite’s Tale today and start another, though not decided on what yet! Any thoughts?

Day Four
Book Reading: A Bite’s Tale by Veronica Blade & Kill Me Softly by Sarah Crossan
Progress: 90% of A Bite’s Tale, 40% of Kill Me Softly
Overall Progress: One book, One Novel and 40% of another book.
Thoughts: I found A Bite’s Tale to be a really cute and entertaining read. I’m still undecided on Kill Me Softly. It’s okay, but no sparks yet, unfortunately!

Day Five
Book Reading: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Crossan & Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
Progress: 60% of Kill Me Softly and 5% of Scarlet
Overall Progress: Two books, One Novella and 5% of another book.
Thoughts: Kill Me Softly was an okay read, it wasn’t anything marvellous or amazing but it was okay. Looking forward to seeing what Scarlet is like and trying to finish this book today!

** Unrelated Note **
Yesterday I announced a read-a-thon I’m planning for December. Check it out here.

Posted on 16 October, 2012 by Faye - 10 Comments


Adventures of a Graveyard Girl by Milda Harris

Posted on 16 October, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments

Adventures Banner

Hey Guys!
I’m the stop on the Adventures of a Graveyard Girl blog tour today and for it I have a wonderful review for you all.
Enjoy!

13615286

Author: Milda Harris
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: 23rd April 2012
Pages: Unknown
Format: E-Book
Source: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD, Smashwords

Summary:

Kait Lenox is back! It’s Homecoming Dance time and Kait is excited. It’s her first dance with a date and that date is none other than one of the hottest, most popular guys in her school, Ethan Ripley! For once Kait doesn’t feel like a funeral crashing weird girl and it’s the most perfect romantic evening ever…at least until a girl gets murdered in the high school bathroom. Rumors fly, panic ensues, and Kait can’t help herself, she assigns herself to the case!

Before the Crime
Adventures of a Graveyard Girl is the second book in this series and it is definitely a better and more entertaining read than it’s predecessor. Unfortunately, I found Adventures in Funeral Crashing to be a little too juvenile for my tastes (full review here) but it was still an entertaining read that I enjoyed and one that did have me wishing to read more. Therefore, when the opportunity to do just that came around, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up. Fortunately I definitely preferred this novel and enjoyed it a lot more. It was a good book that kept me interested. There were times that I groaned inwardly but these were, luckily, few and far between.

Investigators Unite
One of the biggest problems I had with the first book in this series was my distaste for the main character, Kait, but I am glad to admit that she wasn’t anywhere near as annoying in this book. I am not certain if this is because she was written better, if I simply got used to it, or if I am just in a different frame of mind this time around but whatever the reason, it certainly helped to make the book more enjoyable. Kait has a hard time letting go of her curious nature and it means that investigating a murder that happens at her school is something she simply has to do. While I’ve never read the books, she actually reminds me of Nancy Drew a lot and I have a feeling that fans of those types of books will really enjoy this book.

The other characters in the book were quite interesting to read about as well. Ethan was as charming as ever; protective of Kait while also being a moody teenager with his own flaws. Suzie and Kyle were cute together but I once again found myself wishing that they could have had a bit of a bigger spotlight in the book but they did help to make me smile which is always good. April was one character that I struggled to get my head around. There were times when I liked her and times when I disliked her but all I know is that she definitely helped to make things in the book more interesting!

To Solve It
How everything came together at the end was really well put together. I did, unfortunately, guess who the murderer was quite early on in the story and kept hoping that Kait would see the hint but that is probably because I have read quite a large proportion of crime books and am better at spotting these things! Needless to say, guessing the killer didn’t make the book any less exciting. Milda has filled the book with lots of different things going on and interlinking throughout the book to keep the reader interested. There were never any truly dull moments as even when the investigating wasn’t happening, something else riveting or intriguing was happening instead. All the layers truly helped to make the book a decent read.

Despite all of the good points, I did still find that the writing style was difficult to adjust to at first. Although written from the viewpoint of sixteen year-old Kait, there were times where I was actually unsure of how old she was due to the language and writing style of the novel. Generally speaking the style helped to make it a nice, easy read without too much heavy thinking but it also gave a very “young” reader vibe. This is a young adult book that is definitely more suited to the younger end of the spectrum. I believe that adults who read YA may find this to be a little less interesting than those who are younger. Fortunately, having read the first book beforehand, I was ready for this style and I believe that this helped to quickly get used to the style and to simply go with it.

Saving Everyone
All in all, Adventures of a Graveyard Girl was an entertaining, and enjoyable read that I was really glad to have taken the time to read. It had me laughing in places, tearing up in others and simply sympathising with the characters and all of the high school dramas that they were dealing with. It was fun and quirky and Kait is definitely someone who can be used to show that being who you are is much better than conforming to who they want you to be. It has a great message within the story and I feel that there are many other readers who will really enjoy this novel. I would recommend this book to teenagers between thirteen and seventeen but feel that some older readers may appreciate the book as well.

Three Stars
three out of five hearts

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

Faye

Posted on 16 October, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments


Blogger Spotlight – Interview!

Posted on 14 October, 2012 by Faye - 8 Comments

Vicky Blogger Spotlight

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to the awesome Vicky, at Books, Biscuits, and Tea!
Hope it helps you get a better insight into her and her blog!

Tell us a little something about yourself!
My name is Vicky and I’m 22 years old. I’m in my third and final year of university and I’m studying British literature and culture. When I’m not at university, I work as a blog tour assistant for Novel Publicity. I currently live in Hungary but if all goes according to plan, I’m moving to London late next year or early 2014. I’d love to be able to work in publishing someday, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me. As for books, I love literary, women’s, contemporary and crime fiction – adult and young adult alike. Other than reading I also love travelling, hanging out with friends, playing with my cat and curling up with a warm blanket and a steaming mug of tea and watch my favourite shows (Survivor, The Amazing Race, Downton Abbey, New Girl) on telly. 

How long have you had your blog?
I celebrated my 1 year blogoversary on September 24, so it’s a little bit more than a year. I can’t believe it’s been that long already! 

Do you enjoy running your blog?
I do, I really do! I went through a bit of a reading and blogging slump this summer and life often gets in the way of blogging, but it’s a great distraction. I also love the fact that I’m able to meet like-minded people from all around the world and I found many great friends during these 12 months of blogging. I’m glad I’m part of this community and I really love doing it.

When you started, did you ever think that it would end up the way it has?
I didn’t! When I started my blog, I had literally no idea what I was in for or how it would turn out. Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d be where I am today. To be honest, I’m still surprised at how many people actually take the time and read my ramblings – it’s insane! I’ve learnt an awful lot during this time, met some wonderful people, read some fantastic books and I hope the next few years will be just as good as the first one was.

Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog, if there is, tell us!
Well, it took me quite a long time to pick a name. I know I wanted something like ‘Nose in a Book’ or something like that but that was already taken. Just like all of the other names I liked. And then I had this idea of combining some of the things I loved and that’s how Books, Biscuits, and Tea came about. These are the three things I just can’t live without. A hot cuppa isn’t the same without some biscuits and a good book, and vice versa. If I could start it all over again, I would probably try and be more patient and take some time to come up with a better name but… well, at least it’s mine! :)

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 read quite a wide range of genres and my reviews are not necessarily adult or young adult only. I review everything from young adult contemporary to adult thrillers. I don’t normally read paranormal books, sci-fi and non-fiction, though. Other than these, there’s a little bit of everything. :) 

Do you participate or host and blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
I did but this year’s been insanely busy at uni so I’m taking a break from all these memes for the time being. I loved doing Waiting on Wednesday, though, so I might return to that once I graduate and have more free time. Even though I could schedule these posts beforehand, I know I wouldn’t have much time to stop by everyone’s blogs and check out their posts so I’d rather take a break until things calm down a bit. Oh, and I host a weekly meme, which is Showcase Sunday.

What about blog tours and blog hops? Have you ever or do you ever want to participate in them?
I do take part in blog tours occasionally, yes. They’re really fun! 

What is the best book you read in 2011?
Oh dear, there were lots! The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes was definitely one of them. I’ve read most of Marian’s books (and you know how much I love them) but this one is by far my favourite. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue and The Secret of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate were also amazing!

What about in 2012?
There were even more! :D Oh God. Okay, well… Come to the Edge by Joanna Kavenna was definitely a pleasant surprise and it was a hilarious novel. I also loved Mice by Gordon Reece, The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker, Divergent by Veronica Roth, In The Woods by Tana French and The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen.

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?
I’m quite patient when it comes to books and even if a book is not my cup of tea, I still try to read on and finish it. There was one book which I almost didn’t finish (A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks) – I found his writing boring and the story didn’t seemed to be going anywhere, but I managed to finish it eventually. The only book I didn’t finish in the past few years was actually for one of my classes, which is William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. I had to put it down after 90 pages… *shudders* Which almost never happens. It’s not an easy book to read, that’s for sure!

What is your favourite book genre?
I enjoy quite a lot of genres but crime fiction will always hold a special place in my heart. I just love mysteries and thrillers. Other than that, I love literary fiction, women’s fiction and contemporary fiction as well.

Quick Fire Round

ebook or hardcopy?
I love my Kindle but I think I’ll always prefer hardcopies

ya or adult?
I do read both, actually, but if I had to pick one it would be adult

vampires or werewolves?
Er… can I say neither? Don’t hate me, don’t hate me! I’m just not into this whole vampire and werewolf thing.

chocolate or vanilla?
chocolate

harry potter or twilight?
Harry Potter!

four or peeta?
Four

series or single?
Again, I love both. I know lots of people don’t like series but I don’t mind them, really. But if I had to pick one, it’d probably be single.

blogger or wordpress?
WordPress

And finally,
Is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who have been sticking with me and my blog in the past 12+ months and for all your lovely messages, comments and tweets. :) I’m really glad I met you all and it’s been a wonderful year. So thank you!

Thank you for your brilliant answers Vicky and for taking the time to do so! If you’re not following Vicky yet, I really think you should go and do that now.

Posted on 14 October, 2012 by Faye - 8 Comments


Ready, Set, Review-A-Thon! (Sign Up – November 2012)

Posted on 12 October, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments

reviewathon

Hey Guys!

So you may remember that a while back I co-hosted a Readathon called, Ready, Steady, Read-Athon! From that readathon twitter chat, it was mentioned briefly that we should host a review-a-thon so that people can catch up on the reviews that they should really have written a long time ago. That, my friends, is exactly what Danie and I are going to do!

Ready, Set, Review-A-Thon is going to be a month long, and it is going to be a month full of – hopefully – fun and friendships and lots of review writing! The aim is to have dwindled our must-write review piles by a large proportion. No more time for slacking, it’s time we put our fingers on the keyboards and tell the world what we feel about the books we have read.

What do we have in store for you?

If you participate in this review-a-thon;

  • we have a few prizes and awards to give out
  • we will hold another twitter chat (or two!)
  • we will encourage you to keep writing (and reading)
  • there will be posts on review-writing, such as tips and guidelines
  • there will be a challenge for the most creative review(s)
  • we will encourage everyone to do weekly updates too!

When will it be?
Ready, Set, Review-A-Thon will be a month long, which will give us all enough time to write many reviews without getting arm cramp, during the month of November.

How many reviews do I have to write?
There is no limit! But there is also no minimum. Simply write as much as you can in the month. Sometimes even just one brilliant review will be better than writing no reviews at all! The idea is simply to write enough reviews to allow your overflowing to-write list to become easier to handle. If that means you only write three reviews all month, then so be it!

Will we have to post the reviews in the month?
Not at all! Sometimes it’s nice to have a few back-up reviews that you can go to when your motivation is no longer what it is so if you find the time and want to just write some reviews for that purpose, we’re definitely not going to stop you.

What if I sign up but then don’t have time to write much?
Don’t fret, at least you tried, right? As mentioned before, you can write as many or as few reviews as you wish, or as you can. There is no set target – although you can set a target for yourself – but if you don’t reach a certain number, no one will penalise you and you will still have a chance to win a prize, so it’s a win-win situation, right?

What do I do if I have any more questions?
E-mail or tweet us! Danie and I will be happy to answer all of your questions. My e-mail and twitter are in my sidebar *points to pretty graphics*.

And throughout the month – and from now onwards really, we will also be using the hashtag #rsreviewathon so if you want to keep an eye on more updates or if you want to simply chat to us, you can find us there!

Sound like something you’re interested in? Or at least intrigued by? Then why not sign up** below to join us for this new and exciting adventure! Feel free to use the button to help us advertise too!

** When you sign up, if you could link to your participating/joining/signing up/etc post, we’d appreciate it. **

Faye

Posted on 12 October, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments


Behind the Blog #22 – Fourteen

Posted on 11 October, 2012 by Faye - No 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!

Do you believe in lucky numbers, or certain number combinations/sequences? Do you have a favorite number? Any numbers that you feel are unlucky?
In relation to books and media, what are some books or movies that focus on specific numbers?


Growing up, mathematics was one of my more treasured subjects. I could understand numbers and equations. There was only one right answer, but usually there were many possible ways to get to that one answer. It was straight-forward. It was logical. And to me, it just made sense. After all, one plus one would only ever equal two.

Generally speaking most people will either excel at mathematics or english. The two subjects require two different brain powers, logic and analysis. English requires your brain to engage with subject matter and to come up with your own idea behind the words, to work out the meaning for yourself. There is, essentially, no wrong answer in english as it is entirely to do with interpretation. Mathematics on the other hand requires you to sort through equations to come to the only correct answer. There is no room for interpretation. However, every once in a while, someone will be good at both – though it apparently isn’t very common.

I happen to be someone who is good at both – sort of. I don’t excel at maths and I don’t excel at english – at much as I wish I did both. When I apply myself to maths I can be great, when I apply myself to english I can be great but I have never been brilliant in either subjects – no matter how much I tried to tell myself I was. The reason for this is because when I did mathematics, I used my creative english brain to get to the answer a new way – which is fine if you’re a teacher but when you can’t use the formula you’ve been taught, you don’t get brilliant marks, especially when you forget to show your workings. And when I do english, I sometimes look at things structurally, I can sometimes struggle to come up with my own interpretation because I look at it too logically.

That being said, despite being a writer, taking a humanities subject at university that had me writing essay after essay, and despite being an avid reader, mathematics and numbers have always come easier to me. I can remember numbers ten times better than I can remember words and their meanings – I constantly look at the dictionary when I’m writing. I can do equations (fairly) quickly in my head and whenever I’m reading I actually calculate how far, percentage wise, I am into a book every now and again to keep my brain calculating something.Yet, despite this, because I stopped dealing with mathematics and numbers six years ago, I am nowhere near as good at the subject as I should be.

I don’t believe in lucky numbers or equations, nor do I believe in unlucky ones. But then, that could also be because I don’t believe in superstitions either. I also don’t really have a favourite number. But if I had to choose I would probably always go with 14 because it is the day of my birth and that, I suppose, could be counted as a lucky day – or unlucky, depending on if you’re my friend or not.

What about you? Are you better with numbers or words? Do you have a favourite number?


We’d love to have you join us for Behind the Blog!

If you’re choosing to join us for Behind the Blog don’t forget to link up your post by using the Linky list below!

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, just link up on Friday! 
  • Feel free to make use of the button shown above, or if it clashes with your blog colours e-mail us or make your own.
  • Read, write, and connect! The Linky is there for you. Make use of it!
  • Last but not least, have fun!

Posted on 11 October, 2012 by Faye - No Comments


Author Interview – Ciye Cho

Posted on 10 October, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Hey Guys!
So today I am introducing you to the wonderful Ciye Cho, author of Florence. I will be asking him some questions for you all to read over and enjoy!
Hope it helps you get a better insight into him and his novel!

Hi Ciye, welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! Let’s start with the basics, tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you would like your readers to know.
Hi… my name’s Ciye Cho, and I live on the Gold Coast in Australia. Beaches, oceans, and marine life were a large part of my childhood… along with mer mythology.

Australia is such a magical place! But I’m curious, how long have you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember the exact time, but I’ve always been a chronic daydreamer. Growing up, I was painfully shy, so writing stories was a great way for me to express myself and communicate with other people.

It certainly sounds like a brilliant way to communicate! So, when you’re not typing away at the keyboard coming up with new ideas, what do you do?
When I’m not writing, I like to illustrate the things that I dream about. I also work as a freelance graphic designer.

The synopsis for Florence sounds incredibly intriguing, can you tell us what inspired you to create a story set in the ocean?
I’m obsessed with merfolk. I draw pictures of them, have weird dreams about them, and really wanted to present a fresh take on mer mythology. I wanted to create a story full of psychedelic coral architecture and merfolk who came in more colors than a pack of jellybeans.

I thought it would be cool to place these merpeople in a coral dome somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. A dome surrounded by deep-sea volcanoes.

Sounds really interesting! With that in mind, what key themes or messages were you trying to get across in your novel, if any at all?
The main theme behind “Florence” is the idea that we’re all outsiders looking for somewhere to belong–and maybe something to believe in. A smaller theme is the idea that people need to respect the ocean and all its animals. The animals and merpeople of Niemela live and work in harmony with each other, from the giant sea snails that plow kelp fields… to the whales that ferry people from place to place.

They are some great themes and messages! Tell me, are any of the characters in your story based on people you know?
I didn’t base the characters on anyone specific. However, a lot of the characters in this book were based off that central theme about outsiders. A lot of the characters in “Florence” are outsiders who don’t fit in within their world (i.e. Prince Rolan who uses rules to distance himself from others, and Princess Yolee who creates art in a world of extreme pragmatism). In particular, Florence Waverley spent most of her life feeling like a fish out of water… but ends up experiencing the flipside when she becomes trapped in a world of merfolk.

Intriguing. Now, during those long hours creating your new novels, were there any bad habits you fell into (eating lots of ben and jerry’s for encouragement, perhaps)?
I sometimes forget to breathe when I concentrate too hard. That often leads to weird dizzy spells and ocular migraines.

Oh, not good but at least we know you’re taking your work seriously! So, if you had to review your own book, honestly, what three words would you use to best describe it?
Imaginative. Wonderific. Merpeople.

And finally, do you have any advice for any aspiring writers out there?
Never stop writing.

Quick Fire Round

ebooks or hard copies?
eBooks
day or night?
Day
reading or writing?

Writing
paper or computer?
Computer
tea or coffee?

Tea
favourite book of the moment?
Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone.” From the first line to the last page, every bit of it was a truly magical experience.
most memorable book?
Antoine de-Saint Exupery’s “The Little Prince.” It’s one of the first books I read as a kid, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

Thank you so much for spending the time talking with me today Ciye! It was great to get to know you a little better and I’m certainly more intrigued about Florence, as I’m sure my readers are!
In case you are all interested, below is more info on the book.
Enjoy.


Author: Ciye Cho
Publisher: Self Published
Published: July 1st 2012
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Add It:
Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.
Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand–and find out where she belongs–Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart… and her very soul.

Posted on 10 October, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Skating on the Edge by Joelle Charbonneau + Author Interview!

Posted on 9 October, 2012 by Faye - No Comments

Hey Guys!
So today I have for you a review of Skating on the Edge by Joelle Charbonneau and then I have an interview with her.
Enjoy!

Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Published: 1st Jan 2012
Pages: unknown
Format: Ebook
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD

Summary:

It’s Native American Summer Days in Indian Falls, and Rebecca Robbins is roped into taking a turn in the Senior Center dunk tank. That is until her rhinestone-studded grandfather needs help setting up his Elvis act. Now Rebecca has to find a replacement and roller derby girl Sherlene-n-Mean is delighted to fit the bill — until she’s dunked and ends up dead. The cops want Rebecca to stay out of the investigation, but she was supposed to be in that dunk tank, which means her life could be hanging in the balance. Aided by a trio of self-appointed bodyguard derby girls, Rebecca digs for answers, dodges bullets and races to find the killer before the killer finds her.

Declaration
I have not yet read a Rebecca Robbins novel and I actually was not aware that this was actually the third book in the series until I started to write this review and while this would normally bug me, I am glad to report that not reading the first two didn’t stop me from enjoying the novel. Unknown to me, I may have enjoyed it more with the background of the previous novels but these books are set out very much like crime television programmes where there is a cut and closed case each time and therefore readers are able to pick up and put down where they wish to. I know for certain that I will now be going out and getting a hold of the first two books in the series as I really want to read more about Rebecca Robbins!

It is Set
Rebecca has moved back to the small town – village – where she grew up in Indian Falls and it is here that she owns and works at the local roller-skating rink. Indian Falls is a quiet town – or it usually is – so when a murder happens in plain sight, its residents are shocked. Of course, no one actually knows who the culprit is. Feeling the need to solve the mystery – and to save her own skin – Rebecca starts to investigate the murder. I loved Indian Falls. It was such a funny place to be and the character of the place was just brilliant. I could picture the type of area that it was set in real life and that really helped to hook me into the story. It may not have been a place I would love to spend my time but it certainly was a lively little town. Joelle has really managed to capture this place really well.

Everyone is Ready
Oh for the love of characters! This book, and I’m guessing the series, is not without its brilliant, energetic and enthusiastic characters. Taking from the setting, it is bound by natural laws – probably – that such places are full of wild and wacky characters and Skating on the Edge has them by the truckload. Everyone was quirky in their own little ways and it is totally possible to see how everyone sticks together and pulls through. I really liked how the characters interacted with each other and the odd sub-plots and background bits of information that were thrown in here and there. It really helped to make the story more entertaining and engaging.

Rebecca took a while for me to like. At first I couldn’t figure her out and it really annoyed me but I kept going and soon I realised I was with her one hundred percent and was gasping when things happened and edging her on. Without even acknowledging it, this character became someone that I admired and really liked reading about. She was a strong female character who had her flaws but really just wanted to do what was right for herself and the town. She never gave up, even when she was hurt and scared. She had motivation that many people dream about. Other great characters that I adored included Deputy Sean Holmes, Pops, Erica and Lionel. Each for many different reasons but they all really helped to bring the story alive.

So Let’s Solve
If the town and the characters are anything to go by, it would only be fair for the plot to be wacky and wild also and it definitely was. With so many different things going on, with loose ends leading to more loose ends before everything eventually gets tied together and sorted, this book is not without things to keep a reader interested and prepared. It was an engaging read that was really entertaining and fun – while also bringing forth a bit of mystery and romance too. The plot was just really interesting and compelling, I had to keep reading to know exactly what was going to happen next and to simply know who was behind everything.

The Last Piece
Overall this book was really enjoyable. At first I found it a bit difficult to get into because of my quarrel with Rebecca’s character but once I got passed that, it was simply an easy read that kept me entertained. The characters helped to bring the tone of the book up, and when one is writing about crime it must be difficult to keep moods high. I found myself laughing out loud a fair few times, grinning like an idiot at others and then screaming silly things at the characters at others. It was fully engaging and completely engrossing and is a book that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun, interesting or mysterious read. I would, however, probably recommend that they read the first two books in the series first!

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

Three Stars
three out of five hearts


Hello Joelle and welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts!

Skating on the Edge and Murder for Choir both involve strong female characters who take their own initiative to solve the crimes surrounding them. Is there a reason behind this style of writing within the crime genre?Crime fiction, and in my case amateur sleuth crime fiction, requires strong characters in order to make the story work. It does take a special kind of person to look a crime and think “I can help solve that”. I admit, I’m thrilled strong female characters have found a place in crime fiction and hope that they show young women that being assertive isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

There are a fair few characters in Skating on the Edge, but can you tell us which one of them is your favourite and why?
This is such a tough question. Well, until this book, my favourite character to write was Pop. He is fun, feisty and willing to try anything. The derby girls have also been a blast to write. However, most surprising is my fondness for Deputy Sean Holmes. He has grown a great deal during the series and I am dying to see how he continues to evolve.

Every author has a different place that they write, or even a different method of writing, where do you go when you’re writing your novels?
My living room chair. Since I have a four year old, a great deal of my every day e-mailing is done with him racing around. When he naps (and thank God he still naps), I sit in the living room chair, break out the laptop and write. Some day, hopefully soon, we’ll move into a place where I have an office with a door. Until then, I’m located near enough to the kitchen to snag caffeine when necessary and close enough to my son’s room to hear when he wakes up.

From my own experience, I acknowledge that writing crime can take a lot of time to research and plan and plot, do you always plan extensively before you start writing or do you plot as you write or do you simply just write?
Plot? What’s that? I’m only half kidding. I love the concept of outlines, but I have yet to write a book that can follow a preconceived plan. More often than not, I come up with an idea for the crime, figure out how the first chapter ends, jot down a few notes about what I think might happen in the book and then start writing. Whenever I get stuck, I look back at the notes I jotted down in the hopes that something on that page will jumpstart me. It’s kind of a scary process since I don’t know what is coming next, but it’s fun when the twists and turns surprise me as much as the reader.

As a crime writer, do you often read other crime fiction stories? If yes, who is your favourite crime author – at the moment?
Sadly, this whole writing thing has really cut into my reading time. However, I do love crime fiction stories. In fact, my shelves are bursting with them. One of my all time favourite writers is Harlan Coben. His Myron Bolitar series has both wit and suspense and his stand-alone thrillers are amazing page turners. If you haven’t given his books a whirl, I urge you to pick one up. You won’t be disappointed.

When you’re not writing away or plotting or coming up with new ideas, how do you like to spend your time?
Hmmm…with a four year old around and 4 books to write this year, there isn’t a lot of time for frolicking. However, I love to watch sports (Go Bears) and I adore cooking and watching Food Network. I’m also a fan of spending time with my son, my husband and the rest of my family no matter what activity we are participating in.

Posted on 9 October, 2012 by Faye - No Comments