weekly highlights

Weekly Highlights; The Holiday Edition

Posted on 30 December, 2012 by Faye - 10 Comments

weekly highlights

Weekly Highlights is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and will be a post highlighting things that happened on and off the blog. It is inspired by The Story Sirens In My Mailbox, Books, Biscuit and Tea’s Showcase Sunday, Kimba Caffeinated’s Sunday Post, and the British Letterbox Love.

In the feature I won’t mention everything I received, nor every post I wrote during the week but will simply feature a selection of things I wish to spotlight a second time around.

With the festive period, posting and really all blogging things have been put on hiatus due to the amount of time I spent away from the computer, yet there were still a few things that happened and a few items I received that I wanted to share with you all.


Post Highlights

On Wednesday, I made a post telling you all about the Reading Challenges I plan on participating in this year! What are you planning to challenge yourself to?

For Behind The Blog this week, I spoke about my most memorable moments of 2012 and some of my favourite books with memorable endings, as well as the three sequels I look forward to most next year. What moments do you remember most from this year?

And yesterday I announced a MASSIVE blog tour that Novel Publicity are hosting. And they’re looking for bloggers to help them! You don’t even need to read the books, you can simply post a pre-written interview or guest post! It boasts of hundreds of prizes! Check it out for more info by clicking here.


Giveaway Announcement

For your chance to win Falling From Eternity by Megan Duncan, run over to this post! You can also read my four star review of the book, giving you plenty of reason as to why you should try and win!


Christmas Goodies

So, for the first time, this year I participated in UKYABB’s Secret Santa and after sending my present off, I received mine in the post.

secret santa g

I waited until Christmas day to open it, which is when I found out it was from Anya from Awful Lot of Reading. She got me Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey, a lovely little bracelet and a pretty bookmark!

  secret santa

I didn’t expect any books from my family this year because they had told me that they felt I had enough already and didn’t need any more (they know nothing) so when I opened these goodies, I was very happy!

hogwarts, hunger, torn

Torn by Cat Clarke; a book that I have had on my wish list for a long time. I’m looking forward to finally getting into this one!
Hunger Games DVD; Ahhh! Yay! I watched this the other day and relived how much I loved it!
Golden Snitch Necklace; Can I just say… AHHH! This was an amazing present! It doesn’t, unfortunately, fit, but I think I should be able to get a new chain for it and then I may never take it off! haha.

christmas books

Harry Potter: The Ultimate Quiz; I will know everything about Harry Potter one day and will spout out random nonsensical facts to random strangers simply because I can. A lovely surprise present!
Maggot Moon; Okay, so I bought this for myself, but it came gift-wrapped and I found myself unable to open it until Christmas so it gets a special mention today! Wooo!
£20 Amazon Gift Voucher; Not pictured, but I also got a voucher to go and get some new kindle books!

Other, book or blog related presents include;

View album

DVDs; One Day (very first review on this blog!), The Break-up Plan, and The Amazing Spiderman! Two great movies and one I have never seen which I hope to be great as well.
Starbucks Mug, Coffee & Caramel Syrup; Ah, my family knows the way to my heart. Will be drinking many caramel latte’s while I curl up with a good film or book!
Wall Calendar & 2013 Diary; Two new places to pencil in the going’s-on of my life and my blog! Wahoo.


And there you have it. My Weekly Highlights! Future feature’s may also include; Upcoming Posts, Favourite Blog Posts from Others’ Blogs, and Current Reads. But with this being long due to Christmas already, I figure I’ll stop here.

I hope to visit all posts of this manner, so feel free to link to your own IMMs, Sunday Showcase, Sunday Posts, Letterbox Loves or whatever it is you do below!

Hope you all had a good Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Faye

Posted on 30 December, 2012 by Faye - 10 Comments


Seven Reasons to Spoil Yourself with the Sullivans; Awesome reads and Crazy Awesome Prizes

Posted on 29 December, 2012 by Faye - No Comments

Did you get a new eReader for Christmas, and are now looking for something awesome to read? Or, maybe you didn’t get anything good and want to spoil yourself a little with the chance to win that coveted eReader, some major gift cards, or other awesome prizes. Maybe you just need to relax after hurry-scurrying around all season. Well…

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a long hot bath or snuggle under your favorite blanket with a great read? Sounds like the perfect day, right? Hey, we can offer you something even better than that.

In fact, we can offer you something seven times better!

For starters, we can offer you up to seven review copies of Bella Andre’s New York Times and USA Today best-selling contemporary romance series The Sullivans.

We’ll introduce you to—not just one, but—each and every member of the Sullivan family on their quests to find happiness. Even though most of them aren’t even really looking for love, it has a way of finding them anyway. These sexy, emotional and funny novels will nurse all your literary and metaphorical desires. You’ll laugh and cry right along with the characters, and get hooked into these great stories right from the very first page. They even take place in lovely California, giving you the opportunity to travel by proxy and escape the windy winter doldrums.

What’s that you say? The books sound awesome, but you’re not sure why you have to join the tour to enjoy their awesomeness? There are so many reasons to sign-up. Since there are seven books (so far) in The Sullivans series and seven that will be taking part in this extraordinarily large tour, let’s stay right on theme and discuss seven reasons why you need to join the fun, pronto.

CLICK ME > What are you waiting for? Go sign-up now!

The perks

Not only will you get to read a great novel—or two, or three, or seven—but you’ll also get…

1. The opportunity to network with other bloggers and avid readers.

2. The option to host a guest post, excerpt or interview with best-selling author Bella Andre. This will bring new readers to your blog AND give you content for your blog—what’s better, a post you didn’t even have to write yourself. If your New Year looks as hectic as mine, having a guest post is almost as good as reading an awesome book… because it means I’ll have TIME to READ that great book.

3. The chance to interact directly with the author through a number of social media activities, discussions, and awesome giveaways.

But wait, there’s more!

4. Literally, there are more books. If you love The Sullivans, you can find half a dozen more books just waiting for your eager hands and mind. AND REVIEW COPIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL SEVEN! WOWZA!

5. Kick start your New Year’s resolution to read more! Plus you get hours of entertainment absolutely free—you may even win something (which makes the deal even sweeter).

6. The Sullivans will make you fall in love. You’ll love the writing, the humor, the characters, and the stories. You might even find hope for true love within these pages.

7. If you’ve ever wished for your own happy ending—heck, even if you’ve already found it—there’s something in each of these novels you’ll be able to identify with. We all know life isn’t perfect, and the Sullivans know that too. They’re so real, reading the book is almost like watching a movie or watching somebody’s real life unfold right in front of your eyes.

Did I forget to mention the prizes?

The prizes are ridonkulous. We’ve got romantic swag baskets, hundreds of dollars gift cards, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, AND a Sony eReader to name a few.

Well I guess there’s just one more reason to join us on the biggest tour Novel Publicity has ever put together. More books, more bloggers, more buzz and, of course, more prizes!

CLICK ME > What are you waiting for? Go sign-up now!

Oh, did you want specific details?

Sullivan Tour Badge

Learn what all the buzz is about when you receive review copies of the first 7 books in this on-going series. Read one, or read them all. Or, you could host an excerpt, interview, or guest post instead–and we’ll even put that together for you.

Tour Dates:  January 7 to 20, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: approx 300 pages each

CAUTION: Explicit language, very steamy love scenes…and lots of emotion!

The Prizes:

* iPad Mini
* Kindle Fire
* Nook Color
* Kobo eReader
* $100 Amazon gift cards (7 prizes)
* $50 Amazon gift cards (2 prizes)
* $25 Amazon gift cards (8 prizes)
* $20 iTunes gift cards (10 prizes)
* Custom prize baskets for EACH of the 7 books–including items such as wine gift set, silver bracelets, romantic photo books and photo frames, eReader and smart phone skins, and MUCH, MUCH more!

…and we’ve got special prizes just for participating bloggers

Read summaries and excerpts on the sign-up page.

CLICK ME > What are you waiting for? Go sign-up now!

Posted on 29 December, 2012 by Faye - No Comments


Behind the Blog #33; It’s not the end…

Posted on 28 December, 2012 by Faye - 3 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 we approach the end of this year, we want to talk about the year which has passed. Did you learn anything this year? Do you have any days or moments that will stay with you forever? And finally, how does it feel to finally say goodbye to one year and hello to another?
In relation to media, are there any books or films that had powerful endings that will stick with you forever? Or are there any sequels that you’re looking forward to starting in 2013?


I want to start this post with a quick apology for the lateness of it. With the holidays, there just wasn’t any time to write this. Fortunately, there is now so it’s only a little late!


This year has definitely been an interesting one with many different things happening throughout it and I want to spend this post talking about the moments that will stay with me forever because they were all truly amazing and brilliant.
  • I graduated from University. After three long, stressful, yet fun years, I finally got myself a pass and graduated from uni. An amazing feat that has made me super proud of myself.
  • I started meeting authors. Before this year I had never met an author (that I remember), and so far this year I have met Damian Dibben, Laura Dockrill, Karen Mahoney, Laura Powell, James Dawson, Ruth Warburton, C J Daughtry, Dean Crawford, Rob Ryan, Wendy Wallace, and Ali Harris. I look forward to meeting many more next year!
  • I went skiing. For the first time since I spent six months in Canada, I returned to the wonderful country and went skiing again, and it was so brilliant.
  • I met some amazing bloggers. It doesn’t seem right that some of the book bloggers I met were only met this year in June. It feels as though I have known some of these people for years. I look forward to meeting more in the years to come.
  • I went to the London Tower and Buckingham Palace. I have live thirty minutes away from London my entire life and yet I had never visited these places before, and so I was extremely happy to visit these places for the first time when I met Rachelia from Bookish Comforts for the first time.
  • I made my first vlog. I never would have done this if it wasn’t for BlogINK and I really enjoyed doing it and all of the social media campaigning around it as well.
  • I got a job in the library. Truly it was the best day ever when I got that offer and even now it still doesn’t feel like work when I’m there. It is crazy to think that I’m almost living the dream.

I know that a lot more happened to me this year that I will probably remember for many years to come but I felt like the rest are all smaller things, like getting a necklace or getting a particular book, or loving one, and the list was already getting fairly long. I’m also fairly certain there’s another big event that I have missed but if I think of it, I shall add it.

What are some of your most memorable moments of 2012?


In relation to books, here are three books I read this year where the ending truly through me or simply stayed with me, or made the book that much better.

Cinder     Black Heart Blue     Forgive Me Alex

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond

And these are three sequels that I am really looking forward to appearing in 2013.

Spirit    Scarlet    Divergent

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental #3)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Cinder #2)
Untitled by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3)


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 28 December, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments


Book Tour Review & Giveaway; Falling From Eternity by Megan Duncan

Posted on 27 December, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments

FFE Tour Button
 
Hey Guys,
Today I am the tour stop for the Falling From Eternity tour. I’m here today to bring you a review of the book and to giveaway two e-copies of it! Details of this, and a giveaway on Megan Duncan’s blog is at the bottom of the post.

Falling From Eternity-Cover

Author: Megan Duncan
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Nov 28th 2012
Pages: unknown
Format: ebook
Source: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:

For William, life was as wicked and malicious as the beast he was trying destroy. Decades spent living a life of extravagance, domination and ravenous hunger haunted him. But when you live forever, the past never stays buried. And that which wishes to control you, will never let you go. William thought he found his escape, his one and only love, but the thing he fears the most could be the only thing that saves them. Or, it could doom them all.

When You’re Stuck
When I first read the synopsis of Falling From Eternity, I was instantly intrigued and curious. I have read so many vampire stories over the years and the idea of someone being trapped within the constant misery of their condition really intrigues me. I was curious whether or not this book would be like all the others or if it’ll be something new and exciting. Therefore, I was pleased when I found this book to be entertaining and interesting. I am really looking forward to the release of the next book in this series as I really do want to know what will happen next.

In Eternal Torment
When it comes to romance, I am an extremely picky reader. I try not to be, but I just like reading my romance in a particular way, just as others probably do as well. Typically I’m not a fan of the insta-love kind of situation but when it is well written and seems to have a little more depth then what one may think, I definitely enjoy it a lot more. This book could have followed the annoying trend of Twilight where there is no good reason for the main protagonists to fall in love but fortunately this wasn’t the case. There was a sense of insta-love between them but there was also so much more underneath as well. It wasn’t an easy ride for them both and so the relationship felt more realistic to me. There were still a few things that I didn’t particularly like but overall, it was readable and enjoyable and I found myself craving to know what was about to come next. With this part of the narrative working for me, I was glad that the rest came about around it. This book was full of tension and emotion, twists and curves and I can definitely imagine that the next book has a lot more to flesh out, and I’m excited to find it out.

Destined To Be Alone
The protagonist of this story, William, was a character that I really appreciated reading about. He had depth, complications and a brilliant voice. I fully understood what he was going through and liked how he dealt with everything throughout the book. It was all really well described and by the end of the point I truly sympathised with him and just wanted to reach out for him and help him. I wanted to be by his side, in a sense. This all leads to a statement that William was a really very well written character.

On the other side, I’m unsure of how I feel about Autumn. I loved her part in the story and the way her character personality was like. I felt like I knew why she was doing what she was doing and could really get to know her in a way that William couldn’t but I just don’t think I personally liked her. She seemed to just get on my nerves for some reason. I have a feeling, however, that with how things ended at the end of the book that this is something that will turn around for me when this story continues at it seems as though she will start to play a bigger part.

Feeling Like A Beast
I am always very careful when it comes to reading vampire stories. Having read so many of them already, I struggle to find ones that are different than others and use a different voice. Fortunately, I feel that Falling From Eternity is definitely a book that is different from the generic vampire books out there. It has an interesting plot, a forbidden romance, and something much darker going on underneath that really caught my attention. I also found that the vampires themselves were really interesting and unique with how they dealt with all the “lore” surrounding them. They weren’t just the same old ones, and I found it to be quite refreshing to read how they worked and lived.

How Do You Survive?
Overall, this was a book that caught my attention and kept it. I read it quickly because I struggled to put it down and it kept me entertained. It was well-written with good descriptions and really managed to make me emotionally invested in it. I am so curious about how the story will continue and I was truly fascinated by the vampires and the romance in it. This is a book that I would recommend to other young adult readers who love a bit of romance and some good vampires. I feel that those who want a good read and some good entertainment and are good with a light, easy read with a deep story underneath, would really enjoy this book and should pick it up to read immediately.

Four Stars
four out of five hearts

** I received this copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

Faye


So, today I have a chance for you to win an e-copy of this great book. And this is a chance for two winners as I have two e-books to giveaway.

Giveaway Guidelines
- you do not need to be a follower to enter
- there are extra entries but they are not mandatory
- winners will be e-mailed
- winners will have 72 hours to respond before another winner is chosen
- open internationally

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also a book tour-wide giveaway happening on Megan’s blog, which can be found here.

Posted on 27 December, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments


Reading Challenges 2013

Posted on 26 December, 2012 by Faye - 9 Comments

Hey Guys!

So next year I’ve decided I’m really going to challenge myself – and hopefully stick with it! – to some fun things. A lot will be able to overlap which will make it easier for me, but I hope to win them all! Wish me luck?


This challenge is hosted by Escape with Dollycas and the challenge is to read books with titles throughout the alphabet. I did this last year as a Goodreads Challenge but didn’t quite make it to all the letters. I hope to change that this year.


This challenge is being hosted by Feeling Fictional and the challenge is to read twelve british books throughout the year. I hope to read more than that but twelve is a good place to start!

A few I am thinking of reading are;
1. Slated by Teri Terry
2. A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
3. Hollow Pick by James Dawson
4. Hunting the Dark by Karen Mahoney


This challenge is hosted by Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf and the challenge is to read some witchy books! I love books with witches in but don’t think I read enough of them so I hope this challenge will inspire me to do that!

To begin with I am starting with the Initiate level of 1-6 books but I may move up later on in the year.


This challenge is hosted by The Craft Book Nerd and the challenge is to read as many crime/mystery books as you can in one year.

For this challenge I am going to start out as a detective trying to read 5 books, but I may move up a level later on in the year.


This challenge is being hosted by six different hosts, Bookish, Doodles Book Blog, Words at Home, Fiktshun, One Book at a Time, and Justin’s Book Blog. The aim of this challenge is to clear out our TBR piles!

For this challenge I am going to be brave (or crazy?) and try for Love At First Sight which is 31-40 books!


This challenge is being hosted by ME, and the idea is to read as many genres as you can within one year!

For this challenge I plan to do the Branching level which is 18 different genres.


And there we have it! All of these challenges will be in a page at the top of this blog in the new year, but for now I just wanted to sign up to them all!

What challenges are you participating in?

Faye

Posted on 26 December, 2012 by Faye - 9 Comments


Merry Christmas Everyone!

Posted on 25 December, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments

Christmas Wishes

As you read this, I am most likely either stuffing my face with food, opening presents, or crashing out on the sofa watching a film or playing games. But I couldn’t not send you all some warm Christmas Wishes while I stay away from the computer on this day!

So here’s hoping that, even if you don’t celebrate the season, you are still doing something special with your day and are just having a great time!

I want to thank you once more for being such brilliant souls and following this blog. It wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for you! So THANK YOU.

Before you go, why not leave me a comment with a small something you really want for Christmas, or if you’ve opened your presents, one that you received that you really liked.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.

Faye

Posted on 25 December, 2012 by Faye - 6 Comments


Blogspiration #28; Humour is Necessary

Posted on 23 December, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

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.


For this weeks blogspiration, I have gone with something that I watch regularly, something that helps me get through by providing me with a good old laugh. It is…

How I Met Your Mother!

This sitcom has given me hours of endless entertainment and this is inspirational because laughing is something that really makes you feel alive. It connects you to the world and makes you remember the beauty and brilliance that surrounds you. How I Met Your Mother is a show I can watch time and time again and still laugh. It has replaced Friends in my heart – not that I don’t still love that sitcom and laugh when I watch it as well, it’s just that HIMYM has become my new love.

What sitcoms do you watch? Or how do you bring laughter to your life?

Faye

Posted on 23 December, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


Blogger Spotlight; Interview!

Posted on 22 December, 2012 by Faye - 4 Comments

Daphne Spotlight

Hey Guys!
So today I am finally introducing you to the wonderful Daphne at Winged Reviews. I will be asking her some questions for you all to read over and enjoy!
Hope it helps you get a better insight into her and her co-blog!

Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m a displaced Asian, who has been in the UK for much too long (I miss sunshine)! I’ve been an avid reader since I was in the second grade, when I read my first Sweet Valley Kids book and never looked back.

How long have you had your blog?
Just a little over a year.

Do you enjoy running your blog?
Yes. Sometimes it is hard work, especially having to balance my job with blog posts and general reading, but when people read and comment on the blog, it’s incredibly satisfying.

When you started, did you ever think that it would end up the way it has?

No, I think it’s gone better than I expected! I never imagined I would get to connect with authors and publishers the way I have.

Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog, if there is, tell us!
Alison and I were throwing some suggestions around when we decided to blog together, and all we knew was we didn’t want it to be too genre-specific. I’ve been on LiveJournal for a really long time and my username there is ‘winged’, so I just tried ‘Winged Reviews’ to see how it would sound, and Alison really liked it! I like that it hints at a little bit of fantasy/paranormal without being too over the top with it. Plus, it lets us use cool wings as a rating system.

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.
Our blog mainly focuses on YA books, but we’ll review adult books every now and then. We post reviews and memes mainly, but I am trying to branch out and come up with innovative content. I’ve got a couple of ideas for new features up my sleeve in the new year, so look out for that! As for how it runs, Alison and I just schedule posts as and when we can, as we can get overwhelmed with work and life. Sometimes she posts more, sometimes I do. It kind of goes back and forth! I do all the behind the scenes ‘technical’ stuff though, and the graphics/layout for the blog.

Do you participate or host and blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
I love memes, they are a great way to connect with fellow bloggers! We participate in Waiting on Wednesday, Teaser Tuesday, and Showcase Sunday the most. I have to say, I love Waiting on Wednesday the best, mainly because I get way too excited about new covers and upcoming books. I hope to host a meme soon. Again, I’ve got some ideas and I’m on the lookout for a co-hoster!

What about blog tours and blog hops? Have you ever or do you ever want to participate in them?
Again, I’m a big fan of blog tours, because it gives the hosts and readers a chance to connect with the authors/publishers in a really great way. I’ve had the honour of interviewing some great authors for blog tours and I love getting to find out a bit more about the book, their process and just themselves!

What is the best book you read in 2011?
So many, but it will have to be a tie (because you can’t just make me pick one). The first would be Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which revived the contemporary YA genre and was a breath of fresh air. Then, I have to say Across the Universe, which was so unique in its premise, and really intelligently done. Great mystery, great characters.

What about in 2012?
I’m going to cheat again and say Laini Taylor’s series. I can’t believe I waited so long to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which was so incredible in its scale and beautiful writing. Then I read Days of Blood and Starlight which was so different in tone but just as amazing. Can’t recommend this series enough!

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?
Most recently, it was a book I had to read for book club, back when I had time to participate in one! It was called The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal. Now I’m not a fan of non-fiction to begin with, but I have read some engrossing ones. This though, was about a young man looking back through his family genealogy through little objects. Most of the first part of the book was about his ancestors being in with the Paris art scene, and it was far too much name-dropping about people I didn’t really know, so I just gave up.

What is your favourite book genre?
Fantasy. I am in awe of authors with the depth of imagination to come up with not just a story and characters, but a whole world to go with it.

Quick Fire Round

ebook or hardcopy?
For reviewing, hardcopy
ya or adult?
Recently, it’s been YA all the way!
vampires or werewolves?
Werewolves. They’re WARM.
chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla
harry potter or twilight?

Harry Potter was my childhood (and so much better), so definitely that.
four or peeta?

PEETA. This old website of mine will tell you why: http://peeta.urbangeisha.net
series or single?

Series. You get to fall in love with the characters and world more.
blogger or wordpress?

WordPress. Widgets, plug-ins and the customisation options are a Godsend.

And finally,

Is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
Look out for a new layout soon! Thanks everyone that has supported the blog so far and I hope you keep visiting in 2013 :)
Thank you so much for picking me as your blogger of the month and hosting this interview!

Thanks so much for talking with us today Daphne! It’s been a pleasure hosting you! If you feel that she’s someone you want to see more of, why not go and follow her blog?

Faye

Posted on 22 December, 2012 by Faye - 4 Comments


Behind the Blog #32; Traditionally…

Posted on 21 December, 2012 by Faye - 3 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!

Holiday traditions are wonderful. They are unique from family to family and they can build some of the happiest memories of one’s life. What are some of your favorite Christmas/holiday traditions? Or, what are traditions that you hope to start in the future?
In relation to books: Are there any books or movies that you absolutely must see or re-read during the holiday season? Are there any books or movies that you’ve seen/read that have some unique or unusual traditions?


Christmas has always been a crazy time of year for my family as there are two families to work around as my parents are divorced and have been since I was very young. This, in a way, has made the holiday a very family-oriented one, but that is okay with me and while it is often stressful, it is something that I find myself looking forward to.

The tradition in my family then, is that we spend half of it with my mum and her side of the family, and half of it with my dad and his side of the family. This is usually split so that we have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and then Boxing Day, though that sometimes varies (like this year!) When I was younger this was brilliant as it meant twice the presents, two Christmas dinners, and lots of fun and games to be had. Now, it means that I have twice as many presents to buy myself, but it is still definitely an enjoyable and good tradition and it is nice being able to get all of the family together.

At my mum’s, it is fairly common for us to have Christmas dinner with all the trimmings with her side of the family. It lasts for over an hour as we try to break between starter and pudding – and there’s a lot of talking, cracker pulling, and sometimes a gift or two – during it as well. Then we make headway to the living room and end up crashed out on the chairs and watching a film or two. Which is the perfect time for all the adults in the room to finally give up the ghost and nap for an hour or two! It always goes along these lines and it’s usually quite fun and interesting. On some years, we’ve also swapped the film for playing fun games but it gets decidedly more difficult now that the grandparents are getting on in years.

At my dad’s, it is very different. We’d have our Christmas dinner and then it would be up and time to play fun games such as Cranium, Pictionary, and the like! Lots of time spent together, chatting, and entertaining. Then, when presents were all given, it’s probably that we’d all have one present we simply have to play with straight away and so we’d get off to it! But it is the food, family fun, and all the games we play – usually up to very late – which is something I look forward to. It’s nice to be able to get everyone together and joining in! (A hard task when there is five kids, their loved ones, grandparents and parents – among others – all thrown in!).

When I get older and start my own family, I’d love to incorporate both of these traditions into my Christmas. The meal, the film, the games, – but hopefully no need for double presents – and simply being able to enjoy the presence of my family. The one rule that gets upheld during both Christmasses, is that we never watch live television. We don’t watch the Queen speak and we don’t watch the news or anything else. Christmas is our day and we like to keep it that way.


how do you spend your Christmas?


As for films, there are many that I love to watch and read over Christmas. So many that it would be difficult to list them all but here are just a few of my personal favourites;

      

   


As for books, these are the books I have sitting on my shelf at the moment that I’m really wanting to read this Christmas (though, I don’t see it happening as I’ll be too busy! – one I am in the process of though!).

        

  


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Posted on 21 December, 2012 by Faye - 3 Comments


Book Tour Review; Bluff by Lenore Skomal

Posted on 20 December, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments

Bluff Tour Badge

Hey Guys,
Today I am the tour host for Bluff by Lenore Skomal! I have with you a review of this gorgeous book. Hope you enjoy it.
There’s also a giveaway at the bottom of the post, go enter it! :)

 

BluffAuthor: Lenore Skomal
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: October 1st 2012
Pages: Unknown
Format: E-Book
Source: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:

“To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”
Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.



A Daring Move

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was instantly curious and I knew that it was a book I simply had to get my hands on. Now, after reading the book, I can say in complete honesty that I was so glad to have acted on my curiosity as this book was simply spectacular. It never shied away from anything, making sure that it went down and got into the nitty gritty of things, helping to make the book seem so much more realistic. It is books like these that really inspire readers to look at their own lives, to think about things deeply and to re-think their own views and thoughts on certain issues, such as death. I was deeply moved by this book and therefore I would easily pass it along to others.

Changes Everything
There are so many things that happen in our day-to-day lives that affect the people around us, that impact on the decisions we make and our friends and family make alongside us, and I feel that this book is a display of not only how different we all are as individuals, nor how selfish we can all be at times, but also about how our actions and decisions affect those around us. Essentially, there are many other things going on throughout this book that deal with issues of death, souls, religion, and morality but for me, it was the consequences of everything that really caught my attention the most. It is something that I have always thought about a lot, and this book was one that really shows it to others. With the multiple character POVs, it shows how everyone sees every different situation differently and how we do things for other people and for ourselves. Hard to put into words exactly, but it just shows much impact we all have on each others’ lives. Something which I find truly fascinating.

And Everyone
There were so many characters in this story and some I really connected with, while others I really couldn’t stand, and some I was cautious of. My favourite character, above them all, was our main protagonist, Jude. I felt that her space in the novel was perfectly situated and I absolutely loved everything about her character. She was troubled, had had a horribly dark past and her entire personality had changed because of it and it was only when things were spiralling out of her control did she really understand her life. I really connected with her, and could feel everything that she was going through. I also loved Mary Shannon and her son PJ, they were both really intense and interesting characters and while PJ wasn’t in the spotlight a lot and Mary Shannon was often seen as a contrite, uptight cow, I couldn’t help but like her. Or, until the end anyway.

Other characters that can’t go without mention are Frances and April. I liked Frances but she also grated on my nerves slightly as well. Not entirely sure why but probably because she never really felt open or honest to me, like there was this detachment about her when there shouldn’t have been. April was a character that should have been hated and yet while I didn’t love her, I certainly didn’t detest her either. She was a complicated soul and I really liked seeing her journey and the way that her personality has occurred because of her background and the circumstances surrounding her up-bringing. It was interesting to see. There is one more character that should get a mention here but I feel it would be difficult to talk about them without raising spoilers and so I will leave it all unsaid. But do know that every character that was in the story was well-written, felt very real, and just showed how brilliantly Lenore can transform words into people.

In More Ways
If there was one thing that I could pinpoint as to truly loving about this book, it would be the writing style. The way that Lenore not only jumped between the different POVs, but the way that she brought in the history and backstory of characters without taking away the tension and mystery was really well-executed. I loved the first person narrative and the way, despite that, you were able to connect with every character in the book. It was a truly inspiring way to write a novel that had me captivated from start to end. This novel did start with an air of mystery and suspense and while I expected it to siphon off during the middle of the book, I was glad that it stayed and was even still there right until the end, leaving the reader with many questions and thoughts about the book. It is definitely a style that I would happily read again and am looking forward to reading anything else that Lenore writes.

Then You May
At the back of the book is a short Q+A with the author and there was one question that I really loved and felt that it would be good to share with you as it would give you a good idea of why this book was so incredible and brilliant. These words are not my own and I take no claim to them;

There are many life lessons and heavy themes in Bluff, what is your hope for your readers when they put it down?
My burning desire is for them to re-examine their own beliefs about death and life. As an inescapable truth facing us all, death is an uncomfortable topic. If you have watched the most important people in your life die like I have, it seems we are gypping ourselves by not discussing it. End of life issues and whether or not the soul exits, are just the tip of the iceberg in this book. The much larger discussion is about life. Judgement and petty differences only prevent us from honoring each other and respecting choices. How we live our lives individually and collectively is a daily decision. And lying on our deathbeds may not be the best place to evaluate that.

Ever Imagine
Overall this was a book that I really connected with, one that made me think deeply when I finished it and one that I truly enjoyed while I was reading it. It was full of many different issues and really brought so many brilliant things to light. I connected with the amazing and totally different characters and I really feel that the ending was a really perfect way to finish the book. It answers many questions while leaving so many unanswered as well. It is a book that has managed to touch my heart and soul and one that I would recommend to others simply for that reason alone. But if that is not enough to persuade you to pick up this glorious book, a touch of humour as I was reading the “questions for thought” at the end, it is asked; “If you could smack any of the characters upside the head, who would it be and why?”. And we all know, you so want to answer it.

Four Stars
four out of five hearts

** I received this copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

Faye


Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Bluff?

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Bluff tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.

About the author: Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message. Connect with Lenore on her website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

Get Bluff on Amazon.

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Posted on 20 December, 2012 by Faye - 5 Comments