Book Review; Now Is Good by Jenny Downham

Posted on 22 January, 2013 by Faye - Comments Off

Now is good

Author: Jenny Downham
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Published: April 1st 2012
Pages: 326
Format: Paperback
Source:: Complimentary Copy from Publisher
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.


When Your Life

When I first heard about this book, it came along with a pile of recommendations from people I knew who has absolutely loved it, and so I was certain that I would feel the same way. So when it didn’t quite have the spark I was expecting, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. This book was a great read, it was interesting, heart-breaking, and entertaining, but it just didn’t have enough to make me truly love it. I wanted to, but it just wasn’t happening. But, don’t get me wrong, this book is an incredible read that I’m glad to have read, I was just upset that I couldn’t quite get the enthusiasm for it that some of my friends had for it. This is a book worth reading, and one that I’m sure you’ll definitely like, just be aware that you may not love it – but then again, maybe you will.

Is Almost Over

One of the things that drew me to this book in the first place was the premise. It was such an interesting concept for the book and it really drew me into it. Fortunately, the story itself was the one thing that I really liked. It kept me interested, and I was really intrigued by how certain things would pan out. In the end, this led to an emotional, heartbreaking story as you really connect with the characters and the journey they go through. This could have been a book that didn’t truly deal with the consequences of Tessa’s illness but Jenny Downham didn’t let that happen as she really described all of the things that occurred while Tess just tried to carry on with her life while she still had it.

You Must Fight

It is very possible that the reason I didn’t love this book was because of the characters. While they were all extremely well written with very realistic and believable behaviours, I simply found myself gritting my teeth whenever Zoey appeared. I really struggled to like Tess’ best friend so that even when you were supposed to have sympathy for her, I just couldn’t summon it. There were also times when Tess got on my nerves, which irritated me because who am I to be irked by the dying character? This few moments really brought the book down a peg for me and I feel that if I had liked all of the characters and connected to them, I would have enjoyed this story a lot more.

Despite all of that, it is clear that Jenny Downham has created some really complicated, real, strong characters and that shouldn’t be downcast because I personally didn’t like their personalities! One character who I adored from the moment we’re introduced to him is Adam. I loved how sweet and charming and protective he is, he’s also funny, sensitive, and smart. I adored how he looked after Tess despite telling her that he couldn’t. I admired how he treated his mum and by the end of his journey, I was so smitten with him that I got irritated at how little Tess appreciated him (in my opinion!).

To Make It

Aside from the characters, I also found myself struggling with the writing style of this novel. It was easy to follow, but there was just something about it that didn’t sit well with me. If I could pinpoint what it was, or why that was, then I would but I think it was more that I just didn’t feel right while I was reading. More likely, it was simply a personal preference and the writing style is one that many others have gushed over. The one moment that really sticks out in my mind is the last few chapters. These were really powerfully written and made me very connected to the book. I feel they could have been even more powerful if I had connected to the words earlier in the story though.

The Best Life Yet

Overall, this book was lovely to read and kept me interested enough to keep going to the end. It had some great moments in it that caught me unawares and had me shedding a fair few tears as well. It had a strong, painful, real story that I feel would have affected me a lot more if I had been able to connect better with the characters. This is a story that I would recommend to others as I did like it, but I am just disappointed in myself for not loving it as much as I hoped I would. It was, after all, a truly amazing, emotionally captivating, whirlwind of a book that should have had me clutching my heart in happiness one minute to curling up into a shed of tears the next. So if you do pick this book up, be cautious that you may end up loving it completely, or you may just like it but do know that whatever happens, it will definitely be worth it.

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

Three Stars

Faye

Posted on 22 January, 2013 by Faye - Comments Off


Top Ten Settings I’d Like to See More

Posted on 22 January, 2013 by Faye - 16 Comments

top ten tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is given and this weeks topic is Top Ten Settings I’d Like to See More of (or at all)


I sort of bended the idea of this one slightly, just to settings I would like to read more of because I personally haven’t read enough, not because there aren’t enough. Enjoy!

  1. Winter Settings – When I was writing my Behind the Blog post last week, and with the snow that fell here in the UK, I realised that I haven’t read that many books set in winter. I know there are probably a lot out there, but I would like to read some more myself.
  2. Norfolk/Countryside Settings – I love reading UK books, but I’ve noticed a lot of them are based in London or around London. I’d love to read more books with a more UK country-side setting to them. I’m sure there’s plenty out there and I’m just not looking in the right places!
  3. Univeristy Settings – I’ve recently been introduced to New Adult books and I really like the idea of books set during university rather than high-school. Probably because I’ve just graduated so get the whole idea behind them. But I’d also like to see more set in UK universities!
  4. Foreign Countries – And I don’t just mean America! I mean books where the characters journey to different countries like India, Iran, China, etc. Some of my favourite books are the ones that are just a little bit different because of the country they’re set in!
  5. Beach Town – Again, I’m sure there are plenty of them, but I love books that are set in towns with beaches. I’m a beach/sea-lover myself and being able to read about someone connecting to the beach or the sea, or having fun adventures there is something that I’ve always enjoyed.
  6. Futuristic Worlds – This is something I have always struggled with because I also assume every sci-fi book is like Stargate or Star Trek or Star Wars (I know, that whole phrase about what happens when you assume can apply here), but I have since discovered some really great sci-fi books but I’d love to read some with some really interesting futuristic worlds – thinking similiar to iRobot here!
  7. Fairytale Worlds – I love me a good fairytale but I have come to realise that I love fairytale retellings just as much. With books such as Cinder, Scarlet, and Splintered in my mind, I’d love to read more books that take these fairytale worlds and reshape them into new and exciting places.
  8. Institutional Settings – I just recently finished Heart-Shaped Bruise and really enjoyed it and think it would be quite interesting to read other books where the characters are in mental institutions or prisons. It makes for very interesting reads.
  9. Roadtrip Settings – So this is kind of cheating but I have found that I love roadtrip books. I love the idea of roadtripping myself so being able to journey across a country when you’re just reading a book is really quite great.
  10. Underwater Settings – Life under the sea is totally magical. I’m a water baby and I love the concept of Mermaids but I haven’t actually read many mermaid stories and I think that this is something I’d like to rectify. I’m sure there are many books set underwater, now I just need to go out and find them all.

So that’s me, what about you? What settings do you want to see more of?

Posted on 22 January, 2013 by Faye - 16 Comments


A Winter’s Respite Read-A-Thon Goals & Updates

Posted on 21 January, 2013 by Faye - 4 Comments

Hey Guys!
So a while back I signed up for A Winter’s Respite Read-A-Thon. It starts today but I’m in the middle of five books already so instead of starting new ones, my goal is to finish all the reads I’m currently in the middle of! I think this read-a-thon is the perfect thing for that. Especially as I actually have a really busy this week so I’m not sure how much reading time I’ll get.

Books to read

wintersrespite

Splintered by A. G. Howard
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohen and David Leviathon

Updates

Monday: I read 15% of Beautiful Creatures, and plan to read a little of Splintered before going to bed.

what are you reading this week?

Posted on 21 January, 2013 by Faye - 4 Comments


Monday’s Movie Musings; Oscar Nominations

Posted on 21 January, 2013 by Faye - 3 Comments

moviemusings

Monday’s Movie Musings is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. The idea of this feature is to have all of my movie things occuring in one place. Whether it is a review, article, or something else, this feature will just be all about movies.

This week I’ll be discussing the Oscar Nominations!


oscarnominations

I won’t be going through the entire nominations list in this post, but if you want to see all the nominations then head over to the official page here

My problem with The Oscars is that every single year, I have not had the chance to see all the films that have been nominated, and therefore I can’t actually make great judgements on the films that I feel should win because what am I judging them against? However, this post will highlight the films I have seen and the ones I would like to see win – because I know how good it is. I’d also love to hear your thoughts so feel free to tell me your hopeful winners in the comments!

Bold films I have seen.
Bold and Highlighted is the one I want to win


Best Picture

Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Sourthern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dirty Thirty

I have a feeling that either Beasts of the Southern Wild or Les Miserables will win this category though.

Leading Actor

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)

I am certain that Hugh Jackman will win this.

Leading Actress

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of The Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

I actually really want Jennifer Lawrence to win because not only was she stunning in Silver Linings Playbook, she was also brilliant in House at the End of the Street and The Hunger Games!

Animated Film Feature

Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph!

I don’t really know who I want to win this, but I have a small feeling that Brave will win.

Costume Design

Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Just from the trailor, I can see that the costumes in Les Mis are stunning <3

Visual Effects

The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvels; The Avengers
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman

While I love The Avengers, I have a sneaking suspicion that The Hobbit will grab this award.


So there we have all the award nominations I’m discussing on here! Who do you want to win and who do you think will win each category? What about any I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Faye

Posted on 21 January, 2013 by Faye - 3 Comments


Weekly Highlights; The Snow Fall Edition

Posted on 20 January, 2013 by Faye - 12 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.


Post Highlights

This week I posted two book reviews and one film review;
Rise of The Guardians (2012) – FOUR HEARTS
The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont – FOUR HEARTS
Let Me Be The One by Bella Andre – FIVE HEARTS

I revealed the cover of Firefly by Belle Whittington with the chance to WIN the series, here

I listed my top ten most anticipated debuts of 2013 (and managed to add many more to my own list) – check them out here

For my Thursday’s Special Spotlight this week, I gushed over Saving June by Hannah Harrington. Check out why I think you should read it by clicking here

In a bizarre-perfect-timing kind of way, Behind the Blog’s topic this week was Winter Activities posted on the day we got snow here in the UK! To check out what I love to do in the winter, as well as my favourite winter films, Go here!


Blogger Spotlight

This week I interviewed Alexa as part of Blogger Spotlight, go check out her awesome answers here

She also posted about co-hosting the annual Book Blogger Love-A-Thon this year! I am super excited for this event. I loved it last year and am really happy that Alexa will be co-hosting it this year. To find out more about this amazing event and to sign up, Click Here


Around the Blogosphere

There was a lot of grand posts going up on blogs this week and here is just a few that caught my eye!

Alexandra @ Alexandra’s Scribblings has been seeing a lot of posts about the Males in YA and decided to take one step further and write about the Girls of YA. It was a great post that I think you should definitely go and check out!

Vicky @ Books, Biscuits, and Tea wrote a really interesting discussion post on Audio Books that I think you should definitely go have a look at! – Audio Books – Love them or Hate Them?

Lucy @ ChooseYA announced some news about Penguin Chats and how she is a partner for it and will be giving away some cool prizes! Check out her post here for more information on what Penguin Chats are!

The amazing author Susan Dennard wrote a post about how to get published which is definitely worth a read if you’re an aspiring writer! I have to admit, I am quickly falling in love with Susan, she is such a wonderful person!

It has been announced! There will be a Mini-Bloggiesta! It’s going to be the first weekend of February! Go check out the post to know more about what will happen! I, for one, am really looking forward to it!


Upcoming

It has been announced that Celia Bryce will be doing a virtual writing blog tour this week! To find out which blogs will be hosting this, click here

Tomorrow marks the start of the Winter Respite Read-a-thon! I’m definitely looking forward to this, but I also have a week full of work so who knows how much time I’ll actually have to read! If you want to join me, you can sign-up here!


Letterbox Love

letterboxlove2

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Narratively Speaking where UK-based bloggers can highlight the books they’ve recieved each week. And here is what I got;

2013-01-17 18.13.03-2

I have been waiting for this book since, oh I don’t know, September?, so when it finally arrived, I did actually do a dance around the room! I have only read one chapter of it so far because I’m trying to read it slowly, to allow myself to enjoy it for a longer period of time. But I have a small feeling that as soon as the story really gets going, that will go out of the window. But at least I am thinking about reading it this way! lol.


And there you have it, my Weekly Highlights!

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!

what did you get this week? what cool blog posts did you stumble upon? what are you waiting to happen this week?

Faye

Posted on 20 January, 2013 by Faye - 12 Comments


Blogspiration; To Be Alive

Posted on 20 January, 2013 by Faye - 3 Comments

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. This meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers and writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the authors choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.


So at the beginning of January I started reading The Starboard Sea, it was a book that I really enjoyed reading, and you can read my review of it here. While I was reading, there was one quote that stuck with me and so I want to share it with you today, and explain a little bit about why I’m posting it in this weeks blogspiriation.

blogspirationquote

I loved this quote, and agree with it as well. It is very true, and in a way, it’s also a way of saying to never stop grieving, and to never forget. This is particularly strong for me this week as the 18th January was the five year anniversary of my Grandad’s death. It was a fairly hard day for me as I would be fine and then I would think about it and be caught in a bit of a whirlwind for a moment before being able to continue on with my normal day-to-day activities. But in truth, my Grandad is someone who I think about a lot of the time, because I like to live by his example.

My grandad was the kind of person who continued to act like an immature schoolboy right until he was seventy. Just like a small child, he laughed whenever he farted, he would air fart just to make himself and others fart, he would tease us with money and he always had the biggest smile on his face. I have been told that I’m a lot like him and that always makes me smile wide. I may not laugh when people fart – I am not a boy – but I do always try to keep the fun in life, trying not to let the serious side of things bring me down. This, I feel, I do because of him and I am so thankful to him for showing me how good life can be if we just let it.

So the next time you’re grieving over someone, just remember that it’s okay, it is expected, and that it shows that you’re alive.

In Loving Memory of Ronald, a trooper until the very end. 18/01/2008

Posted on 20 January, 2013 by Faye - 3 Comments


Book Tour Review; Let Me Be The One by Bella Andre

Posted on 19 January, 2013 by Faye - 4 Comments

Let Me Be The One

Author: Bella Andre
Publisher: Oak Press
Published: August 28th 2012
Pages: 227
Format:E-Book
Source:: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:

When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan’s life as a teenager, it was the beginning of a close friendship that never wavered despite her failed marriage to someone else and Ryan’s well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly needs a pretend boyfriend to protect herself and her career from a powerful man’s advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking.

Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their “fake” kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, will he have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship? Or is it possible that what they’ve both been looking for has been right there the whole time…and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach?


There’s a Need

At the end of last year, I decided to host my own reading challenge here at this blog called “Genre Variety Challenge”, with the idea to read a higher variety of genres then I would normally. Reading Let Me Be The One fell into this challenge for me as I would normally avoid contemporary romance/chick lits – usually with a rather condescending look on my face – because I just never thought that I would enjoy them. Personally, I like there to be other things going on than just two people falling in love, and even then I am incredibly picky about the kind of love I like to see in books. So, it is with great relief, and a large kick to my own behind, that I admit to you all that I loved Let Me Be The One. This book has, quite simply, opened up the entire genre for me and I cannot wait to read more contemporary romances – but I’ll start by finishing The Sullivans’ series!

To Live

Let Me Be The One follows Vicky, a sculptor to San Francisco after her divorce from her husband, and Ryan, a pro-baseball player who has always hated that Vicky slipped through his fingers when they were in highschool. When Vicky needs help getting out of a sticky situation, it is Ryan she texts because she knows that he will help her no matter what. I loved the way this played out throughout the novel. I loved learning more about Vicky and Ryan, their relationship between each other and their lives apart from each other. I could feel their emotions, could understand their feelings, and wanted to shout at them both to see what was right in front of them. The plot wasn’t just about the pair falling in love, but about learning to balance life and get the best that we can from it, and from really listening to our hearts when we’re facing the biggest challenges of our lives.

Our Lives

It would be impossible to continue this review without mentioning that I absolutely adored Vicky. I loved her story, and her background, her journey, and her personality. She was a strong woman who had, had a bad time of it in her life. She’d been used by men, her power decreasing year after year and while this could make many women become shells, it gave her a reason to fight and she definitely came out stronger from it. She’s also so genuine, caring, and sweet, and I just found her to be a charm to read about. I did, at times, have a few issues with her – but that is a lot to do with the little feminist in me. Ryan was another character that I found myself falling in love with. He was protective, caring, genuine, and so conflicted with his emotions and how to deal with everything going on about him. He was such a family man, a loving guy, and just so brilliant with strangers. He had a bit of a temper but in a lot of the situations, I totally understand, it was simply his protective nature coming out to play.

All of the sideline characters were all really great to read about as well, and it was easy to see that Bella has truly managed to get inside their heads. She has created characters which seem so realistic; you could imagine meeting them on the street. Even the horrid characters were extremely well written and you could, kind of, understand why they acted the way they did. But aside from that, it was her depiction of The Sullivan’s that was the final draw for me. Coming from a big family myself, I’ve always loved stories that centre around a large family that is full of dynamic and interesting characteristics. Just from this one book, I am certain that I will truly enjoy the rest of the books in this series. (Mostly I just want some more Sullivan’s!)

With a Sense

The very first thing I noticed about this book was how easy it was to read. I was instantly swayed by the writing style that told you everything you needed to know, let you feel the emotions of the characters, and really let you get inside of their heads. Bella has really got a natural talent for writing that I am pretty envious of, to be fair. I also really enjoyed the dual POV of this book. Being able to see how Vicky felt and thought about things was brilliant, but then having it switch and being able to understand and see how Ryan thought and felt was truly spectacular. It gave you a full 360 view of things without feeling repetitive or boring like it could have done. Bella has really managed to write in a way that makes the reader simply devour the words on the page while leaving the real world behind. In a matter of moments, it is truly possible to forget that you’re sitting on your sofa as it feels like you’re standing in a sculpting studio.

Of Purpose

If someone had told me years ago that I would pick up a book like this and adore every moment of it, I would have scoffed and told them I’d leave that book for my mum to read, but now I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried this book. It was a lot better than I was expecting, has opened up my eyes to a whole new genre, and is a story that had my heart beating faster – I wanted them to get together so much. This was an enjoyable and highly entertaining novel that I would easily recommend to others – even those who have long been opposed to these types of novels! I am incredibly glad to have given this book a chance and now cannot wait to read the other novels in this series. It is clear that Bella Andre deserves her New York Times Bestseller status.


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

five stars

Faye


fall in love
The Sullivans are on tour with Novel Publicity. Follow along for your chance to win amazing prizes. We’ve got special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards. WOW!

You’ll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You’ll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world’s heart.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Sullivans: In this sexy, emotional and funny contemporary romance series, each member of the Sullivan family will eventually find true love…usually where he or she least expects it.

Get the eBooks via Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, the iBookStore, or the Kobo Store.

Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.

All Sullivan Covers

Bella Andre_1About the Author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo.

Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Posted on 19 January, 2013 by Faye - 4 Comments


Behind The Blog #36; It’s Cold Outside

Posted on 18 January, 2013 by Faye - 11 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!

It’s been chilly, at least here where I live, although we don’t get snow. What sorts of activities do you like to do to enjoy winter? Do you enjoy outside activities, or do you prefer to stay inside where it’s warm?
In relation to books and media, what are some books or movies where winter fun is a key component? Are there any books or movies that have odd/unusual or unique ideas for winter fun?


Without going to the easy answer and admitting that I like to read and watch movies in the winter – because we all know I do that year round – I will happily admit that I love to ski. I am not about to sit here and tell you what a pro-skier I am and how I am so super legendary that I can run blacks with my eyes closed, because that would be an outright lie. In fact, I’m still pretty basic when it comes to skiing because I haven’t actually done it for very long – not like some people – and I don’t have that natural ability for the sport that my little sister does either. (I have a large feeling it’s to do with the way my hips were born and how amazingly uncomfortable it is for me to ski with my legs closed (haha, right?), as I have a natural stance that has my legs going out then in. – difficult to explain without showing you!)

But, while I’m not a pro-skier, and while I’m still a basic skier (who gets absolutely terrified when looking at some slopes), I can’t stop myself from truly loving the sport. Just being able to snow plough down a mountain, or parallel ski across one (:p), makes my adrenaline pump, builds my spirits up and just makes me really enjoy myself. It’s quite hard to explain why I love this sport so much when I’m really not that great at it – and since I have twisted my knee once while doing it – but all I know is that it’s one of those sports you can do alone and still really enjoy every damn second of the day.

This is why I cannot wait to get my sorry behind back to Canada. It is why I would rather live there or in Australia, or well, anywhere in Europe, as opposed to being stuck in England where it costs hundreds of pounds just to get to a snowy mountain for a week, without adding the costs of all the equipment needed for it. I would love to have the opportunity to ski throughout the entirety of the winter season (like I did in Canada four years ago), because that was truly the best six months of my life and I really could imagine my life continuing that way for many, many years. Because let’s face it, as pretty as snow is in England, it’s just not the same when you can’t get your ski’s out and have some fun!

Of course, what I’m getting at is that I can’t ski all the way through the winter and so I have to find something else to do while it’s cold. I do still read a lot, and watch a lot of television and movies, but I also find that I love to swim. This, again, is something that you can do year round but I have found that I love it most in the winter. I love the idea of being warm inside while I do lengths and then having enough body heat from it that when I step outside I don’t feel the cold as mmuch as I did before. I like the idea of feeling the cold in a different way after I’ve been swimming. And it’s also nice to feel that rush of the cold water after being outside in the cold and knowing that in truth, the water is still warmer than the air! But, once again, I cannot really describe in good detail why I love to swim in the winter, I think it’s just a feeling I get.


I really struggled to think of books that are set wholly in the winter, or ones that show people having fun in the winter that I’ve read recently or remember reading from way back when so instead, this BTB is just going to involve three movies about winter, or set in winter, that I love!

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Chalet Girl; As soon as I watched this, I instantly loved it. Snowboarding, skiing, love, fun, english humour? What’s not to love? This is one film I could happily watch again, and again, and again…

Rise of the Guardians; Only saw this a week ago and I really liked it! This is the kind of film that I love watching. It made me feel all gooey and happy! Can’t wait to purchase this one on DVD!

Snow Dogs; I love this film! I remember watching it years and years ago and I just love the whole film. I always wanted to go dog sledding (and still do!) and this just made me want to go even more!

Other mentionable films; Ice Age (all of them), Eight Below (*wipes tear*), Bridget Jones’ Diary, Love Actually…, The Family Stone, The Holiday


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Posted on 18 January, 2013 by Faye - 11 Comments


Thursday’s Special Spotlight; Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Posted on 17 January, 2013 by Faye - 11 Comments

Special Spotlight

Thursday’s Special Spotlight is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. It is inspired by her library’s “Book of the Week” and Stepping out of the Page’s From the Review Pile. It also stems from how far behind I am on writing reviews and how guilty I often feel about it!

The idea of this feature is to spotlight books that I read e-ons ago that I absolutely loved and I feel deserve the spotlight on this blog! They will be accompanied with reasons as to why I loved them and why I think you should read them.


This week’s spotlight is Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving June

This was a book that my blogger friend Sarah at Saz101 loved so much that when I mentioned really wanting to read it, she surprised me by buying it for me. It took a bit of time to get around to reading it, but once I had, I realised instantly why she, and so many others, had been singing the praises of this book. I adored every single word on the page, found myself eager to continue reading the words and came across some absolutely fabulous quotes that are still some of my favourite ones ever. Hannah Harrington quickly became one of my favourite authors, which then jumped to an auto-buy author when she released Speechless!

This is a book that is full of heart. It really gets into the nitty gritty of things, while also giving you a light, humurous tale. The subject matter that Hannah deals with is not something to be taken lightly and she certainly doesn’t do so, there is a considerable amount of care that has gone into this book. I loved the music references, but also the music quotes and I found that I was truly able to connect with all the words on the page. I could understand Harper, Laney, and Jake. I adored the friendship between Harper and Laney, and loved the blossoming friendship of them both to Jake. It was such a nice thing to read about and really made this book glow.

Why Should You Read Saving June?
I know that this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love contemporaries, road trips, great friendships, and lovely romances then you really should pick this book up. It is a fun, emotional, powerful book that I am certain you will fall in love with as many others have before you. This book shows how we can pick ourselves up after something terrible has happened to us, especially with the helping hands of friends. It shows that everyone is unique and we should accept everyones flaws – even if it’s something as silly as loving rap music – because it is usually this which helps us to be everything we are. It is a novel that is full of love and will make you feel so full of warmth when you finally close the last page.

But don’t just take my word for it! Here’s some actual reviews of this amazing book by other bloggers;
Sarah @ Saz101
Dani @ Pen to Paper
Lucy @ ChooseYA
Samantha @ Falling Books
Hollie @ Music, Books, and Tea

So if you haven’t yet read Saving June, what are you waiting for?

Posted on 17 January, 2013 by Faye - 11 Comments


Guest Post; Why I Love Family-Based Romance Series

Posted on 16 January, 2013 by Faye - 2 Comments

Please enjoy this guest post by Bella Andre, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the contemporary romance series, The Sullivans. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards!

 

Why I Love Family-Based Romance Series

A guest post by Bella Andre

 

I love reading romance (I read one book a day when I can!), and one of my favorite tropes is the family-based series. I absolutely love Julia Quinn’s historical romance Bridgerton series and have loved taking that idea of the big family into present day with my Sullivan contemporary romance series.

What I love when I read – and what I want my readers to get from The Sullivans – is to feel like they’re a part of the family, and to know each of the characters so well that they can begin to know anticipate what the will start saying and doing at family gatherings. I love it when I’m reading a big family scene and I know, “Oh, this character is going to react like this” or “This character will hate this!” I love it even more when the characters surprise me and I learn new things about them.

One of the advantages of writing a series about a large family is that even as the hero and heroine are having conflict with each other, we can see them being loving towards their families, so we know the depth of love they’re capable of.

There are plenty of big family scenes in my Sullivan books for you to get to know each character, what they’re like, and how they feel one another. Just like a real family, every Sullivan has a special relationship with each of the others. Smith and Sophie are extra close, as are Marcus and Lori. Ryan and Zach are so close in age that they spent a lot of time together as kids and have a special bond as adults.


fall in love

The Sullivans are on tour with Novel Publicity. Follow along for your chance to win amazing prizes. We’ve got special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards. WOW!

You’ll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You’ll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world’s heart.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Sullivans: In this sexy, emotional and funny contemporary romance series, each member of the Sullivan family will eventually find true love…usually where he or she least expects it.

Get the eBooks via Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, the iBookStore, or the Kobo Store.

Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.

All Sullivan Covers

Bella Andre_1About the Author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo.

Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Posted on 16 January, 2013 by Faye - 2 Comments