Tommy Vs Cancer Blog Tour

Posted on 24 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Tommy Vs Cancer Blog Tour

Hi Guys!

Today I am here to ask you all for some help. Vivienne Dacosta is working hard to help raise awareness for Tommy Donbavand and the fight that he is having with cancer. You can find out more about it on his website here.

To help raise awareness, Vivienne is organising a blog tour.

It’s going to start on 1st June and run throughout the month. We are looking for as many authors and book bloggers as possible to take part. Every one involved will review a book written by Tommy, as well as including information on how they can help Tommy with money.

If you’re interested in participatig in the tour, please contact Vivienne by e-mailing her (hover for e-mail address) and letting her know. I’ll then be working with Viv to organise the schedule.

In the meantime, we’d also love it if you could support Tommy as much as you can. You can find out how by reading this post. And, if you could also spread the word about his blog and the blog tour, we’d really appreciate it.

Many thanks!

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Posted on 24 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Book Review; Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Posted on 22 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

beautiful broken thingsTitle: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan
Published: 25th February 2016
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, THe Book Depository

Summary:
I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.


Sometimes We

I had been recommended to read Beautiful Broken Things by many of my blogging friends. They all knew how much I loved books that centered around friendship so they kept telling me to read. Until, eventually, I did and I felt so grateful to all the people who recommeneded this book to me because I loved it. I fell easily into this story and felt that it really captured teenagers’ spirits and how friendship really works. Plus there was mental health treated sensitively too – bonus!

Just Need

In all honesty, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the plot of this book because I don’t think I ever read the synopsis! I loved that I had no idea where the book was eventually leading. But mostly, I loved this book because it had a character-driven plot – my favourite kind of plot! It was great to see the journey that all the characters in this book went on and I loved how it all came together at the end too. It was a very emotional read and I just really connected with the characters.

A Friend

The best thing about character-driven plots are the strong characters and character development which Beautiful Broken Things definitely has. Sara Barnard has created three wonderful, powerful and incredible characters that really bring this story to life and I just love how well they fit together. Admittedly, as usual for me, I loved Caddy the most. She was the most relatable character and I think she went on the strongest journey. I also loved Suzanne so much and thought Sara did an exceptional job portraying her personality throughout the book! It was sad having to say goodbye to these characters.

To Hold

Have you got the impression that I thoroughly enjoyed this book? Because I did. It was an emotional book that I really connected with, full of vibrant and interesting characters that it was hard not to love. It dealt with portraying friendship in all its glory, both positively and negatively, which I absolutely adored! And, on top of all of that, it also dealt with mental health in such a sensitive and wonderful way. Which is really lovely to read. I would highly recommend this book, especially to a YA contemporary fan!

Four Stars

** 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. **

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Posted on 22 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


New Beginnings

Posted on 11 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

New Beginnings

Hi All!
I’m here today to bring you a guest post by the wonderful Kim Slater to celebrate the release of her newest book, A Seven-Letter Word. She’s written a post about beginnings. Hope you enjoy!

Kim Slater


New Beginnings

By Kim Slater

Anyone who has ever attended a creative writing course will know that a very popular and often valid piece of advice (especially for writing Young Adult fiction) is: Make your opening lines as exciting as possible.

This was certainly true for the first draft of my debut novel, ‘Smart’, in that an independent editor I commissioned advised me to skip Chapters One – Three and start the story at Chapter Four, where Kieran finds the body of a dead homeless man in the River Trent.

It worked well.

But when I had finished the penultimate draft of my new novel, ‘A Seven-Letter Word’, it suddenly occurred to me that I had not started the book with a scene of riveting excitement but with one of Finlay’s emotional private journal entries to his absent mum.

And the second chapter was a scene with Finlay and his dad having tea in their kitchen at home.

Although I hope these chapters are still interesting and intriguing for the reader, there is no real rising action until Chapter Three, when the reader meets Finlay’s nemesis, a loathsome bully called Oliver.

My very lovely but eagle-eyed editor at Macmillan, Rachel Kellehar, had not raised a concern about the beginning of the book at this point but I thought the issue was worth raising with her.

We had an interesting discussion.

Would I be better, I wondered to Rachel, beginning the book at Chapter Two which is a scene of rising action and unbearable tension for our hero, Finlay?

As Rachel pointed out, the journal entry and the scene in the kitchen give some really essential information to the reader about Finlay. The reader sees how lonely he is and garners a real understanding of how difficult it is for him to speak – essential as a backdrop to the whole story.

I saw that sticking with the beginning we already had, meant that by the time we got to Chapter Two, the scene is made even more tense and dramatic for the reader because they are already firmly inside Finlay’s head.

They are able to fully empathise and care about what happens to him at a very early stage and that is valuable to me, as an author who wants my reader to continue turning the pages.

So, I would advise debut writers to think carefully about their beginnings but not be a slave to the stock advice.

Starting your story in a place that is not edge-of-the-seat exciting for the reader is not necessarily a bad thing. But it isn’t an excuse for slow pace and dreary writing, either.

It must still be gripping. You must still entice the reader to want to know more by including a hint of the excitement and tension that is yet to come.

Experiment. Swap your beginning around a bit and see what feels right. Ask a few beta readers what they think.

Remember that agents, editors and indeed, readers are looking for strong character voices and a good hook. If these things are right, they’re often prepared to delay the opening excitement a touch.

As always with creative writing advice, there is no right or wrong way. There is just your way and it will probably be different for each and every book you write.

So really think your beginning through and above all, know why you made your decision.

That’s a very good place to start.

Opening lines of ‘A Seven-Letter Word’.

“Monday, 11th May

Dear Mum,

It’s me, Finlay.

I’ve had this brilliant idea to empty out all the words in my head, on to paper. That way, they might stop driving me bonkers, buzzing around with no way of getting out.”

Opening lines of ‘Smart’.

“It just looked like a pile of rags, floating on the water.

Jean sat on the bench with the brass plaque on. It said: In Memory of Norman Reeves who spent many happy hours here.

The plaque means Norman Reeves is dead, but it doesn’t actually say that.”


About the Book

7lw Title: A Seven-Letter Word
Author: Kim Slater
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: 24th March 2016
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository

Summary:
‘My name is Finlay McIntosh. I can see OK, can hear perfectly fine and I can write really, really well. But the thing is, I can’t speak. I’m a st-st-st-stutterer. Hilarious, isn’t it? It’s like the word is there in my mouth, fully formed and then, just as it’s ready to leave my lips . . . POP! It jumps and ricochets and bounces around my gob. Except it isn’t funny at all, because there’s not a thing I can do about it.’

Finlay’s mother vanished two years ago. And ever since then his stutter has become almost unbearable. Bullied at school and ignored by his father, the only way to get out the words which are bouncing around in his head is by writing long letters to his ma which he knows she will never read, and by playing Scrabble online. But when Finlay is befriended by an online Scrabble player called Alex, everything changes. Could it be his mother secretly trying to contact him? Or is there something more sinister going on?

A Seven-Letter Word is an evocative and heartfelt story from the multi-award-winning author of Smart, Kim Slater.


What are some of your favourite opening lines?

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Posted on 11 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew and Chris Judge

Posted on 10 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew and Chris Judge

Hi All!
Today is my spot on the Create Your Own: Spy Mission blog tour! I’m here to show you some of the pages filled in by myself so that you can a) see my pathetic drawings and b) see how much fun this book is!

But before I humiliate myself, here’s some information about this fantastic book!


About The Book

Title: Create Your Own Spy Mission
Author: Andrew and Chris Judge
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: April 7th 2016
Pages: 140
Format: Paperback
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Summary:
DOODLE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
Welcome to Doodle…where you draw the story. Help finish characters, build up the town and design a GIANT ICE CREAM POWERED robot to fight off…the SUPER villains that you doodle! Doodles get into LOTS of trouble. Watch out, it is up to you to doodle them out of it!

My Doodles

drawing1

drawing2

drawing3


About the Authors

Chris Judge

Chris Judge is an award winning picture book author/illustrator (THE LONELY BEAST, TIN) and co-author, with comedian David O’Doherty, of DANGER IS EVERYWHERE. Chris’s work continues to feature in advertising, newspapers, magazines and exhibitions in the UK and Ireland.

Website. Twitter.

Andrew Judge

Andrew Judge has written and illustrated countless short stories and comics with his brother Chris, including regular features for arts and culture magazines Mongrel and Totally Dublin. Andrew lives and works as an architect in Ireland.

Website. Twitter.


Where will your spy mission take you?

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Posted on 10 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Posted on 7 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Hi All!
Today is my stop on the Flawed blog tour and I am delighted to host a little exclusive excerpt about Celestine!


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About the Book

Title: Flawed (Flawed #1)
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 24th March 2016
Pages: 400
Format: Hardback
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Summary:
The stunning YA debut from internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.


Trailer


Are you as excited as I am for this book?!?

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Posted on 7 April, 2016 by Faye - No Comments


Blog Tour; The Awakening of the Ren Crown by Anne Zoelle

Posted on 1 April, 2016 by Faye - 1 Comment

Rising Up with Ren Crown

Hey Guys!
Today is my stop on The Awakening of the Ren Crown blog tour and I am here to share with you an except from the first book! Plus there’s a giveaway at the end of the post too!

Ren Crown Promo

Here’s an excerpt from The Awakening of Ren Crown by Anne Zoelle!

Devastated by the loss of her twin–and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists–art student Ren Crown illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. But caught in a time of war, and as a mage with abilities that both sides want to harness and use, Ren finds herself an unwitting pawn in a larger game.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Chapter Nine: Olivia Price

I awakened early and began the arduous climb up the mountain. Alone on the path, I had ample time to think. Equal amounts of apprehension, excitement, and terror flowed through me, and I began to second-guess my decision.

A soft, comforting whisper wrapped around me. “You can do this, Ren. You’re strong and capable.”

Hearing Christian spurred me on. The journey suddenly seemed less lonely.

And before I knew it, stretching across the flat grass of the fifth band near the top of the mountain—and encircling the entire mountainside—was the mammoth nine-story structure straight out of Ancient Rome that was referred to in the administration packet as the Magiaduct, or more informally, Dormitory Circle.

A stone-columned arcade lined the lower level, providing coverage for students walking from door to door. Symmetrically spaced between the entrance doors were gateways, allowing a tunneled path to the other side of the building. From the second floor skyward, the building was an unbroken wall of ancient multicolored stone and glass. In the morning light the façade glowed and shimmered, alive with color. If I survived the day, I would lovingly admire its classic architectural magnificence tomorrow.

With a cocktail of emotions stirring inside, I walked beneath the nearest arcade arch, passed a group of students laughing together, and approached a door. Apprehension. Excitement. Terror. The number thirty-two was carved into the stone above the wooden door, bright in the rising sun. I continued on to the right—hoping that walking counter-clockwise decreased the number count—past another stone gateway and to the next door. Thirty-one. It was a hike between doorways. The administration packet had mentioned thirty-six, nine-story “dorms” each housing four hundred students, solidly ringing this level of the mountain.

People were running on top of the Magiaduct. Some of the workout gear was rather strange looking, even from this distance. But the evidence of a track indicated you could at least move from one dorm section to the next at the topmost level.

I continued on until I reached the heavy wooden door beneath the stone-carved number Twenty-five.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I swallowed hard and opened the door.

I had expected the interior to be stark and medieval, but the lower-level meeting and study area was fresh and bright with white slate floors and cream walls. Rich walnut furniture and comfortable sofas and lounge chairs upholstered in rich burgundy and forest green were scattered about in conversational pods, giving the room a warm and inviting feel. The area was a bustle of activity, with students entering, loitering, and exiting.

I climbed the nearest staircase and found room fifty-two on the second floor. I took a deep breath, hoisting my papers more firmly in the crook of my arm, and knocked.

No answer.

I knocked again, then leaned casually against the wall and inserted one of Marsgrove’s straightened paperclips into the lock to see if a chomper engaged. No answer, no chomp.

Relief nearly unbalanced me. No one was inside and the lock was completely standard, thank God. I could have it scrubbed open in ten seconds. Two students engaged in a hot debate passed me.

“Social theory is important,” the girl said.

The boy shook his head. “Brute force will always win. Magic is might.”

I knocked on the door again, trying to look like I wasn’t loitering, and discreetly pulled out my favorite rake and torque wrench from my brother’s set, using my knee to press my papers against the wall so that I could use both hands.

The door yanked open and a chilly voice said, “Yes?”

My papers spilled to the floor as I jumped away in surprise. I quickly bent my fingers around the pick and wrench, shoving them back along my wrist and up into my shirt’s sleeve. I cleared my throat nervously.

Potential new roommate Olivia Price was dressed in a tailored black and gray dress that looked very severe on her tall, thin frame. I couldn’t help glancing at my own clothing, feeling more than a little out of place. But other students had been dressed in a wide variety of styles, especially the students whose clothing continuously changed form. More than a few people had been informally dressed in First Layer fashion.

I was fine. Normal looking and totally as if I belonged, I tried to assure myself.

I bent to collect my papers, then pasted on a bright smile and held up my forged documents. “I’m your new roommate.”

Her hair was pulled tightly into a bun as severe as her clothing, and rectangular black glasses perched on the bridge of her very straight nose. She smiled down at me, but there was no humor in her eyes. “Are you?”

This now clearly qualified as a complete introduction failure. I tried desperately to keep my face calm and smiling. It had been a stupid plan. Thoughts tumbled through my head on how to nonchalantly extricate myself. I’d figure out something else. I had six thousand vertical feet of space to work with.

“Come in, then.” She stepped back, a clear invitation to enter, despite the cold amusement decorating her features. I hesitated over the threshold, then walked inside.

The feel of a net descended and I lashed out with my arms, thinking that I had once more let myself be captured. But the magic gently pushed my limbs back to my sides. It swirled inside me and pushed against the cuff encircling my wrist. The net stroked me, then gently dissipated.

I squirmed, feeling suddenly like I was in the right place, then realized the austere girl standing silently in front of me had to think I was certifiable. The skin around her eyes tightened, loosened, then tightened again, as if she were surprised, then displeased by something.

I cleared my throat. “Hi.” I tried to remember my cover story, as well as how I could admit to having gotten the room wrong. “Sorry. I just transferred from—”

“That is your side.” She pointed to the empty bed and desk on the window side of the room.

My thoughts and words all crashed together. “What? Really? I mean, yes, great!” The feeling that I was in the right place intensified, then slowly dissipated.

There was a curiously blank look to her expression, all tightness gone. As if she had no emotional reaction to me at all any longer. “You stay on your side, I’ll stay on mine.” And with that, she turned to her desk and an enormous tome that was placed there.

“Oh. Er, thanks.” She hadn’t even asked me my name.

I quietly walked to the empty desk on the far side of the room. The energy that had been capped by Marsgrove’s cuff was restless now, pushing and leaking, as if it had tasted freedom for a moment and now refused to be denied. The room’s magic hummed around me.

Read the first two chapters of The Awakening of Ren Crown on Anne’s website!

Don’t forget!

rEN cROWN 99C1 (3)


About the Books

The-Awakening-of-Ren-Crown-185-x-295A world that exists right on top of ours–in every nook and cranny…a world that modifies the memories of anyone not yet awakened to magic…a world at war…

Devastated by the loss of her twin–and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists–art student Ren Crown illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. But caught in a time of war, and as a mage with abilities that both sides want to harness and use, Ren finds herself an unwitting pawn in a larger game.

Needing to hide from those who wish to enslave her, Ren gambles everything on her determination to succeed, putting herself in plain sight of those who could capture her. Constantly needing to figure out who to trust–a cold, powerful roommate, a genius magical engineer, the most powerful combat mage of their age, a mysterious muse, a cunning and brilliant tactician, a charming terrorist, an influential politician, or the voice of her brother…the hardest thing may be trusting her own heart.

amazon.comBarnes-Noble-Logo


Barely surviving her first term at college, all Ren wants to do over break is relax and bond with her roommate—not get eaten by a sentient building or attacked on the street. But with increasingly open warfare brewing between the magical factions and Layers of the world, this time, Ren will not fail in making sure everyone she loves stays safe and protected.

That includes doing things like filling her parents’ house with personal art heavily embedded with wards, bubble-wrapping her increasingly imperiled roommate, and even making sure that a certain sexy thorn-in-her-side continues to breathe free air.

Finding herself on duty protecting the entire university alongside campus god Alexander Dare…was not what she’d had in mind.

But this time it’s not only her life on the line. And Ren will do anything to protect those she loves.

amazon.comBarnes-Noble-Logo


Reeling from what the students at Excelsine University are calling “Bloody Tuesday,” Ren is determined to regather her magical family. But the events of the attack were not without multiple costs. Magically broken and exposed, Ren is ripe pickings for multiple factions that want to use and chain her, and the Department is the scariest of the pack.

With only a limited amount of time to save her friend, and confined with the rest of the student body awaiting their fate, Ren stands a mere hairsbreadth from losing her freedom completely with each and every decision she makes.

amazon.comBarnes-Noble-Logo


Anne Zoelle has loved books about fantasy, magic, math, wit, and imagination since devouring A Wrinkle in Time, Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, and the Chronicles of Narnia as a child. Split between the midwest and west coast, she writes books for all ages, as well as for furry monsters, sentient libraries, and adventuring aliens.

Anne Zoelle is the pseudonym of a USA Today Bestselling Author. She is currently working on the fourth book in the Ren Crown series.

Connect with Anne on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted on 1 April, 2016 by Faye - 1 Comment