Monday, 31 October 2011

Show Gratitude for Books

Over on her blog, Beth Revis is hosting a fantasic giveaway to win 19 signed books! Plus there is Swag and runner-up prizes to be won! To enter all you have to do is write a post about which book you are most grateful for.

For me there was only ever one choice:

J. M Barries Classic Story - Peter Pan

I always loved this book as a child and thought Neverland sounded such a magical place. Every night I would jump on my bed trying to fly so that I could go there and have adventures with pirates and mermaids - and there would be no adults to make me go to bed or brush my teeth!

As a child I would always make my grandfather read it to me. He had such a story telling voice and somehow he made the words come alive. After he passed, this book was a great comfort to me and I have a beautiful hard back edition that still bares his 'happy birthday' message to me in the right hand corner of the inner cover. It's a book I will always treasure.

So that is why I'm grateful for this book. Not only has it given me happy memories of my grandfather, but it has inspired many an afternoon of adventuring in the garden, magical feasts in my den (which honestly was just a big cloth that kept me hidden under my grandparents dining room table) and daring battles with my old dog Nanny-Ben who was kind & patient enough to put up with for all those years.

Magical and fantastical - Peter Pan still stirs my imagination to this day.
'The second star to the right, and straight on until morning.'
That is where dreams are found.

What books are you grateful for?

Halloween Reads

Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Middle Grade Horror

Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “Other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy, black button eyes.
When they make it clear however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and the three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures…
It may be a book for kids but I personally think Coraline is one of the creepiest stories I’ve ever read. Hair-raisingly chilling, it is a total must-read story for Halloween night!
Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer who skilfully brings to life a nightmarish world that hovers just close enough to reality to be truly frightening. With rats, ghost children, a stalking dismembered hand and especially the ‘other’ buttoned-eyed people, this book had me completely captivated from the beginning to end. Not to mention the fantastic illustrations - which in truth - creeped me out just as much as the writing.  
And, while it may sound strange, I think the older you are the scarier you will find this book to be. My younger self would probably have thought this story was about a girl on a great adventure to battle evil. Now at 22, I think it’s a book about a girl (who will probably have nightmares for the rest of her life) trying to escape the clutches of evil. Trust me, there is a huge difference.
Yet either way, Coraline is a fantastic read that truly stirs the imagination and rattles the nerves. It is so much more than a children’s book. Adults (and Y/As), I suggest you go find yourselves a copy and make sure you’re not in the house alone. Trust me, after reading this you will definitely want to sleep with the light on.
Have a Happy Halloween! J
*Note: there is a movie version but I have never seen it. For me the book was more than creepy enough but I would be interested to know which you guys think is scarier?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Inspirational Writer-ly Quotes

Hey guys, I know I know I haven’t posted in over week. I have fallen victim to the evil demon of winter, the horrid, soul sucking monster of dread that has rendered me helpless and completely incapable of doing anything productive – so yeah, I have a cold.  
Therefore, rather than posting another book review (which I admit I attempted and failed miserably to write), I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite inspirational quotes. I have them pinned up near my computer to help me with me sluggish, less motivated and more brain dead days.
Also forgive me, I don’t actually know who I’m quoting here so if you know who said what please let me know :)

1) ‘The worst novel that you put on paper is far better than the best novel that you have in your head’
2) ‘Idea’s are not the hardest part, making yourself sit down and write is.’

3) ‘Even the best books like to repeatedly punch you in the face while you are working on them.’

4) ‘You don’t need to be inspired to write, You need to write to be inspired.’

5) 'If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’

6) ‘I do not like to write, I like to have written.’

7) ‘Write with your heart and the story will follow.’

Hope you guys have a good week. I’m going back to bed now armed with my books, cup-a-soup and favourite panda-teddy hot water bottle. *Sniff* I’ll see you all when I come out of hibernation.

Saturday, 15 October 2011



So I was curious, is anyone else out there taking part in this year’s national novel writing month? If so, are you all targeting 50,000 words?
I have to admit I feel a little bad. November is probably the worst month for me to try and write a novel. I mean for me it’s a month of Christmas shopping, Uni deadlines and of course my birthday -which naturally I try and drag out in a weeklong celebration :) Also did I mention I’m meant to be starting my dissertation?  

Of course these are all just excuses. Each month of the year I have at least two important dates marked on my calendar - and day to day life soon takes up the rest of the month. I’m pretty certain this is the same for everyone? So, as I finally realised that these things aren’t ever going to change, I’ve decided this year that I’m going to stop procrastinating. This year I’m challenging myself to nanowrimo!
As much as I’d like to dream that a writer’s life involves lazy mornings in bed and days spent working in my pyjamas, I know the reality is rather different. Writers have lives, they have jobs, they have family and friends, dogs to walk, kids to chauffeur and a million other everyday commitments… and yet they write.

Whether it means writing on the train, on their lunch breaks of even getting up that extra hour early – they find ways to fit writing into their lives. So therefore what’s the excuse?  50,000 words, ok that’s a lot but even if it’s 30, 000 or 20,000 or even just 5,000, it’s all progress that will bring us that much closer to our dreams.

So I’ll ask again. Are you participating in NANOWRIMO 2011?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Angel - L.A Weatherly Book Review

Angel – Book Review
L.A Weatherly
Y/A Paranormal
Willow knows she’s different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into people’s futures; know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where she gets this power from…
But Alex does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willow’s secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

While I have never been a fan of whole ‘Angel and Demon’ craze that recently stormed the YA book shelves, L.A Weatherly’s ‘Angel’ honestly surprised me. Not only was it a book I enjoyed immensely, but it portrayed a darker, flip side to angels that I have never seen done before.
Based on the premise that Angels aren’t the kindly, protective beings mythology suggests, but actually cruel, darker creatures who feed off the life force of humans, this book’s unique concept had me utterly intrigued.
Written in a combination of both first and third person - I must admit that the change of narrative threw me a little at first. However once you get use to it I think it helps add depth to the story, and it also distinguishes the view points between the two protagonists Alex and Willow.
 I also really liked how the romance between these two blossomed sweet and slowly. Although while the initial attraction was there from the beginning, their feelings built up over time and it was only after several days spent in each other’s company - and many close calls with death - that they finally got together. For me this made the romance between them all that more real and moving.
Throughout this book I was also really fascinated by the concept of religion and how the ‘Angels’ were using it for their own evil purposes. Also the idea of angel burn (the after affects of an angel’s touch that cause illness and mental diseases) I felt added a nice sideline to the plot.  I’m curious to see how both these ideas will continue in L.A weatherly’s sequel, ‘ANGEL FIRE’ which was recently released in the UK on 1st October 2011.
Therefore overall I felt this was a really good book with a captivating story and would recommend it to anyone who loves to read Young Adult, especially if you’re like me and have been disappointed with teen angel stories in the past. Everyone, this is a book you most definitely want to pick up! :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

IMM#3 September and RAKS

September was another great month for me and I scored myself some fantastic books!
From competitions:
Flip by Martyn Bedford, won from MostlyReadingYA
Paradise by Joanna Nadin won from Luisa @ chicklish
From Swaps:
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton from Clover @ Fluttering Butterflies
From RAKS:
Beastly by Robin Mckinley from Emma @ BelleBooks
A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis also from Luisa @ Chicklish

Books I sent:
Shadows of the Moon by Zoe Marriott to Amie @ Welcome To My World

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me a book this month, they’re all greatly appreciated! Also we’re not even a week into October but it already looks like it’s shaping up to be a good month for books to!
Thanks guys!