review; follow your heart

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Follow Your Heart
by Tasha Nathan

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review; expression

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Expression
by E.G. Wilson

Adelaide Te Ngawai was twenty-two when Maunga Richards found her prison.

In Expression, discover what happened to Addy after the harrowing ending to Voiceless. Follow Addy’s brother Theo and her former nemesis Maunga as they plunge into an underground reality, not knowing whether they can find Addy—or what they will find if they can. Mind-bending and sensory, Expression assails the unknown without fear or regret.

How far will Theo go to save his sister?

 

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review; colorless

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Colorless
by Rita Stradling

In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts. 

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about. 

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more. 

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colourless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her. 

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old. 

Their only target: Annabelle.

 

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BLOG TOUR; The Red Beach Hut by Lynn Michell ft. Guest Post by The Author

The Red Beach Hut (2)

This is my first ever blog tour post, so I’m going to admit to being a little anxious writing out this post. I keep telling myself it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I can’t help myself! The number of times I have backtracked this little paragraph is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Especially because I am so grateful and honoured to have Lynn Michell, the author of The Red Beach Hut herself, writing a guest post for my little corner of the internet!

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The Red Beach Hut
by Lynn Michell

“Their​ ​eyes​ ​met​ ​and​ ​locked.​ ​Pulling​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​from​ ​his​ ​pocket,​ ​Neville​ ​waved.​ ​Once.”

Eight​ ​year​ ​old​ ​Neville​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first​ ​to​ ​notice​ ​that​ ​the​ ​red​ ​beach​ ​hut​ ​is​ ​occupied​ ​again.

Abbott,​ ​panicked​ ​by​ ​what​ ​he​ ​believes​ ​is​ ​a​ ​homophobic​ ​cyber​ ​attack,​ ​is​ ​on​ ​the​ ​run.​ ​The hut​ ​is​ ​his​ ​refuge​ ​and​ ​shelter.

Inevitably​ ​man​ ​and​ ​boy​ ​collide.​ ​Their​ ​fleeting​ ​friendship​ ​is​ ​poignant,​ ​honest​ ​and​ ​healing. But​ ​Abbot’s​ ​past​ ​threatens​ ​to​ ​tear​ ​him​ ​away,​ ​as​ ​others​ ​watch​ ​and​ ​self-interpret​ ​what they​ ​see.

An​ ​evocative​ ​portrayal​ ​of​ ​two​ ​outsiders​ ​who​ ​find​ ​companionship​ ​on​ ​a​ ​lonely​ ​beach, Lynn​ ​Michell’s​ ​novel​ ​is​ ​about​ ​the​ ​labels​ ​we​ ​give​ ​people​ ​who​ ​are​ ​different,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​harm that​ ​ensues.

Goodreads | Amazon | Inspired Quill

Without further ado or much more rambling, I present to you Lynn’s wonderfully written post on writing in different styles!

Writing in different styles

Lynn Michell

“Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?”

joan didion

  • Scott Turow, Ordinary Heroes

I see all my writing, in and outside academia, as a story. I’m tuned in to the stories others tell, the stories I tell, the stories I make up. That’s the common denominator. That’s the nut inside the various shells of academic papers and research and writing novels and editing other women’s novels. While each is a different kind of story, almost everything I’ve taken has been shaped and told in terms of a narrative.

There’s another constant. I’m one of those writers who prefers to observe and to hang around on the sidelines watching people rather than throwing myself into the social fray. I watch and store and ponder. I squirrel away facial expressions and body language and the way someone is dressed. The inside of my head is a bit like backstage at some theatre – actors, props, scenery, costumes, dialogue. Thoughts. And feelings.

My first research project as a new lecturer at Keele University found me crawling around the floors of state nursery schools while scribbling on my clipboard watching small children play. I wanted to know how the noisy smorgesbord of toys and games on offer satisfied the needs of very different children and how many enjoyed, learned and gained something from their days. At first glance it looks like chaos but watch carefully and you’ll see confident children negotiating in groups, children who race for the physical activities, ones who cling to adults, and passive children who don’t do much because they don’t seem to know how to play or don’t want to. They remain on the edges and can be overlooked. I told the stories of the children’s days and showed that a minority of children were getting very little out of their experiences. One of several academic papers was called ‘Doing Six and Being Batman.’ One child’s words.

A lot of my academic work was interview based so I listened to individuals and groups of people, then went away to find the truest, closest way of telling their stories. For Growing Up in Smoke, funded by Cancer Research, I listened to children telling me what it was like to live in home where parents smoked and how much they hated the fug and and worried about asthma and about their parents dying. They drew pictures and wrote heart-felt feelings in letters and stories. I searched out the common themes as well as original thoughts and wrote as truthfully as I could about those children’s lives as passive smokers.

I wrote Shattered: Life with ME when I was emerging from the ME Ghetto after 15 years of not much of a life. I still didn’t feel well, but I knew I had the skills as a writer to portray this illness accurately, strongly and honestly. I interviewed 30 people of all ages from adolescents to seventy somethings, most of them severely, chronically ill and without diagnosis or treatment because there wasn’t one. The people I met were brave and inspiring and their stories needed to be told. My own health crept up a notch. After I’d typed up dozens of hours of interview material, I put on my academic sociologist’s hat and worked out how to classify the themes to present them without bias as a piece of good qualitative research. While writing the book, I wasn’t firing on all four cylinders and I still needed to rest, but I was the voice of seriously ill people who had not been heard or who had been horribly dismissed as hypochondriacs. It took a long five years but the letters and emails I received afterwards made it utterly worthwhile.

In my novels, I have a heady freedom compared with writing for an academic audience and I’m not hamstrung by conventions. Hidden in my debut novel, White Lies, is one almost true story amongst all the fiction, a story found by listening. When the present was growing dim for my elderly widowed father, a soldier most of his life, his periods of active service burned ever brighter. in his memory. I was regaled with his stories of being a Desert Rat in Libya in WWII and his time chasing the Mao Mao in the bloody uprising against colonial rule in Nairobi In the1950s. I knew his anecdotes off by heart. As a coping strategy, I told him to dictate his memoirs and so began long, regular meetings with me at the laptop and him talking and sipping coffee. More and more emerged. His perfect recall, and in particular his white colonial view of the Mao Mao brutality, was the start of that first novel. Yes, he is David, the soldier who cannot see the other story, that of the tribes disposed of their land and their way of life.

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In The Red Beach Hut I’ve veered well away from stories of my own or those of people I know. If there are any vestiges, they’ve undergone so much transformation that their roots are hidden even from me. I can rationalise why I wrote that novel at the time of the 2015 General Election but that doesn’t reflect the experience. The characters of Abbott and Nevile arrived ready made and I tuned in to their conversations. Their stories about why they were on a beach at the faded end of the season came next. Unlike previous novels, it took three months of manic writing and that draft wasn’t significantly changed.

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We all tell ourselves the stories we need to hear. We sanitise and exaggerate and add rose-coloured highlights. We writers collect those stories and spin them into yarns.

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.” Joan Didion.

So fascinating to learn about authors’ writing processes and how the same person can approach their various stories in different styles! Thank you so much for such an articulate post, Lynn.

Don’t forget to check The Red Beach Hut and Lynn’s other novels out!

LYNN-by-NyeAbout the Author :-

I​ ​write,​ ​have​ ​always​ ​written,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​run​ ​​Linen​ ​Press​,​ ​a​ ​small​ ​indie​ ​press​ ​for​ ​women writers.​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​fine​ ​balancing​ ​act​ ​but​ ​ever​ ​since​ ​I​ ​watched​ ​​Elvira​ ​Madigan​,​ ​I’ve​ ​secretly wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​tight​ ​rope​ ​walker.

My​ ​fourteen​ ​books​ ​are​ ​published​ ​by​ ​HarperCollins,​ ​Longman​ ​and​ ​The​ ​Women’s​ ​Press and​ ​include​ ​an​ ​illustrated​ ​writing​ ​scheme​ ​for​ ​schools,​ ​and​ ​​Shattered​,​ ​a​ ​book​ ​about​ ​living with​ ​ME.​ ​Those​ ​closest​ ​to​ ​my​ ​heart​ ​are​ ​fiction:​ ​​Letters​ ​To​ ​My​ ​Semi-Detached​ ​Son,​ ​​my debut​ ​novel​ ​set​ ​in​ ​Kenya,​ ​​White​ ​Lies​ ​​and​ ​my​ ​latest​ ​novel​​ ​The​ ​Red​ ​Beach​ ​Hut​.

When​ ​not​ ​writing​ ​or​ ​editing,​ ​you’ll​ ​find​ ​me​ ​building​ ​a​ ​house​ ​and​ ​creating​ ​a​ ​landscape​ ​out of​ ​rocks​ ​in​ ​an​ ​oak​ ​clearing​ ​high​ ​above​ ​a​ ​small​ ​village​ ​in​ ​southern​ ​France.​ ​Hands​ ​on.

Once again, a huge thank you to Lynn and the people behind the tour for giving me this opportunity. Be sure to check out Mrs Average Evaluates, the next stop in the tour tomorrow!

2016-04-12 11:46

review; teardrop

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Teardrop
by Lauren Kate

Never, ever cry… Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense. Can everything you love be washed away?

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review; hero

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Hero
by Alethea Kontis

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she’s the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, “Did romance have to be part of the adventure?” As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

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ten things I hate about first person point of view;

bookworm things

I’ve always been told hate is a very strong word. Growing up, my parents preferred that my sisters and I say we strongly disliked something over hate. Frankly, they’re still that way. And for the most part, I agree. I don’t use hate very much, though sometimes I do use it as hyperbole. (A little bit of that is the case of the title, I will admit.)

First person point of view is a very hit or miss with me. I was not fond of it for a very long time, and I still have issues with it. I find myself shying away from a lot of novels with first person points of view for a variety of reasons. Some of my strongest pet peeves are listed below, in no particular order.

ten things i hate about first person point of view

  • It limits the reader’s experience of the world the protagonist is part of.
    First person point of view means we’re seeing the world as the protagonist is seeing it, and it can be a very myopic view of the world. It is also very biased, because everything is coloured by the protagonist’s perceptions.
  • Connected to the first point, it can be very narcissistic.
    Everything being coloured by the protagonist’s perceptions comes across as very self-obsessed. This can be made worse if your protagonist’s personality is one of being very sure they are making all the right choices and decisions, and being constantly condescending towards other characters.
    (I am not naming names, but I am thinking of certain characters from certain books that gained a lot of popularity in recent years.)
  • There tends to be a lot of telling and a lot less showing.
    Being trapped in the protagonist’s perceptions means we only notice the things they notice. A lot of author’s then fall into the trap of telling things instead of showing them happen. Such as the narrator being scared, or upset, instead of showing minute details that allow the reader to infer the narrator’s feelings.
    This is not limited to the narrator’s feelings but also of the action in the story.
  • There is too much introspection and too little action.
    Being stuck in the narrator’s head means that the reader is taken through their feelings on every moment instead of being allowed to infer what is going on with them. Some authors get stuck on the internal workings of the narrator’s mind, and the plot seems like an afterthought. Every action that occurs outside of the narrator’s head is followed by a paragraph of two examining the narrator’s feelings on the subject.
    It gets tedious, guys.
  • There is a repetitive feel to the voice and tone of the novel.
    If the narrator does not have an engaging enough voice, this can turn me off the entire novel. The constant Is and mes are not just repetitive, but can also be restrictive. Literary devices and vocabulary are limited to the character’s tone and personality. And, again, the protagonist can come across as very self-centered.
  • Things that do not happen in front of the character becomes exposition.
    This is especially annoying in novels that should be fast-paced and action-packed. If the action is not happening in front of the character, then the character is hearing about it second-hand, and it becomes exposition. Again, this comes back to telling and not showing, and is so tiring.
  • Unless the novel goes into an overly descriptive, fanfiction style moment where the protagonist describes themselves and what they are wearing, we are left wondering what the protagonist looks like.
    You know the type of paragraph I am imagining. Don’t say you don’t.
    Unless another character says something about the protagonist’s hair or eyes or skin colour, which I have not seen happen. It can be liberating to not be spoon-fed the narrator’s looks, and being allowed to imagine them any way. But it can also be very disconcerting.
  • The narrative style is very self-indulgent.
    The narrator becomes a stand in for the author, with too much of their own points of views colouring the character. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the narrator has too little personality to allow readers to imagine themselves as the protagonist, and comes across as very bland or naive.
  • There is a lack of subplots in the novel because everything revolves around the one character.
    It gets so boring to only read about the protagonist’s storyline. Any secondary plot is heard about secondhand, unless it affects the protagonist.
  • BIASED STORYTELLING.
    Basically, the narrator is very unreliable because everything is coloured by their experiences and perspectives. Everything is the way the narrator understands it.
    I’m not saying this cannot be done well, but it has to be acknowledged too.

It does seem like I’m repeating points, I know. But there are nuances to every point! And I’m not saying it is always a bad thing. Sometimes biased narratives add to the story instead of detract from it. Sometimes being limited in the point of view adds something to the story instead of takes away from it.

First person point of view, when done well, can be such a compelling read. But those books I just have not found. There are maybe a handful of first person point of view books I have enjoyed.

Does anybody else have an aversion to first person? What are your thoughts on the first person point of view? Which are some of your favourite first person point of view books? Change my mind and give me recommendations!

2016-04-12 11:46

review; voiceless

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Voiceless
by E.G. Wilson

 

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review; the sweetest spell

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The Sweetest Spell
by Suzanne Selfors

Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher’s daughter, has escaped death twice-first, on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability-she can churn milk into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.

Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund finds herself desired by all. But Emmeline only wants one-Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances once tempted her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. But others will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains-no matter what the cost to Emmeline.

Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all.

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review; boomerang boyfriend

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Boomerang Boyfriend
by Chris Cannon

Working with her best friend’s brother at Betty’s Burgers, free-spirited Delia starts to see Jack in a new light. Not only has Jack-the-Jerk turned into a hottie, he’s even acting like a nice guy, who rescues dogs and knows how she likes her coffee. But if Jack is into her, then why is he keeping her a secret? Of course, if her best friend doesn’t approve, Delia could lose the only family she’s ever known.

Seeing Delia in her retro waitress uniform throws Jack’s world out of whack. She’s always been just another pain in the butt little sister…not a datable female. But she’s rockin’ the Pie Princess tiara, and even her hot-pink striped hair is sexy. What’s that about? He needs to get his head on straight, because artsy, funky Delia and her nonconformist ways don’t fit in his safe and ordered world.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains kisses that make the world fall away and snarky humor that may cause you to LOL in public places.

 

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