review; reboot

photo2

Reboot
by Amy Tintera

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Review:

Continue reading “review; reboot”

SPOTLIGHT; #cronebloggers

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

I’m going to be honest, I meant to write this post a while ago, but I’ve been out of town, and then the daughter was ill, so I’m only getting around it it now.

For full information, check out Jenn @ a page of Jenniely‘s page on #CroneBloggers here.

In brief, #CroneBloggers are a group of book bloggers that are older than the target audience for the Young Adult novels we read. Yes, anybody can read anything they want, etcetra etcetra, but being surrounded by young teenagers was – shall we say – making us feel our ages?

So Jenn tweeted a call that, I think, got a more resounding answer than she expected:

Screenshot-2017-10-19 Jenn-o'-lantern 🎃 on Twitter

And from there, the #CroneBloggers were born.

What we are is basically a Twitter group, a place for us to talk about books (and other things) with like-minded people. We can be found here.

We can also be found on GoodReads.

A comprehensive list of our blogs can be found on Jenn’s page. If this seems like your cup of tea, come join us!

2016-04-12 11:46

 

the liebster award; part deux

the-liebster-award

I am finally catching up on all the blog posts I have fallen behind on reading and what do I find? Jenn @ a page of Jenniely has nominated me for a Liebster Award! It was a shock the first time it happened, and I’ll be honest, an even bigger one now! Especially considering my schedule has slowed down considerably. Thank you, Jenn!

To recap, the Liebster Award is a chain-award that bloggers pass along to each other in order to highlight other blogs. It allows us to get to know one another better. Sounds like fun, right?

 

  1. What is your go-to self care? Something you do, wear, etc.
    Grabbing a book (or my laptop), a hot drink, and reading until I feel up to being social.
  2.  What was the first book that made a difference to you and why?
    Oh. Wow. I’ve always loved reading, but I think I’m going to have to go with The Chalet School series. I don’t remember which book I read first, it definitely wasn’t the first one, but it was an old copy of my mother’s and I fell in love.
  3.  What is your favourite time of year?
    Look, I live in Malaysia now after three years in Auckland, and I miss the cold-ish weather so I’m going with fall. I miss the excuse of layering up and scarves.
  4.  Where is your favourite place to read?
    Mostly I read on my bed, but I also love curling up on the sofa and reading.
  5.  Which book would you buy as a gift for someone right now?
    Probably Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen for the fantasy lovers I know or Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi.
  6.  What do you find the hardest thing about blogging?
    Coming up with new and interesting ideas. Also figuring out how to write without seeming like a boring person.
  7.  What is the most fun aspect you find about blogging?
    Coming up with new and interesting ideas! It is simultaneously the best and worst thing about blogging.
  8.  If you could offer year-ago you any advice, what would it be?
    Change is coming, but it’s going to be a good thing. It might be slow-moving, but you’re doing your best, and your best is good enough.
  9.  Why did you start blogging?
    It was actually while I was working on my final year project during university. A couple of online friends had started book blogging and it inspired me to start reviewing books again. A few enablers later, and I had a Tumblr for books. About a year and a half after that, I was here.
  10.  What is your dream holiday?
    Disneyland, probably. Especially with the daughter, but I’d wait for her to be old enough to enjoy it with me.
  11.  What would be your ideal bookish gift?
    I’d love literally anyone who would buy me a book subscription box. Or a new bookshelf…

 

Now on to my questions.

  1. What book would you like to see adapted into a TV series?
  2. You have the ability to meet any author of your choice. Who do you meet?
  3. Which myth or legend do you wish was written as a book?
  4. What was your favourite book as a child?
  5. Pick two of your favourite books so far this year.
  6. Who are your favourite characters from those two books?
  7. Tell me a scenario where they would meet.
  8. Which character is your biggest inspiration?
  9. Have you ever had a conversation with an author? Tell me about it!
  10. What plot do you never want to see again?
  11. What is your favourite trope?

I feel like everybody has been tagged already, so… if you’re reading this? You are nominated! Have fun!

2016-04-12 11:46

 

 

 

;reading starter kit

bookworm things

I’ve been complaining to anyone who sits still long enough to listen that coming up with new and interesting blog posts ideas is so difficult. This has been largely due to the fact that I have been stuck trying to come up with something different and fun to post.

A conversation with a new friend, one who is not an avid reader, but wants to get back into reading for fun, gave me this one. We were discussing something I’ve been planning (something she’s gotten excited about, and made me more excited to be doing!) when she suggested I put together a reading starter kit for her and others like her. She meant physically, but that can be difficult since everyone’s tastes vary.

So I thought why not put together a list of items people can find (easily or not) to make their own reading starter kit?

reading starter kit

We start, of course, with a book.

The book depends on the reader. Or the reader’s friends and family, if they are going based on recommendations and gifts.

Then we add in a bookmark.

If the book is borrowed, especially, it is better not to dogear it. Personally, I hate it. I’ve done it, used to do it all the time, but now? Use anything you can find as a bookmark. An old reciept? Sure, why not? Tissue paper? Works too! Something thin and easy to slip between the pages.

ribbon + book2

Some music wouldn’t be remiss.

Mood music is always great for getting into the groove. Find a playlist online for the book you are reading! Or create your own, if you are into that. Of course, there are some people who don’t work well with music, and they can skip this part.

A cup of tea can help with getting comfortable.

It adds to the atmosphere. Something warm to drink while you get lost in the words and story being created on the page in front of you. It might be tea, or coffee, or something else entirely. It might be accompanied by some snacks, or it might not.

open book2

Or maybe wine is more your thing.

I know some people like to read in the bath. It is not something I’ve ever done, but hey, if that’s you, pour yourself some wine, throw in a bath bomb and get comfortable!

The main thing is to customise your reading starter kit to your needs. Like reading outside? Add an umbrella or sunhat to protect your head! Like reading by the pool? Add a towel, just in case! Enjoy sitting at a cafe? Make sure you have some cash on you, of course, and maybe you’ll want a notebook to jot down quotes you like.

I know most of us are longtime readers, but what would your reading starter kit consist of?

2016-04-12 11:46

 

review; follow your heart

cover119295-medium

Follow Your Heart
by Tasha Nathan

Review:

Continue reading “review; follow your heart”

review; expression

review

expression

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?

 

Review: Continue reading “review; expression”

review; colorless

review

colorless_rita_stradling

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.

 

Review: Continue reading “review; colorless”

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!

35329869

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.

white lies

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.

35329869

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

photo1-3

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?

Review:

Continue reading “review; teardrop”

review; hero

IMG_5565

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.

Review:

Continue reading “review; hero”