Monday, April 17, 2017

Cink Street Spring Reading Week: "Peanuts & Eggcups" by Sara Mendes da Costa Guest Post

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Book: Peanuts and Eggcups

Author: Sara Mendes da Costa

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Synopsis: For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process. 

Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable - supposedly ex – fiancée! 

Via the reunion, a black eye, getting the sack (as a result) a madcap girlie holiday and juggling her confused emotions around the two alluring brothers…Maggie starts to build a picture of what she really wants in life. 

Trouble is, Maggie’s a pawn in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing …and things are about to get a whole lot more complicated. 


Guest Author Post

Magical spring

Well, how fabulous is spring! I have to say I simply love it.
Fresh starts, more sunshine, longer days, people smiling more, getting out and about into the world. It’s like spring is Britain’s morning. It’s our awakening time after the long sleep of winter. It’s when we rouse and stretch and say: ‘Hey world, we’re up, we’re awake, we’re ready – what’s in store for this year?’

I so love the different seasons but spring brings something a little extra special.
For me, it feels like the season of hope, of possibilities and of that extra ‘spring’ in the step. We’ve done our hard graft, we’ve survived the dark days, we’ve done our hibernating and it’s time to venture out, to not rely on Netflix in quite the same way (actually, I’m not sure that’ll ever happen for me!) and it’s time to think about adding more colour to our wardrobe. To pack away the long boots in favour of ankle boots. To shake off the thick winter coats in favour of thinner, lighter, brighter layers and, certainly for me, to wear less black. That in itself feels pretty healthy.

There’s nothing quite like the wonderful energised, newness of spring and everywhere I look in nature, there’s a gorgeous sense of fresh growth and evidence of a new cycle. I simply love the first stirring sightings of the spring flowers, particularly the yellow ones. Funnily enough yellow isn’t a colour I’m drawn to or ever wear, it’s not a colour which features in my home either, but when it comes to the garden and nature, yellow flowers are so uplifting. The wonderful first daffodils then the crocuses and later on freesias (my favourites) …and then mix those with the glorious blues of the forget-me-nots, the bluebells and the purple irises and it’s quite a heady combination. And how fabulous do spring flowers smell; delicious!

There’s also the promise of warmer, longer days and summer just a little out of reach but up ahead for sure. For me, in particular, there’s the knowledge that it’ll soon be time to sit out in the garden on the garden swing chair, gin & tonic beside me on the old tree stump, wiling away the hours dreamily; bliss.

I love the bees beginning to buzz around and even the ants building their nests. Everywhere I look in the garden, there is something new sprouting up and coming alive and there’s that wonderful fresh green that you don’t quite match at any other time of year. Out of the old comes the new; the gardens die down in winter and are reborn in spring.

There’s a difference in the way I feel too, I imagine it’s the same for so many of us; we fill up with renewed energy. I always think it’s wonderful that we are lucky enough to have real changing seasons. I know we all complain about the lack of sun and warmth but one of the great things about our good old British weather is that we do have variety – perhaps a little more wind, rain and cloud than we might like, but still. We have defined seasons and with spring, there’s a very definite change and a reminder of what we’ve been missing, with memories of the previous year ‘spring’ing up to prompt us. It’s the one time where the buds grow in this unique way, we have the random pockets of warm sun we’ve missed for so long and we can finally start venturing out a little more.

I think that witnessing the newness all around me promotes positive emotions; I feel better. Things inspire me. Spring gives me ideas for new projects and renewed enthusiasm to tackle things I didn’t want to do during the darker days of winter. I certainly have more energy in the longer lighter days and I can set about clearing my space, my home, my garden, my office and my mind… as if there’s something inside me telling me it’s going to be a good thing for me to do – to create a clear canvas on which to paint a new chapter.

You can probably tell by now – I’m a fan! This is such a positive time of year, full of possibilities and hope…and anything that helps us to feel good, has my vote.


So, thank you spring – I think you’re rather ‘blooming’ special.

About the Author

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Sara Mendes da Costa is the voice of the BT Speaking Clock; the fourth person to hold this prestigious title since 1936.

A successful, world-renowned voiceover artist, her dulcet tones are easily recognisable on television, radio, film and across countless media.

Never far from the press, she’s known for her appearances on BBC Breakfast, ITV This Morning, Children in Need, Wake up to Wogan and The Today Programme, and balances her prolific voiceover career with her passion and commitment as a novelist.

Peanuts & Eggcups, her debut novel - hotly anticipated by the industry - is “The perfect & highly addictive reading companion for women’s fiction fans”. `

A lover of laughter, creativity, great storytelling and a wee dram, Sara adores writing novels and seeks to entertain, uplift and inspire.


Her upcoming novels: Time & Time Again & Maggie Ever After, are expected in 2017.


Friday, April 14, 2017

It's that time of the semester... (Hiatus)

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Well you guys, it's that time of the semester. I have a few weeks left of my semester and then I'll be done with my second year of college. With the end of the semester comes an influx of exams, papers, etc., so unfortunately I've got to go on a bit of a hiatus. I will be back, but right now school has got to be my focus!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"The Book of Air" by Joe Treasure Blog Tour Guest Author Post

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Book: The Book of Air

Author: Joe Treasure

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Release Date: April 4, 2017

Synopsis: Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.

Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.

These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.

The Book of Air is a story of survival, the shaping of memory and the enduring impulse to find meaning in a turbulent world.

Guest Author Post

Why did you choose Jane Eyre as the book that governs Agnes’s society?

What if a random book, that we know to be a work of fiction, were to survive a cataclysmic event? And what if a future community, with no concept of narrative fiction, were to take that book as a unique guide to life’s purpose? What would that community look like? What rules would it live by? What kind of rituals would it have constructed for itself under the book’s influence? These were some of the questions I had in my mind, before I began The Book of Air.

I didn’t know, at this point, that I was going to use Jane Eyre. I just knew it would have to be something familiar enough that readers would at least have heard of it. I didn’t want to start by shutting people out. When I’d completed a draft, one of the people I gave it to was a guy in his twenties, very bright but with no literary background, just now beginning to get into reading. He’d never read Jane Eyre, never seen a film or TV adaptation of it, never heard the name Rochester. I wanted the book to work for him as well as for the Bronte fan, and for everyone in between.  

I have a resistance to writing that parades its own cleverness. Narrative writing that’s full of intellectual references creates a problem whether you get them or not. If you don’t get them, you flounder. If you do, you’re constantly being bounced into a cognitive place. You’re stuck in your head, when you want to be free to experience emotions. Above all, a story has to evoke feeling.

So I knew I was setting myself a challenge. It would only work if I started with a book that was not only well-known, but had a central plot that could be easily grasped. I briefly considered Oliver Twist, whose main character people know through films and musicals as well as reading. But I quickly ruled out Dickens as too urban, too dependent on the social mechanisms of city life. Dickens is interested in institutions, law courts, prisons. I was envisioning a rural community, isolated, materially self-sufficient. Jane Austen wouldn’t do, either, but for different reasons. Her small communities would be on a recognizable scale, but the subtle rules of decorum that governed their interactions would baffle my imaginary villagers.

It didn’t take me long to settle on Jane Eyre. I saw in Charlotte Bronte’s fictional world the clash of elemental forces that these future readers would respond to. Austen’s Lydia Bennett, eloping with Mr Wickham, risks social ruin. But when Jane Eyre discovers that her employer Edward Rochester has a mad wife locked upstairs in the house and runs away to escape his advances and the temptations of her own desire, she almost starves to death on the moor.  The passions, of love or enmity, are starkly drawn. The elements are vitally present.

To tell the story of that community, I imagined a young woman called Agnes. Though dutiful in many ways, and devoted to the study of Jane’s life, Agnes chafes against the limitations imposed on her. The story is told in her voice, through a journal she is secretly writing. Through her eyes we see how food is worked for, how order is kept, how matters of love and marriage are regulated, how sexual transgressions are punished or covered up, how the dead are buried. It’s a story of disobedience and punishment, of the impulse to escape in sharp conflict with the desire to belong.

I hadn’t gone far into telling this story before it occurred to me that its readers might reasonably expect an account of how this community came into existence. Why this isolation, why this piece of land and these buildings, and why, particularly, this book?

A parallel narrative was required – the story of how our world gave way to theirs. I found myself being launched into something much more daunting, because of its scale and it catastrophic trajectory – an account of how everything we are familiar with comes to an end. For Agnes’s story to be possible, nature must thrive, but people and social structures must be destroyed. There would be pockets of survivors, the ancestors of Agnes’s community being one.

My novel became more complicated but also richer. I found myself thinking about the essential experience of loss, the way memories are constructed, and the basic human urge to create meaning.  

About the Author

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Raised sixth in a family of nine, Joe Treasure enjoyed a capriciously Bohemian childhood. Having received his educational grounding at the hands of Carmelite priests, he escaped to Cheltenham Grammar School where he excelled only in music and art. His architectural ambitions were thwarted by low grades in maths and physics. The local college of further education allowed him to pursue more congenial subjects, after which he surprised everyone, not least himself, by winning a place to read English at Keble College, Oxford.

Settling in Monmouth, Wales, Joe taught English and ran an innovative drama programme. He moved to Los Angeles at the turn of the millennium to join his wife, Leni Wildflower. Temporarily unemployed, he set about fixing up Leni’s house and turned to writing fiction.

In 2004, at the end of George W Bush’s first explosive term in office, they relocated to London where Joe studied creative writing at Royal Holloway. He wrote The Male Gaze, a novel that drew on his American experience, mingling social comedy with political drama. Offered a two-book publishing contract with Picador, he went on to explore the divided loyalties of an Anglo-Irish family in Besotted, a novel that celebrates the enduring bonds of brotherhood.

The Book of Air is Joe’s first venture into speculative fiction. He and Leni currently live in Balham, London.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Clink Street Spring Reading Week: "Kate vs The Dirtboffins" Guest Post + Excerpt

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Book: Kate vs. The Dirtboffins

Author: Nolan Parker

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Synopsis: Kate Smith, a woman with the world at her Jimmy Choo clad feet. Just one more job and she can buy out her business partner to finally be her own boss.
That job? The Horticulture Investigation Agency, a government quango sheltering in a Cambridgeshire backwater. MP Desmond Barrington believes closing this will make his career.
But the scientists don’t want to play ball, starting with a militant researcher dressed as a cabbage taking his protest to the roof. Clambering up to save him ruins Kate’s perfectly picked outfit.
As he plummets on to the arriving MP’s car, Kate thinks that things can’t get any worse. Then a familiar face comes in to view – Dave Thomas, the man she fell in love with at University and now Barrington’s aide. The one who broke her heart.
When potato blight claims another outfit and a rampaging hoard of protestors take over the site, she wonders if she will ever get to her goal, and can love be part of the master plan? 


Guest Author Post

All about the Dirtboffins

What are Dirtboffins?  We all know a Dirtboffin.  They are the unassuming, friend of a friend who works in ‘research’ for a government related entity.  We don’t really know what they do or what fills their 9-5 and when they try to explain, it’s in so much detail you switch off.  They are the one with the best Christmas Jumper, found nursing an ale at the beer festival or going to some obscure gig of a band you haven’t heard of, probably in a field.

Why are they Dirtboffins?  Well they have one area of specialism, plants.  If you watch the American TV show ‘Bones’, Hodgins is a Bug Boffin, another member of this type of group.  He gets excited about larva and growth periods, and finding unusual spiders.  A Dirtboffin is similar, but they like to dig up veg, comment on plants and talk about Latin names as if everyone knows exactly what they mean.

This particular group of Dirtboffins have done a very good job of hiding themselves in the outskirts of Cambridge for many years doing God knows what.  Seriously, no one knows what they have been doing but with the joys of Labour Governments and Quangos they have got away with it for so long no one questions the paper work when it goes in for the next budget request.  Along comes a new Government, and hey presto, all change.  Suddenly, all these big public section initiatives are out, and cost cutting exercises are in.  So along comes Kate.  Go getting, second in command at a business consultancy Kate.  The woman charged with helping the new leaders making those savings, which means that well-meaning, crazy jumper wearing, research scientists are for the chop.

And so the trouble breaks out.  Kate is only trying to do her job, though she lacks the empathy button which doesn’t help when trying to have well-meaning conversations about people losing their job. In her eyes, as long as the deadline is hit and the client it happy, then she is happy.  The Boffins aren’t so sure and they fight back, leading to all kinds of fun and games before we find out who wins the game of ‘Kate vs the Dirtboffins’.





Excerpt

To set the scene.  Kate and the team from her company KOD have been on site for a few days sorting out the closure.  The Minister who commissioned them has decided to visit (mainly for a PR opportunity).  He turns up with his Aide, Dave, the man that Kate fell in love with at University but never told how she felt.  While the MP does a tour of the grounds, Kate and Dave have been chatting and ended up locked in a shed.  After been set free, they return to make a presentation to the Minister and Dirtboffin team from HIA.


‘Kate looked at the assembled group. At the front sat the Minister and next to him Dave. Nothing on Dave’s face betrayed their recent activities although he very studiously avoiding looking at her too much. There was an aisle down the middle of the chairs and on the left side sat Andrew and the HIA bods. No one from the institute was going to be seen sitting with the enemy.

Gareth stumbled through the door, apologised for being late and quickly found a seat on the empty side of the room. This was going to be tough. On the left no one wanted to hear what she had to say, on the right they might be enjoying the other’s discomfort a little too much.

This was an opportunity. And Kate knew that opportunities had to be grabbed when they were as big and juicy as this could be.  Put on a good show for the Minister and then watch the government business flow in. One day she might look back on this presentation as a turning point in her career. Despite the pressure, Kate wasn’t worried; she knew she gave good Powerpoint. The audience was about have its socks blown off.

Andrew was also seeing an opportunity. He had a feeling that whoever was feeding information to the minister about HIA was in the room. As subtly as possible, he kept a watch on Barrington to see if he appeared to be making special eye contact with anyone.

The projector lit up and the first slide appeared on screen. It was just the K.O.D. logo with the title of the talk – “Horticultural Investigation Agency, transitioning into the future”. Kate started to introduce her subject. It was mostly management jargon but came across better than that ‘This is how we close you down’. Not that she minded being harsh, it was just that the day had been eventful enough without the nerds starting a riot.

            “Can we turn the lights down a bit; I can’t see the screen properly.” Piped up a member of the audience.

She didn’t see the speaker but was happy to comply. Sometimes you don’t want to see the whites of your audience’s eyes. Kelvin, in his role as technician, did the honours. With the blinds down and lights off the room seemed cooler and a bit more relaxed.

            “As I was saying, I’m going to outline the transitional journey that we intend to take HIA along in the next few months.”

            “Miss Smith, can I stop you there a moment,” interrupted Andrew. “Have you been investigating our potato shed recently?”
Kate felt her temperature rise. She hoped the dark was hiding her blushes. How could he know?

            “Well I was just taking a look around. Err, helping the Minister’s aide to get a proper understanding of the geography if the site... Is there a problem?”

With a little chuckle in his voice, Andrew said, “It’s just that you appear to have picked us some blight on your clothes”.

Blight? What the hell was he on about? She looked down and saw to her horror that there were blobs on her suit. Luminous yellow blobs. Great big glowing blobs! Good God, her boobs were lighting up the room!

Looking up in a panic she saw Dave. All over his jacket and trousers were the same blobs. What the hell was happening?

As Kate’s mind raced for an explanation that didn’t involve the truth, the rest of the audience worked out what was happening. Sniggers turned to outright laughter when they saw that there were two people glowing in the dark.

            “Kelvin, turn the lights back on,” Kate barked and then wished she hadn’t. Dave was blushing and furiously trying to wipe the glow off his clothes. She knew that her face was the colour of a lobster.

            “What’s going on here?” asked Barrington his eyes darting between Dave and Kate like a tennis spectator. After a few seconds he stopped and stared at Dave aghast then looked over to Andrew who was sitting back with a quiet smile on his face.

            “I fear that our, erm, colleagues have been spending some time in the potato packing shed recently. In fact judging by the state of their clothes the, erm, investigations must have been very thorough.” Andrew continued trying to suppress a chuckle.

            “What do you mean?”

            “Well you see we are carrying out a little trial. It’s very hush-hush obviously. Genetic modification stuff you understand. The Department did approve the work”

            “GM? You are doing GM here? Why did no one tell me?” The Minister’s face was getting as red as Kate’s but with annoyance rather than embarrassment. He was supposed to have been briefed on this place and there had been no mention of any GM stuff. No mention of anything controversial at all. Whoever agreed that this could happen was going to find himself out of a job sharpish. Dave looked bewildered.

            “Yes Minister. It’s all perfectly above board, a little work for the crisp manufacturers. You see they have a problem with potato blight. It’s difficult to spot you see unless you look at the leaves closely and know what you are doing.

            “Now, with the cut backs in skilled labour, they need an easier way to spot the disease. What we’ve done is mutate Phytophthora infestans, that’s the blight mould for lay people, so that it glows in the dark. We’re very pleased with the results so far. There’s a bit more work required before we can market it commercially of course but the results are very promising.”

            “You’ve made luminous potatoes?”

            “Well not the potatoes themselves, I doubt there is much of a market for glow in the dark crisps! No, what we have done is made the blight luminous. That way a farmer can look at his crop at night and see where he needs to spray. It could revolutionise the industry. Perhaps you’d like to see a more detailed explanation from one of my scientific colleagues?”

The Minister didn’t want a more scientific explanation. What he wanted to know was why he didn’t know about this trial. And why his aides bollocks and that bolshie woman's boobs lit up like a Christmas tree as soon as the lights went out. He wanted know what the hell was going on and how he could avoid it being his fault.

            “Now it appears that our colleagues picked up some of the blight from the packing shed. It’s in the dust you see which is why we have strict bio controls in place. I will have to investigate why the door wasn’t locked. We don’t want it being released accidentally after all. In fact to be on safe side, we will need to impound your clothes and burn them. Just to ensure there is no cross-contamination you understand.”

As Andrew spoke, both Kate and Dave realised that people were backing away from them.

Andrew turned to Olive, “Would you ask the containment team to get up here please.”


She turned and looked apologetically at Kate before going to make a phone call.’


About the Author(s)

Nolan Parker are Candice Nolan and Phil Parker. We are currently working on a future best seller destined to blast its way to the top of the book charts.

Why did we start on this journey in the first place?  Well, it all began with being told we didn’t have a job. Minding our own business at an education quango in 2010, David Cameron got voted in to Government, and things went downhill from there.

Coming out of the big closure announcement meeting one said to the other, “We should write a book about this” and so ‘Kate and the Dirtboffins’ was born.  With a few weeks left on our contracts it was one way to fill the time!  So conversations across the partition between desks became chapter upon chapter of a book. Nearly five years later we are still going and things are finally coming to fruition. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Geekerella" by Ashley Poston Review

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Book: Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: Febraury 4, 2017

My Rating: ★★★ 3/4 (3.75 Stars)

Synopsis: Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?


Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Book Trailer


      First of all, I want to thank Quirk Books for sending me a review copy for an honest review as well as a super cool scented candle. I really appreciate it.



      On to the review. I don't want to say much because I think this is something that you should experience without much knowledge. It's a really cute book and I want you all to have fresh authentic feels. As most of you know, me and young adult, especially young adult contemporary don't have as strong of a relationship as we used to. The genre has been annoying me and I feel like I've been growing out of it. With this book though, I wasn't not annoyed, but instead filled with feels and entertained, for the most part. 



      As the name suggests, this novel is a spin on the ever so classic Cinderella. What I like about it, is that it doesn't stick to the story to a T, but rather is more flexible, while still keeping the important elements. I think fairytale retellings is one of my favorite tropes because I get to relive my favorite childhood tales in a new way that is different each time. Like for instance, as most of you know, I love ACOTAR/ACOMAF, which is a twist on Beauty and the Beast, which is interesting considering I absolutely hate Beauty and the Beast.



    Writing-wise, it was your pretty basic YA contemporary writing, nothing special. Part of it is told through text messages, which I really like that style of prose for some reason. Books with messages or emails like automatically go up 1/2 a star in my book just because I enjoy reading that style of writing.



      I don't want to say much about the plot or the relationship(s), but just know that they will not disspoint and that they are cute. Very cute. One thing I do want to talk about is how the fandom at the center of this is very much like Star Trek, despite Star Trek existing in the book. I love Star Trek, and the new fandom in this book kind of felt like a cop out of Star Trek with a mix of some other sci-fi shit.

real talk Bones is my spirit animal and I aspire to be a mixture of him and House when I'm a doctor

     Overall, it is was a nice, easy, light, quick read. If you want something cute to read or something to pick you up, this is the book for you.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

"In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II" by Rhys Bowen Mini Review

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Book: In Farleigh Field

Author: Rhys Bowen

My Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis: World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.

      So usually I don't read historical fiction because me and it just don't click which is strange considering I absolutely love history. Like I love reading history books, watching documentaries and stuff like the History Channel, but when it comes to historical fiction, whether in book, movie, or any other format it usually doesn't click with me. This time however, something about the synopsis clicked with me and I decided to give it a go, and I'm glad I did because I actually quite enjoyed it. The writing, plot, and pacing were all nice and kept me wanting to read more. The entire time I kept trying to guess what was going to happen and who did what, but I was wrong until almost the very end which pleasantly surprised me because I am almost always a great guesser when it comes to these things. That just made me appreciate the book even more. I loved the writing because it made me feel like I was in Englad during World War II, and for once I actually enjoyed that kind of atmosphere. What also surprised me was that the book was in multiple POVs, and usually I hate that but this time I felt that it truly did add to the book.



      Overall, this was a pleasant surprise and a well-needed laid back read. If you enjoy World War II books, mystery/suspense, spy shit, or historical fiction, I would recommend giving this a go.


*Thank you Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, March 6, 2017

#BOOKMADNESS Round 2 Voting

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#BOOKMADNESS ROUND 2 VOTING

      My character, Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy has made it to round 2 of Book Madness 2017! To read all about it and why I think Rose Hathaway is a badass character, click here



      Once again, there are giveaways you can enter for voting in this round. Voting for this round ends March 10th at 11:59pm Central Time. You can vote in the link down below.

LINK FOR VOTING HERE




Sunday, March 5, 2017

Real Quick "King's Cage" by Victoria Aveyard Review

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Book: King's Cage

Author: Victoria Aveyard

My Rating: ★★1/2 (... if that)

Synopsis: In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down. 

      Annoyed. That's the word I would use to describe how I feel about "King's Cage".  Also the phrase "I don't care" comes to mind. I didn't care about any of the characters, what was happening in the book, basically everything about it. The writing was meehhhh, the plot was mehhhhh, and the character growth was a joke. There was nothing that really spoke out to me, and that sucks because I really enjoyed the first book, but everything since there has been downhill. The only reason why I haven't DNFed this series is because I do want to know how it ends because the original concept is cool it's just that the execution has been subpar since then.



      I know this was a really short review, but that basically sums up all of my feelings on this book, which in itself should tell you the quality of the book in my mind. I didn't love it, like it, or hate it. It was just meh.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

#BOOKMADNESS: 5 Reasons Why I love Rose Hathaway (+ A CONTEST!!!)

9:00:00 AM

#BOOKMADNESS: 5 REASONS WHY I LOVE ROSE HATHAWAY

      Hi you guys! Today is March 1st, and for those of us in the book community, that means the start of Book Madness hosted by Maggie Ann Martin!!!



      For those of you who don't know what Book Madness is, here is the low-down:

Last year Maggie Ann Martin hosted a super fun series called Book Madness, where BookTubers picked their favorite fictional character, made a video explaining why the character was awesome, and encouraged their viewers to vote to keep them moving through the competition. It’s set up in a bracket system like March Madness basketball in the U.S. 
This year Maggie is making it bigger and better with book lovers from the BookTube, Book Blogger, and Bookstagram community. Not only will our audience have the chance to win awesome prizes along the way (ARCs from 2017 debut authors, bookish trinkets, Amazon cards), but the winning blogger will win a $30 Amazon card! 
It works like this: each person participating would post a video, blog post, or photo on March 1st representing their favorite fictional character that they choose. In that post, we describe what makes them so great and encourage your audience to go and vote for them. At the end of each round, the characters with the highest half of the votes will keep going until we narrow it down to one champion character! 
      Cool right! So voting for Round 1 closes on March 5th at 11:59pm Central Standard Time. You are allowed to vote for up to 5 characters per round. And don't forget, you get entered for cool prizes after you vote! I am going to put a link to voting throughout this post so you don't miss the change to vote!



LINK TO VOTING HERE


      So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why I love Rose Hathaway from "Vampire Academy".

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5 REASONS WHY I LOVE ROSE HATHAWAY FROM VAMPIRE ACADEMY ((the book) I mean don't get me wrong I liked the movie too but for our purposes I'm talking about the book but using GIFS from the movie)

1. She is the definition of badass.



For those of you who don't know who Rose Hathaway is, basically she is a half-vampire who protects her best friend who is a full vampire and like queen of the good vampires. She also gets to kill the bad kind of vampires. Isn't that cool! She is such a badass fighter and doesn't stray from the fight. It doens't matter if they are bigger than her or more skilled, she is gonna give it her all which I totally admire her for. I love how she possesses the skills to fight and would love to gain those skills through like osmosis.

2. She is snarky and witty and overall has the personality of a smartass.



I like to think me and Rose are pretty idenitical when it comes to our personalities. She is snarky, witty, sarcastic, and what some might consider a pain in the ass. She is me basically which is why I love her. I love a good character who can stand up for themselves not only physically but verbally. A snarky personality just makes someone more enjoyable and I would love to have her as my best friend because I know we would have some good conversations and just slay people when they come after us.

3. She goes to a supercool boarding school.



She goes to a boarding school for vampire and vavmpire protectors and gets to learn how to fight. Cool right? I would have taken learning how to fight over my American public school any day. And I don't know what it is about boarding school settings, but they are one of my favorite settings in books. 

4. Her boyfriend is Dimitri.




Who wouldn't want to have Dimitri as a boyfriend? He's gorgeous, a fighter, puts up with her attitude (and believe me when I say it is hard to find a guy who isn't intimidated by girls like us), caring, and overall just #baegoals. Seriously, whenever he calls her "Roza" my heart swells a little. She is such a lucky girl to have him.

5. She lives in a paranormal world.



I would sell my left kidney to live in a paranormal world, no joke. She lives in a world where vampires and things that go bump in the night are real, and I envy her for that. Paranormal is without a doubt one of my favorite genres because it is a combination of the world we live in with something a little extra that makes it cool. She is fortunate enough to not be a normal human and be exposed to everything her world has to offer. I would love to be in her shoes. Even though I would have to somehow learn how to fight and stock up on weapons, I think it would be worth it.

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LINK FOR VOTING HERE



      So those are just a few of the reasons why I love Rose Hathaway. If you love her too, I hope you guys will support me and her and go vote for us in #BookMadness. As a reminder, you can vote for up to 5 characters, so not just mine, and you have the chance to win some cool prizes!

LINK FOR VOTING HERE

      Voting closes March 5th, 11:59pm Central Standard Time, so go out and vote! And if this makes it to the next round, I might make a booktube video to accompany this post... 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Reads: 2/24/2017

11:56:00 AM

FRIDAY READS: 2/24/2017

      So I've actually read quite a bit this week because I didn't go to research and I didn't do that much school-wise. It was sooo nice having time to myself. Anyway, I'm not going to talk about what I read this week, but rather what I am reading today and this weekend.

Image result for around the way girl a memoir

     Today I finished listening to "Around the Way Girl" by Taraji P. Henson on audiobook. It was good but not great. I really appreciated how she talked about her struggles being a black woman not just in the film industry but in life in general. There were some things that I felt like could have been left out, but overall I enjoyed it and her personality.

Image result for king's cage

      Today I plan on finishing "King's Cage" by Victoria Aveyard too, but we'll see if that happens. I do not like this book. I do not like this series. Unhonestly. I only liked the first book. Everything since then has been downhill. I honestly don't know why I'm still reading this damn series. I guess because a part of me still wants to see what happens, but damnnit this shit is annoying af and like I don't care for like 90% of the shit going on. 



      So what are you guys reading today and this weekend? Have you read either of the books I talked about? If so, what are your thoughts? Does the Red Queen series annoy you as much as it does me? Tell me all about it down below in the comments. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Black Girl Love: "Everything, Everything" Movie Trailer Reaction Post

9:30:00 AM

"EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING" MOVIE TRAILER REACTION POST

      So yesterday (Tuesday) I was just minding my own business, scrolling through Twitter, when I saw Nicola Yoon had retweeted the first trailer for "Everything, Everything". I immediately stopped what I was doing to watch the trailer, which if you haven't watched it WATCH IT NOW DOWN BELOWWW. LIKE NOOOWWWWW. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE WATCH IT!!!



      I'll be the first to admit, I was not the biggest fan of the book as I had a lot of issues with it, which you can read about here. Nevertheless, I still thought the book was cute and I really enjoyed the fact that the main character was a multicultural black girl like myself. 



      That being said I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE TRAILER!!! It gave me so much life and all the feels and oh my gosh I watched it three times in a row yesterdaay and twice today because I just cannot get enough of it. I don't know what it is about it, but it just makes me feel so good and happy inside and I love Amandla Stenberg as Mandy. Although physically she is not exactly what I pictured, she is perfect for the role. I love how she is portraying this character and just seeing a black girl up on the big screen like this fills me with so much joy.



      As for Olly, I'll admit, I wasn't really a fan of him in the book as he was highly unrealistic, but damn in this movie form he is actually pretty damn swoonworthy. I like Nick Robinson as Olly because they way he is portraying the character really makes him seem like he truly loves Mandy. Like hot damn, the way he smiles at Amandla has me feeling all kinds of joy.



      I guess the reason why I really love this trailer and why I think I will love the movie more than the book is just how us black girls are finally being represented and in such a good, happy-feeling light. It isn't often that we get casted in such contemporary roles like this one. When Olly tells Mandy that she is beautiful in the trailer, my heart just swelled because that is not something that gets said a lot towards black girls. I really hope this will make more black girls feel worthy and show that they are capable of being loved. 



      That's all I've got to say without going off to the point of writing a full-blown thesis. I'm probably going to go watch this trailer again even though I should be studing for a biology exam.



      What did you guys think of the trailer? Did you love it as much as I did? Will you go see the movie? And have you read the book before? If yes, did you like it, and do you think you'll like the movie more? Tell me all your thoughts and fangirl out with me down below in the comments. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Quick Lil' "Wintersong" by S. Jae-Jones Review

9:30:00 AM

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Book: Wintersong

Author: S. Jae-Jones

Publisher: St. Griffins Teen

Release Date: February 7, 2017

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

      This is going to be a really quick lil' review because I honestly don't have a lot to say because I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book.



      Let me start off by saying this is one of the most unique books I've read in a while, which I appreciated. That being said, this book was weird af and I didn't understand half the shit going on in it. It was very... weird. Yeah, weird. I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters and the romance was just really unhealthy and creepy to me and made no sense. Like seriously this girl goes from taking her sister's place and thinking of the Goblin King in a negative light to constantly wanting to have sex with him and be the apple of his eye. She becomes quite needy and their whole dynamic is just off to me.



      As a violinist, I kind of appreciated the music aspect that was stitched throughout the entire novel, but it just seemed overexcessive at times and even though I know music, I feel like those who aren't musically talented wouldn't understand the terms and language being used.



      Damn this more than I thought I had to say... So overall, I thought it was alright, but it didn't blow me away. It left me with a weird feeling.


Monday, February 6, 2017

I Got a Book + Swag

3:11:00 PM

      I'm going to keep this really brief since for the first time in forever I have time to take a nap. Quirk Books was kind enough to send me a copy of "Geekerella" and a matching candle! I want to thank them for the cool swag and book. You can see what the stuff looks like down below and watch a hella quick video of me explaining what the book is about.






Friday, February 3, 2017

FRIDAY READS: 2/3/2017

9:00:00 AM

FRIDAY READS: 2/3/2017

      It's 6:45 am EST and I have to go to work, but I wanted to make a post really quickly, so let's get this over with.

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      I'm currently reading "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt, and even though I'm only 42 pages in, it's really interesting. It's unlike anything I've ever read. I love the messages the book is sending, the philosophy discussed, and I'm a sucker for Greek and Roman history, so I love when the characters get into this stuff, even though I don't know half of the shit they are talking about. I fele like I'm learning from this book. At the same time, I can't wait to see what actually happens because the book opens with a murder in the future, so like of course I want to know how they ended up in that situation.



      What are you guys reading? Tell me down below in the comments.

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

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