Thursday, 18 September 2014

In the Mail {20} - Nowhere People by Paulo Scott & The Heart Whisperer by Ella Griffin

In the Mail this week, I had two books I am really looking forward to reading.

Nowhere People (published by &Other Stories) is the English translation of Habitante Irreal by award winning Brazilian writer Paulo Scott. This is the first translated Brazilian book I receive for review, so I'm really excited!! Scott actually visited England in August this year, when he talked about his book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The Heart Whisperer is the second book by one of my favourite authors, Ella Griffin. I reviewed Ella's first book Postcard from the Heart back in 2012 for the Melissa Nathan Awards and subsequently over at Waterstones and Amazon. She then personally asked me to review her second book. I was thrilled! Reading the first book was such a good experience! If this second book is even half as funny, I will love it.

"Driving home, law student Paulo passes a figure at the side of the road. The indigenous girl stands in

the heavy rain, as if waiting for something. Paulo gives her a lift to her family's roadside camp.

Through sudden shifts in the characters' lives, this novel takes in the whole story: telling of love, loss and family, it spans the worlds of São Paulo's rich kids and dispossessed Guarani Indians along Brazil's highways. One man escapes into an immigrant squatter's life in London, while another's performance activism leads to unexpected fame on YouTube. 

Written from the gut, Nowhere People is a raw and passionate classic in the making, about our need for home."

You can read more about this book and its translation, as well as a small extract, here.

"Claire Dillon lives in the shadow of the past. On her 33rd birthday she gives herself a present. One year to change her future.

At 33, Claire's mother had everything to live for. But she died in a tragic accident. And it was her daughter's fault. Now Claire is the same age. A floundering actress with a broken heart. Her life is going nowhere in the company of her gorgeous best friend, ex-rock star, Ray Devine. Her estranged bother, Nick, is back from America with his perfect wife. But Dublin is full of dark memories and he is already planning his escape. What will happen when another accident throws brother and sister together and a lifetime of secrets come to light?"

I can't wait!!! :)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Book Review ~ The Jonas Trust Deception by AFN Clarke

Conspiracy, romance, the mafia, politics, money, sex and Hollywood, The Jonas Trust Deception has it all. And let's not forget an overdose of action with the required hell of bullets and bodies.

"Thomas Gunn is ex-British Special Forces with a talent for infiltration and assassination. Skills that year ago he reluctantly called on, to expose an international conspiracy that led to the murder of his father and death of his best friend. He thought it was all behind him. But a desperate call from his journalist friend Morgan, propels him into an even more sinister plot that threatens global politics and the security of the United States. Racing to follow her cryptic clues, Thomas and his partner Julie are thrown into the deadly path of Mexican drug cartels, corrupt politicians, the CIA, FBI, MI5, and ruthless Wall St brokers."


Monday, 15 September 2014

Music Monday ~ Goddess by Banks

American singer-songwriter Banks was nominated the new cool kid on the block by both the BBC and MTV. Personally, I just love her sexy and angry "up yours", somewhat feminist, somewhat smoking hot sound. And that base... Come on!!! How could a girl that loves a good base resist?

When I heard this song the first time, I had to forward it to all my girl friends for a little bit of girl power (sorry boys!). They probably thought I was having a "Paula moment" (random outbursts of random information you might not understand the first time you hear it). I might get them all Banks' album Goddess for Christmas. :)

I hope you love it as much as I do. The lyrics are below, just in case trying to read the lyrics on the video gives you motion sickness like it did me.

Happy Monday my ladies!!

LYRICS... *contain swearing*

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Bookish Comic Strips

These comic strips are so cute, I just had to share them. Not to mention that, as a book lover or a writer, you might sympathise with some of them. :)

These two are definitely me. I love the smell of old books! In fact, did you know books can smell differently as they age, depending on the binding process they underwent during publication? No? Read more about it and other bookish nerd facts here.

Which book lover has not stayed awake until some ridiculous o'clock to finish a chapter or a book? And which bookworm has not hid in a secret corner somewhere in the library, under the duvet, in the garden, to read that all so important moment of the book when all the pieces of the puzzle come together and you finally get the whole picture? Yes, you know what I'm talking about. Don't talk to us when the world is about to fictionally end.

For the aspiring or published writers out there, this one says it all. It's that all too familiar feeling "it sounded funny/sexy/romantic/intriguing in my head." Good writing provokes a reaction. You laugh your head off; you gain some insight into your own nature; you feel inspired; you dream. You bawl your eyes out; you suffer as if it was you; you throw the book on the floor, you want to burn it with your anger; you even wish someone (a character) dead. Somehow, your very real and human partner just doesn't step up to the fictional love mark; that main character is your reserve wife/husband; oh, if he/she was real! Behind all those feelings there is a writing genius, someone that brought that book to life after many hours of labour. And at some point, they too would have been human and doubted their gift, like every other mortal. Hats off to them, not only for creating the world we love to travel to and in, but for persevering against their own mental blocks and blank spots. Knights in their literary armour. :)

Friday, 1 August 2014

August 2014 ~ Events for Book Lovers, Writers and Curious Souls

This will be a busy summer! Competitions, book clubs, writing groups, theatre, signings, comic cons, festivals, exhibitions... It's all going on in August. And if you are a fan of sci-fi, this is definitely a good month for you.


Deadline: Fri 28th August ~ Are you an aspiring crime writer? Then The Northern Crime Competition is looking for you. The winning novel will be published on eBook and paper. More information

Deadline: Sun 31t August ~ Just the thing for aspiring poets. The Portico Brotherton Poetry Prize is now open for entries. The theme is 'Conflict and Community'. You can focus on particular conflicts and their effect on the community or write from the perspective of an individual experiencing conflict. Check categories and details.

Deadline: Mon 15th September ~ Fancy winning return tickets to Brazil? Well... Undergraduates studying a Portuguese language course in any UK university can. All you have to do is write an essay. More information.


Don't forget to check your local library and bookshop for events. Most of them host book clubs and writing groups. Libraries, in particular, are very good at hosting events for young children.

Mon 11th August ~ The Continental Book Club takes place in Preston on the second Monday of every month and it's FREE. This month, the club reads and discusses the winner of Theakstons Old Peculiar 2014 Crime Novel of the Year, Rubberneck by Belinda Bauer. In September, they read The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry. Details and location here. Tags: BOOK CLUBS

Mon 18th August ~ Geek Up Preston takes place every third Monday of the month at The Continental and it's aimed at people working or interested in the Internet & Technology Industry. Ideal if you want to meet and chat with web developers and programmers. Notice I said 'meet and chat', not network. You'll most certainly do both, but this is a casual social event, rather than a business scouting session, so have a taste of one of the many local and international beers served at the bar and go make some new friends. :) Details. Tags: SOCIAL EVENTS, NETWORKING, TECHNOLOGY, LOCAL EVENTS

Mon 25th August ~ The ScRibble Creative Writing Group meets on the last Monday of every month at The Continental in Preston. It's free to join and it offers a monthly challenge, writing exercises and constructive feedback on your writing. Ideal if you want to strengthen your writing or build your confidence in your writing skills. Location and more info. Tags: WRITING


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

In the Mail {19} - Replica by Jack Heath and The Colour Black by Maia Walczak

I'm being spoiled this week. Both Oxford University Press and Jacaranda Books have sent me a copy of their latest releases. 

Sci-fi YA novel Replica is the seventh novel of Australian born author Jack Heath. Published by Oxford University Press, Replica releases on August 7th, just in time for all the Sci-Fi Cons hitting the UK in August - keep tuned for a list.

'Whose body is that on the table?' I ask.
She stares at me, as though the answer is obvious. 
'It's yours,' she says. 

Chloe’s memories have been erased. All she knows is she’s imprisoned in the basement of a girl who looks exactly like her. Who is her captor? What does she want? Chloe is running out of time. She’s in more danger than she realises, and nothing is as it seems… 

I'm having the chills already! :)

The Colour Black is the adult debut novel of artist and illustrator Maia Walczak. A fan of traveling herself, Maia uses her experiences to write an adventure about love, life and discovery. Published by Jacaranda Books, it released on July 24th.

Silvia Cruz lives quietly as an artist in San Diego, drawing the contours of the human body - Max, Arthur and then one day, Jack.

Silvia is inexplicably drawn to Jack, and confines in him about her past, revealing a secret which drives them both out of town. Together they travel across the landscapes of America to Alaska, looking for answers and finding adventure.

Two lives, one secret and a journey that will change everything, The Colour Black is a stirring take on the American road novel from debut British novelist Maia Walczak.

Sounds interesting, right? I have Under the Tuscan Sun  and Eat Pray Love in my head. If it heads along the same lines, I know I will love it. :)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Music Monday ~ Cold by Rae Morris

It was tough choosing a song to feature on today's Music Monday. That's because I heard so many good new tracks this week, it was untrue. But  Rae Morris just had to be the one. Not only because her song Cold was on permanent repeat on my YouTube Channel, but also because the girl is from Blackpool, around the corner from where I live. Go Lancashire!!
I'm no music expert, but it doesn't take one of those to see that her voice, lyrics and style create enough momentum to lift you and take you to another place, making you sympathise with the heart-breaking conversation of a couple that lost their spark. I just loooove this track!!! Good luck with the launch of your EP, Rae. I honestly hope it does well.

Happy Monday people! I hope you all have a great week!

Thanks for dropping by.

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