Thursday, 30 June 2011

Books in Fashion ~ Books are the New "IT" Bags

Who said books are not in fashion? Well, you need an update girl friend! In the era of technology, books have become a statement.

Clutch by Olympia Le-Tan
If you don't believe me, ask Natalie Portman who was spotted wearing a book clutch bag by French designer Olympia Le-Tan. These are very exclusive hand-stitched bags and Le-Tan only makes 16 samples of each design. One of these babies can set you back from €950 for a small version to €1090 for a larger one.
Clutch by Kate Spade

There is also the book clutch collection by New York designer Kate Spade. These bags are made of printed cotton twill under clear PVC and include 14-carat light gold plated hardware. To take one of these home you will have to cough up U$325.

Now, if you don't happen to have that kind of money lying around your bookshelves... You can check Etsy online store for more reasonable priced options or you can make your own! Check out this video of how to make one, but please make sure you don't ruin a vintage or collectors copy of anything. A book monster will haunt you if you do.

** This post was based on a similar article written by Babi Dewet in Portuguese. To read the original article click here. **

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Book Review - Gladius and The Bartlett Trial by J. A. Paul

Gladius and The Bartlett Trial was one of the books I have been asked to review. So how was it?

Gladius is a 15 years old boy who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime when he is sent on his Bartlett Trial, a coming of age challenge he must conquer alone to prove to his elders and fellow Wiggins he is no longer a boy, but a man ready to face adult responsibilities. However, everything changes when he discovers what is lurking outside the protected life of his village: a tyrant threatening to destroy all he holds dear. Along the way he makes new friends and allies as they all ready themselves to fight against the tyrant and save their homes.

This is a magical story and it is essentially a children's book. I can see the boys loving this one! But don't worry, any girl with a sense of adventure and a little thing for romance will also like it. There is a magical "storytelling" quality to it. You could imagine sitting around a fire in a campsite telling this story to a group of children.

Talking about campsite... There are some really good survival tips here! I might just take it with me when I go outdoors from now on. Just in case I fall into rapids, dangle off a cliff or get lost inside underground tunnels. I did actually learn some interesting survival skills while reading this book and I am willing to bet I will not be saying that very often!

Prose and plot wise there are a couple of details the most avid reader might pick on. I found the language a little confusing as it flips from evoking a different era and place to very current English. On the other hand, this might be exactly what gives it its "storytelling" feel. There are also a couple of characters that do not seem to have a real purpose in the plot and, towards the end, the whole puzzle they are trying to solve almost feels irrelevant. Having said all that, "Gladius and the Bartlett Trial" is the first of a trilogy, so maybe all these questions will be answered in future sequels. "Gladius and the Sea of Lost Souls" (the title is still not set in stone and was a little secret Jason shared with me) is scheduled for release in October/ November this year! So look out for it.

All in one, J. A. Paul is a very engaging writer with fantastic descriptions of a magical world somewhere far away. His story reminds me of something in between "Lord of the Rings" (minus the scariness) and "The NeverEnding Story". I also think this book would be wonderful in small illustrated volumes, maybe even a graphic novel.

The thing I liked the most about it though, is the fact this is a story you could sit and read with your children. It is interesting enough to keep both generations engaged. That is a fairly hard balance to achieve as a writer.

For more information about this book and its author visit J.A. Paul's website or you can contact him over on twitter through @JA_Paul. He's a lovely bloke to talk to and very friendly. You can also buy a copy of Gladius and The Bartlett Trial here. I will be giving away a signed copy of this book in a little while, only because I like you guys. Like I said, I was originally planning to keep it as my personal survival guide. So stay tuned!

OUT OF CURIOSITY: All the adventures Gladius gets up to in this book are a little hint that Jason (JA Paul) is an "Action Man", think boy scouts, kayaking and travelling. He also has three partners in crime - his sons: Jordan, Caden and Madden, which are the inspiration for his book.

Book Rating: ***
To check the rating system click here.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Music Mondays - White Owl by Josh Garrels

Josh Garrels is my discovery of the week, thanks to my friend Peter Borg who introduced me to this fab album. And why not share the goodness, hey? So here it is. Enjoy the amazing animations!

Even better, if you like it you can download the whole album for free over at Josh Garrels' website!!!  Get it now!


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Book Bonanza Winner {3}


And the copy of "Twilight" goes to...

*Louder drums*


Well done you! I will be in touch via email.

Thank you to everyone who took part this week.

Because of its success, I have decided to continue Book Bonanza for a couple of weeks into July. So if you haven't won a book yet, there is still hope. Just keep tuned to hear about future giveaways and good luck!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Book Bonanza {4} - Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Week four of Book Bonanza is upon us and another book is due. This week's treat is Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen (read my review here). 

While this book was not quite my cup of tea, it is beautifully written with some really funny scenes. It is not a YA (Young Adult) book, though. So I would not recommend it for young readers, although I think it would be mostly OK for someone age 17 and over. Here is a little taster for you:

"Sometimes you have to go back to move forward. Rhoda Janzen had reached a crossroads: she had just hit forty when her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for a guy he met on In the same calamitous week she was hospitalized in a horrible car accident. With no alternative, Rhoda decided to pack her bags and head home, into the welcoming arms of the Christian community she once couldn't get away from fast enough. Her Mennonite family. While Rhoda Janzen might be a bad Mennonite, her parents and their community welcome her back regardless. And in this safe place, Rhoda could come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her."

To win a copy FOLLOW the blog and fill the form below and don't forget to press the SUBMIT button at the end to enter.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Other Amazing Bloggers

While I was researching the idea of having a blog I came across some amazing bloggers. Together they are somewhat responsible for the birth of "PaulaSHx" and if you like my blog, you will love these guys.

Ginger is a lovely lady from Texas, U.S. (my Texan friend Justin will love this!). Her blog is lovely and full of books and other cool things including music and photography. I am seriously jealous she's currently reading "Forever" by Maggie Stiefvater!!! This book doesn't release to us mere mortals till July!!!

The Good Girl Gone Blog
Looove this one. Fashion, photography and more fashion. Alana has a fab and quirky sense of style and, like me, she is a naturally curvy girl. I just love her outfit page as well as the name of the blog. It's ace!

Tales of Whimsy
Juju is a serious book reviewer. This is a woman in the know. I love her Teaser Tuesdays and have picked up some interesting books through it.

Good Golly Miss Holly
If you love photography, you will love Holly's Daily Dose. Amazing pictures of things I wouldn't even think of photographing. Holly is also an Aussie book reviewer.

Cari's Book Blog
Another lovely Texan lady in the know, Cari works for a book store and is also a book reviewer. Hers is another super blog you cannot ignore if you're serious about reading.

If you speak Portuguese...

Babi Dewet
This ultra cool chick lives in Rio and will give you the inside scoop in anything worth knowing: books, shows, cool events. She's also the author of "Sabado a Noite" (Saturday Night - read my review in English here or my review in Portuguese here) and I cannot wait for the sequel!

Et Coentra
Rachel has her finger on the pulse of everything to know about Brazilian and International books on that side of the pond. So well worth keeping an eye on her.

All these ladies are seriously successful bloggers and I hope PaulaSHx achieves their level of success one day. Said blog is now officially 6 months old and the stats continue on growing, so I would like to say a heart felt thank you to all of you, my amazing readers who keep on coming back for more. Big, huge kisses and bear hugs to you all.

P. xx

Thursday, 23 June 2011

J. K. Rowling Introduces Pottermore

Harry Potter fans everywhere were holding their breaths for more information on Pottermore, the free digital experience based on the Harry Potter books. The announcement came today.

Some lucky fans will have access to the experience early. You will be able to register your interest by leaving your email address at Pottermore some time soon, so keep tuned. The idea is that the website will be up and running, and full of treats, inside scoops and surprises for fans, by October.

 J. K. Rowling tells us what will be on offer for fans.

Out & About - Patches and Buttons

Talking about treasure troves... Try this little Aladdin's cave for size.

For craft-making geniuses Patches & Buttons is like a sweet shop. To needle and treat aficionados it could simply be heaven. Multi-coloured buttons in jars that you could mistake for sweets, wheels full of gorgeous ribbons, iron-on stickers, handmade little treats... You could be in here a while. I love it! Even though I could not stitch to save my life, I walk in here and I feel like buying all sorts of sewing goods. 

They also provide a much needed and very handy repair service. This is something a city dweller might not understand, but to have someone to fix your favourite dress or pair of jeans is a rarity in the Ribble Valley. Last time I needed something fixing or adapting I had to drive 30 mins into another local town called Blackburn. Good craftsmen (or women) are a dying breed.

Fiona, the owner, also offers sewing workshops. (Sign me up! My grandmother would turn in her grave if she realized one does not possess all her domestic faculties.) So if you want to learn to make garments, curtains or a cushion, this little shop can kit you out for life. 

Definitely worth a visit if only to feel like a child and marvel with wonder. 

Ambient: *****

Price: ££
Children: Yes
To check the rating system click here

Patches and Buttons
25-27 Moor Lane
Clitheroe BB7 1BE
Tel: 01200 423 089 

My Article in The GrandStand {2}

 A new issue of The GrandStand is now available. It includes an article of mine on The Grand Community Choir as well as other fun and interesting information about what is going on in the Ribble Valley. This is a free newspaper so make sure you get your copy!


The GrandStand has now gone digital! To read the entire paper including my article click here.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Book Review - Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush Hush caused a lot of controversy in the U.S. Was it all hype or did it have a point?

"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life." (Goodreads)

This is the second time a read this book. I must admit: the first time I read it I liked the story, but not quite enough to become a fan of the series. The second time changed my mind slightly.

Frankly I can and cannot see what the big fuzz was all about. Yes, Patch - the male lead - is a little dubious and dodgy, but isn't that what every bad boy does or is? Granted. He did want to kill her at the beginning, but isn't the fact that he has a change of heart the turning point in the story? And yes, he did manipulate situations to be around her and even stalked her ever so slightly, but do you really think you don't do it when you fancy someone? Oh! Make no mistake; it's just called Facebook stalking these days. Some of the arguments over his behavior were points of the books taken out of context, in which case anything you say has a double and dark meaning. So there is no point in biting the bait.

I love the title and that cover... (still having hot flushes over here!) I could not resist putting it in my shopping trolley. I think the central idea of the plot is great. I love the characters names, Nora's attitude (the female lead - no, she's no delicate flower) and the way bad boy Patch gets under your skin. However, I do think that Fitzpatrick created these very complicated and multi-faceted characters she wasn't quite able to develop or explain, hence why Patch got such bad press. He is a tormented hero much like Edward Cullen from Twilight and Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments, albeit he IS a little edgier and naughtier. His lines verge on cheesy but you cannot not quite help thinking he has some umph.

Some of the scenes really annoy me, though. They remind me of when I was a teenager and let my imagination run wild in crazy day dreams. The extra scene at the very end, where he turns up to fix her alarm, is just... *breathes through teeth* I'd rather have that kiss on the end of the previous scene and close it at that. 

I once went to a creative writing course and one of the things the instructor told us is that there must be a purpose for everything in a story. That includes every scene and every character reaction or behavior. A character always behaves in a certain way for a reason. If he's unpredictable he must be persistently so. After reading many books I could not agree more. Little details like that are what makes certain books stand a notch above. Hush Hush, on my humble opinion, has a lot of loose ends.

Having said all that, it is still a very interesting love story and a fun read. Reading it again did make me curious to see what happens next and while I originally had no intention to continue reading the series, now I will do. 

What about you? Have you read this book? Do you agree with me?

Book Rating: ***
To check the rating system click here.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Music Mondays - True Colours by Phil Collins

I am feeling in the mood for another trip down the time tunnel...

My dad was a musician and while I was growing up there were a series of songs that were always playing in the background. This was one of them. Later, it also became the song I used to dance with my daughter when she was a baby and wouldn't settle down. A couple of minutes of slow dancing always did the trick. ^_^

I hope you enjoy it as much as I love it.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Book Bonanza Winner {2}

It's my pleasure to announce that the copy of "Bloody Valentine" goes to...

Rachel Lima

There is actually a little cute story about this one. Rachel contacted me on Twitter to ask if she could take part in the giveaway, as she didn't realize it was international and she is all the way over in Brazil!!! Next thing I know, my daughter picks her number as the winner! I guess it was meant to be!!!

Well done you! I will be in touch via email.

A huge thank you to everyone who took or is taking part in this giveaway. Book Bonanza would not be such a success without you! So thank you, thanks, Ta! I wish I could give you all a book. ^_^

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Book Bonanza {3} - "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

If by some miracle you have not read or come across this book yet, here is your chance to win it. "Twilight" is the chosen giveaway for week 3 of Book Bonanza

If you have watched the film, trust me, it has nothing on the book. There is a lot more to this story than what you can watch on the screen. All four books in the Twilight Saga have been made into movies and "Breaking Dawn's" movie adaptation Part 1 (the book was too big to fit into one flick alone) premieres in November this year. It will be the end of an era as far as YA - Young Adults - books are concerned. Like Harry Potter, Twilight has become quite a phenomenon. I must warn you: This book is seriously addictive. You will read it and get withdraw symptoms! Here is the taster:

"When Bella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret. What Bella doesn't realize is that the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back... Deeply seductive and irresistibly compelling, Twilight is an extraordinary love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page." 

To win a copy FOLLOW the blog and fill the form below and don't forget to press the SUBMIT button at the end to enter.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Father's Day Gift Ideas over at Lancashire Life {3}

Looking for something to give "the old boy" for Father's Day? Then you must check my article for Lancashire Life with some cool, and ever so slightly bookworm-ish, gift ideas! Click here to read it.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

To Be Reviewed

I have recently been asked to review a couple of books, so why not give you the heads up?

I am currently reading: Gladius and The Bartlett Trial by my lovely Twitter friend J. A. Paul. This coming of age-story is his first novel and here is a little taster for you:

"When fifteen year-old Gladius Oldmond is thrust from his peaceful home into the dangerous Longwood Forest he finds himself pitted against a tyrant who has been terrorizing the lands in search of answers to an ancient secret that could unlock absolute power. Along the way, Gladius has to fight for survival but he also makes new acquaintances and discover the true meaning of friendship, including Elle - the girl who captivates his heart. So can Gladius and friends solve the riddle of the ancient secret before the evil Mulhurt does? And if they can, will they be able to do anything about it?" Read more about it here.

Solid by Shelley Workinger is next on my list. Its sequel, Settling, is due for release on July 4th.  And here is what it is about:

"Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except the living, breathing, human products of his work. Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed “open-book” military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes - its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems…" Read more about it here

And last but not least, comes a novel a little more grown up: Bad Spirits by author D. V. Berkom. Berkom has recently released the trailer the series and here it is: Read more about Bad Spirits here.

So... What is your first impression?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Music Mondays - Mercy by One Republic

Sometimes when you are reading a book a song just jumps at you. Well, this one conveniently jumped at me for two books! "Mercy" by Rebecca Lim and "Finding Sky" by Joss Stirling (read my interview with Joss). Both this series are releasing sequels this year. Lim has just released "Exile", the second book of the Mercy Series, and "Muse", the third, is out later this year. Joss is releasing "Stealing Phoenix", the second book in her series, in September. Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Book Bonanza Winner {1}

And the copy of "I am Number Four" goes to... 

*Loud drums*...


Well done you!!!

I'll be in touch via email.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Book Bonanza {2} - Win a Copy of "Bloody Valentine" by James Patterson

Continuing our weekly Book Bonanza... (Click here for more information) Deadline for entering: Saturday 18th June midnight (London GMT). Fill the form and get winning!

This week I am giving away Quick Reads book: "Bloody Valentine" by no other than James Patterson (read my review of it here), one of the most well-known murder mystery writers. If you like a puzzle, this is your man. Here is a taster for you:

"This year Valentine's Day isn't for romance. It's for murder.
Mega-rich restaurant owner Jack Barnes and his second wife Zee are very much in love. However, their plans for Valentine's Day are about to be torn apart by the most violent murder. One thing's for sure, the police have got their work cut our solving this bloody mess. This gory murder mystery will make you feel weak at the knees."

Fill the form below and don't forget to press the SUBMIT button at the end to enter.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Out & About - World Museum in Liverpool

Fancy a day exploring somewhere new? Head for Liverpool.

I have never thought much of Liverpool and by default it was never a destination for anything. So when we all had some sort of cabin fever we decided to go explore and what a surprise! It was nothing like what I had in mind. What I encountered was not the dodgy place I had heard of in the past, but a well built city with modern buildings and cool infrastructure.

If you must visit anywhere in Liverpool, visit the World Museum, especially if you have children. With a Cafe, shop, toy shop and five floors worth of exhibitions there is something for everyone. Their displays vary from a small aquarium to a planetarium via ancient and modern world history. For children the experience is very dynamic and tactile. This is not the sort of museum where everything is behind glass cases and you can only look and read about it. There are buttons to press, videos to watch, things to touch, a world to explore. My daughter loved it! The exhibitions are also short so it is just the right length for any children (or adults) with a short attention span.

On the top floor you will find the Planetarium and a space exhibition little and big boys will just love! The museum updates the talks in the planetarium to fit the current season so you can go outside and look for the constellations they were talking about. I don't know about you, but I didn't realize how many "different stars and constellations" we have depending of the time of the year we are in. There is also a healthy dose of education as to light pollution.

I have a really cute story about that museum. On the second floor there is an exhibition rightfully called "Bug House", where there are different live insect to look at (including an amazing ant colony walking over a robe while being filmed and counted in a per second basis - just fascinating!), but there are also preserved insects in glass cases fitted inside big drawers that the children can open and look at very closely. They are grouped by category and there is a corner with drawers full of butterflies. This little girl, she must have been only about 4 or 5 years old, opened the first drawers sighed and said with sad little eyes: "Aw! They've killed all this butterflies!" Then she closed the drawer and opened the next one. Again with sad little eyes she sighed and exclaimed: "Aw!" She proceeded with this little ritual through all five or six drawers while her parents were completely oblivious to what she was going on about. It was a really sweet and ever so slightly humorous thing to watch. Very cute indeed!

The best thing about this museum is that it's free! We are only a small family of three but I can see entrance fees taking their tool in a big family. However, while you are there and in appreciation for the fabulous activities you are enjoying for free, make a donation. Even a small one will help keep the place ticking and providing educative value entertainment for other families.

We all loved it and I highly recommend it.

Ambient: *****

Price: £
Children: Absolutely!
To check the rating system click here

World Museum
William Brown Street
Liverpool LE 8EN
Tel: 0151 478 4393

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Book Review - City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

“The Mortal Instruments” was meant to be a trilogy but is now a six books series. “City of Fallen Angels” is its fourth book. Has it tainted the series or has it made it even better?

As you might have guessed, I am a big fan of this trilogy-becoming-saga. There is obviously a lot of research and work gone into these books and the thing that fascinates me the most about them is how Clare treads a very thin line in between many different religions, incorporating a series of different principals and beliefs from each one, without being offensive or supporting any of them in particular. That is a very hard balance to achieve. 

For those who have never heard of it (shame on you!)... Basically, the story is about a group of demon hunters or Shadowhunters, as Clare calls them. In her books there is an entire world right under our noses that human eyes cannot see. A world filled of angels, fairies, demons, vampires, werewolves and other mystical beings. It is the Shadowhunters' job to keep the balance in between all of them and keep humanity in the dark as to their existence. Shadowhunters, in their turn, are humans chosen and blessed by an angel to protect humanity. The only problem, in the first three books, was that Clare Fray didn’t know she was one. She also didn’t know who her father really was and, combined, that created a whole lot of issues that threatened not only her feelings for Jace, a young Shadowhunter, but also their lives.

Here is the thing: there is fantasy and there is possibility. Clare's plot is so water tight, I cannot fault it. She has an explanation for everything; giving you the feeling that whatever she is telling you is actually possible and not a fantasy. She would tell you there are cats raining from the sky and then she will explain how and why and you will think it is absolutely plausible. I am convinced that woman could sell ice to an Eskimo.  

With three books preceding City of Fallen Angels it is hard to talk about it without giving the first three books away. So here is what I can say: 

I have to admit that at the beginning I thought I was not going to like it. It always annoys me when something is obnoxiously good and, instead of enjoying its success and moving on, people try to milk it. We have all seen that happen many times before, very rarely with a good outcome. However, as the plot developed I was so engrossed in the story that towards the end I was really mad. "How stupid were they? The only person that was actually at risk got left behind with the bad guy, who wasn't alive nor dead (enough)!" I wanted to slap someone in the face! I contemplated throwing the book on the floor, and then I remembered it is a signed copy and thought better of it. "What on earth were they thinking? Seriously! Argh!!!" I am sure you get the gist. It all became a little personal. *shakes head in shame*

True to form, there is plenty of emotional drama, mystery, butt kicking, politics, demon slaying and snogging going on. (For my American followers, British snogging is the American equivalent of making out) However, that is not all. Through City of Fallen Angels a series of new characters are presented and a whole new romance emerges as well as old ones developing (yes, this was for the benefit of my fellow romance lovers). This is no longer just about Clare and Jace, but another three major romances and another two floating in the background. It was also very interesting to see and learn more about some of the original characters. 

My verdict? It made it better and I am now looking forward to "City of Lost Souls", book five, which is scheduled for release in 2012. The same could be said for the movie adaptation of the first book, City of Bones, also out next year.

Book Rating: ****
To check the rating system click here.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

June - UK Book Releases

A few books are being released this month and here are my highlights:

The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder

'"Who are You, and what are you doing here?"
Two babies—Kati and Josh—are born on opposite sides of the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls. You'd think such a potent freedom metaphor would become the soundtrack for their lives, but nothing could be further from the truth. 
Craving liberation, Kati and Josh seem destined to claim their birthright of freedom together. After all, don't the “chance” encounters transform your life…or are they really chance?' (Goodreads) 
Already out in limited stores.

Exile by Rebecca Lim
This is the second book in the Mercy series (click here to read more).
Mercy is an angel with a shattered memory, exiled from heaven for a crime she can’t remember committing. So when she ‘wakes’ inside the body and life of eighteen-year-old Lela Neill, Mercy has only limited recall of her past life. Her strongest memories are of Ryan, the mortal boy who’d begun to fall for her – and she for him. (Goodreads) Out June 9th. 

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood. (Goodreads) Out June14th.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past. (Goodreads) Out June 14th. 

Passion by Lauren Kate 
Passion is the third book in the famous "Fallen" saga. With breath taking and award winning covers (read more about its covers here), a fourth book on the pipeline and rights optioned by Disney Studios for a possible movie, this book has plenty of hype leading to its launch. I have the first two books, Fallen and Torment, on my to-read shelf and I have to admit I am getting quite curious now. 
'"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever." 
Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way...' (Goodreads) Out June 23rd.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Music Mondays - Show Me Light by Friendly Fires

I know that with all the excitement over the Breaking Dawn trailer it is hard to concentrate, but today IS Monday. So "Music Mondays" is on order.

This is the newest track on my iPhone and I have Radio1 to thank for that. I have never heard of Friendly Fires before listening to this track in the radio on my way down to London a week ago and I love the entire album. Way worth buying. Love their dance punk sound and even more the fact that they are a British band. So lets fly the flag up high and proud.


Breaking Dawn Trailer revealed at MTV Movie Awards

The trailer for Twilight saga's latest film, Breaking Dawn Part 1, due for cinema release on November 18th premiered last night during the MTV Movie Awards. And here it is. What do you think? Personally, I think it looks amazing and I will be catching the midnight screening on 17th November for sure.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

New Article over at Lancashire Life {2}

My first blog post for Lancashire Life has gone live (click here to read ittalking about the future of eBooks and paper books. Check it out and don't forget to rate it!

I hope you enjoy!

Book Bonanza {1} - Win a Copy of "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore

Looking for something to read over the summer or while on holiday? Well... Maybe I can help you with that. For the next few weeks I will be giving a book away every week!

This giveaway is international and the books are in English. Each Saturday a new promotion will start and it will close the following Saturday at midnight (London GMT). Winners will be announced on Sundays. Fill the form and get winning!

This week I am giving away Amazon book of the month for August 2010: "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore (read my review of it here). If you have not read the book or watched the film, here is a little taster for you:

"In the beginning we were nine. We left when we were very young, almost too young to remember. Almost. And now... Three are gone. We are here to keep our race alive, which was almost entirely obliterated. We're just trying to survive. Six are left. But we are hunted, and the hunters won't stop until they've killed us all. They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. I am Number Four. I know that I am next."

Fill the form below and don't forget to press the SUBMIT button at the end to enter.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Out & About - The Parker's Arms

After many hand-overs The Parker's Arms is finally on its way up and it is not just the sign outside that is different.

This is my favourite pub pick for a Summer's Day. It has the most amazing views of Waddington Fell and a fantastic beer garden overlooking it. It is dog and child friendly and it is staffed by its landlords and a team of friendly folk. 

A few years ago I used to live in Newton-in-Bowland and The Parker's was my local. Unfortunately, when the original landlords retired from the pub industry it ended up passing along a few hands before landing in the very capable hands of A.J. and Cathy. And this two have been busy! Since taking over they have redecorated, changed the menu, added a little shop and revamped the whole look and feel of the place. For the better, I must add.

I don't know about you, but I love when the landlords are actually around to serve you. Especially in an village this small. In Brazil we say that "the eyes of the farmer is what fattens the cattle" and I think that is not only true, but makes all the difference to the service.

The shorter menu is tasty and full of seasonal treats and their calendar is full of little events the whole family can enjoy. I love Bonfire, Halloween and Christmas as there is always something going on. You can also stay over in one of their B&B rooms. There are some lovely walks you can do from here too. My favourite is the circular one around the river. It starts and finishes at the bridge just before you enter the village and takes about 45 mins.

One quick note, do not visit this place if you are after a night of mad binge drinking. It is full of locals and families and while nobody minds you having fun and getting merrily tipsy, this is not the place to drink and start fighting or causing a scene. I might also have to warn you about the locals (including me!). You know, country folk find some interesting ways to entertain themselves. *  mischievous grin *  Also watch for the children when you are driving into the car park. The road that takes you into it runs in between the pub and the beer garden and the kids are usually running back and forth across it.

So... Why not come over the hill and enjoy?

Ambient: ****

Price: £££
Food: *****
Children: Yes

To check the rating system click here

The Parker's Arms
Slaidburn Road
Newton-in-Bowland BB7 3DY
Tel: 01200 446 236

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Jamie Campbell Bower cast as Jace Wayland

The wait is over! After weeks of commotion on Twitter and Facebook Screen Gems has finally confirmed it has picked the one.

British actor Jamie Campbell Bower has been chosen to play Jace Wayland in the movie adaptation of Cassandra Clare's novel "City of Bones". Alex Pettyfer, another British actor, was once the fan's favourite for the part but had later fallen from grace. Personally, I'm thrilled! Campbell has the deep, possibly menacing but interesting looks Jace is meant to have. It's no wonder he plays a vampire in the the Twilight saga, you know! And judging by his performances on other films and TV series, albeit they were all smaller roles, I am hoping he will be able to pull off this troubled and quick witted character. Campbell will also be sharing the lead with actress Lily Collins who was cast to play Clary Fray, the main character in the books, a good few weeks ago.
Lily Collins

City of Bones is hailed to be the next big book adaption after Harry Potter and Twilight, now that both of are getting to an end. Although the story lines are all paranormal, they could not be more different. Why pick in between fairies, werewolves, vampires, angels, witches and demons when you can have them all? My point exactly. As I am a big fan, I cannot wait to see this on the big screen.

Go Britain, go!

New Article over at Babi Dewet's {6}

Check my new article for Babi Dewet talking about the latest news on the movie adaptation of my favourite book: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Just click on the link above to read the article in Portuguese.

I hope you enjoy!
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