Friday, 23 November 2012

Book Review - Por Que Voce e Assim (Why You Are the Way You Are) by Otavio Cohen

Personality is something we hear about and take for granted every day. Yet being the way we are has a massive effect on our everyday life. In Por Que Voce e Assim (Why You Are the Way You Are) Otavio Cohen explores the very idea of personality and how you can know yours better.

Shyness, seductive power, sensibility, reason. A little bit of all these form your personality. Some of these traits are very clear and inborn, others you have picked up along the way. Still the mixture of all of them in different doses makes you unique. It's time to unravel the mysteries of you personalities, understand why you are the way you are and finding out if you can improve it. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

My Article for Pluto Newspaper {1}

Verging on too late, but still worth a mention... A week ago my review of The Blasphemer by John Ling (read it here) made it to Pluto, UCLan University's fortnightly newspaper. Here is where I must thank Luke for asking me to review for them and, hopefully, you should see me there more often too. ^_^

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bookish News, Music Monday & Books-Turned-Movies

I'm back!!! Sorry for the little break in communication there peeps. Life keeps on getting in the way.

Moving on swiftly, before I start whinging about being busy with this and that and how much I missed blogging, I'm full of news so I'll try to make it short and sweet in order for you not to miss a thing! 

Belated Music Monday

First and foremost... Since I've missed Music Monday this week, here is the track of the week - Just a Touch by AlunaGeorge.

I must shout out to my cousin Babi for introducing me to the London voice and instrumental duo. The result is that I'm so in love with it, I have to share it even if it's not Music Monday per se. I hope you like it as much as I do! ^_^


It's no secret that books have become one of the hottest things on the big screen. My favourite series, The Mortal Instruments, is due to become another book-turned-movie franchise and this last week, it not only gained a teaser trailer but also a release date. City of Bones will hit the cinemas on August 23rd 2013. Watch this space!

Last Friday also saw the release of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2. In a Twitter Style review - The twist at the end is brilliant, go watch it! 

Cool book on the block at the moment is Cool, Sweet, Hot, Love by Erin McCahan, which hasn't even hit the shelves yet as it's only due to be published in 2014, has already had its movie rights acquired by Warner Bros. Being a student of Linguistics myself, this is one book I want to read as it’s about a lover of linguistics,  female teenage genius wanting to know what the four words - cool, sweet, hot, love - mean to the various groups of people she comes in contact with. And that's an interesting thought... What would these words mean to you? Or what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of them?

Another one getting a movie makeover is fantasy novel Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which has bagged Dreamworks, the ones behind the Harry Potter movie adaptations, as its producers.

Disney's Sleeping Beauty is also getting a movie touch up. The 1959 fairytale classic will be reborn as Maleficent with no one other than Angelina Jolie playing Maleficent herself. The first pictures to emerge of the new adaptation look amazing!  

Bookish News

Finally, and just in case you missed it, Penguin and Random House have merged to become the biggest publishing house ever seen. Together they will account to for 25% of the book sales in the UK and one of the reasons for the merge was to increase the publishers' presence in other countries including Brazil. While this is clearly a strategic move, the maneuver was received with skepticism on Twitter.  Read more about it here.

On a more light-hearted note, did you see Writer's Digest diagram of how to write a book? It's hilarious, but so true!!!

There is a lot more to talk about, but I'll try and spread the overload of info over a few posts not to fry anybody's head, including my own! 

I hope you guys have a wonderful week and it's great to be back. :)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Book Review - Glacial Eyes by J. K. Walker

Murders, mystery, fantasy and romance... Glacial Eyes promises it all. But when push came to shove I just couldn't connect. 

"After a weekend party gone very, very wrong, third-year university student Jasmine Bedeau finds herself a "person of interest" to far too many parties. Now she has to bring a family-inherited curse—and powerful new abilities—under control or risk the consequences of the supernatural community to which she suddenly belongs. But between the police and the paranormal, the campus and the council, how's a girl to rise to the challenge of just holding onto a normal life? Werewolves, vampires, and witches—and now a serial killer targeting the supernatural, setting his sights on Jasmine and her new-found friends. It's a good thing she's a werecat, because she's not rolling over."

Monday, 22 October 2012

Music Mondays - Translation of Alento by Luisa Maita

I've been a really bag blogger. *smacks own hand* Sorry guys! I promise I'll do better this week. *puppy eyes*

If you follow me on Twitter (follow here) you will have picked up on the fact that I'm currently visiting home - Brazil. And this week I have some amazing things lined up for you so I can share the heat to all my fellow British citizens missing it as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. Winter definitely trying to get her claws on our bones. 

Luisa Maita is a Brazilian singer songwriter who has featured on Music Mondays before (see it here). Since I'm in her city, her song is about living here and her video is full of footage from Sao Paulo, I thought it would be a good one to start this week. 

I love her sexy vibe and sound mix with a still very Brazilian beat. I hope you like it too! 

Have an amazing week and stay tuned for the Brazilian inspired few days I have lined up for you. 


Friday, 12 October 2012

Bookish Gift Ideas {1} - The Willoughby Book Club

It's not rocket science. You have a bookworm friend, what do you give them? Books! The Willoughby Book Club just makes it special.

The WBC is essentially a virtual bookshop. Except, they provide a service as well as the books. What on Earth am I going on about? Well... Here is how it works...

You want to give your bookish friend a gift, but you don't think you're being imaginative just giving them a book or a book voucher. You want to give them something special. So you go into The Willoughby Book Club's website and chose a package to suit your friend's taste. Fill a quick form about what they like to read, pay for the package and voilà!  For the next 3, 6 or 12 months your friend will receive a surprise, beautifully packed title especially hand-picked for them every month. It's like having Christmas or your birthday on replay! 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Book-Turned-Movie {5} - Skyfall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Liberal Arts, Sinister, Shakespeare's Globe on Screen, On The Road, Private Peaceful

Books and writing are truly in vogue. This month it seems that the rule of thumb was - if the movie isn't based on a book, the main character had to be a writer. So the pickings are rich my friends.

3rd Oct ~ saw the debut of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is not only based on a book by the same name, but was also directed by its author - American writer Stephen Chbosky. And just for a good measure of bookish, Harry Potter's Emma Watson is in it. 

5th Oct ~ was the release of Liberal Arts. While this film has no book connections, it's about two people brought together by their love of literature, despite their massive age gap. An unlikely, complicated and sweet romance. Unfortunately, it was only released in key cities and the closest cinemas screening it near Lancashire are at the Didsbury and Sheffield Cineworld Cinemas and Sheffield Showroom. For more information regarding locations visit the film's Facebook page here.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Music Mondays - Translation of Garotos II by Leoni

I've just realised I've never featured my top favourite songs on Music Mondays. So here is my all-time favourite.

Garotos II by Leoni came out in the radio when I was 12 and had just started secondary school. For that reason alone it marked a period in my life. It spread like wildfire. Everyone loved and sung along to it. Everyone with a guitar wanted to learn how to play it.

But at 12, I was also figuring out what it was like to be a girl and this song talks about a very powerful type of woman. The type that evokes and demands admiration and an all-consuming type of passion. Back then I had decided that, if I was going to be any type of woman at all, I wanted to be this type. :) Funny what your mind thinks when you're young and foolish! 

Well... Not much has changed since then. I'm still foolish. ^_^ In a good way, of course!

I hope you enjoy it. Have a great week and happy Monday! 


Friday, 5 October 2012

October 2012 - Events for Book Lovers, Writers and Curious Souls

There is plenty going this month, including numerous festivals, workshops, exhibitions, signings, Halloween activities, Global James Bond Day, and Dyslexia Awareness Week. So take your pick!


Lit Festival season has started people!!! And there are a lot of exciting things lined up for you.

First and foremost, let's not forget that Bath Festival of Children's Literature is still in full flow until October 7thYou can find out what is still to come here.

The Times' Cheltenham Literature Festival needs no introduction. It runs from today (the 5th) till the 14th of this month and includes guest appearances from big names such as J. K. Rowling, Caitlin Moran, Salman Rushdie and many more. Also watch out for events by Harper Collins and OUP authors Derek Landy, Emma Chichester Clark, Clara Vulliamy, Korky Paul; as well as a variety of workshops for writers. For more information click here.

Manchester Literature Festival starts on October 8th and goes through to October 23rd with a lineup of world literature, new commissions, events for children and families, walking tours, poetry, new writing and the Blog North Award ceremony on the 17th. To find out more download the brochure here.

And last but most certainly not least, Lancaster Litfest takes over from the 17th to the 21st, including a whole sections on Gothic YA Fiction, poetry and prose writing; a BBC Writers Room Workshop and picture book master class; More Music Songwriter's Circle;  and events for children and teens. Read the brochure here.


To celebrate 50 years of James Bond films and the upcoming new movie Skyfall, today is Global James Bond Day! There will be events happening all over the world, including an auction of James Bond movie memorabilia for charity at Christie's in London and tickets for the new movie, due for release on October 26th, going on pre-sale. If you're a fan check the Facebook Page or tweet them at @007

Thursday, 4 October 2012

4th of October - National Poetry Day

Today it's National Poetry Day. Herray!!! 

And there were all sorts of wonderful events happening all over the country to celebrate it - readings, competitions, film screenings, launches... The Telegraph newspaper even had a Poetic Tweet Competition going on. You can read more about it here. I love the one by Naele Denaro.

As a writing form, Poetry is one of those elusive skills I wish I could conquer. I can't tell you how jealous I am of some of my writer friends who seem to just burst into rhymes at their lunch break inspired by nothing but the cafeteria's blank walls. Annoyingly talented people, I'll tell you... In a good day, I tell myself it's because English is not my first language. On a bad one, I just admit I can't do it. 

Throughout history, England has been filled with great poets - from Lord Byron to the more current Jane Duran. And when I say that, I also include lyricists who not only write poetry, but can make them into songs. More annoyingly talented people!!! 

When I was thinking of how to celebrate National Poetry Day I realised that, for all my talk about writing and reading, I have never let you see any of my own writing. It would be far easier (and possibly much better) if I just quoted one of the most well known English poems. But I decided I was going to do my little bit for this special day - take a deep breath and commit verbal suicide by letting you read one of the very few poems of mine I would actually let anyone read. Since prose is really my forte, I'm sure you won't be surprised if I say it's free-verse poetic prose. By that I mean it tells a little bit of a narrative and it doesn't rhyme. *whispers - the easier type of poetry!!!*

This one was written last year, inspired by a writing exercise where we were given a situation and asked to pick one of the emotions elicited by it to write a poem. I picked 'Anger'. And I hope it doesn't make you angry to have wasted your time reading it! *_* Good luck and may the force be with you.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Book Review - Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish is the second book on Sophie Jordan's Firelight series and it released in September.

I was left on the fence with Firelight, the first book of the series (read my review here), and wasn't sure if I enjoyed it or not, so did Vanish change my mind?

"I remember Will’s promise: ‘It’s not over. I’ll find you . . .' Then it dawns on me. He won’t know what happened. He’ll just think I left. Vanished.

Jacinda did the unthinkable for love: she betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Exposed for what she really is, she must return to her fellow draki knowing she might never see Will again. But Jacinda can’t forget what she’s left behind. So when the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything?

The hunter and the hunted have fallen in love but how can Will and Jacinda ever be together?  Find out in this sizzling sequel to the sensational Firelight" 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Music Mondays - Wonderful by Angel

This track is not new to the charts, but I can't seem to stop playing it. So it was about time I gave it some recognition.

Angel, or Sirach Charles - as his parents might call him, is a singer-songwriter and producer from West London known for working the Grime scene with Wretch 32 (see Wretch's Music Monday feature here).

I love this song's lyrics as well as its mixture of rock and rapping. If you have a minute, also check the acoustic version as it's equally impressive.

Happy Monday peeps! Hope you all have a fantastic week. ^_^


Thursday, 27 September 2012

In the Mail {17} - The Occupy Handbook, The Peculiar and a New Kindle!

This week I have been spoiled! 

Which is great, especially since all we had here in Lancashire are grey days and rain. Honestly, I'm sure  the town I live in could give Twilight's town of Forks a run for its money. Vampires would thrive here. ^_^

I finally have a new Kindle! A sexy and sleek black number, instead of my old greyish one. And not thanks to Lufthansa Airlines, who smashed my old one (amongst other things) by bashing my luggage around when I went on holiday last month, then ignored my emails of complaint. Lovely people. Won't be flying them again. *Takes deep breaths* Sorry, my rant is now over. Moving on... a new Kindle means I can now carry on with my reading and that should keep me out of trouble for awhile. :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mentioned Elsewhere - A Thank You Note

In a very, very, very overdue note, I would like to thank a couple of people for mentioning PaulaSHx in their blogs or webs.

A big thank you to author Dave Cousins who not only listed my review of 15 Days Without a Head (published by OUP) in his site, but has also quoted it! He has a new book in the pipeline, so watch this space.

A big hug to Foreign Identity author Becca J Campbell for listing me on her Spiffy Book Bloggers column.

Another shout to author D. V. Berkom for quoting my review of her book Bad Spirits in her old website. She now has a shiny new one, so check it out. And while you're there, follow the link to download a free copy of Bad Spirits from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. And let's not forget: DV, congratulations on Serial Date being a Semi-Finalist for Kindle Book Reviews' Best 2012 Indie! 

Hugs and kissed for super bloggers Samme from I Want to Read That and Meg from The Book Addicted Girl who have me listed on their Blog List. Another set to Tanja from Ja Citam, a ti? with whom I have great conversations on Twitter and who has nominated me for Liebster Blog Award this year. Seriously, you must check their blogs. Great stuff!

A huge thank you to Bloomsbury & Co for mentioning one of my articles, and to Pippa at Bodhi Tree Therapies for quoting and listing PaulaSHx. 

A shout to A. M. Harte for listing us on Indie Book Reviewer. I haven't been able to answer all the review requests ever since you listed me. My inbox is permanently full!! 

And last, but not least, hello and thank you to Mic at Natterjack for editing and publishing my article about a writing course I attended. 

Now... I have the sinking feeling I've forgotten someone. If that was you, please get in touch and tell me off. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of mentions. And if you mentioned me anywhere and I didn't pick up on it, please tweet or email me the link. 

Again, thanks everyone for supporting this blog in one way or another. It has not gone unnoticed and it's very, very, very, very, very, very, very... appreciated. :)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Music Mondays - Madness by Muse

British band Muse has released the first single for its new album The 2nd Law (releasing in October) and I love it.

They really need no introduction, but here are a couple of stats to jiggle your memory, just in case: 
1. The book connection: Supermassive Black Hole  was part of the soundtrack for the film adaptation of Twilight; and Neutron Star Collision was subsequently part of Eclipse's;
2. Survival was the official song for the London 2012 Olympics.


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Movie Review - We Bought a Zoo

Based on the memoirs of Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo is not only a film adaptation, but it's also based on a true story. 

After he loses the love of his life, his wife Katherine, and his teenage son takes his anger off on school and gets expelled, Benjamin decides to move somewhere new and start over. Unfortunately, the house he falls in love with comes with 200 pets. 

While based on the book, the movie is very different from the novel. For starters the original story happens in England, not America. Dartmoor Zoo and the Mee family are indeed real people and a now functioning attraction (you can support the project and find out more about it here). And to finish it off, not accounting for anything in between, they buy the zoo before his wife dies. 

Once you put that aside, however, it's hard not to be touched by such an extraordinary story. I have to admit I cried all the way through. Sad, extremely embarrassing, but true. Passed the thorny layers, I'm truly a marshmallow. Who knew?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Out & About - UPCOMING EVENT: Let's Get Crafty

This little beautiful corner of the world I live in, Lancashire, is becoming famous for its artisan food and products. And there will be no better place to see that as in the Let's Get Crafty Market taking place this Sunday September 16th. 

I'm very fond of Fair Trade and supporting local businesses. This is particular fundamental if, like me, you live in a small community. So if you're local and don't have any plans for this Sunday, why not have a browse through the gorgeous stands at the craft fair and food market in the small village of Whalley?  

Let's Get Crafty is a new venture. Now on its third month, it has done so well that this time around it will incorporate a food market outside Whalley Village Hall. As if the artisan chocolate and cupcakes in the original craft fair weren't enough to have you salivating!!! I'm currently blacklisted by my waistline, who is not thankful for all the yummy chocolate I have been consuming. Ops!

Last time I visited Let's Get Crafty I walked away with a gorgeous silk Italian top and the ingredients for the 'mother-to-be' baskets I was making all my expecting friends - including handmade chocolate bars, cards, a little decorating gift for the baby's room and some heavenly smelling handmade soaps. (I write this as I sniff away at one of the soaps I bought when I bumped into the Crafts by Charlie stand at the Hodder Valley Show. Seriously addictive!)

If nothing else, you'll see some interesting stuff and try some gorgeous food. Worth the visit even if you only want to see what's there. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

New Over at Lancashire Life {11} - Top 10 Reads about the London Bombings & 9/11

In remembrance of 9/11 and the London Bombings, I've compiled a list of my top ten reads about the events that shocked the world.

You can find it over at Lancashire Life Magazine. It includes conspiracy theories, fictional narratives, survivors' and victims' accounts, inquiry reports and even the events in the point of view (and the end of the pencil) of a cartoonist. Some very controversial, some very patriotic. There is something for everyone.

Top 10 Reads: London 7/7 & 9/11 - The Events that Shook the World.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Interview ~ Daniel Jimenez & LARVA - the Magazine Changing the World of Comic Books in Colombia

So what do you do if your favourite art form is not recognized in your country? According to Daniel Jimenez Quiroz, you work to change it.

I met Daniel when he gave a very inspiring talk at London Book Fair earlier this year (related article here) on how comic books are not considered a respectful genre or art form in his home country, Colombia. And how he and a group of his friends had started a project back in 2006 to spark a revolution. He caught my attention when he quoted: "Basically, in Colombia, being a comic art magazine editor, I'm either considered to have a low IQ or work in pornography."

Monday, 10 September 2012

Music Mondays - Wings by Little Mix

I'm not a massive fan of mainstream pop or the X-factor, but I do love this new track by X-factor winners Little Mix.

There is a very interesting message in the lyrics of this song. One that is worth remembering when things don't go according to plan. 

Little Mix started as four solo singers teamed together by the judges to become a girl band. They went on to become the first group to ever win the competition. And during it all, one of the girls received a lot of criticism for being a little curvier than the others. I say who cares! I would much rather have my curves than look like a stick insect. She has an amazing voice and the size of her waistline will not change that. 

Have a good week and Happy Monday! 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Out & About - The Hodder Valley Show

Hodder Valley Show 2012
Blessed by a gorgeous hot day in what is officially the rainiest county in the UK (yes folks, it's official!), this year's Hodder Valley Show took place yesterday. 

Now, anyone will tell I'm a 'city girl'. In fact, I'm a living proof that you can take the girl out of the city, but you can not take the city out of the girl. Having said that, there are a few things I love about living in the country: fresh air, space, the amazing panoramic views, community spirit, the pride people take in their houses and gardens, lower cost of living, and a slower (but definitely NOT duller) life style. Don't let the sheep's daft gaze fool you. Country folk know how to party. And they'll do it in a tent in a cold rainy day. 

The Hodder Valley Show, and the Whittington Races (read my article about it here), are my favourite country events. They are family friendly, unpretentious, uncomplicated, very well organized and great fun.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Bookish Art {1} - Biblios by Guy Laramee

Of late, I seem to have stumble upon a series of art installations, monuments and statues which were inspired by books or the knowledge contained in them. But none of them have been as striking or controversial as the altered books by Canadian artist Guy Laramee. 

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of altered book artwork (see the definition of it here) as my heart usually breaks when I see books being destroyed. Having said that, Laramee actually has a point to what he's doing. His art is about the destruction of mankind's tradition and how our endless pursuit for bigger and better things might actually be our undoing.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Book-Turned-Movie {4} - Lawless, House at the End of the Street, Anna Karenina, Dredd, Killing Them Softly, Savages, The Intouchables

September sees the release of a new batch of books-turned-movies. This is when you can watch the big screen and still feel like you're doing something close to reading!

And this month the pickings are rich! We have it all - crime, romance, thrillers, horror, gangsters and comedy... There is just one thing to do: choose your poison.

Anna Karenina is the film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's novel by the same name. Big dresses, dramatic scenery in a snow covered 19th Century Russia, lavish aristocratic balls, and a life-changing love affair. How can any romance lover resist? Out September 7th.

Also out on the 7th is Dredd - the British adaptation of 2000AD comic strip Judge Dredd. Set in a dystopian world of doom and gloom Dredd is a police officer with the power to judge and execute anyone. There is a new drug lord in the slums and he will have to fight his way through 200 floors of hostile residents to judge her. Yes, the villain is a woman. And just for that I'll watch this film. Since this is a sci-fi 3D movie involving drugs, action, explosions and fight scenes, I can see it being a big hit with the boys. Well... The big ones anyway. Dredd is a certificate 18 film.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

September 2012 - Events for Book Lovers, Writers and Curious Souls

A new month - new events! 

From book releases (read my highlights here), to a new batch of bookish events and films, it is all up for grabs and some of it it's free, so you have no excuse to stay home!


Our much loved favourites.

Geek Up
Thu 6th Sep ~ The New Continental's Open Mic Night takes place the first Thursday of the month and is particularly good if you are a poetry writer. More information here. Admission is free, 8.30pm start, but if you are planning to perform, you must put your name forward beforehand. 

Mon 17th Sep ~ Geek Up takes place every third Monday of the month at The Continental in Preston and it's a dedicated networking event for people working or interested in the Internet & Technology Industry. As a blogger, I will definitely be attending the one this month. 7.30pm, free admission. Find out more here. 

Fri 21st Sep ~ Spotlight - Lancaster Litfest's Open Mic night takes place the third Friday of the month and works as a platform for poets, writers, comedians and musicians. Find further information by visiting their website here. Again, like with the Continental's Open Mic Night, if you wish to be part of the line up, you must contact them in advance.

Mon 24th Sep ~ scRibble Creative Writing Group meets at The Continental the last Monday of every month to share their work and exchange feedback. Free, 7.30 start. Read how to get involved here.

Although they don't seem to have anything booked for this month, Burnley Writers Circle meets the second Saturday of every month offering workshops, writing challenges, feedback and writing competitions. You must become a member (£15 per year) and sessions cost £2 per person towards room hire and coffees. Further information here.

Lunchtime Classics happens once a month and is a 40 minutes introduction to works of classic literature by hearing it read out loud. Time: 1pm Tickets: £4/ £2 (Concession) Please contact Lancaster Litfest for future dates. Tel:  01524 62166 


Monday, 3 September 2012

Music Mondays - Pause Rewind by bassDrumsnareDrum

British producer bassDrumsnareDrum released his debut EP - Pause Rewind - early last month and I loved it so much, I couldn't resist showcasing it here.

To produce this sexy chillout piece, he teamed up with singer Betty Steeles in a tiny voiceover booth in Soho, London. And I have to say, it  not only shows their abilities and talent, but the soft vocals and deep base beats create a very striking song indeed. 

You can find out more about bassDrumsnareDrum on Facebook and Twitter, hear more of his tunes over at SoundCloud and YouTube or visit his official website here. And if you have a minute, also check his new single All We Needas it's as gorgeous as Pause Rewind


Friday, 31 August 2012

September 2012 - UK Book Releases

September  is upon us and with a new month comes new books! Here are my highlights of the ones releasing on the next thirty days:


How could I forget?!?! J. K. Rowling first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, also releases this month. I'm sorry I forgot to mention it on the original post. *_*

"When Barry Fairweather dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?" 

The Peculiar (published by Harper Collins) is the handy work of 18 year-old musical prodigy Stefan Bachmann, who is also annoyingly good with words! He wrote this little gem while studying music in Zurich at the tender age of 16. Honestly! All this talented people!!! Out September 18th. I will be reading this soon, so watch out for a review.

"THE GRAVEYARD BOOK meets JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL in this gothic steampunk page-turner for readers of all ages.

Bartholomew Kettle won't live long. Changelings never do. The child of a human mother and a faery father, Bartholomew is a secret, despised by both his races. If the English don't hang him for witchcraft, the faerys will do something worse. So his mother keeps him locked away, hidden from the world in the faery slums of Bath.

But one day Bartholomew witnesses a mysterious lady kidnap another changeling through a shadowy portal, and he realizes the danger is closer than ever before. Changelings are surfacing in the rivers, their bodies empty of blood and bone and their skin covered in red markings. A powerful figure sits in the shadows, pushing the pieces in place for some terrible victory. When a sinister faery in a top-hat begins to stalk Bartholomew's steps, he knows it's his turn. Something is coming for him. Something needs him. But when you're a changeling there's no where to run.." (Goodreads)

Firelight Series Original Covers
Vanish by Sophie Jordan (published by OUP) is the second book in the Firelight series and it continues the story of Jacinda and her fight for the freedom to love. I'm currently reading the manuscript for this, so watch this space for a review.

"I remember Will’s promise: ‘It’s not over. I’ll find you . . .' Then it dawns on me. He won’t know what happened. He’ll just think I left. Vanished.

Jacinda did the unthinkable for love: she betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Exposed for what she really is, she must return to her fellow draki knowing she might never see Will again. But Jacinda can’t forget what she’s left behind. So when the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything?

The hunter and the hunted have fallen in love but how can Will and Jacinda ever be together?  Find out in this sizzling sequel to the sensational Firelight" 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Book Review - The Blasphemer by John Ling

A plotted assassination, an elite team trying to protect its target and, in the center of it all, a writer preaching freedom and understanding in a culture full of violence.

"When Abraham Khan releases an e-book condemning radical Islam, the consequences hit him fast and hard -- an armed fanatic smashes into his home one evening, trying to kill him. He survives the harrowing attempt. Just barely. But will he survive the next one?

Maya Raines is the security operator brought in to protect Abraham. She is tough and committed. The very best at what she does. Always one step ahead of the threat.

But Abraham is no ordinary principal -- he will not hide, and he will not stay silent. And as rage explodes on the streets and the nation is propelled to the brink, Maya will have to ask herself the hardest question of all: how far would you go to protect one man’s right to speak?" (Goodreads)

Friday, 24 August 2012

England on Film - History in Movies

To celebrate the arrival of the Paralympics and because most of my readers are not from the UK, I thought you might want to know a little more about the beautiful country I happen to live in. So I compiled an interesting list of movies for you! 

Granted, this is not factual information per se. But it will be fun to do and they are based on real-life stories in one way or another, even if only vaguely. 


I love The Young Victoria! We all have this idea that being a Monarch is to be at the top of the food chain. In The Young Victoria, it's clear that being a royal is anything but fun. In a time where love didn't quite come into the agenda for marriage, Queen Victoria managed to find real love and it changed her life and her reign forever. A wonderful story without a shadow of doubt. She truly found her prince charming. This flick also showcases some British talent with Emily Blunt as the lead actress.

W./E.  - the story of King Edward VIII, the prince who renounced the throne for love when he fell in love with American divorcee Wallis Simpson. What comes right up there with finding prince charming?  A man who would do anything for you. Ditto. Here is one of the greatest romances in history from a different point of view - that of the woman involved in it. The one who was despised by a nation for stealing the heart of their king. A little footnote? W./E. was directed by Madonna. It didn't receive great headlines, but I like it nonetheless. 


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Book Review - Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2013

I only have one question about this book: why has nobody told me about it before????

If you are a writer, screenwriter or freelance journalist, this is your bible. Especially, if you’re late to the whole writing circle like I am.

The Writers and Artists Yearbook is published annually and it basically has the contact details for publishers, editors and commissioning editors of UK newspapers, magazines, book publishers, film, TV and radio producers. It also holds some valuable information about who belongs to what newspaper or publishing group; how to market your writing; how to approach different editors; how to present your ideas and what standard they would expect from you.

Now, apart from my degree in Creative Writing, I have been to a lot of writing courses and, as far as I can remember, nobody mentioned this book to me. It would have saved me a lot of time, hence why I decided to share it with you.

Like any other handbook, this is a reference guide that will point you in the right direction, but you still need to do the hard work. So of course, as a writer, you still need to read the publications you intend to break into and understand the dynamic of each one, how they like it written and who is their target market. However, knowing who to contact, how they are all connected, what genre they specialize in or what they might be looking for always helps.

There is also a Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook for those targeting children's literature in particular. They are not cheap books, but definitely worth the money.

And here is where I must thank our friend Tara for mentioning it to me. Without her I would probably never come across it. Thanks girlie. Much appreciated.

To check the rating system click here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Waiting for Gonzo Countdown Widget

Dave Cousins has released the countdown widget for his new book Waiting For Gonzo! And it looks fab, don't you think?


It's unfortunately too wide to fit on my side column, but if you would like to host it in your blog please email Dave Cousins (email him here) for the HTML. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Book Review - The Heritage by Johnny Ray

Scandal, money, power, and a baby. This book sounded promising from the word go.

"This story is based in New York City where socialite Kristina learns she’s pregnant, but how? She couldn’t remember sleeping with anyone for a long time. Her only explanation—a date rape drug. And now, someone wants her to have an abortion or die before giving birth. Her bodyguard, Shawn Davis, offers her the best chance in surviving and discovering the truth. But Shawn is keeping his own secrets."

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