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."

Monday, 20 August 2012

Music Mondays - Clear by Nizlopi

Today I'm a little nostalgic, so I'm going for Nizlopi.This British two piece band split a couple of years ago, but I still love their sound. 

Just in case you're wondering where the name comes from or what it means, Nizlopi was the name of a Hungarian girl one of the members of the band had a crash on when he was in primary school. That's quite sweet, if you ask me. I wonder if she knows?

Anyway... This is Clear - the gorgeous song that has inspired a scene in the novel I'm currently writing.

Happy Monday peeps! I hope you all have an amazing week!


Saturday, 18 August 2012

August 2012 - Events for Writers, Bloggers and Book Lovers

I know this is terribly late, but there are still quite a few bookish events happening in between now and the end of the month that are worth a mention. 

So buckle up! There is plenty going on.


Geek Up Event
While some of these are already gone, these are worth keeping in mind as they happen on a monthly basis. 

Mon 20th Aug ~ 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 fantasy trying this one. If you have attended it already, let us know what you think of it. 7.30pm, free admission. More info here. 

Mon 27th Aug ~ 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. Further information here.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Out & About - Clitheroe Food Festival avec my Cameo Appearance

The Clitheroe Food Festival happens every year in August. It showcases the best cooking skills and food producers in our area. If you didn't attend it, you missed out!

Now, I can talk about it all day, but you can see all the yummy treats for yourself by watching this amazing video of the one that took place earlier this month? While you at it, see if you can spot me (I'm claiming my 1 second of fame). I'll give you a hint - dressed in black behind the biggest pair or shades you'll see. :) It was sunny!!! I swear!!! 

If that doesn't make you want to enjoy it next time, I don't know what will. If you do decide to come next year, keep three things in mind: 

1. Come with an empty stomach so you can eat. And eat. And eat. :) I love this part!
2. Check the programme for the workshops, cookery demonstrations and kid's activities, so you know where you're going and what you want to visit as the Festival spreads all over town.
3. Clear your car boot, so you can take home some amazing treats and fantastic wines. 

Bon appetit! 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Music Mondays - Hands Are Clever by Alex Clare

British singer-songwriter Alex Clare has featured on Music Mondays before with his song Too Close, which hit the charts after being the soundtrack to the Internet Explore 9 advert earlier this year.

Hands Are Clever is fun, vibrant and naughty. I absolutely love how mischievous the lyrics are. And although I'm not usually into this brass heavy type of beat, I really like this one. It has become one of my favourites in my holiday playlist. 

I hope you enjoy it too. Happy Monday! 


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Share Your Read {1}

Earlier today my daughter and I had a little bonding session while we read our books in the sunshine. So I thought... Why not do it here too?

Just for a little bit of fun, open the book you're currently reading on page 30 and pick the paragraph you like the most. Then write it in the comment box with the name of the book and the author. The idea is to give people a little teaser (who knows, maybe even inspire them to read it too?) and share our love for reading. 

I'll start it! Here is a paragraphs from page 30 of Johnny Ray's The Heritage:

'He walked around to her side [of the car] to open the door, as she extended her hand for help in climbing out. He didn't mind; it gave him a chance to hold her hand, a soft yet warm connection he had avoided for most of his life. "I'll have you back home in a few minutes."'

Friday, 10 August 2012

My Second Liebster Blog Award!!

Yippee!!!! Thank you to the lovely Tanja over at Ja Citam, a ti? book blog for nominating me for my second Liebster Blog Award! 

Tanja is a super active, ultra cool blogger so do click on the link above and have a look on her work as well as the other amazing bloggers she nominated for the award this year. 

Tanja, I have been incredibly slow at getting this sorted, apologies! *_* 

Here are the rules for the award:
  1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves;
  2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you've tagged;
  3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post;
  4. Tell them you've tagged them;
  5. Remember, no tag backs.
Ok... Here I come!!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Book Lover's Photo Album {2}

As ever, inspired by everything bookish, I can't resit sharing the book inspired images I come across while trailing the net. None of these are mine or taken by me, but how cool are they???

Who said books and technology can't be friends? I beg to differ.

Because there is no reason not to be creative with books. As a matter of fact, writing is all about creativity and imagination. So why not? :)

I saw this and I just had to share! Although not a 100% true (there are some great and educative things on TV if you choose wisely), it's close enough.

Come on now girls... Who is not in love with a character in a novel they've read? We all know that feeling. :)

And last but most certainly not least, a famous quote by Tessa Gray in Cassandra Clare's book Clockwork Angel. Beautiful, powerful and true.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Book Review - Muse by Rebecca Lim

Muse (published by Harper Collins) is the third book in Rebecca Lim's Mercy series. Question is: when it's preceded by two fantastic books, does it step up to the mark? 


"An angel becomes a muse... Mercy, an exiled angel doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, is thrust into the body of troubled supermodel Irina.

Against the glamorous background of Milan, Mercy continues her increasingly desperate search for Ryan, the mortal boy she fell in love with, yet is still drawn to Luc, her eternal flame. But as Mercy's memories and powers grow ever stronger, she begins to doubt Luc's desires and his purpose. 

The celestial battle for Mercy's soul builds to a stormy crescendo in Muse, the third book in the spellbinding Mercy series". (Backcover copy)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Olympics - The Bookish Way

So... What do you do during the Olympics when you are the bookish sort? Plenty.

London is a wonderful city. Buzzing streets, fun hidden corners waiting to be discovered, variety, madness, noise, music, fashion, lush green parks, nightclubs, pubs... In short, a wonderful place to get inspired and moving. Especially when the sun is shining! 

But even the yummiest cake can taste like ash if you eat it too often. When singer Tom Jones found himself bored of his life in London, he decided to fall back in love with the city by exploring something new about it every day. From spotting architectural treasures, dining in the oldest pubs, to enjoying the sunshine in a beautiful garden, Tired of London, Tired of Life is his list of the things you can do to discover and fall in love with the real London all year round. Just a must! 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Music Mondays - Translation of Ai Vem Ele by Luisa Maita

New look, new ideas... Now we need a soundtrack! Welcome to the new version of PaulaSHx!!! 

Luisa Maita is a Brazilian singer songwriter from Sao Paulo. I love her smooth voice and her mixture of traditional Brazilian MPB, Bossa Nova and Samba with modern exotic beats. That's not to mention her sensual, laid-back, ultra feminine but strong charisma. 

Ai Vem Ele (Here He Comes) talks about the sensations and thoughts that go through your head when you see someone you're into walk towards you. You know the ones - heart speeding, shyness, a mix of confusion and panic, light headedness, butterflies in your stomach, sweating palms, puppy eyes... *takes a calming breath* All while trying to look cool and nonchalant? Yeap, those. A fab and sexy song, even more so when laced and caked in Luisa's voice. 

Have a wonderful week peeps and I hope you like our new look! 


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Cover Release for Waiting For Gonzo by Dave Cousins

The cover for Dave Cousins new novel, Waiting for Gonzo, has been released!

Cousins is one of the Edge authors, a group of writers who have made it their mission to tackle and raise awareness for the issues faced by young people today. In his first novel, 15 Days Without a Head (read my review here), we met Lawrence whose mother is a depressive alcoholic. Although the story is incredibly sad, Dave's sense of humour manages to make you smile through a heart breaking tale. In Waiting for Gonzo we will meet Oz - with problems of his own and a sister who might just be too young to be a mother. 
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