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.

LYRICS...

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!

REGULAR EVENTS

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 


AUTHOR VISITS AND SIGNINGS

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

LYRICS...