Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Unravelling Isobel by Eileen Cook


Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. 

I loved What Would Emma Do? and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, and this sounds exactly my kind of book - Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." --Lisa McMann


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

So excited for this one and the cover is just gorgeous!








Bitterblue is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. This third book will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the sixteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book. (from Goodreads)



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Inspiration

We're half way through National Novel Writing Month and I'm in need of some inspiration - to keep going, to keep struggling through, when I'm not quite sure where I am going or what I am doing. I need a guiding light!

Luckily the internet is full of inspiring things, here's two blog posts I read this morning that inspired.

A Reminder of What Really Matters by Kristin Hoffman (link found at The Intern)

I loved this post, especially the end which I am sticking over my desk.


And then put everything out of mind when you’re sitting down to write. Because that’s your time, your space, your joyful play with the characters that you love and the world that you’ve built. Let nothing get in the way.

Yes let nothing get in the way, especially fear and doubt!

Second, Shannon Hale (who is always inspiring) is wrote about her struggles with her latest book in a post called Biting off  more than I can chew, and then chewing 

Cut out and keep quote -

"Write what you know" is for sissies.


Yeah it is.
Anything Inspiring you today?


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Maggie Stiefvater Book Signing

On Saturday I headed up to London to the Maggie Steifvater event at Foyles.

Just a side note - Foyles is my favourite bookshop in England and well worth a visit if you are ever in London and need a rest from all the sightseeing!

The event was excellent and made even more so by the fact that Jonas and Plunkett were performing. They sang Summer Girl, a song Sam writes about Grace in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, and they performed their song Spaceship, which Maggie listened too while writing Linger. They're really good (and funny) and I recommend checking them out on iTunes. I like Stole the Show.


Jonas & Plunkett and Maggie (who had seriously excellent boots on)

Then Maggie spoke, she was very funny and engaging and made everything feel very spontaneous and interesting, which must be hard because she'd been on tour for a while.

She began with a list of the Ten Things You Need To Know To Write a Maggie Stiefvater novel. Of which I can remember;

1) Start with a mood

and

10) Ignore the list.

Then she told the story of finding out she was on the NYT best seller list. She was on a plane, on a cellphone, the air stewardess was unimpressed! Then  she told about visiting a british school, where the first question was actually a comment that her accent was cute, and the second was what airline did she fly with - haha very British. I hope one of them asked her about the weather in America.

Then she spoke a little about her The Scorpio Races (which is amazing, review coming soon, but I think I can safely say it was my favourite book this year) and how much she wants to leave readers sobbing wrecks.

Then she took questions. Of which I remember these answers;

The duel narratives are because she wanted to know what the boy was thinking not have the girl guessing.

Cole is her favourite character (really? not Sean!) but you need to find yourself a Sam.

If you get stuck - research.

There may be another fairy book, but it keeps getting kicked in the ditch by other books.

She can not speak about her next book, but referred to it as magical novel.

That's all. I should really take notes as I'm sure she said a lot more interesting things!


The we made a very long line to get books signed. As she'd told us she wanted to leave her readers sobbing. I told her I'd cried over The Scorpio Races in Costa coffee the day before (p316 people who've read it), and I did cry again at the end *sniff*.

Anyway I wouldn't go to a signing and not pick up a copy for my lovely blog readers. So if you would like a signed copy of the  The Scorpio Races (UK cover) leave a comment here by Friday 18th November 12pm GMT and I'll put your name in the hat.

It's International.

NaNoWriMo Week 2

Well NaNoBloPo kind of feel down and died this weekend - opps!

NaNoWriMo is fairing better. I now have 9,133 words.

One thing that has really helped me keep writing is Scrivener Project Targets. I leaned all about them in this post by Sarah Enni.

How much do I love seeing that bar go green! A LOT! It's so satisfying.

How is everyone else doing?

Monday, 14 November 2011

P D James & Pemberley!







I don't how this book has only just come to my attention, but it sounds wonderful. P D James is one of my favourite mystery writers. Her books, and the television adaptations of them, are wonderful. 


This book has a different focus though. It's set six years after the end of Pride and Prejudice and begins with a late night arrival at Pemberley by Lydia, whose husband Mr Wickham has been murdered!


I'm not a huge fan of what happened after the happily ever after books, but if anyone can do it P. D. James can.


I'm also completely inspired that P. D. James didn't start writing until she retired, and is now 91 and has published over 20 books - it is never to late :)


Death Comes to Pemberley is out now in the UK, and out on the 6th December in the USA.


I much prefer the USA cover. It's much nicer than that yellow, I prefer the font too.






Do you like retellings, works inspired by Jane Austen? What's your favourite? 

Friday, 11 November 2011

11/11/11

My view at 11.11am on 11/11/11.


My Dad was always pointing out when the dates fell in patterns, he would have loved the fact that his grandson was born on 03/06/09. Then I never paid much attention, now I find it is another way to remember him.

***

It is also Remembrance Day here today. WW1 ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.


Thanks to all those who served and who currently serve.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund



Diana revealed the gorgeous cover for her latest book last week on her blog. If you hop over there you can read an intriguing snippet from the story and the background on the title - which I love!

We have to wait until June for this one and I'm counting the months. I love Diana's writing and I love the premise of this book, oh and I love the main characters names too.

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it. (from Goodreads)



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, 7 November 2011

NaNoWriMo Week 1

Well week one of my own person NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is over and I have 5,659 words. Not as many as if I was doing it for real, but more than the targets I set for myself, so I'm very happy.

Alos I LOVE my story. Really, really love it.

It's hasn't been that hard fitting writing in either.

I really wanted to get up early and do it, but I am so not a morning person. So I've been staying up late and it seems to be a good time to write. I like the quiet. I like knowing there is nothing else I should be doing (well apart from sleeping).

Fingers crossed for another 5,000 next week.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo or some version of it? How is it going?

Happy Monday

I stole borrowed this Happy Mondays idea from Meredith who blogs at Fairy Tales and Cappuccino (isn't that a lovely blog name?)

Anyway five things making me happy today;

1) My son slept in till 7.30am! This is unheard of! Six is his usual wake up, but it can be earlier. Fingers crossed it happens tomorrow too.

2) On Saturday I am going to a Maggie Stiefvater book signing in London. I am very excited. I'm also hoping I'm not the only adult there! Any other UK book bloggers going? I'd love to say Hi if you are.

3) Orange leaves. There are many things I don't like about Autumn - shorter days, colder days, rain, but I do love watching the trees turn. It's beautiful here right now.

4) Pinterest I just love this site. I have found so many fabulous things on there. My current favourite is this, love the quote, plus I collect owls, so added bonus.



5) Mince Pies. Much nicer than they sound. They're a traditional Christmas treat, full of fruit and spices. Mr Kipling makes the best ones, but I'm planning to try making my own this year.

What's making you happy on this wet, misty Monday?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Just Ordered!


Thanks to FishPondWorld! I simply couldn't wait until March!

Also there is going to be a Jellicoe movie, squee, I'm so excited!

Bought any books this weekend?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Bonfire Night



One of the things I have most been looking forward to since retuning to the Uk, is getting to go to Bonfire Night.

Historically it is a celebration of the failure of Guy Fawkes and his friends plan to blow up King James I (VI of Scotland, have to put that in for my Dad) and the Houses of Parliament (you can find a more detailed account here, if you are curious). 

Although a Guy is still made and burnt on the bonfire, the 5th November is now mainly a chance to watch fireworks, stand around a big fire, eat parkin and drink mulled wine and generally have a magical night.

There is something about the smell of a bonfire on a cold, crisp autumn night that is just gorgeous. I have always loved Bonfire Night, but I'm even more excited this year because; I haven't been to one in seven years, it will be my son's first Bonfire Night experience, and there is a brilliantly evocative scene in The Scorpio Races set around a Bonfire, that completely has me in the mood to go to one. Now if only I had a November cake to eat!




Friday, 4 November 2011

The Fades



A little bit of TV reviewing this Friday.


The Fades is my current TV obsession, it's just so good! A sort of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with ghosts/zombies, set in a grey and vaguely grim england.


Here's the Main Cast


 Paul - the outsider/chosen one, given to bad dreams of a coming apocalypse. Fond of strawberry coloured cords, his sister's best friend, and dessert (loved how he and Mac were always eating dessert)



Mac and Paul and dessert!

Mac - Paul's best friend. Utterly fabulous and steals every scene he's in. Also does a brilliant re-cap at the beginning of every episode.


Anne - Paul's twin sister. Starts off as a mean girl with a big mouth, but is utterly brilliant in later episodes.


Jay - Anna's best friend, Paul's secret crush. Another awesome girl.


Neil and Sarah - members of the Angelics. A secret group who can see ghosts and guard the world against them. 


Mark - Sarah's husband, Paul's history teacher. Played by the very cute Tom Ellis.


The plot (kind of)


Paul is seeing a therapist due to his strange and violent dreams. Then one night he sees a women killed in a abandoned shopping centre and discovers he is an Angelic. The angelics are a secret group of people who can see ghosts. 


The ghosts are starting to be able to touch things and people. The ghosts would like to be alive again. This is not good news for anyone.


The main reason I'm blogging about it, apart from my the fact that I love it deeply, is because if you are a writer, then The Fades is a brilliant case study of how to create a world, build tension, develop character, be funny, twist expectations and always keep your viewer/reader guessing. Episode Four in particular is some of the best storytelling I've seen.


If you can get your hands on this, watch it. I am counting down to Series Two.


Although a warning -  as the BBC puts it The Fades contains violence, strong language, disturbing scenes and some sexual content.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Five Books!

I saw this meme over at Angieville and then again at InkCrush and thought it looked fun. So here we go.


1) Book I am currently reading

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater



Ah this book, this book! I adore it. I am forcing myself to go slowly because I just can't bare to rush such gorgeous  evocative writing, but I am also desperate to get to the end to see what happeneds (and seriously what is going to happen? I have no idea). The perfect combination, right?

2) Last book I finished.

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver



A lovely, sweet, sad ghost story.

3) Next book I want to read

Tie between The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Crossed by Ally Condie




4) Last book I bought

Katie in London by James Mayhew



Following a trip up to London my son became obsessed with Big Ben and the London Eye. It's surprisingly hard to find book featuring them. This one is gorgeous though and involves one of the Trafalgar Square lions coming to life (now there's an idea NaNoers!)

5) Last book I was given

My lovely Mum gave me the deluxe penguin edition of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It's so pretty.



If you take part let me know, I'd love to see what you're reading.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November Books!

Only two books coming out this month that I absolutely must have.

Crossed by Ally Condie



I adored Matched and I've been dying for the next installment. I am also having serious cover love for this series.


Legend by Marie Lu



I have heard amazing things about this book and the premise sounds great.

What books are on your must read list this month?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

To NaNo Or Not To NaNo?

That's the question that's been posed by a lot of blogs lately. I've been swayed by each post, I'm easily swayed.

I've done NaNoWriMo twice and finished. So I can do it! Although I never edited either of those stories (!)

But November is busy this year. If 'Im trying to squeeze in 1667 words a day too, my brain might explode!

Then I came across this post It's Not a Sprint (thanks YA Highway) and decided to embark on my own version of NaNo. So I'll be starting out at 250 words a day and adding. Maybe I'll be writing 1667 words by week four, or maybe I'll still be writing 250 words a day. Either way it'll be better than my current output of 0!

And, because I like a bit of pressure and I'm interested to see if a brain can actually explode, I'm also doing NaBloPoMo. I miss blogging and this seems a good way to get back to it.

Also inspired by Sarah I am creating a star chart for both. I do like to see progress and I love stickers.

Finally my reward! on the 1st December I'll be settling down with Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. (which I heard even more fabulous things about last night on Simon Mayo's BBC2 radio show) and
 a huge bar of chocolate.

Good Luck to all of you doing NaNo or some version of it. I am cheering for you!!