Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Seeing as fangirling has taken up most of my time during these past four years as well as blogging, I thought it would be perfect to give away a US hardback edition of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! I haven't actually read this so I am incredibly jealous that you're all getting a chance to read it!
This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, 8 December 2013
I've put together a playlist of some of my favourite songs especially for my blogoversary, including tracks from Lorde, Zoe Bestel (who is also a fellow book blogger!), Coldplay and more.
Have a listen; what do you think? Enjoy!
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Book blogging gave me - and others, I know - access to magical worlds, kind people and thrilling adventures that I might not have bothered to read about had I not become a book blogger. Back in the days before book blogging when I spent every Tuesday afternoon at the library, I ignored hundreds of books because the cover didn't look good or the blurb didn't interest me. Through book blogging I feel like I have broadened my horizons in terms of the books I pick up. I don't judge books by their covers anymore...much. And if a blurb doesn't jump out at me straight away, I'll read reviews to see if it's worth reading, or I'll consult my bloggy friends instead of just giving up on it.
Today I am going to show you ten of the best books I have read through book blogging which I never would've picked up before. In no particular order...(I've always wanted to say that):
When Megan Bright arrives in hospital for her first cancer treatment, there is only one other teenager there - Jackson Dawes.
He is cute, rebellious...and infuriating. Even so, Megan finds herself slowly and surely drawn to him.
But so is everybody. Jackson is a whirlwind of life and energy, warmth and sparkle. Megan will need some of his extraordinary optimism as they face the difficult times ahead.
An uplifting story of bravery, loss and love against the odds.
Every love song must come to an end...
"We're moving to your house - the one from your dream."
Siena sees what isn't there, collects what's left behind.
"Lucca led me to his room, and then just stood in the middle, waiting for me to notice something."
Her brother Lucca hasn't spoken for over a year.
The doctors think he needs a fresh start - that's why her family left Brooklyn. But their new home feels hauntingly familiar - and when Siena finds an old pen the story she writes is not her own...
Can the secrets of the past help Siena break her brother's silence?
A secret untold - until now...
When sixteen-year-old Angie Chapman walks in the front door of her house, everything looks the same.
The same, but not quite.
Why is her handsome father's black hair completely grey?
Why does her mother collapse in tears? Then they tell her: she has been missing, presumed dead, for three years.
But while Angie can't recall a single detail of where she has been or how long she's been gone, there are people who do remember. People who can tell her everything. If only they weren't locked inside her mind.
Is she ready to learn the truth about Pretty Girl Thirteen?
Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures - and racial tension. Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA.
She'd never dream of leaving - but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo-Babel's president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could have ever imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly, Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel - and to survive.
Sophie has always felt out of step - an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture.
Her life in LA seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand.
What they don't know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.
To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country.
But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival.
Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.
Anna is sixteen, and fiercely determined to travel the world.
SAN FRANCISCO, 2012.
Bennett is seventeen...and desperately trying to stay in one place.
Their paths were never supposed to cross. But Bennett has the incredible ability to travel through time and space, and suddenly finds himself in Anna's world.
They are inescapably drawn together - but it can never last. For no matter how hard Bennett tries to stay with Anna, his unpredictable gift will inevitably knock him right back to where he belongs - and Anna will be left alone to pick up the pieces.
I glance at the three baby portraits in thick wooden frames.
I feel a familiar prickling on the back of my neck.
Because I know there's another picture somewhere - and the baby in that photo looks identical to the babies on the wall.
Somewhere, there's a photo of the Original.
Ella, Betsey and I look like sisters: triplets, you might think. But that's not what we are at all. We are clones in hiding. We split our lives and exist as one person in the outside world. And we've always been happy.
But now I've fallen head-over-heels in love...and that changes everything. Because, to let love in, I need to be allowed to be Me.
Three girls. One life.
Archie is fourteen years old and a geek to his core.
In the world of role-playing games, he's a Level 5 Mage, capable of summoning the Undead. In this world, things are rather different. With no rule book to navigate Life's Big Challenges - warring parents, a crass step-father, orc-like school bullies and crap hair - he's teetering on the brink...
Then a Beautiful Girl appears in his Geeky world...Despite the fact that the closest he's come to an encounter with a girl is painting an Elven miniature, Archie embarks on a Daring Quest to win her heart.
Geek meets Girl...what could possibly go right?
What time is it? Where am I?
I turn my head and that's when I see him. The gorgeous boy lying next to me.
Oh. My. God. Max.
This is bad. Very, very bad.
At midday, class brainiac Kylie Flores is due to give the most important speech of her life. And yet somehow she's woken up in Mexico, in a bed she doesn't recognise, with the hangover from hell and the hottest boy in school - and they're both wearing wedding bands.
She might be a budding screenwriter, but even Kylie's vivid imagination can't come up with the ending to this movie.
Rewind 48 hours...
Name: Cassie Hobbes
Cassie Hobbes is joining The Naturals: a secret FBI programme for exceptionally talented teenagers. But when a new serial killer strikes close to the Naturals HQ, Cassie starts to learn all about mortal danger - outside the classroom.
Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse, Cassie and her friends will have to use all their skills just to stay alive...
Have you read any of these books? If you're a book blogger, what are the best books you have read through book blogging?
Friday, 6 December 2013
Today bestselling children's/YA author and festival queen Cathy Cassidy is going to show you how to make festival bunting! You can see Cathy's books here and you can visit her website here. She is one of the most awesome people I know so you should go and 'like' Cathy on Facebook and follow her on Twitter too! ;) Now, on with the tutorial! Aren't her drawings gorgeous?
1) First gather some scraps of cotton fabric in bright colours and patterns. (Recycle some unwanted clothes, but get permission first!)
2) If you cut the fabric into rectangles, you can draw a zig-zag pattern as illustrated to help you cut the triangles. (You will have to discard the two pieces to far left & right, as they are only 'half' triangles!)
3) Gather your piles of differently coloured and patterned cut-out triangles and choose one.
4) Thread a needle with toning thread. Turn the triangle to the 'wrong' side and fold back the edges along the sides of the triangle that slope down to the 'point' of the triangle, like hems. You can iron the folds down if that helps. Stitch these neatly, making sure your stitches don't show on the 'right' side of the fabric.
5) Hem and neaten all the triangles. (You can do this over several days!)
6) If you want to be extra cool, add little yarn tassels to the points of each triangle.
7) Assemble bunting: Lay out your triangles in a straight line, 'wrong' side facing upwards, varying colours and patterns as you go along. Lay a piece of ribbon or string as long as you wish the bunting to be across the tops of the triangles, as illustrated. Fold the top edge of the first triangle down over the ribbon/ string and stitch in place, taking a few stitches through the ribbon/string to keep the triangle from slipping.
8) Leave a gap and stitch your next triangle into place, until everything is attached. Hang up your bunting!
9) Not a domestic goddess? The good news is you can make cool bunting with unhemmed fabric... and you can attach it to the ribbon/ string with staples or white PVA glue (the glue won't survive the rain, though!)
Have a great festival!
Cathy Cassidy xxx
Let us know how your bunting turns out in the comments!
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Today I have Emma Pass - the wonderful author of ACID - on the blog telling us the top 10 things a writer needs! I asked her to go with less stereotypical things like 'pen' or 'paper', so here they are. You can follow her on Twitter here and you can check out her books here! Enjoy!
Everyone knows that to be creative, you need to be comfortable. So why get dressed when you don't have to?
See point 1. Any idiot can sit in a chair at a desk.
So the neighbours don't catch sight of you sitting in bed in your pyjamas all day.
So you've got someone to bounce your ideas off who won't answer back (or tell you the book you're writing is not, actually, the best thing since Harry Potter/The Hunger Games/Twilight).
For all those hours of procrastination AKA 'research'. Also good for online shopping so you don't actually have to get dressed to go and buy food/books/whatever.
For those rare and terrifying occasions you do have to venture outside (the light can really hurt your eyes). Oh, and don't forget to put on some clothes! (And shoes. Shoes are also good.)
Not only will it keep you toasty in winter, the neighbours won't be able to hear you swearing when you hit your latest plot-snarl.
For all that TV you're going to miss while you're hard at work on your book. Although, why not have a quick flick through now, just in case you're missing anything?
You need to stay alert to meet those deadlines. What do you mean, you haven't slept in a week? Get back to work!
After a hard day's
What is your writing essential? Don't say pen...