Friday, 27 February 2015

Why?

Hey guys. I bet you are probably wondering what is happening, especially as there was such a big week last time. Well to start I am becoming more busy than ever. I have a huge amount of revision that needs to be going on.

This is why I have now decided that from next week, the new post day will happen on a Saturday. I am only doing it so it is more convenient for myself and maybe I will be able to provide much more content.

Obviously the only reason why I may not strictly keep to this day for posting though, is if there is a specific blog tour or an interview which I feel is too important to miss.

So for the time being I wish you a nice week, and I will be seeing all of you on the new posting day next Saturday. Where we will start with the posts with a bang. Including a review for a Dan Brown book and more content to see!

So if you don't hear from me in a while, it doesn't mean that I'm dead... I just means that I am renovating the experience for you on my blog!

Cheerio!

Kiki

Friday, 20 February 2015

Interview - Laura Vanderkam (The Cortlandt Boys)

I have had privilege to be able to ask questions to Laura Vanderkam, concerning her eBook, The Cortlandt Boys. Laura Vanderkam is more well-known as a nonfictional author of many books and her works have been included in many publications, on a national scale.

This was my interview with Laura - I hope you enjoy!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

LV: In addition to my novel, I’m the author of several non-fiction books on time management including 168 Hours and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. I freelance for various publications including Fast Company and USA Today, and live outside Philadelphia with my husband and our four kids.

2. What is The Cortlandt Boys all about?

LV: The Cortlandt Boys is about a small town high school basketball team that wins the state championship with a last second 3-point shot. The story revisits the characters ten and twenty years later as the ramifications of that lucky break affect the boys and all the people around them, forever linking them to this little town that has its ways of not quite letting you go.

3. What inspired you to come up with the title?

LV: Even though the members of the basketball team age over the course of the book, in many ways, it’s their boyhood that shapes their lives, and so I wanted to reference that. As for the name of the town, Cortlandt, it’s not a real place, but had a slight allusion to “court” buried in there. I’d started using it, and liked it, and stuck with it.

4. How much research did you do?

LV: The part that required the most research was the basketball scenes. I played one season when I was 12 years old, and while I wasn’t any good at it, at least I had a general sense of the rhythm of games. I like to watch college and pro games, and I tried to capture some of that excitement.

5. How much of the book is realistic?

LV: I hope it’s realistic. I tried to capture what life is like in a small town. It’s familiar and comforting, yet suffocating at the same time.

6. Were you good at English when you were at school?

LV: Reasonably, though oddly enough, people seemed to think I was better at math back in the day. I enjoy math, but I enjoy writing more.

7. When did you decide to become a writer?

LV: I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’m very fortunate that this has turned into my day job. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

8. What is the hardest thing about writing?

LV: The most challenging thing about writing The Cortlandt Boys was making space for fiction, given that I’m already writing as my 9 to 5 job. I also wrote the manuscript for a non-fiction book in 2014 (called I Know How She Does It -- it comes out in June), and I wrote a host of other articles as well. So that was a lot of words. I had to push myself at the beginning to make time for fiction, but eventually, I got enough into my characters and story that I wanted to keep going.

9. What books have most influenced your life?

LV: My non-fiction books are mostly self-help books, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People continues to set the standard in that genre. Its message of self-discipline influenced me a great deal, and hopefully comes through in my time management books.

10. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

LV: For fiction, I wind up re-reading Virginia Woolf’s books frequently. In non-fiction, I like John McPhee for high-brow stuff, and Gretchen Rubin for advice on daily living.

11. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/ hardback books?

LV: I love ebooks -- I published The Cortlandt Boys that way! -- but I probably prefer to hold a traditional book in my hand. That’s why my office is so cluttered with books!

12. What is your favourite quote?

LV: One of the busiest women I ever interviewed told me that instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’ she says ‘It’s not a priority.’ That’s really more accurate language, and very insightful. Life is a choice. Using this language reminds us that if we’re not happy with our choices, we have the power to choose differently.

13. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

LV: One of my favorite young authors is Zac Bissonnette. He’s got a new book out this spring called The Great Beanie Baby Bubble, which is a darkly hilarious account of toy tycoon Ty Warner and the Beanie Baby collectors who bid up the prices tremendously. It all crashed around the turn of the millennium, and Bissonnette does a great write-up of the fall out.

14. Any tips for aspiring writers out there?

LV: Writing is a skill like any other, and you get better the more you do of it. One of the reasons I like blogging is that it’s a daily form of practice. Just as a musician plays scales, I blog.

15. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

LV: Please come visit me at my website, LauraVanderkam.com. I blog frequently and would love to continue the conversation.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Entertaining Angels & Before We Say I Do Tour



So here it is. My first ever book blog tour. It only feels like five minutes since I started this blog, on shear boredom during the summer holidays. Weird right?

In this blog tour, I will be looking at two books which are linked together by the same author. Emerald Barnes.

Before I give you any description of what they are both about, here are my thoughts about what I thought of them:

Well first of all both of them seem to have a very similar structure to their plot line, which is fine because it is based on the same characters. I did enjoy one character in particular compared to all of the others. Zach. Who has a secret out of all of them. He is also I found to be a very friendly person and I wouldn't meeting him any day of the week for a good old chin wag. I liked the romance in it, it did get one thing right when it comes to romances, it is not as underdeveloped as some that I have read and that can be very refreshing - especially just after you have read a really annoyingly dull book.

 On the other hand, I think that some of the themes can be very much an acquired taste. Especially with how there is a lot about religion intertwined in both of the books. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy reading about religions and what they worship and stuff - I want to learn more about it at university! But I think it is for a niche audience.

Overall I would rate both of the books together as 3 stars!! Because I'm in a good mood and I want to be generous - why not?!



Synopsis

Madison Andrews can't face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that's not skin deep.

Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He's smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won't let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.

Even as Madison begins to realise that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amount in to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?


Synopsis

Following the bestselling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels short story.

Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase's side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he is actually back in town?

Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can't look at his father, let alone forgive him.

Before Chase and Mads can say "I Do" Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.

In order to fully understand it you must read Entertaining Angels first!

Want to follow the entire book blog tour? CLICK HERE

Kiki
XD

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

What is happening...

Hi guys,

You are probably wondering why I haven't made a usual post this week. This is because I am getting ready for next week - which is going to be big. Why you may ask?

Well first of all there is going to be a blog tour on Monday. Consisting of Emerald Barnes' books called: Entertaining Angels and Before we Say I Do. This is very much about religion and it is something different to what I normally review, it will also be my first blog tour.

On the contrary, on the Friday in the next coming week there will be my first ever interview. It will be with Laura Vanderkam, which I am asking questions about her novel called The Cortlandt Boys. Laura is very well known for writing nonfiction, so it will be very interesting to show the interview that I had with her.

The week after that everything will be back to normal. I also have a pretty long list of reviews to get through after that. It is just that I thought that this week would be better to tell you about the upcoming events in the next week.

This next coming week has been planned for a long time. If I do like it, I might try out more of these events. You never know, I may do more of these events than reviews! But I won't come to conclusions - it may not happen!

Until next week!
Kiki


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

MOMO by Kevin M. Kraft

What to say? MOMO is truly a piece of literature which you can define by it's first page. It is easy to read and I can even go as far to say that I would probably suggest this to a non reader audience. Not nessarsarily because of the themes or anything like that. But more about the writing style. Sometimes I find with literature it is quite difficult to understand what is meant to be going on, with things such as description and their technical lexical semantic fields. But with MOMO, I literally enjoyed the part that the language is simplified compared to other things that I have read.

 It is kind of a refreshing change to be honest. If you do fancy trying something different, try out this, it is a complete difference to the usual things people read nowadays, and to be honest I think we need something more like this. Sometimes when you read a book you want to be transported and entertained, but popular books tend to make you work for it, but this surely doesn't.

I also liked how the relationship of father and son has been shown in perspective. Not everything is perfect, and this demonstrates clearly that this is true. It shows how the strained of relationships can bond in such tough conditions. The amount of pages itself is very small, so the plot is very confined in itself, which sometimes can be very dull if there are tons of pages to read.

The things that I didn't like personally is that I don't know if it was just me, but I felt like it took a bit of time before the action got heated up. I always think that when it comes to action, it has to be balanced. There cannot be too much action and there cannot be too much of a build up, it has to be just right. Which in this case it has just been missed, unfortunately.

Overall I must say, I would give this eBook 3.5 stars.