luni, 30 decembrie 2013

"Legiunea tunetului" ("Orcii", #2) de Stan Nicholls - Recenzie

Titlul original: The Legion of Thunder
Autor: Stan Nicholls
Editura: Nemira
Traducere: Antuza Genescu
Anul apariţiei: 2010
Număr de pagini: 384
Renaşterea strălucită a legendei orcilor, o cenuşăreasă a genului fantasy. - Barry Forshaw, Starlog
În acest volum autorul readuce în atenţia cititorilor aventurile curajoşilor Jderi care, în încercarea lor nobilă de a restabili un oarecare echilibru în Maras-Dantia, îşi semnează în mod benevol sentinţa la moarte. 

În încheierea primului volum fiecare din protagonişti se găsea într-o situaţie mai mult sau mai puţin primejdioasă. Undeva prin incipitul celui de-al doilea, însă, spre uşurarea mea, Stryke (conducătorul Jderilor) şi Alfray (caporal) reuşesc să-i doboare pe căpetenia trolilor şi supuşii lui şi să se alăture celorlalţi orci care rămăseseră sub conducerea lui Jup, sergent şi singurul pitic din ceata de surghiuniţi. Singura a cărei viaţă încă este cu adevărat în pericol este Coilla, femeia-orc şi, totodată, cel de-al doilea caporal, capturată de cei mai temuţi duşmani, oamenii. Însă spiritul de fraternitate îi îndeamnă pe Jderi să plece în recuperarea ei, lucru care nu ar fi fost posibil fără ajutorul unui nou personaj, Serapheim, un om misterios ale cărui intenţii sunt cam ambigue.

Treptat, lucrurile iau o întorsătură favorabilă protagoniştilor noştri: reuşesc să recupereze stelele cu care fugise Haskeer, cel de-al doilea sergent care, în volumul anterior, a dat dovadă de un comportament bizar, culminând cu furtişagul obiectelor pentru care Jderii erau în stare să-şi dea viaţa, dar şi să îşi salveze colega de breaslă.

În continuare ei pornesc în obţinerea următoarei stele. Pentru a îndeplini acest lucru, războinicii sunt nevoiţi să calce pe pământul lui Adpar, sora nyaddă a Jennestei (aşa-zisa regină a Jderilor). Cu Adpar am făcut cunoştinţă încă din primul volum, însă în acesta este mult mai prezentă. Totuşi, fiindcă a fost o soră rea şi nu a vrut să-i dea o mână de ajutor Jennestei în căutarea aşa-ziselor artefacte (stelele), nu mă voi bucura de prezenţa ei şi în următorul volum. Revenind, Jderii îndeplinesc această sarcină cu succes (de fapt, nu chiar!), asta ca finalul să fie unul pe cât de surprinzător şi incitat, pe atât de îngrijorător.

În recenzia volumului I mi-am exprimat dorinţa de a citi o descriere a orcilor, descriere pe care am sperat că o voi găsi în volumul ăsta. Dar nu s-a întâmplat aşa. Iar şansele ca ea să se afle în cel din urmă volum sunt cam egale cu zero. Am început cu remarca asta pentru că eu chiar am sperat că Stan Nicholls le-a transformat şi aspectul într-unul mai acceptabil, nu numai comportamentul. Eh, cred că trebuie să mă mulţumesc doar cu schimbarea atitudinală, comportamentală. 

Un alt lucru care mi se pare cam aiurea este cum s-a decis autorul să împartă acţiunea. Cel mai bun exemplu este salvarea Coillei, care are loc nu cu mult înainte de încheierea cărţii. Exact. Ideea mea este că acţiunea devine mult mai alertă la final, pe când în cuprins este... calmă. Să nu mă înţelegeţi greşit, nu m-am plictisit în niciun moment, dar e ca şi cum autorul a ţinut neapărat ca acest volum să aibă un punct culminant zdravăn. Şi are. Dar nu mi se pare o idee prea înţeleaptă ca acţiunea să curgă uşor iar dintr-un punct să capete un ritm grăbit care să dispară la fel de brusc odată cu încheierea cărţii. Nu ştiu, îţi lasă un gust mai amar, cred. Mai ales dacă nu ai următorul volum.

Pentru că îmi place să las lucrurile bune la urmă, ţin să precizez cât de mult mă bucur că autorul s-a decis să aducă în lumină personaje absolut noi (Serapheim) sau personaje vechi (Glozellan, stăpâna dragonilor, care m-a surprins complet în încheierea cărţii). Şi, cu toate că, după cum am precizat mai sus, lucrurile s-au mişcat cam prea repede în încheiere, trebuie să recunosc că ultimul capitol e al naibii de bun.

Concluzionând, volumul II mi se pare mai reuşit decât primul şi vi-l recomand cu mare încântare. 

Notă: 4,5/5 (pe Goodreads - 4)

vineri, 27 decembrie 2013

Leapşa Crăciunului

Hey! Fiind ultima zi de Crăciun mi-am zis să completez această leapşă primită de la Moni. Mulţumiri călduroase, Moni! >:D<


Reguli:

1. Include link-ul acestei postări în postarea ta. 
2. Include în postarea ta poza specifică lepșei.
3. Răspunde la cele 5 întrebări.
4. Scrie o întrebare suplimentară pe care o dai mai departe.
5. Nominalizează toate blogurile tale preferate.
6. Anunță blogării.

Întrebări:


1. Ce părere ai despre Crăciun?

Bună întrebare. Despre sărbătoarea în sine am o părere bună, în sensul că este un prilej de mare bucurie. Ce-i drept, eu sunt sceptică în ceea ce priveşte originea şi semnificaţiile ei, asta pentru că nu am de unde să ştiu că Iisus Hristos chiar s-a născut pe 25 decembrie. Nu sunt atee, nu vă speriaţi, doar că în ultima vreme privesc anumite lucruri, precum religiile, într-un mod diferit. În orice caz, lăsând la o parte ideea de sărbătoare creştină, mie îmi place să cred că acesta, Crăciunul, are cele mai nobile scopuri: milostenia, bunătatea, unitatea. Nu prea mă încântă modul în care este sărbătorit, asta cred că e evident. Nu ştiu despre alte ţări, dar în România se celebrează de parcă Steaua ar fi câştigat Supercupa Europei. 

2. Povesteşte-ne ultimul tău Crăciun petrecut în familie!

Sincer, nu prea mai ştiu ce e acela "Crăciun în familie". Majoritatea rudelor mele este plecată în străinătate. Anul trecut l-am petrecut cu părinţii şi sora mea. De fapt, am fost şi în vizită la bunici şi la singura mătuşă care nu şi-a luat tălpăşiţa în altă ţară. 

3. Care ar fi cadoul potrivit pentru tine anul acesta de Crăciun?

O memorie mai bună, te rog! Voinţă ca să învăţ pentru olimpiada la istorie. Şi un pic de noroc mi-ar prinde bine. Oh, şi să scap de negativismul ce pluteşte în jurul meu. Okay, lăsând astea la o parte, vreau... cărţi şi căşti pentru calculator, că mi s-au stricat şi nu m-am mai uitat la serialele mele de un car de ani.

4. Urmează să îți petreci Crăciunul la mătușa ta și aceasta îți spune că a invitat și un prieten de familie. Când ajungi acolo descoperi că prietenul mătușii tale este exact tatăl tipului de care ești îndrăgostită. Părinții voștri hotărăsc că ar fi drăguț să mergeți la colindat împreună. (sunteți doar voi doi) Spre sfârșitul excursiei la colindat el se apleacă să te sărute. Ce faci? 

Woa, ce întrebare! :-) Mă amuză... Păi... Ce-i drept, m-ai cam prins. Nu pot spune că sunt îndrăgostită, dar în momentul de faţă simpatizez un coleg de voluntariat. Mna, revenind la întrebare, nu ştiu... Instinctul îmi spune "Foarte bine! E perfect. De când aştept asta...", pe când gândirea strigă "Ce crede că face?! Nu îi poţi permite. Nu poţi şti care-i sunt intenţiile!".

5. La ora 00:00 vezi o stea căzătoare. Ce dorinţă îţi pui?

Dragă stea căzătoare, vreau să mă binecuvântezi cu darul de a-i face pe cei din jur să zâmbească, să uite de necazuri măcar pentru un minut, să vadă partea plină a paharului, să creadă cu adevărat că speranţa moare ultima.

6. Dacă ar fi să alegi un loc şi o persoană unde şi cu care să îţi petreci Crăciunul ce ai alege?

Pentru că nu ai precizat dacă persoana trebuie să fie încă printre noi, Mircea Eliade. În biblioteca sa din Chicago.


Întrebarea mea:
Care este filmul tău preferat de Crăciun?

Nominalizări:
toată lumea
todo mundo
everyone
alle Menschen
tutti
yeorobun

Author Interview & Review "Getting Rooted in New Zealand" by Jamie Baywood

I use Grammarly's online plagiarism because apes are funnier than apers.


Title: Getting Rooted in New Zealand
Author: Jamie Baywood
Publishing Year: 2013
Edition: E-book (provided by the author)

Book Description:

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. 

In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.


~ Review ~


To begin with, I should mention that this is the first book of the genre I've ever read, and most certainly not the last one. 

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is Jamie's first book about her adventure in New Zealand. At first I was really curious (well, surprised actually!) to find out why would anyone want to leave California and go to New Zealand. I live in Romania, so one of my biggest dreams is to visit USA, the country of the unlimited opportunities. However, it seems living in California has its own weak points. Therefore, Jamie said to herself that she needs a change, a big one in my opinion. So she moves to New Zealand. Once she arrives in the country where the population has 100,000 fewer men, she has to get accustomed to the Kiwi's funny pronunciation rules, their way of living and habits. Of course, her adventure doesn't stop here. Jamie is going to meet someone who will become really special to her and, consequently, will influence her future plans.

This book is certainly the funniest I've ever read. Although it's a memoir, some situations are so funny that I can't believe those dialogs and events actually happened. Jamie is that kind of person I would be grateful to have as a friend. She had to face some pretty difficult situations, and yet she didn't lose her sense of humor. And that is a big thing, trust me. It's not easy to live with bugs and to work with a weird mime (an extremely weird one!). It is obvious that she has her own defects, but what kind of human being doesn't? If she was perfect, then Getting Rooted in New Zealand wouldn't be nonfiction. As the description says, Jamie (the author) captured "a hysterically honest look at herself, her past...", so she didn't create the character. It's like she described herself, directly or indirectly, that's all. 

However, I have to admit this book needed at some points more description. I am aware of the fact that this is a travel journal, but I also know this is a book, and a book needs a little more description than a journal does. Also, the author insisted a bit too much on some characters (like Bob the mime or Gretchen, another odd coworker), while some other were described pretty superficial. My point is, there is room for improvement in terms of narration.

To sum up, I gladly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys an easy, quick and really funny read. Jamie Baywood has a great potential and I look forward to reading her next creations.


My Rating: 4/5

~ Interview ~

1. How did you decide to write about your experiences living in New Zealand?

For over three years, I’ve been disassembling and reassembling my life by moving to different countries. I’ve lived in five countries now America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England.

I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband a Scottish man in New Zealand.
My education is in fine arts, I didn’t write until I moved to New Zealand. I had a lot of art shows in California and New Zealand and even managed an art collective in Auckland. I was bored with the fine art scene. Everything has already been done before in painting, but I am the only person that can tell my own story. Writing feels like a more honest form of art than any other method I’ve tried.

2. What did you enjoy the most about writing Getting Rooted in New Zealand?

I love making people laugh more than anything else. I feel very grateful when readers understand my sense of humor.

3. How would you describe your writing style?

Reading my book would be similar to receiving emails from a friend living abroad. I didn’t really come up with the distinct writing style. It’s just how I honestly observed things and described them. I only know how to write my truth. My truth tends to be stranger than fiction.

4. You designed the cover yourself, right? Tell us about it. 

That’s correct; I designed my book cover myself. The girl with the suitcase is a drawing of me. The striped dress and red hat was my first outfit I bought when I moved to New Zealand. The birds are New Zealand native birds like the kiwi and fan tail. The city is Auckland and the tower is New Zealand’s Skytower. The sky in the back ground and the water are pieces of a watercolor painting I did of the New Zealand coastline.

5. How about your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like to go running, hiking, do yoga and pilates. I’ve ran in 10K races in New Zealand, Scotland and England. In August, I ran 10K in York, England raising money for a friend with MS.  I miss living near the beach, I used to go to the beach to relax or go boogie boarding.

6. What other countries would you like to visit?

I want to go so many places. The thought of living in once place for ever seems foreign now and makes me feel claustrophobic. It would be fun to be a tourist again rather than dissembling and reassembling my life and taking all my belongings with me when I move internationally.  I’d love to be able to tour around Europe.

I currently have to live in the center of England. I desperately miss the ocean and being warm at the beach. I really miss the warm, friendly nature of the people in the South Pacific. I would love to see more Pacific Islands, and travel throughout Micronesia and Melanesia.  I had the chance to visit Australia briefly after I lived in New Zealand. I would move to Australia or back to New Zealand in a heartbeat.

I've been to Costa Rica and Peru on short holidays; I would love to see more of South America and Central America. I absolutely want to go to Yucatán peninsula in Mexico and see the Mayan ruins. I’d love to go to the Caribbean.

As strange as it may sound, although I’m American I haven’t been to many States. I’d love to go to Alaska, New York, see the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Portland and Seattle. I hear Canada is amazing. 

It looks like I need to sell more books to buy plane tickets!

7. You are currently working on your next book, right? Can you tell us something about it?

I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. I plan to publish it late 2014.

8. Finally, tell us about your favorites - books, movies, quotes, music, animals. 

Favorite book: May I Ask You Something? by Cyan Corwine.
Favorite movies: Drive, Jaws, Boy, Lords of the Rings.
Favorite quotes:
"I'm only smart enough to know I can't predict the future." – Paul Pena
"Now, listen my dear. It's possible to live with no worries or fears, but you may find it boring to live year after year. Life's not meant to be rain-free, you know? All things need water, in order to grow." – May I Ask You Something? by Cyan Corwine
“No matter how wonderful our dreams, how noble our ideals, or how high our hopes, ultimately we need courage to make them a reality. Without action, it’s as if they never existed.”– Daisaku Ikeda
Favorite music: BiitterSweet, Goldfrapp, The XX, Paul Pena, Santigold, Kids of 88, Naked and Famous, Kavinsky, College & Electric Youth, Metronomy, Maximum Balloon.
Favorite animal: Rabbits.


~ About the Author ~

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. "Getting Rooted in New Zealand" is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482601907
Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites:

Facebook.com/jamiebaywood
Twitter.com/jamiebaywood
Pinterest.com/jamiebaywood
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7069448.Jamie_Baywood
amazon.com/author/jamiebaywood

miercuri, 25 decembrie 2013

Have a holly jolly Christmas!


Crăciun fericit, ma' bros and sisters!

Vai, vai, nici nu ştiu cu ce să încep! Sunt atât de bucuroasă că a sosit vacanţa (cu toate că am o mulţime de teme). Sunt atât de bucuroasă că fac postarea asta şi că majoritatea bloggărilor dragi mie a revenit. Mai sunt câţiva despre care sper să aud în curând. Chiar sper asta.

Cum a fost semestrul I? Ştiu că încă nu s-a terminat, dar nici mult nu mai e :3. Al meu a fost destul de prolific. Sunt foarte nerăbdătoare în legătură cu notele la teze. Numai profesorul de istorie a fost mai hărnicuţ şi ni le-a adus înainte de vacanţă. Mai rămâne nota la psiho, română şi engleză. Can't wait! :-D 

Am o mulţime de postări nefinalizate, ceea ce mă calcă pe nervi grozav. Vai, şi mai am şi nu ştiu câte recenzii de scris. Oh, dar dacă tot am atins subiectul ăsta, ce aţi reuşit să mai citiţi? Se apropie sfârşitul acestui an... Aţi reuşit să citiţi tot ce v-aţi propus? Urmează să fac recenzia la volumul doi din seria Orcii de Stan Nicholls, la Getting Rooted in New Zealand de Jamie Baywood şi la Febra neagră de Karen Marie Moning. Doar atât?! Şi eu care aveam impresia că am o tonă! Ha-ha, am obiceiul ăsta de a mă autodescuraja. Vă promit că mâine veţi citi recenzia (în engleză) cărţii Getting Rooted in New Zealand. Pot să vă spun încă de pe acum că este o carte foarte amuzantă, cu toate că este un soi de jurnal de călătorie al autoarei. 

Vai, câte întrebări mai am! V-a adus Moşul ce v-aţi dorit? Ce planuri aveţi pentru vacanţa aceasta scurtă? Ce seriale mai urmăriţi? Mă credeţi că de când a început şcoala nu am mai vizionat nimic, nimic? Şi nu e din cauza şcolii. Am cel mai awesome motiv: mi-au decedat căştile. Nope, boxe n-am. Am renunţat la ele în urmă cu mult timp. Iar căştile şi-au dat sufletul deodată! Nu le-am făcut nimic. Okay, le-am mai scăpat din când în când... Aiurea. Trebuie să-mi iau nişte căşti.

Gata, nu mă mai lungesc. Aş vrea totuşi să vă urez o vacanţă cât mai plăcută şi un Crăciun cât mai fericit. ^^ Oh, şi nu uitaţi să aruncaţi o privire aici.

Vă las două melodii tematice foarte drăguţe:



hugs hugs hugs

luni, 16 decembrie 2013

Leapşa - Sacrificiul cărţilor

Am primit această leapşă de la Eny acum o vreme. Mulţumesc frumos, Eny! :3 Trebuie să recunosc că mi-a fost destul de greu să o completez. Cred că ăsta e un lucru bun, însemnând că majoritatea cărţilor pe care le-am citit nu mi-au lăsat un gust amar. Să trecem la treabă!


1. Să începem totul cu Apocalipsa Zombie. Să spunem că te afli într-o librărie, uitându-te printre rafturi, când BAM! ZOMBIE ATACĂ! Un anunţ apare la toate posturile şi spune că armata a descoperit că slăbiciunea zombilor sunt cărţile foarte mari. Ce carte lăudată de toată lumea, dar pe care tu o urăşti şi care este o carte mare o arunci către zombie pentru a-l elimina?

Habar nu am! După cum am spus mai sus, îmi este aproape imposibil să dau un răspuns. Nu există vreo carte pe care să o urăsc. Există, totuşi, o carte destul de apreciată de ceilalţi şi un pic mai puţin de mine - Darke London de Coleen Kwan. Hm, nu e tocmai o carte mare. Nu, nu e. În orice caz, cred că pe aceasta aş folosi-o drept armă :).

2. Să spunem că tocmai ai plecat dintr-un salon cu o nouă tunsoare când BOOM: ploaie torenţială. Ce carte ai alege să o foloseşti pe post de umbrelă?

Hm, hm... Legile atracţiei de Simone Elkeles. Varianta în paperback e numai bună.

3. Să spunem că eşti într-o oră de lectură cu profesorul tău de română care vorbeşte în continuu despre acea carte clasică ce a schimbat lumea, care a revoluţionat literatura şi tu deja nu mai vrei să auzi nimic despre această carte aşa că o arunci în faţa profesorului pentru că... ştii de ce? Acea carte este idioată şi merită să primeşti detenţie din cauza lucrului făcut doar pentru a le arăta tuturor ce simţi. Ce carte clasică ai alege?

'Pare rău, dar chiar nu găsesc o astfel de carte. Am citit câteva cărţi clasice, dar toate mi-au satisfăcut aşteptările, mai mult, unele mi le-au întrecut. Chiar şi Ion mi-a plăcut. Nu ştiu cum va fi Enigma Otiliei. Am auzit păreri cum că ar fi o carte aiurea. Vă anunţ după ce o termin.

4. Să spunem că eşti în biblioteca când BAM! Încălzirea globală se declanşează şi lumea de afară îngheaţă. Eşti blocată şi singura ta şansă de supravieţuire este să arzi o carte. Care este prima carte la care te-ai duce, cartea pe care o urăşti, pe care nu ai regreta să o arzi?

Repet: nu urăsc nicio carte. Dar... Operaţiunea Chinta Royală de Carl Hiaasen. Pe asta aş fi dispusă să o ard. Nu e genul de carte de care literatura nu se poate lipsi.

NominalizăriRose ♥AnddBiaAllieAdryClara + oricine şi-o doreşte. 


Cas says "Bye!" >:D<

joi, 12 decembrie 2013

Un concurs şubidubidesc!


Howdy ma' little snowflakes! După cum probabil v-aţi dat seama, m-am decis să fac un nou concurs cu ocazia... ei bine, cu ocazia multor evenimente! :D Nu pot spune că e numai cu ocazia Crăciunului deoarece concursul se desfăşoară în perioada 12 decembrie 2013 (azi) - 7 ianuarie 2014. Iniţial, asta îmi era intenţia, dar am pus punctul de "i" cam târziu, adică m-am decis ce şi cum nu îndeajuns de repede. Aşa că acest concurs este organizat cu ocazia: Crăciunului, Anului Nou, Sfântului Vasile şi a...  Sfântului Ioan! :D

Um, numele concursului... Weird, I know. Fie îl alegeam pe ăsta, fie pe "Un concurs <<Hey Onion Ring!>>". Fireşte, prima variantă mi s-a părut mai puţin... aiurită.

Premiul constă în volumele trei şi patru din seria Fetele Gallagher de Ally Carter (ediţie de buzunar) şi un pachet de swag-uri (peste 20 de obiecte promoţionale).


De asemenea, câştigătoarea/câştigătorul va avea posibilitatea să-şi aleagă patru e-bookuri în engleză din lista următoare:



În cazul în care aveţi deja unul sau chiar ambele volume (din seria Fetele Gallagher), vă rog să precizaţi printr-un comentariu. (ce formal a sunat asta)

Asta e tot! Câştigătorul îl voi anunţa pe 7 ianuarie. 
Succes! ^^

luni, 9 decembrie 2013

Author Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway "Exit" by Shane Filer

Hello my lovely friends! Today I'm honored to host author Shane Filer and his book Exit. As you can see, I usually don't post about this kind of books but "Exit" really, really caught my attention. Below you'll find some information about it, an excerpt, the interview, author's bio and... an awesome giveaway open internationally!

Exit
Shane Filer

Genre: YA, General Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: Biblio Publishing 
Number of pages: 222
Cover Artist: Ekaterina Zagustina
Virtual book tour organized by: Bewitching Book Tours

Book Description:

"Did you know I spent the whole of my fifteenth year in my room?"

Briar’s impromptu, mid-afternoon confession stirs up distant memories of the lonely time she spent trapped in her home; suffering agoraphobia - fear of open spaces.   

Now it’s six years later.  

She’s free, but the year's isolation has left serious personality disorders; disorders which will resurface as she relates her own story, and that of those in her orbit; Melodie, a pretty valley girl who Briar desires to be, Justine, her oldest friend, who has her own dark secret, and Dermot, a man who thinks he's the reincarnation of Robin Hood - stealing from the rich to give to the poor. 

Slowly Dermot begins to draw Briar into his ever-so-exciting world, but who is leading whom on their slow descent into crime? Duel periods of Briar’s life intertwine like a rope around her neck as her lost year begins to overtake the present. It leads her to the answer to one very simple question:       
    
“Is it what I always feared - am I losing my mind?”


~ Excerpt ~
Girl Talk



~ Interview ~

1. Hello! First of all, I wish to say how happy I am to have you on my blog. To begin with, I'm sure everyone wants to know when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved writing since a child. It’s one of those things, like art or music, which once you begin a love affair with you never fall out of love. Although there was a period, perhaps 5 or so years ago when I didn’t write much – I had in some ways given up. Mainly because I had been trying to get work published in my own country of New Zealand and received no support at all here. I think now it’s because it’s a very small, incestuous country, so it comes down to who you know, as opposed to whether you a good writer, artist, creator. But I visited Europe and America and that rekindled my passion – of course it never really went away. So I can back and wrote an American novel and submitted it to some American publishers this time. Pretty quickly 4 came back with an interest in publishing EXIT. So I felt a bit vindicated, that American editors had faith in my work and would support it, whereas those in my own country wouldn’t. I then propped some stories to publications in the UK, and they too were accepted. So I think this is where my future lies. I wouldn’t write anything else for the New Zealand market.

2. I'm really curious how did you choose the genre you write in.

EXIT is Contemporary Fiction. I suppose General Fiction. Chic-lit, or such. The story chose this, I guess. I admire genre fiction, and will likely write something like this at some point, although it might not be a novel. A novel is very involving, so for me it needs to be something that I must write, that I will live with for an extended period, and at the end a book will appear that no one else could have written.

3. Tell us about Exit. What inspired you to write it? 

I remember suffering very mild agoraphobic symptoms as a teenager and young adult. Having a fear of answering the door. I would often hide and stay quiet so no one knew I was home, and also a fear of answering the phone, or talking on the phone, which began to develop into a fear of talking to people in general. Michael Stipe wrote an early REM song called “Conversation Fear” about this topic. Partially what broke that was getting a writing job where I had to phone people and interview them – so it was very sink or swim. Luckily I swam and the fears subsided. I do believe that it’s important to put yourself in situations where you have to face your fears to have a hope of overcoming them. So although other things inspired the book, perhaps it had its genesis here.

4. Are any of the characters in your book based on actual people?

Yes, but perhaps less so than my second work in progress novel, which has two characters very much based on people I knew. So the characters of EXIT are much more composites of personalities, incidents and lines that people may have said. Briar, the main character, certainly came to life and left whatever her early influences were, well behind her.

5. What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

That when I began it, I was clearly writing in my own voice. I too had left whatever influences I had, well behind me.

6. How about your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I live alone with a very old cat, so my interests may not be that exciting. I write. I read. I draw. Sometimes I walk around the city, ideas running through my mind, sometimes I watch people as they pass like shadows, sometimes I hear something someone says that might be filed away to use in a story. Sometimes I take the cat for a walk.

7. What are your favorite books, films and types of music?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (book and film). I have a bit of a love affair with Czechs. Dracula, (and Romanians).  There are many great books aren’t there? Joy Division and the Smiths were probably the two perfect bands for me. No one else came close. Having said that Bach and Mozart give them a good run for their money.

8. Before asking you the last question, I would like to say good luck in your journey as a writer. Romania looks forward to reading Exit and your next books. Lastly, what are your future plans?

I want to go and live in Europe and be inspired, surrounded by the beautiful architecture and culture and people, and write more books, stories. Perhaps Romania!

Thank you so much for answering my questions!
Yes, we have great books here. 
Romania would be so lucky to have you!

~ About the Author ~

Shane grew up in provincial New Zealand, a small place where options are small, were people wear PJs to the mall, a small place where dreams of being a writer or artist are not only actively discouraged, they are actively quashed. Nevertheless he fell in love with books, comics and writing at a young age and his early influences include Oscar Wilde, Alan Moore and Dr Seuss.

After many years of trying to get books, documentaries and films accepted in his own country, Shane gave up and settled for working in the fairly creative world of video-making and advertising.

A trip to Europe and the USA rekindled his love of writing, and he wrote the American-based novel ‘Exit,’ submitted it this time to American publishers and immediately, received several offers for the work. He chose one and ‘Exit’ will be released December 2nd 2013 in the USA as his first novel from Biblio Publishing.

It is the story of Briar Averill who spent a year trapped in her room, suffering from agophobia. Six years on, she’s free, yet ripples from the year's isolation still lap at the edges of her life, and that of her friends: Melodie, a pretty valley girl who she wishes she could be… Justine, her oldest friend, who has her own dark secret and Dermot who thinks he's the reincarnation of Robin Hood — stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Ripples echo down through the years, leading her to the answer to one very simple question: Is it what she always feared — is she losing her mind?

Shane has since had comic book scripts accepted in the UK by DC Thompson, publisher of the long-running ‘Commando’ comic, fulfilling yet another dream for his child-self.

He lives with a very old and very vocal Tonkinese cat, and they both dream of eloping together to the USA or Europe.

He likes oranges, orange juice, and orange furniture — in fact even the color orange. Why? Well, because it's the best color, of course. While he believes that being a grown up is not all it's cracked up to be, he still enjoys ruining his appetite before dinner, and staying up past his bed time.



~ Giveaway ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone! I wish you a great day! \^o^/

duminică, 1 decembrie 2013

E ţara noastră...


Sursă

Încep postarea prin a-mi cere scuze pentru absenţele mele de pe blog. Explicaţii am destule, dar nu cred că ajută cu ceva :). Şi aş vrea să le urez - cu întârziere - la mulţi, mulţi ani celor ce poartă numele Andreea, Andrei.

Hm, azi de 1 decembrie. E duminică. Săptămâna ce urmează va fi un coşmar. Dar ce de vorbesc despre asta?! Azi e 1 decembrie! E ziua României! :-D. Citind postarea de anul trecut, făcută pe vremea asta, îmi dau seama că nu mi-am schimbat în niciun mod opinia legată de draga noastră ţară. Încă mai cred că nu e vina ei pentru situaţia deplorabilă din punct de vedere economic (în special), ci a minunaţilor conducători care nu ştiu să facă altceva decât să fure. Sau, cine ştie, poate ei chiar îşi dau silinţa să facă ceva bun, doar că nu prea le iese.

Orice ar fi, România este ţara în care m-am născut şi sunt mândră de asta. Sunt mândră pentru că avem peisaje inedite, sunt mândră pentru că avem şi oameni brilianţi, sunt mândră pentru că avem o istorie tristă dar glorioasă. Până la urmă, să fim serioşi, vorba aceea, fiecare pădure are uscăturile ei. Nu suntem singura ţară în care se întâmplă fel de fel de minunăţii. Evident, asta nu e o scuză sau o consolare. Ba dimpotrivă, ar trebui să ne mobilizăm (vorba unui voluntar de la Antidrog) şi să ameliorăm şi îmbunătăţim situaţia.

Cred că ăsta e şi unul din motivele pentru care vreau să urmez Dreptul. Vreau să fac ceva pentru ţara asta. Vreau să ajut, să fac dreptate (pentru că stam cam prost şi la capitolul ăsta). Vreau ca atunci când voi fi la bătrâneţe să mă uit în urmă cu mândrie şi să zâmbesc la binele pe care l-am făcut. Dar sunt conştientă de un lucru - cu o floare nu se face primăvară. Iar acum revin la ce am spus mai sus: noi, ăştia tineri, care suntem aşa-zisul viitor al ţării, ar trebui să reflectăm puţin asupra menirii noastre pe acest pământ românesc. Şi da, în ziua de azi e greu să întreprinzi ceva măreţ, dar nu imposibil.
Nimic nu e imposibil pentru că nimic nu poate sta în calea unei voinţe nobile.

sâmbătă, 30 noiembrie 2013

Book Blitz - Author Interview & Giveaway - "The Watcher" by Lisa Voisin


The Watcher
Release Date: 03/04/13

Summary from Goodreads:

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings - soft and silent like snow - and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them - but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.


Available from:

Praise for The Watcher:

"Voisin's THE WATCHER blends paranormal mystery and romance into a book that is sure to keep readers turning the pages late into the night."
- Eileen Cook, author of THE ALMOST TRUTH

"Perfect for fans of angels and demons, Lisa Voisin has created an uplifting tale of redemption, love, and spirituality that gives hope. Never preachy, THE WATCHER is the perfect answer to critics who claim Young Adult literature is too dark."
- Stephanie Lawton, author of WANT and SHRAPNEL

"The Watcher is stunning! A paranormal romance that you won't want to put down. Voisin will enthrall you until the very last page."
- Stephanie Keyes, author, THE STAR CHILD series

 "Grips the reader, pulls them in and leaves them cheering for good!"
-- InD'tale Magazine

“The Watcher is my favorite angel fiction tale yet.”
- Katrina @Kindred Dreamheart

“This book is phenomenal! I was hooked in right away and didn't want to stop.”
- Michelle @Michelle’s Paranormal Vault

~ Interview ~

1.  What’s your favorite novel and why?
I had so many favorite novels, but the one I’ve loved the longest is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s about an apocalypse gone wrong, and it was the first time I’d read a book with an angel and a demon in it. I was hooked! I love Neil Gaiman’s dark sense of foreboding and Terry Pratchett’s humor!

2.  How did the idea for The Watcher come about?
I started working on The Watcher in 2009, but the story started in my mind three years before that. I had an idea about a boy who woke up one day to discover he was an angel. It wasn’t until the idea of Mia came to me that it all came together. I felt it was best to pair him with a human girl who was the only one who could see who he really was.

3.  Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
Michael is my favorite character, because he's been with me the longest. But I have to admit, Damiel was the most fun to write. It made me think of famous actors who say they have the most fun playing villains.

4.  If you were in The Watcher, which character would you want to be?
Arielle. She’s really got a good head on her shoulders and a good heart. She’s also pretty kickass.

5.  If your book was made into a movie who would you envision in the leading roles?
I'd love to see a young Henry Cavill (pre-Superman) as Michael. There’s something very clean and delightful about him. Mia I picture as being  a bit like Emilia Clarke. I’ve got pictures on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lvoisin/the-watcher-inspiration-board-and-read-along/

6.  Are any books that you've read and thought "I wish I'd written that"?
Oh! There have been so many it's hard to count! Most recently, I'd have to say The Fault in Our Stars, because it was amazing. I also adored Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.


~ About the Author ~


A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction. In her spare time, she teaches meditation. So when she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counter the side effects of drinking too much coffee. She lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiance and their two cats.

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 ~ Giveaway ~
$25 gift certificate from Amazon (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Blitz Organized by:

luni, 25 noiembrie 2013

Giveaway & Guest Post "Come Little Children" by D. Melhoff

Hey guys! Today I'm hosting author D. Melhoff and his first book Come Little Children. First, I'm gonna present you the book, then the guest post the author has written. Finally, you can enter the giveaway below.

Come Little Children
D. Melhoff

Genre: Horror, thriller, supernatural thriller
Publisher: Bellwoods Publishing
Cover Artist: Carl Graves
Virtual book tour organized byBewitching Book Tours


Book Description:

The Nolan morgue is more than just an ordinary funeral home.

When their newest employee uncovers a supernatural conspiracy connected to a string of child murders, she must use every shred of her intelligence to stop a new breed of serial killer and escape the morgue alive.

~ Guest Post ~
The importance of world building and character development in stories

Building Fictional Towns: A Look At Nolan From Come Little Children

I’m always interested in taking readers to places they’ve never been before, particularly terrifying ones. The backdrop for Come Little Children is the majestic Yukon landscape, and for those of you familiar with Robert Frost’s poetry, you’ll know that it’s an incredibly beautiful territory, as well as a home for the weird and supernatural.

But why did I choose the Yukon for this particular story? And how could I teleport readers to such a remote place without having been there myself?

For me, those questions encompass the most exciting part about being a writer: exploring different worlds, deciding on settings, and, ultimately, getting to build them.

When it comes to deciding on a story’s location, inspiration can pop up from anywhere. For this particular book, I remember going through a Robert Frost phase and returning to one of his most famous lines (“There are strange things done in the midnight sun”) again and again. It didn’t spur the story of Come Little Children directly, but it helped spark an interesting motif and tie some of the paranormal elements together. I also like making connections with familiar lore, and the idea that “strange things” (plural) have happened under the Yukon moon hints that ol’ Sam from Tennessee hasn’t been the only subject of something bizarre up north. Combined with the fact that I come from somewhere extremely cold—and that I’m no stranger to having my face frozen off in the winter—I felt prepared to tackle the landscape, even though I’ve never been there in person.

So that’s why I went with the Yukon. Next was to decide whether or not to use a real town.

Ultimately, I created Nolan for three reasons:

1. Logistics. I needed a place where I had control over the town’s history and its physical layout

2. Tone. The deeper and darker into the woods, the better, so that’s where Nolan was born.

3. Suspension of Disbelief. By setting the book somewhere unfamiliar, readers don’t arrive with a lot of preconceived notions. And similar to point #2, the more uncharted the location, the better, especially since there was always going to be a supernatural element involved. In other words, it’s easier to believe that dark voodoo exists in the secluded northern wilderness than it does in downtown San Francisco.

After I chose to go with a fictional town, that’s when the world-building really began.

For the sake of this blog post, I’ll boil my process down to another three points.

1. Researching. Since I’m not a mortician, most of the designs (especially for the funeral home) were inspired by online articles and videos.

2. Sketching. Not all of my settings are fully fleshed out, but I’ll usually draw up blueprints of the more critical ones. For this story, that meant creating a detailed map of the entire village, as well as a set of blueprints for the Vincents’ morgue—all the way down to the bathrooms and broom closets. Are the closets ever mentioned? No. But does it help me picture every inch of the building? Absolutely, and that’s something a lot of authors are careful about [I can’t say for sure, but I’d be willing to bet my left bludger that J. K. Rowling still has full sketches of Hogwarts filed away somewhere.]

3. Editing. “Come Little Children” took two years to complete, and I feel many of the smaller details only surfaced after going over it again and again. A word of caution for fellow writers: your readers are continuity Nazis. If you tell people how a town is laid out—or how characters behave—and then suddenly you change something for convenience-sake, those readers will blitzkrieg der sheisse out of your Goodreads reviews. Having an editor will help catch glaring inaccuracies, but you still need to put in the time and effort to know your world better than anyone else.

That’s all for now, folks. Best of luck in your own world-building endeavors.

P.S. If you’re still wondering what kind of strange things happen in the midnight sun, I invite you to spend some time with me in Nolan and find out.

To read more about Come Little Children, visit: www.dmelhoff.com/come-little-children


~ About the Author ~




D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.


Website / Facebook / @dmelhoff




~ Giveaway ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think? I simply love the cover! It's one of the most suggestive covers I've ever seen. Have you entered the giveaway? If yes, I wish you guys good luck \^o^/.