Saturday, 29 May 2010

GoodRead - UK Cover Vs US Cover

It's been a while, but I have just found a UK cover for a book series that I have recently got into (not reading book 4 yet! And awaiting the collection of short stories then am overdosing myself on this series!) The series is Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz and the book cover is for the fifth book in the series, "Misguided Angel".

So, here is the UK cover...

And here is the US cover...

US cover for me on this one. I like the UK cover, but there's something about the US cover that I quite like.

But what do you think? US cover or UK cover?

NOTE - Misguided Angel won't be out in the UK till 7th October 2010 and will be published by Atom Books.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

GoodRead - Prophecy Of The Sisters

It's quite a bit late and I can not go to bed without quickly reviewing the book (okay, audiobook) I have literally finished half an hour ago. It's called “Prophecy of the Sisters”, debut novel from Michelle Zink.

This is a slow building Gothic fantasy (though that comes a far bit into the book) set in 1890 and follows twin sisters, Lia and Alice. Their father has died, leaving them orphans but leaving far more behind than either of them realise. They soon discover that they have roles in a very old prophecy which has turned sister against sister throughout the ages. One of the side of good, the other on the side of evil. Living with their aunt and their disabled brother, the two soon discover that they don't know who to trust. Expect that they can't trust each other.

This is a slow book. You have to give it time. It's not one of the books I have been read over the last few months where something happens within the first few chapters. And with the first few chapters, you have to get use to the style of writing (remember this story took place in 1890). And this is where an unabridged audiobook comes in useful...

Am getting sidetracked. Once you get into the story, you find yourself getting sucked in. You see the character development, which Michelle uses the first part of the book to do. She developed, not only the mystery of the Prophecy, but the characters. We see that Lia and Alice isn't as cut dry as we think.

Then, we get into the fantasy element. There were a few times I did jump (not tell you.) and one time I actually got serious angry at the book (again, not telling, but if you've read the book, you know what I mean).

This is a slow building story that I have slowly grown to love. Plus, it's part of a trilogy! The second book – Guardian of the Gate – will be out later this year, around the same time Prophecy of the Sisters will be released in paperback.

I will be wait for the sequel. Or annoy Michelle Zink on Twitter for information. One or the other...


Also, a new thing I think I should do with a Book Review blog, is to put a piece of music. So, I have one video and one link. I suggest you check out the link.

The link, is Kenneth Zink. Yes, this is the author's son and he is STUPIDLY talented (me? bitter? No! Of course not!). He has made a score the Prophecy of the Sisters (as if it was a film) and some of the tracks are wonderful! PLEASE CHECK HIM OUT!

Monday, 24 May 2010

GoodRead - The Girl Who Chased The Moon

I want say one thing before I go any further: This isn’t my usual read. This is the type of book I can see my Mum or my sister reading on a sunny, beach holiday. Not me. This is the type of book I would usually stay perfectly clear from, or running away screaming, “It’s a chick lit! Oh dear God, it’s a chick lit! It burns!”

So, why did I read it? Well, a friend of mine, who has fallen in love with Sarah Addison Allen’s two previous books (Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen [she prefers Garden Spells]) got a copy of the book from the USA (from a site I use. And no, it’s not a US website. It’s a UK based site) and read it. Though she loved the story, she found the ending a tad frustrating and after she told me about the basic plot (and sneaking a quick look on Amazon), I offered to read it (much to her surprise, I’ve only now discovered!)

So, here is the basic plot to The Girl Who Chased The Moon. After the death of her mother, Emily Benedict moves to Mullaby, North Carolina, to live with her grandfather who, not only is a real life giant, but who she didn’t know existed till after her mother’s death. And moving to Mullaby, Emily discover that her new home is a place of oddities. The wallpaper in her room changes depending on her mood, strange lights dance across her back garden at midnight and the biggest mystery is of her mother and the terrible deed that she did so many years ago. To a family whose son she is slowly falling for…

All the while, her next door neighbour, Julia Winterson, bakes cakes. She bakes them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth – a man who she fall in love him when she was sixteen - but also in the hope of sending a message to someone she fears might be lost forever…

Because this is a book that’s outside my “comfort zone”, I might be more judgemental with this story, but I found this book a fast, comfortable read. It is chick-lit – I’m not going to deny that – but Sarah Addison Allen gently pushes the magic into the story that it doesn’t feel like your typical chick lit. But she puts not too much magic in to you make you groan and think this is a fantasy story. A bit like the dusting of icing sugar on a cake (yes, be warned, this review might have cake references in it).

And, although this story is Emily’s, you also follow Julia’s and her story I found the most interesting. I seemed to relate to her more than Emily. But both stories are good stories to follow.

Now, the ending. The thing my friend wanted the opinion on. Well, not the ending exactly, but the final chapter. To me, it fitted the story completely and I liked how the story came to a close. To my friend, she found it frustrating. She even went onto Facebook and asked the author out of curiosity if there was going to be a sequel. The author said that she didn’t have plans for a sequel. But who knows… but treat this as a stand alone novel.

Now, best way to describe this book: as a slice of cake. Light, fluffy and addictive. But be warned, some people will get a sugar low when they finish the book.

“The Girl Who Chased The Moon” by Sarah Addison Allen is already published in the US and will be published in the UK on 5th August 2010.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Something I Randomly Discovered

I discovered this in my drafts on Facebook and, remembering what this is for (it was a draft of a story that I never finished), I've decided to upload this you all to read. Enjoy!

It was the ghostly fingers made him aware that what he was seeing wasn't real. They felt real, but they felt as if they were made of plastic, not true human fingers. And he kept hearing voices, but they were always in the background, as if he was in one room and the voices were in another.

But they didn't matter.

He was stuck in, what he was sure was, a memory. The last memory he had before it happened. The last true memory. Something solid for his mind to hold onto.

She was there. Beautiful as always. Her blond hair tied back in an odd ponytail, her pale eyes watching him, her lips curve into a gentle smile.

“I love you,” she whispered.

And that was when the memory ended.

Sin - A Short Story

QUICK AUTHOR'S NOTE - This story isn't a story. Yes, I know I say it is in the title. But this idea came to me yesterday as I was driving. I have no idea what made me question the idea of sin, but what I found more interesting is the "voice" this story took. It seems so different from how I usually write, I decided to challenge myself with it. I hope you like...


Every person knows of the seven deadly sins. And every person is capable of them.
There is no sight of a sin affecting a person. There is no aura, no sight, no sound, no warning sign.
We all have the capable to commit one of the sins, and we all trick ourselves. We believe that Biblical demons are tempting us. We believe that for every sin, there is a virtue to redeem ourselves.
Because we want redemption once we cause the sin. Because we don’t see the act of the sin itself. We see only the effect and only the aftermath. And we try to fix the damage we have caused.
But we must remember. We must remember that there is a difference between sin and evil.
An act of sin is redeemable. An act of evil isn’t.
Every human on this planet we call Earth is capable of an act of sin. Very few are capable of an act of evil.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

London 2012 Mascots

London has the Olympics and the Paralympics in 2012 and I’m getting slowly excited for it. I keep seeing the building of the Stadium and the Swimming Arena when I get on to the train to London (which is very rare!).

And now, London 2012 have revealed the Mascots of the Olympics and Paralympics games. Ready?

According to the website, the gold mascot is called Wenlock and he will be the Mascot for the Olympics. The blue mascot is Mandeville and he is the Mascot for the Paralympics.

Now, as much as I don’t want to admit this, I actually quite like the mascots. They look different from all the other mascots I’ve seen from past Olympics. And with both Olympics and Paralympics meant to inspire children to get into sports, this might be a good thing.

But whether Wenlock and Mandeville will inspire children to get active and into sports up to and beyond the Olympics and Paralympics remains to be seen. But I hope so.

For more info on the 2012 Mascots, go to for all the links (including their twitter. Yes, they have a twitter!)

EDIT - Just about to upload this blog, two images have come to my attention of Wenlock & Mandeville. Only difference is that they are in Union Jack colours (I prefer the gold and blue myself, but each to their own).

Monday, 17 May 2010

Another Writing Task (Inspired by Michelle Zink)

So, last Thursday, Michelle Zink did another one of her writing missions (I try and do these. If not on the date then a few days after.) But this time, I was determine to do this task (write a short story in 300 words or less).

Why? Well, two reasons. I fancied a challenge and, second, she talked about in her blog (which I am very flattered with. [It was my birthday and I was called a "die-hard fan of my work, an online friend, and a supporter of my as-yet-unapproved tour of the UK." [come on, Atom Books. You know you want to...?]).

So, the plan was to write a short story about birthdays. Seemed the right thing to write. But stuff happened - Florence and the Machine gig and a weekend of mad - so I got down to it today. Only, I didn't write a birthday short. I wrote this instead.

Oh, the quotes from Florence and the Machine - They don;t count towards my word count. I just thought they were cool lyrics! ENJOY!


My boy builds coffins for better or worse
Some say it’s a blessing, some say it’s a curse
He fits them together in sunshine or rain
Each one is unique, no two are the same

My boy builds coffins and I think it's a shame
That when each ones been made, he can't see it again
He crafts every one with love and with care
Then it's thrown in the ground, it just isn't fair

My Boy Builds Coffins” by Florence and the Machine. (Taken from the album “Lungs”)

No more dreaming of the dead as if death itself was undone
Blinding” by Florence and the Machine (Taken from the album “Lungs”)

I awoke into a world of total darkness.
I blinked, and the blackness I saw with my eyes shut was the same as when I opened my eyes.
I took a silent breath as I lifted my head, and was surprised when my head made contact with something. Something solid. Something that made a wooden echo.
I lowered my head onto the pillow and, gingerly, raised my left hand and touched the cold surface. I felt a strange knot in the surface and realised that the surface was made of polished wood.
I moved my hand to above my head. Polished wood.
I moved my hand to my left. Polished wood.
I moved my hand to my right. Polished wood.
I didn’t wriggle down and made my feet check if there was wood. I knew there would be.
I knew. I just knew.
I was in a coffin. A simple coffin, but a coffin nevertheless.
Then everything came rushing back, almost knocking the breath out of me. I remembered the car accident. I remembered the hospital. I remembered the smell. I remembered the beeping machines. I remembered asking for a simple funeral if I did die. I remembered –
Was I dead?
My hands flew to my throat as I checked for a pulse. Yes. Yes, it was there. Thump. Thump. Thump.
I breathed a sigh. Then hesitated.
Was… was it my imagination, or did the wood feel warm? Unnaturally warm?
I froze as a small wave of horror ran through my veins. I was being cremated. Being burned alive.
I relaxed.
Shouldn’t I be panicking? Shouldn’t I be screamed?
But I wasn’t. I laid there, quite calm. I almost smiled to myself.
I yawned, closed my eyes and fell into a final sleep.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

"Replace" or "Because You" - A Random Poem (Of Sorts)

Replace my skin with battered leather,
Replace my hair with copper wires,
Replace my muscles with thick elastic,
Replace my eyes with CCTV cameras,
Replace my voice with a broken violin,
Replace my lungs with deflated balloons,
Replace my heart with AA batteries,
Replace my soul with a fragile mirror,
Because you stole
The best parts of me.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

GoodRead – Revelations (A "Blue Bloods" Novel)

takes a lungful of air

I have just LITERALLY finished the third book in the Blue Blood series (Revelations) by Melissa de la Cruz, a book series I have started since JFK airport in New York City so, of course, this series has a small place in my heart connected to the Big Apple.

Now, let's get down to the plot. In New York City, not everything is as it seems. And our heroine Schuyler Van Alen is beginning to figure that out. She is a Blue Blood, one of the City's glamorous vampire elite. Or is she? While she's accused of being a sinister Silver Blood, Schuyler's love life gets complicated. She is in love with Jack Force, another Blue Blood, but he is soon-to-be-bonded (and twin) with Schuyler's arch enemy, Mimi. Plus, her best friend, Oliver, is falling in love with her.

And all the while, Bliss (friend to both Schuyler and Mimi) is suffering from blackouts and bizarre visions of a man in a white suite. Is she going mad, or is there something more sinister going on?

And now, the risk of the Silver Bloods is rising. The stakes are high, loyalties will be tested and the battle will in end in bloodshed. But the question is, who will survive?

Keeping this short, but like I've always said, the Blue Blood series is a guilty pleasure. Like Gossip Girl, a TV show I always compare this series to. This will keep you on your toes as, FINALLY, we discover who the Silver Blood is! And I doubt you guys will see it coming!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Linger Again

Because I'm a sucker for a lovely video with beautiful music (and because I want this book! Badly! And I think you should read this...)

This is for a competition being run by the author herself. If you wanna enter (and you should!), click here ->

Monday, 3 May 2010

Untitled - A Short Story (Written When I Was In A Foul Mood!)

how do i come out?

even though most people know, they’re all waiting. all expecting me to just tell people. tell my family that I’m…


it’s just not easy. why does everyone think that it’s easy to do it? i mean, even i’m not a 100 per cent sure if i am or if this is a phase or if i’m bi or whatever? surely, it shouldn’t matter.

and yet, it does. so much so that people make a HUGE deal over it and then you feel guilty because you haven’t made a HUGE deal over it yourself and then you have to tell people which turns, again, into a HUGE deal.

basically, it’s all your fault. it’s your fault that you were born this way. your fault that it took you this long to realise it and then come to terms with it. your fault that when you have told people, you’ve been the one stressing out on it. and then when you do tell, it’s your fault for being true to yourself. basically, you’re the bad guy.

well, that’s how i feel at the moment. the bad guy. and, oh, how wonderful i feel. seriously, i feel like i’m walking on air with joy!

the horrible feeling i have in the pit of my stomach? nah, that’s happiness. the fact i slept so badly last night? excitement. and the fact I was considering making myself be sick, cutting myself or starting to smoke, just to hide the fact that there’s something wrong? overwhelming pleasure. i live for this kind of shit.

surely, i’m the one i should be pleasing. i’m the one who knows when it’s the right time to tell people. surely, I’m the one to know all this. i mean, this is me and surely i’m the best person to know…

so why do people think otherwise?

so why do i feel like the bad guy? like i’m the one in the wrong?

and why do i believe them when they say that?

Saturday, 1 May 2010

BeforeUGo - April 2009 Recommendations

Hello again, Music Lovers!

It's that time again where we list all the choices of music recommended by radio, internet or by you! (and if you do have recommendations on music, facebook it or twitter us! Links below!)

So, here are the choice for the past month!


We are on Facebook - The New Music Group (aka BeforeUGo) -

And, we're also on Twitter -

Now, we did links to some YouTube videos on our twitter. And who are we to not put them on here?

And speaking of Sue Sylvester, there's a day to celebrate her...