Friday 18 September 2009

Remember Salem?

Does anyone remember Salem, the wise-cracking talking cat from 90s TV, "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"? Ever wonder what he done since the show ended?

Why Do Pets Bite Their Owners...

Even wondered why pets sometimes bite their humans? Well, this is why...

And Now, my Fave...

BayWatch Is Coming Back - Well, Sorta...

Have you heard the news? Epic 90s drama "BayWatch" is coming back to our screens. But, of course, it's had a bit of a facelift. Here are some EXCLUSIVE shots of the lead actors in the opening episode...

So, what do you think? XD

My Name is Hedwig...

"My name is Hedwig. As I fell through the icy skies... You were wrong!"

That's right, Harry Potter fans! HEDWIG ISN'T DEAD!!! And I have proof!!!

God, I LOVE PotterCast ( and then go find episodes 130 & 131.) That is all!

Thursday 17 September 2009

GoodRead - "Catching Fire" & "Shiver" Book Reviews

I’ve never done a book review before so this is a FIRST! And not only that, am doing two books! Am going to do Catching Fire (Book 2 in the Hunger Games Trilogy) By Suzanne Collins and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Let's start with Catching Fire, shall we? Taking place several weeks (if not, months) after the nightmare-ish events of “The Hunger Games”, Katniss returns to District 12, knowing that she can no longer lead the life she once had. And it will never return to normal, seeing as she made a fool of the Capitol after she saved both her and Peeta’s lives, and that the Capitol (and its president, President Snow) wants revenge.

And revenge it will get. In any way shape or form.

But that’s not Katniss’s only problem. She and Peeta have to travel all 12 Districts and the Capitol, and in some Districts, both Peeta and herself have become figureheads to a resistance and if that continues, there will be uprisings and who knows what the death toll will be…

Now, I have several more pages to go (I started the book a week later than everyone else and decided to take my time. Plus, I don’t have a week off work to read it, unlike when I read the Hunger Games), but this is possible more gripping than its prequel. And that’s surprising because, in a trilogy, the middle book is usually the let-down of the series.

But not Catching Fire. It’s almost like being on a rollercoaster. After the first few pages (a huge improvement compared to Hunger Games opening pages – very hard to like or relate to Katniss), you dive into the thrill of the book. All the twists and turns and the breathlessness of it all. And it still has that moral effect to it as it did with the Hunger Games where you question if you would watch such a thing and you reminding yourself that the characters in both the Hunger Games & Catching Fire are children who have to kill to live, all in the name of entertainment.

I “hunger” for the third and final book in this trilogy. (Am so sorry for that awful pun!)

(And, as I promised my lovely friend Sasha, here is a photo of my mockingjay pin that she sent me [and two others – James and Andy] from the USA. [Hint Hint, Scholastic UK, this is what you should do when book 3 comes out, hint hint!])

Now, while I’m on a roll, I might as well do a quick review of Shiver by Maggie Stiefavter. This book is out in the USA and will be out, in the UK, sometime in late October so this is, maybe, an Advance review (oh no, the pressure!)

Since Grace was attacked by wolves when she was young, she has had a fascination with them (I won’t say obsession, but take it as you will). Especially one wolf in particular. A wolf with gold eyes.

Sam has always been in love with Grace. Ever since his gold eyes first laid eyes on her. But he has a secret that makes it almost impossible for him to be with her.

So when they meet under near tragic events, the two realise that they can’t live without each other and must fight to stay together. Fight against Sam’s secret and fight to keep Sam human. But how can you fight something when the coldness of winter is the enemy?

In America, some bookshops have used the promo “Stephenie Meyer Who?” and I can kinda see why. Apart from the supernatural element (am not going to tell you if she uses vampires or werewolves. Maybe she used the kraken for all you know), the language used is very poetic. There are some beautifully written lines that you get swept along with the story and the characters. Here’s one of my favourite lines from chapter 5:

"They were silent, beautiful ghosts in the woods." (Page 15 in US Edition of Shiver. Copyright owned by the author, Maggie Stiefvater.)

If I have any fault with this book, it’s the ending. I’m not dissing the ending as a whole, but there’s one thing in the final few chapters that I found a bit disturbing and I think, because of that, all the work of wanting Grace and Sam to be together (so, the first 3 quarters of the book) felt a bit tainted by the time you closed the book (once you’ve read the book, you’ll know what creeped me out.)

But I would recommend both of these books, but with a warning that both books have scenes that sensitive readers might find disturbing.

(Wow! I really enjoyed myself writing this! I will do a few more over the next few months on books am going to read and books I’ve read in the past. Anyway, I hope you’re all well and you all are reading gripping reads!)

EDIT: Just twitted Maggie Stiefvater ( and she has confirmed that Shiver is the first book in a trilogy. I believe the next book is called Linger (not 100% sure on that so...) But am very happy about that!

Tuesday 15 September 2009

The Da Brown Code

For some people, this is what you've been waiting for. For others... well, don't read this, nor go into a book shop. Or the book section of your local supermarket. Or online.

Yes, that's right, Dan Brown's new novel - sequel to "Angels and Demons" & the even-so-popular "Da Vinci Code" - "The Lost Symbol" has been released and, already, reviews of it have been released, stating that Dan Brown has outdone himself.

So... six years after the "Da Vinci Code" was released, is the wait what we're looking for, or is it going over old ground due to the old saying "If it any broke, don't fix it"?

When you guys have read it, let me know. If you're not, then tell me what you think of the hype. Am very curious. (I did buy myself a bopy and, if I ever find the time to read it after TRUE BLOOD, CATCHING FIRE and goodness know what else, will let you know...)

Oh, small thing I read and laughed at (minor spoiler? Well, two lines from the book so STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED!!!")

Right, have you stopped? Are you sure? Last chance...

Well, here's what I found! And am sure Mr. Brown himself was speaking, not Mr Robert Langdon.

Within the first few pages of chapter one, a woman rushes over to our hero and says, after explaining that her book group read his novel on the Sacred Feminine and the Church, "...What a delicious scandal that one caused! You do enjoy putting the fox in the henhouse!"

Langdon smiled. "Scandal wasn't really my intention."


Quote taken from "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, page 8, published in the UK by BANTAM PRESS. Copyright of quote belongs to author, Dan Brown.

Friday 11 September 2009

Rhinos? In Bed? Reading? (What's Not To Love?!)

A friend of mine on Twitter ( discovered this drawing by Michael Dashow. And, I fell in love with it...

Have You Ever Been This Tired?

Okay, I got some photos at work (joke email with the Subject of "HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THIS TIRED?"). Most of the photos (animals mostly with one or two kids photos) I loved. But, as I'm not a great lover of loading photos and pictures onto Blogger, am going to put on my ALL TIME FAVE photo that I love.

I call it "CatDog".

All together now - awwwwww....!

(okay, there was one more photo! I think it's cute... sorry!)

Sunday 6 September 2009

Another Code: The Book?

Okay, this is random, but over the past few days, I have been play a game on my Wii (Nintendo all the way, baby!) called "Another Code R: A Jounrey into Lost Memories". This game is a sequel of a game on the DS (DS Lite or DSi or whatever breed of Nintendo Dual Screen it is now).

But that's beside the point, on the front cover of the Wii game, it claims the following: "READ AND SOLVE LIKE A MYSTERY NOVEL". And, well, I began to wonder...

Why haven't Nintendo and CING (the developers of both games) released these games in book form?

I mean, not all book readers play game consoles and not all game-players read books. And as Nintendo are saying that they want to reach everyone, isn't this a good way to do it?

Sure, there will have to be some things taken out and some things put in, but I would love to read Ashley's advertures on Blood Edward Island and at Lake Juliet. It would be a hell of a lot easier taking a book to work than my Wii console (and with my DS - i love it far too much to take it to work. I would break it, knowing my luck.)

Yes, stupid idea, but what do you guys think? Yea or na?

Friday 4 September 2009


...And when you read this, you'll understand why I dislike reading and writing in the present tense! I find it very jarring as a reading (which is why I dislike "Book of the Dead" by Patrica Cornwell - but I do like "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham or the "Wake" Trilogy by Lisa McMann.) 

So, enjoy, & forgive my awful present writing.




Running down the stairs. Grabbing the handrail as I slipped.




Jump the last two steps. Lands oddly. Pain shoot up leg, but I ignore it.




Runs towards the door.




Yank the door open.




Running down the corridor. The dark making it hard to see.




Still running. I see a door. A Fire Exit! A way out!




I crash into the door. It opens as an alarm shrills out. There are stairs. Up? Down?




Down! I run down them, gripping the handrail as I go. There’s not enough time!




Keep running! Another door. I push through and run.


Ten! Coming! Ready or Not!




I spin round in the dark corridor, running backwards.


I’m going to die. I’m never going to leave here alive.


I spin and run forwards. Only to skid to a stop.


They’re there. Standing as calm and as still as statues. All three pairs of red eyes on me.


A sob sticks unpleasantly in my throat. “No…”


“We found you,” the first member says. His voice sounds nice, pleasant even. Not a voice that should belong to a killer. “The game is over.”


I slowly back away; my insides go cold with terror and fear. “Who – what – are you?”


“That,” replies the first man, “is sadly not important. What is, however, is you.”


The second man, the man with the cropped hair, growls as he pulls back his lips to reveal unnaturally white teeth. The woman of the trio, her hair shocking red, gives a sideways glance to the cropped hair man then her gaze returns to me.


I take another step back, and they, in unison, take a step forward.


“This,” says the man with cropped hair, “is getting bored.”


“Yes,” agrees the woman. “This is getting tiresome.”


“Patience.” The first man comments as he waves a hand. “The game isn’t complete yet.”


They’re going to kill me! Why aren’t I running? Why aren’t I screaming?!


I take another step back, and my back hits the wall. I try not to gasp out with the shock.


The three keep their distance.


“Now,” spoke the first man. “I must explain to you, Mister –“ He pauses. “I’m sorry, I didn’t ask you your name…”


Lie! “Syed.” Why didn’t you lie?!


“Well, Syed, this is nothing personnel. It’s just … well… instinct.”


And with that, I understood. “Please…” I beg. “Please, don’t.”


James turns his face a little away, his face unreadable. Victoria’s eyes seem to glimmer. As for the third…


“Please!” I throw myself at their mercy. “Please don’t! I have a daughter!”


Mia! Mia, my beautiful Mia!


I cling to the last memory of her. The way she smelt: sleep, talcum powder, fresh nappies.  


Mia, I love you!


“You have a daughter?” The first man says slowly.


I can’t feel my lungs as I take slow breaths. I count the silence in my head.


One Mississippi… two Mississippi… three Mississippi


 “Then… I am sorry for her loss.”


My breath catches in my throat. My eyes wet with tears. “No… Please, no…”


All three of them smile a hungry smile.


“Please,” I plea, tears roll down my face. “Please…”


All three of them pounce and my screams echo through the darkness.