Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Girl Hearts Girl Blog Tour: Bookcase Showcase

This is a little snapshot of one of my bookshelves back in England. Moving across the Atlantic a few years ago meant I had to say a tearful goodbye to some of my ultimate favourites, simply because they wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. Rest assured, they’ll always be there, gathering dust on the shelf as they wait patiently for me to return home one day. 

On the far left, we have, of course, a few of the Harry Potters – a staple on anyone’s bookshelf, let’s be honest. 

Next to those, we have one of my all time favourite books – ‘A Gathering Light’ by Jennifer Donnelly. The main character, Mattie, is an aspiring writer, and she’s served as my inspiration time and time again over the years. And hey, look – I'm a published author now. Thanks for the inspo, Mattie Gokey! 

Then we have the incredibly powerful ‘George’ by Alex Gino – a brilliantly written, sparky little book about a transgender girl who is desperately trying to find her place in the world. It’s the kind of book that we need more of. Lots more of.

Next up is Sue Perkins’ hilarious memoir, Spectacles. Fantastically funny stuff. Sue’s writing is sharp and quick-witted – it’s well worth a read. And I'm not just saying that because I have a crush on her.

A few books over we have some of Andrea Gibson’s poetry. I started reading Gibson’s poems several years ago while I was still in the closet, and it’s – to this day – some of the most powerful poetry I’ve ever read. Last year, we happened to be speaking at the same event in San Francisco. I fangirled the entire time, but I was too scared to ask for a picture. I’ve regretted it ever since.  

Next up is Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. I picked it up reluctantly one summer because my Mum had recommended it to me, but by the end of it, I was hooked. There's something to be said about picking up a book because you know someone else has enjoyed it. Also, fun fact: I have spent most of my life thinking that Evelyn Waugh was a woman. 

Last but not least, we have the wooden spoon, Hank. Hank is not a book – he’s the guy in the back with the quiff. He is Hank, Wooden-Spoon-Keeper of The Books. Don’t mind him. 

An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe's debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, from Michigan. They began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in 2011. Lucy's video montage of their first week spent together was the first in a series of vlogs documenting their long-distance relationship. Now, for the first time, Lucy's writing about the incredible personal journey she's been on.

Information about the Book
Title: Girl Hearts Girl
Author: Lucy Sutcliffe
Release Date: 24th June 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback

There is a tour-wide giveaway! 3 copies of Girl Hearts Girl for 3 lucky winners!
Participants must live in UK or IRL.


Monday, 25 July 2016

I can't wait to read

Almost the end of July already? Sorry for my state of AWOL of late. The last month I have been exam marking which essentially means I spend every free minute marking and marking and marking GCSE papes. I've just finished that so hoping to get some reviews caught up and shared soon. Until then here are some books on my radar which I'm hoping to get my hands on soon.

We were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

The hilarious new novel from Lindsey Kelk, author of the bestselling I Heart series

LIV and ADAM are in love. LIV and ADAM are supposed to be getting engaged. Until ADAM accidently suggests they take a break. And LIV starts thinking

Friends, family and bystanders all have an opinion and one complication leads to another as Adam and Liv try to muddle through in this hilarious, heartwarming comedy.

Are they split up - or are they on a break? What exactly are they allowed to get away with? And, most importantly, what do Liv and Adam really want?

The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

Where happy ever after is only a page away…
A delightful new series set in a quaint old bookshop, for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan
Once upon a time in a crumbling London bookshop, Posy Morland spent her life lost in the pages of her favourite romantic novels.
So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the unwelcome attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.
Posy has a cunning plan and six months to transform Bookends into the bookshop of her dreams – if only Sebastian would leave her alone to get on with it. As Posy and her friends fight to save their beloved bookshop, Posy’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies…
Like her favourite romantic heroines, will she get her happy ever after too?

Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew

Darya is a young woman trying to recover her life after a brutal terrorist attack shakes her rural Russian hometown, killing her young sister. Her father wants her married off to one of his factory employees and her mother has resurfaced as the matriarch of their family, displacing Darya and even blaming her for Nika's death. But the attack has drawn foreigners to their community, reporters and aid workers who open Darya's eyes to the world. When she falls for a older man, a journalist from New York, could he be her ticket out of her hometown, her old life and her grief?

A stunning story about finding your voice in the aftermath of tragedy, from acclaimed author Julie Mayhew.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Through the Mirror Blog Tour: Guest Post from Author Sarah Baker

Where I write

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

Not really, that’s the opening line from, I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith, of course, one of my favourite books.

Where I really write is at my desk, in the living room. My desk is an angle table and my chair is a vintage 1950s mad men style swivel thing of joy which I can swing round and round in if I feel the need to (it’s very good for ideas). The lamp is a vintage orange Conran and makes a perfect spotlight on my laptop for the serious business of writing/editing late at night.

Facing me is the very first painting my son did and stuck into the edges are various post-its and cards. The post its contain editing notes, things to remember and occasionally the odd shopping list that’s snuck in. I am nothing without lists. 

I have three large windows in the living room but I deliberately face the wall (and the picture) so that all I can really see is what I’m writing. I’m easily distracted and a nice view or bustling coffee shop, while wonderful, is no good for me when I’m writing. I need peace and quiet, access to stationery and plenty of post its.

The other things on the desk are research books, a thesaurus (in case I’m avoiding the internet) and a cup of tea (Earl Grey, no milk). That gadget you can see is a baby monitor. I mostly write at night when my little one is asleep and this makes sure I can hear him if he wakes, which he doesn’t often these days, and for which he will get a glowing thanks in the acknowledgements of my next book.

Through the Mirror Door by Sarah Baker (£6.99, Catnip)


Saturday, 9 July 2016

Blog Tour: Holiday Ha Ha Ha. Guest Post from Author Jamie Littler

Jamie Littler
When I was a teenager I was lucky enough to go to Florida with my family for our summer holiday. Needless to say, we were having a jolly old time, holidaying here, vacationing there. All of that fun can be hungry work, and as we were in the big US of A, we thought it would be great to go to one of those American all-you-can-eat diners. We'd had a lovely meal (please don't stop reading, I will get to the point, I promise!), we were all stuffed, and it was clearly time for dessert (there's always room for ice cream, after all...).

                Before we continue, I must mention one thing, and that thing is my younger brother. He's...well, he can be a bit...mischievous from time to time. He'd already been told off for being hugely inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disney World and trying to make my younger sister walk the plank off of a kayak she was in later on in the Florida Keys. Of course, the kayak had no plank, it was mostly just my brother pushing my sister into a jellyfish-infested lagoon. Why, at that very dinner, my brother had already called me over to the dessert area and made me cry with laughter showing me how the ice cream that squirted out of the machine looked astonishingly like poo. It was true, it did! Our laughter was getting us a lot of disgruntled looks from the others trying to enjoy their meals in the restaurant, and not wanting to be those guys, we tried our best to simmer down the frivolity.

My brother went back to the poo machine for seconds, and was gone for quite a while. We couldn't see him, as our table was in another section of the restaurant. You could see the worry creep into parent's eyes. Where is he? Why has he been gone for so long? What is he up to? Time passed, and my brother came rushing back, looking quite dishevelled. 'Quick! Hand me the serviettes!' he cried, 'pass me some tissues!'

                'What have you DONE?!' my dad asked angrily.

                'It wasn't my fault!' (A classic younger brother line). It turns out, on the way back from the ice-poo-machine, my brother had trodden on one of those little milk-pod thingies, y'know, the small things you get at motorway service stations, where you peel back the lid and there's a small amount of milk inside? Yeah, those things. He'd trodden on one that happened to be on the floor and the whole thing had exploded over this poor American woman's nice coat. My brother was desperately trying to wipe off the dripping milk, and my dad came over to apologise to the lady, furious at my brother. 'I'm so sorry,' he said to the angry woman. 'I'm so, so sorry about this. I don't know what my son was thinking. He'll clean it up for you! And I – I…' my dad began to stutter, looking down at the floor. 'I… I appear to have done the same thing...'

And he had! Dad had gone and trodden on another of those milk pods, and the milk had once again exploded all over the lady's coat. The woman, who had begun to look a bit less angry, looked full-on livid now. Was this some kind of bad joke? 'I'm sorry,' was all my dad could say. 'We're English.'

To this day, I still don't know why there were so many milk pods on the floor of that restaurant.

Jamie Littler

Jamie Littler graduated from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2008 and won a High Commendation in the Macmillan Children’s Book Award. He is the creator, writer and illustrator of the comic series Cogg and Sprokit which was serialized in the Phoenix Comic. He’s illustrated many children’s books including Hamish and the WorldStoppers and Hamish and the NeverPeople, and is the cover illustrator for Holiday Ha Ha Ha!


Holiday Ha Ha Ha!

From amazing aliens and strange superheroes to fantastic forests and crazy creatures; from ghoulish ghost tours and tiresome traffic jams to super spies and terrible talent shows – you’ll be laughing all summer with these eight summer sillies!