Guest Blogger: Where Do You See Yourself In Ten Years?

31 July 2012

First of, don't you think that girl on the left is ever so pretty?! Here's a guest post for you all written by Taylor:
Taylor Lynn is a homeschooled ( OH YES! Home-schoolers ROCK!  lol ), vegan Nerdfighter from New England who loves to read, write and listen to music. She's been known to obsess over everything from Harry Potter to the Lord of the Rings to Glee. She's not afraid to be different, which sometimes upsets the followers of her blog who don't agree with her opinions and beliefs...but that doesn't stop her. She hopes that someday, she'll have been such a positive influence on the world that her name will be remembered even after her death. Until then, though, you can find her at her blog, Perfectly Sensible Nonsense!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’ve never liked that question, mostly because I’ve never really been able to answer it. The truth is, I’ve always had dreams for the future, but growing up I could never make up my mind for too long. Did I want to be a painter or a vet? A doctor or a teacher? As I rightly reasoned, if I was so fickle, then how could I know where I’d be in ten years?
As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve developed a better idea of what I want out of life, and recently my mom and I began imagining a future for me. Or, no, imagining isn’t the right word; because truth be told, the whole picture was just falling together as we spoke. It was like the pieces of my life were scattered all around me, and I just had to put them together in the right order.

Pieces like: Owning my own small-town bookstore, with comfortable armchairs and free, organic tea for the customers.
Pieces like: Living in an adorable cottage with hydrangeas at the door and a well-trained dog to keep me company.
Pieces like: Having a house close enough to the ocean that I can ride my bicycle to the beach.
Pieces like: Continuing to write fiction into my adult years, crafting best-selling novels in my book-filled cottage.
As the pieces came together, this abstract idea of my future became something that I could easily picture myself achieving. I could actually see it as my future; I could see it as the place where I could be ten years from now, as easily as if it already existed. And who knows? Maybe it does already exist and is just waiting for me to bring it to life.
Not only that, but to dream about it makes me so happy that I’ve made it my goal to create that future, to make it mine.
And that, I think, is the wonderful thing about dreams. This future I’m creating for myself, this wonderful dream of my future, is something I can think of at any time and enjoy. Not only that, but it gives me a purpose – it gives me something to aim for, an ideal life to create.

I don’t dislike the question “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” anymore, because now I have an answer. A wonderful answer, at that. So let me ask you now – where do YOU see yourself in ten years?


Thanks for the wonderful post Taylor and in answer to your question...I've got no idea whatsoever!    -_-
Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xx

Interview With Author Fiona Dunbar!

29 July 2012

;____;
I'm very pleased to welcome one of my favourite authors, Fiona Dunbar; who wrote The Silk Sisters Trilogy, The Lulu Baker Trilogy and The Kitty Slade Series.
In this interview I quiz her an all things bookish, from all her books, to why she became an author and she gives us some tips on how to become a good author and even a ''first line'' that we can turn into a story!
I hope you enjoy yourself reading this! :)

Welcome to Ebony Black Lines *passes plateful of Jammy Dodgers*, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?
Mmm…nnn…gghhh…can't spik, teeth stck tgther…ah! That's better. Sorry: Jammy Dodgers have seriously gooey centres! Ahem. About me: well, like a Jammy Dodger, I am small and round (well more than I used to be, anyway – why are you giving me Jammy Dodgers?! Pass the celery). I am also Jammy, as in lucky, because I get to do what I love as my job: write books. And I'm Dodgy because…no, this analogy isn't working any more. I am not dodgy, nor do I have a gooey centre (you thought I'd say I did, didn't you? Well, you were wrong, ha ha! If I had a gooey centre, my organs wouldn't function properly and I'd die). I am woefully under-educated, but to my never-ending surprise, people keep wanting more books from me. I have written two trilogies – Lulu Baker and Silk Sisters; a one-off book called Toonhead, and four Kitty Slade books. All are set in the real world (although the Silk Sisters books are set in the future), but all feature a hero or heroine who has something extraordinary about them. Lulu Baker inherits a magic recipe book; Rorie Silk takes on the appearance and knowledge of another if she puts on an item of their clothing, following an incident involving a chameleon and a bolt of lightning; Pablo in Toonhead sees the future in the cartoons he draws, and Kitty Slade has a rare genetic condition called Phantorama, which means she can see and communicate with ghosts. IF they cooperate. Which often they don't.




Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have always written, but as I'm an artist as well, my early stories were all picture stories/cartoon strips. For the first ten years of my career, I was a commercial artist, then an illustrator. I wrote and illustrated three picture books (alas all out of print now) and illustrated other people's books as well. So the novel-writing came later.




What obstacles came your way while you were trying to get your first book published?
Extremely large boulders. Swarms of locusts. It's really easy to get your book published once you get past the boulders and the locusts. Not many authors will tell you that. Not being able to write can also be a drawback; in my case, it was a two-year learning curve, involving some lovingly dispatched hatchet jobs from Proper Writers. Then there's the business of finding an agent: why should they care? What have you got to offer that's different from all those gazillions of other writers out there?




What is your usual routine for writing in a day?
I need to write in the morning; I get very grumpy if there are obstacles like boulders or tax forms or housework or locusts or children getting in the way. Halfway through the day my brain turns into cement, so I need my mornings, dammit. Unfortunately there are always obstacles, so I'm grumpy most of the time. In the afternoon I go on Facebook. I lie down in a darkened room. I go on Twitter. These things can be done with a cement brain. Occasionally I get a second wind, and when that happens, my family don't get fed and have to go and forage for themselves. My husband goes 'hi honey, I'm home!' (he actually says that – he's American) and I growl at him. He skulks off, makes himself a mustard sandwich and channel-surfs.




What gave you the inspiration for the Silk Sisters trilogy?
I started out wanting to do something about fashion, because it's a subject I'm passionately in love with, while at the same time it's an industry that's deeply problematic and morally questionable (see my interview here http://www.fionadunbar.com/the-silk-sisters/interview/ for more explanation on this). I think it's interesting to explore things you feel ambivalent about in that way. Elsie was inspired by the childhood antics of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, as described in her autobiography A Shocking Life. The real turning point – the moment when I realised this idea did actually have some mileage in it – was when I decided to set it in the future.




Fashion and Identity play a central part in the Silk Sisters trilogy. Why is that and what research did you have to do for it?
In our early teens we try out new identities – it's something I remember very strongly from that time in my life. I was so unsure of who I was, but very conscious of how I presented myself to the outside world. I was constantly experimenting. In the books, Rorie literally gets to try out 'being' other people. She lacks Elsie's self-confidence, and that's important in view of what comes later. Then once I'd decided on the futuristic setting, the fashion/identity parallel really came into its own. What if there came a time when people's identities really could be stolen? The great thing about setting your story in the future is that it hasn't happened yet, so people can't say, 'no, it wasn't like that'. Of course, they could still say, 'this is completely implausible' – to which my reply would be, 'you don't say!' I did research the Smart clothing technology, but only so I could use it as a springboard for my own imagination. But I didn't allow myself to get bogged down with the other technologies, because the books are only set just a little way into the future – that's the whole point. When George Orwell wrote 1984, he was commenting on 1948. I was writing in 2007-8 in a similar way. Well, only I'm no George Orwell. I'm a huge fan, but I'm not deluded. However, you do have to make parallel developments roughly plausible.




What gave you the idea for Rorie's chameleon powers and why didn't anything special happen to Elsie?
Ah, well I think I've partly answered that one already. Rorie is the main protagonist – the one I expect readers to identify with. She is the archetypical Early Teen, and so the chameleon powers are a metaphor not only for the physical changes we experience during puberty, but for the sort of experimentation I describe above. It's hard for me to deconstruct in retrospect where the idea came from; I think that as well as the metaphorical aspect, it was a useful device for allowing Rorie to 'get inside' other people's minds. Elsie manages to make a lot of things happen just by virtue of the fact that she's an impulsive risk-taker; there was simply no need to add anything extra for her, and actually I think it might have made for a very muddled story if I had! Similarly, Kitty Slade is the only one in her family who has Phantorama, although her brother Sam and her sister Flossie play prominent parts in the stories.




What are the best and worst things about writing?
Best thing is when you make yourself laugh or cry. It's nice to get good reviews and fan mail. Worst thing? God, there are so many! Obviously being stuck is not fun; going for a walk can help. Which is a good idea anyway, as writing makes you fat. Writing REALLY makes you fat. It's a terribly unhealthy occupation. It's bad for your posture, and it's anti-social. It makes your skin turn grey and your teeth melt. Don't do it.

Can you give us five tips for all the budding authors out there?
Yes: don't do it!
Only kidding. I can give you more than five actually, as I have a whole page of them on my website here http://www.fionadunbar.com/writing-tips/




Could you give a first line or title that we can make into a story?
Somewhere at a place where the prairie and the Badlands meet, there is a hidden cave.




Where is your favourite place to write and why?
I am lucky enough to have a study all to myself, in my house. I am surrounded by favourite books, family photos, old drawings of mine and a gilded chicken called Alfonso. All these things give out positive energy. Alas, it's also where I do my household admin work/taxes etc: ideally, such things would not exist. I have French windows leading out onto a deck, which is nice on sunny days. I haven't been out there much lately.




Who inspired you to write your first book and how?
That's a tricky one. I don't think there really was a 'who', more a 'what'. I think the 'who' part comes later: I write characters and then I think, 'oh, I know where that came from'. I had guidance from writer friends and editors. I have said elsewhere that reading to my kids inspired me to try my hand at writing longer fiction (The Truth Cookie wasn't my first book , of course, but it was my first novel), so I guess Roald Dahl played a role! And lots of others…Louis Sachar impressed me a lot. I liked the humour and the straightforward, unfussy storytelling of both.




What is your favourite writing snack?
Almonds and raisins, but I've had to give them up because although they're healthy I can't stop once I've started, and this MAKES ME FAT.




Who were your top ten authors/books when you were a teen and what is your current favourite YA book?
I'm so old, teen/YA books hadn't been invented when I was that age. We just used to go straight from kids' books to adult, and in my case it tended to be just what I found on my mum's bookshelves (I was scared of libraries; see my blog post here http://girlsheartbooks.com/2012/02/03/a-poultry-excuse. Like a lot of teens I liked Sci-Fi, particularly John Wyndham. And I liked horror too, so read a lot of Dennis Wheatley. Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby. For lighter, more frivolous stuff it was Jilly Cooper. There's a whole sub-category here of books I read in later life, but wish I'd read as a teen: JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Dodie Smith's I Capture The Castle, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, John Fowles' The Magus, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Colin MacInnes' Absolute Beginners… I wish I'd had the guidance of a good librarian! I got there in the end. My current favourite YA book is Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels – astonishingly good. I should mention here that some of these books are definitely not suitable for younger readers!





Quick Fire Questions:
Reading or Writing? Both (who in their right mind would pick just one and not the other?!)
Book or E-book? Both.
Inside or Outside? Both. (This is getting monotonous…)
Rorie or Elsie? I'm more Rorie, but I'm very fond of Elsie.
Designer Brands or Charity Shop Find? Charity shop finds, definitely!
Short and Sweet Or The Longer The Better ( writing style ) ? Short and Sweet.


Don't Forget To Smile!! :D

P.S Go and win a copy of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Jones HERE

Guest Post By Bookhi: Book Blogging And Why More People Should Do It.

25 July 2012

Hi everyone! First of all, I just want to say thank you so much to Jasmine for having me today on her amazing blog. I am Zoe from Bookhi, another book blog where I post book reviews, interviews, cover releases and random book-y thoughts. I love to read (obviously) and you can almost always find me with a head in a book. I am going to share my views on book blogging and why more people should do it, I hope you agree! :)

      1.       The People

This has be my favourite part of book blogging. I absolutely adore talking to people like me who enjoy the same type of books. I have gotten to know a lot of friends over the internet personally through email, blogs and social networking sites and it is amazing. I don’t really have many friends who enjoy are obsessed with the same books as me and I just wanted to shout out: “HEY! THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!” a million times over! So, book blogging is an amazing place for bookworms to just natter about reading.

2.       Recommendations and Discoveries

By reading other blogs and being in contact with authors/publishers is a really good way of discovering the latest books. I remember stumbling across the first book blog I found and I browsed on it for hours. I was so excited that I had found a million new books to read. I definitely wouldn’t have read as many books as I do now if it weren’t for book blogging.

3.       Giveaways

A lot of blogs host giveaways to celebrate something, use it to gain more followers or are just being nice! This is a great way to win books, and who doesn’t love that?! I win the occasional one and it is a very nice time. ;)

4.       Events

Ever since I started my blog, I have found out all about these awesome activities that I can take part in. Following other blogs gives you the advantage of finding out about book signings, festivals, author talks or online talks. I am hoping to get to one soon since my summer holidays have just started (yay!).

5.       Review Requests

Okay, this is an awesome one. BOOKS. FOR. FREE. I still get excited when I receive an e-mail asking me to review a book. I love reading and reviewing, so there isn’t really a down-side. It’s like getting paid in books.... perfect! :D Sometimes I get ARCs, which are Advanced Reader Copies. This means I get to be one of few whom get to read the book first before it is published. Double yay!

6.       Challenges/Memes

I really enjoy taking part in memes that other bloggers have set up because it can introduce me to other blogs, new people to talk to who are interested in the same thing as me, and it is just a fun thing to do. Some challenges include ones like “How many books can you read in one week?” or “Can you read your whole TBR pile this year?” etcetera.

7.       Feedback

This leads into the first point a bit, because I love the feedback from fellow readers/bloggers. A comment on one of my posts telling me that they enjoyed reading it really brightens up my day. It also lets me know that what I am writing isn’t junk, either! A blog shouldn’t be a competition with others to see how many followers you can get, it should be just for you to share your opinion and express yourself. However, my followers are part of the reason I blog. It is great to talk about a certain genre and then reading someone else put that they love it too.

8.       A new hobby = never bored again!

When I first started book blogging I had NO IDEA that it is as big as this. I didn’t even know about review requests, how the follower system works, or what memes were. If you see some of my posts from 2010, they are awful! (I hope they have improved, lol). Book blogging takes up a lot of my free time and I have a whole notebook to keep control of my review requests, posts schedule, emails to reply to and ideas. I love it though – I couldn’t imagine life without it!

If you love to read, I really recommend setting up a book blog. It is quite easy to get started and you can make some really good friends. If you do make one, let me know – I’m always interested for book blogs I haven’t visited before! :)

Here are a few tips I have learnt over the time of my book blogging, I hope you find them useful:

·         Be passionate about it – if you find it boring, so will your readers.

·         Post as often as you can – this will keep the readers hooked so they will follow you and not want to miss out. It also shows that you love to do it and have lots of ideas.

·         Follow other blogs and comment – not only will you make new friends, but it will encourage others to come and follow your blog too to return the favour.

·         Make a good design – if you’re not good at designing, don’t worry. There are tons of amazing templates out there which will look really professional and appealing.

·         Write good quality posts – it’s all very well posting often, but is it worth reading? Read a variety of books, create a discussion, take part in memes, share the latest news...

·         Get your name out there – people won’t follow if they don’t know about your blog. Twitter is amazing – you can post something and you’ll instantly get about 50 responses! You can also create Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads... the possibilities of the Internet are limitless ;)

Good luck if you do decide to make one! I hope you have enjoyed my post, and I hope a lot of fellow book-bloggers can relate to my reasons of why I love to book blog.

Happy reading!
Zoe :) xxx

Thank you so much Zoe! That was amazing! :D

Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xoxo

P.S there is AN AMAZING GIVEAWAY GOING at Page Turner :


You can choose one book out of all the books that Beth has ever reviewed on her blog since 25th of July 2011, to 25th of July 2012. 
.Here are the books you can choose from:
Angel by L.A Weatherly
Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
Beauty by Robert Kinley  
Crossed by Ally Condie  
Cold Hands, Warm heart by Jill Wolfson 
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Dear Bully (an anthology told by 70 different authors)
Dark Parties by Sara Grant
Entangled by Cat Clarke
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Fracture by Megan Miranda 
Fated by Sarah Alderson
Familiar Ties by Naya Nikki
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My sister lives on the mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
Paradise by Joanna Nadin 
Poison Heart by S.B Hayes
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Sister, Missing - By Sophie McKenzie 
Seizure by Kathy Reichs 
Starters by Lissa Price
Slide by Jill Hathaway
Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
The truth about Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne 
Thirteen (13) reasons why by Jay Asher 
Torn by Cat Clarke 
The Look by Sophia Bennett
The Hunger games - By Suzanne Collins 
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
The Declaration - By Gemma Malley
The Resistance - By Gemma Malley
The Legacy by Gemma Malley  
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar   
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E.Smith
The List by Siobhan Vivian
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Virals by Kathy Reichs 
 
.... and here are the Terms and Conditions....
 
.You must be a follower to enter.
.The giveaway deadline is 5th September 2012 
.To enter, fill in the form below. 
.To enter, The Book Depositary have to ship to your country. To find out if they do,
click here

REVIEW: Butterfly Summer by Anne Marie Conway.

20 July 2012

Some secrets last a lifetime. When Becky and her mum move to the tiny village of Oakbridge, Mum is hoping for a new beginning. But when Becky discovers an old photo of her mum in hospital clutching a baby, twelve years before Becky was born, Becky becomes haunted by the thought that her mum is keeping something from her. Stifled by her mum's over-protectiveness and depressive moods, Becky feels more alone than ever. The only place she finds comfort is at the beautiful local Butterfly Garden with her new friend, the wild-spirited and impulsive Rosa May. But Becky can't shake off the unanswered questions. Why can't she swim? Where is her dad? Who is the baby in the photo? And why is her mum lying to her? As the two girls spend more time together however, Rosa May's unpredictable temper and possessive streak suggests that she is hiding something as well...and in the heat of the sun-drenched summer, it seems that Becky is the only one in the dark.

Becky isn't best pleased to be moved from her home in the city, where she has friends and a place, to the countryside where her mother grew up. There's a whole secret past that Becky feels on the verge of discovering - starting with friends her mother never mentioned, friends who drop unintentional hints about the father Becky has never met, and ending with the photo she finds of her mother with a baby - dated 12 years before she was born.
Then Becky's mother slips into depression, and Becky is left alone to deal with being in a new place all alone. Fortunately, she meets energetic, mysterious Rosa May who introduces her to the Butterfly Garden. Rosa May is everything to Becky, but she can be unpredictable and a bit frightening, especially when Becky starts to make friends with local boy, Mack.
The path to uncovering the truth is a dangerous one. Will trying to follow it cause Becky's life to unravel completely? And is Rosa May on her side or not?

I loved this book, although it was short the characters were well developed and I really got into it. I only had one criticism and that was the fact that the end was very predictable. Hints dropped along the way contributed and the blurb was pretty detailed in my opinion. But other than that I really liked the book. Even though it was predictable I didn't regret reading it fully and finding out how the author decided to end it.

REVIEW: The Diamond Of Drury Lane ( Cat Royal #1 ) by Julia Golding.

17 July 2012


AT THE THEATRE ROYAL IN DRURY LANE, COVENT GARDEN, THIS PRESENT DAY, BEING 1SI JANUARY, 1790,Will be presentedThe Diamond of Drury Lane(Written by Miss Cat Royal)PRINCIPAL CHARACTERSMISS CAT ROYAL - orphan and ward of the theatreMR. JOHNNY SMITH - prompt with a secretMR. SYD FLETCHER - leader of the Butcher's boysMR. BILLY 'BOIL' SHEPHERD - evil leader of rival gangAnd a HIDDEN diamond!WITH A NEW MUSICAL INTERLUDE BY MR. PEDRO HAWKINS, LATE OF AFRICA.To which will be added a farce, in which a hot air balloon will land on stage!

"(from goodreads.)Capturing superbly the hustle and bustle, flair and extravagance of late Eighteenth Century times in England's renowned capital, The Diamond of Drury Lane introduces its feisty heroine with an undeniably exciting first adventure. This is historical fiction for young readers at its best--authentic, exciting and fast-moving.
Cat Royal is a veritable institution at Mr Sheridan's famous Drury Lane theatre of ye olde London Town, circa 1790. Adopted by the owner after being mysteriously abandoned as a baby on the steps of his infamous establishment, Cat has grown up backstage amidst the glamour of the bright lights, the exotic artistes, hammy actors, melodious musicians and riotous viewing public. The performers are her family, the stagehands her closest friends.
However, Cat is growing up and she is beginning to think about what she wants to do with her life. Those thoughts take an unexpected turn when she overhears a conversation about a diamond hidden somewhere in the theatre. Her adventures begin when she tries to find the treasure. Pedro, a gifted musician who is new to the company orchestra, ably assists her. Ever present too are the political ramifications of a mischievous satirical cartoonist called Captain Sparkler, who some suspect is a very important person nearby in disguise.
The narrative traverses London and takes in the rival street gangs of Covent Garden, boxing matches, theatre riots, spectacular stage productions and several moments of drama and intrigue. Cat is so likeable as a central character, that readers will soon be caught up in her journey."


You have all probably lost count of the amount of times I have said I loved this series but don't go! I know I haven't reviewed it up until now *guilty look* but here goes...
I loved how the whole book was written as a play ( in keeping with the main setting: The Theatre ) and I especially enjoyed hearing about the adventures from Cat ( Catherine ) herself, a fiesty, daring teenage girl nicknamed Cat by her friends because she always manages to get herself into trouble, but always lands back up on her feet; rather like a cat: with ''nine lives''. In the first of the series we see her getting into all sorts of scrapes, even in jail with her arch rival Billy ''Boil'' Shepherd and we share in her emotions through her use of direct language when she tells us about her thoughts and feelings throughout the book.
I now have all six of the books in the series and I can safely say I do not regret buying them....OOOOOHH! I'm finding it so hard to keep the spoilers tripping off my tongue..or rather..my fingers...I think I already have actually.. oops..I think I may have to stop now..
THE DIAMOND OF DRURY LANE had just the right amount of action, suspense, tension, emotion and excitement to full-fill my desire to read on and it kept me hooked from page one. Anyone who loves historical fiction, action packed books and adventures with a heroine who always proves to be light hearted, humour's and sarcastic or lightly romantic books will enjoy this no end! :)

REVIEW: The Night Sky In My Head by Sarah Hammond

16 July 2012

Here's A recent Review I Did For Chicklish. The Review Of This Book On Chicklish.


Step backwards. Witness the murder. Find the truth.
Mikey Baxter isn't like other fourteen year old boys. Not since the accident.
The world sees him as damaged. But Mikey has a remarkable gift: the ability to go backwards in time and witness things that hide in the shadows.
Now he must uncover the terrifying truth behind his dad's disappearance. Before the past starts to repeat itself . . .

I had not heard anything about this book when Luisa Plaja asked me if I would like to review it. I agreed at once (who refuses a book??!) and immediately searched it on goodreads. It sparked my curiosity at once although I was a bit wary ofwhether I would enjoy it or not as it said ‘’The Perfect Read for Fans of Skellig and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.” I have read Skellig but I had to force myself to as in all honesty, I found it a bit weird and the same with The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time. I have tried numerous times to finish it but I just couldn’t!
I needn’t have worried.
The plot was perfect and the Backwards was amazing once I got to know what it was. Imagine being able to see into the past? It sounds amazing right? Well, not for Mikey. A terrible accident causes him to be able to see into the past but he hates it, especially as there are many demons lurking in the shadows that unravel more of past than he would like...But now he has a weapon to use against them, the power of truth. Can he use his remarkable gift to save the day and free his dad from an unjust guilt? Or will unseen enemies bar his way?

I loved Mikey, he was so innocent and friendly, trusting – although that was sometimes a bad thing. Although at the beginning I couldn’t seem to be able to get into the book, I didn’t feel as if I was able to connect with the characters and the beginning didn’t seem to be able to reel me in. As the story carried on though I was able to understand and connect with the characters and I especially loved Timmer – Mikey’s dog – always there to protect him, and later on Meg; a good friend who was there for him when he needed her and always giving him good advice. Dave, although talked about very little was a strong character who is shown in a positive light at the end.
The writing was simple, yet was able to bring out strong emotions at the same time. But although I decided in the end that I liked this book. There was something that I didn’t.

At a first glance I thought this book would be suitable for ages nine and above but when I started reading it I saw that I was wrong. Although there was no complicated language; everything was easy to understand and imagine, there was a lot of swearing in it which I disliked immensely.
So if you are allowed to read The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time and do not mind books with swearing in then this book is the one for you. I still haven’t decided whether I myself enjoyed the book or not although I loved the ending...but don’t let that stop you, that’s just my opinion!

Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xxx

100th Post Guest Post!

13 July 2012

It's the big 100!
I made it to 100 guest posts!..Very slowly I have to admit!.
In celebration the lovely Luisa Plaja has written a guest post for you all. :)


Luisa Plaja’s Recommended Bookish Sites For Young Readers and Writers.

Huge congratulations to Ebony Black Lines on 100 fabulous posts!

To celebrate the Great 100, I thought I’d recommend a few book-related sites for young people who love reading and writing...

Girls Heart Books http://www.girlsheartbooks.com
It might be a bit cheeky of me to mention this, seeing as I’m one of the contributors, but I’m going to anyway! If you’re aged 8 or above, you’ll find a variety of posts here by authors of a whole range of books. There are competitions with book prizes, plus a new post every day and wonderful comments from readers. There’s even a space to link to your own website if you’re a girl who hearts books...

Chicklish http://www.chicklish.co.uk
It’s even cheekier to include this teen book review site, as I run it! But you could check out the book reviews written by contributors of all ages - including Ebony Black Lines! Also note “Chicklish Places” in the sidebar, where we link to lots of brilliant book blogs.

UKYA - http://ukyabooks.wordpress.com/
This is a showcase site that features Young Adult fiction written by authors who live in the UK, plus Top Ten posts by bloggers and authors. A great place to discover new British books.

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com
This is a social network for readers, and the site to visit if you want to find out what your virtual friends are reading, and what they recommend that you read next.

Figment - http://figment.com/
A site for young readers and writers, where a mix of published and unpublished authors post story extracts.

Movellas - http://www.movellas.com/
This is another community for people who like to read, write and share stories.

Booksie - http://www.booksie.com
I found about this site through a reader who wrote to me about my first novel, Split by a Kiss. She’s written several novels and posted instalments to an eager audience at Booksie. If sites like these had been around when I was a teenager, you probably couldn’t have kept me away...

Fiona Dunbar’s writing tips - http://www.fionadunbar.com/writing-tips/
If anyone asks me for writing tips, this is often where I refer them first. Fiona Dunbar is a popular author and she gives brilliant advice on overcoming some common writing problems.

Dear Writer - Siobhan Curham’s blog - http://dearwriterblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Siobhan Curham is the author of the fantastic Dear Dylan, and this site promises to be a great one for young readers and writers, offering ‘advice, competitions and workshops’.

Claire Hennessy - http://clairehennessy.com
Another author who offers great writing tips and lots more. If you’re a teen who wants to write for publication, you might be interested in Claire Hennessy’s great post on ‘Dos and Don’ts for Teens Who Write’.
http://clairehennessy.com/dos-and-donts-for-teens-who-write/

That’s it for now, but I’d love to add to these links if anyone would like to recommend favourite sites in the comments...

More congratulations to Ebony Black Lines on 100 posts.
Happy reading and writing!


Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xx




Competition Time!!!

08 July 2012

Woop! My first ever competition!..I hope somebody takes part! Because of my love of writing I am going to do two writing competitions at the same time..you are allowed one entry for each competition only. The first one is...

Pictures...

I am going to post a selection of pictures labelled A - I and you are going to choose one of them for your story..The scene in the picture has to be included in your story.

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

G.

H.                                                                                   I.

The second one is..

Words...

I am going to pick 6 random words and you have to choose one to include somehow into your story..It could be the plot, the place where the scene is taking place, a characters name or even the title.

Daisy Chains.
Beach.
Raspberry Ripple.
Blue.
Real-Life
Dream Catcher.


Terms and Conditions.


  • You have to include in your entry the word/picture letter that links to your story.
  • The stories cannot be more than 1,500 words long..I won't be picky if it's like..10 words out or something though! ( If I actually get any entries. )
  • Could you please post about this competition and put the button up on your blog so other people know about it? You don't have to but I would love it if you would!
  • E-mail your entries to me and for those who don't have my e-mail just comment with your e-mail/ or that you don't have my e-mail and I will give it to you/e-mail you. 
  • Winners get their winning story posted on my blog and a customized button and a guest post on my blog with a link to theirs to get them more followers and a book, also if you like I ill make a blog button for you. :). Runner's up get their entry posted on my blog..(credited to them of course!) with a link to their blog on it and a customised button(saying they were an AMAZING runner up of my competition linked to their story on my blog. . Sorry I can't do actual prizes. :(
A signed copy of Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham is waiting to be won by the winner too so get writing!

Guest Judge: Siobhan Curham.

 

And..I think that's it!
Competition starts.....NOW! ;)
Ends: 31st of this month ( JULY for those people who can never remember what month we are in *guilty face* )

Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xxx


The Look By Sophia Bennett

02 July 2012



Ted is tall. Freaky. When she’s spotted by a model agency, she can’t believe it. At the same time, her gorgeous sister falls seriously ill.  With her world turned upside down, Ted must choose between fame and family. Can she be a supermodel and a super sister?  All in five-inch heels?
 


Ted Trout cannot believe it when someone from a model agency sees her on the streets and tells her she has potential to become a model.  What is so special abut her?  It certainly can’t be her frizzy, ‘bird’s nest hair’.  And what about the beautiful sister standing next to her?  Confused, she forgets about it until the family discover something shocking: her sister Ava has lymphoma. Through Ava’s encouragement, Ted agrees to try modelling out.  The Look goes on to follow Ted’s new, glamorous career and how a family copes with heartbreak. Will Ted remain faithful to her family or will she choose fame and riches? 


After the success of the Threads Trilogy I couldn't wait to jump into another fashion based story. I don't really bother with following the fashion, I'm more the one who goes to a shop and buys whatever's on offer but this book gripped me right from the start. Pink pages, modelling, fashion, beauty, catastrophes, a fatal illness. It had it all. Or rather, Ted had it all. Ted: the girl who is freakishly tall, has a birds nest for hair and is in her opinion ''ugly''. Who would think she could become a model? Even once I had a read the description of her for the first time I thought, "oh..yes she doesn't sound very attractive does she.."She is the ugly duckling compared to her beautiful sister Ava but she doesn't resent her sister for it. They are very close and when Ava falls ill with lymphoma Ted is devastated. Especially as it seems her world is getting brighter in comparison..she is going to become a model! But can she make herself accept the offer when all she can think about is her sister suffering? Or will her sister persuade her to take it up and will she even like it?


Rating: 5 out of 5


Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xxx