200 Follower Appreciation Giveaway (INT)

30 August 2012

Words cannot describe how grateful I am right now to have all of you amazing people. When I started blogging, I could never have imagined that I would have built so many relationships, that I would have so many people supporting me and helping me, and I never imagined I would even be be able to talk to any authors..LOL. When I started Ebony Black Lines, I was just praying that I would get one comment on a post and at least one follower, and now I have 200!! You guys are all amazing and I have so many people to thank for not letting me give up on my blog when I didn't have any readers or followers! 200 followers may not be a lot to other people with a thousand followers for example *cough* Eileen *cough* but to me it's amazing!
So, to celebrate all the amazing followers I have, the lovely Suzanne LaFleur has offered to give me her book Eight, Keys to giveaway to you all...and get this..It's signed! (please read the rules at the bottom for more information.)

Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn..

Good Luck To Everybody!

  • One winner will receive a signed copy of Eight, Keys by Suzanne LaFleur.
  • This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway.
  • Ebony Black Lines is not responsible for any books that are lost in the mail
  • You must be 13 years or older unless you have a parent/guardian's permission
  • This will last for 2 months (Lasting from August 30th (NOW!) to October 31st)
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Only being a GFC follower counts, as this is a follower appreciation giveaway, but the other entries are optional. However, the more entries you enter with, the more likely you will win the giveaway.
  • I have the ability to alter the giveaway at any time under circumstances that I will specify should the need come.
  • Only ONE entrant per household
  • Make sure you link back to my blog on my blog button and link back to the giveaway page on my giveaway button.
  • THANK YOU! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't Forget To Smile!! :D

REVIEW: Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham.

28 August 2012

Publisher:  Electric Monkey
Published: 2nd April 2012 
Pages: 288 pages
Book: For Review*
Format: Finished Copy
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Humour, Realistic Fiction, Mild Romance, Contemporary.
A first crush. An unexpected friendship. A dream come true. Dear Dylan! Thanks so much for your email and I'm sorry about my last one when I said I love you. I hope you don't think I'm a weirdo mentalist?!!! It's just that I was watching Oprah yesterday and she said we should all say we love each other a whole lot more. Not to everyone of course. There's no way I'd tell my scummy step-dad that I love him because that would be lying. But the thing is, sometimes when I watch you on TV, I feel as if you're talking just to me and it makes me feel less alone. I know you probably get loads and loads of fan mail but I wanted to ask you - could we be e-mates? Yours hopefully, Georgie xxx~Goodreads

“I’m so tired of feeling sad. And waiting for other people to make me happy and they don’t. And if no-one else is going to make you happy, well maybe you just have to do it for yourself?”
I didn't really know what to expect when I first heard about this book as it was made up entirely of e-mails so when Siobhan Curham offered to send me a copy to review I jumped at the chance! The book explores the social media of e-mails and how a most unlikely friendship can be formed through the internet. .I needn't have worried. The book was heart-warming and totally frost-free as Georgie would say!
I loved Georgie's character. She was so strong and brave and full of spirit and I couldn't help longing that it really was Dylan e-mailing her, because I knew it would make her feel so happy and delighted. It wasn't meant to be though and soon, clues every now and then made me wonder, "It cannot be Dylan. Why would a famous actor take the time out to e-mail Georgie?" Georgie tried to hide the truth from herself too. Longing for something good to happen in her life but when the true person behind the e-mails reveals herself she can't hide it from herself any more.

Heads Up! I Have The Winners!

18 August 2012

Oh yes! Here are the winners of my writing competition!
Thank you so so much to everyone that took part I had about 20 entries which is a lot in my eyes! I'm really grateful to everyone of you an for those that didn't manage to enter in time, don't worry, I'm already thinking about my next one! Some of my awesome bloggy friends also have competitions running and they don't seem to be getting many entries which I am very sad about so I will leave links to their competitions at the bottom so you can enter them..If you don't I will get mad..lol..
Can everyone give a big thank you to the guest judge Siobhan Curham for taking the time to help out and donating a signed copy of her awesome book Dear Dylan to the winner. Gosh I feel like I've won an award or something..or won it for you!..A big thank you to my manager and my agent and all my fans and....LOL onto the winner..or should I do the two runner-s up first?..;P

The Winner; Hanifah from Doodle Rainbow with her entry: Memories.

Memories are powerful. They shape you. They can haunt you. They are you.  Memories can destroy lives and save them. Even though they are nothing more solid or real than a lazy daydream or a passing thought, they often carry more power than things which exist in the present.
I sit on the grass beneath a great, old oak tree. Sunshine dances through the branches and plays on my lap and over my face. This tree itself has seen lifetimes of memories, but it still stands, strong and wise and tall.

There is a small hole in the ground, soil decorating the sides like a barricade. My earthy hands clutch a small, insignificant wooden box. It could be any box, but it’s mine. I still remember when I buried it. It was autumn, and the ground was a red, orange and brown mosaic of leaves which crunched pleasingly underfoot. I am twelve again as I turn the petite bronze key and watch the lid click open, the contents as alive and bright as I once was.
I am twelve, and I lay a pair of pastel pink ballet pumps into my box. I remember when my mum bought them for me, when I chose them; my eyes skimmed past the sparkly blues and glittery purples and I saw that pair. I knew they were mine, instantly; soft satin pink with the most amazing floppy bows. I kept them still in the shoebox, in the shelf under my cupboard. They were too nice to wear, terrified I would spoil them. I’ll never forget the day, the one and only day, I wore those ballet shoes. I was a swan in Swan Lake, all powdery white with pink shoes. It was my first ever performance, and I was immensely proud. How I twirled and pirouetted that night! How I danced, how I lived. After that, I could never wear the shoes again; after all they had been through. I even kept a bunch of roses a member of the audience threw for me, dried them and kept them in the box too.
I am twelve, and I lay a parcel, string and brown paper, into my box. As a young child, I had a pen-pal. Her name was Aahna and she lived in India. Aahna, like me, loved to dance. It was this shared love that brought us together even though we lived in completely different worlds. My world was school and friends and ballet classes; pretty dresses and annoying little sisters and bed time stories. Her world was fetching water from the pump in the morning, feeding the chickens grain and cutting up vegetables; she danced in the dust of her back garden when she had the time, and dreamed. I lived her dream, and I wished she could live it with me. She always used to send the most wonderful gifts; colourful silky fabrics studded with gems, a soapstone elephant figure, a page of flowing Hindi writing in black ink. The gifts I sent back to her never seemed so enchanting in comparison. This parcel was a polka dotted notepad which I meant to send to her. I never did. They phoned me, three days later; she died of cholera in the night. I cried, because I really loved her, the friend I never met. Aahna.
I finger other items in the box. I am twelve again. These are my favourite novels, pages worn and stained and faded with love. A dried daisy chain I made with my best friends. Smooth white stones hand-picked from the salty shores of the beach. A whistle carved from wood which my dad taught me how to make. Photos. Fragments. Memories.
I am thirty again, and I smile softly as I place my box back into the ground, waiting timelessly for my next visit...

Siobhan Curham's Comments: This was such a beautiful piece of writing. The opening description of memories acts as a really powerful hook into the rest of the story. Sometimes, when an opening is so strong, you can feel let down by the rest of the writing if it isn't as good, but this definitely wasn't the case here. This story just got more and more interesting and emotional. There was such tenderness in the writing and the author managed to convey so much in so few words. It brought tears to my eyes in places. It was such a great idea, so beautifully executed - it left me wanting to read more.

Diamond In A Dungheap.

06 August 2012

Here is a story I wrote for the competition I am doing. I'm not entering it of course but I just wanted to use this as practise. :)

I never really used to like going out by myself. But ever since our house turned into a world war three zone I have appreciated my freedom a lot more. My room used to be my sanctuary, although now my mum has taken it upon herself to treat my room like a resting place; away from ‘’all the noise and racket your sad excuse for a father makes’’ so I no longer feel like I have any privacy inside anymore. She comes to my room every morning and drags in a feeling of dark, deep gloom with her, that’s where she is now: spreadeagled on my bed with her dressing gown on, not caring that it is only 5am in the morning and I am trying to get some sleep.

She doesn’t have a job so it’s not like I have some time away from anyone either, I can’t even ‘’escape’’  to school as it’s the summer holidays – not that I would call going to school escaping. It’s the lesser of the two evils in my opinion, which is not heard of a lot in my house. According to mum,anyone with any sense won’t voice their own thoughts aloud in ‘’a place like this, with that’’- a less complicated way of talking about my dad, a man with very strong beliefs who is stubborn enough to argue a point for a whole day – Trust me, I’ve had copious amounts of experience! He has enough opinions to float a boat.

Wriggling onto my side I heave my duvet over me and mutter to myself, it is only just light outside and my room is still in shadow but mum is staring at the ceiling warbling, “I got a pocket full of pocket full of sunshine..” to herself and doesn’t see to realise that my eyelids are as heavy as rocks pinning my whole head down and I would really appreciate some sleep for once.

 It is obviously not meant to be and I am still tossing and turning in the space that is not occupied at 8 in the morning so I decide to give up. Leaving mum to cuddle up to my old and worn teddy bear I shuffle downstairs in my slippers yawning. Passing through the hallway I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and shudder at my own reflection. I have deep purple bags under my eyes and I am as pale as a ghost, even my eyes are bloodshot and my hair is greasy and in need of a wash. All in all not the best look ever.

The day just gets worse as I peer into the fridge and find out that the milk has curdled and we don’t have any change to get some more from the corner shop. I pour the sour, lumpy white liquid down the sink keeping my nose pinned together firmly with my free hand then sit down to a breakfast of dry cornflakes with warm orange juice. Somebody forgot to put it in the fridge last night. Just then that somebody decides to grace us with his presence from when he left last night and the back door bangs open, rattling the crockery on the drainer.
“Kelsey! Just the person I wanted to see!”
Dad staggers in with a throaty chuckle as he bangs into the corner of the table, joggling my glass of juice so that it spills all over the floor. He’s been drinking, I can tell. His breath stinks and his clothes smell of vomit. Seeing him standing there with a sheepish smile, his hair mussed up and a few weeks worth of stubble growing on his chin sparks the long forgotten anger that I have tried so hard to quench within me.

I stand there shaking with fury as his glazed eyes flick around the room. Suddenly, I can’t take it any longer and I rush upstairs and change like a whirwind. I throw on my frayed, holey jeans and an only hoodie then stuff some change into my pocket and go. I don’t know where yet, but anywhere will do, just away from my house is all I care. I usually go to the park and hang around on a bench for a while, watching families come and go with their gleaming bikes, frisbees and delicious, home made lunches and long I am one of them. Other times I sit under a tree in a field amongs rows of sun yellow buttercups and majorelle  bluebells with their pearly petals and I make daisy chains, crowning myself in wreaths of flowers.

Now I just run. Weaving in and out of cars, navigating my way through crowds of people and dodging packs of children out embracing the holiday spirit. My feet pound along the tarmac and my breath comes in short gasps as I fight to keep my emotions under control. Only when I am short of breath do I come to a reluctant stop and bend over, trying to get my breath back.

I am at the rubbish dump. Trash spills in all directions, a tsunami of junk and waste that threatens to collapse at any minute. I sit down on a stained brown sofa, not caring what kind of grime and mould breeds beneath it. Why? Why do mum and dad have to act this way, why do they shout and scream at each other and forget about me. Why? I need some fresh air, a scent like old smelly socks and moudly cheese is clouding around my head and I can’t breath.
I start to climb up the mountain garbage, picking my way carefully amongst the wrecked tables, beds, rusty bikes and chairs. My grip slips on a lamp wedged between two chests of drawers and I slice my hand on something sharp, sticking out of the debris.
Shhh!”. I suck air in through my teeth in pain but keep on going.
Once I get to the top I breath in lungfuls of air in relief. I am the trash queen...
“Meeeew” A plaintive call alerts me to reality and I look round puzzled.
“Meeew”. I hear it again, it coming from my right. Carefully, so as not to disturb anything I pick my way over to where the sound is coming from.
“Meeeew” It’s coming from inside an old, tattered carboard box. Cautiously I open the flaps..
It’s two baby kittens. I pick them up gently, cuddling the scaps of brown and grey stained fur to my chest. They are so vulnerable here and I feel appalled that somebody could just leave them for anyone or anything to take. One of them looks up at me with wide, trusting eyes and my heart – which I have tried for so long to keep cold and icey no matter what happens – melts and turns to liquid inside me...

What do you think?

Don't Forget To Smile!! :D

REVIEW: The Twice Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Susie Day.

01 August 2012

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 2nd 2012
Number of Pages: 177 pages
Book: For Review*
Format: Finished Copy
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Coming-of-Age, Humour.
On her thirteenth birthday, Blue makes a desperate wish. To be transformed into a cool, confident teenager. Enter Red, appearing from nowhere like a wacky fairy godmother. She's only visible to Blue - in fact, she IS Blue, but a year older. With Red by her side to guide her, Blue can avoid all the gruesome embarrassments! But her future self causes a heap of crazy trouble - and there are dark secrets she's not telling...~Goodreads.

"Turning Thirteen. It's a rollercoaster ride."

When Bluebell accidently summons her fourteen-year-old self back from the future Blue is, at first, a bit wary, but when she realises that Red is there to help her she is ecstatic! Red even has a road map of the year ahead so she can't fail to have the summer of her life! Or can she?
I absolutely loved this book. It was such a light read and I whizzed through it in one sitting. The characters were well-developed and I loved Blue's personality. She was so light-hearted and relatable and I can't see anyone not loving this book. Bluebell was the youngest of the family with an older sister. She feels like she needs her life to be re-vamped so when she blows out the candles on her cake she wishes, she wishes with all her might.
"I wish someone would rescue me."

I immediately took to Red as she bounded in and out of the story, texting  Blue by using her own number, coaxing her to go on the Red Dragon Roller Coaster; but it became gradually obvious she was hiding something from Blue, and that it was something serious. I kept getting more and more anxious and at some points in the book I had to stop myself from just skipping to the last chapter! Towards the end I was biting my lip with anxiousness and when revealed her secret I was shocked. Scared. Terrified for Blue. But it was too late.
Throughout different feelings of Love. Humour. Happiness. Fright. Terror Contentment. Fear, swamped me as I read about Blue's battle for new beginnings, excitement for her new baby sibling *sob sob SOB* &-- errr you'll understand when you read the book...-_- and happiness as she made new close friends...

 The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones is an absolutely absorbing, beautifully funny read. The characters are vivd and practically jump out of the page at you and the setting is a delightful, cosy little seaside town. It is a lovely light read with a dark edge to it that will thrill all young tweens and give you shivers! But make sure you have a tissue box..I was actually sniffing at the end...

*Thank you to Susie Day for sending me this book to review for.