Thursday, 31 March 2011

The TwiGuide Posters Revealed!

In mere weeks time, The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide will be released and



She Made This In 2 Weeks? Seriously?!

I love Imogen Heap. I love her music - I write to it whenever I get Writer's Block (shush! Keep that Under Your Hat!), and just found this sound that is part of her new album where, every 3 months, she will release a new song and, at the end of the project (3 years), she will release the album in CD form or if you prefer digital download, you could download each song as they are released.

And this is Imogen's first song within this project. And it took her TWO WEEKS TO MAKE!

Jennifer Garner? As Miss Marple?

A few days ago, Disney revealed that it was going to make a Miss Marple movie. Disney revealed that it was doing a "modern-day version" set in American (if rumours are lead to be believed) and that the scriptwriter of Twin Peaks & Fantastic Four, Mark Frost.

But the big news - ok, the big SCANDAL - that shocked the internet world is who Disney confirmed to play Miss Marple... wait for it... JENNIFER GARNER!

Now, I saw the article online and, the first thought that jumped into my hy head was "Oh no! The Twitter Outrage!" But luckily, they saw the funny side and said filming would start in 2074. A few people have complained, saying Hollywood has ruined Miss Marple and Agatha Christie is spinning in her grave. BUT, as someone pointed out on Twitter, people are angry about this casting, but no one caused a fuss over Benedict Cumberpatch being Sherlock Homles in the BBC drama.

I just wanted to chat briefly about this. Reboots of shows into the modern world sometimes works. BBC's Sherlock worked. Batman Begins and its sequel (The Dark Knight & Dark Knight Rising) worked. Guy Richie's Sherlock Homles worked. Not all work, but these shows keep close to their original roots.

But with this reboot... who knows. I think we should wait till more details is revealed because it sounds very early days. It will be interesting to see what they do, but hopefully Disney and their people won't go completely mad and ruin Miss Marple (not sure about setting it in America myself, if I'm completely honest with you.)

But, for the time being, let's wait and see...

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Poster Revealed!



What do you guess think about this? It shows us that we're getting a HUGE SHOWDOWN! BRING ON JULY!!!

So, to wet your appetite, I thought I would add the trailer for Part Two &, at the same, put on the Deleted Scene from Part One that has been revealed by Warner Bros Online. Enjoy!





Now, I saw this and I laughed so I thought I would put this on the same blog as the poster, trailer for Part 2 and Deleted Scene from Part One(thanks FzngWizbee!)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

GoodRead - The Gathering

Kelley Armstrong is a big deal in the book world. Her Women of the Otherworld series are international success. Her first YA trilogy – Darkest Powers – became another international success, selling over 70,000 copies in the UK alone. With all her books, she has sold over 650,000 copies of her novels in the UK alone (which averages to around 600 copies being sold A MONTH!) and when she toured the UK for the first time last year, fans travelled as far as Germany to meet her (thank you to whoever wrote the Press Release at Atom Books HQ for all that info!).

So, yeah. She's a big deal in the world of fantasy books. And I have never read her before. I have heard of her but have never read her. PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!

So, when the lovely people at Atom Books HQ sent me The Gathering, the first book in her new YA trilogy – Darkness Rising – I got quite excited.

So, The Gathering. The main character, Maya, has always had a close bond with nature for as long as she can remember. And living in the tiny town of Salmon Creek, with a population of around 200 people, it's no wonder. But things are happening in this medical-research town. Last year, Maya's friend and captain of the swim team mysteriously drowned in calm lake. And now, cougars (aka mountain lions) are appearing round Maya's house and aren't leaving. Maya's best friend, Daniel, has started to get “bad vibes” about certain people. This includes the new bad boy, Rafe, who seems suddenly interested in Maya. Why? Does it have something to do with Maya's paw-shaped birthmark?

I quite liked this book. I fell into the book's pace and slowly discovering the mystery behind Maya's past and, like most dystopian novels at the moment, revealing that not all is well in Salmon Creek. You being to, like Maya and Daniel, slowly distrust and question people's reactions. Why did so-and-so react that way in that situation? Is that person's loyalty true? Did he really do that to Maya and, if he didn't, who did? It slowly engulfs you so, by the time you get to the end of the book and it ends the way it did, you want book two in the trilogy.

But there were faults with the book. The Gathering suffers from “First Book In A Trilogy” syndrome where it asked more questions than answered so you might get annoyed and frustrated at how the book ends. Another problem I had was some of the character's reactions. For example, Maya told a character that she might have seen a memory of an animal she was taking care of and this character believed her without questioning it. That won't happen in real life. You would question the person to be sure your friend wasn't drunk or slowly going insane.

But I liked it. I like The Gathering. Apart from one or two tiny things, I quite liked the journey, though I do wish I had book 2 of this trilogy to read, just so I get answers! And it will make me more aware of Kelley's others book. Maybe I should go and read her first YA trilogy (Tiny FYI: Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising are set in the same world, but the characters and situations never cross over. Although, I can't be certain about the shadowy evil institution hints. So, you can read one of the trilogies without neededing to read the other.) or risk reading one of her Women of the Otherworld books (or audiobooks.) Suggestions of a good place to start if I can find time to read/listen to them?

*

And now, the music part of the book review... (only one song this time round. A few came and went, but I kept hitting play on this one so... yeah... ENJOY!)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Fearless Threads - A Short Story

Another short story blog. Well... you all have really surprised me. YOU REALLY LIKE MY WRITING! Am a tad shocked, but it so lovely to read your comments and go "They like my writing! They not faking it!". So thank you for liking the previous few stories and I hope you like this one. No real idea where this came from. I just felt I had to write it.

I hope you guys like!

*

The me in the mirror looked nothing like me.
The me in the mirror looked strong-jawed, stubborn, defiant, totally kick-ass.
He looked nothing like how I felt.
A walking lie.
I slowly took deep breaths, my insides twisting and writhing painfully as I stared at myself in the mirror, my knuckles white as I gripped the sink.
I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing as a spike of panic stabbed the back of my brain.
Deep breath in, hold, deep breath out.
Oh my God!
Deep breath in, hold -
This can't be happening! This shouldn't be happening to me!
- deep breath out. Deep breath -
They made a mistake!
But they didn't.
I opened my eyes and saw the me in the mirror. His skin looked pale.
I gripped the sink tighter as my knees nearly gave out. I gasped and forced myself to remain standing as my stomach knotted and my lunch threatened to come up.
There was a gentle knock on the bathroom door.
“Sweetie.” My mum's concerned voice. Of course. “Is everything okay in there?”
“Yeah. Everything's fine.” My voice answered as my brain screamed, No. No, everything's not okay. It's not fine. Everything's wrong!
When did it become so easy to lie?
I waited before I risked letting my hands release their vice-like grip of the wash basin. My knees didn't buckle.
Without thinking about it, I raised my hands and my fingers touched my hair. I liked my hair. I never realised that before. I quite liked my short yet messy black hair that I couldn't tame, no matter how hard I tried.
I felt my face twitch in a smile. But it never really met my lips.
I tried to take a mental photograph as I lowered my hands. I reached out and took hold of cool plastic.
I forced myself to take a breath. Breathe, I told myself. Just breathe.
I stared at the mirror and a rush of doubt knotted at my windpipe.
Before I could think too much about it, I leaned my head over the sink, turned on the hair cutter and buzzed cut my hair off.
Don't cry, I mentally chanted. Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry.
I felt a rush of emotions coursing through my veins and push down on my bones. Terror, fear, shame and yet... liberating. It felt odd feeling these mix of emotions and yet feel lighter somehow.
When no more hair fell into the sink, I turned off the hair cutter. Closing my eyes, I raised my head up to its natural height. Then opened my eyes.
And fought the urge of hysterical laugh.
I looked like a bald egg with painted-on lips and stuck-on googly-eyes.
And yet, the me in the mirror looked more like me. Or how I felt. Smaller somehow, deflated, terrified.
The doctors told me to name it. According to them, giving it a name that I hated would help me beat it.
Apparently, calling it Leukaemia isn't enough to beat it.
I thought of names but dismissed them, all the while never taking my eyes off the mirror.
The me in the mirror looked the same as before. Smaller, frailer. But there was something about his eyes. My eyes. It was small, but it was there. A glint of something.
Defiance.
“You listen to me, you son of a bitch,” I growled at the mirror. “I'm going to beat you. You can bet on it!”

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

GoodRead - Forgotten

Am in two minds whether to put this review up NOW or wait till nearer the time of the book's release in June 2011. So, if you are reading this, I have made my decision.

Forgotten is a debut novel by Cat Patrick which is cause a HUGE stir in the publishing world. So much so that the novel will be released simultaneous in the UK, Australia and the USA at the same time (6th June 2011), and before it is even published, Paramount Pictures have bought the film rights and Hailee Steinfield (True Grit) is attached to play the main character, London.

So, let's talk about the story itself.

London Lane is your typical sixteen year old, expect for one or two things. Mainly, she can see the future. It comes to her in flashes and she remember them like memories. So, she knows what she's going to wear next Tuesday or having an argument that will happen this afternoon. But ask her what she had for dinner yesterday, or what she wore the day before, she can't remember. For every day, at 4:33am, her memory resets itself. She can remember the future, but not her past.

And the way she copes with this is with the help of her notes she writes every night before bed, her mom and her best friend Jamie. The system worked. Until now. Jamie is slowly going off the rail, London's mom has been lying to her and, to top it all off, London can't see a boy she's in love with in her future and, because her memory resets itself, every time she meets him, it's like the first time she has met and fallen in love with him...

Still with us? Still understanding what's going on?

Before I go any futher with this book, I want to quickly explain how I got this book because, before I got it, I was completely unaware of this book. On Twitter, a book-blogger-pal Rhys from Thirst For Fiction (@FictionThirst) had read Forgotten and tweeted about how it was right up my street. And then Jo from Once Upon A Bookshelf (@JoStapley) got involved and totally agree that I should read this book. So after a mad 3-way twitter conversation about this book (basically being told it's like 50 First Dates meets The Time Traveller's Wife) and maybe twitter bullying/begging, the UK Publishers – Egmont Books – decided to take pity on me and sent me an ARC of Forgotten. So, I owe a big thank you to Rhys, Jo and Mike from Egmont.

Now, my views on this book. I can go completely mad on how I liked this book. But I won't. I can't because I can't describe it the way I want to, so am keeping it short. Forgotten is one of those rare books that you can read completely in one sitting and still crave more. I just love this book and I can't wait to see what you gets think of it when it comes out.

(And now for the music part of the book review and these three songs fit perfectly. I hope you like.)







PS - if you want to read a short interview of the model and photographer of Forgotten (& Cat Clarke's Entangled), Josefine J├Ânsson, please click here.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

An Open Letter about Delirium

Dear Reader,

Today, 17th March, I have decided to do something I rarely do with books.

I am putting the book DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver down and read something new. I am on page 264 within a book containing around 400 pages.

For those of you who haven't read or heard of this book, Delirium is a dystopia novel where love is classed as a disease. Where, at the age of 18, you can be “cured” of love. The book follows Lena who, in 98 days, will be cured but, within these days, she meets (and slowly falls in love) with a guy called Alex.

Now, I hate leaving books unfinished. I hate doing it. But I feel I have to with this book for several and yet one reason alone.

I am not enjoying reading this book.

I'm sorry if you loved the book (and I know there are LOADS of you out there with love Delirium), but I am not enjoying it. I am finding it hard to read. After reading people's reviews and blogs and the hype around this book, I felt quite excited reading it, and after the first few chapters, I was excited myself. But since the end of chapter 3 or 5, the book just became... well, a drag. It felt more and more hard work.

And I know there will be people going “The last 100 pages! Read the last 100 pages!” but I can't see myself getting there. And, if I do read it, I'm not sure if I could like the book or find the book redeeming because of the last 100 pages. It just feels like I have read world-building and nothing is happening. Yes, it is a gradual realisation to Lena that the world isn't right, but it feels that NOTHING has happened.

Don't get me wrong. The book proposes an interesting idea and makes you wonder about love and wonder that if there was a cure for love, would you take it? (My answer: nope. Not a chance in hell!) And, there are moments in the book where the writing is beautiful. One of the most recent lines that made me go “whoa” is:

Snapshots, moments, mere seconds: as fragile and beautiful and hopeless as a single butterfly, flapping on against a gathering wind. (page 235 in UK hardback)

But I can't read this book in the hope that things begin to speed up or in the hope of finding gems of sentences. To me, reading should be fun and you should read a book because you enjoy it. If you don't like it, then don't read it. And I am going to do what I preach. I've done to myself in the past – read books that I find hard work and end up hating – and I won't do that.

So, I am putting the book down and leaving it. I hope to return to this book in a few months time and either start again or start from where I left off. Maybe a break from it will refresh my brain.

*

Because I failed (but hope to return and complete) on reading on Delirium didn't mean I had music linked to this book. So, I hope this music is a good replacement.

Monday, 14 March 2011

CROSSED Cover Revealed

If you like Matched by Ally Condie, you probably are waiting impatiently for the second book in this trilogy. Well, over the weekend, the cover for Matched's sequel, CROSSED, was revealed. And it looks like this...



What do you think of it? I really like it. It continues the cover of Matched, but shows Cassia slowly, but surely, breaking out of the sphere that must be the Society. I love the glass flying effect of her fist punching through the glass. Plus, I love the blue colour theme - I'm guessing blue has an importance to the story like green was important to Matched.

But what do you think? DO you love the cover or hate it? Leave a comment and leave me your reactions!

Andrea Cremer Cover Change

As you guys know that I loved Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, I feel I should report on this. Over the weekend, Andrea revealed the new US covers for Nightshade and Wolfbane. Now, for those of you who haven't seen them, am going to show you them now.

These are the new covers of Nightshade & Wolfbane:



Am going to be honest with you. I really don't like the new covers. I'm sorry, but I don't! The new cover of Nightshade, to me, looks like a tacky. Maybe it's me, but I prefer the old covers (see below). The cover change will be happening in the US, not sure whether the UK publishers, Atom, will change the covers. Will tweet them and find out...



But what do you guys prefer? New cover or old?

GoodRead - Bloody Valentine

Before I go anywhere with this quicky of a review, I want to state something about James Patterson and me. I kinda have a love/hate relationship with him. I used to really like this books. I read several of his Women's Murder Club and one or two of his Alex Cross books. But, after I read Mary Mary for a quick holiday read, I fell out of favour with him. I began to find his books very repetitive (if it aren't broke, don't fix it), and I was always questioning how much James Patterson wrote when he co-authored a book with someone (who would always appear on the book cover in a much smaller font). Then, I read Cross and I couldn't even get halfway through. It was such hard work!

So, when I saw Bloody Valentine in my local WHSmiths and read the back, I thought I would give him another try...

So, the story. Jack Barnes and his second wife, Zee, are very much in love. However, their Valentine Day's plans are torn apart by a violent, possible evil, murder. Who would do something so evil? And why? Is it someone who lives in the block of flats Jack's own? Is the murderer one of Jack's relative? And whoever it is, why would they do such an evil, twisted act?

This is very much a James Patterson novel. It doesn't require much thinking over – it's very much crime-lit for the brain. The chapters aare short and they always end of a cliffhanger. And for a short story, it's ok.

But it's very much a James Patterson story in my eyes. There was no substance to it and I didn't relate to any of the characters. And as for the murder/s themselves, I have some doubts over that myself. If it was the reason that I read, then why do go to the extremes they did? Just kill the person, not do what they did to the person body...! IT MAKES NO SENSE!

So, if you want a fast crime-lit book, this might be for you. As for me, it looks like I might still be in my “Love/Hate” relationship with James Patterson. Sorry.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

An Interview With Kimberly Derting!!!

Now, yesterday, you saw me go all "OMG!" over Desires of the Dead. Today, I got an email from Headline, with answers from questions I (cheekily) sent them, asking if Kimberly Derting would answer them. She did. AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!

Kimberly, thank you for answering some of my questions. First of all, I wanted to know where the idea of Body Finder came from?
My. Husband’s. Favorite. Question. Ever! So, we were driving along one day, when he threw out this random idea: “What if there was this kid who could find dead bodies?” Of course, in his head it was a middle-grade boy adventure series because all of his ideas are about middle-grade boys. So after changing the main character to a teenage girl, and coming up with the “echoes” that would lead her to the dead bodies idea, I also decided she needed to have a love interest…that was when Jay was born!

Where did Violet's ability to sense echoes come from?
All Violet knows is that her grandmother had the same ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints on their killers. It’s possible that she may delve into where her ability came from in future books, so I probably shouldn’t say too much about it now. Honestly, though, I really haven’t decided yet.

Most people who have read The Body Finder talk about Violet and Jay's relationship. Did you base it on your own experiences or did the relationship come organically from writing Violet and Jay?
Jay actually came out of nowhere. When I was writing TBF, he kind of snuck up on me. I wasn’t planning on having the romance (or him) play such a huge role in the book. But once I started writing his character, I just couldn’t keep him off the pages. And I may have fallen in love…just a little!

In The Body Finder, you had chapters told from a serial killer's point of view. Something that is rarely seen or tackled in YA fiction. Did you ever feel that this might have been too dark to tackle?
At first I really did. I thought my editor was going to make me dial back that POV during editing, but she surprised me when she asked for more. I couldn’t have been happier! I know, I know, that makes me sound creepy... but I loved writing the killer’s POV!

In Desires of the Dead, you brought the FBI in and with them, brings the threat that Violet's ability will be discovered. Was that an easy decision to make?
I really wanted the FBI element in DotD to put some pressure on Violet. I think it forced her to make some tough decisions about whether she should share her secret or not, and how she might be able to use her ability in the future. For Violet, it was a very tough decision. For me, it was pretty easy!

Unlike most YA books, Violet's parents and uncle are very much in the forefront of both the Body Finder and Desires of the Dead. Was that a conscious decision?
I definitely though Violet should have the kind of family support I would want if I had her ability. It wasn’t until after I wrote TBF, that I realized just how unusual that is in YA books.

I love reading about Violet's friends (the first chapter from Desires of the Dead made me laugh out loud). Are they as much to write as they are to read?
Other than Vi and Jay, Chelsea is probably my favorite character to write! Maybe it’s because she’s the most like I was in high school... although I couldn’t have spiked a volleyball to save my life!

I want to ask some questions about writing. When did you get the writing bug?
I’ve had it since the 7th grade. Of course back then, I had big dreams of being a jet-setting journalist. When I was older, and realized what being a real journalist entailed, I realized that writing books from the safety of my home would be a little less... dangerous.

Most people (myself included) want to know about how you got your literary agent and your publishing deal? Was it quite an easy journey or was it quite hard going?
Both, really. I started writing (and even had an agent) when I was in my early 20s (in other words, many years ago!) for a full-on horror novel I’d written. I picked up A LOT of rejection letters for that one!

The good news: It never reached publication. It was terrible.

The bad news: It was another 15 years until I wrote The Body Finder, which landed me my first-choice agent (who I met at a writing conference) and sold within weeks of being on submission.

So, yeah…sort of a long, torturous journey, with my fair share of rejections!

How long did it take you to write The Body Finder from the original idea?
It took me about 6 months from beginning until I was pitching it to my agent.

What is your typical day of writing?
I have an office (complete with lock), but I still end up doing a lot of my writing in the kitchen where all the action/chaos is. Apparently I have the uncanny ability to tune everyone out when I need to. Not always a good thing when the kids are telling me they’re starving!

Random question: Did you write The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead in long-hand or straight onto the computer?
On the computer. Honestly, I can’t imagine writing an entire book long-hand!

While you were writing both books, you must have written scenes that you, sadly, edited or completely cut it? How did you decide what stayed in and what “little darlings” you cut out?
There are always scenes that have to be cut for the sake of pacing. And yes, sometimes those are scenes that I love. When this happens, I add them to my secret file, telling myself that I can always use them some other time (in another book). I almost never use them, but for some reason it makes me feel better to think I might.

Was there a scene you loved writing but you had to edit out?
Actually, there was one scene in particular that I went back and forth on whether to cut in Desires of the Dead. I loved the scene, but only because it was a great interaction between Violet and Jay, the scene itself wasn’t pivotal and didn’t lend anything to the story. Ultimately, I cut it. BUT…I just figured out a way to use it in book three! Not only does it fit perfectly, but it IS pivotal, so it will definitely not be cut this time.

What do you feel when you see people reading The Body Finder & Desires Of The Dead and their reactions on blogs/facebook/twitter? Does it feel surreal?
TOTALLY! But as much as I love reading their reactions (well, the positive ones, at least!), I also feel a little like I’m spying on them. Still, it doesn’t stop me from peeking :)

I read on your blog that you are writing two more books in the Body Finder series (yeah!). Do you feel any pressure from the fans to make these two books live up to their (and your) exceptions?
Of course I do. I think all writers, especially those writing series books, feel pressure to keep their readers happy. And I don’t want the storylines to get stale or just be a repeat of the previous books, so there’s that to contend with as well. I want to see Violet keep growing and having creep-tastic new adventures!

I also read that you are writing a stand-alone novel called “The Pledge”. What can you tell us about this?
The Pledge is the little love child I created while I was waiting for The Body Finder to hit the shelves. It’s set in a war-torn world where classes are separated by the languages they speak, and it’s illegal for one class to even know—or acknowledge—the language of another. But the main character, Charlie, has a secret: she understands them all. And she may be the key to saving her world.

It’s dark and romantic and action-packed…and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

*

Quick note to say thank you to Kimberly for answering these questions (I think I love you more after reading your answers!) and thanks for Sam at Headline for getting these questions to Kimberly (you rock!)!

Now go get a copy Kimberly's books! Now! Quickly!

Is This The Shortest First Chapter Ever?



That is the opening chapter of Blood Magic, a debut novel from Tessa Gratton, that she performed in aid for a competition she did on her blog (it's closed. I didn't win it.). Still don't believe me that those ten words were the opening chapter of her novel? On her LiveJournal - click here to go read it - she uploaded a picture of the opening chapter ...



Now, there are so many places you can take that story. Did she find immortality? Did she fail? Did she turn into a glittery vampire? Well, will have to wait till its release of July 2011 if you live the UK (if you live in the US, you get it 2 months earlier in May).

But I was thinking if this was the shortest opening chapter ever. Am sure there must be chapters shorter than those ten words, but is there an opening chapter shorter? Am sure I read one about the same length - so, I ask you, my dear blogging pals, to tell me if there is an opening chapter SHORTER than Tessa's.

(No prizes if you find the shortest. Am just curious to see if there is or not!)

BeforeUGo - February 2011 Receommendations

Hello again! More music time of the month, right? So, let's get our rears in gear and show you last month's recommendations!

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT - http://www.rufuswainwright.com/
ROYAL SAPIEN - http://www.royalsapien.com/
MASSIVE DOG - http://www.massivedog.com/
LAURA MARLING - http://www.lauramarling.com/
SALLY SELTMANN - http://www.myspace.com/sallyseltmann
THE SWELL SEASON - http://www.myspace.com/theswellseason

If you want to find more music, either follow us on Twitter or add our group on Facebook where you can leave your recommendations to everyone else and to us!

Laters Music-lovers! Till next month...!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

GoodRead - Desires Of The Dead

Not sure where to start this review of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (apart from thanking Sam at Headline for taking pity on me and sending me a copy – you rock!), so I might as well start with a tiny overview of it.

Violet has the morbid ability to sense echoes of those who have been murdered and with that, a matching echo that clings to their killer. Alone a few people know about this, but all that could be threatened when she discovers a body of a child, bringing her into the attention of an FBI agent, Sara Priest.

As she tries to keep her secret safe, Violet finds herself the centre of a scary obsession. Is she being stalked? In times like this, she would normally turn to Jay, her best friend, expect they no longer best friends but they're dating, meaning that the rules have changed. And with Jay spending more time with his new friend, Mike, Violet begins to dig into Mike's family history. What she doesn't realise is that, in doing so, she might have started a chain of events that could put everyone in danger...

Now, I love the Body Finder! You guys know I do! I loved it so much, I made several people read it. So when I, somehow, got Desires of the Dead from Twitter, one person practically ordered me to read it so he could read it straight after me! (Gave it to him last night so he was pleased.)

So, my reactions to Desires of the Dead? I LOVED IT!

It felt like a worthy sequel. It was dark and creepy enough, yet it still felt romantic enough to hold your attention. There were several moments where I read the book and went “No! Don't go there!” and there were others I (and maybe several other bloggers) swooned over Violet and Jay's fragile relationship (that's what it says on the back cover of the UK edition). I think, at one point, I was reading the book and went “If Kimberly is doing what I think she's doing to these characters, I might never forgive her.” (I have forgiven you, Kimberly. Promise.)

But I think I love Kimberly's writing. I'm not sure why, with this book, I sped through it. Am not sure if it was because of her writing or what she puts her characters through, but I loved it. I loved spending time with Violet and Jay and am very happy that she has been asked to write two more books for this series.

I can't wait for more from Kimberly Derting. My other request is that she writes faster!

*

Now, for the trailer for the book (with a tiny video of Kimberly chatting about Desires of the Dead) and for the music soundtrack I had while reading this book...









(and just because I love the title [sounds like an echo, no...?])

Monday, 7 March 2011

Kimberly Derting News!

As you guy know, I kinda love Kimberly Derting. If you don't know her, she is the author of The Body Finder and its sequel, Desires Of The Dead, which I am currently reading at the moment (so good!). So, it didn't escape my notice when she wrote on her blog that she has been asked to write two more books in the Body Finder series, nor did it escape my notice when she reported that she has written a dystopic-fantasy novel called THE PLEDGE. And, on her blog, she teased us about it with the following...

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.


Doesn't it sound great?! I love it! If you want to read a tiny teaser of The Pledge, click here to go to Kimberly's blog. I tweeted Kimberly (@KimberlyDerting) about the book and asked if she knew if her UK publisher, Headline, will publish this in the UK. She doesn't know at the moment, but I really hope this does come UK-bound (with Headline or another UK publisher)! And I hope it comes with the same cover as the US, which is below!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

GoodRead - Red Riding Hood

We all know the story about Red Riding Hood. One day, a girl who wore a red cloak went to visit her grandmother, unaware that a wolf wanted to eat her...

Well, in this dark updated version, our Red Riding Hood is Valerie, a young woman who has found herself in the middle of a love triangle. She's in love with woodcutter Peter, an outsider who she hasn't seen in years, yet her parents have arranged her marriage to Henry, a young yet rich blacksmith. And when she's about to run away with Peter, something terrible happens. Her older sister, Lucie, is killed by the Wolf, who the villagers of Daggorhorn has been offering monthly animal sacrifice seems to no longer be enough.

As fear and paranoia sweep through the village, Valerie begins to suspect that someone she knows might be the Wolf. Someone she knows and loves. And the Wolf's message seems pretty clear: The Wolf wants her...

Now, most of you guys know that Red Riding Hood is a Warner Brothers movie that will be released around Easter time, but that's not all. Catherine Hardwick is the director of the film, which stars Amanda Seyfried, Billy Burke and Gary Oldman among others, and is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Another reason why people are excited about this book (well, the peeps at Atom Books HQ) is because this isn't a standard movie tie-in. According to the Press Release (I got a press release!!!), the film and the book were created together with the director, script-writer and the novellist - Catherine Hardwicke, David Leslie Johnson and Sarah Blakely-Cartwright respectively - working together and influcing each other.

The main problem I have with movie tie-in books is that they can't stand up on their own. With most tie-ins, if you read the book alone, it would feel very flat. As if the novelist took the script and, without any care, just turned into into a "gerneral book version of the film", which turns out to be (about 9 times out of 10) crap! So, when I was told about this at the Atom Books Book Blogger's event last year, I got kinda excited.

So, how did I feel about it? I flew through this book. It is a movie tie-in so there are times when you go "Oh! Now that's quite film-like. That would be cool to see in the cinema or on Blu-Ray" (I didn't get the paranoia which I sense the film will get perfectly), but there was something about it that held my attention. Plus, there was something refreshing about this version of Red Riding Hood. Gone is the lightness of the fairy tale and insert a darker and, maybe, sexual feeling to the story and you get a completely different animal (pun not intended).

Now, there is something I have to say before you rush about and buy this book (I saw it in WHSmiths so I know you can buy it now). Right... how can I say this... the final chapter is missing. [INSERT DRAMATIC MUSIC!]

Now, before you guys grab pitchforks and lit torches, I feel have to explain something. Which means I have to use the media-side of my brain which I haven't used since studying Media for 3 year at college (have I never told you that?). If you are going to read this book, it probably means you're going to watch the movie when it comes out, right? And what is the best way to make you go see the film and keep he final few secret twists... well, secret? Easy... YOU DON'T REVEAL THE ENDING!

In the media sense, it's brilliant. If you're going to watch the movie when it comes out, it means you don't know the ending. Which keeps you on the same playing field as someone who hasn't read the book. And if you're only going to read the book, the last page in the story - "Is this truly the end of Valerie's story?" - makes you doubt the ending you have just read and makes you check out the website (http://www.redridinghoodbook.co.uk) to find out there is a secret chapter that will be released on the 16th April - the day after the film goes out on general release.

Sorry, but the media-side of my brain thinks this is quite smart.

But the book. It will wet your appetite for the film enough and has enough strength to stand on its own two feet. Not many movie tie-ins can say that.

And now, to the trailers of this movie... ENJOY!