Saturday, May 28, 2011

Competition! And you can win an awesome quote and picture book!


I've got an awesome competition for you here! How exciting! Up for grabs is the truly awesome book Nest Eggs by Kate Knapp, which is an amazingly beautiful book filled with quotes and lovely pictures! (I got a copy for my birthday, if you remember.)

Kate very kindly agreed to donate a copy and one of you out there will be reading it soon! It's so hard to describe, it's simply magnificent and so uplifting... if you're unhappy or sad or feeling like you need some awesome filled quotes to uplift you, then you have to have to enter this here competition! YAY!

Well, to enter you have to:
Comment on this post and tell me WHY YOU WANT TO READ THIS AMAZING BOOK!!!
And make sure you leave your email address (de spamified) so if you're a winner, I can contact you!
It's quite simple and I can't wait to hear your answers!

Well, have fun and be creative!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Suggested reading Titles....

Hello, Bonjour and Ciao ish things,

I decided that I thought it might be a good idea to do a Suggested reading titles list, seeing as it is almost Summer in the other part of the world and here it is nearly Winter and that is a notoriously wonderful time to read heaps... especially with a huge drink and lots of chocolate and sweeties.
They will come with a mini review by moi and hopefully I won't forget anything that I would have otherwise put on... the  I'll just mention it laterish!
Ok, let's start!

*My family and other Animals by Gerald Durrell- is an amazingly fantastic book and anyone who hasn't had the once in a lifetime oppertunity of reading it, is seriously missing out... and it comes in a set of the three books in one! YAY! And also the $10 Penguins, popular penguins, in Australia.

*The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi- is a really different sort of book, in the way that there really is nothing like it about... the pictures are amazing, the creatures, the description... it's all just amazing! And the cover... aah.

*Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery- are rather old, but not at all outdated, Anne is one of the most amazing characters and being so full of life (with an attractively fighty relationship) she is an amazingly groovy inspiration!

*Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke- is a truly amazing series of books, set in an amazing world, with fantastic characters and brilliant creatures... everything is so real and it is just a truly amazing series...

*Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo- is really an amazing and sad story, it was one of the things that made me want to be come a rehibilitation person and with all the wild animals and amazing creatures, it's a book that is the essence of animality and nature.

*Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin- is a very real feeling insight into what some people went through in China, and probably still face today, it is a story that is uplifting, sad and it makes you think of what some people went through.
The strengh in the writing is amazing.
It is amazing.

*The amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo- is a wartime novel and introduced me to this amazing author, who is still a favourite.
It is amazingly written and thought out, and really is brilliant.

*Little Fur by Isobel Carmody- is one of her best series to me and it is so unique, both is her style of writing and the characters, that you are never going to find something quite like it.

*Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones- is a book that you really can't compare to anything else.
It is set with amazing description, like the world was one known so well and lovingly put in print... she seemed to know it so well.
And Howl and Sophie are the best, even though Howl is annoying and over himself.
But I love him.

*Best Mate by Michael Morpurgo- is 1. what made me first want to get a greyhound. 2. was my first Morpurgo book to officially own. 3. is sad and is amazingly written. 4. can't be left.

*Love Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur- is a very sad and very well written book about a lost little girl.
It is just amazing and you've got to read it.
Now, please. Go on, get it!

*The Giver by Lois Lowry- is a dystopian novel from before dystopian novels became really popular I guess.
It's so strange, the world that it takes place in, it's awful... but it's also very intreguing and thoughtful.

*The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe- is very strange and very amazing. Though one bit is slightly weirdishly odd. And slightly Creepy. Not horror film creepy, evil collector creepy... But it's great!

*Chasing Odysseus by S.D. Gentill- is brilliant and very different from the sort of books that are currently out and about.
Get reading Winners!

*Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- is just amazing! It's one of the best books in book history! And you truly are missing out if you haven't read it yet. So you better.

*The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett- is the perfect book for a weekend away or a rainy day, it makes you feel the cold air and wish to be rugged up when reading it, it makes you see the garden in it's state is disrepair and the huge bare seeming moor and the animals that Dick brings to meet Mary... it's the perfect book for a dreamer.

*A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett- is a very different feeling novel to the Garden, but it is intensely magnificent!

*Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling- is a series dedicated to a pair of friends in a magical world, it features magic, spells, dark wizards and friendship and is a literary sucess.

*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- is a truly amazing book, written such a long time ago it never will loose it's style and utter magnificence... it's a book of possibility.

*Black Beauty by Anna Sewell- is an amazing animal tale, of death, longing, rough times, life, trust and an amazing horse with the possibility to understand and show it.

*India Dark by Kirsty Murray- is very full on and very moving, it's the story of a band of people who are very different and not well treated, so they fight. It's unforgetable.

*A Small free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard- is very very moving and sad, it's about a boy who doesn't feel as if he fits in and so flees from his home, because he's different... because he's talented.
And then war comes and he bands together with some remarkable characters...

Well, that's it! I hope you find these books very inspiring and enjoyable! Let me know what you think of them!
P.S. There was no snow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kingdom of the Lost book 1: The Red WInd by Isobel Carmody review...

What I thought:
I enitially read this at the library and really loved it... I love the mysteriousness of it, the fact that Bily and Zluty are so close, but so different, the strange animal in the cellar, the sky's odd habits and the fact that they aren't quite animals, but neither are they human.
I really like some Isobel Carmody's writing, and the fact that my second middle name is Isabella probably draws me to her books too! And this was probably my favourite of all her books- I do adore the Little Fur Books too though, they're splendid!
Well, after reading it quite quickly, I entered a competition on the Puffin website where I had to colour in a picture of a bear, and I got my mother to do one too, then a few weeks later! Guess what? We both got packages in the post containing t-shirts, badges and a copy of the book each! Signed individually too! YAY! It was super exciting!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Here and Now I have this amazing and special Q&A with...???

I recently wrote about the book, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and guesses of guesses what? He's agreed to do a Q&A with me for this very special blog of mine!
Thank you Jay, for giving me this awesome oppertunity and I all my lovely readers really and absolutely completely totally love it!

* When did you first start to write?
I've enjoyed writing my entire life. From elementary school to high school, whenever I had to do a creative writing project, I tried to think outside the box and expand on the assignment. Usually, that meant doing extra work...but it was fun! Sometimes teachers did give me a lower grade because I didn't follow their narrow and restricting rules, but then sometimes I got bonus points.

*Did you always want to be an author?
Ever since my first semester in college, yes. I actually enrolled in college thinking I would become an elementary school teacher, but I took a class called Children's Literature Appreciation and everything changed. For my final project, I wrote the text to two picture books. From then on, my goal was to become a published author.

* What was your first job?
McDonald's. I was in high school and I hated it. Whenever I go to a fast food restaurant (which is more often than I should), I always treat the employees with respect because I know how thankless those jobs can be.

*Are you writing anything at the moment?
I always have a few things going at any time. Right now, I've got two teen novels, a mid-grade, and two screenplays in various stages.

*How long did it take you to write 13 Reasons Why?
From when I came up with the idea to when I finished a solid draft, it took me three years. But during those years, it wasn't the only manuscript I was working on. At one point, I don't think I worked on it for six months. Had Thirteen Reasons Why been the only novel I worked on, I'm not sure how long it would've taken me,

*What inspires you?
Too many things! I'm constantly jotting down notes for new books. I wish one idea would hit me at a time, with no new ideas coming into my head until I've completed that first idea. But every new idea seems more exciting, which makes it hard to keep momentum going on whatever I should be working on.

*What do you think about your novel being made into a film?
I'm nothing but excited. It feels like a miracle that everyone involved at this stage shares a very similar vision. It's absolutely a movie being made by fans of the book.

*What are your favourite books?
My favorite book is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. That's followed very closely by There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar.

*Did you use an agent to get 13 Reasons Why published?
I did. Because of some awards the manuscript won before it got published, I could've sold it without an agent. But I never would've found the absolute perfect publisher without her, and she's been extremely valuable from a business perspective.

*What tips can you give to aspiring authors?
Join a critique group to improve your craft, and write as honestly as possible. Especially when writing a book about serious issues, it can be difficult to write honestly. I kept thinking to myself, "But my grandma's going to read this!" I had to make sure I stayed focused on a teen audience the entire time. That's who I wanted to write it for. Thankfully, both of my grandmas also liked the book!

*What is the main reason you wrote 13 Reasons Why?
Even though there were several things I was trying to say with the book, the main reason I wrote it was because the idea intrigued me. The idea came with the premise fully formed, and it gave me the chills. That day, I wrote about the first ten pages. I'd never written anything for teens before, or anything that wasn't humorous, so it was definitely unusual for me. But it intrigued me so much, that I had to keep writing.

*Describe one of your characters in a sentence...
Tyler Down is a lot like Brian Krakow from My So-Called Life.

Keep reading, writing and being inspired!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Winneropisops announced! (Wow, I adore that!)

My Chasing Odysseus Competition is officially finished! YAY! I can post again!

The two very lucky (and you are, it's an amazing book!) winners are...

Imogen~ from Dancing With Dragonflys

Congratulations Imogen, I'll contact you!


>Areille from Bloggy Balog

Well done Areille, I'll get in touch right away!

Well done both of you, I hope you adore your prizes and I can't wait to read your reviews of Chasing Odysseus- both books are signed, by the way! YAY!

Now, Areille's Entry, for you all to read!

Why do you like books?
I love books for many reasons. Many.
Books could go on for days but it's past my bedtime so I'll just say a few things.. 
They are wisdom, learning, knowledge.
They're words which someone put together for a purpose. They have meaning.
Stories. Need I say more?
Yes actually. Stories are like an escape. It's healthy (I believe) to escape from the real world on a regular basis. This world is too cruel and stories that I read inspire me and give me hope. 
They also make you more intelligent! 

What do books mean in your life, and a brief Description...
My life would be more bleak without books in it, it would have been more difficult to learn in school, and my bedroom would have no need for the bookshelves i have in it, which means I would have just a bed a chair and a desk in my room. pretty pathetic.

Why Do you want to read Chasing Odysseus?
Oh my gosh. this book sounds amazing. Totally into the whole greek mythology thing. So cool. 

A wonderful entry, thanks for entering! And now Imogen's!

Why do you like books?
I like books and reading books because when I read, I disappear into another world. I become friends with the characters, and want to come back and meet them all the time. I like books because I know that they'll always be there for me. A well illed bookshelf is one of my greatest delights. And all our bookshelves (of which we have many) are stuffed to overflowing. I also like books because reading them makes my imagination work harder and gives me ideas for writing.

What do books mean to you in your life?
Books are so important to me. I've been devouring books ever since I was about five (which was a soon as I learnt to read.) We have so many books in our house it's not funny. I can't imagine life without books. It would be rather like life without the sun. Or breakfast cereal. Or chocolate. I love books so much I've stayed up past midnight to finish one quite often. Oh yeah, and I'm te girl who borrows twenty books from the library at a time.

Why do you want to read 'Chasing Odysseus'?
I want to read this book because I love the old greek stories and I love modern rewrites. To find a book about the greeks in the library is to find a book that I know I'm going to read and love.

A brief description of what my life would be like without books.
Let's put it this way. I'd get up in the morning and the sky would be grey. Rather like in the Wizard of Oz. I'd get ready for the day. Then I'd sit on the floor, staring at the space where our bookshe;ves should be. My brain would be like wet, shredded cardboard. Books are the colour and entertainment of my life. I have never known a time when I have been without books. I think, after a few days without books, I go mad and spend my day banging my head agains a brick wall.

Well done Imogen!

I'll post more soon;

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chasing Odysseus Info time...

Well I did say I wouldn't be blogging for a while, but I am going to a little earlier than expected.

My Chasing Odysseus competition is being extended, to the 7th of May and I am urging you all to enter, because Chasing Odysseus is truly an amazing story- you may not think tales of Greek people is for you, but trust me (and you should, because have I ever let you down?) it is really, an amazing book.... you'll love it!And it's got a really awesome cover!; to get your really rallied up for it, I'm going to do a post about it! YAY!

About Chasing Odysseus: (i.e Synopsis)

When the Greeks seem to leave the war torn (and it is after 10 years of war) city of Troy decides to celebrate.... bringing, the seemingly kind gift in the shape of a huge wooden horse, into the gates.
Inside are some of the best Greek fighters, including Odysseus, a very strong fighter and with a very cunning mind.
Once the party is fully fledged the men come out and start to kill all the innocent people around them...
The good Herders of Troy secretly enter the inner city and start helping all the rest of the citizens out and to safety, only to be claimed as traitors.
The three brothers, Cadmus, Lycon and Machaon and their sister Hero set out together on a quest to find Odysseus and get the name of the Herders back, before it's too late...

What I thought:

I didn't know if I would like Chasing Odysseus, not being a huge fan of Greek tales at that time- I was mostly drawn to it because I just adored the cover, dark blues, with wolves and a watercoloury feel to it, it seemed nice and interested me.
But I was enthralled by it, it is such an amazing story, of family, trust, friendship and amazing boats. (which would be grand to have when stranded on a desert island.)
I felt like I myself was going to each island with the siblings and it always was welcoming, I never felt bored or tired of the story.
It really is, an amazing read!

This competition is closed!
Why you love books
What they mean to you in your life
Why you want to read Chasing Odysseus  and
a brief description of what your life would look like without them.

I will confirm entry has been received when I get each one!

The winners will each be requested to do a review of Chasing Odysseus once read, which will then be published on this blog and on the Publishers website too.

Can you please possibly blog about this competition on your blogs, to help get the word around.
Thank you!

Keep reading,

I entered the Text competition today! Yippie! I'm so excited.
And tonight is going to be one of the saddest nights of TV history, Nick Ronan from Heartbeat is going to be leaving, along with his new wife Jo and daughter, Katy.
It's heartbreaking and I'm going to cry, I know it.... and his first wife only died a title while ago, soon after Katy was born....
I don't know what I'll do... a tribute post on The Dreamy Tree must be done...