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Friday, 26 July 2013

Book Talk: Gone series by Michael Grant

This book seems to have come up in quite a few of my e-conversations this week, so I thought I might as well blog about it. It's definitely one of the most violent books I've read to date, but it is YA, so it's not anything overly life-scarring. Also no graphic adult scenes or bad language, so I guess that makes up for all the character-to-character cruelty.

It was a regular day. Then without warning, in Perdido (which, by the way, means "lost" in Spanish, so I thought that was a nice touch) Beach, California, everyone over the age of fifteen disappeared. Poof. But that's not the only supernatural thing going on in 14-year-old Sam Temple's life. Between the orb of light he somehow created that floats in his closet, the incident with his stepfather's hand, and now the enormous, impenetrable dome that surrounds "Fallout Alley" (as the town is sometimes referred to, due to an incident with radioactive fallout) -- the exact centre of which is the nuclear power plant. Coincidence? Probably not, considering the fact that both animals and kids are mutating to develop weird powers. And in a society ruled by teenagers, this will prove to be dangerous -- even fatal.

Fallout Alley Youth Zone -- it's just a FAYZ. Especially for those near their fifteenth birthday. Now Sam -- who can never resist playing hero -- not only has to keep the town together with the threat of Caine and his minions, he also has to find a way to "beat the blink" before it's too late.

I really like the study this book does on what would happen if adults really did disappear. It just goes to show how much would go wrong. If you think about all the wars that have happened in history when the world ISN'T being run by scared, armed, sometimes supernaturally-powered kids now fighting over the limited resources, you can begin to imagine the sheer chaos in Michael Grant's fictional world. this book sin't only a thrilling sci-fi story (sidenote: a sticker on the cover of book 5 claimed, "more thrilling than The Hunger Games". "Pah!" said I at first. But after reading both, I think the sticker was telling me the truth. Just don't tell Suzanne Collins. Shh!), he has also created a social study that doesn't feel like a life lesson being rammed down you throat, and flipped gender and racial stereotypes in his stride. Who could possibly not love Edilio? An illegal immigrant, but he does so much for the town in the FAYZ. There's one point where Sam remarks something like "he and his family would have been deported if the authorities found out, but he's done more than anything to keep the town running." That quotation is probably all wrong but the general message behind it is right. I'll say it: Edilio is my favourite character. Even more than Sam. Yes, I went there. To be fair though, Sam is an extremely close second.

Speaking of characters, I think I hate some people I'm not supposed to, but that's one of the things I like about this book. It bugs me when the author dictates who I should like and who I shouldn't. I like to make up my own mind who I'll root for and who I'll hope gets prematurely picked off.

Here is the Amazon page.

Star rating: In the beginning, I might have been tempted to say 4, but the series gets better as it goes along and it ended on a definite 5/5.

Books in this series:


You can tell just by the titles that things get worse before they get better, can't you? But it's worth sticking with sam until the end, even if a certain someone is driving you crazy and you keep wishing she'll go away but know she never will. Not mentioning any names . . . *cough* Astrid Ellison *cough*.

Just do it for Sam. I love Sam. He's one of those characters who you'll forgive even if he screws up big time, because he's got so much on his plate and his intentions are basically good, and he's given up so much for other people. Aww, Sam. Why do bad things have to happen to good people?

On that philosophic note, I shall leave you. Also I'll go ahead and say that I doubt I'll be blogging next Friday, as I'll be packing. Squeal! Holiday time! Yay! Try not to miss me too much ;)

Just kidding. In my absence, see how many books from my recommendations you can read :)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Music Monday: Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne

I discovered this song last week and have been utterly addicted since. It's one of those songs that are beautiful in both melody and lyrics, and I could listen to it over and over and over again (and I frequently do). This song is just so sweet. I love it <3


Must go brainstorm my next WIP now. I hope this song will be applicable to the characters' romance :)

See you back here Friday for the next Book Talk!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Book Talk: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires book #1)

So I'm of two minds about this book. I'm slightly biased against vampire books, because they always seem to feel cliché/Twilight-knock-off to me (the exception being Strange Angels -- but that's not technically a vampire book). But on with the post:

"Welcome to Morganville. Just don't stay out after dark."

It's never easy being freakishly smart, but for 16-year-old Claire Danvers college will be the hardest year yet. Run by vampires, Morganville is not your average small college town, and when Claire gets on Monica Morrell, Queen Bee's bad side, things take a turn so bad she has to flee the dorm and seek shelter with three well-meaning but total strangers.
As if having to lay low and run from the evil Monickettes wasn't enough, Claire soon makes another enemy -- this time, vampire Brandon -- and falls for Shane, one of her new roomies. With the whole town hunting her down -- including the vamps -- Claire will soon discover whether what's worse: Morganville's bark, or its bite . . .

I have two complaints about this book. Firstly, I didn't really love the main character enough. I didn't dislike her, but she was too whiny for my taste. I have read a lot worse though, and there are other characters (Eve, Michael, Shane) that make up for it. Secondly, without giving anything away, there was a cruel twist at the end which made the reader in me shriek "NOOOOO!!!!!" and left the writer with the impression that it was a cheap trick. I would have liked the end, if it had to be a cliffhanger, to be done in a slightly less evil manner. Or at least, for the evil to have been more justified, if you can ever justify evil. I think you only can in fiction, and even then, I will most probably not like you for it. *cough* you know who you are . . .

All that said, it is an internationally best selling series, and I thought the plot was fast-paced and entertaining. There were many clever twists which more than made up for Claire's self-pity and the just-plain-mean last sentence. I don't regret buying this book, and if I could start over I'd definitely still read it, but I honestly don't think I'll ever get around to the next umpteen books (it's a reeeaaallllyy long series).

However, even with my nitpicks, I have a friend who is in love with this series. So do still try it out if the premise interests you. We all have different tastes, after all -- which is why I don't like writing bad reviews. This is about as negative as you can expect me to get. I could rant forever about some of the awful self-published wannabe books I've read -- or tried to -- that were in such dire need of an editor my twelve-year-old sister could have drastically improved them. This is the sister who writes nothing but One Direction and Justin Bieber fanfiction (*sigh*). BUT, if I complained all the time, a) my blog sound like it was written by a stuffy old man and b) I'd just feel mean. Obviously these people really love writing or they wouldn't be doing it; I just wish they'd PROOFREAD a little more carefully. (For crying out loud! YOUR is possessive and YOU'RE is a contraction of "you are"!) Or, better still, pay for a freelance editor to take a look, but I know that sadly not everyone can afford that. This is why I'm still a strong advocate for traditional publishing because, IN GENERAL, it is of a much higher quality. Emphasis on the IN GENERAL. I've read amazing self-published stuff and not-so-great (in my humble opinion at least) traditionally published stuff -- but that's just the point! It's my opinion. Yours will be different. As will your mother's. And my mother's. And my friend Leila's. And her Great Aunt Susan's. And my other friend's dog Maud's -- if Maud could read. I think that french bulldogs are only concerned with how chewable a book is, though, not the quality of the literature ;)

It's Maud!! Say hi to the blog readers, Maud!

So if I read a book I really don't like, you will never hear about it, because it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get a book in print, and the last thing I want to do is have a negative impact on anyone's career. We've all read bad reviews of books we loved. That's one of the more wonderful things about humanity -- we're all different. (One of the not-so-wonderful things is that I can actually see ourselves doing something like The Hunger Games to each other. Big Brother meets the Holocaust. Scary or what?)

Well, I went off on a tangent there, but you can find this book on Amazon here.

Star Rating: 3.5/5

And before I go, I'd like to say that I'm away from the 3rd of August till the 25th of August -- so there will be no blog posts between those two dates. See you on Monday, guys!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

An Interview with Joanne and Karen Rock (J. K. Rock) -- Authors of the Camp Boyfriend Series!

Hey everyone! Today I'm very happy to welcome the two halves of the pen name J. K. Rock, Joanne and Karen, to my humble little corner of the interwebs.

I have a confession to make . . . I haven't had the chance to read Camp Boyfriend yet! But I will. You can find it here on Amazon, and the prequel novella, Camp Kiss, is absolutely FREE! I must say that was a good marketing move. Not only do you get to see how it all started, but you can see risk-free whether or not you like Joanne and Karen Rock's writing style. What are you waiting for? Go download it!

So now that I've introduced them, let me welcome J and K!

*round of applause*

Thank you so much for having us on the blog today! We’re so excited to meet you and your blog readers.

1) tell us a bit about yourself and CAMP BOYFRIEND
J – I’m a writer from the romance world who loves Young Adult books and wanted to try writing one. Camp Boyfriend is my first attempt at YA, and it was all the more fun as I wrote it with my sister-in-law, who is an eighth grade teacher and an expert in YA books.
K- I have my first adult romance coming out in the fall, but Camp Boyfriend is my first YA book. As Joanne said, I’m also a teacher and really wanted to write my own YA after years of seeing what kinds of books kids choose for their free reading time. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job to help kids who say “I’m not a reader,” find books they can’t put down. In Camp Boyfriend, a girl’s ideal summer is turned upside down when her school boyfriend wants to go to camp with her. It’s a book about friendships, boys, and fun, but it’s also a book about finding your identity.

2) what was the spark for CAMP BOYFRIEND?
J-We wanted to write a book set in the summer because so much can change over a single summer. People go on vacations or they move. They find themselves in different situations than during the school year, and so often that changes them. As we brainstormed settings for a summer story, one of us mentioned “camp” and it just started snowballing.
K-When an idea is right, we know! The ideas started flowing fast and furious as soon as we hit on the summer camp idea. We loved so much about that setting, especially since Joanne and I both attended camp as teens. You never forget those summer friendships, the crazy counselors, the swim tests or- of course- the boys.

3) when did you discover your love of writing?
J- I loved writing even in high school but I wasn’t sure how to use it until I was in graduate school and I realized I wanted to write a novel. I was on track for teaching English at the college level, and did this for a few years before I sold my first book, but the whole time I was teaching, I was writing on the side.
K-I was reading novels behind my math book in high school, so the love for stories was always there. It took a little longer for me to decide I had to write my own, but once I did, I couldn’t stop until I got it right!!

4) if you had to be a fictional character (it can be one of your own or someone else's), who would you be?
J- Can I be Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights? Sure, she dies young. But to be beloved by Heathcliff? Swoon!
K- Scarlett O’Hara. Because who doesn’t want to put off their worries until tomorrow? And – bonus- there is Rhett. Dreamy sigh.

5) what are your literary pet hates?
J- Characters I can’t get behind. I don’t like it when characters keep making bad decisions. It’s fine at the start of the novel, but if they don’t grow and change, why am I reading?
K – Dialogue that doesn’t sound authentic from teens. That drives me crazy because I feel like, if you don’t know how kids really talk to each other, who can you possibly know how they think?

6) if you could only read one book ever again, which one and why?
J- Argh! I find it so tough to choose one of anything. I suppose it’s cheating if my “one book” is a Norton anthology with twenty books stuffed inside? If I only got one book to take to a deserted island, that’s definitely what I’m doing. But okay… non-cheater answer is probably Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. She’s an amazing author and I love that book so much.
K-The Fault in Our Stars. I’m still so in love with that book!  But then, all of John Green’s work amazes me.

7) if not an author, what do you think you'd be doing right now?
J- I would be a college professor, surrounded by books, talking with students about books and reading a lot of books!
K- I adore teaching middle grade and high school students. They inspire me.

8) any fictional crushes? ;)
J- Did I mention Heathcliff? Although lately, I’m also crushing on all the boys Simone Elkeles writes. The Fuentes brothers are dear to my heart.
K- Augustus. He’s all mine! (Hannah here with a sidenote: you're going to have to fight my friend Ellie for him . . .)

9) what's the best thing about your job? Is there anything you don't like?
J- I love writing the heroes. It’s so fun to put myself in a heroine’s shoes. Although working with my amazing sister-in-law is a cool job perk too. The only thing I don’t like about the job… hmm… it really is my dream job! But I guess sometimes it’s tough to maintain the fun of a dream job when you work hard at it every day. I try hard to always maintain the fun of writing and never to let it become strictly “a job.”
K- Because this is my first year on the shelves, I’m still amazed by it all and I’m always finding new fun things about writing. Right now, there’s nothing I don’t like about, other than shutting down the computer at the end of the day because… what if I miss something important??!!

10) what's next for you now, after CAMP BOYFRIEND?
J & K – We have so many more camp stories to tell! This is a three-book series- Camp Boyfriend, Camp Payback (4/14) and Camp Forget-Me-Not (8/14). But we have novellas planned in between them, too! Readers already have seen the FREE prequel to the series, Camp Kiss. But we’ve got two more novellas as well, including CAMP CHRISTMAS, which will release this winter.

Thank you so much for having us on the blog today!

Aren't they nice? And I have to say I completely agree with their answers to question 5. I'm glad neither of them said Ethan Kozninsky from Dreaming Anastasia for number 8 . . . HE IS MINE!!! I call dibs.

It was a pleasure to have you here today, J and K! Make sure you download Camp Kiss, everyone! See you back here on Friday :)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Music Monday: Cool by Gwen Stefani

So my friend Leila got this song in my head at lunch today. I love it to pieces, but after four hours it does start to get old . . .

I know we're cool!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Book Talk: The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn

In keeping with last week's theme of "gems from the past", today I'll be talking about The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn -- another book and author to blame for my reading addiction. Yes, it is an addiction. But it's a beautiful addiction. I'll be talking about this book because a) it is awesome and chilling and made me cry, i.e. emotional -- the test of any good art, and b) I haven't finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children yet (but I'm loving that one too, if anyone was interested).

Mary Downing Hahn was my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE author when I was a preteen. I loved everything of hers that I read, and every time my grandma offered to buy me a book, I'd say "I don't care which one it is so long as it's by Mary Downing Hahn. Also, not *insert list of her books I already own here*." True fact. The annoying thing was that I've never been able to find her here in the UK, so I'd stock up every summer and easter we went to the USA.

I know I usually blog about YA, and I'd call Willis Place a middle grade novel, but it's one of those haunting (pun not intended) books that is so good it doesn't matter what age the protagonist is.

Diana and her little brother, Georgie, are not like regular children. They don't eat, or sleep, and are governed by two strict rules ever since "the bad things" happened -- 1) do not leave the grounds of Willis Place, and 2) do not let anyone see you. However, strong as the fear of breaking these mysterious rules is, the temptation of a friend gets to Diana when a new caretaker and his daughter, Lissa, move in to maintain the dilapidated mansion.
But breaking rules has consequences, and for these two siblings, they may be deadly -- after all, Miss Lillian can break the rules too. . .

Here's the link to the book on the author's website, and on Amazon. Try a chapter here.

Like I said before, I really love Mary Downing Hahn, and though I'd recommend any of her books, I think this one has to be my favourite. It's also the first one of hers I read, so it has a sort of sentimental value. Hahn's writing is always insightful, captivating and beautifully written. You're sad when it's over, as any good book should make you feel. I'm also in awe of how she can make her books utterly unputdownable without the cruel tricks of many YA authors (*cough* evil cliffhangers. *cough* subjecting your favourite character to a fate worse than death.). That is true storytelling skill. When things are sad, they're sad in a good way, if that makes any sense. My only complaint is I wish the books had been longer. But I have that complaint with every book I like. So it's not really a complaint, but a compliment :)

By the way, for any non-horror/paranormal fans, try Stepping on the Cracks. It's a great historical about WWII, and I love love love it. Or for more chills and thrills, Wait Till Helen Comes is wonderfully atmospheric, and that would have to be my next favourite ghost story of hers (that I've read). It's scarier than The Old Willis Place -- and I still find it mind-boggling that it was written before I was even born. I don't know why, but I just can't wrap my head around that.

So, to conclude, if you're trying to get a 9-13 year old to read, I urge you to try Mary Downing Hahn. Try her yourself, even if you're "too old" for middle grade. No one is ever too old for a good story. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Writing Wednesday: Favourite Least-Favourite Book Quotes . . . Paradox, much?

(Yes, I know the title is confusing -- I'll get to that.)

Greetings, all. Since I have exactly nothing to say about my own writing -- there has been a stunning lack thereof since I finished my first draft -- I'm going to talk about other people's. This week I compiled a list of my top 5 favourite least-favourite book quotes -- i.e., I love them because they're clever or dramatic or something, but I hate them because they made me feel like someone was tearing vital organs out of my chest. Not that I'm being melodramatic or anything ;). They are awesome and awful, and I love them from a writer's perspective but dislike them from a reader's. Thus, my favourite least-favourite book quotes. Paradox, much?

Please note: May possibly contain spoilers, depending on how good you are at putting two and two together. Read at your own risk. Also, may not have the same kind of emotionally-shattering effect for someone who hasn't read the book.

In order or favourite least-favouriteness (1 most, 5 least):

5) Someone covers me, protecting me from the blast. But I wanted to see it. I wanted to see her, one last time. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

4) "I don't need an invitation to step over your threshold" Christophe Reynard, from Strange Angels by Lili St Crow. Sidenote: is it just me and my best friend who see the double meaning here?

3) "There is no District 12" Gale Hawthorne, from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

2) Osteosarcoma sometimes takes a limb to check you out. The, if it likes you, it takes the rest. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

ALL TIME FAVOURITE LEAST-FAVOURITE: 1) Since you have taken my Broken, I shall break another. A note from Sergej, from Jealousy by Lili St Crow. Sidenote: this one made my heart stop altogether. It was hands-down absolutely the meanest thing Lili St Crow could have possibly done. And she had the nerve to do it. I can't be hypocritical, though, because in all honesty, I can see myself pulling an evil stunt like that. But notice how there are two quotes from the same author? Do with that what you will . . .

Why is the world of fiction so cruel, people? I'll tell you why: readers love to feel pain. Well, they love to feel joy too, but the happy ending is always so much better after a long, hard fight. If Harry Potter had had a wonderful, privileged childhood and everyone had loved him and his life was oh-so-easy, and he'd defeated Voldemort -- oops, I mean He Who Shall Not Be named -- on the first try, we wouldn't have been nearly so happy when he finally did. The character should never have it easy. God knows I didn't make it very easy for my protagonist. But that's how it's supposed to be! Pain makes good storytelling. You probably should give the reader what they want eventually . . . but what's the rush? Why not throw in some more evil plot twists? (Lili St Crow can certainly tell you about that.) No matter how much I complain about these EVIL cliffhangers at the ends of books, I can't deny that 90% of the time, these books have been my favourites. I'm not saying cliffhangers automatically = good book -- au contraire! Don't drown your reader in cliffhangers just because, and don't overdo it, because that's a good way to drive off an audience. Everything in writing is about finding a balance. After all, anyone who's eaten five slices of chocolate cake in one day will know that, yes, you most definitely can have too much of a good thing. Not that I've ever eaten that much cake. Honest.

Just some food for thought :)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Book Talk: Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls

This is a book that is particularly close to my heart, and is another favourite read from long-ago. It's a middle grade, and I know all my other posts have been about YA, but trust me: even adults will love this book. Do not knock it till you read it.

And I found out a couple weeks ago that they made a movie! How did I not know this? Still waiting for my local video shop to get it in stock, sigh. Then at long last I can finally watch it, although I think they might have changed some stuff, based on the trailer, which is here.


Now, *deep breath* onto the book. Which I know I'll love more, since I always love the books more -- Twilight being the only exception.

11-year-old Sam has leukaemia, and while there's no chance for a cure, he's on a drug to buy him time. Time to do all the things he wants to do before he dies, which includes riding in an airship, beating a world record, having a girlfriend, and getting answers to "where do we go after we die?" "Will the world be there when I'm gone?" "Why does God make kids get ill?" and other such philosophical ponderings. But where can one find answers to the questions no one will answer?

Ways to Live Forever is nothing short of beautiful, moving, fascinating, and extraordinary. Go and read it RIGHT NOW. Especially if you liked John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. Sam will reach right through the pages and touch your very soul. This book speaks the truth in a way that only true talent can. Go read it. You won't be sorry. I particularly liked it because, even when bad things happen (and bad things do happen -- it's a book about kids with cancer) you don't feel like Nicholls is just being purposefully cruel, unlike SOME people I could mention . . . but I'll restrain myself. No, here the author is just being -- like I said before -- frank and truthful. And I love how she had the bravery to do that. It really does make all the difference. I salute you, Sally Nicholls!


Not that I don't adore you, America (coming to visit in the summer! Yay!) but we have such a woeful lack of home-grown children's and teen literature. We need more Sally Nichollses in the world.

And this blurb has the best hook ever:

My name is Sam.
I am eleven years old.
I collect stories and fantastic facts.
By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.

It still gives my shivers!!

Star rating: 5/5

Now, I'm going to shut up and let you read some real writing. Tell me what you think!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Anna vs Terminator: An Interview With Author KENDARE BLAKE!

Kendare Blake is one of those authors who is just so good at what she does she baffles me. No one is more original (or funnier) than Joy Preble. No one is more suspenseful (read: uses more evil cliffhangers) than Lili St Crow. No one inflicts more EMOTIONAL TRAUMA than John Green.

And no one can ever dream of comparing with Kendare Blake's creepiness! That's a good thing, by the way. Especially when one is writing on the YA horror/paranormal borderline.

She is also the only author who has ever managed to make me fall in love with two guys in one book! I'm still trying to figure out how she did that. It's rare that I fall in love with one . . .

Okay, maybe it's not that rare after all. I realise that everyone who actually knows me will be laughing their heads off and listing fictional guys right about now . . . but whatever. My point: Kendare Blake is awesome. And she's here to say hi! Yay!

Oh, and her book cover is gorgeous. And this one. And this one too.

So now that we've all stopped drooling over her covers (psst. Hey you in the corner! You've got a little . . . right there . . .), please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kendare Blake!!!

*crowd goes wild*

1) tell us a little about yourself and the Anna series.

There's not much to me, really. Anna, on the other hand, has hit the ground running. She was optioned for film this winter by none other than Stephenie Meyer and Fickle Fish Films. I've had the opportunity to speak with Meghan Hibbett one of the producers, and I couldn't be more excited about the project. She's a big fan, and very cool, so fingers crossed we get to see a finished film! 

2) there is a lot about voodoo & other similar stuff in the Anna series. How much research went into it?

More into voodoo than the witchcraft stuff. I actually knew most of that, having had many witchy friends. But I did have to bone up on the specifics of spellcraft. And I've been told I got a few things wrong.

3) why did you pick the locations you did (thunder bay, London...)? Is there really a suicide forest in Scotland?

I chose Thunder Bay because I wanted a moderately sized city close to Lake Superior. I thought the lake was going to play a big part in the book. Turns out it played practically none at all. Whoops. As it happened, I was close enough to Thunder Bay to take a research trip there, so I got a feel for the area and took a lot of photos. Fun trivia fact, it has the highest murder rate per capita in Canada. And it does have the best ghost stories.

As for London, I knew I wanted to take Cas out of his element, have him experience the stranger in a strange land component when it came to The Order. Since he's so used to moving around the US, that meant taking him a lot farther. And I used to live in London, so it was a blast to write about. 

The Suicide Forest is real. But it isn't in Scotland. It's in Japan, at the base of Mount Fuji. And as far as I know, the corpses don't chase you. But you can always hope.

4) Cas's mom (Cas has the coolest name ever, by the way) believes driving into unmoving clouds means things are going to take longer than you expect -- a superstition I have affectionately adopted. Are you superstitious at all?

I am SO superstitious. Paranoid, really. It gets worse every year. I'm convinced I become more nuts with every passing birthday. Somebody save me. Sidenote: So cool that you've adopted Mrs. Lowood's superstition! Another sidenote, I have no idea what Mrs. Lowood's first name is.

5) what's in Thomas Sabin's desk drawer?

Cigarettes. He'll never be able to quit. So with cigarettes comes a lighter. There's also a dog-eared copy of Slaughterhouse Five, and a few pictures of Cas and Carmel. And he keeps a journal. Leather bound.

6) who would win in a fight: Anna Dressed in Blood or Terminator?

I have no idea, but I want to see it! And we're talking old school Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator, right? Or at least Robert Patrick T-1000? Because if Anna has to fight that weird girl terminator from Terminator 3, she would just...not do it on principle. That girl terminator was NOT an improvement over the T-1000. (I am a Terminator nerd, clearly.)

7) would you be a black witch (like Thomas), a white witch (like Cas's mom), a ghost (like Anna), or a ghost hunter (like Cas)? Why?

How much fun would it be to be Cas? To have that natural power, that confidence with the knife in your hand?'d probably die, and I would scream way more than he does. Every time I went into a house with something dead. Just knife out, screaming. That's how I'd roll. I suppose it wouldn't be that bad to be a ghost like Anna, as long as I was as strong as she is, but I have to imagine that I'd miss eating food. witch.

8) what's the funniest/coolest/weirdest thing a reader has ever said to you?

I always think it's really cool when people tell me about their Anna nightmares. I love hearing those. I've never had one. She haunts everyone else, but not me. How rude.

9) Any advice for writing scary stuff?

Focus on what scares you. What about it in particular do you find disturbing? If you're afraid of zombies, why? Is it the vulnerable feeling you have fighting something that can infect you? Is it the idea of being eaten while you're still alive? Is it the thought of something dead latching onto your shoulders? Expand on that.

10) submitted by Abigail Miller: When and why did you start writing?

I started writing in school. In seventh grade I wrote a terrible novel about wild mustangs. I've always loved reading, and stories in general. It just felt like the natural thing. The only thing I've ever been really compelled to do.

11) what's next for Kendare Blake?

ANTIGODDESS releases September 10th in the US and the UK. It's the first book of The Goddess War trilogy, about dying goddesses and the havoc they wreak. Because when gods die, they get really, really pissed. The lead goddess is Athena, who is dying a death of feathers, filling her lungs, cutting into her throat. She's been living on the outskirts of humanity for a long time. But when a war between the gods threatens people she comes to care about, she's got to find out how much of a god she still is. And maybe learn how to be less of one in the process. 

Thanks very much for having me by, Hannah!!

Thank you, Ms Blake, for talking to us today! We wish you an amazing release for ANTIGODDESS!

Does anyone have an Anna nightmare to share? What did you think of the books? Share in the comments! And who agrees Mrs Lowood's first name should be Rowena? :)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Music Monday: All For Love by Lady Antebellum

Hey all. This song came up on shuffle today and I realised just how much I like it -- so here you go!

Golden is a great album, by the way. I recommend it :)

Don't forget that on Wednesday we have author Kendare Blake here to say hi! I'll see you back here then. Bye!