Monday, 27 February 2017

Book Review: The Loud House #1: There will Be Chaos

Today I have a fun read for the kids and fans of The Loud House animated series.

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Papercutz

Publication date: May 9, 2017

Buy Links: Amazon



Summary: Ever wonder what it’s like having a big family? 11-year-old Lincoln Loud lives with his 10 sisters. The trick to surviving the chaos is to remain calm, cool, and collected. But most importantly for Lincoln, you’ve got to have a plan. With all the chaos, and craziness, one thing is always for sure: there is never a dull moment in the Loud house!
All-new stories from Nickelodeon’s newest hit-series, created by Chris Savino.
Book Review

Take a walk on the wild side with the first full comic for the popular Nickelodeon animated series. I have watched a few episodes and it can be a fun romp for a moment. But the show's target audience is clearly children and families. I downloaded this from the read now section of Netgalley where you can read a book from that list straight without waiting for approval. The comic was a fun read and while I thought it would at least be okay. I truly think it better shows the dynamics of the sisters the best. On the show they can sometimes just come off as obnoxious and annoying ending with you empathizing with Lincoln. But in the comic they are shown as so much more and even a few short ones just showcasing the sisters are among the most fun. Shocker, Luna's New Threads and Very Supertitious are among my faves. When it comes to Lincoln centered there is the longest strip of them all which is a choose your story one. Finding that remote by going to various pages to talk to different sisters and even pets was a barrage of fun I think older fans will enjoy the most. Also The Call and The Handshake were pretty good with Lincoln. For the strip most faithful to the show I would go with No Spoilers which felt ripped straight out of an episode of the show.

On a whole I had a nice time with this strip. Highly recommend for kids and fans of the show. I'm sure some readers will be reading their favorite strip over and over. Plus there's an interview I'm sure all fans will enjoy and I love that the creator, writers and artists from the show all took part with this comic. That is awesome!

Rating: 4 Stars

Thanks for coming. My Goal Hop post will go up Wednesday with my IWSG post.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Book Review: The Fisherman's Son

Today we go fantasy with author Cameron Jace. I love his fairy tale retelling series and it spans years. This one is a reader's exclusive that I downloaded a while back not available for sale. If you love fairy tale retellings turned upside down, I highly recommend his books. The Grimm tales are numerous including prequel novellas and even full books but I love it. This one I found among my pdf stash and decided to have a read. Now I'm sharing a review with you guys. I can only hope when I finish my own retellings they'll be half as interesting.

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Full title: A Grimm Diaries Prequel: The Fisherman's Son by Cameron Jace

Source: Online download from author

'Published date': November 2015

Author link: Amazon, Facebook Author Page, Newsletter

Summary: The young boy lives with his mother in an abandoned island in the Seven Seas. One day, a pirate arrives and changes his life. The boy embarks on a ship to find something most fairy tale characters are looking for. Something that will reveal to him secrets about who he really is. It will also tie him to the rest of the Grimm Prequels stories.

Book Review

This is not a tale for the faint of heart. At under a hundred pages it packs more woe and gore than some books four times or more it's size. The main character, a boy named 'Jim' has a destiny that turns his once ordinary life upside down. Going after a treasure turns out to be both a big and nightmarish adventure in this book. As his destiny unfolds and various character comes into his life, Jim learns his true name, the secrets behind the island and his heritage. But with all that he goes through. A part of me thinks it might have been better if he just stayed in the dark. Then again how many of us especially a thirteen year old boy, can turn down the call of adventure?

A masterful tale told in under a hundred pages with hardly a dull moment. Other than a few personal iffys, I had no problem with this tale. I do wish some things were a bit more fleshed out and a few things seemed thrown in. But not enough to turn this tale to mush or turn me off. At times novellas just leave a few details out of reach and since we know one day this tale will continue in one of the official books, that's not all bad. Highly recommend to those who are both fans of fantasy and those who might be wary of the same old tales. Trust me, this is anything but a typical story.

Rating: 4 Stars

Thanks for stopping by. See you Friday.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Monday MishMash and Poetry Corner: February 2017



Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme created by Kelly Hashway for sharing what's going on in your life and noggin. You just grab a button and post your business...I mean thoughts online. No biggie. Have fun!

1. I have decided to not take part in 2017 A to Z Challenge. Plus from April 1 - 14 I will be taking a full blogging break. Will be back April 15 and in time for April's WEP Challenge.

2. Happy with progress in freelance work. Things are going well and I'm guarding writing time even more now.

3. So excited about upcoming book reviews. Arcs, Netgalley and past book buys have left lots of options.

4. Moving forward with author websites and will bring more news in March.

5. Working on poetry submissions and happy with some intriguing options. Flash fiction too.

6. Happy with online reaction to a new WIP idea involving fairies (Tinkerbell type not Fae...things).

Poetry Corner

 I submitted a poem called Bugs to Bookends Magazine in 2012. It was rejected and recently I saw some faults and edited it. Now it has a new title and other changes. But I'll post both and let you tell me what you think.

Bugs

You crush them.
You burn them.
You kick them off your rug.
You scream at them.
You chase them.
You let them know who’s in charge.

You clothe them.
You bathe them.
Whisper sweet nothings
in their ear.

They hug you.
Say I love you.
And are your darling angels.

Until you treat them like bugs again.
-----


The Bad One

You shout at them.
You slap them.
You kick them off your rug.
You scream and chase them.
The brats need to know who’s in charge.

You clothe them.
You bathe them.
Whisper sweet excuses in their ear.
Tell them being good is everything.
Never step a toe out of place.
Hurt only comes to the bad ones.
Good kids are treated with kindness not hits.

They hug you.
Say 'I love you'.
Promise to be good.
They are your darling children again.
You let them go play and life is good.

Until they do something to displease you.
A shout, a thud, a laugh you dislike.
Time to remind them who's in charge.
Only the bad ones get hurt.
You are doing nothing wrong.
-----

Thank you for stopping by and see you on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WEP February Challenge: Back of the Drawer

The first WEP of 2017 is here! This time around I decided to go with flash fiction instead of poetry. The theme is 'Back of the Drawer' and all entrants will be posting about something found in that very spot. Click here to visit the listing of all participants. Thanks for coming and God bless.




Tiny Beauty

In my hands whimpered the secret to our blessed health and long life. It couldn't be more than a few centimeters tall and was so thin and pale that gender couldn't be determined. When Gabrielle left our village two years ago, I never understood her declaration that our lifestyle was barbaric. The only clue she spat was the secret we kept hidden in the back of our precious drawers. Mother said my sister had gone senile from refusing to inhale our weekly supply to blue dust. The powdery elixir that kept us healthy as the outside world aged and died often before the age of seventy. My mother celebrated her two hundredth birthday last month. If she passed year three hundred and fifty then she would make a new record. Our village was not meant to be known by outsiders. Those who left had to pledge to never tell anyone about us.

How was I supposed to know that after all this time my childhood curiosity would lead me to this secret. Right at the back of my grandfather's old wardrobe drawer up in the attic. The creature lay in a glass box surrounded by blue dust. Ever so often the box would heat up and blue dust rose from the body of it's tiny prisoner. My heart ached as I pried the torture device open and placed the tiny inhabitant in my cool hands. I had no idea what manner of creature I held. Only that what my sister said was true and that I needed to release this poor victim.

But then a sweet smell hit my nose. The air had filled with a glittery vapor as my hands started to glow. The little thing had started to heal itself. The body was gaining fatty flesh, lengthening hair and even wings. Then I noticed my own body was changing. No longer did I feel small and regular. One look in the dusty mirror nearby showed  my youthful appearance improved a hundred fold. My stringy brown hair was now a lovely chestnut, a more developed body and no more freckles. Every girl at school would envy me tomorrow. I now looked like how I had always dreamed to look. Whatever this creature was, it was magical. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was about to let this creature go and give this all up?

Just as it started to stand fully healed, I tore it's wings off and shoved the varmint back in the glass prison. No sound came as it screamed wordlessly at me with hurt eyes.

"So close to freedom but no luck," I mocked and shoved the glass box back in it's hiding place. I was not my stupid sister. One day I would inherit this creature and use it's dust everyday. No one in my family had ever lived beyond two hundred and forty anyway. Dad died years ago and Mom and my sister were the only family that I had left. Two down, one to go.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Book Review: Lila and the Crow

Today I'm back to reviewing books and excited to share with you a touching story.  I got an e-copy of this book from Netgalley. The picture book below tackles bullying and racism among children. Can one girl overcome this obstacle and show her classmates that she deserves to be treated equally despite looking different?

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Annick Press

Publication date: October 11, 2016

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository



Summary: Lila has just moved to a new town and can't wait to make friends at school. But on the first day, a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl's hair is black like a crow!” The others whisper and laugh, and Lila's heart grows as heavy as a stone.

The next day, Lila covers her hair. But this time, the boy points at her dark skin. When she covers her face, he mocks her dark eyes. Now every day at school, Lila hides under her turtleneck, dark glasses, and hat. And every day when she goes home, she sees a crow who seems to want to tell her something. Lila ignores the bird and even throws rocks at it, but it won't go away.

Meanwhile, the great autumn festival is approaching. While the other kids prepare their costumes, Lila is sadder and lonelier than ever. At her lowest point of despair, a magical encounter with the crow opens Lila's eyes to the beauty of being different, and gives her the courage to proudly embrace her true self.
Book Review

Lila got put through what no parent wants their kid to go through, racism. Yes it was shown and more like schoolyard bullying in the book. But when you are teased about your hair, then your skin and even your eyes being dark....that's racism. The author clearly wanted to write a book that touched on bullying in multiple respects and I agree with that wholeheartedly. This book had writing and illustrations that allow readers to slip into Lila's skin for a while and feel the pain of being a new girl who just wanted a friend but instead received prejudice and mockery. Her road from hiding who she was to accepting and showing her classmates the beauty in being different was very touching. I enjoyed reading this book and felt it was a great addition to the much needed books representing POC characters.

However there was criticism I must put forward. While I agree that this book showed the negatives prejudice. Not calling out the racism and accepting being called a crow can be misconstrued as having a little girl accept racism from her classmates and not really confronting the issue. While I don't believe that was the author's intent, a stronger stance could have prevented this. Also calling the crow that comforted Lila 'magical' can bring about annoyance with people of color getting stereotyped of being involved in witchcraft. Would a white girl's involvement with an animal be called 'magical' or instead 'touching'? Hopefully writers will look at these things more closely.

Still at the end of the day this story is a wonderful lesson on the human spirit and that love, not prejudice is what we should be aiming for. Highly recommend. Plus it is still available at Netgalley with no set archive date. Feel free to download or better yet go and buy a copy of your own.

Rating: 4 Stars

What do you think of this book? Thanks for stopping by and God bless.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Lies We Tell Cover Reveal and Social Media Blitz

Today I'm sharing the cover for Lies We Tell by Kelly Hashway. The book releases April 10th. Congrats Kelly and there's also a social media blitz promoting this book.


Synopsis:

Madison Kramer thought her past was behind her. With a new name and a career as a best-selling author, what could go wrong?

She never expected Trevor Lockhardt to walk into her book signing, offering his services as her publicist, or that she’d end up falling for him. But what she really didn’t expect was a stalker sending her messages, both written and in the form of dead bodies.

Madison can’t escape her parents’ murder any longer. But is it their killer coming to finish what he started fifteen years ago? How long can she keep her past a secret before her lies come back to get her?


Stay up to date: facebook.com/KellyHashway


Sign up for Kelly’s newsletter by 2/28 and receive a free ebook!

Full list of Kelly Hashway Links:


Thanks for stopping by today. God bless.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Dazzle Me Cover Reveal

Oh man, I totally forgot to share Juliana Haygert's book cover last week Monday. Well there is no time like the present. So enjoy the cover for Dazzle Me.


Dazzle Me
by Juliana Haygert
(When You Dance, #1)
Publication date: February 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
A sexy New Adult Contemporary Romance (17+).
The weekend before starting her dream job, Rayna Monroe goes out with her friends to celebrate. What she thought would be a fun girls’ night, ends up with her and a hot guy in her bed. But, before her wild, sexy night even starts, he walks out leaving her alone and naked. Ignoring the shame that consumes her, Rayna is determined to focus on her amazing new job as one of the corps-de-ballet members of NYBT—the best ballet company in the country—and forget all about that awful night. Only when she walks in on her first day, she bumps into no one other than the guy who abandoned her two nights ago.
The life of a ballet dancer is hard. The life of a male ballet dancer is harder, and Joshua Connelly knows it well. Living a lie, Josh just wants to focus on what he loves most while he can—without any distractions. What he didn’t expect was to come face to face with the girl he ran out on before doing something he’d regret.
Mortified over their failed one night stand, Rayna and Josh are determined to avoid each other. Except, they are chosen to represent the company in a big competition. Which means, they have to dance together. Not only on the competition day, but for several hours a day for an entire month.
Despite their attempts of keeping it strictly professional, their hearts have other ideas. And for a moment, everything seems perfect.
And then, it isn’t.
Faced with the truth and tragedy and forced apart, Rayna and Josh will have to find themselves, before they can find each other. If they can.



Pre-order:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/DazzleMeAmz
Kobo: http://bit.ly/DazzleMeKobo
iBooks: http://bit.ly/DazzleMeiBooks
Google Play: http://bit.ly/DazzleMeGPlay


AUTHOR BIO:


While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting--but equally gratifying--life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Subscribe to Juliana's newsletter to stay up-to-date with new releases: http://eepurl.com/CKsmX



Author links:

This tour/reveal was brought to you by:


So what did you think of the cover for Dazzle Me? Thanks for stopping by and God bless.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Goal Hop Update: January 2017




Yup I'm late with my goal hop update but I've been busy working on revamping my writing image. I also decided to come up with a better long term goal to challenge myself. What is that goal you ask?

New Goal: Make 100 writing submissions a year.

I'm certain some mouths dropped. But hear me out. I have many poems and stories just lying about. Yesterday I spent some time gathering them up so I can start the process of elimination. I have already looked at and made note of places I would like to submit to. Now all I have to do is some extra research then I can go on to editing or creating new works to go out on submission. I'll still be working on my novels but I'm not going to get a 100 subs with just those. Right now the number is at zero but my March I am determined to make at least 10 submissions. I am also going to start to buy the Bookends Magazine with the Sunday paper again to see if they still have an active poetry section. Poetry gave me my first paycheck and I never forgot. Time to get started. Onward and upward!

Social Media Update

I have decided to do away with my old FB Author page and start a new one. Go to new Facebook Author Page to like and keep updated as the old one will be deleted by February 15. I have also decided to move my movie and television reviews exclusively to Instagram. Book reviews will still be done here and Netflix too for now. Enjoy your weekend and God bless.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

IWSG: Concerns on No to Muslim Ban and Trump

Updated: Yup I'm going there today fellow IWSG. I'm mad and won't be silenced. I'm angry, feel a strong need to act and time to share some hard words and no alternative facts. For those who feel that I'm wrong for sharing this on IWSG I'll just say this. I have shared my health issues and other thoughts that were not writing related without any question or complaints whether on my blog or elsewhere. This is another of those posts so feel free to read or not read. Special thanks to those who have said they feel encouraged by me speaking out. Kudos. Like always everyone is free to have their own opinion. Welcome and feel free to speak your mind.



Last week Donald Trump issued a blanket ban on citizens from several countries. By what is claimed to be a coincidence and for security of the United States these countries could no longer have citizens from there re-entering the U.S. and just happened to have Islam as their #1 religion. Some over 90% Muslim. Yet that's a coincidence. Also a coincidence none of the countries currently on the list had terrorists that took American lives. Yet countries like Saudi Arabia that aren't on this list had terrorist that had taken a total of over 2,000 American lives. How can anyone believe that makes any sense?


P.S.: I'm not being sarcastic

Especially with the stories coming out that Trump has investments in some of the countries not on the ban list yet had terrorists originally from there that have taken American lives. I don't usually get political on my blog but I'm done keeping my anger to twitter. This ban is unconstitutional and can lead to Americans as well as Christians worldwide getting banned or hassled in other countries as retaliation. Protection my ass. I'm not for the ban at all but until Saudi Arabia gets on that list I'm calling bullshit on this having anything to do with protecting American citizens. Bigotry, that's what this is. And when Saudi Arabia makes it on the list in the next Aladdin Disney remake I'm going to call it bigotry too!


                                              Straight from Trump's Twitter page - Why God?







Trump's America effect on Jamaicans

 There was a report on local news earlier this month that a representative (someone who clearly didn't want to be named) had suggested to Jamaica (my home country where I have lived all my life) that while trade and relationships are okay right now that we should consider creating relationships with other countries like China, India and other Asian countries I can't recall right now. First off we already have a great relationship with China so that stinky ass representative can get deep throat from a piranha. We have Chinese citizens who left their home country to come here and now have generations of well locals, some of which have become top business men and even entered politics. Plus I find it interesting that a Western country would suggest we go make relationships with the East when we have many closer Western neighbours. This 'representative' probably doesn't even know where Jamaica is on a map or the language we speak (it's English which I'm certain readers are aware). Second what the hell does that statement even mean other than offensive and threatening suggestions and undertones? Let me say this right now. Jamaica might be a small island but we know when to lock up and take nothing from people who think they can be striking out of order. We already rejected that prison building offer from a certain past visiting president (I refuse to name that bastard) that apparently thought we were begging for more extra prisons to lock up people. President Obama sure as hell didn't come with that tripe. Only goodwill and respect. Now Trump is in power and the word coming out to our local news and politics is all bad. Jamaicans abroad are even reportedly calling in to find out their rights. Yup, they're calling Jamaica from America to find out their options. Talk about lack of trust. Plus this made the news. Do you know how hard it is to get on local news? We don't have news panels sitting down to discuss what our Prime Minister said last night. We have other things to report on. So when we have almost daily Trump concerns popping up, that's bad. It's almost like our own Prime Minister doesn't even exist!



Final Note

I could go on and on but I'll just leave it there. Trump's executive orders have been seen internationally as brazen, prejudiced and just plain scary. He himself is often referred to as a bigot, fear monger, fool, unprepared, not a true president and the list goes on. Neither George Bush or Obama were so besieged by negativity this insane just at the infancy of their presidency. At least not in my country. We are not even a mostly Muslim place, we're christian. But this move to ban people and refugees is just disgusting. Even green card holders and the fact that not even travel officials knew about this is just all shades of idiotic. It's like having a surprise reveal of a new house for your mother then telling her you blew up her old house with all her things in it. Yes a new house (protecting America) is not a bad thing but blowing up the old house (Muslim ban) is not the way to move forward. Whether or not people agree with me these are my thoughts.

Plus I'm very bothered by fellow bloggers I know who have fears because of potentially losing their health care and those who depend on Planned Parenthood which does much more than just abortions. I'd never want to have one (but respect the fact that it is necessary for some women and needs to exist) of those but defunding a place that offers multiple types of female care is just delusional and plain awful. I hope those who are 100% Pro-Life are also Anti-Death Penalty. I'm not, I believe some people deserve to be executed. That rally should represent traditional females like myself but some of that rhetoric.... And don't get me started on people at that Pro-Life rally who think women should not be allowed sexual protection outside of condoms. Get out of here!



Definitely stopping now since I've gone to angry tangent level. If you're offended then that's just the way the cookie crumbles. I'm too angry for others who I feel are being stepped on to care. Usually I'm much kinder but today I'm just not in the mood. Does anything about this Muslim Ban or Trump make you feel any insecurities or anger? God Bless and my next post will be Friday (sorry for putting Monday there before).

Waiting on Wednesday: Children of Blood and Bone

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event spotlighting upcoming books we're excited about. Formerly hosted by  Breaking the Spine  until ...