Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Thanks for your support + Important Note

January 25, 2017 6 Comments
Hello everyone! Today's post will definitely be on a different note. We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us this far, and would also like to announce that both of us will be on a hiatus for about a year due to health problems.



Thanks to everyone who has supported us this far. Here's a big thank you to the bloggers who supported us:

Uma @ Books.Bags.Burgers
Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books
Di @ Di Book Reviews
Prabhleen @ Booksarelife987
Verushka @ Pop.Edit.Lit
Rita @ Bookish Rita
Amy @ A Magical World of Words
Crystal @ Crystal Collier
Candid Cover @ The Candid Cover

And of course, thank you to to everyone else as well who has also read our posts, commented and emailed us your thoughts. We appreciate it so much.

And also, a thank you to all the authors who have asked us to review your books. L.C, Tom, Ryan, Tara, John and more, thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to review your books, and we're sorry we won't be able to review it.

To end, we hope to blog again as soon as we get better. All the best to everyone's blogging, writing and life endeavours.

Thank you to all!

Wishing you all the best,

 Luna and Saturn

Friday, 20 January 2017

Author Interview: L.C. Ireland

January 20, 2017 16 Comments
Today's post is going to the first of its kind we've done. This is our interview with author L.C. Ireland, which we hope you enjoy! You can find our review of her novel Fatal Heir  here.


About L.C. Ireland:

Leslie Colleen (L.C.) Ireland is an author, playwright and educator. She works as an Arts Specialist at two elementary schools (for school children aged 4-14) in Utah, and balances this job with her writing pursuits. Ireland publishes plays for drama productions, and her debut novel is Fatal Heir. Her next novel, Follow the Music, is expected to be released March 1, 2017 - which is this year!

********
  Note: This interview contains references to Ireland's debut novel Fatal Heir. 
*******

Interview:
Q: So firstly, as a debut author, what are your writing ambitions?

All my life, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write before I even knew how to read. I have always loved storytelling. I want to write books that make people smile and laugh and cry. I want to transport readers to new worlds. I want to explore those "what if...?" questions that make such great stories. Books and stories are magic. I want a hand in creating some of that magic. I want to inspire people, for just an afternoon or a lifetime. I think the coolest thing in the world would be to meet a total stranger who has read one of my books and been changed by it. That would just be the neatest thing. 

Q: Regarding Fatal Heir, everyone loves a good hero. Could you tell us a bit about your protagonist Don/Izzy? Was there any real life inspiration behind him? 
Don/Izzy has been developing in my mind for a long time. He was the star of Fatal Heir long before it was anything close to what it is now. The story has experienced drastic changes throughout the writing process, but Izzy remained mostly in tact. He isn't based on anyone in particular, but he is made up of a lot of traits that I admired as a kid and still admire today. He is funny and brave, but sensitive. He's curious, but also dumb as a rock sometimes. He tends to be the last one to figure anything out, which makes for an amusing narrative since the story unfolds from his perspective.

 I think what makes Don a hero in this story is his character. Izzy is the moral compass of the group. His leadership skills grow from his deep love and respect for life, even in a world filled with chaos and death. He has a surprisingly clear grasp of right and wrong, which he learns not only from his own experiences, but through the eyes of others. When I developed Izzy, I deliberately created this dichotomy between who he is and what he can do. He's this blond, curly-haired total teddy bear of a kid, yet he has all of these terrifying powers of death and darkness. He's inherited this kingdom full of zombies, but all he really wants to do is go back to the farm and watch his younger siblings grow up. Seeing his world through Izzy's eyes, readers can't help but smile and cheer him on. 


Q: This one is a fun question: If you were on a deserted island, what three people would you want with you, and why? However, they must fulfil this criteria:

Person A: One fictional character from your book Fatal Heir
Person B: One fictional character from any other book
Person C: One famous person who is not a family member or friend

If I were stuck on a deserted island, I would want to be stuck with the following people; A: Rath from Fatal Heir, B: Brian Robeson from Gary Paulson's Hatchet series, and C: Bear Grylls from the television show Man vs Wild. Clearly I'm focusing on survival here. I would choose Rath because of his knowledge of medications and potions, as well as his healing abilities. I would choose Brian because he is incredibly resourceful and was a major inspiration to me as a child. Plus, 13-year-olds are hilarious. I would choose Bear Grylls because if things ever got really desperate, he would know all these insane ways to survive. He probably also has the best stories to tell around the campfire. I could learn a lot from him that would help my writing. Even if I was stranded on a deserted island, I would still find a way to keep writing. These three would inspire me and keep me alive to keep writing.

Q: After reading your novel, we noticed that your writing in Fatal Heir is simple and accessible to a range of readers. Do you think your children's plays and work as an educator at an elementary school influenced Fatal Heir?

Oh, absolutely. This is especially true when I chose to publish under my own name and not use a pen name for my novels. When I first wrote Fatal Heir I had some idea that my students or their parents would read it, so I kept it clean. I didn't expect so many of my students to read it and love it! My students look up to me, especially when they learn that I'm an author. Many of them read my books (some of the other teachers even have copies in their class libraries). 

I have to be especially sensitive to what they might be reading. I am deliberate about writing "clean" stories. My books have no sex scenes, no gore, and no profanity. If a character swears, I write "they swore" instead of saying the exact words, or depending on the story I just make up new swear words. The trick is to not sacrifice the story. Fortunately, Fatal Heir is written from the perspective of a fairly naive and innocent protagonist, so it was easy to tell his story and be true to his experience without the 'adult' content. The plus side of being conscientious about younger readers is that the simple writing hooks readers who otherwise wouldn't care for the genre. Lots of people tell me they hate "zombie books" but loved Fatal Heir. Even readers who don't like fantasy can still relate to the book. It's like a breath of fresh are for those who aren't interested in 'adult' content, but doesn't simplify the story too much to turn away those who are. It's a balancing act. 

Q: Everyone asks this, but what advice do you have for aspiring writers?
People say that when you give advice, you're really talking to yourself in the past. So I'll give the advice I wish I could give my younger self: take notes. I had so many ideas when I was a kid, but I never wrote them down! I had this vague idea that when I finally "wrote a book someday" all of the ideas would just come to me. I wish I had kept a journal or a folder or even a word document on a thumb drive with ideas for characters, settings, plots, and jokes. As a kid I lived in this magical world of imagination. I wish I had taken notes of the experience. Because now I don't feel like I can truly tap all of that energy and observation I once had when my only care in the world was to imagine things. So, to aspiring writers, don't wait. Even if you don't think you're good enough to write a book - write notes. Keep an idea journal or write outlines of story ideas. Some day you'll thank yourself. 



Q: What's next? Do you have any future projects?


Yes! Fatal Heir will have a sequel that is currently in the works. My next novel, Follow the Music, is unrelated to the world of Fatal Heir. It is currently in the revising and editing phase and will hopefully be available by March of 2017. I also publish three or four children's plays a year. 

Q: And finally, where can readers find more about you and purchase your book Fatal Heir?

Fatal Heir is available on most e-readers, including the Nook and Kindle. It's only 99 cents! It can be ordered in print on Amazon. Signed editions can be ordered (U.S. only) from my website: www.ghostlight.ink. 




*****

Thanks so much to L.C. Ireland for agreeing to do an interview with us! What would you have you answered for these questions?

Note: All images used on this page do not belong to us. All credit goes to the respective owners.








Saturday, 14 January 2017

Fatal Heir

January 14, 2017 20 Comments

Hello everyone! Today we'll be reviewing Fatal Heir by L.C. Ireland, and we'd like to say thank you for providing us a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Our review was not in any way affected this.  
Series:  None (currently)
Author: L.C. Ireland
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ghost Light Publishing


Swift Synopsis:
Donald Baines is an ordinary farmer bestowed with an unusual gift - he can see the dead. Soon enough, he discovers he is Prince Izayik Delaren, the heir to the throne. However, he is considered a traitor to the crown and now journeys to end the Rise of the Deadmen. 

Review:
 
This is a sweet read, there’s no doubt about it. Set in a fantastical world, it follows some common tropes: a protagonist (Don) who discovers he is someone more (Prince Izayik ⚔), a quest to end evil and an assemble of oddities united by a common cause. But despite this, Fatal Heir is delightful.   


We’re especially fond of the humour injected throughout the novel. It’s refreshing to find humour that isn’t risquΓ© or coarse (insert The Fault in Our Stars for 2nd category) like those found in quite a few YA novels. The book is almost nostalgic, in a sense, because some of the humour is like that you’d experience as a kid.

In terms of characterisation, we like the way  the protagonist Don is portrayed. It’s great to see that Don/Izayik (Izzy) - who didn’t live as a prince - doesn’t miraculously possess princely qualities πŸ‘‘ when discovered. Izzy’s  behaviour can be child-like, which is endearing, and at times, frustrating.
Favourite Quote:

Although Fatal Heir is written for a YA audience, we feel that it’s more suitable for the younger end of this particular audience. The book is very simple, and sometimes we wish there was more intricacy to the writing.

There are many questions we still have regarding the book, especially since there is a revelation at the end, so we believe those are answered in the sequel, which is currently in the works.

One thing that is fantastic to read is that there are powerful female main/supporting characters. Mel, Zarra , Banash and Queen Aerona are all strong female characters, and we love that.

Overall, we do recommend this as a sweet read, especially for the younger audiences!  πŸ“–

Rating:

Do you usually read books targeted at the younger end of the YA audience? Please tell us what you think in the comments below.

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Mystery Blogger Award

January 13, 2017 10 Comments

Firstly, thank you to Amy @ A Magical World of Words for nominating us for the Mystery Blogger Awards. This award was created by  Okoto Enigma.



Rules
  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  1. List the rules.
  1. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  1. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  1. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  1. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  1. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  1. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  1. Share a link to your best post(s)
3 Things About Us:
1. We are identical twins, born only one minute apart
2. We wear matching outfits or really similar outfits
3. We never ever drink soft drinks


Answering Amy's Questions:
1: If you could marry one fictional character, who would it be? 

Honestly, we've never thought about marrying a literary character - marriage is such a distant thought for us. We're really supportive of strong, independent characters, so never crossed our mind who'd we marry. 

2: If you could live in one fictional world from a book or movie, where would it be? 
Easy question - we both would love to live in Zootopia. 

3: If you could enter a fairy tale, which fairy tale would it be?   
Original fairy tales are much too macabre, so we'd rather enter a Disney fairy tale. Saturn would want to enter Disney's Beauty and the Best while Luna would like to enter Disney's Mulan.


4: What is your dream job? 

Saturn's dream job is sort of doctor and Luna would like to be a lawyer. 

5: Pick a villain you think could actually be really good as a hero.  

Luna thinks Shougo Makishima from Psycho Pass would be a really good hero if he wasn't a villain, while Saturn isn't sure. 

Random!: If you had to choose between spending the rest of your life in an ocean of cold water, or in a scorching hot dessert, what would you choose?


Both of us would choose a scorching hot desert, given that we were living in a house with air conditioning. 

Our Nominations:

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Rita @ BookishRita
Prabhleen @ Booksarelife987
Genesis @ Latte Night Reviews
Amanda @ Latte Night Reviews
Benish @ Beenazai
Olivia @ Books in Blankets
Aneta @ Angelic Book Reviews
Veruska @ pop.edit.lit
Crystal @ Crystal Collier

If your blog is award-free or you'd rather not participate, you don't have to :)

Our Questions for the Nominees:
1. What character's name would you give to your future pet/child?
2. What book/movie describes you best? 
3. Who would be your book/movie best friend?

4. Why did you start book blogging?
Random: If you could wish for ANYTHING to come true, what would it be?


Our Best Post:
It's not our most popular post, but the post we're proudest of is our review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.






Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Emoji Book Tag

January 10, 2017 16 Comments
Hello everyone! It's good to come back to the blogging community - we've been inactive for the past week or so, because of Lunar New Year festivals. We've never joined a book tag before, and this is new and exciting for us. Thanks to Uma @ Books.Bags.Burgers for tagging us. :) This tag was created by InkBonesBooks.

A quick explanation of how this tag works: You pick your top 5 most used emojis and match them to any books with an explanation why you associated that emoji with your book(s). Here it goes:


The Smiling Emoji

  πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

We use this emoji all the time. Whenever we're happy, this is the go-to emoji for us. This is a book that makes us happy whenever we read it. OK, it's a series, but still.

                         
The Lady Grace Mysteries

We were obsessed with this when we were younger and whenever we re-read it - even though we know EVERYTHING that's going to happen - it makes us so happy. We will never forget the moment when we realised that the series is ordered in alphabetical order - we felt just like Lady Grace when she solves  a mystery!

                                                       Smiling Heart Eyes Emoji

😍😍😍😍😍
Pretty self-explanatory emoji. Here are 2 series we love. They have amazing characters, amazing writing, an amazing plot and basically everything we love. The Winds of Winter (Book #6 in Song of Ice and Fire) could come out this year!

Illuminae Files & A Song of Ice and Fire

The Loudly Crying Emoji

😭😭😭😭😭
Here is a book that turns us into a weeping mess. It's so bittersweet we can't help but love it. We think  Stardust is Neil Gaiman's best work, even though it's not as highly regarded as his other works. It's like an extended fairy tale - it's beautiful. 
Stardust

The Stuck Out Tongue Emoji

πŸ˜›πŸ˜›πŸ˜›πŸ˜›πŸ˜›
The 'I'm just kidding' emoji is one we use a lot. We'll associate it with a book that made us laugh so much it hurt. Every book in the series is funny, but the first one holds such good memories for us.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ 


Animal Emojis

πŸ˜ΊπŸ•ŠπŸ™‰πŸΆπŸΊπŸ±πŸ­πŸΉπŸ―πŸΌπŸ™
We just love using all sorts of animal emojis (no order to it) to make a conversation more colourful. These are books with animal leads that we love. These are both timeless classics that we read as kids and we will never, ever forget them. 

Black Beauty & Charlotte's Web





This was a lot of fun. The people we'd like tag in the Emoji Book Tag are:


We hope you join :)









Monday, 2 January 2017

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me

January 02, 2017 14 Comments

Series: None
Editor: Kate Bernheimer
Genre: Fantasy, short story
Publisher: Penguin books
Pages: 543 (paperback)

Swift Synopsis:

This is an anthology of fairy tales with 40 different authors submitting 40 different unique, fairy tale-inspired short stories. It was editedby Kate Bernheimer and features authors such as Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Hiromi Ito and many more.

Review:


My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. An awesome title for a pretty awesome anthology. This is another fairy tale retelling, like Red as Blood, but from 40 different authors. And, this anthology gathers fairy tales from 14 different countries, spanning the continents of North America, South America, Europe and Asia, meaning it’s a part of our diverse books read-a-thon.
https://bookburningdragons.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/red-as-blood-by-tanith-lee-series-none.html                            
As there are so many stories and authors, it’s hard to put the book in a nutshell but we’ll try 😁😁😁


One of the highlights of the book that is after every short story, there’s an author note in which the author gives some insight into why he/she wrote the story and the inspiration behind it. You don’t see this a lot so it’s great to see something different from the usual anthologies. However, some of these author comments are really pretentious - the author is trying way too hard to sound sophisticated and cultured.

Although this anthology won a World Fantasy Award in 2011 for Best Anthology, a lot of these fairy tales don’t have a fantastical or magical vibe. In a lot of them, the stories are set in a real city and the characters have nothing unreal in their lives. We were expecting this book to go crazy with the magic but it didn’t. We know lots of people love fairytales with realism but it strikes us as boring.

Favourite Quote:


                                         
And with any anthology, there are hits and misses. Our favourite stories are definitely:


  1. Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child by Joy Williams
  2. Halfway People by Karen Joy Fowler
  3. The Color Master by Aimee Bender
  4. A Case Study of Emergency Room Procedure and Risk Management by Hospital Staff Members in the Urban Facility by Stacey Richter
  5. Orange by Neil Gaiman
  6. The Story of the Mosquito by Lily Hoang


These stories stand out because of the fairytale being told in a different character’s point of view (The Colour Master), having a wicked format (Orange) or just simply beautiful writing and storytelling (The Story of the Mosquito).

Most stories have a modern twist on the well-known fairy tales, but it's enjoyable because we never feel cheated. Our favourite aspect of this book is its lyrical writing and originality of ideas.

So if you’re looking for a diverse range of quite macabre fairy tales, then look no further!!


Rating!! (Out of 5 stars)




Monday, 26 December 2016

2017 New Year Bookish Resolutions

December 26, 2016 17 Comments
Today’s post is going to be our New Year’s Bookish resolutions (aka 2017 To-be-read list). Some of these books will be for Uma K’s πŸ‘₯Fantastically DiverseπŸ‘₯ read-a-thon. It’s - to put it in a nutshell - a read-a-thon that embraces diverse books, and we’ll try our best to finish it. For more details on the read-a-thon, click the picture or copy the URL below.


This is just a small list of our personal choices for 2017, and they’re mostly finishing off series. We’ll give a little of our thoughts on each one (following pictures are all from Goodreads):
                                                     

πŸ‰ A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin: Game of Thrones is amazing. That’s all there is to it. Waiting for our 18th birthday to roll around to catch up on the TV series as well.

πŸ”₯ Burn by Julianna Baggott: It’s the final book in the Pure trilogy and some reviewers have been saying it’s bittersweet, so we’re bracing ourselves for some serious emotions here.


                                                     
Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: Final book in the Starbound triology, and we can’t wait to read it!

πŸͺ The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter: It’s a short story collection (some fairy tale re-tellings) and our teacher recommended this to us, plus many authors say it is amazing, so we’re looking out for this book.
 Review by Di
http://bookreviewsbydi.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/review-edge-of-everything-jeff-giles.html
πŸŒ„ The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles: Sarah J. Maas (we quite like her books) describes Giles as “awesome and hilarious” in her latest newsletter so we hope his book is like his personality as well! Di gave a nice rating to it as well, so we shouldn't go wrong here.
https://amagicalworldofwords.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/sisters-red-by-jackson-pearce.html
🐺 Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce: We absolutely love fairy tale retellings and AmyNikita gave a really strong rating for this book so it seems to be really good.
https://booksbagsburgers.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/review-empties-glitches-2-by-ramona-finn.html
πŸ’» The Glitch by Ramona Finn: Uma K (creator of Fantastically Diverse) absolutely loved The Empties (book #2) so we figure we have to start out with book one first. We getting the Pure-triology-vibe from this book so we’re looking forward to it.


As you may be able to tell, we’re so glad we picked up blogging because the blogger community really is helpful in shaping TBR lists!


*****


And this is the list of books we’ll be trying to read for Uma’s Fantastically Diverse read-a-thon. Here are the seven books we’ll try to read for the seven categories:                    
⚔ PoC: Othello by William Shakespeare: We might be taking this a little literally, but we’ll try for a bit more diverse genre of books including a play.


πŸ—Ύ Myth and Retelling: I Am Anjuhimeko by Hiromi Ito: This is a short story translating a Japanese myth and it seems really cool.


πŸ’– LGBTQ Protagonist: The Flywheel by Erin Gough: This is a YA contemporary which was shortlisted for the 2016 Inky Awards.


🏯 PoC Cast: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff: It’s Jay Kristoff, how could we not?
 
⛅️ Diverse Middle-grade fantasy: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: We’ve already read this, but re-reading it would be really nice. We think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with re-reading books, and it’s enjoyable because you usually pick up things you missed before!
                                                 
🐦 Disabled characters: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: The title cover looks absolutely stunning, so it’s what we pick for this genre. Thanks to Uma for giving a list to help people out for TBR ideas!


⭐️ From our own TBR: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu: Marie is a diverse author, which we hope still fulfills the read-a-thon requirements.


And finally, out last bookish resolution is to be more active on Goodreads - we’re always forgetting to post reading updates etc on it.

Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading, and a Happy New Year everyone!!!!! πŸŽ†πŸŽ†