Thursday, 30 September 2010

Book Review: Deeper Than Blue by Jill Hucklesby

Blurb:

Meet Amy. She thinks that being thirteen and the fastest freestyle swimmer in the county is cool. She thinks that best friends will always be there no matter what, She believes that strawberry smoothies are the closest thing to heaven.

When her life takes a dramatuc tumble turn one day, Amy doesn't know what to think or believe any longer. To survive she must swim as she has never swum before. Can she make her dreams come true in a world where the water is deeper than blue?

My review and thoughts

Amy is a champion swimmer who has just broken the 800 metre freestyle record for her county but when a terrible accident happens and she loses her best friend and a leg, her life takes a turn for the worst. Deeper Than Blue tells Amy's story through her eyes after the accident to coming to terms with what has happened and realising that she can still fulfill her dreams. The writing style was easy and natural because it was told from Amy's point of view as well as being humorous at times which lightened the heavy and more serious plot of the story. Being the same age as Amy, I could really relate to her feelings, especially about her best friend because my really close friend moved to Australia and we don't get to talk as often as we'd like.
I liked the character of Harry because he always makes her laugh whilst she is in hospital and gradually changes her way of thinking, their emails are quite amusing too!
I think that there is someone that everyone can relate to in the book whether it be Amy, Harry, her older sister Caz going through the normal teenage girl problems, her Dad who gets depressed for a while or her mum who gave up her dreams of becoming an artist to have her family.
Each character went on a journey throughout the book and I loved finding out what happened to them in the end and how they changed. All of this combined kept me turning the pages very quickly!

Verdict: Deeper Than Blue is a highly emotional but inspiring and easy to relate to book that I would reccomend to anyone of any age, its story would appeal to everyone. It would make a marvellous movie!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Top 10 Tuesday (1) Favourite Couples

After loving some of the interesting posts on other blogs that I read, I have decided to take part in Top Ten Tuesday myself. TTT is a weekly meme held over at Broke and Bookish where you highlight your top ten of the chosen topic that week.

This week's topic is: Favourite couples

1) Lizzie Bennett and Mr Darcy

I think that this is going to be quite a common one, I had the pleasure of reading about their hate turning to love romance for the first time that I finished yesterday. I love their witty conversations and how this eventually softens!

2) Arabella and  Mr Beaumaris (Arabella by Georgette Heyer)

This was the first regency romance I read and they are still my favourite couple with Arabella, the innocent country miss and Mr Beaumaris, the most eligible bachelor and trendsetter of London. Their relationship is adorable

3) Sophy and Charles (The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer)

Sophy and Charles are 2 cousins who could not be more different, Sophy is bold and pushes the boundaries of what is proper for a young lady in society whilst Charles seems dry at first and does the respectable thing. His rages at Sophy's 'improper' behaviour are very amusing and I love how they come to be together in the end

4)  Kitty and Freddy (from Cotillion by Georgette Heyer)


Anne and Gilbert

Their relationship is very interesting as they pretend to be engaged so that Kitty doesn't have to marry any other of her boring cousins and make her handsome cousin Jack jealous so he offers for her hand. His growing fondness of Kitty is lovely and it is so sweet when they realise that they might be right for each other after all

5) Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables series)

They are such a sweet couple who knew each other from childhood whose tale is similar to Lizzie Bennett and Mr Darcy's in that Anne hates Gilbert from the moment he breaks a slate over her head in school.

6) Amy and Lorrie (Little Women by Louisa M Alcott)
Anne and Gilbert as children

It's so cute that Amy marries the man who once promised her as a little girl that he wouldn't let her die without being kissed!

7) Anna and Rupert (from The Other Countess by Eva Ibbotson)

I love how Rupert loves Anna just as much when she is a maid as when he finds out she is really a Countess (don't worry, that wasn't a spoiler- you find this out in the first chapter of the book!)

8) Thora and Bjorn (Daughter of Fire and Ice)

Amy and Laurie
You don't get to see much of their romance in the story as just when they start to realise their love for each other, Bjorn is forced to make a sacrifice to save Thora which means they can never be together again. Even when they are living with rest of the settlers in their house in Iceland but cannot speak, you can still sense the bond and growing love between them. I can't wait for the sequel to see if they can be together in the end!

9) Tom and Lucy (from the At The House of the Magician series by Mary Hooper)

The story is not primarily a romance but I love the snatched time that Lucy gets to spend with Tom, the Queen's jester who often appears to her in disguise.

10) Hannah and Tom (The Fever and The Flame series by Mary Hooper)

Again, the romance is not the main story but at a time when the plague is raging in London, Lucy and Tom do not know how much time they have together. I love what they risk for each other.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Coverlicious (2): Cover Wars- I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

Coverlicious is a new feature that I am holding here, where I am going to do spotlights on different things to do with covers from photos of cover art from different editions of book and trends in cover art to comparing US and UK versions of a cover or simply just posting about a cover that I have fallen in love with. I'm intending just to feature Coverlicious posts here but if you would like to join in or do a guest Coverlicious post, please see my contact page.



UK

US

 I adore the UK cover, it  has the look for a more light hearted and girly book- the swirly designs and drawings are so cute! It was this cover that drew me to the book when I was browsing on Amazon and this was suggested to me. Whereas the US cover looks like a snapshot from a period drama making it look more like a historical romance and the photo is beautiful. However, I think that the UK cover would stand out more on the shelf from other historicals. I love them both so I can't decide which is my favourite but I think it depends on the kind of person you are.



Paberpack
I found this paperback cover when I was searching for images of the covers and fell in love with it! The two elements that I love so much about the first 2 covers have been combined, the swirly writing and flowers along with the period photo. The dress gives the book an Austen feel to the book and I like that you cannot see the full face of the character as I like to imagine this, the little blonde curl is sweet too. The only thing that I don't like about this cover is that it is slightly too crowded so the flowers need to be smaller but other than than it is stunningly gorgeous! <3  I really want to buy this edition when it is released as I borrowed the copy I read from the library.
What are your thoughts on the covers?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Thank you - 150 Followers GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to find that I have reached 150 followers, all of you have been so encouraging with helping my blog to grow, I remember that I was overjoyed and amazed even when I reached 5 followers! The book blogging community is a lovely place to be part of and I have really enjoyed connecting with other book bloggers, I am building up the list of blogs I am reading very quickly. Blogging has become something that is part of my day now and getting comments always makes my day :D I really appreciate every single one of my followers!

Giveaway!

As a thank you to all my amazing followers, I am holding a giveaway with a choice of books to win. This is an INTERNATIONAL contest as I wouldn't like to deprive anyone and I'm in the UK so I will be shipping the book to the winner through the Book Depositary.

The winner can choose from any of these fabulous 10 books (I have chosen mostly YA historical because that it what I mainly review) :

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards (see review)
The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (see post about release)
Daughter of Fire and Ice by Marie Louise Jensen
The Lady In The Tower by Marie Louise Jensen
Arabella by Georgette Heyer (see review)
The Fever and The Flame by Mary Hooper (2 in 1)
Newes From The Dead by Mary Hooper
The School At The Chalet by Elinor M Brent Dyer
The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson
I was Jane Austen's Best Friend (see review)

You MUST be a follower to enter this giveaway

Entries:

Old followers  +3 (before 25th September)
New followers +1
Twitter follower (BookPrincess3)  +1
Tweet/ sidebar promotion +1

Giveaway ends: 10th October

TO ENTER: please fill out the form here






Friday, 24 September 2010

Hopping Away and Follow Friday!



















A Very Big Welcome

Welcome to any visitors who got here through the weekly Book Hop (a Book Party) organised by Jennifer @ Crazy for Books or Follow A Book Blog Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View so that book bloggers can share their blog with other book lovers and also find new blogs to 'follow.' To get involved all you have to do is post your blog link at the bottom of the 'linky list' on Crazy For Books and/or Parajunkee's View, answer the weekly question (for the hop) on your blog and get hopping around and following all the blogs!

This weeks Book Hop question/topic is: When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

My answer: I don't start writing reviews before I have turned the last page of the book but I often tend to think about things that I am going to include in my review or try to remember a good extract to include. I usually write the review within a few days of reading it so that it is still fresh in my mind but if I am reviewing a book that I read a while ago I try and familiarise with it again by flicking through before I start writing.

New posts since hopping last week:

Review: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
Waiting on Wednesday: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Teaser Tuesday: Deeper Than Blue by Jill Hucklesby
Calling all budding young writers and their friends and family!
BBAW: Future Treasures


I hope that you enjoy taking a look round my blog and. I'd love to hear from you, so please feel free to drop me a comment. This week I have reached 156 followers and I am hoping that I can gain over 150 this week so that I can launch my first ever giveaway!
 
Don't forget to leave a link to your blog in a comment so I can check it out :D


Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Book review: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

"I am happy to be able to tell as many of you as I can that I have not the smallest wish to marry any of you!"


The  great-nephews of cantankerous Mr Penicuik know better than to ignore his summons, especially when it concerns the bestowal of his fortune. The wily old gentleman has hatched a typically freakish plan for his step-daughter's future and his own amusement: his fortune will be Kitty's dowry. But while the beaux are scrambling for her hand, Kitty counters with her own inventive, if daring scheme: a sham engagement should keep wedlock at bay...
 
My review and thoughts
 
Kitty is a pretty but unsophisticated young girl adopted by the disagreeable and ageing Mr Penuik, who upon deciding that his fortune will be Kitty's dowry invites all his nephews to Arnside house. To inherit the fortune, she must choose one of them to marry or she faces being peniless in the world  after her guardian is gone. However the darkly handsome and rakish Jack Westruther who Kitty has 'fancied herself in love with for years' fails to turn up because he hates being forced into anything although he is his Great Uncle's favourite and the one he really wanted to see married to Kitty. The distressed Kitty who doesn't want her guardian's 'odious fortune' is forced to bear the proposals of the reluctant Lord Dolpington forced by his domineering mother into doing so and the sensible and dry Hugh who is to become a church parson.
When Kitty meets another of her cousins, Freddy Standen she persuades him to pretend to be engaged to her after recounting her situation so that she can travel to London to meet his family and make Jack jealous of him.
Arriving in London unsophisticated and innocent, completely unaware of the way of London society, Freddy finds that she is going to take a lot of 'looking after.' Fascinated by the sights, fashions and new people, Freddy is obliged to accompany her on sight seeing trips and many other visits. Finding her place, Kitty is soon involved in a the romantic involvements of several of her acquaintances too, which poor Freddy is dragged into too.
Although when doubts about her engagement to Freddy creep through after her month in London is up and the possibility of revealing the truth is discussed, Kitty begins to wonder: is Freddy the man for her after all?
 
Characters
 
There are a whole cast of typical Heyer characters in Cotillion: the old and eccentric uncle, the fussy spinster governess, handsome young rake, a pretty and young heiress, a fashionable and intelligent Pink of The Ton, a gorgeously beautiful but on the verge of penniless young girl and an exceedingly foolishly silly Earl. Their different personalities all wove together to create a vibrant and amusing set of characters that are very memorable.

When we first meet Kitty, a nineteen year old who has had a simple and sheltered upbringing she is very innocent and unaware of the ways of the world but a cunning and witty side to her is revealed in her plans. She has a good natured attitude which attracts many people to her side and induces her to help her friends in their romantic troubles.
Freddy is a very honourable and intelligent young man blessed with a considerable fortune and a very easy going and humble manner. As more of his qualities were slowly revealed throughout the book, particularly his loyalty and fondness of Kitty, I began to see that the two were perfectly matched. He is very different from the Heyer heroes I have encountered so far who have mostly been arrogant rakes and I found that he was very likeable.
The conversations and scenes with Kitty and Freddy together were lovely and amusing to read, one of my favourites is when Freddy is dragged all over London to look at all the sights in Kitty's guide book Picture of London such as the Elgin Marbles and The Tower of London.

Here's an extract from that part:

'( referring to the Elgin marbles) 'Dash it, they've got no heads!" he protested
"No, but you see Freddy, they are so very old! They have been damaged!"
"Damaged! I should rather think so! They haven't got any arms either! Well, if this don't beat the Dutch! And just like at this, Kit!" '

The secondary characters add to the sparkle and fun he plot, we meet: Kitty's dubious French cousin Camille; her stunningly beautiful but impoverished friend Olivia; her poor cousin Lord Dolphington being bullied by his manipulative mother and Freddy's slightly vain sister Meg whose fashion sense is to be questioned.

Writing

Heyer's writing is fine and witty, there are many laughable lines and the Regency language used may have had been reaching for a dictionary occasionally but it gave the book great character. I particularly liked Freddy's constant 'Oh dash it Kit!' and other words like 'clodpole' and the description of 'Corinthian' or Pink of The Ton.' Her descriptions and realistic dialogue really bring Regency London to life, addressing not only the glamorous side of society but also the darker side too.

Verdict: Cotillion is a delightful dance of fun, mischief and love that lives up to the dance it is named after. in a rich plot that will keep the pages turning. With lovable characters and a brilliant London setting, it could be a perfect starter for a first time reader of Heyer's novels. Perfect to curl up with!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking The Spine, which encourages book bloggers to post about books that they are eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star...
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age. 
 
(From Goodreads)

I really enjoyed reading Godbersen's Luxe series so I'm looking forward to seeing what Bright Young Things is like. I haven't read anything set in America in the 1920s so this will be a new experience for me, hopefully a good one!

Cover:

This cover definitely has a 'Roaring Twenties' feel to it with the font and the 'glamour feel' from the era. It's one that would stand out on a bookcase but I don't like it as much as the beautifully gorgeous Luxe series covers.

Welcome to my blog if this is your first time visiting, feel free to take a look around and read a few posts. I'd love to hear from any visitors in the comments and if you like, leave a link to your WOW post and I'll try and take a look at it.

Stephanie <3

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Deeper than Blue by Jill Huckelsby

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along and have fun! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  •  Share (preferably 2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

My teasers this week comes from Deeper Than Blue by Jill Huckelsby:

'And there it is at last- the shrill sound of the whistle- a discordant shriek sending impulses my nervous system, straight to my muscles, asking them to propel me into the air and down into the water like an arrow.'

'I feel a shiver pass down my spines and with it, the realisation that I will never be officially 'in traning' as a county swimmer again.'

Monday, 20 September 2010

Calling all budding young writers and their friends and family!

Are you under the age of 15 and love to write or know someone that does? Then is the competition for you!

Sunpenny Publishing are a Christian publishing house who are running a short story competition for young writers that ends on 30th September, which is only in 10 days time. Submitting a story gets you the chance to have your story published on the website and in a competition anthology if you come first, second, third or highly commended and you can win some great prizes.

Having entered it myself for the last 2 years, it is definitely worthwhile and it is lovely to see my name in print and the competition anthology made a brilliant gift for family.

Here is what Sunpenny have to say about it: 'We have a passion for developing young  writers. We know that dreams of writing can begin very early, and we want to encourage children of all ages to pick up a pen and write! '

Entries can be in any style or subject under 2000 words but must not contain racism, foul language, violence or anything that does not conform to 'good family morals. For a lot more in depth information on entering visit the link here.

Prizes:

1st: £50
2nd: 25
3rd:  a book

The competition is open worldwide and there is a small entry fee of  £3.00 / US$5.00 / ZAR30.00  but you will only be charged once the competition has reached its target number of entries.

If you would like to see some of the entries from last year (including mine!) then take a look at this page.

However due to a shortage in entries last time, they are only running the competition if they receive 30 entries minimum and currently they have only 40% of the entries that they need. It would be such a shame if this happened  so .................spread the word and get writing or encourage other young writers you know!

Remember, competition ends 30th September!

There is also an open writing competition and a Christian writing competition- details can be found on their website.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Future Treasures

I haven't really participated in the daily topic posts from BBAW but I have enjoyed reading what other people have written so I thought I'd take part in the wrap up post.

My blogging goals for the future:

As my blog is quite new and I am still just getting into the swing of it, so I have a lot of goals. One of the things that I would like to do next year is to hold a 2011 reading challenge of my own, which I am thinking about at the moment. I would also like to do some author interviews and have a few guest posts to liven up the content.

I've really enjoyed blogging connecting with the book blogging community so far and I'm really excited about the year ahead and improving my blog!

Friday, 17 September 2010

A Very Big Welcome



Welcome to any visitors who got here through the weekly Book Hop (a Book Party) organised by Jennifer @ Crazy for Books or Follow A Book Blog Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View so that book bloggers can share their blog with other book lovers and also find new blogs to 'follow.' To get involved all you have to do is post your blog link at the bottom of the 'linky list' on Crazy For Books and/or Parajunkee's View, answer the weekly question (for the hop) on your blog and get hopping around and following all the blogs!

This weeks Book Hop question/topic is: In honour of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, let's take time this week to honour our favourite book bloggers and why we love them.
My answer:

There are so many fantastic blogs that I read regularly but my reading tastes can be often quite different to a lot of blogs so I am going to mention some that are my favourites because they have similar tastes.

A Tapestry of Words- Danya from ATOW is always dropping comments here that make me smile and she has gave me my first blog award, The Versatile Blogger. We started blogging around the same time so it has been nice to see her blog grow in content and readers. She reviews a variety of genres on her blog from YA to adult fiction and my favourite feature of hers is called Forget Me Not, which spotlights books she loved from her childhood.

Bookalicious Ramblings- This was the first book blog that I discovered when searching for a review on the Internet. At that point I had already set up a blog for reviews but had abbandoned it because I didn't know what to do but I got started again thanks to discovering BR. Her blog design is just gorgeous, I think it is just about my favourite and inspired me to make my design prettier. I emailed her at the start asking if she could review Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper on her blog because I love the way she writes her reviews and she asked me if I had reviewed it. I hadn't but she visited my blog and commented on my first posts, it was a real encouragement for me.

Rebecca's Book Blog- Rebecca's blog was the first I found that reviewed a lot of YA historical fiction like me and I was very excited. I went through a lot of her old posts, frantically adding a lot of books to my TBR list. Thank you Rebecca! She is holding a giveaway of The Queen's Daughter by Susan Coventry currently so you might want to visit to enter.

Others that I love are This Miss Loves to Read, Reading Angel, The Fourth Musketeer, 21 Pages, Rhianah Reads.........


I hope that you enjoy taking a look round my blog and. I'd love to hear from you, so please feel free to drop me a comment! If you like my blog, please follow, I'd really appreciate it and don't forget to leave a link to your blog in a comment so I can check it out :D

I hope to be holding an 150 Followers Giveaway soon, so it would be great if you could help me get to that number soon!

Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Book Review: Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka

Blurb:

‘We cannot expect our old customs to remain forever.’


It’s 1911 and Ailin is living in a time of great change in China. A headstrong, determined child, Ailin rebels against the horrifying ancient tradition of having her feet bound. As a result, the family of her future husband immediately break off the engagement.


Ailin grows up realising just how powerless a girl is in Chinese society. But then she is offered an opportunity hat shockers her already estranged family and Ailin has to make a difficult, life-changing decision.

My review and thoughts

When I saw the blurb of this book when browsing in my school library, I was drawn by the storyline as I had previously read Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah who has written about her life story and many of her struggles are shared by the main character of this book. This book is quite a short, quick reads and intended for older children and pre-teens but I think that that because of the poignant message and theme that is carried through, readers of any age will be able to enjoy it and go away changed having read it.

When we first meet Ailin, the Third Daughter of the Tao family who narrates the story, she is five years old and s driving her family household mad running around and escaping from her Amah because she does not have bound feet yet even though she is past the standard age for it. Then her grandmother starts discussing the possibility of her betrothal to a young boy called Hanwei with his family and decided that it is time to have her feet bound to make her more attractive. However her older sister decides to show Ailin her severely deformed bound feet and she is shocked at the horrors and suffering that has been inflicted on her and vows never to let it happen to herself. When Ailin shows signs of rebellion her modern and progressive Father decides that she is allowed to keep her feet unbound although her arranged marriage is broken off by Hanwei’s traditional and distinguished family. Concerned for her future because she has no marriage prospects, her father sends her to public school which is almost unheard of for a young upper class Chinese girl like Ailin. She excels at English and her talent is noticed by a teacher who takes special interest in Ailin. However her life takes a turn for the worst at the age of 12 when a tragedy occurs and her disapproving and brutal Uncle becomes head of the household, who has always heavily criticised Ailin's father for wasting money sending a girl to school. Having power over everyone living under the roof, it is up to him to decide Ailin’s future as she has no way to support herself without education.

Ailin was an inspirational character who had a headstrong and determined character that helped her to be brave in times of her life. I found myself really caring about what happened to her and sympathising with her trials and struggles; I shared her loneliness and depression as well as moments of happiness and hope. She is the kind of character that you would feel privileged to meet.

The author’s simple but refreshing way of writing was very effective and Ailin’s narration made it very easy for her emotions to be conveyed. Everything seemed very realistic through the description of foot binding and other traditions and social tensions within an upper class Chinese family. It could almost have been a true story because of the well rounded and convincing characters and research that the book must have taken. I felt like I was entering a different world throughout the book and in the historical note at the end on the practice of foot binding, I was shocked to find that in some areas the practice still continued into the 1940s and it reminded me how lucky we are to be living in the 21st century.

Verdict: Ties that Bind Ties that Break is a short but memorable and impacting story of a young, strong willed Chinese girl who rebels against the horrific tradition of feet binding and her journey to finding her place in the world. Although very interesting, I felt that it could have been longer and more developed.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

NEWLY RELEASED: The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson


Isn't the cover so beautifully stunning!
You can see The Sleeping Beauty theme from
the Tower setting.

This week, The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickinson has been released! It is a YA historical romance fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a Christian theme and I'm very excited about reading it. As my followers will know, I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and read a lot of the YA section of it because they are generally clean reads whilst adult historical fiction is not. As a Christian girl, I'm so glad that there is finally a Christian YA historical romance author- that has to be my dream genre!

Summary of The Healer's Apprentice:

Two Hearts. One Hope.Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

I have never read a fairy tale retelling before (maybe once a long time ago...?) but I've always been intrigued by them so I like the fact that The Healer's Apprentice is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty. Set in Germany 1386 it seems to have everything I could wish for in a book including love and faith.

In the days before its release I read many interviews and guest articles on other blogs and I was interested to read about the struggles that Melanie Dickinson went through to get her book published because of being told that there was no market for it but she prayed lots and persisted... I'm so glad that she did!

A short review of The Healer's Apprentice from IE Mummy

"Loved this book! The Healer's Apprentice is a wonderfully written tale of love, romance, intrigue, deception and loyalty. The characters are enchanting. ...Every nuance and twist led to a special love story that will remain in my memory and conscience for a long time. The Healer's Apprentice will remain on my bookshelf even longer."

If you want to take a look at some interviews/posts with or about Melanie, have a look at the links to different blogs here:

Writing For Christ:
A Break From The Norm
Novel Teen
Words Seasoned With Salt- including excerpt
A Christian Writer's World- including excerpt

You can find Melanie on her website here, she also has a Facebook page.

Book Trailer

There is also a book trailer made by Zondervan, which is AMAZING, by far the best I have ever seen. Zondervan have really done a fantastic job of it, it's almost like a mini movie.


video

If you like the sound of this debut novel, spread the word- I can't wait to read it!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Award: Life is Good!

Firstly, thank you so much to Danya at A Tapestry of Words for giving me this award! It made my day and I really appreciate it :D If you haven't already checked out her lovely blog, I suggest you go and have a look- she has some brilliant features there, Thank you for always stopping by to leave comments here too Danya, they always make me smile!

Rules:

To accept the award you must link back and thank the person who gave you the Life is Good Award and then answer the ten survey questions. Then you can pass it along to other blogs.

The wonderful bloggers I am passing the award onto are:


Now, my answers to the following questions:

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

Privacy is very important to me, especially because I'm under 18 so only reveal information about myself that I can't be tracked down by. I think that using your real name and telling your followers a bit about yourself makes your blog a bit more personalised and unique but you can tell a lot about me through how I write. I'm happy with how I blog!


2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:

I can't think of a particular incident but when I'm sure that something is right, I tend to be quite stubborn about it


3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

I think that all teenagers sometimes look in the mirror and think negative things but recently I've been trying to look in the mirror and see a smiley, natural me.


4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?

Apple and mango fruit juice. or raspberry smooothie..mmmmm!


5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Read (of course), write stories, watch one of my favourite movies or sometimes I just daydream


6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

I'm very young at the moment so I have a long time left to accomplish lots of things. I would like to become an author and have at least one book published but I would like to work as a journalist both writing and designing too as I have discovered a love for graphics and layout when designing this blog

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

I still do attend school and I would say that I'm the class over-achiever and also a little bit shy at times too.


8. If you close your eyes and want to visualise a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

A sad 'poigant' moment was when my really close best friend moved to Australia.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

Almost none of my posts are about my personal life because that isn't what this blog is about but through my review, news and other features about books, a bit of myself shines through in my opinions and tastes.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?


I usually read more than talk on the phone but I also love to have a good chat on the phone with friends. It can sometimes depend what mood I am in, whether I just need to immerse myself in the world of a book or have a giggle.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

NEW FEATURE: Coverlicous- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Designs


Coverlicious is a new feature that I am holding here, where I am going to do spotlights on different things to do with covers from photos of cover art from different editions of  book and trends in cover art to comparing US and UK versions of a cover or simply just posting about a cover that I have fallen in love with. I'm intending just to feature Coverlicious posts here but if you would like to join in or do a guest Coverlicious post, please see my contact page.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

As I have mentioned previously, I am currently reading Pride and Prejudice (it is taking me a very long time to read because of  a lot of schoolwork at the beginning of term.) Published in 1813,' romance that started them' all has subsequently been published in many different editions and with different cover art. 

This is the edition that I am reading (by Penguin):


I love the simplicity yet lovely elegance of this design that is very classic and I also like the fact that the art is drawn. A pretty cover!

Here are a selection:


 These covers are very classic and iconic for Pride and Prejudice but
I think that they are not very appealing to new Jane Austen readers
or teenagers/young adults.



                                           



I love the right hand cover above because of the beautiful photo which is arranged really well to portray emotion without having to display much of the character's face. The colours blend in so well together and it has a classical yet a more 'modern' (at the same time as retaining period features) feel to it.



The right hand cover above is very different and unique and stands out among all the other covers I have featured. It is very quirky but you can definitely see how the character's story has been incorporated into it. It's not for me but it's a great cover to add to the mix.

The middle cover above was created with inspiration from the Twilight series cover art, as can be seen by the design. I understand that this was done to entice younger readers like myself to read classics like Pride and Predjudice (several other classics had covers made like this too.) I like how the red and white roses have a symbolic meaning of the opposite personalities of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.I've heard of some controversey over them but I think that if it works and introduces teenagers to the books whereas they might not have read them before, then it is a fantastic idea.



The right hand cover is very colourful, simplistic and bold compared to the other covers. It is aimed at younger readers too, hence the name of Meg Cabot (author of the introduction of the book),  a well known writer for young teenage girls. I think that this cover would appeal more to under 12s more than teenagers and not many under 12s would be able to read Pride and Prejudice or understand it.

I love the middle cover, the soft pink and peach tones make it so lovely and the dress gives you an idea of the time period. I think it is a particularly good design for teenagers and young adults as well as all other ages.

The left hand side cover is my favourite, fairly simple but BEAUTIFUL. The colours that are used compliment eachother really well and give the cover a 'girly', fresh, light and summery feel to it.

My favourite is:


Which is your favourite and what do you think of all the different cover designs?