Wednesday, 10 September 2014

LOST LOCKET OF LAHARI Blog Tour: Mood Music



Most writers use music when they write in some way or another. Even if a writer prefers to write in silence, music can be a great tool of inspiration to get an author in the right frame of mind for a particular scene.

The authors at PWP are no exception and with a book as diverse as THE LOST LOCKET OF LAHARI, the playlist for it is equally as eclectic. As part of the blog tour for the release of LLoL, I'm able to share with you some of the music that inspired Erica, Kellie, Terra, Ruth, and Janna as they wrote their individual stories for the first Patchwork Press anthology - our very own awesome mix, just like Peter Quill’s in the Guardians of the Galaxy.






And yes, this was an excuse to use a gif of Chris Pratt dancing to Redbone in a blog. How often does that opportunity crop up? Not often, lemme tell you. (Although I'm finding excuses all over the place believe me...)

The Lost Locket of Lahari follows a mystical locket as if ends up in the hands of very different characters - an empath, a dreamer, a confidant, an adventurer and a dancer - and aids them in the troubles that they face. From the haunting croons of Lana Del Rey to the upbeat, jazz of Benny Goodman, the playlist reflects the locket's journey through time and history to find the spirits of the children of its maker and the richness of each era it finds itself in.

This is also the first leg of the first Patchwork Press Scavenger Hunt! If you're participating, the first clue can be found at the bottom of the blog. If you're not sure what the scavenger hunt is about, head on over to the master blog on the PWP homepage. There’s also the opportunity to win a physical copy of this mix if you collect all the letters for our scavenger hunt, among other amazing goodies.

Without further ado, here's the playlist:


      'The Empath' by Erica Crouch
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'The Dreamer' by Terra Harmony
4. 
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'The Confidant' by Janna Jennings
7. 
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'The Adventurer' by Ruth Silver
10.
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'The Dancer' by Kellie Sheridan
13.
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And here's the letter:





The Lost Locket of Lahari Anthology can be purchased from:


Part of the Scavenger Hunt? Follow the blogs on our Master Blog.



Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Happy Release Day + Scavenger Hunt

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!

The authors of Patchwork Press have combined forces to write the first PWP Anthology!

In a dusty, dilapidated stall tucked away in an alcove of a bustling Bazaar in India, a man with a rickety spine and a spindly beard bends over his work bench, forging a locket with accidental magic. There's power in a wish, and there's nothing he wants more than for his children to return home. The locket was intricately crafted, adorned with one dragonfly for each of his children - and the power to find them.

With the guidance of fate, the locket skips through time and journeys across oceans, travelling from person to person in a constant search for the souls whispered into its vessel. Centuries after the magical old man in the Bazaar became near-forgotten myth and whispered legend, the locket has fallen into the hands of those with echoes of the six dragonflies; the seeker, the empath, the dreamer, the confidant, the adventurer, and the dancer.

In the hands of its new owners, the power of the locket adapts, bending and remaking itself to answer need. While the locket never found the children of Lahari, it found the next best thing: their spirits.

The six novellas of the Lost Locket of Lahari anthology pause a moment in time when the locket finds the ripples of its ancestry. From the Victorian era to the Roaring Twenties, the 1940's, the modern day and beyond, this anthology is a collection of stories as dynamic as the authors themselves.

To celebrate the release of this amazing collection of stories, Patchwork Press is running a scavenger hunt blog tour. Fourteen clues over two weeks, and loads of goodies!

To find out more information on this exciting, interactive blog tour, go to the official Patchwork Press page and find out how you can take part, for the chance to win some awesome prizes.

I'm the first stop on the tour, and I'll be putting that post up tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time, go purchase your copy of The Lost Locket of Lahari now!







Tuesday, 2 September 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table


High school was a blur but one thing I remember clearly is that I always had more guy friends than girl friends. Why? I have no idea, but I was always 'one of the guys'. I think it's because the boys I went to school with were fairly uncomplicated but as a teenage girl I could never figure my female peers out. Was that actually a compliment? Are you hanging out with me because you fancy my best friend? My guy friends were really straightforward and that suited me fine!

So when I saw the Top Ten Tuesday prompt this week was book characters I would have lunch with at school, I knew instantly a large proportion of them were going to be dudes. 

However, in an effort to be fair, I've picked five guys, five girls. And I promise, I tried to pick the guys based on their characters, not on how much I fancy them. Without further ado, here are my top ten choices:


Will from Divergent
I actually had a really good friend at school who Will reminded me a lot of, so I have a lot of feelings about Will and knew that he'd have to be at the lunch table. He's Erudite too so...chemistry tutor.


Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles
This was a tough choice because quite frankly, I love everyone in the Lunar Chronicles. But every friendship group needs a joker or comedian (I filled that role at school) and Thorne just cracks me up. It was either him or Leo from The Heroes of Olympus (or Stiles from Teen Wolf but this for book characters not TV characters).



Warner from the Shatter Me series

Okay okay, so when I tried to pick them based on characters, not how much I absolutely adored them, Warner might creep into the second category. If you've read the series, you know he's not a completely one dimensional cold blooded killer and to be fair, I've eaten lunch with a fair few of those in my time. But seriously, in a modern day AU, he'd be the rich, king of the school, heir to an empire that he didn't want, and so that gang could exploit his father's power and buy an ice cream parlor just for us to hang out in. And no one messes with Warner.



Alright, so maybe I'd have the younger Marauder version of Lupin, but since JK Rowling has totally been remiss and not written a companion novel The Marauder Years (yet), I had to use the book that introduced the wonderful Lupin to me in the first place. I'd want all James and Sirius and Lily too, but Lupin is my favourite. He'd be the kind of guy to snag the last chocolate muffin for you, or cover you in a food fight.


Levi from Fangirl
I wish I'd gone to school with a Levi! I was going to pick Cath but then I realised there would already be one socially awkward writer at the table (me) so I went for the fun, sweet guy instead.


Katsa from Graceling
Everyone needs someone semi threatening in their friendship group to stand up for you and Katsa, who is one of my favourite all time heroines, is perfect. You couldn't have a laugh at her expense without getting a plastic fork in your eyes, but she's loyal and she'd beat the tar out of anyone who said a bad word against you.


Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door
What can I say? I'm an ex-theatre student and my lunch table wouldn't be complete without someone with a touch of the theatrical about them. I loved Lola's quirky style in LATBND and I could definitely use a friend who could help me out with my fashion sense.


Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

I'm throwing a classic in the mix because, let's be honest, Lizzie's kind of wit and poise never goes out of style and you can always use a friend who has a bit of sass, especially if they can disguise that sass in verbose. And for rare moments where I don't have a comeback, I know Lizzie would.



Nehemia from the Throne of Glass series
I was torn between Nehemia and Celaena but went for Nehemia in the end; she's smart and diplomatic. Definitely a politics student! Plus she's a loyal and kind friend and I love her in the series. Hopefully, Celaena, Dorian and Chaol would follow her over and hang at our table too :)



Puck from The Scorpio Races
I hummed and harred about adding Puck because if you've read The Scorpio Races you know how otherworldly she is and it's very difficult to picture her in a high school or college, trying to steal crisps from you when you're not looking. But she kept coming back to me, so I added her. She'd be snippy and snappy and bite your head off if you mentioned her crush on Sean, but she'd probably be the one to encourage you to take a walk outside or go camping or each lunch out in the sun, instead of the cafeteria. And I like that about her.





(Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the geniuses at http://www.brokeandbookish.com/ - please head on over and take a look at their site, and the other amazing blogs that are posted on the TTT master page!)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Review: Accidentally Married by Victorine E. Lieske

Title: ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED
Author: VICTORINE E. LIESKE
Genre: Romance/Women's Fiction
Pages: 315
You'll like it if you liked: any romcom movies like Leap Year, The Proposal
Rating: 3/5

Description:

Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family.

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it's all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding.

What they both don't know is Jared's father has found out about the fake wedding. And he's got his own hair-brained plan...



Review:

ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED follows all the standard romantic tropes that work very well in Hollywood: boy meets girl under unusual circumstances and despite their early dislike for one another, their growing attraction (coupled with an interfering but well meaning family) brings them together in time for the happily ever after. I went into this book expecting this and this was exactly what I got. 

Madison is the down on her luck but plucky heroine who, despite the fact she's desperate for a job, decides to have fun with her prospective employer and tease him mercilessly in front of his wealthy family. Jared is uptight and focused - a young CEO who has a whole world of family issues, from his inability to connect with his father's new wife and his heartbreak over the loss of his mother when he was a child. After a joke gets way out of hand, Madison and Jared face the prospect of being married to an utter stranger - at least until they can quietly annul the marriage and pretend it didn't work out. Their relationship is sweet, if not a little quick, but that fits in with the themes of marriage, true love and 'when it's right, it's right'. Madison is the sweet to Jared's sour and they balance one another out in the way that romantic couples should. Madison helps Jared to reconnect with his family and Jared brings stability and love to Madison's. I thought some of their scenes were passionate, but they kind of sizzled out very quickly and weren't always that believable. Having said that, I was rooting for them to get together and thought their conclusion was satisfying.

As a supporting cast, the Jameson family don't break any molds. They make Madison feel welcomed and give her the familial love that she didn't have as a child, which serves as a foil to her growing guilt about her deception, but they don't stand out in any way. I liked that Maxwell actually loved Irene, contrary to Jared's belief that she would be replaced by another, prettier model in a year or so. Patricia was sweet, but her fiance was almost invisible - even though he was part of the double wedding! I can't even remember his name, let alone whether he had anything to say in the book. Shelley, Jared's aunt and surrogate maternal figure, is the catalyst for the impromptu double wedding but she spends much of the story in the hospital, without much involvement (other than the moments where Jared used Shelley as an excuse to keep Madison from telling the truth...) I would have liked to see her more but the focus was very much on Jared and Madison's burgeoning feelings for one another. Having said all that, the family weren't unbearable and their love and concern for Jared and Madison was good; I just couldn't connect with any of them very deeply.

My least favourite character was Veronica, Jared's ex. Of all the cliches in this story, she was the biggest. A gold digger as well as a conniving cowbag, she finds out about Jared's faux wedding and attempts to blackmail him into getting back together with her. When that fails, she finds Madison's long lost party girl mother and uses her to disrupt the wedding. She provides the drama but it barely ripples the water; all the conflict she provides is resolved easily. The novel could have easily worked without her input at all, or she could have been made more of a thorn in their side.

The plot moved quickly and when you consider the two main characters go from perfect strangers to engaged in the space of a chapter, I guess the bottleneck speed of this story makes sense. I would have liked a little more pacing because the speed of it felt really unrealistic, but it was still a fun read - especially the jokes about Irene's cooking and Madison's antics.

I have a theory that there are movies and books in this world that we read or watch simply for the sake of it. We gain nothing from doing so, but we lose nothing either. There isn't anything wrong with that at all; sometimes what you need isn't a provoking, heart wrenching story about the deeper meaning in life. Sometimes you just need to switch off and follow these characters for as long as the story goes and walk away again. ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED was one of those stories for me. Did it make me smile? Yes. Did I want them to have their happy ending? Of course. Did it stay with me after I'd finished? Not for long. Overall, I liked this story and enjoyed the journey despite the flaws; it's a fun frolic and it doesn't hurt anyone.



Intro Post

Give me a book and I can write pages on the themes within it, the character development (or lack of), the pacing, plot and every single opinion I had while reading it. Give me an opportunity to talk about myself, and I clam up like a...clam.

I was going to skip the introduction post all together, but Dana - who I considered to be a blogging pro - said I should and when Dana says you should do something, especially on your blog, it's probably a very good idea.

So here I am, talking about myself. 

What is there to know? Well, obviously, with this being a book review blog - I love to read. I read almost exclusively YA and NA literature, though through reading and reviewing on NetGalley that's started to change. I'm also a writer (unpublished, at the moment) and I tend to write only YA/NA literature, mostly in the fantasy and science fiction genres. If I write contemporary, it's usually with some kind of fantasy twist. 

I can't help myself.

I'm lucky enough to intern with a fantastic publisher called Patchwork Press, through which I've met some amazing people and authors. My favourite job - surprise surprise - is the editorial work, but to be perfectly honest I love it all. I've developed this enormous passion for working in publishing over the last few months and it's only getting better with each day. if you're not familiar with PWP, you need to keep an eye on them - they're going places! I'll be using this review blog to promote a lot of the fantastic PWP titles we have to offer as well as prizes and scavenger hunts and lots of other exciting things! And of course, eventually, there will be giveaways.

Cos I love swag as much as the next person.

Besides all this, I'm British, I like to make yummy foodstuffs (I'm pretty good at homemade marshmallows, if I do say so myself), I'm a history lover with an obsession with Ancient Egypt/Greece/Rome, King Arthur and pirates (arrrrrr!) and I love travelling when I have the time and money. 

Phew...is that enough to satisfy everyone's curiosity?

I'm a really approachable person, so if you have any questions or queries or just want to say hi, don't hesitate to contact me. You can find me in the Twitterverse (@AG_Author). 

That's all for now...until my first review that is... ;)