Review and Giveaway: Dream of Me by A. Star

 

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This book takes off exactly where Wish For Me ended, and follows Glory, Irving, Madeleine, and Elena on their quest to find Rasputin and save their realms from certain death. I really enjoyed the first book in this series (check out my review for more information), and whilst that makes the second in a series exciting, it also makes me a little nervous. Is it going to be as good? Is it going to be terrible and taint my opinion of the first? Is it going to be so awesome that I can’t handle it? Am I going to be disappointed to find that the third in the series is not out yet? In this instance, the truth is honestly a bit of a mixture.

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Short Story: Burning

So last night, my husband and I were sat in front of the log burner. I asked him what the high-pitched sound was, and he told me that it was the scream of the wood faeries trapped in the logs. This is where my weird writer mind took me…


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You know that high-pitched squeal you hear when you burn wood? You might think that it’s air escaping but you’re wrong. It’s the screams of dying wood faeries. Those pops and crackles? That’s their skin blistering and their bones breaking. That sweet smell? It’s not the wood – yuck! Wood smells of nothing when it burns. No, it’s the smell of faery souls being charred and shattered.

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Review: Wish for Me by A. Star

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When Glory St. Pierre finds an odd looking vase in her recently deceased grandmother’s basement, little did she know she was about to discover the existence of djinn, as well as a whole new world. This is where Irving comes into it, and grants Glory three wishes. There isn’t really much more I can say without giving too much of the story away. There is the djinn element, of course, plus a romance element (isn’t there always?), and plenty of action.

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Weekend Edition – Writing is My “Real” Job

This is a great inspirational post. I think that now, after a long while and a whole life change (giving up my job and moving to France), I’m finally starting to say ‘writer’ when people ask me my job!

Hi, by the way. I’m Riley, and I’m a writer 😉 What do you do?

Live to Write - Write to Live

“Real” is overrated.

pin opinion and perspectiveWhen someone asks what you do, how do you answer? Does the label “writer” trip lightly off the tip of your tongue, or do you keep that identity to yourself and instead talk about your day job? It seems like a small thing, but how we “label” ourselves  – to others and in our own minds – has a big impact on what we believe about ourselves and how we behave.

I actually do make my living as a writer, but the writing that pays my bills is not, in my estimation, “real” writing. When asked what I “do,” I usually say that I’m a messaging strategist and content marketer (and, then I have to explain what the heck that means). Even after nearly a decade of stringing one word after another for cold, hard cash, I still hesitate to grant myself the honorary title of “writer.”…

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Friday Feels…Anachronistic: On Stepping Back in Time (Or a Love Letter to the Internet)

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually stepped back in time, so please don’t ask me how (although if you’ve discovered the secret of time travel, let me know. Sounds like fun, does that).

Last week, I talked about how I’m in limbo because my new life hasn’t properly started yet. So life is rather plodding along pleasantly at the moment – not quite at a snail’s pace but I’m no greyhound either (hmmm…I’m not sure I was ever at greyhound speeds). Think of me as a little faster than the tortoise but I still can’t see the hare (I know, I know, the tortoise taught us that slow and steady wins the race but I think the real moral of the story there is ‘don’t have a nap on the job’). But it’s not just my present limbo-status that is making me go slower. It’s the culture.

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Review: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

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I love Margaret Atwood and her deliciously negative outlook on life. There is something quite exciting about her evident disappointment in the human race and the bleakness that she bleeds into her books. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s a fight against the enforced sickly sweetness of the world. The ‘let’s all be happy because everything is going to be alright’. Perhaps it’s that, or perhaps it’s just a delight to see something different for a change, to taste the sweet drops of the prohibited, the views you shouldn’t hold because where will negativity get you? Nowhere? Maybe though, just maybe, these brooding tales of woe are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to examining the ways we live and to stark warnings of what our future may behold – if we’re not careful, of course. Atwood is the queen of this, the queen of modern dystopia and this novel, The Heart Goes Last, is certainly no exception.

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In Defence of the Oxford Comma

Oxford Comma 1I’m definitely nerdy, there are no two ways about it. I’ve always suspected I’m a bit of a geek too, but it was when I discovered I have an opinion (and a strong one too) on the Oxford comma that I realised it’s true. I’m a full blown grammar geek – and I’m not ashamed to say it! This is not a new realisation, you understand. I’ve cared about the Oxford comma for years now and I really do care. In every single thing I read, I notice whether the author uses the Oxford comma. I don’t judge either way (or not much, anyway), I simply observe whether that little grammatical tadpole is in place.

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Friday Feels…A Little Lost

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Get your very own limbo kit from birthdayexpress.com

Friday feels…a little lost, if I’m honest. I’m kind of in limbo at the moment (no, not the Limbo that sits between Overworld and Underworld*, nor the video game, nor the ‘how low can you go’ game, but that metaphorical state of ‘limbo’ that we all know and sometimes love).

I left my old (and rather hectic) life behind me just before Christmas, and yet my new life is yet to properly begin. My new home, my new job, everything is on hold and this morning, it seems it’s been pushed back another week or so. Frustrating, undoubtedly, but it’s not all bad (at least not for me; I think my parents would be pleased to get us messy people out of their house and my husband would definitely like his own space again, although I know he appreciates their hospitality. I have the benefit of having lived with them all at one point or another, so I’m used to all their crazy ways).

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Short Story: Memories of the Rainwitch

The old lady sits and stares, rheumy eyed, out of the net-laden window. Her dining chair is pulled tightly up to the lace covered table on which she and her husband used to eat dinner together, laughing or crying over their daily tales. She watches the world go by, although the scene behind her eyes is something quite different. It’s the scene of her memories, of loves lost and adventures won, of friends and lovers and yes, even the odd enemy or two. She remembers, and she smiles, for nostalgia is always tinged with joy, despite the pain she may feel inside.

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Review: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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The Master and Margarita, at its base, is a love story between the two title characters – a love that goes beyond any normal means to survive. It’s about as intriguing as a love story can get without becoming too ridiculous (okay, I admit that the devil’s involvement could be classed as some-what far-fetched but somehow Bulgakov has made that seem perfectly normal and so I’ve decided to just go with it). Weaved around this, we read of Woland (Satan) and his wonderful retinue (Behemoth the fat cat with a liking for vodka and chess, Korovyov in his cracked pince-nez, and Azazello with his mystical cream and amazing shot). Their escapades, more mischievous than evil, are comical and hugely entertaining, bringing in a wonderful slapstick humour that gives light relief at all the appropriate moments (as well as a few inappropriate ones too). The final thread to pull it all together is the story of Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Nostri (‘Jesus of Nazareth’), the novel-within-a-novel, so devotedly written by The Master and so adored by Margarita – the manuscript that so famously cannot burn.

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When Reading Requires Headphones: The Rise of the Soundtracked Book

One of my favourite activities is being curled up on the sofa in front of the roaring fire as the rain patters on the window, reading an engrossing book. It’s ultimately a solitary activity. It’s ultimately a silent activity too, isn’t it? Perhaps not, claims Paul Cameron, CEO of BookTrack, an app that pairs books with soundtracks. He’s not the only one to think so either. Soundtracked books are on the rise and the BookTrack app has 2.5 million users worldwide. In the UK alone, usage of BookTrack has increased thirteen-fold since July this year[1]. As the ebook share in book sales dropped in 2015 (perhaps as a result of the glut of adult colouring books that took the world by storm), soundtracked books promise a new and inventive way for readers to enjoy a book, and an extra download (3)revenue stream for publishers. Surveys show that around ten per cent of people are willing to pay extra for interactive ebook features, after all[2]. The question is though, is it here to stay, or is just a fad?

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