Sunday, 22 June 2014

Kindle Ninja Review: RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Edition #10

Kindle Ninja Review Edition #10 featuring Fireflies and Where Blue Birds Fly

★★★5/5


The story of the Whelan family is set in the 1800s. It would take absolutely brilliant writing to really take us back in time to a different century – and the writer has achieved this quite impressively. 

This is one of those books that has to be read at a leisurely pace so you could appreciate the beauty of the narrative. While it focuses on Ennis’ extraordinary gift, this is as much about his father Owen, who also has a story to tell. This then explains the difficult situation that the family has to come to terms with.

The supernatural and paranormal elements are seamlessly combined with 19th century life so vividly imagined. It's a combination that's quite difficult to pull off because of the sheer complexity of the individual elements. 
'Fireflies' is an enjoyable read with interesting characters and an intricate plot told in a beautiful narrative.
 
PS Bartlett is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


***
★★5/5


This is the story of Ruby Garnett, a troubled 13-year old who has had to deal with hard issues surrounding her dysfunctional family. These issues were not made explicit early in the story, but you’re given bits and pieces that drop hints of Ruby’s past and how badly the family and relationship dynamics have changed.

The biggest strength of the story is in the way it was set up. It’s like being given pieces of the puzzle in every chapter, but you don’t quite know how to put them together. Then they all just beautifully fall into place. So effortlessly plotted and splendidly written.

I purchased this book on the strength of the author’s second novel “Bring Me Sunshine” and I wasn’t disappointed.

Wendy Storer is a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Episode 21 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Harmony Kent

Welcome to Episode 21 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja.


What is this madness, you ask? 

It's my way of supporting members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters.

All the EPISODES of Conversations over Milk & Cookies can be found HERE.  Or you can just look to your right and you'll find the Quick Links.

In this episode, we feature AUTHOR HARMONY KENT (@harmony_kent). She's the author of  'THE GLADE' and 'THE BATTLE FOR BRISINGAMEN'. 

Harmony is the Rave Reviews Book Club's Administrative Assistant.



Let's get to know Harmony in more than 140 characters.



KINDLE NINJA (KN):  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. How do you like your cookies? Chewy? Crunchy? Crumbly? Something else?
Chewy, most definitely chewy! Preferably with some chocolate in there somewhere.

I’d assume I’m the person you’d want to drink Milk with, but who’s the person you’d want to have coffee with?
My favourite coffee person, eh? Mm, tricky one! I have so many folks I look up to and respect, as well as others who are just plain good fun. Right now, I would have to nominate Nelson Mandela . . . tomorrow it would most likely be someone else—I’m an eclectic kind of a gal. As for milk buddies: of course you’re my preferred milk friend . . . I have the most wonderful image of sitting over milk and cookies with a ninja in full get up! Coffee with Nelson speaks to my spiritual and reflective nature, while milk with you calls to my mischievous and adventurous side.

KN: You have to wear ninja outfit too!

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals. What is your strange writing ritual?
I don’t really have a ritual. I guess I prefer to write to music, but other than that I’m pretty boring! I choose soundtracks, as lyrics break my concentration. I wrote ‘The Glade’ almost entirely listening to ‘The Twilight’ score music!

What would you consider as your 15 mins of fame?
Milk and cookies with you! Okay, I’ll try and be a bit more serious . . . ahem.
My book cover for ‘The Glade’ was showcased in the All Authors Magazine as an Awesome Cover, which was kind of neat. (Do people still say ‘neat’? Or am I showing my age and uncoolness right now?)

KN: Neat!

How important is the choice of character names in your novel  (or any novel for that matter)
Fairly important. Names are something that seem to come easily for me. For the foreign names in ‘The Battle for Brisingamen’, I had a rough idea of the kind of names I wanted, and then used an online name finder. I do put effort and research into it when I need to, and the meaning of a name is often important. But really, it’s more a case of what feels right.

If your novel “TheGlade” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main character/s?


 
Tom Hanks would be great for playing ‘John’. He’d need to really ‘British up’ his accent though!

Tommy Lee Jones (of ‘U.S. Marshalls’) would be fantastic for the D.I.
I can see Sandra Bullock playing Helen (as she appeared in ‘The Blind Side’ . . . that kind of character).


And who will direct the movie?
It would have to be the director of ‘The Conjuring’ . . . a freakily scary movie I saw the other day. What’s his name? Oh, right: James Wan (Google saved the day!)

How do you feel about doughnuts without holes?
No doughnuts, please! I’m not a fan. But if I was pushed to answer, I would say a doughnut should have a hole!


What’s the book you wished you’d written?
‘The Host’ by Stephanie Meyer. What a brilliant idea! And she pulled it off so well.

What’s the book that positively shaped you?
‘A Heart as Wide as the World’ by Sharon Salzburg. I read it years ago, and ended up spending 13 years as an ordained Buddhist Nun in a Buddhist temple. I wouldn’t be who I am today, if I hadn’t read that book and gone down the path it opened up for me.

What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).
Well, KN, answering these questions is actually fun If I’m not reading, I’m writing, and this is kind of just like writing! And, the sun is shining, so I’d love to go and sit in the garden right now. 

What do you do to decompress?
Drink wine with friends and let my sense of humour loose (which often involves making jokes about being legless while taking off my false leg and waving it around . . .) only amongst friends though!

What bizarre food have you eaten?
Sugar sandwich. I used to love this when I was a kid. I’d probably be sick now, though! I’d lather margarine (spread) on white bread and then pour on the sugar (whilst making sure Mum couldn’t see what I was doing)!


If you were to take a Ninja out to dinner, what British food would you have him eat?
I’d cheat. Like mad. And pretend Pizza was English food. I’m the pizza queen. Failing that, it would have to be the good old, traditional, fish and chips.

KN: And I’m the pizza ninja ;D

If you had a tattoo where would it be?
I wouldn’t have one. Sorry, but they just don’t do anything for me.

What song describes your week?
Please, please, please let me get what I want
By Tinderbox

Can you sing a line to me?
Please, please, please . . . let me, let me, let me get what I want this time . . . Lord knows, it would be the first time . . .

 On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?
10 . . . most definitely 10! Although things often don’t go my way, and life can seem tough, there is always this very next moment. And who knows what will happen? I take pleasure in the small things, and the big things tend to take care of themselves. Sometimes, I think it would be nice to have a special someone to share those many small precious moments with. But, most of the time, my life feels full—come what may.

Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown?
I haven’t read Nicholas Sparks . . . so, I guess it would have to be Dan Brown.
 
J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?
Oh, KN! You can’t seriously make me choose? Really? I love them both!
But, seeing as you’re a ninja, and my life might depend on answering, then I would have to fall on the side of J.K. Rowling. I’ve re-read the HP books more than I’ve read the Twilight books. Having said that, I’ve watched the Twilight films more than I’ve watched the HP movies!

Ninjas or Dragons?
Dragons! Very best of all, would be Dragons with Ninjas on their backs
  
Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A.
Thanks for the milk and cookies, KN. I’ve had a great time!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Episode 20 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Michelle Abbott

Welcome to Episode 20 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja.


What is this madness, you ask? 

It's my way of supporting members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters.

All the EPISODES of Conversations over Milk & Cookies can be found HERE.  Or you can just look to your right and you'll find the Quick Links.

In this episode, we feature AUTHOR MICHELLE ABBOTT (@MichelleAbbott4). She's the author of  'JUST STAY'and other books. Check them out here.

Michelle is a Rave Reviews Board Member serving as the club's Spotlight Co-ordinator.


Let's get to know Michelle in more than 140 characters, shall we?

KINDLE NINJA (KN):  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. How do you like your cookies? Chewy? Crunchy? Crumbly? Something else?
Thank you for having me, Kindle Ninja. I prefer my cookies to be chewy and to contain plenty of chocolate chips.

I’d assume I’m the person you’d want to drink Milk with, but who’s the person you’d want to have coffee with?
My mum passed away three years ago and I’d love another chance to chat with her over a drink. It would have to be a pot of tea because she never drank coffee.

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals. What is your strange writing ritual?
I must have a pot of coffee. I can’t write a word unless I have a mug of coffee beside me. I also change my PC background to a photo of the place where my work in progress is set, which is currently Hemsby in Norfolk.

What would you consider as your 15 mins of fame?
Getting a photo of myself and my son in the local newspaper because he was born on Mother’s Day, and he was also the biggest child born in the hospital on that day. I have the news page in my scrapbook.

How important is the choice of character names in your novel  (or any novel for that matter)
I keep a list of names that I love and they are reserved for my main characters. The names must fit their age and nationality. I could never give my main characters a name I didn’t love!  I keep another list of names which I use for any secondary characters. When it comes to novels written by someone else, I don’t mind so long as I can pronounce the name.

If your novel “Just Stay” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main character/s?

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Stay-Michelle-Abbott-ebook/dp/B00KECDKGA

Ugh! When I write I always have a clear image of my characters in my mind, but I can never find an actor that even comes close to resembling them. I have found two images for my male character, Trey. You can see those on my Pinterest page for Just Stay http://www.pinterest.com/michelleddiane/just-stay/ 

And who will direct the movie?
Probably not fitting for a romance but I’d choose Christopher Nolan because I’ve loved every movie he’s directed.

How do you feel about doughnuts without holes?
I’ll eat them but I prefer them with holes, just out of the fryer, hot and smothered with sugar.

What’s the book you wished you’d written?
Harry Potter because then I’d be rich like J.K. Rowling!

What’s the book that positively shaped you?
The first few self-published romance novels that I read because after reading them, I realised that I could write and publish my own.

What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).
Finishing the first chapter of my current work in progress.

What do you do to decompress?
Pour myself a glass of wine and watch TV with my family, or read a good romance book.

What bizarre food have you eaten?
I’ve never eaten anything bizarre but when I visited Greece I drank their local spirit, Raki. It smelled like paint stripper and made my eyes water. I had to hold my nose in order to drink it!

If you had a tattoo where would it be?
I don’t have any tattoos, although I love them on men! If I did have one, it would be on my shoulder.

What was the last song you heard?
Creep by Radiohead. I’m considering it for my playlist for my work in progress.

Can you sing a line to me?
I’ll wait until you get some ear plugs because I sound like a strangled cat!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?
Right now, about a 7. I have a feeling this year is going to get better and better.

Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown?
I haven’t read books by either author but I’ll go with Nicholas Sparks because I prefer emotion over thrills.

J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?
Once again I haven’t read either but I have seen the Harry Potter movies, so I’ll go with J.K. Rowling.


Ninjas or Teddy Bears?
How about a teddy bear dressed in a Ninja outfit? That would be cute!


KN: good answer lol

Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A.
Thank you. It was fun.