Thursday, 17 October 2013

Happy Halloween! (Almost...)


Hello! In my last post I mentioned the Halloween feature that Erika from The Red Bookmark and myself were hosting, which is (very badly) been called the 'Halloween Book Party'. No, you cannot have cake, its all for me! Muahaha. But on a more serious note, we will be posting every two days for the fourteen days this feature is running, so, hopefully, by the end we will have seven posts. Also we have other bloggers who've kindly said they will participate with us! So, you'll be getting linky'd up to them :)

If you'd like to participate as well, all you have to do is grab our banner (that was designed by the lovely Ruby from Feed Me Books Now) which will be at the top of every HBP, and post something Halloween, and bookish-related. After that it would be great if you sent us your links via twitter, or in the comments!

For those of you who signed-up via our sheet, the first email will be going round today, good luck!

Make sure to check back to my blog and Erika's, plus we will be on twitter quite a lot, but hey, don't blame us if you see something creeping up on you! We will be reviewing 'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman together, but other than that... have fun reading our posts! (I hope...)

Keep Reading,

Fionnuala x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Interview with Carmen Reid!

So, it been an unusually long time, like a couple of days, since my last post. But, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, I've been loaded down with GCSE work recently as well as preparations for Halloween (YAY) which I definitely will be celebrating on the blog!! I'm participating in a blog tour, and will be posting on the 13th, plus the Halloween feature, will be running from the 17th to the 31st of October! So, plenty happening this month and next month! And I have reviews, interviews, and bookish posts scheduled, so that's all good! Don't forget, if you ever want to guest post at Book for Birds drop me an email and I'll sort something :)

Now moving on to the actual object of this post! I was privileged to get an interview with the lovely Carmen Reid author of Cross my Heart!

How do you get rid of things like writers block?
 I never really have writers' block, I always have loads of ideas and I have the discipline to just crack on and write them otherwise I know I will be all moody, grumpy and unfulfilled. 
Writing is quite like cycling, sometimes it's hideous and all uphill, but then there are pages, sometimes whole chapters when you just freewheel, grinning, as you rush down the hill. 

Was writing always something you wanted to do?
Yes. I have spent my lifetime writing, from scribbled diaries and short stories aged eight to long English essays, letters and lots of journalism before I sat down and began the first proper book. 

What would your advice be to aspiring writers?
Read, read, read, write, write, write. And repeat. I like to have a thorough plan for the story I'm writing, but that doesn't suit everyone. 

What are some recent books you have read?
 Just finished The Fault In Our Stars by John Greene (sob sob). Plus two Victoria Hislop novels, which I enjoyed very much. Planning to get stuck in to What should we tell our Daughters? by Melissa Benn.

What is the naughtiest thing you ever did in school?
I once 'broke up' with a friend. I should never have done that, I still feel terrible about it. I should just have explained 'I'm hanging out with these people some of the time, but I'll hang out with you too, don't worry. Be cool.' But she was a bit clingy and I didn't know how to deal with it. Still haunted, I tell you. She cried. It was awful. None of my other break ups in life ever went any better, it set a bad trend. 

If you were a tree what would you be and why?
 Love this question! My favourite is the hawthorn. Beautiful flowers, beautiful berries for the birds. It's the first to get leaves in the spring and it was traditionally used as farm hedging as it has such sharp thorns. 

What is your favorite part of the day and why?
The morning when the day is still so full of hope and promise and potential. 

What's your next project? (if you can tell me that)
Noooo! Top secret. I hate pitching ideas. You try to put your whole wonderful new book idea into a few sentences and people inevitably go: 'meh' or: 'I've read something just like that.'

Can you list five adjectives to describe yourself?
Tall, loving, giggly, idea-packed

Can you tell me a unique, or quirky habit of yours?
I'm slightly addicted to raw carrots. I limit myself to one or two a day though as I once actually turned myself orange with an overdose.

If you were to create a slogan for you life, what would it be?
 I'm going with Monty Python's: Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Favorite ice-cream flavour?
Oooh… hazelnut, but maybe with caramel… however a mango sorbet on a hot day is hard to beat. 

Carmen xx 

Thank-you for that Carmen! :) 

Happy Reading,

Fionnuala xx

Thursday, 3 October 2013

50 Random Facts About Me Tag

So, I'm not sure how long this tag has been going on but about a week ago I got tagged by the lovely Erika from The Red Bookmark and you can see her post on the tag here. Now I'm going to warn you coming up with 50 Random Fact About Yourself is really hard! This took me three hours plus, with the help of Pringles *hint hint Amber*.

1. I still barely know what I'm doing when I blog, I'm just going with it and enjoying myself!
2. I love Crunchies, Malteasers and Mint Aero's. 
3. I jump up and down with joy when I receive a book in the post, get an ebook or talk to authors!
4. I'm very interested with heritage and mythology, I just love reading and researching the past. (You can probably tell that I love History!)
5. Its been a good few years since I've taken an ICT lesson. So, I'm surprised that I'm getting on so well with the technical aspects of the blog! (Thanks to all my bloggy friends who helped me with that.) 
6. I have a special mug I drink from when I'm reading, and a special reading chair.
7. I go to an independent school over the internet. Its been about two years since I've been to a "physical" school.
8. I, am a member of many fandoms, such as; Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Mortal Instruments, Divergent etc.
9. I own an e-reader (kindle) but still prefer reading and buying physical books. 
10. I'm probably on the computer more than whats good for me!
11. I love physical/practical art, like sculpturing, I'm a pretty bad drawer but still love sketching.
12. I feel  like my tweets/messages/status' sound to serious if I don't add a smiley at the end :) 
13. My normal breakfast usually consists of cheerios and/or toast!
14. Get me started on a good book/movie U will talk, well, fangirl, for, literally, ever! #BIGGESTFANGIRL
15. My bookish goal is to go to a book festival; meet one of my favorite authors; and build up my collection of signed books, which is pitifully small.
16. I feel like, compared to other bloggers I know, I have a small culmination of books :(
17. I'm a puzzle fan (don't judge!) I love making 3-D models of famous architecture. 
18. I over-think a lot. I've heard that I'm a perfectionist, but I wouldn't say I take it to an extreme. I just like to have things certain way.
19. I own a guitar, a keyboard, and a tin whistle. Don't ask me to play you anything. Ever. Heh.
20. I'm an obvious twitter addict :)
21. This is taking way longer than I thought it would...
22. I was born on January 9th, 2000, and am usually always the youngest in my class. Hmph. 
23. I have a younger brother -_- SIBLING RIVALRY 
24. I write letters every week. Yes, they're old fashioned, but its a little more personal than an email.
25. My first phone was a little Sony Ericsson. Which I actually still have, somewhere...
26. I have never broken a single bone in my body.
27. I love Ribena, but they don't sell it that often here, so its extra special when i can fine it! :3
28. One of the bookish quotes I remember most is; '"Those who say you only have one life to live, doesn't know how to read a book." ~ Unknown.'
29. I want to study as an Architect at university/college, but would love to be an author. 
30. I'm really hungry, hold on whilst I get some Pringles - Yes, I love Pringles! 
31. My absolute favorite book is 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I haven't read it as often as my other books, but its because its such a special book to me.
32. I love to bake when I can!
33. I have a trophy for French. 
34. I just feel really privileged at all the amazing, wonderful, awesome bloggers and authors I get to talk to on a regular basis! Blogging has really changed my life, and all the people in it now, I'm just really happy to have made this decision.
35. For once I have too many books to read, and I'm falling under. Which has never happened before!
36. Ugh, I've lost count of how many fact there's left to write.
37. Apparently, I have really neat writing, but I don't think so. 
38. I have a reverted Nanny McPhee tooth, and won't be getting my braces until Jan 2014. 
39. I only eat margarita/cheese pizza.
40. I'd like to go on a round the world trip after I've gotten my qualifications, hehe, I'm responsible :D
41. I just love my slothy-unicorn-cabbage friends, you know how you are! 
45. I'm finding it hard to kick my nail biting habit.
46. I prefer to hand write something before I actually type it up. 
47. I should eat healthier, but I don't, haha xD
49. The last fact , what do I say, what do I say!?
50. I keep all the envelopes the packages I receive come in, when I have the time I'm hoping to cut out little squares and create some sort of collage.

Now, I'm going to inflict this torture on some other bloggers, muahaha, I tag :

Allison @ The Lovely Grace
Sunny @ A Sunny Spot

If anyone else would like to do this tag feel free, go ahead! Be a tag rebel! 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review - The Shepherd by TW Luedke

Mike Evans here. Sixteen year old skate punk squatting in a white-trash trailer park with my loser drunk Dad. Seems I lost most of my friends when Dad lost our home in foreclosure. Only Anita stuck by me. Worse, I keep having strange clairvoyant visions of things that always come true.Then I almost ran over Nadia in my Geo. A passing truck finished the job – left a crumpled heap of skin and bone on the road. I fixed her. Me.
Now this fourteen year old girl won’t leave me alone. I sorta let her sneak in my window when she needs a place to crash.
I have a double life: daytime at school, Anita, skating, and then my nights with Nadia. She's my secret friend, gives me money and listens to my problems when nobody else will.
My world is spinning out of control. Old friends have turned enemy, my grisly visions of death won’t quit, and Anita’s intentions make my head spin. Even with all that, I’ve got bigger stuff to worry about.
Nadia’s hiding something. - Publication Date - Oct 2 2013

*Summary from Goodreads. Thank-You to the author T.W. Luedke for sending me an ARC of this in exchange for a 100% honest review.

The beginning was quite a nice way to open the books as it was so real. I could literally go on the internet and find something similar to what was described It also have quite a pessimistic feel to it, you really got into the characters mind set, which was a feeling that I rather enjoyed. I was intrigued with the story direction and it already have me wanting to read and discover more.

'Hoodie Girl', who we later learn is called Natasha/Nadia, had one of my favorite character introductions. The relationship between her and Michael was an interesting element in the novel and didn't go quite the way I expected it, but absolutely loved the teasing and protectiveness that came with it. The fact that we don't learn her name till quite later in the story was something I thought was a clever writing element implemented by the author since we were getting familiar with the character and this still left her with a sense of mystery. There was a lot we didn't know about her, and neither did the protagonist.

The introductions of Michael's visions felt like a milestone in the novel, for me, like it was the part when you're starting to get 'down and dirty' as it was moving into a more fictional realm. What I liked about the presentation of his visions in the book was that it didn't seem to rely on the visions as a whole but I felt like it would come into play more so later on than what had already been shown.

Now I was only about 12% into the book at this point but I want to talk about it, anyway, at the end of Chapter 4 there were two lines that read; 'Friends make the worse enemies. They have all the personal, inside knowledge to hurt you with.' This is mentioned again in the book, and I didn't know how things were going to turn out, obviously, but I had a feeling that the argument/grudge between Justin and Michael, though quite a trivial thing, would be become an important element of the novel.

So, I hope I haven't shown much preference between male and female characters in my reviews before, but I have to say that I think I give female characters a slightly harder time, from a critical eye, than male. Not because women are beneath men or anything, but I have so many female idols/hero's from books that its a natural thing, and someone who quickly became a favorite character of mine was Anita. With her self-consciousness, which I think a lot of us can relate to, to her tomboy personality and her burning tongue, she was a keeper.

The format of the book, being in first person a.k.a from Michael's point of view, was refreshing as I've been reading a lot of books in third person. And its used quite effectively to show us more of Michael's personality by narrating it from his point of view. With witty humor, dark secrets, clairvoyance, the paranormal, and even reincarnation, this book has it all.

There were a few drawbacks; quite often I had the feeling that elements were introduced to the book but never really amounted to anything like something had started and had never been finished, but once you got really into the book there were some interesting turns. Even with the paranormal this book... was comfortable not too much action or fiction to drive it over the edge but enough to have you hanging on for the next page. Overall I enjoyed the book, it wrapped up with a nice happy ending, but there's still a lot of questions to be answered. Eagerly waiting for a sequel!

Rating = 3 Bookish Birds 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Cover Reveal! Freaks by Lisa M. Forester

Nobody's perfect... or are they?  
Abigail always knew that she was different, but what she didn't know was just how different. 
That was until her 16th birthday, when her parent's revealed a devastating secret that confirmed her worst fears and changed her life forever. 
Abigail is an Allelobrid: one of five children born as a result of their parents illegal science experiment in genetic engineering. The aim: to create a perfect child. 
Yet perfection comes at a price. 
Forced into a life on the run, Abigail finds love, danger and an organisation that will stop at nothing to get what they want. When lives are at risk and freedom is threatened - could being perfect be enough to survive?    

Publication Date - November 28th 2013  
Cover designed by Steven Honey

Just dropping a quick line to say that this cover look amazing! For those of you who know me this is usually the type of book I'd go for, and the cover is like a giant cherry on top! Can't wait to read and review this for you guys, Happy Reading! Fi x

Author Biography

Lisa M. Forester is a Young Adult fiction author living in the North West of England and her debut novel ‘Freaks’ is due for release on the 26th of November 2013. 

She has lived on a diet of books since she was six (when she was handed an Enid Blyton story for the very first time) and she constantly lives in hope that reading will become an Olympic sport. After being inspired to write by the plethora of amazing YA writers that exist across the globe, she put pen to paper and produced ‘Freaks’ – which I am sure she would very much love you to read! 

Author Links