Category Archives: Blog

Got Creative Brain Freeze? Why don’t you bake a Cake?

As writers we’ve all experienced those days when we are stuck on what to write next, or we just can’t figure out that wording for that very important sentence. We wasted an hour or two, sitting blankly at the computer waiting for inspiration to drop into our head.
Yep, that is your creative brain freeze. How do you move past this creative brain freeze? You do something entirely different like cooking. Cooking is a wonderful way to help with that creative brain freeze and make something yummy to eat while you’re at it.
The reasons:
1. You are no longer stuck in that chair – and all likely your behind is a bit numb – so getting up and moving around will help those lower muscles.
2. Cooking is relaxing for you and your brain.
3. Cooking is fun.
4. You can rehearse aloud the sentences that you are stuck on, while you sift flour.
5. When your brain is busy on other tasks, such as cooking, your mind can find that answer you were looking for without you pestering it.
6. Doing something entirely different helps unfreeze those creative wires.
7. In the end you might not have created that masterpiece of a book, but you would have baked a yummy delicious cake, that you can eat, while getting back to your writing.

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A collection of Book Reviews

I’ve been silent for a while on the blog, and that is because I’ve been busy at university. But thankfully, now I am on my semester break and am looking forward to relaxing and reading those books I don’t have to read for my course.
However, the books I read this semester for class were ones that wouldn’t have been on my top of the reading list, but I thought I would get back into wrtiing on the blog by firstly writing the book reviews for the six books I read this semester.

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: (From back book cover, the blurb): Depicting the gradual disintegration of the Compson family through four fractured narratives. The novel explores intense, passionate family relationships where there is no love, only self-centredness. The heart of the novel is about lovelessness.
If you like classics then you have most likely heard of this novel. The style of the novel is hard to read with the objective characters and distortion of chronologic order. However on the bases of the story it is a good read once you get past its difficulties, and it is no wonder it is a classic in American literature.

The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce: (From back book cover, the blurb): Against the backdrop of the nineteenth-century Dublin, a boy becomes a man; his mind testing its powers, obsessions taking hold and loosening again, the bonds of family, tradition, nation and religion transforming from supports into shackles; until the young man devotes himself to the celebration of beauty and reaches for independence and the life of an artist.
The story is a journey of a boy becoming a man in the world, trying to find his place. Splendidly written and particular note of the written style with its the lack of quotation marks.

The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: (From Goodreads): Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.
An intense plot and a telling frame story narrative that is easy to read that questions the underlying darkness of human nature. A classic read for anyone who enjoys a story surrounding the psychology of human nature and issues of colonisation.

The Crying Lot of 49 by Thomas Pynchon: (From back book cover, the blurb)Oedipa Mass discovers that she has been made executrix of a former lover’s estate. The performance of her duties sets her on a strange trail of detection in which bizarre characters crowd in to help or confuse her. But gradually death, drugs, madness and marriage combine to leave Oedipa in isolation on the threshold of revelation.

The Waves by Virginia Woolf: Woolf writing in a stream of self-consciousness as the narrative traces the lives and interactions of seven friends in an exploratory and sensuous narrative. Anyone could like this novel, as it is not difficult to read or follow the plot. It is written in an engaging experiencing and I really have nothing to dislike about this novel.

Speedboat by Renata Adler: The novel follows the young American journalist, Jen Fain, in the coming age of New York 1970s. In sporadic episodes the narrator reveals bleak observations, in an unconventional writing style, interjecting thoughts and opinions on a range of topics. The only thing that places a damper on reading this novel is there is no set chronology of when the events happen. But, otherwise I found it a great and enjoyable read.

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Hades by Candice Fox: A Book Review

(From Goodreads) Twenty years ago, two children were kidnapped and left for dead.
Raised by a master criminal, they grew up to become cops. Very unusual cops . . .
Homicide detective Frank Bennett has an intriguing new partner. Dark, beautiful, coldly efficient, Eden Archer is one of the most enigmatic colleagues Frank has ever worked with—that includes her brother Eric, who’s also on the Sydney Metro police force. All of them are tested to the core when a local man discovers a graveyard of large steel toolboxes lying at the bottom of the harbor. Each box contains a grisly trove of human body parts.
For Frank, the madman’s clues are a tantalizing puzzle. For Eden and Eric, the case holds chilling links to a scarred childhood—and a murderous mentor named Hades. But the true evil goes beyond the bloody handiwork of a serial killer

A riveting and twisted crime novel that keeps you gripped to the end. I liked reading this story, maybe because it is set in Australia. The characters were bizarre and interesting at the same time. The backstory of Eden and Eric, takes on a whole new level in the crime fiction world, that helps this debut book stand out from other crime novels.

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Liebster Award

liebsteraward

 

 

Thankyou to The Excellent Library for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Everyone should go check out the blog it is amazing.

The Rules:

1. Thankyou the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. Display the award on your blog.

3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. Nominate other blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. Make sure you inform them.

5. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

 

So here are The Excellent Library’s questions.

1. What is your favourite book you were required to read in school?

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley. It was an amazing book!

2. If you’re not enjoying a book, do you abandon it or force yourself to finish it?

It depends. If I am reading a book that required for me to read for University then obviously I keep reading it even if I don’t enjoy it. If it is reading of my own, then usually I try to stick it out, unless I have another book that I want to read and so the un-enjoyable book is abandoned.

3. What’s your favourite quote from a book?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen’s opening line in Pride and Prejudice, nothing beats it.

4. What book did you think you would love but didn’t?

I’ve not had this happen to me yet.

5. If you could choose two authors to write a book together, which authors would you choose?

Good question. I am completely stumped on this. Honestly I have no idea.

6. What’s your favorite movie based on a book?

The Hunger Games movie adaptation was done excellent. Loved it.

7. Do you prefer real books or ebooks? Paperbacks or hardcovers?

I’m an old-fashioned romantic so I much prefer the real books to ebooks. And it depends on which one is readily available to me when I am buying a book if it is hardcover or paperback.

8. What book (or series) would you like to see as a movie?

Hush, Hush series. I loved that series and would love to see it on the big screen.

9. Who is your all-time favourite author?

Jane Austen.

10. If you had to be a character in the last book you read, which one would you be and why?

The last book I have read was Sister by Rosamund Lupton. So I would have to say I would be the older sister Beatrice, as I am an older sister myself.

11. You have to kiss, mary and kill three different characters from your favourite book. Which characters would you choose?

Pride and Prejudice is the book. I would marry Mr Darcy, kiss Mr Bingley and kill Lydia Bennet, she should have seriously known better than to run off with Mr Wickham.

 

My Nominees:

onepagecloser

Ryan’s Reading Room

 Lizzy Reads Books

New Questions:

1. What are some of your favourite books?

2. Where is your favourite place to read?

3. In your opinion, what is the most well done book to movie adaptation you’ve seen?

4. If you could be any character from a book what character would you choose?

5. What’s your favourite tv show?

6. A book you actually enjoyed but wanted to hate?

7. What is the most disappointing ending to a book or series that you read?

8. Watch the movie or read the book first?

9.  If you could have dinner with any of the fictional characters from books, movies or tv shows, who would it be and why?

10. Do you ever skip to the end to see what happens?

11. Why do you read?

 

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Book Review: Sister by Rosamund Lupton

sister

(From Goodreads) Nothing can break the bond between sisters …When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister’s disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister’s life – and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice’s fiancé and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

A gripping plot, and compelling well-written story takes place in London, when Beatrice receives phone call that her younger sister has gone missing.
The story touches on many elements of medicine and crime – but the most interesting is the description of the two sister’s bond that is clearly seen throughout the story. It is heart wrenchingly sad at some moments, and Lupton pulls at the emotion and psychological strings of the reader. One of the higlights of the book is, Beatrice is writing a letter to her sister, and the use of second-person personal pronoun, ‘you’, links the reader to the story, as if we take the place of the sister, – making it as if you are part of the story.

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Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

dark places

(From Goodreads)Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.
Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her borther’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?
She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.
Who did massacre the Day family?

Just as interesting and dark as the previous stories of Flynn’s her second novel takes matters of a crime in the past and present point of view. It’s a well-paced page-turner, beautifully wrought, that would leave you shocked, disturbed and intrigued at once. Flynn is excellent at creating unpleasant characters and disturbing situations, and Dark Places is full of them. If you plan to read at night, make sure you have the light on.

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Book Review: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (Book 2, The Bone Season)

mime order

(From Goodreads) Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

Shannon jumps into the story with action, interest and questions of how Paige is going to survive that keeps the readers hooked. Paige’s new life is in Scion, as the secrets and darkness that surrounds her are revealed as Shannon’s characters shift, backstab and fall in ways that are as fascinating as the twists and turns of the plot.
The Mime Order is the second book in a new fantasy series.

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