IB Tour: Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday

Posted September 25, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 0 Comments

IB Tour: Roald Dahl’s 100th BirthdayDanny The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
Published by Penguin Books on August 16. 2007
Genres: Middle Grade, humor
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Danny has a life any boy would love—his home is a gypsy caravan, he's the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world

Many times, revisiting childhood loves can be disappointing. You build up a memory in your mind so much that when you actually experience it again, the memory of the experience is better than whatever the experience was. This book has been a treasured memory forever. I had a slight concern that reading this again as an adult would make me sad. I love Roald Dahl and I want to celebrate him but I didn’t want to sour another piece of my childhood.

Reading the book again made me remember how much I loved the story. Danny’s relationship with his father reminds me of my own dad, who always had time for me. Danny thinks his dad is the best dad in the world, but I knew in my heard that mine actually was. In the book, Danny and his father make a kite and there are rough directions included. After reading this book I was inspired to make my own kite as a child. I really wanted to make a fire balloon (instructions also included), but my parents weren’t all that wild about the idea.

Luckily, this Roald Dahl book held up well! Reading Danny The Champion of the World as an adult was a completely different experience. It was still the same book that I remembered but it also wasn’t. When I was a child, I never thought about the legalities of poaching or pondered the moral ramifications of Danny’s father’s nightly activities. I just knew that Mr. Hazell was a jerk and he deserved to be punished. Things were black and white when I younger.

If adulthood is identifying with King Triton instead of Ariel, I’m definitely there. However, there are some fringe benefits. If you need me, I’ll be making a fire balloon.

About the Author

roald-photo-official-photo-jpegRoald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that RoaldDahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

Giveaway:

1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.

Tour Schedule

   Fiction Fare: Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes
Nicole’s Novel Reads: The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Skin and Other Stories
Intellectual Recreation: Love From Boy
KellyVision: More About Boy 
One Night Book Stand: Revolting Rhymes 
The Quiet Concert: The Minpins 
Reads All the Books: Dirty Beasts 
Here’s to Happy Endings: The Enormous Crocodile 
He Said Books or Me: D is for Dahl 
Dizneeee’s World of Books: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
The Innocent Smiley: The Vicar of Nibbleswick 
PaperTrailYa: Esio Trot 
Emily Reads Everything: Danny, The Champion of the World 
Writing My Own Fairy Tale: George’s Marvelous Medicine 
Rebelle Reads: Fantastic Mr. Fox 
Quest Reviews: Going Solo 
Mundie Kids: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
Stuck In Books: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator 
No BS Book Reviews: Matilda 
Novelgossip: The Twits 
Forever Bookish: Boy: Tales of Childhood 
Miranda’s Book Blog: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me 
I Turn the Pages: The BFG 
The Irish Banana Review: The Witches 
Actin’ Up with Books: The Magic Finger 
Swoony Boys Podcast: James and the Giant Peach 

four-half-stars

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Awesome Indies: Gifted by J.A. George

Posted September 23, 2016 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 1 Comment

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Awesome Indies: Gifted by J.A. GeorgeGifted by J.A. George
Series: The Hayven Series #1
on May 11, 2016
Genres: paranormal
Pages: 338
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.
Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.
However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.
Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.

What inspires you?

Being normal and extraordinary at the same time. Most people believe you can only be one or the other, but I believe you can be both. Extraordinary in the sense that there is something about you that sets you apart from everyone else, but normal in the sense that…you know… you’re not a serial killer or anything.

How long did this book take you to write?

Almost three years. When I first came up with the concept of Gifted, I started writing it out because I wanted to see where the story would go; I wrote Gifted because I wanted to read it. But as the publication date loomed closer, panic set in. I started to worry about whether readers would like it and whether it would sell or not because if it didn’t, then I would have failed as an author. So I ended up writing a book I thought readers would love, but in the end, I hated, by throwing in tropes I’d seen in popular best-selling YA novels: instant-love, a chosen one and a girl born into a dystopian society who kicks butt regularly. In the end, I not only hated my novel, but the entire writing process which was extremely crushing because writing is the one thing I’ve ever really enjoyed, the one thing that never felt like work. Two years later I said “screw it” and went back to writing a novel I wanted to read. Life is too short for me to spend it trying to please others, in any aspect of life. I ended up changing 95% of Gifted and I’m so much happier for it. It’s now not only a book I would read, but a book I would happily pay for. It’s still such a shock and surprise to hear readers say they love it too and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

One of the many things I loved creating was Theo and Ava’s relationship. In the first edition of Gifted, it started off with instant-love between the two of them because that’s something heavily featured in YA books, so I assumed that’s what YA readers wanted. After I returned to writing what I wanted to read, I completely changed their relationship because I personally don’t believe in instant-love. I’m also tired of the smoking-hot bad-boy, so I made Theo into more of a friend character. Someone who’s a little weird, but fun to be around and although he may not be jumping off buildings every day or robbing banks, there’s something about his presence that would make me miss him if he weren’t there. This change came at a cost because a few of my readers have said they don’t feel the love connection between Theo and Ava and it makes me just want to yell at people, “YOU DON’T FEEL A LOVE CONNECTION BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE!” Some YA readers are so used to female and male protagonists falling in love. Theo and Ava aren’t in love. They’re friends and something is there, but it most certainly is not love. They have just met after all. But then again, you can’t help how readers interpret your book; if Theo and Ava are in love in your head, then I won’t say no. A story is what a reader makes it. If we all read stories the same way, it would be a pretty dull, predictable story.

Ava was a great character to draw up because she’s relatable. She may be strong-willed, funny and sarcastic, but she’s also insecure and worries about the small stuff, like we all do. I can see myself and many others in her and it’s nice to have a relatable character who experiences extra-ordinary things. For me, Ava makes the impossible seem a little more…possible.

What writers influenced you the most?

Roald Dahl! Which is surprising since it’s his children’s books that inspired me. His theme of extraordinary things happening to ordinary people is something that has subconsciously stuck with me for so many years.

How much research do you do?

Literally none! My novel features two settings, a fictional country and England, but the city in England is one I’ve made up myself. I suppose it’s loosely based on Uxbridge in England as I remember bits of the town because I went to university there. I have a few diverse characters in my first novel and plan to introduce a heck of a lot more in my following books, but I get my information from my friends. I love diversity and it is terrible lacking in YA. I feel so distant from a lot of books nowadays because they usually feature a majority of one race group and that isn’t relatable or realistic to me. I was born and raised in London, England, one of the most diverse cities in the world. In my world I’m surrounded by diversity, from race to sexuality, from social class to gender, and I plan to show that in my book series.

Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to?

I used to, but I soon learnt that writing under pressure produces not-so-great writing so I refuse to put myself under the strain of a deadline. I got enough of that from university! Some days I’ll write a few words, other days I’ll write pages and some days I don’t write anything at all. I try not to force.

Tell us about your book.

It is a YA contemporary fantasy novel centred on a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour. One day Ava meets a woman a little on the strange side, and then meets a young man a little more on the stranger side. These meetings lead to the eventual discovery of Hayven – a city separated from the rest of the world where only those with gifts can go. But Hayven has its dark side, and they’re called Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, Cliders are determined to see the golden city of Hayven return to the way it was one thousand years ago when the city was under the dominion of Madrina.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to hang out with my friends; they’re just such a great bunch! I like to eat – a lot. Read, write or watch a movie.

What actors/actresses would you cast in your book’s movie?

Seeing my book turned into a movie would be a dream come true, so I’d like to make the dreams of some lesser known actors and actresses come true. So I’d cast actors I’ve never heard of.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Blog: www.thejourneyofgifted.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JGeorgie_
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-5427114-8218342?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Gifted+J.A.+George
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=j.a.+george+gifted&sprefix=j.a.+george+gifted%2Caps%2C263
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29915954-gifted

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FFBC ARC Tour: Stalking Jack the Ripper

FFBC ARC Tour: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1 Published by Jimmy Patterson on Sept 20, 2016 Genres: Historical, Thriller, Young Adult, suspense Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon Goodreads Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion… Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget. This is a picture of me while reading Stalking Jack the Ripper. OK, maybe not really. However I think it accurately represents my excitement while reading it. I loved the story. Audrey Rose is my new hero. She defies her father, society and her culture to follow her dreams. She dissects […]

Posted September 22, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 0 Comments
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Rockstar Arc Review: Women in the Walls

Rockstar Arc Review: Women in the Walls

The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics Published by Harlequin Teen on September 27th 2016 Genres: Young Adult, horror Pages: 304 Format: Paperback Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon Goodreads Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.   When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads I’ve finally found one! A book that lives up to my high standards for horror! Amy Lukavics is an author who doesn’t shy away from the making her books really scary! I really enjoyed this book from the very beginning. It starts out strange. Lucy lives in a big old house. Her mother died, her father runs the business, her aunt and her […]

Posted September 20, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 0 Comments
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Awesome Indies: Crash Alive by Christopher Kerns

Awesome Indies: Crash Alive by Christopher Kerns

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page Was this book inspired by something in particular? The inspiration for Crash Alive came from talking to my daughter. She’s a big reader, and interested in science and learning to code, but didn’t have any books with a strong, tech-savvy female protagonist. So, I decided to create one. Since the book has been published, I’ve received a lot of feedback from both men and women that Haylie Black—the heroine of the story that can hack any system in her path—is a refreshing take on a central character that they haven’t seen before. How do you develop your plots and characters? I based a good amount of the technology, locations, and secret societies that appear in Crash Alive on things that exist in the real world, so those details help to drive the plot of the story. For example, in the book, Haylie is trying to solve an internet puzzle to find her missing brother. That puzzle is based on a real-world phenomenon called Cicada 3301, a strange collection of puzzles and codes across the internet that no one has solved. By diving into the details of Cicada, I was able to plot out a storyline that was both exciting and a mirror of reality, at least to a point. How much research do you do? A ton, and it’s one […]

Posted September 16, 2016 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 1 Comment
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Bloggiesta Fall 2016 Sign up

Bloggiesta Fall 2016 Sign up

For the first time, I am not only participating in Bloggiesta but I’m hosting it as well. MC at Blame it on the Books is a ROCK STAR and keeps me organized, no easy task. She’s a pleasure to work with and I would be absolutely nothing without her. I’ve said many times but the best thing to ever come out of Bloggiesta, for me, is our friendship. If you don’t know what this is, Bloggiesta is a challenge and an opportunity to improve your blog. You formulate a plan of blog chores and then you work to get the done over the course of a weekend. The other component is mini-challenges. Bloggers all over talk about different ways that they do things and then they issue a challenge. Past mini-challenges on time management, social media use and a variety of other topics are on the bloggiesta site. In the past during Bloggiesta, I’ve put together a huge and overwhelming to do list. I always have a list of things I want to do in the back of my mind and I write them ALL down on my bloggiesta goals. The end result is that my list way too long for me to finish in just four days and I end up feeling like a failure. I absolute intend to write a more manageable list this year. However, I say […]

Posted September 14, 2016 by Emily in Uncategorized / 2 Comments
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Rockstar ARC Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Rockstar ARC Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess Series: Kingdom on Fire #1 Published by Random House BFYR on September 20th 2016 Genres: paranormal, Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult, horror Pages: 416 Format: Paperback Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon Goodreads I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I? Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves? “Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, and world building as deep and dark as the ocean.”—Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen “Unputdownable. I loved the monsters, the magic, and the teen warriors who are their world’s best hope!” —Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author “The magic! The intrigue! The guys! We were sucked into this monster-ridden, alternative England from page one. Henrietta is literally a ‘girl on fire’ and this team of sorcerers training for battle had a pinch of Potter blended with a […]

Posted September 13, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 1 Comment
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Awesome Indies: Sixty-Seven Salamaders by Jeff Joseph

Awesome Indies: Sixty-Seven Salamaders by Jeff Joseph

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page What inspires you? Being able to craft your own world and characters that seem so real and want to root for, inspire me to write. How long did this book take you to write? The 300 page Sixty-Seven Salamanders took me about six months to write. How do you develop your plots and characters? How I got my idea for Sixty-Seven Salamanders was totally random. I just woke up one night and had this idea that wouldn’t go away. For my characters, I look at my favorite characters from movies or video games and try to break down what made them so memorable to me. Then try and use that same formula to create new characters. What was the hardest part of writing this book? By far the hardest thing is actually forcing yourself to write the book when you’d just want to be lazy, haha. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? My favorite scenes to write are character interactions, because it allows me to make them seem more real. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? I learned so much from writing this book, as it’s my first. Its made writing the sequel, Four Sovereigns, much easier. Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m […]

Posted September 9, 2016 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 0 Comments
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Waiting on Wednesday: NUMBER 1

Waiting on Wednesday: NUMBER 1

I have never done a Waiting on Wednesday post but I feel that today is the perfect reason to start! I’m so excited to be posting about one of my most anticipated January 2017 releases! What title is that? Why, THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM by Elise Kova, of course! This book has everything you could ever want out of a High Fantasy novel: dragons, magic, relatable main characters, and steampunk. Sound interesting? Read more below to find out all the details… Purchase: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKS A MILLION | IBOOKS But that’s not all! You can join in on celebrating the release of THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM by participating in the Guild Games! You can learn more at the Guild Games website but the quick and dirty is that you join a Guild, work together as a Guild to collect Resources, and trade those Resources in for Rewards! I’m in the Harvesters Guild and so far we have unlocked bookmarks! Not sure which of the five guilds you want to join? Why not take the quiz before joining a Guild? Join, earn resources, earn swag and look forward to Alchemists of Loom with us!

Posted September 7, 2016 by Emily in WoW / 1 Comment
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Rockstar ARC Review: Labyrinth Lost

Rockstar ARC Review: Labyrinth Lost

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1 Published by Sourcebooks Fire on September 6th 2016 Genres: folklore, Young Adult Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon Goodreads “Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic.”-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland… Praise for Labyrinth Lost: “Zoraida Cordova’s prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic.” -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight “Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine’s journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family.” -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix “A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno. Very creepy, very […]

Posted September 5, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 1 Comment
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