Saturday, 29 June 2013

Cover Reveal & Excerpts: My Own Mr Darcy by Karey White

Being a crazy fan of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, and because I'm part of the Blog Tour for this book, I couldn't resist posting this . . .  Enjoy!






After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.






Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.















Excerpt 1

Janessa folded her arms and looked at me for so long I started to squirm. “What?”
“I wish you’d look at yourself. You’re ruining your life with this stupid obsession.”
“I’m not obsessed.” I stood up quickly, nearly tipping my chair over. I rinsed my plate and put it in the dishwasher. I could feel Janessa’s eyes on me the entire time, but I refused to look at her. “And just because I’m not interested in this guy doesn’t mean my life is ruined.”
“Let me guess. Was he blond?”
“Knock it off.”
“Too short?”
“He wasn’t short. I’ve got to go.” I left the kitchen with Janessa on my heels.
“Was he too cheerful?”
“Oh brother. I’m not having this conversation with you.”
Janessa grabbed my arm and turned me toward her. “Yes, you are.”
“I’m going to be late for work.”
“Then we’d better talk fast.”
“I don’t have anything to say,” I said.
“Then I’ll talk. You listen. You have to start giving these guys a chance.”
I folded my arms tightly. “I give them a chance.”
“You give them one date, two at the most. But you’re not really giving them a chance because your mind’s already made up before you even go out.”
I was getting annoyed. “I don’t have time for this conversation again.” Janessa was practically reciting word for word what she’d said after my last date. And the one before that.
“Lizzie. If you don’t want to have the same conversation, do something different. Shake things up a little.” She smiled and did a little shimmy. I refused to smile no matter how silly she looked.
“How do you suggest I do that?”
“If this guy… What’s his name?”
“Chad.”
“If Chad calls you back, go out with him again.”
“I don’t see the point.”
“Did you get a serial killer vibe from him?”
“No, I got a nice-guy-that-doesn’t-deserve-to-be-led-on vibe from him.”
“Nice guys are good. So you’ll say yes, right?”
“If I’m not interested, it wouldn’t be fair to say yes.”
“Oh knock off the baloney. You haven’t been fair to a guy since high school. You’re just afraid if you get to know a guy, you might like him. And wouldn’t that be awful? Was Chad funny?”
“Yes, he was funny.”
“Handsome?”
I sighed. “I don’t know if I’d call him handsome, but he was cute.”
“Cute is good. Especially if he was funny. So go out with him again.”
“You act like it’s all up to me.” I walked to the closet and collected my purse. Like a tiger leaping on her prey, Janessa pounced at the bowl on the entry table and grabbed my car keys. “This isn’t funny, Janessa. I’m going to be late for work.”
“Then let’s make a deal. You agree to go out with him ten times before you toss him aside and I’ll give you your keys.”
“Ten times? No way.”
“That’ll give you time to get to know him.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I’m serious, Lizzie. Ten is a good number. In that amount of time, you can make a real decision. Instead of one based on a stupid movie.”
Now Janessa was skipping through a minefield. “It’s not a stupid movie and I’ve got to go.”
“It’s the stupidest movie in the world if it ruins your life.”
“Nothing’s ruining my life and I’m going to be late. Give me my keys and we’ll talk about this later.” A little tussle ensued as I tried to rescue my keys from her clutches. I almost had them when she darted to the bathroom and shut the door hard and fast, locking it behind her. “This is real mature.”
“I don’t care about mature. You’re my best friend, Lizzie.  I love you and I’m trying to save you from yourself.”
I banged on the door. “Give me the keys. Now.” My voice had become shrieky.
“I’ll give you the keys as soon as you promise you’ll go out with him ten times.”
“I doubt he’ll ask me out again.”
“Why? Were you a jerk?”
“No.”
“Are you sure?”
I hesitated, knowing I hadn’t been very good company. “I’m pretty sure.”
“If he doesn’t ask you out, you have to ask him.”
“No way am I asking out a guy ten times. No way!”
“You just have to ask him out once. If he doesn’t return the favor you can move on. But you have to be nice to him and give him a reason to want to ask you out again.”
“This is the dumbest idea you’ve ever had.”
“Listen Liz, I’m doing this for you. Give a guy a chance before you give him the old heave-ho.”
I leaned my head on the door. “Just give me the keys. Please.” Now I was whining.
“You’re the one keeping yourself from your keys. And probably true love.”
I looked at my watch. Now I’d have to risk a speeding ticket or get to work five minutes late. I wasn’t sure which was worse—a ticket from a police officer or a tongue-lashing from Delia.
“Fine. I’ll go out with him again if he asks me.”
“And?”
“If he doesn’t ask me, I’ll ask him?”
“Right. And how many times will you go out with him?”
“Way too many,” I said under my breath.
“I can’t hear you.”
“Ten times. If he asks me.”
The door cracked open. “And you’ll be nice to him?”
“Whatever you say. Now give me the keys.”
Janessa emerged from the bathroom and triumphantly dropped my keys into my outstretched hand.
“You’re an idiot,” I said.
“An idiot that loves you and wants you to be happy,” she said. She turned and headed down the hall. “Someday you’ll thank me,” she sang.
“If I don’t kill you first.” I slammed the door behind me.



Excerpt 2

It was a busy Monday morning. I was looking out at the line of waiting customers when he walked in. I gasped, shut my thumb in my cash drawer, and then tried not to cry while Mr. Sandoval from a hearing aid store asked me if I was okay.
When I finished Mr. Sandoval’s transaction, I looked at him again. He was taller than anyone in the room. Of course. His hair was dark and a little disheveled. It was hard to see from where I was, but his eyes looked like they were blue. And best of all, he didn’t smile. He looked gorgeously unpleasant and impatient. He looked around the room and his eyes met mine. Still he didn’t smile. My heart was racing. He looked perfect.
I did my best to time it so I’d be his teller. I went a little too fast with one customer and accidentally shorted her a twenty dollar bill. I tried to concentrate as I corrected the transaction. I slowed way down on the next customer, but just when I thought I was finished and would be able to help him next, my customer asked me to break a ten into change. He walked up to Courtney’s window while I counted out nickels and dimes. Furious, I stomped my foot. Not too loudly but enough to release a little of my frustration.
I listened closely as Courtney helped him to see if I could learn anything, but he hardly spoke. He gave a terse nod when Courtney thanked him for coming in and turned on his heel and left. He had excellent posture and a nice, confident stride.
I finished with my customer, and then before anyone else could step forward, I picked up the phone and dialed Courtney’s extension. She glanced at her phone’s display and looked over at me curiously.
            “Who was that?” I whispered when she picked up the receiver.
“Elizabeth, look how many customers there are.”
“I know. Just tell me who that was.” I watched as Courtney picked up her last transaction slip.
“His name is Matt Dawson.”
“Is he married?”
“I have no idea,” Courtney said.
“Was he wearing a ring?”
“I didn’t look. What’s going on, Lizzie?”
“I just need to know about him.”
“Well, I don’t know anything about him and Delia’s watching us. I’ve gotta go.”
Matt Dawson. Matt. Matthew. Like Matthew Macfadyen. Dawson. It was pretty close to Darcy. The only way it could be better is if his name was Fitzwilliam but I’d never met a Fitzwilliam in my life.
Matt Dawson.
This had to be a sign.  




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Friday, 28 June 2013

Frivolous Friday: Africa Love - Madiba

Happy weekend everyone. 

Being a bookish person, it goes without saying that I love a good hero. Well, today I want to pay tribute to a giant amongst men . . .
Nelson Mandela
or as we know him at home by his clan name,
Madiba

I was a child when I first heard the name 'Nelson Mandela'. At that time (deep in the seventies in South Africa) his name was a swear word, spoken with hate by the politicians of the day. Mandela was the man who had started Umkhonto wie Sizwe - the Sword of the Nation - the armed wing of the banned African National Congress political party. He had launched the armed struggle against the white Apartheid government by bombing military targets. He was enemy number one, and all South Africans were told to sleep easy because he had been captured, convicted of treason, and slung behind bars on Robben Island for life. 

By the time I got to Varsity in the eighties my world view had changed. As a political science and African history student, I was privileged to read some the Umkhonto literature as well as other banned treaties, which gave me a different picture of Mandela. Here he was sanctified, elevated almost to godlike status.

I was wise enough to know that the man who had sought peace all his life until being forced into violence by a tyrannical regime fitted somewhere in the middle of these two poles. 

I spent the first part of the eighties with my Varsity room mate and other friends at her holiday home in Bloubergstand overlooking Robben Island. Many a bottle of red wine was consumed debating the plight - and the rights and wrongs - of the political prisoners held in captivity there. I watched as my brothers march to war as conscripts in the fight against the 'Black Struggle'. But regardless of our political beliefs, there was one truth we could never escape: we white South Africans were the pariahs of the world.

Then in 1990 the impossible happened. Years of economic sanctions and civil unrest forced a change of government. F.W de Klerk, a leader with insight and empathy, came to power, opening the door for the release of Mandela and all the other political prisoners. South Africa waited with held breath as the gates of Victor Verster prison opened and this enigma named Nelson Mandela walked free for the first time in 27 years. 

For as long as I live, I will never forget his first speech where he spoke of peace and reconciliation with the white minority. I believe he single-handely averted a full-blown civil war in this country.
Mandela was elected as our first black political leader, but served only one term - a pointed lesson to other African political leaders who cling tenaciously to power long after their bloom has faded.

Now, our nation again holds its breath as ninety-five-year-old Madiba lies in hospital, fighting for his life against the 'Old Man's Friend'. Part of me wants him to slip away peacefully into the night to his deserved rest, another clings to him, needing him as our icon who holds our Rainbow Nation together.

Whatever happens, it is in God's hand. Or as his grandson is quoted as saying his 'fate lies with God and our ancestors.'

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you have a great weekend.

Cheers
Gwynn

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Autumn by Sierra Dean


Autumn (Goodreads) took me through a whole gambit of emotions:  

"What? You can't be serious! This heroine sucks."  
To
"Man, this book is tense." 
Until finally, 
"No way! It can't be finished. Where's the next book?"  

How's that for a rollercoster ride?

So the heroine sucks, does she? Well yes, to begin with. Lou's dad has recently died of cancer and her mom, having depleted the family coffers caring for him, is forced to move her and Lou to Poisonfoot, Texas, to stay with grandma. And all Lou did for the first part of the book was whinge and whine like an ungrateful teenager. I mean, come on, look at this . . .

"If Eloise (Lou) Whittaker had to narrow down the worst things ever in her life to a list, the top three would go as follows:
3) Uncooked chicken. When it's all, like, pink in the middle? Gross.
2) Her father dying. Which was really tied for number one with  . . . 
1) Moving because her dad died."

Sorry, but that was an epic fail for me. Lou Whittaker had a long way to claw back after those opening lines. So it wasn't with the kindest feelings that I went into her story. But by the time she had gotten to Poisonfoot, had settled in with her weirdo grandmother, and had gone to school where she met Cooper - the hot boy everyone in town warns her against - I was pretty engaged.

I think what saved Autumn for me - at least in the beginning - was Cooper. Now why can't one of my daughters meet a guy like that? He can join us for Sunday lunch anytime.  Okay, okay, I admit he has his problems . . . he's doomed by an old curse to turn into a coyote when he turns eighteen, but still, he's a great guy whom I really ached for as the story unfolded. I would read the sequels just to make sure his life gets sorted out and the curse lifted. In fact, the injustice of his plight has stayed with me long after I put the book down. That counts for something.

But there was something else that really bugged me about this book - the matter of simple teenage psychology. Ask any parent anywhere what happens when you tell a teenager no without backing it up with a concrete reason. Any parent anywhere will tell you that said teenager will - out of sheer bloody-mindedness - ignore you completely and go and do exactly what you told them not to. Well, it seems that not a single adult in Poisonfoot, Texas knows that, because everyone kept telling Lou and Cooper to keep away from each other, but everyone refused to tell them - and us - why. So guess what happened? Yeah, you got that right. So what was the love between them like? To be honest, I've read better chemistry, but I like Cooper so much, I will concede that his love is sweet.

Now about all that tension I mentioned earlier. Trust me, it's there. This book has everything: ghosts, curses, weirdos, magic, and a very creepy town filled with some real odd-ball people. All of it builds up to a whopper of an ending. To be honest, I thought I had the book sussed out: I knew who the good guys were and the bad, and I had the mystery solved until BLAM . . . the ending. I just did not see it coming. Well done, Sierra Dean. You had me biting my nails and then crying out in horror at the outcome. It is a long time since that has happened to me with a book.

So Autumn  . . . would I recommend it?  It's definitely intriguing - well worth a spending an afternoon with. Number of stars: Because of my rocky start with Lou, I will say three.

By the way, I got this book for free of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cheers
Gwynn

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WWW 26 June 2103


What a day! I wondered if I'd even make my post, but happily here I am. So, let's play. What have you been reading? What are you reading now? What do you plan to read? Thanks to MizB for hosting.

What have I been Reading?

Three books have dominated my week.

Autumn (Goodreads)
I got this off Netgalley and will be reviewing it tomorrow. In the meantime let's just sy it has everything: ghosts, curses, critters and magic. Yum.

Outcast (Goodreads)
Looking for some wacky fun? Look no further than this four star read. You can read my brilliant review here!!

Beneath the Surface (Goodreads)
Like all Lindsay Buroker's stuff, I loved this adventure slotted between two of her book in the Emperor's Edge series. Just so you know, I will be posting another Emperor's Edge review later this week.

What am I Reading Now and What Am I Planning to Read?

As I have just finished Autumn, I think I will probably be reading either one of the following next . . .

Saving Wishes (Goodreads)
I got this off Netgalley and I'm quite keen to read it. Love the cover.

OR
Red Rising (Goodreads)
This sounds like a good dystopian. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC

That's my week. Leave me a link and I'll drop in.

Cheers
Gwynn

Monday, 24 June 2013

Why do you read?


Okay, I know that sounds like a weird question, but it's one I've been thinking about recently. As I trawl through my favourite blogs and read your headings and profiles, one fact keeps appearing: we all seem to read to escape. There's even a Goodreads groups with a banner that reads like this: F**** this, I'm going to Narnia. (With a slight edit by me because that nasty word doesn't really form part of my vocabulary) But you get the picture.

So I ask, why do you read? 

Is it an escape from reality?
 (Absolutely) 

Are books more fun than TV? 
(Hell, yes)
 Although that said, after my father-in-law died last year, I went into a total slump and didn't touch a book for three months. (He was like my own father to me) So lost in grief, I  watched every episode of CSI New York, over and over and over again. Totally mindless. All those dead bodies . . . 
Sadly, his death also coincided with the launch of my first YA novel, Pledged. I lost interest in that too and ripped it off all the digital networks. The association with his death is still so great that I have shelved the project and am working on something completely different now. Grief does funny things to one.

But then that seems to be a pattern for me, because when my mom died I did nothing but play SIMS for a month. Day after day, night after night, I controlled my SIMS households. Maybe that's the key. In a world where I have little control over the big things, I had absolute control over them. Books didn't appeal to me because I could not control the outcome.

Are books more exciting than holidays to gorgeous sun-kissed beaches and other exotic locations? 
Apparently so, because everyone I know who reads always talks about the books they intend packing in their luggage.
Do they end they end up reading them though? I'm not sure. I know that I don't read when I'm actively engaged in an amazing new place. So maybe the holiday is the escape and I don't need my book friends? Fickle-hearted woman.

This was the view I saw every evening for a year while Andrew and I ran a luxury lodged in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Talk about being spoilt. And trust me, the pic needed no Photoshop.

Does reading help you cope with stress?
It should I guess, and that's where the inspiration for this post comes from . . . 
Let me tell you, moving house is pretty awful, but moving countries really sucks. My family and I are in the process of relocating to the UK, and that translates to stress in neon lights. So you'd think I'd want to read. I do, but I don't want books with stressful plotlines. I want books were everything is happy, everyone gets what they want, and no one suffers. Unfortunately, book writing 101 teaches that you have to put your characters through the wringer . . .  

That may explain why I'm reading three books at the moment (something I never do) because when  one gets too stressful, I immediately leap into another. That is also exhausting. Maybe I should just watch series. I believe Downton Abbey is good  . . . rescue me someone, please!

So now it's your turn. Why do you read? Leave me a comment and lets get a discussion going because I'd love to hear what drives you.

Cheers
Gwynn

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Outcast by Adrienne Kress

I was looking for something new and fresh when I requested Outcast (Goodreads) off Netgalley. I'm delighted to say that the book delivered on every level. And look at that cover. Isn't it great?  


In Outcast, we meet Riley, our socially awkward, hyper-intelligent heroine who has recently lost her best friend/almost boyfriend Chris to kidnapping angels. Or that's what the whole town - whipped into a fervour of angel worship by the local pastor - likes to believe happened. Once a year, for the last six years, angel-like beings have swept down from the sky, swooped into town, and carried off the young and healthy at an event the townspeople call the Taking. Chris fell victim last year and Riley still isn't over it yet.

Now, with a new Taking looming, she's in no mood for angels. So when one arrives in her backyard, looking to kidnap her, she does what any self-respecting Southern girls would do - she blasts it in the face with a shotgun. So far so good. Only when the dust settles, it isn't an angel lying at her feet but a very hot, very naked young guy named Gabe. After an understandably rocky start, Riley and Gabe set off to solve the mystery of the angels. Along the way, they also discover romance. Gabe, with all his worldly experience, meets his match with the very insecure Riley. I thrilled at their love. It was perfect. Not too fast. not too slow. Beautifully sketched with a totally unexpected twist at the end.

The Characters
They are delightful. I so enjoyed being in Riley's head and could read many more books with her as a narrator. She is so dry, so wise, so sharp, and so awkward, all at the same time. And Gabe? He's the perfect bad good guy. He successfully charmed every girl in town - including me (I took up residence for the duration of the book) The minor characters also step off the page. The pastor who control the town with his angel fever is exactly what you'd imagine such a person to be. Fantastic.

The Angels
While Adrienne Kress's angel-lore is very different to my own personal angel theology, it's well thought out and had me convinced for the duration of her story. What more can an author ask for? Whether I still see Archangels in such a poor light, I'm not so sure . . .  But that's why we read, isn't it? To explore other ideas and to enjoy other possibilities.

Sex and Language
There is some bad language, but it's pretty innocuous.  Although Gabe spends the first chapter naked, there is nothing steamy in this book. It's a fantasy I would happily let my kids read. So if you're looking for a fun read, this is it. I ripped through it in a day, lapping up every moment of the action.

Stars
Four shiny angels with gleaming gold wings.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read it.

Cheers
Gwynn

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Frivolous Friday: Africa Love 21 June 2013

Welcome to the Winter Solstice! Yes, I know, even though I’m playing along with the Midsummer Eve’s Giveaway hop, it’s actually midwinter here is South Africa. That always brings to mind hearty stews, weight-packing soups and comfort puddings. So, for my Frivolous Friday offering, I’m sharing a recipe with you. 

Bobotie - otherwise know as a spicy, mouth-wateringly delicious casserole made with ground beef and spices, topped with an egg custard. It is one of my absolute favourite South African culinary delights, and it will definitely be going to the UK with me. (And no, it does not contain crocodile or Mopani worms, considered delicacies by some South Africans)

An ancient recipe, Bobotie reached the southern shores of Africa during the Sixteen-somethings. Since then, it has become a mainstay in our Rainbow Nation culture. And whom do we have to thank? Malaysian slaves sold to the colonists at the Cape of Good Hope (not much hope for those poor people). Anyway, if I want to earn Brownie points with my kids, I dish up this for dins.


Bobotie

So how do you make this exotic dish?

1. Grab yourself some ground beef or lamb.
2. Chop up an onion. Sauté in butter with a couple of cloves of garlic, some fresh ginger, a teaspoon each of coriander and cumin, and half a teaspoon of turmeric.
3. Chuck in the meat. Salt to taste.
4. Add a handful each of apricots/raisins, and almonds.
5. Now it gets weird . . . Mush in two slices of white bread soaked in two tablespoons of milk and vinegar. I know, I know, it sounds gross. Don’t be fooled, it’s fantastic.
6. Cook through and then pop into an ovenproof dish.
7. Make custard topping by beating three eggs and a cup of milk together. Pour over meat. Decorate topping with a few bay leaves and bake at 180C until the custard has set.

Serve with yellow rice, chutney and sambals. (chopped bananas, chopped cucumber, chopped peppers, etc.) To make yellow rice: add a teaspoon of turmeric to your cooking water. Rice will come out the colour of saffron. If you like sweet things, add a handful of raisins)

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Cheers
Gwynn

PS. Elisa almost got run over this week. Check out her FF to find out more.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Midsummer Eve's Giveaway Hop!



I love being spontaneous and this is a super-spontaneous, impulse Giveaway Hop hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. So even though it's midwinter here in South Africa, join the fun . . .

I'm giving away a $15 gift voucher for you to buy any book you want from either:

OR

Click the Raffelcopter to enter. 
Hope you win. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a Hop, so don't forget to check out the other participating blogs.
 

US vs UK Covers: Starcrossed series by Jospehine Angelini

This post is probably old hat given that Goddess (Goodreads) has already hit the bookshelves - well, shelves other than mine in South Africa, that is. Still, I thought it would be fun to look at the UK and US covers of the Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini. They could not be more different.

Starcrossed 
(Goodreads)

I saw the UK cover (released by MacMillian Children's Books) in my local bookstore and fell on it. The rest, they say, is history. I thoroughly enjoyed it (three stars, if I recall) Two of my daughters are obsessed with the series. So much so that I had to buy them each copies for their separate bookshelves. Share one book? What!?! Mom, you just don't understand the problem . . .

The US book is published by Harper Teen. The cover is definitely pretty, but it doesn't really grab me. I mean, what's with her nose sticking off the edge of the page? And it looks like the story's about her flowing robes - which I don't even recall that she wore in the book. 

So, for me the UK Cover is lightyears ahead of the US. But that doesn't mean to say I like the next UK cover much though. 

Dreamless

 Even though I own two copies of the UK version of Dreamless (see point above about teenage daughters), I say a resounding no thank you to MacMillian. Your cover is just horrible. Honestly, that ugly guy cannot possibly be Orion. Or can it? Words don't even begin to describe . . .

So that leaves the US cover. What is it with Harper Teen that they don't want to show us Helen's face? She is after all the heroine. And isn't her face supposed to be beautiful enough to launch a thousand ships? And what's with the wind? Does it never stop blowing on Nantucket? Must be like Cape Town where I live . . .
Anyway, I guess this cover still beats the UK offering of the ugly simian-like creature looming over Helen.

Then we have

Goddess
 (Goodreads)


Okay, I must admit, I adore the colours used on the US cover (Harper Teen). They are just my thing. Hell, I even recently dyed a chunk of my hair purple and turquoise with a dash of pink to lighten the mix. But still, as book covers go, it doesn't tell me much about the story. 

Whereas, the UK version by MacMillian does. . .
But As much as I love the UK cover, I loved it first on Across The Universe by Beth Revis (Goodreads).



Now there's a great series. But I digress . . .

Don't you think the UK cover is similar to this? Or is that just me being pedantic? That said, I would be very happy to own two copies of the UK version of Goddess. Not having read it yet though, I have to wonder if it's Lucas or Orion on the cover. Personally I hope it's Orion  . . . or maybe Lucas. Oh, the curse of indecision! 

So what do you think? Which covers are best, the US or the UK? I would love to know your thoughts.

Until next time cheers
Gwynn


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Sunday, 16 June 2013

US vs UK Covers: Crown of Midnight

A month or so ago ago I did a cover reveal on Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (See post here). A few weeks ago I saw the UK ARC on Netgalley and instantly requested it. Sadly, being in South Africa meant I didn't qualify even though I pointed out that we are part of the Commonwealth and  all our books come from UK presses. Ho Hum. Can't be helped, I guess. Anyway that will no longer be a problem after my move to the UK in August. In the meantime, however, I thought I'd share the UK and US covers with you.

This beauty will be on the book I buy to grace my bookshelf!


UK Cover published by Bloomsbury.

Given that I loved Throne of Glass (Review of novellas) I will drop everything to read this book. 
I can't wait for the 27 August when it hits the shelves!

And now for the US version . . . 

US Version by Bloomsbury USA

To be honest, I don't know which I prefer. The UK version is so clean and Celeana really owns that space. But the US one is also very dramatic. 
Decisions. Decisions.

What do you think? Which would you prefer?

Cheers
Gwynn
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Friday, 14 June 2013

Frivolous Friday: Things I love about Africa 14 June 2013


It’s Friday! Yah!
Time to kick back and relax – with a book. Talk about being predictable.
For this week’s Frivolous Friday, I’m focusing on an African positive. 

It’s always a laugh when travelling overseas because the first question people ask when they hear I come from Africa is: “Do you have lions and elephants roaming the streets?” I immediately picture the grass hut they think I live in.

So, to answer your question . . . no, I don’t live in a grass hut. Neither do I have wild animals trawling through my neighbourhood. Unless you can call the tsotsis (a local word for criminals) armed with stolen weapons and homemade knives predators. Actually, come to think of it, we do call them predators. Amongst a lot of other derogatory terms.

We have to go to game reserves and national parks to see these magnificant creatures.

Another conversation that always raises a smile goes something like this . . . 

Ignorant foreigner: “So, you’re from South Africa. That’s just awesome.”
Me: “Yeah. I guess it’s pretty cool.”
Ignorant foreigner: “So tell me, where in Africa is South Africa?
Me: *stares blankly*
Ignorant foreigner: “Is it near Kenya?”
Me: “Er . . . Kenya is in East Africa, about three thousand miles from us.”
Ignorant Foreigner: *undeterred* “Oh, is it? Then are you close to Ghana?”
Me: *trying hard not to roll eyes* “Not exactly. Ghana is in West Africa. About three thousand miles away in the opposite direction.”
Ignorant foreigner: “Right. I knew that.” *long pause* “So where is South Africa exactly?”
Me: *smiling now* “In the south. Southern tip of the continent actually . . . “

I hope you like my lion pic. Andrew took it on one of his many travels. And talking about travels, some months ago I posted a Frivolous Friday on my brother Tom’s ride across Africa on a bicycle. See link here. Well, he and Andrew (my husband) are making a TV series about the adventure. Andrew is driving his 4x4 vehicle and Tom is on his bicycle.

They’ve put together a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the production. If you are interested in helping two crazy guys make an amazing adventure travel, internet-based TV series, then please click on this link. If you like what you see, don’t be shy to share the news.

Have an awesome weekend.

Cheers
Gwynn

PS. I did live in a grass hut once for about a year, and I did have wild animals raiding the kitchen, but I’ll share more about that adventure in a future post.

PPS: Don't forget to drop into Elisa to see her Frivolous Friday.

Feature and Follow: 14 June 2013


Thanks to Parajunkee & Alison Can Read for this meme. If you like what you see on my blog, please feel free to follow by any means that works for you. I will return the favour.

So . . . to today's question: Q: Activity: Spine Poetry. Create a line of poetry with your book spines (take a picture). Not feeling creative? Tell us about your favorite poem.

And boy, it's a tough question. Given that all my books are packed in boxes pending my move to the UK, the picture route isn't going to work for me. So I will share a favourite childhood poem with you.

Relax, it's very short . . . And it comes from The Wind In The Willows (Goodreads) so how can that be bad?
`DUCKS' DITTY.'
All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!
Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river!
Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim--
Here we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.
Everyone for what he likes!
WE like to be
Heads down, tails up,
Dabbling free!
High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call--
WE are down a-dabbling
Up tails all!

That's my daily dose of craziness done. Enjoy the hop and I'll see you in cyberspace.

cheers
Gwynn

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