My Catchphrases

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Musical Moments: Guest Post: Tera Lynn Childs: Not a Soundtrack

How excited am I to host a Musical Moments post by Tera as part of the UK Blog Tour, such a fab guest post, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:


I will be the first person to admit that I have terrible taste in music. My preferences are very eclectic and vary greatly from grunge to country to pop to Broadway show tunes. Some songs I love because I enjoy singing along and because they make me feel like moving and dancing to the beat. Others I get attached to because of moments or experiences I associate with them. Like I remember blasting Whoomp There It Is From my car after school during senior year, or how I first heard Mercy by Duffy when my mom and I were watching an amazing hip hop dance routine on So You Think You Can Dance.

With one exception (a book that isn’t ready for the world yet) I don’t make soundtracks specific to the book I’m writing, I just make a playlist of songs I like at the moment. When I write, I like to be out of the house and in a cafĂ© or coffee shop. Because of all the ambient noise and interesting conversations I have to listen to music. It’s best if it’s a song I’ve heard a million times because it becomes white noise, not distracting me from the story. Occasionally I’ll take a break and rock out for a few minutes, just to give me a break before diving back into the work.

Anyway, my point is that I don’t have a Forgive My Fins soundtrack, and I can’t remember the songs I was listening to when I wrote it three years ago. But here are the songs that are shuffling and repeating on my iPod right now.

• Animal by Neon Trees

Oh I love this.

• Better Than Revenge by Taylor Swift

Dog Days Are Over by Florence and The Machine

I didn't include the vide for this one as I have used it LOADS - one of my obsession songs [ : D ]

• Paris (Ooh La La) by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

• What the Hell by Avril Lavigne

• Firework by Katy Perry

I think this is one of the only Katy Perry songs I actually like-not overtly suggestive for my girls

On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez

Rolling in the Deep by Adele

Another of my obsessions lol

• The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars

• Born This Way by Lady Gaga

I am sure you will agree that is really a fantastic eclectic mix. Thanks so much to Tera for writing this guest post for me.

Title: Forgive My Fins
Series: Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Templar
Publication Date: 1 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

When a mermaid has her first kiss, she 'bonds' for life with the person she kisses. For Lily, a mermaid princess living in secret on land, this means she has ended up accidentally bonded to her obnoxious neighbour, instead of to the boy of her dreams. So begins a tidal wave of relationship drama, as Lily discovers that happily-ever-after never goes as smoothly as you plan it to.

Review HERE

Find out more about Tera at her website HERE

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Review: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Forgive My Fins
Series: Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Templar
Publication Date: 1 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

When a mermaid has her first kiss, she 'bonds' for life with the person she kisses. For Lily, a mermaid princess living in secret on land, this means she has ended up accidentally bonded to her obnoxious neighbour, instead of to the boy of her dreams. So begins a tidal wave of relationship drama, as Lily discovers that happily-ever-after never goes as smoothly as you
plan it to.


This book turns The Little Mermaid tale on its head. Written in first person narrative from Lily's perspective, she is already aware that she is a mermaid. Not just any mermaid either but the royal princess. Born to a human mother and Mer father, Lily has spent most of her life in the ocean. Major changes occur when a mermaid princess reaches her 17th birthday. Before life altering decisions have to be made Lily chooses to spend time on land as a human, having lost her mother at an early age she stays with her Aunt.

Lily is a wonderfully 'real' hormonal teenage with the added problem of having a secret identity. Her complete obsession with Brody was ridiculous looking at it from the outside. She had him on a pedestal and could not see his faults at all. I couldnt really understand why she was so blinkered when it came to him, yes he is hot but in reality he is an arse.

Quince on the other hand is totally perfect *swoon* although he does bring Lily's mean streak out. He is accepting of Lily and the development of their relationship is just so CUTE. It amazed me how other people were able to see just how fabulous Quince was yet Lily only saw the bad.

So here we have Brody who is an arse and pretends to be cool and Quince who pretends to be an arse yet is totally adorable underneath. So not so much a love triangle as Lily learning to see people for who they really are.

Lily's relationship with her Aunt Rachel was lovely to picture. Loving, caring and nurturing and a solid link to the Mother Lily lost. Through Aunt Rachel's memories Lily is able to learn more about her Mother and Father's relationship and apply that knowledge to her own life.

The weaving of mermaid mythology and the origins of mermaids in history added depth to the narrative. The wonderful use of mermaid quips and imagery brought the story to wonderfully tactile life, such sensory descriptions were beautiful to picture in my imagination. The play on words using fish in place of other words was such fun, making me giggle my way through the book. The anatomy and physiology of the Mer-folk was well explained and added realism to the story.

The word that keeps running through my head when I think of this book is CUTE cos that is exactly how I feel about it. The romance provided some real 'awww' moments and Lily's own journey of self discovery was delightful to follow. I cannot wait to find out what happens next after that astounding cliff-hanger at the end of this book.
Are you really going to make me wait an entire year for the next book *sniff*

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Mesmerizing Mermaids


Title: Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings
Author: Helene Boudreau
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: 9 Feb 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

It's hard being a pre-teen girl; it's even harder when you find out you're a mermaid!
Fourteen-year-old Jade feels like a freak-of-nature when she finally gets her first period while trying on an XL tankini at the mall. It gets worse when she runs into handsome Luke Martin in the feminine products aisle while her dad Googles 'menstruation' on his Blackberry. But 'freak-of-nature' takes on a whole new meaning when raging hormones bring on another metamorphosis -- complete with scales and a tail. When Jade learns she's inherited her mermaid tendencies from her late mother, it raises the question: if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

There wasn't an official trailer for this book but I wanted to include it as I really want to read this book. It looks such fun. So please remember that this is a fan made trailer.

Title: The Mermaid’s Mirror
Author: LK Madigan
Publisher: Graphia Books
Publication Date: 17 Jan 2012

Synopsis: From GoodReads

Lena has lived her whole life near the beach — walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves — the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father — a former surfer himself — refuses to allow her to take lessons. After his near drowning years ago, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something keeps drawing Lena to the water . . . an ancient, powerful magic. And one morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman — with a silvery tail.
Now nothing can stop Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.

And soon . . . what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life forever.

How desperate am I to read this. The answer is VERY. Brilliant review at My Favourite Books check it out HERE

Title: Between the Sea and Sky
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 25 Oct 2011

Synopsis: From GoodReads

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren—the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood—a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

No trailer available for this one YET - I am hoping there will be but I wanted to include it because it looks so gorgeous.

Title: Mermaid
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 3 Mar 2011

Synopsis: From GoodReads

The story of two very different women, one mortal, one mermaid, and the clash between worlds best kept apart... It is a cold day at the end of the world when a young woman, a princess in hiding, looks out across a Northern sea and sees something she could not have seen. It can't be. It looks like a mermaid's tail. And, as she looks more closely, she sees that the mermaid is dragging a drowning sailor in her arms.
Because, only hours before, another princess, the daughter of the sea queen, has decided to risk everything and take a look at the world above the sea: the world of mortals. And there she finds a storm, a shipwreck, a sailor, and sets in train events which will change both women's worlds forever.

I have all of these lovely books on my personal wish-list - there covers call to me like a siren song lol. I hope you are as mesmerized as I am [ : D ]

Monday, 27 June 2011

MG Monday: Review: Monster High by Lisi Harrison


Title: Monster High
Series: Monster High
Author: Lisi Harrison
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 2 Sep 2010

Synopsis: From Amazon

The monster community has kept a low profile at the local high school, but when two new girls enroll, the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and prom.

But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie learns that high school can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver-but can a "normie" be trusted with her big secret?


Can I just start by saying this is such a fun take on the teen struggle for acceptance versus individuality. Written in third person narrative, as there are a lot of threads to keep under control and it makes it easier to differentiate the different personalities, but focalized from two different characters perspectives.

On one hand you have Frankie - a totally different take on the Frankenstein myth. Created out of love instead of in a quest for power. Frankie is a wonderful character to imagine. Thanks to her parents programming she is confident and always looks for the best in everything/everyone. Her crazy fashion sense and 'girly' ways make her so likable. Although she does have one heck of a stubborn streak, very head strong.

Melody - on the other hand - is the opposite to Frankie in that she doesn't feel as if she its in anywhere, especially her own family. Constantly over-shadowed by her attention obsessed sister, I really felt for Melody. Although I do wonder if the family really are 'normies', the classification given to humans by the 'other' species or RADS.

Images of an exclusive and wealthy community were re-enforced with the designer references. Again adding to the idea that there is more to Melody's family than meets the eye, or they wouldn't be allowed into this community/school.

'RAD's' is an interesting concept, the characters have all the normal teen issues with the knowledge that they are different yet still have to fit in, make friends, etc an unusual way of showing that people not just teens have to conform. Anything slightly different is not tolerates or accepted. Something that makes me very sad and a struggle that most teens endure on a daily basis.

A really amusing take on the 'classic' monster mythology. Clues to the 'monsters' true identities are sprinkled into the narrative to keep you guessing.

As I stated at the beginning this really is a fun read but I do feel it had an important message woven into the storyline - the real 'monsters' in today's society are intolerance and prejudice against anything that doesn't conform. I am looking forward to reading the next book especially to see if my suspicions about Melody's family are confirmed.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

In My Mailbox #21-11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to share the wonderful books and things received during the week.

Books make everything better

Gifted from the gorgeous Lyndsey at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews

Beautiful sway for the school library 
(I think a competition may be in order)

Gifted from the amazing Viv at Serendipity Reviews

(OMG how lucky am I - SQUEEEE)

From Amazon Vine:

(after Carla from The Crooked Shelf raved about this I had to try it)

I feel very very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

Have a great week

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Saturday Spotlight: Pop-Up Festival of Stories 2011

Just in case you didn't you - you people who live in London are so so so lucky:

Pop Up is a brand new Festival of Stories taking place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July in Coram's Fields and The Brunswick in London.

Here is the program of events:

PopUp Programme 2011

Taken from the Pop-Up Festival of Stories website:

But Pop Up is more than just a Festival. Throughout June and July, we're working with 1000’s of children, young people and families in Camden and Islington, who are reading books, meeting authors and making stories.

Why? Because we believe that the people who make books and stories can inspire us to become
better readers, writers and artists. And we want to give as many children, young people and families as possible the chance to be inspired and get creative.

We’ll be growing Pop Up over the coming years, and we’re always on the lookout for new partners
and brilliant ideas! To find out more or get involved, email one of us (you can find us in the 'Team' part of 'Who's Involved') - and maybe you, too, can be part of the Pop Up story!

I hope you peeps realise how lucky you are. Can you persuade Cardiff that we really really really need something like this. THANKS [ : D ]

On My (Library) Wish-List


Title: The Billionaire’s Curse
Series: Archer Legacy
Author: Richard Newsome
Illustrator: Jonny Duddle
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Publication Date: 19 April 2011

Synopsis: From GoodReads

Gerald Wilkins never considered himself a particularly exceptional thirteen-year-old. But that was before he inherited twenty billion pounds, a Caribbean island, a yacht, and three estates from a great-aunt he never knew. With this fortune, however, comes a letter. One from his great-aunt Geraldine. One that tells Gerald that she was murdered, and that it's up to him to find out why.

Along with his friends Ruby and Sam, Gerald embarks on a journey that will lead him from the British Museum to dodgy social clubs for the disgustingly rich to mansions in the English countryside to secret places far underground. Who was Geraldine Archer? And what secrets was she hiding? Unless Gerald, Sam, and Ruby can find out before the killer does, they may be next.

This series sounds fabulous for the Middle Grade Reading Program I am involved with in September. Thanks to Mundie Kids for introducing me to them. Their review here.

Title: Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation
Series: Jack Blank Adventures
Author: Matt Myklusch
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks
Publication Date: 3 Aug 2010

Jack Blank doesn't know who or where he comes from. He doesn't even know his real last name. All Jack knows is his bleak, dreary life at St. Barnaby's Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost.

Everything changes one morning when Jack receives two visitors.

The first is a deadly robot straight out of one of Jack's favorite comic books, that tries its best to blow him

The second is an emissary from a secret country called the Imagine Nation, where all the fantastic and unbelievable things in our world originate, including Jack.

Jack soon discovers that he has an amazing ability - one that could make him the savior of the Imagine Nation and the world beyond, or the biggest threat they've ever faced.

Don't you just adore the name of this book plus the cover really grabs the imagination [ : D ] Thanks again to Mundie Kids for introducing me to this book.  Check out their amazing review here.

Title: Spellbinder
Series: Spellbinder
Author: Helen Stringer
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: 12 April 2011

Synopsis: From GoodReads

Belladonna Johnson can see ghosts. It’s a trait she’s inherited from her mother’s side of the family, like blue eyes or straight hair. And it’s a trait she could do without, because what twelve-year-old wants to be caught talking to someone invisible?

It is convenient, though, after Belladonna’s parents are killed in a car accident. They can live with her the same as always, watching the same old TV shows in their same old house. Nothing has changed . . . until everything changes.

One night, with no warning, they vanish into thin air—along with every other ghost in the world. It’s what some people think ghosts are supposed to do, but Belladonna knows it’s all wrong. They may not be living, but they’re not supposed to be gone.

With the help of her classmate Steve, a master of sneaking and spying, Belladonna is left to uncover what’s become of the spirits and to navigate a whole world her parents have kept well-hidden. If she can’t find her way, she’ll lose them again—this time for good

These books just look absolutely stunning. If these don't capture the attention of the Reluctant Readers I don't know what will.
This week's On My Wish-list has been brought to you courtesy of Mundie Kids, so if you are looking for some terrific Children's Books go follow them NOW [ : D ]

Saturday Spotlight: Domain Name Change (Sorry)


As you may have noticed I changed the blog name and bought the domain name to match the new image. I felt that a lot of people saw me as a parental blogger/reviewer rather than YA/MG books.

Also with all the things going on in my personal life I needed something to begin the fresh start the girls and I are going through. This is a small assertive step on my behalf.

The next step is the lovely blog re-design by the very wonderful Lori.

Use Your Imagination Designs
I am so looking forward to it.
So here is where my apologies really need to be made. If I am in your blog feed (thank you if I am) please could you change the URL or my posts will not be picked up. Like I said SORRY and I promise not to change it again *grins*

Friday, 24 June 2011

Review: Glass by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Glass
Series: Crank
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 7 April 2009

Synopsis: From GoodReads

Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.

Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.

Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby.

The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.

 REVIEW: May contain spoilers as it is Book 2 in the series

This is a very sensitive subject for me as I relate the drug addiction along the same lines as alcohol addiction and the devastation it has on the other people. The person who has the addiction doesn't care; the source of the addiction is the only thing that matters to them. At the cost of everything else in their lives, but it is never the fault of the addiction, any excuse would be preferable to actually admitting that drugs/alcohol is to blame. As you can see I may start to rant - apologies in advance.

There is a powerful recap of the events from the first book Crank (review here) it hits you like a punch in the face.

It always amazes me with verse novels how dramatic the use of white space is, adding to the impact of the story line even to the point of creating pictures with the words on the page. I found that even more so with this book as the structure of the words on the page could be read in two different ways. I shall explain further as it delights me to do so. You can read the right side on its own, which gives a summarised version of the storyline, re-enforcing and clarifying main events.

I did and still do find it hard to understand that Kristina knew what she was doing when she made the decision to start taking drugs again even though she is fully aware of the consequences. The scientific explanation of the affect that drugs of this kind have on the chemical balance of the brain was profoundly insightful. It left me wondering if alcohol has the same effect on brain chemistry - I really must investigate that point further.

The repetition of phrase re-enforces and highlights that particular part of the verse. The chapter headings are included in the verse and should not be over-looked.

I actually think Glass is far scarier than Crank as it shows that once an addiction takes hold it is something that has to be battled forever - it doesn't just stop or go away. Making me think that this book should be forced into the hands of anyone contemplating drug use as a deterrent. The picture the verse paints is brutally honest and realistic. Painfully realistic.

Another thing that really stood out for me ( and unfortunately again I can relate to) is that once an addiction takes hold it is a slippery (and fast) slope and any means necessary is used to pay for that habit even at the detriment of family and friends.

A truly terrifying and unfortunately all too real account of addiction. The stuff parents nightmares are made of. I applaud Ellen Hopkins for writing it and wish I could force all the teens in school to read it.

Everyone should read these books.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Musical Moments: Guest Post: The Soundtrack to My Life by Leanne of YA Forever Part 2

Apologies for the long delay in continuing the wonderful guest post by Leanne, check out Part One here. Get ready for a music treat:


This is a sad one. It was played during my cousins funeral. She died at 8 years old. She will forever be my best friend and missed every day. Her Dad chose for this to be played and at the time I wasn't completely sure it was the right song, but now I can see he made the right decision. It was the perfect song to bid her farewell.

Thank you for sharing that with us - such a beatiful song.

This I would say was the first Rock / Emo song I loved. This is the style of music I still listen to now. I actually got to see Linkin Park live for the first time last year, which was incredible. When they played this song it completely reminded me why I love them so much.

I found A Fine Frenzy at the same time that I started to read the Twilight books. A Fine Frenzy's album is definitely the soundtrack to those books for me. Whenever I hear the songs I think of how the books made me feel. I still think this song should have been played in New Moon, listen to the words, they go perfect to the Edward / Bella / Jacob triangle!!

Omgosh - dashes off to add to ipod.

This has to be my favourite band at the moment. Jared Leto is just the most beautiful man ever, I remember him from My So Called Life when he was just as beautiful. But his voice is even more hypnotic. I was very lucky to briefly meet them in 2009 and I honestly nearly melted when Jared spoke to me - best 10 seconds EVER!!

Oh so jealous [ ; D ]

For my last song I tried to think of music that is important to me right now. And I have to admit Glee totally does it for me right now. I know its not particularly cool, but look at the rest of my list - I've never been cool!! I absolutely adore the original of this song and get so excited when they play it at conventions, so when I heard they were doing it on Glee, I was literally Gleeful! I'm going to see the tour in June, so really hope they do this one!

Oh ENJOY - I am actually an original Time Warp girl but I think that is because I am OLD

I hope you enjoyed my wide and wacky taste in music and if nothing else, I hope you had a good giggle - Music is the best and will hopefully be my constant companion through life!

Thank you so much for your guest posts Leanne they have been fabulous.
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