Tuesday, 3 May 2016

BIZARRE BOOKS #29 - Dogs Who Smile


Whilst looking through the hundreds of thousands of books on Amazon I discovered hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a bizarre, they may be funny or even unintentionally funny, they may be wonderfully cute or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these wonderful gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!


I am the proud owner of a dog who smiles, my cocker spaniel is always happy.

Dogs who smile celebrates the happy canines of the world with some adorable and not so adorable pics of them having a good old smile!!

Is your dog a smiler?



Random Redheaded Ramblings


Don't miss a post!! Enter your email address for my posts straight to your inbox!:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, 2 May 2016

REVIEW - Uprooted by Naomi Novik


Title: Uprooted

Author: Naomi Novik

Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Release Date: 21st May 2015

Source: Publisher ARC

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. 

But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood's powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood. 

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows - everyone knows - that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia - all the things Agnieszka isn't - and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. 

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him. 

From the author of the Temeraire series comes this hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid fantasy novel, inspired by folk and fairy tales. It is perfect reading for fans of Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan.

Straight away I knew Uprooted was going to be good, you usually know, don't you when a book is going to be a winner.  

You start of full of that new book excitement and before you know it its two am and you are halfway through it, forgetting about the fact you have to be up for work in a matter of hours.

Our leading lady Agnieszka lives in a charming, small village on the outskirts of a large wood.  The wood is not full of shafts of sunlight and pretty flowers, it is full of dark corrupted power, a power that swallows everything in it path and is creeping closer to her village.

Agnieszka, her family and friends have their own anti-hero, the Dragon.  A wizard, he keeps the community safe from the wood and its evil reaches but this safety comes at a price, he takes a young girl from the village to serve him for ten years.  

Of course the time has come for the next girl to be chosen, and as she is of age Agnieszka is one of the girls that he has to choose from but she knows she won't get taken, her best friend Kasia is a better choice.  

Beautiful, clever, kind, she is perfect, she knows herself she will be taken, now that makes her sound a bit vain and full of herself but she isn't, she is just lovely.  So it does come as a shock when the Dragon picks Agnieszka.

Travelling to the Dragon's home Agnieszka fears that she will be used and abused, but a note from a predecessor but her mind at ease and she begins to forge a life with her strange house mate.

To be honest they hold such contempt for each other that I was thinking she might poison him with her attempts at cooking but as they sort of bounce of one another and the Dragon comes to realise that he doesn't intimidate Agnieszka.  

The Dragon teaches Agnieszka to use magic and she proves to be an able student, maybe too able as she demonstrates that she is a strong wielder of the power she is grasping.  Their relationship changes considerably too and his character changes from a stuffy, arrogant, aristocratic wizard in to the dark and brooding young man that he is (or was, he is a wizard after all, his wizard driving license has quite an age on it), sparks fly between them as Agnieszka is proving to be his equal.  

They are no longer servant and master, he becomes Sarkan to her, throwing away his dragon façade his walls come down and he lets her in, yes there is romance but it does not spoil the story and it is definitely not insta love.

Uprooted takes us deep in to the dark wood where strange things are stirring, strange things that have the power to take and possess people and they are creeping ever further to the edge of the wood taking more and more victims and spreading the wood ever further.

Agnieszka and Sarkan find themselves fighting against the power but have they met their match? Will they be strong enough to defeat it?  

This was a delicious read with a consistently gripping storyline, I loved the characters especially Sarkan who I pictured as a Tom Hiddleston when he has long dark hair lookalike (Loki/Crimson Peak/Only Lovers Left Alive), he totally did a 360 in my opinion of him but Agnieszka was a great character, selfless and so brave, I kinda hope to hear more from this world as I felt a little bereft when I got the end.
Possible Sarkan?
Anyway as a charming fantasy with a subtle hint of menace and wee hint of romance, you cant go wrong with Uprooted.

Thank you to MacMillan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.




Don't miss a post!! Enter your email address for my posts straight to your inbox!:




Delivered by FeedBurner
Instagram

Random Redheaded Ramblings

Friday, 29 April 2016

BEYOND THE BOOKS - Birth Pecking Order


KissinBlueKaren

Beyond the Blog is a weekly meme hosted by KissinBlueKaren where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish), and we blog about it!

This week - Birth Order Matters

This week Beyond the Books talks about where you come in your families pecking orders, do you middle child syndrome, are you the baby?

Me?  I am an only child.


I like to think this is because my parents hit perfection first time!

Did it effect me growing up? Well no, my cousins lived close by so I was always in and out of there house, plus school friends where close too.

I'll be honest when I hit the teenage years I kinda missed having siblings, my friend at the time had a big brother and sister who of course both had cool friends, I wanted that.

But I wouldn't change anything, I had a lovely childhood.

I will say one thing though, being an only child did factor in to my decision to having two children.  Boy I am glad I stopped at two though, they fight like cat and dog!!

Are you from a big family? Are you an only child?

Instagram

Random Redheaded Ramblings



Don't miss a post!! Enter your email address for my posts straight to your inbox!:




Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

TRACKS OF MY YEARS - Live Through This by Hole


Of late I have found myself listening to a lot of music from when I was a teenager and I am loving my trip down memory lane.

My formative years were during the nineties when Seattle was big on the music scene, I found myself falling in love with loads of bands like the Pixies, Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Throwing Muses....my cd player and occasionally record player were loaded up with songs full of angst and swear words.

This occasional series of posts is to share my love of the gems and maybe some of you know them too.  The great thing about some of the albums is that some of them are stories in themselves and could happily be great novels, my first pick is one that fits that bill!



1. "Violet" 
2. "Miss World" 
3. "Plump" Love
4. "Asking for It" 
5. "Jennifer's Body" 
6. "Doll Parts"
7. "Credit in the Straight World" 
8. "Softer, Softest" 
9. "She Walks on Me" 
10. "I Think That I Would Die"  
11. "Gutless"
12. "Rock Star"




So I think I must have bought this roughly about 1994, I was still at school and I listened to this constantly on repeat.

To be honest as a fifteen year old I had no idea what half of Courtney Love's lyrics where about but as an angsty teenager they appealed to me.

I listened to this album in its entirety the other day and the songs still gave me and you know I hate to say it but they gave me major feels.

The lyrics can be haunting such as Miss World "watch me break and watch me burn", Doll Parts "I love him so much it just turns to hate" and Violet "You should learn how to say no".  

Courtney can also do shouty extremely well such as in Rock Star "What do you do with the revolution?".  

Even twenty years on this album still has the power to reduce me to a fuzzy ball of emotion.  I know Courtney Love is not everyone's cup of tea but this album is just immense and as I said above I really could quite imagine this as a book, an angsty young adult book, maybe something by Colleen Hoover or the likes.

If you want to listen to any tracks, click on the Amazon link and it'll give you samples of each song, my personal favourite would have to be Miss World, which has really depressing lyrics but I don't know something about it just made me listen to it over and over again on my Walkman! (remember them?)

Any other fans of Hole out there?

Random Redheaded Ramblings

Don't miss a post!! Enter your email address for my posts straight to your inbox!:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT - The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh


I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only!  So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


Title: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:

“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist 


Excerpt:







About Renée:
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of theScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.









Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only.

Ends on May 3rd at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BIZARRE BOOKS #28 - Faces in Places by Jody Smith


Whilst looking through the hundreds of thousands of books on Amazon I discovered hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a bizarre, they may be funny or even unintentionally funny, they may be wonderfully cute or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these wonderful gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!



I see faces in places all the time, seriously I actually put boggly eyes on my light switches because they look like little faces.

This book celebrates the wonder that is inanimate objects that look like faces, another favourite of mine is my sink, it looks like a face.

Ok I'm not crazy and this book proves it with that scary reptile *cough* jacket zipper on the front!!

Do you see faces in places?



Random Redheaded Ramblings


Don't miss a post!! Enter your email address for my posts straight to your inbox!:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Sunday Post #46 - 24th April 2016


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I am going to recap my week, ramble about books and give you an idea of what I have coming up plus anything else newsworthy!






Hello! I am writing today's Sunday Post from the past, well Friday night to be exact.

You see as the last person in the world to see Star Wars me and the other half are finally watching it tomorrow night and I thought I had better do this post early!  

Not much to report this week, I am trying to fix my email subscription form by moving from Feedburner to Mailchimp, so far it has made bugger all difference as the email I used to test it is still waiting on the Mailchimp confirmation email, I hope to get this sorted soon as it is peeving me off.

Have a good week everybody!




I ran out of steam to get this written but hopefully this week.

FINALLY FREAKING WATCHING STAR WARS

My picks from this week in years gone by!!



I have received physical and e-copies of some fab books this week, thank you to all the publishers for sending them! Also, some of them are my own purchases, the pics link to Goodreads for you to find out more!




ZILCH
 

Let me know if you have read any of them!



Happy Sunday!


Random Redheaded Ramblings

Don't miss a post!! Enter your email address for my posts straight to your inbox!:


Delivered by FeedBurner