Saturday, 27 April 2013

Another Facebook Poem

This just came to me as I updated the EBT Facebook page. I am starting to enjoy this. Feels like starting from scratch, they need so much work, but hopefully I'll get the knack for poetry again!

In other news, I probably need to spend less time on Facebook - difficult as it is a part of my job.

I befriended you on Facebook
So a repartee would flower
But now we're friends on Facebook
Your silence is even louder

You may be wondering what this random poem is in aide of - I am writing poetry again. I explain briefly here.

Facebook Crush

Earlier this week I went to the Eyewear Publishing Spring Launch Party. It was a stunning event which I will post about soon, and it inspired me to begin writing poetry again. I wrote in primary school and it helped me through my teens. Then I stopped, only writing very occasionally. Going to that launch, hearing the poets recite, meeting Wendy Cope, and speaking to my amazingly talented friend Francine, I have decided to start again, and it feels great!

I wrote this one really quickly about 20 minutes ago and I have barely looked at it again, but I wanted to post it, to make this personal poetry revival of mine official. Warning: don't expect much! I have loads to learn about writing poetry, but if you want to write poetry, you just have to start writing poetry, right? Plus, posting this will force me to write more and improve so I can post something much better. It'd be nice to hear your feedback, here or over on Facebook. Let's call it Facebook Crush.

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Black Hat, Jacaranda Books, Social clay and Books, Books, Books

I have a bad habit of not writing on this blog for a while (though I still post on Facebook), reviving it, apologising for my absence, going great for a while, and then it happens again. It is an unhealthy cycle that leaves me feeling deeply guilty and unhappy, so I am going to stop the cycle.  I have to accept I am not the kind of blogger who updates daily, post a few book reviews a week, get the news before the news. I admire bloggers like that, and I love this blog and will continue writing it, but the way I write posts means this isn't the kind of blog that will get updated once a day or even once a week necessarily; for regular short snippets I use the Facebook page.

I AM sorry if I made anyone think I could be that sort of super blogger, I wanted to, but the nature of my journey in publishing as self-employed has been one of constant change and discovery and excitement, so  that when a new experience, opportunity, project comes up I often get so into it that all else stops. That is what has happened a few times since my last post...

So what happened? Well in addition to short term freelance projects and my work on the Women in Publishing UK committee (if you're in the book trade and you don't know about us, why the heck not? Check us out), I partnered up with superbly talented author-illustrator Maia Walczak to publish an awesome children's picture ebook called The Black Hat (get a free sample here); I started working with a social media guru Geoff Hughes in his Facebook Marketing firm Social clay; and most recently I have been working with Valerie Brandes planning the launch of her new independent publishing house Jacaranda Books Art Music and their first title coming this Autumn!

Phew! It has been one heck of a roller-coaster and now is a good time to put these great things down in words, because I feel like Spring is launching a whole new exciting period and if I don't write this down my head will explode!

Books are still the love of my life and crime fiction is still my favourite genre. So far my book of the year is without a doubt William Ryan's The Twelfth Department out in May (sadly it doesn't seem to be available for pre-order on the Pan Mac website, but it is on Amazon). I am possibly the number one fan of this historical crime fiction series, set in Soviet Russia under Stalin, and have a total book-character crush on Captain Korolev. It may be a bit early for a proper review so I will just say Read. This. Book. I envy those of you who haven't read it yet, as I am already beside myself waiting for the next one in the series to be written; I want it NOW! And if by some bizarre state of affairs you're a historical crime fiction aficionado/a who has not read any of the Korolev novels, the first is The Holy Thief (Kindle users click here to get it for 99p! I know, it's criminally cheap) and the second is The Bloody Meadow.

For the YA lovers, I have kind of been a bit lame on the latest in this genre but I could not resist the superb Will Hill, with the third book, Department 19: Battle Lines just published and available at all good bookshops (mine is waiting for me at the lovely independent bookshop West End Lane Books). It is YA Vampire heaven for me, the kind I can really get my teeth into; Will Hill is pure genius. If for some crazy reason you have yet to read this series, Book One is Department 19 (Kindle users, it is just £1.99 here) and Book Two is Department 19: The Rising.

I am looking forward to the latest from Tom Cox of Under the Paw fame, The Good, The Bad and The Furry, out later this year from Little Brown, which features Roscoe, the newest addition to Cox family and who was born in my house before being adopted and becoming a feline superstar, and I am really looking forward to reading Sophie Hannah's The Carrier published by Hodder & Stoughton, not only because she is epic, but because (total book-geek moment) some of the characters share my surname!!! And before you say it was just a coincidence, it is not a surname you hear very often and I asked the amazing lady herself, OK? Finding that out has to be by far my top moment of 2013!

So, there you have it, this is why I have been away from the blog and I cannot apologise for any of this amazing stuff, it has been epic and I am grateful for every moment. But I appreciate my readers and it was only fair to set fair expectations. Hope to see more of you over on the Facebook page, otherwise see you back here for the next post!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Everyone's a Winner! Late winner announcements and apologies

Hello Readers,

I want to start this post off with a big fat humongous "I'm sorry!" I haven't been able to blog for a while now, which happens and is not usually the end of the world, but in this case it meant that winners of two of my competitions were not announced, and this is totally unacceptable. I feel really bad for keeping you waiting and, for that reason, I have decided that it is my responsibility to make it up to you.

So, instead of choosing one winner for my Department 19 competition, and my Feeling Sorry for Celia giveaway, I have decided to award a prize to anyone who has entered, just for the fact that you've waited a while for your prize.

I may have been in contact with you already, but to Stephanie, Jenny O'Gorman, and Kyle Pallister, you have all won a prize in the respective competitions you entered. please send me an email at evenbutterfliesthinkblog AT gmail DOT com to claim your prize.

And once again, I'm sorry!

As a result of being unable to blog, another competition I had planned is well overdue, but I have now been able to organise it, so I am glad to announce that I have a giveaway coming up to win a signed copy of I'm Dougal Trump... and It's NOT My Fault. I hope you'll enter, I've decided to keep it sweet and simple, and I am sure many of you will adore this funny book.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Guest Post: Department 19 by Will Hill + Competition

Possibly one of the biggest fans of Will Hill and Department 19, KamzKool is a young school-aged blogger and motoring fanatic. Will Hill's novel instantly captured him, and his super-fan-status was sealed when he was able to attend the secret event to celebrate the second book in the series, The Rising.  KamzKool has been kind enough to share on EBT a few words on his favourite book and the event he loved so much. Also there's a competition at the end to WIN YOUR OWN COPY!

Department 19 by Will Hill

Post by KamzKool

When teenager Jamie Carpenter's dad is killed by black clad figures and his mum is kidnapped by strange creatures, life changes for this boy as he is drafted into the supernatural world of Department 19 inside the world's most secret military base. Luckily Department 19 can provide Jamie with the most hi-tech weapons to kill the vampires who want him dead, and train him to hunt down the monster who has his mum.

I personally enjoyed the fact that this book has a balanced scale of mystery and thriller action. My favourite character if Frankenstein - a monstrous beast with a kind and hearty personality who has an oath to protect the Carpenter family..

Also the front cover of this book instantly made me want to read it. It looks similar to the second book of Department 19 series (The Rising ) but with extra details, and I think it is good that they kept the same theme. I think the hardback overs are more impressive than the paperback covers. I would recommend this book for children agedv13 upwards as it has violence and scary scenes.

My overall reaction to this book is SUPERB and I would read it again.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Review: Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty + Giveaway

Feeling Sorry for Celia
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Published by Macmillan Children's Books, Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780330397254 (2010 Paperback Edition)

Visit Jaclyn Moriarty's Website
Feeling Sorry for Celia on the Pan Macmillan website

"Dear Ms Clarry,
It has come to our attention that you are incredibly bad at being a teenager.
Yours sincerely,
The Association of Teenagers"

It isn't just the story, but also is the pleasure of reading this book due to how it was written, that makes this book wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that I want to share it with you and have included a giveaway at the end of this review.

Feeling Sorry for Celia is a beautiful story about being a teenager, looking at friendship, family, love and school life. It is fun to read, for the most part non-judgemental, and most of all it shows that real life and real people are just not perfect. It was a real pleasure to read: funny, heart-warming and very honest. I think many people will recognise some part of their teenage self in this book and its characters.

The story is set out in a series of letters written to, and by, Elizabeth Clarry. It is certainly not easy to set out a novel that way, yet Jaclyn Moriarty accomplishes this beautifully, so that the letters themselves grip you and you begin to anxiously await the next one just as much as the characters. Each letter reflects the nature of the person writing it, and the letters between the teens are so conversational, relaxed and natural. Letter writing is a beautiful art and I can completely relate to Elizabeth's English teacher Mr Botherit (what a name) who "seems really upset that the Art of Letter Writing is lost to the Intenet Generation", even if I am also a part of that generation. When I was younger my best friend returned to her native country and we began to communicate by letters. We'd send each other photographs and gifts, it was so special. Reading this book reminded me of that - it made me want to pick up a pen and paper and write a letter again. Elizabeth's mystery pen pal is so different to her, yet they immediately hit it off and develop something very special even without meeting. And then there is the other mystery letter writer: I won't spoil it for you, but it is so sweet and romantic, it really is adorable. OK, I'll say no more.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Shelf Clearance Part 1: YA Giveaway

This competition is now closed and the winner has been announced at the bottom of this post.

If you're reading this, it hopefully means that you have seen my blog post all about my shelf clearance mission in an attempt to bring back some sanity to my life. If you haven't read it yet and are interested, then head over to my article Shelf Clearance, Kindle and Giveaways, but if you just want to win some stuff and don't really care why, keep reading.

I have this bundle of books to give away, which includes Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer (both published by Atom), Bite Club by Rachel Caine (published by Alison and Busby), The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, and Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins (both published by Simon and Schuster UK):

To win this bundle all you need to do is look at the partial book cover below and identify the book and it's author, writing your answer in the comments below by midnight on Sunday 17th June 2012. The comments will be kept hidden until the competition ends when I will reveal the correct answer and the winner (so there'll be no peeking at what someone else has written).

Can you identify this YA book?

Shelf Clearance, Kindle and Giveaways

I have so little space (well none actually) for my many books that even I am going crazy because of it. The fact is, at this rate, I'll never get to read all the books that I have because it will take me too many years to unearth them from all the boxes, storage trunks (I wish I was kidding) and bookshelves around my house. Also, I may have to substitute furniture in my room for boxes and trunks of books if I do not find a solution soon (I reckon the bed will be first to go - storage trunks with a mattress on top will do the job just fine). I know many of you are thinking 'you can never have too many books', and I agree, as would my Mum. Or at least she would have agreed until I started to transform myself into a modern day Don Quijote (or should that be Dona Quijote in my case).

And it gets worse - last year I got a job which involved working with ebooks. I started using an e-reader and it started  new love affair (I know that was pretty late to come into the world of e-reading but I have been on an extremely tight budget or, more honestly, I've been broke. When I left, my love for e-reading remained, so I bought a Kindle 3g. In part, it helped with my lack-of-space problem (although it didn't cure it and I have discovered that buying print books is a pretty serious addiction). On the other, it started another facet to my problem. When I'm at home I like reading print books, but when I'm out I like my Kindle, and sometimes I might be reading a print book but need to go out so, what do I do? - that's right, I duplicate. I have some books in print and on my Kindle too. Granted, this addiction is reserved for my favourites (like Department 19 by Will Hill which is great or, in the words of my cousin and fellow blogger Kamz Kool, is "so awesome and really needs to be made into a film. Everyone would watch it." This was followed by berating me for not having finished it yet and bombarding me with spoilers due to his over-enthusiasm and determination to have me bear witness to the greatness of Will Hill, whom he met at the secret event for The Rising.)

Monday, 21 May 2012

#Kindlestones: Amazon & Waterstones sign Kindle deal

So, the main news of the day is that Waterstones has signed a deal with Amazon to sell Kindle ebooks through it’s store. I kid you not. You can read about it for yourself on the Bookseller or watch James Daunt making the announcement on this YouTube video:

There have been many mixed reactions in the publishing world and beyond, but overall there has been a lot of confusion. I stand amongst the confused, and the reason for that is partly due to an article posted only yesterday on the Guardian website which finishes up with '"We'll be different from Amazon," he [Daunt] says, with characteristic ebullience, "and we'll be better."' Furthermore, Daunt is the last person I would have imagined making a deal with Amazon.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Whitney Houston Songs on Love, Hope and Friendship

This morning we heard the sad news that Whitney Houston passed away. There are, and will be, many articles, posts and reports about the person Whitney Houston was, her life and her death.  I am not going to do that here. The truth is that, like most of us, I did not know her personally, I never met her, and most of what I knew about her personal life came from the media, which always has an agenda. I will respect her memory by commenting on that side of Whitney that she did happily, publicly, constantly share with us - her music - for that is the only part of her that I can truly claim any knowledge or connection with, and I believe that is what she wished to be remembered for.

For me, what I remember most about Whitney Houston's career is not just her amazing voice - a great loss in a time where such an incredible vocal ability seems to have become a rarity and a lower priority in the music industry - but also what the lyrics of her songs had to say about love, friendship and hope. I know we are two days away from Valentine's Day, but I do not mean just romantic love, but love as a much greater force, one that can be platonic, and that one should have for oneself and for mankind, a love that, if you are at all spiritual or religious, you may hold for a Higher Force  - be it Mother Nature, God, or the Universal Spirit.

Below I have selected some Whitney Houston's songs that were most precious to me on the topics of love, friendship and faith. I hope you remember them or, if you were never familiar with her music, that these will give you a little insight into what she did and possibly who she was. I would love to hear your memories of any of these, or your general thoughts on them. If anyone came to this page looking to find out about her life, or death, then this is as honest a depiction that I believe I can give for a woman who I did not know, but did listen to, did learn from and was influenced by. This is the way I wish to remember Whitney Houston, and I hope you will share these memories with me.