Friday, 31 October 2014

Anyone for NaNoWriMo?

So, I may have failed miserably last year - I made it to 16,000 words or thereabouts before I quit - but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to try again this year. Oh no.

I've 'won' NaNoWriMo once before - way back in 2011 - and I'm hoping to win again some day!

Two mistakes I made last year:

1. I didn't do any prep work.
2. I kept up a full blogging schedule

This year, I won't be blogging during NaNoWriMo - I may check in here and there, but that's about it.  And I intend on doing some prep. I mean, I already have an idea, which is more than I can say for last year!

Here's what my novel is all about:

It's a  coming of age drama featuring celebrity spats, manipulation and revenge. Loosely inspired by All About Eve.

Let's see how it goes!

If you're participating, add me as a writing buddy. 

If you have any top tips for NaNoWriMo I would really love to hear them!

Scream Screen: Five Scary Movies to Watch This Halloween!

I don't know about you, but I love to watch scary movies. And what better time than to bring on the scares than Halloween.

Here are five scary movies that you just might feel like watching tonight!

 The One to Watch When You Are Home Alone

The Strangers (2008)

Lock the Door. Pretend You're Safe.

If you haven't seen The Strangers, I recommend you check it out. It's one of my favourite modern-day horror movies in that it actually scared me, and that's I guess because it's old school horror. Playing on the 'home invasion' fears that we all have, The Strangers is not so heavy on the gore, but it heaps on the psychological torment - and the scares.  Eeek!  Just wait until you meet Dollface & Co.  A lot of people seem to not like this movie - but I loved it.

The 'New' Classic

The Babadook (2014)

You Can't Get Rid of The Babadook.

I haven't seen The Babadook yet, but as you can see from the poster above, those in the know are saying some pretty spectacular things about this one. Also, The Babadook contains a lot of the horror ingredients that I love: it's low budget, focuses on psychological terror and it stars a creepy little boy. I don't know if the little boy is creepy per se - it's just that kids in horror films always tend to freak me right out. Also, The Babadook is Aussie horror - and just like their Soaps - Aussie's tend to do horror right. Two words: Wolf Creek.

The Babadook Official Trailer - watch it if you dare!

The 'Actual' Classic

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Once You Stop Screaming, Then You'll Start Talking About It.

I love classic horror (Rosemary's Baby, The Shining, The Exorcist...) they all have a place in my heart, but if you haven't seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and you want to watch something truly disturbing this Halloween, then this is it. It doesn't get much freakier than Leatherface and family! Fun fact: I watched The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for the first time when I was seventeen and home all alone. So, yeah, that was fun. FYI: I'm talking about the Tobe Hooper movie here, not the Jessica Biel movie. Although, you know what, I watched the remake too and it wasn't totally terrible. Also, Mike Vogel is always cute.

The One to Watch if You Love 'YA'

Ouija (2014)

Keep Telling Yourself It's Just A Game.

If you mess around with an Ouija Board, then you're gonna get...haunted - horror 101 - but I guess these kids didn't get the memo. Anyway, while Ouija doesn't have so many great ratings (a 4.4 average on IMDB at the time of writing) I think it looks like fun - and it's probably not too scary either. It's sometimes good, you know, to watch a little bit of light-hearted horror that doesn't give you nightmares for years and years afterwards.  So, I haven't seen Ouija, but a YA horror I LOVE is The Craft, although I view that less as horror, more coming-of-age drama. I'm not really sure what that says about me, but there you have it. Welcome to the witching hour, indeed.

Ouija Official Trailer - looks like fun, right? Right?!

The Indie Flick You Might Have Missed

The Pact (2012)

Some Doors Should Never Be Opened.

 I like checking out indie horror, in particular, because you never know when you might find that hidden gem with all the scares, right? So, I watch a lot of horror, and I guess it's safe to say that I've seen a lot of dud's in my time. The Pact isn't a dud, though - it's been a couple years since I've seen it now, and while it's not perfect, this one is definitely worth checking out if you want something a little different for your Halloween viewing: it's got a freaky girl (above), a pretty good mystery, some great jumpy bits and a wicked (fairly disturbing) reveal. Enjoy!

So, what are you watching this Halloween?

Tell me your horror movie recommendations in comments!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

UK Cover Alert: I Was Here by Gayle Forman + YA's New Cover Trend!

So, here we have the new UK of I Was Here by Gayle Forman. I like it.  And I'm very excited to read the book.

Compare it to the US cover below and let me know which one you like best.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman || Release date: January 2015.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything - so how was there no warning?

But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington.

About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open - until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

US Cover


Which one is your fave?

Also, while I was looking through my 'awaiting-cover' folder on Goodreads, I noticed something - maybe a little cover trend forming - I call it the 'Cover Collage' - and okay, I don't have all that many examples to share, so maybe it's not a trend quite yet - but maybe it's the start of something. Hey, you heard it here first!

The movie tie-in edition of If I Stay which will look great alongside your copy of I Was Here.

Katie Cotugno's new book 99 days has got a total cover collage going on.

As has These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff which recently got a whole new look

Not quite a collage for Proof of Forever - but it fits the trend - and I'll use it.

What about you? Have you seen any more covers that fit this new trend? Hey, maybe it's been around all along, and I just noticed it right now. That's always a possibility!

Let me know your thoughts in comments!


Monday, 27 October 2014

Competition Winners: Deeper//Divergent//Tempus//Deep Blue//Summer Spotlight//Easy & Breakable//Secret Seven//Summer Favourites//Back to School Special//The Sham.

Here are the latest competition winners on the blog!

Deeper by Robin York
Thanks to Piatkus

Tracey P.
Lani M.
Amanda G.

Divergent Premiere Tickets
Thanks to HarperCollins

Emily G.

Tempus by Holly Lauren
Thanks to GMTA Publishing

Trish H.
Librarian L.
Kyra O.
Meredith R.
Candice J.
Missie S.
Antonia J.
Caroline T.
Book A.
Alisha S.
Shamara C.
Hannah Y.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Thanks to Disney

Meghann M.
Carl S.

Summer Spotlight Mega Giveaway


Easy & Breakable by Tammara Webber
Thanks to Penguin Books

Daisy H.
Gillian H.
Tracey P.

Secret Seven Books & Merchandise 
Thanks to Hodder Children's Books

Tracy K.
Winnie L.
Jayne T.
Laura Z.
Samantha R.

Summer Favourites

Courtney W.

Back to School Special


The Sham by Ellen Allen
Thanks to Ellen Allen

Mai T.
Tracey P.
Victoria F.
Alisha S.
Pam M.
Clari F.
Bogi K.
Rehana S.
Rachael L.


Monday, 20 October 2014

Giveaway! Win a copy of THE SHAM by Ellen Allen. (INT!)

The Sham by Ellen Allen || Release date; Sept. 2014

When love leads to death, be careful who you trust…

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as "The Sham", with her boyfriend, Jack, but he's very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He's also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months' ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily's classmates washed up in the local floods. 

Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they're pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.



Thanks to Ellen Allen I have TEN eBooks of The Sham to give away to TEN lucky winners!

The Sham is a YA Thriller with (see above) some scenes that are not suitable for younger readers --I hear the beginning of the book is particularly brutal - and it's been getting some great feedback on Goodreads: Take a look!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please read the Competition Rules
*Please Note:Winners emails will be forwarded to the author -- eBooks will be sent directly from the author.


Ellen Allen on her inspiration for The Sham

The idea for this book came to me in a nightmare... It was so vivid that I imagined I was 17 again, at school, in the same group of 4 friends that I used to hang around with. We were involved in a murder and cover-up. I started writing partly as a way to get it out of my head and then the characters turned into real people... and Emily and Jack were born.


Listen to the playlist for The Sham

As I was writing the book, I had these songs in my mind
at key scenes in the plot; they make a great album:

1. Thomston, Burning out
Emily is forced to watch as four of her classmates bully
a small boy in the local playground. She meets Jack and,
together, they are able to save him. Everyone is
traumatized but Jack helps her to feel better: “I’m 
coming up, I’m too young to worry bout burning out”.

This is a very moody and atmospheric song for when
Emily finds out that her classmate – one of the
playground bullies – is dead.

3. Snakehips (ft. Sinead Harnett), Days with you
After tourists claim Jack is their long lost nephew,
someone called Matthew, Jack disappears and Emily
convinces herself that she really is “better off without
you”. It has a great vibe and it’s  very upbeat, even
though it’s sad.

4. Ed Sheeran, Thinking out loud
This is the music playing for Emily and Jack’s first kiss;
“Take me into your loving arms. Place your head on my
beating heart.” Aaaah.

5. Ella Eyre, Deeper
Jack doesn’t give away his emotions easily and this song 
perfectly encapsulates what Emily thinks Jack is feeling
– that he doesn’t want to commit – and how he should
“dig a little deeper”.

6. Lennie Kravitz, The Chamber 
The police manage to convince Emily that Jack is
actually Matthew. She’s angry, hurt, upset and feels 
betrayed: “You killed the love that was once so strong.
With no regret to what you did wrong”.

7. Jessie Ware, Wildest moments   
This song is playing over the speakers of the
supermarket café when Emily finally finds everything
out – about who Jack really is and who killed the girls. It
manages to perfectly encapsulate the complexity of
Jack and Emily’s relationship and the situation she has
to deal with at the end of the book; “we could be the
greatest, we could be the worst of all”.

8. Clean Bandit (featuring Jess Glynne), Rather Be
This song conveys the end of the book brilliantly and
leaves us on a really upbeat tone. It’s a tip top tune!

Follow on Twitter: @EllenWritesAll

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