Call us toll free:
Top notch Multipurpose WordPress Theme!
Call us toll free:

Colour Me Mindful Competition


COLOUR ME MINDFUL COMPETITION


I have recently received the complimentary ‘author’ (I love how it says I am an author in the introduction…) copies of my Colour Me Mindful books from Orion Publishing. They are absolutely beautiful! The team did an absolutely amazing job editing them and I love the travel-size-for-your-convenience dimensions of the books themselves, which are ideal for sticking in your hand luggage for a Summer Holiday, or keeping in your bag for when you fancy a cheeky doodle on the go.

I have really enjoyed following all the buzz that Orion are creating for the launch of these books in the UK on the 30th July (not long now!) and seeing all of the book bloggers and reviewers trying their hands at colouring them (you can see some samples here). And speaking of BUZZ (see what I did there), Colour Me Mindful: Underwater was even mentioned on Buzzfeed’s ’17 Colouring Books That Every Grown-Up Needs’, how amazing is that!

There is still chance for you to pre-order your copies from Amazon.co.uk and it seems that the hype has even extended to the next series of three books out in October!

Untitled-1

Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies isn’t even finished yet and already it is generating enough pre-orders and clicks on Amazon that it is a #1 New Release! Before it’s even released! No pressure or anything! This is testament to the art department at Orion’s excellent job at creating a beautiful cover out of my artwork and I cannot thank them enough. Not to mention my editor Anna Valentine who commissioned me to work on the projects in the first place.

Untitled-1

But, enough about the future books, let’s be mindful of the present and live in the now. The first three books haven’t even been released yet!

So here is your chance to get your hands on a copy of each: Colour Me Mindful: BirdsColour Me Mindful: Tropical and Colour Me Mindful: Underwater; each signed by myself; and an ORIGINAL PAGE from one of the books – and you get to choose which book!


HOW TO ENTER

The competition is hosted by Rafflecopter and as such is a Raffle! In order to enter the raffle, you simply have to follow the instructions in the box below. You can login using either Facebook or your email address and there are a number of different ways to enter.

IMG_20150714_174922

The two mandatory fields are that you have to sign up to my Blog (scroll to the bottom of this page and you will find the form in the footer) and visit my author page on Amazon. Doing both of these things will give you 10 entries into the raffle! You will also unlock a number of other ways to get more entries into the raffle – all of them pretty simple things like tweeting or visiting a Facebook page.

So get entering! The competition runs until the 24th July and the winner will be announced via Twitter and Facebook (as well as on this blog). This means that you will get your copies of the book before it comes out in the UK (post allowing). Some international entrants will be in with the chance to win these books months before they come out in your country!

Thank you so much for entering and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday Stash


It occurs to me that I have yet to do a ‘loot’ or ‘hoard’ post, so I thought I should give it a go…


The last few weeks have been a little bit frugal, so I’ve gathered a few of my recent buys from the last month together into my first Saturday Stash. Considering I don’t go shopping that often (apart from for art supplies), this probably won’t be a very regular thing. But, as conventions are starting up again next week, you never know (I tend to do all my shopping at conventions – I mean, I’m in a hall full of geeky products, how could I not).


Starting off with my best buys for the month. The mister and I went to a car boot sale a week or so ago and challenged each other to go off and buy something for £2! I think I won because I came back with this gorgeous little art nouveau owl statue (two things I love) for only 50p (the base was broken but nothing that some superglue couldn’t fix) and 2 Zadie Smith books I have been eyeing up in Waterstones for a while, for only a £1. Leaving me with 50p for a bottle of water (it was a very hot day).

20140624_131832_resized

20140624_131754_resized


This month saw the arrival of my very first Loot Crate. It was pretty obvious what would be inside (the clue was transfrom – hello!) but I was pretty happy with the contents considering that my partner is a MASSIVE Transformers fan. He wore the shirt to work the very next day.

20140626_134132

20140626_134203

20140626_134359

20140626_134454

20140702_112019

20140702_112100


Probably my biggest expenditure for the month – I got my hair dyed and cut! My roots were coming through something fierce and as I am growing it long I hadn’t had it trimmed in a while. Thanks to Owen from Slunks in Cardiff I now have healthy ends with a Summery turquoise blue on top and Neon Blue underneath (Colour by Manic Panic).

20140621_100057

Before…

20140625_163108…After


I stopped in to visit my partner in his new job the other day and he happens to work opposite a Waterstones… yeah, that’s going ot be a problem. As I was waiting for him I noticed this lovely copy of the novel of Battle Royale and it just so happened to be in the ‘Buy One Get One Half Price’… it would be rude not to, right?

20140705_172403


Finally, my copy of Afterlife Inc, the gorgeous Hard Back edition came through yesterday and it is beautiful. If you haven’t checked out Afterlife yet you seriously need to. I have been a die hard supporter of these books since I first found them at Bristol Comic Expo two years ago and have reviewed them several times for Chaos Hour as well as funding their various projects. It is a brilliant story and this new edition bundles them altogether into a wonderful hard back with a load of fun added extras in the back.

20140705_171055

1404577240144Well, would you look at that! You have to read it now!


What Book/s Would You Like to See Adapted into a Video Game?


IGGPP asked what book (or series of books) we would like to see adapted into a video game…

Inspired by IGGPP’s Twitter poll yesterday, I had a long hard think about what books would translate well into video games. If you haven’t already visited International Geek Girl Pen Pals, you really need to head over there. It is a brilliant community of like minded geeks, fans and generally awesome folk. Thanks to them I have met a few friends on Twitter already and I cannot wait for this months’ draft of pen pal partners (it will be my first time having a real life pen pal since I was about 8!)

So, I’ve been having a think about some books that would work well as video games. Some have already been attempted, but weren’t necessarily satisfying (see my Game of Thrones review on Chaos Hour) and some, I feel, just need to have the right gaming genre (You will notice, as an RPG fanatic, a lot of my choices are RPG-centric). Let me know what you think. This is by no means a definitive list, but definitely some of the books I would love to see adapted.

[Warning: Some of these descriptions may give away key plot points to the books in question]


Gone by Michael Grant pb

Gone Series – Michael Grant

I personally think this series would work amazingly as an action, RPG or even a hack slash game. You could even work elements of horror in there what with the incredibly disturbing antagonists and events.  You have teenagers with super powers, a bunch of awesome villains and an intriguing story line – what more could you want from a game? Ideally you could start off as Sam Temple and later add different characters to your party with different characteristics and powers. Or, if you didn’t want to go along with the main story line of the book, you could just play a random powered up teen who is trying to survive alongside the events of the main story, helping them out as you go.

There are a lot of elements to this series that would work well in a game – imagine a hide and seek style horror level running away from Drake; or manipulating the main game world as Little Pete; or having to save as many school students from their cement blocks as you can before a time runs out. It writes itself.


1358862664_7321_Book-Cover

Divergent – Veronica Roth

I think this one would be too obvious to follow the actual story line, but hey, that would still work. I think it would be much more exciting to have a game with several different endings and stories. Let’s say you start the game as a personalized male or female character in a faction of your choice (Amity, Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor) and you have to go through a tutorial level/introductory level which leads you to taking the personality test. Here you are told that you are Divergent but you get the choice to stay in your faction or move to another one. Your choices ultimately lead into what sort of game you have to play. If you go to Dauntless, you have to go through their training; if you end up in Erudite, you end up working for the enemy. It could lead to making a lot of fun, different quests for each faction that would still ultimately end up falling in line with each other eventually as the storyline pans out.


Hungergames_poster

Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

How this hasn’t been made into a video game yet is beyond me. But maybe the idea of children killing each other is okay to watch on screen, but not so good to re-enact in game form… (but Grand Theft Auto is fine…) The game would pretty much write itself, especially if it followed all three of the books in one game; leading to two Hunger Games and one rebellion. You would play as Katniss, obviously, and I can imagine an almost Tomb Raider feel to the game play. I am already crying at the idea of a Rue cut scene; and doing the mutant dog/recycled teens justice would be terrifying and a great level.


a_game_of_thrones_book_cover

A Song of Ice And Fire – George R R Martin

I know this has actually been attempted, but as you can see from my review over on Chaos Hour, it was a little bit of a disappointing attempt. I would love to see this done in an open world style like Skyrim or Oblivion where you could start as a random adventurer who inserts themselves into the major plot points of the books. Say you start as a fighter in the North and you begin with simple quests for the Starks, you could travel to the South and fight for Ned when he is betrayed or go to the Wall and help with the siege. Either way it would be impossible to play a main character as for one, as none of them are safe (Gorram you George!) and it would be no fun as you wouldn’t be able to take part in every aspect of the story.

If you made it an open world a la Skyrim, and you a random hero who happens to be in the right place at the right time much like the Dragonborn, it would mean you could technically fight for all sides and allegiances and be part of all of the major battles as well as diplomatic funzies. Obviously there would be quests that would lead to main character deaths which would make certain quests unplayable, but hey – Skyrim has the Dark Brotherhood do that, so why not you?


caaaat

Animorphs – K.A. Applegate

Animorphs was one of my favourite book series when I was a kid. I remember reading them in bed late into the night and scaring myself silly at the thought of evil aliens crawling into my ear when I least suspected it. But most of all, I loved the idea of being able to turn into an animal.

I know that this was adapted into a game for the Game Boy Colour/PC/Playstation but it would be awesome to see these re-invented. The fun of this game is that you would be able to collect animal DNA, like some sort of pokemon master, by just finding animals in game and assimilating them for later use. This would make the game really fun as you would have to assimilate a bird in order to reach higher levels, small animals like mice, rats, etc, so you could get through small holes. Much like the Lego games where you have to play different characters to unlock different areas, this would require you to morph into different animals.


9969571

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ending with the most obvious and probably the most challenging. A book about being inside a video game! Adaptation-ception! The fun thing about this is that you would have to switch between the game world where you would be expected to fulfil all of the quests necessary to advance the plot line (including finishing the in-game puzzles); and the ‘real’ world where you would have to avoid capture and safe guard your physical form. It would be a difficult game to script in a way that would interchange between the real world and virtual world well, but it would be incredibly exciting and a perfect game for gamer-fans who would love all of the references to old school game that … mentions as well as 80s trivia and old-school game challenges.


Graphic Novels (Not including super hero comics which kinda go without saying)

 

rat-queens-02-covA-web

Rat Queens

My love for Rat Queens is pretty well known, so the idea of playing an RPG of a comic based on RPGs would just be so meta and so awesome! As it is already based on a party of four, playing a four player party system (a la X-Men)  would make the most sense, wrangling all four of the character powers which are already complimentary and diverse. Plus, the script would be hilarious!


Shingeki_no_Kyojin_manga_volume_1

Attack On Titan

Who hasn’t read these awesome mangas or watched the television series and thought this wouldn’t work as a video game? Hack/Slash pure and simple! I know they have been developed into games in Japan and have had one action title for the Nintendo DS, but with the popularity it has seen in the West, it would be pretty awesome to see a worldwide release.

Mouse-Guard-v1-Fall-1152-GN-Cover

Mouse Guard

The beauty of this comic is that it is already perfect for an action RPG. The story and characters are so epic (while also being adorable) that adapting it into a video game would be too easy.


166

Stuff Of Legend

If you haven’t reads these graphic novels, I highly recommend them. Think a very dark Toy Story with boogey men, death and kidnapping small children. As the story takes place in two worlds, one where the toys are toys and the other where they are real characters (teddy bear is a bear, tin soldier is an actual soldier etc), it would make the game play exciting and fun to have to switch between the two.


Honourable Mentions

Testament of Sherlock Holmes – I know there are quite a few Sherlock Holmes games out there, but this is one that I played recently and really stuck with me. This is actually quite a fun little point and click. The detective aspect is challenging and it is very close to the original book’s style, mysteries and methods. If you liked old school games like ‘Seventh Guest’ or ‘Titanic’, then this game is perfect for you. The graphics aren’t amazing, but it is perfect for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective.

Dante’s Inferno – Okay, so this is in NO way an accurate adaptation of Dante’s fantastic Italian epic poem (and probably my favourite book of all time). Beatrice is your typical fridged female character and serves no purpose but to propel Dante through Hell; the history and plot line are completely over the top and highly inaccurate… but, that all being said, it is an EXTREMELY fun game. The imagery is amazingly dark and disturbing and the inclusion of classical mythology is wonderfully done. Overall, if you are not too much of a traditionalist and can see the fun, this is an extremely enjoyable game.

American McGee’s Alice – Again, not in any way an accurate adaptation, but dear gods this is a great game. The newest sequel Alice: Madness Returns is also beautiful with great graphics, character and world design. A very fun old school platform which indulges the Alice myth while turning it on a delightfully dark head.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (PS2) – Around about the time of the Lord of The Rings film releases and therefore video games releases (that Palantir of Saruman – what a boss level!), there was a very overlooked PS2 game that followed the books rather than the films. While it wasn’t the best game in the world, it was a true adaptation of the books and (as I remember it) very enjoyable. Even Tom Bombadil was included!


What do you think? What book or graphic novel would you like to see adapted into a video game? What books have already been adapted and left something to be desired? Or is there one out there that you think got it right? Let me know in the comments below…

Alice in Wonderland Blog Party


Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! It’s time to grab a cup of tea and travel down the rabbit hole into the world of books…


I found this tag via Bloglovin’ and am ridiculously glad that I did! I love ‘Alice In Wonderland’. It was always one of my favourite books when I was a kid (even if I didn’t entirely understand what was going on at the time) and consequently one of my favourite Disney films (even if it was a little terrifying).

When I was 11, I appeared as the Five of Spades in a school play. I was painting the roses red – it did not end well. When I was 16 I appeared in a very surreal physical theatre version of the classic tale ‘Alice: A State of Mind’, performed in the Sherman Theatre. I played Alice and had to be ‘born’ out of a hole in the stage (a very scary trap door with a 6 foot drop, full of dry ice). Looking back on it now, it was probably one of the weirdest, but most satisfying pieces of theatre I had ever done (if anything because I got to do the ‘You are not a unique snow flake’ speech from Fight Club.


Alice Madness Returns


That leads us up to recently, where I actually played the Queen of Hearts in a touring pantomime of ‘Alice In Wonderful Panto-land’, travelling round the country screaming about people stealing my tarts. Not to mention American McGee’s Alice is probably one of my favourite video games of all time! Needless to say, this book holds a special place in my heart.

So, when I found the Notebooks Sisters Blog Party celebrating the anniversary (blog-iversary if you will) of their blog in a truly frabjous way, I just had to join in. And so, without further ado, get yourself a cuppa tea, change places and let the madness commence.


Just Alice

What book cover(s) has made you super curious?

Miss Pergrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I have a habit of judging books by their covers, mostly because (despite what we’re taught) after working in a publishers I quickly learned we are actually meant to! Covers are marketed to certain audiences and this one was definitely marketed towards me! It’s dark, sinister, intriguing and creepy. I even love the font. From the Tim Burton-esque chalk writing to the classic book plate style of the title, this definitely got me hooked from the get-go.

switched-book-one-in-the-trylle-trilogy

I loved the cover for this. If you haven’t seen it in person, the butterflies are embossed with gold and orange foil, which just makes it even more inviting. Ironically, this book is one of the reasons I actually ended up getting a Kindle (despite it being a beautiful hard copy book). I bought it and read it in one night because I enjoyed it so much (Amanda Hocking is now one of my big authorial heroes), even though I paid £7.99 for the pleasure, while the Kindle version was only 94p! It was a pretty easy decision to make. So now, even though I still buy hard copy books, I tend to read the cheaper versions first before deciding whether or not I will read it again/love it enough to buy it for my shelf.


Mad Hatter

List the craziest character(s) you’ve ever read. 

Gone by Michael Grant pb

Drake Merwin from Michael Grant’s Gone Series has to hold the title for craziest antagonist, let alone craziest character development. I won’t give it away for those looking to read the series, but the evolution of his character (and physicality) is nothing short of unique.


Red Queen, Off With Your Head!

What book have you felt like beheading?

Eve-smaller

It’s not so much that I hated this book enough to chop off it’s head, it’s just the most disappointing read I have had this year. The dystopian society wasn’t really embellished on enough for me to care about it before the heroine actually escapes from it. Yes – the concept behind why she is kept in the dark is horrifying, but I would have liked to have seen more from the world of the school before she leaves it behind. The allusions to ‘Peter Pan’ are also so glaringly in your face that they become hackneyed quite quickly.


White Rabbit

What books or series have been insanely popular but you’ve been “late” to pick them up?

1358862664_7321_Book-Cover    HarryPotterPhilosophersStoneBook1    Hungergames_poster

I’ve been late to the party on quite a few big names over the years, the biggest of which was probably Harry Potter. The first book came out when I was 11, seemingly the perfect age to get into the series, but I just did not enjoy the writing style. Sacrilege I know, but I was a complete book snob at the time. I changed my ways and later got into it when I was about 18. Hunger Games and Divergent also passed me by until I heard they were being made into movies and as a huge Dystopia fan I had to read them before they came out. The complete Hunger Games collection took me about a weekend to finish, Divergent was the same.


Caterpillar

What’s the most confusing book you’ve read?

Foe_(novel)

There was me thinking I had forgotten all about this one. I studied this alongside Robinson Crusoe for my English Degree and I have to say it was one of those books I just could not grasp. I understood the themes, the ideas and the general stuff they wanted me to ‘get’, but it was just a very difficult read as it was more like reading an extended piece of poetry than a novel – but I suppose that’s where the intricacies and beauty of the book lay. Definitely one for study rather than enjoyment.


Dormouse

What was the last book that sent you to sleep?

Beautiful_darkness_book_2nd

It took me a while to remember this one as I don’t tend to dwell on books that I don’t enjoy. The shame about this one was that I loved the first installment, but this section just bored me. Maybe it was the overly described teenage angst, or maybe it was just that my favourite character, Lena, was changing into an annoying moody cow because the story was told through Ethan’s eyes, and I just couldn’t get on with it. The problem with it being from Ethan’s perspective rather than Lena’s is that despite her going through an admittedly very hard time, you only ever hear about how it effects her ‘boyfriend’. I would have preferred to hear what she was going through instead of how it was causing him problems.


Cheshire Cat

Book that made you laugh and smile?

FANGIRL_CoverDec2012-300x444

I read Fangirl as part of the Tumblr Book Club and absolutely loved it. Being a massive geek myself and knowing so many people who read (and write) fanfiction, this book really managed to get inside the little world I used to live in when I was in High School. It’s charming, sweet, funny and there are some brilliant moments of romantic comedy as well as poignant moments.


Knave of Hearts

Most recent character who stole your heart?

The_Earth,_My_Butt,_and_Other_Big_Round_Things_cover

Virginia Shreves may not have stolen my heart in the cliché romantic sense, but she was definitely the most heart wrenching heroine who spoke to my heart in the most profound way. I loved this book and her character really stuck with me long after I had finished reading. I don’t tend to get romantically attached to book characters, but I do find those who I would love to be friends with and she would definitely be my new best friend.


Jabberwocky

Best villain you’ve read this year?

1358862664_7321_Book-Cover

Jeanine Matthews was probably my favourite villain of this year. She was just one of those characters I loved to hate. She was also a scheming, intelligent character who was so cold and calculating, you almost understood why she thought all the things she was doing was right.


Down the Rabbit Hole

What’s the latest book/series/author that’s completely swallowed your interest?

cvr9780857079978_9780857079978_hr

As I said before, I love dystopias and I am really enjoying the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman at the moment. I am currently on the final book and it’s one of those series I just don’t want to end! I love the concept behind the dystopian society, that dysfunctional teens are targeted by their own parents, it raises so many good questions about society, parenting, religion and other more political issues. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopian YA as it is a great example of writing with some highly intelligent concepts and well defined characters.


Are you going to join in the tea party? Be sure to visit the Notebook Sisters Blog for more information and to pick up their graphic. Also, what are you reading at the moment? And, more importantly, what tea are you drinking right now?