Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Book Review: An Extraordinary Boy by Vernon Hewitt

an-extraordinary-boy, vernon-hewitt, book

In 1993, 24 terminally ill children are abducted by aliens from hospitals across the UK. They are discovered later dispersed at random and in pairs, cured of cancer with their genomes modified to contain an extra ten chromosomes. The last two, Max Lennox and Jonathan Price, are found in a wood in Leicestershire and later there are rumours that the aliens returned to leave a device of some kind buried in the ground. Who or what is behind these events and why have the children been altered? 

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Character Bio: Onion from Sour Fruit by Eli Allison

sour-fruit, eli-allison, book

I love delving into the science behind stories and sometimes, there's nothing more satisfying than getting to know a new character! When I was younger, I always loved creating new characters on The Sims and imagining their lives, their homes, and their jobs - and that's a passion that has never left me.

So, when author Eli Allison got in touch about sharing a character bio for Onion, the main character from his speculative fiction novel Sour Fruit, I couldn't resist the chance to help breathe life into her character!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Book Review: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

flawed, cecelia-ahern, book

You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking Young Adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Book Review: Agent of Equilibrium by N.J. Mercer

agent-of-equilibrium, nj-mercer, book

The gift had always been with him. But only now was he beginning to understand it. Sent by his mysterious benefactors to investigate a series of powerful psychic disruptions, Johnny crosses paths with the deadly Disciples of Disorder and suddenly more than just his life is at stake. It’s the very nature of Earth. Travelling north and confronting beings whose existence he couldn’t even have imagined, he discovers the Equilibrium that preserves all life in its current state and learns of the terrifying forces that seek to overturn it. This journey will expose Johnny and his loyal companions to the fantastic, the sublime and the depraved. It will ultimately reveal to him the hidden conflict that defines reality itself. Agent of Equilibrium is a work of epic urban fantasy, combining elements of science fiction, horror and the occult. It will take you on a white-knuckle ride through darkness and hope. It might even alter your perception of the world you think you know.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Reading Round-Up: Jan/Feb 2019

little, edward-carey, book

We're already well into 2019 and spring is fast approaching - though it might not seem like it just yet! It's been a busy time for my reading, as usual, with the cold weather making me stay indoors and read more. So, let's see what's been going on in my bookish world during January and February!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Book Review: The Red Pearl by C.K. Brooke

the-red-pearl, ck-brooke, book

Treasure lost, passion found?

Antonia Korelli is on the run from her coven of priestesses. She never desired a life confined to the temple, relegated to chastity and service to the goddess, Azea. Instead, she longs for true love and adventure in the Kingdom of Elat.

Enter Robin Watkins, a fiery dreamer on a mission of his own, to uncover the legendary lost Red Pearl. Only, he must first regain his treasure map, which was stolen by his former best mate and conniving ex-girlfriend.

When Antonia becomes unwittingly entangled with Rob, she's more than dismayed to find herself stuck on his harebrained hunt. But somewhere amidst their bickering and banter, their plight for survival through desert and tropics, and the joint pursuit of impossible dreams, Antonia begins to realize that perhaps she might have found the unforgettable adventure - and romance - she was seeking.

Monday, 25 February 2019

3 Places to Stay in the Derbyshire Peak District

derbyshire, peak-district, england, uk, travel

Travelling is wonderful but with such a rich variety of sights, views, history, culture and activities on our doorstep, sometimes there's no need to go further afield for a memorable getaway! Of course, it's no secret that I love getting out and about, exploring as much of my home country as I possibly can, but I'm hoping to share more and more of my travels here on The Writing Greyhound.

As a result, I've compiled a little list featuring just a few of my favourite places to stay in the Derbyshire Peak District - a brilliant part of the country that's off the usual tourist trail.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Book Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

because-youll-never-meet-me, leah-thomas, book

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times - as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Film Review: How to Train Your Dragon 3 - The Hidden World

how-to-train-your-dragon-three, the-hidden-world, film, cinema

Weighing in as one of my most highly anticipated films of the year, How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World promised to be a fantastic tale and a worthy new addition to a much-loved animated movie series. 

I had purposely avoided watching teasers and trailers in the run-up to the film’s release, as the last thing I wanted was to end up inadvertently spoiling a major twist or key plot point for myself before getting a chance to see the movie in full. Luckily, I managed to succeed, and after watching the film last Friday evening, I am especially glad that I did!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Book Review: Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

nirvana, jr-stewart, book

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?
Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realised - even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Interview: Skye McNeil

hearts-abroad, skye-mcneil, book

With just over a week to go until Valentine's Day, what better opportunity could there be to chat with a romance author? Skye McNeil is the author of wonderful romance novel Hearts Abroad, and she's kindly agreed to stop by the blog for a chat about her writing life.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Book Review: First One Missing by Tammy Cohen

first-one-missing, tammy-cohen, book

There are three things no-one can prepare you for when your daughter is murdered:
  • You are haunted by her memory day and night
  • Your friends and family fear you are going mad
  • Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.
Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

Monday, 28 January 2019

3 Walks in the Derbyshire Peak District

thors-cave, derbyshire, peak-district, travel

The Derbyshire Peak District is a wonderful part of the country, filled with rolling countryside, picturesque views, and plenty of exciting places to visit and things to do. The Peak District is also a haven for those who like to stay active and get out and about, boasting a wide variety of trails and country walks suitable for people of all ages.

To pique your interest, here are three of my favourite walks in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Book Review: Fugitive Six by Pittacus Lore

fugitive-six, pittacus-lore, book

The Human Garde Academy was created in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth. It was meant to provide a safe haven for teens across the globe who were suddenly developing incredible powers known as Legacies.

Taylor Cook was one of the newest students and had no idea if she’d ever fit in. But when she was mysteriously abducted, her friends broke every rule in the book to save her. In the process, they uncovered a secret organisation that was not only behind Taylor’s kidnapping but also the disappearance of numerous teens with abilities. An organisation that has dark roots in the Loric’s past, untold resources, and potentially even a mole at their own school.

Now these friends, who have become known to other students as the “Fugitive Six,” must work together to bring this mysterious group to an end before they can hurt anyone else.

Monday, 21 January 2019

I'm Not Ashamed to Go Make-Up Free Every Day - Here's Why


First of all, I think it’s important to start this post by saying that I have no issue either with make-up or with those who choose to wear it. I think it can be a great way to express your personality, glam up for a special occasion or even just cover up the visible effects of a sleepless night! However, as you’ve probably gained from the title, it’s just not for me. 

In this post, I’m going to explain the reasons why!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

5 Dream Home Improvements

home-sweet-home, home-improvement

We all have a vision of how our dream home would look, from spectacular swimming pools to state-of-the-art kitchens with all the latest gadgets! Although the chances are that your real home may not be the exact replica of your dream home, it can still be fun to daydream about the improvements you’d make to your property if you could. If only you won the lottery, right?

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Book Review: A Quiet Genocide by Glenn Bryant

a-quiet-genocide, glenn-bryant, book

Germany, 1954. Jozef grows up in a happy household – so it seems. But his father Gerhard still harbours disturbing National Socialism ideals, while mother Catharina is quietly broken. She cannot feign happiness for much longer and rediscovers love elsewhere. Jozef is uncertain and alone. Who is he? Are Gerhard and Catharina his real parents?

A dark mystery gradually unfolds, revealing an inescapable truth the entire nation is afraid to confront. But Jozef is determined to find out about the past and a horror is finally unmasked which continues to question our idea of what, in the last hour, makes each of us human.

A terrifying and heartbreaking story.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Interview: Jay Marksman

of-thieves-and-dying-leaves, jay-marksman, book

I am super excited to be welcoming crime author Jay Marksman to The Writing Greyhound on this cold January morning - what better way to stave off the January Blues than with some bookish chat?

Keep on reading to learn more about Jay and his writing, not to mention an insight into his novel Of Thieves and Dying Leaves.

Monday, 14 January 2019

5 Healthy Habits for 2019


January is always a good time for reflection, with the New Year providing the perfect opportunity to look back on the past year and focus on setting goals and targets for the year ahead. It’s always good to have aims in life and things to strive towards, as this can help you stay focused and motivated as well as generally creating a more successful life to lead.

We are constantly warned about the negative impact of unhealthy habits by both the media and those around us, and in an increasingly sedentary society, keeping fit has never been more important. Now, I’m far from the healthiest person (I’ve never been to the gym in my life) so I’m well aware that I’m far from a leading authority on healthiness, but at the same time, what better time to turn over a new leaf than the start of a new year?

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Book Review: The Draughtsman Damsel by Emily Klein

the-draughtsman-damsel, emily-klein, book

At the age of ten, following her father's political decision, Annabelle is torn from her childhood home at the Duke's court at Calais and from her best friend, the Duke's youngest son, Thomas. She comes to the English court and tries her best to avoid all courtly, ladylike occupations, and to follow scholarly pursuits, usually reserved for boys. 

Her father, Lord Latimer's connection with the Duke diminishes and he decides to match her for marriage elsewhere. After an unsuccessful courtship event, a letter arrives from the Duke asking Latimer, who is an Architect, to return to Calais and aide the Duke in constructing a grand chivalric monument; Annabelle who is by then found out to be competent at planning and sketching joins her father to be further educated there. 

Latimer's Mason falls under the Duke's influence and cannot assist in building the castle. Latimer then recruits Thomas, the Duke's son, as a consultant and his own daughter as his assistant draughtsman. The Two, after many obstacles and tribulations, reluctantly and unwittingly fall in love. Latimer's relationship and connection with the Duke deteriorate further, and it sets a course of events in motions that results in the banishment of Annabelle and her father. Will Annabelle and Thomas' love conquer all obstacles?

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Interview: Sharlene Almond

initiated-to-kill, sharlene-almond, book

I love a good thriller - throw some historical influences into the mix and you've got a book I'm bound to enjoy reading! One book that sounds just like that is Initiated to Kill, a fast-paced thriller from author Sharlene Almond. Sharlene has kindly agreed to stop by The Writing Greyhound and answer a few questions, so read on to find out more!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

5 Books I Want to Read in 2019

After three consecutive years of failing to read the five books I set out to read in the January of each year, I'm starting to wonder if the reason why I'm not reading these books is because I'm not motivated enough. Sure, I love reading, but with a busy lifestyle, long working hours (especially with the combination of blogging and my day job) and near-constant tiredness, if a book isn't motivating me, the chances are that I'm going to put off picking it up.

So, this year, I'm determined to beat my Goodreads challenge and read a minimum of 50 books in 2019. One of my New Year's resolutions is to stop feeling so guilty about taking time for myself, which ties in perfectly with my reading goal.

Let's make 2019 the year of reading!