Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest post + Giveaway: Grisly High Trilogy by Brian Rowe

Welcome Brian Rowe! Author of the Grisly high trilogy

Book #1 The Vampire Underground

16-year-old Brin Skar hates everything to do with the supernatural, so the obsessive film geek isn't happy when she discovers that her junior year Film class at Grisly High is devoted to the horror genre. She's even more disconcerted when she learns that six groups in the class will be writing and directing their very own horror movies. 

Brin and five classmates travel to Bodie Ghost Town in California to shoot their creepy film, but they soon find themselves fighting a real terrifying threat when a clan of mean, bloodthirsty vampires emerge from beneath the surface and start attacking the group. The teens, headed by Brin and the egotistical director Anaya Frost, have no help from the outside and become outnumbered by the vampires a hundred to one. 

But when Brin meets Paul, a helpful and smoldering vampire outcast who's had enough of his shameful life, she realizes he might be the only key to her survival.

Book #2 The Zombie Playground

Brin Skar has had a rough couple of weeks. She barely survived the grisly vampire attack in Bodie Ghost Town, the mysterious Paul is now a guest in her own home, and her dad Kristopher, dead for over a year, has emerged from the grave to try to kill his only daughter. 

After two somber funerals and the baffling disappearance of her Film teacher, Brin decides she needs a break from all the pain and heartache. And what’s a better escape than a round of golf at the brand new Macabre Golf Course? But as soon as Brin and her friends hit the links, strange noises and bizarre sightings begin to occur. 

And unfortunately for the group, the vampire encounter is going to seem like child’s play… especially when the zombies come out to play!

Book #3 The Monster Apocalypse

Brin Skar thought she defeated the vampires, and she thought she escaped the zombies, but as it turns out, the horrors have just begun. When Brin learns that the evil vampire Droz has kidnapped her boyfriend Paul, as well as her mother Tessa, she decides her only choice is to return to Bodie Ghost Town. 

Joined by her classmates, her teachers, and her older brother Justin, she sets out to destroy the clan leader… in the grisliest showdown of all!

Brian Rowe is giving you guys the chance to win all 3 of these awesome books! 

That's right the whole trilogy! 

Guest post: Monster Apocalypse

So why spend a year of my life writing a YA trilogy about monsters, of all things? My first YA trilogy — the three Happy Birthday to Me books — took my readers into strange and daring places, but still mostly resembled real life, with a strong and tragic romance at the center of it all. My second YA trilogy is a different beast altogether, one that takes a group of film geeks and pits them against every monster known to man. I think my switch in genre for the second trilogy has perplexed some of my readers; the Grisly High books are definitely the evil little stepchildren to Happy Birthday to Me. Both are YA, both have strong, capable teenagers who find themselves in extraordinary situations, but the tone is different in my new trilogy. The Vampire Underground (Book 1), The Zombie Playground (Book 2), and The Monster Apocalypse (Book 3) are meant to be pure entertainment. There is romance in the three books, complete with a romantic finale in Book 3 that I hope will be unexpected. But the real focus I put into these three books was making them scary. Who doesn’t love to be scared?

I grew up on horror, immersing myself in the work of R.L. Stine as early as age eight. While the Goosebumps and Fear Street books are not great literature, they kept me up many a late night, and I was partly inspired by Stine’s books to craft a new trilogy of teen horror novels for the twenty-first century. Another experience that played into the formation of these books was my visit to Bodie Ghost Town back in 2002, when I spent half a day traipsing around a forgotten city of decrepit buildings and eerie silences, and I couldn’t stop thinking that day that I needed to set one of my stories there. When some found out I was writing a “vampire” novel, they told me I was just trying to hop onto the Twilight craze, but that wasn’t the case at all. I had the idea for Book 1, The Vampire Underground, for ten years, and had always imagined vampires living underneath the ghost town. It’s how, from the beginning, I wanted to tell this story. With famous, iconic monsters!

But the biggest influence on the Grisly High trilogy is my love for horror movies. The main characters of the trilogy — Brin, Ash, Anaya, and Mr. Barker — love movies, but not even Ash loves movies as much as I do. My dad introduced me to horror movies at a young age, and by the time I was eleven I had seen all the classics, from Frankenstein to Psycho, from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Halloween, from The Evil Dead to A Nightmare on Elm Street, I’d seen them all. While I was finishing writing Happy Birthday to You and planning The Vampire Underground, I was trying to find who my main characters were. Making them film buffs just made perfect sense to me. What’s more ironic than a group of horror film nuts who go to a strange town to make a horror movie, who then come in contact with real deal horror movie villains themselves? I was intrigued by this idea and decided to run with it.

When I finished The Vampire Underground, I initially outlined six more books in the Grisly High series. The second book, The Zombie Playground, is still what it would’ve been in that seven-book series, but the others were going to revolve around one single creature each. Book 3 was to be demons, Book 4 was to be ghosts, Book 5 was to be werewolves, Book 6 was to be aliens, and Book 7 was going to feature all of these monsters fighting each other in the most epic, giant battle in all of literature history! But when I reached the end of The Zombie Playground, I realized that these books lived or died based on the relationships of the core characters, and that I only needed one more book to say everything I wanted to say about Brin and Ash and Anaya and Mr. Barker, and bring this Grisly High story full-circle.

The Zombie Playground was a blast to write because I’d always wanted to blend two things that I’d never seen blended together before, in a book, or a film: the horror genre, with the sport of golf. It was so much fun to devise a story that would bring these two elements together in a way that makes sense, and I loved expanding on the mythology of the Grisly town to bring zombies into the forefront, after focusing on vampires in the first book.

Finally, The Monster Apocalypse, let’s face it, throws in everything but the kitchen sink. I really upped the stakes in Happy Birthday to You, the third and final book of my Birthday trilogy, and such is the case with this third book of the Grisly High trilogy. In this final chapter I set out to craft the most surprising, action-packed book I’ve written yet. All of the subplots are wrapped up, both old and new characters discover their fates, and every monster, from aliens to witches to werewolves, is finally accounted for. The first two books are fun, but they’re mere samples to the chaos and craziness of The Monster Apocalypse!

Big thank you to Brian for the guest post and awesome giveaway!

Fill in the rafflecopter below for your chance to get your hands on this awesome trilogy in your choice of format; MOBI, EPUB or PDF.

Giveaway open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Twitter and novels and new look?

Hi guys,

So I FINALLY made a twitter for the blog, I've decided this poor little blog needs more life to it, especially since I think it will help me a lot with my course at university next year as I want to study Creating Writing.

Also, although I am trying hard to make myself revise, this is the time (when I'm stressed about having to do important things) that I am dying to write. I came up with a new novel idea last night and I'm so excited to write it (once the exam is out the way that is).

And speaking of writing, I have reserved a couple more blog names.. I want to start a writing blog named:

Letters on the typewriter

So that my writing can really kick off and I can get you guys involved too!

And because I'm someone with many hobbies, I have also reserved

Photographs on the wall

So I can share my photographs with the world also.
Notice the similarity in names, yea that wasn't an accident :D

Finally, I have revamped the blog, it's much more my style now and when I'm happy with the way things look I'm more likely to do more on the blog.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Films: The Perks of being a Wallflower

I couldn't wait any longer, I had to watch it even though I so desperately wanted to read it first and now I just want to read it even more. I'm not sure if I'm happy after watching it or heartbreakingly sad or if it's a happy kind of sad. 

I just think that it's so emotion evoking and perfectly written and I want to cry and smile and.. it's just.. I need to read the original version like right now

Our generation especially I feel are suffering and The Perks of being a Wallflower really highlights everything that we are going through, showing we aren't alone, behind everyones mask is a story that would break your heart and that those who are hurting the most are probably those you would least expect. This story line really takes your emotions and plunges them into the ocean. 

It demonstrates how love is both instant and deep beneath the surface, creeping up on you, something that is sometimes so much that it doesn't surface until it's too late, but it's enough to have just known them, to have loved them the way you have and that will always be inside of you

And it's amusing too at the same time, showing how true friendship comes from who you are and who they are and that's what ties you together

and the characters were perfect, Charlie especially, he is a quiet smart lad whose awkwardness really rounded up his character and I just wanted to hug him but at the same time felt like I was a female version of him and I'm pretty sure everyone watching this film have related to it in some way

I have no more words, I'm still half wanting to smile half feeling like I should cry.

Review: Life as we knew it by Susan Pfeffer

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

This book for me was easy to sink into and climb into the world of the characters, the world in where world is ending. This was because of how the story was told, through the viewpoint of a sixteen-year-old girl/daughter and sister in her diary entries which allows the time span of the story to become a main element. 

Life as we knew it teaches us the readers a lot, or rather reminds us of things we know but let slip, like how we should value shelter and the food we eat and the family we live with. As Miranda's character becomes aware of all these things, she evolves from a selfish teen into a someone who would give their life for the life of others. She learns that to love someone is to let them go, let them do what they need to do or go where then need to be, she learns that the best friends she could have were in her home all along. It is not a love story but a life lesson. There are a range of characters that flitter around the edges of Miranda's world which shows how diverse and different people can be and how something devastating like the death of a friend can completely change a person but also how devastation can hold families together tighter than they've ever been. 

Suspension runs from season to season, month to month, day to day as there is no telling what will happen next, what causes the moons altered orbit is having on the world and if and when the world will end. There isn't really a single point in the book where you want to put this book down and go back to later because the events flow and the problems they face are so constant there is a need to know what is on that next page. As the days go by, conditions become increasingly worse but there are days when their is joy found in their situation and within eachother.

Whist I was right in the middle of the book on one particular night the world which I came to become absorbed in seemed to leak into my reality, there was a black out for a minute or so, I just sat there with my book in my hand waiting and listening, luckily I had a candle going right next to me so I wasn’t freaked out. This night we had a storm, the rain and wind was all I could hear and when I put my book down for the night and checked facebook, I saw someone’s house has flooded and they were struggling to keep water out. It’s kind of funny, not like hysterical funny but weird funny… I’ve always had this really strong feeling that within my life time something terrible like a war or a natural disaster is going to happen (Ice age is what I’ve been betting on if you’re wondering) and there’s all this talk about 2012 (the film which I haven’t actually seen and something about a calendar ending) and I know that’s all spoof and what not.. but maybe there is something behind it all.. maybe there is an end and maybe it’s soon. Funny how a book can get you thinking about so much or rather just provoke the thoughts you already had and push them to the surface. 

It will make you smile and cry and feel things you might have not felt for a while. Life as we knew it shows how many people in our life we will lose along the way and how to deal with their moving away, not knowing where they are now, and even their deaths. It's an emotional one and it's so much more than a story.

Think, how brave would you be in a situation like that? Have you told your loves ones what they mean to you lately? Have you treated them the way they deserve to be treated? Do you value everything you have?

Highly recommended, 5/5!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy it in the company of your love ones.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

5 Movies: The less known and loved

So as a lover of stories, I watch a lot of movies. Kind of like what I do with novels, I end up finding something that I haven't heard of through social media and isn't as well known as well things like The Hunger Games (which we all love but all know right?) .. and sometimes, a lot of the times recently I find myself sat there watching a movie in a different language (with subtitles of course, I unfortunately am only fluent in English, sarcasm and gibberish)... but I stick with them and they almost always give me a pleasant surprise .. so for the winter nights, cosy evenings with the family or on your own.. here are my suggestions of less known movies which I just loved.

1) Upside Down

Ok so I have a feeling this movie is on it's way to being a well known movie and it should, it's bloody amazing, it's like a movie version of my favourite kinds of books - dystopians! It was in Russian, no wait Swedish? one of the two, when I watched it but it's worth a watch. I mean it has Jim Sturgess the dreamy guy from the well known movie version of David Nicholls' One Day (one of my all time favourite movies, but I'll do a blog on that another time) and it has another loved actor of mine as the other main character, Kirsten Dunst.
It's a beautiful love story about two people who live in alternative worlds which are directly above/below eachother.. and they not only defy the laws, but defy gravity to be together.

2) Perfect Sense

Another dystopian genre movie- what can I say I can't get enough of dystopia! This is such a beautiful movie and I don't really know why when I ask people if they've seen it they give me a weird look like 'what that's a title of a movie, I have never once heard of that'.. I realise it only came out last year, but this movie is like perfect and I loved every part of it.
It's about the world ending (in a way) and basically in stages everyone on the planet loses a sense and then another, until they've lost them all and two people who fall in love just as the senses begin to fade. The actors are ones I haven't seen in movies before, but in a way it removes all connotations or links you have with that actor and they were brilliant!

3) Falling Overnight

I think this is on it's way to being big too, so maybe it is known.. but again if i hadn't have stumbled across it I wouldn't have known about it! This movie is a real tear-jerker.. about a boy who is seriously ill and the whole movie is about one night, the night before he has surgery and in that one day... he meets a girl. It's so beautiful and the characters are so real, you know like they aren't actors but people you could know.. and it's just.. yea.. it really gets to you.. especially this part...

because you start to think about your own life, and if that was you tomorrow,  what haven't you done that you had always wanted too?

4) With Every Heartbeat (also known as Kiss Me)

This was another movie I didn't really read the description of and it was in another language but I watched it anyway, and it was beautiful. This is a film about two women falling in love, because a love story is a love story and it's just as emotional. The movie deals with the internal struggle homosexual people have with their views on themselves, with telling their family (acceptance and expectations) and with denial. It just goes to show that you're never truly happy until you are true to yourself.

5) 50/50

Ok so this one is probably pretty well known.. but not as much as some of Joseph Gordon-Levitts other movies (500 days of summer *fan girls*). Now I have to admit I was mostly drawn to this because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt being one of my all time favourite male actors.. but movies that deal with this kind of thing draw me in too. The character Levitt plays has cancer and it follows his journey and the effects it has on the people in his life. It's such an emotional film I was weeping.. it's just one of those films that put everything into perspective... it's so beautiful. It also has Seth Rogan in it, whom I sure you know of he's pretty hilarious and even in this movie he adds a bit of humour.

Ok so there are my five.. of well.. half-known movies haha.. if you have heard of these movies or watched them I would love to know your opinion and if you haven't... add them to your To Be Watched list! (my T.B.W is on my ipod notes, where as my T.B.R is half my book shelf)
I am slowly getting through those TBR.. currently reading another world ending dystopian 'Life as we knew it' and the review should be soon. But I watch movies a lot now, I love all genres it's crazy haha.. so I might start blogging regularly about movies, what do you think?

See you soon for another 5 movies

Happy watching/reading! 


Something I found on tumblr and wanted to share with you... happy sunday!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

A little idea

Hi guys,

So I've had a thought, since reading is much less regular being a student and reviews are slow (even though I have so many books waiting for me to review for you guys.. like sooo many).. but I am also a sucker for a good movie, and I mean I've watch 3 since yesterday (mostly because it's freezing, my shoulder is in pain and I'm just in one of those moods) but I watch movies a fair bit.. all genre's as well.. I'm a secret 'I-watch-horror-movies-in-the-dark-and-alone' girl.. also I have kind of geeky friends and have a love for the avenger-type-iron-man-spidey-green-movies too.. so what would you guys think if I started reviewing the films I watch on here too? I know it won't be reviewing for the companies or anything, but only maybe you guys are movie lovers too (no I don't believe that movies made from books are better because everyone knows that isn't true)... but there are a lot of amazing-and-sometimes-unknown-movies out there!

Tell me what you think!