Saturday, 7 January 2017

NEW WEBSITE

Hi all!!!

I just wanted to let you know my website is now up and running....

My Novelesque Life

Pleas remember to follow me on my new website :)

k

Friday, 2 December 2016

Happy December and the Countdown to Christmas!



Happy December!

Ahhhh, the air outside is getting nippy and I am excited.  I get to pull out the toques, warm scarves, big jackets and oodles of blankets!  This weather is great for reading...with a steamy cup of tea.  I am also feeling a bit better having put up most of my Christmas decorations before December 1st.  Now to focus on making my Christmas cards.  It was great seeing people's faces when they opened them last year, so am really stoked to make them again.  I am in pretty good shape so on to making my Christmas book and movie list.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Charles Dickens)
-I have seen many movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol but my two favourite versions are the 1938 and 1951.  Alstair Sims and Reginald Owens are fabulous in their roles as Scrooge so I usually alternate each year on which movie I watch...and sometimes I watch both...one earlier in the month and the other on Christmas Eve.  Before the days of DVDs and Streaming I would watch whatever version they played on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Chanel) at midnight on Christmas Eve.  This year I will be adding the animation version (2009) starring Jim Carey to my viewing...I saw a few minutes of it last year and I am intrigued. I read A Christmas Carol for the first time several years ago and LOVE the book.  I picked up an audiobook of Laurence Olivier performing the book so am really excited to read this classic again this year. 

LITTLE WOMEN (Louisa May Alcott)
-I feel in love with Little Women many moons ago.  I love the characters and writing so it is very easy to reread this classic.  I will also be listening to this on audio...but have not picked any particular version.  I love the 1933 version of Little Women because Katharine Hepburn is the best Jo in my opinion! I also do like the 1949 version, but can't buy June Allyson as Jo at all.  I am also a big fan of the 1994 version as it features many great actresses and actors.  I have not seen the 1994 version in two years so will probably give that one a go.

A CHRISTMAS STORY (Jean Shepherd)
-I saw A Christmas Story for the first time just last year.  I really enjoyed it and was happy to learn that it was based on a book! And, by great chance one of my groups on Goodreads picked it as the monthly read.  My library doesn't have a copy but there is an audio version (not sure if unabridged) on YouTube I will give a go.

I scoured my book lists and shelves and have added Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory  and also a "sequel" to A Christmas Carol, Charlie Lovett's The Further Adventures of Ebenezer ScroogeA Christmas Memory has also been adapted to a film, so will see if I can find that to watch.  I also would like to read Jo's Boys and Little Men also by Louisa May Alcott if there is any time.  I would also like to read Silent Nights  and  Crimson Snow Edited by Martin Edwards (short stories). 

For movies and shows just some on my radar...How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original animation version), Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas in Connecticut, It Happened on 5th Avenue, Holiday Affair, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Man Who Came for Dinner, The Holiday, Love Actually,  Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, etc.

Tomorrow I will have a review for SANTA KLAUS MURDER by MAVIS DORIEL HAY.

k (My Novelesque Life)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

GUEST POST: All about Adverbs (Holly Tierney-Bedord)

GUEST POST: All about Adverbs 
 by Holly Tierney-Bedord

Something readers may not know is that writers get a lot of pressure to avoid using adverbs. Even though adverbs fill our conversations, relying on them when writing a book is not considered good practice.

First of all, let’s remind everyone what an adverb is.

ad·verb
noun
Grammar
noun: adverb; plural noun: adverbs
  1. a word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree, etc. (e.g., gently, quite, then, there ).


(Is it weird that an adverb is a noun?)

To simplify matters, an adverb modifies a verb. Adverbs often end with the letters ly. Just like a verb can tell you what a noun did (The dog ran.), an adverb tells you how the verb did it (The dog ran slowly. The dog ran quickly.)
What editors will tell you is that much of the time, if you used an adverb, it’s because you used the wrong verb in the first place. Back to that dog. If he ran slowly, that means he trotted. Or staggered. Or loped. If he ran quickly, you could write that he raced or shot across the room.

Here’s a paragraph about why adverbs aren’t your friend. What could you cut from it to make it clearer and stronger?

You should really clean up those totally useless adverbs! You seriously don’t need them. They’re just another way to easily puff up your writing. Despite what your fourth grade teacher told you about writing book reports, more words aren’t necessarily better. Adverbs can absolutely be necessary, and since people rely on them pretty often in their natural speech and informal times like when they send an email, readers are used to seeing them so it’s not actually hurting anything to leave them in sometimes. The trick is knowing when to leave them in and when to simply press the delete button. So remember: If a sentence would lose meaning by deleting the adverb, then it logically makes more sense to leave the adverb in place. But if you want to carefully edit down your work now and then and really make it a little clearer, try eliminating some adverbs and see if your work isn’t stronger without them.



Okay, I’m going to sit here and drink some coffee while everyone works on this. Who am I kidding? As if people use the internet to learn!

Are you ready? I think this entire paragraph can be whittled down to the following:

Eliminate unnecessary adverbs to streamline and strengthen your writing.

If that’s too whittled down for you, how about this:

You should really clean up those totally useless adverbs! You seriously don’t need them. They’re just another way to easily puff up your writing. Despite what your fourth grade teacher told you about writing book reports, more words aren’t necessarily better. Adverbs can absolutely be necessary, and since people rely on them pretty often in their natural speech and informal times like when they send an email, readers are used to seeing them so it’s not actually hurting anything to leave them in sometimes. The trick is knowing when to leave them in and when to simply press the delete button. So remember: If a sentence would lose meaning by deleting the adverb, then it logically makes more sense to leave the adverb in place. But if you want to carefully edit down your work now and then and really make your work it a little clearer, try eliminating eliminate unnecessary adverbs and see if your work isn’t stronger without them.

These changes translate to this:

Despite what your fourth grade teacher told you about writing book reports, more words aren’t necessarily better. If a sentence would lose meaning by deleting the adverb, then it makes sense to leave the adverb in place. But if you want to make your work clearer, eliminate unnecessary adverbs.

Better, right?


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Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of Surviving Valencia, Right Under Your Nose, Ring in the New Year, Bellamy’s Redemption, and many more books. Her newest novella Murder at Mistletoe Manor is her first cozy mystery. All her books contain far too many adverbs.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

PUBLISHER INKITT LAUNCHES IOS APP

I like new reading/book apps so I am always up to download free apps to see how they are.  I have not tried this one yet, but wanted to share it with you all as it launched yesterday.  I will do another post once I download and use this app! If you do so before me, let me know what you think!

PUBLISHER INKITT LAUNCHES IOS APP
Inkitt, the world’s first algorithm-based book publisher, is introducing an iOS app for iPhone and iPad available to readers globally today. In less than 2 years from launch, Inkitt has attracted over 700,000 unique readers: the iOS app will give book lovers and publishers greater access to Inkitt’s digital library of over 80,000 stories by up-and- coming authors.

“As more people read digitally we want to make it easier and faster for people to access great literature wherever they are, whether on the go or relaxing at home,” says Inkitt’s Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz. “Inkitt’s iOS app will better enable emerging authors to share their work with test readership groups and give readers globally the opportunity to turn the page on one of the world’s next best sellers.”

Key features include:

● Access to 80,000 stories in every genre: fantasy, sci-fi, romance, thriller, horror,

adventure, action and more

● Personalized suggestions: hand-picked novels based on reader’s preferences

● App customization according to user preferences (e.g. font size, colors)

● Online/Offline: readers can save novels to their offline library to access them without

an internet connection
Beyond being a platform connecting authors and readers, Inkitt has developed an in-house algorithm that analyzes reading behavior to determine if a novel has the potential to become a bestseller. Using this unique data-driven approach, Inkitt aims to help emerging writers achieve their dreams of getting published by becoming a point of reference for publishers looking to uncover the world’s next best sellers. Back in April, Inkitt announced the signing of the platform’s first algorithm-chosen novel, Bright Star, a Young Adult fantasy novel written by Texan author Erin Swan and signed for publication with Tor Books. Since July, Inkitt has published another 3 novels: Catalyst Moon: Incursion by Lauren L. Garcia (Fantasy), Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan (YA Romance) and I Was A Bitch by Emily Ruben (YA Romance Mystery). Both Just Juliet and I Was A Bitch became bestellers in their respective categories upon launch. (From Press Release)
Download APP Now!

Introducing Inkitt for iOS: Read great novels by up-and-coming authors on your iPhone and iPad from Inkitt - The Hipster's Library on Vimeo.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

MUST READ: Beautiful Fairytale Picture Book


BABY YAGA
Written and Illustrated by An Leysen
September 2016; 32 Pages
Clavis
Genre: fairy tales, picture book, children's book

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★★

"Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, lived a girl named Olga. Olga lived with her father in a beautiful house, and they were very happy together. Until Olga’s father one day fell in love again … His new wife was cruel and mean. And her sister Baba Yaga, who lived in a dark forest, was even meaner. Baba Yaga was a real witch! There was a rumor she was fond of children … on her plate! One day Olga’s stepmother sent her to Baba Yaga. What was she supposed to do now?
Baba Yaga, the witch from Slavonic mythology is coming alive in this fairy tale. An Leysen takes you on a journey in an imaginative story about a wicked witch and a sweet and brave little girl." (From Publisher)
Image from Baba Yaga

 Clavis is soon becoming one of my favourite picture book publishers.  The artwork in these books are mind-blowing.  I would these pictures up on my wall.  The images in this book will have you have mesmerized, as will the story.  Some of images and story may scare younger kids.  I would say this story is for kids about 5-6 with the aid of an adult.  I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone.

k (My Novelesque Life)
 

Picture Book Parade!




MARGO THINKS TWICE
Written and Illustrated by Monica Arnaldo

October 2016; 32 Pages
Owlkids Books
Genre: anxiety, picture book, children's

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)
 

★★1/2

Margo's mother warns her to be careful in her activities, and Margo thinks about the worst-case scenario.  Over the day she becomes anxious until her mother admits that they are allowed to be messy.  I really like the pictures in this book and the message the author was trying to come across.  I do not think anxiety in kids is discussed much in mainstream.  Having had anxiety as a child I wish there books to say you are not alone.  However, I don't think the message came across that great in the story.  There is not much build up and has an abrupt ending. 


MOVE IT, MISS MACINTOSH
Written by Peggy Janousky
Illustrated by Meghan Lands
October 2016; 32 Pages
Annik Press
Genre: picture book, children's, school anxiety

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)
 

★★★★

It is the first day of school and Miss. Macintosh does not want to teach kindergarten.  The principle and all the teachers come over and get her out of the door - dressed and ready to catch the bus.  When she gets to school she realizes she may not be the only one who is nervous about the first day.

Love the illustrations in this book!  I like the twist in the story where it is the teacher, instead of the student, that is nervous about attending school for the first time.  It is a cute and fun story for any tot heading to school.


MAGGIE MCGILLCUDDY'S EYE FOR TROUBLE
Written by Susan Hughes
Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
October 2016; 32 Pages
Kids Can Press
Genre: picture book, children's

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)
 

★★★★

Maggie McGillcuddy is unlike anyone in the neighbourhood.  She has an eye for trouble that no one else can see.  Then Charlie moves in next door and has an imagination as big as Maggie.  Maggie and Charlie are able to keep the bad things away that are in their imagination, but it is Maggie to the rescue when there is real trouble for Charlie.

I loved the relationship between Charlie and Maggie - reminds me of me and my Bibi.  I think sometimes the elderly and children have a special bond because they have the ability to see beyond the usual. I highly recommend this book!


SOLUTIONS FOR COLD FEET AND OTHER LITTLE PROMBLEMS
Written and Illustrated by Corey Sookocheff
October 2016; 48 Pages
Random House Publishing; Tundra
Genre: picture book, children's

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)
 

★★★

This is a cute book looking at how kids can problem-solve.  The pictures are just okay - they are very simple and might not engage children.  The story is also very simple, but is a great conversation starter with kids.   


MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY
Written by Pamela Hall
Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
October 2014; 32 Pages
Tanglewood Press
Genre: picture book, children's

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)
 

★★★★

 As Walnut eats his cereal in the morning he asks his mother if they can stay home together.  He regales her with all the fun things they could do.  Walnut's mother explains to him that she needs to go to work to pay for their home, and all the things he loves.  She also tells him that when she misses him at work she has pictures of him everywhere.  So in compromise he asks for his mother's pictures when he is at school and misses her. 

Soooooo adorable!  I love the illustrations in this one - it fits the characters and story.  I also liked that this book has a single mother that is the breadwinner in the family.  Just an adorable book for kids who have wondered what mom/dad does without them.


k (My Novelesque Life)