Life with two Smalls and a fistful of daydreams


It’s the 24th November and that can only mean one thing – today I am excited to join in the Curiosity Quills team in revealing the cover for Edward Aubry’s Literary-Fiction, Science-Fiction Romance UnHappenings.

unhappenings cover 1000

UnHappenings is scheduled for release on January 8th, 2015  and this stunning cover was designed by Andy Garcia. It is so simple but utterly beautiful and I really love the details in the smashed clock face. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and start reading!

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About UnHappenings:

When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the unhappenings begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice.

Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and alone.

And then he meets Helen.

Brilliant, hilarious and beautiful, she captivates him. But Nigel’s relationships always unhappen, and if they get close it could be fatal for her. Worse, according to the young guide, just by entering Helen’s life, Nigel has already set into motion events that will have catastrophic consequences. In his efforts to reverse this, and to find a way to remain with Helen, he discovers the disturbing truth about the unhappenings, and the role he and his future self have played all along.

Equal parts time-travel adventure and tragic love story, UnHappenings is a tale of gravely bad choices, and Nigel’s struggle not to become what he sees in the preview of his worst self.

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About The Author:

UnHappenings is written by Edward Aubry who is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a degree in music composition.

Edward AubryImprobably, this preceded a career as a teacher of high school mathematics and creative writing.

Over the last few years, he has gradually transitioned from being a teacher who writes novels on the side, to a novelist who teaches to support his family. He is also a poet, his sole published work in that form being the sixteen stanza “The History of Mathematics.”

He now lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife and three spectacular daughters, where he fills his non-teaching hours spinning tales of time-travel, wise-cracking pixies, and an assortment of other impossible things.

Find Edward Aubry Online:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


325novToday we took our Operation Christmas Child boxes to the tiny Methodist chapel in Ellerdine to add them to the collection ready to send off. There are almost 200 boxes there from churches in our local area – that’s an awful lot of love in a box going out to some less well off children in Africa.

326novApparently at forest school today, Tori and her friends did facepainting with charcoal…

327nov

I wore my walking shoes to take Arthur to school this morning (leaving Tori in bed with a raging temperature) and by the time I’d got there they had rubbed my feet so badly I had to call Caius to come rescue me and take me home. Here I am standing on my shoes because I couldn’t bear to wear them any more whilst I waited.

328nov

A day of sleep yesterday seemed to help Tori burn off whatever it was that she had. She was still off her food today but much brighter and her temperature had gone by the end of the day. It was nice to have a quiet day with just her whilst Arthur was at school – I don’t get that very often.

329novWhen I went into Tori’s room this morning, she had put her uniform on all ready for school because she was feeling better and missing her friends.

330novThis little man is being an utter nightmare at the moment. Today he refused to wear anything but shorts and his dressing gown – so that was what he wore to the doctors to get his flu vaccine. Where he ran for the exit as soon as they called his name and screamed his way in to the nurses room… sigh.

331novToday it was the official light switch on in town and the Smalls dance group MDanz performed a couple of times as part of the entertainment. This is taken before Arthur threw a total strop and lobbed his pom-poms in a rage which had everybody chuckling.


Another book I have heard many good things about. A challenging but rewarding book about love against the odds in difficult times, I am excited to read this book having managed to borrow a copy.

There are three covers that I know about, too – and they are all very clever and eyecatching. I think this one is my favourite one though – the colours and text are so striking, they really draw you in.

Blurb:

It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah Dunbar’s first day of school, as one of the first black students at the previously all-white Jefferson High.

No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda Hairston, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist.

Sarah and Linda have every reason to despise each other. But as a school project forces them to spend time together, the less their differences seem to matter. And Sarah and Linda start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re both determined ignore.

Because it’s one thing to be frightened by the world around you – and another thing altogether when you’re terrified of what you feel inside.

What books are you lusting after this week?


Everywhere I go, I see people wearing really cool leggings but whenever I go to buy them I can only find rubbish ones or plain black/brown/blue ones. I have a single pair of slightly jazzy leggings but they’re still mostly just black and white – I have serious legging lust.

5054390046990I love these floral leggings from George at Asda – they are subtle but so very pretty. Great for when you don’t want to be boring but also not too stand-outish.

2013-HOT-Fashion-Sexy-Pirate-Leggins-Galaxy-Pants-PrintingDigital-DEATHLY-HALLOWS-LEGGINGS-For-Women-S106-396The Harry Potter nerd in me really, really wants these Black Milk leggings. And the wand she’s holding, too. She can keep those shoes though.

2013-Women-s-font-b-Leggings-b-font-fashion-new-arrival-brand-milk-font-b-CheshireAnother lot from Black Milk – these Alice in Wonderland inspired leggings are awesome. Not sure I’d be brave enough to wear them but I love them all the same!

DIS023-AWholeNewWorldLegs-1-WEB_1024x1024I love, love, LOVE these Aladdin inspired Black Milk leggings. At first glance they just look like a colourful pattern but closer inspection reveals Raja, Aladdin, Jasmine and Abu details  – very clever and really funky.

by421235lsThese bright Ax Paris Floral Print leggings from Tesco would be perfect for jazzing up a grey day in winter and bringing back memories of the summer warmth. I love how the colours stand out on the black background.


cbaJ‘Brian Jaques’


I have mentioned before that I was (am) a bit of an animal nut and you have probably already noticed that this is reflected in the books that I read.

One of my favourite series was Redwall by the late, great Brian Jaques who still remains on my top ten list of favourite authors even though I haven’t picked up a Redwall book in years.

I loved the epic adventures that the animals in the books went on – it was the beginning of my love affair with epic fantasy in general – I loved the travelling, the landscapes, the battles and the vastness of the world they were in. I had quite a long walk to school and I would often imagine I was off on a Redwall adventure as I walked, lost in the adventure of being a character off on a mission with my supplies and weapons in hand. I had two favourite characters I had created for myself – first there was ‘Chestnut’ the Squirrel who carried a bow and arrow and, obviously, had a thing for climbing trees, but I soon settled on being ‘Nightshade’ the polecat (heavily inspired by the characters and storyline of Outcast of Redwall). I carried on roleplaying my Nightshade character for years – probably until I was about twenty – not just when I was walking, but when I was cooking or anything else that let me wander off into my own head. She has a complete backstory, friends, enemies and all sorts of adventures under her belt and I still hold quite a lot of affection for her even though I (finally) seem to have left her behind me.

It was Redwall that truly inspired my first forages into fan fiction, although at the time I didn’t even know that ‘fan fiction’ was a thing. I tried to write my own Redwall stories using some of Brian Jaques’ characters and some of my own creation and then after a while I just wrote stories of my own starring animals in the style of Redwall but in a world of my own. I seem to remember printing one such ‘book’ out on the computer after spending hours manipulating clip art into it for illustrations.

One of the things anyone who has ever read a Redwall novel remembers is the food. Every single novel in the series involves feasting and food of such epic proportions, described so fantastically you could see it, smell it and practically taste it – I have never come across anything like it in any book since.

I once wrote to Brian Jaques, he is still the only author I have ever sat down and written to outside of competitions and the like. I did get a reply but not from him – he was too ill to reply personally but the response I had was on signed paper and acknowledged what I had written on his behalf. He died not too long afterwards and I think that was one of the first author deaths I ever truly grieved because I had taken so much from him and the knowledge that he was gone hurt me greatly.

I have many memories of spending book vouchers on his books in the local bookshop, I had a list of all the books I had already got and borrowed from the library so I didn’t duplicate anything. I am fairly sure, I still have one somewhere on a bookshelf that I acquired from an ex-boyfriend during college. I should probably ask him if he wants that back…


318nov‘Twas Caius’ birthday today and there was a moustache theme going on – even his cakes had them ;)

319novCaius had the day off today and we took advantage of the child-free time whilst the kids were at school to just relax and have some grown up time. (I won at bowling but he trounced me at Air Hockey afterwards!)

320novI was tired and a bit grumpy today so I made myself the ultimate hot chocolate with cream, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, a shot of gingerbread syrup and a good sprinkle of mixed spice – that worked wonders on cheering me up!

321novThis evening Caius and I set off with Liberty and her boyfriend to go and watch New Old Friends‘ hilarious production of one of my favourite childhood books: The Falcon’s Malteaser. Liberty and I know half the cast from university so it was great to see them loving performing and having a quick catch up after the show.

322novThis wine bottle did not want to give up its contents. Caius really wanted wine. It took maybe fifteen minutes, a chip out of the bottle and a bike pump – but he eventually triumphed ;)

323novChildren In Need day – I accidentally made Tori look like a Spice Girl instead of a superhero…

324novToday was the Birmingham Bokwa BEAT event at Aston University. I wasn’t sure if I was going to hate it or love it but it turns out that sweating to death doing Bokwa in a noisy room with flashy lights and about a hundred other people is actually amazing fun. I came out on a total high but by the time I had sat in the car for an hour on the way home, I had properly started aching. I’m not sure my shoulders are ever going to be the same again after the Punch & Strike session. (The official photos are here if you have no idea what I’m on about!)

 

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Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh

Illustrated by: N/A

Series: Dreamcatcher, Book #1

Published: Curiosity Quills Press, October 2014

Edition: Kindle

Print Length: 206 pages

Narrated By: N/A

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Where Did I Get It? I was kindly sent a copy of the book by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Blurb: Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.  

Opening Line:

Invisible, I leaned against the wall at the back of Eva’s bedroom, waiting for her to fall asleep and for the Nightmares to arrive.


My Review:
It seems like ages ago since I read a really decent YA Paranormal Romance novel. All the ones I have read recently have been off the mark somewhere along the line and left me disappointed. I was beginning to wonder if the genre had lost its sparkle or something until I picked this one up and my faith was restored – I’d just been picking up the wrong books!

I will confess that I chose to read this book based on the cover alone, I didn’t even glance at the blurb (which, for the record, I think gives too much away). The way the people on the front are the only colour against the monochrome and their simple, but hopelessly loving embrace made it clear from the off that there was going to be some romance involved. The super creepy, giant clawed hands surrounding them were intriguing and hinted at something beyond the ‘normal’ world and all put together it had me sold.

The first chapter of Catch Me When I Fall felt a little clunky, with a bit of back filling and fact giving that could possibly have been eased in better elsewhere but plenty happened and the characters were interesting enough that I had no issues with continuing to turn the pages.

Once into its stride, Catch Me When I Fall was fast-paced and full of demon-slaying action which kept you constantly on alert. The ‘Nightmares’ were very effective monsters – the thought of them slithering into your bed at night and forcing nightmares into your head and in doing so, stealing bits of your memories and soul is positively creepy. They were well thought out and it was great to have something other than vampires or werewolves being the main threat in a book.

The romance between Daniel and Kayla was very satisfying – they were clearly meant for each other but that didn’t stop them having insecurities and arguing when things got stressful and scary. It was a very natural romance and it made a nice change to not be a love triangle with the main character choosing between two potential ‘mates’. There was awkward history between Daniel and another character but again it was naturally handled and not a major plotline – just enough to show that the characters had normal relationships and lives.

Whilst I loved Catch Me When I Fall, it missed out on a star for the awkward first chapter and also the fact that as much as I loved it, the ending felt a bit rushed. The big closing battle was just getting started and then it finished – I’m not sure why, but it just seemed very sudden. I wanted a couple more pages of action before the end played out, it almost felt as if it was cut short in order to make the cliff hanger ending more effective but instead it just felt a little forced.

That being said, I will be looking up book two when it comes out because I really want to know what happens next!

My Rating: 4/5*


MamaMummyMum

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