Book Angel Booktopia

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Get Organised with Serendipity Viv

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Just to show how amazingly unorganised I am – thanks to gmail’s new INBOX addition I came across a pile of email that hadn’t been actioned including a number of feature posts  😳 colour me embarrassed. So apologies to everyone that I misplaced the posts but now you get to enjoy them.

serendipityreviewsheaderViv is an amazing person and one I admire greatly. Here are some of her tips to stay organised:

Top Ten Tips for Being Organised

Firstly I would like to say I am not really that organised. Though reading through this list might make me sound a little OCD, but I just look for ways of making my life work better so that I am not constantly reacting to situations. I want my life to be proactive!

1) Put all dates in one diary. That might sound strange but I have been known to end up with a couple of diaries but I have since learnt my lesson and only use the one. I write down the dates of everything so I can keep track of what the whole family is doing.

2) A blogging day a week. I write all my blog posts for the week in one day. I find it makes my life easier. Since I am now writing full-time, I devote just one day to the blog and I write all my posts and schedule them in advance.

3) Make a list. Every day has a list of things that need to be done.

4) Colour coordinate your list. This may sound naff but I like to colour my lists so I know instantly if it is a writing, home, children or blog job that needs to be done.

5) Stop checking your emails. I have made the decision to only answer my emails during the first hour I am at my desk. Otherwise I find I don’t get anything done. Emails usually require you to do something, so they get a scheduled time during my day, if they aren’t completed they go to the top of the list for the next day.

6) Internet food shopping. This is my guilty pleasure. I only enter supermarkets during Christmas week, the rest of the time I order online. I only order what I need, so I save money too.

7) Plan your meals out. I do this at the same time as I write my shopping list.

8) Get everything organised the night before. This has been instilled into my brain by my mother. I try and get everything ready for the morning otherwise my house would be mental!

9) Plan my chapters. I make a mind map of chapters usually the night before, thus allowing me to jump right in and write them the next morning.

10) Block my writing time. I have to put my writing into hour blocks these days as I am too easily distracted by the internet. During those hours I am not allowed to check Twitter, Facebook or emails.

Tantalising Trailers: Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

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Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
Author: Todd Hasak-Lowy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 23 April 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads

Darren hasn’t had an easy year.

There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.

Then one Thursday morning Darren’s dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.

Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy’s debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:

1. painful
2. unavoidable
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.

Spotlight: Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch by Emma Cane

spotlight (2)

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch

A Valentine Valley Novel
Emma Cane

On-sale 4/28

The only thing hotter than a cowboy…
Math teacher Lyndsay De Luca never surprised anyone-least of all herself-until this summer. First, she secretly published her debut romance novel. Then she started dating Will Sweet, the cowboy of her dreams. And now Lyndsay’s scrambling to hide the juiciest tidbit of all: that the hazel-eyed hero of her steamy fiction is the same guy whose kisses have become her mind-blowing reality. 

Is a cowboy in love.
Ever since Will’s high school sweetheart died in a tragic accident, he hasn’t been able to commit to a long-term relationship. Lyndsay is the first woman in years who’s been able to catch-and keep-his attention. She’s fascinated by his work at Sweetheart Ranch, and a glance from her gorgeous brown eyes sends Will’s thoughts wandering. Will she be the one to finally break down the walls around his guarded heart?  

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Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies. Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.

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WHICH CHARACTER WOULD YOU BE???

Spotlight: Under the Influence by Jeff Povey

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Book Angel Booktopia welcomes Jeff Povey today to discuss the books that have influences him the most. What did you think I meant when I said Under The Influence 😉

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

I started reading books when everything was steam powered and the best place to find a book was the local library.  You could buy paperbacks in Woolies or the local newsagent but there wasn’t the huge volume of books or the accessibility there is now.  Which made a trip to the Library last for hours.  You had to get the perfect book.  I used to walk there and back so that was a round trip of over a mile!  But I also traipsed a mile back and forth down the aisles looking and hoping to find the right book.  I always loved fiction, factual never quite transported me far enough.  I needed to enter a world and live in that world for as long as the book lasted.

Image from World of Blyton

Image from World of Blyton

So the first books were Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series.  Five do this… Five do that… A gang of children, a dog and secret coves and adventures that usually paused for a picnic that any kid would kill for.  But the main thing was the gang and their dog Timmy.  I wanted to be in that gang so badly.

We then started getting the chance to buy books at a school book club.  And these were brand new.  No one had touched these paperbacks and I can still remember the first book I ordered.

Source - Google Images

Source – Google Images

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I had no idea what it was about when I bought it but I had this instinct that it was going to be the one for me.  We didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have blogs or any form of social media so gut instinct or a possible recommendation from a relative or friend was all we had.  I don’t ever recall posters telling me to buy some five star spellbinding novel or an advert on the telly telling me to do the same.

And that in itself was a purity of sorts.  I had little money so I had to guess right, that this would be the book that would be worth the week it took me working as a delivery boy for the local chemists to pay for it.  And was it ever worth it?  I loved that book.  I was about 12 I think and I was transported.  And better than that my best mate McEwen had two sequels sitting on his family’s bookshelf.  Just so you know family bookshelves were more of a dirty secret, hidden away in a corner, or stood up on a sideboard away from the main action of the house.

Source - Google Images

Source – Google Images

So it’s pretty clear I like adventures stories and I like groups of characters.  Which is when Lord of the Flies entered my world.  For years this was the best book ever written.  Real and tragic and full of characters I loved and hated – and wept for.  It was the Famous Five but with guts and blood and a horrible reality.  I will never, ever forget that book.

Source - Google Images

Source – Google Images

Which strangely led me to Of Mice and Men.  A story of two outsiders and their doomed friendship.  But full of character and dialogue that was as real as real. They spoke words that told me exactly who they were and more importantly what they were.  To this day I don’t believe anyone ever knows a character properly until they open their mouths and speak.  Action and deed are vital components but I want to know what’s in their minds and their hearts and I don’t want to be told it, I want to hear it.  I want them to talk to ME.

James Bond loomed large when I got to about 14 years old.  I read every single one of those books, all borrowed from the Library, and I think I went there every Saturday to borrow a new one.  I read the first one out of order but then I went through them chronologically.  They were all better than the films.  Easily so.  Because they put much better pictures in my head than any film could.  Here’s the thing with libraries, you never wanted to get fined for bringing a book back late.  It was only pennies but there was the condemning frown from the Librarian to deal with.  So rather than buying eight books and having them sitting by your bed I had one book and I read it as quickly as I could.  James Bond helped because there was no real let up in the stories, it was a page turner.  I couldn’t put them down.

I’m now pretty much defining myself through some of the key books I read.  I’m not going to lie, I want to be entertained and characters have to engage me. So when comics started appearing in the newsagents, Marvel and DC was all you could have apart from World War Two soldier booklets, I discovered even more characters.  They had speech bubbles and thought bubbles and they were always fighting for the good of mankind in an unrelenting battle between very good and very evil.  There was no real blurring of those lines but I loved that they could all do something special, or just be strong or fast etc.  But what those comics taught me more than anything was the Cliffhanger. Almost every one of them ended at the most crucial and dramatic moment of peril or revelation that the writers and artists could conjure up.  And I fell for it every time, impatiently waiting a week, or even a month for the next one to arrive. It may well be the most potent trick I ever learned and it came from Stan Lee of all people.  Leave the reader on a knife edge, take them on a ride and then delay the big ending as much as you can, twist a reader inside out and let them live the characters journey.  And best of all – tell it visually.

This relentless approach to cliffhangers must have taken a lot of plotting and planning.  It didn’t happen by luck and chance and there again is another cog settling in to my make up as an author.  Every chapter I write has to end in such a way that it makes you instantly want to start the next one.  The first two books in my YA Shift series have MAJOR CLIFFHANGERS.  The third one may have one but only because I think there are more than three books.  At the moment I don’t know but even though I know how the trilogy ends I also have an epilogue in mind that could invoke further novels.

I’ve written about the books I read in my earlier years because they have remained the most potent in my memory.  But they have also helped create the author I am.  I pin everything on characters and dialogue.  I plot mini cliffhangers and I love a world where the rules have changed.  Some say my world is dystopian but I’m more interested in slightly altering the familiar and telling you that things don’t always have to be the way we know them to be.  In my personal life I crave change and I don’t respect rules and I will defy the every day at every turn.  This is in no small part due to the books and comics I read.  They filled my head with wonder and that has never left me.

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Just when you thought the apocalyptic detention was over…Having fought their way back to what they believe to be their home world, Rev, GG and The Ape discover that they’re now stuck in the nightmarish world of doppelgangers, surrounded by a town of super-powered killing machines. Johnson, Billie and the Moth are still trapped in the empty world. Alive, but with no way home. Can Rev get the misfits back together? And even if she can will she be able to do it before the world ends. Time is running out…And believe it or not that’s the least of their problems.

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Words of Love: Jason to Whitney from The Wedding Date by Yolanda Allen

words of love

Poem from Jason to Whitney

The One I Adore

Your smile lights the darkest corners of my heart

When we’re together I never want us to part

Just a kiss from you brightens up my day

I trust all that you do and the things you say

You have the magic to bring imaginary real to life

I’ll give my love to you , take you to a place beyond paradise

Your world of pleasures I have longed to explore

You have all I need and you’re the one I adore

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Received from Author

Received from Author

 The Wedding Date

New Adult Contemporary Romance Novella
Approx. 115pgs
For Mature Audiences 18+ due to strong language and sexual content

Jason Tuckerman is tired of being the single guy at the family functions, but the only woman he wants on his arm is engaged to another man. His brother’s wedding is in two weeks, and he wishes his best friend, Whitney Ryan, would go with him.

After moving to New York to be with her fiancé, Brent, he breaks up with her! Now Whitney’s stuck in a lease with a man who doesn’t want her, and can’t see any way out. She’s drowning her sorrows at a bar when she thinks of Jason, and after too many cocktails, decides to give him a fateful call.

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Author Bio

Yolanda Allen known to her friends as Yogi is an author, poet, actress and a certified Accessory Junkie! She was born and raised in Georgia and considers herself a natural born storyteller. Yolanda typically writes contemporary new adult fiction in different genres including romance, paranormal romance, and women’s fiction/chicklit.