Showing posts from January, 2014

Friday Funnies: The Best of Looney Tunes

Thanks to everyone who has been following my Looney Tunes posts. When I was putting these posts together, there were a lot of shorts that I wanted to feature. So this week, I am going to showcase a few of the shorts that I would have liked to have shared, but could not find a long enough or decent clip for: The Three Little Bops: Who could forget this awesome Looney Tunes musical number, with the Three Little Pigs taking up Rock and Roll and pitting themselves against a Big Bad Wolf who just couldn't play? One Froggy Evening: Who doesn't love that sneaky (but talented) frog? Tweety and Sylvester's First Pairing: One of many Looney Tunes classics to feature the duo. Foghorn Leghorn opens his mouth and gets proven a fool, yet again: I say boy ... Hippety Hopper: He's just unAustralian. Seriously, had Chuck Jones ever seen a kangaroo? Or know what fair go means? Kiss Me Cat: Who could forget Marc Anthony and his relationsh

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Perfect Ruin  has a brilliant concept, backed up by decent writing and is written by a popular and seasoned YA author, so I am struggling to understand why I did not enjoy this one more. The concept is this: Morgan Stockhour lives in a floating city, basically a part of earth that was snatched up by the Gods and now exists in the sky, detached from the rest of humanity. This small monarchy is heavily regulated to ensure that its people live in perfect harmony and so that it does not become too populated. The most sacred rule of all is that the inhabitants of the city do not stray too close to the edge. And, naturally, there is something strange and exotic that draws many straight to the edge.  As I said, a brilliant concept for a book. Unfortunately, I struggled a little with the telling. In many ways, the obedient and easily frightened heroine who eventually rebels, Morgan, seemed a bit dull and was difficult for me to relate to. Some of the rules that ensured harmony betwee

Writers on Wednesday: Ashley Howland

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I am chatting with Ashley Howland, author of Ghostnapped and The Homework Goblin ... Tell us a bit about yourself … I have two beautiful daughters, who inspire me to write every day. They are always asking for the next book and we love writing together. I hope one day I can publish the books we write. I also have a beautiful Labrador - Stitch, who even has his own blog (Stitch Says for author interviews and reviews). Soon we will be adding a little puppy into the mix. We said goodbye to Obi in 2013, but he and Stitch have provided me with a lifetime of material to write about. I'm sure the puppy will bring his own stories to our lives. In my work I also get random extra Labradors coming to stay. When you combine well trained dogs and creative kids you get chaos. Still it's a fun life and I am so grateful that my girls will grow up with these dogs in their lives. There is nothing better than playing with them all.

Review: The Yearning by Kate Belle

If one was to look only as far as the title, cover and blurb of this one, they could forgiven for thinking that The Yearning  was straight out student-teacher porn. Which is a shame as The Yearning is an absolutely brilliant and sensitively told cautionary tale about the subtle differences between love and sexual desire. The novel opens in a small, Australian town. Our heroine, whose name is not revealed until the very end, is fifteen-years-old and is desperately awaiting her Prince Charming. And then along comes Solomon Andrews, a cool, charismatic twenty-something teacher who moves into the house next door. The heroine develops a crush on her teacher. A more sensible man would have ignored it and allowed the crush to fade away with time. Solomon Andrews on the other hand is, well, a bit of a prick, really. The author does a commendable job of explaining why Solomon is the way he is, his childhood shaped him into a very sexual man whose focus is on pleasure and living in

Review: Confessions of a Wild Child by Jackie Collins

Well. It's not often that I read a book by Jackie Collins. Actually, not often would be closer to never. I bypassed her books during that part of my adolescence (that phase many teenage girls seem to go through of reading sexy, scandalous novels that are well past their years,) favouring the more sinister works of Virginia Andrews (or V.C. Andrews for those of you outside Australia). Anyway, I probably never would have read Ms Collins latest release had I not just happened to see it lying around and had curiosity not gotten the better of me.  And, just a warning. Curiosity kills cats. Fortunately, I don't think that any cats were killed during my reading of Confessions of a Wild Child . However, for someone who was unfamiliar with this author, her work and the series that this is a prequel, this probably wasn't the best book to read. I found the story to be a very shallow and superficial tale of a confident and highly sexualised young woman from a family of shad

Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop!

For the second year running, I am participating in this very awesome Australia Day blog hop which is being hosted by Book'd Out (an awesome blog, check it out if you haven't already). Up for grabs from me is an autographed copy of my novel, Being Abigail , which is about a slightly ... well eccentric young woman and her everyday domestic dramas. It is set in Glenelg, a part of Adelaide that is very close to my heart as my brothers and I were all born there, and is now a popular tourist destination. (But not, you know, because I was born there. That part is pure coincidence.) You can enter by clicking on the rafflecopter widget below. Entry is open to international readers. Don't forget to visit Book'd Out if you haven't already to get a full list of the bloggers who are participating. PS For those of you who are wondering, I'll probably be spending my Australia Day chilling on the back veranda with my laptop (I'm well into the second draft of my

Feature and Follow Friday

Yay! Once again I am participating in Feature and Follow Friday, an awesome weekly meme that is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read  and is designed to help book bloggers meet, connect and basically have a good time whilst talking about bookish things. If this is your first time here, welcome and don't be shy, I love getting comments (but doesn't everyone). And please feel free to take a look around the archive list ... Anyway, it wouldn't be Feature and Follow Friday without a question, so ... What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014? This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer as, for the moment, most of my reading wants and whims have been satisfied. I have finished most of the series that I have been following (or abandoned them out of frustration, i.e. the Matched series by Allie Condie which started good but turned out to be a massive disappointment,) with the exception of Bloodlines, but the next book in that series won&#

Friday Funnies: Duck Amuck

This week, I am paying tribute to one of the finest Daffy Duck cartoons ever made (in my humble opinion, though I suspect a lot of people may agree with me-- read more here ,) Duck Amuck . In this short, which is nearly impossible to find unbutchered or whole on the internet Daffy speaks with an unseen (well until the end,) and antagonistic animator who communicates back via a pencil and paintbrush. It is a simple but brilliant concept and it works well.  I am devoting all of my Friday Funnies posts to Looney Tunes. Feel free to comment by telling me of your favourite Looney Tunes moments or to share any Looney Tunes related clips. 

Writers On Wednesday: M.M. Kin

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I am talking with M.M. Kin, author of the Seeds trilogy, a brilliant take on the myth of Hades and Persephone ... Tell us a bit about yourself … I've always been an avid reader, since I was little. To me, books were a portal to another world, as cheesy as that may sound. Later on, I realised I wanted to make worlds of my own. Tell us about your most recently published, or about to be published, book? I just recently published Seeds Volume 3, the third and final book in my Seeds trilogy. The trilogy itself is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth, with my own twists and additions to it, there were parts of the original myth that always bothered me, or there were gaps in the story that left things unanswered. I have noticed this with other myths though, and my next book explores various world-myths in the form of short stories., with my own twists to them. Tell us about the first time you were publis

1980s Nostalgia: Hunter & Computer Cat ABC Hobart Documentary (2012)

I have to admit, I was absolutely delighted on Wednesday morning last week when the Adelaide Remember When page on facebook shared a link about the ABC children's educational programme Hunter . Like a lot of kids who were born and grew up in the 1980s, I have a lot of fond memories of watching this one in the TV room at my primary school.  Hunter was a bumbling, budding scientist with an interest in how things worked, while his companion, Computer Cat was well, a smug know-it-all. Shortly afterward, someone else shared a link on the page to the above documentary on YouTube. Well worth a watch if you remember the series ...

Review: Vampire Academy: A Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Leigh Dragoon & Emma Vieceli

The Vampire Academy series was just so brilliant that they had to adapt the series in graphic novel format. While some graphic novels can be a bit of a disappointment, Vampire Academy has so much action and a strong visual element which works well within the frame of a graphic novel format. (I suspect this will work very well in the upcoming film adaption too.) Leigh Dragoon has adapted the story into graphic format, condensing it in places and Emma Vieceli's illustrations are brilliant. It was lovely to see her interpretation of what Rose, Lissa and Dimitri all looked like. She also does a great job of illustrating the tiresome Mia as a spoiled little brat (who comes complete with blonde ringlets). It was also great seeing Natalie as a Strigoi.  Obviously, the plot is the same as that of the first book in the Vampire Academy series, with Rose and Lissa being brought back to boarding school after two years on the run. Lissa's talents as a spirit user are slowly expose

Promotional Poster: Cats, Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White

Just wanted to share this small and simple promotional poster that I made for my upcoming novel Cats, Scarves and Liars which I plan to release later this year ... 

Friday Funnies: Porky's Hare Hunt

Here is a bit of random trivia for you. In the 1930s, the most popular Looney Tunes character by far was none other than Porky Pig. A little more aggressive than we know him now (though still with the trademark stutter,) Porky, like many outdoorsy American men of his generation, enjoyed rabbit hunting. And then, along came this cartoon, where Porky is outsmarted by an unnamed rabbit. The character would later become Bugs Bunny (named after the director of this short, Ben "Bugs" Hardaway,) and when his "real" debut came in 1940, he would soon overtake Porky in the popularity stakes. Meanwhile, Porky's occasional sidekick Daffy Duck, who was already building up a following of his own, after his debut in 1937, would soon find himself cast in the role of the best friend and occasional enemy of Bugs, though he continued to be paired off with Porky during the 1950s and 1960s where they would parody popular films and television shows of the times. Through Januar

Writers on Wednesday: H.M.C.

Welcome back to Writers On Wednesday. This week, I put my usual questions the very talented H.M.C. author of White Walls ... Tell us a bit about yourself … I’m an author, teacher, artist, and mum who lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. I adore teaching, it’s such a rewarding job, and I get to hang out with funny people all day. Dancing, drumming, and vegetable patches are some of my other hobbies. My favourite thing to do, however, is to create stories. Tell us about your most recently published, or about to be published, book? My most recent novel is a psychological thriller called, White Walls. It’s a conspiracy novel set in Australia that follows several quirky characters that all end up in the same mental institution. Here’s the blurb: Psychiatrist Jade Thatcher thinks that returning to her small, Australian hometown to start again, will be a healing experience – until her new job p

Review: My Beautiful Suicide

Well, I have to hand it to debut author Atty Eve. She certainly knows how to create a story full of unpredictable, yet believable twists. Much like Kelly Braffet gave the YA/NA a bit of a kick up the bum with her brilliant novel Save Yourself, with My Beautiful Suicide  Atty Eve creates a novel that is challenging, unpredictable and, at times, utterly frightening.  The novel opens on familiar ground, though those with a sound knowledge of English Literature will enjoy the many references to Les Miserables including the names of some of the characters. The heroine is Cozette or Cozy Hugo, a high school junior. Things in Cozy's life are pretty damn ordinary when the novel opens. Her brother, Victor (I'm sure you'll get the reference,) has died under tragic circumstances. Her parents have divorced and Dad has remarried a gold-digger has a new kid and has pretty much forgotten Cozy's existence. Mum doesn't have a lot of time or money--she's working odd hours

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

I picked up Between the Lives a little while ago, after finding it on the discount pile at Kmart. I do not know if other Kmarts do this, or if it is just my local, but sometimes if a book has been sitting on their shelves for a certain amount of time, they mark the price down. If it remains on the shelf, they mark the price down again. And again and again, until you can (sometimes) find a new paperback for a just a couple of dollars. Over the years, I have picked up some very good books this way-- The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmel is one example--and there has been the odd dud. The author of Between the Lives has also already made a bit of a name for herself as the author of a YA paranormal series. So when I saw this book marked down, I thought that I would give it a chance. I won't say that I was disappointed, as the story was interesting enough, though the ending was a bit unsatisfactory.  Sabrine is a young woman with a very interesting problem. She is living two

Friday Funnies: Bugs Bunny & Wile E. Coyote - My Name is Mud

I'm declaring January to be Looney Tunes month. All through January, my regular Friday Funnies posts are going to be devoted to celebrating some of my favourite clips from various Looney Tunes shorts. (Or, at least the ones that I can find on YouTube.) Kicking off, is the final forty-five seconds of Operation Rabbit. While Wile E. Coyote is best remembered for his inability to catch the Road Runner (and not his ability to paint realistic images of tunnels, which I think is a shame, and you can read more about that one here ,) some of his pairings with Bugs Bunny are among the funniest of all Looney Tunes shorts. In these shorts, he speaks with a refined accent (heard only very, very occasionally in the Road Runner cartoons,) and considers himself to be a genius. And there is no doubting that Wile E. Coyote is, in fact, very clever. However, arrogance is the Coyote's downfall (he often fails to check the finer details of his elaborate schemes, or check that the goods he

Review: Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

I am going to be honest here. I bought this one against my better judgement. And I did at least, try to like it. Unfortunately, my better judgement was telling me that such a project, updating Austen's Sense and Sensibility and setting it in modern day England, was foolhardy and a waste of my valuable reading time. But other factors soon came into play. Like the fact that Austen's work has been successfully modernised in the past. The film Clueless is, of course, a modern take on Emma , while Bridget Jones's Diary puts a unique modern spin on Pride and Prejudice . And so, something within me decided to give this one a chance.  And well ... other reviewers may have more positive feelings about the book and are entitled to of course, but for me, the whole thing was a waste of my time and hard-earned money.  Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope is as disappointing Mr Willoughby. For those of you who don't know, Willoughby was the rich, flashy guy who sedu

Writers On Wednesday: Lorraine Cobcroft

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week, I have put my usual five questions to Lorraine Cobcroft, a talented Australian writer, and author of the children's novel The Pencil Case ... Tell us a bit about yourself … I'm mother to three wonderful children; have five grandchildren who are the light of my life; am blessed to have been happily married for over 43 years to the love of my life; and am now happily semi-retired after working in an astonishing variety of jobs but mostly as a technical, business and ghost writer. I now spend my time writing, editing, doing pre-publishing work, reviewing books, mentoring writers, writing courseware for writers, running a writer's community at , and supporting fights against injustice and destruction of the environment. I've been fortunate to experience more diversity in my life than most people ever see; travelling both in Australia and abroad; and living in an army camp, three foreig