Novel and Graphic Novel Giveaway!!!

Hi Guys!

Today I have an awesome giveaway for you all and I’m actually giving away 2 books! I’m giving away Scarred for Life by Kerry Wilkinson and Kick Ass 3 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr (covers featured below).

There will be two winners, one for each book. Find out how to enter below!

Scarred for life by kerry wilkinson

Kick Ass 3 By Mark Millar and John Romita JR

Scarred for Life is a thriller crime novel, the 9th in the Jessica Daniels series. Centered around the death of a student but this is only one of the problem’s she’s facing right now!
Kick Ass 3  is the culmination of the series and includes the final 8 comics with in it. Are you desperate to find out what happens to Hit Girl? And is Kick Ass’ doubt too much to over come?
To enter you must be:
-A European Resident
-18 or above (or have your parent’s permission to release your address)
Please note that your address will be passed on to the relevant publisher as they will send the book from their office, this allowed me to open the giveaway further than just UK residents. Your information will not be passed to any other third parties or used for anything else.
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to contact me through the comment system on this blog or via my twitter @KyraWolf289.
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Continue Reading

The Author is Dead, the Reader’s a Ghost, but the Work is Alive and Well.

“Once an action is recounted, for intransitive ends, and no longer in order to act directly upon reality — that is, finally external to any function but the very exercise of the symbol — this disjunction occurs, the voice loses its origin, the author enters his own death, writing begins.” – Roland Barthes, The Death of the Author (1967).

One thing that’s really been bothering me recently is the phrase that I’ve entitled this blog: “The Author is Dead, the Reader’s a Ghost, but the Work is Alive and Well.”

Now, it bother’s me more so, not because I said this to myself while reading an assortment of Barthes’ essays on narrative, authorship and the materiality of work, but because to an extent I believe it. It bothers me that I believe this statement but the actuality of the matter is that I do and as I’m typing this I’m frowning because my internal consciousness is raging so hard at how much it disagrees with this statement on principle. So I should probably contextualise everything and I’m going to address each part in sequence to do so.

  1. “The Author is Dead”
This stems quite directly from The Death of the Author as the quote about states for writing to begin the author must die – not literally. When Barthes talks about death he means not the ceasing of life (if anything he means the opposite) but that in order for a work to be given the merit is deserves it must stand independent from its writer. To some extent I agree with this statement especially in a world were celebrity culture overrides good literature. People receive book deals based on the knowledge that it will sell either due its popularity of style or the fan base of the author. Literary exceptionality is thrown out of the window or put aside for a very niche audience to only be discovered later in its existence (though some would argue this is the perpetual melancholy of the dead author).
  1. “The Reader’s a Ghost”
The ever-present reader. The pinnacle one which the act of reading is uplifted and without such the industry would collapse. However, when an author writes they must give up their claim to their creation upon commencement as a fully fledged work in its own right. In this same way the reader is simultaneously dead, during the writing process, and alive, during the reading process. Even though it is the readers who will decide the merit of a book it is not necessarily who the book itself is written for. When an author writes, truly writes, it is because they either have something they wish to say or an idea they just need to interweave within words. The reader is a constant at the back of their mind, no doubt, but more a ghostly whisper than an infant crying.
  1. “The Work is Alive and Well”
Barthes’ separates the concepts of both “work” and “text”. In their simplest forms; “work” describes the physical form of a creation, while “text” is the ongoing creative process and can span an entire body of work (this is a very short and narrow description on which Barthes expands much further). So in this respect I should probably say “The Text is Alive and Well” but, when thinking through Barthes’ logic, is a self-evident and constant state of being for the Text. What I mean by saying that the work is alive, is that it is constantly expanded on. Through the mediums of critique, adaptation and fanfiction (yes adaptation and fanfiction are different), the work is in a constantly changing and collaborative state. It is self-evolving; the ricochet effect of each new piece that is added to the world of the work further molds and affects the way in which others are then created.

To conclude, I believe this probably extents further than the creation of writing and act of reading. I don’t for one second consider this a theory or a fully-fledged argument as I am aware there are flaws to some of the logic and areas I haven’t fully given thought on. However, this is what has been whirling around in my brain for a little while and – like any dead author – I thought I better write it down.

So this is very different to what I usually write. I’d like to hope it has a little more intellectual flare to it, but I could be wrong. What I’d really love is for anyone interested or in refute o my arguments to comment below and let me know your thoughts; both on the blog and if you would like me to do more in this style of writing.

Continue Reading

Books: The ‘Undead’ Media

“Printed books have been wrongly declared dead or dying so many times before that I think we can be completely confident of their survival, forever undead.” Lisa Gitelman, What are Books.

 

The book has, in the past few years, evolved beyond expectation and yet remains somewhat behind the idea of the digital age when compared with other forms of entertainment. Because on the surface that is what a book is for – the consumption of content, either fictional or factual, for the purpose of either providing information or for enjoyment. Since various scholars, authors and publishers have had a crack at what they thought about the future of the book, I thought I’d have my say too.
So there are 3 things you need to know before I begin:
    1. The printed book ain’t going nowhere.

 

  • All novels are books, but not all books are novels.
  • Books aren’t undead. They’re alive and kicking.


 

My main concern is not about what is better, the ebook or the physical book, (though if asked, I answer physical book) but the question behind this: Why does it matter? Not only this but what makes the digital vs physical antitheses rather than complementary? And where do audiobooks fit in on this scale?
 
Why should people prescribe to one side of the fence or another? The reason being is that large corporations have no iota of care for the integrity of the book industry. They only want to sell books as vastly, quickly and cheaply as possible. As a result, this means that those who prefer the feel of a hardback cover to slide through fingers as they remove the dust jacket to avoid creasing it will have to pay several pounds extra for the luxury, while those who prefer a digital copy will only have to worry about their screen cracking.
 
In my eyes it is only a matter of time before books do what the visual industry did and combine their sales. ‘Wanna buy a book for a friend? Pay slightly extra and we’ll give you a free ebook copy for yourself!’ Before we know it audio, physical and digital will become the combined sales package, and why not? But will people really want that?
 
If you’re like myself, then you make prefer the physical book. Being able to browse lazily through your shelves until you hear the faint pulse of a hidden gem that you bought several months ago but didn’t have time to read at that moment. But, equally, you may also find the value of having an ebook copy for textual analysis. I buy every single one of my course texts physically, though I can guarantee I’ll be looking for free editions on kindle within a few weeks when I start writing an essay so I can search for keywords.
 
I guess my point is that each medium has its own qualities that make it useful.  I know for a fact if I could buy a book and have the ebook copy included for a slightly higher price, than I would definitely choose that option, knowing I could buy gifts for friends and have to book myself to discuss later. Reading is an equally solitary and communal act, depending on how you choose to partake in the experience.
 
Scholarly retention of information suggests that to have a functioning archive everything must be written down and recorded, though the web through a kink in that. So if we can store all information online, what is the need to rip down trees and print the words again? There is every reason. Backups, upon backups upon backups. Printing is the archaic backup.  Though it would be a great loss to have all digital only books washed from existence at the touch of a button, it would be a far greater loss if we did not have physical backups for scientific innovations and historical events.
 
By no means are books the undead. They are living, functioning and better than ever. Because books don’t just exist on pages. They exist on our computers, in our libraries, and most importantly in our minds. As long as people are reading, why should it matter which medium they decide to do it through?
Continue Reading

Mortality and a Car Crash

Happy new year all. This will be my first post in 2015, sorry it’s not totally book related, I want to branch out this year!
Tonight I find myself blogging about something entirely un-book related.  On Friday 16th Jan night  at roughly 7:30pm, I was driving along and suddenly I felt my body float across the road. My car had skidded on black ice. I felt my car move as if it were my own body; wheels sliding like feet across the ice and the complete loss of physical stability. My fingers powerless at the steering wheel as it turned in one direction while the car glided the other. Everything from that moment instantaneously slows but despite the damage to the car, both I and my boyfriend walked away unscathed.
I keep replaying the moment. What I could have done differently. I could have let me boyfriend drive, but then what’s to say that it wouldn’t have happened anyway. I could have driven slower, but I was already driving way below the speed limit. I could have done a multitude of things but looking back in retrospect isn’t going to disappear the experience or the mounting bill for car repairs. Thankfully the car still worked and was minimally damaged so we spent three hours warmly watching BBC iPlayer while we waited for recovery.
The entire thing left me thinking about mortality and the reality of how anything can happen to anyone at any moment. I’m not trying to up play the incident. Yes – it was terrifying. Yes – I will be driving with a lot more apprehension but I still know there was little I could do with something that I had no control over. And it’s a far better outcome than many people could hope for.

 

But it does make me think about the verisimilitude that comes with the mantra Carpe Diem. Though I will always be a worrier, I’m hoping I’ll worry a little less because I know first-hand that even if you take all the precautions and try to live to the letter not everything is going to work out how you expect. You can be prepared for a wreckage and you may never see one coming, you may get a few dints along the way but ultimately all you can hope for is a smooth ride.
Continue Reading

Review: Hot Secrets By Lisa Renee Jones

Hot Secrets By Lisa Renee Jones

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

★★☆☆☆

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)

Royce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hand’s off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivaled by the passion burning between them. And that passion, might just be the death of them both.

Review

For me this book was a bit of a dud. I liked the premise but I’m tired of reading adult fiction that makes all women seem like the broken ones who need a strong alpha man to make them whole or bring out their spark. There needs to be more literature of this genre that shows independent women who take control and maybe take the man by surprise (if this exists and I haven’t found it let me know!) I liked the difference of the story though, that’s what pulled me through to the end. There wasn’t anything to do with a man who’s wealth gives him the right and ability to have any which woman, but instead a military, hard working and caring (despite his brutish attitude) man. Lauren’s character is very stereotypical of the person who’s brought up with wealth but wants to prove they are capable of doing things themselves, this gives her a naive sense of security which the novel shakes up.

This is what I call shitlit. If you’re tired or you want to take a break this is an ideal read, but don’t be ready to come away from it questioning your moral philosophy on life.

Continue Reading

Review: “Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

“Make Good Art” Speech – By Neil Gaiman

Reading as part of Bout of Books 11.0 – http://youtu.be/abRhDqdEbgM?list=UUUW-tJMSwdZmxAMkpXzd0uQ

Video – http://vimeo.com/42372767

★★★★★

Find the book here! 

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)
In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman stood at a podium at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts to deliver the commencement address. For the next nineteen minutes he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength: he encouraged the students before him t

o break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to make good art.

Review
This book is an creative adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech for University of the Arts in 2012. I will say now to anyone who is interested in going in to a creative field that you should read/watch this little piece of inspiration, because Neil Gaiman is as articulate as ever in giving advice on the arts. He goes through his story in brief of how he went straight from school and started writing as much as he could, to where he is now. It’s a brilliant piece of verbal literature and it definitely got me thinking more about what I want to write and how I want to go about it.
Also I want to commend Chip Kidd who did the graphic design for the book that added an extra element of creative process and thinking that without so would have completely changed my perception of the book.
Continue Reading

Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

★★★★★

Find the book here! 

Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads):

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more – he had the love of Merrin Williams, a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

Then beautiful, vivacious Merrin was gone – raped and murdered, under inexplicable circumstances – with Ig the only suspect. He was never tried for the crime, but in the court of public opinion, Ig was and always would be guilty.

Now Ig is possessed with a terrible new power – with just a touch he can see peoples’ darkest desires – to go with his terrible new look, and he means to use it to find the man who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge; it’s time the devil had his due.

Review

 

This book was one of the most intense books that I’ve read in a while. Having taken a break from the heavy reading scene, I found this to be a cleverly written piece of fiction. The character of Ig is by far one of the most complex and brilliantly written characters I’ve read in a while.Not to mention the constant undertones of religious referencing which gave the book an extra feel of sin. This book is all about the things it reveals looking mostly in retrospect at events that lead to the moments where Ig discovered exactly what happened to Merrin.

What I enjoyed about this book was that even though it is very heavy on the religious connotations you don’t have to be a priest yourself to understand it. This is down to the way Joe Hill illustratively interweaves this into the characters lifestyles and their thoughts.

This novel is a brutal retelling of a horrible event but ultimately shows that humans are secretive and sinful and it did so bloody marvellously!

Continue Reading

Review: How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

★★★★☆

Find the book here!

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first one that I read after an extensive reading slump. I found it easy to read but captivating enough to sit down and read in one go!

The plot of the novel starts off where our female protagonist Rose sets out to visit her family in Millwood, like she does every summer since her parents are always travelling. We’re introduced to her archetypal relatives who breathe an air of welcome and homeliness with their new baby and seemingly large estate. It’s not long before we’re then introduced to the other two main male protagonists Oscar and Caicus Valero. When I first read their characters they reminded very much of vampires in the way they charmed their way into the lives of Rose’s aunt and uncle but I was very aware that this was in fact not a vampire fiction.

The main part I love about this novel is Rose’s characterisation and her growth. She is of very sound mind and brings strong opinions forward from the beginning. Being the only one who’s not charmed by the Valero brothers initially, she appears stubborn and rightfully dubious of their intentions. When it becomes clear to her that she’s different to the rest of her family in that respect, she asserts her stance towards them immediately. She’s feisty and takes no bull, which I really respect in a character who’s only sixteen. One thing I couldn’t call her is a Mary Sue, she’s not a protagonist where things just happen to her, to an extent this is what occurs, but she combats this with her own agenda and doesn’t take anything sitting down.

In contrast to this Oscar is a more mild character, when he has dreams of Rose he aims to get closer to her. My favourite scene is their first scene alone in the woods (I shall say no more) because his resolve to hide from her quickly dissolves. Even knowing that she suspects him and doesn’t trust him, he still trusts her, which I found really interesting considering he knows exactly what his reason is for staying at her family’s house.

The plot had a fairly interesting twist but I enjoyed it as it reminded me of Fallen by Lauren Kate which is another brilliant novel in the field of paranormal fantasy. I would definitely suggest that you read this book if you’re looking for a new insight into the paranormal and fancy a bit of romance. What I’ve read of magic in contemporary literature has been very much a sisterly bond between witches and this definitely gave the theme a breath of fresh air!

Continue Reading