Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Spark of an Idea, by Rachael Craw - Author Guest Post



Spark is a leap of faith, a five and a half year journey, a dream and an answer to prayer. Not the sweetly sweetly Sunday School prayer but the creative-type’s fevered cry of the soul, ‘Please God for the love of sanity breathe on my aching neurons’. Cue balled fists and baying at the moon. That night I went to sleep and had a dream, the very dream that you find in the prologue.


I know, I know, starting with a dream! Eye-rolling ensues. What was I thinking? But how could I not when it was the inception of the idea? Cut me some slack. So the dream: I’m running through a forest at night, super-fast, lightning reflexes, strong, fearless and what not. Then I’m gripped with a terrible urgency. Someone is in great danger out there in the dark and I have to reach her before somebody else does, somebody who wants to kill her. I know I will have to fight this somebody in order to protect the girl.


I woke and took it on faith I had my seed of a story. Hallelujah chorus! Naturally I began to ask questions: why was I so fast? Where did my strength, reflexes, and fearlessness come from? How did I sense the girl was in danger? Why was it my responsibility to protect her? Who was trying to kill her and why? What evolved from these questions was the idea of genetically engineered predestination. I imagined an organisation designing human weapons with ‘enhanced’ DNA, their natural affinities amplified. I imagined a process that would trigger this DNA and bind a person to their destiny to either defend or attack their Spark.


For the first few months of working away at my laptop I was a bit cagey about letting on to anyone what I was up to. Being possessed as I was with the idea of my story, I didn’t want to say it aloud. It seemed too fragile. That whole fear of failure thing. Not wanting people to see me try, or worse, see me give up. Of course, that’s all a load of nonsense because I am surrounded by people who are loving, encouraging and supportive and when I started to let slip why I had become a bleary-eyed recluse I discovered a great hoard of cheerleaders. Besides which, giving up was never an option. Even at its crappiest, bang my head on the desk, throw my laptop out the window, burn the house down, gnaw my own arms off moments, I still loved writing, I still loved my story and I couldn’t shake it.


Over the next five years I set my heart on learning to write. I sought the best advice and criticism I could find (Thank you Barbara and Chris Else). I had professional assessments and mentoring and gave myself to the crafting process. Needless to say, that will be a life long journey. I am endlessly dissatisfied with my failure to achieve perfection but I hurl myself after it as though it were just within reach. An intoxicating delusion.

Due to unforeseen technical issues the GIFS that go with this post will be added as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The WishKeeper by Maximilian Timm

The WishKeeper by Maximilian Timm
Self Published on October 17th 2013
354 Pages
I received this courtesy of Maximilian Timm in return for an honest review.
The WishKeeper tells the story of a fairy named Shea and how her broken wings and inability to fly have kept her from being the one thing she always wanted to be - a WishKeeper.We, WishMakers, all have a WishKeeper assigned to us that protects and guides our wishes to fulfillment. Teenage, broken-winged Shea is determined to become one.Shea is a rebellious, punk rock dressed, tattooed teenage fairy with two mangled wings that draw ugly stares more often than sympathy. She is not looking for sympathy though, and would rather break a WishKeeper's pointed nose than accept an understanding pat on her handicapped back. Living with her disability for most of her angry life has kept Shea out of the Keeper force and therefore a loner (which she is perfectly fine with...or so she says). Until the day her family WishMakers, Grayson and Miranda, made a second True Love Wish, she was barely a blip on a WishRadar. The last time a True Love Wish was made, her mother destroyed it and in turn, Shea's life.All Shea wants is to prove herself - despite her disability, despite her anger, resentment and the all-too obvious chips on her shoulders - that she can be better than any WishKeeper. She sneaks off to the human world with the naive intent to wrangle a type of wish even the most skilled Keeper barely can. She's entitled, selfish, and has only one intention: wrangle a True Love Wish no matter the consequence.Further annoying her, a WishKeeper recruit named Thane is tasked by her military father to babysit her, or at least that's how Shea sees it. Through their impossible adventure in a land Shea had only ever dreamed about, she battles the difficult discovery of painful family secrets, a wish-mongering ex-king and his cursed zombie-like fairies, and the acceptance of her parents' imperfections as well as her own.
What is a better way to celebrate International Fairy day then to read a kick arse book that provides a take on fairy mythology.  After reading The WishKeeper I honestly don’t have much to say about this other than it has a really wonderful story arc and that I just love fairy books.

So to talk about the story arc a little is a very fun task because The WishKeeper as I said above provides a new take on the ‘little person with wings that fly around’ idea. Shea Evenstar is one of the most bad arse fairies I’ve ever had the awesome pleasure to read. Now Shea is really such a wonderful character because she has a disability compared to the other characters but she doesn’t let it hold her back at all.

A positive that came of Shea’s winglessness was most definitely Thane. He is a young want to be WishKeeper who is given the task by Beren, Shea’s father who happens to be the commander to look after Shea.  You really couldn’t get a sweeter or kinder character than Thane and I just love him for it.

My only criticism for The WishKeeper would be that at time it could be rather confusing as to what really was happening or who was who as a lot of characters were named.

Luckily enough to cerebrate International Fairy Day Max has granted my wish of letting me share part of the first chapter of The WishKeeper. Hopefully you will all snag a copy while its on sale for today for $1.09 which is completely worth it!



Goggles, Goggled 

Ten Years Ago

“Wings tucked, Private!” Shea’s mother playfully ordered.
The frozen sap of the evergreen clung to Shea’s bare feet as if the icy tree was trying to keep her in one place. It was Wishing Eve in the Makers’ world - The Other Side, as the WishKeepers called it. A night when all WishKeepers would leave their secret world of Paragonia and cross through the Gates to tend to their WishMakers in celebration of opportunity; the opportunity to collect millions of wishes and sustain the harmony between their world and the Makers’. It was the most important night of the year, but for Shea, it was a night that would define her.
It was the night a True Love Wish was destroyed. It was the night her wings were ripped from her delicate shoulders. It was the night her mother died. And the sap of the evergreen tugged at her toes, begging her not to move. She should have listened.
She played along with her mother’s orders as Elanor stood in front of her little fairy daughter, fists at her hips.
“Check! Yes, ma’am,” Shea replied, standing upright and tucking her wings straight behind her.
“Goggles goggled?” her mother asked, stern.
Shea adjusted oversized aviator goggles around her eyes, “Check!”
“Wishes made?”
“Wishes granted!” she said as she stiffened a salute at her forehead.
Shea eyed an identical smile that rimmed her mother’s lips as the setting sun of The Other Side silhouetted Elanor’s graceful wings.
“I have to go to work,” Elanor said with a deep breath. It was her daughter’s first time on The Other Side, and Shea could sense that her mom regretted not being able to stay with her all night.
Shea loved the feeling of the slow, gentle swipe of her mother’s fingers as they gently tickled her forehead, moving the thick red mane out of her eyes. Despite never wanting to admit it, there was an immeasurable eagerness within Shea’s little body to become her mother. Every ounce was desperately impatient to be just like her. Shea watched her mom buzz her wings and prep for a quick launch.
“Hey…Mom?” Shea stopped her. She felt compelled to say something, but the words dangled from her tongue.
Elanor waited for one last peep from her eager daughter.
“I…I mean. Never mind.” Shea smiled, bashful.
“I won’t be long,” she said, noticing the eagerness of adolescence pouring from her daughter’s eyes. “You are going to be a wonderful WishKeeper someday. But it’s not today, honey. Please…promise me you’ll stay here.”
Little Shea nodded as wishes darted through the park behind Elanor. The impulse to fly after each and every one of them was overwhelming as Shea watched her mother zoom out of the tree and into the sea of colorful wishes. Purple, blue, pink and green - the wishes danced and darted through the park. Their playfulness was intoxicating. The evergreen did its best to keep her little feet stuck to its branch, but as much as she wanted to be a good fairy and follow her mother’s orders, Shea couldn’t deny her innate impulse to explore.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Book Review:Summer on the Short Bus - Bethany Crandell

Pub. Date- April 1st 2014 Publisher- Running Press Teens
 Pages- 256 Genre- Contemporary/YA
Goodreads - Book Depository



Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.



Usually I’m all for thick books, the thicker the better in my opinion but Summer on the Short Bus takes that idea and proves me wrong. Taking a strong and completely blunt approach Bethany Crandell makes light in a positive way of how people can be completely uninformed about something out of their comfort zone, in Cricket’s case people with special needs. She honestly and oh so wittily tells a truthful tale about a young spoiled girl who learns to put others first and just generally become less of a nitwit.

So to get it right off the bat, Cricket isn’t the most endearing character but she is so well written terrible personality was completely natural to her, the book would have felt completely wrong if she wasn’t so shocking. Yeah, she was bratty, spoiled and so politically incorrect I but not enough to ever hate her or feel as though everything negative she said is just to be nasty. I’ve seen a lot of reviews bashing this book for being oh so incorrect but that is what makes it for me. Nothing is barred in this; there is no censorship of an uninformed young girl. Crandell writes about what I’m sure most people have thought at least once in their life, be maybe a more informed but still something that we wouldn’t say allowed. It really at times makes you feel uncomfortable in your skin with the way things are phrased only to be laughing at a hilarious joke the next minute.

The true beauty of Summer on the Short Bus is how quirky and hilarious it is, when looking past the all the faux pas Cricket makes, she and all the other character in this book are so funny in their own ways. Fantine made me crack up so many times with her sarcasm and Quinn being a Zac Efron look alike was just pure gold.

There were parts that I didn’t think were the best, but I wasn’t really fazed by them until I started to reflect more deeply on the book and everything in it. One was how quickly Quinn and Crickets relationship developed and was used to resolve everything but in such a short book it isn’t like there is 300 pages for them to become friends and get to know each other so I could come to terms with the pretty quickly. The relationship isn’t instalove level but it was getting close. Another problem was that I wish that there time to learn more about all the other characters! I ended up loving them all so much that I just wanted to know everything and see them all be as fully developed as characters as Cricket.

This could be taken as an offensive book but when read with an open mind and a liking for sarcasm I think it really gives everyone a chance to learn something new about people in general and how easy change can come about. I highly suggest you read this to see just how Cricket changes from the nitwit she was at the start.


Summer on the Short Bus is just want I picture when I think of a literal Summer, on a Short Bus (something we don’t have in Australia, the short buses not summer) Just a small space filled with fun, learning and happiness. Not quiet this isn’t an unrealistic perfect summer but still a 5 star book in my eyes. I’ve already told Bethany Crandell she can have my soul if I can be put on any list that comes up for her next book I liked it that much.


Monday, 2 June 2014

WARNING! THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT A JUNE TBR


So last month I made a post about being accountable for my reading and wrote a nice list and made a pretty stack of books that I wanted to read over the month. Did that happen? No. Out of the four books I set I read one. I loved the one I read but other than that I read whatever I wanted over the month in my normal wishy-washy fashion. In the original post I spoke about being accountable for my reading and now I’m wondering if I went about it the completely wrong way. 

Knowing that I had set myself certain books to read I was able to fob them off saying you don’t have to read that till the end for the month so why start now and does it really matter if you don’t. I think for most people having a set list to follow would make them follow it but for me, I love to procrastinate every thing, including stuff I set for myself.

Lisa is my list and Bart is my brain

My next planning that I’m going to try this month is to set myself a number of books to read not an actually list that is set in stone.  In May I read nine books over the course of the month which is a lot for me so for June I’m going to try and read eight as a minimum. Hopefully two books a week will be achievable and my experiment will work. I will be carrying on with my TBR Jar idea but lets be honest I think I failed this month. Do any of you follow a set list or do you just read what you like? Do you keep yourself accountable in any so you don’t slack off or is that not problem for you? 




Thursday, 29 May 2014

Book Review: Trouble by Non Pratt

I received this courtesy of Walker Books in return for an honest review.
Pub. Date- March 6th 2014 Publisher- Walker Books
 Pages- 384 Genre- Contemporary/YA  


In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.
When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”
Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love. 
Hannah is a 15-year-old student who doesn’t like to party and get with boys as much as her friends think she does. Aaron is the new kid at Hannah’s school. He’s just trying to fit in, not make waves or let anyone find out about his past. They are as different as two could possibly be or so they think but both are struggling to cope with accidents that changed their lives forever. Aaron is a shy boy who is just trying to fit in to make his parents happy after an accident and they outcome afterwards makes them worry continuously. He is as shocked as anyone when the basketball boys take him up as a friend and invite him to hang out at the park where everyone goes to drink and hook up.

This is where he meets Hannah in her element after just seeing her at school. Hannah is just a girl just trying to keep her family off back and have a good time. Even though Hannah goes out to the park and parties with everyone she’s not into it as much as everyone thinks. When combining Hannah’s terrible best friend Katie and terrible reputation, when Hannah secret comes out everyone is left talking except Aaron who against all odds steps up to be Hannah’s fake baby daddy to stop the harsh rumours. 

Now I will fully admit when picking up trouble I was 100% expecting for Aaron and Hannah to fall in love and have a happily ever, not that I wanted that but after reading so many contemporaries that make a relationship fix everything I didn’t really have hope and boy was I surprised. Trouble is a book about friendship above all else, how it can be ruined and fix, but most importantly how it can save a person.

Given that Trouble is told from both Hannah and Aaron’s point of view it is such a gorgeous book. When reading contemporaries is always really easy to tell UK ones from Australian or even US. UK contemporaries tend to tell everything in a more truthful be it grittier and rough manner, which is completely needed when talking about teen pregnancy. Who wants a book that the kids are clearly partying and having sex in but it’s never mentioned until the consequences happen.


Everything about Trouble hits the mark for me, from the writing to the plot everything was spot on. I really do think everyone should read this just to see how beautiful it is and if you love this cover as much as I do on Troubles tumblr page there is a series of posts about the making of it here.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Book Tour - REV GIRL by Leigh Hutton (Event + Excerpt)

 REV GIRL is out now available on Amazon or Leigh’s Website

Inspired by a true story
It's hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes...
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

REV Girl is a debut novel from the lovely author Leigh Hutton who writes about girls holding their own in extreme sports! I was lucky enough to be able to go to Leigh’s book launch event is Brisbane over the weekend as she is a local author and boy did I had a great time. To share some of what REV GIRL is about I took some photo’s of the event because it showed how great female motorbike rider are and was just plain fun. There is also an excerpt of the first chapter future down in this post for you to enjoy.

Kristie McKinnon doing a stunt show
Leigh’s Book Display




Leigh signing her book for a fan
So Leigh had an awesome set up right in the middle of Queen Street in Brisbane CBD with a few different things happening. She had a pretty table set up with her book for sale on and she was also signing them if people wanted. As well as the books Leigh had Aussie stars Jemma Wilson and Kristie McKinnon signing posters and doing a stunt show which as 100% awesome.

Now to get onto the excerpt of REV GIRL



REV GIRL, the story and its characters, are fictional. Although some celebrities’ names and real entities, places and events are mentioned, they are all used fictitiously. The book is, however, inspired by the author’s life and experiences and the growing trend of girls and women getting involved in dirt bike racing and action sports, a trend that is being spearheaded by incredible athletes including the REV GIRL Ambassadors, featured at www.leighhuttonbooks.com

1
Clover Kassedy winced and dropped her chin, using the visor of her helmet as a shield against the rocks and mud being flung off the tyre of the dirt bike in front. It hit her chest protector like gunfire, stung at her cheeks and clung to her goggles. But she kept the throttle pinned. Just a few more corners and she would have her. Lasha Moore was going to get knocked off her throne, and Clover was going to win this championship.
The narrow track was heading upwards, through a funnel of trees, and their autumn leaves streaked past in a haze of red, yellow and orange as Clover wound her way up and over a tall spine of the Rocky Mountains.
Her bike vibrated beneath her as she hunted Lasha down: up the short straight away, hairpin left, right sweeper, driving onwards, up towards the sky. Her body was shaking, but not from the cold. She was hot, burning up. Sweat dripped into her eyes, stinging, clouding her vision. Her muscles were wasted from the hours spent glued to the bike. All she could smell was exhaust and swamp mud from the low-lying bogs.
Then she hit snow. Watched as Lasha slid on a patch of white on the precipitous trail. Her bike bogged down, losing momentum, back end swapping from side to side, her feet flung off the pegs. She was paddling to get to the top.
I’ve gotta pass NOW, Clover thought. A grey haze was all that remained of the daylight. A wicked northerly wind cut through the trees, their shadows spread across the trail, camouflaging the nasties − tyre-cutting rocks, slippery logs, patches of black ice. Dangers she would normally be wary of. But not now. Not when she was desperate to get in front and secure the win.
Clover threw her weight forward, turning the bars to the left and holding firm to the side of the trail, as branches whipped at her arms and the bike’s swing arm clanged against the boulders on the edge of the tree line. Her front tyre pulled in line with the rear of Lasha’s bike, and suddenly Clover’s mind was gone; she could see the finish line, could see herself, finally taking her first ever title. Trumping one of the fastest junior girls in America. Proving everyone wrong: her pushy father, her absent mother, her best friend, Sera, who’d never been supportive of her racing. Proving to the kids at school, the bitchy girls who called her a ‘tomboy’ and a ‘try hard’ – not a real racer. She wanted to know it was possible. That she could be a winner.
Too bad her body didn’t follow.
Lasha’s back tyre flicked off a rock and into her motor.
Clover screamed out in shock. A loud CRACK sliced through the air as her bike hit the boulders on the edge of the track and stopped dead. The force shot her forward – her stomach crunched against the cross bar pad, punching the wind from her chest. Rocks ripped through her pants and jersey, scoring into the soft flesh of her legs. But her head hurt the most – her hair stuck in her plastic chest protector and it felt as though it was being ripped from the roots one strand at a time.
I’ve gotta get back up!
Winded, she gasped the cold air in and out, as if something was lodged in her throat. Her chest burned with the effort. Her bike was silent. She wriggled from under the weight of it, frantic now as precious seconds were being lost.
The stiff fabric of her gear rubbed against open wounds but she couldn’t stop, couldn’t let herself register the pain. Her arms shook with the effort of trying to stand the bike up, and keep it from sliding backwards down the slope.
She eyed her bike for damage. As soon as she spotted the front of the swing arm, she knew it was over.
Shiiiiit!
Her chain was snapped in two, coiled up around the front sprocket. She had no idea how to fix a broken chain.
This was it. The chequered flag out of reach.
Panic rose within her, like a raging fire, when a voice came from above her, ‘Nice try, loser!’
Clover looked towards the darkening sky. Lasha had stopped at the summit and was glaring down at her. Her body started to tremble. ‘Bet that hurt!’ Lasha said, shaking her head and laughing. Her cold blue eyes burned from the top of the hill.
Clover’s fists balled with hatred, and she gritted her teeth at the perfection that was Lasha Moore. Her bike was hardly dirty, and her gear was spotless. Lasha had it all, including natural talent, and she knew it.
At one time, Clover had actually thought they were becoming friends, until their second season in juniors, when Lasha stopped talking to her. Not just that, she’d turned every girl in their class against her and made her life hell at every possible opportunity. Clover wished more than anything that she knew why.
Clover’s eyes weighed with tears as she looked down at her gloves; there were holes at the end of nearly every finger. She’d kill for Lasha’s gorgeous FOX gear; all the guys loved her. It fit Lasha’s curves, perfectly feminine, instead of Clover’s father’s old, baggy stuff he’d said would do fine.
‘Gotta fly, got a race to win!’ Lasha said, raising a hand in a ‘royal’ wave. ‘Save yourself the humiliation of another dud season next year, Kassedy. Seriously.’ Lasha spun around, tipped over the lip of the hill and dashed off for the finish line.
Clover started to cry, and punched the seat of the bike. Her heart was bursting, from the frustration of an entire season spent fighting for every point she could get. She was showing promise, and had scored solid podium results in a string of events from Texas to Wyoming. She was in second place behind Lasha and close enough to win the championship. Close enough to prove to her father that she was ready to tackle the Pro Ladies Class, and finally have a shot at sponsorship and making racing her career. After all, she was no good at school. Racing was her only shot.
And I’ve blown it!
Sobs were shaking her so hard, she fell backwards, into the boulders. It was either that, or flipping with her bike back down the mountain.
She let the bike rest against her throbbing thighs. Heard the final revs of Lasha’s engine, as she disappeared, to victory. Cold tears poured down her cheeks, the stain of disappointment on her skin, etched trails in the dirt.
The rest of her class rode by. A few girls called out, to make sure she was okay. She listened to the last bike, its sound disappearing into the fog and the forest.
It was over. And as if losing to Lasha wasn’t bad enough, as if bombing in her final year of juniors wasn’t enough humiliation, now she had the abuse at home, and at school, to look forward to. Her dad would roast her; he’d been into her all season about taking it seriously, riding smart, and how important it was to get sponsors – to help pay – and to win. Her mother would roll her eyes, and use this final failure as further evidence why, as she always said, ‘Clover can’t focus on racing and school, she can’t have both! She needs to grow up, get her marks up, and get a real job!’
Worst part was, this summer, she had been trying. She’d been racing, while all the other girls were hitting parties and meeting guys.
Now she had no chance of being accepted by the cool, older girls at school. Of the nastier ones easing up on her. At least if she was winning races, they would leave her alone. News always made its way back to Silvertown High, and if she was achieving, it was like she was a legitimate biker. Not some ‘try hard’. She imagined the crap she’d cop for losing their state title to Lasha. Not only was she the ‘Loser Canuck’ – she moved from Canada to Silvertown just before her freshman year in high school and Canuck was their term of endearment – she was also the loser who hadn’t been at ANY of the summer parties. The loser who didn’t even podium in racing.
Now she was stranded, twenty kilometres from the pits and any another human beings. It was freezing and nearly night. She hated the dark, or more accurately, was irrationally afraid of the nameless things that lurked there, deep in the woods.
The sweep riders would arrive soon to tow her bike back to where her father would be waiting. Her heart sank. I’m such a loser, Clover told herself with disgust. And now, I’m gonna pay for it.

The race officials at the finish line were all wearing looks of pity, except for one – Lasha’s big-bellied father, who smiled at her smugly. But Clover hated pity more.
Another sweep rider fixed her broken chain, and brought back her bike. As soon as she’d seen the medics for her cuts and scrapes, Clover hid in the truck until her dad had loaded the bike up, and they were finally free to leave.
On the drive home the cuts in her legs burned under the bandages fitted by the ambulance crew, but nothing hurt more than her pride. After making sure she was okay, her dad Ernie hadn’t said a word to her and she couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eye.
In that moment, as Clover stared out over the passing landscape, it was as if even the sun had given up on her. It was setting, flashing its final rays of brilliance in shades of bright yellow and red. None of its warmth found her face. Usually she found this drive back over the range, towards Silvertown, Idaho Springs and the city of Denver, beautiful, especially in autumn, or during deep winter’s crystallised white. Tall mountain peaks and deep, snaking valleys. And at this time of year, the browning fields, the dandelions long since seeded and blown away by the chilling winds.
Tonight, however, her beloved mountains served only as a reminder of her crash. Her failure. She’d have to wait until next season to race Lasha again. And it would never be the same. Next year, they’d be seniors. Clover was nearly seventeen years old. And Lasha would move straight to the Pro Ladies division. What would Clover do?
It was a question Ernie was obviously itching to ask her, ‘You’re really going to have to have a long think about what you can do in the off season to prove to your mother that you should be allowed to race next year,’ Ernie said, without turning his eyes from the interstate lit up by their yellow headlights. ‘This was your last chance to get a title, so I could approach a sponsor to help out with the increased costs of going into the pro class, but, now . . .’ He shut his mouth quickly, to avoid saying what he really felt. Clover bit her bottom lip. She kept her eyes on the sunset, now the deep red of blood.
‘Clover?’ Ernie’s voice was sharp. ‘Listening?’
How could I not?
‘Cut the attitude.’ Ernie sighed and raised a hand from the wheel to rub at his crinkled, brown eyes. His moustache was looking especially grey.
He took off his glasses and cleaned the lenses with the front of his T-shirt. ‘Promise me you’ll wash your bike when you get home from school tomorrow?’ Both hands returned to the wheel, and his knuckles went white from the force of his grip. ‘You really need to start pitching in with the maintenance.’
‘Will do,’ Clover lied. She didn’t even want to look at the thing. She wanted her bike to be the furthest thing from her mind. To feel like a normal teenager. She was sick to death of being pushed into racing, and longed for the days when she enjoyed it. She did love to ride, didn’t she?
‘It would be great if you cut the crap before we see your mother,’ Ernie said. ‘It won’t help. She’s looking to spend a lot of money on a new horse for your sister, so I’m sure she’s hoping you’ll decide not to go senior and focus your efforts on school work – not that we’ve spent even a fraction of what they do on bloody horses, but you know your mother.’
Clover tuned Ernie out. She turned her body fully towards her door and closed her eyes. To everything. She wanted to scream, ‘I don’t give a shit anymore!’ Enough trying to please her father. It didn’t work anyway. She wanted to start living. To feel like the other girls must feel – accepted and cool, for just being themselves – for once in her life.
At that moment, Clover made a decision that made her smile, and she was instantly relieved, and excited.
Party time.
As part of the tour Leigh is holding a giveaway on her Facebook page and if you have time check out the other blogs on the tour!




Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Restraint Is Possible; Stacking The Shelves #10


Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews. To participate all you have to do is create a post listing any books you've received for review, as a gift, brought yourself or borrowed from a library. I’m going to be posting this every Monday give or take a week when I haven’t bought or received any books.

Purchased Books

Splintered - A. G Howard, Goodreads - Book Depository
The Moth In The Mirror - A. G Howard, Goodreads - Amazon
Unhinged - A. G Howard, Goodreads - Book Depository
(see a trend?)



Review Books

Spark - Rachael Craw, Goodread - Book Depository
Trouble - Non Pratt, Goodread - Book Depository
(Thank you Walker Books!)
Camp Boyfriend - J. K Rock, Goodread - Book Depository



The WishKeeper - Maximilian Timm, Goodreads - Book Depository
(Thank you Max!)



Have you read any of these or do you have them on your shelves?



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