i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings.
i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

5 Questions: author Michelle Harrison (The 13 Treasures)

I am beyond thrilled to be posting this mini-interview with author Michelle Harrison. I have mentioned before that ever since I “met” her through Twitter, I have been dying to read her Young Reader book – The 13 Treasures. Sadly, it is still not known when it will be released in Canada (or the US) but I have no regrets about buying this off of Amazon UK as I adored the book. You can read my review of it here.

Michelle is younger than I am (sigh, I feel like everyone is younger than I am these days! When did THAT happen?) and is living a life that I would love to live – and in a place that I would love to live IN as well. Not that I am bitter. Envious, perhaps. But I swear my eyes are NATURALLY green. 😉 I hope you enjoy my 5 Questions with Michelle Harrison as much as I enjoyed reading her answers when I got them in my email mailbox!

1. Out of all the genres of Young Adult books out there, how/why did you choose to write about faeries?

There are a few reasons why I chose to write a book about faeries. Firstly, I was introduced to the artwork of Brian Froud and Arthur Rackham when I studied illustration a few years back. It made me think about faeries in a whole new light – that they could be mischievous and downright evil as well as sweet and helpful – which is how most people view them.

Secondly, I always liked stories about faeries as a child, and at the time I began writing the book (in 2002), the idea of dark faeries was relatively untapped in the children’s book market.

2. Will there be any more adventures with Tanya and Fabian in the future? (I hope so!)

I’m working on a sequel, The 13 Curses, right now, which is due out next year. The sequel focuses more on Red, but Tanya and Fabian are still a strong part of it.

3. Aside from writing what is the most interesting job you have had in your life?

Two jobs spring to mind! My current job for a children’s book publisher is very interesting – especially now I have my own book out. It’s great to see how things work from both sides – the publisher and the author’s, and to have the chance to work with and meet some fantastic writers for children.

My other ‘interesting’ job was my first bar job when I was 18 in a pub referred to by some as a ‘hooligan’s paradise’. This should give you an idea of the kind of place it was! Some of the more memorable moments include ducking glasses thrown over the bar at closing time, diffusing a fight between two grown men, and retrieving CDs that had been stolen from behind the counter. I have no idea why I took the job, but it toughened me up a lot.

4. Why are many of the homes in England named? I have noticed this in other books and in movies as well. Just wondering if it was a cultural thing or if it has any meaning?

Interesting point, and one I’ve never given much thought to until now! I think it’s to do with reflecting the origins/importance of a house and when it was built, as well as who owned it. Also, as many of them are in quite remote locations a street name and number wouldn’t work.

5. Viking, pirate or ninja – and why?

Pirate! I had loads of fun dressing up as a pirate when I worked as a children’s bookseller.

BONUS QUESTION: Any news on the release of this book in Canada and the US yet? 😉

I still haven’t heard anything . . . blame S&S Canada 🙂

You hear that, Simon & Schuster Canada? We want this book in North America! This is great literature and people will buy it and read it and love it and hug it and call it George! Well, maybe not that last part but the rest is true. Meanwhile, those of us who WOULD spend money to help OUR economy, are helping out the UK with their economy!

Until then, I will be eagerly staking out Amazon UK for the sequel that Michelle is working on. And many, many thanks to her for participating in my little interview!

Places to stalk, erm, learn more about Michelle Harrison:

Her homepage – which is very cool.

The 13 Treasures

The 13 Treasures
by Michelle Harrison

I think the best book decision I have made so far in 2009 was biting the bullet and ordering this book from Amazon UK because I didn’t want to wait until there was a North American release date. Sadly, my package was slightly damaged so the book suffered some bent corners, but it did not take anything away from the story or my enchantment with the book.

Tanya can see faeries, though others can’t. She’s been gifted – or cursed, as she sees it – with the sight. And the faeries have been causing her nothing but trouble. So much so that her mother, fed up of all Tanya’s “cries for attention” sends her away for the summer to live with her grandmother in this big empty house. The caretaker’s son, Fabian seems to live to taunt and tease Tanya but soon ends up enraptured with the mystery of the missing girl from 50 years ago and works along with Tanya to try and solve a five decade old possible murder.

The house and surrounding gardens and forest that Michelle Harrison describes has made me long to explore them along with the young teen protagonists. I wanted to wander through the empty rooms and when Tanya discovered the closed off library I think I might have drooled a little. I had such fun reading this book. My imagination just gobbled up every word and plot twist on the pages.

Something happened that doesn’t normally happen for me – I started out hating Fabian with a passion. I was not looking forward to having him tag along on the explorations or even being around at all. But he changed in a way that made me love him by the end. I enjoyed reading about Tanya and Fabian so much by the end of the book. The author did a great job of progressing his character from annoying, socially weird boy to a friend who would be there in a time of need.

Very well written, humourous and mysterious, this is one book that I will recommend to parents who are looking for something for their kids, or young readers who are looking for a magical and imaginative romp through a world sparkled with faeries – even if they aren’t all sunshine and puppies.

For all you Young Reader fans out there I highly recommend this book. It’s not as simple as the Suddenly Supernatural series, but it’s just as squeal-worthy if I see another book from this author in the store (or online, as the case may be, since it is still not available in Canada or the US.)

Michelle Harrison was also kind enough to agree to participate in my 5 Questions interview – she’s my first of the year, too! I hope you enjoy it!

You can also follow Michelle on twitter!

13 Treasures trilogy

In My Mailbox #10

Kristi (The Story Siren) and Alea (Pop Culture Junkie) started these weekly posts of awesome, and now many of us play along! I’m just thrilled if I get ONE book in my mailbox a month. These two could probably provide literature to the entire world just based on the contents of their mailboxes in a week. ;)

For review:

The Girl Next Door
by Elizabeth Nobel
from Penguin Group Canada

A gorgeous and unforgettable novel set in a turn-of-the-century brownstone on New York’s Upper East Side, The Girl Next Door follows the stories of the building’s residents, showing their lives, their loves and the way they live together.

Meet Eve Gallagher in Apartment 7A, newly moved to New York from London with her ambitious banker husband. She’s lonely and lost…until she meets elderly neighbour Violet, who’s concealing a tragic story of her own. The Kramers and the Schulmans in Apartments 6A and 6B are about to find their lives intersecting in a most unfortunate manner when Jason Kramer falls head-over-heels for Rachael Schulman.

Jackson Grayling III in Apartment 5A is 26, fantastically wealthy and a directionless layabout. He’s attracting the attention of a gold-digger in 2B even though he’s far more interested in the beautiful and hardworking Emily Milanowski in 3B. And finally, plain, dull and self-conscious Charlotte Murphy rents 2A and works in the Public Library. She lives in a dream world and is desperate to be anyone but herself. Will any of her neighbours ever take enough notice of her to help her? (amazon.ca)

This was another surprise thanks to Penguin Canada. This time however, I don’t know what I think because it doesn’t really sound like a book I would be interested in. I’ll have to set aside some time to really devote to reading it – I haven’t even started the last book they sent me!

The Girl Next Door is due out April 28, 2009.

it’s 23°C out right now and i’ve been up since 8:45 am

I tried to get Shawn to let me install the a/c last night in the bed room because it was staying in the double-digits over night. But he wouldn’t let me. I also need to remember to phone to get an estimate for installing the central a/c thing for people without vents in our living room. (You know those units that have an outside part and an inside thing up on the wall and it’s like central a/c but not?) Anyhow it’s hot today. And sunny. And even though it’s a little too warm for me, I have been making the most of the day (until this last hour when I’ve been goofing off on the computer.)

At 9:00 am I was doing this:

Yes, those are pancakes on the barbecue. They turned out pretty good – the occasional over-cooking on one side. But other than that I will do this again. This recipe that I got from Carissa makes good barbied pancakes! I put chocolate chips in them again, only whereas last time I had to many, this time I had too few. Grr. Some of the last ones didn’t even have any in them.

And I learned a trick to nice round pancakes – use the ice cream scooper! And this is an old one that my grandparents had when I was a kid. So it was nice to use it for something (I don’t like ice cream so we never have it unless my mother-in-law is coming for dinner, because that’s the only dessert type thing she eats.)

I have three pancakes left over in the fridge and I’ll be snaking on them later (tomorrow, perhaps?)

I currently have all the towels and bathroom rugs washed and hanging on the line. The living room windows and screens have been washed down, scrubbed and are now actually see-thru once more. Dishes are washed (thanks to Shawn) and I think I am ready for a nap. 😉

I hope everyone is able to enjoy their Saturday today!

Out of My Pocket #2

So, I have a book buying addiction. They are all so pretty and tempting and I can’t help myself. Because of this problem I thought I would post my weekly book purchases – where the money comes out of my pocket. And yes, it isn’t always weekly, but many times it is. So as a companion post to In My Mailbox (hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren), here is my Out of My Pocket post – which will always be posted on Saturdays as long as I have bought a book that week.

Storm Glass
by Maria V. Snyder

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn’t known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known. (Amazon.ca)

I loved The Study series by this author and have been eagerly awaiting this new series from her. The second book in this series Sea Glass is slated to come out in September 2009 – I already have it on my wishlist and I haven’t even started this one yet!

I would have also bought Wings by Aprilynne Pike, but thought it was due out on the 24th the store still had not received it. But there’s going to be one put aside for me when they get it – maybe I’ll have another Out of My Pocket post next weekend!

If you might be interested in posting your own Out of My Pocket, please leave a comment (and a link) below. I’m not going to get all cocky and post a Mr Linky thing since I think I only have about 7 readers. (haha)