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I swoon over fictional men

Month

February 2017

How to deal with a book hangover

Symptoms of a book hangover:

  1. Pounding headache – This symptom arises when the events of the book you’ve just read refuse to vacate your head space, choosing instead to ricochet off the walls of your skull as you over analyse every minute detail of said book.
  2. Unrelenting thirst – A thirst for answers is a common symptom of a book hangover, particularly when you’re reading a series and the next book isn’t out until next spring.
  3. Increased sensitivity to light and sound – A by product of the days spent cooped up in your reading nook, far from the harsh realities of everyday life.
  4. Nausea – A common symptom, particularly when a favorite character dies and there’s zero chance of them being resurrected.
  5. Dizziness – A symptom often suffered by fantasy and sci-fi readers. It can take time to adjust to a world that isn’t populated by tall, dark, handsome elf princes or intergalactic space lords. Be gentle with yourself during this difficult transitional period.

Other symptoms may include:

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But don’t worry. It will get better *slaps my hand over my heart* I, Jazz of I swoon over fictional, non-human men, do solemnly swear to walk this long road beside you. This road is dark and cold, encased within an eternal winter from which no one ever seems to escape…but you, my friend, are strong. You will escape if you simply heed the advice of a fellow bookworm who has been at the mercy of a book hangover one too many times *holds out my hand* Are you ready to take the first step?

  1. Make bookish friends – I recommend doing this before you embark upon a series that will potentially leave you with a book hangover. I mean, would you put on a life jacket after the ship had already sunk? No, of course not. Preparation is key. Join a fan forum or the author’s official fan group on Facebook. The people populating these places are the people who will ease your headache. Forget the aspirin. Talk to fellow fans and vent your feelings and unanswered questions. Get those pent up thoughts and emotions out of your system!
  2. Trawl the internet in search of fan theories – It won’t give you the solid answers you need, I know, but it will ease your thirst somewhat.
  3. Take baby steps – Don’t jump back into society feet first. Take time to adjust to your unfamiliar surroundings. When your mind has been engulfed in the happenings of Middle Earth for the past four days, the voice of your colleague asking you to photocopy a document can be an unsettling thing. Simply flash a forced smile in their general direction and photocopy the document. Afterwards, I recommend making yourself a cup of over-sweetened, soothing tea and sitting in the back office for a few moments. A few days and many cups of tea later, you’ll find you can take bigger steps,such as interacting with your family over dinner. Don’t, though, begin another full-length novel. Perhaps opt for a novella instead, thereby ensuring you can split your time evenly between reality and fiction.
  4. Fan fiction – The death of a favorite character is a traumatic experience to go through, especially if you have watched them develop over the course of many books. In the midst of your anguish, though, remember that there is alternate reality, a realm known as ‘Fan fiction’. In ‘Fan fiction’, our favorite characters live on, either at own hands or at the pen-wielding, keyboard-typing hands of other fans. Be warned, though, it’s not uncommon to find your favorite character has suddenly had a personality transplant in order to fuel a ridiculous plot that would never have arisen in the official book or series.
  5. Cosplay – Ask a kind, understanding friend to cosplay as a tall, dark, handsome elf prince or an intergalactic space lord. Seeing a familiar face as you acclimatize to reality will offer you some much-needed comfort.
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Stay strong.

How do you deal with a book hangover? Let me know in the comments below! 

Folklore tales and spooky stories

As some of you are aware, I was on vacation this week. I visited two places; the Isle of Man (where one of my best friends lives) and Manchester (where I used to live and where many of my friends still live). I did the usual stuff. Hanging out, sight seeing…and shopping.

Shopping for books specifically. I bought these two books in the gift shop attached to the Manx Museum in the IOM’s capital, Douglas.

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Now, my favorite genre is paranormal romance (if that fact had somehow slipped by you 😉 ) and one of my favorite past times is reading about the folklore and myths that birthed the fantastical creatures and beings that appear in some of my best-loved books.

The Isle of Man, though small, is steeped in myths and legends. Its rolling hills and Viking ruins set the scene for many folklore tales and spooky stories. I realized, though, that I couldn’t possibly become well versed in them over the course of four days so I decided to buy these books and get myself up to speed in readiness for my next visit!

So my question to you is…

What folklore tales and spooky stories does your country/hometown play host to?

I’ll get the ball rolling and start by sharing the tale of the Lincoln Imp, my hometown’s official mascot. Lemme introduce you…

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“‘Sup.”

This little fella can be found in Lincoln Cathedral, nestled between two archways and surrounded by a bunch of far prettier stone carvings.

Legend tells us that ol’ Satan sent two of his little imps to wreak havoc at the Cathedral, which was then newly built. However, the imps hadn’t anticipated a bunch of angels deciding to have an impromptu karaoke sesh in the aptly named Angels’ Choir.

One of the imps wisely opted out of the mischief and destruction, choosing instead to remain outside. However, our horned, grinning mascot decided a showdown with a few ethereal beings was preferable over returning to the bowels of Hell with orders disobeyed.

One angel, who I like to imagine was just reaching the crescendo of Bohemian Rhapsody, saw the imp flitting about in the rafters of the cathedral and, in a fit of rage (Bohemian Rhapsody is difficult as it is without distractions), struck him down with a blast of petrifying power, encasing him in stone and immortalizing his cheeky, infectious grin forevermore.

So there we have it. That’s my hometown’s most famous legend.

Tell me yours in the comments below! 

‘Freya’s Inferno’ Sonja Bair

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Freya Holm is smart, quick-witted, and an Alva—a paranormal species with the ability to fly. In a bid for a normal life outside of family expectations, she moved across the country. But within a few days of arriving in a small California town, she finds herself fighting over the last bag of lentils with an attractive but ill-tempered werewolf named David.

David Waterstone is desperate for normal, too. Recently banished from his pack, he finds himself struggling to stay sane. The presence of another supernatural power in his new town, especially one as inquisitive and lively as Freya, makes his struggle even harder.

When their new city gets besieged by an insane supernatural with a passion for Dante’s Inferno, Freya’s family sends in one of her old schoolmates. Alrik Isaksson has long been in love with Freya, but she can’t see beyond their hurtful history. Despite the tension, David, Alrik, and Freya must work together and use their intellect, supernatural powers, and sense of humor to survive the layers of Hell being created in their town by a maniac with a passion for literature.

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Freya’ s Inferno, the first book in Sonja Bair’s Winging It series (can I just say how awesome a name that is for a series? I do love a good play on words), is a book that pleased me for so many reasons.

First and foremost,  Freya is the narrator and that is truly a blessing. The narration is in first person and this really allows a reader to become acquainted with Freya on a more intimate level. We hear each and every one of her thoughts and her sarcastic, mischievous and witty personality are conveyed in a way that I’ve never seen so successfully executed before in a novel. It’s almost as though Freya is talking directly to us, the readers, and it evokes a feeling of kinship. I didn’t see Freya as simply a fictional character; I saw her more as a friend, telling me about her day (and man, what a day). Sonja has successfully crafted a believable, three-dimensional character who a reader can both relate to and care about.

Furthermore, Freya is a character who values her sense of self-worth. There’s an incredibly uninhibited section of narration where Freya is simultaneously talking about herself and addressing the reader. She speaks about the incredible odds that were defied in the creation of her, Freya Holm – “Now, out of my mother’s millions of eggs and father’s quadrillions of sperm, the two sex cells that happened to be me combined. Damn, those are ridiculous odds. I, like every other human being on the planet, won the lottery of all lotteries just to be born. I’m going to celebrate – I’m going to be proud to be alive and to be me. And most of all, I’m going to not try to be someone I’m not. That would be a slap in the face of the ridiculously high odds that created me.” Being someone she’s not would entail accepting the roles being forced upon her at this point in the book: a co-Alpha (werewolf politics are confusing as hell), a denizen of hell, an employee at the USN, a mate and a girlfriend. Freya is strong enough and respects herself enough to understand that it’s okay to not live up to the expectations of those around her. Freya states that she “would not be forced into a position that didn’t fit” and states that it’s “too bad” if she inadvertently creates chaos and ambiguity for those who want her to embrace these roles with open arms. In a world that is constantly telling us who and what we should be, Freya assures us it’s okay to go our own way *starts singing Fleetwood Mac*

I really enjoyed the dual elements of the plot too. Freya faces multiple threats and challenges throughout the novel; there’s the whole situation with Jia and her highly dangerous fixation with both Dante’s Inferno and Freya and then there’s the threat of David’s former pack Alphas, Maria and Robert, breathing down their necks. In no way is the plot simple. Instead, it’s excitingly chaotic and is layered with all the key components that generate the perfect story, from heart-stopping moments of poignant insight into the human psyche to moments of comedic relief that had me laughing out loud.

Eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Winging It series! I’m curious to see how Freya and Alrik’s relationship will change following Alrik’s revelation and I’m excited to catch up with David and his new-found pack.

Rating: 5/5

Song: Britney Spears’ Stronger (what is she doing with that chair?)

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This book is available in both paperback and e-reader format on Amazon.

 

 

Just dropping in real quick 

I’ve been a super bad blogger these past few days…but I won’t apologize because I’m actually on my first vacation in a year 😀 I’m currently on a teeny tiny island called the Isle of Man visiting my best friend. It’s such a gorgeous place. There are so many winding roads snaking through the hills, each one cutting through a quaint village or town. I’m staying in the capital, Douglas, in a beautiful apartment that is reminiscent of Downton Abbey. I don’t want to leave! 

My Final Sunset

So, way back in December, I mentioned a trip to the hospital with my great grandmother. Unfortunately, despite the doctors deeming her fit to go home, she was readmitted in late January when both her mental and physical health began to deteriorate rapidly.

I won’t beat about the bush. She’s dying. She’s lying in a hospital bed, barely conscious, unable to wash or feed herself. Dementia is a cruel disease. It robs a person of their very essence…what makes them them. For those around them – their friends and family – it’s a slow bereavement. They witness the person they have known and loved for many years being chipped away, bit by precious bit.

My grandma will die and it breaks my heart to think of her suffering these past few years. So, like I always do when I’m sad, I decided to write a poem. They say if a writer loves you, you will become immortal, etched into their words and the minds of their readers forevermore. I wanted to immortalize my grandma and give her some of the dignity she so desperately deserves in her final days.

 

The sun is setting on my final day

As I watch in silence from where I lay

And this sinking sun, in all its glory

Will paint the final chapter in my story

A sky speckled in purples, pinks and blues

And my heart is light for this is my dying view.

Reading positions 

What’s your favored reading position?

I’m not a bed reader. Mere moments after climbing into bed, I’m usually dropping off to sleep and believe me, having a Kindle smacking down on to your face hurts. 

I tend to read on the sofa in my lounge. My seat (on the far left, right next to the coffee table that’s usually laden down with tea and writing materials) dips in the middle after years of use…but the foot rest that pops out when I pull the lever more than makes up for this 😉 

The never ending TBR list

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One of the things that I’ve noticed since becoming an active member of the online book community is just how much my TBR list has grown. If I’m not receiving recommendations from fellow bloggers, I’m seeing books on Goodreads that other people are either reading or have already read…and if I’m not seeing books on Goodreads, I’m seeing them on Amazon!

So I thought, let’s recommend our favorite books and series to one another! Let’s add to our already never ending TBR lists.  

So, c’mon, recommend me some books! 😀 Regardless of genre, I want to hear about the books that you can read time and time again, the books that have stuck in your mind long after you’ve turned that final page, the books that make you laugh, the books that make you cry…the books that inspire you!

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