Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoy any New Year celebrations you may be going to and wish you all a great year for 2018. I hope all of us get to realise our dreams or at the very least have a happy year. I wrote a quick poem for today which I hope you’ll all enjoy 🙂 🙂 😀 🎉
On New Year’s Eve
On this new year’s eve I pray,
For each and all to have good day.
For all you worries, strife and woe,
Be left behind, or you outgrow.
For all you cares, hopes and dreams,
Be realised or within means.
On this new year’ eve I pray,
For each, good life, to come your way.
I’ll be a bit busy on New Year’s Day so my post tomorrow will be a review I’ve pre-scheduled, and I may be late to reply to messages, but I wish you all Happy New Year again and I’ll chat and be back soon 🙂
How are you spending your New Year’s celebrations? Doing or going anywhere? Or do you like to enjoy New Year’s cosy at home, or not celebrate at all? Let me know I’d love to hear from you and again, Happy New Year!
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I plan to do a years round up at the very start of 2018, to get the final stats on what’s happened this year but for now the monthly round-up of what’s happened to me and this blog in December.
December’s been a hectic month for me with Christmas having been at the forefront of everything but despite that it’s been a great month and I’ve felt my writing take off again. Not only do I feel more like writing but I’ve found myself confident enough to write about new things and have even been approached by a new publisher to review! Overall a good month 🙂
The second most popular post, actually posted in December so possibly December’s most popular post written is Christmas 2017 Recommended Reads & Gifts. Although posted only a few days ago it’s netted a lot of views and worth checking out even beyond Christmas as I still recommend these books as gifts for yourself and others.
The only poem I have written and that’s had some popularity has been yesterdays! The Cold Winter is a poem I really wasn’t sure about but I’ve received some wonderful encouraging messages from you guys so thank you 🙂 I wasn’t sure as it came to me in when I was feeling a bit off but please tell me what you think.
I’m also personally proud of the few shares and likes that this post, When Talent’s Worth a Shout Out, got. It’s about talent in my local area and some wonderful music I hope you’ll all enjoy hearing regardless of your usual music tastes. If you believe in supporting local talent then please do me a favour and help by sharing this post as I feel this is talent worth shouting about 🙂
Next month I’ll be doing a round-up of 2017 as well as my favourite books of the year as recommendations for you to read, they’re not necessarily the same as the ones in my Xmas recommended list!
I do plan to do some new things as well as concentrating far more on writing article and discussion posts on both writer/book things and others. I want to concentrate on making my blog even more to my own taste and I hope you’ll enjoy sharing that with me.
As well as some new blog posts I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my mix of book reviews, both children’s and older, poetry and arty posts! Oh and I can’t forget to of course mention the fact I want to include Phoenix the Peacock in more of my posts as the site mascot, especially as some people have mistakenly called me Phoenix 😮 😮 !!!
What have you enjoyed doing this December? Did you get any presents you wanted or treat yourself? If you don’t celebrate Christmas what else have you enjoyed doing?
I hope your winter is going well. I have no idea whether this poem makes sense or not, my mind just went somewhere mentally and produced this while I was shivering last night! A little different, I hope you enjoy it but either way let me know your thoughts 🙂
The Cold Winter
Chill wind blows,
Turns lake into silver,
Human skin pimples,
Limbs begin shiver.
Trees lose plumage,
Forest floor turned canvas,
Birds depart home for,
Other page in atlas.
Creatures all sizes,
In ground lie dead,
Life’s liquid pumping,
Just cozy in bed.
Chill wind blows,
Life under lock,
Waiting to repeat,
The life cycle clock.
How do you feel about this poem? Do you enjoy the winter or do you prefer a warmer season. Please let me know all your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂
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Description: Ryan Hart is an 18-year-old adventurer on a mission. To get himself to Mount Everest and check out the truth about the world’s highest peak. Friends have told him dark stories about the mountain, outrageous things that he wants to see for himself.
Just a few hours after Ryan arrives at Everest Base Camp a lethal earthquake strikes. Avalanches pound the glacier, burying Ryan’s climbing buddy and killing many others. A desperate rescue saves Ryan’s friend, but only after a local Tibetan girl Tashi helps with the search.
Stress levels are running high among the climbing teams. The mountain is shut for the season because it is judged too dangerous.
Then a flashlight reveals a clue. Someone is alive, high on Everest’s treacherous north face!
Tashi is convinced it is her 15-year-old brother.
Ryan is prepared to risk everything to help.
Storm clouds gather as they set out on their illegal climb, a do-or-die mission which the local militia will do anything to stop.
My Review: I really didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did! ‘North Face’ is the second book in ‘The Everest Files’ trilogy and is an exciting read. You don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this one as it works well as a stand alone novel. The story begins with Ryan, an adventurer on a gap year, who arrives at Everest but soon after an earthquake strikes devastating the camp. In the chaos that follows he ends up meeting Tashi, a Tibetan girl who helps him with his friend, but soon it’s Tashi who needs help.
The first chapter of the book is written in the first person and is from Ryan’s perspective but this soon changes to the third person when we hear Tashi’s story. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this book when reading the first chapter. There was a lot of fast-paced action happening when the earthquake hits but I didn’t really feel much of a connection with Ryan’s character yet. It’s only when chapter two starts, where we read Tashi’s backstory, that I began to feel connected and really interested in reading this book.
Tashi’s tale is a fascinating one and once I’d started reading her story I really couldn’t put this book down. Her story begins with her life with her family, leading a nomadic life free in Tibet. But soon the Chinese military show up ruining everyone’s lives, slowly repressing the Tibetan people, and lives. I don’t want to go into the details of what happens but it’s a sad and at times shocking read. I’ve read a lot of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the freedoms of certain people and cultures being taken away from them, especially during the second world war, but something about reading this book which is set in times today made this all the more shocking.
Tashi’s story continues for more than half of the book and eventually reaches the point where she began talking to Ryan. At this point the story switches back to Ryan’s perspective. I didn’t mind this transition at all. It felt natural and I really enjoyed getting to know Tashi and the truth about the authorities repression of her people. I have to admit that it’s the story of what happens to Tashi’s family and her which really drove me to want to read this book. I became completely engrossed in the story and fascinated by the moments of Tibetan culture that are mentioned too.
This book really has a lot of fast-paced action in it although I wouldn’t say that it’s action throughout. Tashi’s parts were slower and more typical of any contemporary novel however what happens on the climb and after is thrilling, especially when there is trouble behind them, during the climb. I don’t want to spoil this part of the story or the ending but there’s a lot more that happens and it was unpredictable right to the end. Even the last moments of action and the last chapter were exciting and I’m surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. It’s made me want to read the entire Everest Files trilogy as there are mentions of something in this story which make me wonder what happened in the first book and what will happen in the next.
Each chapter has a header image which is a beautiful illustration and worth mentioning. They contain pictures of peacocks, yaks and tigers among other things and it just makes the book all the more special to read. The descriptions of some of the things that happen to the Tibetan people are a bit disturbing. Though nothing is gruesome it can be a little shocking and there are occasional blunt descriptions of dead bodies and other such things. There isn’t anything offensive though I still wouldn’t recommend this for anyone below teen age. The back of the book has some quick information on where you can find more about Everest and what’s happening with the Tibetan people which is good as this subject has really interested me.
This book is surprisingly engrossing and a much deeper and important novel than it first appears to be. The descriptions of what’s happening to Tashi, her family and her fellow Tibetans makes this all the more important to read as it’s based in the realities of what is happening today. Although Tashi’s story is fiction, I have no doubt that the author described some of the horrors of what is happening in Tibet today and it makes this such an important read as well as being a really good action story too.
I’d definitely recommend this book to read for everyone teen aged and up and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series to find out what happens!
-Thanks to Vertebrate Publishing for a free copy.
What do you think of this book and series? Do you like books that highlight cultural and human rights issues? What about adventure and action novels? Please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂
I didn’t get a book haul from Walker Books for December so I thought I would show these off a few days earlier. These new books which came in the post just before Christmas, are from the lovely people at Walker Books who have sent an amazing set of books to start off January’s book buying and reading.
First some great children’s and teen fiction:
The Day That Aliens (Nearly) Ate Our Brains by Tom McLaughlin – Best friends Freddy and Sal have accidentally intercepted a message from Alan – a spectacularly grumpy, brain-munching alien from outer space. Alan has only one message. Earth is going to be invaded in exactly ten hours’ time …
Mango & Bambang: Superstar Tapir by Polly Faber & Clara Vulliamy – Both Mango and Bambang are left star-struck when Bambang’s cousin comes to town with Hollywood actress Minty Verbena. But when disaster strikes, Bambang is the true star of the show.
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather – After Sam’s father is hospitalised, she has to move from New York to Salem. Unfortunately, she’s related to one of the men responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, and to say she feels unwelcome is an understatement… When a centuries-old curse is rekindled, can Sam stop history repeating itself?
And here are some excellent and very interesting picture books:
Nature Storybooks Collection: Every Wonderful Word is True – A collection of 10 Nature Storybooks which give a fascinating and accessible introduction to the natural world. Subjects include sharks, polar bears, tigers, whales and many more.
All At Sea There’s a New Baby in the Family by Gerry Byrne & Faye Hanson – When Liam’s mum and dad bring his new baby brother home from the hospital they also bring him a present: a family of hippos. But the baby hippo of the family keeps going missing … A warm, sensitive and reassuring book about the arrival of a new baby in the family.
Lucky Laszlo by Steve Light – Lazlo is in love. So, with the perfect red rose in hand, he sets off to the theatre, where the girl of his dreams is starring in Alice in Wonderland. But when a cat snatches the flower and dashes backstage, Lazlo is in for a bit of bad luck.
So do any of these interest you? I can’t help but love the title and illustrations of Mango and Bambang: Superstar Tapir, it’s the Tapir that’s just so cute! 😀
The Nature Storybooks Collection is a box with 10 individual picture books inside! I’ll be reviewing them all plus the overall collection soon so I hope you enjoy those reviews along with all the others 🙂
What books have you recently received? Did you get any for Christmas? Excited to read something new? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Just a quick Christmas picture for you today seeing as it’s Christmas and lots of you may be away. However if you are here let me know what you think? This comes from the book I got for myself for my birthday last month. It’s called ‘Doodle Design Christmas Memories’. All the colouring is my own 🙂
Merry Christmas Everyone from Phoenix the Peacock and I 🙂 Hope you have a lovely day!
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Merry Christmas everyone,
May this season bring you fun.
May you enjoy peace and love,
From nearby or from above.
Merry Christmas everyone,
May all wrapping soon be done,
Enjoy gifts found under tree,
Be it plastic or real as me.
Merry Christmas everyone,
Have you much or close to none.
May this season bring good health,
And if needed far more wealth.
Merry Christmas to all who be,
Be you happy or more grumpy.
May this season fill your heart,
For soon is chance for fresh new start.
Merry Christmas Everyone for tomorrow! I wish you all a happy Christmas/Holiday time and good health and happiness for the new year. Are you looking forward to tomorrow, let me know in the comments below 🙂 Don’t forget to follow me in these places too 🙂 !