giveaway flash: the sharp edge of a knife by nichole giles

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, November 23, 2010 3 bookish peeps...
Book Give-Away November 22 - 29: for those interested in The Sharp Edge of a Knife, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail at U.S. only.

About the book

When Mel Petersen leaves for work, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn’t know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary.

interview: Author DiDi LeMay

Written by Darlyn At Monday, November 22, 2010 5 bookish peeps...
Hi guys! I so excited today to have DiDi Lemay, the author of The Winter's Solstice Celebration to Darlyn & Books today. My mom and I love the book so much and she even reads it a few times to my little cousins at home. You can read my review here. So, without wasting the time, here's my interview with her. Say hi and welcome her too!

D: Hi DiDi! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

DL: I’ve been writing for a very long time. I started when I was about 10 years old. Writing is an outlet for me to communicate and that is something I love to do. One of the ways I communicate is that I’m a teacher. I on occasion teach English as a Second Language to students of all ages.
I’m a very outgoing and happy person who loves life and sees the best in things. I love meeting new people and have adventures. The experiences in my life and the people whom I meet often inspire me to tell a story. I am very happily married. We have a cat named Harley and a dog named Rosie. My husband and I love to go for long walks with our young puppy- a golden doodle. She has lots of energy and it is fun to go hiking in the woods with her. I have an adventure everyday.

D: What is your routine of writing? Where and when do you find the time to write?

DL: There are times where I have a strict schedule of writing or researching everyday. That is usually once I have developed the story and feel that it has to be put on paper – so I don’t forget what my characters are about or what they have to say or how the story unfolds.

When I’m working on character or story development, I just let my imagination flow and percolate. I have a journal with me when I’m out so that when I have an idea I write it down. When I’m at home, I will drop what I’m doing and start to write. I then write until that train of thought is on paper. That can sometimes be within a few sentences or at times hours of writing. It has happened that I’m so immersed in writing that when my husband comes home things are strewn all about. He knows what is going on and then just waits until I stop. He doesn’t want to distract me. When this happens, my husband says I’m “in the book”.

D: Did you always know that you are going to be writer? And children story writer even more?

DL: I knew I had to communicate my stories to a lot of people and I did feel a pull towards books and writing. I loved reading as a child and when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say a teacher and writer. I am both.

When I was about 10 years old, I wrote a story as homework for the English teacher and she failed me. I had given a very detailed disruption on how the curtains in the bedroom window had fallen open and that the beam of light coming from the streetlight had illuminated the alarm clock(before digital) and that is how my character could see the time. The teacher told me that she did not believe that I had written this and that she therefore failed me. I was not insulted at all. I felt very confident in my writing.

I can only say, that children’s story are the ones that seem to flow from my imagination. I believe it is because I’m still a child at heart. I also feel that writing stories for the younger generation I hope to instill values and meaning to their lives. I hope to be a positive inspiration in their lives.

D: Winter Solstice's Celebration is really a good book. My mom and I love it so much! How did you get such a great idea to write the book?

DL: I became very interested in the environment, when years ago, I noticed the small river I had to cross on a daily basis on the way to school. Everyday, it had different coloured foam. When I asked about what it was, people very callously dismissed it and told me not to worry about it. I found out that it was run-off from the factory up stream. I think the callousness of people worried me as much as what was happening to the river. I started thinking about the animals and how we did things to their environment. That’s how I started to think about their story. It became very important to me to tell the story of the environment through their eyes, so that we humans can learn what the consequences of our actions are doing to nature.

D: I know it's not easy to write a story with a focus on quite a heavy issue concerning on environment to the children. It may sounds easy, but is there any research when you write the book?

DL: When I get an idea for a book that addresses issues like what I write about in “A Winter Solstice Celebration” I look at how I can put it into words and characters that the children can relate to. With “A Winter Solstice Celebration” I then did a lot of research on environmental issues that were concerns and then I put myself in their “shoes” - the animals- and imagined what they would have to say to us about the environment. That is how this story came about. The environment is a very important topic and I wanted to give the younger generation something to think about while they grow up. I’m hoping that the children that read “A Winter Solstice Celebration” get inspired by the characters and take some positive actions to help the environment.

D: Do you plan to write about other addresses issues for children books too in future? Maybe you're working on something now that you would like to share with us?

DL: My second book “Freddy’s French Fries Fiasco” which is also published, addresses childhood obesity. I felt it was important to get the message out to the children in a way that they could relate to. Children deserve to be healthy and active.

I’m also working on the second part of “A winter Solstice Celebration” This is “A Summer Solstice Celebration” where I will address the issues and pollution of our oceans. I’m doing a lot of research and have already developed story line and characters.

I’m also working on a series of books for younger readers. The character is “The Big Blue Bed Monster” who helps the children learn about important things in life. He helps them get over the fear of the dark and also goes to the dentist with them.

D: Every author has their own mission in any of their books. What's yours?

DL: My mission is to address issues in my books to inform and educate the children in a fun and interactive way. I also hope to inspire my young readers to become responsible and respectful adults.

D: Tell us 3 things that we might be surprised to know about you.

DL: I speak Dutch and German, I don’t have children, but I have lots of nieces and nephews. I enjoy new technology, but when I get something new, it takes a while to learn how to use it.

D: Any last words before we wrap up?
DL: One of the things that I want to instill in my young readers the importance of growing up to be a well balanced, responsible individual with respect and empathy towards their fellow human beings and their surroundings.

A Winter Solstice Celebration is an excellent book for Adults who want to teach their children the importance of caring for animals and the environment they live in. My book makes great Christmas Reading. You can purchase my book at and Amazon.

About the Author

DiDi LeMay is the author of “A Winter Solstice Celebration” and “Freddy’s French Fries Fiasco”. DiDi enjoys busy life writing, teaching English as a Second Language, and helping her students find their career paths. DiDi was involved with children’s entertainment for numerous years. While living in Europe she founded a Children’s Theatre Group, teaching children the ins and outs of acting, dancing, stage management, and writing.

Find DiDi LeMay’s at Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Thanks DiDi for your time at Darlyn & Books!

a winter solstice celebration by didi lemay

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, November 21, 2010 4 bookish peeps...
Title: A Winter Solstice Celebration
Author: DiDi LeMay
Pages: 56
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommended Age: 7-12

Summary (Goodreads):

What adventures are waiting for Miya as she walks to the forest to feed the animals?

An angry squirrel, a gentle crow, and an intimidating owl are just some of the interesting characters Miya meets in the forest. The animals are concerned about the environmental impact the humans have on their forest. It's up to Miya to deliver this message to the villagers.

But can she be convincing enough?

While reading this beautifully illustrated story, children will be silently rooting for Miya as she tries to support her new animal friends. They will be so captivated by Miya's adventures, young readers will not realize they are learning lessons in helping others, standing up for their beliefs, conquering their fears, and caring for the environment.

My Thought:

First of all, when I've been contacted to review a children book, I was a little hesitating because of what if I'm not capable of reviewing or giving an opinion of a children book. But then I thought, I was once a kid myself, so I think I would know what a good book I will enjoy when I read when I was a kid.

Reading at the synopsis of the book, I was intrigued. Environmental impact is quite a big issue and I don't think I can explain very well to any kids or even little cousins that I have. Miya, the main character of the book, is very anxious and sensitive little girl. She cared about the animals and always try to help them by bringing food near at forest for every winter. However, once, when she met a squirrel, being angry at her and demanded her to leave. She wondered why she's not unwelcome to the forest anymore and once she found out with the help of an owl, she felt like she had to help them. She don't want to be a bad person and being disliked by the animals that she loves. A gentle crow encouraged her to be brave and being confident, as she wanted to change the perspective of the animals towards the human and likewise. Through her adventure, Miya got an idea how she could bring peace by bringing the village community and the forest dwellers. A new celebration of winter solstice as a new a tradition among the villagers.

I want to be like Miya. She believes in herself and try to make a change even if it is just a single and simple act of kindness. She will make children believes that with a little help and good action to help others, it will give a good impact through one's heart.

All in all, A Winter Solstice Celebration is a very informative, helps us to understand the environmental impact issues, how human and animals need each other and how environment are important to all the creatures in the world. Respect the mother nature too. Other than that, it teaches children how to be tolerable, be brave and confident of themselves, make peace and respect each other.

The story is very interesting, it has the ability to capture little kid's attention with colorful pictures and it's easy to understand the whole story. The ending also satisfying and I believe the children will satisfy how Miya and the animals like each other again.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Author DiDi Lemay for an exchange of fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.

Note: The review also take part in Cym Lowell Book Review Party

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge - Finished!

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, November 20, 2010 3 bookish peeps...

Young Adult Reading Challenge hosted by J.Kaye's Book Blog. Even though I been very seldom visiting the blog now after it was taken over by someone else, I'm very grateful that I managed to finish the challenge. Thank God!

I picked to read 12 books, and it's kind of very fun to do this.

1) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
2) Thirst no.1 by Christopher Pike
3) Vampire Academy by Richelle Caine
4) Frostbite by Richelle Caine
5) Shadow Kiss by Richelle Caine
6) Boy That Bites by Mari Mancusi
7) Stake That by Mari Mancusi
8) Thirst vol 1 by Christopher Pike
9) Thirst vol 2 by Christopher Pike
10) The Morganville Vampires Vol 1 by Rachel Caine
11) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
12) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

giveaway flash: little shepherd by cheryl malandrinos

Written by Darlyn At Friday, November 12, 2010 2 bookish peeps...
Interview with Author Cheryl Malandrinos and Book Give-Away November 8 - 15: The new book giveaway this week is a Christmas book for children. It's an awesome book. The info is below. For those interested in Little Shepherd, leave a comment about this interview with your e-mail at International.

Little Shepherd is the story of Obed, a young shepherd boy in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. After the angels appear, Obed is hesitant to follow the others to see the newborn King. He’s afraid something might happen to his flock while he’s away. His father convinces him to go, but Obed spends much of the time anxious over his sheep. After a visit with the Holy Family and some surprises upon his return to the field, Obed discovers it is a night of miracles. This book is geared toward readers ages 4 to 8.

excuses, excuses...!

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, November 11, 2010 7 bookish peeps...
I don't know if some of you realized this, but I'm slacking at blogging this past few weeks. Blame me for that because I kinda having a lot off stuff and things to do. Everything is totally hectic and I'm losing my what I called the plan. Right now I'm at my uncles and on 11/13 will be going back to my hometown in Terengganu to celebrate Eidul Adha on 11/17. Three days later will be MY Younger Sister's Wedding (totally hope it is MINE! LOL)! Apart from that I have an important paper to be submitted for a conference in Brunei on 12/12 and gosh I haven't do it yet!

I'm on a leave for like 3 weeks and I can't promise I will blog and I don't think I'll read at very least. Wedding is a big event and we're going to be so busy with so many things. It's like I can't wait for it as well as I can't wait for it to over. But I promise to upload a lot of pictures at the wedding! I bet you never see a Malay wedding and it makes me really excited to show you all the pictures soon! But first let me introduce you all to my sister and her fiancee;

My sis, Ziehan and Khairul

Although this post is really my attempt to give lists of excuses, I'm still hoping you're still around and please don't forget about me! Because even though I'm full of the laziness inside me, I still and will miss you guys. I plan to pay visits around blogosphere tomorrow before I left for awhile. Oh, I already scheduled some posts while I'm gone hoping that my blog won't be left with spider-webs and dust. LOL. I'll be back!

<-- please don't forget this lazy girl =)

Happy early thanksgiving and Eidul Adha Mubarak!

xoxo Darlyn xoxo

giveaway winner: the life o'reilly by brian cohen

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, November 10, 2010 4 bookish peeps...

Hi guys! The has spoken! Now I would love to announce the winner of a signed copy The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen. And she is who said;

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the very first step - Carol
(I love what she said <3)

Congratulations! I'll send you an email now and please reply me back in 48 hours before I chose another new winner.

Thank you so much to all the participants and I love reading the the quotes! I'm looking forward to my next big giveaway for my blogoversary very soon! Stay tune =)

interview: Author Scott Nicholson + kindle giveaway!

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, November 02, 2010 121 bookish peeps...
Hi everyone! We have Scott Nicholson, paranormal thriller author at Darlyn & Books today as a part of his Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour. It's really exciting to have him again here. If you all remember, he wrote for a guest post at Darlyn & Books entitled "The New Era of Reading" a couple of month ago and I also had his book reviewed; The Red Church. There's the giveaway details at the end of the interview. Enjoy!

D: It’s been two months since your Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour began. How do you feel?

SN: I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve made some new friends and led people to new book blogs, and only a couple of times have I had those “Where am I today?” moments. It has taken away from my writing time, but in the new publishing era, book bloggers are the center of the action.

D: I think you did a great jump start on the phenomenon of Kindle/E-readers and e-books. Everyone’s talking/discussing/twitting about Scott Nicholson Kindle Giveaway around blogosphere. How do you take it? It’s a good thing right? (And not because the readers only want a free Kindle *wink*)

SN: We all dig free stuff, and one of the tricky things is some people on the tour don’t buy e-books yet because they don’t have a kindle. But I think many of the people who don’t win will probably buy one by Christmas. I actually got a bit of a late start because I’ve only been doing this 10 months, but I immediately saw all the benefits of the new era—the most important being the immediate connection with readers.

D: It’s amazing how you setting up the 90 Days Blog Tour and it’s nonstop. WOW. I’ve been around reading your posts on other blogs as well and every day is a new thing we get from you, very refreshing. If I were you, it’s hard to keep it real and organized but you did really great. How you did you do it? Got any extra hands?

SN: The only hard part was personally contacting probably 250 bloggers to set up dates. I didn’t have a list or a plan, I just started prowling the Internet. This whole idea was born in mid-July and originally I was going to give away one paper book per stop, then I realized that wasn’t my audience now. Sane writers generally do one-week blog tours, or one month at the most, but I wasn’t going to promote just one book, I was going to talk about the entire Scott Nicholson universe, which had never been revealed in all its strange, kaleidoscopic splendor. Plus I figured at some point I’d fail spectacularly and at least provide some entertainment.

D: Okay, let’s talk about your amazing books. I’ve read The Red Church and it’s brilliant and planning to read Drummer Boy for Halloween. At first I thought it’s just horror and scary but it has thrills at the same time. All your books have the same elements and keep me wondering if you write what scares you or assume that it will scare your readers when you wrote them? Do you plot the mystery, characters and everything too?

SN: Well, I don’t really plot, and I borrow a lot from local legends, and my core work is definitely paranormal and supernatural thrillers, but the new era and publishing my own work has allowed me to branch out in ways that would be nearly impossible in conventional publishing. I can do anything I want and all I have to do is convince you to give it a try. But the reader is the ultimate boss, and readers will tell me what sorts of things I should be writing and which things I should quit instantly.

D: Just want to hear out your opinion. Yes, we know E-books are a new era. But what about the price? They are expensive as the printed books and not everyone can afford to have e-readers. How can we reduce the entire e-books price and make them cheaper and affordable? (I’m not being pessimist but it’s a fuss among readers. We can’t wait for free stuff forever).

SN: Well, e-reader prices are already dropping, and so are e-book prices, but it’s not something you’d noticed unless you really track the trends and data. The evolution is accelerating faster than all the pundits predicted, but the pundits have been wrong about practically everything. The iPad was supposed to be the publisher’s savior and compete with Kindle, but it actually secured the Kindle app as the default reader of choice and spurred sales of Kindle books. Not many people are using the iBookstore. It was just another in a series of mistakes by publishers, but they have it tough and I can understand why they seek to protect what they know, because change is very threatening to anything that has a “tradition.”

The writers, readers, and publishers who are adapting the fastest have no investment in the old system, whether it’s the nostalgia of paper books or the dubious “legitimacy” of being accepted by New York. What’s really cool to me is that right now a reader can buy basically everything I’ve ever written for about the price of one hardcover book.

D: So what’s next? The tour will end at the end of the month. Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about? Any new book in progress?

SN: I launched four or five books while I’ve been on tour, and I haven’t really had time to promote them much or get out review copies. I just released the crime thriller Disintegration yesterday as a 99 cent special for a limited time. The next book is Cursed!, a fun paranormal romance co-authored with Kindle bestseller J.R. Rain that should be out this month. Then I have a few short-story bundles for winter as I finish the next book in the October Girls series.

D: So, are we going to know you as a paranormal thriller writer forever? Any plan to change writing style or genre?

SN: Well, I just remembered I have two new graphic novels out, Grave Conditions and Dirt. Grave Conditions features J.A. Konrath, Brian Keene, Stephen Susco, Jonathan Maberry and more, and Dirt has my adapted short stories. I should have my first children’s book out very soon—“If I Were Your Monster,” with art by Lee Davis. We’re working on another one now. And I’ve already started a sequel to As I Die Lying but it will probably be spring before it’s done.

D: Okay, last but not least. What is your normal day as when you are not writing? Or are you writing every day?

SN: Well, I’m a full-time newspaper reporter and I love my job but of course I’d rather be doing my own thing. But I was thinking about this just the other day, how right now I don’t have time to be successful. If I were a huge bestseller, it would put a lot of demands on me and I want to have some more books out and do my own thing for a while longer before there are “expectations.” One thing’s for sure, this indie game is a lot better business model for a writer than the old way, where you were shooting craps and had little chance at a future. Sure, there are a handful of millionaire bestsellers, but the story of most writers is that they died sick and broke, long forgotten by their publishers. Independent e-books are as close as a writer can get to a real pension fund.

D: Last one. Promise. What you love most about Halloween? Is there any spectacular activity or any traditions in your family on Halloween?

SN: Well, I like Halloween but Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. Halloween is 365 for me. I never have a problem putting on a mask, and it’s even more fun when it’s not the one socially acceptable time to do it.

D: Any last word before we wrap it up?

SN: Tater tots. But that’s two words. Thanks for hosting, Darlyn, and good luck with the Kindle giveaways, everyone. I wish I had a hundred to give you.

Thanks so much Scott for spending some time here!

About the Author

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX
, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at Blog Tour Site.

my monthly books recap: october 10

Written by Darlyn At Monday, November 01, 2010 7 bookish peeps...
Hi everybody! How are you and how was Halloween? I bet everyone had a great time. I never experience a Halloween except watching it in dramas or movies. I think it's fun and exciting with costumes, treats, candy and yummy food..and the list could go on. LOL

I wonder what costume I'll wear but I always dream to wear something black like Morticia Addams! She's pale with red lipstick, long sleek shining black hair and tight black gothic dress. Perfect sarcastic serious vamp, grows flesh-eating plants (like me!), witty and deadly. Now I miss watching The Addams Family. The whole family is real spooking I tell you =)

So what's your costume for Halloween this year? I've seen a few blogger buddies with costumes on their blog and very happy for them to enjoy their Halloween!

Something nice and something great to share but let gets to business. I have to be honest that I don't read much during the October. I managed to read and review 5 books. So few right?

1) Damaged by Pamela Callow
2) The Island by Sarah Singleton
3) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
4) Sons of Fortune by Jeffrey Archer
5) The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen

Not so good but it's better than nothing! So there would be 88 books read this year and 12 to go to reach 100 books this year. I thought at least I could make it to 150 books but I guess 100 will do. Fingers crossed!

But before I forget, I'm hosting a giveaway of a signed copy The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen. It's open internationally and click here to enter. Ends 11/9.

So like always, how was your October? I love to hear anything you want to share. Oh, and do leave the link of your October read if you have in the comment!

Have a GREAT NOVEMBER! Cheers!!!

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