"What do you want to be?" "Happy," she says with a smile. - Colleen Hoover

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Payback Ep. 1, 2 & 3 by Taryn Bashford

In the words of most teenage fan girls around the world, "I can't even.!"
When I first started talking to Taryn about her new dialogue novel I was intrigued. A dialogue novel? Say what now?
She explained that there have been studies that show that people sometimes skip right over everything in the book aside from the dialogue. They want the juice.
I've never in my life ever even heard of something like this so of course I couldn't wait to get my greedy little hands on it.
I'm going to do a short review for each episode - as I don't want to give away spoilers and also each episode is pretty short in itself - but I want to give you an overall opinion right now.
I think this is fantastic!!
Like I said I've never even heard of something like this so for a minute I was a bit worried. I don't know what I was thinking!! First of all it's short so it doesn't take you long to read which I appreciate. Second it's like reading texts between people or a movie script and I really enjoy that. Third I LOVE that Taryn is letting her readers be a part of the experience. After you read an episode you can comment on where you think the story should go. She will be writing the story as we go through the episodes so nothing is set in stone. How stinkin' cool is that?!
Also there are pictures to show you what each character looks like -because as I said this is all dialogue, no descriptions.
Okay okay enough of all that, here are the reviews!!
Episode 1:
When I started reading this I'm like hmm okay this is interesting, I like it. Then I got to the last sentence and oh. my. gosh. My heart starting beating quicker, my eyes got wide and I HAD to hurry up and read the next episode.
I have never in my life been that hooked that quickly. You guys definitely need to check this out!!
Episode 2:
Sweet heavens it's like an episode of Pretty Little Liars!! I literally just finished reading this as I'm typing this because I want to be able to give you my honest reactions. These episodes are like candy for your brain, they're delicious!!
This episode picks up right where episode 1 ends and leaves you ready to devour the next episode.
Episode 3:
GUYS!! Again with the leaving me wanting more!!
So okay I'm loving this.
I don't understand how I can already love these characters after knowing them so little.
This is unlike anything I've ever read and I think it's fascinating.
You guys most DEFINITELY need to check this out.
Read the episodes on any of these Social Media platforms:
Taryn's Website
Check out my playlist for Payback on Spotify by clicking HERE

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Taryn Bashford Interview

I'm so excited to share this interview with you all today. Taryn is one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of chatting with.
Huge thank yous go out to her for taking the time to talk to me and answer my questions.
I hope you all enjoy the interview!! :)

1. Aside from being an author what is your dream job?
Someone asked me this the other day and I really had to think long and hard because being an author has been a dream since I was about 5. But I do love music and have music playing in the background when I write. I also played a few instruments growing up, and got to quite a high level in keyboard. So I’d have to say a concert pianistplaying in the concert halls of Vienna, Berlin, Sydney, London, New York wow! Now that would be cool.

2. Is writing something you've always wanted to do?
Absolutely. My earliest memories are writing homemade books. I’d cut sheets of paper in half, staple them to create a book, and collect my colored pens. Each line had to written in a new color-alternating throughout the pages. I still have some of those books in my attic somewhere. One story really stuck in my head: The disappearance of the grass. Lol. Not sure why I was so interested in grass…

3. You're story written in all dialogue is something I've never heard of, what made you want to do it?
There are so many reasons. I’ll try to condense it. Being a writer of young adult novels, I’m always looking for new ways to reach readers. It seemed to me, based on my own daughter’s social media habits, that my readers are ‘reading’ an awful lot on social media. My daughter is 14 and no longer watches TV because she’s texting and interacting and reading stuff on her social media platforms. We used to watch ‘Reign’ together, but now she’d rather be on her phone. So that made me think about publishing on social media because that’s where my readers want to hang out. So when they’re waiting for the bus, having a lunch break at school, or winding down at bedtime, no matter where they are, they can read a dialogue novel because it’ll be on twitter, Facebook and my blog. Each episode of my dialogue novel, Payback, is short and exciting and published twice weekly. Then readers can comment alongside other readers, share and suggest plotlines. Interacting after each episode is an exciting part of Payback, because fans can get involved, chat to each other, and be a part of a community.
Why dialogue only? For two reasons: Social media is all about dialogueit’s the Age of Conversation. People jump from tweets to group conversations on Snapchat, to commenting on Instagram, to texting. Life is a hundred conversations every day. So why not write something that duplicates this experience? Also, I’m told by teachers that reluctant readers tend to skip the description and go right to the dialogue, so it’s a way of appealing to these readersafter all, reading is reading! One of my old school teachers used to say she didn’t care if we read the back of cereal boxesas long as we were reading. The same went for comics.

The more I thought about this new way of reading, the more I thought that the novel needs to evolve in this digital age. Picture books have evolved in that they include interactive apps, so why not evolve the novel too, and make it more interactive in the digital medium? As I’m writing Payback, it feels like I’m writing a movie scriptit’s fast-paced, dynamic, full of exciting characters, plot twists and dramatic cliffhangers, because nowadays we take our entertainment like we take our sushi--on a conveyer belt: it must be delivered quickly, full of freshness, always available, and in bite-sized chunks.

4. How do you come up with character names?
That’s a good one. I actually trawl the baby name websites. I’ll have the character in mind, including their background, character traits and the way they look, their nationality, age, and so on. For instance Shae’s family are originally Irish immigrants and now live in LA, so her whole family have Irish-based names: Finn is her brother, Devin her father and Kathleen her mother. The name usually springs out at me and I get a warm sensation that it ‘fits’ my beloved character. Sometimes I don’t get it right though. Drew was originally named Troy. I wanted a name that sounded heroic and strong, but Drew’s character evolved to be heroic and strong in a more understated fashion than the name Troy suggests. Shae is shy and an introvert with a soft personality (though she’s tough as nails on the inside), so the SHH sound seemed to suggest softness and shyness to me.

5. If you could have any actors reading the parts of your characters who would you choose?
That’s such a good idea! I should totally do that one day. Liam Hemsworth is a first choice for Drew, and Emma Watson for Shae. Harper is a Katniss-like character, so Jennifer Lawrence for her, and Colt? Well Theo James without a doubt!

6. If you could have lunch with any author living or dead who would you pick?
Enid Blyton. I devoured her books as a child, and had a fixed image of her personality and her life in my head. I imagined what her life must be like, how she spent her days, what sort of mom she was, and dreamed of being exactly like her one day. Then I saw the movie of her life and was devastated to have my dream of her shattered. I wanted to ask her so many questions after that movie. She had a terrible marriage, a horrible relationship with her children and her parents, and she was pretty lonely. I almost cried.

7. What is something about you that your readers may not know?
I’m an adrenaline junkie. I have done everything from bungee jumping, parasailing and skydiving in New Zealand, paragliding in South Africa, heli-skiing in Colorado, and on my last writer’s retreat near Sydney, I went caving and abseiling a cliff face. Part of the fun nowadays is I’m usually the oldest one there, with a bunch of teens (my readers) poking fun at me and I love being a part of that adrenaline rush with them.

8. If you were stranded on a desert island with three books which ones would they be?
That’s easy: Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere. Stephanie Perkin’s Anna & the French Kiss, and Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits.

9. Which authors do you look up to?
All of them. Being an author is way tougher than it seems. So in addition to the three just mentioned, the list continues with Jennifer E Smith, Jennifer Brown, Jenny Han (all the Jennys J), Sara Zarr, Laurie Halse Anderson…those are some major YA authors who’s shoes I’d love to step into. On the adult novels front, my top three are Joanne Harris, Kate Atkinson, Margaret Atwood and Anita Shreve. Oh and John Irving…and Annie Proulx. Okay I’ll stop now.

10. If your book had a theme song what would it be?

Hurt, by Christina Aguilera because Payback follows the lives of four jet-setting friends who've learned to rely on each other because their parents are either dead or have let them down. Like in that song, many of their family relationships are fractured. The plot goes on to explore what happens when Shae's uncle is murdered within a day of her brother being involved in a hit and run, and the friends realize their lives are on the line. The friends have to become like the family they don’t have.

Follow Taryn on Social Media:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I'm A Duff: Taryn Bashford

Before I share Taryn's story with you I want to thank her for taking the time to write and share her story. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know her and I'm so thankful for her time.

It seems everyone at high school had a clique to fit intonot me. I skirted around the edges of cliques because I didnt fit into any of them. As I wore glasses, I couldnt possibly be in the popular cliquein those days glasses were very unflattering, and I was simply known as four eyes. I did notice if you complimented a popular girls shoes or bag, theyd grace you with a huge smile and two seconds-worth of attention, so I learnt a lesson there. But I was too stubborn to follow the social rules and didnt try that again.

I was good at school work, and loved to read and write, in fact I lost myself in study (still a workaholic today) and so might have been in the ‘smart kid’ clique, but I was too sporty to fit there. I represented my school in athletics, swimming, field hockey, badminton, and basketball. I was mainly a 400m runner and later in my teens, trained for the Olympics (I didn’t make it and went to college instead).
Then there’s the music cliqueI played piano, clarinet and violin. But I didnt like pop music, so no fit there either.
Recently, I completed the Pottermore Sorting Hat test and discovered I am a Ravenclaw. This made me laugh as it’s the house I’m least familiar with, but one of the traits is a love of individuality. So maybe that’s itI skirted the cliques because I was just being all the different sides of ME.
I highly recommend this route. Don’t be anyone’s DUFF, but you don’t have to ‘fit’ in a group either. Instead find your own fit and get comfortable in your own body. And most of all, choose how you react to peoplejust as you dont like everyone you meet, not everyone will like you. AND THAT’S OKAY!
If you’d like a free downloadable ebook about changing your ‘I’m Not Good Enough’ mindset in quick easy steps, it’s a click away on www.tarynbashford.com"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: April 19, 2016

Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh

10. Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Two words. Etienne St. Clair. Okay three words.

9. Revenge of The Girl With The Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
It has been a hot minute since I've read this so I don't remember to much. What I do remember is I absolutely loved the characters and I found myself giggling at more than a few parts.

8. All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
This is actually one of my favorite new adult books as well. I remember reading it and laughing at some of the situations because they are to good. Cora has such a way of making her characters relatable and I love every second of her books.

7. Maybe, Someday by Colleen Hoover
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Colleens and I don't think I've read one book of hers that I didn't like. However I think this one might be her funniest. There were so many scenes in this where I couldn't help but smile and laugh.

6. Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
This series isn't all comedy but I did laugh a lot while reading these books. Some of the situations Percy and his crew find themselves in are pretty crazy and they can be kind of funny.
5. The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey
I've been talking about this book quite a bit lately and it's because it was cute and giggle worthy. It's perfect if you're looking for a romantic comedy type book.
4. The Kiss Off by Sarah Billington
It is no surprise that I love this book and that it cracked me up. If you haven't read it you really really should!

3. Literally ANY book by Sophie Kinsella
I have read many of Sophie's books and every single one has cracked me up. Her characters are always so funny and quite relatable. I think she is a genius and her books are hysterical.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Now I know what you're thinking. I must be crazy. This book isn't funny. While the book has an underlying serious note it is actually really sweet and funny. I did cry incredibly hard during this book but I also laughed a lot. Plus I haven't name dropped TFIOS in a few weeks so it was about time.

1. To Love Jason Thorn by Ella Maise
I recently read this book so it's fresh in my mind. I reviewed it a couple of weeks ago because I loved it and had to tell you all about it. It's got the romance I wanted but it's also so funny and it literally made me laugh out loud.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Allure of Dean Harper by R.S. Grey

This is the second book I've read by R.S. Grey and I enjoyed it. The first one I did a review on -The Allure of Julian Lefray - which you can check out by clicking HERE
I planned on reviewing this book right after I finished it but it didn't work out that way. It's been a couple of weeks now which isn't exactly bad because it's given me time to think about how I really feel.
Just like The Allure of Julian Lefray I found this incredibly easy to read and enjoyable. I actually took to Lily quicker than I did Josephine, but I love Julian more than Dean.
In the first book - you could read these as stand-alones but you'll get more background if you read them in order - we meet Dean who is one of Julians best friends. If you've read the book then you know he's wonderful. Almost every scene Dean was in made me that much more excited for this book.
Then there is Lily who is Jo's best friend. We don't get a lot of her in the first book because she hasn't moved to New York yet.
Flash forward to this installment and Lily is now living in New York and ends up working for Dean at his restaurant. While it sounds great its not because the two can't stand each other...well for a while anyway.
I liked the chemistry between the two. Some of the scenes between them made me laugh and others were just really good.
I loved that we got to see more of Josephine and Julian because I love them. It was fun to see where their relationship had gone and to see Jo's fashion career bloom.
While the book did make me laugh and overall I did enjoy it I did have some problems with it. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first because I wasn't as invested in the couple. I felt like they hated each other but then two seconds later were together and that was strange for me. If you've been following my blog for a while you know that I'm not opposed to insta-love, I just didn't like it here.
I also couldn't stand Dean for most of the book and that sucked. As I said before I was really excited to read more about him, so to finally get my wish and then to dislike him so much was a huge let down. I will tell you that I did end up liking him more about half way through the book which was good. He just seemed like two different characters between the books so I almost had to forget about the Dean I was originally introduced to.
If you've read the first book and want more of the characters, or you want a light and easy read then I would recommend this, just know the characters aren't exactly who you already know.

Buy The Allure of Dean Harper Here:
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: April 12, 2016

Ten Books Every New Adult Reader Should Read

I am a HUGE new adult fan as you all probably know by now and these are some of my favorites.
The hard part about making this list was only picking one book for each author. There are plenty of books by Jay, Abbi and Colleen that I wanted to include but I didn't want it be a list only dedicated to them.
If you've read any of these books or if you decide to pick some of them up please comment and let me know!!
Enjoy :)
10. The Temptation of Lila & Ethan by Jessica Sorenson
9. My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron
8. Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken
7. He's Come Undone by Theresa Weir
6. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
5. Faking It by Cora Carmack
4. Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin
3. To Love Jason Thorne by Ella Maise
2. Rush Too Far by Abbi Glines
1. Rule by Jay Crownover

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Friends Book Tag

The other day I did the Gilmore Girls book tag after seeing a YouTube video of it. Today I have created the Friends book tag.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I created a book tag dedicated to my love, Friends.
This is my favorite show (One Tree Hill is right alongside) and I watch it almost every night before bed. Friends means a lot to me and so do books so it's kind of the perfect combination. I hope you like it!! :)
I would like to tag Bookables, Ermahgerd Berks, Book Movie GuyJust Another Bookish Blog and Mornings and Epilogues.

The one is who super smartOh Ross, how I love you so. He can be such a bonehead sometimes but he really is one of the best guys around. As for my answer I'm going to go with AnnaBeth from Percy Jackson.

The one with the great styleRachel and Chandler are tied as my ultimate favorite but let's be honest, they're all kind of my favorite. As soon as I wrote this question I thought of Lola from Lola & The Boy Next Door. Now her style is a bit more eccentric than Rachel's but I love it nonetheless.

The one who is sarcasticChandler Bing is my soul mate, I love absolutely everything about him. He cracks me up and never fails to put a smile on my face. Another character that makes me laugh is Ben from November 9. Yes this book deals with some serious things but he really makes me laugh sometimes.

The one who is a uniqueI adore Phoebe because she's just so...Phoebe. She's so sweet but blunt and I love that about her. As far as the answer goes I'm choosing Cora from Marked Men. She's super spunky and she's not like any character I've ever read.

The one that is super loveableJoey is perfect. He is really funny and so very nice to look at. I wish there were more guys out there like him. I'm sure you won't be surprised when I tell you who I picked for this...ready? Augustus Waters from TFIOS.

The one who can drive you crazy but you love nonethelessMonica drives me crazy sometimes, especially when she's playing a game, but I really do love her. The book character I'm going to go with for this is Clary from The Mortal Instruments.