Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday's Film Adaption: Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Angus: My mixed-breed cat, half domestic tabby, half Scottish wildcat. The size of a small Labrador, only mad. Likes to stalk Mr. and Mrs. Next Door's poodle. I used to drag him around on a lead, but, as I explained to Mrs. Next Door, he ate it.

Thongs: Stupid underwear worn by old Swotty Knickers, Lindsay. What's the point of them, anyway? They just go up your bum, as far as I can tell.

Full-Frontal Snogging: Kissing with the trimmings, lip to lip, open mouth, tongues...everything (apart from dribble, which is never acceptable). As taught to me by a professional snogger.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst if being a teenager. In the spirit of "Bridget Jones' Diary," this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "fabbity fab fab!"

sunday august 23rd
my bedroom
10:00 a.m.

Dad had Uncle Eddie round, so naturally they had to come and see what I was up to. If Uncle Eddie (who is bald as a coot) says to me one more time, "Should bald heads be buttered?" I may kill myself. He doesn't seem to realize that I no longer wear romper suits. I feel like yelling at him, "I am fourteen years old, Uncle Eddie! I am bursting with womanhood, I wear a bra! OK, it's a bit on the loose side and does ride up round my neck if I run for the bus . . . but the womanly potential is there, you bald coot!"

Talking of breasts, I'm worried that I may end up like the rest of the women in my family, with just the one bust, like a sort of shelf affair. Mum can balance things on hers when her hands are full-at parties, and so on, she can have a sandwich and drink and save a snack for later by putting it on her shelf. It's very unattractive. I would like a proper amount of breastiness but not go too far with it, like Melanie Andrews, for instance. I got the most awful shock in the showers after hockey last term. Her bra looks like two shopping bags. I suspect she is a bit unbalanced hormonally. She certainly is when she tries to run for the ball. I thought she'd run right through the fence with the momentum of her "bosoomers," as Jas so amusingly calls them.

still in my room
still raining
still sunday
11:30 a.m.
I don't see why I can't have a lock on my bedroom door. Every time I suggest anything around this place, people start shaking their heads and tutting. It's like living in a house full of chickens dressed in frocks and trousers. Or a house full of those nodding dogs, or a house full of . . . anyway . . . I can't have a lock on my door is the short and short of it.

"Why not?" I asked Mum reasonably (catching her in one of the rare minutes when she's not at Italian evening class or at another party).

"Because you might have an accident and we couldn't get in," she said.

"An accident like what?" I persisted.

"Well . . . you might faint," she said.

Then Dad joined in. "You might set fire to your bed and be overcome with fumes."

What is the matter with people? I know why they don't want me to have a lock on my door. It's because it would be a first sign of my path to adulthood and they can't bear the idea of that because it would mean they might have to get on with their own lives and leave me alone.

still sunday
11:35 a.m.
There are six things very wrong with my life:

(1) I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
(2) It is on my nose.
(3) I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
(4) In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberführer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic "teachers."
(5) I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
(6) I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

11:40 a.m.
OK, that's it. I'm turning over a new leaf. I found an article in Mum's Cosmo about how to be happy if you are very unhappy (which I am). The article is called "Emotional Confidence." What you have to do is Recall . . . Experience . . . and HEAL. So you think of a painful incident and you remember all the ghastly details of it . . . this is the Recall bit. Then you Experience the emotions and acknowledge them and then you JUST LET IT GO.

2:00 p.m.
Uncle Eddie has gone, thank the Lord. He actually asked me if I'd like to ride in the sidecar on his motorbike. Are all adults from Planet Xenon? What should I have said? "Yes, certainly, Uncle Eddie, I would like to go in your prewar sidecar and with a bit of luck all of my friends will see me with some mad, bald bloke and that will be the end of my life. Thank you."

4:00 p.m.
Jas came round. She said it took her ages to get out of her catsuit after the fancy-dress party. I wasn't very interested, but I asked her why out of politeness.

She said, "Well, the boy behind the counter in the fancy-dress shop was really good-looking."

"Yes, so?"

"Well, so I lied about my size-I got a size ten catsuit instead of twelve."

She showed me the marks around her neck and waist; they were quite deep. I said, "Your head looks a bit swollen up."

"No, that's just Sunday."

I told her about the Cosmo article and so we spent a few hours recalling the fancy-dress party (i.e., the painful incident) and experiencing the emotions in order to heal them.

I blame Jas entirely. It may have been my idea to go as a stuffed olive, but she didn't stop me like a pal should do. In fact, she encouraged me. We made the stuffed olive costume out of chicken wire and green crêpe paper-that was for the "olive" bit. It had little shoulder straps to keep it up and I wore a green T-shirt and green tights underneath. It was the "stuffed" bit that Jas helped with mostly. As I recall, it was she who suggested I use crazy color to dye my hair and head and face and neck red . . . like a sort of pimento. It was, I have to say, quite funny at the time. Well, when we were in my room. The difficulty came when I tried to get out of my room. I had to go down the stairs sideways.

When I did get to the door, I had to go back and change my tights because my cat, Angus, had one of his "Call of the Wild" episodes.

He really is completely bonkers. We got him when we went on holiday to Loch Lomond. On the last day I found him wandering around the garden of the guest house we were staying in. Tarry-a-Wee-While, it was called. That should give you some idea of what the holiday was like.

I should have guessed all was not entirely well in the cat department when I picked him up and he began savaging my cardigan. But he was such a lovely-looking kitten, all tabby and long-haired, with huge yellow eyes. Even as a kitten he looked like a small dog. I begged and pleaded to take him home.

"He'll die here; he has no mummy or daddy," I said plaintively.

My dad said, "He's probably eaten them." Honestly, he can be callous. I worked on Mum, and in the end I brought him home. The Scottish landlady did say she thought he was probably mixed breed, half domestic tabby and half Scottish wildcat. I remember thinking, Oh, that will be exotic. I didn't realize that he would grow to the size of a small Labrador, only mad. I used to drag him around on a lead but, as I explained to Mrs. Next Door, he ate it.

Anyway, sometimes he hears the call of the Scottish Highlands. So, as I was passing by as a stuffed olive, he leaped out from his concealed hiding place behind the curtains (or his lair, as I suppose he imagined it in his cat brain) and attacked my tights or "prey." I couldn't break his hold by banging his head because he was darting from side to side. In the end I managed to reach the outdoor broom by the door and beat him off with it.

Then I couldn't get in Dad's Volvo. Dad said, "Why don't you take off the olive bit and we'll stick it in the boot."

Honestly, what is the point? I said, "Dad, if you think I am sitting next to you in a green T-shirt and tights, you're mad."

He got all shirty like parents do as soon as you point out how stupid and useless they are. "Well, you'll have to walk, then. I'll drive along really slowly with Jas and you walk alongside."

I couldn't believe it. "If I have to walk, why don't Jas and I both walk there and forget about the car?"

He got that tight-lipped look that dads get when they think they are being reasonable. "Because I want to be sure of where you are going. I don't want you out wandering the streets at night."

Unbelievable! I said, "What would I be doing walking the streets at night as a stuffed olive-gate-crashing cocktail parties?"

Jas smirked, but Dad got all outraged parenty. "Don't you speak to me like that, otherwise you won't go out at all."

What is the point?

When we did eventually get to the party (me walking next to Dad's Volvo driving at five miles an hour), I had a horrible time. Everyone laughed at first but then more or less ignored me. In a mood of defiant stuffed oliveness I did have a dance by myself, but things kept crashing to the floor around me. The host asked me if I would sit down. I had a go at that but it was useless. In the end I was at the gate for about an hour before Dad arrived, and I did stick the olive bit in the boot. We didn't speak on the way home.

Jas, on the other hand, had a great time. She said she was surrounded by Tarzans and Robin Hoods and James Bonds. (Boys have very vivid imaginations-not.)

I was feeling a bit moody as we did the "recall" bit. I said bitterly, "Well, I could have been surrounded by boys if I hadn't been dressed as an olive."

Jas said, "Georgia, you thought it was funny and I thought it was funny, but you have to remember that boys don't think girls are for funniness."

She looked annoyingly "wise" and "mature." What the hell did she know about boys? God, she had an annoying fringe. Shut up, fringey.

I said, "Oh yeah, so that's what they want, is it? Boys? They want simpering girly-wirlys in catsuits?"

Through my bedroom window I could see next door's poodle leaping up and down at our fence, yapping. It would be trying to scare off our cat, Angus . . . fat chance.

Jas was going on and on wisely, "Yes they do, I think they do like girls who are a bit soft and not so, well . . . you know."

She was zipping up her rucksack. I looked at her. "Not so what?" I asked.

She said, "I have to go. We have an early supper."

As she left my room I knew I should shut up. But you know when you should shut up because you really should just shut up . . . but you keep on and on anyway? Well, I had that.

"Go on . . . not so what?" I insisted.

She mumbled something as she went down the stairs.

I yelled at her as she went through the door, "Not so like me you mean, don't you?!!!"

11:00 p.m.
I can already feel myself getting fed up with boys and I haven't had anything to do with them yet.

Oh God, please, please don't make me have to be a lesbian like Hairy Kate or Miss Stamp.

12:10 a.m.
What do lesbians do, anyway?

monday august 24th
5:00 p.m.
Absolutely no phone calls from anyone. I may as well be dead. I'm going to have an early night.

5:30 p.m.
Libby came in and squiggled into bed with me, saying, "Hahahahaha!" for so long I had to get up. She's so nice, although a bit smelly. At least she likes me and doesn't mind if I have a sense of humor.

7:00 p.m.
Ellen and Julia rang from a phone box. They took turns to speak in French accents. We're going for a mystery walk tomorrow. Or La Marche avec Mystery.

10:30 p.m.
Have put on a face mask made from egg yolk just in case we see any les garçons gorgeous on our walk.

tuesday august 25th
9:00 a.m.
Woke up and thought my face was paralyzed. It was quite scary-my skin was all tight and stiff and I couldn't open my eyes properly. Then I remembered the egg yolk mask. I must have fallen asleep reading. I don't think I'll go to bed early again-it makes my eyes go all puffy. I look like there is a touch of the Asian in my family. Sadly not the case. The nearest we have to any exotic influence is Auntie Kath, who can sing in Chinese, but only after a couple of pints of wine.

11:00 a.m.
Arranged to rendezvous with Ellen and Julia at Whiteley's so we can start our La Marche avec Mystery. We agreed we would dress "sports casual," so I'm wearing ski trousers, ankle boots and a black top with a roll neck, with a PVC jacket. I'm going for the young Brigitte Bardot look which is a shame as a) I am nothing like her and b) I haven't got blond hair, which is, as we all know, her trademark. I would have blond hair if I was allowed, but it honestly is like playschool at my house. My dad has got the mentality of a Teletubby only not so developed. I said to Mum, "I'm going to dye my hair blond. What product would you recommend?" She pretended not to hear me and went on dressing Libby. But Dad went ballistic.

"You're fourteen years old. You've only had that hair for fourteen years and you want to change it already! How bored are you going to be with it by the time you are thirty? What color will you be up to by then?"

Honestly, he makes little real sense these days. I said to Mum, "Oh, I thought I could hear a voice squeaking and making peculiar noises, but I was mistaken. TTFN."

As I ran for the door I heard him shouting, "I suppose you think being sarcastic and applying eyeliner in a straight line will get you some O-levels!!!"

O-levels, I ask you. He's a living reminder of the Stone Age.

La Marche avec Mystery. We walked up and down the High Street, only speaking French. I asked passersby for directions, "Où est la gare, s'il vous plaît?" and "Au secours, j'oublie ma tête, aidez-moi, s'il vous plaît."

Then . . . this really dishy bloke came along. Julia and Ellen wouldn't go up to him, but I did. I don't know why, but I developed a limp as well as being French. He had really nice eyes . . . he must have been about nineteen. Anyway I hob-bled up to him and said, "Excusez-moi. Je suis française. Je ne parle pas l'anglais. Parlez-vous français?"

Fortunately he looked puzzled-it was quite dreamy. I pouted my mouth a bit. Cindy Crawford said that if you put your tongue behind your back teeth when you smile, it makes your smile really sexy. Impossible to talk, of course, unless you like sounding like a loony.

Anyway, dreamboat said, "Are you lost? I don't speak French."

I looked puzzled (and pouty). "Au secours, monsieur," I breathed.

He took my arm. "Look, don't be frightened. Come with me."

Ellen and Jools looked amazed: He was bloody gorgeous and he was taking me somewhere. I hobbled along attractively by his side. Not for very long, though, just into a French pâtisserie where the lady behind the counter was French.

8:00 p.m.
In bed. The Frenchwoman talked French at me for about forty years. I nodded for as long as humanly possible, then just ran out of the shop and into the street. The gorgeous boy looked surprised that my limp had cured itself so quickly.

I really will have to dye my hair now if I ever want to go shopping in this town again.

wednesday august 26th
11:00 a.m.
I have no friends. Not one single friend. No one has rung, no one has come round. Mum and Dad have gone to work, Libby is at playschool. I may as well be dead.

Perhaps I am dead. I wonder how you would know? If you died in your sleep and woke up dead, who would let you know?

It could be like in that film where you can see everyone but they can't see you because you are dead. Oh, I've really given myself the creeps now. . . . I'm going to put on a really loud CD and dance about.

Now I am still freaked out but also tired. If I did die I wonder if anyone would really care. Who would come to my funeral? Mum and Dad, I suppose . . . they'd have to as it's mostly their fault that I was depressed enough to commit suicide in the first place.

Why couldn't I have a normal family like Julia and Ellen? They've got normal brothers and sisters. Their dads have got beards and sheds. My mum won't let my dad use our shed since he left his fishing maggots in there and it became bluebottle headquarters.

When the electrician came because the fridge had blown up, he said to Mum, "What madman wired up this fridge? Is there someone you know who really doesn't like you?" And Dad had done the wiring. Instead of DIY he talks about feelings and stuff. Why can't he be a real dad? It's pathetic in a grown man.

I don't mean I want to be like an old-fashioned woman-you know, all lacy and the man is all tight-lipped and never says anything even if he has got a brain tumor. I want my boyfriend (provided, God willing, I am not a lesbian) to be emotional . . . but only about me. I want him to be like Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (although, having said that, I've seen him in other things like Fever Pitch and he's not so sexy out of frilly shirts and tights). Anyway, I'll never have a boyfriend because I am too ugly.

2:00 p.m.
Looking through the old family albums. I'm not really surprised I'm ugly. The photos of Dad as a child are terrifying. His nose is huge-it takes up half of his face. In fact, he is literally just a nose with legs and arms attached.

10:00 p.m.
Libby has woken up and insists on sleeping in my bed. It's quite nice, although she does smell a bit on the hamsterish side.

The tunnel-of-love dream I've just had, where this gorgey bloke is carrying me through the warm waters of the Caribbean, turns out to be Libby's wet pajamas on my legs.

Change bed. Libby not a bit bothered and in fact slaps my hand and calls me "Bad boy" when I change her pajamas.

thursday august 27th
11:00 a.m.
I've started worrying about what to wear for first day back at school. It's only eleven days away now. I wonder how much "natural" makeup I can get away with? Concealer is OK-I wonder about mascara? Maybe I should just dye my eyelashes? I hate my eyebrows. I say eyebrows but in fact it's just the one eyebrow right along my forehead. I may have to do some radical plucking if I can find Mum's tweezers. She hides things from me now because she says that I never replace anything. I'll have to rummage around in her bedroom.

1:00 p.m.
Prepared a light lunch of sandwich spread and milky coffee. There's never anything to eat in this house. No wonder my elbows stick out so much.

2:00 p.m.
Found the tweezers eventually. Why Mum would think I wouldn't find them in Dad's tie drawer I really don't know. I did find something very strange in the tie drawer as well as the tweezers. It was a sort of apron thing in a special box. I hope against hope that my dad is not a transvestite. It would be more than flesh and blood could stand if I had to "understand" his feminine side. And me and Mum and Libby have to watch while he clatters around in one of Mum's nighties and fluffy mules. . . . We'll probably have to start calling him Daphne.

God, it's painful plucking. I'll have to have a little lie-down. The pain is awful-it's made my eyes water like mad.

2:30 p.m.
I can't bear this. I've only taken about five hairs out and my eyes are swollen to twice their normal size.

4:00 p.m.
Cracked it. I'll use Dad's razor.

4:05 p.m.
Sharper than I thought. It's taken off a lot of hair just on one stroke. I'll have to even up the other one.

4:16 p.m.
Bugger it. It looks all right, I think, but I look very surprised in one eye. I'll have to even up the other one now.

6:00 p.m.
Mum nearly dropped Libby when she saw me. Her exact words were "What in the name of God have you done to yourself, you stupid girl?"

God I hate parents! Me stupid?? They're so stupid. She wishes I was still Libby's age so she could dress me in ridiculous hats with earflaps and ducks on. God, God, God!!!

7:00 p.m.
When Dad came in I could hear them talking about me.

"Mumble mumble . . . she looks like . . . mum-ble mumble," from Mum, then I heard Dad, "She WHAT??? Well . . . mumble . . . mumble . . . grumble . . ." Stamp, stamp, bang, bang on the door.

"Georgia, what have you done now?"

I shouted from under the blankets-he couldn't get in because I had put a chest of drawers in front of the door-"At least I'm a real woman!!!"

He said through the door, "What in the name of arse is that supposed to mean?"

Honestly, he can be so crude.

10:00 p.m.
Maybe they'll grow back overnight. How long does it take for eyebrows to grow?

11:00 a.m.
Eyebrows haven't grown back.

A 16-year old girl keeps a diary about the ups and downs of being a teenager, including the things she learns about kissing.

Release Date: July 25, 2008
Release Time: 96 minutes

Georgia Groome as Georgia Nicolson
Aaron Johnson as Robbie Jennings
Karen Taylor as Connie Nicolson
Alan Davies as Bob Nicolson
Eleanor Tomlinson as Jas
Manjeeven Grewal as Ellen
Georgia Henshaw as Rosie
Kimberley Nixon as Lindsay (Slaggy Lindsay)
Sean Bourke as Tom Jennings
Tommy Bastow as Dave "The Laugh"
Liam Hess as Peter Dyer (Saliva Boy)
Matt Brinkler as Sven
Eva Drew as Libby Nicolson
Steve Jones as Jem
Stiff Dylans as themselves (with the extension of Robbie)
Ray Shirley as Woman with the Poodle
Benny & Jimmy as Angus

Author Bio:
Louise Rennison was the bestselling award-winning author of the phenomenally successful ‘Confessions of Georgia Nicolson’ series, translated into over 34 languages and to the stage and big screen as ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’. She has won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, the Michael L. Printz Honor Book and the Roald Dahl Funny prize for ‘Withering Tights’. Louise sadly died on the February 29, 2016.




Release Day Blitz: The Reweaving by Holly Barbo

Title: The Reweaving
Author: Holly Barbo
Series: Sage Seed Chronicles #4
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Cover Design: JC Clarke of The Graphics Shed

***Currently 99cents***

A major event of cataclysmic proportions threatens Ose. The damage done by false gossip and accusations has infected people’s minds, and a misguided but deadly witch hunt hinders the remaining sages’ ability to concentrate on correcting the planet’s imbalance.

Their one chance to save the civilization comes with the next eclipse, but there are too few of them left, and very little time. The people, the weather, and even the planet itself seem to fight them at every step.

Can Drune and the other sages reweave the fabric of their world before the eclipse tears it apart?

Chapter 1: Plotting
Bure adjusted his seat in the saddle. His hands were chafed raw as the Great One’s security had bound him to his horse and had set their pace to cover as many miles as possible during each day. They thought they had him confined and under control. He knew they were comfortably complacent in their plans to exile him on Obsidian Island. He sneered to himself. They underestimated him. He was Bure: the smartest, strongest and most resourceful man in the whole realm. They would regret their treatment of him when he became the Great One. It was only a matter of time.

It was he alone who had devised the potent contact poison. The memory of its musty yet acidic smell came back to him and he smiled. He had tested it on a number of stupid animals before he used it on his aunt. She had been getting too nosey anyway, and her death just proved that his formula worked.

Bure’s eyes narrowed at the memory. It had been the final test, and its success proved that the Ancients smiled on his endeavor. He felt some people were different, and he set about eliminating them. There was something odd about them. He didn’t understand why they seemed distinct, but whatever it was, those people had to go. So they died. It was as simple as that. Too bad that some citizens held those individuals in high esteem.

Since he couldn’t be everywhere at once, he had recruited his brother, Targ, and cousin, Wras. He told them that their victims were witches, and they were more than happy to track down the people on his list and use his poison as he directed. It was a marvelous plan. Then Targ died of his own clumsiness and Wras unraveled — spilling information about Bure’s brilliance to the authorities. He’d take the personal pleasure of killing his cousin as soon as he became the Great One. Eliminate weakness and inefficiency.

He figured it out. First, he would overcome the men around him. The security force thought that they were safe and that fact meant they would relax their vigilance and slip up. He’d get loose and kill a couple. He’d been talking to them every chance he got. They were now aware of his brilliance. He had always got ahead because of his natural skills. This time would be no different. They would see that he was a superior leader. By the time they got through Tight Valley, the security team would be his.

Tonight would be his night, as tomorrow they would travel beyond the valley and reach Kunscap. His eyes glittered in anticipation. With their loyalty switched to him, he would establish himself as leader of the realm. His new forces would capture the Great One and those loyal to him and then take them all to Obsidian Island. He was merciful that way. They would live the rest of their life in the extinct volcano, never to escape. Then he would round up that little bitch Erin and those remaining on his kill list and take them to Obsidian to keep the old leader company.

Once he had the reins of the realm in his hands, things would settle down. He had it all figured out. He went over his plans in his head. Tonight, things would change.

Author Bio:
Holly's world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice. Holly's stories are mostly in non-urban settings and usually have some focus on nature, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

My motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.


The Reweaving #5
B&N  /  iTUNES  /  KOBO  /  SCRIBD

The Founders #1

The Healers #2
B&N  /  KOBO  /  iTUNES

The Unraveling #3

The Lost #5(available fall of 2016)

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