Interview with Sybil Nelson (Author of Priscilla The Great)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Lately, I have had the priviledge to interview talented author, Sybil Nelson! I have already read one of her books, Priscilla The Great and loved it! If you would like to see the review please click HERE (or scroll down). Here is the interview...

Have you always wanted to be an author?

No. I remember loving to write when I was young and even winning some competitions but I lost confidence in my writing as I grew older. I entered University as an English and Journalism major but then graduated as a math and music major. For a while it was my dream to compose music for Disney. Then one day I decided I wanted to do something about how few black women there were in the books that I liked so I picked up a pen and started writing them in. Since then I’ve written 10 novels each with a black female somewhere in the book.

What is your favourite type of genre (the genre you use with your books)?

Yes, I love YA books. There’s something hopeful and nostalgic about them for me. Maybe it’s because I can always find something to relate to. Of course, there are some adult books that I love and adult authors are usually the ones that make my favorite list, but when I’m looking to relax or be entertained, I always go for the YA section.

Who is your favourite character in Priscilla The Great?

That’s a hard question. I love all my characters! Of course I love Priscilla because she’s just sassy and fun. But then again I like Tai because she reminds me of myself. I was the book smart nerd growing up. But then again I love the twins because they’re just plain hilarious.

What do you hope readers will obtain from your book

Just a good time. It’s a fun read and I hope people laugh.

Do you hope to bring out more books, if so can you give us an idea what it will be about?

I’ve already written four of the five Priscilla the Great books. I also have ideas for spin off series for Tai and the twins.

Who are you favourite authors?

V.C. Andrews, Jane Austen, Michael Crichton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Tom Wolfe, Mark Haddon, Alice Walker.

Did a certain author inspire you to become one yourself?
Hmm, tough one. If anyone, I would have to say V.C. Andrews because I was reading a lot of her during my formative years. That was about the time when I first wondered why all of her characters were white. There were never any beautiful black women in her books. My very first story was a V.C. Andrews type story about a black girl and a white boy who fall in love. It is now a full length novel called Ain’t No Sunshine, written under my pen name Leslie DuBois.

Quick Fire Questions...

Favourite Food: Bacon.
Favourite Book:
The Bible.
Favourite Song:
I Will Survive.
Favourite Movie:
The Wedding Singer (I love me some Adam Sandler).

If you would like to go to The Website for Priscilla The Great please click HERE. It's such a cool website, music, characters, snippets of upcoming books, etc and you can even order your own book of Priscilla The Great! If you would like to go to Priscilla The Great's Blog please click HERE

Left: The book.
Right: The main character, Priscilla Sumners.


Priscilla The Great by Sybil Nelson

Monday, 27 December 2010

Priscilla is a seventh grader... a seventh grader who wants nothing but to be normal. She has an overprotective Dad, a Mum that is never there, an older brother obsessed with Christina Aguilera and two mischevious twin brothers that are always up to something. Then one day something strange starts to happen, fire starts shooting out of her fingers. Before she knows it she is in the middle of a dangerous adventure with dangerous people that a normal seventh grader shouldn't be worrying about...

Number of Pages: 276
Genre: Adventure
Author: Sybil Nelson
Release Date: December 15, 2010
Publisher: WorldMaker Media
An element I enjoyed about the book was the way the author thread in normal seventh grade problems that girls would go through (like boys, spots etc) while at the same time still obtaining the problems Priscilla had with her powers.
I also enjoyed the way that in the first couple of chapters you started gettting hints that she wasn't completely normal (and that her family weren't either).
My favourite character is Priscilla because of how brave she is. I also like her because of how opininated she can sometimes be. Another character I also like is her best friend, Tai. She is very smart and helps Priscilla alot through the book.

Come back here on the 29th for the interview with author, Sybil Nelson!!! :)

Merry Christmas

Saturday, 25 December 2010
Merry Christmas everyone! :) Hope you all get great christmas pressies! Did anyone get any new books? I did :D

Matched by Ally Condie.

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo.

Can't wait to read them! :o) Hopefully reviews will be posted up of them soon! :) For now though Merry Christmas!

The Girls' Book of Glamour: A GUIDE TO BEING A GODDESS

Sunday, 12 December 2010
"Be confident. Be gorgeous. Be glamorous.

The tips and tricks in this book will help you reveal the goddess inside you.

Every girl deserves to live a life of glamour."

I know this book is different from all the other ones I review but hopefully you'll enjoy this little change! If you are a girly girl that would love to know how to be loved by everyone and look beautiful this is the book for you. From how to jazz up a boring ponytail to making your own lip glosses and perfumes. How to get the flutteriest lashes to how to how to convince people you are a celebrity. How to give your face a massage to how to make a door curtain. There are TONS of tips to help you become a goddess. 127 pages of it. This is a very handy book and I want to try everything in it!! The book is also jam packed with great illustrations :o)

Written by Sally Jeffrie
Illustrated by Nellie Ryan
Published by Buster Books
Edited by Liz Scoggins
Designed by Zoe Quayle

Overall Rating: 5/5
Cover Design: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Recommended Age: 9+ (younger but want to read it? go ahead!)

Rachel :)

Would You Rather by Chris Higgins

Friday, 3 December 2010
"Life is all about choices. Daddy or chips? Boyfriend or career? Snog or marry? 'Would you Rather?' is the game that Flick and her friends love to play. But when her dad uncovers a long lost secret that unveils a mystery at the heart of her family, Flick discovers not all choices are a game."

I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't read a Chris Higgins novel before but after reading this book I'd love to read another one. My favourite character is Flick, the main character because of her personality. If you read this book then you'll understand that her personality shines through in some chapters. Higgin's has cleverly changed a usual teen chick lit by threading some family mystery into the plot.

Number of Pages: 261
Genre: Teen Chicklit/Teen Romance
Recommended age: 11 +
Rating out of 5: 5/5

Rachel :)

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Sunday, 14 November 2010
Everyone knows about Harry Potter, right? The books? All the movies? They are all very popular! :D I have read each book more than once :) So to celebrate the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows coming out, I have decided to do reviews on the first book and the last book in the famous series, to show you how much of a change the characters, Harry, Ron and Hermione have gone through. :-)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:
"Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy- until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel, The Reason... HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!"

Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Number of Pages: 223

This book was a delight to read. It was full to the brim with adventure and mysteriousness and it always had you hanging on for more. It seems like ages ago since this book came out but I am certain this will always be the true classic of the series because it was the first one! :)
J.K Rowling has described the characters so much that you feel you know them. Each one has a very different personality which just adds to the book.
The characters seem so young in this - that is if you've read the whole series - and so immature compared to what they will become later on. Harry still brave. Ron still... well, Ron. Hermione still smart.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

"Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fufill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?"

Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Number of Pages: 607

This book couldn't have been better to round off Harry Potter. It was still full with adventure and danger and I just LOVED it. I can't explain to you how good it was. Harry, Ron and Hermione are left with a terribly dangerous adventure. Can Harry finally get rid of "You-Know-Who"? The task that is now in his hands seems almost impossible, but can Harry do it?

I so hope that you will read J.K Rowling's book series - that is if you haven't already. Please leave a comment to tell me how you found these books and which one was your favourite? :)

Rachel :)

Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

Friday, 29 October 2010
Josephine Reilly, otherwise known as Jo or Josie has never been one of the popular kids in school until she moves to the USA. Suddenly the popular group start to talk to her and before she knows it she's Josie the Cool. Everything seems to be going perfectly until Jake - the most popular boy in the whole school! - kisses her during a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven and then she splits! She is now Jo the Nerd and Josie the Cool! Jo or Josie, which one? Will her two different sides come back together?

"I'm two different people. Literally. I'm split."

Number of Pages: 309
Genre: Teen Chicklit/Teen Romance
Recommended age: 12 +
Rating out of 5: 5/5

I absolutely loved this book! It shared the thoughts and feeling of teenagers. I liked how it was sectioned into parts and not chapters. Luisa Plaja has managed to capture young teen dilemas and put them down on paper which I admire.
Another quality that I love about this book is the cover. I love it! The cover design is just lovely. Nice, bright, eye catching and different.

Thank you so much for sending this to me, Luisa! :D

Rachel :)

PS: You should check out Luisa Plaja's great book reviewing website, Chicklish :D

Just so you know...

Saturday, 23 October 2010
I won't be posting for a little while - and by that I mean I will try hard to start posting again really soon! - because I am doing a review for another website :) Reviews coming up (hopefully soon) ...
Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja
A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
'Luuurve is a many trousered thing...' by Louise Rennison

Rachel :)

Interview with Amber from the Mile Long Bookshelf

Sunday, 17 October 2010
What gave you the idea of starting a book blog?
I saw lots of other successful book blogs so I thought....well, why not? I also wanted to get to know lots of authors so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. :) So far it's going great and I'm really enjoying it!

Do you focus on one type of genre or do you try to vary?
Hard question. I do try my best to vary, but seeing as I don't like every single genre it's hard. I mostly review chick lit, teen drama, romance books rather than paranormal vampire novels, sci-fi etc.

What do you hope bloggers will learn from your book blog?
I first started my blog basically for my own enjoyment. But then people started reading it, and I started getting a few comments as well so I decided to start doing it for other people too. I really hope my reviews will encourage people to read! I don't know, maybe I already have. That would be cool!

Does The Mile Long Bookshelf have any special quliaties other book blogs don't?
I'm not sure, really. Obviously, my blog is very special to me - I love it - but then there are a lot of book blogs out there that are a lot better than mine. My blog is run by someone who genuinally loves books. I never started the blog just for free books; I know a lot of people do it for that reason and it really makes me angry. But I don't - I do it because I love books and I enjoy reviewing them....does that count as a special quality?

Have you interviewed any famous authors/poets etc?
Yes, so far I've interviewed eight well-known authors and one fellow book blogger. I've actually interviewed ten but two people haven't replied yet. I tend not to review poems so I don't interview the poets either - maybe I will in the future, though!

Do the books you review have a certain age group?
Not really. I read what's suitable for me, so that kind of encouraged the age group of my blog. I'm quite a mature reader - I read a lot of books that are probably a bit too old for kids my age. I usually read books with an age group of 8-15 year olds.

Lastly, what message would you give bloggers to encourage them to read loads?
Tough one. Well, one thing's for sure - you definitely can not force a kid to read. If you do, they won't want to read. You have to enourage them gently. If they get to about eight years old and they still don't want to read, you still can't force them. What you can do is start reading to them from an early age. If you haven't and they're already old enough that they don't want to be read to anymore, find out what the child's hobby is and find a book with that hobby as the main storyline. That's the best way. :)

Quick Fire Questions!

Your favourite book?
OMG. Ummm....ummm! Ooh! I know! Cherry Crush by Cathy Cassidy.

Your favourite author/s?
I have several! Cathy Cassidy, Luisa Plaja, Keris Stainton, Tamsyn Murray, Narinder Dhami and Jo Cotterill.

Your favourite fiction character?
Uhh. Ummm. Girl and a boy. Scarlett from Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy and Tom from Star Crossed by Jo Cotterill.

Your favourite film that has been based on a book?
I don't know. I have no idea. No clue whatsoever. Ummm...sorry! Don't know!

Would you like to be an author/poet someday?
Author. Although everybody says I'm a natural when it comes to writing poems (and to be honest, I don't disagree!) I'd rather be an author than a poet.

Thank you interviewing me!

Rachel :)

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

Countess Anna Petrovna Grazinsky has indulged in luxuries all her life but when revolution strikes Russia becomes unsafe and so Anna and her family must escape...
Now in England, with no money and no palace, Anna decides to work as a servent to the aristocratic Westerholmes. Shortly after Anna's arrival the Earl announces that he will be married to a Miss Muriel Hardwicke. But then Anna finds herself falling for the young earl, how will she keep her identity a secret..?

Number of Pages: 344
Genre: Romance
Recommend age: 12+
Rating out of 5: 5/5
Previously Published as... A Countess Below Stairs

I absolutely loved this book! Eva Ibbotson has managed to express everything in clear and intricate detail and the descriptions of characters are fabulous! I had never read a romance genre before but I thoroughly enjoyed it and don't regret the change.
My favourite character is Anna because of her thoughfulness toward her poor family. She is also very caring towards young children and animals. Unlike most Countess's - in the novel - she is not stubborn or big headed. She treats everybody equally.
I hope that you try this book because it is great! Please comment if you have, I would love to hear other reader's opinions.

Rachel :)

Remember my Debating Fridays. Scroll down to see more...


Debating Fridays #1

Friday, 15 October 2010
While you're waiting for me to post my first review I thought I'd throw in a little weekly fun activity. Basically each Friday - I shall inform you if I can't one Friday - I will put two topics out and you can debate which one you think is best. The first debate is...


Now all you need to do is comment with your own opinion! :D

Rachel :)

PS: I will put the two genres into my sidebar (Adventure and Romance) and when you comment with your chosen genre I shall put your name underneath your favourite genre. Make sense? lol - I will reveal which genre won next Friday (before I tell you the second debate). Can't wait to hear your opinion! :D

Hello Enthusiastic Readers!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Hi Readers, welcome to Booktastic Reviews. As you can probably tell by the title of this blog, it is about books! Reviews on books! :D I hope everyone who is reading this right now will be an enthusiastic reader like me.
If you would like me to review a certain book then please feel free to comment. You can also leave comments for other things too! :) I hope you all follow and visit Booktastic Reviews regularly.
The first review should be up soon!

Rachel :)