Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hell's Heroes by Darren Shan

Title: Hell's Heroes

Author: Darren Shan

Published: London : HarperCollins Children's, 2009

Pages: 235

Series: Book 10, Demonata

Snippet: "I start to follow, assuming it's the demon, but when he rips the locker door off and tears open a lunchbox, I realise he's found a sandwich."

Summary: May contain spoilers! The final dramatic conclusion to Darren Shan's international phenomena, The Demonata. Expect the unexpected..."The girl gazes up at me. She's even younger than I thought, clutching a small teddy bear in one hand. 'Are you the bogey man?' she whispers, eyes round. 'Yes,' I croak, then take hold of her head with my huge, scarred, blood-soaked hands and crush..." Beranabus and Dervish are gone. Bec has formed an unholy alliance with Lord Loss. Kernel is blind, held on Earth against his will. Grubbs is mad with grief and spinning out of control. The demons are crossing. The Disciples are falling. The Shadow is waiting. Welcome to the end.

Review: Hell's Heroes, being the final book in the Demonata series, I had some expectations for it and I was a little disappointed.  The majority of the book seemed like a filler for the big event at the end.

The story was interesting enough. It wasn't anything surprising or anything like that. There was only one part at the end that I was a little surprised about.

Kernel is still my favourite character and Bec is my second favourite. I don't really like Grubb's all that much to be honest.

To be honest I felt that Hell's Heroes was just a book. It wasn't anything special at all. But if you're a fan of Darren Shan's other books then you may enjoy Hell's Heroes. But as far as endings to series' go Hell's Heroes wasn't too bad.

Source: Library

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reading Slumps

I wanted to deicated this Friday's post to reading slumps. I have been going through a bit of a reading slump lately and so I thought I'd make this post about how to get out of a reading slump.

What is a reading slump?
A reading slump is where you just don't feel like reading. You pick up a book but you just can't get into it. So you try another one and you can't get into that one either. This can last days, weeks or even months.

How can you get out of a reading slump?
I have done a little bit of research asking people their opinions on how they get out of reading slumps and here are the tips:

Force yourself to read through a book
Try to read a book for an hour a day, just force yourself into it and eventually your love of reading might resurface.
This one doesn't work very well for me but for some people it might just work. I find if I'm forced to do something I don't enjoy it as much as I would if I do it of my own free will.

Re-read an old favourite
Pick up a book you've already read before and absolutely loved. You'll most likely rediscover your love of reading by reading a book you loved.

Read something light
Try reading a book that is considered to be a light, fast read.  Some examples would be The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

Don't read anything for a set period of time
Try not to read anything for a day, two days or even a whole week. Take a break from reading and when you start a book again you'll hopefully be feeling really refreshed and wanting to read.

And that is my tips for overcoming a reading slump.  If you have any more be sure to comment below and share with everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Prophet of the Pentacle by Marilyn D. Privratsky

Title: Prophet of the Pentacle

Author: Marilyn D. Privratsky

Published: Outskirts Press, 2009

Pages: 45

Snippet:"All was peaceful and serene, but not everyone found sleep on such a night."

Summary: In ancient times, a great battle was fought between a ruthless evil, named Lord Jarden and a powerful sphinx, named Berecynthia. She defeated and imprisoned this evil, but was mortally wounded, so unable to vanquish it. After the passing of five ages, a royal advisor named, Randye of Corpus, sets out on a mission for the king of the Shandel, to investigate a mysterious and lonely isle named, Ice Isle. Unknowingly the advisor sets free the ancient evil and becomes its host. Now the only thing that is able to save the beautiful realm of Andora and her people from this ancient evil is a sacred alliance of prophets called the Osarian Knights. Trained by a mysterious sphinx known as Farro, ages earlier, these prophetic knights struggle to stop the ruthless creature from turning the mystical realm into a wasteland of burning ash and hell on earth, which would only be the beginning... (Taken from Goodreads)

Review:  Prophet of the Pentacle was a really interesting book. It was a very very short book (45 pages of text and a few pages of maps and charts).  Apart from the size of the book being very memorable the language and the way the book was written was really cool. It was something different and I just loved the way the book was written. It made for something different and just made the book have an old style feel to it.

The story line itself was unique and something  different.  I thought it was really good for the most part but I found myself getting a little confused at some parts.  I did enjoy it overall though.

There was very little character development which I think accounts for the length of the book. I didn't think the lack of character development took away from the story line because I have a feeling there will be more of that in the next book.

Overall, Prophet of the Pentacle is a good book if you're interested in fantasy novels.  I believe that Prophet of the Pentacle is an adults book but really there is no reason why anyone aged 12 and up can't read it.

Source: Copy received from author for review

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate

Published: Delacorte Press, 2009

Pages: 452

Series: Book 1, Fallen

Snippet: "All she knew was that when the shadows came they were usually accompanied by a cold chill under her skin, a sickening feeling unlike anything else."

Summary: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. 

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
(Taken from Goodreads)

Review: I love the cover of this book. I actually spent a lot of time just looking at the cover trying to figure out just what I loved about it. While, I did absolutely love the cover (and still do) I didn't entirely love the actual book.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't entirely hate this book either, I just didn't love it.

The first half of the book is pretty slow. I just had so much trouble getting into the book. And then when there were interesting parts they didn't last too long. But when there were interesting parts I have to say that they definitely kept me turning the pages and wishing for more.

Luce wasn't an entirely great character. She annoyed me quite a bit and she just wasn't an engaging character.  Daniel, Cam and Penn all intrigued me however. Especially Daniel. I think I would've been even more intrigued by him if part of the plot hadn't been spoiled for me.

Overall, I did like Fallen. It wasn't too bad but hopefully because it was the first book in the series the second one, Torment will be even more interesting. I'll definitely be checking it out.  I think that Fallen is a really interesting book. It's worth a read if you have a chance.

Source: Library

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Own Body Image and Self Perception

For Body Image and Self Perception week I have decided to write a discussion post about body image and self perception and how I feel about it.

A lot of insecurities that people have tend to stem from what someone at some point has noticed about us.  So let me first talk about self perception and how others perceive us.
For starters, I considered myself to have medium brown hair, average height and average weight, I know that my skin isn't the clearest and I do try to clear it up.  I know that I'm incredibly shy and quiet. I'm a little different to others around me in the sense that I have different interests and don't really care what other people think of me.  But I still am happy with who I am. I think that being happy with yourself is the best thing to do.

I can honestly say that the above statement is how I see myself. Which is different to some other people.

For instance, these days I am constantly getting teased about being short, I kind of dismiss it because I have never ever considered myself short. But, apparently according to some people I am short.

Other people harass me about being skinny.  They put the two together and call me tiny. It makes me feel really self conscious about things and I end up wearing really loose fitting clothing so that I can't be picked on.

My point about all this though, is no matter what you look like or how you act there are always going to be people who judge you about things.  They will even criticize you. It's something that is common.  At the end of the day you have to out your head up, be happy with who you are and not let anyone get you down.  I know that nobody is perfect, therefore nobody has any right to make others feel bad.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What do I do when I'm not reading books?

The answer. Well not a lot to be honest. I seem to spend the majority of my time either studying or reading.  With study, the good thing is I'm majoring in statistics so I do a lot of maths and then to relax I can read.

I do a couple of other things too though, like tv wise I watch Bones on Sunday's.  I don't watch a lot of television but when they were on I watched Monk and Psych too. Although, this year I have challenged myself to watch every single season of The Simpsons on dvd. It's halfway through the year now and I'm only halfway through season one.

I also consider myself to be a little bit of a gamer. I play games like Ratchet and Clank and Grand Theft Auto. They're really fun.

For exercise I spend a lot of time on a trampoline. It seems to get me fit but it's also fun at the same time. I listen to music while jumping so it makes it all the more fun.

So what about you? What do you like to do when you're not reading?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Losing It by Sandy McKay

Title: Losing It

Author: Sandy McKay

Published: Dunedin : Longacre Press, 2007

Pages: 217

Snippet: "I don't have a problem, I'm not crazy and I don't need help."

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Johanna Morrison is in hospital, writing letters to her best friend, Issy. As part of her therapy Jo is not allowed to leave her room, use the phone, have visitors or even wash her hair. Not unless she agrees to eat. But Jo doesn't want to eat because to her that would mean giving in and losing what little control she has over her life. Jo suffers from anorexia and her condition has reached crisis point. For now, contact with Issy is the only thing keeping her sane. (Taken from Christchurch City Libraries)

Review: Losing It is a really amazing read about a girl struggling with anorexia and bulimia.  It's quite different to a lot of other books because it is in the format of letters and diary entries with the odd noticeboard notice here and there.  Because of this format Losing It is a very fast read.

I really like Jo, her character was quite believable, I never once doubted that this wasn't a real girl.  Her struggle with anorexia is really sad and it was sad to see just how much she struggled and didn't want to admit she had a problem at first.

There were a few really sad parts in Losing it too.  I found myself feeling bad at some of these parts and wishing there was something I could do.  But this is just a book so I couldn't do anything.

The story itself is highly engaging and little bits of information about Jo's past are given out at a time making it a book that is hard to put down.

Losing It is a really unique and really good book that focuses on anorexia and bulimia. If you're interested in the kind of books that deal with issues relating to body image and self perception then Losing It is a good book to read. 

Source: Library

Kiwi Spotlight

This kiwi indicates that this book is written by a New Zealand author. It is also set in New Zealand.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Share Titles With Me

I'm back from my holiday and here for another round of Share Titles With Me. Rebecca is taking part in BISP so this month's share titles with me is going to be about Body Image and Self Perception.

Here is my list:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
See Ya Simon by David Hill
Losing It by Sandy McKay
Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

Now share with me your lovely lists!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison

Title: Sing Me To Sleep

Author: Angela Morrison

Published: Razorbill, 2010

Pages: 301

Snippet: "I needed a whole heart once in my life. Is that so wrong?" 


Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: What I thought was going to be a story about a girl who transforms herself into a person she feels happy and comfortable with turned out to be so much more.  The first few pages were about Beth and how she transformed herself into someone she felt more comfortable with. She changed her looks which dramatically changed her outlook on life.

Then she meets Derek and he's hiding something. In the end curiosity got the better of me and I just had to know what his big secret is. Wow. In a way I wish I could go back to not knowing. But now I do. It was quite a shock.  Basically, when I found out my whole opinion of the book changed.  Up until that point I'd thought Sing Me To Sleep was alright. After that I was astounded.

Sing Me To Sleep is amazing.  I cried. It was really sad.  It not only deals with how people perceive themselves it goes far deeper. I can't say too much without giving away any details but Sing Me To Sleep is a truly astounding read.

I have to say that I don't think I've read a book quite like it. I would definitely recommend this book! Sing Me To Sleep is truly earth shattering and so well written.

Source: Borrowed

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dead is Just a Rumour by Marlene Perez

Title: Dead is Just a Rumour

Author: Marlene Perez

Published: Graphia, August 2010

Pages: 216

Series: Book 4, Dead Is

Snippet: "But I don't have to see that Circe woman, do I? She freaks me out."

Summary: May contain spoilers! As the creepy little town of Nightshade prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary—on Halloween, of course—many of its paranormal residents are receiving mysterious blackmail letters. Psychic teen Daisy Giordano and her sisters set out to find out who is behind the threats. But launching an investigation isn’t easy for Daisy with her overprotective father watching her every move. Though she is happy to have him back after the years he spent being held captive by an anti-paranormal group called the Scourge, Dad is having difficult time adjusting to home life—and the fact that his little girl is now a senior in high school. He even disapproves of Daisy’s boyfriend, Ryan. Can their relationship take the strain? 
And Daisy’s got even more on her plate: A talented amateur chef, she has won cooking lessons with celebrity chef Circe Silvertongue. After nosing around (with a little help from Circe’s pet pig), Daisy begins to suspect the temperamental chef’s secrets aren’t only in her ingredients. . . .  (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This is the fourth book in the Dead Is series and it is really good. I like Dead is Just a Rumour because it's short (it only takes a couple of hours to read) and it is really entertaining.  I love mysteries and this series is just full of them.

Daisy is a protagonist that is actually really awesome. She's a typical teenager apart from the fact that she has psychic powers but other than that she is really relatable and you can't help but love her.

I love Dead is Just a Rumour because it's really light and breezy.  There's a bit of suspense to keep you entertained and as I was reading it I found myself going through the pages so I could find out more.

My only complaint is that it ended quite abruptly.  Although, I have a feeling there could be a book after this one. Fingers crossed there is.

If you like paranormal or you like mysteries then Dead is Just a Rumour is definitely worth a read.

Source: NetGalley

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Title: The Restaurant at the end of the Universe

Author: Douglas Adams

Published: Pan Macmillan, 1980

Pages: 199

Series: Book 2, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Snippet: "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. 
There is another theory which states that this has already happened." 

Summary: Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability--and desperately in search of a place to eat.
Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.
Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be! (Taken from Goodreads)

Review:  Yet more laughs in the sequel to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  The Restaurant at the end of the Universe is truly great and I just laughed at so many of the parts.

One thing I love about this book is the characters names.  They're just so odd, names such as Zaphod for example,  but there are a lot more than that.

The plot thickens in this book and I think I'm starting to see what the main focus of the book series is going to be but I can't be 100% sure.

While this series is considered 'old' it is still very readable and I am absolutely loving my journey through the galaxy with Arthur, Zaphod, Ford, Trillion and of course Marvin.

If you haven't read any books in the series you are seriously missing out.  The Restaurant at the end of the Universe is definitely worth checking out!

Source: Borrowed

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wind-back review : Georgia Nicolson 5-8

Last week's wind-back review was on books 1-4 of the Georgia Nicolson series and this week is a continuation with that with books 5-8.

...And Thats When It Fell Off In My Hand
I didn't find this one as appealing as the first four but I still had to laugh at parts.  I found myself staying up quite late into the night to finish this one to find out where the words 'and thats when it fell off in my hand' were going to appear.  I loved Georgia and Rosie they're the funniest of the two and I wasn't so fond of new guy Masimo.

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers
I think there were about one or two times in this book when I laughed but it wasn't as funny as any of the other books.  I really don't like Masimo very much.  There's not much I can say about this book because it wasn't the best of them all but it wasn't too bad.

Startled by His Furry Shorts
After not feeling so great about the sixth book I was really surprised with how awesome Startled by his Furry Shorts was. I loved it so much and I love Dave the Laugh he is the coolest character ever.  Such a laugh he is.  I also loved finding out where the startled by his furry shorts quote arrived.  The ending was very very very cliffhanger and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next book.

Luuurve is a Many-Trousered Thing
After the ending of the seventh book I really couldn't wait to read this one and I devoured it pretty quickly.  There were so many laughable moments and well another cliffhanger ending.  Not as cliffhanger as the previous book but it was definitely a good book. I just wish that Georgia would hurry up and get with Dave the Laugh.  He's just who I prefer.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This week I got four books, three I got in the mail and one I got from the library and I'm really excited to be getting all of them.

The first one I got was a really nice surprise because it was a pre-order from Whitcoulls so thats exciting and it is:

Passing Strange by Daniel Waters

Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal (if pale) teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing—this time, as alive. Karen DeSonne just happens to be an extremely human-like zombie. Meanwhile, Karen’s dead friends have been fingered in a high-profile murder, causing a new round of antizombie regulations that have forced them into hiding. Karen soon learns that the “murder” that destroyed their non-life was a hoax, staged by Pete Martinsburg and his bioist zealots. Obtaining enough evidence to expose the fraud and prove her friends’ innocence means doing the unthinkable: becoming Pete’s girlfriend. Karen’s only hope is that the enemy never realizes who she really is—because the consequences would be worse than death.

And I got for review:

Prophet of The Pentacle by Marilyn D. Privratsky

In ancient times, a great battle was fought between a ruthless evil, named Lord Jarden and a powerful sphinx, named Berecynthia. She defeated and imprisoned this evil, but was mortally wounded, so unable to vanquish it. After the passing of five ages, a royal advisor named, Randye of Corpus, sets out on a mission for the king of the Shandel, to investigate a mysterious and lonely isle named, Ice Isle. Unknowingly the advisor sets free the ancient evil and becomes its host. Now the only thing that is able to save the beautiful realm of Andora and her people from this ancient evil is a sacred alliance of prophets called the Osarian Knights. Trained by a mysterious sphinx known as Farro, ages earlier, these prophetic knights struggle to stop the ruthless creature from turning the mystical realm into a wasteland of burning ash and hell on earth, which would only be the beginning...

I got this one from the library and I am super super super excited to read it!

Smiling Jack by Ken Catran

Robert lives in a small, prosperous rural town where his father is a respected and trusted pillar of the local community and financial advisor to the eccentric but essentially harmless community of Atenists who live nearby. When Robert's father and Uncle are killed in a road accident, his comfortable world rapidly begins to unravel. With so much to deal with, he barely thinks about the evil grin on the playing card Jack, found at the site of the accident. Until the second death, and the third, when once again Jack's leering malicious grin is found nearby. As Robert realises he never knew his father, those people his father betrayed turn against him, and he is forced to look deep into the shadows that are closing in if he is to get out alive.

This one I got via International Book Tours and it is:

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount-White

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

And that was my very awesome week in the way of books. Can't wait to see what everyone else got!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Published: New York : HarperTeen, 2007

Pages: 304

Snippet: "Maybe we judge people too much by their looks because it's easier than seeing what's really important."

Summary: A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form. (Taken from Christchurch City Libraries)

Review: When I found out that Beastly was based on the Beauty and the Beast story I jumped at the chance to read it as Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite stories ever.

I can tell you now that Beastly did not disappoint in any way. I absolutely loved it. There was so much about how people base everything on how people look but that it's not the most important thing about people.

I loved all the talk about roses because really what can you use to talk about beauty that is as effective as a rose.

I have to say that there wasn't anything I didn't love about Beastly. It was a really good book and while I knew what was going to happen I really enjoyed reading Beastly. It just reinforces the idea that nobody is perfect and nobody should be judged on how they look.

Overall, Beastly is a wonderfully magical book that is definitely worth a read.

Source: Own book

Friday, July 16, 2010

Author Interview: Kersten Hamilton

Yesterday I reviewed Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton and today I am very excited to be able to share an interview with Kersten Hamilton the author of Tyger Tyger.  Without further ado I give you Kersten!

What inspired you to write Tyger Tyger?
Kersten: The goblin world grew from my Celtic roots and love of scary stories—the kind that grandmothers used to tell by candlelight while shadow creatures crept across the walls behind you. You could feel them; their cold breath on your neck gave you the shivers.
I wasn’t sure at first what the physical form of my goblin book would be. I first wrote it as a dark, scary picture book called Loveleaves and Woodwender. And then I read Beastly by Alex Flinn, which is a YA retelling of The Beauty and the Beast. It was so much fun that I decided to try a YA fairy tale of my own—I reworked Loveleaves and Woodwender, and Tyger Tyger was born!

Tyger Tyger is based on the Finnian Cycle, did you spend a lot of time researching before you started writing?
Kersten: I’ve been researching it my whole life—I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t hearing or reading the stories of the Celtic heroes. But I also did a lot of reading of history, nonfiction, and myth before and during my writing. I traveled to the National Zoo in Washington DC and several arboretums to get good ideas for the plants, trees and strange creatures of Mag Mell. The neighborhood Teagan lives in came from one of my trips to Chicago.

How did you decide on the title Tyger Tyger?
Kersten: ‘The Tyger’ is a brilliant poem by William Blake. It explores the question that is very much at the heart of the Goblin Wars books: did a good God create evil?  If you’d like to read the poem, you can find a copy here.

When can we expect the next book in the Goblin Wars series?
Kersten: I’m writing In the Forests of the Night right now, and it will be out in the fall of 2011. Fearful Symmetry should follow in 2012!

Do you have planned out how many books will be in the Goblin Wars series yet?
Kersten: I think it will be a trilogy, but you never do know, you never can tell…. J

When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Kersten: I like hunting camels, mammoths, saber tooth tigers—and the really BIG game, dinosaurs— in the desert bad lands of New Mexico. They are bones now, of course. But I love being the first human to find a creature that hasn’t been seen for tens of thousands or even millions of years.
I also dream a lot about the forest garden I want to grow somewhere in the East where rain falls from the sky. In his book, Edible Forest Gardens, Dave Jacke describes a forest garden as “…an edible ecosystem, a consciously designed community of mutually beneficial plants and animals intended for human food production.”
Forest gardens mimic natural forests, and include trees, shrubs, and ground cover as well as insects and small animals that are essential to woodland health.
I’m going to call my forest garden “Bombadil’s Wood,” and it will be a place where people can come and learn how to plant forest gardens of their own.
You can find out more about forest gardens and why they are such an important concept by watching the series of BBC videos called ‘A Farm for the Future’ on YouTube. The first one is here.

Do you have any 'must-haves' while writing?
Kersten: If I can have a walk and talk with the Creator of creation before I start my writing day, a very hot cup of coffee, and my computer, I am perfectly happy.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 
Kersten: Be aware and beware of Zeitgeist
In our culture we read the same popular books, watch the same popular movies, listen to the same network newscasts…and this leads to many writers coming up with very similar story lines. Don’t do it.
Send your literary roots deeper and farther. Read classics. Read books outside of your genre. Read history, psychology, and science. Read books from other cultures.
Make friends with people who are different from you, who grew up in different times, in different places, with a different religion. Let them tell their whole story, and listen with your whole heart.
I think writing is the most important job in the world. Give it your best!

Thanks for the great advice and awesome interview Kersten! The first book in the Goblin Wars series, Tyger Tyger is out in November 2010 so be sure to check it out!