Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: August 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Stopping of Summer Special

Well, the end is here. Thankyou to all who helped out, commented and visited during my month of summer madness. I hope you picked up some tips of things to do, places to see, recipes to try, authors to read and/or blogs to visit. I'd love to hear what you thought- maybe you could leave a comment or make a blog post to tell me. Hopefully this will be the beginning of more events that I'm able to hold.

Just before I leave you to go back to normal broadcasting, I bet you want to know who won what. Well, here you are:

The Winner of Bloody Jack is Mystica
The signed bookmarks were won by Sahina Bibi
The personalised magnetic bookmarks were won by Jade Walker and Janhvi Jagtap
The Winner of the Hairdresser of Harare is Mazz Nixon
And, finally, Anne was the winner of Murder in the Dark.

Congratulations to all the winners. You have been contacted by e-mail and now have 48 hours to respond.

If you didn't win this time, don't despair- you can still win with my 100 followers giveaway (see the sidebar of 'The Story Factory Reading Zone' for more details.

Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller (A Review)

A fast-paced novel which kept my attention throughout, partly due to the variations in chapter lengths. Miller's characters were dynamic ad tantalising, her plot full of action. The book contained elements of romance, horror, mystery and science fictio, expertly mixed to create an exciting whole. Slightly graphic at times, I really enjoyed this book and felt part of the action so much that it was hard to put down. I'm definatly adding the sequel to my wishlist.

I was provided with this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Teaser Tuesday #16 Ambasadora

Hosted by Should Be Reading

Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller
They all spiralled down a staircase, cenders and riffles drawn, boots tapping the concrete stairs in a soft cadence.

Monday, 29 August 2011

GIVEAWAY- Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood

Thankyou to Mozette for being willing to send out this book to one lucky winner.
This will be a flash giveaway- only 2 days in whch to enter- so do hurry and complete the rafflecopter asap.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Blogger Interview: Hilde

I'd like to welcome Hilde from Turn of the Page to my blog this morning. Hilde has been kind enough to answer some questions for us about herself and her blog.

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
My name is Hilde, I’m 28 years old and I live in Norway where I work as a freelance translator. I love books, music, chocolate, Sydney, film & television, spring, ocean views, the northern lights and ice cream.

What fictional character do you think you are most like?
Excellent question! I wish I could say someone strong and independent like Éowyn from Lord of the Rings or Hermione from Harry Potter, but sadly that’s not me at all. To be honest I think I am more like Bess Marvin, one of Nancy Drew’s best friends. Bess is kind hearted, a little anxious and likes good food – just like me.

What sort of things do you write about on your blog?
Books! I’m quite an eclectic reader, so you’ll find reviews of books from several different genres. I also post about other book-related things, like quotes, videos, and discussions.

When and why did you start your blog?
The blog has actually existed since March 2008. I originally started it just to have a place to list the books I read, so there wasn’t much content. I had the blog for two years before I discovered the whole book blogging community and decided I wanted to try my hand at proper blogging. I posted my first real review in May 2010, and I count that as the birth of The Turn of the Page (although it didn’t get that name until a little while later).

What do you think is the best thing about having a blog?
Interacting with all the wonderful people of the book blogging community. I have learned so much and had lots of fun participating in discussions this past year. And of course discovering new books to read! I have found so many great books through blogging that I otherwise would never have heard of.

Does anything irritate you about having a blog?
Thankfully blogging has been nothing but a positive experience for me so far, and I’m very happy about that. But what irritates me about blogging, as in life in general, is people being rude. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me – how boring would it be if everyone felt the same way? – but if you can’t voice your opinion in a civilized manner, then perhaps you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Do you take part in any memes / online events?
I participate in the It’s Monday, What Are You Reading meme, because I think it’s a good way to summarize my reads every week. I also do Top Ten Tuesday and Booking Through Thursday when I like the topic.

What are your top 5 tips for writing a blog?
I’m not sure I’m the best person to be giving any advice about blogging because I’m still learning myself. But since you asked, I’d say:

Write about what you care about. If you are passionate about your topic, chances are your readers will be excited too.
Don’t worry too much about getting followers; they will find you in time.
Quality over quantity. You don’t have to post something every day, or even every other day.
Be yourself. You don’t have to get up close and personal, but people will soon notice if you are not being honest.
And above all: Have fun! That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? :)

Thankyou very much Hilde.  
Do check out Hilde's blog for yourself if you get the chance.

 Over to you:
Why not answer some (or all) of the questions on your own blog. 
Then leave a link in the comments so that we can check them out. 

Tomorrow I'll be launching my final 'Summer Special' giveaway, so check back here for that post. This will be a quick giveaway (only a few days), so make sure you don't miss it!


Friday, 26 August 2011

Autumn Overhaul

Just a quick note to let you know that you may spot a few changes on my blogs over the next few weeks. Don't panc- nothing major's going to change, I just wanted to give the place a makeover whilst I have the chance. The main things that will be happening will be to make the blogs more similar,  so that people can (hopefully) clearly see that they're all run by the same person. I'm also hoping to make them easier to navigate.

If you have any suggestions of anything you think could make this blog better do leave  a comment. I can't promise I'll act on them all, but I certainly seriously consider them!

100 followers giveaway! (International)

Thanks ever so much to all of you who follow this blog, its really appreciated! It means a lot to know that you guys are out there reading what I'm writing!

As a way of saying thankyou, I'd like to mark my milestone of 100 followers with my first ever rafflecopter giveaway! Yes, that's right, rafflecopter has come to 'The Story Factory Reading Zone'! This means that there will be extra optional additional entries for those who are interested in doing so. But if you prefer the easy option then just feel free to leave your name and e-mail as usual (there will be an option for doing just this in the form!).

But what can we win? I hear you say.
Well, its sort of a surprise! I can tell you that I will be a goodie bag, including at least one book reviewed on this site, some bookmarks and a few extra surprises as well. Since this is a special, one-off event I'm also making this international!

You have until the end of September to enter.
Good luck!

TGIF at GReads #3

Hosted by GReads

This Friday's Question:

Book Associations: 
Which genre, authors, or particular books do you think 
people associate with your reading style?

This is a very hard question for me, as I read all sorts of different types of books (and its always hardr to know what other people think of you). I guess my reading tastes are sort of eccletic. I knoww its not really answering the questions, but its the closest I've come. I would be quite interested to know what me readers and followers think though!

Have Space Suit- Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein (A Review)

What started off as a classic science fiction story soon turned into something more. Heinlein presents human characters that are easy to relate to and places them in unusual situations, as well as some which will be familiar to sci-fi readers. Whilst a few of his other characters were hard to imagine, others weree presented in such a way that I began to feel I was getting a small insight into their society. Definatly worth reading, a classic in its own right!

Top Spot August

Hosted by Skype Sisters

Spotted this new meme on my google reader and thought it would be a great way to highlight a book to you that I'd enjoyed each month. Hopefully I'll be able to keep going with this one.

So without further ado, this month's Top Spot award goes to:
The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
I read more books than usual this month (I've stored some of the reviews up for later ;) ) but this one made my top spot because of the way that it got behind the lives of real people. I also thought the way the it presented historical documents was good.

Click here for my review

Book Beginnings- 26th August 2011

Hosted by A Few More Pages

Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller
"They're watching us again," Sara whispered against the smoothness of Chen's cheek. His soft bergamot scent mixed with her vodka-tinged breath.

Follow Friday #4

Hosted by Parajunkee's View

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

I'm not sure that they'd really be suitable to come out of a closet (more likely to drift in from a nearby forest), but since watching 'Lord of The Rings' my favourite mythical creatures have been Elves. I think they'd be a good choice to appear in real life because they're so wise- maybe they'd help us make the world a better place.

The Friday 56 #11 Ambasadora

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller
"Harvesting them must have been no simple task"

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Third Sentence Thursday #13- Have Space Suit- Will Travel

Hosted by Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books

Have Space Suit- Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
  "Certainly", he answered and looked back at his book

Theme Thursday- Trees

Hosted by Reading Between Pages

This week’s theme is

TREES (Plants/Greenery )

Have Space Suit- Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
It was a city in a jungle. Thick dark green, so tangled that I could not tell trees from vine and bush, spread out all around but was broken repeatedly by buildings as large and larger than the one we were in.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Girl Meets Ape by Chris Manby (A Review)

An easy-to-read, humorous book- good for summer / casual reading. The title has several meanings, which unravel themselves as the story progresses. Its mostly a typical chick-lit, but with a context different enough to keep my interest.

WWW Wednesdays #5

Hosted by Should Be Reading

What are you currently reading?
Have Space Suit- Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein

What did you recently finish reading?
Girl Meets Ape by Chris Manby (review up later today)

What do you think you'll read next?
Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller (a review book)

Suggested Activity 17: Do some writing

Do some writing

'The Story Factory Reading Zone' readers say:
I don't write nearly as much as I used to, but I have started a novel and I write the occasional humorous essay. And I write lists. Lots.
I'm a sci-fi fiction writer. I also write vampire romance (but none of that Twilight crap). I also love to write concise poetry.

OK, so if you're a blog writer (or an author) then this won't really be something different to do. However maybe you could consider writing something a bit different. If you're a blogger then I would recommend trying out the 'one-minute writer' meme (which I sometimes post on The Story Factory Writing Zone'). It sets you a topic to write for one-minute on each day- you never know what will come up!

Over to you: Do you enjoy writing? If so, what sort of things do you write?

If you consider yourself a writer (or just fancy having a go) you might want to pop over to 'The Story Factory Writing Zone' for this afternoon's 'Summer Sharer'

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Teaser Tuesday #15 Girl Meets Ape

Girl Meets Ape by Chris Manby
Snowy joined Jennifer in front of Ulysses' cage and they both peeked at the figure beneath the blankets. "Raaaarrrk!" said Mad. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

Caught in The Winds by L.D. Wenzel (A Review)

From the blurb:
Try though he might, Morrie Schiller just doesn't fit into the Christian college scene. The girl he loves sees him as only a 'brother', and he's in the crossfire as conservatives rage against the school with extremist religious views. Add to the mix, he's rankled by unasked for longings to become a Roman Catholic. He feels alone, 'caught', as postmodern winds toss him about like an autumn leaf.
Enter Jack Joplin, a mysterious stranger, who lures him into embracing a spurious philosophy, promising to 'transcend' religious conventionality. Morrie is catapulted into Faust-like adventures that go beyond his wildest dreams.
Time was when Morrie only wanted to meet a nice Christian girl and settle down as an ordinary evangelical. However the Socratic dictum: 'Know Thyself' seems to be his sacred calling. Spiritual maturity comes only by passing through the refiner's fire.

My review:

A tale of three parts full of philosophical and moral ideas to challenge the Christian mind. I really enjoyed the discourse that this book took about a wide-range of issues. Although sometimes reading like a university text-book, it was worth perceivering with for the pure inventiveness and originality.

I think that this story could possibly have been told over three individual books, since the sections were so different in style. In places the descriptions were unecessary to the plot, in others I would have liked to know more of the character's feelings. Having said that, I did truly feel for the main character.

I'm glad that I got a chance to read this book annd am hoping to get a chance to read the sequel sometime in the future.

Book source: This book was sent to me by the author in return for an honest review

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Happy Birthday to Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh turns 90 today!
Isn't it amazing that there are still kids out there today who know who enjoy watching him on TV (and even some, no doubt, who still know the books)!

I remember, when I was young, watching the cartoon series that was on TV at the time with my very own cuddly pooh. He wore a green camoflauge-coloured t-shirt that I suppose one of my relatives must have made for him. When the theme-tune came along I used to sign along and make him dance to them.

I enjoyed reading A.A. Milne poetry books 'When We Were Very Young' and 'Now We Are Six'. I particularly liked the poem 'Half Way Down The Stairs', which I would ocassionally sing whilst sitting half-way down the stairs (see how imaginative I was!). When I first saw little Robin's version I was smitten:

Every time I go into a certain charity shop and see stories featuing Winnie the Pooh, I'm taken back to these childhood memories. I hope theyu stay with me forever.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Suggested Activity 15: Find those bargain books

Find those bargain books!

Our readers say:
"I'll travel into my home town of Brisbane and find as many bookstores as I can in one day and peruse their shelves for a great deal; even if I only find one book per store... it's something."

I'm sure I hardly need to recommend this to all you readers out there! What better pleasure for someone who loves books than to peruse the shelves of a town's bookstores. Even in the most expensive stores you can often find 3 for 2, 2 for 1 or half-price offers. The joy of these is that they might enable you to find that hidden gem that no-one else has discovered, or that book that you've heard everyone mention but you've never been able to find. And, on a warm summers day, many of the big stores have air conditioning and are therefore ideal places to go to take a break from the hot sun.

Over to you:
Show off some of your latest bargain purchases

 Pop over to 'Living in A Time Warp' tomorrow for Suggested Activity 16

Sunday, 14 August 2011

GIVEAWAY- The Hairdresser of Harare (UK only)

I really enjoyed reading this book and so, as part of the 'Summer Special' I'd like to give away my once-only-read copy to one of my readers. As usual it will be registered with bookcrossing- there is no obligation to follow this up, although I would be very happy if you did decide to make a journal entry upon its arrival.

Here's my review of the book, incase you missed it:
A book that presents tough issues in a light-hearted, yet appropriate, fashion. The Hairdresser of Harare has a charm about it which I really liked. There were enough similarities with my own culture to make me feel connected with the text, and  the differences seemed naturally to flow out of the pages. I really felt as if I understood the main character. The only problem I had was understand the few non-English words that were used- an index to them in the back might have been useful. This was my first read of a book set in Zimbabwe and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 To enter
  • You must live in the UK (sorry, but I can't afford to send this internationally)
  • You must ask parental permission if you are under 16
  • Check that its not after 31st August 2011 (that's when the giveaway closes)
  • Fill in the form below

Do pop over to 'Music Helps The World' go round tomorrow for a 'Suggested Activity'. 

    Saturday, 13 August 2011

    Suggested Activity 11: Read a new genre

    Read a new genre

    Our readers' survey revealed that our readers prefer to read:
    1. Humour, 
    2. Science fiction or fantasy
    3. Biography
    4. Travel
    5. Horror
    6. Mystery/thriller
    7. Chick-lit/romance
    Their reading habits didn't tend to change over the summer- they read the same number of books and the same sort of genres.

    I prefer to read science fiction/fantasy. I tend to read more humour in the summer and lighter books in general, I may even venture onto chick-lit.

    Over to you:
    Are their any genres that you don't usually read? 
    What genres would you recommend for others and why?

    Pop across to 'The Story Writing Zone' this afternoon to have a chance of winning some signed bookmarks

    Friday, 12 August 2011

    Summer Sharer: Review Resort

    I love sharing my reviews with you all, but now I want to provide an opportunity for you to share your reviews with me (and all my readers). Whilst I follow many of your through google reader, its sometimes hard to pick out the best reviews- I'm sure it must be the same for others as well.

    So today, as a 'summer sharer' activity, I'd like to invite anyone who wants to provide links to what they consider the best reviews on their blogs. If you don't have a blog, then feel free to link to goodreads etc, or to post a brief review in the comments.

    Let's make this post a true 'Review Resort'!

    Over to you:
    Share some of your best reviews!

    Pop back here tomorrow morning for another 'Suggested Activity'!

    GIVEAWAY- Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer (International)

    Thanks to the generousity of Hilde (Turn of The Page), who will be talking about here blog here on the 28th, we have 1 copy of Bloddy Jack by L.A. Meyer up for grabs.

    From Goodreads:
    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
    There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .

    Rules of entry:
    • If you are under 16, then you must have parental permission to enter
    • You accept that, should you win, your address will be passed onto Hilde who will be sending out the prize
    • This giveaway is open internationally!!
    • The giveaway ends on 31st August 2011
    Simply fill in the form below to enter (and then don't forget to check back in this afternoon for today's 'Summer Sharer' post:

    Monday, 8 August 2011

    Suggested Activity 7: Simply stay at home

    Simply stay at home

    Our readers say:
    I usually go on holiday once a year to some place in Europe, but that's usually during spring or autumn. In summer the best place to be is home. :)
    I just enjoy staying at home. I know that sounds very boring to most, but, I find hotel rooms very uncomfortable, so prefer my own surrounding

    Sometimes we forgot the pleasures that home can bring. We can be so pre-occupied with getting away to foreign climbs, that we forget the benefits that our local environment can offer. You could check out those board games that have been unplayed for years, watch a DVD, read a book, or just simply relax. Alternatively, check out what's going on local to you. Most towns and cities will have some sort of tourist information, they may also have a website. You might also be surprised what information can often be found just walking around a town from posters and advertisements in shop windows.

    Over to you: What things do you like doing at home?
    Do you think its better to stay in or go out?

    Do pop over to 'Crafty Creations' this afternoon to join in with another 'Summer Sharer', where this time we'll be discussing our favourite recipes.

    Sunday, 7 August 2011

    Blog Feature: My Reading List

    Today I'd like to introduce you to 'My Reading List', a blog run by Mozette. Mozette is one of 'The Story Factory's followers. She is also a fellow bookcrossing and I'm really glad to have her with us. Like me, she runs a whole series of blogs, and whilst a different one was featured on the weekly schedule, its 'My Reading List' that I'm going to feature now.

    I absolutely love the colourful background of this blog, the stack of books filling my screen as the page loads. Scrolling down, you finally find your way to the posts below. The writing style draws you in straight away- it really feels like she's talking to you. It is at this moment you realise it's true when it says 'author' in the profile section. Books truly seem to dominate Mozette's life, which means that through her talk about them you feel like you are truly getting a glimpse into her world. Alongside posts about books bought and reviews, the conversation has recently wandered off into topics such as books featured in movies and dream bookstores. This results in a varied content that, whilst book-related, is mixed enough to ensure the interest of lots of different readers. I thoroughly enjoy looking through this blog, I just wish I had more time to read it.

    Click here to read it for yourself. 

    Over to you:
    I'd love to hear what you thought of Mozette's blog (and I'm sure she would as well).
    Why not take a look and then post here or over there (or even better, in both places).

    Tomorrow (after the start of the week post), I'll be suggesting another summer activity here on 'The Story Factory Reading Zone' and then, in the afternoon, it'll be time for another 'Summer Sharer' on 'Crafty Creations'

    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The King's Speech (A Review)

    The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
    With more detail and covering a wider time-span than the movie, this book is an interesting account of the lives of both Lionel Logue and George VI. There were details about the royal family which I had not come across before and which kept me reading to find out if there was anything else to learn. I think that the book came across better than the movie because it was able to use extracts of letters and photographs to good effect, and also because there was more about Logue's background. Having said that, I think seeing the movie first was useful, it allowed me to see the people easier. Some might find the writing style a little turgid in places, but for me the content made this book a very good read.

    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Third Sentence Thursday #12- The King's Speech

    Third Sentence Thursday

    Hosted by Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books

    My sentence this week is taken from

    The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi

    Among them was a photograph of my father in his Scots Guards uniform; another of him and my mother, Elizabeth, on their wedding day in 1953, and a picture of my Australian-born paternal grandfather, Lionel, and his wife, Myrtle.

    Who is this speaking? Is this going to be a sort of 'Who Do You Think You Are?' type memoir about him? It could be quite interesting to hear the ancestory of a man whose father served in the Scots Guards, but whose grandfather was Austrlian-born.

    Theme Thursday- Location

    Hosted by Reading Between Pages

    This week’s theme is

    LOCATION (reference to the location where the story is happening)

    The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
    Adelaide in the 1880s was a city overflowing with civic pride. Named in honour of Queen Adelaide, the German-born consort of King William IV, it had been founded in 1836 as the planned capital of a freely settled British province in Australia. It was laid out in a grid pattern, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and surrounded by parkland. By the time of its half centenary, it had become a confortable place to live; from 1860 residents had been able to enjoy water piped down from Thorndon Park reservoir, horse-drawn trams and railways made it easy to move around, and by night the streets were lit by gas lights. In 1874 it acquired a university; seven years later. the Southern Australian Art Gallery opened its doors for the first time.


    Wednesday, 3 August 2011

    The Legacy of Luna (A Review)

    An interesting insight into the difference that a single tree can make to a person's life and their outlook on the world. It was lovely to hear about environmental issues from a different perspective to the usual and am glad that I read this book, despite its occasional stilted nature.

    Tuesday, 2 August 2011

    Teaser Tuesday #14 The Legacy of Luna

    Hosted by Should Be Reading

    The Legacy of Lunaby Julia Butterfly Hill
    We all understand love, however; we all understand respect, we all understand dignity, and we all understand compassion up to a certain point. But how could I covince the loggers to transfer those feelings that they migt have for a human being to the forest?

    Monday, 1 August 2011

    Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (A Review)

    When I first saw this book I thought it was going to be a typical chit-lit. In fact, I almost decided not to read it. But it wasn't at all! Whilst there were elements of chick-lit, this story was much more than that! I found it so easy to feel drawn to the main character and to almost feel what she was going through with her. And, every time I thought it was going to become just another romance novel, there was a plot twist which sent it off in the direction of a mystery once more. The result was that I was hooked from beginning to end. A good surprise find!

    The Week Ahead: Week One

    Welcome to the first of 4 'Week Ahead' posts during my August 'Summer Special'. The aim of these posts is to keep you updated with what will happening each week, including any changes from the published schedule. They may also include my response to the 'It's Monday: What Are You Reading?' meme (I don't do this every week, just when I have new reading to announce).

    WEEK ONE- Welcome To The Summer!
    This week is all about getting the feel for what the 'Summer Special' is about. As well as the launch post, I'll be taking you round all my blogs as I share with you some suggested activities for the summer, one of my favourite recipes and a place to visit. The week ends with the first 'Summer Sharer' and blog feature.
    Click on the blog titles to be taken to their main pages.

    Day One-     Launch Post (all blogs)
                        The Week Ahead (all blogs)
                        Suggested Activity 1 (Music Helps The World Go Round)
    Day Two-    Suggested Activity 2 (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Three-  Suggested Activity 3 (Crafty Creations)
                        Recipe Resort: Peach Sorbet (Blog For The Thought)
    Day Four-    Places To Visit 1 (Blog For The Thought)
                        Suggested Activity 4 (Blog For The Thought)
    Day Five-     Suggested Activity 5 (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
    Day Six-       Suggested Activity 6 (Crafty Creations)
                        Summer Sharer: Wanderer's Tales (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Seven-  Blog Feature: My Book-Crazy Life (The Story Factory Reading Zone)

    It's Monday! What I'm Reading
    Last week
    The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu
    Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

    Currently Reading
    The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill

    Up next
    The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi

    Over to you: What does summer mean to you?

    Summer Special Starts!

    Apologies for the late start to this 'Summer Special'.
    Who knew it would take me over an hour to write this post!?

    Welcome to the first ever 'Summer Special' taking place across various blogs run by Abigail Ann (aka neeuqfonafamai).

    So, what is 'Summer Special'?
    Basically, its a change to our regular schedule where you can hang out during your summer holidays. Or, if they're already over, then you can use the opportunity to imagine them back again and begin planning for next year. Every day in August, I'll be leaving you some ideas of  things that are good to do in hot weather. They'll also be giveaways, blog features, author interview(s), recipes for you to try, and a chance for you to join in during our 'summer sharers'. That's in addition to all my usual book reviews and memes. And, at the end of each post, will be an 'over to you'- something to spark discussion in the comments, or to post about on your own blog (if you want to).
    Let me now tell you some more about the types of posts you may come across during this month:
    • The Week Ahead. At the start of each week in August, I'll be putting up a post saying what's happening that week. This will be an updated post and will include the 'It's Monday: What Are You Reading?' meme. 
    • Suggested Activity. These are posts talking about activities that myself or my blog readers like to do. They contain ideas of things that could be good to do in warm weather. 
    • Places to Visit. These are brief posts telling you about various places that could be good to go and visit. These are specific places that you might want to see if you live nearby, or to go to on holiday in the future.
    • Blog Feature. Telling you all about some of the blogs that our readers run. 
    • Giveaway. Your chance to grab a prize. Thanks to the generousity of our readers most of these are international! Plus, I'll be adding a surprise giveaway if the followers of 'The Story Factory Reading Zone' hit 100 followers during this event!
    • Author Interview. Your chance to find out more about an author that may be new to you. 
    • Blogger Interview. Your chance to learn more about a fellow blogger.
    • Summer Sharer. Essentially a series of one-off memes, these posts are your opportunity to join in by sharing your photos, summer exploits, or writing. Let us know what you're up to this summer on your own blog, or via the comments.
    • Recipe Resort. I'll be sharing some recipes that I've found to be good for the summer.

    Enough of the posts, where do I find them?
    They'll be spread across my blogs. But don't worry, they won't be hard to find as each day I'll leave a note for you of where you can find the next post. Plus, there's a list below of what will be happening when and where, which I'll leave (and update as necessary) on the new 'Summer Special' page of each of my blogs.
    Just to make sure you don't miss anything, here's a list of the blogs participating:

    The Schedule
    These are the posts that I've already got planned for the 'Summer Special' event. Also, look out for all my usual posts, as well as the possible additional giveaway or interview.

    WEEK ONE- Welcome To The Summer!
    Day One-     Launch Post (all blogs)
                        The Week Ahead (all blogs)
                        Suggested Activity 1 (Music Helps The World Go Round)
    Day Two-    Suggested Activity 2 (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Three-  Suggested Activity 3 (Craft Creations)
                        Recipe Resort: Peach Sorbet (Blog For The Thought)
    Day Four-    Places To Visit 1 (Blog For The Thought)
                        Suggested Activity 4 (Blog For The Thought)
    Day Five-     Suggested Activity 5 (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
    Day Six-       Suggested Activity 6 (Craft Creations)
                        Summer Sharer: Wanderer's Tales (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Seven-  Blog Feature: My Book-Crazy Life (The Story Factory Reading Zone)

    WEEK TWO- Giveaways Galore!
    Day Eight-   The Week Ahead (all blogs)
                        Suggested Activity 7 (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
                        Summer Sharer: Recipe Resort (Cradt Creation)
    Day Nine-    Suggested Activity 8 (Music Helps The World Go Round)
    Day Ten-      Places To Visit 2 (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Eleven-  Suggested Activity 9 (Blog For The Thought)
    Day Twelve- Suggested Activity 10 (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
                         Giveaway 1: Bloody Jack (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
                         Blog Feature: Ann's Reading Corner (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
    Day Thirteen-Suggested Activity 11 (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
                         Giveaway 2: Assorted Signed Bookmarks (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
    Day Fourteen-Giveaway 3: The Hairdresser of Harare (The Story Factory Reading Zone)

    WEEK THREE- Sharing the Summer
    Day Fifteen-  The Week Ahead (all blogs)
                         Suggested Activity 12 (Music Helps The World Go Round)
    Day Sixteen- Places To Visit 3 (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Seventeen- Suggested Activity 13 (Crafty Creations)
                         Summer Sharer: Crafty Capers (Crafty Creations)
    Day Eighteen-Suggested Activity 14 (Blog For The Thought)
                          Recipe Resort: Beetroot Cake (Living In A Time Warp)
    Day Nineteen-Suggested Activity 15 (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
    Day Twenty-  Suggested Activity 16 (Living In A Time Warp)
                          Summer Sharer: Holiday Snaps (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
    Day Twenty-One- Giveaway 6: Magnetic Bookmarks (Crafty Creations)

    WEEK FOUR- Writing and Reading the World
    Day Twenty-Two-   The Week Ahead (all blogs)
                                   Places To Visit 4 (Living In A Time Warp)
    Day Twenty-Three- Suggested Activity 17 (Crafty Creations)
    Day Twenty-Four-   Suggested Activity 18 (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
                                   Summer Sharer: A World of Writing (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
    Day Twenty-Five-   Author Interview: Karen Tyrrell (The Story Factory Writing Zone)
    Day Twenty-Six-     Places To Visit 5 (Living in A Time Warp)
                                   Recipe Resort: Bread-maker's Bread (Music Helps The World Go Round)
    Day Twenty-Seven- Suggested Activity 19 (Music Helps The World Go Round)
    Day Twenty-Eight-  Blogger Interview: Hilde (The Story Factory Reading Zone)

    WEEK FIVE- Reaching the End
    Day Twenty-Nine-  The Week Ahead (all blogs)
                                   Giveaway 7: Murder in the Dark (The Story Factory Reading Zone)
    Day Thirty-              Places To Visit 6 (Living in A Time Warp)
    Day Thirty-One-      Wrapping Up The Summer (all blogs)

    I hope you'll be able to join us for some summer fun this month!
    If you want to be certain not to miss anything, please consider following one (or all) of the blogs

    Over to you: What are your plans for August?

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