Wednesday, 7 October 2015

REVIEW - Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Title: Hyperbole and a Half

Author: Allie Brosh

Publisher: Square Peg

Release Date: 31st October 2013

Source: Own Copy

Hyperbole and A Half is a blog written by a 20-something American girl called Allie Brosh. She tells fantastically funny, wise stories about the mishaps of her everyday life, with titles like 'Why Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving' and 'The God of Cake'. She accompanies these with naive drawings using Paint on her PC. 

Brosh’s website receives millions of visitors a month and hundreds of thousands of per day.
Now her full-colour debut book chronicles the many “learning experiences” Brosh has endured as a result of her own character flaws. It includes stories about her rambunctious childhood; the highs and mostly lows of owning a mentally challenged dog; and a moving and darkly comic account of her struggles with depression.

Poignant and uproarious - think Cyanide and Happiness but with story-lines, cake and dogs.

So after reading the fabulous Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson I was perusing her website and on her blog roll she listed the website Hyperbole and a Half.  Intrigued by the name I found myself on the site looking at a cute drawing of a girl with what looked like a unicorns horn on her head.

It had me hooked at unicorn.

I discovered that Hyperbole and Half was the creation of Allie Brosh and the cute drawings are created using good old Paint on her computer.  The drawings she has created are reasonably childish looking but literally every picture oozes with humour, her comic alter ego has hundreds of facial expressions, my favourite would probably be this one..

(c) Hyperbole and a Half

Anyway needless to say I found myself on Amazon looking to see if there was any Hyperbole related goodies, hell yes there was and a couple of clicks later I became the proud owner of this book.

Basically the book takes best bits from the blog along with some new stories and mashes them together to create a fricking brilliant book/comic/funny riotous read.

First of all the book looks good, it is page after page of colourful comic and secondly those comics are accompanied by the wonderfully witty prose of Allie Brosh as she tells us about her childhood, her love of dogs and more stories about dogs, she does love dogs, really loves dogs.

Her two dogs Simple dog and Helper dog feature prominently throughout, they are adorable and as I read about them I totally pictured my furry fuzzball doing the same things.

Simple Dog (c) Hyperbole and a Half
But as well as being hysterically pee yourself funny, Allie also touches on her dealings with depression but she does it with the aid of her brilliant comics that make a not so pleasant subject a bit easier to deal with.

This is just a great book, it is colourful, funny, full of dogs, crazy facial expressions, bad language and killer geese. It is by no means highly polished but it totally hits the spot.  Did I also mention how big it is, it is like 300 plus pages. I freaking love it!

If you are need of a good laugh then this will definitely hit the spot!


Random Redheaded Ramblings

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Bizarre Books #3 - Stray Shopping Carts of Easter North America by Julian Montague

Whilst looking through the many, many, many books on Amazon I discovered some hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a little bizarre, they may be unintentionally funny or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these hidden gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!

Residents of the East Coast of the USA your prayers have been answered!

No longer should you fret over not knowing where that shopping cart if from, you know the are out for a walk and there is a random lonely trolley - where did it come from?

This book will help you recognise these stray carts! 

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Monday, 5 October 2015

BOOK BLITZ - Cat Love by Sunniva Dee

Welcome to the blitz of Sunniva Dee's Cat Love!

Read an excerpt and enter the giveaway to win awesome prizes!!!

Cat Love by Sunniva Dee 
Publication date: October 5th 2015 
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

A sexy thriller about the animal in all of us.

Aidan uses his superpower to stabilize minds at the Hollyreed Specialist Hospital. Ulani uses hers to chase rats on rooftops. Until she’s caught and deposited in Aidan’s care.

At the hospital, Aidan finds Ulani’s room empty—save for a cat, whose fur retracts in favor of silky skin and a vamp-gorgeous femme fatale.

Aidan’s obsession with Ulani grows—
While patients at the hospital go missing.


As we press down into the bowels of old Hollyreed Mental Hospital, I’m glad I brought flashlights. Like a good Boy Scout, I even brought my Swiss army knife, which boasts the customary array of miniature tools.

I’m not going to lie. The basement is eerie. It’s my version of Hell, the old-fashioned way, dank with humidity, scurrying animals—rats, I’m sure—and at one point I could have sworn I heard rattling chains. I chuckle, even as the hairs stand on end at the back of my neck.

“Ha. You’re so scared,” Ulani says, amusement the only feeling emitting from her. The beams of our flashlights illuminate the way up iron-cast stairs that make me think of boats. As I walk into a piece of cobweb, I let out a small, horrified grunt, confirming Ulani’s statement. Awesome.

Seconds later, a rodent darts in front of me, and I suck in a girly breath. “Not everyone’s used to chasing critters,” I say, causing her to giggle.

I fumble with the door handle at the top. It’s not giving.

“Here,” Ulani whispers low, maybe in order to not disturb the rats. Higher up on the door, there’s a bolt I don’t see until she slides it open—without even targeting it with her flashlight.

“You see in the dark?” I feel less and less super around this girl.

She shrugs. “Well, yeah—it’s not that dark.”

“Right, because it’s just pitch-black. I’d say your vision’s another gift from your cat family.” She nuh-huhs, and I don’t insist.

For the next fifteen minutes we walk in silence. Thankfully, they spent a lot of money on this hospital back in the day, which means the wide stairways are still sturdy, and the floors don’t give under our feet. I suspect a grand portion of the building is pure cement.

The whole place is silent. So silent there’s no creaking of old wood or rustling from tattered curtains in the windows.

“Wow, this is amazing,” Ulani says, awed.

“I know. Can’t believe I haven’t checked it out before. It is creepy here though, so I understand if you’d rather go back home.”

Ulani’s big on shrugging tonight and does it again while we take the stairs up to the third floor. “Nah. Maybe I’ll find a sweet little room to set up camp in if you become too much to handle.”

“Me hard to handle? That’s what I call projecting. And what’s wrong with your own apartment if you wanted to leave mine behind?” I add, sounding like we’re actually discussing her moving out. Which she’ll do over my dead body unless she learns how to control her inner cat.

“Meh, this place is cool. And you’re full of it,” she quips. “I speak on behalf of all women when I tell you that men are sexy but super-obnoxious. You included.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.

I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.

I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.

Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me! 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Sunday Post #20 - 4th October 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I'm gonna recap my week and give you an idea of what I have coming up plus anything else newsworthy!

Why Princess Liz?, well today is me and hubby's 12th wedding anniversary! On this date 12 years ago I was a princess, yes I was!!

Anyway, this was a gorgeous.  Freezing foggy mornings and sunny afternoons, blissful!

Today we went to the golf at St Andrews, the Dunhill Links championship.  It is a pro-am competition, needless to say there was one celebrity there that everyone wanted to see.....

Yes, Christian Grey was there aka Jamie Dornan, nope I didn't see him or anyone remotely famous.  But it was a lovely day, St Andrews is beautiful and I got to go to Starbucks after and have a Pumpkin Spice Latte so that made up for no celebs, fickle I know!

In other news my web browser keeps freezing, I use Google Chrome on a laptop, anybody has this problem? It has already frozen half a dozen times whilst doing this, in fact I abandoned my A to Z of Dystopia post until I get it sorted as it was make me crabby, the browser not the post.  

Blog Ahead is going well and I have 3 scheduled posts for November, which may not sound like a lot but for me it is good as I really don't do much scheduling at all! I also have a lot of draft posts set up as placeholders for future scheduled posts.

Hope everyone doing Blog Ahead is having a fun time!

Have a great week everyone.


Ok it is not this car!! I am sad to say by to Eep my old car, a loyal wee car! 

I have received physical and e-copies of some fab books this week, thank you to all the publishers for sending them! Also, some of them are my own purchases, the pics link to Goodreads for you to find out more!






Let me know if you have read any of them!

Happy Sunday!

Random Redheaded Ramblings

Saturday, 3 October 2015

REVIEW - The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Title: The Great Zoo of China

Author: Matthew Reilly

Publisher: Gallery Books

Release Date: 27th January 2015

Source: NetGalley
In the blockbuster and bestselling tradition of Jurassic Park comes the breakneck new adventure from the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Matthew Reilly whose imaginative, cinematic thrillers “make you feel like a kid again; [they’re] a blast” (Booklist).

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have proven the existence of dragons—a landmark discovery no one could ever believe is real, and a scientific revelation that will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing findings within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see these fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane “CJ” Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that the dragons are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…

The Great Zoo of China is Jurassic Park with Dragons in China, end of.....

Ok, Ok, it is so much more than that, it actually was freaking crazy in a "Oh shit they are getting eaten by a dragon the size of a 747!!!!!", I mean dragons, who knew they could be so horrible?

Well, obviously not the Chinese government who after uncovering a nest of dragon eggs decide to secretly create the most amazing zoo in the history of mankind.  

This zoo is out of this world, it has mountains and casinos and cable cars and...........argh, it sounds just too much, I want to go there.  Seriously it sounds breathtaking, the pure descriptive genius of this book is just plain fab.  The author's imagination, well you can tell he had fun creating this place.

Anyway the gist of the book is that the Chinese are having a pre-opening VIP experience and the story follows CJ Cameron and her brother Hamish plus some other American dignitaries as the view the zoo.

CJ represents Nat Geo and is a expert on reptiles, she is blown away by what she sees.  A zoo full of dragons, all shapes, sizes and colours.

All of them are curious as to how it is safe. Wouldn't you be?

Rest assured, they are told, there is a force field in place that not only protects them, it also stops the dragons from leaving the zoo. They have nothing to worry about whatsoever.

So off course when they are in a cable car that is attacked by a group of vicious, bloodthirsty, incredibly intelligent dragons they feel they may have been lied to a little.

The Great Zoo of China is not a serious book but it is serious fun. It is also incredibly gory, violent, bloody, you get the idea! 

There is no holding back as CJ and her brother try to get to safety as one by one their group are picked off.  

My only gripe is that it does get a little repetitive with the dragons constant killing over and over again. You do find lots of pages where basically the same thing is happening and I did find myself skimming over that a bit.

Do they get a happy ending?, well you can read it and find out!

Oh, did I mention it has a talking dragon......

Thanks to Gallery Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review


Random Redheaded Ramblings

Friday, 2 October 2015

REVIEW - A Death In The Dales by Frances Brody

Title: A Death in the Dales (Kate Shackleton Mystery)

Author: Frances Brody

Publisher: Piatkus

Release Date: 1st October 2015

Source: Copy Publisher

A murder most foul

When the landlord of a Yorkshire tavern is killed in plain sight, Freda Simonson, the only witness to the crime, becomes plagued with guilt, believing the wrong man has been convicted. Following her death, it seems that the truth will never be uncovered in the peaceful village of Langcliffe . . .

A village of secrets

But it just so happens that Freda's nephew is courting the renowned amateur sleuth Kate Shackleton, who decides to holiday in Langcliffe with her indomitable teenage niece, Harriet. When Harriet strikes up a friendship with a local girl whose young brother is missing, the search leads Kate to uncover another suspicious death, not to mention an illicit affair.

The case of a lifetime

As the present mysteries merge with the past's mistakes, Kate is thrust into the secrets that Freda left behind and realises that this courageous woman has entrusted her with solving a murder from beyond the grave. It soon becomes clear to her that nothing in Langcliffe is quite as it appears, and with a murderer on the loose and an ever-growing roster of suspects, this isn't the holiday Kate was expecting.

It is the time of the year when it is crisp and cold outside (I'm in Scotland!) and I just want to cosy up with a cosy mystery.  So Frances Brody has not disappointed with her Kate Shackleton mysteries.

Taking us back to the 1920's, this novel takes Kate to the Yorkshire dales, her companion is her niece Harriet, who is convalescing from an illness and as she is a fourteen year old girl she has an opinion on everything!

They are staying in the house of Kate's gentleman friend Lucian, the house did belong to his late aunt and because of her there is a mystery to be solved.

A pub landlord murdered, the wrong man convicted, Lucian's aunt saw the murderer and till her dying day was convinced that the man she saw carrying out the murder was not the man in prison for the crime.  This led to her being ostracised by her fellow villagers who believe the right man was imprisoned.

Kate believes she can get to the bottom of it, to clear the man's name, to clear Lucian's aunts name but as she delves in to the past of the village she gets caught up in the affairs of the present.

For a small village there is quite the tangled web of intrigue and the presents problems seem to be connected to those events in the past.

Can Kate solve the mystery?

Cosy, compelling and wonderfully weaved, the landscape, the characters are just beautifully written.  I love these books as reading them is like taking a step back in to the past and discovering old friends there.

A death in the dales in a great read, so cosy up in your chair of choice and help Kate solve the mystery!

Thanks to Piatkus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


Random Redheaded Ramblings