30 April 2018

Esquerda - Català; Ara i Sempre

I have to apologise for being away for so many days! I was in London at the beginning of the week and then my little one got a big cold and I didn't have any free time to do any calligraphy or practice at all!
Today I'll share with you a quite fateful word, Esquerda... any idea what could it mean?

It doesn't have any similarity to any other language that I could recall, so... a clue for you; is not a good symptom if your house has one... Any idea? As you can see, is not a good word, but I like the sound in Catalan! Esquerda means Crack; to break without separation of parts; (cause to) become marked by lines that indicate a break.
I found this nice Catalan song that is original and it has a very interesting meaning, I hope you like it! ;)

L'esquerda -  Pirat's Sound Sistema
Com la vida passa, creix aquesta esquerda,          Like the life passes, this crack grows,
un brot d'esperança, la teva il·lusió es desperta.          a hope sprout, your illusion wakes up.
Tota la lluita, tota l'empenta,          All the fight, all the vigour,
ara pren forma i la forma és l'esquerda.          now it has a form and the form is the crack.

L'esquerda t'obre el camí per passar.          The crack it will open the path to cross.
L'esquerda t'obre el camí per cridar.          The crack it will open the path to shout.

True To Pleasure by Magnum Advertising

I know summer is almost here when Magnum shows on our adverts, don't you?
Can you find all the Magnum in these illustrations?

Magnum is all about premium pleasure and art is a real passion point for Magnum lovers. This year the brand worked with the illustrator Thomas Danthony to create a series of outdoor works of art. The illustrations show different moments of pleasure where the iconic shape of the ice cream is beautifully and masterfully integrated.

Advertising Agency: LOLA MullenLowe, Madrid, Spain
Chief Creative Officer: Chacho Puebla
Executive Creative Director: Pancho Cassis
Creative Director: Tomás Ostiglia
Head of Art: Fabio Brigido
Copywriters: André Toledo, Tomás Ostiglia
Art Director: Diego Limberti
Illustrator: Thomas Danthony
Head of PR: Sarah Okrent
Global Business Director: Tom Elliston
Account Director: Tom Elliston
Account Executive: Oscar Fernandez-Baca
Agency Producers: César Baciero, Sebastián Arce

The source is Ads of the World.

The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper - Blog Tour

The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 5/5

Natalie and Joe seem to have the perfect marriage when Joe dies in an accident. Natalie is trying to cope with the dead of his husband when a homeless man, Dan, appears at her house saying that has her dead husband inside him. Could it be possible or does he have a hidden motive?

"Dan's heart -my heart- began to beat a little faster. It was so hard to get used to, his heart, my heart -the same thing but not the same at all. I'm sure I read somewhere that our heartbeats are as unique as our fingerprints. Nobody's heart beats the same way as anyone else's. Yet, here we were. One heart, two different beats."

This had not been an easy read, full of emotions and difficult situations to cope, it was not an easy peasy story. Since the beginning we know this will not be the type of book we are used, a triangle love story between a dead man, the man who is possessed and a woman... I know it seems strange, but don’t deny it, it is intriguing too. There are a lot of questions which start popping on your mind when you start the book; why is Dan a homeless? Why is Natalie so curious to know what really happened on the fatidic night? Was really Josh in love with her life? So many questions... that will be answered as we read the book with some interesting twists!
I don’t want to make any spoilers, but be prepared for some deep themes to be treated in this story; mental illness, psychology abuse, depression... These are themes not easy to talk or sometimes to understand if you don’t have someone near that suffers it, but that would never be taboo or ashamed to talk about.
I’ve been glued to this book since the first page, the story is fluent and told by the different views of each character. Sometimes the situations overlap when the characters explain what they think or feel making the story easy to follow and understand.
This had been an amazing read and will be on my top ten for this year, it was a compelling and bittersweet read that I am sure will delight all type of readers.
Do you have an ordinary life?

28 April 2018

Nvmjin Creations

Some inspiring creations by the artist Nvmjin...

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Cherry Radford - Blog Tour

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Cherry Radford
Genre: Romance

Since the first page we know that this book will be full of music, thanks to the Spotify playlist that the author has created for us to enjoy in each chapter of the book. Of course it has music, this is the first connection that Imogen and Santi will have in common, with a simple message in Twitter, this curious relation will grow up unexpectedly thanks to the modern technologies, but how far will it go?
This story has not only moved me but has transported to the beautiful English Coast with the impressive sea and wind that accompanied the reader through all the book. Imogen leaves in a lighthouse and the walks she does are almost like you are with her! I have to admit that even if Madrid could be charming, I'll always prefer an amazing view of the sea, no matter what part of the world I am!
The other side of the story is about the secret diary of Imogen's father, that keeps you intrigued and guessing for the motives that moved her father to act like he did... Thanks to the diary we will connect more with Imogen and her feelings, understanding her past and her childhood.
If you are searching for a romantic book in the modern era but with splashes of history, this is for you, it will not leave you indifferent!

27 April 2018

Double Happiness by BAN BAN 1194

Some beautiful illustrations by the artist BAN BAN 1194 mixing a little of colour with some black and white illustrations...

Fearless by Jessie Keane - Blog Tour

Fearless by Jessie Keane
Genre: Thriller
Source: Pan MacMillan
Rating: 4/5

This is the story of Claire Milo, Josh Flynn and Shane Everett; a triangle love story full of hate, murder and jealousy that will keep you glued till the last page; a very emotional read, bittersweet but really addictive!
The story is told mainly by Claire and Shauna, how their paths crossed when they were young and change their lives forever... I can not say that I liked Shana, how she acted or the way she saw life, she was not afraid of using violence or coerce people to get her way. And in just one night she changed her life, Josh's and Claire's with a very horrible action... On the other hand, Claire seems terrified of what could happen to her or her family if she ever tells the truth about the fateful night... She will spend all her life hiding, I know it will seem too drastic, but after reading the book you will understand her reasons! Josh is the worst character for me in this story, he seems to use all his energy on boxing fights instead of fighting for the truth or to questioning what secrets is Shauna hiding, because he simply accepts the things as they come... I don't think I would ever resist someone like him! He thinks that is protecting his family, but I think that in the end is scared of Shauna too...
Even if the story may seem "simple", I can assure you there are a few twists and a lot of nail bitting, Jessie Keane had written a very good book in which when you think that nothing could go worse, it will!
I can't say I had read any of the other Jessie's books, but after reading Fearless, I'll be keeping an eye on her next books, I am sure they will be as original as this one.
Would you be able to kill to get your way?

26 April 2018

Cover Reveal + Free Short Story! - Needle Song by Russell Day

Today I am really excited, I have an amazing Cover Reveal for you and a little surprise too... the new book of Russell Day!
I am sure that for now this author will not sound familiar, but his novel sounds really great and he had won the Short Story Competition ruled by Faherenheit Press (Noirville) with not just one, but two stories, so be prepared for an amazing author! ;) 
Ok, enough chat, here is the Cover of Needle Song...

And the blurb of the book, that I am sure it will make you want to read the book right now! ;)
Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn't her husband.
Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it. 
Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.
No one except Doc.
Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth - but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

Sounds really good, isn't it? You can already pre-order it here
The news doesn't stop here, Fahrenheit will give you a short story from Russell Day if you tweet this text...

NEEDLE SONG by Russell Day (@rfdaze) published by @fahrenheitpress in eBook on Monday 30th April! #NeedleSongBook | @damppebbles.

Sounds great, isn't it? Be prepared for an amazing read this April 30th!

Tu & Ted by Chow Hon Lam & Roey Li

A daily life story about 2 buddies, Tu and Ted. They meet a different person in every single day. What kind of person they will meet today? A comic without any dialogue that have unexpected ending.

Murder At The Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver - Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Murder At The Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes

It seems that today I have the pleasure to share with you some amazing books... Because let me say that the new book of the series "A Kelly Jackson Mystery" by the author Janet Finsilver sounds great, you just have to take a look at the plot and you will be engaged...

Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise ...

And, as I am sure you want to read this book, here is the chance to win it, thanks to this Giveway! Good luck! ;)

25 April 2018

The Leavers by Lisa Ko - Blog Tour

The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Genre: Fiction
Source: Litte Brown
Rating: 4/5

This had been a deep book that will touch you to the core, because reading the story of how a little boy has to accept that his mother had left him is never easy. But, how he tries to be a better boy, study more and be "perfect" because this way will make his mother return is heartbreaking. And on the other hand, the story of Polly Guo, who decides to try to give a "better" life to our unborn child, moving from China to America... alone and so scared...
Be prepared for an emotional tale, beautifully written in which the characters will stay with you for a long time. Because, this book not only tells you a story, but makes you think what it really means belonging to a society or what does it imply, these are the feelings that Polly and Deming, they both will try to be part of a new world, but will they fit in, will they feel part of it?
So many questions and I really don't have answers for them, being myself an immigrant, my little one will be too... Will he feel that he is not part of anything? Will the society ever change and open arms for the ones that for one motive or other had to move countries and welcome them? I would like to say that yes, and truthfully, some people welcome them, but not all...
This is one of those books I recommend to read and talk about, because I always think that when you talk you can make change minds, or simply to talk about something that otherwise would be hidden... really to make a little step to help a society change?

Aequoreus creaturae by Vlad Stankovic

Beautiful sea creatures by the artist Vlad Stankovic, take a look...

24 April 2018

Shot In The Dark by Cleo Coyle - Blog Tour

Shot In The Dark by Cleo Coyle
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes
Rating: 4/5

Reading a book full of coffee and mystery is my dream book come true.
Clare is the owner of one of the hotspots at the Village Blend for a good coffee, but when there’s an attempt murder and the same night a regular appears dead, Clare knows that if she doesn’t start to investigate she can start saying goodbye to her business... Let me say that even if Clare is not a detective she loves a good mystery, and with her fiancée being a detective I think this just motivates her even more to be a sleuth from time to time! ;)
Let me say that there are some very interesting characters in this story; the ex-husband who loves to party but is half owner of the coffee business, and still loves Clare... The daughter, that lives in another city but has some problems on her own... The fiancée, that is always working, but always remembers to call...
And of course, if there’s a victim, there are the possible killers, a large list if you ask... but all of them linked to one thing or the other, making you guessing who could be the murderer till the end!
This is the seventeenth book of the “Coffee House” series, but you can read it as standalone, the relations between the characters are well explained making really easy to follow the story.
It was original reading a book where the victims are related to a Dating app, showing us the good and the bad sides of dating in the technology era.
Are you ready to loose your shoe in the ball?

Interested? Good Luck In The Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Art by Marco Melgrati

Some disturbing but real art creations by the artist Marco Melgrati, take a look...

23 April 2018

La Rosa i El Drac - Català; Ara i Sempre

Today is a a very important day in Catalonia, is like Valentine's Day for the rest of the world, that's why today I want to share with you the words "La Rosa i El Drac".

It is quite original because the 23rd of April is an important day for England too, but we can say we celebrate it quite differently. If you ever visit Catalonia one day like today you'll find all the cities full of book markets and flowers, because is tradition to give your loved ones a rose and a book."La Rosa i El Drac" means "The Rose and The Dragon".

I found this translation of our legend, I hope you like it... (the source is Catalans a Aarhus)

According to legend, there was a terrifying dragon located in the village of Montblanc, south-west of Barcelona. The dragon was always hungry, so the people in the village gave him one animal a day to keep it from attacking the village. However, one day the dragon ate the last of the animals, and then it started eating the people of the village too. In order to satisfy the hunger of the dragon, the people of the village decided to randomly chose a person every day to be sacrificed to the beast.
One day the princess’ name came up, and although that made the King very sad, he sent her to the dragon. But just when the dragon was about to eat the princess, a brave and handsome knight, known as Sant Jordi, rode into town and killed the beast with his spear, saving her life.
From the blood of the dragon, there grew a rose bush, and Sant Jordi took a red rose and gave it to the princess as a sign of his love. Everybody in the village was very happy the dragon was dead and they lived peacefully ever after.

Yellow Portraits by Marc Urtasun

Can you guess who are the characters bellow these Yellow Portraits by the artist Marc Urtasun. ;)

Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4/5

If you don't know any Irish possibly you have no idea that Aisling is a name; Irish for 'dream, vision'.
So when I started reading What a Complete Aisling, I was expecting a lot of Irish humour and life, and I wasn't wrong, this had been an insight of life here in Ireland, mixing the life of busy Dublin with the tranquil village of Ballygobbard.
Aisling has her life more or less balanced, during the week she works in the big city while on the weekends she stays with her parents at the small village. Everything will change when a trip to the "too much tourists" Tenerife island with her boyfriend doesn't end with a happy engagement and she decides to take a break of them, not just the boyfriend but all her life as she had lived since then. So when she decides to move to Dublin with her co-workers she knows that she will have to change but, is she ready to stop being Aisling?
This story explains Aisling's life, with her ups and downs, how life with your parents away could make your life quite difficult, or how breaking with your childhood friend is not simply saying stop but having to separate two life that had been together for a long time.
This had not just been a funny book, but an opening eye story, because some of the insights that are written in the book are really how life is here, they see the life in the big city too far away and simply like their lives without big changes or a hurry life. Maybe that's why I still haven't feel the "Irish calling" in my blood yet, too many years living in a busy city and loving it, but reading Aisling life makes it seeing with another view, you have it or not, and it would be your decision to know if Aisling has the blood to survive in the big city... ready for it? 
This book will make you go to a rollercoaster of emotions, ups and downs, but at the same time a really fun attraction to enjoy and remember for a long time. And lets say the truth, I am sure you will repeat the experience! ;)

22 April 2018

Your child imagination is important just like food! - Legoland Advertising

I have to totally agree with the statement "Your child imagination is important just like food!" of this Legoland advertising. The world is too hard not to make them enjoy these few years where their only worry should be if they are eating their favourite food or if they will have enough time to play with all their toys, don't you think?
Take a look at these original Lego images...

Creative Director: Abdelkader Driss
Art Director: Patrick Souleman
Copywriter: Ihssan Ali
Photographer: Alberto Kazck

The source is Ads of the World.

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson - Blog Tour

Genre: Thriller, Crime
Source: Orenda Books
Rating: 4'5/5

"Lobes and mash, home-made style...
Beat two egg yolks and dip the lobes in.
Toss them in breadcrumbs.
Fry the in parsley butter.
Drizzle them in olive oil and serve with mash.
Lobes and mash, home-made style..."

This has been a twisted noir crime mystery, where dark passions and hungry will be mixed with the mythological Sweden Gods, making any other crime book you've read lately superfluous and light compared to this one.
As we start reading the new case of Emily Roy and Alexis Castell we will discover that there's a new killer, of course this would not surprise anyone, the only problem is that this killer has the same pattern as one they thought they put in prison ten years ago... Did he had an accomplice or was he innocent? Richard, the man they put in prison is totally disturbed, but a killer? They will have to dig deeper and travel to the past to discover the truth... because this killer seems to have links with Jack the Reaper...
This had not been an easy read, some scenes were quite difficult to read, but at the same time I understood why they should be in the book, this will not be a compassionate killer, but one that wants to posses completely their victims forever, what could be more possessive than eating them?
It is always interesting how Johana Gustawsson likes to connect their stories between the past and the present, in this case with the mysterious and deadly Jack the Reaper, with his victims it would seem that our present killer could have a similarity... but it will be Emily and Alexis the ones to try to unravel the web of killing and dark needs that this killer has left with the victims.
This story had been full of characters, some time I would say too many, between all the police detectives, the victims, the family of the victims and the killer it was difficult to catch up who was who in the beginning. But let me say I wouldn't had chosen two better characters to investigate this case, even when is too personal for them, they are impersonal on the case and they just want to discover the truth. And even if their friendship would seem quite weird it works on this stories, they connect and make the cases direct and without flourishes, a delight to read (even if the case is as dark as this one!).
Just one little recommendation if you start reading this book, don't have any meat near! ;)
Ready for a feast?