Interview#3 MARIA LUISA LANG

Hello,

Today I have a little interview on my blog with Maria Luisa Lang, the author of my last book review! The eye of Nefertiti: A pharaoh's cat novel.




'Maria Luisa Lang was born in Rome, Italy, and lives in New York City. She has a degree in art from the City University of New York, and her artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries. 


She often returns to Italy to visit her family. She has also stayed for extended periods in Bath and London. She loves all animals and is an amateur Egyptologist. Her love of cats and ancient Egypt inspired her to write two novels about them. The Pharaoh’s Cat is her first novel. She has almost completed its sequel, The Lady of Mystery.'


What was the most important thing for you to include in the eye of Nefertiti?

I wanted my cat to grow emotionally and psychologically beyond the point he’d reached in my first novel, The Pharaoh’s Cat. In The Eye of Nefertiti, I again have him feel both joy and loss, but now his feelings are deeper and more intense. I’ve given him experiences that demand and foster a greater maturity.

What was the hardest thing about writing the eye of nefertiti

The same as it was in writing The Pharaoh’s Cat--integrating information about ancient Egypt into the narrative without sounding like a text book.

What is the easiest thing about writing the eye of nefertiti

The cat’s reactions to new people and situations, especially when there’s an element of absurdity.
What writers inspire you?

Kingsley Amis and Mikhail Bulgakov. I’ve been heavily influenced by Amis’s style of comedy and Bulgakov’s kind of fantasy. I describe both The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti as adult comedy, fantasy, historical. Without the creative freedom comedy and fantasy gave me, I couldn’t have written the novels I wanted to--novels embodying my love of cats as well as my fascination with ancient Egypt.

what inspired you to come up with the pharaoh's cat books?

Ancient Egypt and the many cats I’ve known! When I decided to write a novel, I couldn’t help creating an ancient Egyptian cat to be my protagonist and narrator. I wanted to make ancient Egypt funny, and I’ve always felt that cats are natural comedians. I also feel they’re capable of deep love and close friendships with people as well as other cats. In both The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti, I used the first person and the present tense so my cat would talk directly to the reader, and I gave him human powers so he could talk to the other characters.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?

My cat is me in many ways. He has my sense of humor and my sense of justice. There’s also some of me in Elena. For example, I enjoy going to flea markets and thrift shops, and Elena takes the cat and the High Priest to a Bath flea market in The Eye of Nefertiti.

Who was your favourite character to write about?

Queen Nefertiti! She’s was a fascinating woman. In power and influence, she was ahead of her time—very far ahead considering she was an ancient Egyptian. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing her to life. Almost all of my characterization of Nefertiti is invention, but I tried to keep it firmly rooted in the little that’s know about her.

Is there going to be another pharaoh's cat book?

I’ve been planning a third, The Tears of Ra. There’ll be more more time travel, more Egyptology, more of the cat and his little family, and new characters, both human and otherwise, and new settings, both ancient and modern.


Maria is one of the loveliest authors I have ever spoken to, we have exchanged a fair few emails and I know I'll always be hyped for books! I hope you all check out Maria's work, honestly its so fun to read and her writing is incredible. I wish her all the best, I know I'll be keeping in touch with the lovely lady.


Love, Beth x

The Eye of Nefertiti: A Pharaoh's Cat Novel #19

Hello


A few weeks ago I was approached by Maria Luisa Lang to review her second novel, 'The eye of Nefertiti' by reading the blurb of this book I was intrigued straight away and I agreed to write a review in exchange for a copy. Let me tell you - It did not dissapoint. 


The eye of Nefertiti
Maria Luisa Lang

Summary 
'The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter. 


The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him. '


Before I even start my review - go read it. Honestly this book was so good!
How beautiful is the cover???

 Wrappa-Hamen is the name of the cat, he is no ordinary cat. Wrappa-Hamen can talk and walk just like a human can. This makes his character so loveable. Wrappa-Hamen is the narrative throughout this book.

This story is more than a story just about a talking cat.  It looks at the deeper meaning of connections, mixing emotions with historical fiction and magic. We see both modern and ancient England, exploring ancient Egypt with the characters was so fun! This makes the book a lot more exciting and interesting. 

There is some humour and funny moments in this book which made me love it even more, it makes you feel like the characters truly are real and in the real world. 
Theres a mystery throughout this book in which we have to sit back and see unravel and solve. This meant we had some scenes full of real emotion.

The time travel in this book was also something I loved, nothing beats a good time travel!
Who wouldn't love a story with a cat in it anyway? 

The ending to the book is something I didn't expect or see coming but felt it had a good ending and brought all the story together and didn't leave any lose ends.


Honestly go and check this book out, it's a quick fun read and it won't disappoint you I promise. If you do, let me know your thoughts and feelings on it.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Thanks again to Maria, for providing me with a free copy.


Love, Beth x


How To Stop Time: Review #18

Hello,



I finished the beauty that is Matt Haig's new novel earlier this week.
(Let's ignore the paint on my hands, we're redecorating)

How to stop time
by
Matt Haig
Summary:

"I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.


Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.


He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. He can try and tame the past that is fast catching up with him.


The only thing Tom mustn't do is fall in love."


 How To Stop Time is a beautiful work of fiction and the best read of 2017 for me. Haig's portrayal of human emotions and relationships is quite extraordinary, in a way where you feel as though his writing is for you and just you. There is not a current author like that in my opinion. It's been the first book of the year for me in which I've loved more than anything, in a way which I wish it hadn't ended and that I would of been spoilt with an ongoing story forever. The story was provoking, Matt Haig went right down to the essence of humanity and pulls out what living is "all about". Once I had finished reading this story, I sat back in awe and enlightenment. This book was full of things which made you realise that we can't predict the future and we should stop worrying about the silly things as time is important and doesn't stop for anyone. 

Tom was a character who I loved from the start, I felt such sadness, happiness, excitement and nerves for him throughout the book. He was a character that was written so well that you connected with him and felt empathy when something was to happen. His character went through a lot of sadness but also happiness. The heartbreak he endured was something that broke me, I couldn't imagine living years without someone you loved. Tom's character really was brought to life with Matt Haig's writing, without it Tom wouldn't of been as loveable and alive as he was.

The plot twist towards the end of the book was something I was not expecting, It's written in a way that nobody would even guess. 
All the history in this book was fun to read, from Tom meeting Shakespeare to him teaching as a history teacher and reminiscing on what he'd seen and lived without anyone knowing he wasn't teaching from a book. 

All In all I think this proves to me that I will never hate anything Matt Haig writes and I for once will always be excited about reading anything this genius writes.


By reading this I can see why the film rights were snatched up before the book had even been released, with Benedict Cumberbatch being casted. 


Love, Beth x



Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe: Review #17

Hello,

I realised I am yet to do a book review on one of my favourite books, I recently re-read this book in the past few weeks just so I had an excuse to write about it.



Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe


This book is written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz 

Summary:

"Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be."


When I first ever read this book I went in completely blind, This was partly because I wanted to discover the plot myself and also the amount of people who reviewed this saying that to enjoy it at it's potential you need to go in blind with a positive view, they were correct.
I had no idea what this book was about, I didn't even read the blurb I just went straight into it.
I was not dissapointed in the slightest. I fell in love with this book from the first page, it was that hooking. In the beginning I wasn't sure what I felt about Ari, I thought he was a little pretentious to start with but as the pages went on I fell in love with him and how he was as a person, If I met someone like him I'd make them my best friend. Now, Dante. Dante was a character that you either love or hate, in my opinion. I was lucky enough to love him, yeah he was sometimes over the top and slightly too in your face but that's what made you love him. Both of their characters needed one another to grow and become the men they did.


The parents, I fell in love with them too. I basically fell in love with all characters in this book! The parents were so loving but also treated each others best friend like they were their blood, something that I found lovely.

There were times in this book that I found myself being emotionally involved, where I thought I was actually living it myself, one of the first books to do that to me.

The writing, the writing is just incredible. It flows, isn't flat and it another reason you just want to carry on reading. I fell completely in love with this book and I can't actually express my love for it. 

Also there is talk of a sequel! Another reason you should all buy it!


Image result for 5 stars]


Love, Beth x

How To Stop Time

Hello,

Today is a wonderful day, I've just got back home from London after seeing the cursed child yesterday. My god it is incredible, If you get the chance 100% go see it!

Anyway, thats enough of that. Today is the release date of Matt Haig's new novel - How to stop time.
(SQUEALS)



I received this beauty early on Tuesday afternoon and have been indulged in it at every opportunity. I'm not even half way through yet due to my busy few days but I promise you I'm hooked.


Summary:

"I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.

He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. He can try and tame the past that is fast catching up with him.

The only thing Tom mustn't do is fall in love."



I am thoroughly enjoying this book so far, but when have I not enjoyed a Matt Haig book? His writing style is something I have nothing bad to say about. I'm excited to find out what Tom is yet to face in this book.
I will do a review once I have devoured it. 

Due to me being in London for cursed child I unfortunately missed out on seeing Matt talk at Norwich Waterstones as well as signing copies.

Matt Haig is doing book tours at the moment, check out if he's near you below.



Love, Beth.x





Doing it: Lets Talk About Sex: Review #16

Hello,

Last week I finished Hannah Witton's 'doing it: let's talk sex'
thanks @sunsetsinframes for persuading me to pick this up!



Summary:
'Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships - with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself - is a crucial part of being a teen. It's not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and as such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way that they feel comfortable with'


This book was one of the best books I have come across this year. Hannah talks about things that we may of been too embarrassed to even think about discussing with anyone when we're young and uneducated.
I very much loved the style of how she wrote this, talking to us and not at us. This book should be a mandatory read when you're young and clueless about the whole sex world. Although I am 20 years old this book was very helpful on some of the topics discussed. Learning about such things a positive world of porn was quite enlightening, I'd always avoided porn (feels weird to even write about) but it was interesting to learn about the negatives on normal porn and how a positive world of porn is currently being made by woman directors.
very fascinating.

Hannah also describes the bad relationships and healthy relationships and this was very eye opening to me, I am currently in a very loving healthy relationship but looking back, I have been in very unhealthy relationships. It's weird to think that some of us would go on thinking our unhealthy relationships were healthy.

I agreed with everything Hannah said in this book, 100%. Sex education should be mandatory and to be taught properly in a way of sex being a positive thing and not being seen as scary and negative. 

Hannah explained the ins and outs of the genitals on each gender which when you younger would be beneficial to read and understand instead of being clueless.

In this book Hannah also has some guest writings in which they talk about the topic in which she is discussing in that chapter, so she talks about dating in a chapter then there is some guest posts on 'dating as trans' which are all very interesting and informative!


The hormone diaries
Hannah started making a series on youtube called the 'hormone diaries' August of 2016! She talks about this in her book and it was interesting to see her talk about it in her book as I'd followed her hormone diaries for a while. The hormone diaries is following Hannah's journey of coming off her birth control pill which she'd been on for 7 years, she wanted to experience having a period as her body stopped producing them. I recommend you all to watch her youtube series of it to see her talk about the positives and the negatives, it's very interesting I promise.


In conclusion, I found Hannah's first book very interesting to read, I never felt bored while reading it I was constantly engaged with it. I hope a lot of younger people discover this book and I have a feeling they will due to Hannah's audience demographic, which is young girls.

Hannah Witton, you are an angel and you have the platform to talk about sex in a positive light and you're using that to help young teenagers, you are incredible.


I give this book, 5 stars.


Love, Beth. x




It's been a while..

Hello,

Oh my, it's been a while hasn't it? Over a year!
What has changed in that year? I've just finished my first year at the university of greenwich, studying film and television production! I've met some incredible people in this year. I've met my current boyfriend, he's simply incredible. I'm now back home for the summer and I intend on getting back into that book blogging lifestyle, that I have truly missed. 
My university also funded me a MacBook Pro for my studies and It's honestly been a blast.


I'm going to start off by posting once a week to get back into the swing of things, as well as revamping my blog and making it more pretty to look at!


I am currently reading 




'Doing it: Let's talk about sex by
 Hannah Witton!


Hannah Witton is a sex positive youtuber, who I've watched for about a year now. This is her first book and I'm 70% through the book and I'm thoroughly enjoying it and wish this book would of been about when I was younger.

What are you currently reading?


My new post will be a review on this book once I've completed it :)


I hope you're all well.


With love,
Beth x