War Kids Book Blitz & Giveaway

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Quote #5

‚ÄúSuffering has gone beyond all boundaries. There is no safe place left. Syria has become a battlefield. Every aspect of human rights, freedom, and citizenship, are lost from view and no one cares. Entire villages have been cleared off the map. Innocent children are being massacred, and a whole generation is being erased. For what? I pray every single moment that the government and all political parties around the world will engage with the rebels. The rebels are capable of engaging in dialogue, because if they do not, the blood of the innocent is on their hands. All of their hands.‚ÄĚ


When fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself.

Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters.

With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war.

Genre: YA

Book Links


Also available on Amazon UK



Author Bio

War Kids Book Blitz | AuthorHayley Lawson is the author of War Kids. She has written a young adult contemporary novel set in Syria; a story about the Syrian Civil war though the eyes of children.

She was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings; was hard, and also character building.

As a young child she found a passion for drawing, and continued this into adulthood, graduating from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA(Hons) in fashion design.

At aged twenty seven, Hayley and her husband packed up their belongings for a lifelong dream to move to California. Her America dream was complete with the birth of her daughter. Her love for traveling, continued after the birth of her daughter traveling around America with the family, and the best travelled dog.

A new job positioned opened up New York, and the family decide to relocate to Long Island, NY, which is where she currently resides.

On August 21 she was moved by the images of the Syrian conflict, and embarked on an unlikely journey of writing her first novel.

Author Links


Twitter – @hjlawson1





Giveaway Time

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Additional Swag: one ladies tote, signed book, and one tablet case ‚Äď please visit this site to enter: http://www.theindiejourney.com/giveaway/

War Kids Book Blitz | Giveaway



Events Galore

This post is a bit overdue, but at last I’m getting round to writing it.

The past week has been way busier than I thought it would be, and although I did say it was the month of turn up… I am knackered.

As I mentioned in the last post, Mutay sent me a link to an event called the Do-Over. As I also mentioned in the previous post, I had no idea what it was, but I went and signed up for it anyway. Anything that’s free, I am all over like mustard on a hot dog.

Whilst getting there was no issue, and was not without bitching from me about various thing because Mutay is always there to listen to my bitching, it was when we were queuing up that the heavens opened and we got poured on. A lot. Think mega-storm scenario.

Luckily, the venue was indoors as well as outdoors, and after much perving over the security guard, we managed to get inside and get dry.

Had to queue ages for food, but jerk chicken, rice and peas, coleslaw and salad was worth waiting for.

Several drinks later, you could find Mutay and I busting a move in the corner. Looking so sexy dancing to bashment. So sexy.

There was also a wishing tree outside, so we wrote our wishes on labels and hung them on the tree. :)

Would definitely go again.

Tuesday found us at Bookslam, through pure luck. When we went to book tickets they were completely sold out, but Mutay found they were looking for volunteers. I emailed them on the off chance, not expecting to hear back but I did!

Bookslam was amazing. So many authors gathered to read excerpts from their book and poet Kate Tempest blew the house down with her poems and rapping. It was the best thing I have ever been to and I seriously need to go again because it blew my mind. To be among people who were as equally excited about books as Mutay and I nearly brought a tear to my eye.

York Hall | Events Galore

Bookslam venue – the place was hugeeeee. (click to enlarge)

I even got a signed copy of Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. Tears.

Midweek found us yet again partying at the sneak preview of the new Adventure Bar in Clapham Junction.

We felt so fancy having our photos taken outside the place and walking on the red carpet and getting asked if we were on the guest list. (Which we were. Obviously.) There were free¬†cocktails for the first hour.¬†Free food for the first two hours. Really, it was quite glorious. There was even live music, but I didn’t manage to capture a long enough video because we had¬†to secure our place at the bar to not only get our free drinks, but also ogle the fit bartender.

You can see where our priorities truly lie.

Whilst I only went to a few events this week, paired with getting home late and leaving early for work in the morning, I am shattered.

Lets just say this weekend, when everyone else usually parties, I have been recuperating inside with Netflix and Hemlock Grove. Don’t know how I’m going to cope next week…

The Month of Turn UP

I’m not really sure how it happened, but I’ve¬†somehow managed to get most of August booked up doing absolutely everything. It started with a Mexican Food Fiesta cooked by yours truly, in which I tried my hand at making watermelon agua fresca¬†using this recipe. Not trying to boast, but it was delicious.

Next thing I knew I was filling up all available spots with things to do.

To be fair, it IS my birthday month, so you can excuse me for wanting to turn up every single day. Although 22 isn’t exactly a big milestone, it is still a pivotal moment in our lives (I’m quoting Mutay, here, btw). Mutay and I also have a big trip coming up next April, so I’m also looking forward to that. I’m hoping to have a series on the blog dedicated to that trip, in fact.

So without further ado, I unveil ‘August – the month of TURN UP’:

Rooftop Film Club: This is the second time I’m going to Rooftop Film Club, and I¬†loved¬†it the first time. The weather is way better than last time (it was raining – typical London), and I have significantly more money to indulge on food and drink. We’re going to see Some Like It Hot. Never seen it, heard it’s good, I’m excited.

Boyhood: Finally going to see this on Friday.


The Do-Over: Mutay messaged me one morning with a link to this event telling me to RSVP. I had no idea what was going on, but I did it anyway.

Shaker & Company: Every Monday, Shaker & Company host Monday Movie Cocktail Club. You can get 2 pizzas and 2 cocktails for ¬£20 AND watch a film. Bargain? Yes. So, next Monday I’m hoping to be there to watch ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’. Johnny et Leo <3


Kamayan: Despite having to work on my birthday (21st), I’m looking forward to going to this Filipino restaurant with my family and some friends in the evening. The night will probably end with me having to unbutton my jeans, as I usually do¬†when it comes to Filipino food.

Be At One: Birthday drinks with the rest of the homies. It’s a Friday. No work on Saturday. You know what that means.

Bounce: Mutay’s birthday is 8 days after mine, and she’s chosen to do her celebrations at Bounce. Bounce combines ping pong, food and cocktails. I am too excited. TOO excited.

The Science of Hedonism: the Science Museum holds Lates,¬†a free night for adults that takes place on the last Wednesday of the month. Lates have a different theme each month, spanning issues as far apart as sex, alcohol and climate change. Mutay and I went to last month’s, which you can read about here, and we had so much fun we’re going again this month.

Come September, I’m going to be a zombie.


Boxer Handsome

Boxer HandsomeA book that captures my attention is a book that I will most likely read again and again.

Set against the backdrop of East-End London, Anna Whitwham’s debut novel, Boxer Handsome, tells the story of Bobby and Connor. Two boys fighting over a girl. Fiction or non-fiction, it’s always the same with you lads, isn’t it?

When I think boxing, I immediately think Manny Pacquiao. Mainly because I’m half Filipino (if you hadn’t already guessed from previous blog posts. I can wax lyrical about the Philippines for days. Weeks. Months, even), and also because his nickname, Pacman, tickles me pink.

So, to be introduced to a world of boxing I would never normally think about, was refreshing to say the least. The opening scene had me hooked from the get go, but also left a bad taste in my mouth for a certain character. I shan’t say anymore on the matter, because spoilers, but you will probably agree with me when you read the book. I say when, not if, because you must read it.

The myriad of characters Whitwham introduces to us is exciting. As a Londoner myself, I can probably¬†tell you that I’ve seen characters like these around, but it’s nice to delve into them deeper. Layered characters are my favourite. The fight between Bobby and Connor takes you right into the ring with them, but it’s the end fight that really set me on edge. Lets just say that I won’t be going near knives for a while.

Bobby, himself, is somebody I would probably fall for in real life. The way Whitwham describes his looks isn’t what you think a typical boxer looks like, but it takes my fancy, so I guess that’s all that really matters. (Right?) We see Bobby’s internal struggle over his feelings regarding his father to traveller girl, Theresa, and finally to the mysterious girl who has entered his life, Chloe.

Although, some parts were a dredge to get through, overall the book captured me enough that I couldn’t put it down.

It’s not just a love story, nor is it a story just about family. It’s a story about a community, and the odds people are faced with. It’s a story about hardships and trouble. Ultimately, it’s a story that will make you see boxing in a whole new light.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Joe Blogs Bloggers Network <http://www.joeblogsnetwork.com/>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission‚Äôs 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : ‚ÄúGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.‚ÄĚ