bookporn Science Fiction Books February by Casey Carlisle.jpgSome of the science fiction titles that have arrived recently – I’m leaning towards starting ‘Starflight’ … any takers?
Oh, and I couldn’t take a pic without my two furbabies teleporting into the shot!

re-boot character portrait 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

A bit of a character profile for Bailey, the protagonist of ‘re-boot’ the start of a paranormal trilogy going through the final editing process leading up to publication.

She is really naive and does not understand what is going on with her body, the way she thinks. With unprecedented recovery from a car crash it leaves us wondering if there wasn’t something else responsible for her miraculous healing…

Plus Bailey starts having violent dreams about attacking her friends, mainly Flynn.

She just hope to find the reasons behind it all before pouncing of Flynn in real life and exposing her other-worldly nature.

Book Review – I’ll Get There It Better Be Worth The Trip by John Donovan

Unassuming New York brought to its knees by a dachshund!

I'll Get There It Better Be Worth The Trip Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, GLBT

No. of pages: 228

From Goodreads:

When the grandmother who raised him dies, Davy Ross, a lonely thirteen-year-old boy, must move to Manhattan to live with his estranged mother. Between alcohol-infused lectures about her self-sacrifice and awkward visits with his distant father, Davy’s only comfort is his beloved dachshund Fred. Things start to look up when he and a boy from school become friends. But when their relationship takes an unexpected turn, Davy struggles to understand what happened and what it might mean. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle.jpg

I have mixed feelings for ‘I’ll Get There, It Better Be Worth The Trip’ because upon finishing this book, I was delighted; but while reading, especially the first half, I was bored. But this is definitely a masterful title and something that will resonate with intelligent readers long after it’s finished.

The writing style is very blunt and staccatoed, it’s not an entirely unpleasant to read. Though, it felt so foreign to the types of books I generally read. It reads like a child has written it – which is very true to the inner voice of our protagonist Davy.

The star of this book is definitely Davy’s dog, Fred! He completely captured my heart and had me chuckling in many places. Who can resist an adorkable puppy?

Honourable mentions go to the realistic character portraits of the new best friend, Altschuler and Davy’s alcoholic mother. Both were painted in raw gritty colours through Davy’s eyes, and a story behind their behaviour is inferred. This made an intriguing read, not to have all the facts explained.

I'll Get There It Better Be Worth The Trip Book Review Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleA breakdown for the mediocre rating and the reason I found the first half less than exciting lies with how it felt very much like a recount of mundane facts. And on the surface that’s all it is. The perspective you gain upon finishing the novel will switch that all on its head. There is a lot of symbolism and metaphors, and it did take me a while to switch on to it all… mainly because I repeatedly put this book down (due to afore mentioned waning of attention).

Given this novel was written over 40 years ago, the tale still stands the test of time. I loved the description of the streets of New York, and Central Park – they jumped from the page just as brightly as Fred.

I went into this book not knowing anything other than it was about a boy and his dog and was considered a classic in LGBTQI+ Literature. It was nice. I guess I expected more to happen. ‘I’ll Get There, It Better Be Worth The Trip’ is quietly impactful. Much like life, it travels along innocently until something happens to shift your perspective: and that is the strong sense I garnered from this book.

It’s not necessarily a coming out story, but one of accepting loss and change. This fact alone sets it apart from the typical novel in this genre. At the beginning of the novel this theme is set up immediately when Davy’s Grandmother passes. The rest of the story line interprets the same narrative style in varying degrees.

It ends with a typical note seen in classic contemporaries, that … after a poignant moment, leaves you to draw your own conclusions. Which I like, and am starting to see a trend away from that in modern releases – not everything needs to be tied up in a pretty little bow.

A short novel with a lot of meaning, well worth the read – especially if you love dogs.

Overall feeling: I didn’t see that one coming!

I'll Get There It Better Be Worth The Trip Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

I'll Get There It Better Be Worth The Trip Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle


© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

With so many tips and tricks out there, do we really need a hairdresser?

Hair at Home Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

It’s an interesting question – especially with the advent and reach of electronic media and a rise in cost efficient D.I.Y. trends, it’s true that some people have never set foot in a salon.

So, I guess the answer is – it depends on your hair goals.  #hairgoals

For those who don’t want complicated and tailored permanent hair colouring solutions, you can do much of the colouring at home. Temporary and semi-permanent colours are very easy to D.I.Y.  And if you are diligent, the end result can be just as good that any professional stylist could acomplish.

The same goes for cuts and styling. It all comes down to how good your skill is, the products you are using, and if you are happy with the results you can produce.

Hairdressers, or Hair Stylists are trained. And they aren’t the ones attempting double-jointed elbow manoeuvres to see in a bathroom mirror – we pay them for a perfect result. So these professionals should be offering security, safety and excellent results.

That is in an ideal world.

We all hear horror stories of beauty services gone rouge. But to be honest – they all come about from either untrained stylists, lazy professionals, or cutting corners (there are certain rules of hair science that you just shouldn’t break).

So that, and affordability, are the biggest reasons many people are turning to maintaining their locks at home.

Some states here in Australia have a regulating body to try and stomp out the Sweaty-Betty stylists; and I’ve compared consumer satisfaction from those states to others that are unregulated through polls over the past 20 years, and surprise, surprise. There is no difference. The government has simply found a way to make more revenue off of a niche market in small business. Because, let’s face it, hairdressing isn’t a massive corporate industry. It’s dominated by small and sole proprietor salons. But I digress…

So why should we be stepping into a salon if it is such a big roll of the dice?

Well… sometimes we have no choice. If we want those blonde foils all over, or suffer from fine hair issues, or desire chemically straightened hair, maybe an elegant wedding up-do. We need a professional.

And so it comes back around to finding the perfect stylist for you.

How do we do that – well I’ll post some tips next week, but for now let’s stay on track about whether it’s worth it to fork over a small fortune to reach your hair goals.

Firstly, if the desired change is easy enough to achieve at home, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. But – and here’s the disclaimer – make sure you know what you are doing and know all about the products you are using. Because at the end of the day if something goes wrong, you’ll have no-one to blame but yourself.

Hair at Home Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleThe key part is skill and product. Do some dry runs on yourself first. Want to colour your hair – practice application with some conditioner. It usually takes 30-60 mins to process (depending on the product) and you don’t want to take too long getting the crème where it should be and get an uneven colour. If you’re new to the product, it pays to do a skin test to make sure you don’t have a reaction – mix a small portion and test it on the skin just behind your ear. Hairdressers should be doing this anyway if you are hypoallergenic. Do a test strand. Especially if it’s permanent hair colour. Make sure it’s going to actually work and give you what you want.

That’s the skill part roughly summarised. The other is product.

Read everything! I mean it. All the fine print, the box, info online (a lot of safety instructions are hidden in a MSDS on some website these days), ask the retailer or manufacturer for advice, watch some videos online  – every step you need to take to make sure you are fully informed.

Hair at Home Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleAnother important point that many forget it have a ‘get out’ plan. If things start going south, what are you going to do? A chemical burn, the wrong colour, crooked bangs; have some sort of contingency in mind as a just in case.

Some may view everything I’ve just pointed out as scary… and my advice to you: if anything I’ve just raised about D.I.Y. hair care gives your concern, you should be finding yourself a professional stylist. Hair does grow back if you screw things up, but who wants to go through that pain. But if you do something like a chemical burn, or a violent allergic reaction – that may be something your hair (or you) don’t recover from. Chemical hair services generally release oxygen as a part of the process, so for goodness sake, do not smoke and be sitting around candles. Why would you want to risk setting your hair on fire?

That’s a very general discussion on home hair styling coming from a professional stylist of over 25 years. For me personally, I do all of my hair colouring, styling and cutting at home. But not only do I have the dexterity and know-how, I also have a very easy to maintain style. It’s long, choppy layered and all one colour. If I had a more precise cut, short hair or multi coloured hair (like foils) I’d be visiting a salon.

Hair at Home Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleAnd hey – I still learn tips and tricks from Youtube videos and other stylists. You never stop learning. So if you want to save some dollars and have more control over your hair and choose to do it at home, it is possible as long as you are realistic about your skills and your #hairgoals.

You don’t have to be a maverick or take big risks, simply get informed and follow instructions and you’ll have salon perfect hair everyday straight from your bathroom mirror!

Coiffed Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

AAME Teaser 01 by Casey Carlisle

A new project I’ve started developing.

I love making graphics to help the creative process. Here I’ve used actress  Kaya Scodelario as inspiration for my protagonist. A planned YA science fiction (stand alone) about the first human born in space…

Exciting!! 0_0

Book Review – Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Big plots twists in this portraiture of Tris…

 Allegiant Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Fantasy

No. of pages: 526

From Goodreads:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

Allegiant’ was the first title I picked up on this year’s challenge to finish all the series I’ve started in the last few years, but failed to complete. Plus, with the first half of a film adaptation hitting cinemas, I did not want to be spoiled… However, this did not feel like an exciting read for me. In fact, around the halfway point I put it down and read another book.

I had heard some spoilery talk before going into the novel – but thankfully it did not uncover anything that ruined my reading experience. My assumptions of what was going to happen turned out to be wrong. Though, the conclusion of the novel was anything other than what was an expected and realistic outcome.

‘Allegiant’ didn’t seem to have the build up the other two novels did. Even though there was a lot at stake for Tris and Co. this novel fell flat. Quite possibly due to the slow first half and the time I spent away from the story. In my opinion the concluding novels of a series should be the ones bringing the rain. The most impact, twist and turns… They should never suffer from pacing issues, you’ve spent so many other books leading up to this point, there should be a lot to resolve. I think because I didn’t get the feels, or too many surprises, and put the book down so many times, it detracted from how unique this trilogy is.

Allegiant Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

Also there was a lot of Four’s POV that had me asking why it was even there – what did it add to the story?

Four felt whiny, Tris became less relatable, like she was being set up to be a martyr. Maybe it was the switching of POVs that detracted from being able to connect with Tris. We do get some valuable insight from Four, but there was too much narrative from his POV in my opinion.

I don’t get what all the hype about Four being such a dream boat is… maybe I’m dead inside? I’ve always found him a little flat. Even their intimate moments failed to raise my temperature. Oh crap! Have I turned into an old maid already?

I loved the events that went on in this conclusion of the Divergent trilogy, the reveals, the science, and landscape of the novel. It was the way it was delivered.

Allegiant’ is an okay book, but definitely nothing I will be raving about. It felt a little boring honestly. I enjoyed the series as a whole, but not about to turn into one of those megafans.

But I’m glad I got to read the book before watching the movie…

Overall feeling: AWWW Yay… aww no…

Allegiant Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle.gif

Allegiant Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I love the rain, but hate thunder.

I Love the Rain but Hate the Thunder Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

Caring four our cute puppies when the heavens open up.

I Love the Rain but Hate the Thunder Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle.jpgOur local news has been commenting about dogs going missing from a week full of thunder storms not too long ago, warning pet owners to ensure their yards are secure. The thought of my little furbabies out in the cold and wet, terrified, just about brings a tear to  my eye – they are so cute and lovable, I’d do just about anything to ease their distress or pain. Whenever I can’t find my puppy, it’s like a dramatic animated Walt Disney movie.

Thankfully, just rain alone has no effect on my pooches, but add in thunder and lightning… well it’s an entirely different story.

If I’m reading or writing and there’s a soundtrack of grumbling heavens, then I’m often accompanied by a slobbering, shivering dog on my lap. He looks up at me with big brown eyes praying for a hug. Growling or barking at the sky when it does the same. I think it’s kind of cute, but I always end up with a wet lap and feeling like I sat on top of the dryer. However if I’m asleep in bed, he chooses to sit on my head. It gives a whole new meaning to bedhead and morning breath.

Though, I do love the smell rain brings, it always encourages me to write (& read), and I can’t tell you why… maybe it’s the comforting thought of rugging up inside with hot chocolate, cuddles from Mum, and orchid scented fabric softener on my linens that makes me feel safe, happy and warm. Pity that doesn’t extend to my dogs.

I wonder what they do in the same situation when I’m not home – the thought of them scared, under my desk, shivering all alone is awful. Lucky they have each other for comfort. I’ve witnessed them cuddling up together a few times when I’ve stepped through the door on a particularly miserable day.

My youngest furbaby, Baillie, loves to explore – he doesn’t need the excuse of a storm to escape. Thankfully thunder and lightning don’t seem to faze him; but I’ve spent many an afternoon calling out his name along the street where I live because there is just too many interesting things to smell and pee on. We are now on garden fence version 4.0!

Our new home on Sunshine Coast means more thunderstorms & less sound proofing. Plus, being in a remote area on a mountain, the thunder tends to reverberate through the ground and sky. So I get to have more shaky cuddles more often (along with the accompanying drool). It’s just a thing the Den Mother has to deal with.

So while summer showers are my favorite time to write – not so much for my four legged children. But it’s nice to have a writing companion, and hey, maybe he’s interested in my stories and can become my next editor. 😉

I Love the Rain but Hate the Thunder Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.JPG

Is it over yet?

Muttly Mania by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Smoulder Riley Characterization 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpg

Thoughts about Riley Taylor, the protagonist of the YA ‘Smoulder’ series.

Who doesn’t love a kick-ass chick?

Book Review – Invaded by Melissa Landers

Exiled to an alien planet without your Boo…

Invaded Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle.jpgGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction

No. of pages: 356

From Goodreads:

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return? 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I have been intrigued with this trilogy by Melissa Landers, the first novel ‘Alienated’ was fun and easy to read, though the insta-love and narrative style kept it from a 5 star review. I was hoping ‘Invaded’ would bring something new to the story… and while we got to explore Aelyx’s planet through Cara’s eyes and see if their relationship would survive being apart, this second instalment, although enjoyable failed to surpass my initial opinion and rating.

Not sure what it was that didn’t have me totally invested in our protagonists, Aelyx and Cara. Maybe they were a little too goody-two-shoes and didn’t make mistakes? There was no downfall. We see them go through difficulty, but it felt like neither lost all that much to give them opportunity to grow; and subsequently I wasn’t rooting for either character. They lost the underdog edge. Or a good redemption story. Only a little insecurity made them human (pun intended) with an otherwise cyclone of crap hurled at them. So I guess for me the story is great, but the character development lacking.

There are still some fangirly moments over Aelyx – if you enjoy that sort of thing, but understandably, they are few and far between with our OTP separated for the duration of the novel. The biggest thing I appreciate about Cara is her strength and determination, there is a tenuous line of feminism in her bearing.

Invaded Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

The political intrigue grew even stronger and is the best part of this series. Landers really knows how to write tension and collusion in each culture. She also is adept in how many of the secondary cast had separate character arcs.

I really savoured the storyline, it kept me guessing right to the end, and the narrative style is again, easy to read, lending me to complete the novel in a day. But having said that, I didn’t really get into ‘Invaded’ until the last third – a lot of set up for the storyline sapped the pacing. Though it did paint a fantastic landscape for the final instalment of this trilogy.

Which has me looking forward to the last book ‘United’ due for release in August this year. I’m anticipating that the pacing should really be amped up and foreseeing Cara and Aelyx reuniting and facing down their foes.

Overall feeling: cutting and cute.

Invaded Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle.gif

Invaded Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle    

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.