Liebster Award and a Little About Me

Hey everyone.

Liebster Award

I’m so excited that the lovely Laura Jayne of Inklings of an Introvert has nominated me for a Liebster Award! (Katie Judges Books also nominated me but I’ll answer Laura’s questions). Now if, like me, you had no idea what this was, it’s where bloggers nominate each other to raise awareness of new blogs in the blogiverse. Thank you so much! I’ve recently gotten back into blogging after doing my Masters in Digital Marketing so I am so happy to be nominated and share a bit of myself with you guys, as I just jumped back in with reviews.

1. What is the one book you own that means the most to you? And why?

Oh my gosh. Just one? I don’t think I can do just one so I’m going to do a little list with reasons.

  • The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich – She’s an amazing author and one of my best friends, and she mentioned me in the acknowledgements which is AH-MAZING.
  • Signed copies of Robin Hobb novels (and all of her novels I own) – I LOVE Robin, and her novels really ignited my love of fantasy and my drive to write my own so for that I am eternally grateful.
  • Signed ARC of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – A couple of amazing tweeps got together to get this for me, and not only is the book special but their effort really touched my heart (@bibliophilesbkm and @reddjena  are amazing!)

Book Blog

2. Describe your bedroom or perfect reading nook… 

Okay so my bedroom has my bed (obviously), walk in wardrobe which is just a scattered mess (like my mind), a desk where all my crafts and jewellery making bits live, and two gloriously white, giant bookshelves, which are overflowing completely.

Bookshelves

3. What are your thoughts on book to movie adaptions?

Ah so if you had asked me this 6 years ago, I had SO many negative feelings towards adaptations. They miss out so much, change the wrong bits, the characters are all wrong… BUT. But. As part of my undergrad degree I took a module on adaptation, and it is DAMNED HARD to adapt a book. I know, I tried. I tried to adapt Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, and I just couldn’t cut any out and in the end opted to adapt a song instead. So I have more respect for adaptations now.

Hunger Games

4. Do you prefer Spring or Autumn?

Ahhh tough. Autumn, because I love wrapping up warm, and scarves, I LOVE scarves. I also don’t really like summer too much – not a huge fan of the heat – so when it’s cooling down I find it such a relief. And the colours are so beautiful.

However I do like flowers in Spring, so though Autumn wins, Spring has its advantages.

Autumn

5. What is your favourite TV show? And why?

Scrubs – I’ve watched it SO MANY TIMES. So many life lessons learned, and so many amazing quotes.

Followed by Grey’s Anatomy… I guess I like medical shows?

OH AND GILMORE GIRLS AHHHHH THAT IS AMAZING. Okay so it seems I can’t just pick one… sorry.

6. What is your most anticipated read for the rest of 2017?

ONE DARK THRONE. Oh my gosh I’m so excited. I LOVED Three Dark Crowns and just cannot WAIT.

7. How do you spend your summers? A day in the life of you?

Ah, I’m 26 and work full time for an adventure company called Zip World. I am the Digital Marketing Coordinator, so I spend all my time on the computer, on social and the website, or out and about getting content to share online.
In the evenings I relax with my SO and watch TV or read/write and soon make jewellery.

8. What is the most outrageous and rebellious thing you have ever done

Ah. Well. Uhmm… *cough* I don’t think I should have SO many answers for this question.

I got so stumped by this question I left writing this for weeks and STILL can’t think of something… okay I have one.

When I was at a music festival a few years ago with my best friend, we had a security guard friend who was letting us over a barrier to go back stage (on a small stage). As my friend had one leg over, this guy out of his mind on drink or drugs grabbed her leg and would not let go. He was trying to feel up her skirt and ignored us trying to get him off. I tried pushing him, even kicking him (I’m not a violent person, but I was terrified of what he’d do to my friend) and I just happened to have a fresh black coffee. So I went to squirt a bit at him out of the top, the lid came off and I threw boiling hot coffee all over him. He let go. I felt a little bit bad – the thought of hurting someone makes me sick – but honestly I had no idea what else to do. The security guard had wandered off and no one walking by would help.

So yeah. That’s my story.

Coffee

9. If you could meet one author or famous person in the world, who would it be? And why?

JK Rowling. I mean – need I explain?

10. Which character’s wardrobe/clothing style would you like to steal?

Oh… uhhh. I really couldn’t say. It’s not something that stays in my mind.

11. One piece of advice you would give to another fellow blogger?

Just do you. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, originality is best.

Here’s who I nominate, my #CroneBloggers:

Ceara Heffernan
Twitter: Website: readingarsenal.com

Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
Twitter:Website: http://danaandthebooks.com

Laura Noakes
Twitter: 
Website: 

Aimee
Twitter: 
Website: https://summerreadsmoonlightdreams.wordpress.com/

Briony
Twitter: 
Website: https://www.missbriony.com/

Lia
Twitter: @lost_in_a_story 
Website: lostinastory.blog

Jenna
Twitter: 
Website: 

Rhianne
Twitter: @lilnovelist 
Website: https://linktr.ee/littlenovelist93

Becca Jayne
Twitter: @LittleMemoirs 
Website: prettylittlememoirs.com

Aradhna
Twitter: @thebitterbeast 
Website: foldedbetweenthepagesofbooks.com 

Gracie
Twitter: @GracieFM 
Website: graciefm.wordpress.com

The Book Moo
Twitter: @TheBookMoo 
Website: thebookmoo.wordpress.com

Amy-Louise
Twitter: 
Website: tomeswithtea.wordpress.com

And your questions are:

  1.  What is your go-to self care? Something you do, wear, etc.
  2.  What was the first book that made a difference to you and why?
  3.  What is your favourite time of year?
  4.  Where is your favourite place to read?
  5.  Which book would you buy as a gift for someone right now?
  6.  What do you find the hardest thing about blogging?
  7.  What is the most fun aspect you find about blogging?
  8.  If you could offer year-ago you any advice, what would it be?
  9.  Why did you start blogging?
  10.  What is your dream holiday?
  11.  What would be your ideal bookish gift?

Now its your turn guys!

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Win signed A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

There’s been a lot to celebrate recently, and not just for me either. I’m SO CLOSE to 2k followers on Twitter it’s unreal, and over 200 of you follow this blog and I just… I’m at a loss for words.

Also, did you hear V. E. Schwab’s amazing news? She’s got a $1million book deal! She is such an inspiration and I’m just so in awe. Could you imagine?

So, I’ve decided to giveaway a signed copy of A Darker Shade of Magic!

You can have to entries to win this book.

1. Follow me on twitter and retweet the tweet below (mandatory)

 

You don’t have to be following my blog to win but you will get an extra entry if you do ☺️

2. Follow my blog (optional) and comment. 

You can follow at the bottom of the page.

If you’re already following, that’s wonderful and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! If you enter and you follow my blog please comment with your twitter username so I can make sure you get your two entries!
Good luck 😘

Terms and conditions

1. Winners will be chosen using a random number generator.

2. Competition closes 21/9/17

3. No giveaway accounts

4. Must follow and retweet specified tweet to be eligible. Following the blog gains an extra entry on top of the retweet and follow.

5. This giveaway is international

Atypical: A show on the spectrum

Atypical

This post is a little different as it isn’t about books but there you go. So I recently watched (binged) a show called Atypical. It centres around an Autistic teenage boy and his journey through love and independence. This is less a review on the show and more on how it made me think, so I’ll paste a little synopsis below for you before getting into my thoughts. This is spoiler free.

Awkward Smile

Atypical

Sam, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, decides it’s time to find a girlfriend, a journey that sets Sam’s mom on her own life-changing path as her son seeks more independence.

 

 

Overall the show was funny, with a whole cast of interesting characters. There was a lot going on but it wasn’t hard to follow, I really enjoyed it. Before I knew it we’d watched the whole thing in one evening. I understand there’s been mixed reviews on the show, I’m still researching different opinions, so this is just my thoughts on t. 

I wanted to write about this show because it really opened my eyes. Not so much on the Autism itself, as I wasn’t completely clueless, but more on how others react to it. Obviously, I’m not a teenager anymore, but seeing scenes where he was in school and how the other teenagers were being SO cruel to him just… *sigh*.

Atypical Noones normal

I was bullied in school – but I mostly shrugged it off at the time. It’s affected me more later in life than it did then, but it’s just horrible watching how cruel these kids can be. It made me think, surely if they know that he is autistic, they would understand why he was ‘weird’ in their eyes, and be kinder? But they weren’t, and the reality is, kids aren’t always kind. I think it’s less on the kids and more on the parents to educate their kids on kindness, maybe? I don’t know.

The show itself was great, funny, eye opening and raw. I don’t personally have anyone in my life on the spectrum, so I can’t judge on the accuracies of the depiction of Autism. However, I’ve read some reviews and I read an article interviewing the creator, Robia Rashid, and it seems that a lot of hard work has gone in to make this show as accurate as possible, shedding light on Autism as a whole, and that I think was done very well. Again, there are mixed reviews however and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. 

Atypical

It’s currently on Netflix, and there’s about 8 episodes so is an easy binge watch, I definitely recommend you check it out.

Have you watched it? What did you think? Did you like it? Am I completely off base?

Book Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake

So I’ve been incredibly lucky that the last few books I’ve picked up have been amazing! I do have a soft spot for steely, out of reach guys in fantasy so it’s no real surprise that I loved this… and Ruby. Gosh I loved Ruby, the Lady Firebrand!

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)Frostblood by Elly Blake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

View all my reviews

Overview

Ruby Fireblood

I absolutely adored this book and devoured it in a matter of days! The world building is perfect, it’s not overly complex so you can getyour head around it quickly and easily, yet developed very well. I loved the romantic elements, the familial obligations, the hurt, the loss and just generally the brilliant way Ruby’s resolve was tested again and again.

 

Book Structure

This novel is fast paced and grips you from the start. Before you get a chance to get used to the setting and what’s happening BOOM you’re away somewhere else with something new and thrilling to sink your teeth into and gasp at. You won’t find yourself bored or wanting excitement, there’s always something going on to keep you turning the pages.

At no point was I lost or confused, only wanting more, now.

Give me more

Characterisation

The characterisation in this novel was done brilliantly. You could really see the characters develop throughout and grow. The bonds between the characters were palpable and believable, and at some points, reluctant.

I love reading about strong women, and no matter what Ruby got put through, she managed to keep herself together (just), and she had her flaws, which added to her development. I would have been annoyed if she was just perfect. I think she was quite badass.

Arcus, oh be still, my beating heart! I won’t say too much for I don’t want to spoil anything, but oh my gosh, I think I may have a new favourite dark and brooding man to drool over!

Hot guy

Only negative comment was about Brother Lack’s motivations (I won’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers). I would love to know why he felt the way he did and if there was more to him… maybe in book two they may mention this? As it stands he just seems to be randomly antagonistic.

One of my favourite quotes:

No one else made me feel so alive, but no one could make me so angry, either.

You need to read this book if you’re a fan magic, fantasy and a teensy bit of romantic tension. Hope you all enjoy! I got an ARC for Fire Blood at YALC so keep an eye out for that in the next week or so.

Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read it, and follow if you want more ❤

Book Review: Basic Witches, How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with your Coven 

Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your CovenBasic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jaya Saxena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Capitalizing on the rising trend of hipster witchcraft, BASIC WITCHES is a lighthearted and empowering book of spells and lifestyle tips for feisty millennial women.

In Basic Witches, readers will discover how to tap into their inner sorceress and channel the dark arts for everything from cluttered apartments to dating disasters. Want to enhance your attractiveness? Pick the right power color of eyeshadow and project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Say the right symbolic curse and banish it from your life. Need to boost your self-confidence? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to strengthen your inner resolve. Plus historical and pop culture sidebars that situate the new witchcraft trend within a broader context. With humor, heart, and a hip modern sensibility, journalists Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman dispense witchy wisdom for the curious, the cynical, and anyone who could use a magical boost to get through the day. This ain’t your grandma’s grimoire!

I loved this book so so much, but can we just talk about how amazing this cover is? The look and feel is just delicious, and it doesn’t stop there, it’s inside too!

Basic Witches: how to summon success, banish drama, and raise hell with your coven

Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with your Coven

I was hooked from the first pages:

 witchcraft appeals to the weird, the outcast and the unconventional

That’s me!

Sabrina the teenage witch

One thing I really appreciated was the below passage which addressed gender binary:

I think it was a really nice touch, and really set the tone for a lovely, funny, sassy book. I’ve always loved witches, from way back when I watched every Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode and even got her magazine and makeup! So this book really appealed to me.

Structure

So the structure of this book is awesome. It allows you to dip in and out of what you’re after at the time. It has seven chapters and I’ll give you a run down of what each chapter is:

  1. Self-initiation: An Introduction into Basic Witchery
  2. Glamours: The Power to Change How You Look
  3. Healing: The Power to Care for Yourself
  4. Summoning: Te Power to Care for others (and Have Them Care for you)
  5. Enchantment: The Power to Make Choices about Love and Sex
  6. Banishment: The Power to Avoid What Brings You Down
  7. Divination: The Power to Decide You Destiny

Each chapter is full of advice, spells and witchcraft history. I have the urge to just regurgitate the whole book right here but I can’t really do that so here are a couple of my favourite bits:

Glamour focussed on how to find the best clothing and colours to suit you, which is great for me because

Sabrina Basic Witches

Nail Art to Terrify Men – this graphic really made me laugh, make sure you check it out!

A spell for self careThis quick, gender-neutral ritual charges up your preferred moisturiser, sunscreen, aftershave, or other personal care product. Definitely tempted to do this one!

How Basic Witches made me feel

I love books that make me feel something, and this book certainly did that. I’ve had some serious self doubt and not been feeling too great about myself lately, and this book really helped that. It made me feel great about myself and empowered. There’s one section that talks about Imposter syndrome and as a writer, I’ve definitely felt that. In my everyday life too! It was so full of sass, you just need to read this book, m’kay?

I’m now looking for my coven, so hit me up!