Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #7

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

Highlights and notable findings of the last few weeks have included…

1. A Day by the Seaside: I went to Brighton and marched with some mermaids, ate the best fresh mackerel I’ve ever had and found an amazing antique bookshop. Bliss.
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2. Wedding Bells: My friend’s wedding last weekend was amazing, and the reception at Brocket Hall was stunning. Way too much wine was consumed, and definitely too much dancing like an idiot happened, but that’s what it’s all about right? Also, what did people do at weddings before the photobooth craze? So brilliant!
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3. Blogging Perks: When one of your favourite authors emails you…mind blown. I got an email from James Frey after he saw my rant about the Goodreads Trolls slagging off his new book before they’ve even read it. Insert fangirling here. I’m stunned that he saw my blog in the first place never mind caring so much to get in touch with me, and saying nice things, AND sending me the book. 🙂

4. Filmage: I’ve seen two awesome but very different films at the cinema so far this month. The Purge Anarchy was ridiculous and violently epic – just how I like it, and Guardians of the Galaxy was hilarious and unexpectedly my film of the year so far. When did Chris Pratt get ALL THE BITS?
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5. The Cutest Thing Ever: I can't draw at all. But maybe this will help? I need to find the time to sit down and perfect my own unicorn, for if there’s one thing I should be able to draw, it should be a unicorn.

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6. Book Slump: OK so being in a book slump isn’t a highlight but it does mean I’ve been watching more TV than usual. I watched both series of Hannibal in the space of two weekends. Oh man, it’s so good. I’m totally in love with Will Graham, obviously. He’s unhinged and hot – lethal combination.

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7. Twitter Lolz: Inigo Montoya started toying with me on Twitter. Inconceivable!

8. To Prologue or Not to Prologue: I really enjoyed this article on prologues. I’ve always hated prologues and been told that publishers hate them too, but this article explores when it’s OK to use a prologue, as well as when it’s not.

9. Sloth Cam: I’m kind of obsessed with this. Having it open on my computer at work makes me happy. Not productive, but happy.

10. Join In!

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #6

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts so there should be lots to talk about but….

1. Why is it that every time I come to write this post I completely forget about all the things I wanted say? It’s like a curse. I even leave links to things I wanted to mention in a draft post, but by the time I come to write it, I’ve forgotten what I had to say about it. Must try harder.

2. Does anyone remember Jim Henson’s The Storyteller? I loved it so much. My memory of it was jogged because it’s being made into a graphic novel and it looks stunning. I’m kind of on a graphic novel kick since Comic Con a few weekends back. But more on that later.

Archaia, the official publisher of Jim Henson comics and graphic novels, is launching a new comics miniseries based on one of Henson’s franchises. The Storyteller: Witches will focus on different folk tales just like the television series from the late ’80s. The Storyteller featured a narrator sitting in a cozy chair by the fireplace; he told viewers about magical creatures and happenings. As the Storyteller wove his tales, you watched them come to life before your eyes.

More info and photos here!

3. How have I only just discovered Gay of Thrones?????. It’s brilliant.


 
4. I was thinking about publisher websites the other day. I rarely go on them and wonder if maybe I should? I know some publishers have their own reading groups and forums, and some seem to have their own reading services for bloggers. I only really use NetGalley, but now I’m starting to think maybe I’m missing out..Am I…AM I?

5. Two really good things (and one potentially bad thing) came out of my weekend spent at the first YA Lit Convention (YALC) which took place at London Comic Con a couple of weeks ago:

5.1 It definitely seemed to start a buzz about YA in this country and hopefully the genre will continue to go from strength to strength and maybe even gain some credibility – stranger things have happened.

In the News:
The Guardian – Why You Should YA

The Telegraph – YALC Review

Grown-Ups: You can read YA!

5.2. It inspired me to dust off my unfinished YA manuscript which I’ve been ‘working’ on for YEARS. I hadn’t even looked at it for about 18 months, and it was pretty much as bad as I feared, but I’m enjoying the puzzle that is a complete rewrite. For now!

5.3. My slight obsession over Peter Petrelli Milo ventimiglia has come back with a vengeance after seeing him in all his bearded glory at Comic Con. My friend Dora and I had a film night at the weekend consisting of the classic that is Pathology (hot) and this HILARIOUSLY bad Hammer Horror-esque vampire porn. Hello.


 
My review of YALC and LFCC can be found here: Part 1 / Part 2

6. I went to see Begin Again, the new Kiera Knightley film and I actually quite liked it (the trailer looked pretty awful). There’s just something I love about films about musicians. Maybe it’s because I wish I was musical, but I’m so far from it – I barely know what an instrument is. I quite like music-based books too and found this list of YA Music-Based Books on MTV.com the other day. Oh look, my wishlist just expanded.

7. I’ve been back on a healthy eating & more exercise mission the last few weeks. It’s going pretty well. I made THE best tuna burgers the other day. Seriously, THE BEST!

8. I’m kinda over the summer already. I want it to be Winter. I love Winter! I want cosy nights in, hot chocolate, mulled wine and fairy lights, and I want it now. I’m sick of getting sunburnt, I’m sick of hayfever and my constantly itchy face and I got biten all over my legs the other weekend so I’ve had to cover them up. It’s too hot for that. Roll on Christmas.

9. I can’t shake the idea of moving somewhere new. I’ve been wanting to do it for ages but it’s hard to know where to start. I think I need a new adventure.

10. I’ve been using Pinterest for a while and I really like it. It took me a while to figure out what the point of it was, but I think I have now. I’ve started using it to post about my blog too, not many seem to do it, and I wonder why…

Well, that’s what’s been on my mind lately. You should join the fun and tell us what’s on yours!

Gone Fishing!

I’m taking a break, guys.

I’m going home tonight to celebrate my Nan’s 80th birthday – on a narrowboat! And then my mum is coming back to London with me to visit, and go to Wimbledon. Excited.

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I did mean to schedule some posts but I haven’t found the time so I’m just going to take a wee break. I haven’t really been reading much lately anyway, due to life and the tennis.

I’ll reply to any comments/emails after I’m done celebrating Nadal or Murray winning Wimbledon.*

* I just jinxed it didn’t I?

Also, Happy Birthday to my favourite Di! Sometimes I make her get drunk and write guests posts for me. If you want to make her birthday even better you should check out her awesome new tote bags and enter her Birthday Giveaway HERE.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #5

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I should have loads to tell you…hmmm…

1. In blog news, I got approved for the Waterstones Affiliate programme, which I was really pleased about. You can get 10% off too so check out my post here.

2. I’m also slowly catching up after being behind on reviews, and ARCs and reading in general. Work life and home life have both been busy which hasn’t left much time for reading and blogging, and the weekend just gone is the only free-ish one I’ll have all this month too. Gah…I’m having lots of fun, but I feel bad when I can’t review ARCs by their release date, don’t you?

3. The weekend before last, I went to Cardiff in Wales for a friend’s Hen party. It was so much fun, and I got to visit a castle, one of my favourite things to do! I was really surprised now nice Cardiff was tbh!

4. This series of Game of Thrones has been so epic, I’m really sad that there’s only two episodes left. TYRIONNNN. I’m totally in love with him. He’s also brilliant in the new X-men which I saw at the weekend. IT’S SO GOOD. I didn’t really rate the last one so I was surprised how awesome it was.

5. I also finally got round to seeing the film adaptation of Vampire Academy. Oh seriously, just no. It was terrible. TERRIBLE. I’d say my disappointment was on par with the Twilight films. THAT BAD. Worse than Divergent. THAT BAD. I mean seriously, look what they did to hot Dimitri:

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6. Another reason why I’ve fallen behind in life is because of the French Open. SO happy for Rafa, who won yesterday! Yayyyyy!

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Yes, I love tennis, and you’ll have to put up with a lot more of me talking about it when Wimbledon starts… other than Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year!!! I just hope Nadal’s knees hold up! Eeeek.

7. I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want to go on holiday this summer. A cheap but cheerful holiday in Spain or something where I can just lie on a beach, read, drink sangria and eat Tapas for a week. But I have no money. 😥 Anyone want to take me on holiday?

8. Rose plant update: In my last Bookish post I talked about a plant I’d bought. I’m not sure how to look after plants, or anything, so I thought I’d try and see how long I can keep it alive. 3 weeks on and it looks pretty good.

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Woooo. I like how when the rose petals start to die, they go purple. Pretty. Maybe I’m ready for a pet??

9. Lastly, I’m waiting for The Great British Bake Off to start…seriously, why isn’t it on yet!!! It’s not summer until I can laugh at someone’s soggy bottom.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #4

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

1. I’ve been ill on and off for the past two weeks and it’s really starting to piss me off. It all started with a sore throat, and then my right ear went weird and hurt when I swallowed and I thought I was going deaf. And now, I just have a cold that won’t budge. Even trusty old Lemsip isn’t working. Ugh. I’m putting off going to the doctors because I generally think time heals most things. HURRY UP, TIME!

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2. Despite being ill, last Saturday was Eurovision day and I had a little house party for it because Eurovision is like the best thing ever. As tradition dictates, I instructed everyone who came to bring something to represent the country they were backing, whether it was food, drink or outfit based. Oh man, there was a lot of food. It was awesome.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about (you guys are missing out) you can read what Eurovision is all about on the link above, but basically, it’s a great excuse for a party, and the campest thing ever. BEST NIGHT!

The UK did rubbish, as always, even though we had a pretty good entry this year, but I was glad to see Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen win – screw you Russia! My other favourite was Iceland…oh Iceland you make me happy. Check it out:

3. Eurovision also made me realise that my blog must be coming up to its one year anniversary as I remember my introduction post was a picture of me standing over one of my best friends who had partied a bit too hard at last year’s Eurovision. Whoop…I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I’ll be doing some birthday/round-up posts next week. I think my first post was on the 22nd May 2013. EEEK!

4. I’ve been seeing a lot about Children’s Book Week in blogland this week, which I guess is like America’s version of our World Book Day…anyway, it got me thinking about all the children’s books I love so I’m planning a special post for it on friday – if I have time to write it!

5. And while we’re on the subject of children’s books, I came across this awesome article by John Green, discussing why he thinks YA fiction appeals to adults – YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD FOR YA FICTION… it does surprise me that besides from a few of my friends and the book/blogging world, most people don’t understand why I read so many books aimed at teenagers when I’m 30 years old! BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME, HELLO. I hate when it gets looked down upon too, but it’s nearly always non-readers that do that. Idiots.

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6. I bought a little rose plant a few weeks ago. I don’t really do flowers or plants usually, I’m just not that person, but I saw it and thought it looked cute, and now I’m having a bet with myself to see how long I can keep it alive. I’m pretty rubbish with these things. The label on it said that the soil should always be moist and it needs feeding twice a week. Is feeding the same as watering? Seriously guys, I’m clueless. And people ask me if I think about having kids…LOL@YOU…I don’t even know how to keep a plant alive!!! I’ll probably get drunk and try to eat it or something. The plant, not the fictional baby.

7. I really need to get back into writing. As much as I love doing this blog, it’s completely taken over the time I used to spend writing (plus all the time I spent doing god knows what…). I have a YA novel and a handful of short stories that still need work (especially the novel…it’s so terrible ATM) and about a million other ideas for things I want to write but haven’t gotten round to. I really need to set aside some time each week to do that!

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #2

This meme is hosted by the Bookishly Boisterous and the idea is simple. It’s a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.

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1. Divergent

At some point this week I will be watching Divergent. I can’t wait to be able to rant about it! Last Saturday I walked through Leicester square and they had it all set up for the UK Premiere the following day, and I must admit seeing all the faction flags was pretty exciting.

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I did have a chuckle at all the kids who were already queuing up (overnight!) to get a good view of the red carpet. I had to text Di about it, apologies for the ‘freaks’ comment…all in jest I assure you (I was secretly really jealous, obvs)!

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And while we’re on the subject, the awesome Di has an amazing rant some thoughts on Insurgent which I’ll hopefully steal off her for a guest post. Watch this space.

2. We like Graves

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This is turning into a bit of a Dianne Tanner special, but this weekend just gone, Di and I had a lovely time wandering round Nunhead Cemetery, taking photos, looking for Narnia, and generally enjoying the spring-time sun.

Check out her photography blog, Icefloe which will feature much better Nunhead photos than these at some point.

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3. Crazy Golf is best with Dinosaurs

I had a work outing on friday to Jurassic Golf which is so much fun, despite them playing the Jurassic Park Theme Tune ON REPEAT. I’ve been humming it all weekend. Also, I didn’t lose for once, and my team came in second place (OK so there were only 3 teams). I also bet on the Grand National and came 2nd with Balthazar King. I’m waiting for my dad to let me know how much I won…maybe even a whole five pounds!

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4. ❤ Patrick Ness' Twilight Tweet-Along!

Patrick Ness had me in creases last week as he read Twilight and tweeted about it. I like that his tweets were hilarious, but not derogatory or patronising. He made it clear that any book that has been that successful deserves respect.

Here were some of my favourites:

Seriously, they are all gold! Go and read them all and behold the joy!

5. Fail

Regular readers or Goodreads followers may have noticed that I started Marcus Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood. I was really intrigued to see what his first adult book would be like but I had so any ARC deadlines at that time and I fell behind. I did start it, but I only read about 5 pages and really couldn’t get into to it. Plus, I was desperate to get to Vampire Academy 2 which had just arrived in the post. So when A Love Like Blood was archived in NetGalley just a few days after the release date I decided to just scrap it. :s Hopefully, I’ll give it another go sometime!

6. Game of Thrones

GoT!!! That is all!!!

7. M’s the word

The ‘m’ on my laptop keyboard is buggered I have to hold it down and show it soe love before the M actually works, see! MMMMMMMMMMMMM. Danit. So if you see soe missing mmmmm’s, please fill in the blanks. Why thanks.

Have a good week everyone.

Update: Back to work & what’s coming up!

I am back from an excellent holiday in Iceland (I’ll post some pictures soon) and I’ve also been revamping my flat as my friend and flatmate Dora (Hi Dora) moved out before I went away. It’s the end of an era! But I am looking forward to living by myself for the very first time. EEEK.

I’ve been pretty busy (mainly deciding where to put ALL THE BOOKS) but now it’s time to knuckle down. I have loads of awesome things lined up for the blog so I thought I’d let you know what to expect for the rest of Feb and March.

Guests Posts

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I have two wonderful guest posts lined up from two (well technically three as one is from a fantasy-writing husband & wife duo) authors who talk about the inspiration behind their respective titles.

ARCS

I did the bad thing and went a bit NetGalley crazy a few months ago, which is good because I have some awesome- looking books to review, but is bad because I HAVE NO TIME.

Blood Orange Soda by James Michael Larranaga

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Darius Hunter is a bullied high school freshman. When he drinks Blood Orange Soda to transform into a Vampire and earn respect, he soon learns life as a Vampire has its own challenges.

Set in the future on the rural landscape of St. Cloud, Minnesota where pre-Vampire teens are required by the government to take a daily Red pill to prevent their urge to bite, Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story of love, life and death.
Released 15th March 2014 by JML

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

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The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.
Released March 11th 2014 by Spiegel & Grau

Frog Music by Emma Donaghue

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Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman called Jenny Bonnet is shot dead. The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny’s murderer to justice – if he doesn’t track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women and damaged children. It’s the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts. In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue’s lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boom town like no other.
Released March 27th 2014 by HarperCollins

A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick

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In 1944, just days after the liberation of Paris, Charles Jackson sees something horrific: a man, apparently drinking the blood of a murdered woman. Terrified, he does nothing, telling himself afterwards that worse things happen in wars.

Seven years later he returns to the city – and sees the same man dining in the company of a fascinating young woman. When they leave the restaurant, Charles decides to follow…

A Love Like Blood is a dark, compelling thriller about how a man’s life can change in a moment; about where the desire for truth – and for revenge – can lead; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about the question of blood.
Released March 27th 2014 by Hodder

Blog Tours

I’m chuffed to be reviewing Aoife Marie Sheridan’s Eden Forest as part of her Blog Tour, hitting Lipsyy Lost & Found on March 6th.

I better get to it!