30 September 2018

September Favourites 2018

I love reading everyone else's Favourites posts, as I'm a very nosy person, so here's mine!

September Favourites 2018

Book

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld.
I'm going to be honest - a huge part of my love for this book was the nostalgia. Uglies was one of my favourite series growing up and I'm so excited that it's continuing. You don't need to have read any of the other books first as this is set in a future timeline.

I thought it was fantastic, especially the ways in which the characters changed so much throughout the story. I love stories of secrets and betrayal and this definitely ticked those boxes.

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld with a McDonald's toffee latte

Audiobook

Divergent by Veronica Roth, narrated by Emma Galvin.
I am very late to the Divergent party, which is a surprise even to myself. It's dystopia, a genre I can't get enough of. And I absolutely adore the film. I'm glad I listened to this as even with the differences I love Tris and Four and their chemistry. Oh man, the chemistry.

Quote

“I thought when he learned my secret, he would understand the ally I could be. But instead, he doesn't even know who I am.” 
Scott Westerfeld, Impostors

On the Telly

Killing Eve, BBC
I thought that Killing Eve was absolutely stunning, and Jodie Comer was nothing less than outstanding as Villanelle. And Sandra Oh was back on my screen! As soon as this became available on BBC iPlayer I watched it all in three days. It's definitely compulsive viewing, and the ending was explosive. I can't wait for series two.

Vanity Fair, ITV
Vanity Fair has been filling the period drama-shaped hole in my soul this past month, and I've been loving it. Olivia Cooke's Becky Sharp is an absolute delight, and I love how the fourth wall is broken by Becky, like she's letting the audience in on her snark and her secrets. I also love the soundtrack, it makes the series feel so fresh.

On Netflix

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Yep, I know it's a kids program. But OH MAN the chemistry between the two main characters! I can't get enough of it. It's like butterflies-in-your-stomach cute. I love that they don't know each others secret identity, I love their banter, I love how well they work together. I love how cocky Adrien is too, and how Marinette is so relatable.

Music

Clare Bowen by Clare Bowen
I got Clare Bowen's debut album on release day on 31st August and I've basically been listening non-stop. Warrior is my favourite track and I cry every time I hear it. I got to see her on the 4th September at the Sage Gateshead and she was wonderful. And yes, I cried.

Tea

William Wordsworth, Rosie Lea Tea UK
I have been loving Rosie Lea Tea UK's William Wordsworth Inspired Tea. It's a naturally caffiene free blend and I've been drinking it on an evening to unwind. It's packed with chamomile flowers and lavender against South African rooibos and is very soothing.

Beauty Purchase

Jewel of the Sea Princess Face Mask, Primark
As part of my Primark Haul, I picked up a Jewel of the Sea Princess Face Mask for £3. It contained green tea to help refresh and revitalise skin, and it smelled amazing on. I have to say that the mask did wonders for my skin after all of the win we've been having, but being printed with Ariel's face it looked terrifying on!

Fashion Purchase

Tartan Skirt, George at Asda
I love me a bit of tartan and I've been after a tartan skirt ever since the temperature first hinted at dropping down for autumn. The skirt I actually liked the look of most was a tartan pleated skirt, but it was far too short (and this is from someone who's just 5'2"!) but I dug around some more and found a gorgeous dark red tartan a-line skirt. It sits just about my knee and swishes as I walk.

Autumn picnic with tea in an enamel mug from Old English Co

Days Out

Autumn Picnics
I have already managed to squeeze in two autumn picnics! Cue the tea, hot chocolate, sandwiches, and sausage rolls. And a sneaky bit of reading because I would hate to not be on brand. The first one was super windy and a bit colder than anticipated and I'm not going to lie I regretted only wearing a jacket haha. Thank goodness for the flask of tea! The second one I was better prepares and wore a coat, only for it to be a bright and windless sunny day so I was too warm.

Blog Post

September 2018 Primark Haul
My favourite post this month has been my Primark Haul. It's the first time for me truly stepping out of my book blogging niche and it was so much fun. I can't wait to do more similar posts, and Friday's September Empties post was another chance to stretch my wings and go back to my blogging roots of anything and everything.

Five Favourite Blog Posts
from Other People

I spend at least an hour each day reading blogs, and these are just five of my favourite posts from the past month. Not gonna lie, I have read some excellent posts this month, these just absolutely shone through and are the ones I came back to more than once. Because yeah, I'm that person who rereads blog posts as well as books.
  • Being The Ugly Duckling
    Abbey honestly hit the nail on the head with this post, and how impostor syndrome strikes. It always gets to me the most at events too and I feel out of place, but Abbey's post really got me thinking
  • What I Love About Book Blogging 
    When you're feeling a little down about blogging, posts like this are great - they remind you on why you do it. Because blogging is awesome and fun and a way to share your passion, and Aoife pointed out so many good things about it.
  • Book Blogger Stats Survey Results: 2018
    I took part in this survey so I was super interested to see the results. After reading them I'm actually really pleased with how my blog is doing, it's put things into perspective in terms of how far I've come.
  • Why I’m Obsessed with Trashy Novels
    Sarah's post about trashy novels really resonated with me. I love trash. I read it often and I read it for Me, because it's entertaining and makes me feel good. And Sarah is totally right in that we need to stop putting down entertainment for entertainment's sake.
  • October Bullet Journal Set Up
    Does anyone else love having a nosy at bullet journal set ups? I'm terrible at sticking to a bujo myself, but I can't get enough of seeing what everyone else is doing with theirs. Shirley has gone all out for October and the spreads are gorgeous!

How has your September been?


28 September 2018

September Empties 2018

I love reading other people's empties post so I thought that seeing as a lot of my stash is being all used up now I'd better post an empties post. I'm quite excited as I never really talk about my skincare/hair/beauty routines despite spending a fair amount of time (and money) on them.

I also drink a ton of tea so I thought I'd include that too!

So here we go, my September 2018 empties!

September Empties 2018

Skincare Empties

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Pads
When I first got these I was amazed at what they did to my skin. It was clearer, brighter, my pores looked smaller, my complexion was more even. Honestly it's a bit of a miracle product. But the pads themselves are the same material as wipes non-biodegradable, so I'll be cutting this from my routine in favour of something more environmentally friendly.
Will I re-buy? No

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Face Cleanser
I originally picked this up after I was told it was a dupe for Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (which I got in the John Lewis Beauty Icons box last year and loved) and I've used it every evening since. The muslin cloth is a little harsh for my skin, so I use a flannel instead, and I love how smooth my skin is now.
Will I re-buy? Yes

Superdrug Naturally Radiant 2 in 1 Moisturiser & Serum
I've had this rolling around in my handbag for emergency moisturising, but to be honest I've rarely reached for it since switching to The Ordinary for my post-cleanse skin care routine. It's finally empty thanks to the wind and rain of storms Ali and Bronagh so it's time to say goodbye. It's definitely a product I would recommend, but it's just not something I need right now.
Will I re-buy? No

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Complete Cleanser
This is my morning cleanse, and the second part of my double cleanse if I've been wearing makeup. Because it's a pump and I only need one per use, it's lasting me for ages. The pump isn't recyclable, but the rest of the packaging is.
Will I re-buy? Yes

Superdrug Naturally Radiant empties

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics
For about five seconds after I put this on all I can smell is rotting jellyfish, but the result if well worth the seconds of stink. I apply this liberally morning and evening after cleansing and it keeps me
Will I re-buy? Yes

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
This is basically my top coat to seal everything in, and I keep it in my handbag for top-ups if needed now that the weather's turning.
Will I re-buy? Yes

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
I use this once or twice daily, depending on the condition of my skin, 
Will I re-buy? Yes


The Ordinary empties

Beauty Empties

New Look Pink Ombré Blush Eau De Parfum 
This perfume is such a babe. I bought a big bottle for home and a small bottle for my handbag. I am addicted to it, it's my favourite scent, I get so many compliments and I recommend it to everyone. So what have New Look done? Discontinued it. Of course. So now I am perfume-less and trying to find something new and cheap that works for me.
Will I re-buy? Yes, if it wasn't discontinued.


SEVENTEEN Doll'd Up Mascara
This mascara did the most amazing things to my eyes. When I was wearing it my sister would often ask if I was wearing falsies. It curled, added volume, added length. Honestly my go-to mascara. I had it in brown/black for daily wear and black for nights out. I had no idea that Boots were discontinuing the SEVENTEEN brand so I didn't get a chance restock. Gutted.
Will I re-buy? Yes, if it wasn't discontinued.

Perfume and Mascara empties

Tea Empties

Bookish Teas Sisters in Battle Fruit Tea
If I could re-buy this right now I would, only it's not in stock! This is my favourite fruit tea blend ever and it's red so it looks like I'm drinking the blood of my enemies and it's perfect hot or cold. I got it in a Wonder Woman themed box last year, and basically I order more whenever it's available so I have it in stock.
This is sweet and rich and full of hibiscus, which is one of my favourite fruit tea flavours. I need so little tea for so much flavour that it's been easy to eke it out for months.
Will I re-buy? Yes, if it wasn't discontinued.

Whittard of Chelsea Margaret's Hope First Flush Darjeeling
Yup, I'm all out of my favourite single estate first flush already. This tea is my go to in the summer, so I drink it pretty much daily. It's delicate and sweet and floral, I typically use the leaves to brew three times, drink it without milk or sweetener, and the subtle changes in flavour are delightful as the sweetness drops away and it becomes more vegetal.
Normally I would head into town to refill my caddy as soon as it was empty but this time I'm going to hold off and try something different instead. I'm think of going for a Tippy Assam as it's getting cooler and I enjoy the smokey malt undertones.
Will I re-buy? No




What have you emptied recently?

25 September 2018

Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

Top Ten Tuesday
This week is Top Ten 
Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read
This was actually quite difficult as if I love an author I tend to read their book straight away. Unless it's part of a series that I don't want to end, in which case I procrastinate indefinitely. So I've put a little about why I haven't read it yet.
  • Evolution by Teri Terry
    Basically: I can't afford it. This is the only book on this list that I don't own, and I'm currently waiting for Evolution to come in to the library so I can read it! I loved Contagion and Deception.
  • The Beloved by Alison Rattle
    I think that this author's books are stunning, so sinister and dark and amazingly written, and I loved The Quietness so much. I'm just not in the place for such darkness right now.
  • Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot
    Made in Nashville is one of my all time favourite romances, but I wasn't so enamoured by the last book I read. I love Greek island romances so I'm sure I'll love it, but what if..?
  • The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud
    This is straight up series-procrastination, as I absolutely love the Lockwood books, and even own them all. I'm pretending that it's not all over. If I don't read the series then it can't finish, see?
  • Sentencing Sapphire by Mia Thompson
    The Sapphire books are my favourite New Adult books. I love the thrilling scrapes Sapphire gets herself into, her opulent world. But this is the last in the series so #procrastination.
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
    WHAT IF IT'S NOT AS GOOD AS SIX OF CROWS? Because Six of Crows was outstanding.
  • Sleepless in Manhatten by Sarah Morgan
    I love Sarah Morgan but when I first tried this series I wasn't in the mood. But now I'm worried that it's the book itself and afraid to go back in case I don't like it. Which is silly as I loved Christmas Ever After, Playing by the Greek's Rules, and First Time in Forever.
  • Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
    Hello there, series procrastination! Flawed is one of my all time favourite books and I'm just not ready for Perfect yet. I'll probably never be.
  • Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott
    Shadows on the Moon is just so utterly breathtaking, and although I know this is a separate story in the same world I'm just not ready yet. Zoe Marriott's books do something to my soul and damn, it hurts.
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber
    Wing Jones is heart-breaking and inspiring and I've heard so many good things about Only Love Can Break Your Heart but I just can't seem to pick it up. Despite having a copy.

    Which favourite author have you been holding out on?

    23 September 2018

    Blog Tour: Book Review: Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn

    Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn was so sweet, and a perfect festive read. It has me all excited for Christmas and filled with the warm fuzzies. It's an easy read for rainy days and has me longing to see the Northern Lights for myself.

    Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn coverAdd to Goodreads button
    Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

    When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

    Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice... Play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.


    Source: Blog Tour

    5 Words: Family, attraction, secrets, love, forgiveness.

    This book gets off to a cringey start - in a good way. It opens with Frankie on the hen-night from hell, filled with everything I would dread in a hen night. And Frankie feel exactly the same as I would and it meant that I felt a pretty instant connection to her. Considering that her life couldn't be more wildly different from mine, this was a very good thing.

    Although most of the characters in this book are moneyed, this book focuses more on the expectations of others rather than the implications of wealth. It was perhaps a little handy that Frankie didn't really urgently want for anything, but she did have her own job too and it helped to ground the character and make her more relatable - yes, she had family wealth, but she worked hard too.

    I loved how this book started. From the cringey hen night to the disaster of a wedding, with the run to the airport and the snap decision to get on the plane. I loved the urgency of it all, the panic and confusion. It's very physical feeling, a different pace from what I'm used to and I raced through the beginning. And I loved how that all changed as she reached her destination.

    As much as Love at the Northern Lights is a story about finding yourself, it's also a story about giving yourself the chance to love. And familial expectations be damned.

    This is a gorgeous book with a bit of festive flair, and I only wish I'd read it closer to Christmas!

    20 September 2018

    Book Review: Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

    I have missed this world so much, so when I saw Impostors sitting on the display table in my local Waterstones I pounced on it and then gushed about the whole Uglies universe to the bookseller for a good ten minutes as I paid. Because Uglies is one of my favourite series and I'm so excited that it's continuing.

    Impostors by Scott Westerfeld coverAdd to Goodreads button
    Frey and Rafi are inseparable... Two edges of the same knife. But Frey's very existence is a secret.

    Frey is Rafi's twin sister-and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must.

    When her father sends Frey in Rafi's place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor-as poised and charming as her sister. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As the deal starts to crumble, Frey must decide if she can trust him with the truth and if she can risk becoming her own person?

    With Impostors, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a new series set in the world of his mega-bestselling Uglies-a world full of twist and turns, rebellion and intrigue, where any wrong step could be Frey's last.


    Source: Purchase

    5 Words: Family, power, control, betrayal, revenge.

    When I heard about this book I was so excited - I loved the Uglies books growing up. I loved the twisted world, the acerbic take-down of societal conceptions of beauty. And now I'm back in the same world watching a similar take-down of the people in power. and it's excellent.

    I loved the changes in the characters, how the Frey from the first page isn't the Frey from the last page, how the truth about Rafia is slowly revealed. I loved that there was so little trust and so much hope, so much pretending.

    There is a bit of romance in the story, but it's not front and centre. To be honest I could very easily ignore it. It felt a bit convenient, and with the relationship between the particular characters it often felt more like an emotional outlet and a bit of mutual attraction than anything serious.

    The ending is spectacular. This book is a bit of a thrill to read, packed with action and battle scenes, the hard reality of Frey's life is there on the page and explored in her every action. But that ending left me desperate for more.

    Impostors may be the fifth book in the Uglies world, but you don't need to have read any of the other books first as this is set in a future timeline and generally deals with different characters and cities.

    Have you read any of the Uglies books?
    What's your favourite fictional power struggle?


    18 September 2018

    Books On My Autumn 2018 TBR

    Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

    Top Ten Tuesday
    This week is Top Ten 
    Books On My Autumn 2018 TBR
    I am a huge rereader and save some books especially for rereading in autumn. But I also read new books and some of these are autumn releases which I can't wait for, others are ones I'd like to finally get around to. Click on the title to go to Goodreads!

      What's on your TBR this autumn?

      17 September 2018

      September Primark Haul 2018

      At least once a week I'll browse through Primark's website looking at the New Arrivals and fantasy shopping in my head. I even sometimes do imaginary Primark Hauls for fictional characters, which I 10/10 recommend for fun. I thought it was finally time to do my very own haul so here we go!

      September 2018 Primark Haul

      It's getting to the time of year where all I want is comfort. I want snuggly jumpers and socks, soft slippers, a bit of a pamper. And Primark is where I find it, so I was super excited to head in to town on Saturday and stock up on the good stuff. I go in around once a month to have a mooch around, as it's always busy and I'm not a fan of crowds - I have to bug myself up for it.


      Scatter Shoulder Jumper £13.00
      Luxury Chenille Socks £2.50
      Princess Face Mask £3.00
      Twilight One Coat Nail Polish £0.90
      Sloth Life Mule Slippers £4.00

      Here's my haul in total!

      I spent ages going through racks to find the jumper in my size, but I was not going to leave without it. It's pale blue, super soft, and has gorgeous details across the shoulders and arms. It's so comfortable that I kind of can't wait for the colder weather, as this will definitely become a wardrobe staple.


      I couldn't resist these luxury socks. The pack contains two pairs, this lovely pink which reminds me of the sunset, and a beautiful pale blue that reminds me of rain clouds in the distance. I think they're perfect for autumn under my boots.


      With all of the wind and rain over the past couple weeks, my face in in some serious need of some TLC. In store they had four different Disney Princess face masks, but I settled on this Jewel Of The Sea face mask. It's a sheet mask with green tea that promises to refresh and revitalise skin.

      I also picked up this dark grey one coat nail polish, in the colour Twilight. I'm always really impressed by Primark nail polish, especially as it's so cheap, and this colour is really calling to my current mood.


      Aren't these slippers adorable? I really relate to sloths, and love taking things slow and taking naps. The slippers are pale grey and super soft, with a memory foam sole. Perfect for slipping on after work.

      Do you shop in Primark?
      What's top of your September shopping list?

      14 September 2018

      Five Things I Can't Wait To Do In Autumn

      Everything is just a little bit more dramatic in Autumn, and I find it so inspiring. I love to wrap up warm and go outside, see the colour and smell turning fruit and rotting leaves. It sounds gross but it's one of my favourite smells, I love the earthiness of it. I like the damp air curling my baby hairs, the wind chapping my lips, the rain beating my skin - it's all an excuse for an extra pamper.

      And when the first morning frost hits I wake up extra early so I can walk the long way to work and crunch the grass and the leaves, and really feel the benefit of the warmth of my morning cup of tea.

      And in the evening I love flickering candlelight, hot chocolate and malt before bed, second day soup with a chunk of crusty bread. New cosy pyjamas and and extra blanket, Melomel (fruited honey) mead warming my throat.

      Autumn To Do List

      Autumn To Do List

      Picnics

      Picnics are usually reserved for Summer but I actually don't like picnics in the sun! In autumn you wrap up warm and cosy, pack a flask of hot water for tea, a flask of soup, pastry goodies galore. As a bonus the air is crisp and clear and smells amazing, there are less people (introverts, rejoice!) and there are less bugs.

      Rereading Favourites

      I absolutely love rereading books and I have some that I specifically reread in autumn. I can't wait to fall back in love with the familiar worlds and characters, and find something new in something I dearly love.

      Bingewatching Shows

      It feels like everything starts again in Autumn, and I spend so much time in front of the telly. I love TV shows you can binge-watch! I am particularly looking forward to watching Killing Eve as it starts this weekend on BBC iPlayer, and The Good Place, Grey's Anatomy, and Dynasty in the coming weeks.

      Knitting

      I started knitting last year after my diagnosis and I've been itching to grab my needles again. I just couldn't bring myself to do it when it was so sunny and unbearably hot outside. I have a couple of projects lined up and I'm going to challenge myself to try things other than scarves and snoods.

      Hot Drinks and Cold Days

      I love the feeling of cold hands wrapped around a hot drink, and I love that so many coffee shops do season ranges. The smell of spices in the air, feeling warm from the very inside, the decadence of the cake. I can't wait to get to Costa and try their Bonfire Latte!


      What do you love most about Autumn?
      What's on your Autumn To Do List?

      11 September 2018

      Ten Hidden Gems

      Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

      Top Ten Tuesday
      This week is Top Ten 
      Hidden Gems
      I'm sticking here to books I've read in the past year that I think didn't get as much hype as they deserve, and all of them I thought we absolutely excellent.

      07 September 2018

      Five Books I Reread In Autumn

      I love to reread books. It's like coming home, putting on your comfiest pyjamas, getting between fresh sheets. You know what you're getting, that it's going to be good, and I find that even after 20 rereads I still get something new from the book.

      I recently talked about the books I reread the most, but a big part of my rereading is also seasonal. There are some books I savour each Autumn, that I hold off on reading until it's just the right time.

      Five Books I Reread In Autumn

      My Five Autumn Rereads

      1. Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
      2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
      3. Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick
      4. Run For Home by Sheila Quigley
      5. The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan

      What type of books do you like to read in Autumn?

      06 September 2018

      Book Review: Killer T by Robert Muchamore

      A clever sci-fi exploring society's reaction to evolving techonology, Killer T by Robert Muchamore is addictive and full of action, an just a little bit scary.

      Killer T by Robert Muchamore coverAdd to Goodreads button
      Harry and Charlie are teenagers whose lives are shaped by a society that's shifting around them. He is a lonely Brit in his first term at a Las Vegas high school. She is an unlikely friend, who gets accused of mixing a batch of explosives that blew up a football player.

      The two of them are drawn together at a time when gene editing technology is starting to explode. With a lab in the garage anyone can beat cancer, enhance their brain to pass exams, or tweak a few genes for that year-round tan and perfect beach body. But in the wrong hands, cheap gene editing is the most deadly weapon in history. Killer T is a synthetic virus with a ninety per-cent mortality rate, and the terrorists who created it want a billion dollars before they'll release a vaccine.

      Terrifying. Romantic. Huge in scope. A story for our times.


      Source: Giveaway

      5 Words: Technology, friendship, adversity, survival, society.

      Going in to this I didn't know much. I knew it was sci-fi and involved a killer virus, but I didn't know much more and didn't really have any expectations except "this will be good" because I loved the Cherub books growing up.

      Right from the start I was impressed. I loved Harry's tenacity and drive, how he knew what he wanted to do and was prepared to go far to get there, even if I didn't actually like him. If that even makes sense. And Charlie, oh Charlie. I love Charlie.

      I didn't expect the timeline of the story to be quite as vast as it was, but I felt that it really worked with the pacing of the story, keeping the action front and centre.

      Killer T quite cleverly explored gene modification, how it would impact society, and even how companies would spin it to make money. The story itself acts almost as a commentary of a consumer driven world, a world where people have short attention spans and are driven by the media they consume.

      This book kind of made me want to start stock-piling coffee and tea just in case. There's just such a sense of urgency, as though this could actually be right around the corner.

      05 September 2018

      Blog Tour: Two Dark Reigns Playlist

      I am thrilled to be sharing a playlist from the author themselves! Some of these tracks relate to certain characters (can you guess who?) and some are just have the right vibe for the boos.

      The Tracklist

      Breath of Life
      Florence + The Machine

      you should see me in a crown
      Billie Eilish

      Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)
      AWOLNATION

      Look What You Made Me Do
      Taylor Swift

      Shake It Out
      Florence + The Machine

      Every Single Night
      Fiona Apple






      Do you listen to music while you read?

      Have you read any of the Three Dark Crowns books?

      Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake coverAdd to Goodreads
      One Crowned, Two Exiled, A Revolution Rising.

      The battle has been fought, blood has been spilt and a queen has been crowned, but not all are happy with the outcome.

      Katharine, the poisoner queen, has been crowned and is trying to ignore the whispers that call her illegitimate, undead, cursed.

      Mirabella and Arsinoe have escaped the island of Fennbirn, but how long before the island calls them back?

      Jules is returning to Fennbirn and has become the unlikely figurehead of a revolution threatening to topple Katharine's already unsteady rule.

      But what good is a revolution if something is wrong with the island itself?

      Kendare Blake's Two Dark Reigns is the heart-stopping third book in the bestselling Three Dark Crowns series. Discover more about Fennbirn and the three queens in the thrilling start to the quartet, Three Dark Crowns, and its sequel One Dark Throne.

      04 September 2018

      Ten Binge-worthy TV Shows

      Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

      Top Ten Tuesday
      This week is Top Ten 
      Bingeworthy TV Shows
      I love watching TV shows, and this is something I've touched upon previously when I talked about the five TV shows I can watch on repeat. Of course they feature in this list too, but with five others to accompany them.
      • Empresses In The Palace
        I absolutely love Empresses in the Palace and I pretty much watch the Netflix edit on repeat. It's six episodes, each an hour and a half, and I rewatch it almost every week. Political intrigue,  murder, feminism, murder, power struggles, murder... I love it.
      • iZombie
        I mean, it has Rose McIver so no other reason is really needed. But if you do need some then it's full of dark humour, pop references, murder, and feminism.
      • Reign
        I'll be honest, it's trash and so far from historically accurate that it's basically fantasy. But also I am Frary trash. And there is political intrigue and power struggles and feminism and murder... So it's 100% me.
      • Nashville
        I am a sucker for country music and power struggles and feminism and oh shoot there I go again. I love Nashville and although it started going a bit downhill at one point, the last season from CMT really pulled it back and was excellent.
      • A Touch of Cloth
        This is a parody of every crime procedural you've ever read, and I love the detail that goes into it. I've seen it so many times that I can quote it and now when I watch it I'm scanning the background for puns and funny signs.
      • Dynasty
        I was fangirling about Nashville with Amy at Golden Books Girl and she recommended that i try Dynasty and oh man, it's excellent. It has that same feminist power-struggle at its core, with added family drama and cheesiness, and it just makes me feel so happy.
      • Vikings
        Oh, hey there feminism and power struggles and murder. What can I say, I have a type. I am trash for Katheryn Winnick, and I love how brutal this series is.
      • Whitechapel
        Maybe not the fourth (and final) series, but Whitechapel has everything I love in a crime drama. It's dark, it's unreliable, and it has the faintest hint of surrealism.
      • How To Get Away With Murder
        I only started watching this three weeks ago, but now I'm all caught up and ready for season five in 24 days. Yes, I'm counting. Obviously it has murder, look at the title, but Annalise and Laurel and Michaela are just so kick ass.
      • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
        It just makes me laugh so much. When I need a quick laugh I put an episode on and accidentally watch a whole series.
      Going to do a special shout-out to the shows I'm currently binging too. I have just started The 100 and I am addicted and completely in love with Octavia. I am continuing with The Vampire Diaries and The Originals after taking a break for a couple years, and now I'm wondering why I stopped watching them at all!

        Have you seen any of these?
        What do you love to binge watch?

        03 September 2018

        Guestpost: How I Started Writing by Faith Bleasdale

        Today I have a fantastic guestport from Faith Bleasdale, author of Secrets at Meadowbrook Manor, talking about how they starting writing. I reviewed A Year at Meadowbrook Manor by Faith Bleasdale earlier this year.

        How I Started Writing by Faith Bleasdale

        I hate to reveal my age, but I started writing in my twenties, and now twenty years later - and a few hiccups I am about to publish my twelfth fiction book - SECRETS AT MEADOWBROOK MANOR. So it seemed like a good time for reflection, to go back and look at how it all began.

        I loved books as a child, I read and read and read. It would be my escape, Enid Blyton was my alternate universe. And when I started school, I discovered a love of writing stories. As my school years progressed and I found that I was pretty terrible at maths and science I would take comfort in my English lessons, handing in stories which were far too long, making my poor English teacher work overtime on marking. To his credit he never stopped me and always encouraged me.

        As a teenager I didn’t write as much, and when I went to Bristol Uni to study History, having fun seemed to be my priority. It was more wine than writing.

        Fast forward to my power dressing years. I moved to London after graduation with the big idea of being a career woman. The problem was that I didn’t know what career I wanted. I tried a few - sales, marketing, advertising and even investment banking. By my early twenties I had a left a trail of destruction. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get fired, often, but I did leave a fair few jobs just before they fired me.

        I despaired over my lack of success, as my friends climbed the career ladder I was sliding down the career snakes. I had to re-evaluate my life.

        Writing. It came back to that. The one thing I was passionate about, the only thing in fact. But being passionate and actually writing a book are two different things. So I took a low stress temping job and started to create my first work of fiction. It took a fair few attempts but after a while I had a completed novel.

        Of course in hindsight that was almost the easy bit. As I sent my shiny novel out to agents and received a huge pile of rejection letters I cried so many times, doubted myself, then got myself a thicker skin and kept going.

        I am a believer in persistence paying off. Eventually I did get an agent, and after more rejection a real life publishing deal. The feeling of getting my first book deal was indescribable and what I knew clearly, was that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

        Twenty fears later, lots of ups and downs, I have stayed with it. The only job that I haven’t quit, the only one I know I’ll never quit. It hasn’t been plain sailing, but I can say, hand on heart that I feel lucky every day to be able to do what I do.

        Secrets at Meadowbrook Manor Blog Tour Banner

        02 September 2018

        Blog Tour: Cold Iron by Miles Cameron

        Cold Iron by Miles Cameron is perfect for fantasy fans. It spins well-done tropes in new way, in a richly written Medieval-ish world that is packed with political intrigue.

        Cold Iron by Miles Cameron coverAdd to Goodreads button
        Aranthur is a student. He showed a little magical talent, is studying at the local academy, and is nothing particularly special. Others are smarter. Others are more talented. Others are quicker to pick up techniques. But none of them are with him when he breaks his journey home for the holidays in an inn. None of them step in to help when a young woman is thrown off a passing stage coach into the deep snow at the side of the road. And none of them are drawn into a fight to protect her.

        One of the others might have realised she was manipulating him all along...

        A powerful story about beginnings, coming of age, and the way choosing to take one step towards violence can lead to a slippery and dangerous slope, this is an accomplished fantasy series driven by strong characters and fast-paced action.


        Source: Blog Tour

        5 Words: Fantasy, control, politics, survival, adventure.

        Cold Iron takes some pretty typical fantasy tropes and spins them fantastically. What I did like about this was that it completely disregarded the usual Chosen One trope and Aranthur just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and had to deal with it. Despite being pretty full of tropes (and they're that for a reason) Cold Iron didn't feel like something I'd read before. The take on them was rather dynamic and different.

        I loved how political this story was. I love books that delve into the intrigue of politics, especially in a fantasy setting, and Cold Iron did this excellently.

        The world is rich and vivid. I could smell the smoke, hear the breeze, see the country before me. The world-building was fantastic, and added in with the politics affecting every aspect it made it all the more real and engaging. There was class system just like in the real world, and I loved the parallels.

        I did struggle a little pacing myself while reading this - but that's because I tend to read in 5-chapter bursts and this book doesn't have chapters. It was actually pretty fast paced, with a lot of action.

        This ended really well. There were enough issues left open to need more of the story, but all loose ends were tied up enough that there's no immediate need for the next book.