Saturday, 12 September 2015

What I Currently Love (August 2015)

Another month, another post about what I love! Seriously, where are the months going? It seems like I did this just yesterday. It's a bit late but here's what I was loving last month! As usual, this was inspired by Erica's blog post.

ONE APP

 I am terrible at drinking enough water and I find it kind of sad that I have to have an app that reminds me to do so, but it is what it is. Sad or not, Aqualert is really helping me to keep on track of the amount of water I should be drinking daily. Since there are a number of health problems that can easily be solved just by being hydrated, it's worth it to install this.



TWO SHOWS

I finally started watching Orphan Black and marathoned the first series in a week. Tatiana Maslany is insanely talented; I completely forget the fact that I'm watching one person play all these characters because she does them all so differently. My favourite is probably Alison for comic value but they're all great. I love it and I need Season 3 now - especially since it won't be too long before the fourth season airs. Come on, Netflix, help a girl out?






If you know me, you know I love detective shows in any capacity, con artists and art heists, and Matthew Bomer. Since it includes all three, White Collar is the perfect show for me. I'm still working my way through it but it's so good. I love the dynamic between Caffrey and Agent Burke and how their friendship develops over the seasons. I'm a sucker for partnerships like theirs.




THREE CHANGES

I am now coblogging with Dana! Which is awesome for so many reasons. Blogging with one of my friends (plus freaky-deaky soul twin from the other side of the world) is not only going to be hella fun, but a good learning experience for me. Dana has been at this blogging game for a while now so I'm learning all the time, and very honoured to be working with her. I'm already loving the plans we're coming up with *restrains self from sharing all the secrets*

Goodbye Republic of Ireland, hello Big Smoke! Today I fly back to London. University starts up again soon (after freshers) and it's my final year, and also my dissertation year. Depending on whether I go on to do a Masters or not, this might be my last time in an educational institution. All that aside, I love school and studying, so I'm looking forward to what this year has to bring. The modules look like very interesting and I'm planning to make the most of my time at Greenwich. 

I know some of you will read this and shake your head, but I'm implementing some big changes to my diet at the moment. I love food. I love all food. But the fact of the matter is that not all food agrees with me and I value being fit and healthy. Which I am not. So I've had to seriously look at what I eat and address whether or not I want to live past fifty. That sounds bleak; it's not like I'm overweight, but I'm not healthy. And at nearly twenty five, I should be in the prime of my life. I want to be!

FOUR FOODS

OKAY, on that note, advanced warning that these may be a little...healthy. 




I honestly thought I would hate Nakd Bars (I am a fussy eater when it comes to fruit) but I love these, especially the Berry Delight one. They're expensive though, which bums me out, since I'm a poor student. Maybe I'll find a recipe for homemade ones!





My usual go to snack is biscuits and when I snack, I mean, I'll eat a whole packet to keep me going. When someone said try eating a handful of nuts as a snack, I was like, yeah, thanks, but no. Still, I tried it and really got into it. I like pistachios a lot and walnuts (they look like brains and they're good for your brain), but I like cashews best. They really hit the spot as an elevenses* snack, with some orange and a cuppa.

*Yes, I am part hobbit and I have several meals in a day. Eat little and often, right? *runs off to have second breakfast*



BEAN BURGERS. Instantly, a large portion of you will gag at this idea but I have the nicest recipe for Mexican bean burgers. Sometimes it's good to have a meat-free dinner every now and then! I made these for my mum (who is actually a vegetarian) and decided to have one myself. I made a whole batch for her so that she could thaw them when I was gone, but I ate nearly all of the stash. They go really well with salad and some sriracha and mayo, though the recipe's condiment suggestion probably works really well too.








I forgot how much I love this soup that my mum makes but I need to remember to make it when I'm back, especially in the cold winter months. FOTATO! Fotato, or Fake-Potato soup, tastes and is thick like a starchy potato soup, but is made from cauliflower so it's super healthy and not overly carby. I know, I know, but bear with me. It's delicious. It fills you up, it's rich and yummy, but it's good for you. I'm a massive advocate in healthy foods tasting good. Because no one likes to eat rabbit food and it taste like rabbit food.

I'd share it with you but it's a secret recipe soooo...sorry.




FIVE SONGS


Wildest Dreams was one of my favourite songs on 1989 but I was really surprised Swift released it as a single. I prefer her softer tracks that harken back to her older albums (Red still remains my favourite though). Got to love the video for this one too. Or should I say, got to love Scott Eastwood looking all broody and chiselled on the African plains.










I continue to be obsessed with Talking Is Hard. I'm the kind of person that finds an album they like and listens to it forever or until I'm sick of it. It's my summer album I think, since I've listened to little else. It is heavily inspiring me to write a contemporary romance too. I KNOW - the very genre I am so critical of. This is what they do to me.




Troye Sivan has such a beautiful voice and this song. So pretty.






Got directed to Halsey through someone on Twitter who kept tweeting her lyrics and I ended up looking her up because HELLO, BEAUTIFUL WRITING, and started listening to Badlands. Love the sound of the whole album but Castle has been a big inspiration towards something I'm writing at the moment.












Lean On has been a persistent song this summer but besides that, it's a good gym track and I find myself listening to it a lot as I work out. I am so mainstream I know.








Do you love any of these right now? Lemme know!



Friday, 11 September 2015

Leibster Award Tag!

Kel at A Teen's Life nominated me for the Leibster Award! Thanks Kel!
Here are the rules for the award.
leibsteraward2
liebsterawards


1. What is your favorite book and why?

Like most readers, I have a few! I always think this is an unfair question for a reader/writer because I have so many and for different reasons, moods and occasions. One is Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie; I reread it probably once a year, and even though I know the mystery by heart, I still love it. Another would definitely be Graceling by Kristen Cashore. 

2. What was your favorite book when you were a little kid?

My mum used to read Enid Blyton's Folk of the Faraway Tree to me, and I loved them.

3. Who are a few of your favorite characters and which books are they from?

Why is it when I have to answer questions like this I go blank? I've always loved Katsa from Graceling. I think she was one of the first characters I kind of consciously viewed as a 'strong' heroine in YA and I love that story a lot. But I genuinely have so many, I couldn't name them all. 

4. Where did you find the original inspiration for the last story you wrote or your WIP (work in progress)?

I get a lot of inspiration from dreams, which sounds corny but it's true. We were reading The Thought Fox by Ted Hughes in class, and I dreamed about a fox girl who said she was a kitsune. That portion of the dream lasted all of a few seconds, but I woke up, wrote it down and went on with my life. I kept thinking about kitsunes though and ended up researching them, which lead to the story I'm now working on. I am also working on a story with my really good friend Dana and I don't really know how the inspiration for that came about other than we both said we love boarding school stories and I said, let's do it. So we did.

5. In books, do you usually like the villain better than the protagonist, or the protagonist better than the villain?

I always like the villain best, especially if they're a villain who becomes a protagonist. There always just seems to be more potential for growth and development. Why did they take this path? What redeems them? People are more interesting if they're flawed. I also love the chance to see them redeem themselves, but it's also really interesting if they don't.

6. What is one of your favorite memories? 

A lot of them are with my family, holding brothers and sisters for the first time. Maybe rocking my brother Benny to sleep, because he'd only settle for me. Or the day my mum wrenched open a train door, because I was trapped inside and she was on the platform. She threw hot chocolate all over us and we had to buy new clothes. Pretty funny!

7. If you met a stranger on the street and they handed you a heavy black briefcase and whispered “You know what to do,” how would you react? 

I'd like to think that'd be super cool, but I'd probably be responsible and take it to a police station. I'd definitely take a look inside first though, because I am way too curious. 

8. What are a few of your favorite songs at the moment?

I'm just gonna go with the entire Walk The Moon Talking Is Hard album. And The Civil Wars.

9. Would you be the one pulling the prank, or the one getting pranked? 
I am the Prank Queen.

10. In your group of friends, which friend are you (the quiet one, the outgoing one, the crazy one, the smart one, the friendly one, etc…)

I'm not sure. I guess I've always been either the smart one or the one that mothers everyone, with a good dash of the funny one tossed in. 

11. What is your favorite season and why?

Winter. My birthday, Christmas, long evenings, warm fires, hot drinks, curling up with a book, snow...bring on December!



Now I have to give you 11 facts about myself, which is always the hardest part:

  • I was named after my mum's best friend when she was a kid.
  • My favourite biscuits are digestives or any kind or Oreos.
  • I am a junior editor at indie publisher Patchwork Press. 
  • I'm the oldest of eight kids. For real. EIGHT.
  • I'm obsessed with detectives. I will watch any detective show. I will read any detective book. I sometimes kind of actually want to be a detective more than I want to work in publishing.
  • I'm a Capricorn. *makes goat noises*
  • I love cooking and baking an insane amount. I'm always in the kitchen. And if you haven't met me in person, you can guarantee that I will try to win your friendship with baked goods. Ask any of my IRL friends. They only want me for my cookies. 
  • I would like to marry Tom Hiddleston. If that's okay with him of course.
  • I might be British but I actually don't drink tea. Mostly because when you can't have milk, you have to have almond milk or soya and they make tea taste like cack so I just avoid it all together. I usually drink peppermint or some other herbal/fruit tea.
  • My top three animated Disney movies (in NPO) are Basil the Great Mouse Detective, Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Aaaaand because I got stuck and asked for help, Dana suggested I put that I love her as my final fact. Since it's true, I will.

I'm supposed to ask eleven questions for the bloggers I nominate, but truth is I really don't know anyone with a blog that has less than 200 followers (that Kel didn't already nominate that is). So I'll put eleven questions and if you have a small blog following then please feel free to do this and consider yourself tagged!

  1. Do you have any irrational fears?
  2. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
  3. Do you like stationery? If not, we cannot be friends.
  4. Pick a fictional detective to partner.
  5. You're stuck in a book - which one?
  6. I have transformed you into a food item. What are you?
  7. What is one of your best qualities?
  8. I've just hired you to work at my super awesome multi-billion dollar company. What position have you filled?
  9. Quote me some Shakespeare that you like.
  10. What one Disney movie will you absolutely insist your kids watch?
  11. Do you love Dana?

Best of luck!


Sunday, 6 September 2015

The One Lovely Blog Award

Well howdy! I was nominated for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD, by SJ Bouquet (not Bucket) over at A Tree Grows In Bookland!



This is my first nomination for this and I think it's a really sweet idea. So thank you for thinking of me and my blog SJ! You guys should check SJ out if you haven't already. If she hadn't nominated me, I'd be doing the same for A Tree Grows In Bookland because it's ones of my faves.



Here's the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks again!
2. List rules and display the award.
3. Give seven facts.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and notify them.
5. Follow the blogger who nominated you.

Without further ado, here's seven random facts about me:

1. My first crush was legitimately Basil the Great Mouse Detective.


2. For the longest time, my life's ambition was to be a Captain in Star Fleet. Still holding out hope that Star Fleet becomes a thing and they let me in with asthma.


3. I have never broken a bone *waits for universe to come for me*


4. I now coblog with Dana who is my Transatlantic twin. We shared a dragon egg and we're basically an unstoppable super power.



5. I am allergic to dairy but my favourite food is pizza. There is no justice in this world.



6. My favourite animals are wolves, owls and foxes :3
7. I cannot stand to be serenaded. It genuinely makes me feel very uncomfortable. I didn't like it anyway but the condition was aggravated by an ex boyfriend and a scary rendition of Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You.



And now to nominate some fellow bloggers!

Ivey (aka The Queen) @ The Hopeless Reader



So, what do you think of my seven random facts? These kind of posts take me forever!




Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blog Tour Stop: FROST by E. Latimer (Giveaway + Interview!)


I'm super excited to be part of the blog tour for Frost! Without gushing about it endlessly, Frost was the first story I read on Wattpad (which in turn, through a long series of events, led me to Patchwork Press) and I fell in love with the story and E. Latimer's writing! It's been such a privilege to watch this become a book and I'm really happy to have the chance to interview Erin about it. If you've not got yourself a copy, you really should!

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Title: Frost 
Author: E. Latimer
Publication Date: August 25th 2015 
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Genre: YA, fantasy
Format: Paperback, eBook
Read if you liked:
Rating: Check here

Synopsis: 


Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying. 

When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fueled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ragnorak, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her. 

Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.   

Amazon | Kobo | Apple |

INTERVIEW


I love interviewing authors but I'm always conscious that I'm asking the same questions that they hear all the time. So, Erin and I decided it'd be fun to do a GIF reaction interview to shake it up a bit! Hope you enjoy the answers as much as I do - I laughed so hard when I got the email! There's also a giveaway at the bottom of this post...make sure to enter :)

1. How do you feel about Frost finally being a published novel?







2. What did it feel like rewriting and editing the original Wattpad novel to make it ready for publishing?




3. Your reaction to the cover when you saw it for the first time?





4. A gif to sum up the relationship between you and your fanbase?



Just kidding, more like:



5. Your writing process?





6. Your relationship between you and your writing circle?



7. You and your novel?






8. Use a GIF to summarise these major characters in Frost.

Megan:


Loki:

Charlotte:


Barbie Group:

Leif:

Queen Eira:





9. A GIF for when Megan at the start of the novel?






10. For how she feels when she finds out she's half frost giant?






11. The relationship between her and Loki?






12. Megan's frame of mind at then end of the novel



Thanks Erin for answering these!


Erin Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer who currently resides in Vancouver, BC. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing with the YA Word nerds, and reads excessively. She has had an article featured in Chicken Soup For the Soul, and another in the Dear Teen Me online anthology. But mostly she writes about murderous queens and the magical teens who fight them. You can find her online at elatimer.com/







Tuesday, 1 September 2015

IT'S MY ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! (Giveaway)

I'll make this one real quick, but today marks the anniversary of this blog! 



It's crazy that I've been in the book blogging community for a year already; I've made so many great friends (Dana and Steph to name a couple) who have helped me out so much this past year and I've read some fantastic books too. I'm really excited to see where this journey will continue to take me.

On that note, I have a super secret announcement coming soon. Can't wait to share it with you!

And lastly, I want to celebrate my blogiversary with a little giveaway!




Today (Sept 1st) is also the release date for some crazy brilliant titles, and I'm giving away one of your choice! You can choose, if you win, from the following books:


It's an international giveaway too, so long as Book Depository delivers to your country! The giveaway ends at the start of next month :)



a Rafflecopter giveaway