Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Coveted Cover: Stolen

Stolen by Lucy Christopher 
I am very lucky to count Lucy as one of my friends and I love both her and her amazing book. If you haven't read it then you must. She is called a "vivid new voice for teens" for a reason.

I love the cover of Stolen, and the back with it's winding snake. The cover reflects the dark story, the Australian desert and the fragility of the characters. Stolen is a beautiful book with an equally beautiful cover.

You can find Stolen both in your bookshop and on Amazon and I recommend you read it as soon as possible. To tempt you even more, here is a little peak at how good it is.

From Amazon:
Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in th planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Page Turners: A Tale Dark and Grimm

I am currently reading:
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
I am currently reading this for Mostly Reading YA, it's not very long so it probably takes about a day to read if you set aside the time, maybe not even that. I like the cover for this but I really hate covers with quotes on, it just spoils the art for me and I've had bad experiences with quotes ruining the plot of a book before so it irks me. Anyway I will update the blog when my review is up!

From Goodreads:
"In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after. "

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday Catch Up

Is it really that time again? The days fly by so quickly when you're busy.
Image from: Alanoo7
I live here. I can even see my house in this picture, just. When I walk to the shops, I walk along this beach! This is possibly the best place I've ever lived, even better than Scotland, Essex or Somerset. And yes, even better than the tropical Philippines. I just wanted to share how gorgeous my new home-town is.

I made sure to get all my copywriting work done by Friday so that I could have two days off this weekend. This never happens. I often don't have days off and instead just arrange to do things around work. So it's been lovely to not have to do any work and instead focus on doing fun things! That's right, even though I work from home I do not always get days off. As a freelancer you only get paid for the work that you do, the more work you do the more money you get. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a few days off so you can buy that lovely new fridge/freezer or simply so you can afford to have a nice Christmas.

Brave, the rat, is improving slowly and we got her a separate cage because her sisters kept picking on her. She had a nasty bite on her front leg thanks to one of them, but is doing fine now. She still has rubbish balance and falls over when she cleans herself, and we have to give her squishy food or else she can't really eat it properly but otherwise she's okay and she has improved over the week. She now responds to her name again and explores more when you get her out of the cage. I think she appreciates her solitude because she can sleep without being disturbed and there is no one trying to nick her treats. We get her out a lot everyday so she won't get bored or lonely and she still sees her sisters every now and then because I'll get one of them out at the same time to play on the sofa.

We have hot water and heating everywhere in the house now, which is such luxury! I tried to sort out the bathroom yesterday but cannot for the life of me get the side panel back on the bath. But we will get there. We also rearranged our bedroom to get the most floor space which is fantastic. It's still terrible untidy thanks to the mountain of clothes we have in one corner that I need to sort though, and mostly chuck. But I now have the DVD/VHS player set up so I can watch films in bed if I'm bored or feeling ill or whatever. I'm going to get the desk sorted out soon too so I can have an office space to work in rather than sitting on our broken sofa in front of the TV.

In writing news I am only 4529 words away from the end of NaNoWriMo! Although I don't feel like I'm quite near the end of the novel yet. If I go over 53531 then it will be longer than my first novel which I wrote during my Masters degree, of which only 40K could be submitted for marking.

I have also finished reading Arcadia Awakens and will be writing my review of it soon. Once it's up I will link to it here on the blog so you can read it and see what I thought!

Hope you're all having lovely weekends too!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Something For The Weekend

Something to do:
With Christmas fast approaching and people already gripped by shopping fever, why not be inspired to make some lovely, personal gifts instead?

Something to read:
Fishbones is a fantastic webcomic about teenagers, life and the mafia.

Something to watch:
Frozen Planet
I love nature documentaries like this and I've been catching up with iPlayer because I missed the first couple of episodes. My boyfriend loves penguins and I love polar bears so this please us both, although my boyfriend does get quite upset if a penguin gets eaten or otherwise comes to a sticky end. 

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough and from the award-winning team behind Planet Earth & Blue Planet comes the ultimate portrait of the earth's Polar regions.
The Arctic and Antarctic remain the greatest wildernesses on Earth. The scale and beauty of the scenery and the sheer power of the elements – the weather, the ocean and the ice – is unmatched anywhere else on our planet. Yet these harsh environments are teeming with life: home to iconic animals from polar bears to emperor penguins and from killer whales to wandering albatrosses.
Using the latest camera technology to film on land, from the air, underwater and below the ice caps, Frozen Planet follows their fascinating lives throughout the seasons as they struggle to survive. With spectacular polar landscapes and amazing animal behaviour, often filmed for the first time, it captures the drama of an extreme natural world.
With both Poles under grave threat from climate change, this extraordinary series may be the last chance to witness these great wildernesses before they change forever. (from Amazon)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Friday Fashion

Okay so tomorrow I'm going to be buying dye to turn my hair back to the awesome bright red-like-a-letterbox colour it used to be about two years ago. I am also going to treat myself to some lovely heated hair rollers or a curling iron at some point so I can have big curly hair every now and then like I used to do as a teenager.

I swear I am not regressing. In fact I don't think I ever matured beyond about eighteen. I just pay bills now.

The point of the picture? If I could have hair like Brave's Merida (from Pixar and out in 2012) then I totally would. But sadly that's not really possible. But a girl can dream right?

In other fashionable news I am finding most high street shops amazingly drab right now. I went into a few last week and was thoroughly disappointed by the lack of interesting clothing, and displays for that matter. All I want are awesome clothes, is that really too much to ask? I really need to chuck out nearly all of my clothes because everything is either worn out and sad looking or doesn't fit right. I have too many pairs of jeans that fall down, so I spend most of my time in skirts, shorts and leggings.

I do however really want these:
There's many more but I won't flood you. These can be found at Forever21!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thursday Thought


 "Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life."

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Coveted Cover: The Spook's Apprentice

The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
A few days ago I mention that I loved the old covers for The Wardstone Chronicles, so I thought I would feature them. This is what half of my copies look like and the rest have the new covers. I adore this version, I love the faux leather look and the embossed, almost glowing, writing. The books are written as the diary of the main character, Tom, and I think this makes it look more like a diary. Whereas this is what the new cover looks like:

I think it looks like a novel rather than a personal diary. It's still a great cover, still attractive and it probably is more attractive to potential readers. But the old covers will always have a special place in my heart.

A Little Update

Some new lovely review books arrived yesterday, I now have a stack of twelve!

Aren't they pretty? Pod and The Demon's Watch are proof covers. I can't wait to get stuck into them but I must finish Arcadia Awakens first!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Page Turners: Arcadia Awakens

At the moment I am reading:
Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
My copy doesn't have this cover because it's a proof copy sent to me by Templar to review for Most Reading YA. But I have to say that I think this cover is amazing. The UK hardback cover  is equally awesome. See below:

They're both so vivid and striking and very good at summing up the story in a clear image. They do exactly what a cover should do. I am tempted to also feature them as Coveted Covers, but I won't do that to you and will have to seek out something else. But if my book was published and this is the kind of cover they gave it, I would be thrilled!

Arcadia Awakens is out in the UK and US in February/March 2012

From Goodreads:

"To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her.
 Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.
 Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love…or run as far and as fast as she can."

Monday, 21 November 2011

Listen To This: Radical Face

Radical Face - Welcome Home

I first heard this song on an advert for Nikon and I loved it. It took a while for my boyfriend to track it down but we found it in the end and still love it now. I don't know what to say about it apart from it's beautiful, so just listen to it.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sunday Catch Up

Well it's that time again! This week I've mostly been having to deal with waking up at eight in the morning because the plumber is going to be around for the next couple of weeks installing a new boiler and heating system, which also means no hot water. Oh joy of joys! I am not used to waking up this early, I'm a writing at night kind of girl and I love my bed, it's so cosy.

As well as that one of my pet rats, Brave, has been unwell, she is improving slowly. I went to bed and she was her usual silly self and got up to find her being bullied by one of her sisters, being lethargic and she simply wanted to spend her time sleeping. She's now more active again and enjoying running around on the floor but she can't grip very well with her front paws. But other than that she appears to be perfectly happy and that's what's important. It makes me so sad that little pets have such short lives though, this whole thing just makes me so depressed because one day I'm going to get up to find that one of the rats or one of the gerbils has died. I've warned my boyfriend that I will have to have at least a day of mourning for them. He said he would need that too. They're our little family.

Brave fell asleep next to me on the sofa.
In other, less depressing news, the boyfriend has treated himself to the newest Zelda game, Skyward Sword, which he is playing as I type, and the newest Mario game for 3DS so he's a happy bunny at the moment. I treated myself to Sims 3 Pets which crashes on me so often that it's not even funny, but apparently it's happening to a lot of people so at least I'm not alone.

I have also started writing review for Mostly Reading YA and I have a stack of seven books to read!

They're all gorgeous and I'm very excited to get my teeth into them. I will also update the blog as and when I have a review posted up.

Oh and I also broke the 38K mark on NaNoWriMo!

So that's all really for this week!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Something For The Weekend

Something to do:

Something to read:

Something to watch:
The Science of Sleep
The Science of Sleep is another of my all time favourite films. It's kind of weird and I have some friends who don't get it at all. It is all about dreams and blurring reality, and I haven't seen another film portray that weird feeling you have when dreaming so well. It's French too and the characters go between English, French and Spanish but of course there are subtitles. I just think it's amazing, I love Stéphane and Stéphanie. Also, strangely this isn't a film set in Paris that makes me want to go to Paris (unlike Amelie which makes everyone long for twisting, romantic, old-fashioned Paris back streets), this makes Paris look quite average as it would to anyone who really lived there. But that might just be me. Also, the DVD is only £2.99 from Amazon so even you end up hating it, it's not like it cost you very much to give it a go!

The Science of Sleep concerns the flirtations and misunderstandings of Stéphane (played by Gael García Bernal), an aspiring visual artist, and Stéphanie (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg), his Parisian neighbour who creates whimsical sculptures from cotton balls and felt. As Stéphane toils in a caustic office for a company that makes calendars, he retreats into his dreams and finds them increasingly hard to distinguish from reality, and vice-versa. (from Amazon)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Fashion

Okay, I love leggings and always have. But no, I do not wear them as trousers unless they're thick and I'm wearing a long top. I don't want people in the street seeing my panties. If you want to wear leggings all the time and instead of trousers, at least make sure they're thick enough for bending about and be prepared to pay a little more. Thicker leggings tend to be more pricey, really pretty leggings tend to be more pricey, and...well clothes in general tend to be more pricey if they're good quality and not being made in a sweatshop. They'll often last longer too.

These are awesome leggings. I adore Nordic style anything, but sadly at time of posting these particular leggings are out of stock. I would love to find some that are even thicker, to be extra cosy. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for a similar pair like these bad boys so I can clad my legs in Christmas cheer this winter!

Also check out: for more gorgeous leggings!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thursday Thought

It's true!

"Becoming the reader is the essence of becoming a writer."
John O'Hara

"Read a lot, finding out what kind of writing turns you on, in order to develop a criterion for your own writing. And then trust it—and yourself."
Rosemary Daniell 

"If you would be a writer, first be a reader. Only through the assimilation of ideas, thoughts and philosophies can one begin to focus his own ideas, thoughts and philosophies."
Allan W. Eckert

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Coveted Cover: Solanin

Solanin by Asano Inio

Solanin is my favourite manga, I've read it so many times but every time I laugh and cry as if it's the first time. It also has one of my favourite covers. This is a thick manga about the struggles of finding your place in the world, about trying to get through that awkward stage when you've left university and you don't know what to do next, but you know for sure that you don't want to wake up one day and be a boring adult like everyone else. It's about relationships, friends and dreams. I think that the cover fits it perfectly. This is the cover for both books, the covers for the two French books can be seen below, which I think are gorgeous too.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Hunger Games - Full Trailer

The Hunger Games

So, how excited are you? I still need to finish the series (the other two books are waiting patiently on my bedside table) but I am looking forward to the film. If I'm honest the first book didn't blow me away. I like it but I felt it had quite a few flaws. But that's not to say I didn't enjoy it! Either way I suggest reading the book before you see the film because films never managed to get everything in. 

Page Turners: The Spook's Sacrifice

At the moment I am reading: 
The Spook's Sacrifice by Joseph Delaney

I love The Wardstone Chronicles. It is a dark fantasy series that I started reading them back in 2005 but lost touch when I went to university. The most annoying thing for me is that since I started reading them again they've changed the covers so I can't have the gorgeous, simple, embossed looking covers, instead I have this new kind. I'm not a happy bunny as it means the books don't match but I've had to suck it up. The story inside is still as great as ever.

If you haven't tried The Wardstone Chronicles already then I recommend that you do! Check out the website to read an extract.

From the first book:
"For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from evil. Now his time is coming to an end, but who will take over? Many apprentices have tried... Some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Just one boy is left. Thomas Ward. He is the last hope. "

Monday, 14 November 2011

Listen To This: Röyksopp

Röyksopp - What Else Is There?

Röyksopp are one of those bands where I love one song and nothing else, which is always very disappointing. But that's no reason to not tell others about them. I've listen to this song a lot and it features in the playlist for my second novel, so give it a listen and see what you thing! I'm hoping that I'll find other songs of there's that I'll love too, so if you can think of any then let me know!

Röyksopp are a Norwegian electronic music duo, formed of two friends, and have been around since 1998.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Catch Up

Well I am writing this on Saturday night because tomorrow my parents are coming to see me and give me a nice dining table. At the moment we eat on our laps which, if you are as messy an eater as me, you will know is a total pain. My boyfriend also has long hair, longer than mine by a good few inches, and I can't help but watch in fear that he might dip his hair in his food or something. No one wants hair soup. So, my Mum found us a table that folds down for just £15 at a church charity shop. 

In other news I have finished my masters and received my feedback. Feedback is one of those lovely but equally annoying things because you really want to read it but at the same time you're dreading it. Especially if you're like me and tend to think that your work is either amazing or the worst thing to ever crawl out of a gutter.  With my first novel I'm currently waning on the gutter side of things. But the feedback was surprisingly positive, aside from a few negatives I'm already well aware of. The most funny/annoying thing about feedback is when you have two markers and one says they don't like something while the other says they do like it. That happens a lot, and if it happens to you, don't worry about it. I always suggest going with your gut because no one knows your story and your characters like you do, but that's a subject for another blog post.

In-between rearranging the furniture in our front room, putting together a new chair and footstool, dragging the broken chair down from upstairs and hiding it's sins under a throw and avoiding tidying our bedroom, which looks as if a clothes bomb went off in there and I'm not even joking, I have been re-reading and continuing with my second novel. I am doing this for NaNoWriMo because it's good motivation. This isn't really my second novel though, technically I started it way before my first novel, nearly three years ago, but never mind.

When I haven't been writing, I've been writing. I write around 6,000 words a week for an advertising company, which is also my first proper, paid, writing job. So yes, my time is generally spent writing, reading, drawing, watching TV, eating, sleeping and writing some more! I wouldn't want to do anything else.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Something For The Weekend

Something to eat:
Zesty Vegetable Stirfry
Recipie from The Resourceful Cook
I made this meal yesterday for myself and my fiancé and it is so yummy! I would suggest making double of the sauce as we both felt it could have been even yummier with more zestiness. As vegetarians we have lots of vegetables in the fridge, but even if you're not a veggie this is a great and yummy way to both use up vegetables and eat something really good for you!

Something to read:
and a really gorgeous Tumblr full of love for the written word called:

Something to watch:

Paprika is one of my absolute favourite films and most of the soundtrack, bar one or two obscure songs, feature in the writing soundtrack for my second novel. I highly recommend watching the film, especially if you like weird, arty films, anime or just awesome films like I do. The blu-ray is only £6.49 on Amazon, and the DVD is only £3.97. How can you say no to that?

Spoilers below!
"Based on a novel by the noted Japanese science fiction writer Yasutaka Tsutui, the brilliant and unsettling feature Paprika continues director Satoshi Kon's exploration of the disturbingly permeable boundaries between dreams and reality. Techno-geek Kosaku Tokita invented the DC Mini to allow therapists to enter a patient's dreams and explore his unconscious, but an evil cabal uses the Mini to create a mass nightmare that causes multiple suicides. Psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba uses her alter-identity, "dream detective" Paprika, to intervene. Entering the nightmare, she witness a bizarre parade of appliances, toys, and kitsch objects: all of her intelligence and imagination are needed to escape this nightmare and its perpetrators. As he did in Millennium Actress and Paranoia Agent, Kon effortlessly carries the audience between reality and fantasy, confirming his reputation as one of the most talented and interesting directors working in animation today." (from Amazon)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday Fashion

Scene and Believed dress from ModCloth
I can't get over how gorgeous this dress is! A vibrant, blossom covered countryside scene, defined belted waist and a charming Chelsea collar make for a truly stunning dress. Paired with the right shoes, I suggest blue to go with the sky or brown to tone things down and keep all the focus on the dress, and you're good to go! I love to put a twist on things and because this is such a girly dress I would also be tempted to wear it with a nice pair of boyish ankle boots to add a hard edge.

If you want to see the rest of designer Bernie Dexter's range check it out here at Modcloth.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thursday Thought

Image belongs to: m0thyku

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you"
Maya Angelou

New beginnings

Hiya! That's me up there, and this is my first post on my lovely new blog. I'm Molly, I'm twenty-three years old, I write fiction for teenagers and I also pay my bills by working as a freelance copywriter. I've spent the last four years in Bath studying first for a BA in Creative Writing and then an MA in Writing for Young People. 

I now live in Kent with my fiancé, in a big house that we share with his Dad and Granny who live on the first floor and in the basement of the house, while we have the second and third floor to ourselves.

At the moment I am working on polishing up my piece for the MA Writing for Young People anthology "Writes of Passage", I also take care of the website and twitter for the anthology. The piece entering the anthology is an extract from my first novel. In my spare time I am also working on rewriting and finishing my second novel. I haven't got a publisher...yet.

My blog will feature:
Writing about my life and my work
What I am reading, have just read or hope to read next
Coveted covers
and other fun stuff too!

I plan to update with something new everyday so keep checking back!
If you have any questions then drop by my inbox.

Molly x

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