Friday, 30 March 2012


It's Bloggiesta this weekend!
Friday, Satuday and Sunday I will:
Brush up my SEO skills.
Create a new page listing the books I've read so far this year and a page for last year.
A page dedicated to archiving my reviews so it's easier for you guys to find them.
Copy reviews over to Goodreads and Amazon.
Update links.
Sort out my website.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thursday Thought

Ernest Hemingway

Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.
- Stephen King

Dreaming in public is an important part of our job description. - William Gibson

Anyone who says he wants to be a writer and isn’t writing, doesn’t. - Ernest Hemingway

Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard. - David McCullough

Quotes are courtesy of Advice To Writers.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Review: The Emerald Atlas

Read my full review of The Emerald Atlas: The Books of Beginning at Mostly Reading YA
My rating: 5/5
The Emerald Atlas looks like an exciting adventure-fantasy book, and it doesn’t disappoint. Sure, the concept is nothing new. Three siblings, an orphanage, dwarves, a magic book, parallel worlds, wizards and all that, but although there are a lot of familiar things in the book that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great read and still original...

Coveted Cover: Womanthology

Womanthology: Heroic
Isn't this cover just stunning? It makes me want to read it right away without any knowledge as to what is in it's pages. I know it's an anthology of comics but I don't know anything else. That's the sign of a good cover.

From Goodreads:
Womanthology is a large scale anthology comic showcasing the works of women in comics. It is created entirely by over 150 women of all experience levels. The purpose of the book is to show support for female creators in comics and media. There are multiple short stories, "how to"s & interviews with professionals, and features showcasing iconic female comic creators that have passed, such as Nell Brinkley and Tarpe Mills. A Kids & Teens section is also included, showcasing their work, and offering tips & tricks to help them prepare themselves for their future careers in comics.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Page Turners: 0.4

I am currently reading:
0.4 by Mike Lancaster
From Amazon:
It's a brave new world. 'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.' So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on to old audio tapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax. But perhaps they contain the history of a past world...If what the tapes say are true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie. And if everything we know is a lie does that mean that we are, too?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunday Catch Up

Image from
So this week has seen me doing lots of work because the company I usually work for are adding new pages to one of their websites so I had to write lots of extra content for them. So that's kept me busy! I also added the illustrations to the Writes of Passage Anthology website, so you can check those out if you like.

Image from
Aside from that it's been very average. My fiancé and I have been trying to work out how many people we can afford to invite to our wedding, which is not fun. We also bought our Easter eggs and some bits to make up the Easter table. It's a traditional thing from when I was a kid. My family is Catholic and so religious celebrations are celebrated properly with church, a nice decorated table and a meal. I do not consider myself Catholic but I still like the tradition of having a sort of mini party. Any excuse to decorate and make things look pretty!

Image from
I also made some yummy food this week, when I was being lazy. We ate out twice this week and I had a takeaway one evening while my fiancé was a work. Very naughty, but very yummy.

These are the places we ate at:
Prezzo (Italian)

Chiquito (Mexican)

This is where I went for takeaway:
I think it's had a make over since this photo was taken, but it's the only one I could find. I had vegetarian pad Thai and veggie tempura

and this is some of the things I actually cooked!:
Vegetarian Lasagna
This was very yummy, but I didn't like the white sauce very much so didn't use a lot of it. I also used different veg because aubergines are disgusting.

This is much less special but Quorn have brought out some new things. These as stick chilli Quorn fillets and they are very yummy. We had ours with potato waffles because we're classy like that.

Last week we treated ourselves to two new coffee cups, aren't they cute? My fiancé decided we had to drink special coffee from them on their first use.

And that is all for now! Hope you enjoyed your weekends.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Something For The Weekend

Something to listen to:
Image from
I've been listening to audio-books while I do my work recently, it makes it less monotonous when you spend five hours writing about loans and I've never liked working in silence. I've always lived in a busy house so I find it strange to do work without near constant chatter in the background.

I found some very good, free audio-books online through Books Should Be Free. It can be a little hit or miss because not all of the books have the same reader all the way through but as long as you don't mind that then it's not an issue. It reminds me of reading aloud at school when everyone took turns. Their books mostly come from Librivox so check them out too. Another great website is Audible but you do have to pay, there is however a free trial. The reason why these books are free is that they are now in the public domain for one reason or another, just check to make sure it applies to your country because sometimes what is free in the US is not free in the UK.

Something to do:
Image from College Fashion
If you love plants like I do but live in a small flat/apartment or simply in a house without a garden then check out some great tips and suggestions for small space friendly plants and see what you could grow!

Something to read:
Writes of Passage Anthology 2012
Check out Writes of Passage, the anthology for my masters course. It features everyone's writing and was edited by us. I sort out the website and twitter. You can now not just read out writing but also see the lovely illustrations that the art department did for us, and a few that were down by the writers themselves. It isn't available to buy or anything like that, it is sent to publishers and agents, so if you want to have a look at it do it now, while you still can.

Review: POD

Read my full review of POD by Stephen Wallenfels at Mostly Reading YA
My rating: 4/5
POD follows fifteen year old Will who is stuck in his house with his OCD dad and twelve year old Megs who is alone, trapped in the multi-storey car park of a hotel that has been taken over by dangerous security staff. Aliens have invaded and no one can go outside because if they do, they’re zapped. But the real enemy is the people who will do anything to survive...

Friday, 23 March 2012

Feature Friday: Travel

I've been watching The Hairy Biker's Bakeathon recently because 
1. It's about baking yummy things
2. I find the guys funny and I like how cuddly they look and 
3. They're travelling around Europe and I want to travel more.

So I thought I'd chat a bit about travelling! I have lived in England, The Philippines and Scotland, but I've also visited Wales, Ireland, The Netherlands, France and Malaysia. Hopefully the boy and I will be going to Belgium next year for our honeymoon and I hope that one day I'll get to visit South-east Asia again, namely South Korea, China and Japan., and I also want to see more of Europe. My fiancé isn't much of a traveller but luckily I have friends who I am sure would be happy to join me if he really didn't want to go.

A few places I would really love to go one day:

The Netherlands - Amsterdam (again)

France - Paris



South Korea

Japan - Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido

So just a few places...

The nice thing is that I would like to go to these places not just to visit but also in many cases as a chance to do research for future stories. Currently I just can't afford to travel so I have to research mostly online or by talking to people, but I'd like to experience things for myself. Travelling can be so much fun, if you don't let the stress get to you. 

My favourite memories from travelling are:
My first time on a plane when I was ten, we had the entire Business Section to ourselves and I was allowed to go into the cockpit.
Arriving in The Philippines and being overwhelmed by how hot and noisy Manila was.
Going to Malaysia for Christmas, riding horses on the beach and holding hands with a baby Orangutan.
Going to Baguio in The Philippines for the Millennium and seeing the huge lion carved into the mountain side.
Dutch coffee and Amsterdam's coffee shops.
Buying Tintin and Asterik's in French while in Brittany.
Going to Dublin Zoo and having it practically to ourselves.
Camping in The Forest of Dean.
Taming wild rabbits in the Lake District until they would let me feed them.
Swimming in a clear blue ocean.
White sand beaches.
Black sand beaches.
Drinking out of coconuts.
Stroking a water buffalo.
Seeing wild fruit bats and wild monkeys.


What about you? Where do you want to go, what do you want to do?

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Thursday Thought

 “It is impossible to discourage the real writers—they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.” - Sinclair Lewis

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Anthology Update

You can now see the lovely illustrations that will be in the Writes of Passage Anthology as well as read extracts from people's novels and generally be nosy. So go check it out!

This is the colour version of my illustration, which I drew myself:
Click on it to see a larger version.

Coveted Cover: After The Snow

After The Snow by S. D. Crockett
I love both covers for this book, but I have the one on the left. The story itself sounds interesting from the blurb but I've read a lot of reviews have problems regarding the use of slang/dialect, some people found it hard to believe Willo's age because of it, apparently it loses momentum for a long time in the middle and some weird stuff happens in the story, like there are cannibals, meaning that some people found the plot too hard to believe, with some also disliking the post-apocalyptic/dystopian turn that it takes.

So it'll be interesting to see what I think!

From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone. 
But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Page Turners: Bad Machinery

I am still reading The Emerald Atlas, I planned to be finished by now but then things happened, as they tend to do. So, here's another recommendation!

Bad Machinery
Bad Machinery is the son of Scarey Go Round, which is the son of Bobbins, by John Allison and is about three schoolgirl sleuths and three schoolboy investigators who all attend Griswalds Grammar School in Keane End, Tackleford, West Yorkshire. The students aren't exactly enemies but thanks to a mixture of pride, mistrust and pig-headedness they aren't exactly friends either and are always crossing purposes.

Tackleford is a medium sized West Yorkshire city that has a long history of mystery. It's a hotbed of problems, isues, manifestations, bad deeds, schemes and trouble. Griswalds Grammar School is in the leafy suburbs.

I only discovered Bad Machinery the other day, thanks to Tumblr, so if you're new to it then you can check out the cast here before you take the plunge, and once you're ready you can start reading about this varied cast of amateur detectives.

Here's the page that got me to read the rest:

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday Catch Up

I'm having a hard time remembering what I've done this week...I've been trying to track down all the anthology illustrations so that I can add them to the website but one has gone astray, so I'm currently waiting for the art co-ordinator to get back to me. Then I can get that sorted soon.
I've also been arranging via email for two of our friends to come and stay with us for a few days in April, so that'll be lovely! We're going to go to my fiancé's mum's and then all travel back together.
I also had one of those "oh my God my story is awful" moments, to then receive a lovely email from an agent telling me that they really like it. So here's some advice, those voices in your head? Sometimes it's good to ignore them and get a second opinion.
Oh, and my plants are starting to grow so hopefully I'll have some nice herbs, lettuces, tomatoes and strawberries in a few months time!

All images are from

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Something For The Weekend

Something to read:
Check out Kate's tumblr, kateordie. She's really funny and a great artist...and I think the above image sums it up pretty well. Some of her comics and drawings are NSFW so view with caution!

Image by vol25
Want to be a writer? Seek out some practical help.

Something to eat:
Try making your own home made pizza, in nine different ways! I'm not a fan of all the toppings myself, seeing as I don't eat meat and I think avocado's taste like candles, but I don't know anyone who doesn't like pizza. Plus, it's more interesting than the bog-standard ones you get in shops!

Something to do:
Image from Charade
What ten things do you love about yourself?

Try the Pomodoro technique and see if you become more efficient, and while your at it, if you're feeling overwhelmed with work then try these tips.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Feature Friday: Bread

I wasn't sure what to feature this week, but seeing as I've already talked about tea and cats in past posts I feel that I can get away with this.

I like bread. I don't eat it all that often because I'm never sure what to actually eat it with. I don't like sandwiches all that much, so I rarely eat those unless it's something delicious like hummus and sweetcorn or cheese toasties. I also never put butter in sandwiches, it's disgusting, but I do like butter on toast and on vegetables. Go figure. As a kid I went through a stage of eating bread and drinking water all the time. I would get slices of bread, pull off the crusts and rolled the bread into a ball, then nibble at it. I have no idea why. I'm pretty sure that's not normal...

So, you've guess it. Today is all about bread!

I have made bread a few times, both in the form of loaves and in the form of pizza bases. I love making bread. There's just something very fun and very satisfying about it. It's also super easy which I love because I hate when things go wrong. I'm one of those people where if a recipe goes wrong I throw down my tools and walk off in a huff to sulk in a corner somewhere. Bread doesn't tend to do that to me. It's generally been well behaved.

There are lots of bread recipes that I really want to try out, such as these delicious looking beauties:

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-apart Bread
Walnut and Carrot Bread
Browned Butter Soda Bread
Scandinavian Rye Bread
Don't they all look yummy?
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