Life Update: New Reading Chair, More Books and More Sunlight!

Hello readers!

Can’t you all believe that we are midway through February already? To me, it feels like New Year’s Eve was yesterday! It’s been a little while since I last posted onto my blog, so it’s once again a life update post. Since apparently for me, 2019 seems to be the year for checking in and talking about my personal life…

First of all, I’m back at University. As of right now, I don’t want to publicly share my current circumstances as it is still very raw and painful. Once the hurt and upset blows over, then I will be in a better position to open up about what has been happening. I’ve been borrowing books from the library like crazy (no change there then!) and really wanting to dive into them. However, my love for audiobooks seems to have returned. The past week just gone, I finished two of them in one day! I have since posted reviews to my Goodreads and I’ve been super pleased about how well they’ve done.

Second, I am happy that the longer days and sunlight are finally making a comeback. This winter was dark, sometimes cold and damp, but its a sure sign that spring is almost here. There’s rumours at the moment that flowers are already starting to grow on my University campus! I am quite rural based in the countryside, so seeing them blossom will be very cheerful indeed. I’m looking forward to the leaves on the trees forming again, as I write a lot of poetry about trees in general.

Next, I kind of stole one of the family dining room chairs to sit at by the window for reading. Getting that has helped me stay a little more motivated and given me space, since both of my pet cats like to sleep on my bed and they take up so much space. I’ve tried to make the chair as comfy as possible, with cushions and being next to a warm heater. It’s a little more cosy and relaxing in my bedroom, until I trip over stacks of books on the floor that is!

I’m currently obsessed with a few things: Skinny Cappuccinos on my new coffee machine, a game on my laptop called SimCity Build It and watching YouTube videos about book scavenger hunts around bookstores. Books had to come in somewhere guys, otherwise it’s not me writing this post. I am planning to upload some new content here within the next week or so: Book Reviews, an exciting Goodreads update and… Being Left Heartbroken By Instagram… All the chat and more to follow soon!

Alice x

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Blog Tour: I’ll Find You

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog for today’s upload. I’m really excited to be on the promotional blog tour for a new Thriller novel I’ll Find You. This post will contain a full spoiler-free review, as well as more details about the book and social media links. Hope you enjoy reading!

Emily Jacobs, a nurse, is in hospital for a minor operation. When she wakes in the night, woozy with anaesthetic, she sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her. In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. The bed has been empty all along . . .

When Emily returns to work she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. Soon, she becomes convinced that her colleagues at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret. 
What if she’s wrong? What if her own troubled past has affected her more than she knows?

But what if she’s right? 

What else could they be capable of?

E-Book Release Date: 24th January 2019

Add I’ll Find You to your Goodreads reading lists!: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43178100-i-ll-find-you

Purchase your Amazon Kindle copy!: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ill-Find-You-ebook/dp/B07BHP8KTT

REVIEW: I’ll Find You is a new standalone thriller novel, set in the city of Bath (bonus points for being in a local setting near to me!) and about a young nurse called Emily who is searching for her missing sister Zoe. One day, she has to have a operation and is certain that she saw another patient with her at the time. Everyone else however, say that there was no other patient.

The thriller was filled with scary twists and turns at just about every corner possible. It really took a missing person’s case and hospital setting and made characters with hidden secrets into a shocking ending that truly made me gasp. If you are looking for a thriller with medical elements and/or a scary read before bedtime, I’ll Find You is a must-read!

Although I’ll Find You does tackle heavy topics such as mental health and the struggles of cold cases and tough family upbringings, it was good to read a slow-burn that showed Emily well as a character. She was desperate for the truth and as the reader, I really appreciated just how passionate she was in trying to find her sister.

I really enjoyed Liz’s writing style and will be looking out for more novels by this author in the future!

That concludes this tour post! A massive thank you to the author Liz, Ellen at Bonnier Zaffre for letting me be a part of the tour. Don’t forget to tag your experiences of reading I’ll Find You with the official hashtag #i’llfindyou across social media. See you all soon!

Alice x

TBR: Fairytaleathon!

Hello friends!

I have no idea what’s happening to me recently, but the blog post ideas just seem to be hitting my brain from somewhere. I’m very excited to keep writing and sharing new content over the coming weeks! Today’s upload is an exciting one, between February 1st to February 10th, there is a special readathon dedicated to reading Fairytales. I found out about Fairytaleathon through both Twitter and Caz (Little Book Owl)’s blog earlier on and realised that I could fill each challenge square with a book.

There are eight challenges, all with a fairytale/retellings theme. Here is a list of all of the challenges, as well as a picture of all of the Physical reads I’ve selected to try!

Challenge list:

Melt the frozen heart- A book that features friendship and/or family. For this one, I’ve selected Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and am planning to borrow the audiobook from my local public library’s audio app!

Rapunzel let down your hair- Read a retelling over 500 pages long. I’ve gone with one that was recommended to me on Twitter earlier called Daughter of the Forest. It’s inspired by Irish folklore and myths and planning to read via Scribd!

Gadgets and gizmos a plenty- Read a retelling that’s part of a series. I’ve turned to Splintered which I believe is a Alice in Wonderland retelling? Correct me if I’m wrong but again, Scribd has the e-book for it and so, I’ve added it to my library!

Beware the snow queen- Read a retelling that takes place in winter or has winter in the title. No surprise with my choice, Spinning Silver which I got for review last year was the perfect book to use!

True Love’s Kiss- Read a retelling with a swoony romance. To Kill A Kingdom is one I’ve had on my TBR since last Spring and finally, now is the time to give it a read!

Warm Hugs- Warm drink of your choice and re-read your favourite fairytale or retelling. I bought this edition of one of my favourite fairytales today and that is… Beauty and the Beast! I love my edition a lot and so happy to add it to my collection!

Let it go- A book you’ve been hesitant to read. I went with Grim, which is an anthology made up of fairy tales but with a dark twist to them. It’s YA and I’ve had it out from the library for the longest time. So again, would be great to get to!

Finally, Gaston’s Tavern which is reading the group book for the Fairytaleathon! That is A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. I actually got a copy on the same day I purchased King Of Scars and it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling (Yes, there’s a theme going on here!)

As usual, I will be sharing my progress across Twitter and Instagram, with full reviews for each book read being posted to my Goodreads. If you would like to follow me, then comment below and I will send you links to my profiles!

BONUS! I recently got myself a Pinterest account and would love to reach 50 followers on it. If you would like to follow me, again comment below and I’m more than happy to send you a link.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading this post! Will you be participating in Fairytaleathon? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Have a great day and see you all soon!

Alice x

Getting King Of Scars!

Hello readers!

We’ve hit 450 subscribers here and for someone who has been blogging for three years and had a love-hate relationship with her blog, I’m so amazed by the amount of support that has been shown over the past few years. So, thank you all again!

Today is the 29th of January which could only mean one thing… King of Scars release day! On the 2nd (so day after New Year’s), I decided to pre-order myself a signed hardback edition of Leigh’s latest novel through the store Waterstones. Waterstones are a UK based bookstore chain that sometimes stock exclusive editions of new releases. King of Scars had one of those exclusive editions.

The signed hardback sold out fast, I was happy to have gotten my order in before the news came through about all copies selling out. I patiently waiting over the course of the last three weeks, excited to hold the sparking gold copy in my hands. Then, today dawned and it finally happened. Battling the freezing cold weather, I walked into my local Waterstones and picked up my pre-order.

King of Scars is the story of a POV of a character from Leigh’s other novels set in the Grishaverse. As I have only read Six of Crows by her, I am planning to wait until after I finish Crooked Kingdom before diving into this new adventure! I believe that my local library, as well as Audible have physical and digital copies of the Grisha trilogy. So, will remember that for future reference!

Honestly, the edition is stunning. I’m in love and hopefully, my reading slump does go away, so I can sit back and enjoy a new read. Did you pick up King Of Scars today? Have you ever pre-ordered a book?

Thanks for reading this post, see you all soon!

Alice x

PS: Leaving an image of the gorgeous front cover!

Why My Reading Habits Have Changed…

Hello readers!

The year of 2018 was such an interesting time, regarding my reading tastes. I was more willing and open to trying new authors, new genres and putting myself out there more as a blogger. So far in 2019, the opposite seems to be happening. Of course, I still love to support new and upcoming works and authors. But my enjoyment for YA seems to have slipped a little.

The last YA novel I read was called The Moon and More. I had a few issues with the writing style and plot line in general, meaning something wasn’t quite sitting right with me. Since that day (NYE 2018), I’ve been reading more adult fiction but sadly, mainly ones that I haven’t enjoyed.

I’ve changed a lot and become more critical. I’m honest but don’t like to be brutal. When I say that something stands out in a story to me, such as a well-developed character or a plot twist that I didn’t see coming, I mean it. With the YA I read towards the end of last year, I wasn’t impressed by some of the writing I tried.

It’s really sad as a YA writer, blogger and reviewer that my favourite outlet just doesn’t seem to be working for me at the moment. After being unwell with a chest infection, I today cleared out my bookshelves again and realised just how many unread books I own. It’s just I really want to pick them up. But I’m scared that I just won’t like any of them…

Yes, this is more of a rambling post. But if you’ve been in this position of being unsure what to read or how to overcome the struggle of losing passion, let me know in the comments section below. It would mean a lot to me!

Thanks for stopping by and reading, have a good day/night!

Alice x

January 2019 Reading Check-In: “The slow, the scary.”

Hello readers!

I was kind of meant to upload this blog post last week, as that was the midway point for January. However, other things happened and my reading progress has mainly grained to a halt. So far in the year of 2019, I’ve read 17 things with my current reading challenge goal being 500. I am behind on the pacing for the Goodreads reading challenge, but I’m trying not to freak out too much yet. I’ve had some very mixed fortunes so far with my completed reads, so let’s share what I’ve been reading!

DNF:

This has been my only DNF so far in 2019. It was very overloaded with key terminology and language that I personally couldn’t understand. It wasn’t for me!

2 Stars:

(From top left) Girl On The Platform was a dialogue heavy driven story, with characters that I struggled to connect with. One Letter Different had an interesting premise to Wuthering Heights but as I wasn’t a fan of the novel by Emily Bronte, this short story fell a little flat for me in terms with a minimal plot-line. Plum was a collection of poetry that overall, didn’t fully reach out and grab my attention. Finally, Roman Holiday was an Audible listen and while I do like time travel stories, this one was confusing and I easily found myself lost.

3 or 3.5 Stars:

(From top left) The Ghost of Ben Hargrove was my first read of 2019, a short story that ties into a YA novel called The Cemetery Boys by the same author. It was a spooky set-up but I found the length to be quite short. The Veiled Lady was a quick re-visit to one of my family’s old favourites Hercule Poirot. It was a fast read but felt samey samey to what I had read by Christie before. This One Summer is a YA graphic novel with two main female characters, but it contained lots of heavy topics, which took away some of the enjoyment for me personally. The Tragedy of Marsdon Moor is another Christie short story with one of my favourite things included… ghosts! Or is it… that’s why you have to stop by and see what happens. It was scary but again, too short. Finally, The Bees was a good collection of poetry. I listened to the audiobook of this from the public library and found Duffy’s narration to be an interesting listen.

4 Stars:

Night Shift was one of those books that made you think. The author Debi has experienced depression and she used her thoughts to turn depression into dragons. The illustrations were so powerful. It’s a very quick read but ultimately, one that struck a deep cord with me.

What books have you read so far in 2019? Any favourites? I would also love some recommendations for some novellas/short novels to help me boost my reading challenge goal up! Thanks for reading and see you all soon!

Alice x

The “Get To Know Me” Tag: Interviewing Myself!

3 years…

3 years ago on this day, I signed up for WordPress for the first time with this blog. As a seventeen year old, I had no idea what to expect. I loved writing (still do) but was scared to actually sit down and type up posts that would be seen by readers all over the world. What were they going to think of me? Today, I’m here to interview myself and share my experiences of blogging for three years, why my reviewing has taken off on the site Goodreads and how I started and stopped writing in cycles.

I: So Alice, it’s now 3 years and I’m curious to know. How do you feel about blogging now?

ME: I still do get a little nervous, but I’ve learnt over time that this is a completely natural feeling and that other bloggers and writers do experience this. There are moments when I want to take a break from blogging and uploading and that’s fine too. Learning how and when I feel overwhelmed is a good thing, so that I avoid overloading my brain too much.

I: People say that blogging is hit or miss, some people prefer to watch videos. What’s your view on this?

ME: Platforms like YouTube are great for being visual but so are blogs. Words can be so powerful and writing is a great outlet. Whenever someone comments on one of my posts, I know that they’ve taken the time to fully read my writing and want to engage. I am grateful that 99.9% of the blogging community have been friendly and supportive. It’s up to the user to decide if they fancy videos or text, there’s lots of creators and variety out there and I support both platforms equally!

I: When you started charting on Goodreads, how did you feel?

ME: First of all, I didn’t even know that you could chart haha. It was after some Google searching that I discovered you could end up trending both in your home country and internationally. I recently became a Goodreads UK all-time top 100 user which is a big achievement for me. That’s how I’ve met lots of other book lovers and writers, people found me because of these charts and my name quickly started to be shared. It’s a great feeling and I’m touched by the number of opportunities both on and off Goodreads that I have had.

I: With your writing, do you think it has changed a great deal since you first started blogging?

ME: A strong YES to that question! I was seventeen and generally had no clue what I was even doing. Yes, at that time, I was trying to get into reading Game of Thrones and failing miserably. But the more I kept up my blog, the slowly my passion for writing came out. I was already writing long before I became a blogger. But my story ideas started to change, as I started to change as a person. Becoming an adult and finding out more about yourself, I realised that I had matured so quickly. Many people from my past hadn’t gone down good paths in life. But blogging stopped me from falling into peer pressure traps. I still experience moments of panic and doubt, but I still continue to share my creative writing online.

I: What are your visions for your blog?

ME: I would love to reach 1,000 subscribers at some stage in the future. I would also like to write and upload more content and be active at more book events in the future. Sharing some more poetry and short stories are also high on my agenda, as family members and others including my boyfriend also read this blog and supporting my creative progress.

I: Set your blogging scene?

ME: I like to drink tea, maybe have some music or audiobook on in the background as I write. And of course, my pet cats to be nearby. Their snoring somewhat relaxes me and I have no idea why haha.

I: Finally, what message do you have to share for your readers?

ME: A massive thank you for your continued support, both on this blog and across my other social medias. I really wouldn’t know where I would be without you all. Also, thanks to the various publishers and authors for letting me be a part of blog tours and promotional events, I’ve learnt so much and discovered some amazing stories along the way. Thank you to Tobias, my writing ancestor who I hope reads my blog from somewhere in the skies and finally, if you have an idea and want to create and grow it, do it!

Alice x