#Blogmas Day Twelve- Blog Tour for 25 Days Til Christmas!

25 Days Blog tour NEW

Hello readers! Welcome back to my blog, for today’s Blogmas upload and a quick apology note for not posting for a few days. I’m really sorry that I haven’t been very active here, but I’m planning to get back onto the Blogmas train shortly!

I’m participating in an exciting blog tour for a new festive release: 25 Days Til Christmas! As always, my blog tour post will contain a quick spoiler-free review, as well as purchase links and more information about the novel. Thanks again for stopping by and enjoy reading!

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Release Date: November 29th 2018 (Kindle/E-book)

A contemporary, emotional, but ultimately feel-good, festive up-lit novel for fans of Jenny Colgan, Debbie Johnson, and Holly Martin.

Kate Potter used to love Christmas. A few years ago she would have been wrapping her presents in September and baking mince pies on Halloween, counting down to the countdown to Christmas. But a few years ago, everything was different. That was before Kate’s husband went away with the army and didn’t come home. Now she can hardly stand December at all.

Kate’s lonely. She doesn’t think she’s ready for romance, but she needs more than this, and her son Jack needs a Christmas to remember. What Kate needs is a Christmas miracle, and if there isn’t one on its way, she’ll just have to make her own.

So begins Kate’s advent countdown to the best Christmas ever.

She has it all planned out, but you can’t plan for the unexpected, and when the path of the loneliest woman in town crosses with that of the loneliest man, she just might find a way to save Christmas for all of them…

Add the book to your Goodreads list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42194895-25-days-til-christmas?ac=1&from_search=true 

Purchase your copy via Amazon!: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07CKVBH2G/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738 

REVIEW: This was a really good festive read, with a very local setting to me (Bristol, England). Kate and her six year old son Jack experience a lot of hardship throughout the novel but with the arrival of a mysterious man, his character was truly a heart of gold. I think we all need someone like ‘him’ in our lives. The novel itself was not only festive, but really opened my eyes to current issues such as lack of funding and zero-hours contracts. It was well-researched and has a array of characters that kept the story-line interesting. It is long but do take your time to immerse yourself in and you will find yourself transported just like I was. Hard-hitting but at the same time, a book I couldn’t put down.

Thank you so much to Poppy and the team at Orion Books for letting me be a part of the tour. See you all soon with some new posts!

Alice x

 

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#Blogmas Day Eight- Some 2019 YA Releases I’m Excited For!

Hello readers!

It’s day eight of Blogmas and for today’s post, I’m going to be jumping into the future of 2019 and sharing four brand new YA novels that I’m excited to read. These novels I found were listed on Goodreads and attracted me due to the premise as well as reviews left by other reviewers on the website. So, let’s jump straight into the bookish future and discover what books are heading our way! (All blurbs have been taken from Amazon- information correct at the time of this upload).

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Just For Clicks by Kara McDowell 

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Notso much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

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Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith

Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

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Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler

In the lower wards of Kahnzoka, the great port city of the Blessed Empire, eighteen-year-old ward boss Isoka enforces the will of her criminal masters with the power of Melos, the Well of Combat. The money she collects goes to keep her little sister living in comfort, far from the bloody streets they grew up on.

When Isoka’s magic is discovered by the government, she’s arrested and brought to the Emperor’s spymaster, who sends her on an impossible mission: steal Soliton, a legendary ghost ship–a ship from which no one has ever returned. If she fails, her sister’s life is forfeit.

On board Soliton, nothing is as simple as it seems. Isoka tries to get close to the ship’s mysterious captain, but to do it she must become part of the brutal crew and join their endless battles against twisted creatures. She doesn’t expect to have to contend with feelings for a charismatic fighter who shares her combat magic, or for a fearless princess who wields an even darker power.

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96 Words For Love by Rachel Roy and Ava Dash

Ever since her acceptance to UCLA, 17-year-old Raya Liston has been quietly freaking out. She feels simultaneously lost and trapped by a future already mapped out for her.

Then her beloved grandmother dies, and Raya jumps at the chance to spend her last free summer at the ashram in India where her grandmother met and fell in love with her grandfather. Raya hopes to find her center and her true path. But she didn’t expect to fall in love… with a country of beautiful contradictions, her fiercely loyal cousin, a local girl with a passion for reading, and a boy who teaches her that in Sanskrit, there are 96 different ways to say the word “love.”

A modern retelling of the classic Indian legend of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, 96 Words for Love is a coming-of-age story about finding yourself in unexpected places.

That concludes this blog post! What 2019 releases are you excited for? I’d love to know in the comments section. It may also tempt me to add more books to my never-ending list…

Thank you for reading and see you all soon for more Blogmas uploads!

Alice x

 

#Blogmas Day Seven- What Have I Been Reading Recently?

Hello friends!

It’s now day 7 of Blogmas, seriously where is the time going? By the end of next week, my University term will be over for the year and the winter break can finally begin. Since I have been busy with classes and coursework (also bad health issues), my reading has been rather slow. However, I do like to post book reviews to my blog every now and again and thought that as part of my year attempt of Blogmas, I would post some!

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds- 4 Stars

A novel written in verse, extremely powerful and haunting. Taking place over the course of a single minute, the main character Will is seeking revenge after his elder brother was murdered. In his dead brother’s drawer, he finds a gun, boards an elevator in a bid to find the killer and shoot them dead. During his time in the elevator, it stops at every floor on the way down and a different character from Will’s past enters. By the end, my heart was racing as we learn whether or not Will does decide to carry out his plans. Jason’s writing style was really easy to connect with and for someone who enjoys writing/reading verse novels, this was a good read indeed!

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The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene- 3 Stars

I grew up on anything Nancy Drew, from the video games to one of my childhood favourites: The Secret of the Old Clock. The Hidden Staircase is the second in the original Nancy Drew series, published in 1930 and still remains in print! Nancy is trying to solve two mysteries: A haunting tale of a ghost that is running amok in an old mansion or so it seems… and a mystery surrounding threats made to her own father. This was a very dialogue driven novel, with a range of characters that had their own secrets and personalities. It was a little predictable for me and world-building did lack. However, this series remains a strong classic within my heart and would revisit it again!

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Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman- 4 Stars

This is my first time reading a novel written by Neal Shusterman and holy heck, it was creepy and very edge of your seat experience! This YA Dystopian is set in the US state of California, where the main character Alyssa lives. Life is mainly good until the day that a water crisis hits and the taps all get turned off. Soon, everyone is hunting down for any drop of water that they can find, some brutally more than others. When things reach breaking point, Alyssa and her brother, along with a few friends escape to a reservoir further down the state. It was action-packed, with a good range of multiple POVs. At times, the POVs did switch back and forth, making me feel a little confused over who was who. The pacing I also found to be a little slow. But nonetheless, it was creepy, thrilling and left me feeling spooked and very thirsty!

That concludes this reading review post! Thank you all for reading and supporting, stay tuned for more Blogmas posts to follow.

Alice x

#Blogmas Day Six- My Writing Soundtrack!

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog. Hope you are all having a good week and have some headphones handy, as I will be sharing some music that I listen to as I write! This can apply to either writing for University or my Creative Writing projects in general. There are times when writing in total silence works better for me than having music blaring in the background. But more often, I crack open my Spotify app or even go onto YouTube to find some songs that weirdly match the themes for some of my writing! If you listen to music as you write, what songs do you listen to? For now, here is just a small list of four songs that are part of my current writing routine!

1, Imagine Dragons- Thunder

I’ve honestly loved Imagine Dragons ever since Radioactive was first released. The music video for that song was so quirky and creepy at the same time, that left such a creative impact on me. Their song Thunder is a strong favourite of mine, uplifting and not too over-complicated either. Perfect mix!

2, Panic At The Disco- High Hopes

High Hopes is my favourite song by Panic At The Disco, it’s so uplifting and upbeat. Basically, it makes me feel more… up. So many ups in my blog post today XD But even the title of the song itself gives me some extra boosts of motivation to finish my writing and to the best possible standard that it can be.

3, Youngblood- Five Seconds Of Summer

Not going to lie, Youngblood is one of my favourite songs from 2018. It’s something that nine times out of ten wakes me up in the mornings, gets me going for the day ahead. I’ve always been a fan of the band and their new music I do enjoy. I like listening to Youngblood when writing my Creative Writing projects usually when it comes to action scenes!

4, Apache- The Shadows

I need to include some 60s music, otherwise I would be dumb not to as this decade of music is one of my personal favourites. A purely instrumental song, it’s great as having no vocals can reduce any distractions when I’m writing. I like singing along to songs (badly) but not singing along to this one and focusing fully on the task at hand is a lot more productive!

That concludes this blog post! Thanks so much for reading, see you soon with a new upload.

Alice x

#Blogmas Day Five- Some Poetry Musings

Hello readers,

Welcome back to my blog upload for day five of Blogmas. So far, I’ve talked about books and searching for my own writing style. Then realising that I’ve yet to share any pieces of my creative writing onto here for my uploads. Bit of an epic fail on my part! I write a lot of Poetry and would honestly say that my preferred writing style is writing poems rather than prose. Of course, I am up for trying new genres and styles, mixing and matching to the best of my ability. I wrote these poems I’m about to share here with you which I wrote at University. I’m not using them for my coursework, so I’m allowed to post them online for readers to see. Please bare in mind that these poems do sound a bit… depressing. It’s hard to try and write about happy thoughts in all styles, when your mind tries to play bleak tricks on you constantly.

As always, thank you for stopping by and giving my writing a try. If you are interested in reading more creative pieces by me, hit the subscribe button for this blog and follow my social medias which are linked onto the right-hand side of the screen. Have a good day!

Disclaimer- These poems currently don’t have a title for them! All my writing is all rights reserved, no plagiarising!

Poem #1-

Cold

Just like the snow storms of Alaska

December fast closing in

As the summer skies grace the south

We all shiver in the north

Cold in the mind, cold in the heart

Feeling so cold as life falls apart

Shivers across my body

Foggy across my mind

All like winter weather

Forming fast I cry

There’s nothing left

None

I’ve tried, there you see

Things were just not meant to be

 

Poem #2-

If I could be the one

To get you out of this mess

Would you let me in?

When you’re far away from home

And no-one close to hold

Can I be your shelter from the cold?

If I had wings

Then I would fly

Free as a bird

Across the skies of this world

We know as Earth

All for you

 

 

#Blogmas Day Four- Alice’s Honest Bookish Predictions Explained! (I Was Totally Surprised) :0

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog for day four of Blogmas! Today, I’m going to be sharing some books I’ve read in 2018 that I either really liked and took me by complete surprise and others that did the exact opposite. Overall, I would say that my reading year has been filled with a mixture of fun and confusing reads. Some I still think about to this day. So, without further ado, here is a little list that I created, thanks to my Goodreads lists!

1, Strange The Dreamer

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My prediction: 4 stars

Actual rating: 2 stars

Strange The Dreamer was such a disappointment for me, after having extremely high hopes for my first venture into Laini’s writing. The main character Lazlo Strange has had an obsession with a mysterious city called Weep. The truth is, he’s an orphan and works as a junior librarian as he tries to quietly uncover the hidden secrets that Weep contains. Lazlo discovers that the only way that his questions can be answered, is to travel to the city of Weep himself. There, he experiences a girl that suddenly appears into his dreams and a collection of moths that come with her. It had a mix of fantasy, paranormal, romance and adventure but a number of things fell very flat for me. The story pacing was far too slow, with long descriptions and lots of characters that would come and go quickly. The first half was confusing and left me close to DNF’ing at that stage. Laini’s writing style just didn’t gel with me. I won’t be continuing on with the series!

2, From Twinkle, With Love

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My prediction: 3/3.5 stars

Actual rating: 5 stars

Sandhya has firmly cemented herself into my top favourite author lists of all time… what an incredible read! My emotions were messed, I need lots of ice-cream and iced coffee and a re-watch of a silent movie from the 1920s round about now! But in all seriousness, I was extremely anxious reading Twinkle, since I absolutely loved Sandhya’s other novel Dimple and wasn’t sure what this one was going to be like. But I was left far from disappointed. The main character Twinkle is an aspiring filmmaker and dreams of going to a top school to study films. She is from an Indian-American background and I loved the scenes in which she spends time with her family. When her classmate Sahil wants Twinkle to help direct a new film for a festival, she jumps at the chance. She also has a crush on Sahil’s twin brother Neil. After some mysterious emails arrive in her inbox, she thinks that Neil is sending the emails but during this time of working with Sahil, her feelings may have potentially changed. Twinkle is written in a diary format which is one of my favourite formats to read (and write!), immediately capturing my interest. It flowed well, had a good range of characters and I loved Twinkle’s honesty. A stunning read!

3, Almost Adulting

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My prediction: Around the 3 star mark

Actual rating: 5 stars

I actually finished listening to the audiobook of this a few days ago, but needed a while before I could sit down and type my full thoughts on it. I recently took out a subscription to the Scribd app and this was my first audiobook I chose off of the app! Needless to say, I have zero regrets about picking this one. Arden is the narrator for her own book and that for me was the right choice. Almost Adulting talks about Arden’s life experiences and lots of relatable topics such as school, relationships, sex, mental health. It was a light-hearted listen, I’ve forgotten how many times I ended up giggling throughout the audiobook. Arden did go into details about some topics I mentioned from the list above, but there is also representation for trichotillomania which I admire Arden for being so honest and open about it.

Perfect length and a great first pick for anyone new to the Scribd app or just listening to audiobooks in general.

4, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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My prediction: 5 stars

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I love stories that involve letters but going into Shaffer’s novel, I was expecting to see a mixture of prose and letters. The writing itself is all written in letter form, which did throw me a little at first. The second half was enjoyable, with tension and I could really feel the main character Juliet’s pain as she stays in Guernsey. Being introduced to a large number of characters straight away was confusing. I personally loved the idea of the Society and found the historical setting to be well-researched and accurate. There was one character in particular I disliked immensely. Pacing overall was slow for first half but picked up in the second half. I did struggle with character connection, again, I do put this down to the writing style itself. If I do watch the movie, I’ll be keen to blog my thoughts on it!

Juliet herself is a published novelist which is one of my life goals! I loved her passion for writing and wanting to get to know the Society members better.

That concludes this post! What have been your bookish surprises so far this year? Have you read any of the books mentioned? I’d love to know! See you soon and thanks for reading!

Alice x

 

 

#Blogmas Day Three- I Met Flora 717, A Bee I Grew To Love (The Bees Spoiler-Free Review)

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog for day three’s upload! I’m super excited to share this post, which I did draft a while back originally, however, was still keen to upload. As a reader, I’m always on the hunt for stories which have interesting characters and POVs within them. I never thought that I would stumble quite onto a novel that had a POV of a bee. Bees interest me a great deal, but had only seen picture books with bees in. Not a work of prose fiction. That is, until a few months ago…

I recently read this book, that was discussed by one of my lecturers at my University as something all of us should pick-up. The title: The Bees, was a book I actually borrowed from my library a few years ago however, I never got round to reading it as someone else placed a reserve on my copy. Scribd was my saving grace, having both Laline’s books on the app and so, I had to bump The Bees up my reading list to see just why the story had captivated my lecturer.

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Blurb: Enter a whole new world, in this thrilling debut novel set entirely within a beehive.

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen.

Yet Flora has talents that are not typical of her kin. And while mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is reassigned to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. Then she finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous.

Enemies roam everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. But Flora cannot help but break the most sacred law of all, meaning her instinct to serve is overshadowed by a desire, as overwhelming as it is forbidden…

REVIEW: If you are looking for a read that will surprise you, then The Bees is the book that you need to pick up! The premise of the story told from the perspective of a bee was so interesting and most of the time, enjoyable to read. Flora 717 is a bee who works as a sanitation bee but throughout the novel, moves through multiple roles. In their kingdom, the only bee that can lay eggs is the Queen Bee. But Flora 717 wants to have a bee of her own. She struggles to hide her inner feelings, as she and her bee sisters pledge an oath of alliance to accept, obey and serve. This is truly a life or death kind of read as Flora 717 experiences so much with a range of feelings. Towards the end, she becomes rather passionate and that was refreshing to read. The overall pacing was a little slow but the writing style itself really hooked me in as a reader. I do plan to read The Ice by the same author and hope to get to it soon!

Have you read The Bees? Any novels you know that have interesting perspectives? Let’s talk in the comments section below!

Thank you for reading, see you soon with a new post!

Alice x