Where I Am Now

October 10th 2017 is World Mental Health Day, on this day, I would like to share to you all about the last twelve months of my existence on planet Earth and going from rock bottom to now fairly alright but not practically perfect thoughts and feelings. At this time last year, I was a eighteen year old faced with a very difficult choice: Drop out of education and have no back-up plans or stay in full-time classes quietly struggling with mental health issues. The first term was only halfway in but the steps I took made me realise that something wasn’t quite right. Faced with dropping out and leaving quietly or being kicked off the course, the decision to walk away was an extremely hard and painful one to make. Almost immediately, I lost friends, I lost my trust in people and furthermore, I had lost me. Being cut off with no support, this resulted in drastic measures to try and at least use social media to talk to people, alone, afraid, it was a very dark time.

I kept myself to myself and eventually, I did start to go out again having good times and not so good ones. Falling into contact with people I shouldn’t really have started talking to in the first place. In March of this year, I started volunteering for a local charity in one of their shops. Even though I enjoyed things at first, my passion for things already broken by dropping out of education caused me to walk away, citing it as being too stressful.

Getting a place on a new course was something of an accomplishment but I knew things weren’t going to be plain sailing. As of right now, I do have off days where my joints ache or all of a sudden during lessons, I feel depressed. I still spend most of my time alone at home or in College, my social anxiety and shyness still holding me back from having a good time. It’s always going to be in the back of my mind that I might not get through the year or end up going to University straight away. It’s really sad when people tell you that because you have an Anxiety disorder, you don’t deserve to go to University.

I do have a few options open to me currently at the moment such as having therapy sessions again which I am keeping in mind. What I will say is that writing really helps me to open up about my thoughts and letting my imagination run free. My boyfriend puts up with my awkwardness but just having a little cuddle with him honestly makes my day.

Most of the time, I do feel this pressure to be perfect and tell myself that if I’m not social or haven’t done all of the planned revision for classes, then I hate myself for it for days on end. Take this weekend for example, I just slept most of the time when I wasn’t at the festival and was fairly cross with myself about that.

Rounding off this post now by saying please try writing things down if you don’t feel able to talk to someone. Keep a diary or even write a monologue about the day’s events so then you can show to someone you trust.

Stay safe, thanks for reading.



Blog Tour: A Memory of Fire

AMemoryOfFireTourBannerHello readers! Welcome to a blog tour post for book 3 in the Soul Necklace Stories series by R.L. Stedman, this series is a YA Fantasy! For being part of the blog tour, I was also sent free digital copies of books 1 and 2 in the series for review and I will link those reviews below this paragraph for you to have a quick read of them if you are interested. All my thoughts across all three books are spoiler-free, I won’t be revealing any major plot twists such as what happens at the end. The links for those reviews are:

Book 1 (A Necklace of Souls) Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars-https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2147939088?book_show_action=false

Book 2 (A Skillful Warrior) Rated 4 out of 5 stars- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2147942867?book_show_action=false

This post will have all of the purchase links you need to get a copy of A Memory of Fire as well as a giveaway opportunity and a paragraph sharing my thoughts so hope you enjoy reading!


Book details:
A Memory of Fire
by R.L. Stedman
(SoulNecklace Stories #3)
Publication date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

About my wrist is a tattoo of roses, strung like beads on a bracelet of thorns. I have a past, if only I could remember — but I cannot remember.

Held captive in a strange city, Dana dreams of fire and flight. There is something she must find, but she does not know what it is, or why it is important. If only her dreams would let her rest.

Half a world away, Will studies a new, exciting discipline. But while N’tombe the enchantress is impressed by his newfound skills, inside he feels only desperation. A terrible moment is approaching; soon, Dana must face her final ordeal. Is his new power enough to save her? And is he prepared for what might happen next?

In this thrilling conclusion to the award-winning SoulNecklace Stories, Will and Dana must make a heart-breaking choice. A choice that may change their world forever.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35841011-a-memory-of-fire

About The Author:
Award-winning author Rachel Stedman lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with her husband and two children. Her first novel, A Necklace of Souls, won Best First Novel at the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014. In 2012 Rachel was the winner of the Tessa Duder Award and was shortlisted for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award. If she’s not got her nose in a book, she’s on instagram or twitter (@rlstedman) or at her local library. Her website is www.RLStedman.com.

Want a FREE collection of fairytales? Then copy and paste this link into your browser: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/k9dl7iv39v

Author Links:
My Review: Going into reading A Memory of Fire, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Having read and enjoyed the first two books, where would the journeys of Dana and Will come to a conclusion? I highly recommend ‘binge-reading’ the three books in this series back to back so that you don’t miss out on all of the fantasy world-building and adventures. The decision both characters had to come to regarding their future together absolutely broke my heart, I don’t get that emotionally attached to a story that often but with reading this, my past reading experiences had been thrown out the window. The aspects of this series as a whole that really appealed to me were the storyline with the dreams, they were visual and blended in so well with the main happenings in the book, the no insta-love and most importantly, I love reading YA Fantasy books that truly make me feel that I am experiencing the same things as Will and Dana did (well, I probably wouldn’t want to be on a boat) but that’s just me. Overall, a lovely series that transported me away from reality, perfect for fans of Ruined by Amy Tintera and The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye!
Book 3 rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Series rating: 4 out of 5 stars
So, I’m delighted to say that this is an international giveaway! Woohoo! To celebrate the tour, there’s a $20 Amazon Gift Card up for grabs to be spent on whatever you want, closing date for entries is October 19th 2017 and is open to entries wherever you live in the world. Click this link to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232075/
That concludes this blog tour post, a massive thank you to Xpresso for letting me be a part of the tour as well as Rachel for sending the copies over of the entire series for me to read and review. Don’t forget to stop by all of the other blogs taking part in this tour, see you all soon with a new post!
Alice x

My Experience At Bath Children’s Literature Festival! (Free books, new friends, lots of laughs).

Hello readers! Over the last week and a bit, I’ve been a very busy bee with College classes starting to release out first assignments and also working on some creative writing projects which for the time being, I am keeping extremely hush hush. But today’s post (as if the title didn’t already give things away) is about the four events that I went to for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival which ended today on October 8th. I didn’t go to the festival last year and honestly, that was a stupid mistake because there were books that I wanted to get signed by the authors so when the opportunity to go to some events this year surfaced, I jumped on the bandwagon determined to attend and get some books signed. Dear friends, that’s exactly what happened. So, what events did I go too and who did I meet? I will share everything…

Saturday 30th September

The first event was held at the Guildhall in the centre of Bath and for my boyfriend, this would be his first ever book event. The topic was Horror because if you know me well, you know that I love to read and write Horror stories. The authors discussing their books were Sharon Gosling (wrote Fir) and Alex Bell (who wrote Frozen Charlotte, a Zoella book club pick) and the panel chaired by Lou Morgan who also has written a YA Horror story called Sleepless which I am so adding to my TBR because October is the perfect time of year to read scary books. It was also very timely that the event started just as the sun started to set outside making the whole atmosphere feel very creepy. Nevertheless, myself and my boyfriend both enjoyed learning about Fir and Frozen Charlotte, the inspirations for them and some very spooky legends with one about a vampire for example… oooooh… I did sleep well after hearing about the legends by the way XD

Bath is quite well known for having lots of partygoers out on a Saturday night so by the time things wrapped up, it was gone 7PM and the bars were full with loud chatter and the constant kicking around in the streets of beer bottles. After my boyfriend walked me back to the bus station, I was able to get home safely without any trouble and in the meantime, admired the two gorgeous scary books signed by the authors!


Thursday 5th October

The second event I attended, this time alone was the Learning To Write For Young People discussion with three authors who had gone on to complete the writing MA at Bath Spa Uni which is my dream MA and chatted about their experiences as a student in University and how they researched their stories to help with characters and world-building. I purchased my ticket on the door which was extremely lucky as the room in the Guildhall was close to a sell-out. Taking my notepad and pen with me (as well as lugging around all my College books), I sat and took notes about the writing MA as well as general tips for planning novels and writing to deadlines. Sadly, I couldn’t stay for the signing afterwards as it was gone 8PM and I had early classes the next day. The authors that attended and spoke at the event were Jess Butterworth (writer of MG novel Running on the Roof of the World), Amy Wilson (writer of MG novel A Girl Called Owl) and Sarah Driver (writer of a YA trilogy titled The Huntress with the first and second book available for purchase). This panel was chaired by YA author Julia Green who also is a tutor on the MA that I would love to do the most: Writing For Young People. Overall, I found the event to be useful and relatable, there were students there studying Creative Writing at University, other writers currently querying novels. It was loud and I knew no-one else there but still, I was pleased that I did go along. It cemented my passion and drive to study Creative Writing and nothing else.

This was the only photo I took at the event as the crowd started to build up in time for the proceedings to begin.


Sunday 8th October

The final day of the entire festival in which the main theme of events was YA. All of the YA events took place in a small but cosy entertainment venue called the Komedia which was a brisk walk to get to for me and my boyfriend. A late bus almost spoiled the fun as I was afraid of being alone around other teens/adults attending the events that I didn’t know personally at all but in the nick of time, both of us collected tickets and headed in. The first event we went to was a panel hosted by Lucy over at LucyTheReader on Twitter and YouTube and featured the authors Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison (Co-authors of three books for YA: Lobsters, Never Evers and Freshers) along with Lauren James (writer of The Loneliest Girl In The Universe) and discussed about the perils of co-writing and um, writing fan-fiction in space? It was an interesting panel to watch and in particular for my boyfriend who is still so new to this whole reviewing malarkey. Both of us were able to grab a free ARC of upcoming YA release The Fandom written by Anna Day and out in January 2018, the boyfriend’s first ARC too!

The signing afterwards was a lot of fun, I had my copy of Freshers signed and quickly chatted to Lucy as well as another blogger who I will chat about more later in this post. Afterwards, myself and the boyfriend went to a bagel place in town that I had been to on a number of occasions in the past with a friend and had lunch followed by a trip to T2 to grab some takeaway teas, he an iced one, myself a hot one before having a brief look in Waterstones at books because the book festival duh 😛

After saying our goodbyes, I then on the door managed to purchase a ticket for the final YA event of the day and entire festival, a panel hosted by Lauren James and with authors Lucy Saxon (writer of Take Back The Skies), Maggie Harcourt (writer of Unconventional) and Frances Hardinge (writer of The Lie Tree) as they discussed fandoms and cosplaying which up until now, I had no idea what cosplay even meant. Now I do know what it means. At this event, I sat with Kyra over at http://www.blogofabookaholic.blogspot.com who I met on Twitter earlier this year and on discovering that we actually live quite locally to each other, decided to hang out and that was very enjoyable. We were also with Matthew and all three of us talked books before and after the panel.

I purchased at the panel a copy of Unconventional by Maggie Harcount to have signed and she asked me who I would cosplay as, my reply was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. To be honest, I don’t really like wearing fancy dress that much but maybe one day it will happen, who knows?

Here are some images from YA Day including the book haul from the events I attended:

The panel with Tom, Lucy, Lauren and Lucy.


The panel with Maggie, Lucy, Lauren and Frances.


The book haul from YA Day, free books that were given out that I was able to collect were: The Fandom, A Taxonomy of Love, Renegades and Kaleidoscope Song.


I am feeling really sad that the Children’s Literature Festival is over for another year, 2018 can’t come soon enough! Thanks to the Festival and the authors for a great time and events, I’ve definitely learnt more about the writing and publishing process as well as giggled over embarrassing stories about University (credit to Lucy’s panel for that) and met some lovely people and to top that off, introducing my boyfriend to reading and reviewing YA!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post, let me know in the comments section below if you have been to any book events or literature festivals recently and the 2018 YA releases that you are anticipating the most. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter over at http://www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3 to be the first to know about books I am currently reading or writing (at least trying to write) and say happy birthday to my cats because both of them turn eight today!

Alice x

PS, Really big ask but I missed the first event at YA Day today and all of the ARCs for The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert had been taken. Anyone know if any spare ARCs are going for this book, it is on my top 10 most anticipated YA Releases of 2018 list, thanks!

Blog Tour: Breakaway


Hello readers! It’s time for another blog tour post for Sophia Henry’s adult sports romance Breakaway. This post will contain all of the information about the book as well as contact details for Sophia and a giveaway opportunity so without any hesitation, let’s start the post!


Book details:

by Sophia Henry
Published by: Random House: Flirt
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

In a standalone hockey romance that tugs at readers’ heartstrings, a broken ex-pro learns to live and love again—all thanks to the complicated, wonderful nurse who gives him a second chance.

Brianna Collins needs to break away from her overbearing family. Her parents expect her to “fix” her brother after a series of concussions derailed his hockey career. Unfortunately, no doctor will give him clearance to play, and she’s finished with being the person they rely on to perform a miracle that will never happen. For Bree, a six-month nursing assignment at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the perfect escape.

Luke Daniels, former forward for the NHL’s Charlotte Aviators, has spent close to a year rehabbing a career-threatening injury—and distracting himself however he can. Worlds collide when Luke realizes that the girl from his latest one-night-stand happens to be the new nurse at the hospital where he volunteers in the pediatric unit. What’s more, Bree’s the only person who makes him excited about life again.

Despite her initial reservations, Luke can’t help pursuing sweet, beautiful Bree. Then he realizes it was her brother whose career he ended with an accidental hit, and he falls back on the thing that’s always helped suppress his demons: alcohol. But if Luke doesn’t kick his old habits, he just may lose the one thing he loves more than hockey.

Don’t miss any of Sophia Henry’s exhilarating Pilots Hockey novels:

Praise for Sophia Henry
“Sophia Henry’s hockey novels are fun and flirty, warm and sweet, with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy hockey heroes. They’ll bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.”—USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson


Award-Winning Author, Sophia Henry, is a proud Detroit native who fell in love with reading, writing and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.

She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts.

Author links:


Book Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HWKUO7O/
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breakaway-sophia-henry/1124064520?ean=9781101968543
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/lu/book/breakaway/id1150863041?mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/breakaway-57
Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Breakaway/Sophia-Henry/Q565262884?id=6000249901309
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sophia_Henry_Breakaway?id=iuydDAAAQBAJ&hl=en

Review: Breakaway was a steamy romance that I was just looking for as an escape from studying and completing college work. We follow Luke and Bree (Brianna) as together, they fall in love despite turbulent pasts that come back to haunt them. Luke is an ex-hockey player until an accident leaves him unable to play again and instead turns to a coaching role, his mother lives in Vancouver and on the city streets, struggling to cope with lack of food and money. Bree works in healthcare and her placement to a hospital in North Carolina is just the escape she needed from her family. Her brother has depression and also used to play hockey until he was ruled out from competing again. Due to sexual scenes, I recommend this as an 18+ read and also anyone who likes their love stories to be spicy and sexy. I don’t tend to read a lot of books in this category but the pacing was even throughout, the characters backstories were definitely something that I was interested in as a reader, the ending was a little surprise for me since that wasn’t what I thought might happen but overall, it was easy to get into and will be stopping by to read all of the other books in the Pilots Hockey series hopefully very soon!


There is one main prize as part of this tour and that is for a $25 Amazon gift card to be spent on whatever you want! The good news is that this giveaway is open internationally so you enter wherever you live in the world. This giveaway closes on October 12th 2017. For your chance to win, click on this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232061/

That is all for today’s post, thanks again to the team at Xpresso Blog Tours and Sophia for letting me be a part of the tour and for the Reviews opportunity. Don’t forget to stop by all of the other blogs on the tour and show your support, have a great day!

Alice x

Blog Tour: The Gifts Of Our Mothers


Hello readers! Welcome to today’s post for the blog tour The Gifts Of Our Mothers by Hazel Black. I will be sharing my thoughts on the book as well as contact links for the author and where you can purchase other books written by Hazel online.


Book details:

The Gifts of Our Mothers
by Hazel Black
(The Witches of Auburn, #1)
Publication date: October 2nd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

*The next two installments of The Witches of Auburn are releasing the same day!

In the dark woods I’m forbidden to go into, lying on top of the one person I swore I’d stay away from, and hiding from the men who chased him, I hold still as Ike Kennedy whispers in my ear, “Don’t leave me.”

The questions of why my mother packed up our lives and moved us to Auburn, New Jersey when she, herself, fled here twenty years ago, plague me every day. Her past and the people in this town loom over our family with a haunting understanding of the coven I was born into, but realize I know nothing about. The enemies I heard stories about as a child attack without warning or regard for human life, but I don’t know who they are.

I’m Ever Ayars. I can fly. I can disappear. I can move things with my mind, but my gifts are my only clarity. Lost within a new school, new friends, and a new life, there is only one thing I know for sure.

I’m not leaving Ike Kennedy.


Hazel Black graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks, her neighbors began to talk, and her mother told her to find a job.

She settled into corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Hazel quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It was during this time she became an avid observer of the characters she met and the heartaches they endured. Her years of study taught her that laughter, even the completely inappropriate kind, was the key to survival.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. As an avid swimmer, if Hazel is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she is, and always has been, a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.

Hazel Black writes contemporary romance as Eliza Freed. To keep up with all new releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter here.

Author links:

Review: The Gifts Of Our Mothers is the first book in a YA Paranormal series involving magic, curses and witches. We start by exploring the life of Helene who is a witch and from Auburn, she is in love with Isaiah who then releases a hidden secret that causes the ultimate betrayal. After she escapes from Auburn, twenty years into the future, she moves back with her daughter Ever and vows to protect her from the events of her past. However, Ever meets and falls for Ike who could be both beautiful and dangerous.

Just in time for Fall, The Gift Of Our Mothers looks into covens, curses and creepy elements of killings, looking into the consequences of choices made and a forbidden love that could result in tragedy. This was a quick, easy read with fast-paced action. My favourite scenes were with Ever and Ike as they try to build their romance up but knowing that obstacles stand in their way. A nice introduction to Halloween Fall reading and with other books in the series being released very soon, I will be keeping an eye out for them.

If you like stories with witches, friendship and love then The Gift Of Our Mothers will be the perfect read for you!

Book Purchase Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35782494-the-witches-of-auburn?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Auburn-Gifts-Our-Mothers-ebook/dp/B07443V8XV/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gifts-of-our-mothers-hazel-black/1126839937?ean=2940154678626

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-gifts-of-our-mothers

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1262274614

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and Hazel for the opportunity to be a part of the tour, don’t forget to stop by the other blogs taking part, see you all soon with a new post!


Mental Health- How I Self-Manage My Depression.

Hello readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted here and during that time, I have realised and witnessed new people subscribing to this blog or my other one (Alice Reads Classics) which is awesome and thanks for the support! But a few new readers have asked about my mental health and how I try to live with Depression on a regular basis so this post will explain all.

So, I was 18 when diagnosed with mild Depression but just because it’s mild doesn’t mean I don’t have really rough, dark patches. It’s like a storm cloud just stuck to your head which won’t fade away. I don’t take any medication for it nor have I had CBT or any sort of therapy.

My moods literally do come and go like the click of a finger and it’s the times when I’m in front of my loved ones such as my family or boyfriend that when it does hit, it hits the hardest since I don’t want others to witness my sudden change in behaviour.

Going back to education with Depression is not going to be an easy battle but it’s educating so that the other students/teachers/parents understand more about when the Depression comes and what to do when it does come.

What really helps me is writing, keeping your mind active either through baking or doing a crossword or listening to loud music through my headphones to block out surrounding noise.

If anyone has any further questions that you would like to ask me about my mental health journey, please comment below in the comments section of this post or tweet me @MarriedToBooks3 on my Twitter. 

Thanks for reading.

Alice x

Life Update Post- My Family, College and Love Life!

Guys…. I went AWOL on you for an entire month. I honestly didn’t realise until I checked the date I last posted a blog post and discovered it was the 28th of July. Wow… I think everyone has forgotten about me XD

Honestly, I am ever so sorry for just pulling a disappearing act on all of you on this blog (to be perfectly honest, my other blog Alice Reads Classics has been inactive for a while as well). You know in life, you go through those phases where you simply fall out of love with things? Well, I simply had a phase where I fell out of love with this blog. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I should keep this blog running anymore. I was 17 when I first started blogging here and honestly, I’ve changed A LOT since then.

But, I do have some life updates for you guys that I haven’t announced to all who follow me so here I go!

First, one of my cats has been really poorly. She lost a lot of weight and had to go to the Vets twice. Luckily her blood tests came back negative but she is still acting a little bit strange (trying to jump onto the oven and lick oil out the frying pan!) My cats mean a lot to me and they help with my Anxiety so I would be devastated if anything happened to either of them.

In just over a week’s time, I start back at FE College as a full-time student doing an Access to HE course. My timetable I actually do like but please bare in mind that I will be having to do 3,000 word assignments nearly every week and that does take priority.

My family are well, most live in a different part of the country but I have a little 2nd cousin (my cousin’s son) who is now five months old and has moved to solid food eating. He’s utterly adorable and I hope that I get to meet him properly before the end of the year.

Now, the biggest part of the life update is… I have a new boyfriend! If you guys have followed me from the start, you will know that I’ve had a few relationships that simply didn’t work out and the excuse was always that I read books (yawns) but my new boyfriend is simply the happiness that I’ve wanted for months. I used to go to School with him and he does read books! He has joined the book community on Twitter so please follow him here: http://www.Twitter.com/FarmerReviews It would be amazing if you could go and support him because he is totally new to the social media side of the book world and would love to chat books!

Final thing: I am currently participating in my first ever readathon attempt! It’s on Twitter over at #SundayYAthon and runs from August 28th- September 1st. Just about to finish reading my first book for it today. I will do a wrap-up post at the weekend as well as posting updates to my book Twitter (Please follow: Getting close to 700 followers!) over at http://www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3 as well as posting my spoiler-free thoughts on all of the books over on my Goodreads!
That is it for this post, once again, I’m so sorry for running off. I do miss you all, I am taking part in some blog tours October/November time so make sure you stay tuned to that and support the authors!

Have a great day/night, see ya!

Alice x