Saturday, 31 December 2011

My Top Three Books of 2011

2011 is on its way out. What a year! While everyone reflects back on what happened this year, I reflect back on the books I've read...

The ones I liked, the ones I didn't, the ones I don't remember the names of the characters any more, the characters and stories I will never forget, the books that rocked my world this year. Here is my list of the Best Books of 2011.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Hey everyone!

Christmas for me is about for a night forgetting all the troubles and tribulations of the year and remembering you are surrounded by people who have touched your life in one way or another - be them near you, away from you or no longer with you. 

So wherever you are, whoever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you have a wonderful Chrimbo!!!  

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Book Review - 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

Some books you read and find entertaining. And some books you read and never forget. This one is one I will have in my mind for a long time.

Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it's not easy when your mum is a depressed alcoholic, and your six-year-old brother thinks he's a dog. When Mum fails to come home one night, Laurence tells nobody, terrified he and his brother will be taken into care if anyone finds out. Instead, he attempts to keep up the pretence that Mum is still around: dressing up in her clothes to trick the neighbours and spinning an increasingly complicated tangle of lies. After two weeks on their own, running out of food and money, and with suspicious adults closing in, Laurence finally discovers what happened to his mother. And that's when the trouble really starts ...A compelling thriller filled with some hilarious and surreal moments. Fifteen Days Without a Head is a tender, honest story about family, forgiveness and hope. (Waterstones)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Music Mondays - Belief my John Mayer

John Mayer is an American blues rock singer songwriter. I love his voice, the strong lyrics, the beat, and those lips... *day dreams* No, I'm not perving out. He's older than me. It's allowed.

As I'm in need of a feel-good track for this gloomy Monday morning I thought this might just be the one. And, yes. It does help that he's also a little bit of an eye candy. My Monday feels better already! ^_^

Happy Monday!


Friday, 16 December 2011

Book Review - Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson

Every so often I read a book that surprises me. This was definitely one of them.



'Butterfly effect: The scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. Jamie and Will, bunking off school to go hunting. Kuni, trapped in an icy crevasse. Shelton, on a deadly mission for revenge. Bakili, under attack from bloodthirsty baboons. Tina, piloting flight 492 to Moscow. For them, and many others, things will never be the same again. Some will live. Many will die. All are connected. A heart-stopping adventure that will leave readers breathless.' (Waterstones)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Out & About - Pink Whiskers

It's Christmas and everyone in the family gets spoiled. So why not the pooch?

Ok, my family will be rolling with laugher reading this because until earlier this year, when a certain Yorkshire 'Terrorist' (Terrier) walked his four little paws into my life, my idea of a pet was a rock. As said my brother: "Who would see you now, if they looked at you back then?" 

So laugh all you can, but the Terrorist is coming for Xmas. *_* He even has a Xmas outfit! For my husband's despair - he (the husband) wanted a black Retriever and I turned up with a Yorkie so every time I dress him (the dog) up he (the husband) despairs. Before you get the wrong picture, I only dress him up to see the husband's face drop. It's priceless!!! 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Book Review - Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight is the book with 'that cover'. Yeap! The one that just makes you pick it up and take it straight to the till. The million dollar question is: do the words inside it have the same effect?

A hidden truth. Mortal enemies. Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy. (Goodreads)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Music Mondays - Just Can't Get Enough by Boyce Avenue

Boyce Avenue is a band of three brothers from Florida. And get this, they started their rise to success right here - on the internet - by uploading videos to YouTube.

I was introduced to their sound by my cousin Babi (huge thanks) who is really into her music and I just looooveeee it. His voice makes me melt and their easy groove makes me want to move. It's almost unfair. 

On a personal note, they have also worked as fab inspiration material for a novel I'm working on at the moment. There is a musician in there that is just gonna have to have this smooth voice and a band that just gonna have to have this sexy beat. ^_^ 



Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dungeon Tickets Winner

Without further ado...

It's my pleasure to announce that the winner for the Dungeon tickets is ...


Well done Andrew! I will be in touch soon via email.

Thanks to everyone who took part and stay tuned for more giveaways!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Book Review - Settling by Shelley Workinger

Tension, heartbreak, a new hottie... So is Settling, the second book in the Solid series, better than the first? (read my review of the first book, Solid, here)

At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren’t ordinary kids… 

Picking up where “Solid” left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren’t ready to go home; they’re determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self- discovery. But someone doesn’t feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away – even kill. 

Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them.  (Goodreads)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Music Mondays - So Cold Ben Cocks feat. Nikisha Reyes-Pile

Nikisha is Caribbean singer songwriter, but she currently lives in the UK. I know. With winter now officially here, you probably want to ask her what she's doing in rainy cold Old England. That's what everyone asks me when they find out I'm Brazilian. We like it here, people!

She's not currently signed to any labels, but isn't her voice gorgeous? You can check her channel over at YouTube and you will be able to see her covers of various other songs too.

I first heard this song when it featured on another blog. Try as I might to find the original blogpost I wasn't able to, so if you have featured this track in your blog recently, please comment below so I can give you due credit. Great find. :-)


Friday, 2 December 2011

Win a Family Ticket to The Dungeon of Your Choice!!!

Following my review of The Blackpool Tower Dungeon (read it here), I have a family ticket for four people (2 Adults and 2 Children) worth £82, if bought individually, to give away. And get this: you can pick any of the Dungeons in the UK: Blackpool, Edinburgh, York or London!

The ticket is valid until March 2012 for any of the Dungeons mentioned above.

For a chance to win, all you need to do is answer the two questions below. Don't forget to hit the SUBMIT button to enter. Deadline is Friday 8th December at midnight (GMT) and the winner will be announced on Saturday's post (9th Dec).

Good luck!!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Out & About – The Blackpool Tower Dungeon

I am usually one of the most skeptical people. So why did I scream more than my nine year-old during our visit to The Blackpool Tower Dungeon?

The Dungeons are a popular attractions not only in the UK, but also in Europe. I had some tickets so I decided to take my nine year-old daughter, who has developed a fascination for blood and hospitals, and her friend, who loves scary stuff. I went in expecting a Halloween replay - fake blood and dead looking dummies galore - but what I got was a very interesting history lesson.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Cassandra Clare releases Clockwork Prince Book Trailer

Yesterday the trailer for Cassandra Clare's new book, Clockwork Prince - the second book of the Infernal Devices series which releases on December 6th, was released. What do you think? My hands are now officially itching.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Books Sweet Books

Who said books weren't sweet enough to eat?

Check these recipes by Hungry Happenings on how to make edible bookish treats! These would make for a fantastic nibble at any book club, library, writing or reading group Christmas party!

Edible Books made of Chocolate and Fruit Leather click here for the recipe with images.

Rice Krispies Books click here for the recipe.

Yummy! ^_^

Monday, 28 November 2011

Music Mondays - Read All About It by Professor Green ft. Emeli Sandé

You might remember Emeli Sandé when her song Heaven featured on Music Monday back in September. Now she has also collaborated with Professor Green, another successful London rapper, to create this powerful track. I hope you enjoy.

Happy Monday! 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Life as a Self-Published Author by Shelley Workinger

Self-publishing is on an all time high. With eBooks and internet sales on a permanent rise, I wanted to know what it is like to be an independent author. So I asked Solid (read my review here) and Settling writer Shelley Workinger.

Shelley launched her debut novel, Solid, last year and in July this year she launched the sequel Settling. Sound, the third books of the series, is already on its way for Summer 2012. And here is what she had to say about being a self-published author:

Friday, 25 November 2011

Bookish Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is fast approaching (terror) and, if you are anything like me, you haven't even started shopping yet. *_* This is when gift ideas for peculiar creatures like us book lovers start wearing thin. Well... Maybe this will shed some light.

~Under £15~

A fan of the classics? Then you will love Penguin's gift and accessories collection. The biggest concentrated stock of them is over a Bloomsbury. However, I could only find my favourite - the notebook with various book spines on the cover, over at Amazon.

And talking about the classics... Have you seen Penguin's Clothbound Classic collection? I just love the covers! The kind of books you just have to put on display because they look good enough to eat. They are all so pretty; it is hard to pick a favourite.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Book Review - Typhoon by MCM

Typhoon was written in three days as part of a livewriting project. The question is: did it work?

Kani isn’t Tundra. Tundra is a dustrunner: a ruthless space pirate, flying dangerous missions in low Earth orbit. Kani is just a regular teenager and she wants absolutely nothing to do with that. Unfortunately, she has no choice. Thrown into a world of deception and betrayal, Kani must fight to keep herself alive as she’s hunted by law enforcement, spies, mobsters, and even her so-called teammates, none of whom want to see her survive another day. All she needs to do is make one fatal mistake: tell them who she really is. (Goodreads)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Music Mondays - Earthquake by Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah

Labrinth is a producer and singer-songwriter from London. Although he has been working and producing for other artists since 2008, Earthquake is his second single as a solo artist. This track also features Tinie Tempah, another British rapper that has done well recently.

I love this song and you can guarantee I will be shaking my bones to it if I'm out and about. I love the mixture of beats and speeds. Simply sexy.

But what do you think? Did it shake away your Monday blues? Comment and make a blogger happy. ^_^


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Movie Review - Breaking Dawn Part 1

Breaking Dawn as a book sparked a lot of controversy. With words such as "alluding to rough sex" and "too graphic scenes" been thrown in the pot, how can you make a movie adaptation and keep it a certificate 12A?

If you haven't watched the other movies or read the books, you need to catch up. So here it goes in F1 speed: (If you have, skip the next few lines) 

* Film & Book 1 (Twilight) ~ Bella falls in love with Edward and discovers he's a vampire. The price to be with him might be her life. 

* Film & Book 2 (New Moon) ~ In love with Bella and desperate to keep her safe, Edward leaves her. But that doesn't do any of them any good and her life continues in danger. 

* Film & Book 3 (Eclipse) ~ Edward is back, but while he was away, Bella became close to Jake, who has secrets of his own and will not give her up so easily. Not to mention that the villain from the first film is back for revenge. 

* Finally, in film & book 4 (Breaking Dawn) ~ Bella marries Edward. She wants a real marriage, but that is not quite that straight forward when your husband is a vampire and all sort of problems start to unfold. All of which could lead to her death. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Mirror Mirror Trailer Released

Why do I feel like the book-turned-movie scene gets hotter by the minute? Because it is.

The battle of the Snow White thickens... Universal released the trailer for Snow White and The Huntsman last week (view it here), so it's really no surprise that Relativity Media released the trailer for their version, Mirror Mirror, yesterday. I wonder when the handbags will fly...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hunger Games Full Trailer Released

After much waiting, the trailer of Hunger Games is finally here! What do you think? Comment and make a blogger happy! ^_^

Monday, 14 November 2011

Music Mondays - A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

Last years American singer songwriter Christina Perri was still working as a waitress, but in July 2010 her song Jar of Hearts featured in a TV show and the rest is history. Her song A Thousand Years is part of the soundtrack for the new and highly anticipated Twilight sequel: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which releases in cinemas at the end of this week. So what do you think?


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Snow White and The Huntsman Trailer Released

We all know Snow White is hot stuff with both Universal and Relativity Media Studios releasing movie adaptations next year.

This week Universal released the trailer of its version: Snow White and The Huntsman, which features Twilight's Kristen Stewart as Snow White and she not only looks pretty but also bites. It looks promising. What do you think?

Lancashire Life {8} - Remembrance Day Reads

For my readers unaware of the date, Remembrance or Poppy Day is the 11th hour in the 11th day of the 11th month where everyone in Britain and Commonwealth stops to pay their respects to the brave men and women who have lost their lives fighting for the country since World War I.

There is no better way to honour them than to keep their memories alive and ours fresh as to what they have done so that we could enjoy the life we have today.

There are a series of amazing books that tells their stories, but here are my highlights as advised by my history mad brother-in-law Peter.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Out & About - The Inn at Whitewell

The Inn at Whitewell sits in an idyllic spot in the middle of nowhere. So why does The Sunday Times reckon you should visit? 

Part of the Duchy of Lancaster (The Queen's) State and sitting by the River Hodder in between hills at the heart of a village with only a handful of houses and farms, it is more than fair to say The Inn at Whitewell is a little hidden away. But don't be fooled. This little gem is one of the best pubs/ inns in Britain according to many travels guides and The Sunday Times. (For my non-English readers: Pubs are traditional English Public Houses or traditional old-fashioned English bars)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Book Review - Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe

This book's cover and blurb worked like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. But did it deliver?


"Jane Jonas is troubled by unsettling recurring dreams where the same mysterious boy comes to her. Her mother is increasingly anxious about Jane's disruptive sleepwalking episodes, but for Jane her dream world and reality are about to collide...When she develops a friendship with an enigmatic stranger in town - the blond, uber-cool Evan - it's new, exciting, and Jane wants him more than she's ever wanted anybody. Until her mysterious dream boy gets in the way and she is caught between two worlds: one familiar, but tinged with romance and excitement; the other dark, dangerous, full of angels and werewolves, where an irresistible stranger is trying to win her heart..." (Goodreads)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

New Books on the Block {1} - Sequels

There are some fab books out at the moment. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to talk about them during October, but here are my highlights for the past couple of months. I will also be recommending some November releases next week so keep your ears to the ground! 

Crossed by Allie Condie was released back in June and is the next installment after Matched (read my review here). "In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake."  I look forward to knowing what happens. The end of Matched was such a cliffhanger! 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Music Mondays - Lego House by Ed Sheeran

I heard this song in the radio yesterday and fell in love instantly! I love his voice and the lyrics. The beat is that kind of feel good vibe. Love it!

Sheeran is a British singer songwriter and he his debut album came out in September this year. Funnily enough, he is from Halifax, a little town minutes away from where I live! His hit song "The A Team" is another fab record so also check it out. The lyrics are a little darker, though. So be warned! Nonetheless, still a great song.

As a treat, in the video of Lego House you have an appearance from Harry Porter's own Rupert Grint (Ron) so that is your book connection. ^_^

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Hunger Games Movie Posters Released

Suzanne Collins' best-seller The Hunger Games is due to become the next book-turned-movie fever. The first teaser trailer was released during the MTV VMA's a couple of months ago (see it here) and now the posters are out! 

I've only selected my favourites, but you can click here to see every single design. There are twenty two of them! So what do you think? Are you a fan?

*** Be part of it!!! You can comment (and no, you don't need to sign up to the blog or even leave your name if you don't want to) by clicking the comment link at the bottom of the article. Or if you like the post, but don't really want to comment, you can just click 'like' at the bottom of the article. This blog is an open discussion so if you disagree or agree I would love to hear from you.^_^ ***

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Movie Review - The Adventures of Tintin

Tintin is one of the most popular comic books of the 20th Century with over 350 million copies sold worldwide and now it has a posh new movie adaptation.

Originally written in French by Belgian author Georges Rémi under his pen name Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin has now been translated into over 80 languages. It's amazing when you realise that this comic book was around at the end of the 20s and Hergé has been dead for almost 30 years, but his work is still read, talked about and inspiring today.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Music Mondays - Paradise by Coldplay

Hello!!! I know I've gone a little M.I.A. (missing in action), but Gosh is it good to be back? I actually missed blogging. I wondered if that means I don't have a life. :-? Than I decided that I just love writing. :-)

Ok... Music Monday!

I have to admit I have never been a fan of Coldplay. I can't quite put my finger on why that is, but their songs have never attracted my attention. Until now.

Paradise has a great melody and I love the fairytale lyrics. Are you a fan of Coldplay and what is your favourite song of theirs?

Be part of it!!! You can comment (and no, you don't need to sign up to the blog or even leave your name if you don't want to) by clicking the comment link at the bottom of the article. Or if you like the post, but don't really want to comment, you can just click 'like' at the bottom of the article.This blog is an open discussion so if you disagree or agree I would love to hear from you.^_^


Monday, 24 October 2011

Music Mondays - You Are Mine by Mutemath

Here goes a little something to relax your Monday.

Mutemath is an alternative rock band from New Orleans. I love this song. The smooth vocals with the chilled relaxed beat make me think of better days when I feel a little tired. So I though I would share it with you, just in case you suffering from Monday blues. ^_^


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Books in Fashion - Cath Kidston Book Boxes

Designer Cath Kidston has as part of her stitching collection this fab little book boxes. And how gorgeous are they?

Available in green (small size), pink and blue, costing £6 for the smaller box and £15 for the larger ones, they would make for amazing and clever bookish gifts. I personally would move the pins, treads, and buttons to my stitching box and keep these fab little boxes to save my collection of book markers, letters, blank cards, or whatever else I can fit in them. They would then snug beautifully into my bookshelf. A good job fashionably done. What do you think?

On a more rebellious note... I have been saying for awhile that books are back in vogue. Once again, it is attractive and sexy to have some brain. Nerds, bookworms, A-grade students, geeks, teacher's pets: It's our turn to dominate the world! *insert wicked laugh here*  ^_^

Am I the only one who just had visions of Brain from Pink & Brain (cartoon)?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Poetic Images {2} - An English Love Affair

'Daily Dose' is a feature of Good Golly Miss Holly from amazing Aussie blogger and aspiring photographer Holly. It's basically her way of sharing the fab images she comes across. Now... I know today is not Monday - the traditional day for 'Daily Dose' - but... What the heck? Why not?

See... I'm aware that quite a few of my readers are not British. So I thought maybe you might find English things as interesting as I do. These are not posh pictures. Just me snapping away at things I find interesting. What do you see? 

Airplane tracks...

A house built on mushrooms? *itches head, shrugs, and takes photo anyway* 

A little light...

Tea breaks and amazing fire places...

Friday, 14 October 2011

In the Mail {10} - The House of Six Doors by Patricia Selbert

The House of Six Doors (Publishing by the Sea) is not any debut novel. It not only scored first runner-up for Teen Fiction during the San Francisco Book Festival, but it is also The Eric Hoffer Award winning novel of Caribbean native author Patricia Selbert. 

"Mama takes thirteen-year-old Serena and her sister to the United States in search of fortune, leaving behind family, stability, and the colours of the Caribbean. They drive from Miami to Hollywood, where their money and luck run out, and a 1963 For Galaxie becomes their first American home. Guided by the memory of her native Curaçao and the words of her wise grandmother, Serena confronts challenges and grows up quickly. What gifts will this new country bring, and at what price?" 

Thank you Jeanne and Patricia! I look forward to reading it! 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Interview ~ An Exclusive with Mercy Series Author - Rebecca Lim

The Mercy books have become one of my favourite series and I have reviewed both Mercy and Exile (read it here).

With Muse, the third book, releasing on October 27th *jumps with excitement* I asked Rebecca Lim for an interview and she was not only up for it, but super nice and chatty. Here is what we got up to:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Book Giveaway Winner {5}

This has been one of my most popular giveaways so far. So a huge thank you to everyone who took part.

And the winner of the signed copy Stealing Phoenix is...

Catherine J!!!!

Well done you! I will be in touch via email.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Book Reviews over at Waterstones

I am a big fan of Waterstones as a book store so I decided to add some of my reviews to their website. I am pleased to say they were published! You can find a list of them here. ^_^

You can also leave your reviews if you register with them online.However, they are edited and not always make it to the web, hence why I am so chuffed!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Book Review - Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Forever (published by Scholastic) is the last book of Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. So my question is: did she close the series with a golden key?

"Grace," I whispered."This isn't how it ends."
"Sam has always loved Grace. As a wolf, he watched her from afar. As a boy, he held her in his arms. Now facing the possibility of a life without her, he will do anything to keep her safe. Even if it means facing his demons. Even if it risks everything he has. Anything, as long as their love can survive..."

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bookshelves - A Book Lover's Interior Design Story {1}

Now that I am moving house my ever growing pile of books (which was already driving my other half nuts) needs a new home. So I went looking for the perfect solution and here is what I came across: 

Invisible Shelves (link)
They make it look like your books are magically levitating. The problem is... Unless you have lots of them in a really big wall, you won't be able to put a lot of your books away. Nevertheless, they look amazing! And provide an stunning effect to a wall if you need to make it a feature. I reckon it would look quite good above my desk. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Music Mondays - Go by Delilah

Music is a big part of my life and it's not only a form of writing, but it also inspires me to write. Music Mondays is the part of the blog that celebrates music. Especially, although not always, British artists. I hope you enjoy!

I heard this song on the radio last Wednesday and I have been in love with it ever since.

Delilah is a British singer fresh on the scene and Go is her debut single. I love her voice, lyrics and beat. Soooo sexy! You feel like you are literally melting away.

All her songs are fab so I had a hard time trying to pick one. If you have a little minute also check Breathe and her song with Wretch 32, who featured on last week's Music Monday, Don't be Afraid.

A lot of new British talent coming through recently. That's what we like to see!


Book Giveaway Winner {4}

Wow! So many entries!! It goes without saying that this book is obviously very popular.

Thank you to everyone who took part on the Hush Hush Giveaway (read my review of this book here). If it was up to me, I would give you all a copy. So thank God for my random number generator function on Excel who picked number 14 for me.

And the copy of Hush Hush goes to...


Well done! I will be in touch shortly via email.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Book Giveaway {5} - SIGNED Copy of Stealing Phoenix

Stealing Phoenix is currently one of my favourite series (read my review of it here) and here is your chance to win a signed copy!

All you have to do is to pop your name and email on the form below and hit the SUBMIT button. This giveaway is international and the book is in English. The deadline is Saturday 8th October at midnight (London GMT). The winner will be announced on Sunday.

"The notion that there is a soulmate out there for every person with a paranormal gift is mere myth is Phoenix's world. Phoenix was raised within the Community - a gang of thieves with paranormal powers - under the control of a harsh master known as the Seer. Leaving the Community is unheard of. But when the Seer gives Phoenix details of her next target, Yves Benedict, she soon realises that he is much more than just her next victim. Yves is her destiny. To be with him, she must break away from the Community, but resistance against the Seer puts them both in mortal danger. Phoenix has never trusted anyone before, now it is time to trust Yves with her life."

Friday, 30 September 2011

In The Mail {9} - Two Caravans, Hidden and Firelight

If coming back from the OUP event with a bag full of books wasn't enough, I also received a few treats this week! Including The Daily Mail's book club choice: Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka - the author of ' A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian' (thanks Roger for giving it to me!), Hidden by Miriam Halahmy (thanks Miriam) and Firelight by Sophie Jordan (thanks OUP). I can't wait to read and review.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Oxford University Press). I love this cover!!!
"With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special among the draki - the descendants of dragons with the power to shift into human form. But when Jacinda's rebelliousness forces her family to flee to the human world, her draki spirit starts to fade. If it is lost, she will remain as a human. The only thing that revives it is gorgeous, elusive Will... whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can't resist getting closer to him even if it means risking the draki's most closely-guarded secret - and her life."

Hidden by Miriam Halahmy (Meadowside Fiction). Very intriguing....
"Alix is just an ordinary fourteen year old, living at the bottom of quiet Hayling Island. But one cold, misty Saturday on the beach she and Samir suddenly find themselves saving a drowning immigrant. Faced with the most difficult decision of their lives, what should Alix and Samir do? A literary coming-of-age novel, dealing with courage, prejudice, judgement, and the difficulty of sorting right from wrong in our complex world."

Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka (Penguin Books &  Fig Tree). Sounds hilarious!!!
"When a ragtag international crew of migrant workers is forced to flee the strawberry fields they have been working in, they set off across England looking for employment. Displaying the same sense of compassion, social outrage, and gift for hilarity that she showed in A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka chronicles their bumpy road trip with a tender affection for her downtrodden characters and their search for a taste of the good life." (Goodreads)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Out & About - Brazilian Waxing Company (Threading)

I have been cursed with a monobrow and for years I was on the quest for the perfectly shaped eyebrows. Threading was the answer.

I like to think that every nationality has its beauty secrets. Not to get very boring in a long winded explanation, I will have to agglomerate them. Sorry, I know it's a very broad generalization; but here we go:

Brazilians, or Latin women for that matter, like curves and they love a big toned bottom. My mother would say it is what makes us 'women'. So if you want a firm and sexy derrière grab one of them for some maintenance tips - a Latin woman, not her derrière, I must add.

Oriental women tend to have very healthy eating habits. They also seem to put great value on calming exercises, like Thai Chi, on the belief that less stress leads to a better life. And don't even get me started on that come-catch-me-shyness of theirs that seems to drive the boys insane. I can't tell you how much I wish I could do that. Latin blood doesn't always allow for shyness.

Last but definitely not least, Asian women have beautiful skin and hair. There are some fantastic beauty secrets to be learned here. The interesting thing is that they like to use only natural ingredients like milk, flour and spices. It works beautifully! I try some of the receipts in regular basis. More importantly and to the point... Asian woman tend to have amazing eyebrows! It frames their almond shaped eyes like you have never seen and the results can be quite striking. You have to appreciate that in some Asian cultures all a woman is allow to show is her eyes, so these ladies have learned how to make the most of it. 

Threading is actually an ancient form of hair removal. Persians used to have it done!!! The difference in between threading and other forms of eyebrow plucking is that it's gentler than waxing and as precise but more efficient than tweezing. It is also fantastic for shaping unruly monobrows like mine. :-) Just for the record, you will never see me sporting it.

My favourite place for threading is the Brazilian Waxing Company in Manchester (you might remember my other article on Brazilian waxing during the Brazilian week we had in May) for the same reasons as before: they are efficient and good at what they do, you can book and cancel online, the rooms are clean and the place immaculate, the therapists well trained.

While I can not say you will have a pain free experience (threading - like any lasting hair removal technique - is not painless) I can tell you you will be well looked after. The girls here really do know their stuff. If your eyebrows  have been in dire need of a makeover you might even rediscover your face!

 Like waxing, take a couple of Paracetamol 20 minutes before you go under the thread and prepare to pull some funny faces. You can also kill two birds with your stone and get rid of your muzzy (moustache) if, like me, your curse doesn't stop at your eyebrows. This is another advantage of threading: you can have your whole face done and get rid of any hairs that shouldn't be there. Including that annoying one under your chin you discover every so often for your great horror *insert thriller soundtrack here*. 

And boys... they can thread you too!!! But since you are not used to painful beauty procedures in regular basis I suggest you definitely don't forget the Paracetamol. 

Ambient: *****
Price: ££££
Children: No
To check the rating system click here

Brazilian Waxing Company
Tel: 0208 1234 332
Now in two new address!!!
Oxford Rd Branch
3 Oxford Road, Manchester M1 6EY
City Center Branch (Just off King St.)
7 Cheapside, Manchester M2 4WG

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Book Turned Movie {2} - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jane Eyre & Breaking Dawn

There are a few books-turned-motion-picture making the headlines this week. And here they are:

Jane Eyre - You might remember me mentioning Wuthering Heights getting a movie facelift with a new version releasing during the 2011 Venice Film Festival. And for the every Brontë fan's delight, earlier this month Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë - the eldest sister,  has released in UK cinemas. It has earned great reviews from film critics all over the place and boy... Does it look good? I am itching to go and watch it.

Breaking Dawn (Part 1) - The second trailer of Breaking Dawn was also released earlier this month. This particular book, like Harry Potter, was split into two movies and personally I can't wait to watch it. Funnily enough, neither can my husband! It releases in British cinemas on November 18th. (Watch the first trailer here)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (American version) - the first trailer for the very anticipated and talked about American remake of the Swedish film and book 'The Gil with the Dragon Tattoo' was released last week . I honestly hope this bring something new to the table as I thought the original film was good enough as it is. If it does not it will validate one of my points regarding movie remakes and I will be very disappointed. Although, with Daniel Craig as the male lead and David Fincher as the director I will be really surprised if it is not good regardless. This one is due to release in cinemas on December 26th, Boxing Day.

Have you watched any of the films mentioned above - Twilight Saga, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre or the original version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? What did or do you think of them? 

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