Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Book Review ~ California Girl Chronicles: Brea & The City of Plastic by Michelle Gamble-Risley

A very interesting read, if not a little disturbing.

Meet Brea Harper, she is the next Carrie Bradshaw only transplanted in Los Angeles. Funny, witty, beautiful, and very sexy, Brea takes readers on a wild ride into her outrageous romantic and professional life. Demoralized and forced to work in what she calls "bikini hell" just to make ends meet, Brea pursues her career to become a screenwriter only to be continuously distracted by hot men. Delightfully misguided, Brea makes poor choices many women of all ages will find highly relatable. She is one of those unforgettable characters readers love to love.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Music Mondays - When She Was Mine by Lawson

Although it has been in the charts for a couple of weeks, When She Was Mine released as a single yesterday and London-based Lawson is the new boy band on the block.

This tune has officially become my sunshine song. :) I can actually see myself driving around South of France when I go with my girls this summer. And another interesting fact: the band is apparently called Lawson because a couple of years ago the lead singer, Andy, had a brain tumour which was opperated on by Dr. Lawson. Aw! Nice of him to honour the guy that saved his life.

Anyway... I hope you are enjoying the sunshine wherever you are. We sure don't seem get enough of it up North in Lancashire!! So if you are wondering where I disappeared to... I'll be enjoying the little sun we have with a good book. :)
Happy Monday!


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Out & About - Qzine

Because it sits just off the main road, Swan Court Yard in Clitheroe is one of those hidden places you can easily miss. 

You might remember me talking about the Cupcake Boutique. Qzine is across the yard from them. It's brand new and definitely worth a visit. The small deli/bakery restaurant opened no long ago and has been the best kept secret in town. I was told they didn't want to make a big deal about it until they had the menu spot on. Well... I can tell you that, sitting outside in the sunshine and licking my fingers after eating my home-made cheese and onion pie with an amazing mezze salad, I think their menu is pretty fine. So I'm telling everybody!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Fear of Landing: You Fly Like a Woman by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

I knew from the moment I received Fear of Landing: You Fly Like a Woman for review that it would be a fun read. And it didn't disappoint. 

"Getting a pilot's license was the furthest thing from her mind – until an ex-RAF instructor suggested that she wasn't competent to do so. The thing is, he could be right. Sylvia has just a few weeks to prove that she can fly as well as any man."

Monday, 21 May 2012

Music Mondays - Prototype by Sepiamusic

Prototype is the brainchild of Danish/ American duo Sepiamusic. Listening to it, can you think of doing anything but swaying along and chilling? I love their electro rock sound and moody dark lyrics and I honestly hope they bring out some new music soon as they have been quiet for awhile. Fingers crossed! To find out more about them and to listen to their whole album visit www.sepiamusic.com 

Have a wonderful week and happy Monday!


Friday, 18 May 2012

A City Made of Books

I came across this video when Book Machine posted it on Twitter and I thought it was so cute I just had to share. Which book lover wouldn't like to live in a city made of books?

Entitled This is Where We Live, this little film was produced by Apt Studio and Asylum Films to celebrate 4th Estate's 25th anniversary back in 2008. It took a group of insane animators three weeks to complete the project and they did actually built a small city made of books and paper! You can see how hard they worked here

I love stop motion animations! It makes me think of my childhood. ^_^

Thursday, 17 May 2012

In the Mail {13} - Bookmarks from El Salvador

I'm afraid I have to admit to an addiction... Bookmarks. *_* 

I don't really use them, don't actually need them, or look at them that often, but I absolutely adore them and I have lots! Some people like to keep mementos of places they have visited: tattoos, stickers, fridge magnets, tickets... I collect bookmarks.

These two beauties are hand-painted wooden bookmarks from El Salvador, a small country in Central America. The details are so delicate and intricate, it's amazing! Just the thought of someone painting these scenes to such a tiny scale and meticulous detail - gives me back pain. It must have taken them ages! Absolutely beautiful, don't you think? 

And I have another confession to make: these didn't quite come in the mail, either. The Husband brought them all the way from El Salvador as a little treat. Thanks Hubby. I love them!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Out & About - Cupcake Boutique

Who doesn't indulge in something sweet every once in awhile? I, unfortunately, indulge once too often and the Cupcake Boutique in Clitheroe is my heaven in hell.

If the glass display full of cupcakes isn't enough to have you salivating, then try one of their milk-shakes. They will turn any of the sweets on their wall, and I mean things like KitKats and Mars bars, into a shake for you. Not your thing? Then try the cookies, pies, cake slices or cake lollipops. Yeah, you read it right. Cake on a stick - cake pops! Now, if you are made of iron and can resist giving in to this sweet kryptonite, pick one of the fresh fruit smoothies. And if it all fails? What the hell, order your own cake for an event! I did. For my husband's birthday, because he works in aviation in Latin America (that was my excuse), I had a Victoria sponge cake in the shape of the map of Brazil with an airplane flying over it. It was finger 'lickable' and even the airplane was edible!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Music Mondays - Wildfire by SBTRKT ft. Little Dragon

A little late, but hey-ho, rather late than never. :)

I originally heard of this guy when one of his songs (Trials of the Past) featured on CSI: Miami and I liked it so much I had to find out the name of the track and who was behind it. 

Well... That was SBTRKT (pronounced 'Subtract'), a DJ from London who is notorious for performing wearing masks based on traditional African ceremonial ones. He's a believer of anonymity and claims he would rather make music than talk about himself. I liked that. I don't blame him for wanting to be recognised for his talent rather than his face. And I love his sound. Loved it so much, I now have the CD playing on repeat in my car and driving my daughter insane. :)

I hope you like it! Happy Monday!


Friday, 11 May 2012

Book-Turned-Movie Review ~ The Lucky One

The Lucky One is the film adaptation of a Nicholas Spark's novel by the same name. It didn't receive praising review from the film critics, but I had to go and see it for myself.

It tells the story of Logan, an US Marine, saved from dying after he finds the photo of an American woman amongst the debris of a war zone. On his return, he vows to find the girl and thank her as he believes his life should have been lost together with a few of his friends had he not found her photo. Needless to say, he does find her.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

May 2012 - Events for Writers and Book Lovers

May has started and with it a new batch of events. It is all go with a lineup of festivals, regular events and one-offs not to be missed. Now all we need is the weather to bring forth the sunshine.

Lancaster Litfest might only take place later this year, but that has not kept the team from working all year round providing all sorts of events for book lovers and writers. This month they are hosting a workshop with BBC Writersroom - Writing for TV and Radio with Henry Swindell - on May 19th. For more information call: 01524 62166.

Oxford Shakespeare Fest starts on May 20th and follows through to June 2nd, including all things Shakespeare inspired - plays, music, comedy, parties, even baking!!! Great fun. For more information click here.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Out & About - Carlitos in Clitheroe

Clitheroe is a small market town in the middle of the Ribble Valley, but Carlitos is the kind of bar/nightclub you would find in  cities such as Manchester.

Having Latin blood coursing through your veins means that at some stage one will want to dance until one drops. Yeap, guilty as charged. I'm a big fan of a good night out with friends and wiggling the old bones away, but I love doing it in style. I go for yummy cocktails, descent music, people who make an effort, and no hassle. In short, I like a vibrant atmosphere and, although I can and would do a good job of it too, I'm not really keen on lowering the standards by having to climb off my heels or take off my hoops to set some drunk argumentative stranger straight. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bookshop of The Month ~ Waterstone's Deansgate

I'm sure you have heard me go on and on about this bookshop, but honestly... It's my favourite!

With three floors of pure bliss and over 100.000 titles to choose from, Waterstone's Deansgate in Manchester is any book lover's dream. In my house everyone is into different reads and once we walk through the doors we all scatter into our favourite corners. The daughter heads straight for the children's section (funnily enough so do I!) and with shelves and shelves catering to all age groups, there is no going wrong. The husband makes a run for the fiction and thriller's quarter. I've nicknamed it "The Husband Triangle" as he goes missing in there for ever. And I... I hover - a little at the young adult's zone, somewhere around the graphic novel's corner, some at the fiction bit, and a lot in the bar and cafe in the second floor. ^_^ What? I get thirsty!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Music Mondays - Too Close by Alex Clare

You might have heard this song on the Internet Explorer 9 advert already and wondered who the hell sings it. Well... That's British singer-songwriter Alex Clare.

Yeap. I'm the kind of person who hears a song somewhere, likes it and has to find out who is behind it. And this time what I found was a new artist to love. Don't stop on Too Close! Also have a listen to Hummingbird, Treading Water and Tightrope. I guarantee you might find it hard to choose a favourite.

Great lyrics, quirky voice and amazing beat. I went from listening to it on YouTube to buying the CD in seconds (Yes, the CD. I know. As a digital butterfly I should really go for the digital version and download the album, but I like CDs) so I have no doubt you'll enjoy it too.

Have a great week!


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Go Camping - the Bookish Style

There are two things the British love during spring and summer: sunshine and festivals! And here is how to go camping if you are the bookish sort. Or if you are just too-cool-for-school. ^_^

Bookworms live in books. Well... In this case quite literally! Make a statement to your book-lover roots with this amazing Fully Booked tent. That is, if you can settle on this design! FieldCandy has so many extremely cool tents that it's hard to pick just one. I want them all! By the Light of the Fire, Ten Million Fireflies, Get a Room, Rule Britannia (it's the Queen's Jubilee after all) are to name but a few of my favourite designs. 

Now, these are not strictly bookish, but gosh are they cool! The ultimate hippie-ish love affair... Ladies and gentleman, I give you the VW Van Tent. Come on! No book connection, but I could stand inside it and it looks like the van my Dad used to have when I was little. It just had to go on the list!

If your idea of camping is like mine: a chalet somewhere remote - this IS how most Brazilians go camping peeps! I never got inside a tent that wasn't a marquee until I moved to the UK and my husband decided to torture me by taking me camping on a rainy weekend. *_* Surprisingly, it turned out to be great fun! Anyway... If like me you like comfort, then Podpads are exactly what you need. You can go basic with the original Podpad or... You can go ultra cool with the eye-catching Unidomepad. I wonder if I can have one those in my garden... 

No camping trip would be complete without something to sit on and these Penguin Classic Deckchairs are just the job for the bookish and VIP. While you're at it, why not get matching mugs and water bottle too? I know, it's a little bit of a Penguin overkill, but hey! I did say bookish camping.

Festival fashion statement? Then I think you need these tees. And if you want keep warm at night, then you might need one of these Musucbag Sleeping Bags too. Ok, they are also not that bookish, but they are slightly eccentric and, hey-ho, book lovers are just that. Not to mention that if you turn up in any of the tents above, Penguin deckchairs and bookish tees, a weird but cool statement is all everyone will expect of you. 

And since you are a bookworm, at some stage you will want to enjoy your lovely tent and deckchair, with some hot coffee or tea in your flask, snuggled like a bug in the rug inside your Selk bag to, surprise-surprise, read your book!! Well... When that beautiful moment comes, you will need one of these Really Tiny Book Lights, to make sure you have enough light so your eyes don't get tired. :) And guess what? They even adapt to e-readers if you have one of those!

So why go camping when you can go bookish cool camping? 

For more bookish items and gift ideas click here.

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