Thursday, June 22, 2017

BOOKWORM CANDLES & CRAFTS

Hi Everyone, Today I have something a little bit different to share on the blog with you all. Most recently bookish candles have been a big inspiration of all things YA, fantasy and well bookish. I've seen so many book type candles, they looked amazing and doubt smelt it as well, it wasn't until I discovered Bookworm Candles and Crafts by Donna from Book Passion For Life, who has her entire instagram feed covered in these amazing candles and it was about time I joined the club too. 

Here a little bit more about Bookworm Candles & Crafts by the wonderful Danielle.
Welcome to Bookworm Candles & Crafts. My name is Danielle and I thought it would be nice to tell you a little bit about myself, my love affair with books and why I started creating book-inspired candles and accessories. I started this little adventure in September 2016 and I am having an amazing journey so far. My love affair with books started when I was a child. I used to be read to, as most children are, by my dad. He is a massive bookworm, so buying books and a love for reading has always come naturally to me. We are lucky enough to have a library room at home.

I am also very artsy and did jewellery design at college and have always loved being creative. I decided on a career in the perfume industry and have done lots of research on scent and raw materials as well as aromatherapy courses and body products courses. That kind of brings me to the decision to start my book-inspired venture.

I was doing a training course in London and I live on a small island, so had a lengthy commute. Naturally, I was reading. I was actually re-reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas, and when I arrived this particular day we were smelling and identifying ingredients. One of the ingredients was pine. As I smelt the wood clean scent, I thought to myself: so this is what Rowan would smell like. I then started jotting down details and characters I would like to basically smell. Before the day was out I had 25 characters!
So after a little research and lots of shopping and testing, Bookworm Candles & Crafts was born. I hope you really like what you find. We are adding new stock, characters and sizes all the time, so if you don't find your favourite book or character please get in touch. I'd love to hear your ideas.

When I finished A Court of Wings and Ruin, that was the turning point for me. I mean I needed to be in the Night Court, and Feyre and Rhysand.

So yesterday they finally arrived and I squealed with delight, they look gorgeous and they smell divine. If I had these during reading ACOWAR, I would have felt like I was actually there. It's like the characters have come to life. You need to light them to get the smell as well. If I'm honest they look too good to light. Haha.


Scents - citrus, salt and sunrise - a masculine aquatic scent
Scents - daisies, Oakmoss and rainbows - an earthy comforting scent

I bought two 3oz  tins from The Inner Circle of ACOMAF set. I bought Feyre's Tin and Rhysand's obviously. The best couple of YA fantasy in my opinion. 

I've also bought a book hugger which is inspired yet again by ACOMAF and the Night Court candle with my second order. I wanted to show you just how amazing they are, how great and creative Danielle is too. So whether you love books, or you simple want to get someone a gift, I highly suggest going to Danielle over at Bookworm Candles & Crafts. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ARC REVIEW/ BLOG TOUR - FINAL GIRLS by Riley Sager

Hi Everyone, I'm excited to be part of Riley Sager's debut blog tour. Today I'm sharing with you my review. Please be aware that this is an ARC review for the UK publication of this book as it's not released until the 13th July. If you're in the US, there is a giveaway at the bottom of this post. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Publisher - Ebury Publishing
Release Date - 13 July 2017

Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead...

They were the victims of separate massacres. Three strangers bound by similar traumas grouped together by the press.

When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same.
My Review
I mistook this book for YA completely but you know want I loved that I did. It's like it's a book wrapped up, you don't know what it is until you read it. This is book is a psychological thriller, an adult psychological thriller and you know what I bloody loved it!

It begins, on a weekend in the forest, Quincy and her friends stayed in Pine Cottage, one night it turned into something sinister and brutal. chilling. Him, had a knife and slashed through her friends one by one, until she was left. With 3 stabs wounds, she ran for her life, for an escape, into the arms of her survivor. On that night she became a Final Girl! There is only 3 Finals Girls, Lisa, Samantha and herself, Quincy. On the night of their traumas, the papers named them the Final Girls and now they have to live with that for the rest of their lives. It isn't until Lisa ends up dead that Quincy thinks she could be next...

 After her traumatic experience, Quincey has locked it away, she can't remember what happened during the attack, before and after is fine, but leading up to it, it draws a blur. Told from two perspectives, present day and the night of Pine Cottage, it unfolds as Quincey gets flashbacks to the most terrifying night of her life.

What I loved about this book was the unknown of it all, the writing, the characters, the plot. Everything and that's what kept me hooked. Page after page, it was a race to know what happened to her, to Quincey but also to Lisa. I loved that I was fooled by this book and these characters by Coop, the officer that saved and supported her throughout her life, Sam, the second Final Girl - there is something suspicious about her and even Quincey, her character slowly unraveled from being this neat, organised and controlled cooking blogger to in a way a madwoman - but I don't really blame her. Her whole life has been monopolised and trained about her being a Final Girl and it's about time she finally opened up and let it all out.

This being my first book into this genre, I've totally surprised myself. Riley said to me on Twitter that the genre has missed me, well if I'm honest I missed the genre completely, never for a second did I think to pick one up. It's amazing when a book like this lands on your doorstep...literally. Final Girls, is an addictive, horrifyingly chilling debut novel from Riley Sager. Each page feels like your heart is pounding with anticipation. If you've never thought about this genre before, or fancied reading something like that, but are curious, then I suggest you read this one first, it will open your eyes to this genre and more. Take it from someone who knows.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Image result for riley sager author
About the Author
Riley Sager is a pseudonym for an author who has been previously published under another name. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley is a writer, editor and graphic designer who now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Riley's first novel, FINAL GIRLS (called "The first great thriller of 2017" by Stephen King), will be published in 2017 in the United States, the United Kingdom and more than a dozen countries around the world.


Follow the tour HERE!

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

ARC REVIEW - FLIGHT OF A STARLING by Lisa Heathfield

Flight of a Starling 
by Lisa Heathfield 
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Release Date - 29th June 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.

Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground?






My Review
Warning - You will need a box of tissues. This is the only book that had me totally sobbing.
 I first fell in love with Lisa's books with Paper Butterflies, and I believe that I've found myself a new favourite author of 2017.

Told in the dual perspective, sisters and kindred spirits, Rita and Lo have been part of the circus all their lives, they were born into it and they will live out their days flying through the air. When Lo and Spider find out 'something', this secret could ruin everything they have and she feels obligated to protect Rita and to protect the family she has always known in the circus. Lo feels that what if there was more beyond the big top, to take her away from it all?  She finds herself attracted to the outside world and more specifically to a 'flattie' - a non circus being, called Dean.

This is my first book based in a Circus, an impenetrable family of talented gymnasts and artists, travelling the world by storm to share their way of life. That's what Lisa did and that's what Lo did to Dean. Rita and Lo have the most precious and unbreakable sisterly bond I've ever read. Lo is a little more daring as you can tell and she gets more so when she meets Dean. Experiencing life beyond the circus sets her flying in a different direction, one so new and fresh, it's almost too much for Lo to bear. Her way of life, is inspiring, everything she see's is so different than how Dean would see it or live it. Lo is almost innocent and that's refreshing to see how something so simple or small could mean so much, like leaving your footprint at the end of their time, so they will always be remembered. It reminds me of my own relationship with my best friend. Plus they both like hot blackcurrant, ha! I love when an author resonates with its readers, that's a sign of a truly brilliant story.I think it doesn't matter whether you're a flattie of circus star, the world continues to revolve around us and it's just how we see it.

I don't know what is is about Lisa's writing but she has this way of creating the most touching of characters that you can't help the way it captures your heart and never lets go till well after reading the book. Rita and Lo have found a special place in my heart with this book, it's just utter perfection.

I don't know really want to say - there is only emotions and feels for this book and I have them all. Flight of a Starling is Lisa's third novel, and it's as beautiful as it is raw than each of her previous novels. Lisa Heathfield has put her footprint on YA, Flight of a Starling is emotional enthralling, beautiful and uplifting. But don't be afraid to take over your emotions because it will.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Note: this books contains themes that readers may find distressing, elements of suicide.
Thank you to Electric Monkey for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

REVIEW - THE HAWKWEED PROPHECY by Irena Brignull

The Hawkweed Prophecy (Hawkweed Prophecy #1)
by Irena Brignull
Publisher - Hatchette Children's Group
Release Date - June 16th 2016 (this edition)
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes - one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches - but everyone knows it won't be Ember.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer - and the witches won't give up the throne without a fight.

My Review 

Raven and Charlock Hawkweed both grew up with the story of one of the Hawkweed sisters creating the most powerful witch and heir to the Northern clan. Raven was obsessed with being the best that she can be, but it cost her dearly. So when Raven was pregnant, she hoped and prayed that her daughter would be make the Prophecy come true. But, Sorrel was far from any high power or heir, her magic was neither up to standard of what a queen should have. But Raven masked that, she made out her daughter would be the queen, this illusion that was spread across her coven. When Charlock became pregnant, Raven knew that she would produce the heir, so she switched them magically at birth. Poppy and Ember, born at the same time, yet have lived two very different paths, in two different families. Now living just a stones throw away from each other, there lives have never been so connected.

The funny thing is Ember and Poppy are a lot like each other, secluded, alone, the odd one out so to speak, whilst also different from living in such different environments. It's like they are soul sisters, magical twins, they fall for the same boy as well, Leo. It's like I'm torn sometimes during this book do I want Poppy to fall in love, or give Ember her love story that she's only ever read. For Ember life is a journey to be discovered like she's opening her eyes for the first time, and Poppy feels that magic is her only hope to finding the truth as to why her mother is crazy and will never accept her. Their childhood, their upbringing has made them who they are now but not who they were prophesied to be. Poppy is more outgoing, bold, knowledgeable of life and society, whilst Ember is resourceful, a simpleton, old-fashioned, knowledgeable of recipes, remedies and magic. But they both need each other in order to survive, to fit in to where they belong. 

The Hawkweed Prophecy is as beautiful inside as it is out. I loved Irena Brignull's writing is seamless how we go from one character from another. it doesn't not focus on one sole character like Ember or Poppy. Raven, Charlock, Leo, Sorrel all have their own part in their story which makes this story a lot bigger than it is, it gives it its so much more of a bigger picture. The Hawkweed Prophecy has elements that every fantasy writer or reader will love, the atmosphere is dark, haunting, chilling with a dash of sunshine and fairy tale magic. If you loved The Witch's Tears series by Kate and Liz Corr then you will love this. I'm so glad that The Hawkweed Legacy has just come out I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Hatchette for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 05, 2017

BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST - TENDER EARTH by Sita Brahmachari

Hi Everyone, it's been a while again. I've just come back from a lovely week's holiday, so getting back into the swing of things, including back at work today. 

So to start off being back at home and getting back into blogging, I have a guest post as part of Sita's latest novel Tender Earth. They all have calls to action and links out to themed things to do (instead of feeling powerless) - and all link to Amnesty too (they endorsed the book). My themed topic is Women's March and Issues. Before you read the guest post, here is a little more about Tender Earth.



Tender Earth
by Sita Brahmachari
Publisher - Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date - June 1st 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it's changing... can the reappearance of Nana Josie's Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in?

A powerful chime rings through Laila's mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.



Tender Earth by Sita Brahmachari
‘A coming of age story for young protesters everywhere.’
Tender Earth is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because ‘it illuminates the importance of equality, friendship and solidarity, and upholds our right to protest against injustice.'

Here are some banners held up in Tender Earth:

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN-
DAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS

I AM A MUSLIM WOMAN
I AM THIRTEEN YEARS OLD
MALALA WAS TWELVE WHEN SHE CHANGED THE WORLD
HOW OLD WILL YOU BE?

MEN OF QUALITY DON’T FEAR EQUALITY
TOO OLD TO MARCH
NOT TOO OLD TO PROTEST

MY BODY IS MY BORDER. HANDS OFF
HERE FOR MY TRANS SISTERS


Tender Earth celebrates the power of young women to stand up against injustice. As I write I think about all the young women and men and their families who have been attacked recently in Manchester. Those whose lives were cut short because of hate. I have written this poem in their honour, and it links to some of the things that Laila Levenson and her friends have to face in Tender Earth. Like many of my fellow authors I hope my stories will have a positive impact on young readers:

Let not this fill your hearts with hate
Let not this stop you dancing, singing, playing
This earth on which you lay your flowers of loss
is bruised and tender
The willow weeps
But still it grows in splendour
Underneath these concrete paths
Rivers flow
Entwined our branches far and wide
Drawing water from deep courses
All flowing to a human sea
Make it not poisoned
Drink from the earth with love not hate
Let not this stop you dancing, singing, laughing, playing
Protest, stand up, speak out!
Sit together in candle light
Find comfort in each other


Tender Earth is told through the eyes of Laila Levenson. She and her friends are searching to find themselves a place and voice in the world. Laila is becoming conscious of the inequalities that exist between men and women. Like the rest of us, she has heard the kind of things that world leaders have said about the rights of women and during the course of the novel she is becoming conscious that the right of girls to be educated, to be in control of their own bodies, their legal rights, their right to express themselves, are all far from equal.

When Laila learns that the first march her Nana Josie ever went on was a Women’s March, it sparks her imagination, and there are plenty of things that happen to Laila and her friends in Tender Earth that make her understand why her Nana will never forget her Women’s March.

Mrs Latif, Laila’s inspirational teacher gives her I am Malala to read. This is what Laila writes in her reading record at school after she has read it:

I’m sitting in my uniform at my desk, filling in my reading record.

Themes: A girl can change an unfair world. Adults should listen to children. Adults should protect children. All children should have access to education. Children can see what bad things adults do. Children can change the world.

Comments: This is the best book I have ever read. One day I would like to meet Malala Yousafzai.

My favourite quotes:

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

There are many powerful women characters in Laila’s past and present who guide her to become the person we see her growing into in Tender Earth.

Take a look at these links that I explored in my research… convert thought into action and, as soon as you are legally able to, VOTE for what you believe in.


This video clip from #BlackLivesMatter seems to speak to something at the core of Tender Earth where one generation of empathetic women seeks to hand over the baton to another.

https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/831931108250046477/video/1
https://debatemate.com/
http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/reports/why-women-march-467043

Look up @womensmarch on Twitter

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/29/fifth-wave-feminists-young-activists

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/20/parliament-thought-cleaner-young-activists-changing-british-politics


Image result for sita brahmachari
About Sita
Sita was born in Derby in 1966, to an Indian doctor from Kolkata and an English nurse from the Lake District. She has a BA in English Literature and an MA in Arts Education. Her many projects and writing commissions have been produced in theatres, universities, schools and community groups throughout Britain and America. ARTICHOKE HEARTS is her first novel for young people. Sita lives and works in North London with her husband, three children and a temperamental cat.



This is quite a powerful guest post and I'm honoured to be part of the tour to share it. I can't wait to read this book too. Please go a head a take a look at this one, and make sure to follow the tour around too.