5 Story Elements I Love To Write

It's been a while since I've shared a writing-related post, so here's one for today! As I'm sure is the case for most writers, there are some story elements that will pop up in every book we write. Themes, ideas, trends.....aspects of story we always go back to. Here are 5 that can be found in every WIP of mine...

How To Get People To Read Your Blog Posts

We've all been there. We write what we think is a brilliant post, something we're incredibly proud of, and no one reads it. Worse, no one even comments. And we feel like failures. 

Sharing your post around the web is a topic for another post, but today this one is all about the little ways we can attract people to our blog posts. Ways we can get them to click and read.

I hope you find these methods helpful :) At least a little bit!

Blog Tour and Review: BRIGHT BURNING STARS - by A.K. Small

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Bright Burning Stars. Read on for my review and some more info about this debut YA novel...

Characters That Remind Me Of Myself

To give credit where credit's due, this post topic came from That Artsy Reader Girl for the Top Ten Tuesday prompt. I only saw the posts circulating the blogosphere when it was too already too late to join in Top Ten Tuesday, so that's why this post isn't up on a Tuesday ;)

Here are six characters that strongly remind me of myself...

2 Mini Film Reviews: ROBIN HOOD (2018) and A STAR IS BORN (2018)

Robin Hood (2018)

Director: Otto Bathurst. 
Cinematography: George Steel. 
Score: Joseph Trapanese.
Screenplay: Ben Chandler and David James Kelly.
Cast: Taron Edgerton / Jamie Foxx / Jamie Dornan / Ben Mendelson / Eve Hewson. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: PG13 for violence.
Source: Rented.

A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2018 - Harper Collins. 
Genres: Adult / contemporary / drama.  
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Child abuse / strong sexual innuendos / physical and emotional abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice Hart goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.

As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal, and a man who's not all he seems combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

RUN AWAY - by Harlan Coben

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Century.
Genres: Adult / contemporary / mystery / thriller.  
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual innuendos / themes of rape and sexual abuse. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

You've lost your daughter. She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she's made it clear that she doesn't want to be found. Then, quite by chance, you see her busking in New York's Central Park. But she's not the girl you remember. This woman is wasted, frightened and clearly in trouble. You don't stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home. She runs. And you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Where criminal gangs rule, where drugs are the main currency, and murder is commonplace.

Now it's your life on the line. And nowhere and no one is safe.

SEEKER (Keeper #2) - by Kim Chance

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: September 2019 - Flux Books.
Genres: Young adult / urban fantasy / romance. 
Pages: 400.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence. 
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Lainey’s normal, bookworm life no longer exists. With her family murdered by the Master, she joins forces with a group of Supernatural rebels. But as she struggles to cope with her new role as Keeper and the uncontrollable power it gives her, Lainey realizes that magic does indeed leave a mark—but it’s not always physical.

Ty isn’t one of the good guys. He’s done terrible things, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants. Even if it hurts. Even if it means betraying the girl he loves…again.

For Maggie, all her comic book dreams have come true, and her new life as a Shifter is just beginning. But with war closing in, is it truly a dream or a death sentence?

In the ultimate battle for power, Lainey, Ty, and Maggie must face-off against the Master, and work together to discover the greatest weapon of all.

Seek and you will find. 

April Wrap-Up: The One With The Exam

We're almost halfway through the year! I'm so excited for May because A) it's almost winter and I love love love winter and B) it's my birthday month. I've also managed to do some things in April I was dreading (but now am proud of) so I'm glad to put it behind me.


Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Orchard Books.
Genres: Young adult / contemporary. 
Pages: 347.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong violence / child abuse / mental illness. 
Format: ARC paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

2 Mini Reviews: TWISTED by Steve Cavanagh and CLEARING THE DARK by Hania Allen

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2019 - Constable.
Genres:  Adult / thriller / contemporary.
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / graphic descriptions. 
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When DI Dania Gorska is called to investigate the shooting of a young man on a Dundee street, the nail hammered into his forehead suggests that local gangster, Archie McLellan has left his calling card. Clues point to his involvement in an illegal replica firearms venture, a scam that may include other members of the infamous McLellan family.

The chance discovery of human remains buried in the grounds of Breek House, once owned by the McLellans, convinces Dania the two cases must be related. But who was the mysterious tenant of Breek House at the time the bodies were put into the ground? Identifying them is complicated as all the teeth have been removed - post mortem, to prevent identification? Or was the back room at Breek House used by the McLellans as a torture chamber?

As Dania moves closer to discovering what went on at Breek House she disturbs dangerous secrets from the past which threaten the lives of those in the present...

VIPER (The Isles of Storm & Sorrow #1) - by Bex Hogan

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: April 2019 - Hodder and Stroughton.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / adventure. 
Pages: 382.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Infrequent sexual innuendos / strong violence / strong descriptions of gore and torture. 
Format: ARC paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny. 

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles. But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake. He's the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne's father. She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life? 

Romanticised Abuse: Passengers (2016 film)

Our goal is to raise awareness and draw attention to romanticised abuse in films, books, etc, in order to fight it
- Join us! Start posting whenever you want.
- Share examples of romanticised abuse you've seen in books or films - doesn't even have to be a whole book or film; simply one scene is enough, if there's an instance of romanticised abuse in it.

- Please link to my blog as the original creator.
- This is not only about romanticised abusive relationships. It is about romanticised sexual assault, rape, and harassment, as well.
- Please consider the following statement a trigger warning: this blog series explores and draws attention to themes of abuse in fiction. I will discuss sexual assault, abusive relationships, and rape. I will infrequently explore those topics in depth as the fictional example requires it. Please read on with care. These subjects could be triggering.

LITTLE DARLINGS - by Melanie Golding

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: May 2019 - HQ.
Genres: Adult / thriller / mystery.
Pages: 384.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild violence / harrowing themes / self harm.
Format: ARC Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

The twins are crying. The twins are hungry.

Lauren is crying. Lauren is exhausted.

Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting...

6 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid

During my early blogging days (way back in 2016) I made a lot of really thoughtless blogging mistakes. The best thing about those mistakes? They taught me something. I'm still learning (obviously) but there have been a few major blogging changes I've made when I realised what I was doing wrong! I hope you find this post interesting.

Monthly Wrap-Up: The One With The Book Sale

Another month is gone and 2019 is speeding by. It's been a good year so far, for me, although the idea of it being April does freak me out a bit. I'll have to start my exams soon, and that's scary. I also really need to get my learner's license. That's utterly terrifying.

My Favourite Films And Why I Recommend Them

I'm actually surprised that I haven't posted on this topic before. Or, well, maybe I have and it's lost somewhere on my blog, but I don't think so...
Anyway. I have a ton of favourite films, but the ones listed here are my absolute faves. They're all so incredible, some of them extremely underrated (at least I think so, lol) and I hope you'll give one or two of them a watch and end up loving them as much as I do!

Blog Tour and Review and Excerpt: WICKED SAINTS - by Emily A. Duncan

This book. People, this book. I could not be happier to share this post with you today, because this novel is about to rock the YA fantasy genre. I simply adored it. It's electrifying, it's frightening, and it's beautifully written. Hope you like the post!

BLOOD ORANGE - by Harriet Tyce

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: March 2019 - Wildfire.
Genres: Adult / thriller / mystery / contemporary.
Pages: 336.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong language / substance abuse / explicit sex scenes / rape / mild gore / violence.
Format: ARC Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems...

Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. 

Alison's client doesn't deny that she stabbed her husband - she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything....

The Bargain Books Warehouse Sale - March 2019

Happy Wednesday everyone! I'm so excited to be talking about my recent visit to the Bargain Books Warehouse Sale, and of course, showing you all the amazing books I picked up :) If you'd like to check out my post from last year's sale, here's the LINK.

Falling In Love With: Friends-To-Lovers

Tropes are tricky things to pull off. They're loved, they're hated, they work terribly, they work well. It all depends. But I guess everyone has at least one trope they're a sucker for, and this post is about my personal favourite. It's a little different from my usual posts. It's a ramble, it's a discussion, and it doesn't have much structure. I just let myself type. It's a bit all over the place, and I apologise for that! I wanted it to be informal.

ENCHANTÉE (Enchantée #1) - by Gita Trelease

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: February 2019 - Macmillan.
Genres: Young adult / historical fantasy / romance.
Pages: 459.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Substance abuse / gambling / inexplicit sexual innuendos / mild violence.
Format: ARC Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire— Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

The Dark Side Of Beloved Fairytales - Part II

Welcome to Part II of the morbid fairytale truths! If you weren't disturbed enough by Part 1, then this ought to do it. I guarantee you won't look at any of these fairytales in the same way ever again. Sexism, abuse, misogyny.....it's here and it's rampant. 

The Dark Side Of Beloved Fairytales - Part I

Researching for this post disturbed me, to say the least. Who knew that fairytales had such dark, shocking origins? Who knew that underneath Disney's sugary romances were tales of abuse, sexism, and murder? To be honest, it worries me that Disney is so quick to wring beautiful romances from grotesque origins and yet do nothing to address those serious themes in their pretty retellings.

DAWN OF COBALT SHADOWS (Burning Empire #2) - by Emma Hamm

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: February 2019.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / romance.
Pages: N.A.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Strong violence.
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

A tamed dragon may be loyal, but it will forever be free.

Loose from her cage, Sigrid of Wildewyn returns to her homeland with a heavy heart. An army of Beastkin await her orders in a new kingdom made out of animals and forgotten rules. When she begins to lose faith in herself, she embarks on a journey to find her history and that of all the Beastkin.

Far in the desert, Nadir tightens his control over his kingdom. For a time, he’s the Sultan they’ve all waited for. Until an assassin arrives in his palace declaring a legendary warrior has summoned him. A warrior who claims to be his mother. Both struggle to discover their own history, while remaining tied to each other regardless of distance. But a war brews between the kingdoms. Sigrid and Nadir must once again choose between each other, or their people. Only this time, they aren’t certain what they’ll choose. 

International Women's Day: My Favourite Female Characters

Happy International Women's Day! I only remembered it was women's day yesterday, so this post came together very last minute. But it's here. And it's long. Sorry about that ;) I just have so, so many favourite female characters and I wanted to mention as many as I could. Even now, I still haven't managed to list all of them. But without further ado, here they are!

BEFORE THE BROKEN STAR (The Evermore Chronicles #1) - by Emily R. King

fantasy, romance, fairytale, book, review
Book Depository | Goodreads
Published: June 2019 - Skyscape.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / romance.
Pages: 300.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / sexual innuendos.
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.

Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny. 

The Best Resources To Find Writing Tips and Advice

This post is for all the writers out there! The following resources have been invaluable for me, and I hope they can of use to you, too.

I published a post like this sometime last year, but I decided it was time for an updated version with updated resources. Happy reading :)

Monthly Wrap-Up: February-March

February has been the month of writing! There have been a few bad anxiety moments, but generally I've just been busy, productive, and content. How has your Feb been? Tell me what you've been doing and what you've been working on. Feel free to link to your monthly wrap-ups, too!
Here's a run-down of what happened in my February:

Multiple Points Of View - How To Make Them Work

perspective, point of view, writing, characters

How many times have you read a book with two or more characters' points of view and thought "Whoa, hold on. Who's talking now? What's going on?"

I love big casts, but when authors start adding point of view after point of view, it can get confusing fast. You lose track of characters and their personalities just don't shine through.

So! In response to that problem, I've made a list (never need an excuse to make a list...) of what I think makes multiple points of view in a novel work well...

Social Media Tips & Tricks To Rock Your Account

Social media is a powerful and addictive tool. Our world has never been more virtual, and as far as blogging and influencing goes, I think social media is essential for publicity. But how do you get a successful platform? How do you get people to see your reviews and discussions and opinions? 
In this post, I'm compiled some tips I've found useful. I hope you do, too!

Cover Reveal and International Giveaway: WHISPERS OF SHADOW AND FLAME - by L. Penelope

Today I'm excited to share with you a cover reveal! The second book in L. Penelope's Earthsinger Chronicles releases in October this year, and having enjoyed the first book, I can't wait to dive into Book 2. The first book in the series, Song of Blood & Stone was named one of TIME Magazine’s top 10 fantasy books of 2018. Check out the cover reveal and giveaway below!

Happy Valentine's Day - For The Love of Friendship

Happy Valentine's Day! While I know that today is supposed to be about romantic love (and there's nothing wrong with that) I think that Valentine's Day should, at its heart (no pun intended), simply be about love: all types of love. After all, love doesn't need to be romantic to be of value.

A SIMPLE FAVOUR - 2018 film

blake lively, anna kendrick, thriller, dark, mystery
Director: Paul Feig.
Cast: Blake Lively / Anna Kendrick / Henry Golding.
Score: Theodore Shapiro.
Cinematography: John Schwartzman.
Content Advisory: R for sexual content, frequent language, drug use, violence, and some graphic nudity.
Source: Rented.

Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.  

A SPARK OF LIGHT - by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: October 2018 - Ballantine Books.
Genres: Adult / contemporary / women's fiction.
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / graphic descriptions / triggering themes / one explicit rape scene.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard. 

What I've Been Watching Recently - horror, creeps, explosions, pregnancy

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm talking about the movies & TV shows I've been watching recently. It costs to rent films from our dvd store, so I don't watch as many as I used to, but thankfully three of these ones were on Netflix. Yay! 

Let me know if you've seen them - what did you think? 

KINGDOM COLD - by Brittni Chenelle

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: February 2019.
Genres: Young adult / fantasy / romance.
Pages: 276.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild sexual innuendos / mild violence.
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.
Attempted murder, that's how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte's engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent. When her kingdom's attacked, Charlotte's parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom's future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart? One must fall. 

"How To": Bookstagram - Guest Post By Uma @ Books.Bags.Burgers

Happy Saturday everyone! I'm so excited to have the wonderful Uma on the blog today, and she'll be sharing some tips for rocking a bookstagram account. In case you didn't know, bookstagram is basically the bookish side of instagram - bloggers and readers post book photos. Uma has an amazing bookstagram (check it out below!) and so I'm thrilled to see what she has to say.


Monthly Wrap-Up: January-February

(I haven't had sweets in so long and I was craving liquorice and this pic is the closest I could get ;)

Tomorrow is February! January is almost behind us. That means we're a month into 2019, and I can't quite believe it.

PLUS ONE - by Vanessa Raphaely

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: September 2018 - Pan Macmillan.
Genres: Adult / contemporary / thriller
Pages: 382.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendos / strong, infrequent bad language / scenes of sexual assault / strong themes of rape.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

As deputy editor of the glamorous FILLE magazine in London, Lisa Lassiter had almost passed up the chance of a weekend on a billionaire’s yacht off the coast of Mykonos. But her best friend Claudia Hemmingway, on her way to becoming one of the hottest movie stars on the planet, could be very persuasive when she wanted something. Not only would they get there by private jet, she’d told Lisa, they would also get to rub shoulders with VIP guests – not least a famous Hollywood film producer. It would be a weekend of fun, sunshine, champagne and partying. And it was all of those things. Until it wasn’t.

Lisa has spent ten years trying to get past that weekend. If she has learnt anything, it is that unfinished business and secrets always work their way to the surface. Moving on is one thing; forgetting is another, and forgiving … well, where to start?

SEAFIRE - by Natalie C. Parker

feminism - fantasy - ya - pirates - adventureGoodreads | Book Depository
Published: August 2018 - Razorbill.
Genres: Young adult / adventure / fantasy / romance.
Pages: 374.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armoured fleet. But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

WE TOLD SIX LIES - by Victoria Scott

WE TOLD SIX LIES - Victoria Scott
Published: February 2019 - Entangled Teen.
Genres: YA / contemporary / thriller.
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / three sex scenes.
Format: eBook.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone. But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names. The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly. And that’s yours truly.


fantasy - ya - dragons - feminism - adventure - magic - shapeshifters
Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2019.
Genres: Young adult / dark fantasy / romance
Pages: 374.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Fantasy violence / sexual innuendos.
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

A dragon can be loyal forever, if you tame her first. But Sigrid would sooner be dead than tamed.

Dragon shifter Sigrid of Wildewyn has spent her life in a cage, quite literally. Whether she's hidden from her own people, or masked so they cannot see her face, she's dedicated her life to her country and king. But, when her king promises her to a rival warlord and Sultan of a country she hates, her loyalty is tested. 

Nadir of Bymere was the boy king no one ever thought would sit on the throne. And though he knows his country is ruled by corrupt advisors, he's lost himself in the glory of being Sultan. When they force him to marry a masked woman from the country who murdered his brother, he's set to torture her for a lifetime. Both hiding their own secrets, the two slowly realize there is more to both their kingdoms than they originally thought. With many in the kingdom who need help, Sigrid and Nadir must choose who they truly ally with: each other…or their kingdoms. Their choice will put either their hearts or their lives at risk. 

ROAR - by Cecelia Ahern

cecelia ahern - women's fiction - roar - feminism
ROAR - Cecelia Ahern
Published: November 2018 - HarperCollins.
Genres: Adult / women's fiction / magical realism.
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual content / bad language.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

I am woman. Hear me roar. 

Have you ever imagined a different life? Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided? Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar? The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change. 


Director: Mike Newell.
Cast: Lily James / Jessica Brown Findlay / Matthew Goode / Tom Courtenay / Glen Powell / Michiel Huisman.
Score: Alexandra Harwood.
Cinematography: Zac Nicholson.
Content Advisory: PG13 for violence and threat.
Source: Rented.

In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war. 

I'm in the minority when it comes to this movie, and I really wish I'd enjoyed it more. It sounded like such a powerful historical drama.

Hair Care: Tips That Will Change Your Life

My hair used to be the bane of my existence. To make matters worse, I had curly hair, which is even harder to look after. But then I discovered The Curly Girl Method (if you have curly hair, look it up. You will not regret it). That method taught me how to tame my curls, and it gave me some amazing hair tips, as well. This post is about the remedies I discovered that can help all hair types.


Published: December 2018 - Centum Books.
Genres: Picture book
Pages: 36.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: Hardcover.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Return to Cherry Tree Lane as Mary Poppins magically reenters the lives of grown-up Jane and Michael Banks, and creates new memories with Michael's children, Annabel, John and Georgie.

This beautifully illustrated storybook retells the new film, Mary Poppins Returns. 

Living with Anxiety: 3 Ways To Help You Cope

Anxiety is toxic. In the last few years, it's become a huge part of my life and it's become harder and harder to keep my head above water when the anxiety is always there, yanking me back down.  It can so easily take over. More often than not, it controls my day-to-day life. 

Medication helps - so does counselling. But today I'm sharing three practical ways to help you handle your anxiety. They sometimes work for me, and I hope that they can make a difference in your life.

Relax: Tips To Help You Deal With Stress

We're never totally relaxed, are we? Life isn't all smiles and rainbows and dancing in the rain. It isn't supposed to be. It's painful, it's hard, and it's riddled with stressors. So how do we deal with that stress? How do we alleviate it, and cope?

New Year's Resolutions: How To Actually Keep Yours

Happy 2019! It's a new year, another chance to "get it right" (if we're quoting Oprah). It's time for New Year's resolutions and new opportunities. Despite the fact that most of those resolutions won't last longer than a month, we're confident that we'll be able to stick at them.

I think most of us feel the pressure to make resolutions. If not because everyone else is doing it, then because, well, it's a new year. We, as a society, have decided that that means a fresh start, a blank slate, endless possibilities and boundless optimism. Everything's bright, everyone's hopeful. We're choosing optimism. We're choosing hope. We are, essentially, giving ourselves a second chance. There's just something so dazzling about the idea of starting over.

I have always made resolutions. But I've rarely keep them. I've lost motivation, or the excitement of the new year wears off. I want to change that. Serious resolutions can make a difference, and I think they're a great way to make positive changes in your life.

This post is all about ways to keep and achieve resolutions. It's for me, and it's for you. I hope you find it encouraging and useful!

Don't just keep your resolutions to yourself. If you're serious about them, tell someone. Tell your best friend, or your mom. Find out each other's resolutions and make an effort to encourage each other.

If someone else knows about your resolutions and how important they are, you'll feel accountable. For example, I've told my Mum that one of my resolutions is to spend less time on social media. I've asked her to point it out if she sees me on my phone for long periods of time, and I'm even going to hand my phone over to her for part of the day.

Write. Those. Resolutions. Down. Better yet, write them in colour and pin them up where you'll see them every day. Choose a place where they're visible and vibrant and screaming at you to listen. If you see them everyday, they should stick in your mind. And why not add inspirational quotes or images alongside them? If your goal is to eat less junk food, pin up some encouraging quotes to keep you motivated. You could even make an aesthetic mood board!

Don't swear off sugar and then after going a week without sugar reward yourself with ice-cream. That's not gonna make you feel good!

But rewards can be beneficial and provide you with incentive to keep going. Just choose them carefully.  If you're not eating junk food anymore, then once a month - or less frequently - buy yourself something you've been wanting; like a notebook, or an item of clothing, or, since you're probably a book blogger, BUY A BOOK! That's not chocolate or something that'll vanish within a few minutes. It's a worthwhile purchase. 

If you don't want to spend money, then reward yourself in some other way: maybe watch Netflix for a few hours, instead of cleaning the house, or meet up with friends. Make small life decisions that'll reap big rewards.

Consider the "why" behind every resolution you make. It will help you realise the importance of keeping them, and whether or not they're valid reasons to change your way of life.

So you want to eat less junk food. Why? Make sure you know why you want to make this change, and keep the benefits (if indeed there are any) in mind so that you're inspired to stick with it. Don't be sad that you'll have to cut out chocolate; be excited about buying healthy alternative foods, like nuts or berries, and if you wanna be extreme about it, google the unhealthy affects of chocolate so you're inspired to stay away from it ;)

If your resolution is to be more productive with your time, think of all the productive things you could get done if you keep this resolution. Think of the book you could finally write, or the people you could see, or the extra money you could make.

My point is: be purposeful about your resolutions. Do your research. Don't make a resolution and drag your feet; choose something that you know will make you feel better, and allow the excitement to outweigh the reluctance.

In the end, this is your resolution. Ultimately, it's your decision to keep going. It might take hard work, it will definitely take effort and self discipline, and that's part of making new year's resolutions!

Embrace the challenge. The only one standing in the way of you is you. Cheesy, I know, but there is a point in that saying.

In the end, you don't need a new year to make resolutions. If you mess up, start again from the next month. Don't beat yourself up about it. 

What are some of your 2019 resolutions? Are you confident you'll be able to keep them?!