Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I am super happy to have been tagged in the Liebster Blog Award by Kelly at Reading Kelly. The Liebster Award is for us bloggers who have less that 200 followers but do good things! Award winners have to share 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the person who tagged them, and then come up with their own 11 questions for the 11 bloggers that they tag in the award!!

So without further ado...

11 Random Facts About Me.

1. I am 21 years old going on 71.
2. A complete social media freak.
3. I can find people wherever I go who like to read nearly as much as me
4. My favourite scent is freshly cut grass
5. I hate coffee
6. Self confessed tea addict
7. Work in marketing
8. Live in a dream world
9. Love painting my nails pretty
10. I don't have any pets
11. I still sleep with a teddy bear

11 Questions from Kelly

1. Where do you keep all of your unread books- together or scattered throughout your shelves?
I actually have them scattered through my shelves. I don't have much room to store books at the moment so I stack them where I can. In an ideal world however I will have a TBR shelf!

2. Do your book selections vary by season?
Not really. I tend to read the same genre all year round.

3. What is your favorite foods?
Chilli Con Carne, Chocolate, Bananas and Marshmallows - but not all together, and not necessarily in that order!

4. Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?
I will always give them a quick read when I purchase or borrow the book. They I have been known to sometimes read it again when I am part way through the book to see if it measures up!!

5. Any quirky reading habits?
I love to read whenever I can, so when I am eating alone I often read as well. It does lead to some embarrassing food stains on book or trying to eat my Kindle moments when I am so into a story I loose all sense and co-ordination. 

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?
I would go to Canada. I have heard nothing but good things about it from friends, family and books. My favorite author Kelley Armstrong is also Canadian and I would love to meet her if the chance ever arose - I am also a bit apprehensive that it would turn into a situation like "The Fault in Our Stars" so maybe not.... 

7. When did your love of reading begin?
As long as I can remember I have always loved reading, but there is one notable time when it was truelly reinforced. I went to the local library with my favorite teacher from Primary School, I was around 7 years old, and she asked me what book I was looking for. I said anything by Jacquline Wilson. She looked so impressed that I liked books that was a wee bit advanced for my age, that it wasn't a picture book and that I even had a favorite author! From that day on I began to fully accept my love of reading as something not to be ashamed of!

8. What are the best and worst books you have read lately?
Best: Dragon Riders of Pern books - I have fully fallen in love with the whole series.
Worst: A book I can't even remeber the name by Cheri Schmidt - It was an awful Twilight rip off and I couldn't get past the first chapter.

9. Do you have any hobbies outside of reading?
Cooking, walking, mountain biking & singing... badly!

10. Which do you prefer- the beginning or end of a story?
I love re-reading stories most because I pick up all the little clues that the beginning of books give to its outcome. There is something about this recognition that I adore. So the beginnings!

11. What is your fondest book memory?
All the times I have ever had a true book nerdy conversation with anyone. The discovery of someone else who loves books as much as me really makes me happy - and I often look back on them as the thing that cements our relationship!

My 11 Questions to Nominees

1. When did you discover your love of books?
2. Where do you read the most?
3. Can you read whilst listening to music or whilst the TV is on?
4. What do you eat for breakfast?
5. Why did you decided to start blogging?
6. Why do you blog about books?
7. Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate?
8. What is your worst habit?
9. Hardback or paperback book?
10.Who is your favourite author?
11. What do you want to be doing / where do you want to be in 5 years time?

I Award to Liebster Award to:

Eileen @ In My Playroom

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Bookish Wonders #4

Gone are the days when I used to hold places in a book by train tickets, receipts or God forbid a folded corner. Book marks are not only useful, but super stylish! This Bookish Wonders post is all about, yup you got it, book marks:

These hand made photo bookmarks are a great little present for a loved one!
I adore these colourful paperclip ones. 
I love a second hand book, and the history that goes with it. And although it kills me to see one carved up to make a book mark, I have to admit these are really cool!
Recycling is cool, and stylish! There are loads of different design ideas of these on Pinterest, and I had never thought that paint cards could be so useful after you have made the choice of the colour for your walls!
Again the recycling ethic here is super cool. Lollipop Avengers bookmarks, what is not to love?
Button me up :)
I bet this would look great sticking out of the top of Fifty Shades of Grey or similar over hyper erotic novels!

One for your crime dramas!
I just want this one to sit in a book on my bookshelf. Seeing Morphs face peeking at me over the top of a book is bound to make me smile everytime!
These 'melting' bookmarks are hand made so each on is unique. How cool!
Forget book marks, why not just hang them on the wall over your bed? Not that portable though....
Book mark design feature! 

This one is techy cool! To turn the light off all you need to do is to place an open book on the shelf above it! The light will turn on automatically when you next remove the book. Want one!

These ones are for the iPhone users that can't bear to use anything  that is not an app! App paperclip bookmarks.
Save your bookmark.

These little bunny and bear stick bookmarks are super cute for adults and children alike.
What about a metal bird bookmark clip?
But my personal favourite, the puppy book stand and book mark. You may awww!
I found all these little beauties online, and you find out how to make or purchase all of these via by Pinterest board.

Know of anymore, include the link or in the comments to we can all enjoy them.

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Kelley Armstrong - Author Interview.

Any one who knows anything about my blog or me personally will know I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong. Discovering her adult fantasy series Women of the Otherworld really pushed me towards having to share good books, and thus start blogging, and I would not hesitate to recommend her books to anyone!

So you can imagine my excitement after a cheeky email to Kelley Armstrong via her assistant came back with a fantastic little interview. So without further ado, I present to you an interview with THE Kelley Armstrong about the Women of the Otherworld series, its final book '13' and what comes next....


It is well known that Bitten was written as a stand alone novel, and then expanded into a series. But I was wondering what was you inspiration for the first book and how did you come to expand it for the rest of the series?

When I wrote Bitten, my goal was to create the kind of werewolves I wanted to read about.  The idea was sparked by seeing an X-Files episode on werewolves.  As much as I liked the show, I didn’t care for their version of werewolves, which were the typical man-killing monsters. I’d always been fascinated by the idea of combining humans and wolves, and that show gave me an excuse to write a story about that kind of werewolf.

When the question of turning Bitten into a series came up, I gave it a lot of thought. As much as I loved the stories and characters, I couldn't imagine writing a long series about just werewolves.  I decided to instead create a linked series with changing narrators/protagonists.  In the second book, Stolen, I introduced other supernatural characters, and spun off to one of them--a witch--for the next novel.

You have mentioned on your website that you and the character of Elena share the same year of birth. Would you say the character is based on yourself? Or is that where the similarity ends?

All my characters have a trait or two in common with me.  That just makes them easier to write.  With Elena, she's my age, from my geographic area, with my education level, etc, which made it easy for me to get into her head as my first narrator.  Paige and I share a common interest in computers (I was a programmer) so I could easily write that part of her life and personality.  Eve and I both have daughters around the same age, so that part of her character came naturally. Even my teen characters share something in common with me. But it’s only a trait or two. Ninety-five percent of their character is very different from me!

Are any of the other characters based on people you know?

None of them are based on anyone I know. I pull bits and pieces from everywhere--friends, family, acquaintances--and mix it together.

What can we expect from the final book in the series, Thirteen?

I’m going to answer that with a quote from the book that one of my publishers used. 
“Anything you thought you knew about our world? Forget it. Someone has tossed out the rulebook. Ghosts can cross the divide. Hell-hounds can manifest. Demi-demons can possess living children. And it’s not going to get any better until it’s over.” 
As you might guess from that, 13 is my Otherworld upheaval book, when everyone comes together to fight the biggest threat they’ve faced.

Is this really the end of the Women of the Otherworld series? I am so sad to see it end!

I do hope to write more stories—and maybe even a future novel or two—but I’m ending the book-a-year schedule and launching a new adult series.


I think you will agree these are some fantastic answers. I did get very excited when I first saw them in my email inbox. With just over a month until the release of Thirteen (July 24th) I had to share them with you. And with the announcement she is writing a new adult series I am over the moon!

If you want to know more about Kelley Armstrong you can check out her website, Goodreads profile or read the other blog posts I have written about both her, the Women of the Otherworld series, Darkest Powers or Darkness Rising series. 

Thank you for reading,

Love Rie x

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Bookish Wonders #3

Post #3 in my bookish wonders series is all about book shelves. Ever since I have been on Pinterest I have fallen in love with some truly amazing ways to display books! Here is just some of the ones I have found.

Staircase book shelf... or a books shelf staircase?
Door book case, the classic hidden door re-invented!
Or why not a whole wall book case?
Another book case staircase, super cute!
You would have to make a matching stool to reach these books!
Somewhere to rest your cuppa whilst reading. 
A fab little reading chair.

Tree bookcase, great for children's bedrooms.

For when the books just no longer fit in doors!

Or when the outside has to come in!
If all else fails just make them float on the walls!
In the comments I would love to see any book shelves you have seen that you love, or even better how you creatively store your books!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong - Book Review

Non stop, action packed and  fantastic addition to the YA series by Kelly Armstrong.

Summary courtesy of KelleyArmstrong.comMaya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

This second book in the YA series, Darkness Rising, doesn't need to start with a bang. The bang has already happened at the end of the first book in the series, The Gathering , and this starts if it was only a turn of a page rather than a new book. As a companion series to her other YA series Darkest Powers, they compliment each other perfectly, throwing in inter-textual references left, right and centre from both Darkest Powers and her adult fantasy series Women of the Otherworld, this is a real treat for Armstrong fans.

Maya Delaney is soon becoming one of my favourite YA protagonists. Strong willed, talented and a skin-walker. What more do you need to look up to? Superbly written the love triangle in the book is just on the right side of teenage awkward without being overly predictable. Rafe is troubled, invincible and most of all hot for a 15 year old! But with a minor revelation at the end of this book I feel that the relationship may develop in a way I have never imagined before.

As this group of teens struggle to find out who, or what, they really are they are forced to flee for their lives with no one to trust. There is something about this narrative that I really fell in love with, and I can't wait to see where the next instalment will take us next.

Not read any of Kelley Armstrongs YA fiction before? What are you waiting for! My recommendation would be to start with the Darkest Powers series, and work your way to this companion series. Although I don't doubt you will enjoy it as a stand alone novel, its well worth the wait to understand all the complexities and inter-textual references.

Overall I have got really fan girl over this book. In my mind YA fiction doesn't get much better than this!


Let me know in the comments below what you think of this book? Think you have a better YA series I will like, let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Snow White and The Huntsman - Film Review

This epic twist on the classic fairy tale pulls in some big name actors and used a colossal budget to bring a dark fantasy to life in the world around Snow White.

In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.

There is very little left of the original Snow White in this movie but it works to its advantage. Sleeping princesses are so last year and Kristien Stewart plucks the young girl from the fairy tale and turns her into a grown women. Although what is left is done really well. The evil queen, played by Charlize Theron, steals the show with some fantastic acting and special effects that took my breath away! The seven Dwarves were also present but in a different capacity and I was reminded of The Hobbit in their battle style journey.

The additions to the original tale were welcome. I am particularly fond on the Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth who was both devilishly attractive and a fantastic addition to the cast.The fantasy world director Rupert Sanders created, from the castle, to the black forest and the land of the fairies was magical, and without the aids of 3D it was a perfect mix of special effects and narrative. In particular I fell in love with the fairies, whose small white furry bodies were comparable to Avatars on a much smaller scale, and are creepy yet adorable. There are a number of creatures such as moss covered tortoises and a beautiful white stag in this scene that make it not the most eventful, but one of my most memorable.

Yet the two hour long movie, that I must add flew by, seemed rushed in places. There were a number of characters that I felt were under developed namely the Dwarves and the character of the Huntsman. The characters of William and Finn on the other hand superfluous. The romance I felt rushed and pretty non-existent, with true loves first kiss nothing more than an average monologue. 

Overall if asked to recommend a movie to watch in the cinema tonight I would say Snow White and the Huntsman. It is a dark fantasy masterpiece of fairy tale origins that is worth the watch. 


Want to know more you can visit the micro site and or take a look at the trailer: 

In the comments below let me know what you thought of Snow White and the Huntsman!

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

Friday, 1 June 2012

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky - Book Review

Today I have a guest book review for your from my good friend Ross Phillips. He has done a number of reviews for my blog now, and has slightly different tastes in books so can give you another perspective from me gushing about hot vampires! I do intended to get round to reading all these little gems and give my perspective too, so look out for my comments at a later date!

Without further ado I will hand you over to Ross:

Metro 2033 by Dmity Glukhovsky

"The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind. But the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory, the stuff of myth and legend. More than 20 years have passed since the last plane took off from the earth. Rusted railways lead into emptiness. The ether is void and the airwaves echo to a soulless howling where previously the frequencies were full of news from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. Man's time is over. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth. They live in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. It is humanity's last refuge. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters - or the simple need to repulse an enemy incursion. It is a world without a tomorrow, with no room for dreams, plans, hopes. Feelings have given way to instinct - the most important of which is survival. Survival at any price. VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line. It was one of the Metro's best stations and still remains secure. But now a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro, to the legendary Polis, to alert everyone to the awful danger and to get help. He holds the future of his native station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity. "

This book is a bit of a departure for me as I usually stay away from the whole post-apocalyptic genre as in my experience books in such a setting tend to be either gritty depressing trudges through a ruined version of whatever part of the world the author happens to know best, or wholey unrealistic frag-fests which are all action and take no account of pratical difficulty or plot.

So when a friend bought me Metro 2033 as a present purely on the fact it was set in Russia (and I'm a well know Russophile) I was skeptical, having put it off for months on end I finally decided to get on with it and to my utter shock I actually quite enjoyed it.

The world Dmitry has created within the Moscow subway system (of which there is a VERY handy map inside the cover) is completly engaging, with threats of all variety around every corner from zealot political cults to mutants to the downright paranormal let alone the radiation and chemical threats.

There is a very real sense of the well characterised Artyom being a very small, delicate cog in a very big, broken machine. Action is well paced and the tension in some scenes is almost palpable. Supporting characters are very human indeed with almost the whole book highlighting just how fragile humans are both physically and mentally and that the survival of humanity is by no means a safe bet.

If I've got any real issues with this book it comes mostly from that fact its Russian. Cyrillic languages are notoriously hard to translate effectively and while on the whole its perfectly readable there are odd phrases and sentences that seem a bit 'odd' (for want of a better word), a bit like when you run something through Google translater, what might be a comon enough phrase in Russian doesn't come out right when directly translated to English.

Another small niggle is that while the districs and subway stations of Moscow may be familiar to the people who have been/lived there it has the tendancy to get slightly confusing for those of us with no knowledge of Moscow.

So all things considered I think you could sum this book up by saying that it's a good book thats tad spoiled by its localisation.

7.8/10 (shall we call it an 8!)

Irriatingly there is a sequal (Metro 2034) but so far i cant find any copies in English. German, Spanish and French yes but apparantly a real niche Language like English doesn't get a translation . . . . understandable, its not like English is the 3rd most Spoken langauge in the world or anything . . .

Thanks for reading,

Love Ross & Rie x