Saturday, 31 October 2015


1. If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to tea, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

I would invite Lewis Carroll and The Mad Hattie to tea. I would serve crumpets with jam and of course half cups of tea.

2. What book do you wish an author would write a prequel to?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern... I loved the world building and would want to read more of it and how the Circus came about.

3. Which two characters (NOT from the same book) do you think would make a good couple?

Cole from Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter and Mara Dyer in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I think she would put him in his place ;)

4. If you ran into your favourite author on the subway and could say one sentence to them, who is it and what would you say?

Audrey Niffengegger and I would ask her to draw a picture of me for her next book! She is an awesome author AND artist.

5. What book made you a reader and why?

It's difficult to remember but when I was little I liked the Faraway Tree Collection (I still do!) and then later on I liked Louise Rennison's books. I think I read all of them in a very short space of time!

6. Incendio! Your bookshelf just caught fire. Show us the one book you save.

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah E Harkness (Is this cheating, it's three books?!?)

7. Which dystopian world would you choose to live in and why?

I would live in world within the book 5 to 1 by Holly black which is set in a future with hardly any women, so at least I would be treated well...

8. What is your most epic read of all time?

Alex and Ada... all three volumes gave me soo many emotions!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Short Story.. 'The Real Protagonist'

Okay, so lately I have been looking over some of my old work (including the poetry) and I found this short story. This was inspired my American Horror Story so it fits in well with my spooky Halloween theme right now. Don't laugh at me and I hope you enjoy it!

Prose Piece: The Real Protagonist
I have a story to tell, not a pleasant one. So if you, dear reader, would like to read a story of hope and happiness I suggest you go read another. For my story has no prince or princesses, no superheroes or happy dancing animals. My story is of darkness and that of a life which can only be described as hell, although I did not believe in such things before…

Looking back at my childhood, I recall open, wide, green meadows. We lived with a sense of freedom. My family and I were drunk on happiness. My family consisted of: Mother, Father, my little sister, Eliza and me. I always remember my Father’s pipe, the black soot and smoke as he puffed circles. He was usually unseen, far away in his work place. He would come home asking for his evening tea whilst politely pecking my Mother’s cheek. She was an Aryan beauty: all blue eyes and Marilyn Monroe hair. She was slight and slender, always. From a young age I could hug her and fit both arms around her tiny waist. Mother stayed with us at home, Eliza and me.

Little did we know that on December 5th, 1952, our lives would change forever. It was a dark and dismal day, the sky was awash with clouds. It was the start of the Great Smog. The Great Smog’s dirty smoke choked my Father to death whilst he was walking home from work. A Policeman called to tell us the news. My Mother, caught up in grief and fear, became depressed. She infected us with her illness. Slowly we found ourselves in debt. Neighbours noticed our situation but stood idly by. However, they did not notice the men Mother would bring home. “Friends”, she would tell us, “I need company”. I did not like to think about it at the time, just hoping these greasy haired, wrinkled skinned men did not speak to me. I was told the truth one day, by one of Mother’s ‘friends’. He said “that I should know, as the man of the house”. Whoring herself to pay the bills. Disgust built up inside for the woman who had mothered me, raised me. I wanted to run away and find my Famous Five, I would move to the seaside and explore with my friends. So I ran away, leaving Mother, and Eliza followed in pursuit.

We stalked the streets, never stopping. From sunset to twilight to dusk we walked on to find a new home. Eliza, my faithful, loving sister never moaned of tiredness or cried for Mother. She just quietly held my hand.

Overwhelmed with tiredness and almost starved, we found a kind-looking older lady outside a quaint pub. Leaving Eliza hiding in the shadows, unseen, I approached the lady. I asked “is there any spare food left over?”. She looked at me and then spotted my sister and waved us inside.  With caution I called Eliza across, she hesitated and then scurried to my side. We slid through the pub’s beaten up wooden doors, they creaked open easily with a tap.

Inside the whole room was alight with candles, a beer glass in every man’s hand. The air was filled with laughter. Eliza beamed at me, happy to see so many others happy. The lady spoke whilst leading us to the backroom, “I go by the name Nancy, if you’re wonderin’”. We were handed a golden roll each and we ate them greedily.

On our fourth night there, in the early hours of the morning, I awoke with a start. Eliza, who had been asleep next to me, had vanished. I heard stomach curdling screams and ran towards the noises. A man, much like the ones Mother was ‘friends’ with, stopped me. “This is for the best son”, he spoke with a snigger. In fear I yelled at the top of my lungs “ELIZA!” and everything went black.

I woke, my head heavy and feeling deliriously dizzy. I was unable to move, arms strapped tightly around my waist. I shouted repeatedly: “Eliza! Eliza!”, till I had no voice. This was to no avail. I was trapped in a padded cell…


‘Bang’, Jacqueline knocks on the table distracting me from my memories, “Wake up sleepy head”. A tear rolls down my cheek. Jack grabs my hand pulling me towards her and licks the tear from my face. I feel her long brown curls and stare into those violet eyes of sorrow - she is the opposite of Mother. She helped me when I first arrived here.

Later Jack sneaks into my room, her beautiful eyes spilling tears, she’s scared. “Promise me you’ll remember me” she whispers whilst stroking my lips. I nod, flashes of Eliza go through my mind. Feeling like I have just taken a bullet to the heart I sit back and rock myself as she disappears.

“Jack, are you alright?” I ask, concerned. Her response is a blank stare; she moves her head to stare outside. I touch her hand, nothing. “Jack!” I cry. I shake her shoulders, “Jacqueline, answer me!” I scream at her. Her head rolls. Someone pulls me away, still screaming, they inject something into my arm and the room swims. Locked again in a padded cage, laying on the floor, my mouth dry. Screaming… screaming… help… stuck… trapped… Jack Eliza love family free encase soot smog pain burning numb shock Father I’m help choking help die die…

Happy Halloween,

Some Poetry

The Typewriter
Fingers burn empathetically at the touch

Of my cold, charred metal letters. I sit,

Silently tap, tap, tapping away,

Writing past, present; creating future:                                                      

Expressing hopes; dreams; uncovering soul’s wish,

Translating desired thoughts to paper,

Silently tap, tap, tapping away,

Whilst my immortal shell slowly turns to rust.

‘The beast and the beautiful sociopath’
I am a child; creature of night,                                                      

Constantly living in daylight’s fright,                                          

Living in silence, never growing,                                      

I can read thoughts, forever knowing,                                        

I have scouted the earth for thousands of years,                

With emotions heightened I am shedding tears,                    

Years of affliction curdling out of me,                                        

I’m becoming numb; no one has my heart’s key,                    

My parents are six feet under and gone,                          

Struggling to breathe I have to stay strong,                        

My voice speaks expressionless monotone,                      

And I stay the same, forever alone.

Halloween Sonnet
On all Hallow’s Eve sleep with eyes shut tight,

When monsters under your bed come out to play,

The moans and witches cackle cause a fright,

And children remain with parents to stay.

Pumpkin’s eyes along with hungry mouths carved,

The night that the dead spirits come alive,

Zombie’s tyre being six feet under starved,

The party starts when all creatures arrive.

Be sure to have garlic around your neck,

In case a vampire yearns for someone’s blood,

And keep a silver bullet gun in check,

For werewolf’s howls and footprints in the mud.

For tonight is the night that spirits rise,

And all good souls will avoid their demise.

Criticism of The beast and the beautiful sociopath and The Typewriter
In The beast and the beautiful sociopath I used a structure of four lines in each stanza each having 9, 11, or 10 beats per line. I used this to empathize the struggle the speaker is going through. Although I did not use a traditional structure, I used an usual form to contrast the rhyming couplet scheme. I used this scheme to give a child-like and hopeless feel to the poem as they are (although immortal and powerful) just lonely. I renamed this poem from The Vampire as I felt the reader should have their own interpretation of what the “creature of the night” is. Hopefully this adds a more mysterious tone to the poem. I should have used more descriptive words to add atmosphere and I would have described the being itself. However, some emotion is conveyed throughout the poem “shedding tears” and “struggling to breathe”. I was inspired by the vampire culture in television and cinema.

In The Typewriter I had to change the original poems form as it had no structured meter. Although I tried to give the poem an iambic pentameter, there are a few lines which slightly vary to 9 or 11 beats. In retrospect I would have changed the speaker from first person to make the poem more interesting. I should have made it clearer that I was personifying the typewriter as the first words “Fingers burn” is misleading. I was inspired by Carol Ann Duffy’s Text, I liked the repeated “We text, text, text” and decided to include an onomatopoeia of “tap” into my work. I changed the last word to “rust” highlighting how an inanimate object would decay in contrast to a living body that would decay to dust. I would have liked to make the poem longer so I can express how the typewriter would ‘see’ images and life.

Both poems link through their subjects, as they both are about ‘immortal’ beings.

The Halloween Sonnet was just for some festive fun!
Happy Halloween,

Sunday, 25 October 2015

THE BOOK CLUB (TBC) 1st Year Party!!!

Hello all,

I belong to a book club on facebook and it was their first year anniversary yesterday so the creator made a party in London. And what a party it was!

We were all greeted with a good bag and a glass of wine. In the goody bag there were three books and a couple of bookmarks. At the party there was a swapping table for anyone to bring a book and swap. I bought with two books from home to swap and I found some goodies on the table :). I ended up with eight books in total and an audio book, they are:

(This is a book with five samples of up and coming syfi books)

-Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
(Author of the Labyrinth)

-Nearly Almost Somebody by Caroline Batten
(Signed by the author and I met her at the party she is lovely. Very excited to read this book!)

-Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
(ARC copy... lots so good!)

-The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
(ARC copy of a psychological thriller)

-The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood
(ARC copy, my second crime thriller)

-The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
(I can't remember if I have read this before so I might just read it again! The design is by Penguin By Hand... it's a beautiful copy)

-The Help Kathryn Stockett
(The cover is also by Penguin By Hand!)

-Love You Better by Natalie K Martin
(The audio book... I also met this author but at the end of the party so we didn't really get to chat)

I felt very lucky with all of these reads. Wine and books... what more could a girl want!

Watch out for some reviews soon...

Friday, 23 October 2015

Futurelearn Short Story Writing Course Update


So at the moment I am taking part in a short story writing course at: with the Open University.

I am currently on week two and I think it's really helped me get into writing again! I have a new notepad for writing which I carry with me and I use this to write down anything that gives me inspiration.

Within week one we started with a writing exercise about fact and fiction. We had to write 50-100 words incorporating 1 fact and 3 fictitious elements.  My piece was about a normal day... nothing too exciting.
'We then had to write out a character sketch, mine was this:
He stepped on the first fallen Autumn leaf, then the next. His pointed shoes crunched upon the ground. Then he back stepped as if making a tune with the dead leaves. The right corner of his lip curled. I knew then that we would let along. His steps uncomfortably matched mine. I stopped as if to tie up my laces. He stopped too and stretched. As he stretch his shirt buttons puckered. My heart beat a little faster, then he help my gaze...'

Week two started with writing two scenarios. The first had to be a scenario where we liked writing and the other had to be an uncomfortable scenario, I'll let you guess which one is which:

'You sit, pen tapping in hand. Your thought broken by the chewing next to you. Something, a spark of something, comes to mind. Your pen drags along the page as the train juts to a stop. Too many distractions.'

'It's quite, a little too quite. You turn the radio on a low volume. It's just background noise. It's late and you're looking outside at the moon, hypnotised. Candles are burning. Wrapped in a dressing gown. You're getting ready... set... write!'

After that exercise we had to sketch out our character and work on that... which I'm still working on! Then add a 500 word description abut that character which I also have yet to do.

If you find these updates interesting please let me know and I'll do more...
Happy writing!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

What I Read in October

Reading wise October was a VERY good month, in total I read 16 novels/ comics. Here they all are with mini reviews... Check out my good reads for their star ratings.

-The Witches by Roald Dahl
(I listened to this and at times I read along too.. the reader's voices were brilliant!)

-The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut The Moon in Two by Catherine M. Valente
Cant WAIT for the book book in the series!

-Isle of The Lost by Melissa De La Cruz
This book is about the children of Disney villains... it was a nice quick read but I thought the ending was lacking.

-Carmillla by J.Sheridan Le Fanu
Finally read it... I originally bought this book in French by accident!

-Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
A nice ghostly graphic novel!

-The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Anything from Neil Gaiman is a delight to read and this didn't disappoint.

-Interview With The Vampire Claudia's Story by Anne Rice
This is an amazing graphic novel which is mainly in grey scale but with deep reds for the blood.

-Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
October is Black History month so I wanted to incorporate a novel about this... I went into this novel with no idea what is was about and it's not about Black History but it was a very interesting novel! I'm going to try and read The Colour Purple soon though.

-Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Interesting narrative with an unreliable protagonist.

-Fables: Legends of Exile
I have ordered the princess version of this comic, it was good.

-The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
I gave this book a five star rating on Goodreads... I LOVE this book!

-Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
Another good graphic novel, it wasn't the best one I've read but it wasn't the worst.

-5 to 1 by Holly Black
I also gave this book five stars on Goodreads. This novel is about the future... how there is not enough women so women are in power and get to choose their partners. Half of the story is from a woman's point of view before her arranged marriage which is in verse. The other half is in prose from one of the 'contestants' at the marriage tests.

-Lumberjanes: Beware The Kitten Holy by Stevenson, Ellis, Watters, Allen
I love Stevenson's artwork and quirkiness of this comic. The second one is on order!

-Ghostly by Audrey Niffengegger
I liked this collection of short stories, although some of the stories I wouldn't place them in the 'horror' genre. My favourites include: 'Secret Life, With Cats' and 'Click-Clack the Rattlebag'.  I finished it on Halloween and it was a suitable read.

-Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. It was very gripping and interesting. I already had the third book in the series for some reason... I will be continuing to read these books next month at some point!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2015 (officially!)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Hello all,
I am some exciting news... I am trying to expand my blog readership so I am now linked up to Google +. If you want to subscribe to my blog you now can!!!

Lately I have been feeling very Autumnal, well it is October! So I thought I would do the Fall (Autumn) time cosy tag. (Disclaimer: I didn't make this tag up it has been used on BookTube.)

Here are the questions...

#1: Crunching Leaves: The world is full of colour. Choose a book that has reds, oranges and yellows on the cover.

On my TBR bookcase I have 5 to 1 by Holly Badger which I'm looking forward to reading. The synopsis is: 'In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India has a ratio of five boys to every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity.' Also, the book looks like it's been written in verse. It looks very interesting.

#2: Cosy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm cosy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

When I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe it didn't take me very long... I love that book and the concept so much. A MUST read.

#3: Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

I have really been getting into fantasy at the moment. I keep reading books with magic incorporated in the plot. Currently, I am reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black, a book about vampires... perfect for this time of year!

#4: Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

I love the protagonist September from The Fairyland series by Catherine M. Valente! Excited for the fourth book which is coming out soon.

#5: Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

I think that there is not much hype around Walter Moer's books, especially The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear. That book definitely transported me to a different world!

(bonus questions if you want to do them)
#6: Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up. What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

For my dissertation I used an erotic novel based on Sleeping Beauty, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice. The front cover was of a flower opening up which I thought was pretty embarrassing!

#7: Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favourite fall time comfort food/foods?

I love a Pumpkin Spice hot chocolate... try it, it is seriously amazing!!!

Please feel free to use this tag and please subscribe!
Much Autumn love,

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A little chat about readathons and an update

This month is going really well reading wise... I have a pile to share with you all at the end of the month. As usual I got sidetracked from my TBR but I only have two and a bit books to read from the list.

On to the second topic, readathons. I have participated in a few of these over the last year or two and have found some tips that I usually stick with:

1) Have a mixture of literature: short stories, poetry, novels and I love a good graphic novel or two

2) Snacks are very important during a readathon, crisps are good but I usually go for something a little healthier like grapes.

3) Make yourself goals within the readathon, for example, within the next hour I will finish the next five chapters. Goals give you something to work towards.

4) Get up occasionally and have a stretch... you'll thank me after!

5) If the readathon has challenges join in; it makes the readathon a lot livelier and you feel like you're part a something bigger... not just sitting alone and reading.

Check back soon for my 'what I read in October mini reviews'...

Much love,

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Spooky themed October TBR

Since the last TBR was a bit of a fail I thought I would give myself a rough TBR this month. Don't hate me if I don't stick to these books... I'm trying!

This is the spooky themed October TBR:

GHOSTLY by Audrey Niffenegger (It just came out!!!)



THE WITCHES by Roald Dahl



Ahhh so many books to read! I have a few more Halloween-esqe books in mind, for example, YOU by Caroline Kepnes would be perfect for freak you out.

Have a SPOOKTACULAR Halloween lovelies,

September reads...

This is no particular order, these are the books I managed to get through this month... my TBR wasn't very successful (I got distracted!).

Ze September books:



THE ROSIE EFFECT by Graeme Simsion
(The sequel to The Rosie Project and was very witty but I preferred the first book.)


THE PIRATES WISH by Cassandra Rose Clarke
(This is the second book and the series have stopped being published so I could only find this one :'( sadness)

ALEX + ADA VOLUME THREE by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
(Love love love this comic! It made me tear up...)

LITTLE WOMEN by Louise May Alcott

NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson
(Loved it!)

YOUNG AVENGERS: STYLE SUBSTANCE by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes
(A good take on a romance novel! Would recommend.)

(My own pick for #buddyathon and I finished it early September. The book was creepy and I'm really looking forward to Tim Burton's take on it!)

Keep tuned for another TBR for my favourite month October!