Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Words That Make Me Pick Up A Book

040213_0955_TopTenTuesd1.jpgTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held over at The Broke and the Bookish which invites us to make top ten lists of a bookish nature! This week the topic is “top ten words that instantly make me pick up a book”. An interesting topic! I always read the same types of books so this one isn’t too hard.


1) Witches

I’ve always loved stories about witches. I’ve got the obvious ones like Harry Potter and A Discovery of Witches but my to read shelves are also full of novels about the Pendle Witches and Witchfinders.


2) Vampires

I think my love for vampires started with the likes of Dracula and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I loved Twilight too and now pick up anything which involves vampires! Most recently I’ve loved Marked (the first in The House of Night series) and True Blood.


3) Circus

My circus obsession started with Water For Elephants and then I found The Night Circus. I’ll read the back of any book that involves a circus of some kind.


4) Coming of age

I write for young adults and so books from a teenage perspective really appeal to me. I only recently tried novels from a young child’s point of view and loved them! The words “coming of age” on a book definitely deserve a better look.

Ballad UK

5) Fairy

I’ve always loved fairies and I’m currently working on a big writing project involving them so I love reading books about them.


6) Retelling

I love retellings of classic stories with a twist. Wicked was my first introduction to this and I’ve since enjoyed Splintered too.


7) Time Travel

It’s always interesting when a novel includes time travel. Some brilliant examples of this are The Time Traveller’s Wife and 11.22.63.


8) Movie

When I see a trailer for a film that looks good and find out there was a novel first then I always have to read the novel. It’s usually better! This is why I read The Hunger Games and it was 100% better than the film.

images (1)

9) Werewolf

Wolf books are working on being the next big thing I think! I usually check out a book if it contains werewolves.


10) Gothic

My attention is always caught when a book is described as gothic, especially not so obvious gothic like Jane Eyre.

What catches your eye when book shopping?



Friday Fictioneers – Pure Imagination

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing challenge where R0chelle Wisoff-Fields gives us a photo and we have to write something creative to go with it that is under 100 words long. This week I had a little help from Steven from In Amongst The Ebb and Flow!


My favourite place.

So many shelves filled with so many stories.

I pass a section where dragons come to life,

Where witches stir cauldrons and aliens invade earth.

Another with gourmet food you can only dream about,

Decadent gateau’s and tureens of steaming soup.

One with epic tales of times past and present,

Where Napoleon and Obama sit shoulder to shoulder.

In this sanctuary all walks of life adjoin as one.

I find a dusty volume on the top shelf and pull it down.

I carefully open the cover, sink slowly into a chair and disappear into a literary paradise.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award – Thank You!


I received a nice surprise yesterday to find out that I had been nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award by the lovely Camgal which is a very inspiring blog in itself! I honestly don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this but thank you so much!


So the rules of this award are:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven Things About Me:

1) I’m currently working on a YA novel about faeries.

2) I’ve been writing poetry aimed at children since I was 11 years old (which is also when I wrote my first fairytale!)

3) I’m a Zoology graduate

4) I’m a gluten free vegan (my vegan blog is at Vegan Beckles)

5) I adore going to music festivals. So far I’ve been to Glastonbury (2011), Reading (2011, 2012), Isle of Wight (2012) and WOMAD (2012). I’m off to all of these again this year!

6) To get inspired I like to wander through the pinewoods at Ainsdale (20 minutes from where I live)

7) I don’t remember a point in my life where I wasn’t either partway through a book or about to start one!

My 15 Nominations:

Blogs that inspire me to be a better person without sacrificing food!

1) Chocolate Covered Katie 

2) The Gluten Free Vegan

3) Raw on $10 a Day (or less!)

4) Better With Veggies

5) Happy Herbivore

Blogs that inspire me to write and find inspiration everywhere!

1) ABC of Spirit Talk

2) Blacksburg Belle

3) JWDWrites

4) Silently Heard Once

5) The Green Walled Tower

6) The Writing Reader

7) This, That and the Other Thing

8) Literary Land of Alysia

9) Joe’s Musings

10) The Write Practice

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Disappointed or Exceeded Expectations



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme held over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are listing our top ten books that we thought we would like more or less than we did. Interesting topic! Here are my picks:

Books I Was Expecting More From…


1) The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

I am a huge Stephen King fan and bought this book a few years back. I took it with me on holiday as it’s only a thin book. However it took me ages to read it and I just found it boring! The ending I found really disappointing too. It’s the only King book I’ve ever read and not liked.


2) The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

As a huge Potter fan I was disappointed with this book. It was probably my own fault though as it was never marketed as being similar to Harry Potter. My full review is here.


3) Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

I still don’t really understand what I didn’t like about this book. It has everything that I would like but I just couldn’t get into it!


4) The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

I remember seeing the description of this and falling in love with it. I love stories that use food this adds magical properties. I think it was the writing style that got me this time. I just didn’t like it.


5) The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

I rushed to the library to find this book. Victorian gothic? Yes please! The start of the novel was very slow going though and I ended up giving up.


Books That Exceeded Expectations…


1) The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

It’s difficult choosing a book to take to a festival. I have to take one for late night reading in my tent before I go to sleep. It has to be not too thick, interesting enough to keep me occupied on the train but not so interesting that it makes me want to sit on my own and read it all week! This book ticked the boxes. It was a brilliant read though and my train journey (from Liverpool to the Isle of Wight!) sped by.


2) Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green

This was an impulse buy that sat on my shelf for a while before I read it. It’s not my usual kind of story at all. I adored it though. I’ve become a huge fan of novels written from a young child’s perspective.


3) Room by Emma Donoghue

Similar to the one above really! Everyone raved about this book but I wasn’t sure. I got hold of a copy and it sat on my bookshelves for ages. When I did finally get to it, I read it within a couple of days.


4) The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The good thing about the library is that you can pick up books that you would probably never buy but look vaguely interesting. If you don’t like it you can take it back and you’ve not lost anything! I’ve always looked at Cecelia Ahern novels as boring chick lit. Let me tell you though that if this is chick lit then I’ve been misinformed about quality!


5) When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman

Another library book! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and used it in the recommendation  part of my interview for my Christmas job at Waterstones 2 years ago!

Thats all! I probably could have come up with a lot more than ten books here. Novels are constantly surprising me. The two things I’ve learnt are:

1) If you don’t like a book then stop reading it! I used to commit myself to struggle through a book if I’d started it. I now know not to!

2) Try anything. If there’s a book that looks interesting but you don’t usually like that genre/author then try it anyway!

Are there any novels that you thought you’d like more or were disappointed in?


What Inspires Me As A Writer? – Part 1 – The Power of Books

I’ve been thinking recently about the different things that inspire me to write. I’ve always enjoyed writing, even when I was a child, but I’ve never stopped and asked myself why. For the next few Saturdays I will be exploring the reasons I’ve always be inspired to write and the things that keep me writing.


This week I want to talk about the healing effects of reading. By this I don’t mean that reading can cure all ills. I’m not talking about homeopathic remedies made out of crushed up pages heavily diluted in water and I don’t mean tablets made out of compressed novels.  I’m talking about the healing effects of disappearing into a make believe world for a while. There’s nothing better than immersing yourself in the world of a character to take some of your own stress away.

I use books in this way all the time. How many of you have thought “I’ll just read for 10 minutes” and then checked the clock to find an hour had passed? Your mind loves to be occupied in somebody else’s hopes, dreams and even problems. It gives it a chance to relax and think about something else for a while.


Writing is even better. The power of writing is phenomenal. Again you get that feeling of being in somebody else’s shoes for a while. I often write for hours without realising so much time has gone by.

The power of writing is even more intense though. Through poetry you can pour your emotions, stresses and worries out onto the paper. Through fiction you can empower your characters, and therefore yourself, to make a change in their life and come out stronger on the other side.


The power of books is one of the things that keeps me writing. I want to create worlds that readers can immerse themselves in and characters that can inspire. Villians (both personified and emotional) that can be beaten and underdog characters that can rise up and stand for what they believe in. I want to create poetry that inspires readers to pay attention to things they wouldn’t usually notice and non-fiction that educates and informs.

I truly believe in the power of reading and writing and am proud to call myself a writer.


Friday Fictioneers – Childish Curiosity

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing challenge where R0chelle Wisoff-Fields gives us a photo and we have to write something creative to go with it that is under 100 words long.

wasp-nestThis week I spent a bit of time thinking about the type of thing I could write. I fancied trying something different and ended up with a piece of writing that is completely dialogue.

Childish Curiosity (Word Count: 93)

“Oh you’re back! Where’ve you been?”


“No need for sarcasm”

“Mum, why are human children scared of me?”

“It’s your stripes darling. Nature has taught other animals not to go near anything with yellow and black stripes because it means danger”

“So I have to suffer because of the behaviour of past generations?”

“It’s the way the world works love”

“But people don’t run away from bees as much!”

“Ahh the human mind suddenly goes all odd when it sees a fluffy creature..”

12 Ways to Start Writing Again

Some good tips!

Don't be "a writer."

More than two weeks ago, I finished up a one-act play–I did the final edit, hit the deadline, then heartily congratulated myself.
12 Ways to Start Writing Again

In the days leading up to the deadline, I was writing 3+ hours each day in order to get the thing done (yes, I procrastinated a bit).  Once the piece was complete, a short reprieve from writing seemed to be in order.  My current internship started the following day, and now that few days has grown into nearly 3 weeks.  Not cool.

View original post 572 more words

Top Ten Tuesday (rewind!) – Top Ten Childhood Favourites


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme ran by The Broke and the Bookish. I always felt like I’d missed out on loads of good top ten Tuesday topics having started so late so this week’s theme is a brilliant one. This week we can choose any of the past topics we like. I’ve chosen the Top Ten Childhood Favourites as reading was a huge part of my childhood. This was maybe the easiest top ten list I’ve ever written.


1) The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Probably my all time favourite book when I was younger. Enid Blyton is a classic children’s author and I was enthralled with her different lands at the top of the magical tree!


2) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This had to be on everybody’s list. I’ve never met a child who disliked this book.


3) The Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling

I’ve probably said enough about this series whilst this blog has been going. I was addicted to it when I was younger (down to queuing for the final installment dressed in a cloak and wand!). I still love it now in fact!


4) A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I loved the first few books in this series when I was younger. Unfortunately they can’t have been that great as I never got any further!


5) The Borrowers by Mary Norton

These little guys used to fascinate me! I read this book so many times that the cover fell off. I think I’ve still got it somewhere actually!


6) Matilda – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was by far my favourite author when I was younger and Matilda was my favourite character. I always thought of her as similar to me because she was addicted to reading like I was.


7) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Owning a chocolate factory was every child’s dream. There was more to this book than that though. Willy Wonka was an extremely disturbing character and this book is quite dark when you think about it!


8) Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

I remember being absorbed in this for a few weeks when I was at high school. I used to carry it around with me constantly and read it whenever I got a chance.


9) The Witches by Roald Dahl

Yep another Roald Dahl book! This was another of my favourites that I reread over and over again.

309336110) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Another of my favourite series’ from my childhood. As you can tell, I was obsessed with fantasy and magic!

What were your favourite childhood books?