Making Arrangements by Ferris Robinson
Today is my stop on the Making Arrangements blog tour! I have for you a great guest post by Ferris Robinson on her favourite things about the book.
About the Book
Devoted to him, she reels from the loss, focusing on her precious granddaughter but struggling with her bossy only child, Teddy, and his aloof girlfriend, Sarah.
With her historical family estate in jeopardy, Lang realizes her husband wasn’t as perfect as she thought.
The secret he carried to his grave can ruin her life.
If she lets it.
Favourite Things about Making Arrangements
by Ferris Robinson
The protagonist is older, has a large behind, and sneaks caramel cake when her fit husband isn’t looking.
The spectacular flower arrangements she makes are with common things growing in her yard.
Lang’s preconceived ideas about a coarse, shallow woman change as the grammar-butchering fashion plate befriends her, and is steady and encouraging and loving.
Lang found romantic interest at older age.
Even though Lang Eldridge was helpless as far as finances and dependent and trusting of her husband on those matters, she figured it all out after his death.
The protagonist makes the best caramel cake in the world, and I have the recipe! (And I share with newsletter subscribers!)
The story touches on what makes a family; sometimes the most unlikely connections can turn into something familial and important.
Just when Lang’s arrangements are absolutely perfect – from the caramel cake in the freezer for her husband’s first birthday without her to the love letter for the anniversary he must mark alone after impending death – they fall completely apart. But sometimes that’s a good thing.
The little mute stray dog that stationed itself at Lang’s front door the day of her husband’s funeral ends up rescuing her, instead of the other way around.
A little six-year-old granddaughter teaches Lang the importance of forgiveness.
About the Author
The author of several cookbooks, including “Never Trust a Hungry Cook,” which she wrote in college and the “Gorgeless Gourmet’s Cookbook,” Ferris was featured on the cover of Women’s World magazine. Promoting her super-easy but healthy recipes, she made numerous television appearances and sold 10,000 copies of the Gorgeless Gourmet’s Cookbook, pre-Internet. Paid subscribers from every state in the U.S. received her newsletter featuring “practically fat-free recipes for super-busy people.”
Her book “Dogs and Love – Sixteen Stories of Fidelity” has 94 reviews on Amazon, and her other books include “Authentic Log Homes.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel.
Follow the Tour
Will you be reading Making Arrangements?
The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe
Today is my stop on the The Silence Between Breaths blog tour and I have for you all an excerpt of the very first chapter! Hope you love it as much as I did!
About the Book
Passengers boarding the 10:35 train from Manchester, Piccadilly to London, Euston are bound for work, assignations, reunions, holidays or new starts, with no idea that their journey is about to be brutally curtailed.
Holly has just landed her dream job, which should make life a lot easier than it has been, and Jeff is heading for his first ever work interview after months of unemployment. They end up sitting next to each other. On board customer service assistant Naz dreams of better things as he collects rubbish from the passengers. And among the others travelling are Nick with his young family who are driving him crazy; pensioner Meg and her partner setting off on a walking holiday and facing an uncertain future; Caroline, run ragged by the competing demands of her stroppy teenage children and her demented mother; and Rhona, unhappy at work and desperate to get home to her small daughter. And in the middle of the carriage sits Saheel, carrying a deadly rucksack . . .
Follow the Tour
What did you think?
Shadow Reaper by Amos Cassidy
Today I am here celebrating the release day of Shadow Reaper by Amos Cassidy!
About the Book
Twenty years ago the barriers between worlds came down and our reality was swallowed up by the Shadowlands. Now we scavenge to survive, until one day there’s nothing left to reap. Starvation is around the corner, but I’m not the roll over and wait-to-die kinda girl. Nope, I’m going further than anyone has ever been and returned to tell the tale. I’m going into the Beyond, and I’m not coming back without a solution.
About the Author
You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…
Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just pop over to see what they’re working on at amoscassidyauthor.com and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.
It was a day like all the others, dark as pitch and cold as ice, most definitely not a day to die. So when I came face to face with the Knightmare, I froze, all my training taking a flying leap out the proverbial window. You didn’t get Knightmares on this side of the Horizon. In fact, it’d been over a year since anyone had seen one at all.
The Knightmare stared at me with its slanted, glowing eyes, steam pluming from its perpetually flared nostrils, its equine body poised to attack and then it opened its mouth and screamed.
I remembered how to run.
I ran on instinct, moving through the underground tunnels from memory alone. I could hear it behind me, its hooves thundering against the cracked concrete, its rumbling breath pressing against my ears.
It shouldn’t be here, couldn’t be here, and yet it was.
I realised that if I ran back to Shelter, then I’d be leading it straight home, so I took a left instead of a right at the next intersection. I ran, losing myself in the burning of my lungs and the screaming of my muscles. It was only a matter of time before it got me, only a matter of minutes, because I was losing momentum. I couldn’t keep up this pace much longer.
My eyes stung, my throat grew tight. Man, I was pissed! Nineteen years I’d survived this hellhole, nineteen, and I was going to get taken out by a Knightmare? No way was I going out like that! Besides, if I croaked, then that thing would be left roaming the tunnels. My people would be in danger. I had no idea how it’d managed to get across the Horizon without being spotted by the Eye. I’d have to report this to Blake, get him to look into the security. The small bitey critters that scuttled across were one thing, those were inevitable. Those we could handle, but this was bad, real bad.
Up ahead, the fallen and rusted body of a huge contraption from the time before came into view. I gave a final burst of speed and leapt up onto its metallic body. The Knightmare reared back. One thing about Knightmares, they’re not big on climbing. I blew tendrils of hair out of my eyes, yanked out my scrunchie and then scraped my hair back up into a tight ponytail.
It paced, back and forth, its eyes glistening in the dark. I crouched, tips of my fingers grazing cool metal, and watched it—waiting.
That’s it, just get bored and piss off, you ugly—
“Mansfield?” A shrill whistle. “Where are you, boy?”
What the hell? There was someone down here.
The sound of slow, leisurely footsteps echoed through the darkness.
The Knightmare turned his head to look back up the tunnel.
Shit! Who could be so stupid as to be out here alone?
You are, you twat!
“Oi! Don’t come any closer,” I yelled. “There’s a Knightmare here. Run!”
The footsteps faltered.
He was probably from the slums, maybe using the tunnels to scavenge like I was. Fuck, I remembered those days, but it was dangerous, too dangerous for someone untrained. I waited, straining to hear the sounds of retreat, yet there was nothing but silence.
Had I imagined the voice?
The Knightmare turned away from me.
No, definitely not my imagination. Those things could smell a human a mile off. Stupid bloody man, boy, whoever it was.
“Bloody run, you idiot! There’s no point hiding! It can bleedin’ smell ya!”
A low chuckle filtered through the air, accompanied by the sound of footsteps.
They were growing closer.
Well, there was no helping some people.
A shape became visible. A man, tall, broad, and slim, wreathed in darkness. My eyes, accustomed to the gloom of the tunnels, could make out only the whites of his eyes surrounding cerulean blue.
“Well, there you are, Mansfield.” The Knightmare whinnied and trotted over to the man, offering his huge head to be petted.
What the crap?
The man tilted his head to look up at me. “Dangerous being out here all alone, little human.” He said the last word as if it were a dirty one.
Mansfield emitted a pleading rumble.
“Mansfield’s hungry.” The man cocked his head and stared at me for a very long time, so long, in fact, that I began to wonder if he’d turned to stone or fallen asleep on his feet with his eyes open. “I don’t think she’ll make a very palatable meal, boy. All skin and bones, that one. Come, we’ll find you something more . . . substantial.”
A chill crawled up my spine. Only one of them could control a Knightmare. A Shadowlander.
He flashed me his even white teeth. “You’re safe for now, human. Crawl off to your hideout and forget this ever happened.”
And just like that, they were gone.
I exhaled sharply and stared at the spot where they had just stood. Something had stood. Something.
What the hell was I doing on top of this rusty contraption?
Climbing down gingerly, I wiped my dirty palms on my trousers and headed home.
I crawled through the hidden passageway that led back into Shelter. I reached the grate that opened up into Corridor 4 and waited, listening. There wasn’t usually anyone about at this time, but you never knew. After long minutes of absolute silence, I knocked aside the grate and slid into the corridor, landing lightly on my feet.
I moved the grate back into place, then pushed in the rusty screws to make them look like they were snug in their holes.
Straightening my shirt and brushing off my trousers, I made my way back to my quarters.
If I thought I’d gotten off scot-free for my little escapade, then I was sadly mistaken.
Clay sat on my bed, his face dark with anger.
“What the hell, Ash? What. The. Hell?”
Crap! Time to do some damage control.
I plastered a contrite expression on my face, ready to do the pleading thing, but he held up his hand.
“Don’t even go there. You’re not sorry. I know it, you know it, and the whole fucking world knows it. What I want to know is why. You got what you wanted. You’re a Reaper, so why take these unnecessary risks?”
I felt the first spark of anger. “Why? Because someone has to! The bimonthly reaps aren’t cutting it. Everyone knows it. Someone has to take the risk. Remember the penicillin, the iodine, the—”
“Yes! I remember. You found some important stuff, but—”
“And I didn’t go over the Horizon to do it. I’m not bleedin’ suicidal. I was careful. Nothing saw me and I didn’t see any of . . . them.” Some memory skittered under the surface of my mind but was gone too quick to catch.
Clay rubbed his face with his hand, his shoulders rising and falling in a heartfelt sigh, and I felt the guilt heavy on my chest. I was his burden. His little sister, the one he’d sworn to protect. I didn’t make it easy.
Older than me by five minutes, Clay had seamlessly stepped into our parents’ shoes after they died five years ago. We’d been barely fourteen at the time. Clay had taken their deaths as an inevitability. He’d said good-bye, buried them, and then turned his attention to taking care of me. Sod that! I’d been pissed off and incensed by the unfairness of it because, as far as I was concerned, they’d chosen to die. Food and shelter had been less than a mile away; all they’d had to do was claim it. All they’d had to do was volunteer for the academy, become Reapers, and we would have been clothed and fed and sheltered. But they’d been afraid, weak, and they’d died. Yes, I’d been angry. So angry that I’d done the one thing that they’d never wanted either Clay or me to do. I’d signed up to be a Reaper.
Reaper status meant food. It meant lodging. It meant safety. It had come too late for my parents, but I was determined not to lose Clay to their skewed convictions. Clay couldn’t bring himself to break the vow we’d made to them, though; thank goodness Shelter needed able-bodied men to train in the tech side of things. Clay always had an affinity for building shit, so here we were five years later—Clay a head Technician and me a seasoned Reaper. The tech we had here was primitive, but he managed to keep the lights on and the heat running, and that’s all we could ask for.
“Go to bed.” He stood and moved toward the door.
He was disappointed in me. I hated it. I couldn’t leave things like this between us. As he brushed past, I turned into him, wrapping my arms around his waist. He tensed and then relaxed. His arms wrapped around me and he squeezed me tight.
“Please, Ash, just follow protocol, ’kay?”
I nodded against his chest, and yes, I really meant to keep my promise. I always do . . . until next time.
He released me and ruffled my hair.
“Say ’night to Blake.” I smiled up at him coquettishly.
He blushed. “Will do.”
It was sweet the way those two were still so gaga over each other. They’d been dating for just over a year now, and they acted like a married couple. Clay had even moved into Blake’s quarters, and yet he still blushed when I mentioned Blake’s name.
He pecked me on the forehead and then left me to it.
A yawn ripped through me, and I stretched and threw myself onto my rumpled bed. My quarters were small and boxy, but they were mine. Pictures from old magazines I’d found on my scavenging trips decorated the walls: cars and paradise settings, gardens and sunsets, and lovers holding hands. These were memories that I’d never have. They lulled me to sleep, and sometimes I’d find myself on a beach somewhere, waves lapping at my toes, or maybe in a beautiful garden, the scent of roses sweet and strong in my nose. I didn’t know if what I dreamt held any similarity to how it used to be. How could I? I’ve never smelled a rose or walked on the beach, but the dreams kept my spirits alive, and sometimes he joined me—the man who didn’t speak.
The first time it happened, I was frightened. I mean, some strange bloke walks into my dream and just hangs out? It was creepy, but I soon started to feel okay with it. In fact, he’d become a kind of friend now . . . I think.
My eyelids were starting to get heavy, so I closed them, exhaling long and deep, and let sleep take me.
Will you be reading along with us?
UKYAX MG Tour: Emma Trevayne
Today is my stop on the UKYAX MG Tour and I am here to introduce you to the lovely Emma Trevayne, who has written a great post on her favourite places to write!
First though, here’s some information on her book!
About the Book
And for Thomas Marsden, on what was an unremarkable spring night in London, it becomes a very spooky business. For lying in an unmarked grave and half covered with dirt is a boy the spitting image of Thomas himself.
This is only the first clue that something very strange is happening. Others follow, but it is a fortune teller’s frightened screams that lead Thomas into a strange world of spiritualists, death and faery folk.
Faery folk with whom Thomas’s life is bizarrely linked. Faery folk who need his help.
Desperate to unearth the truth about himself and where he comes from, Thomas is about to discover magic, and ritual, and that sometimes, just sometimes, the things that make a boy ordinary are what make him extraordinary.
Favourite Places to Write
By Emma Trevayne
Faye asked me to come up with my favorite places to write, and here we are! Thanks for having me as part of the UKYACX tour, Faye!
5. My desk.
I guess if this was going in order of most frequent, rather than preference, my desk would be in the top spot. It’s where I write most of the time, it’s where my desktop computer is (most of the time, and more on that later) and well, it’s my desk. It’s where I work. As desks go, it’s a pretty good one. It’s crammed with office supplies and research books and my laser printer, which is an essential tool for a writer. I used to have an ordinary inkjet, but surrendered to a laser printer the day it took me three hours to print a manuscript I needed to edit. But I digress. My desk is fine, it’s next to a window that looks out on some trees, and I have a comfy chair. The computer itself is whizz-bang fast, with a huge monitor that lets me see lots of a chapter at once. All that said, there are better places to write…
4. Coffee shops.
I have to be in the mood for this, but sometimes coffee shops are the perfect place to work. Sometimes I want solitude, and so I stay home and work at the above desk, but occasionally I need to be surrounded by the buzz of people. There are times when having to actively shut out the bustle going on around me improves my focus far more than if I were at home, or somewhere else nice and quiet. Plus, coffee shops have coffee. And more importantly, cake.
3. The couch.
My laptop isn’t as fast as my desktop, and in all honesty I only just got it fixed after it sat broken on a shelf for a year. It’s lovely to have it back, though, because it means that on days when I really need to curl up and be very comfortable while I’m writing, I can work from the couch. Working while curled up is sort of a double-edged sword: it’s cozy and relaxing, but sometimes it’s too relaxing, and I find myself sinking into the cushions and daydreaming instead of properly working. On the other hand, when writing is tough, being hugged by the couch can be exactly what I need. While my laptop was broken and I was writing a very challenging book, I actually moved my desktop to the couch. It was extremely unsteady and inconvenient, but it helped when I needed it to.
4. The Royal Festival Hall.
There’s a member’s space at the top of the Royal Festival Hall, an arts center that sits on the bank of the Thames in London. I’ll occasionally join other writer-friends there (usually author Tom Pollock) and we’ll sit and work in companionable silence. This, I’ve found, is only productive with a certain kind of writer-friend. It has to be someone who also wants to sit and write in companionable silence, not someone who wants to chat for three hours and craft the odd sentence here and there. Of course, I love getting together with other authors and talking forever, but for a work session, there has to be work. One of the great advantages to this is that while there shouldn’t be constant conversation, there’s a friend right there to help you when you get stuck. This has saved me on more than one occasion. (On more than a hundred occasions, probably.)
5. My kitchen floor.
Hear me out. I know this is weird. My best friend teases me about this, but yes, the kitchen floor. I developed this habit at least three houses ago, so it’s not the specific floor of the kitchen where I made coffee this morning. Any kitchen floor will do. I wrote almost all of Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times in the kitchen, and a huge chunk of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden. Several Cabinet of Curiosities stories came to fruition there, and a few of the more challenging chapters of my next MG, The House of Months and Years. I don’t know why this is so effective for me, but my best guess is that of all the rooms in my house, the kitchen is, in its own way, the least distracting. Yes, I keep thinking I need to get up and make a snack, but there isn’t a television that’s probably showing a tennis match like there is in my living room/usual office, and there isn’t an impossibly comfortable bed like there is in my bedroom. From the kitchen floor, all I can see is cupboards that probably need cleaning, which is definitely not as enticing as writing. In the interests of later being able to walk I do put a few cushions down, but that’s about it. In that brightly-lit and slightly uncomfortable position, I can do some of my best work. I will still grant that it’s weird, though.
Thank you, Faye!
Where do you write?
Super Awkward by Beth Garrod
Today I have for you all a guest post by the wonderful Beth Garrod as part of her Blog Tour!
But first, here’s some info on the book!
About the Book
1. I once got my tongue stuck to a box of Calippos in a supermarket.
2. I accidentally called my geography teacher Mum. Twice. He wasn’t impressed.
3. I’m a geek. And not in a geek-chic kind of way, but in a secretly-caring-about-failing-maths-and-science way.
4. I always fail maths and science.
So it figures that when I meet the FITTEST BOY IN THE WORLD, Zac, I’m doing solo star jumps. While dressed as a cereal box.
(NOTE TO SELF, fancy dress = HE-WILL-NEVER-EVER-FANCY-ME dress.)
Now I’ve got to somehow persuade Zac to come to prom with me while avoiding my evil ex and dealing with a secret so mega-awks I want to Ctrl-Z my brain… What could go wrong?
Oh yeah, that’s right. Absolutely everything.
Top 5 Super Awkward Moments
By Beth Garrod
Have you ever had a moment that was so Super Awkward you wished you could delete the memories of people who were there at the time, and put a worldwide ban on people ever thinking – let alone mentioning – it ever again?
Ok. Well then imagine that. And then imagine writing them into a top five list for the world to see. WELCOME TO MY LIFE.
(Although thanks for asking me, I’m actually quite excited). So here goes.
- I’m terrible at sports (I include bowling and Jenga in this). So a school ski trip was never going to be a great idea for me. However, what I didn’t know was that the mountain wasn’t going to be my biggest nemesis – the T-bar chair lift was. But with no other option, I had to face it. So, with the whole school trip watching (and all the tiny children that were already laughing at how bad I was at skiing), I balanced myself on it, alongside my best friend. But an overly large laugh, became a wobble, became the sticky out bit of the T bar getting hooked in my ski jacket. Which soon became one entire boot and ski being yanked off as I got dragged up the entire length of the mountain (my friend laughing too much to be able to stand up). I even went through those weird bars at the top, which are meant to act as a life-sort-of toothbrush to scrape off any morsels. But this human morsel made it through. And then I had to plod the entire way back down a mountain in one ski. And one sock.
- One year I truly believed I’d met the World’s Sexiest Man. He was super hot and super cool, so every message I sent was a carefully crafted group-approved effort to make me seem like the kind of person who doesn’t actually sometimes accidentally-clap when she sees a dog with really good eyebrows. One particularly helpful friend had a part time job at my local supermarket. So I text him ‘When can we hang out in the freezer department of Tesco and talk about the World’s Sexiest Man?’ But I sent it to WSM. Who I then had to pretend that I’d meant to send this too, and it was a genuine date idea, based around a discussion of a fit man, who wasn’t him. We never had a second date.
- I’m a big believer in the ‘it gets better’ philosophy. However, in the case of me, and being awkward, this has just proved to mean I’ve got better at nailing the art of being awkward. Case in point – a big work event in Italy, a huge screen on the wall for the audience to stare out, a work laptop projecting our logo. All fine. Until I panic my phone battery is running out, plug it in, and oh guess what, NO ONE TELLS ME I’M NOW PROJECTING MY CAMERA ROLL TO THE WHOLE VENUE (or maybe they were telling me, but they were just doing it in Italian, and I thought they were asking for directions to the loo).
- This one’s I may have attributed to Bella – the lead character in Super Awkward. But sadly, it may, have hypothetically, been all me. And – yet again- it involves sport. Seriously – it’s bad for your health. It was the final Friday before a half-term, that was going to be full of seeing my friends, and going to parties – which was kind of a big deal when the height of my social life was normally helping my dad choose wall plugs in Homebase. But with the last lesson over, all I had to do was survive a rounders match and I’d be freeeeeee. In the safe – not much action – zone of deep field, I spent most of the match chatting to my friend. Until I heard my name being yelled and span round. Only to be whacked on my already large chin, by a rounders ball that seemed to be travelling faster than the speed of light. For all intents and purposes, the massive bruise that formed made me look I had developed an overnight beard. And it stayed the entire half term.
- Some words I don’t normally think of. So when my mum drove us home one day, and we popped into the local shop, it stuck in my mind when she said “Whatever you do, don’t look at the man behind the counter’s toupe’. Like a polite person, I totally didn’t, despite it being bright orange, sitting awkwardly on top of some sticky-out grey hairs. I saw other customer’s clocking it, but I was better than that. And I’d been warned. So, when I got to the counter and he asked what I wanted, it was a 100% accident when I replied clearly, loudly, calmly with ‘one toupe please’. The whole shop shut up. His wife gave me evils that melted actual skin cells. And I never – to this day – have been back to the shop.
Soooo, there is a tiny glimpse into the everyday danger that is being me. But I always figure that what doesn’t kill you, makes a funny story for someone else.
What are some of your super awkward moments?
Title: Hell or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan
Published: 9th September 2016
Main Cast: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham
Format: Cinema Screening
Source:: Unlimited Viewing at Cineworld
Add It: IMDB
Chris Pine and Ben Foster play two brothers on the run from the law in this gripping drama.
Toby (Chris Pine, Star Trek) is a divorced father who only wants a better life for his kids. With both him and his ex-convict brother, Tanner (Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma) facing the foreclosure of their mother’s West Texas farm, they decide to take justice into their own hands by robbing the bank they believe robbed them. But after the robbery they find they have two West Texas rangers (Gil Birmingham and Jeff Bridges) on their trail…
This modern Western is directed by British director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) and has been lovebombed by American critics. Variety called it “a thrillingly good movie – a crackerjack drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic,” while The Playlist described it as “if No Country for Old Men were remade as a heist movie.”
At What Point
I didn’t know much about this film before I decided to go and see it which is more or less how I prefer it. Thus I walked in with no expectations and no theories on how the film was going to play out. Whether this increased my enjoyment or not, I don’t know but I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. From the beginning until the end, I was fully enraptured by this story.
Do You Bend
This drama was packed with emotion and I felt so much watching it. Every single character stole my heart and I was at a loss for who to support which was such a fascinating experience. This was due to the wonderful acting but also because the incredibly strong screenplay with witty and brilliant dialogue. I just loved it all.
The Rules For
Along with vibrant characters, the cinematography and plot were also very well done too. The plot was gripping and tense and the cinematography really pulled that atmosphere out of the screen too. From dusty, secluded and empty Texan towns to funny moments in diners and banks. This film was just full of amazing moments and just worked so well. It is the kind of film that I love to watch.
A Better Life
A film that makes you laugh one minute, feel tense the next and finally has you near to tears, this is nothing but an emotional rollarcoaster. I was fully transfixed on the screen and couldn’t wait to find out how it all came to an end. I was blown away by the film as a whole and will definitely be re-watching this film at some point in the future. I would highly recommend giving this film a watch.
Did you know that today is National Fitness Day? Personally I didn’t know until the beginning of this week but I’m glad I know now as it works perfectly for this blog post that I’ve been wanting to post for a few weeks now. Today, I want to talk to you all about how working in an office is slowly killing us.
But in case you missed it, you can read the news article here on the Telegraph about how we’re dying earlier because we work in an office and are not getting enough exercise in during the day. After sitting down at a computer for eight hours, we often feel exhausted, right? So we go home and we slump on the sofa and watch TV or read a book and simply don’t get back up again.
I know that it’s what I do, anyway.
So the lovely people at Furniture at Work have come up with a very fascinating campaign called Office Yoga. With it they’ve got a great youtube channel and the handy infographic below! (You can click it to enlarge it!) It looks easy enough, right?
Now, if you’re lucky like me and work in an office alone then casually getting in some office Yoga is going to be really easy. However, when I’m working at the library, Office Yoga is probably not going to be quite so easy. And thus I have come up with a few things you can tell your colleague to get them involved too, or to make them realise that you are not, in fact, crazy.
- “I’m increasing my life expentacy. I quite like living and don’t want to die just yet.”
- “I’d look less silly if you joined me. Maybe we could work out together and help each other feel better?”
- “I’d rather do this than go to the gym after work, wouldn’t you?”
- “I could go and get the tea for everyone in the office, or you know, I could just do this.
- “Maybe if we conquer this Office Yoga thing, the two of us could go to an actual Yoga class one evening? Maybe?”
- “I reckon if I do this enough, I can have that extra slice of cake. Want to join me?”
Just a few things that you could say but really you do not need to say anything at all because it is your choice to live your life as you want to without judgement from your collegues! But if you are a little worried about that, don’t forget you can also do the Office Yoga in a chair at home, or you know, walk for an extra hour a day or something exhausting like that…
What do you think about #OfficeYoga
*This post is a collaborative post. I had full creative control.*
Chloe’s Secret Princess Club
Today is my stop on the Chloe’s Secret Princess Club blog tour and today I am bringing you a post that is a little bit different. Instead of a normal review, I am writing for you a post about what I would do if I was a Princess!
But first, here’s some information on the book!
About the Book
Chloe never means to get into trouble but sometimes her plans get a little out of control. With her two best friends, she forms a Secret Club dedicated to making their dreams come true – but fantasy and reality don’t always mix!
Being a Princess
Being perfectly honest, I don’t remember ever being a true girlie girl. I liked girlish things but I also liked sport and adventures like climbing trees. I hated dresses and skirts and yet I would never have called myself a tomboy either. One of those girls that sort of sits firmly in the middle.
However, despite all of that, I would have – and still kind of would – love to be a princess. But I wouldn’t be a girlie princess who always wore pink and acted very cute and sweet.
No, I would be a fierce princess. Ready to rule the country with a strong determination. I’d be powerful and brave and would do whatever it took to save my country. I’d learn how to fight both fist fight and sword fight. I’d employ the best of the best to protect my country and train me.
I’d be the best princess and I’d only find a Prince who was willing to let me continue that way. None of this prince sweeping the princess off her feet. I’d have the prince equal to me in strength and love. We’d be the perfect pair.
That’s what I would do if I was a princess. What about you?
About the Author
Emma is the author of several books for children, including JESSICA HAGGERTHWAITE: WITCH DISPATCHER, for which she was nominated for the Branford Boase award, and the WILD THING series. As well as writing, she enjoys spending time working in schools and libraries.
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I loved this cute little book, will you be picking it up?
Robyn Silver by Paula Harrison
Today is my stop on the Robyn Silver blog tour and I am here to tell you five reasons why I think you should definitely be reading this book!
But first, here’s some more information about the book!
Title: Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes
Author: Paula Harrison
Published: 1st September 2016
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Life was very ordinary for ten-year-old Robyn Silver. The often-ignored middle child in a big family, the most excitement she had was the dash to the dinner table to reach the last slice of pizza. Until… she begins to see creepy creatures around her town – creatures that are invisible to everyone else. And when her school is forced to decamp to mysterious Grimdean House and she meets its equally mysterious owner, Mr Cryptorum, Robyn finds herself catapulted headfirst into an extraordinary adventure – with more excitement than she could possibly have imagined. Be careful what you wish for…
One of the things I love about books is that the protagonist is strong and fun to read and this is definitely what happens in Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes. Robyn is full of life in this book. She’s brave, strong, and protective too. I loved her personality and the way she felt like she didn’t fit in with her family but would still do anything to protect her little sister. She was a very vibrant character that really carried this book.
This book is full of creepy creatures that Robyn and her friends start seeing and suddenly have to start fighting. I loved all of the different creatures and how they were described. They all had very different personalities and reasons for existing and it was even more interesting that only a few select people could actually see them – like Robyn and her friends! I really liked that about this book.
To start off with, Robyn has her best friend Aiden by her side and it’s really wonderful that they can both see the creatures as it makes Robyn feel less alone. So when a third member joins them, I was worried that she would be excluded and made to feel left out but fortunately that doesn’t happen. Instead Robyn realizes that Nora with all her book smarts is very helpful and lovely and the trio work so well together. This in itself makes the book more interesting to read.
There is an abundance of adventure in this book, which I absolutely loved. At first the trio are being trained by Mr Cryptorum and so there is an adult driving force behind the books but when things start to go wrong, it is up to the kids to settle the score and save the day. I loved how they did this and how it all came together. The adventure was fun and addictive and fascinating all rolled together – a perfect combination for a children’s books! I’m sure all the kids will love it!
What brings all of the above together though is the writing style. I have to admit I’ve never actually read a book by Paula Harrison before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I can safely say that I will be reading more of her books from now on! The writing style was easy to read, addictive, and fun. Definitely my kind of book! Overall The Midnight Chimes was a fascinating read and it was a brilliant beginning to what looks to be a wonderful series. I cannot wait to see what will happen next!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
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YA Shot Tour: Maggie Harcourt
Today is my stop on the YA Shot Tour and I am here today with a brilliant guest post from Maggie Harcourt about her bookish inspirations!
by Maggie Harcourt
They say inspiration can come from anywhere, don’t they? And that’s largely true: you can find it in supermarkets, on trains, on your bedroom ceiling sometime around 3am when you’re having trouble sleeping and it’s the least convenient time imaginable to start Having An Idea… but every once in a while, it’s easier to pin down the thread of an idea. Every once in a while, it’s a book (or a film, or a television show) that starts you asking: “What if…?”
So here’s a couple of mine…
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
I don’t remember the first time I read about the Musketeers, although I have a feeling it was probably filtered through Dogtanian & the Muskehounds (because 1980s). What I do remember is that I really, really wanted to be one of them: getting into daring swordfights with the Cardinal’s Guards, carrying out extravagantly risky secret missions… and all with my best friends by my side. Because it wasn’t the swashbuckling or the intrigues (political or romantic) that really caught my imagination: it was the friendships. Athos, Porthos and Aramis. The three inseparables; the three Musketeers. All for one, and one for all. So important is their relationship that the story is even named after them; there’s not even a mention of d’Artagnan – the actual protagonist – in the title…
To let you in on a little secret, I never got Doctor Who when I was growing up. It didn’t help that I largely grew up in the gap when it wasn’t a thing: I think I vaguely remember a handful of Sylvester McCoy’s episodes as the Seventh Doctor, and I definitely remember sitting down to watch Paul McCann’s feature-length outing as the Eighth (even if I don’t actually recall any of what happened in it…). But ‘new’ Who? That is very, very much a thing. I love the Doctor. I love that he can change who he is without ever quite changing it. I love that he calls himself ‘Doctor’ and that he believes in trying to solve things by being clever; fixing them instead of breaking them further like any other hero might do. I love that however angry and frustrated he might get (especially when it comes to humans), he still keeps coming back to try and make things better. Plus, you know, aliens and the TARDIS and jokes.
This is one of those “I really ought to read the book but I’m just going to sit here and cradle the film to me, gently weeping,” sort of choices… because there is no way – no way – that I can watch this film without dissolving into an ugly-crying, snivelling puddle. I don’t even know why: I spend half of it shouting at Allie and Noah’s choices, and the other half sighing wistfully at it. I’m not saying I particularly endorse the whole “I’m going to hang off the bottom of this Ferris wheel cab until that beautiful girl agrees to go out with me, possibly suggesting I’m a tad unhinged…” episode, but if you can make it to the end of the story without even a single tear, you might be a bit broken. Also, that kiss in the rain? Wow.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke
I find it very difficult talking about this book (or the recent – brilliant – television adaptation of it) without… well, to put it bluntly, “going on a bit”. I wholeheartedly love this book. I love it – even the footnotes. Yep. (And, as I realised when I re-read it last year, if you want to find the rest of the women in the story, that’s where you look for them. Rather wittily, Clarke is making a pointed comment about the fact you’ll find many of history’s strong and powerful women hidden in the footnotes of the past.) I adore its layers: the alternate history, the scope and the prickliness of the characters… and the magic. I’m definitely a fan of the magic.
But what’s fascinating is that it has a lot in common with some of my favourite contemporary YA stories: if you strip it back to its absolute core, you can read it as Jonathan Strange’s coming-of-age story (which, while he feels a bit old to be a YA protagonist to our eyes, given the historical setting and his social class it sort of works). He’s dealing with authority, finding his own place in the world, falling in love, finding out who his true friends are… finding himself. And if he happens to encounter a shed-load of fairies and the Duke of Wellington while he’s at it, well, so much the better.
The thing that made me fall for it, irredeemably and head-over-heels, though, is that it’s also about books. Not just magic and power, but books and knowledge and what they mean – and what people will do to control them.
(By the way, if you can’t face the size of the novel – or the footnotes – do track down that recent BBC adaptation. It’s as perfect an adaptation as you’ll ever find of anything, both true to the spirit of the book and entirely its own thing.)