Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Personal ABC

Last week I posted a bookish ABC, so this week I thought I’d share my personal ABC. I have to say some letters were easier than others, let me know, if you give it a try yourself.


A – Authors: Book Blogging has opened me up to a lot of authors. It all started because of Paige Toon and her books. The contact on twitter with them is amazing and isn’t it just the best feeling when you get feedback on your review from the author directly?!

B – Books and Blogging:  I had to put both of them yes and Book Blogging itself, doesn’t fit either, that’s a part of me yes, but I’m also a Lifestyle/Music/Travel Blogger. I’m so glad I’ve started it all. I love reviewing books and I’ve meet so many wonderful people through it. Blogging gives me inspiration every day.

C – Coffee: Well, most of you know this already, but I LOVE COFFEE!!! Especially Cappucino and Latte Macchiato and I usually drink 2 coffees a day, sometimes three ;)

D – Dolphin: The dolphin is my favourite animal. They are so cute and I love the way they move in the sea, their sounds and just everything. In Florida I was able to see lots of them! Next step: swimming with dolphins!

E – English: English might not be my mother tongue, but it kind of feels like it. I love using the language and I feel way more comfortable writing things in English. Working at a bilingual school gives me the opportunity to use the language daily and blogging as well of course ;).

F – Florida: Florida is such a beautiful place, it has many hidden gems. It’s always warm, there is  he beach, the sea, shopping, great cities, keys, ice hockey and so much more! Siesta Key really is like a second home for me.

G – Going to the beach: This actually just adds up to the previous one. I’m a summer girl and I love the beach. Swimming in the sea, enjoying the sun and reading on a deckchair, just perfect. Switzerland doesn’t have any beaches, so I always long to go back tot he beach.

H – Harry Potter: Harry Potter and JK Rowling are the reason I started to love reading so much. I just adored these books and this magical world! And I’m still a big fan. There was a time I only read Harry Potter Fanfictions and I even started to write my own.

I – Italy: Italy is a beautiful country with a very romantic language. I’m very proud to be partly Italian, 3/8 actually. I never spoke the language with my Nonna, which I regret, but I was still able to understand everything and then I learned it properly at school. Now I struggle a bit, because my French is better. Italy always means Tuscany to me. We spent so many family holidays in Castiglione della Pescaia, that it became a second home to me.

J – Jeans: I like wearing jeans and I really feel comfortable in them. I mostly wear skinny jeans. Jeans can be combined in several ways and styles, wear a blouse and make it more elegant combined with high heels or wear sneakers and a T-Shirt and your sporty.

K – Kalifornien: This means California in German, I know that’s a bit of cheating, sorry ;). California is on my bucket list, it’s really a state I want to visit: San Francisco, San Diego, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, LA etc. I hope I’ will go there some day.

L – London: Well, that’s a pretty obvious one, I think. I LOVE LONDON, it’s my second home and I really I want live in London for a while some day, that’s the plan anyway. The sightseeing is great, the shopping is awesome and omg the West End! I love musicals, so every time I’m in London a show is a must. Since I started book blogging London has another important meaning as well, some fantastic bookish events are happening there and I wish I could go to more. Now, I’ve attented two and they have been FAB! It’s so great to meet the people I’ve met through blogging in person!

M – Music(als):  Music is a big part of my life. I play the piano since I’m nine years old. I started with ballett lesson at the age of five and continued dancing until the end of high school. Now I still do it, but just for fun. At high school I started being part of a choir and I loved it. We also did a musical, so after high school, I enjoyed a choir and a theatre group. We have performances every year and I really enjoy it. Having the piano also gives me the possibility to play and sing at the same time, I even wrote my own song, it’s a great way of expressing myself.

N – NHL: NHL should stand for my love of ice hockey. No, I don’t play it myself ;) We have a local team in our city and they are pretty good. I enjoy going to the games  and watching them life. Of course the NHL is something bigger and I love the hockey league over there. When I was in Vancouver in 2010 I was able to see the Vancouver Canucks play and now this year I went to see an NHL playoff game in Tampa. Next to the Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning, I also like the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators, Chicago is not bad as well. My favourite players are Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Roman Josi, let’s just say there are some hot players out there, but they are very talented as well!!

O – One Tree Hill: One Tree Hill is by far my favorite TV series, I love the setting, the actors and the story. This point should also stand form y guilty pleasure of watching TV series though ;) Other series I really like(d) are Charmed, The Hart of Dixie, Smash etc.

P – Primary school:  T for teaching was taken already, so I went for this one. I haven’t been a teacher for long, but I have to say I really enjoy it and it’s the right job for me. It’s great to teach something to the children and then see their light go on. Every day is different and fun! Kids are great to be around and the job is full of great surprises.

Q – Quotes: Q was a bit of a difficult one I have to say. Since I have a quotes section on the blog and love quotes out of books I went for this one. I also really enjoy going through pinterest looking for inspiring and creative quotes. There are quotes for every situation and they give you strength and power.

R – radicchio: Radicchio is a type of salad and I have to say I really like salad, any kind of salad. It actually should also express my love for food and eating. Salad is one of my faves, but I also like Sushi, Spare ribs, Italian food and cookie dough ice cream ;).

S – Style: This word should stand for my love of Fashion, F was already taken. I love fashion. Trying out different outfits, trends and combinations is so much fun and I think it’s also a way of expressing yourself. I always try to be elegant and casual at the same time and sometimes spend hours in front of my cupboard.

T – TravelingTraveling is something amazing. I love discovering new places and surroundings. Traveling also allows us to get to know new people and cultures. The world has so many wonderful spots and it’s worth finding new places.

U – Ursula ;) :  This is a bit of a funny one. We have a comedy group in Switzerland and they do great shows. One of their characters is called Ursula and she’s just so funny. We started joking around at home about her, imitating her and somehow me and my mum ended up calling each other Ursula. So Ursula stands for my mum. We are really close to each other, she is my best friend, I can talk to her about anything and she’s always here form e. We also go on a lot of trips together and have our little ritual of doing a city trip every year.

V – Vancouver: in 2010 I lived in Vancouver for five months. I did my language stay there and completed my English diploma. I also have relatives there. The city is awesome, so many things to see and do! And the nature and places around the city are just fabulous. Vancouver really became a second home form e as well. I hope I can go back there soon.

W – Wimbledon: Wimbledon for me stands for tennis. I really enjoy watching tennis and with our great Swiss players (Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka) it’s even more fun!

X – xanthic: It means yellowish and I really struggled with this one. I didn’t find a word, so I looked at a list and this one smiled at me the most. Yellow form e stands for sunshine and sunflowers, so all joyful things and things that make me happy!

Y – You Tube: YouTube is great! I listen to a lot of music on YouTube and lately I've been watching a lot of vlogs. 

Z – Zug: Zug is home. It’s my home two and also the state(canton) I life in. Zug is a great city. It’s at a lake as well and there are so beautiful places. We also have great possibilities to go shopping. I love spring and summer down there.

Friday, 30 October 2015

And Baby Makes Four (Mishaps in Millrise Book 4) – by Tilly Tennant

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Original Cover
My own copy
The blurb:

Mishaps in Millrise – a four-(novella)-part romantic spin-off from Mishaps and Mistletoe

Part 4 - And Baby Makes Four

Could Phoebe and Jack finally have put their troubles behind them? All is calm at Hendry’s toy store, and Jack’s mother has even developed a grudging respect for Phoebe. If Archie is serious about addressing his issues, then things are really starting to look rosy for the couple again. But when did Phoebe’s life ever go to plan?

As they prepare for what should be the happiest day of their lives, fate decides to throw them yet another curve ball. What they face will test them to the limit, but Phoebe might just believe in miracles before it’s through.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher On NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

And Baby Makes Four is the forth and last part of Tilly Tennant’s Mishaps in Millrise series. It picks right up after The Parent Trap and continues the story of Jack’s and Phoebe’s relationship.

I was so glad I was able to read straight on, because paft 3 left us at a crucial place and I just couldn’t wait to know what happens next. I was just hoping for Jack and Phoebe to overcome their struggles and be a happy family.

With their exciting news they had in the last book, I was just so happy. It was just for Jack now to fin a way to forget his past and be happy now.

The way the story progressed in this part was adorable, cute and just how I imagined it. I loved the little scenes with Jack, Phoebe and Maria, full of sparks. Their parents got their coverage as well and it was great to suddenly see them all so supportive and being one whole big family.

The ending started with a bit of shock, but that made it all even more exciting. I especially liked Jack’s mum in this part. And the ending is just perfect!!!

I said that before, but Tilly really gets better with every part. Her writing is full of life, heart and passion. It’s just so bubbly, gripping and vivid. I can’t wait for Tilly’s next book.


My possible cast:

Phoebe: Alyssa Miller

Jack: Jake Gyllenhaal

About Tilly Tennant

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. It was followed by Mishaps and Mistletoe and The Man Who Can't Be Moved. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Q & A with Sarah Painter

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1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

     I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first 'book' when I was seven or eight. It was about a cat called 'Miracle' and I wrote it on rainbow-coloured lined paper and kept it in a ringbinder. As you can tell, I was a stationery-addict from a young age, too!

2.    Your newest novel The Garden of Magic was published in August, what is it about?

The Garden of Magic is a novella-length prequel to The Language of Spells. Iris Harper is aware that her days are beginning to fade. Her sumptuous garden is turning against her, the sweet scent of rot potent, and now a young girl has come begging for a solution at her door. However, the problem she brings causes Iris to remember the man she once loved...

3.    What was your inspiration for the book?

     I had lots of lovely messages from readers about The Language of Spells and many of them complimented the character of Iris Harper and wanted to know more about her, so when Carina asked if I would write a novella I knew exactly who I ought to focus on!

4.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

     Iris Harper is in her eighties and is aware that her power is failing, but she is still helping those who come to her door. Bex Adams has been accused of stealing by her employers and is so desperate to clear her name that she swallows her mistrust and goes to the town witch for help.

5.    Where and when do you write your stories?

     I am very lucky as I have a garden office. I had it built a couple of years ago and I adore it.  I used to write in bed, but it wasn't doing my back any good. I have to admit, though, old habits die hard and I still write in bed first thing in the morning before I make a mug of tea and 'commute' to my office for the rest of the day.

6.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

     When I'm not writing, I'm busy doing all the other things that go along with being an author such as marketing, blogging, and social media. I also run a podcast called The Worried Writer in which I interview other writers about overcoming fear and self-doubt (which we all feel) and their creative process. When I'm not working, I like spending time with my lovely family, walking, watching good TV and films, and, of course, reading.

7.    Your debut novel is called The Language of Spells, can you tell us more about it?

     Gwen Harper left Pendleford thirteen years ago and hasn't looked back since. When she inherits her great-aunt Iris's house, she is forced to return to the mystical world she thought she had escaped. The women in the Harper family often have strange gifts (Gwen's is the ability to find lost things) and when she returns to Pendleford she finds she cannot suppress her powers any longer. She has to face up to her past and find her place in the town that drove her out after branding her a witch...

8.    It was followed by The Secret of Ghosts, what’s the story behind this book?

     The Secrets of Ghosts is a standalone follow-up to The Language of Spells. It is set after the events of the first book and focuses on Katie Harper, Gwen's niece. Katie has been eagerly awaiting her Harper-family power, but when it shows up it is rather more complicated and dangerous than she had imagined...

9.    If you could switch places with a characters from a book, who would it be and why?

     I love Jennifer Crusie's books and the worlds she creates; I'd happily swap places with any of her heroines.

10.  What books have most influenced your life most? 

     Like many authors, I have to say Stephen King's On Writing as I credit it with getting me to complete my very first book.

11.  What are you working on at the moment?

     I just handed in the final edits on my next novel (out Spring 2016 with Lake Union). It's a dual narrative set in a hospital in Brighton with both a present-day story and a strand which is set in 1938, and is called In The Light of What We See.

12.  What do you enjoy most about writing?

     I love being in control of everything and working alone. Of course, that's what I find most difficult, too. The way that it's all down to me and that every single decision is mine and mine alone.

13.  Imagine The Garden of Magic would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

     Great question! I often make book collages for my stories and find 'casting' the characters really helpful (especially in the beginning when I don't know them very well). I think Judi Dench would be perfect to play Iris and I'd pick Shailene Woodley as Bex.

14.  Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

     Oh, gosh. That’s a tough one... I will choose based on those I believe to be both kind and highly entertaining company: Stephen Fry, Nora Ephron, and Neil Gaiman. Can you imagine the anecdotes around that table?

15.  You live in Scotland, what makes this country special in your eyes?

     Scotland is very special. It has beautiful, wild scenery and wide open skies, and an amazing cultural and scientific heritage. Plus, men in kilts. Just saying...

16.  Coffee or tea? Tea and lots of it, please!

17.   Paperback or e-reader? 

     I love both, but I'm supremely grateful for e-readers when going on holiday or when contemplating my full-to-bursting bookshelves and small house!

18.   Mountains or the sea? 

     I grew up by the sea and love the fresh air and scenery of the coast. However, my current favourite places (Italian lakes and Scottish highlands) involve mountains in a big way (not that mountains come in any other size).

19.   Summer or winter? Winter all the way. Which is handy in Scotland...

20.   Sweet or salty? 

     My treat of choice is almost always savoury. Crisps, salted cashews, smoked almonds, more crisps, dip, torilla chips, fresh bread and butter, crisps again...

Sarah lives in rural Scotland with her children, husband, and a grey tabby called Zelda Kitzgerald. She drinks too much tea, loves the work of Joss Whedon, and is the proud owner of a writing shed.


The Language of Spells

The Secrets of Ghosts

The Garden of Magic