Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Do you judge a book by its cover?!

How many times have you heard this before?! So let's see, if it's true or not. 

I have been book blogging for 4 1/2 years, so have seen and reviewed a lot of books. I love my paperbacks, hence why I always look at the covers and think they somehow have to match in a series or with the authors. I always look at the cover and I adore the gorgeous ones. However, for me the important part is how it matches the title, the blurb and the story. 

These four parts have to become one in my opinion. It's only a complete book, when the blurb, the cover and the title match. Of course you don't know the story yet, when you look at a book for the first time, you judge based on the synopsis, the title and the cover, if you want to read the book. Of course the author can sell it to you as well, but only if you have read something by this author before. 

I actually feel cheated, when the title or the cover don't reflect on the story in the end. It's like something is missing and I got the wrong impression at first. Brilliant books can have terrible covers though and it doesn't mean the story or the writing is bad. It just helps selling a book. An attractive cover and title with a matching blurb can get a lot of attention for a book. Especially with series, I think it's vital to have them coincide and see a golden thread. I'm a beta reader for one of my fave authors and I actually see, how much work is behind this. We read the story first and start thinking about good backdrops and couples or people to go on the cover. We also look, whether the title works and then the author comes up with a blurb. It's great to part of this process and it does help to then promote the book like this. 

It's natural to judge a book by it's cover, I'd say everybody does it. I mean you look at the book and then the thoughts form in your head automatically. It's nothing bad. I think, one should just keep an open mind and always read the blurb or reviews as well. Even if you don't like a cover, the book can still have potential. 

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Fashion Corner - Jumper Dress

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Today it's all about one of my fave jumper dresses. 

The dress is from S. Oliver, it's great for a casual outfit. I combined it with my black Navyboot booties and my black leather jacket from Maje. In Addition we have my black backpack from Coach and grey tights. 

- Dress: S. Oliver
- Booties: Navyboot
- Backpack: Coach (similar)
- Jacket: Maje (similar)
- Sunglasses: Hallhuber

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Pros and Cons of working up on a mountain

Many of you know that I work up on a mountain. Yes, the school I work at is situated on a mountain (925 above sea level). I know that's not high for Switzerland, but still, it's a mountain. The kids get to school by funicular, half of them are interns, half of them are externs. 

Working up there can have pros and cons. Here the are: 

The view from Zugerberg is stunning. You can see the lake, the city, the mountains and so much more. The sunsets from up there are break-taking. By walking a little bit you can see other views as well, into different directions. The space up there is huge, it's great for walks. In summer you can go hiking into different directions. In winter you can go sledging, skiing, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. It's also pretty in autumn, because of all the trees changing colours. Looking down onto the fog is a great feeling as well. Sometimes we have sunshine for days and the people down there don't see the sun at all. In summer, when it's really hot, we get cooler temperatures, which is great. Being outdoors, in the nature every day is fantastic. 
My way to work is between 10 to 15 minutes, I always take the car and it's so close. 

The disadvantage about that?! In winter I sometimes have to take the funicular or even public transport, because of the snow. It takes me an hour to get there by public transport and if I leave the car at the funicular station it takes me about half an hour. The uni only runs every half hour, so you always have to look at the time. The roads to get to the school are narrow and the farmers usually don't clear them. I don't have four wheel drive, so sometimes I just can't drive up. Winter can be long in Switzerland, so every morning I have to get up earlier, just to see if I can drive up. There are a few restaurants up there, but not more. So for shopping you have to go down and we really don't have many options for lunch. The fog can also get annoying, whether it's on the drive or when you are stuck in it the whole day. It can get really cold up on our mountain. 

Don't get me wrong, I love working up there, but over the years these things have come together and I  recently discussed them with my colleagues, so hence this blog post. 

Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Little Cottage on the Hill - by Emma Davies

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

There’s blossom in the trees and daffodils as far as the eye can see. Maddie is looking forward to a fresh start in the countryside, but there’s just one little problem… 

Following a scandal at her high-flying PR agency, twenty-six-year-old Maddie flees London to help promote what she thinks is going to be a luxurious holiday retreat in the countryside. Everything is riding on her making a success of this new job… 

Yet when she arrives, Maddie is horrified to find a rundown old farm in a terrible state. The brooding and secretive owner, Seth, spent all his money on leasing the land when he fell in love with the beautiful, dishevelled farm cottages and the very romantic story behind them. 

When Maddie discovers an old painting by the original owner’s wife, she unlocks the secret of the farm’s history and quickly realises she must start getting her hands dirty if this very special place is going to have any chance of survival. As she and Seth begin working together, the stunning view from the top of the hill is not the only thing that’s leaving her breathless… 

After weeks of hard work the dream looks like it might become a reality, until a secret from Maddie’s past threatens to snatch it all away again. Can Maddie find a way to save the business and herself? Will she finally find a place to keep her heart within the crumbling walls of the little cottage on the hill? 

Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson who are looking to escape to the countryside and fall in love watching the seasons change. 

My Opinion:

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

I loved the way this book started, it made me really curious about Maddie and also the reason for her driving through the countryside. 

After a scandal Maddie leaves London and arrives at this rundown farm, where she starts her new job. The owner of the farm is called Seth. He is very moody and secretive, but also attractive and passionate. The farm is very important to him. Reasons for that lie in the past and Maddie is slowly discovering them. Working together brings them closer, but Seth is very reserved and not sharing a lot. On top of that there is the gardener Clara, who seems to have a special connection to him. 

Maddie slowly discovers the truth, but the path is rocky and her past comes back to haunt her. 

I liked Seth and Maddie together. They had chemistry and banter, even if it was difficult in the beginning. The way the storyline is great, flows wonderfully and keeps the reader hooked. Underneath it all there are a lot of feelings, emotions and also a softness and of course some romance. 

I think the farm had a lot of charm and the characters (most of them anyway) give it its unique touch. The setting of the book is beautiful and sweet, it came to life through Emma Davies' writing and so did the plot. Her writing is engaging, cute, fun, fresh and lively.

The story is about love, grief, secrets, passion, strength and romance. A lovely read full of fantastic elements, I loved it!


About the author: 

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It's a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea. 

Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her).

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Five ways to get out of a reading slump

We all have been through this, even if we are big booklovers. When I started book blogging, I thought it would never happen to me, but it did and it can have several reasons: no time, a lot of stress, the wrong books etc.

There are several ways though to get out of these slumps and to start loving reading again.

1.     My first tip is to get away from books for a while. Go after other hobbies, maybe read other things like blogs, newspapers etc. and go out there. Going out, discovering new things, being outdoors and enjoying the company of people can help you forget and they make you miss reading. That’s when you can go back to it.
2.     Change the genre: Reading the same genre, can get repetitive and trying something new, makes you discover other styles and other authors.
3.     Re-read books you love. It’s familiar and you enjoyed the story before. It makes it easier to get back into reading again.
4.     Try a novella or short story. They are short and still a lot of fun.
5.     Listen to books instead. Listening to audio books still gives you the possibility to „read“ the story. Listening can be really relaxing and calming.

There are obviously more ways for getting out of a reading slump, these five have helped me before though.

What helps you?