Friends turns 20: 20 episodes you need to watch

Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers:

Wow! I can’t believe it has been 20 years since the first episode of Friends was aired on our TV screens! I would have been 11! That makes me feel old lol! Friends is one of my favourite shows ever! I love the “WE WERE ON A BREAK!!” ep. Also the ep where Monica, Phoebe and Rachel wear the wedding dresses. My best friend and I wanted to recreate that ep on the night before her wedding lol! The one where Joey speaks “French” always has me in stitches and, to this day, I still cry when Monica and chandler propose to each other. Awww it was so romantic! And , of course, the last ever ep has me crying, too. She got off the plane! I was on holiday in Blackpool with my now ex boyfriend when that aired and I told him we weren’t leaving the hotel for the evening until we’d watched the last ever ep of Friends hahaha! The show had such an impact on my life and there always seems to be a moment in Friends that mirrors something going on in my life hahaha.

Originally posted on Metro:

TV PROGRAMME 'FRIENDS' - CAST SHOT (LtR) ; Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matt le Blanc.. FREE OF CHARGE FOR CHANNEL 4 PROGRAMME PUBLICITY FRIENDS YEAR 4....USED IN W/E 3/7/1999

Friends is now 20 years old (Picture: Channel 4)

Prepare to feel old – Friends turns 20 this month.

It’s been two whole decades since we were first introduced to Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe yet we’re still quoting the show.

236 episodes were aired across the show’s ten-year run and the sitcom has had an incredible cultural impact. Trying to choose just 20 must-watch episodes is no easy feat, but I’ve had a go. Here are my choices, which episodes would you choose?

1. The One With The Baby On The Bus

Phoebe sings a song about a Smelly Cat for the first time. We’d hear it many more times over the next ten years.

2. The One With The Prom Video

Ross sports a dodgy moustache as an old video reveals his true feelings for Rachel.

3. The One Where No One’s Ready

This bottle episode…

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I NEED to visit: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

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At the end of November my mum, sister and I are going to London for the day. One of the places my mum and I want to go to is Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. It is a café for cat lovers! Not only can you sit down with a cup of tea and have a chat, or read a book, but you can also befriend the cute furry kitties who live there. These are rescue cats who have been taken in from the bustling busy streets of London. I think this is a fabulous idea! It gives a warm, safe place for the cats to go but also those who love cats can go and visit them. It is especially good for those who aren’t able to have cats in their own home!

I really do hope we’re able to pop in during our day trip.

Visit Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium to find out more!

Happy Book Release Day: The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy

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Yippeeeee! The release day for The Winter People is finally upon us! I’m currently reading it at the mo and I’m loving it so far. Shall post my review once I’ve finished reading. :-D

Here’s some more info on the wonderful world of The Winter People:

Blurb (Goodreads):

“An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.
 

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.”

Go onnnn you know you wanna buy it:

Goodreads

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barns & Noble

iTunes US

Review: Bluebell Cottage

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Title: Bluebell Cottage
Author: Heather M.J.L. Watson
Published: 21st Oct 2010
Publisher: HandE Publishers
Format: Paperback

Blurb:

Keely McCree needs to escape a painful memory, so she traces her family back to Ireland.

Her idea of relaxation and going on lots of walks around the park with her dog Tina are unexpectedly shattered as she tumbles head first into a world unknown. Before long Keely becomes the unwitting cause of a great war between the Irish and Welsh Fairy tribes.

A meeting with a dark handsome stranger, a deceitful friend and a journey into a mythical land could leave Keely with the hardest decision to make of her life.

Follow Keely as battles between different worlds commence, choices need to be made and fantasy stories become real life.

Considering it is only just over 200 pages long, I thought I’d finish it in no time at all and thought it the perfect companion for my 7-8 hour train journey to Wales last Friday. Turns out, it took me a lot longer to read as it was slow going and didn’t really pick up the pace.

It is written in first person from two people’s point of view, which I like -mostly Keely’s, though Rob has a brief spot- but my problem is, they are both written in exactly the same way! If it hadn’t stated that Rob was talking about Keely then you wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart. If it is going to be written in first person from two people’s POV then at least inject a little personality so that the reader can tell the difference between the two. Ugh! The romance between Keely and Regan (a handsome Irish Sidhe prince) was developed too quickly, as was Rob’s unrequited love for Keely – and he fell out of love just as quickly. I felt that the characters conceded far too easily. This happened many times throughout the book which got really annoying. For example, Rob is being held captive by Mab, the Welsh Sidhe queen. He hadn’t made a decision about becoming her slave and demands to see Keely who is being held captive elsewhere. Mab simply replies, “Robert, if I agree to let you see Keely, afterwards you must make your decision. Is that clear?” To which he replies, “Crystal!” I was expecting more of a fight, you know? More of an argument. Speaking of “fight”, there was meant to be this big showdown between the Irish and the Welsh sidhe but you don’t get to see any of this as both Keely and Rob are safely tucked up back home in the human world. Instead, this is very briefly recounted by Keely’s love interest, Regan, upon his return from fighting in the battle. I was gutted by this as it was so anticlimactic. I was expecting to be right in the thick of it, experiencing what the characters were experiencing throughout the fight, but nope, it was nothing like that.

I really, really wanted to like this but I didn’t. :( I was so disappointed. I thought the idea behind the story was great and was really looking forward to reading it as I love reading about the Sidhe, but the content was weak and bland. Reading it was kinda like reading a first draft of a story before the author then goes back through it to pad it out and add more depth, detail and character development to the story. So much more detail could have gone into this. Especially the mythological background of the Sidhe. I was looking forward to that more than anything else. It’s such a shame the book was a letdown because there was potential there for it to be amazing.

I would also like to add that for some strange reason, the bookshop I bought this from had put it in the 9-12 years section. Now, yes there’s mild romance, there’s no sex, not really any violence, and no swearing BUT that does not make it a book aimed at children aged 9-12 years when the characters are in their late 20s to mid 30s! *sigh*

Review: Attachments

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Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2nd February 2012
Publisher: Orion
Format: Paperback

Blurb (Waterstones):

“It’s 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty. By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange. At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he really is, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say to her? ‘Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mails – and also, I think I love you’. After a series of close encounters, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart, and find out whether there really is such a thing as love before first-sight.”

*sighs happily* I could just go right back to the beginning and read this all over again. If books were types of hugs, this would be a great big cuddly, cozy, bear hug! I truly loved it. I felt the ending was a little rushed but it didn’t make me love it any less. It’s funny and romantic and oh so nostalgic. It was set around the turn of the 21st century, I would have been 16 then, so it really took me back to those days. It had me on edge not knowing whether Lincoln, the IT security guy who has to read all the emails that have been flagged, and Beth, the movie reviews reporter, would ever end up together; Whether he would ever come clean or even *how* he would come clean. – How on earth was he going to tell Beth he’d fallen in love with her from reading her’s and Jennifer’s emails to one another? Admittedly, it does sound shifty but, come on, it’s kinda romantic! I loved Rainbow’s writing style for Beth and Jennifer and the fact their conversations were set out just like emails. Their characters were such a hoot. It felt like they were your best friends, too. They were funny and chatty and when they were going through bad times you wanted to be there for them and help them through it or put the world to rights with them or insult all of man kind and have a boyfriend bonfire (yeah I’m totally channelling Phoebe and Rachel from Friends right now) when they’re having guy problems. They really had me laughing at times – actually a lot of the time – and reminded me so much of me and my best friend. I had to chuckle when Beth revealed to Jennifer that she was following *cough* stalker *cough* Lincoln – aka “my cute guy” – around because she fancied him. Finding out that she’s done that, really had me rooting for her and Lincoln. And I thought surely, because she fancied him so much so she had the overwhelming urge to follow him around, that it was destiny, they HAVE to be together and she would just HAVE to forgive him for his not-so-traditional way of falling for her seeing as, ya know, she’d been stalking him and all! I wanted them to get together so bad. There was one point, near to the end, where I felt so deflated and sad because I really didn’t think this was going to happen. My boyfriend even asked me what was wrong. When I told him why, his response was, “it’s just a book”. Now, isn’t that the typical response given by someone who doesn’t read?! *sigh* They just don’t “get it”. By the time I’d got to the last page I had this massive smile on my face. I loved it! Loved it! Loved it! I know some have said how unrealistic the outcome of Lincoln and Beth was but, hey, that’s fiction for ya!

My beta/proofreading window is open.

Hi guys,

I hope you’re all having a lovely evening/day. My beta/proofreading window is open so if any of you are needing help at all, then I’d be happy to lend you a hand. I’ve just finished beta reading for an author so I’ve now got a slot free. If it’s a novel that you’d like me to go over, it’ll usually take me around a week to read (maybe a little longer dependant on the size of the book and also any work commitments I may already have). If it’s something like an essay or a leaflet then, in theory, it will take less time to read them. Yep, you heard me right, I said essay. So for those of you who are at uni, if you’re being bogged down with essays/assignments then I can help you, too, if you’d like. Just give me a shout. :)

If you’d like to contact me I’d be more than happy to help.

Email: secretlivesoffictionlovers@gmail.com

My Waterstones Book Haul!

I am such a book geek! I could spend hours in a bookshop…which is exactly what I did today! We have 2 Waterstones in Lincoln and I spent ages in both lol!

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I fell in love with this book bag as soon as I saw it! I knew right away that the illustration was done by Quentin Blake. I would love to go to the Quentin Blake exhibition in London. He’s amazing and really brought Roald Dahl’s characters to life. Takes me back to my childhood when my teacher in year 3 (3rd grade to you folk across the pond) would sit us all down and read Roald Dahl books to us. He even did the voices! It was so cool! My favourites were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Twits.

Now, a book bag wouldn’t be a book bag if it didn’t have books in it! Soooo I bought two along with the book bag:

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Then when I went in the other Waterstones, I bought two more:

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I cannot wait to get started on these but there’s some others I need to read before I start them. Hahaha I really shouldn’t buy more books when I still have some to read but I just can’t resist new ones.

I also wanted these books:

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But I resisted temptation. I thought maybe, just maybe, someone might buy me them for my birthday in October. Pretty, pretty pleeeaaase??

I love, love, love that Waterstones are putting little notes on the books that they’ve read telling fellow readers how great the books are. It’s such an awesome idea! So awesome that I just had to take pics of a few:

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Ooh ooh and one more last thing, this isn’t book related but I got so excited when I saw this display in Waterstones:

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Firefly! They has Firefly! A Firefly game!! Eeeek! I’d have no one to play it with though as no one I know likes Firefly. :( Ooh, ooh they also had it all set up on a table but there was no one around to play it with. :(

Anywaaaay that’s my rambling post for the day. I hope you’re all having a lovely bank holiday weekend!

‘Sickening’ bin bag of cats’ heads found in Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ in possible racist incident

Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers:

Being an owner of 6 gorgeous cats, this sickens and upsets me. They could have been people’s pets! What’s more, it’s just wrong! Now, the jury’s out on whether it was racially motivated or left out by one of the restaurants, but I know where my vote would lie. Absolutely disgusted!

Originally posted on Metro:

Curry Mile, cat heads

The gruesome discovery was made in Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ (Picture: BBC)

A bin bag of cats’ heads found in Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ may have been placed there in a ‘racially motivated’ incident.

The animal heads were found by James Robinson in an alley just off Wilmslow Road, which is an area famous for its Indian restaurants.

‘I was going out for some food and walking down the side street when I saw a black bin bag filled with something that looked suspicious,’ the 34-year-old told Manchester Evening News.

‘When I opened it I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were about five cats’ heads in there. I can’t get over the shock of it.’

Cat heads

Around five cat heads were found in the bag (Picture: Alamy)

Manchester City Council, which suggested the incident may have been ‘racially motivated’, ruled out any of the local businesses as perpetrators.

‘This is obviously an incredibly distressing…

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The Six Book Challenge

Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers:

This is such a fantastic idea! I may have to join up myself!

Originally posted on Adventures in editing, publishing and publicity:

I have recently found out about the Six Book Challenge, which is run by The Reading Agency and takes place every year in libraries, colleges, workplaces and prisons.

Their “How to join inwebpage says,

“The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge invites you to pick six reads and record them in a diary to get a certificate. Sign up now and create a profile.

You may be taking part already through your library, college or workplace – in which case you will already have a reading diary. If not, please contact us and say where you’re based so that we can try to link you up with someone running the Six Book Challenge near you and you can get a reading diary through them. Once you’ve completed the challenge you can enter a national prize draw. Last year, prizes included Kobo eReaders and a trip to London.

You can read…

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On scammery

Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers:

I think all budding authors need to be aware of this.

Originally posted on Infinitefreetime.com:

Got this in the mail yesterday.  Fascinatingly, it was sent to Luther Siler– who, remember, isn’t a real person– at my actual physical address.  The number of organizations that can pair his name with my address are… limited.  And I am not happy with them.

This is page 3 of a three-page letter; I’m not going to bother reproducing the first two.  If you happen to get this in the mail, you should throw it the hell away.

miraBefore we start, the first page is a fake check for $601.  Their “Ultimate Publishing Package” costs $1600, meaning that with their “discount” you’re only spending nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars of your money– before they make you a single dime, and as we’ll see it’s going to be more than that anyway.

Let’s walk through this “offer” bit by bit, shall we?

  • 100 Printed Copies of Your Book…

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