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Beta/Proofreading Requests. 

After spending 3 years studying hairdressing only to realise this wasn’t for me, I went on to study Business Administration. But really my passion lied in books; I always had the urge to correct errors left in a book’s final copy.  It would just drive me crazy and being a self-confessed perfectionist, I can’t help but want everything to be 100% correct. So I decided to study proofreading as I wanted to help authors and be that second eye to look over everything and make sure that it was all perfect. Since then, in my spare time, I have been lucky enough to work as a proofreader for an e-zine and also for several indie authors.

I have decided to start advertising my Beta/proofreading services should you need a second eye to go over your work and, if you wish, I can also help with promo, etc. I may not be a professional proofreader working in a publishers, but I am accurate and will always give 100%.

If you would like to talk to me about any services please email me at secretlivesoffictionlovers@gmail.com

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I love proofreading!

One of the things I love about being a stay-at-home mum, rather than having your usual 9-5 day job, is that I can now concentrate on the things I’m passionate about and one of them is proofreading. A lot of people may think it’s boring but I love it! I love spotting mistakes and correcting them before they’ve made their way to the readers’ eyes! If you know of anyone who needs another pair of eyes to go over their work, feel free toleave a comment below or send them my way. I’d be more than happy to help! You can also email me: secretlivesoffictionlovers@gmail.com
Take care,
Dayna.

My Summer Book Stack.

Woohoo the Summer has officially arrived! Happy belated Summer Solstice everyone! Living in Pembrokeshire now means I get to go to the beach a fair bit during the Summer as we have several near by. That is on the few occasions that we actually get to see a bit of sun lol! I’m not one for the hot weather, but I do love bright sunny days where the sky is a beautiful shade of blue with a few fluffy clouds floating by. The perfect opportunity to sit on the beach and do a spot of reading. This brings me to my post. I’ve decided to put together a few books that I’d like to read over the Summer. My Summer book stack! Now, whether I’ll be able to get through them all, I don’t know but I shall certainly try. The books I’ve chosen are:


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Life and Death Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

I’ve had some of these books for quite some time but hadn’t got around to reading them. Hopefully I’ll get through them all this Summer! I am particularly excited about reading Lady Midnight as I adore Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Have you read any of these? Do you have a Summer TBR list? What will you be reading? Let me know in the comments below! 😃
Oh, and if you don’t already know, we’re on Facebook! Stop on by and say hi!

Take care,

Dayna.

My Proofreading Door Is Open!

Well, folks, it’s that time again where my proofreading door is open to you guys. Especially now that I have a little one and have a bit more free time on my hands (when she’s lets me, of course 😝). So, if you need a second pair of eyes to go over your work, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help in any way I can! You can email me at: secretlivesoffictionlovers@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you. 😊

Happy Friday everyone!

Take care,

Dayna.

#TBT

Ahh Of Mice and Men… Definitely an underrated book, I agree. I studied this back in secondary school and loved the movie too. It’s a book that will leave an imprint on your life forever. Or it did mine anyway. I always shed a tear (several times throughout ) whenever reading or watching it. Oh the feels! Poor Lennie was, at heart, a gentle giant who was misunderstood but sadly didn’t know his own strength (physically). *sniffs and wipes away a tear* A worthy read for sure. And I never knew it was on the banned book list untill I saw Jordan’s post! Wow!

Words. . . I Need Words. . .

So as a request from my husband my #tbt for this week is going to be Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I read this book in high school in the 11th grade. It’s funny because the copy I pulled off our bookshelf yesterday was one that my husband had refused to give back once he graduated high school, so now we have a copy for ourselves. I have loved many things that Steinbeck has written, but for some reason this story always pops back up into my life in some form.

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This story is one that I always thought was underrated. Yes it is a simple story of one that deals mostly with a world that has a hard time with mentally challenged people and that of a blossoming friendship within the Great Depression. I find it fascinating when I reread it that compared to our times…

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Currently Reading: Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend.

I really needed a break from a book I’m reading on my Kindle at the moment because, sadly, I’m just not enjoying it. 😔 It had quite a promising plot too but the writing leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. Sooo I looked to my overflowing bookcase to see what I had left to read and noticed I still needed to read Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison. The book was kindly sent to me by the lovely folk at Macmillan some time ago so I thought it time I picked it up and got stuck in.  
Blurb:

“Jane wants to meet a hero worthy of her extraordinary imagination: a gentleman who is dashing and daring and handsome and brave; who can dance like a viscount and duel like a king. Jane and Jenny are whiling away the season in Bath and there are plenty of dances, rumours and scandals to entertain them. But a good reputation, once lost, is gone forever; and Jane is in danger of becoming the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.”


I’m hoping that this is going to be an easy read, something that I can totally engross myself in. It’s also written like a diary so the writing style flows nicely and I should be finished in no time!

Review: The Chair by R.R. Sechi

Title: The Chair

Author: R.R. Sechi

Published: 21st February 2014

Publisher: Independent

Format: Paperback

Pages: 145

Blurb:

“John Anderson goes to the site of an old dilapidated mental institution called, ‘Willow Brook’, in the hope of finding a special chair previously used for electro-shock therapy. His wife, Jess is a ‘white’ witch who believes the chair possesses supernatural power. With the correct spells and incantations, she thinks that she may be able to control and direct its spiritual energy to her own devices. Some might say, they should have left it where it was…”

When I discovered that this was about a chair in a mental institute, my initial thought was: “Ohhh crap! Stories about mental institutes never end well” and by “end well” I mean that it’ll be mega spooky and will more than likely scare the crap out of me! That was then …

Does anybody else find it hard to get into a book when there’s lots of bad punctuation that hasn’t been corrected? Well that was my problem. By the third page, I just wanted to give up and throw it across the room. There were commas in the wrong places and commas where there should have been full stops. In general, it just wasn’t reading right and therefore the story wasn’t flowing the way it should. As a proofreader, problems like this really irk me. The author also changes the character’s thoughts from italics to normal and are sometimes in speech marks and sometimes not which was a teeny bit annoying.

At one point in the story Sarah (John’s girlfriend’s best friend) and John sit on the chair and get transported back to the 50s. Sarah finds herself in the body of a woman called Liz but a couple of pages later, Liz’s friend, Sherrie, calls her “Sarah” instead of “Liz”. Oops! As you can see, I found the story to be inconsistent at times. Another example being: The author seems to go from implying that John hardly knows his girlfriend’s best friend, Sarah, to then saying she’s the couple’s best friend and then back to saying John hardly knows her and that she’s Jess’ friend, not his. Also, as you may have seen from the blurb, John’s other half is known as his wife, yet in the book she’s his girlfriend. These kinda things really shouldn’t have been over looked by the author.

The constant misuse of “feint” instead of “faint” became really annoying and made me wonder if the book had been proofread by anyone before the author published it. (He eventually did get it right). This can also be said for the misuse of “to”, “too” and “two” and also “their” and “there”.
I can’t say I really liked the protagonist. He was quite weak willed and was clearly governed by his penis. In the beginning he seemed so sickeningly in love with his girlfriend (I even wondered if he was under some spell) that he would never hurt her, yet further into the story it didn’t take much for him to give into sexual desire and fall into bed with her best friend!
Imagination was a little lacking at times. For example: Sarah’s husband, Rick, sits in the chair as joke, disbelieving their claims that it has magical powers. He then disappears but comes back several hours later engulfed in flames. Both Jess and Sarah faint and then, after trying to unsuccessfully douse out the flames, John faints too! And I thought, “Really? That’s all you could come up with?”. I know it’s a shocking thing to happen but I honestly thought the character would have the balls to stay conscious and at least phone the emergency services! Shortly after, there is a scene where after ringing the police, they are handcuffed and taken to the station to be questioned. The police are adamant they are all guilty of murder, yet they haven’t even investigated the scene to find out how exactly Rick caught on fire! The only reason the police eventually go back to the house is because they were at a “dead end” and so want to see if they can find evidence to actually put John, Jess and Sarah in jail. They also go in an unmarked car! I find it very hard to believe that investigating a crime scene would actually work this way. I mean, why go in an unmarked car? It just looks suspicious! And only going there as a last resort? That’s ridiculous. They should have had an investigation going on at the house anyway!
The author seems to forget what he calls his characters as at one point Detective Inspector Barnes gets referred to as “John” which is actually the main character’s name. Now, it could be possible that his name *is* John too, but giving characters the same names in stories is usually avoided so it’s highly unlikely that this is the case.
Over halfway through the book, Barnes tells John, Jess and Sarah that he’s no idea how he’ll tell his peers about what has happened regarding the chair and the mysterious deaths and that they’ll probably be re-arrested. He then says this again to them a little over a page later! It’s just not necessary and this wasn’t the first time that something was repeated in the book. Repetitiveness is a pet peev of mine I’m afraid.
Near to the end of the book, Jess and Sarah have decided to return the chair back to the mental institution. Sarah suggests they should just leave it near the entrance but Jess says, “John told me he took it from somewhere in the basement so maybe we need to leave it there as whatever we do, I don’t want to have to come back!” What? Plot-wise, this just doesn’t make sense! The institution was burned down and is now derelict so why would they even need to go back? To me, it looks as though the writer has got something planned to happen in the basement and needed a way to get to that point. – It didn’t quite happen that way which made Jess’ earlier statement even more pointless.
The writing comes across as very amateur. In fact, I was reminded of when I was in year 9 (age 14) and my English teacher had crossed sections of my story out due to it being unnecessary or irrelevant to the plot. That is what I wanted to do with this book!
I was so relieved when I got to the end. I stuck with it in the hopes things would improve but sadly they didn’t. There was also no explanation as to why the chair seemed to have magical powers and would transport a person back into someone else’s memories who had previously been in the chair.
As you can see, I seem to have a lot of negative feelings towards this book and not a lot of good things to say. The premise of it was a good idea. It wasn’t exactly spooky like I thought it’d be and to be honest it was quite a frustrating read, though you may have guessed that. It’s not really a book I would recommend unless you can overlook the things I can’t.

If you would like me to review something please feel free to get in touch. I’d be happy to help. You can find out more on the “Requesting a Review” page.

Shadowhunters Castings – My Thoughts …

Ok, I’m just gonna lay it all out there …. I’m having a hard time adjusting to how the Shadowhunters characters are being cast. Or most of them. Choosing diversity over staying true to the books? That’s not ok with me. Am I the only one who feels this way? I am a stickler for tv shows/movies staying as close to a book’s details and storylines as possible. Particularly when it comes to the description of the main characters. I really admired Cassie when she wanted CoB’s movie characters to be like their book’s counterparts but felt disappointed when I found out, that for the tv show, she’d expressed that she wanted acting ability over character likeness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wanting the show to have great actors but you are not seriously telling me that the majority of the actors who walked through their casting door looking like the characters, didn’t measure up in acting ability? Really? I find that hard to believe. It just really makes me nervous for the future of the show and whether they will follow the book/s or go way off kilter like Trueblood and The Vampire Diaries have. That being said, I LOVE how TVD is turning out (the books just got ridiculous in the end) so I guess maybe there’s hope yet lol.

Sorry for the grumble, I’d just been mulling it over in my head and felt I had to vent. Being a long-time fan of the series, I feel really protective over it and want everything to be just-so, ya know?

Anyhoo, it’s gone 3am so I must try get back to sleep.

Take care.

YSL Haul and FoTD

Ok, I had a makeup splurge! I had never tried YSL makeup before but had heard so many good things about the brand in general and I had been wanting the Touché Éclat for the longest time so I thought, “Eh! What the hell! Go for it!” So I took the plunge! I was initially going to buy the touché éclat from Boots’ online site but then thought I’d just go direct and I’m so glad I did! Why? Well I got freebies! And who doesn’t like freebies! I bought the Touché Éclat (in the shade 1.5 as I’m pale but not ghost-like plus I have yellow undertones) and the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain in shade 35. When I got to the check-out I realised I’d qualified for some freebies! Woohoo! This consisted of:

2 x Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils samples

2 x Black Opium samples

1 x Forever Youth Liberator sample

1 x Dessin De Lèvres – lip liner in shade 6

1 x Top Secrets Eye Makeup Remover

I was so excited to see the YSL parcel waiting for me when I got back from my trip to London (more about my trip in a later post). It was like Christmas Day all over again with the freebies and all! Here are the goodies:

  

  

The first thing I thought when I saw the shade in person was, “Eek! It’s bright pink!” as I was expecting a more softer, natural pink.

  

  

Ok, so the inner of my arm is more pale than the actual shade but it worked quite well with my face’s skin tone. I think if I’d got the lighter shade, it would have washed me out.

And here are the freebies:

  

I gave one of the perfume samples to my mum as I knew she’d love it! Dad bought her a bottle of the original Opium around 30 years ago and she still has the bottle sat on her dresser to this day! The lip liner is more plum-y than bright pink like the lip stain but that’s ok with me, it tones down the colour a little.

Here’s me wearing the wearing my YSL gloss stain and touché éclat:

  

So what do you think? Have any of you guys tried YSL? Do you love it? Hate it? Comment below! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend! I’m home for the next few weekends which sadly means I won’t be seeing my boyfriend but it does mean I can concentrate on my proofreading so yay!

I am reading…

For a while now, my head hasn’t been in the game of reading and the only time I seemed to read was on the long train journey to and from my boyfriend’s. Anyhoo, this weekend I decided I would make a concerted effort to finish the book I was reading. And I have. I stayed up ’til 2am being engrossed in the final chapters of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Although I found myself lost and confused at times, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. There was this big cliff hanger at the end that had me rushing to Amazon to put books 2 and 3 on my wish list. I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

I am now about to start reading Winterspell by Claire Legrand. It looks to be such a magical and enchanting read. Hopefully, I will not be disappointed. 🙂

The blurb:

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

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My lovely boyfriend bought me Winterspell for Christmas and his equally lovely mum bought me the bookmark with my name engraved on it. 💕

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