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Book Mail: Advance copy of Misfit by Charli Howard.

Absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of “Misfit” by Charli Howard – an international curve model and body activist whose charity, The All Woman Project, goes into schools to teach children about body image and mental health issues.

Here’s the blurb:

So, how did a slightly bonkers misfit with anorexia, bulimia and anxiety decide to solve their problems? I became a model. As you do.

Charli Howard had always wanted to be normal – but for some reason, she couldn’t quite find out how to do it. As a teenager, she felt like the only one who struggled with anxiety and self-esteem issues when everyone around her seemed to fit in. So she tried to embrace standing out: by becoming a model. Believing it would make her happy and envied, she set out single-mindedly to make it – and she achieved her dream. But the reality wasn’t quite as glamorous as she’d hoped. The pressure on Charli to look a certain way took an extreme toll on her body and self-image, and no matter how thin she got, she was never thin enough.

When Charli, though medically underweight, was fired by her modelling agency for being too big, she decided she’d had enough. She used her platform for good and spoke out about the insane standards of the modelling industry, whose images influence young women and girls all over the world. Now, Charli is comfortable in her skin for the first time ever, working happily as a plus sized model in New York. Here, she shares her journey, from anorexic and bulimic teenager to happy, healthy twenty-something.”

I actually feel quite emotional about reading this book to be honest. Maybe it’s because I have a baby girl now and I hope she never ever falls victim to body shaming.

Charli is an inspiration to thousands of girls and I hope that when my little girl Willow is older, she’ll read this book and feel empowered. That she’ll feel comfortable in her own body, be proud of it, and that she’ll become a confident young lady that I know she can be.

“Misfit” will be released 22nd February 2018.

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The Winter Queen free on Kindle until Sunday! 

Yep that’s right! The Winter Queen by Katie M. John is free on Kindle until Sunday! So be quick and grab yourselves a copy!

Here’s a little blurb for you:

When close friends May and Tom take a walk through the snow covered woods, May has no idea how truly magical, and dangerous, things are about to get.


When she wakes up badly injured in lavish but unfamiliar surroundings, she begins to understand that nothing is once what it was – and sometimes, as beautiful as the snow can be, it can be cruel.


Finding herself trapped in a terrible fairytale, May must find a way to get home before she is trapped there forever.


READERS’ NOTES. 

Please note that this is a 3/4 novel of 30,000 words.

It is an upper YA/Crossover timeslip / worldslip story with modern fairytale elements.

You can purchase it here for UK readers and here for US readers.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go onnnn snag yourselves a copy and get lost in this amazing and magical story!

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.

Blame by Simon Mayo – Read-along!

Hi everyone. The lovely people at Penguin recently sent me a copy of Blame by Simon Mayo. I’m so excited to read it! My boyfriend’s mum has also got a copy so, starting tonight, we have decided to do a read-along where we’ll read a chapter each night. This is actually a great way for me to read as with having little Willow now, I’ve been struggling to read as much as I used to, but setting aside half an hour or so to read a chapter is doable!

If you haven’t heard of Blame yet, here’s the blurb:

“Heritage crime [noun]: A previously undetected crime committed by your parents or grandparents for which you are held responsible. 

Ant and her brother, Mattie, are locked up in Spike, a new family prison.  Society demands they do time for the unpunished heritage crimes of their parents. Tension is simmering inside the jail.  When the tension breaks and a riot begins, Ant realizes they’ve got one chance to break out. 
It’s time for Ant to show the world that they’re NOT TO BLAME.”

Have any of you read Blame? If so, what did you think? Do any of you have it on your TBR list? Do you fancy reading along with us? Let me know in the comments below.

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.

Currently reading … And my Valentine’s Day gifts! 💕

Hi everyone! I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth … honest! This pregnancy (I’m now 38 weeks pregnant – eek!) just seems to have taken over! So apologies yet again for being so quiet! I seem to have really lost the reading bug of late but I’m *trying* to get it back! I’ve been attempting to read something on my Kindle but my hands are crying out for an actual book to hold and turn the pages of (you just can’t beat the feel of an actual book, right?) so I’ve given in and chosen to read The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury!

  
Here’s the blurb:

I am the perfect weapon.

I kill with a single touch.
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has its price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla’s fatal touch.
Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla’s chilling role to the girl she truly is.
Yet in a court as dangerous as the queen’s, some truths should not be told…”
I haven’t gotten very far but of what I have read, I’m really enjoying it! I love my YA novels and this was one that was recommended to me by Amazon. Seems completely unique to anything I’ve read in the past so thought I’d give it a go. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. 😃

Now on to Valentine’s Day … With having a little one due any day now, Aled and I didn’t go mad this year. He did offer to buy me a new Pandora charm but I opted for books instead! Coz I do love my books (even if I seem to have lost all motivation atm) and thought it a great excuse to get some new ones! These are the books I’d chosen:

  

For a change, I thought I’d go for a classic by H.P. Lovecraft and a book called Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. As you can see, it’s been compared to The Hunger Games but for me the only similarities seem to be the fact it’s a dystopian. Here’s the blurb taken from the back of the book:

I couldn’t find a blurb online that matched the back of the book, hence this picture.

Oooh Superheroes AND zombies … should be in for an interesting read here!

So, there you have it. I can’t wait to delve into these books and hopefully my reading bug will return and I’ll be back to normal with my head constantly stuck in a book. Or as much as our baby girl will allow, once she is here lol!

Dominic Sherwood cast as Jace Wayland in ‘Shadowhunters’

Woohoo we finally have a Jace! What do you think? Does he cut it? Personally, I’m quite happy with the choice.

TMI Source


Shadowhuntershas found its Jace.

Dominic Sherwood has been cast as Jace Wayland in the television adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s worldwide bestsellingMortal Instrumentsseries, TMI Source has learned.

This isn’t Sherwood’s first foray into the Young Adult world of adaptations. Sherwood played Christian Ozera in the shortlivedVampire Academy.

Sherwood has got the looks, the acting chops and the YA experience that we just know he’s going to be an amazing Jace.

Shadowhuntersbegins production next month in Toronto and will premiere in early 2016 on ABC Family.

Here’s the press release:

ABC FAMILYHAS CAST DOMINIC SHERWOOD AS ‘JACE WAYLAND,’

THE MALE LEAD FORTHE SAGA SERIESSHADOWHUNTERS

Burbank, CA (April2, 2015) –ABC Familyhas found their ‘Jace’ in British actor Dominic Sherwoodit was announced today by the network. Sherwood was recently seen starring in the feature film…

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Review: All These Things I’ve Done

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Title: All These Things I’ve Done.
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: 26th March 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 368 pages

Wow I can not imagine living in the world Anya lives in. It’s crazy! It’s like being back in the 40s when food was rationed only it’s set some time in the future (2082) and it’s more extreme! Chocolate and caffeine are illegal for one! I mean, my god, can you imagine?? No chocolate? Whaaaa?! From a chocolate lover’s point of view it just doesn’t bare thinking about! And if you want to be a writer? You need a licence to do so! Oh and sending an email? You need a stamp for that. It’s like the world has gone mad! Actually, with the way our society is today? It wouldn’t surprise me if it headed that way too! That is probably why it’s one of my favourite dystopians; because it’s not too far from the truth and is believable. On top of all that, all Anya would like is for her and her family to be safe and to fall in love and be happy but unfortunately she unwillingly gets sucked into the family business making her life, and love life, more complex meaning she has to choose between love and her family. I felt so bad for her having to make such a decision but the ending of the book gives me hope.

I wasn’t sure about reading this to begin with because Anya is in a family which is part of the mafia so I was expecting it to be a little like The Sopranos or something, and it was but I really, really enjoyed it and, once I got to the end, wanted to read it again right away. Such a well thought out plot with twists here and there to keep you riveted to the very end. I love how she seems to have taken today’s society to a whole new level and put a spin on it. Bring on the sequel, “Because It Is My Blood” which is next on my to-read list.

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

“Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now. Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house. There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach …and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she’s been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who’s ever really paid her any attention. But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer – and one she’ll never forget…”

With the winter closing in on us and the summer leaving us behind, what better way than to snuggle up after a hard day at work/school/college than with a good summer read completely making you forget all about the cold chill in the air, and instead sweeping you away into a hot summer filled with romance and all the joys of first loves. The Summer I Turned Pretty is the perfect choice for this.

This was such a joy to read. It made me sigh dreamily, giving me the warm fuzzies as not only was I sucked into Belly’s story, but it also had me thinking back to *that* summer when I met *that* guy and experienced love for the first time. 🙂 I loved that each time Belly remembers what happens during a previous summer spent at the beach house, we’re taken back there in the next chapter to discover what happens.

There is a quote from the book that I absolutely love and I thought I would share it:
“It was a summer I’d never, ever forget. It was the summer everything began. It was the summer I turned pretty. Because for the first time, I felt it. Pretty, I mean. Every summer up to this one, I believed it’d be different. And that summer, it finally was. I was.”
I could really empathise with her feelings as that’s exactly how I felt, too, during *that* summer.

Not only is this book about romance, but it is also about family coming together, supporting each other when it really matters. There’s a moment in this story when, all of a sudden, things take a turn. You just don’t see it creeping up on you but then you realise there had been signs all along and it all just clicks into place. I can’t wait to read the sequel It’s Not Summer Without You to find out what happens next. Would definitely recommend to anyone who likes a sweet teen romance.

I rate this book 4/5!

To purchase this book from Amazon, click here
Thank you to Penguin for sending us this fab book!

Shift Review By Dayna.

Shift – M.R. Merrick.

“Devastated by the loss of his mother, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.
As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.”

As was the case with Merrick’s debut Exiled, the sequel, Shift is just as darkly exciting and magical with just a drop of romance (which *cough* I’m hoping for more of in book 3 by the way Matthew *cough*. Yes, yes I like me a side of romance with my paranormal). Unlike with a few other books that I’ve read, this certainly wasn’t snail paced. There’s a lot going on to constantly keep your eyes glued and your attention permanently focused on the story. As you turn the first page you’re thrown right in to the middle of a scene ****spoiler alert**** where Rayna is trying to fight against turning in to a werecat so from that moment on you’re immediately gripped, sucked in to the story, not wanting to stop reading until you’ve gotten to the very end (which, if you’re a human, becomes tricky when you have to stop to eat, pee and sleep. Damn not being a modern day sparkly vampire! :p ).

Merrick’s writing just gets better and better and even more un-put-downable as the story unfolds and we learn more and more about each character. I love books that have witty and sarcastic retorts and Shift has plenty of that, of which I think mostly take place between Chase and Rayna or Chase and Vincent 😀 and I have to admit, a couple of times, I kinda found myself wanting to bash Chase and Vincent’s heads together ha ha ha. Chase, Rayna and Willy’s characters progress even more in Shift as does Chase and Rayna’s relationship. Chase is battling with his new found powers, Rayna’s battling with her shifter self and poor old Willy…well let’s just say he goes through some major changes too which totally had me in shock and had my jaw dropping about 3 feet to the floor which brings me back around full circle to say there’s a lot of surprises in store for you when you read Shift, trust me. It’s demon-hunters, shapeshifters, witches, vamps and fairytales all covered in awesome sauce and wrapped in a little red bow. This is a series that all lovers of the paranormal genre should definitely have on their bookshelves/ e-readers.

I rate this book 5/5!

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