AtoZ Challenge: I is for…Interests

A to Z Challenge

I is for….Interests

Originally I had planned a different post but between life generally taking over my week seemed to run away so technically I’m writing this on Sunday and then back dating it.

So I decided to change it to interests.

Knitting
Knitting and crochet are both activities I’ve watched my Mum and my Grandma’s do as I’ve grown up. It took my Mum a few (patient!) attempts to teach me to knit and for quite a long time all I could do was knit rather than purl. Eventually I got the hang of purling and happily switch between the two.

My lovely friend Judit from Monster Yarns keeps attempting to encourage me onto something more complicated like a jumper or a cardigan rather than sticking with scarves or cowls!! She’s right I need to get out of my comfort zone and try something new!

Crochet
Whereas knitting I picked up fairly quickly (in the scale of things) but for a long time crochet wouldn’t stick. I couldn’t get the hang of it. Then about two years ago Mum sat down and taught me again and some how this time it did stick. I wrote about learning to crochet in more detail here.

Blogging and Social Media
I’ve been blogging for about eight or nine years now. Originally it started as trying to learn a new skill I’d found a website where I could build my own site but it was really basic and full of ads that I had no control over. Somewhere along the line Chris started teaching me how to write HTML and then got me onto WordPress and my first blog was born. As the years have gone it’s between tweaked and changed and this is the current incarnation (which still isn’t quite right! My fonts seem to be having a stupid moment!!)

Social Media is a newer thing. I joined Twitter about seven years ago and I think Facebook was somewhere around that too. I think I was on both before they properly took off here in the UK but the thing was because there wasn’t really anyone I knew on them I signed up for the accounts and didn’t really do anything with them. In an ideal world if I did need to go back to work after Blueberry is born I’d love to be able to run my own business doing social media for other companies – but where on earth would I start? I sort of had something happening as a part time gig but for one or another reason it didn’t work out. Maybe I need to start jotting down ideas and chat to some of those entrepreneurs out there that I chat to on twitter and other networks. Maybe they can help me.

Movies
I am a cinema nerd. Well at least I always thought I was but one of my colleagues at work is even more of a nerd than I am. He has a verging on encyclopaedic knowledge of who won Best Picture at the Oscars and in which year and then the films that the Best Actor then appeared in and all sorts of things.

I tend to stick to the same genres but am trying to broaden my horizons. I watched Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a little while ago as it’s available on Netflix. It was okay but again threw another twist on what vampires can and can’t do. (They don’t sparkle a la Twilight but apparently the vampires can cake on sunscreen and go out in the sunshine…..seriously, are you kidding me?). I also quite like foreign film. I watched one called “It’s OK I’m a Cyborg” which is a Korean film. It was really random and quite quirky but still quite good.

Reading Books
I am a book worm. I haven’t been as good at reading this year as I have in others. I’m almost finished book 4 or 5 of the year. Oh dear. I really need to get a move on. I am currently reading The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen. It’s really grim in some places but it is a crime novel so kind of expected!! I’ll either read the next one in the series if I can get it on my kindle app or drag the boys to a book shop during the week.

Right about to run out of charge in my phone. Might be time to to find a charger and go read.

AtoZ Challenge: F is for…Films

A to Z Challenge

F is for….Films
This weekend was a unexpected mass film weekend. On Sunday evening, Chris and I went to see Noah at the cinema then this evening we went to see Divergent.

Noah Movie PosterAs you may have heard, Noah has had it’s critics. When I saw it was directed by Darren Aronofsky (directed Black Swan) I was always prepared that it wasn’t going to be a rainbows and butterflies version of the story – it was going to be dark and twisty because that seems to be what he does best (I saw Black Swan at the cinema and it gave me the creeps!).

Overall I liked the film, I’m not sure it’s necessarily one I’ll be downloading or getting on DVD but was interesting and raised questions. Chris and I spent most of the journey home chatting about the film. I think like a few bible stories we have a Sunday School version of it in a way, at Christmas we have a twee version with non-smelly animals and Easter doesn’t have the blood or the gore. The story of Noah takes 3 chapters in Genesis which in the whole scheme of things is a really small section of the bible. But actually even when you just count the rain (40 days and nights) and the amount of time it takes for the earth to dry out it’s nearly a year and that’s excluding all the time that Noah and his family spend building the ark in the first place. I think it was only when I saw Ila (Emma Watson’s character go through her pregnancy in the story did I realise quite how long they were in the ark for). A lot of Christians have been “upset” by the interpretation but once you get your head round that it isn’t a literal translation of the story then it is a good story in the long run.

DivergentDivergent was next up. My cousin is back from uni at the moment so we decided to go see the film. My aunt and my cousin are my film buddies, we saw all the Twilight films and the Hunger Games together so far, now we have the Divergent series to add to the list.

I read the book of Divergent in April 2012, so although I remembered bits of the story, I wasn’t entirely sure about the rest of the story. I think they did a really good job about getting Shailene to be like the Beatrice/Tris in the book, on the way back to the car we talked about how it was better than the version of Bella between the Twilight films and the Twilight movies. Overall I enjoyed it and it was a good film, some bits were tense and had me on the edge of my seat, there were a couple of bits that were missing between the book and the film but you always expect some bits to be missing along the line.

March 4: Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not….(Kindle Offer)

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Geli Voyante's Hot or Not

Today’s actual post follows shortly but following an email I received today I had to spread the word.

Back in September and again in October I wrote about my friend Elle and her fabulous second book “Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not”. I absolutely loved it and am super excited that Elle is penning her follow up to her first novel, Kept at the moment. This is entitled Lost and I can’t wait for it!

Anyway I am writing about this because between today and Thursday you can find Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not for free on the Amazon Kindle Store. Yes I did say FREE. So give it a try.

The UK store is here and the US store is here.

“This is another fabbity book, as Geli would say, from new(ish) author Elle Field. Like her debut novel Kept, this is a brilliant example of the chick lit genre – it’s full of witty and funny moments with plenty of twists and turns in the storyline to keep you gripped! I absolutely loved the characters, especially Geli and her quirky ways, and Tiggy was the perfect “frenemy” to boo and hiss at!

If you’re a fan of the chick lit greats such as Sophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding, you won’t regret reading this. Another book soon please Elle!”

geli voyante’s hot or not

Geli Voyante's Hot or Not Book Tour

I am so excited to be able to host Elle on her book tour for the release of her second book Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. I have been able to

1. How long have you been writing?
Ever since I can remember I’ve scribbled down tales of magical adventures and damsels in distress. When I got a bit older, I moved on to the adult equivalent of these. I guess the answer is that I have been writing all of my life, though I’ve only been writing chick lit for the past seven years.

2. What inspired you to start writing?
What inspired me to start writing chick lit was life! The months leading up to my twenty-first birthday had been pretty rough, and I found it to be quite cathartic to make things turn out well for some fictional characters. It was definitely much more fun than working on my dissertation which was what I was supposed to be writing that summer!

3. Are you inspired by any specific authors?
That summer when I first started writing chick lit instead of my dissertation, I read Maggie Alderson’s Cents and Sensibility which I absolutely adored. On the surface the book comes across as fluffy; dig deeper and you’ll find it’s clever and captivating writing – that’s the type of book I knew I wanted to write, so I did!

Sophie Kinsella, Lauren Weisberger, Meg Cabot, Dorothy Koomson, Adele Parks and Helen Fielding are big-name authors who I love and who inspire me, but seeing the huge success of my fellow talented indie authors inspires me too.

Geli Voyante's Hot or Not

4. Do you have a favourite book? And what do you love about it?
I have far too many favourite books – it would be impossible for me to pick out just one! There are so many things that make can make a particular book a favourite of mine – there are the obvious traits such as an amazing plot or characters I end up rooting for like I would my friends – but quite often a book becomes a favourite of mine because I read it at a particular place or time in my life and it struck a chord with me.

5. If there was a movie adaptation of Kept or Geli who would you like to take the lead?
I think Henry Cavill would certainly have to play Piers in Kept! As for Arielle, I could see Emily Blunt playing her.

6. If you now could give your younger self advice about writing what would it be?
Try not to procrastinate as much because you will have so many great book ideas and one day you will be published and kicking yourself that you don’t have a bigger back catalogue to release! You might lose your way a bit with your writing, but that’s OK – like anything, it will make you stronger when you do get back on track and know where you want to go. Finally, keep believing – you’re going to make it one day kid!

About the Author
Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in South London with her boyfriend. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty’s capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London’s culinary delights.

Elle Field

Her debut novel Kept was released earlier this year, and her next novel Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not will be published on October 17th in Kindle and paperback formats. Watch out in 2014 for the release of Kept’s sequel, as well as The Dirtification of Tabitha-Rose.

• You can read Elle’s literary, London and life adventures on her blog.
• Follow her on Twitter @Facebook.
• Connect with her on Goodreads.

Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not blurb:

‘I think I will always be known as the Hot or Not girl, defined by it for the rest of my career. Even my tombstone will read: Angelica “Geli” Voyante, beloved trendsetter. Death? Not Hot.

Yet, it doesn’t sound right. Why won’t anyone realise that there is more to me than this fickle persona I have inadvertently become?’

Geli Voyante is bored of being the Hot or Not girl, even if it has the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper’s very Hot political columnist. She’s also getting a little lonely being single.

When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it’s time for Geli to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. Geli should remember though that there are always two sides to every story, and that applies to people too…

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geli voyante’s hot or not list

 Geli Voyante's Hot or Not Elle Field cover

My beautiful friend Elle is about to release her second book and I’m so excited and blessed to have been asked by her to join in the cover launch today. Having read Kept back in April when it was released, I can’t wait for Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not to be released in four weeks time.

From Elle Field, the author of Kept, Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not will be released on October 17th in Kindle and paperback formats. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf today!

‘I think I will always be known as the Hot or Not girl, defined by it for the rest of my career. Even my tombstone will read: Angelica “Geli” Voyante, beloved trendsetter. Death? Not Hot.

Yet, it doesn’t sound right. Why won’t anyone realise that there is more to me than this fickle persona I have inadvertently become?’

Geli Voyante is bored of being the Hot or Not girl, even if it has the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper’s very Hot political columnist. She’s also getting a little lonely being single.

When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it’s time for Geli to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. Geli should remember though that there are always two sides to every story, and that applies to people too…

friday questions #8

Friday Questions

I’m going to do my best to get Friday Questions going again on a regular basis. If you join in leave your link in a comment or send me a tweet – I’m @girltaristhan on Twitter.

1. What book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Chasing The Dragon by Jackie Pullinger, I now have another two books to add to the TBR pile after being to the Girls Night In evening at Putnoe Library last night. Ali McNamara and Christina Jones were both there. There was a question and answer session and then a book signing. It was lovely to chat to Ali especially as we’d spoken earlier via Twitter – thanks to Rickie!!

2. How many films have you seen this month?
I’m not really sure – I think maybe four or five. We started the month with going to see Iron Man 3 at the cinema as part of Our Sidekick’s birthday celebrations. We’re possibly going to see Star Trek: Into Darkness at some point but I’m not sure when. I’ve been watching random films on Netflix. I’ve seen The Family Man on the TV.

3. Do you like to sit in the front, middle or back of the cinema?
I either like to sit right at the back or about half way back, sitting too far forward makes my neck hurt or there’s too much to take in and I can’t see it all. I also try and sit under one of the spot lights so that I can crochet during the films – It sounds really silly but I like to have something to do at the same time.

4. Is there anything really interesting in your family history?
I’m still looking into it, I know that there was a double wedding, Great Grandad got married the same day as his brother, what’s even funnier is that Great Grandad’s brother married his sister (does that make sense? Two brothers married two sisters).

5. If an old TV show could come back onto our screens, which would you choose?
Well I’m not sure, I love The Good Life and could watch it all the time. I love the relationship between Tom and Barbara and also their relationship with Margo and Jerry. Then again I’ve been watching Dawson’s Creek from the beginning. I think it has a flash forward at the very end but I’m on Season 3 so anything could happen.

books: kept by elle field

A while back I made friends with someone called @ellefie on Twitter. We’d chat about anything and everything – usually books as we’re both massive book worms (just look at our Goodreads pages for that!!)

One of the conversations we have had over the time we’ve been friends is about Elle’s aspirations to become an official published writer. I’ve been a reader of her blog so some how knew that one day she’d reach this goal.

Well the day came, at the weekend I saw a tweet ping up from Elle which caught my eye:

Yesterday morning, Elle told me that her book had gone live, so as I walked from my car to my temp job I quickly got Amazon UK up on my phone and downloaded her book. At about 11:30 last night I finished it and I loved it.

Kept by Elle Field

The blurb from Elle’s blog goes like this:

Life hasn’t quite worked out how Arielle Lockley planned. Becoming the next Coco Chanel, not shopping at Chanel, was always her childhood dream but somehow she’s ended up as a kept woman, living the jet-set lifestyle with boyfriend Piers.

When the recession hits, it’s not just the economy that takes a tumble. Broke and homeless with zero job prospects, can Arielle find her way again in time or will she always have to be a kept woman?

I finished reading it last night – having not done much else all evening! There’s definitely an air of “Confessions of A Shopaholic” by Sophie Kinsella – and I think if you like that, you will definitely like this. This first drew me in, then I wanted to know what happened to Arielle and how her life unfolded. I really liked the “flashbacks” to explain why Arielle is the way she is, and to explain her relationships with the people from her past. By the middle, I wanted Obélix to confess undying love for Arielle but I think it would be too complicated for another love interest!

You can get it here on Amazon UK or Amazon US. If you do download and read it please tweet, FB, review or on Goodreads or Amazon or pretty much anywhere else you can.

friday questions #5

Friday Questions

1. What book are you currently reading?

I’m trying to finish Dracula by Bram Stoker for Book Club next is Three Men in A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

2. Who did you hug today?
Chris – he’s so huggable!

3. Who’s your favourite Dr Who actor (or do you not watch it?)
Ooh! Good question – erm probably David Tennant or Matt Smith – then again I haven’t really watched the older series so it could change.

4. What do you think about school uniform?
I think it’s good to provide a sense of being part of a team but at the same time – who designs school uniforms?

5. How many books are in your TBR pile?
Probably more than I have time for! I think it’s about 50-60 long!

twentysix: what i did today

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The crazy weather was set to continue this weekend. The weather was warning that we were going to have rain and snow last night but instead it was a bit of rain and sleet. According to my phone we had an 100% chance of snow around midnight and it was still sleeting. Any snow that we had was gone by this morning. Even as I write this post outside it’s chucking it down so clearly it’s warmer out there – I’ve got bare feet and am not reaching for the slippers so that’s got to be a sign too! I guess unless we have another cold snap it’s going to get warmer from here onwards. (Woah I think we just had some hail!)

This morning Our Sidekick and Chris were both out doing different things and I was heading out too. I’d seen on Facebook at the end of last week that there was a new book club that had sprung up. I had got in touch with the guy who’s organising it and decided to go along – they were meeting at The Ship pub which I’d been to on Thursday for the S&B. It’s called Bedford Books Connections. The book this time was Dune by Frank Herbert. When I was growing up we had a computer game of Dune – I can’t say it was anything amazing but it introduced me to the whole story of Dune – or as I found out by starting the book this week that I actually missed chunks of the story out. We also spoke about what books to do next and we’ve decided to do Dracula by Bram Stoker next which should be interesting – I think a lot of it is linked to Whitby and The Abbey there. Part of the Book Club is to share linked material as well so maybe a film, or in my case for Dune, the game. So maybe writing about The Abbey and Whitby might be handy – although I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Whitby – I will need to ask Mum and Dad about that one (Chris – that might be a choice for a holiday some time!)

Nuntium - Found by accident. #bedford #michellecrowther

When I walk from a specific car park to the hight street in town, there’s an alleyway I often use – it’s quite gloomy and I’m never 100% sure i’m safe so I walk as fast as I can. But I got a pleasant surprise when I walked along the alleyway today  - it’s been painted a creamy white colour and there are lights up on the walls to light up the whole alley way and there’s these amazing pieces of art on the wall. I started to read it but it takes some effort especially as it’s backwards and often in other fonts. I guess if i was really clever I could try and mirror it or something to read it but that would be too clever! There’s also this plaque – clearly if the art went up in July I don’t walk through the alleyway very often any more because this was the first time I saw it. “Nuntium” is Latin for a message or annoucement. I think I might have to go and read the wall in more detail – maybe drag the boys with me too!

Nuntium by Michelle Crowther
While coming out of the alleyway, I had a chat to Chris and he was heading over to my parents house to sort out some bits so I caught the bus there, while waiting for the bus to arrive at the stop in town I popped into the Oxfam Bookshop – oh dear what a mistake to make! I ended up purchasing The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse, This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes and another one but I can’t remember the title (it’s all the way downstairs and I’m being lazy – sorry lol!)

The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse - Reading at the bus stop
For Christmas, Chris got the box set of the Doctor Who specials (David Tennant ones). Our Sidekick had been watching the episode when Matt Smith’s incarnation meets Richard Nixon. I had to explain who Richard Nixonwas, who did The Doctor mean when he says “say hello to David Frost” (I knew this mainly because of the film Frost/Nixon) and then who the little girl was. We decided to go back to David Tennant’s incarnation so me and Our Sidekick ran upstairs to where Chris was working knelt on the floor and said please like twenty times each then explained why. We watched

Doctor Who - The Complete Specials - David Tennant!!!