Desert Island Discs Blog Tag

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Thank you so much Kayla @KDrewTheBookWorm for nominating me for the Desert Island Discs Blog Tag 🌵. Everyone, go and check out her wonderful blog if you haven’t done so already!

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The Rules:

  • Link back to BookBum’s original post, so she can see all your answers! (Remember to do this via pingback, she won’t get a notification if not!)
  • Thank the person who tagged you… show some love!
  • Come up with your answers
  • Then tag others to keep the tag going!

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The Premise:

You are cast away onto a remote desert island:

  • You can bring 5 albums- what are they?
  • You can bring one book- which is it? You are provided with a Bible/ other religious text if you want it, as well as the Complete Works of Shakespeare. No series!
  • You can have one luxury item (it had to be inanimate and can’t help you escape the island)- what is it?

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My Answers:

The Albums:

I don’t listen to albums, so I’ll list the 5 songs that I added last to my phone :

  • Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
  • Be Mine by Ofenbach
  • Weak by AJR
  • Be The One by Dua Lipa
  • Believer by Imagine Dragons

And one more beautiful song that I’ll only listen to when I’m in a more emotional mood:

You've Got a Friend

The Book:

Choosing only one book? So unfair…

OK I’ve given this A LOT of thought and it’s still going to sound really weird probably but I choose Grimm’s Fairy Tales for a few different reasons:

  • it has many different tales so I won’t get bored easily (I hope)
  • I’ll be able to feel happy and sad with the characters and different stories
  • there’s a message in the stories, which is something I really like, and I can pass my time thinking about the messages
  • it’s illustrated, need I say more?
  • it’ll make me dream of a happily ever after because these tales all end well

Grimm

The Luxury Item:

I’m really hesitating here between some pictures of loved ones to look at at my loneliest moments and a more practical one, a fishing net or line. Can I have this? If not I’ll choose to survive and I’ll choose the ‘fishing material’.

Fishing line

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I tag…

As always, I do understand if you don’t want to do this tag or if you’ve already done this!

My first subscription box

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You’re definitely never too old to have a new first 🙂 and this is my first subscription box ever.

I’ve seen so many subscription boxes but there were two things that always kept me from ordering one myself.

  1. I know this is going to sound ridiculous but you don’t know which book you are getting. I’d hate to feel disappointed. In my ideal world I’d get a list of 10 books and I could cross the ones I’d like to get and then I’d still be surprised without the chance of disappointment. Anyway, yes I know I’m really weird.
  2. The other reason are the shipping costs. There are no boxes with reasonable shipping costs that I found so far.

Still, getting a subscription box is something that was on my bucket list and there’s one that I’ve had my eyes on from the first month they started out and that’s The Bookworm Box. There are several things I really like about this box:

  1. It is founded by one of my fav authors of romance: Colleen Hoover. That’s right, THE Colleen Hoover.
  2. The Bookworm Box was built on the foundation of spreading the good, so 100% of the profit after overhead costs will be donated to different charities each month.
  3. The books are siiiiigned.
  4. The books always look so good and they are always ones that I love to read.

So I decided to treat myself for my birthday (doesn’t matter that it’s only in 3 months time) because I heard that there were two books in it this month. The shipping costs as much as the box but if you know that a book here costs 20 euro and you have two books already in them, well it’s still a bit crazy but not as crazy as I thought initially (I can pretty much rationalize anything if it’s to do with books).

So here it is, the box I’m really really happy to have:

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When you open it the first thing you see is a note with what’s in the box (I didn’t read it because I wanted to find out for myself) and the mention that in April, there was over 40.000 USD donated to charities. Isn’t this amazing that you’re actually doing something good and you get a book out of it. Feeling less guilty about my little spat already!

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So the swag of the box is a little post-it notebook of The Bookworm Box and a waterproof pouch where you can store your phone or keys in.

Then I discovered some cool bookmarks and cards:

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This next little card is one I see myself using quite often. I really like it 🙂

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Getting to the best piece now.. the SIGNED books:

Number ONE

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180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

And number TWO

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Exposure by Tracy Ewens

I’m really excited to read these and I can’t believe I was scared to be disappointed because they’re all I could wish for. They get great ratings, I love the covers, really it’s all a big win!

To close it all off, the last swag in the box was a really nice Bookworm pen. I kind of love this swag most of all – they are useful and always carry fond memories – and I’m really proud of my collection of 3 bookish pens now (my Love You To Death pen from Caroline Mitchell, the ones from Hideaway Falls, and this one) :-).

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And here’s everything together:

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So that’s it! I’m really happy with what I received and I might do it again every birthday. Sounds like a plan right :-). At least something to look forward to then! What do you think about this box (provided you enjoy romance)? Would you consider buying it?

Goodreads Monday (June 2017)

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I saw this meme on Books, Vertigo and Tea and I thought this one seemed fun to join and feature on my blog from time to time as well! The original post of Goodreads Monday was posted by Lauren’s Page Turners. Thank you Lauren for this great idea. This really is a great way to help me take another look at all the books added to the wishlist so long ago and at the same time I can share some interesting titles.

There’s only one rule: Simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page turners and add your own links!

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Added on 29 March 2015 : NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

This novel has a 4.06 star rating on Goodreads and although I don’t read horror and I know it also has paranormal elements, there was still something that made me add it to my readlist 2 years ago. I’ve got it on my e-reader but I’m still waiting for the perfect moment to read it.

 

NOS

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

What do you think? Sound good or doesn’t make you tick? After re-reading the blurb, I’m still convinced, yes it’s a keeper!

Author spotlight: The Bluebell Informant by Nick Tingley #Guestpost

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The Bluebell Informant

What’s it about?

How do you catch a killer who is already dead?

One year ago, the Bluebell Killer killed his last victim. He was shot and killed, leaving behind a legacy of twenty corpses and a name that people will fear for years to come…

A year later, a man is shot in the back of the head and left in a field of bluebells.
Is it a mugging gone wrong? A copycat killer? Or is the Bluebell Killer still out there, waiting to pounce on his next victim?

For DS Evelyn Giles the solution is simple – it’s just another dirty politician caught committing an unforgiveable crime. But with the evidence stacking up against him, Giles’ suspect has one more surprise in store for her…
And his words will throw everything she knows into question…

‘It’s not over yet.’

The past is coming back to haunt DS Giles. She’s already sacrificed much for the lie. The only question is how much more will she suffer for the truth?

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About the author

Nick Tingley

Nick R B Tingley is the author of several short stories and novels.

Born in Dartford in 1987, Nick discovered a passion for writing from an early age although a strong interest in history and archaeology led him to study at the University of Exeter for four years.

Praised for his masterful story telling, Nick won the Inkitt Fated Paradox Prize in 2015 with his short story, Dressed to Deceive, and has been working diligently on his debut novel ever since.

Under the name of Nicholas Tingley, Nick produced a short collection of war poems entitled Grey Skies and Broken Branches, which he released on the anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Known for his dark and probing insights into the human condition, Nick’s work often deals with corruption and falsehoods, peeling back the veil to reveal how everyone, no matter how pure, can be susceptible to their darker side…

Connect with Nick Tingley

 

 Want to know some more?

Why it all started out as a prequel

The Bluebell Informant follows the story of Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles who is launched into a nationwide conspiracy when a simple murder turns out to be part of a much deeper plot. With all the twists and turns, shocks and intricate plots, you might be forgiven for thinking this debut novel started out as a story in its own right.

But you’d be wrong.

In fact, The Bluebell Informant is the second DS Giles book I’ve written, but the first to be released in the series. What started out as a short novella that I wrote to gain a better understanding of my characters, very quickly grew into something much bigger, and ended becoming the launch pad for this exciting series.

So how did this come about?

Well, it all started with what will be my second Giles novel, The Court of Obsession. I’d written a book that I was very happy with – it had an intriguing murder and a gradually evolving plot – but it did suffer from one or two minor flaws.

In the first instance, I hated my main character – and I mean seriously hated. There is nothing more upsetting for an author than hating your own character, and this was one of those instances. It wasn’t that Giles was a particularly unlikeable character – she just wasn’t particularly real to me. Throughout The Court of Obsessions, I was making references to events that had happened to Giles before hand, but I didn’t really have a solid idea of how that back story had occurred.

In the second instance, there were aspects of Giles’ character that I couldn’t get my head around. Here I had a highly intelligent woman, a competent and highly decorated detective, who was completely distrusting of her colleagues and opted to go off on her own rather than rely on anyone else.

How did she get to this?

It wasn’t long before I decided that I needed those answers before I could carry on any further. So I began writing, The Bluebell Informant, on a nice warm day in May. I’d taken a walk along the river Eden and, as I marched through the fields and trees, an idea slowly formed in my head.

I was going to write a prequel novella – not for anyone else’s benefit – just so that I could better understand my character. I wasn’t even going to release it – it was going to be one of those mysterious works that I referred to every once in a while but never shared with anyone else…

There was only one problem. Well – two actually. My novella was actually quite good. I mean really good. The more I wrote for it, the more involved I got in the story. Pretty soon, my novella wasn’t a novella at all – it was a fully-fledged crime novel – a tantalising murder case complete with thoroughly likeable (and several completely unlikeable) characters who just seemed to leap off the page.

I began to realise that The Bluebell Informant wasn’t just a project to help me understand my character better. It was an essential first chapter for what was about to come. What started off as a prequel novella had developed into the most important part of what will become the DS Giles series…

… the beginning!

So, anybody agree with me, sounds interesting right? I see the beginning of an interesting series here! 

Book bliss nr. 8: four different ways I got new books in May!

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It’s been a long time since I did one of these but I’ve got plenty to share! Here’s what I received and will be reading soon:

Received from a publisher

The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon (published 18 May 2017)

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The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue (published 10 August 2017)

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Exquisite by Sarah Stovell (published 15 May 2017)

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Bought on a local book fair 

Klikspaan / Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge

Waar is ze? / The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

Won in a giveaway organised by the author 

Everything but the Truth by Gillian McAllister (published 9 March 2017)

Everything but the truth

Received from a wonderful book blogger friend (thank you Nicki @ The Secret Library)!

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton (published 4 May 2017)

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So have you read any of these? Let me know if you’ve liked one of them – or didn’t 🙂

BFF : Reading Between the Pages

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Today on the blog I want to introduce you to my new Blog Friend Tina, who blogs at Reading Between the Pages. Tina is the biggest Judy Blum fan I’ve come across so far :-). She likes to read a good dose of mystery and thrillers, a cup of historical fiction and a light sprinkling of other genres in between. The last books she read make me very jealous 😉 as she read The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea, The Dry by Jane Harper and Bring Her Home by David Bell. She started her blog in February so if you haven’t done so yet, go on over and take a look at her wonderful blog. Now, to get to know her better, you’d better stay here and read this next part :-).

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Name: Tina Woodbury

Age: 40’s 😊

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Birthday: February 18th

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job?

I’m a retired stay-at-home mom. My oldest graduated from college last June and is now working in the San Francisco area, and my youngest will be a senior in college next year.

When the kids were younger I was super involved with their school (book fair, cookie sales, treasurer of the booster club, room mom, and so on). I guess I was at the school too often so they finally decided to employ me as the librarian for a couple of years.

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Do you have any other hobbies?

I love all kinds of arts and crafts, and make memory quilts. Oh, and traveling, if you can count that as a hobby.

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I made this quilt for my son when he graduated from high school. The fabric is his old sports uniforms.

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I made this quilt for my daughter when she graduated from high school. The fabric is her old dance and sports uniforms.

Your favourite color?  Pink

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Do you collect anything (besides books)?

Sweaters! Well that’s actually more of an obsession, not so much of a collection. I have over 50 sweaters at the moment and have been purging a few a year, much to my daughter’s delight. At one point, I had over 75, what can I say…I like to be warm.

Here’s just a sample of them…

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What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it?

Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy by Johnny Gruelle. I’ve had Raggedy Ann since I was a child and yes I read it. It even came with a 45 rpm record that I listened to over and over. Raggedy Andy was my brother’s book and when my parents moved I found it. My brother didn’t want the book and I thought the two deserved to be together.

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Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it?

None that I can think of.

Do you listen to audio books?

Not very often. I’ve tried, but I’m always thinking and find my mind wandering. I do much better having to focus on the written word.

Do you have a favorite genre?

I gravitate towards mystery/thrillers and historical fiction, but I do like to throw a few other genres in from time to time.Blank bookcover with clipping path

What is the book highest on your wish list right now?

That’s a tough one…I’d have to say Final Girls by Riley Sager.

 

How is your library organized?

For the most part, anything in a series is in my “treasure chest” of books and the standalones are on my bookshelf.

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My treasure chest!

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Hers on the left and his on the right.

Do you read more ebooks or physical books?

I have a tendency to read more eBooks, but still love the feel of a physical book. Every time I read one I realise how much I miss it.

Do you have a favorite book?

My Judy Blume books are my favorites, they bring back fond memories.

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What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of?

This is going to be an odd answer, but it’s the cover of one of my husband’s math books. Years ago, he had a preliminary edition of his Algebra book in paperback form and the publishing company needed a cover idea. They went with a quilt wall hanging that I made for him to put in his office. The design of it proves the Pythagorean theorem.

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Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …?

I have about 75 books.

What’s the title of the last book you purchased?

The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite.

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What was your favorite author when you were a child?

Judy Blume – I picked up one of her books and that was it, I was hooked. I eventually bought and read most of her middle and young adult books.

From which author do you have most books?

It’s a tie! I have 11 from David Baldacci and Victoria Thompson.

Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times?

Not as an adult, one and done! There are so many books out there, I just don’t have the desire to go back and re-read one I’ve read.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already?

60 and I’ve read 27.

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case?

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This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
As Night Falls by Milchman

Thank you so much Tina for participating today, it was very nice getting to know you better!

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In case you missed it, these are the BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about before :

Martina – The Mystery Corner
Liis – Cover to Cover
Anne – Inked Brownies
Danielle – Books, Vertigo and Tea
Drew – TheTattooedBookGeek
Jillian – Rant and Rave About Books
Meg – Magic of Books
Betty – Bookish Regards
Anais – Zeezee with Books
Nicki – Secret Library
Donna – Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog
Chitra – Books & Strips
Annie – The Misstery
Dee – Novel Deelights
Stephanie – Teacher of YA

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still plenty of room for more friends so unless you want this to be my last BFF post, please consider signing up! Thank you!

 

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

I was nominated by two amazing people for the One Lovely Blog Award, Shameeka and Adrienne. Thank you both for tagging me!

If you haven’t seen her colourful blog Shameeka’s Fictional World yet, go check it out! I wish I could do all the things she can do which make her blog look like this, it’s a feast for your eyes. Also check out Arizona girl Adrienne’s blog Darque Dreamer Reads. She’s a very interesting person if you read her facts in her last blog post and she loves YA fantasy books!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them
  • Share 7-15 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 9-15 bloggers you admire and contact them

Facts

  1. One person at work always called me Blue Eyes. He’s left the office but I really liked that nickname.
  2. To build further on the previous one: I have pale blue/grey eyes but I wear contacts with the colour blue sapphire, which is a very bright blue and people always ask me if it’s my natural eye colour.
  3. I’m scared of spiders and even pictures of spiders and I hate it when there are surprise pictures on Facebook, they almost give me a heart attack when they catch my eye in the feed.
  4. Talking about Facebook, I can’t read any sad stories about animals anymore, it just breaks my heart if they’re mistreated and neglegted because it makes my heart ache for what they had to endure and for all those who are not rescued.
  5. I used to go to the animal shelter to walk with dogs and I had to stop doing that because every single time I was too emotional afterwards. I wish I could have taken them all in.
  6. I’ve been wearing the same watch now that I was wearing 20 years ago and which was a gift for my birthday. I just don’t need another.
  7. I watched The Voice Kids last week even though I told myself it was a stupid show ‘with kids’. I was impressed with quite a few of these kids after all.
  8. I don’t have any shorts in my closet.
  9. I still like watching disney movies.
  10. My preferred sports to play: darts

Nominates

Feel free to ignore if you don’t want to do this one and apologies if I nominated you and you already did this tag!