Sunday, February 1, 2015

The 2014 List!

I had a good reading year for 2014 with some amazing books and series discoveries. Last year I also took part for the second time in the Goodreads book challenge which was fun!
I've read a variety of different books throughout the year but the biggest surprise for me was my being drawn to many contemporary-romances! Not a genre I usually head for but enjoyed nonetheless!
This year there have been adventures with dark sexy Fae, with questionable Pirates, with dynamic men from fantasy Lands, with cool guys from Rock bands... oh, and a fab book on writing thrown in for good measure! (which could be called sexy it was so good, right?).

The books I really enjoyed this year in no particular order :-

1. The Pirate Captain by Kerry Lynne

This story was recommended and I'm so glad I took a chance on it. A gritty and exciting adventure on the high seas of the 18th century Caribbean with a cast of interesting characters. This tale has a good dose of comedy but doesn't skimp on the darker details of life either. Long and epic in feel.

2. The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

Bloody brilliant. I read books 1-6 in this absolutely wowing urban-fantasy series. Mackayla Lane's sister is murdered but something isn't right and she travels to Ireland where she discovers a dark and seductive paranormal world within our own. From book 3 onwards the books become much darker which was just fine with me!  My favourites are book 4 and 6 though they all have scenes to remember (book 3 and the MacHalo anybody?!).

3. Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley

This first book in this Fantasy series had me hooked. This is like a fantasy winter Fairytale adventure - for grown-ups! It has that magical feel that just wrapped me up and the further into Finnie (our heroines) story I got it became SOOO hard to put this book down. 

4. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This is a Sci-romance and a unique story, well-crafted with intricate, deep characters. Lovely tender romance and totally realistic. Lilac and Tarver are thrown together during a titanic-esque crash where the Starliner they are travelling on leaves them stranded alive on a mysterious planet where all is not as it seems. The audiobook was a pleasure to listen too and acted/directed in a very interesting way. 

5. The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley

Book 2 in the Fantasyland series (the first being Wildest Dreams). Set in a different country and culture to book 1 this story could easily standalone. Circe wakes up to find herself in the land of Korwahk...and about to be hunted down by warriors in their annual 'bride hunt'! It is a barbaric and harsh land and there is plenty of drama and rough love here in the Lands of the Korwahk people.

6. Fury by Laurann Dohner

This was a big surprise for me this year and I loved the story and idea. Ellie Brauer has worked undercover to expose illegal testing and enhancement of children which has been going on for decades. This has created a new species of humans and this is their story. 
I enjoyed seeing Ellie and Fury's relationship develop and how the world created is emerging. Sexy and thought-provoking. 

7. A rose for Lancaster by Christine Elaine Black

A solid, well-written medieval novella. I loved the way the characters acted and made decisions 'of the time'. Though a novella this felt like a complete novel and threw me back to this intriguing period of  England's history.

8. Writing Habit Mastery

The one non-novel on my list. I Loved this. Short and informative. It doesn't tell you 'how to write' but shares tips with a fresh voice. I particularly liked the sections on time management.

9. Lead by Kylie scott 

Lead is book 3 in the Stage Dive series and my favourite so far (I'd recommend the others too). The series focuses on the 4 members of a Rock band and this book is about their troubled and arrogant Lead singer Jimmy Ferris and his growing attraction to the no nonsense Lena.

10. Transcendence by Shay savage 

This is a great book. A sweet and refreshing love story told from the point of view of a young prehistoric man named Ehd. This book tells the story of Ehd and Beh - the unusual girl he finds stuck in his pit-trap! Moving and comical.

11. A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter 

A gentle paced Paranormal-Romance/Mystery...with elemental vampires! I really liked how the story and intrigue unfolded and the gradually developing and respectful romance between our 2 main characters - young librarian Beatrice and the mysterious Giovanni. 

*My favourite read of the year :- The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning*

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Emma Watson Speaks at UN for gender equality

British actress Emma Watson, the newly appointed Goodwill ambassador for UN women, recently gave a powerful and informative speech on gender equality, feminism and men and women's rights in the modern day world. She was promoting a new campaign by the UN called HeForShe.
This is the first campaign of its kind by the UN and aims to not only gain awareness but enable true action to be taken to create gender equality all over the world. And it's a worthy idea to get behind.

 An interesting point from Ms Watson's speech was :-

 That there is as yet no country in the world that has full gender equality.

I was rather shocked by this current fact! This campaign I feel really puts a clear message out there that gender equality isn't only about women. Discrimination of women affects men's lives too.

 From the 'He For She' action kit :-

"We all benefit socially, politically and economically from gender equality in our everyday lives. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits. Gender equality liberates not only women but also men, from prescribed social roles and gender stereotypes."

Watch Emma Watson's UN speech below :-


Campaign website :- 

Twitter Tags #HeforShe  @UN_Women  @HeforShe 

Facebook page here 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Uplift your day

Kellianna's wonderful song 'I walk with the Goddess' is SO uplifting and joyful. It always gets my feet tapping and me singing along - perfect for summer fun!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Can't wait for books of 2014!

Oh yes, this is such an exciting topic as some great books I just CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on are due out this year!!

So without further a do here they are...

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Wow, following and loving this series from the beginning I can't believe it's coming to a finale. I am desperate to know what happens...yet am reluctant for this series to end!! No more Jace and Clary adventures?!! *help!*

Written in my own hearts blood by Diana Gabaldon

The 8th (but not the last) book in the amazing, unforgettable, unputdownable Outlander series :-)

Play by Kylie Scott

I absolutely enjoyed the first book 'Lick' and a character I loved from that book was Mal. I was thrilled then to learn there would be a second 'Stage Dive' novel and that books hero would be Mal, yum! 

The One by Kiera Cass

Book 3 in this dystopian romance trilogy. What more is in store for America? Can she and Prince Maxon sort things out?!  I hope so ;-)

Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

Ok, so this ones been out for a while. However as an audiobook listener and a huge fan of this series I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Demon from the dark on audio! Hurry!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Emotive Poetry

Hola! Poetry has the amazing ability to lead you to feel deeply, and connect with something in our heart's and in our soul's.
Here are a selection of beautiful poems that connected with me in this way...

Water Psalm

Bless the water,
the flow, the ebb, the seep.
Bubble it, keep it clear.
Rinse your divine face in it, salty or fresh,
fast or pooled. Feel it in your hair
beneath the storm, hear it
outside your window, running in your dreams.
Let your ancestors' voices flow
from it to bring us together in psalm.
Keep the tide in place, keep the levees whole.
Let every molecule of water say it's name.
Bless the water in us, the tide in us,
the moon that pulls it through our veins.
Bless the water that will carry our ashes home.

By Carol Buchofner from her book Breakfast at the Brass Compass

Carol's website
Poetry Zone, Carol's poetry blog

Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.

The little one we longed for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
For every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you.

Author unknown

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. 
Meanwhile the world goes on. 
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting  over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

By Mary Oliver from Dream Work

© Mary Oliver

Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;  
All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle.  
Why not I with thine? -

See the mountains kiss high Heaven  
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven  
If it disdained it's brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth  
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth  
If thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

'Snowdrops' image courtesy of Keattikorn at

Friday, July 12, 2013

Beautiful Fantasy Art: Walfrido

My last post on a favourite fantasy artist of mine had a great response (thanks for your lovely comments!), so I'm back again, this time focusing on the work of... Hawaiian artist Walfrido!

I first discovered Walfrido's painting's 9 years ago. I instantly loved his vibrant, dramatic style, which I feel really manages to capture the 'essence' of the place he's painting.

Walfrido is a Hawaiian artist born in the Philippines.  His father Eduardo F Garcia was also a well respected artist and his son's mentor.

Mainly a painter of natural scenes such a seascapes, waterfalls,volcanoes and caves, Walfrido's artworks use bright colour and interesting explorations of light to create beautiful, romantic and powerful paintings.

Aswell as painting and exhibiting his own art, Walfrido is an art teacher and demonstrater. He also produces the 'Art made easy' videos. And, for all who love Disney, Walfrido has recently painted a series of Disney artworks.

My favourite Walfrido painting has to be 'Dockside Dreams'. To look up more about Walfrido and his work go to his website and which is a link to one of the galleries to exhibit his paintings.

'Dockside Dreams'

'The Moment Of Glory'

'Island Romance'

And for those of you who love Disney, here is one of a series of Disney paintings done by Walfrido :-

'A Night Romance'

Monday, May 6, 2013

Celtic Heaven

Recently I've been listening to some beautiful Celtic music I've come across. I loved both of these songs within the first 30 seconds!!
The first song below is by Celtic/Folk Metal band Eluveitie. However, this song is not Metal but a hautingly beautiful, timeless piece of Celtic/Folk music.
The second song is the rousing last track from Joanie Maddens album Songs of the Irish tin whistle. Enjoy!