Saturday, 19 August 2017

Publishing Interview with Eliza Stopps

Recently, I've been in contact with Eliza Stopps (author of the Leslie Kim Serial) and she was kind enough to answer a few of my publishing orientated questions. As an aspiring author, I'm always looking for more information about the industry and, while Eliza is self-published, she gave me some insightful facts about the publishing process.
Now, I'm nothing if not generous, so thought I'd post the interview on my blog in case there are any other budding authors intrigued about how they might publish a book one day!
I must say a huge thank you to Eliza for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope you guys enjoy!

How many literary agents would suggest sending your synopsis and manuscript to, per time?

I think this depends on the agent. Check on the literary agent's website for the answer to this, because some agents would prefer you don't submit to more than one agent at a time. If that is the case, just send it to one agent and wait for their response before moving on. Otherwise, you can do it in batches.

For me personally, I write in a variety of genres. I might be submitting a children's book, poetry, and science fiction short stories all at the same time. I usually submit to 1-3 agents per manuscript at a time, just so I am personally familiar with each agent. If you submit to like 100 agents all at the same time, you will get your name out there but that in itself can be a negative. If you submit to 3 agents and they all return with feedback saying that your book isn't right, it might be a good idea to read over your synopsis and query and see if there is any way you can improve before sending it to the next batch. If you send it out to many agents at the same time, you will have less time to improve between queries.

Ultimately, it's a personal choice for each author. My advice would be to do enough queries that you get over the anxiety of writing them but not so many that you feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the process.

What are the pros and cons of traditional publishing?

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Geekerella- Ashley Poston BOOK TALK

* * * *
This book really was a love letter to geeks everywhere (aka. us). I really enjoyed Geekerella- it was quick, easy, fun and romantic read. The clear involvement of fandoms and the terminology used gave me pride to be such a mainstream fangirl and showed that we should never feel ashamed of what we love.
This is (quite clearly) a Cinderella retelling with the twist of fandoms.... we have Elle- an ultimate fangirl of the franchise Starfield and Darien- a closet fanboy who's set to play the lead in the new reboot. As you might guess, hidden identity and romance is involved.... and a whole lot of fandom references squashed in there too.

All through this book, there were references to different fandoms which was really the icing on the cake for me. Star wars, Doctor Who.... even the Vampire Diaries gave this book immediate extra bonus points. 
I liked the premise of remaking a popular movie and we had some very likeable protagonists to lead us through the story.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Games of Thrones 2x06 'The Old Gods and the New' TV TALK

I really enjoyed this episode. It was fast-paced, action-packed and any other hyphenated praise I can think of.


Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10

Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04  |  2x05

Let's talk about Theon first so we can get him over and done with.... I really dislike Theon.
Theon has now taken over Winterfell because he's a traitorous little idiot! He got a bit carried away with being intimidating to the people of Winterfell and ended up killing Ser Rodrik. Now, I don't give two hoots about Rodrik but it almost brought me to tears when Bran was sobbing and begging for Theon to stop. Theon did it anyway. *internal screaming*

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Lunar Chronicles BOOK TAG

I was in the mood to do a tag so I searched, on a whim, for a tag centred on the Lunar Chronicles because it's one of my favourite series! Lo and behold, there was a tag! I go it from Book Addict Guide so go check out their post!
If you haven't read The Lunar Chronicles, you can still read this tag as there are NO SPOILERS. But, still, what are you doing with your life if you haven't read this series? Get on that.

Cinder | The Cyborg - A book that's often misunderstood or underappreciated
Undone by Cat Clarke
I will forever go on about this book until everyone has read it. This is my Depressing December read which I re-read every year because I feel like it's a wintery book. (Though it has nothing to do with winter...)

Kai | The Prince - A book about royalty
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
This book follows the story of how the infamous Queen of Hearts came to be.
I loved this book- it was clever, gripping and I have never appreciated a final sentence as much as I did in this book. For any fairytale lovers, this is a must. (Plus, Marissa Meyer also wrote the Lunar Chronicles so... of course it's amazing).

Sunday, 13 August 2017

One of Us Is Lying- Karen M. McManus BOOK TALK

This was a murder mystery kind of novel. Five kids walk into detention, four kids walk out. Who's the murderer?
I was a bit underwhelmed with the murderer reveal at the end because I'd considered this person quite early on and it seemed like a bit of a cop-out. It was just an unsatisfying outcome and I wanted the reveal to punch a massive impact on me which... it didn't.
We have our four main characters which I like to fit into little Hogwarts House categories. Each suspect in this novel represents a different house. We have
The nerd, Bronwyn- The Ravenclaw 
The criminal, Nate- The Slytherin
The jock, Cooper- The Gryffindor
The princess, Addy- The Hufflepuff 

Like I said, I was disappointed with the final outcome but it was still an enjoyable read.

Straight off the bat, I was sad that Simon was the one to die because I kind of liked him.
It was so interesting to see all the pieces of information come out- the taken epipens, the app stories, the water bottle stolen and the car crash. The murder was planned so well!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Shadowhunters 1x06 'Of Men and Angels' TV TALK

This episode was mainly flashback orientated which was fine but, as I've read the books and know the backstories already, it was a bit of a slow episode for me.
For me, Magnus shone in this episode (excluding Simon, of course, because he's always the best character out of everyone).

TV TALKS: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05

Magnus was set the task of healing Luke today which was the main predicament of the episode.
Jace and Simon were sent to collect some extra ingredients that Magnus needed and I actually loved these scenes (mainly because Alberto Rosende is a fantastic actor and I love him playing Simon). They had a bit of a dispute which inched into a tiny physical fight (if you can call it a fight).
Simon: You treat [Alec] like a lapdog! 
You tell him Simon!!!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Game of Thrones 2x05 'The Ghost of Harrenhal' TV TALK

A lot of characters were in this episode- a little happening to a lot of characters. We're building up to a very exciting second half of the season.
Every episode is as enthralling as the last and I'm growing to love these characters so much... which is probably a bad thing cause they'll most likely end up dead.


Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04

Within the first five minutes.... Renly was dead. Sucks to be him.
It's a shame because I did really like Renly and it must have been terrifying to be killed by some weird shadow son of Stannis and Melisandre... but what a way to go, though.
The Tyrells have now gone home and Stannis is preparing to go into battle. Exciting!
Cat is taking Brienne because she's the main suspect of Renly's murder. I find Brienne a bit fickle. She was desperately loyal to Renly- so much so that she cried when he died- she's been in his Kingsguard for only a few days!!! And now, after only hours with Cat, she's pledged loyalty and allegiance to Cat and the Starks. This girl's way too desperate for belonging.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean- Jenny Han BOOK TALK

* * *
In all honesty, I was a bit disappointed with this finale and I'm so annoyed that I didn't like it! Ever since I heard there was going to be another book, I was so deliriously excited but... this book was not adorable. It was only cute at times and it actually made me really depressed! So, basically, nothing like the other books. There were moments of the light-hearted and swoony stuff but the rest was just a build up of an inevitable doom. The characters were all acting differently and not like their usual lovable selves which annoyed the heck out of me because their decisions were so frustrating and out of character.
I spent this entire book dreading the next page instead of feeling light, warm and fluffy!
I'm just going to pretend this book never happened.
I will say, though, that I loved all the Hamilton Musical references because there were a lot and it made my heart happy.

I stand by my love of Peter Kavinsky just.... not massively in this book. The painful thing was that there were many moments when he was the usual and lovable Peter Kavinsky- the guy that made me think 'guys like this just don't exist because he's too perfect!' He was just let down by all the times where he acted like the complete opposite of Peter Kavinsky. He made so many decisions that I can't imagine him making and his mood and attitude completely turned his character.
Going into this book, I loved that Peter and Lara Jean had been together for a year because I ship them so hard and it's so nice to see that they've managed to sustain a relationship with no major drama over the year.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Game of Thrones 2x04 'Garden of Bones' TV TALK

This was such a promising episode- a very nice and subtle plot progression. We had a great selection of characters appearing in this episode and a lot happened. And that cliffhanger.... it was perhaps the weirdest and creepy one I've seen.


Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03

We start off with Robb leading an attack on the Lannisters- he's not wasting time unlike a lot of the others seem to be doing. Robb meets Talisa- a girl that he instantly took a liking to and... I just want to slap some sense into him! Don't go off with any other girls when you've made a deal with Walder Frey to marry one of his daughters! I have no doubt we'll see Talisa again.
Over to Baelish, he was acting a bit suss around Margaery- he totally knows about Renly and Loras but I can't see how! This guy has a super reliable source of information.
Baelish then goes straight to Cat, admits his feelings and gets thoroughly rejected. Poor bloke. He tries to convince Cat to trade Jaime for her daughters but... I don't know if she'll do it or not. Finally, as a peace offering, Baelish gives Cat Ned's remains on behalf of Tyrion.... because Tyrion's a decent guy.
And I love Tyrion.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Game of Thrones 2x03 'What is Dead May Never Die' TV TALK

I loved this episode- the best of the series so far. It was quite a funny episode generally which I really enjoyed and it made the episode fly by! A lot is beginning to happen and is setting up an awesome season... if the episodes are like this now, they'll be epic by the last few episodes. I have high expectations.


Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02

We didn't have much Jon Snow in this episode but at least we saw some of him.... unlike other characters... *cough* Daenerys *cough*.
Jon got a bit of a beating because he'd been watching a son of Craster get murdered when he shouldn't have and, after a talk with Commander Mormont, we find out that he knew about it all along.
Sam's having a swell time, though. He's getting quite tight with Gilly and, despite them only knowing each other a couple days at most... he acts like he loves her! She's obviously one of the first women to talk to him so he's instantly smitten and giving her his mother's thimble... because why not?

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Shadowhunters 1x05 'Moo Shu To Go' TV TALK

This has to be my favourite episode so far- simply because it focused on my three favourite characters- Alec, Simon and Clary.

TV TALKS: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04

We have a nice Izzy and Clary scene which I always love. Their friendship growth is so nice to see. Izzy asked all about Clary's mum which was a perfect segway to introduce Maryse Lightwood. I don't know what I imagined Maryse like in the books but.... it definitely wasn't that strict. I liked that though... it really showed the reason behind Alec acting constantly strict and shows why he plays to to the rules.
We had a short Malec moment which was still so forward!! Magnus straight out asks Alec on a date and then says he 'loves a challenge.' Oh, I'm drowning in cliches!!!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Shadowhunters 1x04 'Raising Hell' TV TALK

This was an odd episode but I'm finding this series oddly addictive in a total guilty pleasure way. It's not the best script, or effect, or acting but... it's entertaining and funny (maybe when it shouldn't be) and I already have an existing love for these characters so I can't help myself.

TV TALKS: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03

We started off with Clary having a fitful nightmare (emphasis on fitful) whilst getting snippets of memories back. She then goes off to see Jace and, wow.... we actually have a that cliche scene of a protagonist walking in on the love interest shirtless. *sigh*
After that, we have a bit of a confrontation with poor Simon... who still has and delivers the best dialogue out of the whole crew! Though, he does say the line 'come at me, bro' which.... made me laugh. As it was Simon saying it, I'll let him off.
I hate how they let Simon leave so easily. He's obviously angry and upset and he's just been through a traumatic kidnapping with vampires who have done God knows what with him? I hate that Clary and the others aren't more worried about Simon. They don't even stop to wonder whether he has lasting effects from being taken by vampires!!!!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Game of Thrones 2x02 'The Night Lands' TV TALK

This was a good episode and was very character based. We're starting to build up lots of different sub-plots that will no doubt intertwine and strengthen as we move on through the series which is exciting.


Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10

Season 2:  2x01

Starting with Stannis- because he's the most boring of the lot. One of his henchmen, Davos, has secured 30 ships for the war from pirates... the most trustworthy of people.
Stannis is also busy cheating on his wife with Manipulate Melisandre simply to gain a son- an heir. Because I needed yet another reason to love this character....
Over with the Starks' side, we had Theon doing our bidding and trying to secure some ships as well! The only difference was, Theon was crappy at it. He made a pass at his sister, his father refused him ships and basically vowed a battle on the Starks lead by none other than Yara- Theon's sister that he flirted with!! Honestly, Theon just made everything worse for us in this episode, poor guy.

Monday, 31 July 2017

August Releases and TBR 2017

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)- Leigh Bardugo
Dress Codes for Small Towns- Courtney C. Stevens
The Art of Feeling- Laura Tims
In Some Other Life- Jessica Brody

I'm very much in a mood to re-read some of my favourite contemporaries so, many of those books are on my radar at the moment as well.

Geekerella- Ashley Poston (Book of the Month) 
Me and Kailtin (Liber Amoris) have decided to read Geekerella this month! This has had so many great reviews and looks incredibly nerdy which I love! I mean.... Geek is in the title. I can't wait to get to it.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

July Wrap Up 2017

This was a good reading month even though I had a bit of slump stumble halfway through (I blame ACOWAR because no series will ever live up to it).

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2)- Sarah J. Maas (Re-read)
* * * * *
I had to re-read this because I've been wanting to re-read this since August last year and the sequel has just recently been released. This is my favourite ever book, it still is, as re-reading it was such an amazing experience- taking in so many details that I missed the first time round. I would definitely recommend reading this series because it has the most perfect characters you could ever wish for.
A Court of Mist and Fury BOOK TALK (First read)
A Court of Mist and Fury BOOK TALK (Re-read)

A Court Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3)- Sarah J. Maas 
* * * * *
I finally made it!!! I waited so long to read this book and it was everything I could want it to be! I devoured every single read and I'm already itching to re-read it. Sarah is a stunning writer and every single word is perfectly placed and beautiful. I was an emotional wreck through this- I must've looked crazy. I was crying, laughing, jumping up and down and squealing. Good thing I read it alone.
A Court of Wings and Ruin BOOK TALK

Friday, 28 July 2017

Shadowhunters 1x03 'Dead Man's Party' TV TALK

I will admit that this episode wasn't the greatest- my favourite will stay at episode two for now. But it's early days yet... for me anyway.
This episode didn't have the best dialogue and it was all very sexualised which I don't think sold very well and made the show uncomfortable at times. I would sum up this episode in one word: cheesy.

TV TALKS: 1x01  |  1x02

Poor Simon was captured by the vampires for the majority of this episode... and yet he still had the best dialogue! I will be honest, though, I was hoping through the entire episode that Simon would get turned into a rat somehow. Sorry, Simon.
But we go into the vampire den and my first thought is... 'Man, this den is stylish!' I figured that their hideout would be a bit more run down and inconspicuous but, obviously, I missed the fact that these vampires are incredible interior designers! I suppose they have a lot of time on their hands... eternity and all.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

July Book Haul 2017

Not too many books this month which has surprised me because it's the summer holidays and I thought I would've been buying more but.... I've had other priorities of things I have to buy at the moment and I haven't got an endless bank account of money.... unfortunately.

The Walking Dead Quadrilogy- Robert Kirkman
Rise of the Governor | The Road to Woodbury | The Fall of the Governor Part 1 & 2
This was a gift from my lovely brother.
These are little prequels to the character 'The Governor' in The Walking Dead TV show. The first one looks really good, based on the blurb, but I'm a little apprehensive about the others because it overlaps with the events from the TV show and it doesn't look the events that happened in the show... I don't want it to be too different with the overlaps otherwise it just won't make sense to me. The first book is before the show, though, so that one at least should be fine.

A Darker Shade of Magic- V. E. Schwab
I got this book when I was on holiday in Norway... don't worry, though, it's not in Norwegian. I've now started to create quite a collection of V. E. Schwab book; Vicious, This Savage Song and A Darker Shade of Magic. I've heard that she's a really good author and have collected her books for that reason... but still haven't read them!!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Game of Thrones 2x01 'The North Remembers' TV TALK

I've started the second season and it's... interesting. We had a lot of characters stuff in this episode- especially meeting new ones which opened up a lot of opportunities and possibilities for the future.

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10

North of the wall, Jon Snow and co. are cooped up in a guy called Craster's residence. From what we've seen, I think Craster's a bit of a creep- marrying all of his daughters and whatnot but... each to his own! He's allowed the Night Watch to stay there for the time being and also provided some vital information- he's useful after all!
We learn that an old member of the Night Watch, Mance Rayder, is forming an army in the North that's going to head for the South. Great. Just what we need. We already have enough enemies in the south, let alone the north butting their heads in as well!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Elephant Picture || Nostalgic Creative Writing

I'm a very nostalgic and sentimental person. Plus, I want to become a writer. So, when it came to creative writing tasks at school, I kept everything (so I may type up some more in the future). I've been digging through the old archives and stumbled across something that is actually quite significant to me for a multitude of reasons.
It's a small piece that I wrote with one of my best friends when we were 13 years old. This is special because we wrote it at the beginning of our budding friendship and have grown closer ever since. We'd never really talked before and this was probably the first project we ever did together.
We got given a picture (close to this one) and had to write a story about it. We, naturally, went for something more depressing.... and this was when we were in year eight! So, go easy on us.
It's not my best work but it's sweet to look back at.
Who knows? Maybe me and Kaitlin should co-write a book one day!

Kaitlin (Liber Amoris), this one's for you.
(I haven't edited any of it, so excuse us for any mistakes... we were 13. Even though all the punctuation mistakes are killing me!).

Elephant Picture- by Kaitlin Harbour and Chloe Harris

It's poor, high pitch screeches spread across the forest floor, trembling trees in it's path. The memory of comfort, lost in the ropes that tightly bound him, under his enemie's eyes.
Never before had he witnessed such loss and pain from a life he could barely remember. Where was his family? Why was he here? Would he survive? Questions that remained unanswered.
Memories flashing back, bit by bit, piecing together how he ended up here...

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Game of Thrones 1x10 'Fire and Blood' TV TALK

This episode was a bit tamer than I was expecting it to be- it mainly just set up a bunch of plot lines for the next season. So, at least the next season looks like it's going to be epic!

TV TALKS: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09

We start the episode by seeing all the Stark family reactions to Ned's death and... it's not nice. Sansa fainted, Arya was crying, Cat nearly fell to the floor and... Robb broke his sword!!!!!!
Joffrey decided that he hadn't been enough of bastard quite yet so forced Sansa to look at her father's head on a spike. I like that she's starting to talk back to him and defy him a bit- it shows that she's got a backbone under those dresses and fancy hairdos. Obviously, Joffrey doesn't quite like the small defiance but his mother always told him not to hit a girl... so he gets one of his guards to hit Sansa instead. Loophole!