Photo Magic - Free Photos For All

Happy hump day lovelies! We're halfway to the weekend already. Where do the weeks keep disappearing to?

As you know I follow quite a few talented bloggers and I'm always on the lookout for the latest must read posts and/or inspirational photos. This week I discovered that two of my favourites have decided to share some of their stock photos for FREE! Yes really!

You can personalize and use them on your own social media pages and blogs. How fab is that? How you personalize them is up to you. I haven't quite figured out that part yet but my aim is to learn and improve my own photography skills in the next twelve months. Watch this space.

The awesome photos above are from Jasmine at Color U Bold  and you can download more by checking out this link. You can follow Jasmine on Twitter by following this link.

The above photo is from Rebecca who blogs over at From Roses and if you subscribe to her newsletter then you'll get four gorgeous images like the above, again for free. Click here to find out more. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter by following this link.

I think both girls are incredibly talented and their blogs are worth checking out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Enjoy the rest of your week, I'll catch up with you all in a few days xxx


Just a catch up...

Happy Friday! I'm off to a party shortly but first I thought I'd just write a quick post and check in with all of you lovelies. Hope the week has treated you kindly.

Last weekend I made the trip to Kirkby Lonsdale with my six year old nephew, Isaac. I was especially proud of myself because I didn't think I'd be able to do it. Usually I'm with another grown up and rely on their directions. However, Isaac fancied a jaunt to the countryside so off we went. To my surprise I didn't get lost along the way!

In other news, Jemma of Dorkface is working on the header for my new 'community' book blog. I think she is incredibly talented. Just look at her new fancy Halloween header below! Click HERE to check out more of her designs. Prices usually range from £14-£28.
And while I'm on the topic of the book blog, if you love reading and fancy trying your hand at a book review then please do get in touch. I'd love to hear from you.

Last but not least, I have another book recommendation! I am totally obsessed with Jennifer Niven's new book, 'Holding Up The Universe.' I read and wrote about her previous YA novel, 'All The Bright Places' for my very first blog post and ever since I have been anticipating the release of this. Do check it out. I got my copy from the supermarket for a bargain £3.99. Review to follow soon.

That's it from me for now. Better go get my glad rags on! Have a lovely weekend. I'll catch you all soon xxx

All images my own except Jemma's 'Dorkface' header which was taken from her website - http://www.dorkface.co.uk/ and 'Holding Up The Universe' book cover which was taken from Jennifer Niven's website - http://www.jenniferniven.com/books/holdinguptheuniverse/


Taking Inspiration from Zoella

Hello all! Sorry for my lack of posts this last fortnight, I've been crazy busy. Got lots of things in the pipeline including a new book blog which I can't wait to share with you all! Meanwhile you can keep up to date with plenty of book related stuff by following @BloggersRead over on Twitter.

Yesterday I bought Cosmo magazine for the first time in ages. Now I'm going to be honest here, I don't usually read it. In fact I probably won't for another year - sorry Cosmo! The only reason I picked up the current issue was because Zoe Sugg aka Zoella was on the cover and I wanted to read the article.

To me, Zoe is the queen of blogging. I know there are countless other talented bloggers out there, and yes I love you all too. But Zoe has managed to achieve something that most of us can only dream of and has remained just as down to earth in the process.

I have lost count of the times I've had to explain to my non-blogger friends and family just what it's all about. Some look at me with puzzled expressions and clearly just don't get it. Others nod along encouragingly and give me motivation as and when required. I hope they read Cosmo this month and that the penny drops. Because this girl is living my dream!!

I started this blog as a way to put myself out there a bit. Also to start building an author platform. I didn't expect to love it so much or to take it all so seriously but here we are, over a year down the line and I have BIG plans for GGD! I'm not at the point of creating videos - yet. (Give me a paper bag to wear over my head and I may consider.) But I'm working on lots of different projects all blog related. Some of my goals may never see the light of day, but I'm sure as hek having fun trying. It's because of Zoe and others like her that I feel like I CAN achieve these crazy feats.

Reading how far Zoe has come makes me wonder where we'll all be in five years time. Will any of us have our own beauty or lifestyle range? I hope so. Maybe I might finally see my novel published too. Finishing it would be a start! I hope that whatever happens we all continue to have lots of fun along the way.

As some of you may know, this hasn't been the easiest of years for me. However, for the first time in ages I feel like I want to say the future is looking bright. Or brighter at any rate. I hope yours is too.

Love to you all xxx

Header Image taken from Zoella post: https://www.zoella.co.uk/2016/09/fell-in-love-with-edinburgh.html Copyright not my own


Book Review: Billy and Me

I'm going to hold my hands up and confess that before I read Giovanna Fletcher's 'Billy and Me' I had been expecting another run of the mill 'predictable' romance. Not that there's anything wrong with that don't get me wrong, but I've read my fair share and therefore have a tendency to get easily bored.
It takes something a little bit out of the ordinary to capture and hold my attention for what is usually about four hundred odd pages. However, because my friend Jody had sung high praises for this debut novel I decided to give it a go.

The blurb goes a little like this -

Sophie May has a secret that has mean't she's given up on all her dreams to instead stay at home with her mum whilst working in the local village tea shop. Then one day, she meets and falls for Billy - a hotshot actor who is about to hit the big time. Miles away from the life she's been used to, their relationship suddenly throws Sophie into the spotlight and into a world that is alien to her. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with dating Billy? And is she ready for her secret to be discovered and shared with the nation?

Let's get the bits that disappointed me out of the way first before I tell you all to go out and buy a copy! Which I am totally going to do btw! ;)


I wouldn't say that the opening paragraph really did it for me. If anything it felt unnecessary, (sorry Giovanna) and I wanted to skip straight to the part where Sophie enters Molly's tea shop. And truth be told, after the build up, I was expecting some huge dark and dirty secret that would tarnish Sophie's reputation for life, not the tragedy that actually unfolds in chapter seventeen.

That said, there was something special about this story that grabbed me and just wouldn't let go. It's so well written that the characters and environments literally spring from the very pages. I couldn't help but feel as though Sophie was an old friend and that I was living in her world. If the tea shop was a real place I'd be straight on a road trip to Kent tomorrow. And as for dear old Molly? She was an absolute delight of a character who I warmed to from the very beginning. You'll no doubt find yourself rooting for Billy and Sophie the entire way through, even though at times you may - as I did - want to give him a boot up the backside and to tell him to shape himself.

This is one to devour when you have some time on your hands because believe me, you'll struggle to put it down!

I don't want to give any more spoilers away because - well that would just spoil it for you wouldn't it? But I will say that any novel that gets such an emotional reaction from me gets a five star rating. So take it from me, go and buy or download a copy today!

And as for me... I'm off to hound Jody for the follow up 'Always with Love.'

Author Giovanna Fletcher

You can buy Billy and Me by visiting any of the links on Giovanna's website:


Photos my own except Giovanna pic which was taken from Giovanna's website as below -



Books I'm reading this month

It's not often that a book 'queue jumps' my TBR pile but Giovanna Fletcher's 'Billy and Me' has managed to do just that. My friend Jody highly recommended it so I have borrowed her rather well worn copy. Review to follow at a later date.
The story revolves around Sophie who has given up on all her dreams of going to university and travelling the world because of some earth shattering secret. Well, to be fair I don't know that it's actually earth shattering. I haven't reached the point in the book in which she reveals what the secret is yet, but I'm assuming it must be something pretty big for her to give up on all her hopes and aspirations. Instead she lives with her mum in the tiny village where she grew up and where everyone seems to know everybody else's business. Whilst working an average day in her local tea shop, she meets Billy - the latest heart-throb of an actor. After shying away from attention all her life, will Sophie be able to handle the spotlight that comes with dating one of the world's A-listers?
Giovanna writes very lovable characters who you warm to in an instant. I'm looking forward to seeing where the story takes Sophie next.

The second book that has also queue jumped my TBR pile was gifted to me by my lovely mum for my birthday.
'Sister, Missing' by Sophie McKenzie is the follow up novel to the AMAZING 'Girl, Missing.'
You may remember I mentioned loving 'Girl, Missing' in a recent post? If you haven't read this book then you must! I haven't actually started the sequel yet as I'm going to finish 'Billy and Me' first but it's safe to say that I am super excited to get stuck into this one!

Hope you're all having a fab week! Until next time... xxx

Images from relevant sites below (copyright not my own)

Billy and Me http://www.giovannasworld.com/booksbyme

Sister Missing http://www.sophiemckenziebooks.com/product/sister-missing


Catch Up...

Hello all and happy September! This is a catch up post really as I haven't done much writing this last fortnight. Sadly my granddad passed away on Monday. He was 92 and not really getting much quality of life so it was for the best, but to lose both grandparents in the space of a year has been hugely difficult. It is, as I keep saying to my family and friends, the end of an era. I do realize how lucky I was to have known them both as long as I did, but I'm just missing them at the moment.

Moving onto a brighter topic, Jemma of Dorkface hosted her very first Girl Gang event last week and she did us bloggers proud! Although I couldn't be there myself, it looks like an amazing day was had by all. If you have no idea what I'm on about then check out this link to read all about it - GirlGangEvent. I really hope to be at the next one!

Last Wednesday was my birthday and as you can see from the header image I got some lovely goodies. I've been after the movie 'When In Rome' for AGES and my sister kindly ordered it for me!! Huge thank you to everyone who made my birthday special and for all the lovely messages.

Lastly, I can't end this post without mentioning a must read book. You may remember recently I was whining that I hadn't read a real page turner in ages, not since All The Bright Places and Elizabeth Is Missing anyway. (Both absolute musts btw!!) So you'll be glad to hear that I adored thriller, 'Girl, Missing' by Sophie McKenzie. I picked it up when browsing in The Works. I hadn't realized at the time but it's actually a YA novel. This didn't put me off because I am an avid YA fiction reader and once I started chapter one I was hooked! I'm not going to reveal any spoilers but the basic story line revolves around 14 year old Lauren and her quest to find the truth behind her adoption. Enough said. You'll have to buy it to discover more. You won't regret it honestly!

That's it from me for now. Happy Friday feeling and happy weekend to you all. I'm off for a muchly needed glass of wine and no doubt another Grey's Anatomy session! :) xxx

All photos my own except the Girl Gang image. Copyright remains with Jemma of Dorkface.


My 'To Be Read' Pile

I am guilty of buying books whenever I enter a bookstore. In fact come to think of it, I usually make a beeline for the book aisle in the supermarkets too! What can I say? I am a book nerd. However it has come to my attention that my 'to be read' pile has grown so vastly that it's taken over my bedroom. I haven't even made a dent in it and I am a little ashamed of myself.

Once upon a time I'd plough through a book in two evenings flat. These days I pick up a book, read a paragraph or two and then put it to one side. I know exactly what the problem is. Well, there's two actually! Firstly, I'm shattered at the moment. And I don't just mean - had a long busy day at work, need to collapse into bed and sleep - kind of tired. Nope. I'm mentally exhausted. This isn't uncommon for me. I find it hard to switch off at the best of times. In fact the only wind down time that works for me of late is watching Grey's Anatomy with my mum. (I love that TV show. Yes I'm borderline obsessed! Anyone else? Jemma I know you're nodding furiously right now! Ha ha!) And the second reason? I simply haven't read a really good book in ages.

It takes something special to grab my attention. Yes I'm a notoriously hard reader to please. My rule of thumb is if I'm not hooked by the end of the first page, then I don't tend to give the book much of a chance. My only exception to that is if it's a novel that has been hyped up by the media in which case I'll persist to see what the fuss is all about. Don't get me wrong, I've read plenty of 'okay' books this year. But I'm after another 'All The Bright Places' or 'Girl On A Train.' The kind of novel that will suck me in and keep me awake well into the early hours.

I'm hoping that now I've had a few days off work, I'll relax a bit and be more inclined to dive into one of the six I've photographed. Let me know if you've read any of these or if you have any recommendations. I'm all ears! Until next time... xxx

P.s... As I'm writing this I've just discovered a new author, Sophie McKenzie. Might be onto a winner... Watch this space! :)

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