Blogtober Day 23: A Day In My Life

Blogtober Day 23

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read    /   Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology    /   Day Sixteen: This Time Last Year    /   Day Seventeen: Reading Drinks    /   Day Nineteen: Paranormal Romance    /   Day Twenty-One: Which Villain Would You Be?

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

For this, I’m going to take a weekday, because my weekends tend to be pretty different from one another, depending on whether I’m home or at my BFs, if I need to run errands, what needs to be done etc.

So a typical weekday, for me, then.

I get up around 7:10, have a shower, get ready for work. Sit in front of the TV and watch the news while having a cold coffee straight from the fridge. I then walk to work, playing Wizard’s Unite. For my day-job, I work as an administor, so it’s mostly processing work, auditing it, and filing.

After work, I sometimes go to Tesco with the BF then walk home, get a bus home or up the town centre, or, when I’m lucky, get a lift home from one of the wonderful women I work with. At home, until 6PM, I’ll watch YouTube videos with the BF, before he heads off to catch the train back home.

Some people might be aware I have recently started beta-reading through the website Fiverr. If I have a job on, this is when I’ll get on with it. For longer jobs, it’s mostly all I do in the evening, though I take a couple of breaks here and there, checking social media or playing games on my phone.

If the work is a little shorter, I have more time, then I do what me and my BF refer to as ‘Ellie Things’. If I have no work, I write amongst other things, instead. Ellie Things are a mixture – a bit of time spent on games, such as Sims or Planet Coaster or Jurassic Park Evolution. Games where my brain can shut off and I can listen to podcasts while being entertained and letting my mind fester in whatever story I’m working on.

Browse a few different websites, read an article or two, maybe work on a blog post, then either read a bit of a magazine or graphic novel, research or make notes from books about writing, maybe some colouring instead. Making sure at some point, I read some of whatever book I have to review next, either for this blog or for Dead Head ReviewsThen it’s some time spent on beta-reading or writing my own work.

It’s these parts that make my day – being able to do what I want to do, and if I’m not at my BF’s, it’s what I do mostly on weekends too. Ideally, I’ll be in my pjs at my laptop, maybe with a latte from Greggs – a situation the BF calls ‘An Ellie in her natural habitat.” He knows me very well.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it. Not very interesting, but a quick insight into my day!

Blogtober Day 21: Which Villain Would You Be?

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Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read    /   Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology    /   Day Sixteen: This Time Last Year    /   Day Seventeen: Reading Drinks    /   Day Nineteen: Paranormal Romance

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

This one required a fair bit of thinking, on both my part and my boyfriend’s. It’s really hard to find a villain ‘I would be’. I think we all want to be particular villains, whether it’s because they look awesome or they have amazing powers, but when it comes down to it, they’re villains for a reason, right? They do bad things, and the beauty of a good villain comes from teasing out their motivations.

Do they think they’re doing good, or are they just looking for money or power or revenge? One of my favourite villains-turned-heroes is Hook, in Once Upon a Time, a man who starts out desiring nothing more than revenge, before he realises there’s so much more to life than that. Then there’s Poison Ivy, who loves nature and despises those who hate it. But you also have those villains who do not need to be sympathised with, who even with tragic backstories still do unspeakable things. Voldemort. Joker. People who infect those around them and encourage them to do evil in their name.

But then there are those villains who you discover are…not actually villains at all. The ones who are set up to be the bad guy, and you realise just need the equivalent of a Snickers to soothe their soul.

As I was pondering this, I thought back to a very particular villain, one who, throughout the film, is talked about in hushed tones, revered and frightening and someone you really don’t want to mess with. And I thought about how this character had something taken from her, how it turned her into a rageful, destructive being who is unable to listen to anyone who tries to help, until someone finally manages to break through to her.

Essentially, I thought of a character who could, really, represent some of my darkest days, as well as my brightest, a character who reminds me of what I came through, and how much I have changed, and yet how depression can still lurk around the corner – but I have people to help me, and I have those who aren’t afraid to reach through the fire and tell me, “I know who are you.” I just have to remind myself that sometimes, that isn’t me, and it’s okay to admit that.

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Blogtober Day 19: Paranormal Romance

Blogtober Day 19

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read    /   Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology    /   Day Sixteen: This Time Last Year    /   Day Seventeen: Reading Drinks

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

Paranormal Romance is one of those genres I really don’t read enough of. Whenever I do read it, I tend to really enjoy it. I just need to pick up more, really.

And I fully believe paranormal romance = written by women. Urban fantasy = written by men, judging by what I used to find shelved under each in bookshops, even if they have the same tropes and type of characters.

Anyway, before this becomes a rant…

Paranormal Romance comes in many different types. For every paranormal creature out there, there’s probably a romance book featuring them and a human protagonist. The ones I’m most failiar with tend to be vampires and werewolves, but the list is endlist. The main reason I know these two is because many years ago, I read two series which featured vampires and werewolves quite heavily.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter – Laurell K Hamilton

Something about Guilty Pleasures, the first book in the series, must have really intrigued guilty pleasuresme, because even though I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, I still continued with the series, reading 22 books before stopping. I didn’t even stop intentionally, I just picked up other books instead. But, honestly, this series started strong – I remember loving the first few books, really enjoying this world, and the blend of romance and crime Hamilton weaved into the story. The love interests were sexy and dangerous, and the horror elements were handled brilliantly.

But at some point, the books kind of tipped into just being about sex. Anita gains a power, and it turns out to be the power of sex, meaning she has to sleep with some characters pretty much instantly to save the day. And it was repeated. A lot. To the point where the sex scenes weren’t even very enjoyable any more, but repetitive. And every male character has a huge cock? I have heard it picks up again later, so I do intend to continue reading to see where the rest actually goes.

Sookie Stackhouse – Charlaine Harris

I think I read the first of these books way back in high school, and picked it up again when I was at university. The Sookie Stackhouse books are the basis for the TV dead until darkshow True Blood, but after the first book they diverge a lot, retaining some elements while making others much better suited to long-running TV series.

I managed to complete this series, at the insistence of a friend, and enjoyed it. The writing in the first few is pretty simplistic, but it matches Sookie’s character, and as the novels progress, the writing improves. And like Anita Blake, there are plenty of paranormal creatures to keep the reader invested.

Although both the Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake’s books have vampires and werewolves as their primary love interests, there are many others to be found within their pages, and both draw on various folklore for their monsters.

I’d suggest both these series, for anyone interested, but I really do need to read more paranormal, both with and without vampires involved, so if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

Overly Specific Book Tropes I Love

Check out this awesome blog post, detailing some brilliant tropes in writing.

The Bookaholic Dreamer

Happy Sunday Bookaholics!

I hope your weekend has been filled with books ✨ I have been stuck in a never-ending vortex of work which has been eating up my reading time, so yesterday I stole loads of time to hide from responsibilities and read under 7 blankets (Scotland has taken a turn towards dang cold).

Because I have been in a work-induced book slump for a bit, today I wanted to talk about which book tropes always fire up my passion for reading. No matter how deep into a slump I am, encountering any one of these overly specific book tropes wakes my bookaholic tendencies.

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Me at my responsibilities when I come across a book with one of these tropes



An unexpected chosen one that is revealed to everyone (including the chosen one themselves) in public

I love the chosen one booktrope! Especially when the chosen one is an…

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Blogtober Day 17: Reading Drinks

Blogtober Day 17

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read    /   Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology    /   Day Sixteen: This Time Last Year

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

There’s nothing like setting down with a good book and a favourite beverage. Personally, I love writing when I have a coffee (preferably latte) or glass of Jack Daniels and coke at my side. For reading, it’s not too dissimilar, though I very rarely read with a drink – my main reading time is at work on lunch, or before bed.

But when I go away – for example, visiting my brother in Margate – I love to sit with a coffee and read, as usually it’s one of the few times I’m disconnected from the need to write or work or whatever it is I usually do when I’m in front of my laptop.

And there’s a particular reason coffee and book shops go well together. There’s something lovely about curling up with a hot drink and sinking into a good book. For me, it would have to be a flavoured coffee (I do love Beanies) or latte with some sort of syrup.

If I had the time, the evenings now and then would probably consist of me curling up with a book and glass of wine, or sinking into a hot bath with both of those things. So yeah, my preferred reading drinks would be coffee/latte or a glass of fruity/rose wine.

Are there any particular drinks you like to read with?

 

Blogtober Day 16: This Time Last Year

Blogtober Day 16

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read    /   Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to be more selective with what Blogtober prompts I use for the last few days left of this month, mainly as I was struggling with some of them and I’m already behind, and at least this way I can do posts I enjoy, rather than forcing myself to spend ages stuck on one.

So! Books I was reading this time last year.

I often read graphic novels at my desk, between doing other things, so when I have some, quite often I’m reading them as well as a sort of ‘main’ book, so I actually have two books I was reading around this time last year.

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle- L.J. Smith

Date Finished: October 14th, 2018

vampire diariesA long time ago, I was in a Very Bad Place. Couldn’t sleep, and when I did, I faced nightmares. So I’d often stay up late, watching TV after my dad had gone to bed, and one day I decided to check out a series I’d been hesitant about until then. I didn’t realise it was a spin-off, but I quickly got absorbed into watching The Originals, and when I caught up, I devoured The Vampire Diaries, catching up with both right before their final seasons. So once they were all over, and I needed some sort of Vampire Diaries fix while waiting for Legacies, I picked up this book. And you know what? It was all right! (In the totally British way ‘all right’ way, imagine it with a certain inflection that indicates it’s somewhere around ‘good’) The writing isn’t amazing, and it kind of doesn’t hold up that well, but the characters were fun and tension ran throughout, and it was nice to lose myself in that world again.

It’s hard to say if you’d enjoy this book if you like the show. Certain elements are completely different, but it’s fun to read and see what the showrunners lifted, and the sort of things they decided (for the better) were best left out. The show remains true to the novel in the best way, while improving on a lot of it, for sure.

Damon is still absolutely drop dead gorgeous in it though.

Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume Two

got graphic novelI’m a big fan of graphic novel adaptations. Actually, I’m just a big fan of graphic novels in general, but when a book is transformed into one, it feels like it adds a whole new layer to the text. And it’s great to see an artist’s view on the characters and settings. One thing I really like about the GOT ones in particular are the fact they can put in so much more than the show could. Everything feels that more accurate to the book – character ages, the size of the Iron Throne, appearances, etc. It works really well, and it’s an absolute pleasure to read. The writers and artists have done an excellent job.

(I would also recommend The Dark Tower graphic novels. They are bloody brilliant.)

I’m kind of surprised no one’s done a Harry Potter one, as it’s a story that could work really well in this format.

Anyway, if you like the TV show and/or the books, I really do suggest picking this up. Overall, it’s a nice addition for any fan’s collection.

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A Change Of Tack For Blogtober

If you’ve been following my blogtober posts, you might have come to the same conclusion as I have. There’s no way I’m going to catch up at this point. I was hoping to get a few new posts out this week, but honestly, I’ve been so swamped with other stuff, stressed about various things, blogging sunk to the bottom of my priority list, especially with how much I was struggling with the next few posts.

Blogging for me is to get my words out there, hopefully entertain a few people, and enjoy it. At this point, I don’t want it to be stressful, there’s enough going on with that already.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to skip a few days, here and there, and post with the prompts I find interesting or where I feel I have something to say. If, doing this, I do catch up, I’ll stick to the remaining prompts as closely as I can, or at least come up with alternatives.

So yeah, that’s what’s happening. And hopefully, as we enter the last few days of Spooky Season, you enjoy my last few posts.

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Possible Giveaway For November

Disney Book Giveaway

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will be aware of this, but thought I’d mention it on the blog too, and look, you get a not-great graphic to go along with it!

So basically, I currently have 88 blog followers (love you all!). I am turning 30 on November 12th, at which point I will be in Disneyland, Paris and yes, I am very, very excited for the trip. Got my countdown at my desk in work AND my ears to wear in the park!

Where does the giveaway come into this, then?

Well, if I hit 100 followers before my birthday, I’m going to do a Disney themed book Twitter giveaway. It’ll be up to £15, international if Book Depository ships to you. And by Disney, I’m also including Star Wars and Marvel. Which yes, could mean graphic novels, too! And I’m also going to say the book can be a fairy tale retelling, so even if you’re not a Disney fan, there should be something for you, too. Though personally, I am a huge fan of the Twisted Tales series, and if you haven’t tried it yet, it comes highly recommended from me.

So spread the word – help me reach 100 followers in the next three weeks. As soon as I hit 100, I’ll post the giveaway. If that happens soon, I’ll pick the winners once I’ve returned from holiday, so the 15th November. If it doesn’t happen until early November, I’ll extend it a little.

Blogtober Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology

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Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

Under My Hat is an anthology, featuring some of the best known voices in fantasy fiction. The stories are all based off the idea of witches, some with the traditional ideas we know but with a slight twist, others with more varied, unrecognisable characters, and each one a delight to read.

There are elements of fantasy and horror in here, but most lean away from horror, focusing on other aspects of witchcraft. The first (Stray Magic) is a really sweet, endearing story about a dog separated from her master. There’s a story about a young woman who has recently joined a wiccan coven, and is searching for her belief. A tale about a cursed girl takes an interesting twist when her dead grandmother is bought back to life to protect her. And a young man in a forest comes across a woman who seems to be half cat, half human.

The anthology is well written, really well put together, and none of the stories blur into the other. Each has its own voice, and its own unique charm, carrying you from one tale to the next and making the book as a whole quite difficult to put down.

Overall, this is a really strong, interesting collection of stories, one that’s perfect for spooky season, and one that takes what could be seen as a stock character, and adds layers upon layers to it, without making the witches completely unrecognisable.

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Blogtober Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read

Blogtober Day 12

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Blogtober Day Eleven: Witches

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

I don’t tend to set myself goals for reading specific books in a certain year or month, but I do admit I have a problem with picking up books, putting them on my TBR and letting them slowly get covered by others. My TBR is a literal stack, which means the older books tend to get lost. They’re still visible, I just can’t get to them without difficultly or risking the whole thing coming down.

For this list, I checked some of the books I purchased last year on Amazon, and came across three I haven’t yet read. I could have used my TBR, but honestly, unless I’m picking out a book, looking at it kind of induces slight panic.

So, three books I purchased and should have read last year.

The Girl and the Grove – Eric Smith

the girl and the grove.jpgI picked this up because a long time ago, I started following Eric Smith on Twitter. For those aren’t aware, he’s an agent and now also a writer, who always seems really supportive of his writers. I really think I’ll like this one, let’s hope I can get to it some time before 2030!

Empty Cradles – Margaret Humphreys

empty cradles.jpgI can’t remember how I heard of this book, but I knew instantly it was one I had to read. I try to read a variety of nonfiction, and the stories of children shipped across the British empire is one that really intrigues me. But it’s quite a big book, and one that deals with a fairly emotional topic, so every time I’ve gone to pick it up, I’ve sort of hesitated. I think I need to be in the right frame of mind to tackle this one.

Mondays Are Red – Nicola Morgan

mondays are redThis is one I picked up, because it sounded intriguing, put on my TBR, and watched as other books appeared on top of it – funny how that happens, isn’t it? It’s not got great reviews on Goodreads, but I still want to read it. I just need to clear the books from on top of it, first.

So there we go, three books I should have read last year. Let’s hope they don’t appear on the same list this time next year. Are there any books you’ve put off reading? Or have you read any of these and think I should definitely check them out urgently?