Posted in Book reviews

The Mirror by Deborah A Stansil

Today’s post is a book review – guess who actually got reading this month??
Back in the middle of January, I contacted Debbie when I saw her asking for bloggers to review her new book and I’m actually so happy I did! She said yes, and here we are on the day of it’s publication – you should definitely give it a read!

The Mirror was a great read. The story kept me engaged, it wasn’t your usual plot, and I just didn’t want to put it down once I got into it! Now, when I say it wasn’t your usual plot – is anyone else tired of the same stories being written over and over, with some small plot changes, but always the same general idea? Well this was just perfect to break up the monotony of books at the minute! But before I go into why you should read this book, shall we take a look at the blurb?

When Amy’s daughter Lilly spots an old mirror in a local antiques stores, she can’t resist buying it for her. But with the mirror comes more than Amy bargained for. When Lilly starts talking about her “friend in the mirror”, Amy writes it off as an imaginary friend.

But Lilly’s imaginary friend is hard to ignore, and it’s not long until Amy finds herself embroiled in a battle; a battle to save her daughter, and a battle to save her secrets. Can a mirror really reflect the past? How else can Lilly know so much?

Now I’ll be quite honest, it’s been years since I last read a book like this. However, I was intrigued by the blurb, and felt I just had to read this book! In fact, there was something about the mystery of it that reminded me of a book I had read in school and so I was really excited when I sat down to start it.

 

Honestly? It took me a couple of chapters to feel drawn in to the story. But by the end of Chapter 3 I was enthralled. The tension and unease in Amy, the protagonist, is extremely well written, to the point that you’re feeling all her emotions with her. This was particularly well done in chapter 10, but I won’t ruin the storyline for you!

 

If you love a good mystery type thriller that keeps you turning the page for more, this is the book for you – and even better, it’s being released today!

 

Overall, I would give this a strong 4 out of 5. As mentioned previously above, the first couple of chapters were scene-setting, and therefore somewhat slow, but once the main plot got underway I really couldn’t stop reading, so much so I read it all in the one night!

 

 

Thank you so much, Debbie, for allowing me to read your work prior to it being released, and I wish you all the best with what has been a brilliant read. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more of your books!

 

 

 

Book Title: The Mirror

Author: Deborah A. Stansil

ISBN: 978-1-78808-634-9
Author details:


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Disclaimer: All views in this post are 100% my own, and are therefore my honest thoughts as I read through the book. I was sent this book for free to read and review, with the intention of spreading Deborah’s work to a wider audience. 

 

Are you thinking of self-publishing your own book? Why not pick up a copy of Your Ultimate Guide To A Powerful Book Launch [AFF] for just $8.50?

Posted in Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites: Charlene

Hello once again and happy Friday! How are you? I’m running slightly behind on these posts which is why there have been 2 this week, and there will be another 2 next week so keep an eye out for them! Actually, they need to go up before the end of the month on Tuesday so I might even squeeze them in this weekend.

Continue reading “Friday Favourites: Charlene”

Posted in Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites: Kirsty

Hello! Sorry for the three week hiatus, I can’t really think why it wasn’t up but it wasn’t and here we are two weeks later playing catch up!

 

This week’s Friday Favourite is the lovely Kirsty from Me, Cupcakes and Tea. Kirsty is a 25 year old blogger in her free time, when she isn’t teaching, baking, or drinking tea at home in South Africa. We first got talking a while back, and when I tweeted asking people to join my Christmas Card Swap Kirsty was one of the first to sign up!

 

Covering all types of posts, from fashion to lifestyle, beauty to food, Kirsty’s blog has something for everyone, and I love having it bookmarked on my laptop to flick back to to read!

 

My favourite post at the minute from her blog would definitely have to be one from her Blogmas series – The Christmas Tag. I love reading tag posts, and Christmas is my favourite time of year. Tag posts give us the chance to learn more about each other, and I love getting to know more about Kirsty! Head on over there and read some of her posts!

 

Blog                                   Twitter                                   Bloglovin’                                        Snapchat

Pinterest                                   Facebook                                      Instagram

 

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Posted in Lifestyle

The Slump

And once again I find myself struggling with the motivation to post. It’s a mixture of lack of ideas, and also because I’m just not enjoying at the minute. Is it wrong to think that if I’m not enjoying writing it, you won’t enjoy reading it?

 

I’ve been trying for the last 2 weeks to write up my Friday Favourites posts, because I do love spreading the love around! But any time I start to write it I lose interest. And I know that not everyone writes a full post in one sitting, but I find it best to do that. So I’m kind of hoping that by writing this post I can bring myself to finish a couple of posts that I have in the drafts section.

 

What do you do to bring yourself out of the writing slump? Is there a special routine you have to get through it all? Let me know below, maybe I can get writing again!

 

 

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Posted in Tags

The 30 Disney Questions Tag

Woo! Now who doesn’t love a bit of Disney? When Claire over at That Mumma Rocks tagged/nominated me in/for this particular tag, I genuinely got so excited about it! Combining two of my favourite things, this tag is perfect. Blogging+ Disney makes for a very happy Katie!

The rules? You simply answer the questions below, link to and mention the person who has tagged you (thank you once again Claire!) and then tag 5 more people to take part! Simple, right? You haven’t seen the questions yet…

 

1. Favourite Character – See what I mean about difficult questions? I’d have to go for Melody from The Little Mermaid: Return To The Sea

2. Favourite Princess – Ariel. Without a doubt, Ariel. Have you seen this woman/mermaid?

3. Favorite Heroine – I’m going for Mulan here. Has there ever been a better heroine?

4. Favoruite Prince – Without a doubt, Prince Eric. He has a dog! And a gorgeous castle by the sea.

5. Favourite Hero – Olaf. Some people are worth melting for.

6. Favourite Animal – Either Lady or Scamp. I adore Lady, but her troublesome son, Scamp, is all of us trying to find our place in life.

7. Favourite Sidekick – Pascal or Maximus…. They’re so perfect

8. Favourite Villain – Ursula

9. Favorite Original Character – Pluto

10. Favourite Love Song – I See The Light from Tangled

11. Favourite Song – You’ll Be In My Heart from Tarzan

12. Favourite Villain Song – Mother Knows Best from Tangled

13. Least Favourite Song – Little April Shower from Bambi

14. Favourite Kiss – Ariel and Eric when she can finally speak!

15. The First Movie You Saw – The Jungle Book

16. Favourite Classic – Lady and the Tramp

17. Song that always gets stuck in your head –When Will My Life Begin (maybe because this is my alarm at the minute)

18. Favorite Pixar Film – Up

19. Least Favorite Pixar Film – A Bug’s Life

20. Favorite Sequel – Either The Little Mermaid: Return To The Sea or Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure. OH! Or 102 Dalmatians! Waddlesworth is brilliant.

21. Overrated Movie – The Princess and the Frog

22. Underrated Movie – Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure

23. Movie That Makes You Laugh – The Lizzie Maguire Movie

24. Movie That Makes You Cry – Lilo and Stitch or Dumbo. Don’t split families up on me otherwise I will sob.

25. The Saddest Scene From Your Favorite Movie – When Nani and Lilo sit on the hammock the night before Cobra Bubbles comes to take Lilo away.

26. Saddest Death – Bambi’s mother.

27. Favourite Quote – “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all” from Mulan or “The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” from The Lion King

28. Favourite Theme Park – Disneyland Paris! Although I’ve never been to the others

29. Favorite Theme Attraction – Pirates of the Caribbean

30. Favorite Theme Park Show – Whatever it was at the end when I could’ve cried listening to I See The Lights. It was just incredibly moving.

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, feel free to comment below and let me know your favourites, even if I haven’t tagged you! I’d like to tag

 

Francesca                    Eloise                Holly                        Mary                         Cody.                        Jordanne

 

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Posted in Tags

Liebster Award 2017

I’ve noticed this tag doing the rounds again so was delighted when the lovely Cody nominated me to take part. You should honestly go check out her blog, it’s great!

 

The rules for accepting the Liebster Award are as follows

  • Thank the person who has nominated you for the award and post their link in this post
  • Display the award on your blog
  • Write a 150-300-word post about one of your favourite blogs that is not your own
  • Post 10 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve this award and provide links to them in your post
  • Answer 10 questions that your nominator has asked you
  • Ask your nominees 10 questions
  • Let your nominees know that you have nominated them for the Liebster Award

 

So firstly, a massive

 

 

to Cody for the chance to do this. As said above, head over to her blog and read her ten facts if you’d like to – https://codyeward.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/the-liebster-award/

 

One of my all-time favourite blogposts I have read has to be Anxiety and Me by Francesca over at Bella Momento. In this post, Francesca talked about her own experience with anxiety and I honestly could never imagine having the courage to post such a personal piece of writing. In fact, I’ll be honest and say that the first time I read this post, I ended up crying for her and just wanting to send a massive hug. There was one paragraph that really resonated with me, and reminded me that we often look for people who’ve gone through something similar to our situations. I love reading Francesca’s blog at the best of times but this really was one of my favourites.  Be sure to go check her out!

 

 

Ten Random Facts:

  1. My top three tv shows at the minute are Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing, and You Me Her.
  2. The one TV couple I will always love more than any other is Mark Sloan and Lexie Grey (Grey’s Anatomy)
  3. I have developed a hatred towards apples because when I was 7 my mum wanted me to lose weight so instead of toast every morning I ate an apple. While it did help with the weight loss, I grew to hate apples and still struggle to have more than a bite of one.
  4. One thing I can never say no to is sorbet, as long as it isn’t coconut.
  5. I’m that weird person who actually kinda likes the bounty sweets in the celebrations tub
  6. I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2 months when I was 13 years old.
  7. The longest I’ve ever stayed awake is 52 hours and by the time I fell asleep I was close to tears I was that tired.
  8. I don’t get the hype about either the Kardashians (to the point I just googled how to spell their surname) or Beyoncé.
  9. My dream pet is a turtle or a penguin, however I’d simply settle for owning ever single type of dog.
  10. I can’t wait to finish at university and work towards becoming a teacher!

 

 

Questions from Cody

  1. What’s the best thing about your home town?
    Haha anyone who knows Lisburn will know there’s nothing good about it, except that the cinema there is cheap as anything! I seriously resent paying £8 to see a film when it’s £4.50 at home.
  2. What do you want to be doing in 5 years time?
    I want to be teaching in a primary school, and coming home to my own place.
  3. Who was/is your teenage crush?
    Which one? I’d have to say either Emma Watson or Brittany Snow. But please don’t ask me to choose one of them!
  4. Who is your favourite novelist?
    Robert Muchamore. The Cherub Series was my favourite book series ever and I’m heartbroken that I haven’t finished it yet! Might need to go find it…
  5. What’s your favourite thing about being a blogger?
    I love having somewhere to come to and just say everything that’s going through my head, even if no one ever reads it.
  6. What mythical creature do you wish where real?
    Definitely mermaids. I want to be a mermaid. Have you seen Ariel??
  7. Where’s your dream place to live?
    Ibiza! Have you not read my post on my favourite place on earth?
  8. What’s your go to fashion item?
    My jeans… I’m not much of a fashionista! Although, one accessory I couldn’t live without is my Michael Kors handbag. I bought it as a one-off treat to myself that I plan on having for years to come.
  9. Who would be your dream blogging collaboration? (brand or another blogger)
    I’ll be honest and say I have actually no idea! There isn’t any particular person or brand, mainly because I never really thought about it or planned on any.
  10. Describe your style in 3 words?
    Comfy, casual, and off-the-floor!

 

 

My nominees are:

Zoe                                   Jordanne                               Francesca                                  Hannah

Katy                                    Eloise                                           Kate                                         Lucy

 

My questions to you:

  1. What’s your favourite type of takeaway?
  2. Did you ever dream of changing your name, and if so what to?
  3. Do you believe in regretting things?
  4. How many pets have you owned in total?
  5. What made you start blogging?
  6. Who is one person you want to thank for being there for you?
  7. Where is your dream holiday location?
  8. What are your top three tv shows?
  9. If you won the lottery tonight, what would you spend it on?
  10. Who was your number one crush growing up?

 

 

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Posted in Lifestyle

You Are A Badass

Well the first book of 2017 has been read, and I’m quite proud to say that I sat down to write this review within minutes of closing the book!

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is the first self-help book I’ve ever read and I am actually so happy that I did. I’m probably going to struggle to review it, to be honest, but I can honestly say that it motivated me and made me really question myself in a good way.

The back of the book is as follows (is it still a blurb? Who knows, but blurb is a funny word):

YOU ARE A BADASS IS THE SELF-HELP BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES BUT DON’T WANT TO GET BUSTED DOING IT.
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice and easy exercises, helping you to:

– Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want

– Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW

– Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
Jen Sincero is a bestselling author and success coach who has helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives via her newsletters, seminars, private sessions, public appearances, articles, products, and books. A few years ago, Jen said goodbye to her home in California in order to travel the world indefinitely and encourage as many people as possible to live lives of unbridled awesomeness. You can find out more and sign up to her newsletter at jensincero.com

Personally? I loved this book. Couldn’t recommend it strongly enough! In fact, I’m already sending it to someone else to read so they can enjoy it as much as I did. Sincero has a way of writing that is both humourous and to the point. She tells you exactly what’s wrong with you, but in a jokey way so it doesn’t feel like an attack. The number of times I had to stop reading for a minute because “damn this girl is right, it’s like she knows me!” was all I could think.

Each chapter is short and to the point, making it easy to follow like a day to day guide or a chapter a night kind of thing. I did it this way so I could fully digest what I had read, think about it a bit, and possibly start acting on it.

 

It’s a great read, and one I would strongly encourage you all to read.

 

If you want to keep up with what I’m reading throughout the year, add me on GoodReads – Lifewithktkinnes.

 

 

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Posted in Lifestyle

Wednesdays

I hate Wednesdays. There, I said it. They aren’t that different from my Mondays to be honest, but for some reason Wednesday feels worse.

 

For some reason, I never get my hair washing schedule right and so my alarm clock starts yelling at me in Spanish from 6:30am – I like giving myself a warning, and the song reminds me of Ibiza. The flat is freezing, and I hate the fact that I’m awake. My eyes open, and I’m reminded that once again my room is a mess and needs tidied. But today’s not the day for sorting that.

 

Showered and cold, I shuffle back to my room wearing the slippers that need to be washed but never get a chance to wash because I wear them daily. Is there time to curl up under the duvet again for 10 minutes? Or is that a bad idea – it’s not going to get any easier regardless of the time!
If I’m being prepared, I’ve laid out clothes for today. Most of the time though I have to scramble around for anything other than yesterday’s clothes. Rush through the skin care routine, start drying my hair, and have either Spotify or Sky Go on beside me. Couldn’t get through without them.
Then it’s time for breakfast. A chance for a nice cup of tea or coffee, depending on how long it’s taken me to get ready! Otherwise, I’m out the door and away to a lecture on the top floor of an awfully tall building. It’s boring as anything, and an hour later I trek back to the flat. Now I’ve a break. I can do dishes, tidy, anything really. But I’ve to leave again before 11. Then we have forensics. This is actually kinda cool, and I love learning something completely different. However, I’ve to then practically run to the next building and up 14 flights of stairs to the next lecture – physics. I hate physics with a passion. Don’t ask me why I’m studying it. I attempt to take notes and learn something until 1 o’clock but by then I’m shattered.

Home for lunch, I either grab a meal deal from Tesco, or pray I was nice to myself and prepared lunch the night before. Normally, I just grab whatever I have handy in the flat. Eat quickly, leave the laptop on my desk charging, find the programming notebook, and try to take even a 5 minute nap to get me through the next 3 hours of my life.

For some reason, I decided to take a programming course this year and I suck at it, to put it mildly. I hate it. The next three hours drag and I look like a complete idiot sitting there beside all these really smart computer people. they all know what they’re doing, and I’m just there clicking things and hoping for the best. By the time the clock hits 5pm, I feel like I’ve been shot at and hit.

 

I finally get back to the flat and clear whatever notifications I have on my phone, before starting to consider dinner. And don’t expect me to go to any socials – by 8pm I’m ready for my bed, and it’s time to sit and write a few blog posts.

 

It mightn’t sound like a bad day, but it’s just exhausting and all I want to do is skip over it. Do you have any days you hate or don’t like?

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