In January I won a Twitter competition with Border Biscuits (@BorderBiscuits). They were doing a campaign called #GingerJanuary on Twitter where many people were posting various pictures of all things ginger! I was one of their lucky winners of biscuits and this gorgeous bag. Being a fellow ginger/redhead myself I was over the moon and I’m so proud to be a ginger! This bag means a lot to me and I’ll be proud to carry it. Thanks very much Border Biscuits!
Every so often I would like to share with you my current reading book and what my thoughts are on it. I have discovered through Twitter that a lot of people out there are raving about this new book, called I Let You Go and I was lucky enough to be given it to read by the Little Brown publishing group (@LittleBrownUK). I had previously wrote a review for The Crooked House which I won in a twitter competition with them and @TheCrimeVault. I will write a review of the fantastic book The Crooked House in a future post.
I Let you Go is written by Clare Mackintosh who is a former detective, so gives this crime thriller an authenticity into real procedures in a case like this. On the back cover it does say that this book is inspired by a real life case that was never solved. This to me is a bit of a giveaway. Does this mean that you never find out what really happens in the book? I am looking forward to finding out!
I’m currently about half way through so far and its an incredible read. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you that haven’t read it yet, but I found myself welling up with tears at the beginning, as this situation could have happened to anyone. Its a very moving book full of emotions and makes you think what is going through the mind of the main character Jenna. I’m looking forward to following her on her struggle of a journey through the rest of the book.
It seems to be one of those books that any reader will love and it will stay with them for a long time.
The copy I received is a proof copy, and I was informed by the accompanying note that the cover is set to change and will look more like the bookmark by the side.
I remember my mum telling me about James Herbert’s Rats when I was a teenager, it was my first step into the deep dark scary world of horror. It’s a book world where I keep going back to years later. This introduction to horror led me to explore what young adult horror books were around in the early 90’s and these are what I found!
At school I remember there was some kind of book fair, and everyone was going crazy for the Point Horror series. They were written by many different authors including R.L Stine, who became to be my favourite young adult horror writer. He wrote Beach House which is shown in the picture, I love that one as I remember my older sister buying it for me. He wrote the Babysitter series which as I remember were well creepy! I’m sure that if you are of a similar age to me these were a part of your childhood! I still treasure my copies to this day and they have the pride of place in my library, although they are a bit on the rough side now!
As I got older I used to go to the public library after school, and this is where I explored the adult horror section to a fine detail. When I was around 15 I discovered the master of horror Stephen King. The first book I read of his was Rose Madder, which is about a husband and wife and their abusive relationship. I can see now that it was probabaly an inappropriate book for someone of 15, but I found it so intriguing. After I read all the more well known King books, like Carrie, The Tommyknockers and The Stand, of which is one of my all time favourite books, I looked further afield, and came accross James Herbert. I am not keen on his novel Once, I found it just plain weird! Its like an adult fairy tale with lots of dark undertones.
I had never read Herbert’s novel The Secret of Crickley Hall until I saw the TV adaptation which was made in 2012. Its about a young family who go and stay in a creepy house in Devon. I love a good ghost story and this is a great one! The book is way better than the mini series! It’s one of those books that you can go back and read all over again.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what your favourite horror books are, or if you are not a fan of horror your favourite books from school.
I have my day off from work every Wednesday, so each week I pop round to my parents to collect my delivery wins. This is the most exciting day of the week for me as It’s like Christmas! I’m like a big kid opening my packages to see what’s inside. I always enter my parents address for delivery details as I’m never home to collect them. My mum always looks out for the postman everyday to see what he’s got for me. She is even now on a first name basis with him and they talk about my competitions and wins!
So these are my wins from the past week. I was a runner up in a Wagg pet food competition and I was able to choose whether I wanted cat or dog food treats. I don’t have a cat so I chose dog treats. The flavour is chicken and cheese! Sounds a bit of a weird combination to me!
The books I won are from Goodreads first reads giveways. I wrote about winning A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall in my blog post last Thursday and here it is in the top right of the picture. Its possible the cover will change once its properly published as this is an uncorrected bound proof copy. I can’t wait to get stuck into this one with a hot chocolate and some biscuits, I think I’ll start this book on Sunday while the husband is watching the first Formula 1 race of the season!
The other two books are the Lament of Sky by BB Wynter which is a dark, fantasy and very intriguing read. It came with a gorgeous little note by the author on the inside pages which I thing is a lovely cute personal touch. The third book is called The Traitors’s Mark and is written by D.K Wilson. It’s a historical Tudor mystery based on the death of Hans Holbein in 1543, which to this day is still an unsolved real Tudor mystery. Looks a fantastic read to add to my never ending lists of books to read!
This is my collection of cooking book wins, from various Twitter competitions over the past 18 months. I have a huge sweet tooth and the recipes in these books are to die for. My favourite book out of the three is Freeze written by Justine Pattison. It’s one of the most useful books I own! It contains not only recipes but ways to make the most out of your freezer. Some of the top tips inside include different reasons to freeze. A couple of the reasons are you have less waste, which in turn saves you money and you have the flexibility to store various meals without extra supermarket trips, costing again less money!
I use my freezer like its going out of fashion! I freeze bread and only take out what I need, so it’s kept fresh and soft. On Sundays my husband and I do big batch cooking and make enormous cottage pies and lasagne’s to freeze for the coming week as we are both very busy with work. Sometimes when we have been out of the house for 12 hours or more its hard to get the motivation to start cooking a meal, so our freezer batches come in quite handy in these situations!
Here is another top tip I recommend! If like me your freezer is not the biggest, and after a couple of tubs of ice-cream you have hardly any room whatsoever for anything moderately bigger than a chicken. Take all the outside cardboard packaging off all the food products and cut out the cooking instructions to place on the front of the fridge with magnet. Instantly you have room for that steak and ale pie that you slaved over by making the pastry by hand! Who needs all that extra cardboard on a box of ice-lollies? when you can slide them individually into gaps in the freezer drawers amongst the bag of frozen peas and turkey dinosaurs! So not only will you be saving money by using your freezer economically, but you will also be creating a wonderful colourful collage of bits of cardboard cooking times on your fridge-freezer!
This is one weeks worth of wins and free samples. The door handles and letter box were from a Twitter competition with Yale on #FreebieFriday, the best day of the week for Twitter competitions! which I will say more about later on in the week! The Tefal frying pan was also from a Twitter competition and it arrived with a pack of sausages and some celery! this was from @love_thecrunch. I honestly didn’t expect the sausages and celery I thought the competition was for the frying pan, so it was an unexpected lovely surprise!
The mini bottle of baileys and the tiny tube of splash concentrated drink were free samples. I love to sign up for free samples as its a great way of trying new products without the cost. A great tip is to save them up for little stocking fillers and pop them all in a little gift bag for Christmas for the family. The past few days I have had a green tea teabag through the post box from PG Tips, which made a lovely cuppa after all that painting and decorating fiasco! A couple of Lacoste aftershave samples have arrived as well, and I know I only entered for one sample so that’s twice the luck!
I find the free sample websites online through various links, through postings on Facebook and Twitter. I might occasionally have an email sent by company sent asking if I would like to try one of their free samples and sometimes they ask for a review in return.
The three books in the photo were more of my Goodreads wins. Entering the competitions to win free books from Goodreads are my favourite ones. I love to help out debut authors with their new books in posting reviews on Goodreads. There are also chances to read proof copies of new books before they are even published! For a booklover like me this is so much fun! If you are lucky the books are often signed by the authors and can include bookmarks, postcards and I have even had a pen!