Spotify Book Tag

Hello there again!

How are you all on this here Thursday? What have you been up to this week? More importantly, what have you been READING this week?

I come to you with a tag that I definitely didn’t steal from my friend Cora. I’ve seen this tag floating about on different blogs and I thought ‘YOU KNOW WHAT? I wanna join in’, so here I am, joining in… (even though no-one invited me haha!)

Book Hooked Nook's Spotify Book Tag banner(Credit to Book Hooked Nook for the tag and the graphic!)

Hit Rewind: a book you go back to again and again?

As you all know by now, I’m not a massive rereader. However, a book I’ve read multiple times is Matilda. I’d love to be a rereader, I just have THE FEAR of “what if I reread a book and I hate it this time round?”

Romantic Ballads: a book that gives you all these fluttery feels?

A recent book that gave me all the romantic feels was Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott. That book was FULL OF THE FEELS. I really enjoyed it. It was a book that I had on my TBR forever and I picked it up on a whim and then I DEVOURED IT.

Release Radar: a new release book you’re excited for?

I’m excited for EVERYONE else to finally get to read A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby and No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter. I ADORE these two books. A book that I’m excited for personally? The Girl With Space in Her Heart by Lara Williamson. I loved her other books and I’ve already picked up this new one!

Discover Weekly: a book you haven’t read yet but want to discover?

I mean, Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury, but that’s MONTHS off being discovered. So if you mean a book that is out now and I want to discover it? Hmmm… either of Sarah Marie Griffin’s books. I saw her at YALC and she’s hilarious. Her books sounded really interesting too!

Alone Again: your fave book genre to read on your own?

I don’t have a preference on what I read alone and around others. I will read whatever I want around whoever I want. Plus, at least 2 of my friends have said watching me read something is a joy in their lives (hi Charlotte and Kelly) so I would hate to deny them that!

Alternative: an indie book or author everyone should read?

*shrug* I literally have no idea. Shout me your favourite indie reads though, I would appreciate that!

Cheesy Hits: a book full of cheese you love?

I don’t know what constitutes a cheesy book, but maybe Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie. It was very sweet and lovely.

Summer Hits: a book you reread every Summer?

I’ll have to skip this track, because N/A.

Power Hour: an empowering feminist book or character you adore?

SO SO MANY. There are so many amazing characters that I adore. Emily from No Big Deal needs a lot of love now that she’s released in the world; Sorrow from the State of Sorrow duology also needs a lot of love because YES SORROW; Jemima Small because she’s blooody wonderful and all kids need to read her; Izzy bloody O’Neill – if she’s not a character you’re familiar with, then please do something about it (The Exact Opposite of Okay is where you need to go to find her!)

All Out 10s: list 10 banging books!

(I’m going for 10 books I’ve read this year…)

  1. This Is Going To Hurt – Adam Kay
  2. The Lost Tide Warriors – Catherine Doyle
  3. Patina – Jason Reynolds
  4. All The Things We Never Said – Yasmin Rahman
  5. Scars Like Wings – Erin Stewart
  6. Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
  7. Jemima Small Versus The Universe – Tamsin Winter
  8. And Then I Turned Into A Mermaid – Laura Kirkpatrick
  9. High Rise Mystery – Sharna Jackson
  10. Viper – Bex Hogan

(Also, No Big Deal – Bethany Rutter; The Burning – Laura Bates; Meat Market – Juno Dawson; A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven; A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Bridgit Kemmerer – lol, I can’t help myself!)

That’s me done!

I’m not going to tag anyone because I’m a rebel, but if you fancy doing this, GO FOR IT!

Did any of my responses surprise you?
Is there anything you want to recommend to me based on my answers?
Can we talk about books please?

Speak to you soon!

S x

Thursday Tag: 30 Interesting Questions Tag

Hello there!

It’s Thursday again. As if. Following on in the tradition of the past few weeks, I’m stealing a tag from my friend Charlotte’s blog. No shame at all. I love a good tag. Plus I love a tag which means I find out new things about people and allows you to find out things about me (which arent’ necessarily bookish things!)

(If you want to check out Charlotte’s post, it is HERE. Don’t tell her I sent you though!)

Let’s go…

What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

I have SO MANY nicknames. In a family as big as mine, it is inevitable. Some of the more notable ones are: Peach, Spot, Size, Cowbag, Eena. Outside of that I get Steph a lot. I much prefer being called Steph over Stephanie.

How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I’m a frequent doodler. I like to doodle as I’m listening. All of my university notes and staff meeting notes are COVERED in doodles.  I tend to doodle shapes over actual things though.

What do you do if you can’t sleep? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Get up and try and be productive?

None of those things. I tend to put on a podcast/video of something that I can tune out of and have it on as white noise. I’m usually quite a good sleeper, but there are times when I just can’t get to sleep. (Shout out to Safiya Nygaard videos here)

Do people consider you talkative or quiet?

Now this is an interesting one – it depends who you are and where you know me from. Probably a bit of everything in my life. I’m a proper introvert, but I can extrovert when I need to.

What makes you cry?

That question should be what DOESN’T make you cry? I cry at EVERYTHING. The most recent things to make me cry: books, my new baby cousin, the Queer Eye advert, thinking about my kids going into Year 6, stress.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Ghosting. Lateness. Cockiness. Those are my top 3. I hate people who do these things.

How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

I have no idea. Probably 3-5 times? It depends what I’m doing.

What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

Who knows. Let’s be real: a lot of things we believe as children are bizarre. A man who can travel around the world in a night and deliver millions of presents? Strange. A fairy who collects teeth and in exchange leaves you money? WEIRD.

What is the guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Why should I have a guilty pleasure? Surely something that gives me pleasure should be something that is embraced.

Who performs the most random acts of kindness you know?

Charlotte (the very one I stole this tag from). She’s one of the loveliest people I know, but she only wants people to know that she is the Queen of Fire (which she is).

How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?

Very rarely. I don’t really read the paper. I’m more likely to catch up on the news online where I’ll read the Education news, Entertainment news and local news.

Which animal scares you most?

Spiders. No question. I don’t know why. But no.

Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage in it?

Avoid. I do not enjoy conflict at all. I’m one for people to just get on with each other. I’m not great in an argument cause I just fold and give in and I don’t want people to see that weakness (ha, deep)

What is the most recent compliment you received?

Hmmm… *shrug*. It probably came from one of my kids, colleagues or Charlotte though.

What question are you tired of hearing?

When are you going to have kids?
When are you going to move out?
When are you going to get married?
Do you want to be a head teacher?

What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

Snails. They’re just like mushrooms to be honest.

Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a very few close friends?

Both? Like, I know a lot of people and can socialise with lots of different pockets of people depending on what’s going on, but I definitely have a very close bunch of friends who I trust with my life.

Do you have a catchphrase?

Things I say often:
Why are people?
I’m so tired.
Right.
I own it, but I haven’t read it yet.

What is your all time favourite town or city? Why?

I’m going to be predictable af here, but Newcastle. It’s home. It’s comfort. It’s the people I love the most. It’s Geordies. It’s the Quayside. It’s my friends. It’s growing up.

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

I don’t know? I’ve been asked this question before and I still haven’t got an answer to that question.

When was the last time you lied?

Erm… who even knows.

What’s something that amazes you?

How incredibly kind humans can be. I am OFTEN floored (and cry) when I see those videos about people helping other people out in times of need. I know the world is a shitty place to live sometimes, but kindness absolutely floors me. More of those videos thanks.

Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely not the kind of person who will go exploring an unkknown planet. Saving lives however would be my jam, so inventing a drug that cures a deadly disease.

What is your favourite amateur activity?

Swimming. One of my favourite things to do is getting in the pool and just swimming back and forth.

What was your first thought when you got up this morning?

‘What time is it?’ (generally my first thought every morning)

What is your favourite song (at least at the moment)?

Hmmm… The Best in Me by Ed Sheeran. I am loving his new album.

List someone you know and describe them in 5 words

Kelly: best dragon owner on Earth.

You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?

Well that’s a loaded question. I wanna be like “oh, I’d ask Hitler why he was such a dick” when in reality it would be something/someone a lot less political.

Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?

I do not know? Someone tell me their thoughts!

What do you want me to know?

You know what, you’re amazing. If you’re having a good day, remember it. If you’re having a bad day, remember that you’ve probably made someone smile today. Whether you realise it or not, the world needs you around. You’re someone’s best friend; you’re someone’s favourite person on the planet. 

And that’s it!

Did anything surprise you in this post?
Have you got any random questions you’d like me to answer?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

 

Anything but books tag

Hellooo,

I saw this tag over on Charlotte’s blog (don’t tell her I read her blog, hehe) and I thought it would be a brilliant way for you all to get to know me a little bit better… when I’m not reading books! So here we are today with the ‘Anything but Books’ tag. Let’s see how many times I manage to mention books though (what can I say? They’re a big part of my life!)

If you fancy doing this tag, please go for it!

Name a cartoon you love

A cartoon I love? I mean any Disney film. But also I love the Lego movies, they’re funny. Any kids animated movie that has jokes in for the adults, I am THERE for. I love a good animated thing. When I was growing up though, my favourite cartoon was The Jetsons or Wacky Races.

What is your favourite song right now?

I love a WHOLE different range of music. I keep coming back to the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack and You Will Be Found is my jam. I also love Help Me Now by Kevin McHale (yes, that’s him from Glee!). I can always rely on my babe Ed Sheeran too.

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

Good question. Besides sleeping though? Walk at the seaside and listen to music. OR OR OR listen to podcasts. Shout out to Rosie and Chris Ramsay’s podcat ‘Shagged, Married, Annoyed’ because it’s hilarious. But also something like sit in Quilliams and just write/planning for school/planning for blogging is one of my favourite things to do. Or go to my cousin Kate’s house and just chill out with the Redshaws because they’re my faves.

What is some thing that you love that would surprise your followers?

Hmmm… I do not know. I love a war film. I really enjoy watching tennis. Gymnastics and swimming are two of my other favourites.

What is your favourite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

WORDS. THE ETYMOLOGY OF WORDS. OH MY LORD. I love words. I love finding new words, I love learning about how words have changed. Dear me. Do not get me started because I find it FASCINATING.

What is something unusual that you know how to do?

I genuinely believe I am not interesting enough to have an answer to this question.

Name something that you made last year and show us if you can

I decorated my classroom – does that count?

What is your most recent personal project?

Hmmm… getting through my NQT year? Learning to love myself for all that I am? How deep do you want this answer to be?

Tell us something that you think about often

How gosh darn tired I am? (That takes up a lot of my thought time)

Tell us something that is your favourite, but make it oddly specific

Sitting in one of the window seats leaning against a wall in the Starbucks in Newcastle city centre on a sunny day with a coffee (hot or cold, I dont mind) and either ginger biscuits or banana bread.

Say the first thing that pops into your head

‘I’ll be sitting up in my room, back here thinking about yooooou’ – I’ve been rewatching Terrell and Vincint’s Song Assosciation video OVER AND OVER this week because it makes me laugh so hard and I just adore them. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about and would like to, I suggest you check out THIS VIDEO on the old YT)

And that’s it folks!

Have you learned anything new about me?
Is there anything else you want to know about me?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

“Be happy: it drives people crazy”

Things that have made me smile recently

Books. My family. Meeting Baby Joey. Spending time with my friends. Quilliams. Tea. Breakfast. Going for walks just for time to think. Witchy Trio texts. The sunshine. Waking up to a light morning. Spending time by myself. Doing a job I know I want to do for the rest of the time, even when it’s SO BLOODY HARD sometimes. Knowing that it is almost the Summer holidays. Transition day. Meeting my new class. Overhearing people complimenting the work I’ve done this year. Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come. Allowing myself time to breathe. Texts from lovely people. Finishing two books in one day after not being able to read for ages. Lovely notes from people. Vincint. BookBitchez. Thirsty conversations. ALL OF THE GAY. Some exciting book events coming up. The thought of seeing my Welsh love in a few weeks. YALC excitement. Laughing at stupid jokes. Terrell. Dear Evan Hansen. Ed Sheeran. The Matilda soundtrack. SimplyNailogical videos. Watching tennis. Roger Federer. Wimbledon being everywhere. Watching Wimbledon with my kids and them asking 700 questions. Reflecting on the year I’ve had. Looking forward to the future. Reading amazing picture books. Reading books with the kids. Books. Always books. 

The ULTIMATE blog tag

HOLA FRIENDS.

I come to you today with THE ULTIMATE BLOG TAG. Blame Charlotte, she tagged me in this tag, so I HAD TO do it. It’s the law right?! (Check out Charlotte’s post here)

– – –

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Nope! I’m blessed in that sense. I can read on most forms of transport! Train and bus reading are my faves though. There’s no better way to pass time on a train than reading a book.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Hmmm… Laura Steven. It’s just so god damn funny. And I don’t think Laura even realises that she’s HILARIOUS.

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answers.

I’ve only read Harry Potter, so by default that. I’ll go with magic, excellent friends and introducing me to my true identity as a Hufflepuff as my defence.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it (besides books…)?

I DO. I carry the book I’m read in a Fairyloot bag. It lives by itself in that bag, but it lives in my handbag with the rest of my life haha.

5. Do you smell your books?

No? Should I be?

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I do appreciate a little illustration, but only if they add to the book. I don’t enjoy them when they’re gratuitous!

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

I have no idea. I’m all about “if I enjoyed it when I was reading, then why should I really care about the quality of the writing?” especially when I’ve finished it. I don’t tend to reread, so that’s that.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

No? I don’t think so anyway.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Maybe The Heart Collector by Melinda Salisbury.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Priory of the Orange Tree. 100%

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I enjoy writing stuff for school – like writing models of stories for the kids – but I have no current aspirations of being an author. Teaching is tiring and wonderful enough as it is.

12. When did you get into reading?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a reader. I don’t remember having a “moment”.

13. What is your favourite classic book?

Nineteen Eighty Four. Is that a classic? I haven’t read many books which would be classed as “classics” to be honest.

14. In school, what was your best subject?

Languages: English, French, German.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

I’d gratefully accept it and then unhaul it the next time I was unhauling.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Erm, not similar at all, but because of the MAJIK: The Paper Magician trilogy. So many people sleep on this series and I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while filming?

LOL. Imagine me vlogging man. However, I think “brilliant” is one of the words I use most when I’m writing reveiws.

18. What is your favourite word?

My all time favourite word is a swear word, so I shouldn’t repeat it here.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Can someone please tell me what the difference between all of these are? I’m a reader, a teacher, a blogger, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a godmother, a crier, a romantic and so much more than one of those words… but if someone tells me what they mean, I’ll categorise myself!

20. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

Neither? If I had to choose, fairies I think. They tend to be “good guys”.

21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Shapeshifters. I’d LOVE to be able to shift my form and become something else every now and again.

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Golly. Spirits are a bit more “out there” so them.

23. Zombies or vampires? Why?

LOL. Never a zombie. I do not wish to be a zombie. I choose vampire.

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

GAH. Two of my least favourite tropes (I think), but I choose forbidden love. Love triangles bother me.

25. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Action packed with love scenes in. PLEASE.

– – –

I tag ANYONE who wishes to do this. It’s always quite fun to find out more about each other! 

Speak to y’all soon!

S x 

A-Z Book Tag

Hola friends and amigos and people alike!

BONUS SATURDAY POST.

I saw this over on Charlotte’s blog recently and thought it seemed like a fun tag to take on… so here is my:

A-Z Book Tag

Author you’ve read the most books from: 

Hmmm… probably Matt Haig, Melinda Salisbury or Roald Dahl. 

Best Sequel Ever: 

Best sequel EVER? Are you having a giraffe? Golly gosh and gah. Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury is pretty epic. Simply the Quest by Maz Evans is brilliant. Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard is WELL WORTH A READ. I can’t choose one and you can’t make me.

Currently Reading: 

Evie and the Animals by Matt Haig. I bought it and then I was reading something else, but then it kept whispering to me, so I had to pick it up and read it!

Drink of Choice While Reading: 

A bit like Charlotte, it depends WHERE I’m reading. If I’m in Starbucks, it’ll be an iced coffee (usually), but if I’m at home, it’ll be a cup of tea or a can of Diet Coke.

E-reader or Physical Book?: 

NORMALLY physical book because I am TERRIBLE at remembering to charge my kindle!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: 

LOL. Erm… I’d love to say someone like Izzy O’Neill because she’s BRILLIANT but in real life I’m far too shy and she’s far too cool for me.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: 

Like Charlotte, I’m glad I gave Circe by Madeline Miller a shot. It’s not what I would usually read BUT MY GOSH I LOVED IT. (Queen Mel recommended it, so who am I to ignore her?!)

Hidden Gem book:

The Paper Magician trilogy by Charlie N Holmberg. Guys you need to stop sleeping on ths trilogy.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Reading Matilda. It’s one of the first books I have VIVID memories of reading and thinking “oh my gosh, THIS is why books are so special” but it also introduced me to Miss Honey who is my absolute hero teacher.

Just Finished: 

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell. Really great and funny adventure!

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
There’s very few genre of books that are OUT of my line of sight, but anything too scary and I am like NOPE NOPE NO THANKS. Also, don’t throw me anything boring. I don’t do that life. Life’s too short to read boring books.

Longest Book You’ve Read

Hmmm… maybe one of the Rebel of the Sands books? They get pretty hefty BUT so so worth it!

Major book hangover because of:

Man, I get book hangovers after most books. The biggest book hangover recently though was probably Song of Sorrow because man, I was NOT ready for that. OR No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter because that book is EVERYTHING I need.

Number of Bookcases You Own: 

One. I know. A bookish gal like me. I need more thanks.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Long time readers of this blog will know that I’m not really a re-reader, but Matilda is probably one of the few books I’ve reread. Also Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Milwood Hargrave. That book is exceptional.

Preferred Place To Read:

SOMEWHERE COMFY

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 

I JUST HAVE LOADS. Don’t make me choose one okay?

Reading Regret: 

Reading books that I probably didn’t want to get to the end of? I’m quite stubborn in that if I start a book I WILL get to the end.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

Oooooh. I shall have to consult the oracle that is Goodreads to see if this is a thing in my life. I do not know. I shall have to have a think!

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books: 

LOLOL. Who are you kidding? I think we all know the answer to this question (it would feature Mel and Sara… we know).
So, I’m going to do with 3 of my favourite books I’ve read recently (breaking the rules, deal with it):
Jemima Small versus the Universe by Tamsin Winter
Meat Market by Juno Dawson
No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

The Toll by Neal Shusterman. It’s the 3rd book in the Scythe trilogy and I NEED IT NOW.

Worst Bookish Habit: 

I don’t have any bad bookish habits. I am a delight
(Reading books and then not writing my review/notes for weeks and then coming to write my review and then having no recollection of what the book was about and just knowing that I loved it and everyone should read it but not being able to put that into cohesive words and phrases)

Your latest book purchase: 

Evie and the Animals by Matt Haig.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): 

Hmmm… Shadowscent by P.M.Freestone. That book is WELL WORTH staying up late for. WELL WORTH. Please go and read it.

That was well worth the time!

If you fancy doing this tag, GO FOR IT!

Let me know if any of my answers surprised you, or if you have any comments. I’d love to talk!

S x

BLOG TOUR: All We Could Have Been

Hello! Happy Bank holiday! 

Today I have the utter joy of being part of the blog tour for T.E.Carter’s newest book: All We Could Have Been. I’m very lucky to be able to share an extract with you! You’ll find chapter 4 below – there is a bit of swearing, but we’re all adults around here! 

Image result for all we could have been the carter

“Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.

Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she’s related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live? 

This is a powerful look at the assumptions we make about people. Lexie’s emotional journey to separate her brother’s horrific act from herself is stunning and heartbreaking. This is Lexie’s story and journey—not her brother’s—and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page.”

Chapter 4

Tuesdays are blue, which means my color-coding is less obvious to everyone, because jeans are blue. I like Tuesdays; they’re when I feel most like a real person.  It turns out I have third lunch with Ryan, which makes this Tuesday even better. He invites me to sit with his friends, and one of the hardest parts of each year passes just like that. Only 161 days to go.

“I am so pissed at Hawthorne,” a girl says as soon as she sits down at the lunch table. Dark hair, somewhat tall and thin, but still mostly average. Yet there’s something about her that draws my attention. Something about how sure she is of herself.

Two girls follow right behind her, flanking her across the table from where Ryan and I are sitting, and they wait for her to speak. The first girl drops her tray and stabs a straw into her orange-juice carton.

“Seriously? Fucking Romeo and Juliet? How ridiculously cliché can we get?” she asks.
“Shakespeare’s good for your portfolio,” Ryan says.
She rolls her eyes. “I have plenty of Shakespeare in my portfolio. What do you even think I do all summer? God.”
“Rory, Lexi,” Ryan says, flicking a hand between me and the angry girl. “Lexi’s new.”
“Hi,” Rory says. She drinks her whole carton of orange juice and crushes it. “Ryan, seriously. This sucks so bad.”

One of the other girls opens a bag of chips, but she pauses, waiting to see what Rory does. The greasy spud hovers in front of her open mouth. It’s not exactly fear. I can’t explain it, but it’s the kind of suspended animation that occurs when you can’t decide if your friend’s freak-out warrants putting your own basic needs, like hunger, on hold.

“It’s not always like this,” the other girl—the one sitting on Rory’s right—tells me. She’s prettier than Rory, but for some reason she fades beside her. “Drama’s just a big deal.”
“Oh yeah. Got it,” I say, pretending to understand.
“Sorry,” Rory mutters as she spears a french fry on her plastic fork. Chip Girl waits, and as soon as Rory puts the fry in her mouth, Chip Girl breathes a sigh of relief. Her stomach growls as if to confirm that hunger is, in fact, a bigger situation at the moment. The chip makes its final parabolic arc down her gullet.

“Look at it this way: You’re probably guaranteed Juliet,” Ryan says.
Rory shakes her head. “It’s not that, and you know it. She’s always going on and on about how ‘theater makes a difference.’ ” I imagine that Rory’s mocking lilt is nothing like how this Hawthorne person actually sounds, but everyone in our vicinity seems to be on board with it. “This was an opportunity. You know she’s just capitulating.”
“You need to lay off the SAT vocab,” Chip Girl says.
Rory glares at her but doesn’t respond. Instead, she turns back to Ryan, addressing me as well by accident. “All summer I was emailing her and she was totally into The Laramie Project or The Vagina Monologues. Something edgy. Something with a purpose. She swore she’d choose something that would matter. And we’re doing fucking Romeo and Juliet?”
“I don’t know,” I offer, which I probably shouldn’t. It’s not my place, and I don’t know the context. My head voice booms its countdown again, but I shush it and barrel on with my opinion, reason be damned. “It could work. I mean, prejudice, hate, judgment, assumptions. West Side Story tackles all the same key themes—”
Rory cuts me off. “West Side Story?”
“Yeah, I mean . . .” But the glare from the three girls across from me tells me to just keep my mouth shut.

“We don’t do musicals,” Ryan explains. “It’s a whole different kind of theater.”
“Sorry,” I mumble, and go back to my lunch. The peas are fluorescent. I wonder if they’re irradiated. That could be good. Everyone complains some more about Hawthorne, who I deduce is the teacher-director of the drama club, but I stop listening. Lunch is only twenty-seven minutes. Twenty-seven minutes of 161 days and it’s all over. I can survive this. They’re so wrapped up in the play that they don’t care about me or what I’m carrying. They won’t even notice me as long as I don’t talk about musicals.

“Hey, I’ll walk you to class,” Ryan says when the first bell rings to wrap up lunch.

Massive thank you to Hashtag Reads for inviting me to be part of this blog tour! This extract is sure to get people talking. Go treat yourself to this book now! And while you’re at it: check out the rest of the blog tour!

Tour Graphic NEW

S x 

Twenty Questions tag

WELL HELLO PALS.

It is Tuesday. I’m doing a tag. I LOVE A TAG. Do you love a tag? Do you like reading tags? I love reading other people’s answers to tags… they’re such fun!

Today’s tag is the 20 questions tag. I found this as I was perusing the Queen of all Blogging: PaperFury’s blog. I’ve seen other people do it too, but I found it on Cait’s blog. If you’d like to see that post, check it out here. Feel free to join in!

HOW MANY BOOKS ARE TOO MANY FOR A SERIES?

Am I in charge? I love a 3.
Maybe 4.
Definitely no more than 5 is MY ideal though. Any more than that and I am OUT. (This explains why I’ve not read any Cassie Clare guys!)

I think 3 is the perfect amount to get invested and then get satisfaction from. I do love a duology too, but I ALWAYS WANT MORE CAUSE I LOVE ALL THE BOOKS. But no more than 3/4 really.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

OH GOLLY GOSH. If I know there’s going to be another book, then I can live with that… but if it’s a stand alone… NO.

Cliff hangers are just not good for my little heart (see: they make me feel all of the feels which I love but then I yearn for more books INSTANTLY)

HARDCOVER OR PAPERBACK?

Paperback EVERY SINGLE DAY. But I do love the occasional hard back. I don’t own many, but the ones I do own are special to me.

FAVOURITE BOOK?

Lol, who do you think you’re talking to? JUST ONE? LOLOLOLOL. I can give you a few?

LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK?

I just don’t have one? I don’t see the point in being all NEGATIVE NORA about the shop. So no thanks… next!

LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

Dear God, no.

THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU COULDN’T FINISH?

I tend to finish everything I start? I’m not a DNF’er because I think EVERY book is worth finishing.

A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

d2vvcsdwoaamjoh

Meat Market by Juno Dawson. SO GOOD. I am 200 pages in and I WANT TO KEEP READING MAN.

LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

Ooooh… *checks twitter* Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone. It’s not even out yet, haha!

OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ BY PUBLICATION DATE?

Who even knows!

NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ BY PUBLICATION DATE?

Hmmmm… probably Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone again. That’s not out til May!

FAVOURITE AUTHOR?

Can we change that to auto-buy authors?! Melinda Salisbury, Sara Barnard, Katherine Webber, Maz Evans, Kiran Milwood Hargrave, Abi Elphinstone. ALL women, cause women power!

BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

I’m a buyer… because most of the books I buy then get transferred to the school library, or my classroom library!

A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO LOVE?

I wasn’t a MASSIVE Caraval fan. It just moved really slowly?!

BOOKMARKS OR DOG EARS?

Something that weirds my friend Kelly out about me is that I just REMEMBER what page I’m up to. I do own bookmarks, but I never seem to have one with me! I would NEVER fold a page over. Who would even do that? (My friend Charlotte that’s who… she’s a bad person, but I love her and accept her despite her faults haha!)

A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS RE-READ?

Matilda. It’s probably the only book I’ve ever reread. I do plan on rereading all of Melinda Salisbury’s books this summer though.

CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC?

Another weird factoid about me… I can read and listen to music if I’m travelling on a bus/train/car/aeroplane etc. but I can’t if I’m in bed reading. It’s a very bizarre thing, I know.

ONE POV OR MULTIPLE?

I do love a multiple perspective, but they have to be written well.

DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

I LOVE A BINGE READ. I tend to read over the space of a few days – it’s just how my life works. During the holidays however… gimme that 3 hour reading binge of one book.

WHO DO YOU TAG?

ALL OF YOU, lol. So Charlotte, that’s you.

S x

 

BLOG TOUR: Anna and Evan meet Charles Dickens

Hello!

Today is my stop on the Anna and Evan meet Charles Darwin blog tour. This new book promises to engage and educate children, and is ideal for encouraging curiosity and interest in the natural world and science.

anna evan

“Join Anna and Evan on a magical adventure to the Galapagos Islands where they meet Charles Darwin, discover unusual animals and learn some interesting scientific facts.”

Today, I get the joy of sharing 2 extracts with you! I can’t wait to share this book as I think it will go down brilliantly in both KS1 and KS2. 

Extract 2Extract 1

A massive thank you to the publishers and Faye Rogers for the invite to the blog tour and again I can’t wait to share this with school – I think it will be a big hit!

Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour below! Find out what they think of the book and so many other delights! 

Anna & Evan Banner2

Monday 25th February – Rosie Writes…

Tuesday 26th February – Heavenly Good Books

Wednesday 27th February – Big Book Little Book

Thursday 28th February – A Bibliophile’s Book Blog

Friday 1st March – Bound 4 Escape

Saturday 2nd March – Black Books Blog

Sunday 3rd March – An Awfully Big Adventure

Monday 4th March – Amazeball’s Book Addict

Tuesday 5th March – Jazzy Book Reviews

Wednesday 6th March – Fantastic Feathers

Thursday 7th March – Librarian Laura

Friday 8th March – Donna’s Book Blog

Saturday 9th March – Short Book and Scribes

Sunday 10th March – Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!!


Information about the Book

Author: Tanya Hutter and Lina Daniel
Illustrator: Karin Eklund
Release Date: 28th February 2019
Page Count: 30
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link: Clicky click
Amazon Link: Go on… treat yo’ self!

Bio of the authors Tanya Hutter and Lina Daniel

As a young girl, Dr. Tanya Hutter couldn’t imagine that she would end up being a leading scientist in nanotechnology and chemical sensing, and a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Currently, she lives in Cambridge with her husband and their two curious children that inspired the book.

Lina Daniel has been always interested in science and medicine, eventually becoming a chemist and a pharmacist, and currently working in the pharmaceutical industry. With her husband, she is raising three enthusiastic boys. They all share a passion for scientific experiences, engineering novelties, fun historical facts, travels and adventures.

Tanya and Lina have been close friends for over two decades. The fact that they are both raising young children enhanced their desire to encourage kids to learn about science, and finally, drew them to write their first illustration book for small children. Hopefully, this will be the first one in a series of books about notable scientists and engineers.  

An Amazing Blog Tour

isbn9781444944709-detail

Today I have the ABSOLUTE joy of being part of the Amazing blog tour. I was so incredibly lucky to be asked to host a Q&A with the incredibly brilliant Steve Antony – author and illustrator extraordinare.

As soon as I knew I was doing a Q&A, it was inevitable that I had to get my kids involved, so they helped me write the questions (there were SO many they had, so I had to whittle it down!)

Check out the questions and some brilliant responses from the man himself! 

What’s your favourite thing about going to schools?

Apart from chomping biscuits and nattering with teachers in the staff room, I always enjoy seeing all the artwork that classes have created. Whether it be acrylic self-portraits, cardboard dioramas, character pumpkins or even something as simple as paper snowflakes, I really do believe that art brings a school to life.

Funniest memory of visiting schools?

The funniest moments come during Q&A. Children don’t have filters, do they? The younger the audience the odder the questions. Is the Queen your granny? Are you Ed Sheeran? Why don’t you comb your hair?

Also, being greeted by over 200 children (and teachers) dressed as pandas on World Book Day was something I will never forget.

What memories do you have of reading as a child?

Most of my earliest and clearest memories of reading take me back to my school library. I remember that feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of stories just waiting to be discovered. I was never a fast reader and I preferred books with pictures, I still do, but there was something empowering about just being in my school library. Sadly, many children may never know that feeling, which is why the #GreatSchoolLibraries campaign is so important. The campaign aims to bring school libraries and librarians back to every school in the UK, because every child deserves a great library. You can find out more about the Great School Libraries campaign at: http://www.greatschoollibraries.edublogs.org

I also have fond memories of our public library. That’s where I discovered some of my favourite authors and Illustrators.

Do you remember the first book you read as a child that made you want to write?

Even as a very young child I loved to draw. But it was picture books like Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and The Munch Bunch (created by Barrie and Elizabeth Henderson and illustrated by Angela Mitson) that inspired me to imagine my own characters and tell stories with drawings.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I believe that inspiration is everywhere, but you have to tune in to it. I like to prove this theory in my story-building workshops. By the end of each workshop almost everybody has an idea for a story, and some even have synopses!

Books are a fantastic source of inspiration, which is why the library is the perfect place to feel inspired. Many of my stories were inspired by something I’d seen in a book, magazine or newspaper.

What is your typical writing routine? From first draft to final draft?

People often think I spend all day writing and drawing, but there’s so much involved in being an author and illustrator. In fact, last week I only spent around 5 hours working on my next picture book because the rest of my time was spent on emails, events, my website, blogs, taxes and marketing. As part of this blog tour, I wrote a ‘Day in the Life’ guest post for Acorn Books, which you might find interesting. https://acornbooksblog.wordpress.com

It takes about 4-5 months to start and finish a picture book. Normally my publisher will select a couple of ideas from my sketchbook for me to develop (this usually happens when I’m at the tail- end stages of finishing another picture book). In order to develop ideas into stories I do need plenty of time and space to breath because I find it hard to tap into my imagination during busy spells. I normally get a gut feeling if a story is working or not. As a general rule it has to feel easy, and if ever I feel like I’m rowing upstream, I let go of the oars. Once I’m happy with my story concept, I move on to character development, pacing and paginating. This can take weeks or months. The very last stage involves drawing the final artwork and tweaking the text, which can take anywhere up to three months.

What’s next for you?

Magic Light Pictures are currently developing the Mr Panda cartoon series, which is incredibly exciting. I’ve got more books in the pipeline, including a brand-new character that I’ve yet to create! The next Mr Panda book, We Love You, Mr Panda, comes out later in the year. I’ll soon be meeting with Swindon Libraries to discuss the next borough-wide art completion (I hold at least one art contest with them per year). Also, I hope to start writing a chapter book soon, but not even my publisher knows that yet! But before any of that happens, I’m going on my honeymoon, because I just got married!

It’s only day 3 of this blog tour and it has already been amazing (no pun intended!). Go check out the other blog posts so far, and watch out for the rest of the posts coming in the next few days! I am so incredibly excited for this book.

dxmf1_ew0aeioye

Massive massive thank you to the brilliant people of Hachette Kids for asking me to be on this blog tour and Steve Antony for answering our questions! My kids and I had such a blast, and it’s been a pleasure reading Steve’s answers. I’ll be sharing them with my kids at some point today! 

S x