Friday, 17 August 2018

Recent Reads: the 27th and 28th of 2018.

Oh hey there, welcome to my latest Recent Reads post! This one features Sarah Knight, Chloe Seager, and Emma Nash; friendship fails and not giving any f*cks. Read on to get yourself a new fictional friend and a no-f*cks given attitude to life! 
 


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

'Friendship Fails of Emma Nash', by Chloe Seager; a guest piece!

The wonderful, hilarious Chloe Seager has done it again! Her latest novel, a follow-up to her 2017 debut ‘Editing Emma’, is all about friendships – and the many filters, pitfalls and straight up fails that can be found within them. My fab friends, this is 'Friendship Fails of Emma Nash'!

I am so thrilled to be a stop on this blog tour, having recently finished the book – and doing a Twitter giveaway when I was sent 2 copies! My ‘proper’ review will be featured in my next Recent Reads post, but for now I can simply say: everyone needs to befriend Emma, immediately. But be warned: she’s prone to accidentally making potential friends cry about their unfortunate surnames, lying about owning a cat and sniffing ex-boyfriend’s clothes. I mean...haven’t we all done at least one of those things!? Show of hands? No? K.

Anyway, let’s get on with this blog tour ting – the lovely Chloe has blessed this blog with a piece about her ‘ideal celeb BFF’! See below to find out who it is (and why I 1000% completely agree)… 


Monday, 13 August 2018

How to: fly (in a plane, anyway).

I have flown a lot in my life; I'm very fortunate in that the Latter parents have always been keen travellers and I have some very adventurous friends – some of whom live permanently abroad. Growing up with these people around me could be why I crave and adore taking trips here and there, or maybe it was something in me anyway that's been nurtured and encouraged appropriately? Who even knows! 

Before I start to psychoanalyse myself (one of my favourite forms of torture), I'll get to the point of this post. It's a little different to my usual stuff (i.e. intense health stories, ridiculous anecdotes...and fun bookish geek-outs) but I wanted to share some tips on flying! 


(Photo: Erin Veness)

Friday, 10 August 2018

'Colour Me In', by Lydia Ruffles ; a mini review and Q&A!

The wonderful Lydia Ruffles is the author of two excellent YA novels that are both so beautifully written, with the most creative plots and lovable, fascinating characters. I was delighted to have the opportunity to throw some Qs at Lydia in preparation for the publication of her latest book, Colour Me In’; the story of Arlo, an actor whose world is turned upside down after a tragedy which then sends him fleeing to the other side of the world – where he meets and befriends a fellow traveller. 

I loved this book – surprise, surprise! I adored her debut, 'The Taste of Blue Light', but if possible I found this one even more exciting and fun to read. Arlo as a character was so gorgeous and the way he felt things was so true and pure, it hurt at times to read. I will be shouting about this book and its author for a while yet, so jump on my Lydia Love Train, will you? Thx. 


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

What is self care?

Self care has become a huge deal in recent years. More people are taking time for themselves – and treating themselves – using the #selfcare hashtag liberally and actually saying out loud that they need it.

But self care is often seen in soft focus. The truth is, it’s not always a photogenic mix of bath bombs, glossy magazines and milky tea on rainy days. Sometimes it’s much smaller, but with equally enormous results. 


(Photo: Erin Veness)


Monday, 6 August 2018

'Songs About a Boy', by Chris Russell ; a preview and exclusive video!

Hey, book and music fans! This is the latest in a series of special features I’ve done on here starring the remarkably cool Chris Russell and his ‘Songs About a Girl’ series! Yep, every year he’s had an absolute stonker of a YA come out and every year I have done something to celebrate it. What am I to do after this post, though – as 'Songs About a Boy' is *gasp* LAST BOOK IN THE TRILOGY!??

I am, of course, devastated this gorgeous #boybandlit series is ending, but all the more excited to shout about this final instalment. Read on for a plot teaser, and exclusive author content… 

Saturday, 4 August 2018

'Club Swizzle', opening night ; a review.

Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between...
Welcome to my review of CLUB SWIZZLE!!



The creators of LA SOIRÉE return to London with their brand new show!
Loose, glorious and irresistibly fun, Club Swizzle is a night of sassy entertainment at the wildest bar in town. 

It’s a melee of outrageous cabaret, air-defying acrobatics and infectious musical revelry, backed by a LIVE BAND with a repertoire as big as its bar tab. 
Take your seats for the hottest show of the summer (while staying cool in our deliciously air-conditioned Brick Big Top)! 

Come down early and join us at the bar where the cheeky Club Swizzle troupe is on hand to mingle and serve up cocktails with a wink and a smile. 
(Source: roundhouse.org.uk



Thursday, 2 August 2018

'The Secret Deep', by Lindsay Galvin; a review and guest piece from the author!

I briefly mentioned ‘The Secret Deep’ in my Recent Reads: Holiday Edition, but it’s honestly so good and so beautiful that it deserves its own post. Oh also, this post is going to be extra exciting as it contains more than just a review by me – yep, I was lucky enough to be asked to take part in the official blog tour, and am so proud to be able to feature a guest piece written by the fabulous Lindsay Galvin! 


(Photo taken by moi, in the beautiful HiFest/HiStore cafe in Trinity St, Hastings. 
Bloody good coffee by Stooge!)


I won’t lie, when I first saw the news on Twitter, then got the proof in the post, I was sure that the story would be about mermaids and sea creatures. I was half right…

Monday, 30 July 2018

What am I doing with my life?! (Thoughts on my 25th birthday)

In a lot of ways, I am extremely proud of my generation. 

We are braver, louder and more creative than the one before us; we teach them important principles and aren't afraid to shout about our political views, in the hope that someday they will come round to our way of thinking. We also grew up with bookish wonders such as His Dark Materials, Doctor Who and Harry Potter, and I truly believe that if we hadn’t, printed books may not be thriving as they are today. We helped bring the spectrum of sexuality out from the darkened basement and into the public eye, and the term ‘sex-positive’ became a common expression (although annoyingly, its meaning can often get twisted). And despite growing up with our parents and teachers warning us of the many dangers online (and this was before ‘Catfish’ came out) we still went out into cyberspace and found not just an army of like-minded, supportive friends and a plethora of fandoms, but also... ourselves. Oh, and we also made the internet a job! These days, the biggest companies hire social media managers and digital execs, bloggers and vloggers are seen as valuable for sponsored content purposes, and indie businesses are thriving thanks to their tweets and Instagram profiles. This is because we have helped the online world grow and become a brilliant space for ambitious creatives, driven business people and everyone in between. 


(Photo: Erin Veness)


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Kinky Boots, 24/07/2018; a review.

I saw ‘Kinky Boots’ at the Adelphi Theatre, London, last night…

...EVERYBODY SAY YEAH!!!



Okay, now that’s out of my system, let’s crack on with the review! 

Monday, 23 July 2018

Drunk in love.

Being drunk affects us all in different ways, and induces all sorts of behaviour. Some people text their exes. Some play dares or attempt risky stunts. And some order obscene amounts of junk food in the taxi on their way home – then pass out on their sofa before the Deliveroo man turns up. 

I’ll admit, I did all of the above a good few times, while I was at uni – and I will always use the excuse that I was letting off steam while studying hard and finding my way in life, k? cool  but in recent years I’ve found my drunken activities have been much less dramatic and destructive, and more...loving!? 


(Photo: Erin Veness)

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Recent Reads - holiday edition!

FYI, me titling this a ‘holiday edition’ literally means: I went on holiday, and that thing happened when I read quite a few books in just a few days, and it was magical. 

I not only got through a whole load of new books (‘new’ here meaning: had been sitting on my bookshelves for any time from a week to a year, unread) and also polished off a couple I’d started before the flight out. I feel so much lighter somehow, having done an intense, week-long reading sesh, and now I'm refreshed and ready to keep the streak going at home. 

So, here's what I read while burning under the sun in Mallorca... 
 

Monday, 16 July 2018

Things friends have taught me.

In my life, so far, I’ve stumbled into some colleague altercations, fought my way out of unhealthy relationships, and entered unknowingly into toxic friendships. But more importantly, I have found some truly wonderful and wise friends. 

I have wanted to write this post for ages; it’s intended to celebrate just a few of the aforementioned excellent friends, and maybe even impart some wisdom from them via me to you, lovely readers... 


(Photo: Erin Veness)


Friday, 13 July 2018

'Floored'; a collaborative blogging adventure!

Not too long ago an email landed in my inbox, its subject line simply saying: 'FLOORED! Stop! Collaborate and listen!' 
Well, obviously I was intrigued. Before I knew it, I'd excitedly signed up to do a collaborative blog tour to celebrate this excellent new YA in the weeks leading up to its official publication date. 

The idea is that all the blog posts link somehow, each one starting with the opening line from different chapters of the book, and of course they should run in the same order the chapters of the book do. 

We didn't have to just do creative pieces, either. The options were wide open; fiction, non-fiction, poetry, recipes, mood boards...! I thought I'd try doing poetry, but in the end this funny little story came out. 
I've met some wonderful bloggers through this; they're all listed at the bottom of this post! 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

37.

My name’s Grace.

My independence is so important to me, my bookshelves are a perfectly colour-coordinated mess, freaky photos are my favourite, I'm making birthday plans, the NHS has saved me many many times, 'Stardust' is one of my favourite cheer up films, I couldn't give two sh*ts about Love Island, the Drag Race result seriously disappointed me this year, I'm a happy drunk, I drive a Polo called Minty, Taylor's 'Reputation' resonates with me now more than ever, my counsellor really cares about me, I keep cool but I'm a slow burn, my face is dented and September cannot come fast enough. 

Brb, going on holiday. 


(Photo: Erin Veness)

Monday, 9 July 2018

Recent Reads: The 21st and 22nd of 2018.

I have been totally on the YA hype recently – what else is new?! – and read 2 particularly excellent novels.

(btw, I’ve realised that my numbering Recent Reads is absolutely off...oops. Let’s carry on as if it’s correct, though. Maths isn’t my strong point. I read novels behind my textbooks and doodled in my homework diary)

My most recent reads were a proof (for the official publication date, see below) and an advance final copy from a few months back. Having been sent these books in no way affects my reviews, etc., etc. 


Friday, 6 July 2018

Don't you remember?

My brain is very tired. It's fed up of being told time and time again that it's not like the others; that it's lagging behind, it's lacking, it's misbehaving, it's sick and there's an impostor inside it... 


(Photo: Erin Veness)


I'm used to hearing that my brain is in trouble. I'm totally OK with knowing it's not to be trusted. I'm working on its health, in more ways than one; regular scans and check ups for the physical sh*t, counselling for the invisible injuries. 

But still, when I'm told just how ill it is, or will be, it hurts. 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

'Circa's Peepshow', 4/07/2018; a review.

Last night, I was thrilled to see 'Circa's Peepshow' on the Southbank. I'd heard this was the hottest circus to land in the Underbelly in 2018...so it's safe to say my expectations were high. 

I wasn't disappointed. This show was freaky and trippy and sexy, all at once! 

Sunday, 1 July 2018

A Greenwich geek visits its book festival!

This book geek and Greenwich lover was invited to the wonderful Greenwich Book Festival a couple of weekends ago (and has only now got around to blogging about it - oops!), and had a fabulous time in this beautiful old corner of London with bookish friends. 


Friday, 22 June 2018

'Shebeen', 21/06/2018; a review.

I was thrilled to attend the press night of ‘Shebeen’ at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, last night – and equally excited to take the lovely Jo, my fellow theatre fanatic, along with me.  

Source: Stratford East

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Bookish News; June/July.

Lovely readers, I have some fabulous book news for you, and recently realised that it all really needed to be thrown together in one big blog post! 

Firstly no, sadly there is no big book deal news in this post (that's still a way off yet, tbh) but I am probably just as excited about these things as I'll be someday when I am taking numerous uncool selfies with my book when it's on shelves in shops. 

I have three big things to tell you about: two book events (one now done, another still to come) and a book contribution...!! 


Panel event at Waterstones TCR, 22.06.2017.
Authors (L-R): Tanya Landman, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, Lisa Heathfield.

Friday, 15 June 2018

i-D Beauty Week, 2018; 'Behind the Scars'.

About a month ago, I went up to Peckham to see the wonderful Sophie Mayanne and take part in a shoot for i-D. The enormous online platform wanted to feature Sophie's work – and some of her models – in mini-doc video form for their 2018 Beauty Week.  Hell, yes. 



Make your wedding 'the party of the year'! *

Your wedding should definitely be the party of the year, if not the decade (that depends on how confident you’re feeling)! But if you want your wedding reception to be a party that everyone involved will remember for all the right reasons, and for a very long time, you need to start planning ASAP. 

We’ve got some great ideas for what you should do to make your wedding party more fun, and more memorable. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Prideful parents.

I have no time for parents who measure themselves on their children’s successes – or are ashamed if their kids aren’t quite keeping to the plan they set out for them the second they were born. 

Yes, I know this sounds blunt – yet also very pointed – and, well, it is. 

This isn't tea. This post is, though.

Monday, 11 June 2018

36.


My name’s Grace.


The hit song ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ will never not make me emotional and nobody knows why, I’ve got tufty hair, I love broccoli, I wear too much blue, I’m a feminist, my massive book collection is both wonderful and terrifying, I know way too many Instagram tricks, lilac is my favourite colour, I keep telling people I'm 25 when I'm not quite done being 24, I’ve now seen 2 of my friends get married, walking is my favourite way to exercise, vegan life is treating me well but I’m nervous to blog about it, I want to do more work hosting book events, this weekend I’m throwing a party to celebrate my brain’s continued health, tomorrow I’m seeing my neurosurgeon and hopefully getting my life un-paused.


(Photo: Paris Tate)

Friday, 8 June 2018

What's my 'type'?


'So, that's the one you went out with?' Dad asks, nodding towards the bar where a lovely, lean fellow is pulling a pale ale. 'But...he doesn't have any tattoos, and he's white!? Not quite your type, Grace!'

We all have a giggle at this, and I quip; 'yes, but he smokes and works behind a bar. That’s two boxes ticked!' 


(Photo: Erin Veness)

Thursday, 7 June 2018

'Heathers' live lounge event, 5/06/2018; a review.

I was very privileged to see a cheeky little preview of what is set to be an 8-week treat for the West End, starting this Saturday 9th... 'Heathers'!




Greetings, salutations. Welcome to Westerberg High, where Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody…

Monday, 4 June 2018

Recent Reads: The 18th, 19th and 20th of 2018!

I have recently read three very different books; a novel by one of the best YA authors on the scene right now, a memoir by a fabulous, body positive friend of mine, and a funny, illustrated sort-of self-help non-fic. 


These books fit together perfectly, one after the other, in my mind. The themes and messages were similar in some ways, but different enough that I felt each one separate and stand alone on my mental bookshelf. One inspired me endlessly to be more vocal about my scars and positive about my body; one reassured me that not everyone 'adults' all that well...and one showed me the true darkness behind the scenes of a world famous fictional boy band. 



Saturday, 2 June 2018

You're just like a Pill...


~ TW: Blood, guts and female angst. ~

Recently, I did the thing every other blogger, vlogger and influencer seems to be doing, these days – I came off the Pill. 

--- why do we capitalise the P in Pill? Genuinely wondering. Does that give it weight and make it obvious what pill we specifically mean? Well, in case it wasn’t clear, I mean the Pill as in the pill that stops me making babies and keeps my bleeding under control. Yeah, that one. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I was pondering giving it up when I first saw the wise Hannah W’s video series about coming off the pill. I then began to seriously consider it this time last year, when I began to get some freaky feelings and irregular periods (turns out that was just my bowels being bitchy – ah, well).

Friday, 1 June 2018

Circolombia, 31/5/2018; a review.

Last night, I saw 'Circolombia' at the Underbelly. This was my third circus experience at that festival this year, and it may be a bit cheeky to say, but...it may have been my favourite. 

This show is no ordinary circus. It celebrates diversity and brings song, dance and a big personality in with the insane feats of strength, balance and creativity. 


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Consent, 29/05/2018; a review.

TW: rape.

Last night I saw Nina Raine’s ‘blistering new play’ (New York Times), Consent’. The play, directed by Roger Michell, has opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre after a sold out season at the National.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

What not to say.

TW: cancer.

Words are powerful. It's quite amazing how many we have at our disposal when writing, reading or conversing; how we're sometimes able to write our feelings down perfectly in letters, directly quote books or authors that have inspired us, and express ourselves effectively when talking with loved ones. 

And sometimes, we simply have to grab a pen and highlight a snippet of prose that speaks to us. We call our best friends after a few drinks to tell them how much we love them. We create a blog when we're crippled by the most intense crush on the cutie in our college Drama class (just me? Okay...). 

But it's also astonishing how sometimes, words can fail us. How quickly we can forget what's been said. And how some words can stop us dead. 

Words like 'cancer'.

(Photo: Erin Veness)
© Almost Amazing Grace.. Design by Fearne.