Archive for October, 2012

Some DIY Halloween Decorations from Pinterest

Halloween at Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Hello everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! My Halloween feature continues with a list of DIY ideas I found on Pinterest in the past few weeks. All of them have some sort of a tutorial which I’ll always indicate below the images. I hope you find some new ideas here and do let me know if you decide to give any of them a try or if you have any other ideas for Halloween decorations. :)

 

Crow Door Decor
Spook up your door this Halloween with easy crow cut outs!

DIY Crow Door Decor

This one reminded me of Hitchcock’s The Birds, which is actually one of my favourite films of all time. It’s terribly simple and easy to do but it still looks awesome and quite creepy. All you have to do basically is find some silhouettes of crows on Google and print them out in different sizes, then cut them out. For the full tutorial click here.

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Showcase Sunday #25

Hello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Incoming books

Showcase Sunday #25

A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Literature by Suzette Field (for review)
The Terrace by Maria Duffy (for review)
Eye Contact by Fergus McNeil (for review)
The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill (for review)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (won)

Aaaand as I predicted last week, all the review books I was waiting for arrived almost at the same time, hence I’ve had quite a busy week for a change. Huzzah! A Curious Invitation was an unsolicited one but I actually really like the sound of it. Also, the cover is just gorgeous and very shiny. It looks horrendous and very dark in this picture but if you’d like to see how lovely it looks, here’s a slightly better photo I tweeted the other day.

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Review: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe – Abby Clements

Cover of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements

Title: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
Author: Abby Clements
Publication date: October 25, 2012
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-78087-662-7
Length: 362 pages
Genre: Chick lit
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Synopsis

Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel used to be inseparable – but their lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together. Now thirty-five, they have all but fallen out of touch; glamorous single girl Laurie is based in London and dedicated to her career in fashion; Rachel seemingly living the family idyll in Yorkshire.

But when Rachel’s mother-in-law needs urgent treatment in London, and disasters at work and in her love life mean Laurie needs to flee, a house swap falls into place. Soon gentle Rachel is far from the village bake sales, braving the city’s mean streets while trying to keep her marriage and family together; while Laurie attempts to work an Aga, befriend the wary village locals – and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart. Will their relationships survive this test? And will they make it home for Christmas?

My thoughts

If you’re looking for an easy and charming read for the Christmas season, look no further – Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Abby Clements’s debut novel, will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit. It’s a light and entertaining read that would make a perfect Christmas present or a great read the week before Christmas Day. Even though it’s only October and snow, Christmas trees and fairy lights are still nowhere to be seen, Laurie and Rachel’s story made me feel like I was sitting in fire-lit living room with the lingering smell of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg filling the air. On top of a witty storyline, the book has a festive, cheerful atmosphere which I really enjoyed.

While lots books from this genre tend to be quite predictable, I was relieved to find that Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is not one of them. There are so many chick lit books out there (usually about love triangles) where you can figure out the ending before the book has even started but Clements’s book was definitely a pleasant surprise. The plot was very well written, full of twists and turns and I seriously couldn’t predict what would happen next. The characters are likeable, the plot is original and very enjoyable and I’m not exaggerating when I say I read it in one day. Also, in addition to the fact that the book has a stunning (and very sparkly) cover which I absolutely adore, it also includes two bonus Christmas recipes that are featured in the story. How creative is that?

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Halloween-Themed Nail Art Ideas

Halloween at Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might know that I’ve a bit of an obsession with nail varnishes. I’ve been… well, let’s just say collecting them for quite a long time and I’m constantly on the lookout for funny, cute and creative nail art designs. Since Halloween is only a week away, I decided to share a few Halloween themed designs with you, just in case you’d like to make this year’s celebrations a little bit special.

Originally, I wanted to come up with my own designs but my week has been super crazy and I wouldn’t have had time to experiment and do some tutorials as well. So what I’m going to do instead is post some design ideas I’ve seen on the Internet in the past few days – designs that I found interesting and ones that I will try myself. To see the tutorials just click on the images and you’ll be redirected to the designers’ blogs.

Spider and bat nails by Polished Love Affair

This one looks really cute and I love white-based nail designs. Although I’m pretty sure it’s not as easy to do as it looks. I’ll definitely give this one a try, though.

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Between Boyfriends Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Hello everyone! Today I have the pleasure of taking part in author Sarka Miller’s Between Boyfriends blog tour. Sarka stopped by Books, Biscuits, and Tea with a special guest post and giveaway. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Guest post

Chick Lit Cover Trends: What’s Wrong With Pink?

When I originally envisioned a cover for my chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends, I saw a detailed picture of my protagonist Jan and the two men in her life. On one side would be a small picture of San Diego State University’s Love Library where Jan’s ex-boyfriend Mike breaks her heart. On the other side was a picture of the fictional massage therapy school I invented. The background was sky blue. Yet when I went to design the cover for the ebook version, everything changed. Suddenly I wanted simple. I always admired Emily Giffin’s minimalist covers. Each cover has primarily one element and no background. I also decided I wanted pink. Cliché or no, I love pink and I really love pink and black together. I was still a bit nervous though until a friend criticize the cover as too pink. That’s when I knew I had struck gold.

Writers of women’s fiction often complain when their publishers choose a pink cover. Some of these writers have valid complaints. A few years ago, before chick lit was a “bad word,” publishers were assigning chick lit style covers to books written by women, whether they fit the genre or not. This is a disservice to everyone. But why would a chick lit writer complain about a pink cover? The colour certainly attracts attention and lets readers know that a light, fun story lies below the pink exterior. I decided to adopt the opposite attitude to these anti-pink crusaders. After all, resistance is futile. If pink works, then by George I was going to have the pinkest cover possible!

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Showcase Sunday #24

Hello and welcome to Showcase Sunday. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Incoming books

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (library)
Ten by Gretchen McNeil (for Kindle)

I had another quiet week (two weeks, actually). I’m waiting for about 3 or 4 review copies at the moment and none of them have turned up yet. I don’t know what happened since they’ve been posted ages ago, but well… all I can do is wait, I suppose. :) Anyway, I had to borrow Agnes Grey from the library for one of my classes and I also decided to buy the Kindle version of Gretchen McNeil’s Ten. Ten has been on my wishlist for ages and I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait until it comes out in paperback next year, so I ordered the ebook. I’m really looking forward to reading it!

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Top 5 Creepy Book Covers

Halloween at Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Hello and welcome back! After Tuesday’s post about my top 5 Halloween reads, today I’m back with another top 5 list for you guys. This time I’ll show you those five book covers that for some reason completely freak me out. Normally these books wouldn’t be my cup of tea but I found their covers so creepy/appalling that I decided they deserve a place on my blog.

So, here goes. My top five list of the creepiest book covers in no particular order:

Top 5 Creepy Book Covers

  1. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
    This is actually my favourite one – and even though the cover looks quite scary, I love the overall effect. I love the bleak setting and the mysterious clouds in the background – it’s creepy but in a good sense. If I was in a bookshop and saw this book for the very first time, I’d no doubt stop and pick it up to read the back cover.
  2. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
    There’s something about those eyes, the guy’s pale skin and the redness around his eyes that makes this quite simple image pretty disturbing. Even though I don’t think I’d read the book itself, it still looks great. Also, Dust & Decay and Patient Zero (the author’s two other books) look similarly disturbing – but again, in a good way.
  3. They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon
    The eyes. And the mouth. That’s all.
  4. The Howling by Gary Brandner
    I love retro covers like this! I love those scratches on the wall and the fact that you can’t see the woman herself (apart from the fact that she’s screaming).
  5. The Vivisector by Patrick White
    Okay. Now this one is terrifying in a totally bad way. You won’t be able to see the details in the photo above but take a look at the original picture here. It’s just….. disgusting. It’s definitely enough to give me nightmares! Ugh. UGH! *shudders*

What do you think are the creepiest book covers of all time?