Archive for November, 2012

New Feature: Nail Your Books

Nail Your Books at Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Hello and welcome back! Nail Your Books is a feature at The Princess of Storyland blog that Cristina created in order to show off some great book related nail ideas. They can be anything from a book inspired design to a matching nail varnish. Since I love nail varnishes and – as my Twitter followers know – I often create book cover inspired nail designs for myself, I decided to join this feature and bring them here to the blog to show you.

Due to popular demand I will also try to include a short tutorial with my photos so that if you like a certain design, you can try it for yourself. This week’s nails have already been done on Twitter back in October but I wanted to show them to you here on the blog since I know lots of people don’t have Twitter or just simply missed my post. The holidays are upon us and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by curling up with a nice Christmasy book, a warm blanket and a mug of hot chocolate. And what better way to make the holidays even more fun is by creating some cute nail designs!

This week’s nails are not your usual snowflake or snowman sort of design – the good news is, however, that they can be worn at any time of the year. People won’t look at you strangely if you try them in October, February or even in summer. Today’s nails were inspired by Abby Clements’s Christmas novel called Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, a book that I reviewed last month. Its cover looks very sparkly and it has all these shiny gems on it which made me want to do a similar nail design. Well, here’s the result.


Most Anticipated Books of 2013

I don’t normally participate in Top Ten Tuesday (which is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) but I really like the sound of this week’s question and I would have done a similar post at some point anyway, so I decided to join in with you guys. This week’s topic is basically a top ten list of all those books that are being released in 2013 and you just can’t wait to get your hands on. Well, here are the books that I’m looking forward to reading next year (there’s probably a lot more, though).

Vortex is the second book in Julie Cross’s Tempest series. For me Tempest was off to quite a slow start and I know it took me a while to get into the story but once I did, I absolutely LOVED it. I loved the way Cross explained how this whole time-travel thing worked and it was really, really well thought-out. I can’t wait to read book #2!

Read the synopsis / add on Goodreads
Pre-order (Release date: January 3)
My review of book #1

How We Met by Katy Regan

I stumbled upon Katy Regan’s How We Met on Kevin’s blog (I Heart Chick Lit) if I remember correctly and I instantly fell in love with the story. I love contemporary/women’s fiction, books about friendship and love so it sounds like the perfect book for me. The fact that it’s described as ‘laugh-out-loud funny’ makes it even more intriguing and even though I’m not familiar with Katy’s other books, this one is an absolute must-have for me.

Read the synopsis / add on Goodreads
Pre-order (Release date: January 31)

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Those of you who have been following me last year might know that I LOVED Fracture, Megan Miranda’s previous book. Even though Hysteria is not its sequel, I still love the sound of the story and based on the author’s previous book, I have a feeling this one’s gonna be a fantastic read. Miranda’s writing is great so I’ve no doubts about whether I’ll enjoy this one or not.

Read the synopsis / add on Goodreads
Pre-order (Release date: February 14)


Showcase Sunday #27 – The London Edition

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. Showcase Sunday #27For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello everyone! So, there was no Showcase Sunday for me last weekend because I was in London until Tuesday and I didn’t have my laptop with me. But I’m back now and I’ve lots and lots of lovely books to show you. Ready? Here we go.

Showcase Sunday #27 - The London EditionPigeon English by Stephen Kelman (purchased)
A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen (purchased)
Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richell (purchased)
The Secret Supper Club by Sana Bate (for review)
The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris (for review)
Lovers & Newcomers by Rosie Thomas (swapped)
The Night Stalker by Chris Carter (purchased)

Even though I haven’t had much free time lately and I’ve way too many books as it is, I just couldn’t resist these ones. Waterstones had this buy one get one half price offer which was too good to resist so I bought Pigeon English and Secrets of the Tides, both of which have been on my wishlist for ages. Then, I saw that The Night Stalker was only £3.99 at The Book Warehouse and I really liked the sound of the story. I had no idea that it’s actually the third book in a series… Let’s hope they can be read in any order.

Funnily enough, I stumbled upon Lovers and Newcomers at the hostel we were staying at in London. We spent a week there two years ago and I remembered that they had this book exchange shelf in the common room and they had a couple of awesome books, but I didn’t have a book I could exchange them for. So now I was fully prepared and had a book with me, just in case the book exchange shelf was still there. And it was! They only had a few books this time (and some of them were in Chinese…) but Lovers and Newcomers sounded pretty good. :)


London: In Pictures

Hello everyone! How are you today? So, as I mentioned in my last Showcase Sunday post ages ago, I’ve been MIA in the past few days. The reason why I had to take a tiny little break is that I went to London last week and didn’t get back home until yesterday afternoon. We had a wonderful, wonderful time and I wish I could have stayed a bit longer but I’ve missed you guys and my blog terribly! *hugs laptop* So anyway, since some of you told me you’d like to see some photos of our trip, I decided to do a post about it and show you guys some of the places we visited. We stayed for 3 nights only so it was a veeeeeeery short visit this time but hey, it still might be interesting for non-EU people. :)

On Saturday we went to the Apollo to see Greg Davies (he’s a stand up comedian) on tour, which was absolutely hilarious and the atmosphere was fantastic! Do buy the DVD if you can, we laughed our socks off. :D  On Sunday we went for a walk near Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park which was lovely – the weather was sooooo nice for mid-November and (surprisingly) there weren’t too many people around.

Buckingham Palace St James's Park


Review: Start Your Day With Katie – Katie Piper

Cover of Start Your Day With Katie by Katie Piper

Title: Start Your Day With Katie
Author: Katie Piper
Publication date: September 27, 2012
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781780876597
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Self Help / Motivational
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository


‘Positive affirmations helped me in my darkest times to focus on my health and happiness, and to remember I was not alone. I know how well they worked for me in regaining my life, and now I want to share them with you.’ – Katie Piper.

Start Your Day with Katie is a page-a-day book of Katie Piper’s most powerful inspirational thoughts, plus quotes and mantras that helped give her courage and hope after her rape and acid attack. With Katie’s guiding messages, you can begin every day on the right track. Let these affirmations help you find happiness and inner strength. They are one of the tools that Katie Piper used to rebuild her life. Keep this book with you or by your bedside table to turn to any time you need a little help in finding peace or inspiration.

My thoughts

I love, love, love Katie. I’m pretty sure everyone’s aware of her story but just in case someone’s not, well… this is what happened in a nutshell. Back in 2008 Katie, who was working in the media at the time and was hoping to become a TV presenter, was attacked by her boyfriend. First she was raped and then a few days later the guy got another man to throw sulphuric acid in her face as she was leaving her home. Katie was blinded in her left eye, her face, nose, neck, eyelids and ears were burned and even though she was rushed into hospital immediately after the attack, her injuries were so severe she was expected to die. But she survived. After years and years of hospital treatment and several operations to rebuild her face, Katie decided to share her story on TV in the hope of helping other survivors of domestic violence. Katie became one of the UK’s most influential (and most inspiring, I have to add) people and the founder of the Katie Piper foundation.

I cannot even begin to imagine what she and her family must have gone through but I admire and respect her for her courage and her determination. I absolutely love what she’s doing with her foundation and I think she’s a huge inspiration to all of us.

As for Start Your Day With Katie, it’s one of those books that everyone needs to have. It’s basically a collection of inspirational quotes that helped her through these difficult times, quotes that inspired her and helped her go on. It’s an incredibly optimistic book which is guaranteed to lift your spirits and give you a boost. It would also make a lovely Christmas present for anyone who you think needs some cheering up. After all, we all need a little bit of inspiration and positive thinking sometimes. :)


“Life is 10 per cent what happens to you and 90 per cent how you react to it.”

5 star rating
*Many thanks to Quercus for sending me a copy of this book*

Review: Eye Contact – Fergus McNeill

Cover of Eye Contact by Fergus McNeill

Title: Eye Contact
Author: Fergus McNeill
Publication date: September 13, 2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-1-444-73961-9
Length: 345 pages
Genre: Thriller
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository


If you look him in the eye, you’re dead.

From the outside, Robert Naysmith is a successful businessman, handsome and charming. But for years he’s been playing a deadly game. He doesn’t choose his victims. Each is selected at random – the first person to make eye contact after he begins ‘the game’ will not have long to live. Their fate is sealed.

When the body of a young woman is found on Severn Beach, Detective Inspector Harland is assigned the case. It’s only when he links it to an unsolved murder in Oxford that the police begin to guess at the awful scale of the crimes.

But how do you find a killer who strikes without motive?

My thoughts

Eye Contact, Fergus McNeill’s debut novel has been on my wishlist ever since I first saw it on the publisher’s website. What intrigued me about this story is the fact that there’s no motive behind these murders. It’s all just a game. And even before I started reading the book, I started wondering: how do you track down someone who has no reason to kill and whose victims have no connection to each other whatsoever? As a huge crime fan I’ve read many books from the same genre but never have I encountered one where the killer’s only motive is the adrenalin rush, that strive for power and I was quite curious to see what would happen next and how the events would unfold. I had really high hopes for this one and I’m glad to say that McNeill didn’t disappoint. McNeill’s writing, unique plot and his ability to describe what’s going on in both the killer’s and his hunter’s head are equally engaging from the very beginning and I found it very difficult to put this book down.


Showcase Sunday #26

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 paperbacks

Showcase Sunday 26 Showcase Sunday 26

With All My Love by Patricia Scanlan
Once More With Feeling by Megan Crane
The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel
Ferney by James Long
When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson
Ausperity by Lucy Tobin
Start Your Day With Katie by Katie Piper
The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Oh dear. To say that I had a busy week would be the understatement of the year. I had a terribly hectic week at uni and my weekend has been equally crazy – but then the postman came and… wow.  I was just saying on Twitter yesterday that I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I’m pretty much used to getting/buying one or two books each week or every two weeks so when an entire box of books showed up at my flat yesterday, my jaw literally hit the floor. A mahoosive thank you goes to the lovely people at Quercus who sent me most of these goodies – I’m still speechless! And can I just say how gorgeous Once More With Feeling‘s cover is? I don’t think you can see it in the photo but it’s sparkly and very wintery – I love it!