Thursday, 31 May 2018

Poem: The Little Fox



There once was a fox
Who collected old socks
And slept near some rocks
There was just one problem
For this little fox
People were afraid of him
And he was alone
Other animals had families
He had none
No friends, no acquaintances, not even one
The fox wanted a friend
So dearly he wished
For someone to like him
And to put on his birthday party list
They could play in the day
And talk in the night
And he would not give them a fright
The little fox
Almost gave up
After a long time of waiting
And trying to make friends
He sat in his pile of socks
Collected from the bins
Then one day
When he did not expect
Another fox moved to town
Wanting to make friends
They shared some food
And told of their lives
The other fox was not frightened
Not even a bit
And slept near the rocks
That had once belonged only to the little fox

Lucy Ann Smith

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The Anything but Books Tag


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Time for another tag! This one is a series of questions that are not about books.

1.       Name a cartoon that you love
I haven’t really been watching cartoons but I do watch Spongebob Squarepants sometimes. I feel that as an adult there are more things that I pick up and I still find it funny.


2.       What is your favourite song right now?
I heard Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus the other day and it has been in my head ever since.


3.       What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?
Watching drama boxsets.


4.       What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?
I don’t know, I am quite an open book. I love reading, writing, gaming, blogging, navigating social media and collecting plushies and collectables.


5.       What is your favourite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?
I would love to learn scriptwriting but I don’t really intend on going into screenwriting. It would be amazing writing for a sci-fi show or turning my books into films. I am also trying to learn Japanese, Italian and re-learn Spanish.


6.       What is something unusual that you know how to do?
I don’t think it’s unusual but I can sew cases and felt creatures.


7.       Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can.
I made a Pokemon kindle case as a gift!


8.       What is your most recent personal project?
Just the usual, working on my blog, jewellery shop and novel.


9.       Tell us something that you think about often?
Reaching my dream job and travelling.


10.   Give us something that is your favourite.
I would say Pokemon but I think most people that follow me know that I love Pokemon. I love barbecue ribs but I don’t often have them as they’re so expensive.


11.   Say the first thing that pops into your head
You are all awesome.


I tag everyone that would like to do this tag!

Friday, 25 May 2018

The Try a Chapter Tag #1


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The online book community often do ‘tags’ which are usually a series of questions around a particular bookish topic. The try a chapter tag is when you read a chapter of a few different books before deciding which one to read.

I recently reorganised my bookshelf and ordered books in terms of those that I have read and those that I have yet to read and the order that I might read them in. I had some books left and I wasn’t sure whether I was going to read them or not so I decided to try a chapter of each book to decide whether I want to read them.



I won this book in a giveaway and it was one of the books that I didn’t know much about. When I read the blurb I wasn’t sure about the book. It features a princess who makes a love potion and accidentally drinks it herself and another girl who works with potions and tries to help the princess. There is a possible love interest and social media. The only thing that really interested me was the apothecary part. I read a couple of chapters to experience the book from both perspectives. The thing that put me off this book was the fact that both females are romantically interested in the same man and we see him interact with the princess where he seems completely uninterested in her.





This book is a Sleeping Beauty retelling and this intrigued me. The writing of this book started very confusing but throughout the first chapter we gradually obtain pieces of information about one of the main characters and their story. This book is set after the tale of Sleeping Beauty, the princess woke up twenty years ago and is married with children. She took away the names of all of the fairies related to the fairy who placed the curse on her. This means that they are outcasts and are hunted down as a result. This book features two perspectives and the first one that we follow is the nephew of the fairy that placed the curse on the princess. So this story was dark but interesting. However, the fairy seemed to truly wish harm on the royal family and the fact that the princess, now Queen was so harsh on the family of the fairy seemed unlike the character that we are used to from the original story. I don’t know whether the whole story kept to a dark tone but I just did not like reading from a character who didn’t seem to think of a different way of dealing with the problems they faced or think from a different perspective.



I actually ended up reading more of this book! I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. It mixes quotations from the original Sherlock Holmes stories with research, puzzles and suggestions. If this interests you then I would recommend checking it out. I will be posting a review when I finish the book! I think that it would make a great gift for a Sherlock fan and I might actually get it for one of my friends.


I still have more books to sort out so I may be doing more of these posts. Let me know if you do this tag!



Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Going Back on Wattpad and Getting Back to Writing my Novel


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Hello! So for a while I have been going through a creative writing slump. I have been writing blog posts and working on social media and brand relations for my blog but I just haven’t felt the motivation or inspiration to write my book. Earlier this year I started posting my current work in progress, Through the Portal, on Wattpad. This is a novel that I have been working on, on and off for two years. I have almost half of the novel written and I was editing those chapters and uploading them regularly on Wattpad. However, I got to a point where I seemed to have lost my writing muse. It was as if the writer in me had hibernated.

However, lately I have been seeing others publish their work and working on their novels and it has helped me to recollect the love I have always had for writing novels.

I am hoping to start editing chapters again and to keep going. I would like to keep posting on Wattpad. I will be focusing on Through the Portal in order to give it the attention that it deserves and to finish it.

I was looking into doing a masters in creative writing but I think now that I won't be able to do one so I decided to create my own 'course'. I have come up with a writing routine that works for me. I don't like schedules; they make me feel stressed and anxious. I work a lot but I go through a job list throughout the day and if there is something that I don't feel in the mood for I will leave it till later or shift it to another day. I want to dedicate time to writing books alongside my blog so I have set some goals for editing/writing a certain number of chapters a week and I feel quite good about it. I like having a flexible schedule and I can write alongside everything else that I do. 

If you write, how is your writing going?

Monday, 21 May 2018

Avoiding The Sale Of A False Hope

The very first time a product comes off the manufacturing line is a cause for celebration. So many companies that have made it and become worldwide recognised names have had a small party when they had this moment. Little did they know they would reach the stars and have such massive acclaim with consumers from all over the world. It's only right that you expect yourself to one day, be just like them so have yourself a small huzzah. They got to where they are now because the made sure to tread carefully. Although they believed in their product, the knew that they couldn’t oversell it and give customers any false hope. The marketing campaigns could be hugely expensive and make the product and brand look like the saviour of the customers’ dreams. Yet when every person bought the product they were left in no doubt about what it could and could not do. Avoiding selling a product that promises more than it delivers could cast no doubt over your reputation as a trustworthy business and a lawsuit.

Wording the label

Almost every product you can think of comes with a label glued onto it somewhere. The label is there to do simply one thing and that’s harbour product information. A pasta sauce bottle will not just list the ingredients and the levels of sugar, fat, carbohydrates and so on. It will also give consumers instructions on how and where to store it. How to cook with it and how long you can leave it alone in the fridge once opened. It will also make any disclaimers such as saying that although the company works hard to make every bottle the exact same, results may vary. All of this is taken for granted by consumers because we’re all just used to it. Maybe we don’t care or we don’t have the time to care, but all businesses cannot take a chance on selling a false hope to anyone. Your product isn’t invisible and nor is it going to always satisfy customers. So clearly state in the label on your products these declarations.


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Source US Army


Not achieving optimal results

Sooner or later you’re bound to get an unhappy customer at some point. Even if you have done everything to protect yourself and be truthfully open to consumers, someone somewhere is going to be dissatisfied with your product and hold your solely responsible. It's just human nature to complain about something benign and then act like it was something detrimental to the quality of your life. For example, if you sell food products and you have clearly labelled the use by date and sell by date. If a customer wrongly consumes the product and gets ill, they may take legal action against you despite you not having done anything wrong. Despite not selling them a false hope that the product can last a long time you’ll need a good corporate litigation lawyer on the same levels as Slater Heelis. The services you’ll need is negotiation, presiding over court proceedings and mediation.

Any person who uses your product potentially has the ability to press charges against you for
not delivering what they think you promised. Be clear and honest about what your product can and cannot do and always have a great legal team on standby just in case a complaint gets taken to the next stage.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

What I Have Been Up To #3


Hi everyone! Today I am going to be talking about what I have been up to lately, let me know what you have been up to in the comments!


1. Education:
I am hoping to do a masters in creative writing! I have been writing for years, I started with poetry and then also began writing short stories and potential novels. I have been thinking about doing a masters for a while and if I can that will be amazing. I would love to develop my writing skills, learn more about writing and get a masters (hopefully I could pass!).


2. Blogging:

I have been spending a lot of time on my blog. I love blogging and I have been posting every other day. I have been posting more on Instagram, you can follow my social media accounts by clicking on the names in the sidebar.


3. Gaming:

I really want to start gaming more again. I haven't had much time to play at the moment but I am hoping to fit more gaming in to my schedule. What are your favourite games?

Overall, I have had a busy time lately but I am excited for potentially doing a masters and for playing more games. Additionally, I have as always been having a lot of fun blogging and I am so happy that so many of you are enjoying my blog too.

Friday, 18 May 2018

My Favourite Pokemon Games and What Is Currently Missing from the Franchise

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I want to talk about my favourite Pokemon games and what I feel is currently wrong with the Pokemon games that have been coming out. Here are my top 3 Pokemon games:



1.       Pokemon LeafGreen 


This was the first Pokemon game that I ever played and it will always be my favourite. If I could only play one Pokemon game it would be this one.



2.       Pokemon White/Black 2


I loved the Pokemon Black and White games and their sequels. It was the first time I felt like I had seen a lot of new Pokemon and the story definitely picked up. Furthermore, there was an amazing feature of seeing how many Pokemon are available to catch on each route which made catching many different Pokemon a lot easier and more fun.



3.       Pokemon X/Y


This felt like a relaunch of Pokemon with a brand new French inspired region and a new Pokedex. I enjoyed this game so much. I remember spending a long time hatching Pokemon and it was the first time that I could globally trade, including wonder trade (trading random Pokemon with trainers from around the world) and it was amazing.




So, those are my favourite Pokemon games. However, I have some issues with the way that Pokemon games have been going and I wanted to see if others feel the same way.



I didn’t really enjoy Pokemon Alpha Sapphire even though I loved the original and I still haven’t completed Pokemon Ultra Sun and I figured out why. Pokemon games are becoming too gimmicky. They are adding all these extra features in and expanding dialogue. It used to be that you could quickly speak to all of the people in a town and gain items or useful information. Now you can be there for a long time tapping through pages of useless dialogue. Additionally, the focus has been taken off of having enjoyable battles through adding additional features such as mega stones and z moves which take time to use and honestly, I barely ever used the mega stones.



What I love about Pokemon games is going through routes, catching new Pokemon, training them up, evolving them, battling a ton of trainers, getting gym badges, becoming a champion and unearthing a legendary Pokemon. However, recent Pokemon games have been obscuring this. I don’t want to spend half of the game talking to characters that I will never see again. I don’t want to be forced to play mini games when I would rather be catching and battling. I want more of what Pokemon games used to hold. Do you feel the same? Let me know in the comments.

Why I Want to Listen to Audiobooks More


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I haven’t listened to many audiobooks in the past. I absolutely loved the Pride and Prejudice audiobook, having wanted to read this book for a long time but I was put off by the writing style as I had read a sample during my studies that I did not like. The audiobook was a great way to go.

I’ve been in a reading slump for a while and I have realised that I am almost always doing something else. If I have spare time I try to work on my blog. I want to start fitting in gaming again and I thought that it would be a great idea to listen to audiobooks whilst I play games (not when there are big dialogue scenes in the game). This would also mean that I am reading more and I can listen to audiobooks whilst doing social media which I spend a lot of time doing.

My library doesn’t have that many audiobooks which is why I love that Audible can give me access to so many great audiobooks. I am planning on listening to some books that I have wanted to read for a while and hopefully this will enable me to read more.

Do you like audiobooks? Which is your favourite?

You can get a free audiobook


 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Getting a Replacement Birth Certificate


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Recently, I went for a job interview that required me to produce a birth certificate. However, my birth certificate had unfortunately been lost. I looked at how to order a replacement birth certificate. Ordering a replacement birth certificate through my local registry meant that the birth certificate would not be sent for 14 working days and that it would get to me even later. This would have taken too long as I needed the birth certificate much sooner.

I found https://www.uk-birth-certificates.co.uk/ who can send you a birth certificate within 10 working days. With over 40,000 certificates sent out to date, I knew that this was a website that I could trust.

Additionally, if you make an error through the registry website, your certificate can be delayed but UK Certificates are experts in birth, death and marriage certificates and they make sure that all your information is correct during the application process.

If you need to order a replacement birth, death or marriage certificate, I would recommend UK Certificates. You can also order replacement certificates through the gov.uk website.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

So Shape: Healthy Meals and Snacks on the Go

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So Shape sell shakes that are not only good for you in terms of nutrients but that can also help you to lose weight. There are three different challenges which cover either 5 days, 14 days or 28 days. They offer both snacks/desserts and meals. I opted for the 14 day challenge and 6 different flavours: chocolate, brownie, stracciatella, mint chocolate, vanilla and white chocolate and caramel. So basically all of the chocolate related flavours. In my package I received a shaker, an instruction manual and 30 different powdered flavours. You pour some water into your shake, add the powder and shake. The shake also comes with a diffuser which you can put fruit in and have a fruit flavoured water.

I had some friends try a bit of each flavour to do a taste test. The majority of people loved the flavours! If you are a picky eater you might not like these but if not then you may love this. The chocolate definitely shone through and you could have it cold or heated. Having it heated was like having a hot chocolate. In fact, one person even said that the chocolate flavour was the best hot chocolate that they had ever had. The only issue that I had was that sometimes there were still lumps in the shake so I just sieved these out.

The great thing about So Shape is that the meals are packed with nutrients. When I looked in the instruction manual at the ingredients I was amazed. There were so many vitamins and I noticed that one shake actually had green tea in. So you can have something sweet tasting that actually has nutrients in!

Overall, I was really impressed with the quality of So Shape’s products and I would really recommend them if you are looking for a healthy alternative.

OFFER CODE:
Get twice the flavours for 14 and 28 days challenges with the code CUSTOMLUCY

*This was sent to me to review but this in no way affected my opinion. 

Monday, 14 May 2018

Why I Love Going to the Beach

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With the weather warming up, I’ve been longing to spend days at the beach. I absolutely love going to the beach. Here are four reasons why:


The sea

I have always loved being near the sea: the sound of the waves, the water hitting the shore, the calmness in its retreat. I enjoy walking in it and paddling in it. One time I even saw a seal up close! I think there is part of me that still hopes to find a mermaid or a loch ness like creature, that would be so cool. 


The air

I love the sea air. It always smells so fresh and it makes me sleep better at night.

The adventure

Going to the beach is always an adventure: packing up what is needed, taking food and drinks. Walking to the beach and then across the sand or stones, finding a perfect place to sit and exploring rockpools and watching the tide.


The quality time
Going to the beach can also mean time spent from loved ones without distractions. There is no internet or television or work to do. Even just sitting near the people you love is so nice and relaxing.


Do you like going to the beach?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Depression Sucks: A Poem

Trigger warning for depression and suicide.


Depression Sucks

Depression sucks

You don't want to do anything

You don't want to be

You just feel a sadness

That doesn't want to leave

It's like looking into a darkness

That isn't physically there

Silently screaming for help

In a corner of your mind


Being surrounded by things you used to love

And not feeling a thing

Except perhaps a longing

For what used to be


Depression sucks

You feel like it will never leave

But let me tell you this

There will be times

When it will leave

And let you be

Life will always have good times

The light past the dark


Lucy Ann Smith


Friday, 4 May 2018

Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow Cover Reveal


I am so grateful to be able to take part in revealing the cover for Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow which releases July 2nd 2018.

Here is some information on the book:

        Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star quarterback, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle. 

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love endure if it’s all built on a lie?

So without further ado, here is the cover!



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'Her secret is big. Mama’s is bigger'

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Some information about the author:
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Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She earned a BA in English/Writing from Clemson University and worked in corporate communications and the media for more than 17 years before pursuing her true passion for novel writing. Brandy is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Young Adult RWA.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

Brandy's social media:


Excerpt of Meant to be Broken:

A

t 9:30 Saturday morning, I find out Preston Howard wants to date me. At 11:30, my mama hears it from old lady McAlister and has a “spell” in aisle three of the Piggly Wiggly. It’s taken seventeen years, but I finally understand the two things my social life and Mama have in common. They’re both erratic and one usually suffers because of the other.

The store manager calls me on my cell and asks me to come get her. He has my number because he’s Daddy’s best friend’s brother and used me to babysit his kids a few times last year. I answer, expecting another job offer.

“Rayne? This is Dave Sullivan, you know, the manager down at the Piggly Wiggly? There’s been an incident with your mama.”

Apparently it’d happened in front of the Luzianne tea bags. She was comparing the family size to smaller ones when Mrs. McAlister offered her a coupon… and a piece of news.

The details get a little sketchy from there—something about her sinking to the floor and gasping for air. That’s when the manager came over with one of those small brown paper sacks they use to bag up ice cream and had her breathe in it. A nurse and a vet, both in the crowd assembled around her, agreed from their varied medical expertise it didn’t appear to be life-threatening. When the paper bag seemed to work, he decided to call me instead of the ambulance.

I pull into the parking lot ten minutes later. She’s sitting on the front bench beside the automatic doors where the employees go to smoke, under the “I’m Big on the Pig!” sign. Mrs. McAlister sits beside her, a little too close, waving a folded-up circular in her face. I wonder what the store employees and shoppers think of me, casually parking the car, walking-not-running, and looking both ways before crossing the main traffic flow. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they’re all watching from between the weekly specials scribbled on the plate-glass windows.

I don’t feel the need to rush. It isn’t a heart attack or stroke. I call it her bipolar though Daddy gets mad when I refer to it like that. The diagnosis is anxiety, better known as my evil little sister—always around, always a pain, and always ruining my life.

This sort of episode has happened before, just not too often in public. In most societies that’s considered good news—but not in the South. They say we don’t hide our crazy, we dress it up and parade it on the front porch. And even if we don’t, someone else will do the parading for us—telegraph, telephone, tell-a-southern woman. We know how to reach out and touch some people.

Mrs. McAlister jumps up from the bench and grabs my arm as I step up on the curb. “I suwannee, child. She liked to turned over her buggy and spilt them groceries everywhere.”

Talking to some of the older ladies in town always feels like walking out of real life and into some part of Steel Magnolias. She gives me her version of the sordid details. Mama created quite a scene, not just with her episode but also by her scandalous choice of groceries. The mayonnaise was the only casualty, rolling out the leg hole of the kiddie seat portion of the cart when Mama accidentally gave it a rough shove while collapsing on the linoleum.

Mrs. McAlister hadn’t bothered to pick that up and put it back in the buggy, which was now waiting by the customer service desk. It wasn’t Dukes Mayonnaise. She leans in close to whisper because how embarrassing would that be for Mama. To her, it’s further proof Mama hadn’t been feeling well long before their conversation. What southern woman in her right mind buys off-brand mayonnaise?

Reviews of the book:
Brimming with romantic tension, Brandy Snow’s MEANT TO BE BROKEN is a story of forgiveness, friendship, and first love. Full of authentic southern voice and populated by characters who are real, relatable, and raw, this intensely emotional debut kept me reading late into the night. Romance lovers, you're in for a treat!” Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden
“Brandy Snow’s poetic prose keeps the reader turning the pages. This story is about more than just a love triangle. It is also a family drama with dark secrets and twists.

The story unfolds from both Rayne and Gage’s perspective. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage is almost oblivious to the girl’ s Preston brings home—until he meets Rayne. You want Rayne and Gage to get together, but you don’t at the same time because Preston is a good guy. 

When Rayne and Gage finally get together secrets come to light that will surprise you!” R.J. Garcia, author of Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced
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                     Links to publisher's social media: