Sep 30, 2017

Happy Blogoversary to me.


I started this blog in 2010 when I was enrolled in the Certificate of Library (Information services). It's called something else now. But at the time we were looking at our Information Literacy which, of course now days, includes social media.

I took a while to decide upon a topic for my blog. I had started a few Tumblr blogs and the one I enjoyed the most was called Books, Crafts & Pretty Things. So the name just stuck and I went with it. I was able to use my blog to get credit for some work assignments and it has helped me a lot to network with amazing people.

The first post I ever did was called "Best Ever Muffin Recipe".
My most popular posts have been about making crafts from books, like this one here.

Friday 29th September 2017 marked my 7 year blogoversay, and I am giving away two headbands, which can be used as planner bands (as shown below).






I crocheted all the flowers and used vintage buttons to attach them to pre-made bands I bought from Ebay.

I hope you enjoy them. This competition is open Internationally and closes on 15th October 2017 at midnight (Perth, Australia). 

Just tell me which colour you would like to win. This will count as your entry. That's it. There will be two winners chosen by random generator. They will each receive one headband of their choice from those pictured. I will cover postage.


I
f you want more entries feel free to do the following. The more entries you have, the more chance you have to WIN!!:

1. Follow me on any social media accounts. One entry per follow. 

2. Spread the news about my blogoversary giveaway. One entry per share. (Make sure you tag me or use hashtag #BCPTBlogoversary7)

This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any of the social media accounts I use to network which are listed on my Social media page here




Sep 21, 2017

Cat Thursday & other Blog Hops


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own  beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict.


This is my parent's cat.  She is a real beauty.  


http://www.create-with-joy.com/2017/09/wordless-wednesday-magellan-turns-four.html








Sep 19, 2017

Writing for Bliss - Diana Raab



My Review:

I wrote all the time as a child. I wrote poetry and journal entries, short stories, even songs. I wrote all through my teenage years and while I was pregnant, and then when I had my second child I stopped. I was very busy and I somehow didn’t have time for reading and writing and life became very difficult. 

Later, when I began home schooling, I found more time for reading again. In the early hours of the morning when other mums were busy with the school rush, I had a few moments to myself and life got a little easier. But it was only when I started writing again, journaling again and even blogging, that things turned around and I began to really get myself together. But now I am stuck in a kind of rut, with lots of ideas and many unfinished manuscripts. I’m finding it hard to prioritise writing when I have work, study, family duties and (let’s face it) the distracting Internet.


The book “Writing for Bliss” was just the book I needed to shake things up a bit. Whether you have never written before, are a sometimes writer, or you just feel stuck like me, then this book can help.

Partly autobiographical and partly self-help this book provides lots of advice:

I like to mention what Zen master Shunryu Suziki referred to in his book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (1976), as maintaining the sensibility of the “beginner’s mind.” The idea is that the beginner’s mind tends to be open to many possibilities, unlike the expert’s mind, which only sees few.
It also provides practical tips such as:
One rule about writing is that if you want to be a writer, you need to be a reader.
And:
Writers need privacy and solitude to tap into their creative selves.

And writing prompts, to get you started:
Writing Prompt 2:7 – Exploring a Vivid Dream
On another occasion, recall a vivid dream. Describe in detail the images in it. Note the feelings you associate with the dream. What does the dream remind you of in your present or past circumstances?

Using a combination of psychology and creative writing techniques, Diana Raab leads the reader through a journey of therapeutic artistic pursuit. This is the perfect companion to the Art Therapy I have been doing, because it uses similar principles, but encourages my need to create using words.

There is so much great advice about visualization and getting past those creative blocks. Sometimes there are things in our life that are difficult to write about, but you know Raab has been there, and can help guide you through. Furthermore, it is backed by Raab’s own research into the transformative power of writing one’s memoirs.


As I begin to get unstuck using these ideas, I know as I continue my manuscripts that I will return again and again to this powerful guide for advice. It also includes a handy Index and Bibliography. 

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

Continue after the jump break for author details and a giveaway:

Sep 15, 2017

Cat Thursday - Goodbye Jigglypuff






It has taken me a month to write this, as it is such a difficult topic. Jigglypuff has been on my blog since it began in 2010. She was with us for 17 years, and we miss her very much.

Sep 13, 2017

An excerpt from my NaNoWriMo 2016

I had only had one, very small cup of coffee. I wanted, no needed, a second cup desperately but he decided it was time to go, even though our goodbyes and parting words took longer than it would have taken for me to drink that second cup.
I smiled at our hosts and joked that I would get a roadie coffee, since they assured me that we wouldn’t find a decent cup of coffee once we got out of Bunbury. As we drove, I realised we were on the road out of town. He stopped, and I assumed he’d enter a stop for coffee into the GPS, but he was just rechecking the load on the roof rack.
"What about coffee?" I asked, but it sounded more like "coffeeeee", and more like begging than asking. He assured me that there was a place we could go but he continued the out of town route.
"I don’t want to wait an hour, I want something now," I said and I hated the way I sounded when I said it.
We stopped to check the load once more, then the noise that was irritating him must have been sorted.
"You can’t hear it?" he said. I responded in the negative. My caffeine deprived brain couldn’t comprehend anything. The muscles in my neck were tightening and my Zen was way past due for a top up.
Finally, we arrived in Boyanup. I hadn’t even left the car when I heard the wails from an unknown source. He mistook my concern for fear. Once I reassured him I was only concerned that the unknown woman sounded distressed, I left to buy the coffee and he checked the load again.
I followed the sobs to the woman on a public telephone, almost unseen in the city. She was wailing about coming to get her kids and something about him sleeping around or sleeping with someone, I wasn’t sure. Her pain was thick in her voice and it permeated everything around her. My heart clenched as she said the words I had so often repeated myself, "I’m not crazy".
I entered the shop and bought the drinks and two slices, which we really didn’t need, but my sugar addiction is as bad as my caffeine addiction. At least I don’t smoke anymore, but I keep thinking I should take it up again. I kept my sunglasses on as I was making my purchases, but I didn’t care about the looks I got. My thoughts were still on the woman in pain, at her most vulnerable, with no privacy, in the middle of the town she probably lived in, spiralling out of control because she was pushed beyond her level of coping.
Women are always seen as the emotional ones, out of control, crazy, hysterical. We snapped because we didn’t get our own way, we cried because it rained on the washing, we spiralled because we couldn’t cope, we crashed the car because we are stupid, we tipped over the edge because we are weak, we killed our partner because we didn’t get our coffee... okay I made that last one up.
After we left Bunbury I knew the time had come for me to write it all down. I was going to have a week without phone calls, appointments, study or work. I was ready to face my demons and work it all out.
The only problem was I had left all the recordings at home and I was going to have to write a lot of it from memory. I had to do it though, I had to make a start. I could fill in the details from the recordings and my notes later. It was time to record the truth. It was time.

Apr 23, 2017

Berlin Syndrome Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers





I reviewed this book on my blog back in 2011. Now it's a movie. Are you the type of person who likes to read the book before you see the film? You can read my review here: http://bookscraftsprettythings.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/berlin-syndrome-melanie-joosten.html

Apr 19, 2017



On Sabbatical...
umm hiatus?
Off line...
Researching, writing,
chilling, family stuff,
umm yeah!

Mar 25, 2017

My UV patch Review

I had two basal cell carcinomas removed from my face two years ago. I have always considered that I am fairly careful in the sun, considering my skin tone. But the report from the biopsy also stated that I had "severely sun damaged skin". This was quite a shock. So I have become even more vigilant. But I just didn't have a way to measure how much U exposure I was getting.

I was asked if I would like to trial My UV Patch through Social Soup, and I jumped at the chance.
The patch is a piece of wearable technology that you can use with an app on your phone to measure your UV exposure. Wearables have become so popular at the moment and I'm a big fangirl of technology.

The patch was really easy to use and apply. It was very thin, and you need to follow the instructions precisely, and make sure your skin is clean and dry when applying. I found on older skin, like mine, I made a fist to make sure my skin was taut. Once applied the patch stretches and moves with your skin. You just apply your sunscreen over the top and the app even sends you reminders of when to re-apply your sunscreen.

I will definitely be getting one of these next time I am on holidays. I think that is a time when I am most vulnerable to forgetting my sun care, because I'm having so much fun (and maybe a little drink or two). I can picture a time when kids will run back to their parents and get their patch scanned and Mum & Dad will know exactly how much UV exposure the kids are getting as well as receiving prompts to re-apply the sunscreen. The app is available at GooglePlay & AppleiTunes stores.














I was given a free patch to trial in exchange for an Instagram photo. I loved it so much I wanted to share on my blog and I wasn't given any compensation for this - it was just my honest opinion.



Mar 23, 2017

Cat Thursday - Face Swap by Reddit user yokj6



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own  beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict.

Also joining these blog hops. Come and join the fun.





Top left is Shiloh, bottom left is Stinky, and right is Toby. 



Mar 22, 2017

NEW RELEASE - If I'm Found - Terri Blackstock


In the first book If I Run we are introduced to Casey who has just made a gruesome discovery. Her best friend Brent has been murdered, and she's been set up to take the fall. Brent had been looking in to the death of Casey's father,  a police officer who reportedly committed suicide.  What did he discover that is worth killing for?

Dylan has been following Casey, and he's getting to know her pretty well.  He finds it hard to believe she murdered his old friend Brent. But Brent's parents have hired him to find her and the cops assigned to the case are being very uncooperative.

If I Run is a great read. It's fast paced and keeps you on tenterhooks, like a good thriller should.   I worried that Casey's kindness was going to get her caught.  I didn't want to stop reading.
Although the sub-plot is concluded,  you are left wanting more.  Casey's story isn't over and the bad guys haven't been dealt justice.

Enter - If I'm Found, the second book in the series.

The second book starts more slowly, we have Casey thinking about what to do next and Dylan wondering what to do about Casey. The momentum builds slowly until you find your heart beating a little faster, and realise you are once again drawn into the tension of Casey's story.

Blackstock tackles the very difficult topic of mental health in both books. Like in life, each character presents differing views on medication and psychotherapy. Some of the characters are well educated and well informed, while others demonstrate the stigma and shame still attached to mental health.  

There's an underlying religious message that Christians will enjoy.  But even for  non-Christians there is a lovely message of hope and the goodness of humanity. I like that Casey is a good and moral person even before she begins going to church. The message is more subtle in the first book but more frank in the second book. It's a personal choice that the writer has made to speak her own thoughts through her character's mouths. I think most writers would do that at some point. As a non-Christian I didn't feel it detracted from the story very much. 

I did a little research and Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation is a real clinical trial over the past few years for treating major depression and PTSD with some success with epilepsy in some cases.

Some further research - I was a little confused about 'Lake Ron Hubbard' wondering if it was a reference to Scientology for some reason. I believe the lake in Dallas is called Lake Ray Hubbard, named after a former president of the Parks and Recreation Board. So I'm not sure if this was just to fictionalise a place because the 'Watershed Marina' is not the name of either marina at Lake Ray Hubbard. 

The second book was released yesterday and it can be read as a stand alone novel, because the other story is recapped a little as you read. I would recommend both books to be read in the correct order, however, just because of the thrill they gave me as a reader. I definitely recommend If I'm Found as a suspenseful and captivating story. Blackstock started as a romance writer but I think she has found her niche as a writer of thrillers. 


About the Author:
Terri Blackstock is a New York Times and USA Today best-seller, with over seven million books sold worldwide. She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist.
Find Terri Blackstock on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and at http://terriblackstock.co







About the Book:


Series: If I Run, Book 2

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Year: 2017
ASIN: B01HAKH212
ISBN: 0310332486
I was given an e-book Advanced Reading Copy of If I'm Found through Smith Publicity. I listened to the audiobook of If I Run from my library. All opinions are my own. 

Mar 21, 2017

Into the Air book review



Mia lives her life underground  like the rest of humanity, who have lived a subsistence lifestyle for the last one hundred years.  Her days are filled with work, eating, sleeping,  and staring at the walls of her small room.

When her father receives a letter summoning them to the Academy, Mia is given the chance to go outside. She is both excited to explore the rest of the world, and anxious by how ill-prepared she feels to face what she learns about herself and the people who want her dead.

The post-apocalyptic storyline is one of my favourites and Downing doesn't disappoint. Into the Air is great story with a steady pace.

I really liked the characters, each with their own charm. There is a hint of romance but it's not the main focus.  Although Mia needs help along the way,  she's not completely helpless.  She finds a strength and determination she never knew she had.

The story unfolds with a combination of dialogue, flashbacks and action.It culminates in a satisfyingly bloody battle. Then it leaves just enough questions to whet your appetite for the sequel.

If you love DivergentThe Host and Tomorrow When the War Began, then I recommend Into the Air. I can't wait for the next one in the series. I really enjoyed this book. 




Don't forget to see my previous post for details of the book tour and the author's giveaway. You can reach it by clicking the picture below.







Available to buy from....
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    Kobo   Paperback


About the author
A. K. Downing is the author of the young adult, adventure novel Into the Air. She grew up in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania and spent her summers exploring the fields, woods and orchards of her grandparents' farm. She studied graphic design at Kent State University and currently works as a Creative Director. She enjoys history, camping, and walking through fields of tall grass, and feels there is no better way to see the world than from the top of a horse. She currently lives in the woods with her husband, daughter, two cats and five chickens. Into the Air is her first novel.

Find the author on the following sites...

I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.


Mar 16, 2017

Into the Air - Book Tour & Giveaway


Like everyone else in the world, Mia Bryn lives in the dark. Buried in an underground compound, her life is spent in brief allotments of florescent light and dwindling food supplies. But when a letter arrives, Mia and her father are invited to embark on a journey that no one else has been allowed to take for over a hundred years. They are asked to leave the ground and travel into the air. But the outside world is more surprising and dangerous than Mia could have ever imagined. To survive, she must trust her instincts, learn about a world she knows nothing about, and accept her destiny.

Available to buy from....
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    Kobo   Paperback

“Downing’s Into The Air is that fresh take on the YA post-apocalyptic vision we’ve all been waiting for. Mia Bryn is a wonderful character—one who starts out charmingly mortal but soon becomes the heroine we, and her people, need her to be. Can’t wait for the next Mia chapter!” Bruce McAllister, Author of the Cybils-nominated The Village Sang to the Sea: A Memoir of Magic

“There’s a new star in the Young Adult firmament—A. K. Downing’s series, beginning with Into The Air, is sure to be a reader favorite right up there with The Hunger Games and The 100 trilogy.” Richard Snodgrass , Author of There’s Something in the Back Yard

WHAT IF YOU ENTERED A WORLD YOU DIDN'T KNOW
“Did you ever feel so lost that you didn’t know if the ground was above your head or below your feet?”

About the author
A. K. Downing is the author of the young adult, adventure novel Into the Air. She grew up in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania and spent her summers exploring the fields, woods and orchards of her grandparents' farm. She studied graphic design at Kent State University and currently works as a Creative Director. She enjoys history, camping, and walking through fields of tall grass, and feels there is no better way to see the world than from the top of a horse. She currently lives in the woods with her husband, daughter, two cats and five chickens. Into the Air is her first novel.

Find the author on the following sites...

 


Follow the tour
Photobucket
I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY
Win a SIGNED book of Into the Air by A.K. Downing - 5 Winners!!
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 9th April at 11.59pm EST


Enter Below and Good Luck !!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team - Apply Here x
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE



Mar 15, 2017

Review of Hurricane in Paradise & Giveaway

Set against the steamy backdrop of Tarpon Cove's sun-kissed, tropical waters, sexy sleuths and best friends Madison and Fab are at it again dealing with the occasional dead body. Hidden just below the surface of the small town lies an underworld, one steeped in deceit, corruption, and deadly secrets. It's only a matter of time before Madison and Fab find themselves on a collision course with the police, who consider them likely suspects in a murder.

Ride along on their adventures when the duo realizes that a family member is missing and pull themselves away from all jobs to track him down. Theories: walked away, freak accident, kidnapped? If so, then why no ransom demand?

Hurricane in Paradise is book ten in the thrilling and humorous provocative Paradise series, which finds the two waist-deep in mystery and romance. It is a smart, adventurous read that delivers heart-thumping, non-stop action. Join Madison and Fab as they solve the most twisted of cases, through unconventional ¬– and highly entertaining – measures… sometimes in flip-flops.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they're like chips...you won't be able to devour just one!”


Available to buy from.....

"Deborah Brown's Florida Keys mystery series is highly addictive! The characters are quirky & amusing. The dialogue is snappy. The plot highly entertaining & thrilling. All the oddball cast of characters are back as well as Mad's & Fab's deliciously hunky loves, Creole & Didier." 


"Madison and Fab are so much fun to read about along with their better halves. This time there's murder (of course), a missing family member and a crazy grandma! You'll love this book so much!"

"Once again Deborah Brown has written a wonderful humerous highly entertaining book."
Above reviews from Amazon

About the Author
I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites...

Also available in the Paradise Series
      
      
    

Follow the Book Tour




Guest Reviewer:  Ruby Hammarstedt for Between the Coverz

 This is the first book I read of the series (this is book#10) I got to about the fifth chapter, had to back track and get my investigation mode out and figure out who is who. ( lol) Once I figured out who is who, the story went so smoothly and I really did enjoy every character she wrote! I sure giggled throughout the story. Every character has a different personality and having that best friend - I know everyone has one!!!
 Ruby, Reviewer for Between the Coverz blog


5 Stars

I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY
Win $25 Amazon.com Giftcard / Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 19th March at 11.59pm EST


Enter Below and Good Luck !!
Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team - Apply Here x
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE