#Blogtober: VIP Bloggers Brunch at Hot Key Books

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY (5)

A week ago, I was invited by Hot Key Books to a VIP Bloggers Brunch with Alexandra Christo (To Kill A Kingdom) and Sebastien De Castell (Spellslinger series) in attendance.

The event was held at the Bonnier Zaffre offices near Bond Street. I love going to publishers offices, gives me hope to one day work in one! *Fingers Crossed*

I met up with my girlies Nicola and Ash outside the offices. Love that Ash came all the way from Wales for the event, I just love when we get lucky enough to see her too.

Once inside the office we got into a room which had a spread of doughnuts, pastries, fruit, juices, tea and coffee on a table. Me and the girls got a seat and chatted between ourselves and other bloggers while eating some of the delicious brunch.

People kept arriving, which after a while made the room quite full and there was more people than seats.  However, they made sure that people with disabilities had a chair instead of sitting on the floor which was very nice.

After a while they let Alexandra and Sebastien loose. We were able to hang out with them for a bit before they had a casual talk with us about their new books.

I loved the whole informal setting, it made things so much more fun. Alexandra and Sebastien are hilarious and super talented because their books are amazing. Well, I haven’t read the Spellslinger series yet, but I know I’m going to love it as is just my type of series.

In the end we got given a copy of To Kill A Kindom and Soulbinder (Spellslinger #4) to get it signed by the authors. I’ve met Alexandra before at YALC this year and she recognised me which made be super happy.

Overall, the event was really lovely and the Hot Key team, Clare and Roisin took such great care of us. It was really nice to have an event during the day, as I’m much more of a brunch person than a cocktail one.

I’m very thankful for the invite and can’t wait for more events with Hot Key Books.

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo is available now on Amazon(affiliated link)

The Spellslinger series by Sebastien De Castell is available no on Amazon. (affiliated link)

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

Blind Date With A Book: Bookish Charity Event at BFI IMAX

Today I have some exciting details to share with you. My friend Leona is a supervisor at BFI IMAX and she had the brilliant idea to organise a Blind Date With a Book Charity Event to raise funds for the Costa Foundation.

Lately, there has been a lot of films coming out that are based on books. A Wrinkle in Time, Everyday, Red Sparrow, Love, Simon, and Ready Player One. These types of films draw a lot of people to the cinema, either fans of the books or cinema goers in general. It’s basically a nice day out for bookworms like us.

So Leona thought, what could be a better way to raise money for the Costa Foundation than to organise a book related fundraiser for when one of those films is showing at the BFI IMAX?

Leona very kindly asked me to assist her on acquiring books to be sold at the event and I had a blast using my publisher contacts for it. It really feels good to use your contacts for something as important as a Charity. The publishers were all so kind and we have acquired such a good amount of books for the event.

We have now wrapped all the books and they are ready to be bought by you from the today until the 13th of April, at the Costa Coffee inside the BFI IMAX, at Waterloo.

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Me and Leona, after an afternoon wrapping most of the books. (Thanks Katie for all the beautiful handwriting and the photo)

So make sure to come on down and treat yourself to some new books. You don’t need to have a ticket to the cinema to come inside and buy the books, but why not REALLY treat yourself and come watch Ready Player One and get some books, while helping out such a good cause?

If for any reason my charming skills have failed to convince you to come, then I’m going to leave you with a little Q&A with Leona, the brains behind this awesome idea.

How did you started as a Costa Foundation Ambassador?

I first started raising money for the Costa Foundation when I was working at Bournemouth. Me and my team were like a family and we were trying to come up with ideas for things to do together.

My first idea was to organise a raffle and we were able to raise quite a considerable amount of money. That’s also when I started to learn more about the Costa Foundation and what they do, and I realised that it was a really good thing, to raise all this money to build schools in countries where our coffee is grown.

I then transferred to the Costa at BFI IMAX and because both my stores have been able to raise £1000 each in that year, I was able to get my Costa Foundation Ambassador Status.

One of the reasons, I got invested in raising money for the Costa Foundation was because all of the money raised actually goes into the foundations’ projects. As a team we are told every year how much the store has raised and where the money has been spent on, and its wonderful to see that the money we raise is going to these communities who need it the most.

The Costa Foundation motto is “Changing Lives, One School At A Time” and I really love to be part of that as their Ambassador.

What is your goal for this year?

There was this store in Wales, which was the first Odeon store to raise over £2000 in one year. I’m hopping to go over that amount this year, so I’m constantly planning the next fundraiser idea.

So do you have any ideas for your next fundraiser?

I do have a few ones that I’m already getting things organised for. The first one that I would be running for Easter is to guess how many sweets are in the jar. People donate to have a chance of guessing and whomever guesses it right, wins the whole jar of sweets.

The second one is to be run during Avengers: Infinity War that is coming out on the 27th of April. Previously, I have sold my hand embroidered patches for Black Panther and I was quite happy that we raised quite a good amount of money towards the Costa Foundation. I’m currently working on some hand embroidered patches related to the Avengers to sell when the film comes out, so make sure to pop in there if you want to be in the chance to get some.

This is all I have for you today! If you see yourselves around the Waterloo area why not pop in for a Blind Date With A Book and help a wonderful Foundation? I’m sure I will.

If you want to know more about the Costa Foundation you can check their website here.

If you like Leona’s awesome hand embroidered patches you can check her Etsy store out or her Instagram. She actually takes commissions, and she is also working (as per my suggestion) on some bookish ones! So keep an eye out.

Me and Leona would like to finish this blog post with a massive thanks to all the awesome publishers that have sent their amazing books out for this fundraiser. Make sure you send them some love too!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

Blog Tour: The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales Illustrated by Minalima

IMG_0645You first step in to the House of Minalima because of Harry Potter, but you stay because you fall in love with Eduardo and Mira’s work. When I first met Eduardo 3 years ago at MCM Comic Con, I saw myself turning a bit into a stalker. I just kept coming back to their stand and talk more and more about Harry Potter, and the fact they were working on the first Fantastic Beasts movie. When Eduardo told me that he and Mira will be opening a pop up in London for their art work I got so excited.

I was there that first week the pop up opened and I’m still going there now. However, nowadays House of Minalima isn’t a pop up anymore but a London Harry Potter related landmark.

Everyone who knows me has also endured me talking about House of Minalima non stop. Sometimes I think House of Minalima is my home away from home. Me and my best friend just love going in and support as much or as little as we can. Even when we don’t have much money there is something affordable there, and everything is so beautiful.

But enough of Harry Potter because I’m here to talk to you about Minalima’s new venture. In 2015 they brought out their first Illustrated classic, Peter Pan. It was the most beautiful illustrated book I have seen. Their illustrations where so stunning and the interactive pop ups really added to the story. Since then they have brought out The Jungle Book and Beauty and The Beast. All equally stunning.

When Shrina from Harper Collins 360 invited me for the book launch and to be part of the blog tour I couldn’t contain my excitement. First of all, as you have noticed, I LOVE Minalima. Secondly, I love The Little Mermaid! Get those two things together and is a disaster for my bank account!

During their book launch for The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales, Mira told us that when they decided to tackle these childhood classics they were never thinking about only one book but to make a shelf of stunning books for the everyday household. Well, I’m so behind this and I’m so happy that currently I have all four. (Thanks Katie!)

The book launch party was so nice! One of the floors at House of Minalima was nicely decorated for the launch with loads of the illustrations from the book and other sea related props. Looked so good! Also we got given the most amazing gift bag with a copy of the book, a cardboard print, a set of 20 bird postcards and some Hotel Chocolat caramel chocolates (that were so delicious and have since found its way to my stomach!)

The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales includes 12 stories in total:

  • The Little Mermaid

  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Swineherd
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Red Shoes
  • Thumbelina
  • The Steadfast Tin Soldier
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Princess and The Pea

  • The Tinder Box
  • The Nightingale

The illustrations are so gorgeous and the pop ups are amazing. Is the type of book that they want to advertise for kids but no way I’m going to get my kids near that book. This is a pop up book for adults!

Also during the launch party it has been shared with us that one of the floors of the shop is going to be turned into Fairy Tale land to celebrate all the books that are out already and the ones to come. One more excuse for me to come in! #SorryNotSorry

Overall, I think the book is absolutely gorgeous and I’m gonna keep throwing ma dollar at Minalima for the unforeseeable future. As should you. Next one, The Secret Garden which comes out just in time for my birthday.

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Rating: ★★★★★

You can purchase the books and prints online at minalima.com or in store at House of Minalima, 26 Greek Street, Soho, London (Open everyday, 12 pm to 7 pm).

Thanks so much to Shrina Patel, Harper Collins 360 and Minalima for the copy of The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales in exchange for my honest review.

Life is the bubbles!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

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January Wrap Up

I have been feeling more confident with my blog content, so I thought I could start doing Monthly wrap ups. These wrap ups are a great way to keep track of everything I have read, watched and done over the past month.

Lately, most of my content has been book related so my mission is to get more film and TV blog posts going up too. Even though I haven’t wrote anything about Films or TV in the past month, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t watched anything…on the contrary. This is when I should warn you….that I’m a TV addict. #NetflixIsBae

Anyway, this is what I have been up to in January.

Read

  • Skeletal by Emma Pullar (E-book)
  • Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany (E-book)
  • The Intruder by P.S. Hogan (ARC)
  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Paperback)
  • Big Bones by Laura Dockrill (ARC)
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (ARC) – Re Read

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Reading wasn’t perfect, but wasn’t bad either. I’m quite happy that I read 5 new books and re-read another one. This time last year I had only read one, so definitely some improvement here. However, I have only wrote one review. Definitely need to improve my reading/review ratio.

So far I have not read anything for my Beat The Backlist Reading Challenge. I’m hopping to change that in February (Sorry Book Bards).

 Watched

  • The Greatest Showman (Cinema)
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Cinema)
  • Coco (Cinema)
  • Moana (Sky)
  • A Street Cat Named Bob (Sky)
  • Get Hard (Netflix)
  • Maze Runner (DVD) – Re watched
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Netflix) – Re watched
  • Love, Rosie (Netflix) – Re watched
  • Step Sisters (Netflix)
  • Rip Tide (Netflix)
  • The Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Cinema)
  • Acid Attack: My Story (BBC iPlayer)
  • Pain and Gain (Netflix) – Re watched

I haven’t watched as many films as I normally do. This month, I didn’t had the time to go for a big marathon day at the Cinema. Also I wasn’t very good at keeping track of what I have been watching, so I feel that I’m missing a few films.

I shall add that I’m a very lucky person, as I have a Cineworld unlimited card and one of my besties works for Odeon, so I actually don’t spend that much money in the cinema as may look like.

  • Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life (BBC) – All 3 Episodes
  • One Bad Choice (Netflix) – All of Season 1
  • Inside No9 (BBC) – All of Season 1 – New
  • Criminal minds (CBS) – Season 13 –  Episodes 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – Season 14 – Episodes 09 and 10
  • Scandal (ABC) – Season 7 – Episodes 08 and 09
  • Riverdale (The CW) – Season 2 – Episodes 10, 11 and 12
  • The Good Place (NBC) – Season 02 – Episodes 08, 09, 10 and 11
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) – Season 5  – Episodes 10 and 11
  • Black Mirror (Netflix) – All of Season 4
  • Brittania (SKY Atlantic) – Season 1 – Episodes 01, 02, 03 – New
  • Blindspot (NBC) – Season 3 – Episodes 09, 10 and 11
  • Chicago Fire (NBC) – Season 6 – Episodes 07, 08, 09 and 10
  • Chicago PD (NBC) – Season 5 – Episodes 10, 11, 12 and 13
  • Chicago Med (NBC) – Season 3 – Episodes 05, 06, 07 and 08
  • Lucifer (FOX) – Season 3 – Episodes 11, 12 and 13
  • Modern Family (ABC) – Season 9 – Episodes 11, 12 and 13
  • The Fosters (Freeform) – Season 5 – Episodes 10 and 11
  • Van Helsing (SyFy) – Season 2 – Episodes 1 and 2 – Quit

I haven’t watched any episodes of Jane The Virgin and How To Get Away with Murder, making me quite behind on those shows. Hoping to catch up soon. I’m also a few episodes behind with The Fosters but that would be easier to catch up. I’m quite happy that most of the other shows are on track.

At the minute, I’m enjoying what I have watched so far from Brittania so I will give the show a proper go. I also started watching Inside No9, as my bestie recommended it to me, and I really enjoyed the first series so far. It’s an anthology series so you don’t need to watch it in order.

Unfortunately, I won’t be watching Van Helsing anymore. I watched two episodes of the new season and just got bored. This tends to happen to a lot of SyFy shows that I watch, things just seem to get sloppy after the first season.

Events

Walker YA Preview Evening – I had the absolute pleasure to be invited to my first Bloggers Event! To top it all off it was with Walker YA, which publishes some of my favourite YA books. We all had a lovely goodie bag and got to listen to the publicists and editors talking about the upcoming Walker YA books. Also got to listen to Tom Pollock talk about his book White Rabbit, Red Wolf. He is so lovely, and we got to talk a bit about mental health while he was signing my proof copy, as is one of the central themes of the book.

I keep saying to everyone, that if publishers just keep giving us amazing books and feeding us, we will be very happy bloggers.

Adventures

Transworld Publicity Work Experience – I was very lucky to get a week’s work experience with the Publicity Department at Transworld. I will have a post coming up about my week there and answering some of the questions people have about it. So keep your eyes peeled.

Deliciously Ella Free Breakfast – I nabbed 2 tickets to go try some of the Deliciously Ella’s breakfasts at her Deli in Herne Hill. Me and my best friend wanted to go for ages so this was the perfect excuse to finally go. The weather was awful but the deli is so nice. Oh and the people are so lovely. We were able try a few different things, from her cereals to her avocado toast. It was all so yummy. We also bought some cake and Hot Chocolate. I have to say their Hot Chocolate with almond milk is the best! Just thinking about it is making my mouth water. Can’t wait to go try the lunches one day.

Autism Focused Lush Tour – My friend Savan is a British Asian Autistic Content Creator and got invited to do an Autism focused tour at the Oxford Street Lush Store. He was very kind to ask me to come along and help him with the filming for his Youtube Channel. The video won’t be up until World Autism Awareness Week which is from the 26th of March to the 2nd of April. So go subscribe as he creates awesome content and also raises a lot of Autism awareness.

So these are my highlights for January 2018! It was a fabulous month and can’t wait to see what February brings.

How was your January? Did you read as much as you wanted? Are your all caught up with your TV Shows? 

May February be full of adventures…and pancakes!

*FangirlSince1988

Satellite Book Party With BKMRK & #DrinkYA

IMG_6340Another post about another fabulous book party. This party was a BKMRK and #DrinkYA collaboration for the launch of Satellite by Nick Lake. This time it was just me and Nicola, well there was more people there of course, but from the girls of the what I like to call The Book Bloggers Sisterhood, she was the only one that was able to attend.

It does make things so much easier when you know someone already, plus Nicola always cracks me up, she is great company.

The party was held at The Escapologist in Convent Garden, and let me tell you that BKMRK knows how to throw a party. There was a lot of wine to keep people entertained, but because I don’t really drink alcohol it was quite nice that I was allowed to order coke or lemonade. Also there was pizza! Literally, you can win anyones heart with pizza!

There was some packages for each guest, that looked like what the astronauts keep their food in when they are up there in space. I later discovered that it contained a copy of Satellite, magic stars and a postcard.

After a little speech by both Nick’s editor and Nick himself we got to enjoy a few more drinks. The atmosphere was really nice and I even ventured myself alone for a bit and got to talk with some lovely BKMRK publicists and other book bloggers at the event.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay too long because I had to wake up super early for work next day. So after getting my book signed by the lovely Nick Lake and saying my goodbyes to Nicola, I made my way home.

A fantastic evening, with even more fantastic bookish people.

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

Wunderkids Book Launch Party

IMG_6035A few weeks ago, I got the pleasure to go to the Wunderkids by Jacqueline Silvester Book Launch Party. This was my first Book Launch so I was equally excited and nervous, thankfully I could count on my new Book Blogger friends to not fly solo at this party. Once again I was reunited with Paige and Nicola, and we had such a great time (one of us was having a little more fun than the others, not going to point fingers *cough* Nicola * cough*)

The launch party was hosted at The Workers Cafe in Kingsland Road, when we arrived the space was decorated with Wunderkids books, fairy lights, flowers and a table set up with meringues. As the evening went on the food started coming out and it was pretty delicious, well it was for me not so much for the girls. Basically I had the chance to try oyster for the first time and there was also this prawns on a stick that had been barbecued and I may have ate about 7 of them. #SorryNotSorry

Thankfully for the girls there was some amazing cupcakes to go for, and yes I only ate one of them!

We had a chance to talk with Jacqueline a few times about her book, how the next one has been written already, how she hopes it gets translated into more languages, and how we both agree that even though it will be lovely to see Wunderkids being adapted to the screen, most book to screen adaptations aren’t that good. So for now let’s just keep it as it is.

Overall, my first book launch was pretty awesome. We left the event very happy, some more than others (*cough* Nicola *cough*). I got to meet some other lovely bookish people, and after talking with Jacqueline I got even more excited to read Wunderkids. Have you noticed how chunky it is! Perfect!

Be Wunderful!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx