Monday, 27 June 2016

Top 5 brands from the Bloggers Summer Hangout



The Bloggers Hangout is a great place to be a part of as a blogger; they organise fun events and introduce bloggers to exciting new brands. For their 3rd anniversary they hosted a three-day long party at the Strand Gallery in Central London. Did you not make it to the event? Don't despair, I've rounded up my favourite brands below!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Book review: The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale



Sometimes I pick up a novel I know absolutely nothing about yet so I can let myself be completely taken by surprise by the story within the pages, and The Comfort of Others was one such a read. I even avoided the blurb and press release so I could dive in without any prior knowledge and expectations, which was a great way to experience Max and Minnie's stories to their fullest.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Highlights from West End Live 2016



Annual festival West End Live is the highlight on the London theatre calendar as it provides the opportunity for all the great shows in the capital to showcase what they have in store for audiences, and theatre-goers can sample some of the best musicals and plays that are on offer, completely for free. While I've only written about the event in 2013 and 2015, this year was actually my 9th or 10th time attending and it never grows old. There are some shows that have been performing the same set for many years now, such as Jersey Boys, but as they're such crowd-pleasers they continue getting everyone on their feet and dancing. And each year brings a host of news shows and surprises too, to keep the event fresh and interesting for repeat visitors such as myself. 2016 highlights included Kinky Boots, an unexpected Hamilton appearance, a mini Rock of Ages reunion, and much more.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Interview with author Alex Brown about The Secret of Orchard Cottage [blog tour]



I love Alex Brown's charming novels and her latest book, The Secret of Orchard Cottage, is one of her best yet. I thought it was a heartwarming hug in book shape and a proper engrossing read too, and I'm delighted to share an interview with Alex today as part of the blog tour for her latest book!

Book review: The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout [blog tour]



I really love what Mira Ink are doing within the young adult space at the moment. This imprint of Mira (a subdivision of Harlequin) wasn't really on my radar previously, but after the stellar Unrivalled by Alyson Noël, in which Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, they've published a completely opposite yet equally exciting novel, The Problem With Forever. This read focuses on a girl who spent years being mistreated in the foster care system and how it has impacted her life and the way she interacts with other people. It was harrowing, enlightening and surprisingly uplifting to read about her journey, and it's books like these that make discovering new publishing imprints such an utter joy.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Book review: Martini Henry by Sara Crowe [blog tour]



Martini Henry is the second novel by author and actress Sara Crowe, and one that has been on my radar since the fun reading at a Transworld Showcase last year. While I hadn't read the first novel, Campari for Breakfast, I was told that this one could be read as a stand alone and so I was very keen to take part in the blog tour when the opportunity arose.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The 7 most exciting Walker Books releases in summer/autumn 2016



On Saturday I had to joy of visiting the Walker Books offices for their Inkslingers Summer picnic where they presented a list of their upcoming titles in Walker Books style (aka with awesome authors in attendance and lots of scrumptious food, including mini cupcakes adorned with book covers by Bluebell Kitchen). While beforehand I promised myself to stay good and not be swayed by the lure of new-book-smell as my TBR is already overflowing, of course I left the event with nine brand-spanking new reads (including two gifted to me by fellow bloggers). The level of awesomeness was high at the event, but I managed to narrow down the list of new releases to my top 7 most anticipated ones, which you can find below.

Monday, 13 June 2016

I Love Holland – the start of a new blogging adventure



Whenever I tell people in London that I'm Dutch, most of the time the response is "Ahhh, Amsterdam!" I am actually not from Amsterdam nor have I lived there and each time this happens it saddens me to realise that that so many visitors don't get further than the capital when they're visiting my country, despite the wealth of gorgeous cities, cultural highlights, fun attractions and other interesting things the Netherlands has to offer.

I want to change this with my new blog series I Love Holland, the one-stop blog-shop to some of the most interesting aspects of my country that are not Amsterdam (but, due to the small size of the Netherlands and the really good transport links, are still easy and swiftly accessible if you travel into the capital).

Friday, 10 June 2016

The Go-Between at the Apollo Theatre



Photo credit: Johan Persson

The Go-Between is a musical adaptation of the classic novel by L.P. Hartley about a young boy, Leo, who during one faithful summer holiday serves as a secret messenger between a privileged rich girl and a nearby farmer. While Leo initially feels honoured to be their private postman, when tension mounts and he becomes aware of the true nature of the messages, it turns his happy care-free summer into something that leaves permanent emotional scars. The show opens with a much older version of Leo rediscovering his diary from that faithful summer decades later and reliving the moments that left him to become a tortured adult.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Titanic at the Charing Cross Theatre



Photo credit: Scott Rylander

I had the joy of experiencing the chamber version of Titanic, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone, at the Southwark Playhouse (The Toxic Avenger, Grand Hotel) back in 2013, which was one of the best shows I've seen at this theatre. A revival of this same production is currently gracing the boards at the Charing Cross Theartre, with the same creative team and some original London cast members too, and it is in even better shape than it was before. You'd be forgiven for completely believing that you've actually left the safety of the theatre, and have been transported to the disastrous final moments of the real Titanic.