Monday, 30 November 2015

Dressed by Angels exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane



Angels is a household costumiers in London, having supplied costumes for iconic stage, television and cinema productions as far back as the 1800s. While I knew the family company by name, I wasn't very familiar with their history or the sheer amount of incredible films and theatre shows their costumes can be seen in. Did you know that they have worked on an astonishing 36 movies that ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Costume Design? 11 of those were in the 21st century alone!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Black Friday sale at one of my favourite brands: Jewellerybox



I realise I have mentioned Jewellerybox quite a bit recently! I am not working with them in a sponsored capacity or anything like that, I just genuinely adore the brand and the amazing range of products they offer. For years I've been on the look-out for affordable, dainty sterling silver jewellery and while I've occasionally splurged on Etsy and at Oliver Bonas, none of them come even close to the incredible price and quality ratio from Jewellerybox. And so when they told me about their Black Friday sale on tomorrow, I wanted to share a little blog post about this to let as many people know about it as possible – 'cause it's a good one!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Book review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray



Last October I read one of my favourite reads of 2015 and one of the best young adult novels ever, the stunning A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray; an incredibly rich and highly imaginative concept that single-handedly elevated the sci-fi genre within YA. I was absolutely mesmerised by this read and so impressed by the intricate details sprinkled throughout that made it so very excellent, and I was thrilled when exactly one year on from discovering this amazing novel I was given the privilege to read an advanced copy of the equally brilliant sequel, Ten Thousand Skies Above You.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Top Picks From the Transworld January-June 2016 Catalogue



As the year draws to a close it announces a bumper period for showcases, where publishers present some of their most anticipated upcoming releases to the media and bloggers. After the Walker Books showcase last month, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Transworld one this month and I'm delighted to share my top picks from their January-June 2016 catalogue below.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Winter Wonderland at Jewellerybox's Pop-Up Shop



Ever since I discovered the wonderful Jewellerybox at the Big Blogger Conference, I've been in love with their products. And even though I splurged on lots of new sterling silver pieces when I went to their pop-up in Brixton (multiple necklaces, earrings and a bracelet), I've been eyeing their website since my last visit and on Saturday I had the opportunity to look at all the gorgeous jewellery in person once more, this time at their pop-up shop on Brick Lane.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Book review: The Road to Rangoon by Lucy Cruickshanks



I am sure I'm not alone when I say I have my preferred genres I tend to stay within rather than pushing the boundaries and trying something entirely different. After all, there are far too many books in the world to ever have the opportunity to read them all and I don't want to waste trivial time on those I might not enjoy. Yet this reasoning risks missing out on some real gems as my discovery of The Trader of Saigon by Lucy Cruickshanks in 2013 showed. I generally avoid historical fiction, particularly if the story is centred on a faraway war, yet this caught my attention and I am so glad it did as it was an engrossing and atmospheric read that completely pulled me in, while at the same time being educational about post-war Vietnam.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Bloggeration Book Blogging Workshop With Penguin


When Sarah from The Prosecco Diaries mentioned during her session at The Big Blogger Conference that she was organising a book blogging workshop with Penguin, I was instantly interested as I hadn't come across a workshop yet specifically for book bloggers and Penguin is one of my favourite publishers (I've always not so secretly wanted to work there and having the opportunity to visit the offices last December for the Annual Women's Fiction Evening, was one of the highlights of my year!).

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

9 Reasons Why Autumn is My Favourite Season!



The changing of the seasons is one of the most magical natural wonders and as sunny summer moves into chilly autumn, I find it particular poignant. At this time of year I always feel more than ready for the cosy colder months to come around as breathing in the crisp autumnal air has a rejuvenated effect. While I am also very fond of pure white snowy landscapes and sparkling icy features, it's the gorgeous smells and vivid colours – not to mention the first opportunity to get back into my comfy jumpers – that makes autumn my absolute favourite time of the year. There are many reasons why this is clearly the best season and I have listed some of them below, illustrated with autumnal pictures I took during a recent walk on beautiful Hampstead Heath here in London.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Book review: When I Was Me by Hilary Freeman



Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling disorientated, not entirely sure where you are? I can't be the only one who has had this happen, especially when awakening from a very intense dream or when on holiday and the bed is positioned at a different angle than I'm used to. It usually only takes a few seconds – a minute at most – to regain my bearings and remember where I am. But what if minutes turn into hours and you're still not sure about your surroundings? What if everything if just slightly different from what you are used to; your bedroom is decorated differently and your mum's hair has changed colour overnight?

Monday, 16 November 2015

5 things you might not know about Cathy Bramley's Conditional Love



Cathy is not only a wonderful author, but she is such an inspiration too (and lovely to boot!). She self-published delightful novel Conditional Love back in 2013 and on the back of it landed a publishing deal with Transworld. They have since released her novels Ivy Lane and Appleby Farm (first in four digital parts before the full paperbacks were released) and another one, Wickham Hall, is set for publication in early 2016.

To tide her fans over in the mean time, Transworld has released a brand spankin' new version of Conditional Love this month, which I've been told is even better than before! And I am super stoked to be part of the blog tour for the novel today, celebrating its publication with Cathy's list of five things you might not know about Conditional Love yet.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Book review: A Girl's Best Friend by Lindsey Kelk


My edition: Paperback, published on 5 November 2015 by HarperCollins, 382 pages.

Description: First Tess was a girl with a plan.

Then she was a girl with a dream.

Now she’s a girl who’s come back to earth with a bump.

When the opportunity arises to join her best friend, Amy, in New York for Christmas, Tess jumps at the chance. The only fly in ointment is that Nick, the man who broke her heart, lives there.

And Charlie, the man she turned down, has just started talking to her again. And she has just four days to take a photo for a competition that could save her career.

But aside from that, everything is going to be great: it’ll be the best Christmas ever. Won’t it?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The Winter Wedding Q&A with author Abby Clements



I love, love, love the novels by Abby Clements ever since I read the suitably festive Meet Me Under the Mistletoe back in 2012 and so I'm super excited that not only her new book, The Winter Weddding, was released last week (which has sneaked its way right to the top of my to-read pile), but also that I had the opportunity to interview Abby to coincide with the publication of her new book! Read on to learn all about her favourite part of the writing journey, the wedding-cake-eating research she did for her new novel and why she loved Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost and Dinah Jefferies’ The Tea Planter’s Wife so much.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Xanadu at the Southwark Playhouse



The Southwark Playhouse really is a gem of a London theatre. Just a short tube journey away from the hustle and bustle of the West End it is a far more affordable performing space that doesn't know the meaning of restricted view or view from the gods. I admit that I have not loved everything I have seen here, but for a mere £12 for a preview ticket to a show this is likely because it's so affordable and I've taken more of a risk (I wouldn't spend £££ on a West End show unless I am 99 per cent certain I'll enjoy it and even then I'm reluctant to part with that much of my hard-earned cash). Recent gems I've seen at the Southwark Playhouse include Carrie and Grand Hotel, as well as the spectacular In the Heights transfer at the King's Cross Theatre – so how does their latest venture, a stage version of film flop Xanadu compare?

Friday, 6 November 2015

Hairspray UK Tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre



The cast of Hairspray©Ellie Kurttz

I love the New Wimbledon Theatre, even though the UK tours I have seen there in recent years have often been hit (Avenue Q, Barnum, Anything Goes) or miss (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 20th Century Boy, and an Agatha Cristie murder mystery I don't even remember the name of...), and so it's always guess work what the next show will bring. Thankfully, this touring production of Hairspray is very much a hit as it swings the New Wimbledon Theatre right back into the sixties; outrageously big hair, dubious fashion sense, and all.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Guest post: Author Lindsey Kelk's Top 5 Christmas Traditions



Lindsey Kelk©Philippa Gedge 2015

Today I am super duper excited to be kicking off the blog tour for the latest gigglefest from one of my favourite authors ever: Lindsey Kelk!

You're probably familiar with Lindsey's incredibly popular I Heart... series, and in recent years she's started to branch out from Angela, Alex and Jenny Lopez to write novels about a whole new cast of characters, including the stand-alone Always the Bridesmaid and the AMAZING About a Girl series (which, even though it was very hard to achieve, is even more fabulous than the I Heart... books are). And after the second part in that series, What a Girl Wants, was released in 2014, we're back with Tess and the gang for A Girl's Best Friend this Christmas!

Will the book persuade me to move from #TeamNick to #TeamCharlie? I've started reading it this morning and am still all heart-shaped eyes over Nick, but we'll see if this changes over the course of the third novel...

To celebrate the release of A Girl's Best Friend this week (Thursday, 5 November you guys – better get to the shops quick in the morning or pre-order your copy now!) Lindsey has written a host of guest posts for the blog tour, which will be sprinkled among reviews and other festive content for the book. She stopped by Page to Stage Reviews with her Christmas top 5, which I'm delighted to share with you below.