Pick a Word and Pass it On Tag

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m doing the Pick a Word and Pass it On Tag, which was created by Life Has A Funny Way of Sneaking Up on You and I was tagged for by the absolutely lovely Faye.

The idea of the tag is to list all of the books you’ve read with a certain word in the title. I’ve decided to continue on with the word Faye chose, which is home.

Let’s get onto the books!

I can only remember 4 books which I’ve read with home in the title, so insead of just listing them, I’m going to tell you a little bit about them too! 😊

A Home for Shimmer- This book tells the story of Amy as her family move to the countryside and open up a vet practise, and what happends when a golden retirever puppy is dropped off and Amy falls in love with her.  As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, my dog is also called Shimmer, and as I’ve mentioned before the book Shimmer is based on mine. There are lots of little nods to my real girl in the book and it was such a special reading experience. It’s also a fab animal story in general, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves those sorts of books.

Back Home by Michelle Magorian- It’s been several years now since I read this book, and I’m struggling to remember the finer points, but I can recall being captivated and enthralled by Rusty’s story of returning from her evacuation to America and attending boarding school in England. I also remember how tinged with sadness it was. I’ve since went on to read the also incredible Goodnight Mr Tom by this author, and I found it heartwrenching also. Michelle Magorian is one of the most emotive authors I’ve ever read.

I‘ll Be Home for Christmas by various authors (Stripes anthology in aid of Shelter)- While this does, like every anthology, have some stories I’m not so keen on, it also contains some total gems. My personal favourite from what I remember was Cat Clarke’s, but I’m planning to reread/review this anthology on here in the next few months (possibly as part of blogmas, which I am SUPER excited for already!). I’m also looking forward to finally getting round to Stripes’ new A Change is Gonna Come anthology, which I think is such a positive movement and is getting incredible reviews!

Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen- Polly Ho-Yen is one of the most talented writers out there at the moment. You may be bored of me saying it by now, but I don’t care 😎😛. It’s true, though, and Fly Me Home confirmed it for me. After being INCREDIBLY disappointed in her 2nd novel, which just didn’t match the quality of her debut at all, I was so thrilled when her 3rd novel Fly Me Home blew me away with it’s brilliance. I think with a few rereads this could mean very nearly as much to me as Boy in the Tower does (although it’s my favourite standalone MG ever, so maybe not exactly as much 😉)

Thank you so much for reading! I’m tagging Bex and Sarah, and you, if you’d like to do this! Can you think of any other books with home in the title? Let me know in the comments!

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

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#sixforsunday : My Favourite Genres

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m once again taking part in Steph’s Six For Sunday meme. Today, the theme is our favourite genres. Let’s get started on mine, along with some of my favourite books/authors within them!

In no particular order…

Romance- I always enjoy a swoony romance. There’s just something about watching two characters falling in love that hooks me in to a book. Some recent favourites include A Quiet Kind of ThunderAnna and the French Kiss and the Start of Me and You. 

Contemporary- I also love contemporary novels without romance, such as Beautiful Broken Things and Wing Jones (I know this does have some fabulous romance, but it also has quite a separate storyline so I regard it more as contemporary than romance). Even though I barely ever see it, I also love contemporary MGs. Being Miss Nobody, which fits that description, has been one of my top three reads this year, and another great example of contemporary MG is Susie Day.

Mystery- Even though I said this was in no particular order, mystery may well be my favourite genre of all. It got me back into reading at a time when I fell out of love with it (I’m forever indebted to Laura Marlin and Adventure Island, which I still reread often) and I think the quality of MG mystery being released at the minute, for example Robin Stevens’s Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, is absolutely sublime. 

Adventure- Recently, I’ve started to read some more middle grade adventure stories. I fell head over heels for the lyrical contemporary adventure Running on the Roof of the World, as you’ll probably already know if you’ve read some of my posts before, and I also loved the more action packed Defender of the Realm. 

Fantasy- WhileI don’t enjoy some more epic fantasies, I do love some more understated ones. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is a wonderful MG fantasy and I can’t wait for the next in the series! Polly Ho-Yen’s stunning books also have some fantasy elements, along with contemporary and magical realism.

Historical- It’s absolutely fascinating to read about other times and places, and these books are often based on real facts and sometimes even events. Emma Carroll really is ‘The Queen of Historical Fiction’ and Karen McCombie’s recent historical/timeslip offerings are also excellent.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear about your favourite genres in the comments down below or on my Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

Wunderkids Blog Tour: Jacqueline Silvester’s Top Five Fictional Schools

Hello everybody! 
Today, I have a super exciting guest post from Jacqueline Silvester, author of Wunderkids, all about her favourite schools in books and what she’d get up to if she attended them! Over to Jacqueline!

Where

Constance Billard School for Girls

Why

Because attending Constance would likely mean that I am a rich Upper East Side society teen and that sounds pretty appealing right about now. * Searches sofa for lost coins* It also likely means that I have a stylish, ice-cold girl squad, VIP tickets to all of NYC’s hottest events and a window view of Chuck Bass. Yes, please, and thank you. 

Outfit

Headband! Jewelry to decorate my Constance uniform- Cartier bangles, Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace and earrings. Celine Handbag, Chloe loafers and a Chloe coat. I have given this a lot of thought. Can you tell?

Food of Choice

Salad on the Met steps, duh! Brought to me by courier or one of my minions. Probably ordered from Serafina or Cipriani. If I’m feeling a little celebratory then I’ll order sashimi from Tanoshi. 

After school activity

My after school schedule is very packed. I help plan the Debutante Ball. I am on a bunch of committees, and model U.N, and then there’s my internship at Vanity Fair, private ballet-barre classes, not to mention all the openings I attend (my mom is on the board of like, every museum in Manhattan.)

2. 

Where

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

Why

Well, because that would mean that I am a mutant and I would give ANYTHING to be a mutant. Like, anything. 

Outfit

Pretty much casual  jeans and loose T-shirts. I burn and ruin my clothes when I’m training so I like to keep it super casual. 

Food of Choice

I feel like the kitchen at Xavier’s mansion is very well stocked, especially with American snacks like pop tarts and rice krispie treats. We are not really supposed to have late night snacks or go to the kitchen at night but my roommate can teleport (like Nightcrawler,) so it’s not a problem. 

After school activity

Training for combat in the danger cave. Swimming in Breakstone lake. Trying to break into Hangar bay so that my friends and I can highjack one of the jets for a joy ride.

3.

Where

Camp Half-blood

Why

Not technically a school, but still! Attending Camp Half Blood would likely mean that I am the daughter of a god or goddess and YES PLEASE SIGN ME UP. I don’t even care that the lifestyle comes with troubles and dangers as long as I get to attend camp.

Food of Choice

I would eat lunch with Nico at Apollo’s table. Mainly because I love Nico but also because I’m likely a child of Apollo; with my gift for poetry and all that (and I also feel that my mom would have a had a soft spot for Apollo if you catch my drift.) I’ll have some barbecued fish, grapes galore, and fresh strawberries (whatever the wood nymphs are carrying around.) Since my goblet can magically refill itself with whatever drink I desire, I’ll opt for Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla

Outfit

Orange camp T-shirt. Obviously. My boyfriend is a son of Hermes so he made me this little necklace with wings on it, or maybe he stole it, I don’t really know, but it’s super cute and I wear it everyday. I also wear this little leather bracelet with an arrow charm on it to remind me of my dad. 

After school activity

Giving the climbing wall my best shot. Archery practice, obviously. I spend the rest of my time honing my writing talents and reading my poetry to my siblings.

4. 

Where

Wildwood Academy

Why

Yes, Wildwood academy has something sinister lurking beneath its amazing exterior, but that sinister thing only affects like 3% of students so I will take my chances! The food is to die for, the setting is beautiful, the classes are exceptional and funky, and if I got in that means I’m either very talented or very rich, so there’s that.

Food of Choice
Sums and I like to hit the all day Waffle buffet and experiment with the endless toppings. I also like the soft serve machine. The sashimi towers served at dinner. If I’m feeling healthy I will hit up Amber’s favorite- the yoghurt stand. 

Outfit

I like to wear this floor length black cashmere coat. It’s looks so ominous against the backdrop of winter mist and the redwood forest. Also it goes with my uniform and it isn’t technically a uniform violation

After school activity

I want to be on Stamos’s events committee and help plan the winter ball, the Halloween dance, and the Easter egg hunt (dubbed the Easter make-out hunt, as students tend to saunter off for make-out sessions instead of looking for the eggs.) 

When I’m free I like to sneak off to the Point. Once in a while ill go to town to Ye Old Ice Creamery or get a tarot reading in (mostly so that I can gawk at the off-limits townie boys.) 

5.

Where

Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Why

Because it’s Hogwarts. No explanation needed.

Outfit

My robes and my uniform. I have a lot of house pride so I tend to overdo it on the Ravenclaw accessories. My mom is a witch and a fashion designer and she crafted me these light silk pajamas that cool you down when it’s hot and heat you in the winter nights. They are in my house colors and that’s what I wear at night, or in the common room for all-nighter study sessions pre- O.W.L.s.

Food of Choice 

Sunday Roast except every day, pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes to tie me over between meals and for late night studying. Hagrid invites me over sometimes for tea and rock cakes.

After school activity

I like to go to Hogsmeade for essentials, like to drink butterbear and gossip with my friends. But also for new quills from Scrivenshaft’s. I can be found in the prefect’s bathroom taking pink bubble baths, in the library or at quidditch practice.



Wunderkids is available to buy now

Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of Wunderkids? What are your favourite fictional schools? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, I’d LOVE to hear from you! 

See you soon with a new post 

Amy xxx


The New Disney Princess Tag

Hello everyone!

Today I’m once again combining my loves of books and Disney in order to do the new Disney Princess Book Tag, for which I was tagged by the LOVELY Rosie from Rosie Freckle Reads (albeit a tad unofficially in the comments, when I mentioned my love for Disney 😂)

Let’s get onto the tag!

Rules!

  1. Mention who tagged you or where you saw it
  2. Tag the creators – The New Disney Princess Tag was created by Mandy and Zuky
  3. Play a game of tag at the end!

Snow White
The Book (Like the Movie) That Started it All
Favourite Debut Book from an Author 

I’m making this my favourite debuts from 2017 for fairness, and some of those have been Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren, Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth, Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter and Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green.

Cinderella
A Diamond in the Rough
Just Like Cinderella, You Didn’t Expect Much Out of This Character in the Beginning But Turned Out to be a Total Gem

As I was recently discussing this with someone, I’m going to say Jennifer Jones from Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy, who I expected to loathe but actually felt incredibly sorry for as I was reading.

Aurora
Sleeping Beauty
A Book That Makes You Sleepy Or Could Not Hold Your Attention 

Some recent disappointing reads in this sense have been Sea by Sarah Driver and Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.

Ariel
Under the Sea
A Book With a Water/Ocean setting 

I can’t think of many books with a water/ocean setting, but two I love are Mermaid Magic by Gwyneth Rees and Mermaid Wishes by Carol Barton. I read both of these when I was young and I was captivated. I highly recommend them both to anyone looking for funny, sweet lower middle grade (Mermaid Wishes is absolutely hilarious in places, and I STILL enjoy rereads of that series just as much now.)

Belle
Beauty and the Books
Name a Book With the Best Bookworm/Book Lover 

I think I have to go for Harriet Manners here, don’t I?! What kind of obsessed Geek Girl fan would I be otherwise? 😂

Jasmine
The Thief and the Princess

Name a Book With an Unlikely Love Story (Either in Terms of Romance or a Book You Didn’t Expect to Love So Much)

A book I didn’t expect to love as much as I did is Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen. If you’ve heard me speak about her debut Boy in the tower (which, for the record, I think is a masterpiece of middle grade and deserves every award imaginable and should be read everywhere) you’ll possibly be a bit shocked by this answer. However, I wasn’t at all a fan if her 2nd novel so I was hugely apprehensive going into this, and I honestly couldn’t have been more thrilled that it was very nearly on a par with Boy in the Tower and will possibly end up being as special to me as that book is after a couple of rereads.

Pocahontas
The Real Life Princess
Name a Book That is Based on a Real Life Person You Want to Read/Have Read

One of my favourite series ever, the 39 Clues, contains real historical figures and although it fictionalises some things there is a lot of real information in there too which I found fascinating and has introduced me to some amazing periods of history and people from history. 

Mulan
The Princess That Saves Her Country

Name the Fiercest Heroine You Know

Daisy from the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries! She has many faults, but she’s feisty, fierce and a totally fabulous detective. Another awesome female detective I love is Emily Wild from Adventure Island by Helen Moss, and a YA heroine ho would fit this too is Lottie from Holly Bourne’s superb Spinster Club trilogy!

Tiana
The Princess with the Coolest and Most Diverse Crew

Name a Diverse Book Whether it is a Diverse Set of Characters or Just Diverse in General 

I’m going to go for Radio Silence by Alice Oseman for this question. It’s a wonderful book that I was totally gripped by (it was an utter pain having to stop for a few hours so I could do last minute revision for and sit my Modern Studies exam, let me tell you)

Rapunzel
Let Your Long Hair Down
Name the Longest Book You’ve Read


I’m pretty sure the longest book I’ve ever read is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! My copy is 800 pages long, but I read it in a day the first I read them as it’s so phenomenally written and paced.

Merida
I Determine my Own Fate
A Book Where There is No Love Story/Interest or Isn’t Needed

I think I have to shout out to Beautiful Broken Thungs by Sara Barnard here. It’s an absolutely anazing book that tackles how messy female friendships can be and shows a character recovering from childhood abuse in her new home. 

Anna and Elsa
Frozen Hearts
A Book in a Winter/Cold Setting 
I’m going to cheat a bit and say Prisoner of Ice and Snow again. It’s world building of snowy, icy Demidova is too incredible not to.

Moana
How Far I’ll Go
A Character That Goes on a Journey 

Alfie from Defender of the Realm (and Dark Age) by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby goes on some epic actual and emotional journeys in these books. I’m both excited and terrified to see what the 3rd book will hold for him next year!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed the post. I’m taggimg Hannah and Rebecca, as I’m pretty certain they’re both Disney fans too!

See you soon with a new post 

Amy xxx

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters You Can’t Help but Root For

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m once again taking part in the Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted over at the Broke and the Bookish. Todays theme was quite broad (characters who share a trait) so I decided to talk about books which feature characters I can’t help but root for. These books also tend to be some of my favourites, so these sorts of characters seem to be the ones I love most.

Let’s get started! 

*no order* (and I’ve only included humans, as I’m yet to find an animal prontagonist I’m not completely behind all the way!)

1. Darkus from the Battle of the Beetles trilogy- in Beetle Boy, Darkus is trying to track down his missing dad, and in book 2 he’s facing off against scientist supervillain Lucretia Cutter yet again. Despite all of this, he’s still an amazing friend to Bertholt and Virginia, and truly cares for all of the beetles, especially his own beetle Baxter. 

2. Elliot from the Who Let the Gods Out series– Elliot has a lot to worry about in these books, which have been some of my favourites of 2017. His mum has early-onset dementia, he learns some upsetting information about his dad in book 2, and that’s not even to mention the fact that the Greek gods have moved in with him! I really adore Elliot as he’s got a lot going on and is a fairly realistic hero in the way he reacts to the situations he faces.

3. Evie from the Spinster Club trilogy- Evie suffers from OCD, and suffers a relapse during the first book in the trilogy (Am I Normal Yet?). I always read this book incredibly quickly (especially by my usual standards) as I become so worried about Evie and after her relapse and throughout books 2 and 3 I definetely root for her to continue on the good path she’s forged for herself.

4. Sam from Ways to Live Forever- Sam has leukaemia and this book tells the story of him achieving the list of things he wants to do before he dies and also tackles his fear of dying and just his day to day life. He’s a truly brave and inspiring character to me.

5. Rosalind from Being Miss Nobody- this is a much more recent read than everything else on this list so far (I only read it last month) but Rosalind is a character who I immediately fell in love with and I read the book in a matter of hours as I was so desperate to make sure she would be okay in the end. I was an emotional wreck throughout; I laughed, I cried, and at the times when things went well, smiled. I can’t recommend this enough. 

6. Alfie from the Defender of the Realm series- Alfie is another recent favourite character. He’s the new king who also has to negotiate his role as the ‘Defender’, a superhero who protects the United Kindgdom from mythical monsters responsible for the REAL historical events. I really cheer Alfie on in his weaker moments and throughout his many action scenes as he’s such a loveky prontagonist and deserves to do well in his roles. On another note, these books are just generally fabulous and I’m often practically glued to the pages to find out what’ll happen next!

7. Harriet from the Geek Girl series- Even though I’m different to Harriet in a lot of ways (e.g. I’m absolutely awful at maths, and she’s a genius with it) I also really identify with her in some ways. I’d be a bit mean if I didn’t root for someone so like me, then, would I not?! Thankfully, I think Harriet’s a BRILLIANT character, and I’m always on her side, no matter who she’s having an argument with or what she’s supposedly done. #teamgeek

8. Hazel from the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries– Hazel has really changed and grown from who she was in the first book, but I’ve loved her the whole way through and can’t imagine ever not loving her. She’s kind and clever and is becoming stronger and more able to stand up for herself against her very forceful best friend Daisy (who I also love lots, but I think I’d be a bit afraid of her if were to meet in real life, whereas I’d absolutely love to be be friends witj Hazel or have her as a sister). I can’t wait to see her again soon.

9. Summer from the Chocolate Box Girls series– Summer is my favouirte of the Tanberry-Costello sisters, particularly after the book she narrates in the series, Summer’s Dream, in which she starts to crumble under the pressure of achieving her dream to be a ballerina and begins to suffer from an eating disorder. It’s a very hard book to read (it’s as wondeful as all the others,  possibly even better, but watching Summer spiral and hate herself and her body is really upsetting in places). As the series moved on, I was definetly willing Summer on to get healthier and it made me really happy every time she made a step towards that goal (even though she took some steps backwards as well 😔)

10. Ade from Boy in the Tower– last but most certainly not least is Ade, who if I was really, REALLY forced to answer who my favourite character is in a book.  (I massively struggle to choose favourites of anything, but characters are all like my best friends). I can’t read the opening pages of Boy in the Tower without bursting into tears, as I’m so sad about all of the difficult things I know he’s about to face and he’s such a kind, caring character and he just doesn’t deserve any of it. I’ll be honest. I’m welling up just thinking about Ade. I’m of the opinion that this book is a masterpiece, and Ade is a huge reason why I love it so much. 

Thank you so much for reading! Are there any characters you can’t help but root for? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

See you soon with a new post,

Amy xxx

My Smashing September Book Haul!

Hello everyone!

Today, I’m planning to share all of the books I’ve amassed since my book haul this time last month. (Which is actually quite restrained for me 😱😱)

Let’s get started!

READ

So far this month, I’ve read a couple of the books I recieved, which I won’t say much about as I’ll be reviewing them at the end of September. They are;

Going Viral by Amy Alward (recieved in a giveaway from Toppsta)- this is the third and final book in the fantastic Potion Diaries series, and I thought it was the best by far! 

The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan- While a world without chocolate is one of my worst nightmares, it makes for a fabulous middle grade adventure novel!

Defender of the Realm, and Dark Age (not pictured) by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby- I chose Defender of the Realm as one of my bookish rewards for doing so well in my exams (along with a few others) and enjoyed it so much I bought the sequel before I even finished it. I’ve now read it too, and I have no idea how I’m going to wait almost a year for the next book 😭😭

BOUGHT

Next up, the books I bought. 

I recieved a couple of others for my exam results (Lorali, which I wanted to read because I LOVE mermaids and Following Ophelia, which sounds fascinating and also becuase Sophia Bennett’s last book Love Song was an absolute favourite last year).

I also bought a few for myself; Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (just after reading Defender of the Realm, as I’m sure I’ve seen this compared to that), Hole in the Middle by Kendra Fortmeyer (the 1st chapter of this is utterly hilarious, and as soon as I read the extract I HAD to have it), Stunt Double by Tamsin Cooke (I’ve been meaning to get this for ages, I absolutely loved the blog tour for this and the book sounds right up my alley. Isn’t in the photo as one it’s in won’t upload 😔) and The Boy With One Name by JR Wallis, which I treated myself to on a trip to Tesco as it just soumds the sort of thing I’ll really enjoy. 

LIBRARY 

I’ve only taken one book out of the library this month so far 😮😮😮, but it looks superb. I loved Divided City and Ghost Soldier, so I’m hoping I’ll feel the same way about the Rasputin Dagger, especially as I find the take of Rasputin REALLY interesting. 
RECEIVED

Finally, the books I’ve been lucky enough to recieve, whether from giveaways or from publishers to review. I was sent The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Spy Toys: Out of Control, The Mystery of Me, and last but not least, Worry Angels (which I’ve already sped through, and it was super lovely) from their respective publishers. I’m looking forward to reading the others too, as they all sound phenomenal in really different ways!

The wonderful Georgina from Toppsta sent me a couple of extras with Going Viral (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, and Here be Witches, which both sound UTTERLY brilliant.) I also won a proof copy of A Shiver of Snow and Sky from Scholastic, and it sounds brilliant. 

Thank you so much for reading!

What books have you amassed this month? Where do you think I should start with my pile? Please let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy xxx

BLOG TOUR: Firelines by Cara Thurlbourn Spotlight

Hello everybody!

Today I’m part of the blog tour for Firelines by Cara Thurlbourn, and I’m going to be giving you some information about the book and Cara herself.

Let’s get started!

SYNOPSIS
WHEN YOUR BLOOD LINE AWAKENS, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN FAMILY AND FREEDOM?
Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.
 
Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. ‘Fire Lines’ is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old.

Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University. 

She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities.

Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings.

You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: http://www.firelines.co.uk

BOOK INFO

Release Date: 26th September 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Bewick Press

Format: Paperback

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35581157-fire-lines 

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fire-Lines-Cara-Thurlbourn-ebook/dp/B075FTR12K

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear what you thought of this book in the comments!

See you soon with a new post 

Amy xxx