Welcome to our new feature where we talk about random things we’ve seen around the blogosphere. It could be an interesting article, a book trailer, maybe a fun piece of news we feel you should know about, and maybe even a stylish pair of shoes or handbag we’ve seen (if Laura has her way!). Basically it’s a bit of a mashup! Enjoy….

Romance Writer Turns Out To Be 89 Year Old Man!

I love this story! In the past we had the likes of the Brontës having male pseudonyms, well this month it has been revealed that romance writer Jessica Blair is in actual fact an 89 year old grandfather – Bill Spence, who was also a bomb aimer in World War II. Spence has written 22 books under the female pseudonym at the advice of his publisher. Good on Bill!

This story did get me thinking though, I love romance but would I read one written by a man? Am I sexist if I don’t? I think it would make me pause, but I would be intrigued as I would wonder if a man would ‘get it’ as I do very much, rightly or wrongly, see romance as a female genre. But I think I would still pick it up to see. I imagine there are more out there we don’t know about.

Source: Daily Mail

Four Million UK Adults Never Read For Pleasure

This story genuinely makes me sad. Like most people that read this blog I imagine, I adore books, I cannot imagine my life without books and the magnificent worlds it allows me to escape into. Many an evening I will forgo my TV in favour of my latest novel and sleep a little less hours than I had originally planned to follow the exploits of a favourite hero. To think that four million people never know or understand this pleasure is a depressing figure, but if I’m honest, perhaps not a surprising one. As is this number:

A quarter of the UK’s adult population – more than 12 million people – had picked up a book to read for enjoyment less than twice in the past six months.

But at the same time, I’m not quite sure how to go about changing it. I think that the love of books really begins in childhood and that’s education both at school and in the home. Is there a way we can change these people’s perceptions?

Source: Guardian Books

Three More Books For Andrews’ Kate Daniels Series

I am a rather big fan of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Kate is one super tough chick and Curran could sneak into my bedroom any day (bad Laura). The plot is great, the world-building and concept of magic and technology unique and it is a series that firmly sits on my auto-buy list. So I was very excited to read that the Andrews’ writing team has confirmed there will be three whole more books in the series, bringing the series total to ten… yippee! The showdown between Kate and Roland will still be in book seven (OMG I can’t wait), but books eight to ten will give us more adventures and explore Kate’s family further:

Kate 7 will be written as intended. We always said it will be a confrontation between Kate and her father and that’s exactly what it will be. It will be a natural stopping point, the end of Round One, to that part of the series arc, so if you wish, you can stop after Kate 7, and not follow further adventures of Kate, Curran, Hugh, Roland, and various enemies and near immortal relatives and not feel completely left adrift.

Anyone else excited? Magic Rises (book six) is out this summer!

Source: Ilona Andrews’ Blog

The Rise of the Audiobook

Fans of the blog will know that I’m quite a big audiobook listener. They make my forty five minute drive to work immensely more enjoyable and this is something I have got more and more into over the last couple of years. It turns out I’m not the only one to have a love of audiobooks. Sales are up 20% from 2011 to 2012 and is expected to grow a further 20% in 2013. Younger audiences appear to be driving the market, with 46% of audiobooks purchased via download rather than CD. So what about you, are you an audiobook fan too? Or perhaps an audiobook virgin who is considering giving one a go?

 Source: EPublishABook

Emma Roberts Cast As Lena In Oliver’s Delirium Series

Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series set in a dystopian world where love is viewed as a disease is one I’ve been reading, with Requiem currently working its way up my tbr list. The series, along with a few other YA favourites and following in the footsteps of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, is going to be adapted to film.  News is that Emma Roberts has been cast to play Elena. I have to admit to not knowing who Roberts was, and her CV looks a little b-list to date, you can check her out on IMDB here, she does however happen to be Julia Roberts’ niece. There have been a few complaints that Roberts is too pretty to play Lena, and this is always a problem when a book reaches Hollywood, this was initially my concern with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, but other than that I don’t actually think she’s a bad choice. I guess only the film itself will tell.

Source: vh1.com

J.K. Rowling No Longer A Billionaire

I think it’s pretty fair to say that J.K. Rowling is already one of my heroines quite simply for writing the totally awesome Harry Potter series. But when I read the article that she was no longer a billionaire, not for a nefarious or self-indulgent reasons, but because she had given so much money away to charity this has only further propelled her up in my estimations. Rowling has been quoted as saying:

You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.

I completely agree and wish some more celebrities who earn far more than they could ever spend or need would follow in Rowling’s footsteps. Ms Rowling, I salute you!

Source: FactualFacts.com

Does Chick Lit Affect Body Image?

While I rarely read any chick-lit novels anymore, I went through a huge chick-lit phase in my 20s, indulging myself in the woes of Bridget Jones and her contemporaries. Delighting in their chocolate eating and wine drinking, their giant knicker wearing wardrobes and disastrous love lives. I couldn’t get enough of them. I think to a certain extent I imagined they were a crazy extension of my life and enjoyed them partly for that reason. Of course, I never met Mr. Darcy! So it was with interest that I read an article that criticised the genre for negatively affecting women’s body image:

Bridget Jones and the army of weight-obsessed young heroines who followed in her footsteps have a lot to answer for, according to academics, who have found that women’s body image is negatively affected by chick lit.

I am really going to have to disagree here! Firstly it’s fiction, secondly maybe I’m naive, but introduce me to a woman who at some point in her life hasn’t had an issue with her weight. I understand that pictures of slim celebrities in women’s glossies, and projections of attractive heroines perhaps do have an impact, we’ve seen it impact particularly the younger generation, which is of course a concern. But actually the less than perfect figures of the heroines in chick-lit is something I still like about the genre. I wish we had a few less than stunning heroines (and heroes) in my beloved romance books, but while there are a few out there, it’s still not the norm. What does everyone else think about this subject, how do you feel about the figures and weight of heroines in books you read?

Source: Guardian Books

25% Off Bagabook’s Latest Collection

Last year I did a review of Bagabook’s range of book covers, for those of us who hate people who have a nose at what we’re reading or perhaps like to keep our books nice and crisp and clean. Bagabook have since extended their range to include all sorts of ebook covers, iPad and iPad Mini cases. Take a look, I do like this cute polkadot iPad Mini case. If you fancy indulging they curently have 25% off! Use code ro25 at www.bagabook.com.

Source: Bagabook


A self-confessed bookworm who's favourite genres are urban fantasy, horror and a good love story with a sexy supernatural beastie. Also has a bit of a handbag fetish… actually, let's not mention the handbags; they seem to be breeding!


Stephanie Scott February 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm

That’s very cool that JK has given so much away. Wonderful to hear. I read that story about the 89 yr old man writing romance. I’m fine reading romance written by either gender as long as the characters are believeable and the story works. Tom Wolfe wrote I Am Charlotte Wolf about American college students. He’s brilliant at social commentary, but it really read like an older man trying to write about an age group he did not understand–he was about 75 at the time. It was awkward.


Stephanie Scott February 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Ah the book is I Am Charlotte Simmons, not Wolf.


Laura February 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I agree age and sex doesn’t matter as long as the content is good. But if you saw a man’s name on a romance would it make you think twice before picking it up?


Gemma February 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

Although I commend Rowling for giving so much money away to charity, lets be honest that its due to tax reasons. Sure, dress it up as the selfless thing to do and its nice that the charities are getting some much needed funding, but colour me cynical if it isn’t just a big ol tax aviodance.

P.s., I actually drive through the area that Rowling lives. I don’t know which house though. She must have an invisability cloak over it


Laura February 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Aww Gemma, you’ve taken the sparkle off lol, I like to think it’s for nice reasons :)


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