Aug 31, 2014

A Place for Us Part Two by Harriet Evans

The SECOND of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans will reunite you with the Winter family ...

The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.
So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you'll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors.

The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.

The hall is cool after the hot summer's day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.

Yet something makes you suspect life here can't be as perfect as it seems.
After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.

But wouldn't you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?

Welcome to Winterfold.
Martha Winter's family is finally coming home.

 Martha's family members are home and chef Joe is helping her with the food and the drinks. Everything is going according to plan. Unfortunately things don't stay that way. Martha's son Bill and his wife Karen are having marital problems. Her granddaughter Cat has taken her son Luke for his first family visit, only they had no idea he even existed. Joe is getting involved with the Winter family more and more, but not in a very positive way. Piece by piece a few of the family's well kept secrets are being revealed.
I read the second part of A Place for Us in one sitting. The Winter family is intriguing and I was really curious to find out some of their mysteries. Of course I want to know all of them, so I'm anxiously waiting for the next part to come out. I liked that in this novella the author's showing a more assertive side of both Bill and Florence. Even though things are a mess there's still a lot of love and the family members are happy to see each other again. All families have secrets, which makes this story believable, while it's spectacular at the same time. Some people have more things to hide than others though and the Winter family is good at it. This story makes me wonder all the time, which is something I admire very much. I also love Harriet Evan's beautiful writing style. A Place for Us is a fantastic read!

Beautiful Cute Art!

Mel Macklin
Adolie Day
Marisol Spoon
Marisol Spoon
The Poppy Tree

I love art that's both cute and beautiful! I can't stop looking at those fantastic creations!

My Book Top 10

When someone asks me for a list of books that I really like I almost instantly freeze, there are so many of them! I've been tagged on Facebook to make a selection and thought it would be nice to share my top ten in a post as well. I'm not only showing my favorite books, but also the genres I prefer to read.

1) Chick lit:

2) Heavy literature

3) Magical Realism

4) Literature

5) Fantasy

Aug 30, 2014


I love bookmarks and I'm always looking for new designs. I've made a selection of the shops I've bought from in the past. This set of bookmarks comes from Yozocraft. I've purchased several of those in the past and love them! I always have a pile next to my books, so I can grab one whenever I need it.

Santoro has a lot of very cute bookmark designs. What's really nice about these is that they have different designs on both sides.

Sybile's art is stunning and her bookmarks are really beautiful. I love all of her designs!

 La Marelle has got quite a large selection of adorable bookmarks. I like every single one of them!

I've already showed a lot of Shannon Valentine's work. Her bookmarks come with a handy protective sleeve to keep it in when you aren't using it.

Sandra Vargas has some very cute bookmarks. I've bought items with her lovely designs from both Etsy and Zazzle.

Online Shopping on Friday Night!

I've done some online shopping yesterday and it was a great and happy way to start the weekend. I've purchased some lovely things! The first thing I've bought is this gorgeous necklace. It's from Ariom Designs on Etsy and I really like it! I'm a big fan of unusual jewelry with beautiful stones.

I've placed an order at Rose & Co again. I needed to stock up on some favorite products and of course I'm also going to try a few new ones. I've purchased a few small things for my birthday giveaway as well.

I love Dleesnow's designs and fell in love with this candy jar. Cute, pink and sweets, a perfect combination!

I've purchased quite a few books this week, because there were some great offers. This is one of them. I can't wait to read it!

This pendant contains a real butterfly wing. The owner of Chrysalis Studios makes eco- friendly jewelry, so no butterfly has been harmed to create the necklace. I love that these beautiful insects are being preserved this way. People can enjoy and love them every day and their stunning wings are a real treasure!

Aug 29, 2014

Lavender's Working and Studying: A Summary

I'm a librarian and I love my job. Our library is modern, with a lot of windows. The walls of glass are giving me a great sense of freedom, because when I look around me I can see the sky. The library is located next to a shopping center. Around the corner there's a small theater and a museum. Everything is fashionable and new. It looks quite stylish if you ask me.
 I love the interaction with our customers. Especially the regulars. Of course we have to be silent, so people can focus on their reading, but there's a coffee corner where talking is allowed. We share it with a large bookshop which is downstairs. I love it and am often popping in to see if they've got something new. My good friend Zoe is working behind the counter of the café. She's a philosophy student who wants to enjoy everything she does. She's in no hurry to graduate and is doing as much studying as she can just for fun. Gina is working at the art library next door. We often meet for lunch or we go out for a drink after work.
My boss, Edward, is a wonderful man. He's kind and generous and he's getting along with everyone. He's also posh and rich and a little bit stiff, but with a great sense of humor. He and his sweet and caring wife, Victoria, have a large city home and they often invite people over for dinner. I love their parties and feel very much at home with them, which is great as I regularly stay the night. I really like my boss. He's working at the library for fun. When my former boss Nanette freaked out, he immediately stepped in to replace her. Now I'm next in line to run the place. That's scary, but they're making sure that I'll be prepared.
Every Monday I'm taking classes. One of my teachers, Rian, has become a great friend. He's a crime writer and I'm a big fan of his work. We usually go out for tea and cake together at the end of the afternoon. Because of him I now always look forward to my Mondays. I'm also lucky that I'm part of a supportive study group. Nolan, Betsy and Christie are my fellow reading addicts. We are all trying to become authors and we're only studying to have a plan B. We've started a book club and are meeting every Monday evening to discuss our own stories and our favorite fantasy- and urban fantasy books. 
I'm glad I've met all those special people, they've made my social life so much brighter. I'm lucky to have such a great job. I love being surrounded by books and the best part of my day is when I see a smile on someone's face because of a book I've recommended.

photo credit: boltron- via photopin cc

Shannon Valentine: Etsy Seller of the Week & Giveaway

Shannon Valentine is my Etsy Seller of the Week. I've chosen her shop, because I love her art. It's so beautiful. I like the details in her images and her faces are stunning. She uses a lot of animals in her paintings and drawings and those are my absolute favorites, I think they're so pretty! 

I've asked Shannon a few questions about her wonderful, fairy inspired art. You can find her answers below.

1) What inspires you?

Inspiration is all around me. I find that it can hit at any time. I mostly get inspired by books, movies, magazines and other people's art. I also find that just being observant and actively looking for ideas can lead to some interesting results. I'll start to doodle in my sketchbook and suddenly an idea will just materialize and I'm on my way to creating what will become a finished piece.

2) Why do you draw fairies and fantasy creatures? Is there a story behind it?

I am hugely inspired and drawn to nature and fantasy themes. I really can't tell you how or why. I've always been interested in fantasy themes for as long as I can remember. I've been drawing fairies, flowers and unicorns since I was a child. I also love watching things grow and love beautiful things. Nature, in my opinion, is the most beautiful, whether it's an old tree, a field of tall grass or a small bird. I always incorporate some form of the natural world in my art.

3) Could you tell me something more about your Etsy shop?

I opened my Etsy shop in the spring of 2011. I had been selling my art at local art shows and sci-fi/fantasy conventions and thought it was time to create an online presence. Etsy has allowed me to share my art globally and I've also formed some friendships along the way! I haven't made Etsy my full-time job yet, but I hope to someday. For now, I supplement my income by selling my art at larger art shows and working for a software company.

Here's some more information about Shannon's background:

When I was very young, my dad taught me how to paint. In high school I started taking art classes on the weekends at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I eventually earned my BFA. Although my training at SAIC was very formal, I eventually returned to drawing my little fairies and magical creatures as I did when I was a child. I found that this brought me the most joy. As an adult, I still yearn for the ideal that could only exist in fantasy. I also have a soft spot for all…

Shannon is selling bookmarks, post cards and art prints. I've selected some of her work for this post which wasn't an easy job, because I'm in love with all of it. I really like her Etsy store and am a very happy customer as I've ordered quite a few of her lovely things already.

Shannon has kindly offered to send a surprise gift to one lucky winner. Enter the rafflecopter below to have a chance to win this great prize!

Book Talk: Unhappy Endings

 Of course I love a good romance with a happy ending, but for me to enjoy a book it isn't a necessity. There are so many great books that don't end well. When I want some light and uplifting reading I would never choose a great piece of literature, but when I'm in for a surprise I love books that aren't predictable in any way. Some writers let their main characters die or something awful happens to them. Sometimes the reader also doesn't know, because there's an open ending. There are so many amazing and creative ways to end a story. I like variety. 
A few publishers don't accept books that have an unpredictable, dark and gloomy finale. I understand that as readers have certain expectations when they buy their books. I'm glad not all of them have that rule though. I'm a positive and cheerful person, but don't expect the same from the books I'm reading. I have a soft spot for stories where at a certain point everything is going wrong. I can't help it. I also don't have to like the main characters to fall in love with a story. I'm pretty open minded. What's most important for me is the thrill and enjoyment when I'm reading a story. When I'm feeling something the author has succeeded, even if it's revulsion instead of happiness. 

Aug 28, 2014

Ãbout Birthdays, Manuscripts and Living

photo credit: Theresa Thompson via photopin cc

I will be 34 soon. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that yet. 34 isn't old, but for me it doesn't really feel right. The cause of that is that I've missed so many good things, so many milestones. Everyone around me was living, while I was trying to get through the day and survive. I've used my experiences to write a book called Julia's Diary. I finished it today. It's in Dutch, not in English, so if it ever comes out not all of you will be able to read it. I'm really proud of it though. I've used my bad experiences to create something good.
This year something has drastically changed. I'm now on permanent antibiotics and even though I have to be careful I can do some living of my own. In my case it means writing, writing and more writing. I have so many stories to tell and there are three more books waiting to be looked at one final time before I'm going to submit them. In the eyes of some of you I might not have come very far yet. I'm almost 34 years old and haven't achieved anything memorable just yet. But the fact that I'm still here and doing something I love is enough reason for me to celebrate for an entire month!


Cute Decodelire from Decobags

I love Decobags! Their products are wonderful and Decodelire is such a cute brand. I really like this shop and have selected my current favorites. I can't wait to shop there again!
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