Monday, 30 January 2017

Blogging in politics

If we're honest blogging and politics make for a volatile mix. Whomever you support, whatever you voted its undeniable that the world has become conflicted in its views. So, is adding a load of confident, intelligible and aware blogger to the mix a good idea?
To be honest, there's no right or wrong answer. I read a post by Abbey Louisa Rose which sunned up the pros and cons of bloggers using their platform for political gain recently. I actually felt it summed up my own thinking on the subject very well. In fact, it argued the case almost too good because now I'm undecided. 

This blog falls nicely under the category of escapism. I use it to escape the pressures of my daily life and hope that my readers use it as a similar outlet.
 I mostly prefer to keep my content neutral and typically light hearted. 
So I can respect bloggers who feel similar.
On the other hand, does this mean I don't care?  Of course I bloody do! I was inspired by the incredible Women March recently and felt my own beliefs often matches those of the marchers. I personally dislike President Trump and it genuinely concerns me what he's already done within the first few weeks in power.  These are my thoughts and beliefs. They don't typically have a place on the blog but they do come out to play on Twitter and the accounts I surround myself with.

Whatever you decide, be true to yourself. Use your platform as you feel you should, in a way that you feel confident supporting.

How do you feel about politic and blogging?

Abi X

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Blog tour: Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie

I've been lucky enough to take part in another blog tour! The latest offer comes courtesy of publishers Little, Brown who have sent me a pre-release paperback of Mark Hardie's debut novel: Burned.
(Avaible on ebook, paperback due in May 2017).

What can I say about the book? Well it's gritty crime novel following the story of multiple charachters prior to the finding of a dodgy police officers dead body. Certainly a good premise, and a story that felt right up my street.
The story is split between the charachters of DC Russell, partner to the victim, who is being investigated and Donna. Donna is a young woman who is struggling to survive after losing her closest friend, and is seeking retribution for her death.
The plot for me was the highlight and I felt that the individual components really contributed to the story. The resolution of the story arc felt natural and worked really well (nope not giving owt else away!). On the downside,early on the narration felt slightly disjointed at times, until the links between the plot arcs become more clear.
Another downside was that at times the desriptive work fell a bit flat. It seemed slightly forced at times. I mention this as a slight standout as mostly I found it very well written.
A sure fire question to answer is would I read it again? On that front it's a yes, on the proviso that a sequel is forthcopmning. As a debut novel I was impressed and I really hope that Hardie continues with the charachters he's created.

Overall rating: 7/10

Abi x

Monday, 23 January 2017

Staying motivated//COMPETITION

It feels like this post has been a long time coming. Do you ever find that? That you write and rewrite a post in your head so many times that it feels odd to finally jot it down. Sometimes I just find myself almost stuck on a post.
Anyway! Enough of my moaning, that's not what we're here for is it? The true aim of the post is to talk about staying motivated after the rash of New Year motivations. I'm not personally doing any resolutions this eyar, instead just keeping up my goals to be a bit healthier and a tad more active. In years past when I have set resolutions it's towards the end of the month that I find them starting to slip. So this year I want to help prevent others from doing the same.
  • Remind yourself why you've chosen that resolution// if it's an ongoing process ie diet and exercise related a month isn't really time for a long term change. Are you only after a reprieve after the Christmas indulgence or is your arm for a bigger lifestyle change?
  • Re-evaluate// It may be that now is the perfect time to rethink your resolution. Maybe your goal is trying to save up money, it could be a good time to review how your post Christmas finances are going (better than mine I hope!)
  • Re-consider// I don't want to promote quitting but if you're not making the most of or enjoying your resolution is it really for you? For example if you're trying to get fitter, running in freezing cold temperatures may not be for you. It may be you need to rethink how you plan to achieve your goals. We all have different preferences and lets face it we're far more likely to stick with goals if the process is a tad more enjoyable.
  • Research// If you're trying to eat healthier maybe it's time to have alook round for new recipes and ideas. In fact this may be where I can be most helpful! Goodyful* recently got in touch with me and offered to send me one of their new recipe boxes. They've also given me one extra that one of you lucky people can win!! I really like the brand, as it promotes healthy changes with their products. Promoting good food and diet, with a dash of moderation not restriction. The box is a great mix of products with fun and easy recipes to try! 

All you have to do is retweet the appropriate tweet and follow both myself and Goodyful on Twitter and Instagram. The competition will be ending on 27/1/17 at 8pm BST so get clicking.

Good luck!
Abi x

Fancy your own box? Check out:
*Affiliate link

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Book review// The Dry by Jane Harper

Heyo! It seems like a long time since I last posted a book review. Which I find strange, because I certainly haven't stopped reading books, just haven't been reviewing them. It's something I miss, and really want to integrate a bit more back on the blog. 
 Today's offering is The Dry by Jane Harper, which I was sent for free to review as part of a book tour. Perfect opportunity to get my old reviewing muscles back in shape. 
The book is set in drought ridden Kiewarra, Australia. We meet the antagonist at a funeral of his childhood friend. A friend who has just murdered his child and wife and then turned the gun on himself. Pretty gritty set up to start with. 
Our guy turns out to be a cop( finance division, not homicide) who sets out to determine if his friends death is really what it seems. Underlying this is a massive tragedy many years earlier. 
I won't tell you much more because hey, I ain't no spoiler. I'll hold my hands up and say that I enjoyed reading it. 
Enough to give it a solid 8/10 rating. I did end up guessing the twist in advance sadly( no surprises that there is a twist right??). This just pipped it from a 9/10 for me sadly. 

On the other hand the descriptions in the book make it seem so real. I love how Harper has integrated the drought into the book, sharing that desolation with the reader. If you don't think that's impressive I want you to consider this: I live in the UK and have plenty of experience of rain, but nothing of extreme heat and dryness. I really felt I gained an understanding of that concept through the writing and descriptive work put in. Essentially, it impressed me.

So there you have it! The first review of 2017 and hopefully first of many more.

Abi X
What should I review next?? 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Why I don't care if you follow me

Seems like rather an aggressive title from a distance... Yet it reflects what this post is truly about. I recently attended a blogger event( it's all I've talked about since, #CarnLIVal lives on!) and one thing that came up was swapping Twitter handles. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people weren't already following me. Which is fine, I'm a relatively small blog that's only recently been spreading it's wings. I don't expect people to me follow me (though obvs I do like it).
But back to the event, a few people seemed, I don't know, maybe embarrassed? That they weren't following me. It's hard to say, but I think they felt a bit awkward it seemed. To be honest this just made me a bit sad. I don't ever want people to feel pressured to follow me.
As cheesy as it is, I want people to follow me and my blog/various social medias because they like the content. I don't want anyone to feel pressured to do so, even if I already follow them. I don't want to just clutter up their feed and them not actually enjoy me and my stuffs.

On that note, I want to talk about who I follow on twitter.  I try and use the same principle to my own twitter. Most of my feed is made up of bloggers I enjoy, or people who I'm able to chat with. I actually recently culled a load of old school and uni friends which I'd never talked with on twitter. It actually felt quite refreshing as I was left with the people who I actually want to and will interact with.
I'm quite picky about who I follow because I want accounts that are active and chatty like I'm trying to be?

I hope this makes sense, and if you feel like my account isn't your cup of tea then that's cool also.

Abi x

Are there any twitter accounts that you like?