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zazzle bookish photography shop promotion

Shameless Self Promotion

I know I know, self-promotion is annoying but I gotta do it!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I’m into photography. I have been for a good few years and I have thousands of photos just sitting on my hard drive eagerly anticipating the day I put them to use! Well, that day has come!! Last night I set up a Zazzle shop to sell some (very few up at the moment) as posters. Zazzle is running a 50% sale on posters at the moment so now is the time to buy, people!!

I will be adding more bookish stuff soon as well. I love bookish merch but find it hard to get something that suits my taste. So I guess I gotta make some!!

Here are a few examples of what I’m selling. Click on a picture to view it on Zazzle ❤

every accomplishment starts with the decision to try black and white cliff by the sea portrait

macro photograph lily flower with rain drops

Rainy Street Light with Quote

cloudy irish sunset with quote aim for the sky

If you check out my store, thank you so so much. It really means a lot to me. If you buy something then you are the most amazing person in the world and I love you!!

 

100 Romance Books You Must Read Before You Die

I came across this romance books website today, XOXO After Dark, and they have a very interesting list of 100 Romance Books You Must Read Before You Die. I’m very sad to say I’ve only read about 3 books from the list… my excuse is that I tend to read series… There are a good few books that are on my TBR mentioned though. It’s a sign I must read them soon!!

Anywho, check out the list and let me know how many books you’ve read from it.

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Book Cover Cocktails

Happy Friday!!!! You deserve a drink after the week you’ve had. How about a cocktail?….. I absolutely love cocktails and recently bought a real pretty cocktail shaker so it’s time to shake it up! I thought it would be fun to pick out some cocktails based on book covers (I may have a skewed idea of what fun is…). I picked some favourite books and matched cocktails based on colours and the booze I prefer to drink.

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Serpentine

Ingredients

  • Half measure green creme de menthe
  • Cracked ice
  • Lime peel curl or twist
  • Chilled Champagne
  • 1tsp lime zest, to decorate

Method

Pour the creme de menthe into the bottom of a flute with the ice and the curl of lime peel. Top up with champagne and dress with the lime zest.

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Martini

Ingredients

  • 3 measures gin
  • 1 tsp dry vermouth
  • Cracked ice
  • Green cocktail olive to decorate

Method

Pour the gin and vermouth over the ice in a mixing glass and stir well to mix. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and dress with the cocktail olive.

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Kamikaze

Ingredients

  • 1 measure vodka
  • 1 measure triple sec
  • Half measure fresh lime juice
  • Half measure fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Dry white wine, chilled
  • Slices of cucumber and lime

Method

Shake the vodka, triple sec, lime and lemon juice over the ice. Strain into a chilled glass and top with the wine. Decorate with the slices of cucumber and lime.

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Long Island Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 2 measures vodka
  • 1 measure gin
  • 1 measure white tequila
  • 1 measure white rum
  • Half measure white creme de menthe
  • 2 measures lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar syrup
  • Cracked ice
  • Cola
  • Lime wedge

Method

Shake the first seven ingredients vigorously over the ice. Strain into an ice-filled tall glass and top with cola. Decorate with the lime wedge.

Recipes from Cocktails

My favourite cocktails are Long Island Iced Teas and Espresso Martinis. So delicious! What’s yours?

Swashbuckling Romances

Oh, the thrill of the high seas (we’ll ignore the scurvy bit). Ya gotta love a bit of cheesy romance every now and then, there’s no shame in it. Even Marge chills out with a good swashbuckling adventure once and awhile. The romance genre gets looked down at a lot and this subgenre even more so but who cares what people think as long as it’s fun, right?! Here are some of my top picks from the genre.

Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) Master of Seduction – Kinley MacGregor

♦Enemies to Lovers ♦Pirates ♦Historical

I love that cover so much!!! It’s so cheesy!! (Kinley MacGregor is a pseudonym for Sherrilyn Kenyon so Dark Hunter fans this might be the one for you.) I expected this book to be a bit of a cheese fest with heaving bosoms and the like but it was much sweeter than that. It’s more like a romantic comedy on the high seas (which is a bit cheesy I guess). Jack and Lorelei set a wager that she can make him fall in love with her before he can get her into the sack. You can imagine the little cat and mouse games that follow. It’s a very entertaining and fun read. One thing that annoys me is that Jack actually walks around calling himself The Master of Seduction…..calm down lad! ★★★☆☆

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1) The Iron Duke – Meljean Brook

♦Steampunk ♦Kick Ass Heroine ♦Suspense

Oh man, I love this book! Since it’s first in a steampunk series there is a good bit of world building but it doesn’t hinder the flow of the story. Mina and Rhys are some of the strongest characters I’ve ever read in a romance. And the story? Such an adventure! And there are zombies but they’re not super gross. Mina is an inspector assigned to a case involving a dead body dropped from the sky onto Rhys’s property. Together they unravel a conspiracy threatening the lives of everyone in England. ★★★★★

The Captain of All Pleasures (Sutherland Brothers, #1) The Captain of All Pleasures – Kresley Cole

♦Enemies to lovers ♦Historical ♦Suspense

This is Cole’s debut novel but it still shows signs of the style she writes with in Immortals After Dark. This book is quite the adventure as well. Derek is taking part in a ship race while holding Nicole prisoner after he believes she attempted to sabotage his ship in the hopes of winning the race herself. Adventure (and lurve) ensue. ★★★★★

 The Price of Pleasure – Kresley Cole

♦Historical ♦Adventure ♦Tortured Hero/Heroine

Sometimes I feel like I might be pushing Kresley Cole on you guys…..but she is awesome so you should really read her books!!! Seriously, my favourite romance author. Anyway, this book is the follow up to The Captain of All Pleasures but you don’t need to read it to enjoy this one. Here we follow Derek’s brother Grant as he seeks out and rescues Victoria whose family was stranded on a desert island years before (I think it was like 7 years). Grant was the stoic responsible brother who finds his restraints tested around Victoria. ★★★★☆

Happy Beltane

It’s the first day of summer woohoo!!! The sun is even shining today if you can believe it after the miserable weather we’ve had all bank holiday weekend. It’s even a whopping 12°c!

Beltane is an ancient Celtic festival celebrating purification and transition with FIRE!!! Bonfires are lit, May bushes decorated, and feasts attended by some anyway. Personally, I don’t celebrate it, though I LOVED May bushes when I was little and I think I’ll start celebrating it because fire and ribbons are a great combination.

I think nowadays the day is more often celebrated by Wiccans in a way similar to the English and German May Pole style.

I was in Bavaria a few years ago for the May Pole celebration. It was a much bigger affair than I expected. There was even a bouncy castle, lads. You know it’s serious then.


Since it’s a witchy day I decided to share a witchy book.

occult witchcraft magic illustrated history beltaine beltane

The Occult, Witchcraft, and Magic: An Illustrated History by Christopher Dell

The curious history of magic and the powers of the occult, witchcraft, ritual, and the imagination, from their earliest appearances to modern times

From the days of the earliest Paleolithic cave rituals, magic has gripped the imagination. Magic and magicians appear in early Babylonian texts, the Bible, Judaism, and Islam. Secret words, spells, and incantations lie at the heart of nearly every mythological tradition. But for every genuine magus there is an impostor.

During the Middle Ages, religion, science, and magic were difficult to set apart. The Middle Ages also saw the pursuit of alchemy―the magical transformation of base materials―which led to a fascination with the occult, Freemasonry, and Rosicrucianism.

The turn of the twentieth century witnessed a return to earlier magical traditions, and today, magic means many things: contemporary Wicca is practiced widely as a modern pagan religion in Europe and the US; “magic” also stretches to include the nonspiritual, rapid-fire sleight of hand performed by slick stage magicians who fill vast arenas.

The Occult, Witchcraft and Magic is packed with authoritative text and a huge and inspired selection of images, some chosen from unusual sources, including some of the best-known representations of magic and the occult from around the world spanning ancient to modern times.

400+ illustrations, 300+ in color – amazon.com


Take a peek at some of the illustrations in this super snazzy video I made.

It’s a very interesting book, though, I haven’t read the full thing yet. I usually pick it up and read whatever section interests me at that moment.

My favourite section so far is the one on Enlightenment Magic, when the world is in that tenuous stage between magic and science.

It’s great for looking up themes and historical figures from paranormal novels I’ve read as well.

Get the book on Book Depository

Poetry Day – Christina Rossetti

It’s Poetry Day and since I recently read Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones I decided to write about Christina Rossetti. Rossetti was an English poet during the 19th-century who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional and children’s poems.

The poem featured in Wintersong was, of course, Goblin Market. I recommend listening to this reading of the poem. It’s really good, the narrator really expresses the feeling of the poem.

So what’s your interpretation of the poem? I see it as a study on gender and sex outside of wedlock.

Tell a Story Day

First of all, how fracking cute is that picture?! Some of the other pictures in the series creep me out though. The kids eyes never change making the doctor picture a little…..iffy.

Anyway, that’s not what we’re here for. Since it’s Tell a Story Day we’re here for stories. I’m not a writer so I’m not going to write a story, instead, I’m going to tell (by “tell” I mean copy and paste from another site because as I said, I am no writer) you one of my favourite childhood stories.

The Children of Lir

Image result for children of lir

Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and ruler of sea called Lir. He had a beautiful wife, called Eva, who gave him four children – eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When children were young, their mother Eva died. Lir and children were very sad, and King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married Eva’s sister Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.

Aoife loved children and Lir at first, but soon she became very jealous of time that King spent with Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took children to swim in a lake while sun was hot in sky. When they got there and children took to water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans.

She knew that if she killed children, their ghosts would haunt her forever, so instead she cast this spell, forcing them to live as swans for 900 years; three hundred on Lake Derravaragh, three hundred on Straits of Moyle, and three hundred more on Isle of Inish Glora. The spell would only be broken when children heard ringing of a bell, and arrival of St Patrick in Ireland.

But Aoife’s spell had not taken away children’s voices, and so it was that these four beautiful swans could sing beautiful songs, and were able to tell their father what had happened to them. Lir, who had been searching for his children, came down to lake and saw Fionnuala, now a swan, who told him of spell cast on them by Aoife. Enraged, he banished Aoife into mist, and she was never seen again.

Although saddened by his children’s fate, Lir remained a good father, and spent his days faithfully by lake listening to their singing. Their three hundred years on Lake Derravaragh were filled with joy, but at end of this first part of their spell, children had to say goodbye to their father forever. They travelled to Straits of Moyle, where they spent three hundred years enduring fierce storms, and spent much time separated from each other. But they survived these three hundred years, and eventually traveled, together again, to fulfil final stage of their spell, on a small saltwater lake on Isle of Inish Glora.

The King by now had passed, and of his once glorious castle nothing but ruins remained. One day, they heard distant ringing of a bell – one of first Christian bells in all of Ireland – and swans followed sound, knowing that end of their spell was near. They followed bells to house of a holy man called Caomhog, who cared for them for last years of their fate.

One day though, disaster struck again, when a man appeared at house dressed in armor, saying he was King of Connacht, and he had come for now legendary and mystical swans with beautiful singing voices. He threatened to tear down and ruin Caomhog’s house if swans did not come with him, but just as he was laying his hands on them, bell tolled again, and mist of lake came and enveloped swans, turning them back into children they were nine hundred years before. The frightened King of Connacht fled immediately, and children in their human form started to age rapidly. Caomhog knew that they soon would die, so he quickly christened them before their human bodies passed away, so that their legend and their names could live on forever, for these were Children of Lir.

Source: http://irelandofthewelcomes.com/the-children-of-lir/

(The woman who wrote this seems to have a keen distaste for the word ‘the’.)

Image result for children of lir


I don’t remember the reference to St. Patrick when I was little but I do remember the monk guy. Don’t remember the baptising though. Another queen wanted the swans as well not a knight in my version. The ending seems to be a great big push to convert people to Catholicism….ugh.


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Anyway, I’ve always loved this story. It seems a bit morbid but what I loved was the magic. I hope you enjoyed it too.