Just for Fun

Anything But Books Tag

So these tag things are pretty popular with blogging/vlogging communities but this will only be my 2nd. I haven’t been tagged by anyone but I’m doing it anyway!! I read it (most recently) on the orangutan librarian. I have no idea who started it, sorry.

1. NAME A CARTOON THAT YOU LOVE

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ANYTHING DISNEY!!! Also Family Guy and sometimes the Simpsons but they’ve done every possible storyline so it’s gotten a bit meh now.

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG RIGHT NOW?

I’m really into the Weeknd at the moment. I’m not a big music fan (anymore) I just listen to whatever suits my mood at the time, usually a playlist on YouTube or Spotify so I hardly ever know who the artists are or the names of the songs.

3. WHAT COULD YOU DO FOR HOURS THAT ISN’T READING?

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Netflix!!! Gimme an interesting TV show and I’m gone.

4. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO THAT YOUR FOLLOWERS WOULD BE SURPRISED BY?

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I’m a big old introvert but I love going to parties.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UNNECESSARILY SPECIFIC THING TO LEARN ABOUT?

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Pagan history and mythology of Ireland. It’s just so interesting. I’m fascinated with the Tuatha De Dannan.

6. WHAT IS SOMETHING UNUSUAL THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO DO?

Open a jar with a screwdriver… A great trick for anyone with weak arms like me.

7. NAME SOMETHING YOU MADE IN THE LAST YEAR AND SHOW US IF YOU CAN

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The most recent things I made are macrame dreamcatcher bookmarks. I’m only getting into the macrame thing, so far I’ve made those guys and a large dream catcher. It’s a pretty fun craft. I like making them while listening to an audiobook.

8. WHAT IS YOUR MOST RECENT PERSONAL PROJECT?

I started a writing journal last week. Writing is freakin’ hard!!! And I’m including blogging in that. It’s harder than people realise, I think. I need lots and lots of practice. I read Bird by Bird last week and she mentioned writing everything you know about school lunches and childhood memories so that’s where I’ve started. I pick a topic and write all my memories on it.

9. TELL US SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?

Expenses. I hate bills. Let’s not get into it…

10. GIVE US SOMETHING THAT IS YOUR FAVORITE, BUT MAKE IT ODDLY SPECIFIC

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That’s a weird question… I don’t know how to be oddly specific about something… My favourite feeling in the whole world is when it gets to evening time and you no longer have to wear a bra. My god, it feels so good to take that damn thing off!!

11. SAY THE FIRST THING THAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD

Lollipop.

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I know I’m meant to tag people but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to tell you to do the tag if you want to. Consider yourself tagged.

Also, I just found this blog Book Tag Index How handy is that??!!

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Summer Cosy Reading Night

Cosy Reading Night is a seasonal readathon created by one of my absolute favourite BookTubers, Lauren And The Books. It was Summer Cosy Reading Night on Saturday 19/8/17

I read for several hours every night so it’s always cosy reading night in my house but I decided to take part in the fun for this one.


My Summer Cosy Reading Night

I set myself up on the couch in the sitting room with a glass of really nice red wine and a modest bowl of crisps.

Cosy Reading Night setup

Himself was watching football or some other shite so I had to put on my headphones to block it out (not that I minded). I listened to a Guardians of the Galaxy playlist on Spotify for about an hour and then switched to YouTube because I could skip through songs there (Not giving you €10 a month just to skip songs Spotify!!) Also, the video for Guardians of the Galaxy Inferno is amazing and you must watch it for the happy feelings.

Since the readathon is 3 hours long I planned to read 3 books giving them each an hour. Didn’t work out that way though because I got bored very quickly reading one of them and kept singing along to the awesome music.

I read The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry for the first hour. This is literary fiction which I’m very picky with but this one really caught my attention. Set in 1890’s England, it follows Cora Seaborne and Will Ransome, a recent widow and the vicar of the Essex villages she moves to. They meet and become entangled in rumours that a local myth, the Essex Serpent, has begun roaming the marshes once more.

The Essex Serpent

Get the book: Amazon Book Depository

I’ve heard so many great things about this book that I really want to love it but so far it’s a bit meh. It’s very character-focused and beautifully written but I can’t really get a feel for it. The whole cast could get hit my a meteor now and I wouldn’t care. I’m still only beginning the book though, so I’m sure it will improve.

Next, I read The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6) by Gena Showalter which is full of action and excitement. This series is about a group of ancient warriors cursed to house the demons that resided within Pandora’s Box. Each demon embodies a particular sin or torment such as Wrath, Death, Lies, and Nightmare. Each book in the series centres on a different member of the group but has a continuing storyline throughout. This one focuses on Gideon, cursed to hold the demon Lies and unable to speak a single truth without feeling horrible pain. He’s one of my favourite characters from the series, I’ve really been looking forward to his book!!

The Darkest Lie

Get the book: Amazon Book Depository

My next book was Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. I was torn between reading that and Old Ways, Old Secrets by Jo Kerrigan and in the end picked up Dark Witch cause I’m almost half way through it.

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Get the book: Amazon Book Depository

There’s something about books set in Ireland and/or with Irish characters but not written by an Irish person that really annoys me… They usually get things so close to accurate but miss the mark somehow. I thought Nora Roberts would be on point because she seems to really love Ireland and come here regularly…. Maybe it’s because they write everything from a foreign perspective which makes it seem foreign to me… Anyway, I didn’t last long with this. I got distracted by social media and a Bat Dad video compilation that I laughed my ass off to.


So that was my Summer Cosy Reading Night, I would absolutely love to hear how your night went if you took part too or if you read any of these books. I’d love to hear peoples opinions on The Essex Serpent and Dark Witch especially.

A-Z Book Survey

This book tag is pretty straight forward. There’s a list of questions connected to each letter of the alphabet. This tag was created by Perpetual Page-Turner  I found it on Book Tag Index.

  • Author you’ve read the most books from:

    According to Goodreads, my most read authors are Laurell K. Hamilton and Karen Chance.  I’ve read 28 individual books by Laurel K. Hamilton and I’ve reread Karen Chance enough for it to be the same number. I wouldn’t call Hamilton my favourite author, she’s my most read simply because she has more books to read. I really did love her earlier books though.

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)A Kiss of Shadows (Merry Gentry, #1)Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9)A Lick of Frost (Merry Gentry, #6)Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #12)

  • Best Sequel Ever:

    Hmmm, I tend to read series with 5+ books out so nearly everything I read is a sequel… ok, I’m going to go with Changes by Jim Butcher which is the 12th book in The Dresden Files. It blew my mind and totally revived the series which by book 12 was getting a bit predictable. Total game changer.

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  • Currently Reading:

    Slightly ashamed to say I have 7 books on my currently reading shelf at the moment (I had 10 last week so I’m getting somewhere). I have two non-fiction books that I tend to pick up and read a bit of whenever the mood strikes, Women Who Run With the Wolves and Old Ways, Old Secrets: Pagan Ireland. I have two library books, an audio book, The Beachcomber and an e-book, The Essex Serpent. Then I have an e-book from Scribd, Dreams of a Dark Warrior and an audio book, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron. And finally, I’m reading a paperback of Dark Witch. I’m 20%-70% through each of these.

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman ArchetypeOld Ways, Old Secrets: Pagan Ireland: Myth * Landscape * TraditionThe BeachcomberThe Essex SerpentDreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (MacKenzies & McBrides, #3)Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #1)

  • Drink of Choice While Reading:

    Water. I’m pretty much always drinking water. I’ll have the occasional cup of tea in the evening and at the weekend I might have wine. I love having a glass of wine while reading.

  • E-reader or Physical Book?

    I read mainly ebooks simply because it’s way more convenient and I can have a whole series on my reader ready to go and bring them all with me. Also with the reader, I don’t need to have a light on in bed when reading and torment my husband. I do love physical books as well though. If there’s a book I really really love I tend to buy a physical copy of it as well.

  • Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

    I tend to go for the nerdy guy so in high school I probably would have gone for Simon from The Mortal Instruments.

  • Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

    Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher. I read the first book and loved it but for some reason, I wasn’t feeling this one. Then someone suggested I give the audio book a go and I fell in freakin’ love!! I was still pretty new to audio books (I’d listened to 2 previously) and wasn’t sure how I felt about the medium but I said I’d give it a whirl (mostly because James Marsters was narrating). I listened to the audio of every book after that and loved them all.

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  • Hidden Gem Book:

    Hmmm, I guess this means a book that I loved but not many people have read… Ok, I’m going to go with Falling for a Dancer by Deirdre Purcell. It has only 217 ratings on Goodreads but you’ve probably heard of her if you’re Irish. This is an old favourite of mine, I read it first as a teenager and I’ve read 3 times now. I’ve been feeling another reread coming on for a while now…the only thing stopping me is trying to catch up on series and challenges.

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  • Important Moment in your Reading Life:

    When I was little my mother gave me a book called Rosie’s Gift by Ann Carroll. It was the first book that got me really excited about reading. It’s about a young girl with the ability to time travel to a house in the 1870’s. I can’t remember what happened in it now but I know I loved it and read it more than once. I actually think it’s still at home in the attic…

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  • Just Finished:

    Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #10) by Kresley Cole. Loved it!! Out of the 16 books I’ve read by Cole, I have yet to dislike a single one. I just gobble up her books.

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  • Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

    I’m not really into YA though I’ve read a good few… Usually, if I see a book is YA I put it down straight away. The recurring themes in YA annoy me. I would definitely baulk at a scientific book, though. If there are maths, I’m running!

  • Longest Book You’ve Read:

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at 870 pages. I have two books on my TBR now that are over 1000 pages, I keep putting them off… that’s freakin’ long!

  • Major book hangover because of:

    Probably my worst book hangover was after Reap the Wind by Karen Chance because I binged the whole series including Dorina’s books all in order and then it ended with a cliffhanger!!!! She tends to end her books with cliffhangers so I was expecting it but still! I had to wait over a year for the next book! Anyway, after I finished I couldn’t read anything for a whole day.

  • Number of Bookcases You Own:

    Just the one…well we have four but three of them have been moved to the kitchen cause we have very little storage in there. I tend to read ebooks more so don’t need much space for paperbacks. I also give away my paperbacks unless I fall in love with the book.

  • One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

    Ok, I already mentioned two books I’ve read multiple times, next would be the Harry Potter series. I’ve read the whole series (mostly) twice and the first few books maybe three times. The Deathly Hallows I have only read once because I was an emotional wreck after that book.

  • Preferred Place To Read:

    The couch or the bed. Weirdly I tend to fall asleep reading on the couch but get more awake reading in bed…

  • Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

    I took a peep at my liked quotes on Goodreads for this, I have over 300 quotes saved! Here’s one from the list that I think suits this question, “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I do not know the answer” – Douglas Adams

  • Reading Regret:

    I can’t think of any regrets regarding reading… Well, I wish I’d gotten more active on Goodreads earlier. Being active in groups on that site really propelled my reading.

  • Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

    Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. I have three books to go and I’m done.

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2)At Grave's End (Night Huntress, #3)Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4)This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5)

  • Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

    I’m a series reader so I’m going to name series. Cassie Palmer by Karen Chance, Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

  • Unapologetic Fangirl For:

    Karen Chance and Kresley Cole.

  • Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

    The next book in the Cassie Palmer series whenever it will be (I hope not too long).

  • Worst Bookish Habit:

    Reading too many books at once.

  • X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

    The 27th book on my to-read shelf is Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Casey

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  • Your latest book purchase:

    The last book I bought was Old Ways, Old Secrets: Pagan Ireland by Jo Kerrigan.

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  • ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): 

    Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11) by Kresley Cole which I’m reading at the moment. Stayed by until 4am reading it.

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And that’s it for that tag. If you want to do it too, consider yourself tagged!

free downloads printables templates

Bookmark Printable

Hi, guys!!

I love pretty bookmarks but I’m a little bit tired of the watercolour ones with quotes on them (I still really like them just want more). I made some with pics from pixabay and decided to share them with you all.

bookmarks template printable

Click here to download the PDF

I printed mine on 300gsm card paper, it’s good strong paper perfect for bookmarks. The PDF is double sided so make sure your printer is set to print on both sides. Or you can just print the image above if you want 🙂

sugarskull dreamcatcher watercolor bookmark template printable

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?

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

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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’.)

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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.

 

anita blake vampire hunter sigmund world penguin day

The Life of a Necromancer’s Toy Penguin

Since it’s World Penguin Day today I decided to honour Anita Blake’s toy penguin, Sigmund. Poor guy has been through a lot (FYI I’m only part way through this series so if something has happened to this little guy, don’t tell me!!!).

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We first meet Sigmund in Guilty Pleasures, the first Anita Blake book by Laurell K. Hamilton. Anita cuddles up with him in bed after a rough day on the job (which is pretty much every day for Anita). 

“I locked the door, for what good it would do me, and went to bed. The Browning Hi-Power was in its second home, a modified holster strapped to the headboard of my bed. The crucifix was cool metal around my neck. I was as safe as I was going to be and almost too tired to care.

I took one more thing to bed with me, a stuffed toy penguin named Sigmund. I don’t sleep with him often, just every once in a while after someone tries to kill me. Everyone has their weaknesses. Some people smoke. I collect stuffed penguins. If you won’t tell, I won’t.”
Laurell K. Hamilton, Guilty Pleasures

Sigmund isn’t Anita’s only penguin but he is her favourite. He’s the one that keeps her safe at night. She’s even tempted to take him on a ‘sleepover’ to Jean Claudes. Unfortunately, he and his buddies tend to get a little bloody when the bad guys dare to break into Anita’s home (and make it all the way to her room….the jerks!).

anita blake vampire hunter sigmund

He has had made such an impression with fans, he’s got some awesome fanart now!

sigmund by DayanElohim on DeviantArt

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https://i0.wp.com/img00.deviantart.net/fa33/i/2009/234/d/d/anita_blake_and_sigmund_by_rakkaus_kuolema.jpg

He doesn’t appear as much anymore sadly. I’m pretty sure he only existed to show that Anita was a complex individual with many facets. She’s a merciless vampire hunter but she’s soft and squishy too…. by now her character is very well established and we don’t see things like this so much.

You can get your very own Sigmund from Hamilton’s website store.

As far as the Anita Blake series goes, I’ve almost given up on it. I finished The Harlequin (book #15) this year and I just don’t know how I feel. You can read my review for the book here. The series becomes less about story and more about sex with a lot of men in later books. Book #26 is expected to be released this year, for the series to get that far something must happen right?…. Right?? I just don’t want to give up on the series! Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.