Did you know I do art too?

Hello!

I’ve been wanting to start posting something other than book reviews on her for a while now, but I couldn’t really think of anything that was post worthy! But then I realised, I’m an artist… I could literally post my art!!

I have a funny relationship with art, as I didn’t study it at school at all, I did photography instead! Then I applied to do a Art and Design Foundation course, with the intention of mostly doing photography, but for some reason they didn’t let me?? I ended up spending most days drawing still life using charcoals and I HATED it! So I just left! Then I started drawing in my own time, just for me, and I actually began to enjoy it!

That was four years ago, and I am now heading down the path of applying to do an Illustration degree with the hopes of publishing children’s books and having a bit of a ‘brand’!! I am more excited about the future than I have ever been, and I though I would share with you some of my work!

This is one of my most recent paintings! I wanted to recreate the mortal cup tarot card from the Shadowhunter series! I used gouache and ink, and I had to study various screen caps from the show to try and get the colours and patterns as accurate as I could! I still am not sure whether I should cut it out so it is an actual card, or leave it as a painting? Whatever I decide, I am super pleased with how this one turned out!

This drawing is of my tiefling bard DnD character, Antionette Bur! I used only markers to do this one and I have to say, I wasn’t sure I had enough different pinks when I started and got super stressed that her skin and dress was gonna end up the same colour! But it didn’t and now I have a visual of my favourite girl!! I am currently working on some more drawings of DnD characters, so maybe I will make a whole post dedicated to them soon!

This is one of my all time favourite paintings that I have done! I used watercolour with this one, and I was experiment with a technique I saw in an art book by Hikala! The pairing is of Hermione in the Hogwarts Express, that one year when Harry and Ron drove the flying car! I imagine it was probably the last piece and quiet she ever got! I really enjoy working with watercolour in this way, and actually painting a background too!

This is a painting I did of my ‘Witchsona’. She is an Edwardian witch, with the familiar of a goat!! This one has a bit of an experiment to see if I could manage to make watercolours look like a slightly see through fabric! If you look closely at the sleeves, you may see that I tried my best!! I am actually super jealous of this witch, I wish I had that outfit!!

Sabrina!! I love the Netflix show ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ SO much, I watched part two the day it came out! And without giving too much away, in case you haven’t seen it yet, this is from an episode with mandrake plants! It’s such a creative episode and the outfits are some of my favourites!!I cannot wait for part three! Especially now I have seen some of the leaked set photos!!!

Ah Narnia, my first proper fandom! Narnia was my favourite book series when I was a kid, and my favourite movie series too! I practically wanted to be Lucy, I loved how brave she was, how trusting she was, and her outfits!! The outfit I painted is one of my all time favourite movie costumes! I don’t know why exactly, maybe it’s nostalgia? But it is pretty cute! Although I’m not sure I will ever love anything as much as I loved her hair! I wished I had hair like hers, especially in the one scene where she follows Edmund while she’s carrying the candle! I used to watch that scene all the time! Maybe Lucy was my first crush on a girl now that I think about it…. Anyway!! I love this franchise, and I’m pretty pleased with how this painting turned out!!

I want to try and post art like this at least once a month, to keep you updated on my progress but also to keep me motivated in producing new pieces!!

I hope you liked seeing some of my art, and I will see you again soon!!

Elizabeth

The Girl in Red Review

Hello!

I was sent this book by Titan Books as part of their instagram tour!

The Girl in Red is an amazing retelling of the fairytale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’! It comes out on the 18th June, so be sure to go and pre-order it!!

When a disease destroys most of the U.S. population Red and her brother Adam decide to try and reach their paternal grandmother, who lives over 200 miles away. Adam wants to join a quarantine camp, thinking it’s the only way to survive in this new world, but Red isn’t letting herself get shut away. Red is about to find out that the woods are deep and dark, and there are far worse things than wolves out in the world.

When I was first contacted about this book, I was a little unsure. A fairytale retelling set in an apocalypse situation? How would that work? But oh boy! Not only does it work but it is amazing!

This is definitely one of my favourite retellings! The concept is so unique, and the characters are so diverse! The main character is a mixed race, bisexual, disabled girl! But unlike some books none of it feels forced, like it was just put in for brownie points! Red is a multi-faceted, three dimensional character that just happened to have her leg amputated halfway down.

I absolutely love the messages in this book, how instead of the ‘Big Bad Wolf’, it’s other people. Because more often than not, especially in apocalypse type situations, people are the most threatening thing you can come across. Especially for a character like Red, who is a woman alone.

I immediately liked Red as a character. She might be the first character who is actually realistic within the scenario! These days, who hasn’t seen or read at least one thing about the apocalypse? With shows like The Walking Dead, pretty much every household will have someone who knows how to prepare. Red was this person. She got annoyed at her family doing all the typical stupid mistakes, she made sure she packed her bag in advance and took it everywhere so she was never caught by surprise, and most importantly she actually had common sense!! It felt like a breath of fresh air to read a character that isn’t completely daft.

The way this book was written switched between ‘After’, with Red walking through the woods trying to survive and ‘Before’, which shows Red’s preparation and the build up to the beginning of the journey.

I read this book in two days, which for me is super fast. I absolutely loved everything about this book, the characters and the story were just so good! I will definitely be reading more of Christina Henry’s books! I rate this book 5/5 stars! Seriously, if you love fairytale retellings or apocalypse stories, you will adore this!!

Thank you Titan Books for sending me a copy to review!

See you again soon!

Elizabeth

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy Review

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy:

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind-avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens-a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

Mackenzi Lee’s book ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ is one of my all time favourite books. I loved how casually queer it is, it’s treats Percy and Monty’s relationship like any other, treating their struggles like normal struggles and I loved that. It felt like the story was being told from Monty’s naive perspective, barely aware of the prejudices.

The difference between that book and the Lady’s Guide is the Felicity is fully aware of her struggles, and gets super frustrated that she has to deal with them.

The books starts in Scotland, and in typical Felicity fashion she turns down a proposal and spontaneously decides to travel to London.

One of my favourite things about this book is the asexual representation, although it is never explicitly said, Mackenzi Lee has confirmed it and Felicity talks about how she isn’t interested in men or women, and just wants to focus on studying medicine.

The three main characters are completely loveable, they are all strong, independent women. Felicity uses her brains and knowledge of medicine, Johanna uses her beauty and her knowledge of animal life and Sim uses her strength and knowledge of the sea. They work so well together, the way Lee writes them makes their chemistry feel so real it truly makes you feel invested in their friendship and their story.

The story has quite a few little twists, that follow along with the changes in Felicity’s journey, and it just keep you hanging on to every word!! I absolutely adore this book and Mackenzi Lee’s writing!

I rate this book 5/5 starts, and I can’t wait to read the novella she is releasing later this year!!!

See you again soon!!

Elizabeth

Accused: British Witches Throughout History Review

Hello!

I have been lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from Pen and Sword to read and review!

I absolutely love learning about the witches of history, not only because it is fascinating but because it feels like a piece of my history! I am a witch myself, not in the same way that some of these women are accused, I only light candles and read tarot, but I’m a witch and the women in this book helped pave the way for modern witches like me!

The main reason I was so excited for this book was because of the chapter on Mary Lakeland, also known as ‘The Ipswich Witch’. Ipswich is where I live, so learning about a witch that lived here, and being able to picture all the places mentioned in her story because I have actually been to them, was so amazing!

One of my favourite parts of this book was learning about all the things the women were accused of doing, and how people somehow managed to logically explain that it was witchcraft! Reading about the supposed familiars these women had was also interesting, because it wasn’t just the typical cat, but dogs toads and rats too!

Reading this book has really made me want to try and visit some of the places mentioned, as I just love to visit the places I read about in books! Especially when there is a lot o history connected to it!

The only thing that I found to be a shame (I do with all history books, and it’s obviously no fault of the author!!) is that records aren’t kept for all the details! I find it such a shame that people in history didn’t feel the need to note down small happenings as well as big ones! For instance, in one of the women’s stories we don’t actually know what caused one of the first arguments! It makes me want to start writing everything down just in case it becomes important one day!

I definitely recommend this book if you love witches, history or both!!! I rate this book 4/5 stars!!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

Lady of the House

Hello!

I’m back with another book review! And again, it’s a book that the lovely Pen and Swords have sent me!

Lady of the House by Charlotte Furness:

This book tells the true stories of three genteel women who were born, raised, lived and died within the world of England’s Country Houses. This is not the story of ‘seen and not heard’ women, these are incredible women who endured tremendous tragedy and worked alongside their husbands to create a legacy that we are still benefitting from today.

Harriet Leveson-Gower, Countess Granville was the second born child of the infamous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire who married her aunt’s lover, raised his illegitimate children and reigned supreme as Ambassadress over the Parisian elite.

Lady Mary Isham lived at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire with her family where, despite great tragedy, she was responsible for developing a house and estate whilst her husband remained ‘the silent Baronet’.

Elizabeth Manners, Duchess of Rutland hailed from Castle Howard and used her upbringing to design and build a Castle and gardens at Belvoir suitable for a Duke and Duchess that inspired a generation of country house interiors.

These women were expected simply to produce children, to be active members of society, to give handsomely to charity and to look the part. What these three remarkable women did instead is develop vast estates, oversee architectural changes, succeed in business, take a keen role in politics as well as successfully managing all the expectations of an aristocratic lady.

I have read a few books published by Pen and Sword, and this is definitely my favourite so far! I read it all in two days, which I never do with any book!

This book tells the story of three women, and their journey from daughter, to mother, wife and lady of the house. For anyone that though victorian women sat on their backsides all day, this book would be really eye opening! It covers every detail of what these women got up to, including the control they had in their households! They did not work under their husbands, but instead a lot of the time they made all the executive decisions and one of the amazing women even worked with her husband and Ambassadress in France!

I did also find it fascinating reading about these women’s attitudes to their husbands illegitimate children! A lot of the time they took them in and raised them as their own! Which is the opposite of what a lot of people assume the victorian attitude was, and I’m pretty sure that kind of open mindedness/acceptance wouldn’t even occur today!

One of my favourite sections of this book was the part where Charlotte talked about how much time people spent on London. It was very common for people to have a second house in London and to spend the ‘season’ there, taking part in social events and when daughters came of age, looking for a husband!

I completely recommend this book if you are at all interested in the time period, women’s history or the lives of the lives of less famous people! I rate this book 5/5 stars!

See you again soon!

Elizabeth

A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty Review

I have been eyeing this book up for so long, and I was so grateful when Pen and Sword Books sent me a copy of it to review!

The Victorian Era is one of my all time favourite periods for fashion! Every decade is so different, and this book takes you through each one, explaining what changed and why! It covers everything in so much detail, from undergarments to the most fashionable way to style your hair to the increasing popularity of jewellery!!

I absolutely loved learning all the little tips and tricks from the era, it that I will be using a lot of them in my routine as they are a tad impractical in modern life, but it was fascinating to imagine what life must’ve been like!

This is definitely a book I will keep returning to, and referencing from on my historical fashion journey, as although I know a fair amount, I feel like I will never know as much as in this book!

If you are at all interested in victorian fashion, I definitely recommend this book! It does require a little bit of previous knowledge as some of the words used they assume you already know! But as long as you either know them, or are fine with looking it up, then this is the perfect book!!

I rate this book 4.5/5, only due to the nature of the advanced vocabulary used!!

See you soon!

Elizabeth

Christchurch Mansion

Hello!

I wanted to break up my book reviews a bit with a slightly different post! So I decided to keep it really simple and just do a bit of a ‘photo dump’! These photos are of one of my favourite places in the world, Christchurch Mansion! It is such a pretty historical building, I just adore looking at all the rooms and imagining what it must’ve been like to live in!

I hope you enjoy looking through these photographs! Tell me about any historical places you like to visit!

The Wicked King Review

Hello again!!

I’m back with another book review! This time I will be talking about ‘The Wicked King’ by Holly Black! I read The Cruel Prince last summer and became completely obsessed! I absolutely love Jude and how Holly Black write about Faeries! And when I heard that she was putting out a sequel I couldn’t have been more excited!

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Wicked King back in February and eventually got round to reading it last week!

Anyway, here is my review on ‘The Wicked King’ by Holly Black!

After learning that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. Someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves. Now she must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan, in order to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

The continuation from ‘The Cruel Prince’ was very well done, there is a chapter in the beginning that helps refresh your memory about what happened and who these characters are, which I really liked because I usually struggle to remember if there’s a really long time between books!

Jude Duarte is one of my all time favourite characters, she is so strong and clever and literally sacrifices so much to protect her brother. Being Human in a Fae world, Jude has to work twice as hard to make sure that she stays ahead of everyone, which includes protecting herself from any of the Fae influences! She is such a strong character, and although there are elements of romance in this book, it never overshadows her control and power.

One of the things I like most about Holly Blacks ‘Elfhame’ is that although it is a Faery land, it is still on Earth, just of the coast of a real place in America, it’s just protected with magic! This means that all the characters have to do to get into the ‘real world’ is get in a boat! I also like how there are items from the real world bright into the story, like certain foods and items of clothing! It makes the Fae world almost more relatable, or at least easier to imagine it’s real!

Without giving to much away, I swear the ending of this book nearly gave me whiplash it turned so fast and I did not see it coming! So much happened in the last chapter or so and I am anxiously awaiting the release ‘The Queen of Nothing’!

I always find Holly Black’s books so easy to read, because to me they are just so enjoyable! The way they are written makes the story flow so smoothly and she manages to make you like characters that are kind of assholes (*cough* Cardan *cough*).

I liked everything about this book, and I can’t find a single negative thing to say. I love all the characters, I love the story, the twists, the surprise betrayals, the setting and mostly, my girl Jude!

‘The Wicked King’ is definitely a book I would recommend, especially if you have read the first book, ‘The Cruel Prince’! If you haven’t read that, I recommend you read that first and the come back to The Wicked King! I rate this book 5/5 stars!

See you next post!

Elizabeth

The Corset Review

Hello!

If you have come over here from my Instagram, you will probably know how obsessed I am with Laura Purcell’s books! I read the Silent Companions last summer and loved it so so much! And last week, Bloomsbury were kind enough to send me a copy of ‘The Corset’!

I will try to avoid posting any spoilers, as Laura Purcell’s books are definitely ones you need to read knowing as little about what happens as possible! However, if anything is mentioned, I will make it extremely obvious so you can choose to stop reading!

Anyway, without further ado, my first proper book review!

‘The Corset’ by Laura Purcell

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress – and self-confessed murderess – who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast… Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

From the very first pages, I was completely drawn into Ruth and Dorothea’s respective worlds! Both young women lead very distant, yet strangely interwoven lives. Ruth is a prisoner in a newly built penitentiary, locked up for a weirdly mysterious crime, and Dorothea is a frequent visitor who is fascinated with reading people’s skulls.

Over the course of the book, we are told Ruth’s story from her perspective, as though we are Dorothea, listening to her tell it whilst visiting her in her cell. We are also told Dorothea’s story, about her personal life and struggles. I really enjoyed seeing the two different women’s perspective, reading about Dorothea’s struggle to believe Ruth’s story whilst also dealing with her own problems and how they begun to become intertwined throughout the book!

Up until the ‘big reveal’ at the end, I literally had no idea how the book was going to end! Without spoiling too much, the people that turned out to be the bad guys didn’t give anything away! The way the story was written really made me trust these people, and made me feel almost as foolish as Ruth did when she found out!!

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book, however I will warn you that there a quite a few scenes that are pretty gory! So if you aren’t a fan of reading about scenes like that, this may not be the book for you!!

The Corset is definitely a book I would recommend if you like Laura Purcell’s other book ‘The Silent Companions’ or anything with a little bit of mystery!! I rate it 5/5 stars!!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this amazing book!!

Elizabeth

May 2019 TBR List

Hello lovelies!

So I decided, as it is only the 3rd May that I would post my TBR list for the month!! This list will be a bit of a continuation of my books from April, as I am still reading one of them, and have included it in this list!!

The first book is ‘The Corset’ by Laura Purcell! If you have been on my instagram even once, you probably know how obsessed I am with Laura Purcell and her work, ‘The Silent Companions’ is literally my favourite book ever! And I have to say, The Corset is just as good! This book I started last month, and I am currently just over half way though and I love it! The characters are so interesting, and I absolutely love the chapter format, and how each chapter switches between the different viewpoints of the main two characters! I don’t want to post any accidental spoilers, and I will wait for the review to say too much more about what I think!! Here is the blurb:

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress – and self-confessed murderess – who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast… Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

The second book on my TBR list for May is ‘The Wicked King’ by Holly Black! I read the first book in the series, ‘The Cruel Prince’ last year and LOVED it, and I am beyond excited to read this book! I absolutely loved Jude Duarte and her crazy determination and horn hairstyle, I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next!! Here is the blurb:

After learning that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. Someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves. Now she must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan, in order to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

The third and final book on my May TBR list is ‘The Lady’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ by Mackenzi Lee! Again, another sequel, and another book I loved the first one of!! I loved Felicity in the Gentleman’s Guide and I was so excited to hear she was going to have a whole book dedicated to her!! And I have heard a rumour that there is a super cute dog in it… colour me Excited!!!! Here is the blurb:

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

I decided not to set my goals too high at the beginning of the month, as I want to leave room for any additions!! I’m also planning to read and review a few history books too!

What is on your TBR list for this month?

See you next week!

Elizabeth