Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory (paperback)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory.


Title: The Taming of the Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Page Count: 448
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 25th February 2016
Format Available: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio Download
Original Language: English
Genre: Historic Fiction


Why would a woman marry a serial killer? 

Because she cannot refuse... 

Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives - King Henry VIII - commands her to marry him. 

Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn's trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent. 

But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry's dangerous gaze turns on her.The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy - the punishment is death by fire and the king's name is on the warrant... 

From an author who has described all of Henry's queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power and education at the court of a medieval killer.


This book has already been out for a while but now it is bring released in a more affordable format - paperback.

I actually study Medieval Literature in university and I have always been interested in very old history such as the years when Henry VIII was alive. The Medieval era was a fascinating one and this book, though set to be dramatised for our entertainment, will be a thrilling story and an insight into what life was like back then nonetheless.

Focusing on a woman instead of a man (the King, no less!) is a very good way to go with a story like this which has been re-written so many times over the years. Everyone always focuses on the King and what HE was thinking or what HE wanted, but to have the main focus on the woman is a positive change.

It would be really interesting to read this and see how true to Medieval life it is, and where the story takes us.

Is anyone else excited for this paperback release? Let me know!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Goodbye 2015 / Hello 2016

Me in the middle, friends around me

This time last year I wrote a short and sweet round up of 2014, which you can check out here if you want. I found it helpful to look back on the year that had passed, as it made me grateful for the small but significant moments in my life.

2015 was much different to 2014, with less lows, but when the lows happened they were lower than 2014's ever were. I don't think I need to explain that any further - you get the point.

But aside from that, 2015 brought some of the highest highs too. Here's a list of my best moments of 2015:

1. Turning 18

It was the first birthday in years that I was excited about because it actually meant something. Turning 18 changes both everything and nothing at the same time. We stop hanging out in freezing cold parks and chill out in the pub where it is actually warm and has comfortable chairs. We can party hard all night and our parents don't tell us when it is time for bed, but we all feel like getting in our pjs and watching a movie sometimes too. 

2. All of my friends turning 18

I'm on the far left... but look at my beautiful friends! #SLAY

Because they all had crazy-awesome parties too and I was able to get some hella cool photos of us for Facebook.

3. Celebrating 3 years of blogging

SUPER IMPORTANT. I am proud of my blog and what I have built up over the years. Sure, I'm not the biggest blogger out there, but blogging makes me happy, and that's all that matters.

4. Finishing school

At long last. I wrote a post about it here if you want to read my thoughts on this matter.

5. Meeting Louise Pentland

This was an important experience for me because it was the first 'celebrity' (I use that word only because I don't know what else to call famous people) I had ever met, and it was good practice for when I would meet Dan and Phil later in the year. Also, it was the first proper author event I had ever been to, which was super important to me. I wrote a post about meeting Louise here.

6. Going back to France after so long

I always say that France is like my second home, and I hadn't been for what felt like FOREVER. As soon as I got off the ferry, I felt contented and comfortable. France will always have a special place in my heart.

7. Starting my youtube channel

This was a very exciting thing for me to do, as the thought had been playing on my mind for a while, and I felt like it would be another place for me to have creative output. It has been great so far, and I have 20 subscribers! I know it may not seem a lot but it is more than I thought I would get in this short amount of time. I hope to carry it on for many years to come.

8. Completing an entire year of being in a job

This was a little goal I set myself during the year in relation to my part-time job. I was determined, despite it being hard due to my mental health issues, to stick to my job for at least a year, and I did it! I haven't actually quit - I just don't do many shifts now that I am at university far away from home.

9. Starting university 

Although not being in the right university (I am transferring in my 2nd year) it was still a valuable experience to have. I made a whole load of new friends and my confidence has grown, meaning that I have done a lot of things I wouldn't normally do, like go to a club for the first time. I think, though I don't like my university, it was a good stepping stone to higher education. 

10. Meeting dan and phil

The best day of my life, obviously. It was weird yet so wonderful to meet the two people who love most in the world (besides my family and friends) and I will never forget that night.

Okay! Now 2015 is over with, here are my resolutions for 2016.

I have purposely not set myself high goals that I know I will never achieve. 2016 is about looking after myself and doing more of what I want to do:

  1. Complete my GoodReads challenge of 60 books
  2. Get more ARC's and build up more contacts in the publishing world
  3. Vlog regularly and build friendships 
  4. See more of the world
  5. Write a book!
I know writing a book may look like an unachievable goal, but do you know what? I think I'm ready. I really think that this might be the year.

Thanks for a great 2015, and hopefully I'll see you around in 2016!