Thursday, 31 January 2013

Favourite instrumental music pieces

Yiruma - River Flows In You

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Book Review #10: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family"s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
I don't really know why I haven't reviewed this book yet as I finished it almost two months ago and absolutely adored it to pieces. Anyway, here we go.

The fact that this book takes place in Renaissance Italy and then actually Firenze (Florence) of all cities is an absolutely plus already. I adore Italy and definately the "old Italy" does it very well with me in books. Especially these kind of books where you find those old historical elements, but still in an easy to read book.

The book is an easy read that shows a lot of elements on both the 21st century and the Renaissance Italy. The combination of it is just absolutely great as you become so aware of so many elements of this century that make absolutely no sense back then. Especially the way of talking is used in an amazingly good way.

Besides the fact it is a nice Romantic YA book, it also has a breath taking ending. You could see some of it coming, let's say about the last chapter some things are logical from the beginning of the book, but then that last little line of the book...Well, it definately makes you craving for the second book 'A tale of Two Centuries' which unfortnately doesn't come out until August 2013. I have to say, I at least cannot wait.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Guest Author Jade Varden: Don’t Rush into Writing the First Draft

Welcome to the first Guest blog here on my blog. It's written by author Jade Varden and it's all about Writing a First Draft of a story. Check out below the amazing article she wrote with some good tips out there!

Write now, edit later. This is a common piece of advice that's very freely dispensed to writers on forums, through social media and in helpful blog posts that offer advice. But sometimes, it's the worst possible advice a writer could get. It's true that writing your first draft is a little bit like vomiting words on a page, but if you actually want to end up with a workable final draft you can't just spit sentences out at random. 

Yes, authors, there is stuff you've got to do before you ever sit down to write that first draft. I know, because I've learned the lesson the hard way...many times over. 


Just Write It

Just get the words on the page, and worry about the rest later. I've seen this piece of advice parroted everywhere, and I've suffered for it. Because I've tried that...and I've learned that it doesn't really work. 

On paper, the advice makes sense. Writers are supposed to write, so just sit down and write. Right? Wrong. If you don't have an idea of what you're going to write about, you're just wasting your time. There's stuff you need to do before you start writing that first draft. If you don't, you're liable to get stuck, or come out with a book that's not at all well-crafted and filled with weird plot holes.

It's sort of like getting in a car and just driving, without paying any attention to street signs. You don't have any idea where you're going to end up -- maybe a luxury neighborhood, maybe in a dangerous area, maybe in the country, maybe in the factory district. But one thing is certain: you're going to take a bunch of unnecessary turns along the way, maybe even run into a few dead-end streets. You might backtrack, and cover some of the same streets twice. Why? Because you don't know where the heck you're going!

And you'll end up doing the same sort of crap in your book if you just sit down and start to write for writing's sake. The ultimate goal is to end up with a tightly-written, exciting plot that hangs together and follows a plottable course from Chapter 1 to The End. Going in a bunch of random directions on the way there is only going to waste the reader's time, and yours when you're trying to edit all that mess later on. 

So don't just write it. Build your first draft foundation first

Fundamentals

Every book starts with a single idea. Some writers think of a setting first, or maybe a situation. Some might be inspired by the idea of a character, or a crime, or maybe even a romance. I almost always think of the end of a book, and then figure out how it happened by trying to work backwards. No matter what your idea may be, before you write it you need to figure out a few things.
  • Outline: This should be one of the first pieces you create when you're thinking about writing a book. The outline can be as detailed or as vague as you like. Its main purpose is to help you define some sort of structure for your story. Start at the beginning of the book and go to the end to create an outline, thinking about your book in broad strokes. Some writers like to outline by chapter, writing a short summary of what should happen in each until they reach the end. 
  • Characters: You've got to know who the main characters are, and you've got to figure out their names. How old are they, what do they look like, and what are their main characteristics? If you don't think about this now, it's just going to become a huge stumbling block when you attempt to write the first draft. I like to make a character list for each of my books in a separate document, so I can access it whenever I like.
  • Setting: Figure out where your characters are. Know your setting before you start writing, because it will come up in the course of the first draft. You can't picture the world your characters live in if you have no idea where it is. 
Once you have all your fundamentals covered, you're in great shape. You're ready to write your first draft, so go ahead! You now have everything you need to create a really good one.

About the Author

Jade Varden writes young adult novels for teen readers. When she’s not crafting mysteries in her books, Jade also blogs practical writing tips for authors who self-publish. Jade currently makes her home in Louisville, Kentucky, where she enjoys reading and reviewing indie books by other self-published authors. Follow her on Twitter @JadeVarden. Visit Jade’s blog at jadevarden.blogspot.com for reviews, writing tips, self-publishing advice and everything else you ever wanted to know about reading and writing books.

Jade on Amazon || Jade on Goodreads

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Liebster Award

 I got nominated for the Liebster Award by Darlene. Thank you so much! Make sure to have a look at her blog. Below you find my answers to the questions and those that I nominated for the 'Liebster Award'

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Original Music vs Covers

The quote of the day of yesterday must have helped, cause I passed my oral defense this morning! Now on to the actual blog post of today.

I've (had) it fairly often that I was listening to a song, and out of the blue it turned out to be a cover instead of an original piece of music. To me there is nothing wrong with it. If the cover is, I can still immensly enjoy it even though it's not original from that artist. My dad makes fun of me now and then because of it, as I can't stand all music from what he liked back then, but whenever I listen to a cover of an older piece of music and I suddenly love it, he likes to mock me about it. Below three songs of which I like the cover better than its original.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Quote of the day

Applicable for me as I have my oral defense on my project tomorrow morning, so the plan: Think Positive!

Trailer of Revelation (Short movie directed by Joseph Morgan)

I know that most of you know by now that I'm a major fan of and fascinated by Joseph Morgan, so let's skip that part. Over the last year Joseph Morgan has been working on a short film called 'Revelation', starring Persia White. I have to admit short movies from Joseph are usually a bit eehm disturbing, so I wouldn't advice to watch the trailer by night (even by day light it scared me). He tweeted a couple of times that he is entering it for festivals and therefore not able to show the full short yet (it will be about 10 minutes), but he did release the trailer last sunday so I felt like sharing it with you all. As said it is quite a scare, but it looks really good in my opinion!


Official site: Revelation The Film

Monday, 21 January 2013

Cover reveal: Blurred by Tara Fuller

For those who don't know the book serie 'Kissed by Death' from Tara Fuller, I have a review of the first book up here.

I'm so excited about this blog post myself, the cover reveal of the book 'Blurred' by Tara Fuller. It is the second installment in the 'Kissed by Death' serie. I already loved the first book and I honestly can't wait for the second one to come out. So what is the book about?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Movie review: What to expect whe you're expecting

A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver what's expected. 5/5 Stars

Saturday, 19 January 2013

My love for TV/Movie related jewelry

I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to TV-series/movies, admitted, nothing wrong with that right? And with that love for series and movies comes a love for merchandise of it. I'm not a fan of the screaming t-shirts (well as a sleeping shirt maybe yes) and the like, more the subtle things of which I know what it is and those who know the show/movie will know it as well, but it won't be screaming to the rest of the world: look what I love! There is nothing wrong with people that do love it, don't get me wrong, it is just not my kind of thing.

As the title of this post already betrayed, I do love jewelry that has something to do with TV-series or movies that I love, so here is the blogpost of me showing you guys the (still a little small) collection. (Sorry for the photos, I'm not good with making photos when I only have artificial light)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Writing Challenge: Great First Lines

Some of you might know that how much I love writing. I've been participating in a writing community for a while now, which is aimed at young writers (Go Teen Writers), besides the site they have a great Facebook community as well. I did a post on a writing challenge of GTW before, which can be found here.

The writing challenge this time had as theme 'Great First Lines', and yes that meant exactly what it says: writing a great first line of a story and literally just one line. It turned out I had a bit of a problem with keeping it to just one line. That was found in the feedback I had received as it was a bit too "wordy". Below the two entries that I handed in (you were allowed to hand in up till three), along with the feedback I received on it.
Would love to hear from you guys which one you like (and why) and if you have any other tips on it. Thanks guys!
Dantes kneeled down in front of the throne of the High Lady, ready to hear what quest it would be that was going to change his - and that from everyone else he knew - life.
Feedback:
This sentence has a unique twist that I like.
This sentence hints at a much bigger story to come.
This gives me a clear idea on who the point of view character is.
I think this sentence is too long - consider breaking it into several or using more punctation to make it stronger.
The room was only lit by a few candles, that were forming a path towards the throne of the High Lady, towards his quest that would be one of life changing proportions.
Feedback:
This sentence hints at a much bigger story to come.
I think this sentence is too long - consider breaking it into several or using more punctation to make it stronger.
This feels too wordy.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The nature of Norway


 I know that my photo technique is probably not the best - I photograph not that often and with a fairly standard camera - but that's not really the point of the photos in the first place. I realised I never blogged about my holiday to Norway during last summer and I couldn't help myself to share some photos of the beautiful nature of the country. Did any of you ever visit Norway or would like to?









Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Book Review #9: 50 Shades of Grey

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
Let me first state, I know that there are a lot of different opinions on this book out there, and I would love to hear everyone's point of view, but please keep it nice in the comments, cause I know this book can euhm create some big arguments.

I would rate the book 3.5 out of 5 I think (rounded of to 4 then). The beginning of the book was alright, up until about the first 100 pages you get some insight into Ana's life and how she is perceiving Christian from a distance and him slowly becoming part of her life. The further the story progresses, the more you get an insight into Christian's life when Ana starts to unraffle all of his secrets - yes those secrets the book is famous for, but also more taunting secrets of his past.


Sure, some of the scenes in the book I really wanted to read through fairly quickly (not all of them are that bad though), hence not giving it 5/5 stars. But the reasoning behind why Christian is like this - as far as you get to know in the first book - is really interesting and it gives the book an extra dimension. Last side note, the grammar in the book is quite bad for a published book, but I tried to ignore and that actually worked out alright, it didn't bother me all too much.


I'm going to read the second book and most likely the third book as well, but other books will have priority definately. Any of you who read the book, wants to read the book or would never ever read it? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A must see for everyone: Ben Hur

Ben Hur is a gut-wrenching, action-packed drama about the struggle between the Roman Empire and its occupied territory, Judaea. Two lifelong friends, Ben Hur and Messala, are caught in an awful moment of history that puts them on opposite sides of a war for Judaea’s national identity - and tests their characters to the maximum.
Those who know me a little and recognize him from the DVD cover above, will know why I initially have watched Ben Hur, but believe me there is more to it.

I watched the Mini Serie of Ben Hur somewhere during my internship in London last year, after Annelie recommended it to me. And recently I've watched it again. Like I said, the first reason for me to watch, was that the lead role is for Joseph Morgan and as a fan of his acting I was curious to see it. I have to admit, Joseph did an amazing job in playing Judah Ben Hur. He played out the passion, loss, pain, revange, love, the many emotions that come by in a very touching way. Further also a lot of praise for Emily VanCamp and Ray Winstone in particular, but for the other actors as well.

For those who might wonder if it is to cruel to watch, I thought it wasn't and I can't stand cruelty all too well. The scenes are there yes, but they are either screened in such a way that you don't actually see it or it isn't put out there in such a detail, however, still the cruelty of what was going on in the Roman Empire is still there. It didn't comprise on making it prettier than it was.

The only real minor point for me was the ending, I won't go into detail why that was dissapointing you will have to see it for yourself, but that was the only thing that didn't do it for me. Furthermore, beautiful and haunting story at the same time and portraited by amazing actors.

Did anyone of you see it before or is planning on seeing it some time?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

A day out of the life of...

I've been quite busy lately, and that mostly with college life. I thought it wasn't very intresting to keep all of you bothered with it on a regularly basis, but I've decided to dedicate one blog to it anyway. I'll describe a day out the past week, which can basically be multiplied times 5 and you have an idea of how this whole week looked/looks like (the weekends are slightly different, but include unfortunately right now a lot of school work as well). The same most likely will go for the next two weeks.

7:15 - 7:30 Alarm rings and me hopping out of bed; normally it doesn't include all too much snoozing. I'm fairlsy soon awake.
7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast, getting dressed and biking to school; stereotyping Dutch people here: I do bike to school every day.
8:30 - 12:30 Either lectures or start of project work; we have 10 weeks projects where we do research and analyse the market for a (real) hotel right now. Lots of fun, but also a lot of work.
12:30 - 13:00 Mostly about this time we take some time to have lunch; college students need to eat too right?
13:00 - 16:00/17:00 Project work; depending on how much we (still) have to do we spend the rest of the afternoon on project work as well.
17:00 - 18:00 Somewhere about here I'll be starving as I don't eat to much for lunch normally as the canteen at school is crappy expensive
18:00 - ... I'll spend the rest of my evening on working for my French classes or study for my upcoming exams (combined with fun skype conversations inbetween)

So there you have it, my currently not all too excited life. A lot of time goes into my exams right now. Next week friday I have my first one and the week after that the rest will go down, besides French which is the monday after that week. Of course, I do fun things as well, don't worry. I'm not that bad on myself. Tonight I'll be heading off to a friend for a drink as she will be leaving next weekend for 6 months to study in Spain.

P.S. I'm trying to line up some blog posts now and then when I have the time, to assure the blog keeps up and running while I'm busy with school. Any suggestions on what you want to read more about (Personal life, books, music, movies, fashion other things?), let me know!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Books I want to read (in 2013)

I recently did a blog post on the books I've read in 2012, so I thought it would fit to do one on books I want to read (in 2013). I set my goal, via Goodreads, to read 25 in 2013, which is 5 more than last year. Let's hope I'll succeed.

Below a list of books I really want to read (in no particular order), though I might end up reading a few other books first if I come across other books that I suddenly prefer more. Any books amongst it I should put on a high priority? Or books that aren't in the list that I for sure should look up as well? Let me know!

-Perigee Moon by Tara Fuller
-Insurgent by Veronica Roth
-Delirium triology by Lauren Oliver
-Clockwise by Elle Strauss
-Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
-The Selection by Kiera Cass
-The Vampire Academy Serie by Richelle Mead
-City of the Falling Sky by Joseph Evans
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
-Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
-Freed by Kinley Baker
-Medusa, A love story by Sasha Summers
-The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
-The Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Those things you get to know because of celebrities: Part #1

Some of you might know by know - or have always known - that I can be quite of a fangirl regarding TV-series/movies or just celebrities in general. Besides just looking at what acting projects they have going on, for some celebrities I love to follow what other projects they keep themselves busy with, like charities they help out/set up, promotional work they do for brands or setting up their own perfume/jewelry lines for example. I've decided to do some blogs now and then to some projects that I personally really like or feel inspired by and that I think are worth sharing with all of you!

Show me your mumu
It could be worn by all—big and small, short and tall—and could be a dress, a top, a tunic, or…anything I suppose. It could come in jersey, polyester—or silk chiffon. It could come in floral, paisley—or black spider print. Holiday theme mumu, lace mumu, sequin mumu, fringe on your mumu…the possibilities seemed truly endless. Thus, they set out in search of the perfect fit—the ideal body—which only, ultimately, they could find by creating it themselves. The spelling mistake was intentional—they were, after all, reinventing the mu’u mu’u and therefore dubbed it “The Mumu” instead.

Show Me Your Mumu  is a brand for both clothing and jewelry. The video, that can be seen below, is what initially made me aware of the brand. Candice Accola, who is also featured in the photoshoots for the brand, tweeted the video and after watching it, it felt like such a nice and fun brand that I decided to have a look at the website.

I have to admit the clothing style isn't really something I would wear myself, but I love how different it is from many other brands. It really has a style on its own. The same goes for the jewelry pieces they have. I adore their Gem Rings, but they have many other great pieces as well.

Did any of you know the brand? What do you think about their collections, anything you would like to buy?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Glimmer Glamour Fashion

As promised, a fashion blog on what I've worn during Christmas. I have to admit that most of the time I wear a dress for Christmas dinner, but the only suitable dress I had left for it, was the dress I wore the last two years as well and basically I didn't feel like wearing it another year. I went into town the saturday before Christmas, highly last minute I know, to see if I could find anything nice. I found a lot of cute dresses but nothing that would fit within the budget I had for the rest of the month, and that wasn't a lot.


 I did end up buying a new jacket and paillette top to go with it. Both were in sale and highly discounted so that was great as well. Oh and a nice fact is that the zipper un the back actually opens up! I combined it with simple jeans and black heels I already had. To add a bit of glamour to it all I bought some new nailpolish that went well with it: gold metal rush and a glitter nailpolish both from Miss Sporty, cheap but oh so nice! Just don't ask about taking the nail polish off again, that was horrible.
P.S. I changed the lay-out of the blog as I didn't really like the previous one, but I'm still not really satisfied with this one either, so any suggestions let me know!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Books of 2012

Happy New Year everyone! Most of you will know I'm a bit of a geek, so I couldn't go into 2013 without outlining the books I've read over the last year.

I've read 20 books over the last year (excluding boring school books) and that actually is quite a bit for me. Might not sound as that much for a bit of a nerd, but as I already read a lot for school, I do not always fancy reading a lot when I'm done with school work.

The 20 books I've read:
-5 books of the Mortal Intstruments serie of Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls) // A serie I could recommend to everyone who loves this kind of fantasy books, but I'm sure most of you have already read (part) of the series
-Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes // Lovely chick flick, bit predictable but nice nonetheless
-Wasteland by Lynn Rush // Review here
-Lenobia's Vow & Dragon's Oath by P.C. Cast // Review here
-The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson // Review here
-Wither by Lauren Destefano // Review here
-Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini // Amazing book, nice elements of Greek mythology
-The magician's Apprentice by Trudi Canavan // Review here
-Inbetween by Tara Fuller // Review here
-Evermore, Blue Moon & Shadowland by Alyson Noel // Nice serie that I've started, but haven't finished yet due to other books I really wanted to read, but I'm curious to finish. First three books were promising
-The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling // Review here
-My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris // Lovely book about the 16th century Italy from the point of view from a girl of the 21st century, a nice book to swoon with

Any books amongst here that any of you read and loved or maybe absolutely disliked? Books that you've read and are missing in my list, let me know in the comments! And once again, Happy New Year!