Reveal: Legend, Katy Evans

We have something a little different today. Here is an early reveal for the sixth book in the Real series with new characters as well as our favourites in the background.

LEGEND (Real series #6)  
Can love really conquer all? – Book 6 in Katy Evan’s breakout New York Times bestselling series that began with REAL.

Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he’s known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He’s got a personal score to settle with the Underground’s one and only Remington “Riptide” Tate.

As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town–and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she’s none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who’s supposed to root against him and a girl he’s supposed to stay away from. 

But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate LEGEND. 

Legend (Real #6) Pre-order Links (Releases 2/9)

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1IcLdcd

Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/1MeyaIY

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/sRB4jb 

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/real-series-6/id936215992?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1Guafyb

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781501101540

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781501101540

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/real-series-6

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1GuakSp

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  I am really excited about this book and about being part of this release. I have have loved these books and their characters, especially Remy and Brooke. As a series it is unique, not only do you get the satisfaction of a strong alpha male with an equally strong female who can hold her own. 

  It also manages sensitive topics like mental health and how people deal with these conditions. 

  If you are interested in finding out more about this book or the series in general there are preorder links above or go to Katy’s website: 

http://www.katyevans.net/ 

Or feel free to send questions my way.

Maebhe 

Tea Blog: Changes

 So that tired old cliche that “life is like a roller coaster” has taken over my life recently. Although, it has been a combination of good and bad…

  •  Firstly I managed to get a new job a couple of months ago now. So I have left the world of retail (& working weekends) to join the 9-5 which is an improvement in someways but it also means a lot less time off & I can feel it eating into my reading & writing time.
  •   There has also been some turmoil and mourning in my household, as we tragically lost our long love family pet, Friday, to a road accident in June. The circumstances are unclear however, emotionally I have been in a sensitive place for the last month, although I can honestly say I am recovering as this is the first time I have been able write about her passing.  

This is one of a series of photos my aunt took of Friday, sitting outside my house waiting greet people. She loved to sit here however I could never manage to grab a photo as she would always toddle over whenever I came outside. My garden, which is one of my sources of recovery due to an ongoing project, still does feel quite right without her and little visits for cuddles.

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  •   Some of this sadness was tapered by a family holiday soon after, something which hasn’t happened in 5 years now and was greatly enjoyed by all.
  •   However on my return home I was asked to work in a different location to help cover holidays which was fine, however during this week, the when and where being uncertain, I came down with food poisoning and have been suffering for the past few days……

So to say that life has been a little tumultuous for the last few months would be accurate. But I am hoping that July is a turning point and that things will begin to settle down and I can begin to assimilate all the changes. I also have a number of post ideas I want to write so I need to figure out a new schedule to fit around work ( even if it means dragging my poor iPad everywhere with me!). 

  New week and new beginning – wish me luck.

Maebhe

Tea Blog: The Antrim Garden Show

My little blog has taken a decidedly green tinge this month! As a follow up to my terrarium DIY, I went to the first Antrim Garden Show a few weekends ago now and it was very fun event however in typical Irish fashion the Sunday was also a total wash out – rain rain and more rain. But rain has never stopped me from enjoying something – especially when you are walking through a marquee surrounded by beautiful floral displays and quirky little shops and food stalls.

  
I had planned on going on the Saturday when gardening guru Monty Don was speaking, however things obviously didn’t work out that way. However Sunday turned out to be a great day as all the vendors were happy to see people milling about and very interested in getting rid of product rather than drag everything back with them after the events of there were deals to be had!!   

The awards for best of show had already been given out. And the pictures included show some of the winners but mostly these are simply little displays that caught my eye! So many pretty displays and I was so sad to discover that the few pictures I took of a lovely little display full of little succulents in teapots and teacups didn’t turn out well – they were too dark to use but they have inspired some new projects so maybe soon…

    

While at the show there was a second marquee full of local produce and while I am not really a drinker (of alcohol) I discovered this little stall selling cider which was really lovely and very good value. There were two options – the medium shown below and a sweet version (red bottle in the background). Ultimately I bought three bottles (2green, 1 red) – the red was the winner but there were both really delicious.

If cider is your kind of thing definitely check them out: http://www.longmeadowcider.com

    

I also made two little purchases, these adorable initial mugs for my mum and the floral/bird handbag for myself.      

I also received a free gift from a kind shop owner, who have me this cute chair which I plan to restore either as a functioning seat or into a flower display of some kind… We shall see.

  
Sorry this post is so short and soooo late but this have been a little cray lately but things seem to be heading back to normal. So hopefully I will be back to my semi regular schedule soon.

Maebhe

MadeByMaebhe: Terrarium or Fairy Garden

So as seems to be the course of my life at present – I have been sent another curve ball, although this one is a little more positive, I got a new job – not exactly where i want to be career-wise yet. Its a nice progression but it has been an adjustment and the cause of my most recent leave if absence.

However during this down time i have discovered a new love….Gardening. It has been fun to get a little green fingered and create something living. And now i have a little green spot in my room which makes me ridiculously happy.

So i thought i would share my little creation with you and show you how easy it is to make one for yourself.

Here is my glorious little terrarium:

 Its quite a small terrarium on the overall scale of things, although i have already purchased the bowl for my next littl world, but it suits my room and i love it.

Here are all the things you will need to make your own:

  •   Some mini plants – The little potted succulents shown below, I purchased from a local gardening shop for a pound a plant and the little loose plants are from my parents garden (if taking plants for outdoors just make sure to wash the roots well before planting to remove any bugs etc). However there is a wide array of plants to choose from both succulents and cacti so be adventurous!
  • A glass jar or container of your choosing – glass is best and a jar with some depth is easiest.
  • Pebbles/Stones – I choose ornamental glass stones in purple. These are very important as they are necessary for drainage as your container wont have any.
  • Soil – Normal potting soil is perfect.
  • Decoration – Optional – there are some great examples online where some very talented people have used tiny doll house furniture to make miniature gardens etc so get creative.

      

 
Assembly
After you have collected everything you will need it is just a matter of assembly.

1. Gently wash your container and stones with water and a little soap. Rinse well to remove all detergents and dry before planting.
2. Place a layer of stones along the base of the container for drainage.
3. Then add your layer of soil, maybe two inches worth to create a foundation for your foliage.
4. Now the fun bit! Arrange and plant your succulents, cacti etc.I found it easiest to remove my plants from their pots and set them in my glass jar to arrange them first before planting them, so i was happy with the overall appearance.
5. My chosen stones included some large purple bubble like stones which i used as decoration. However you can be as as adventurous as you like, these little gardens are lovely just as they are.
6. And your Done!!! Spray your terrarium once a week, dont over water them as it will drown the root system. so just keep the soil moist.

A little extra gardening just to brighten up the page: I got a little distracted while shopping for my terrarium supplies and ended up buying two trays of violas which have now been distributed artfully around my parents garden.

If you decide to give these little terrariums a go or if you own one already i would love to see them! It truly is lovely bringing a little bit of nature inside.

Maebhe x

Tea blog: The Publishers Revamp

In my last post, I discussed a campaign called the Dark Hunters Re-read which is being organised (to the best of my knowledge) by Sherrilyn Kenyons American publisher MacMillian & St. Martins Press. And this got myself thinking about publishers use of marketing and communications to revive a long running series such as the dark hunter series and it’s possible use for other series.

Case: Sherrilyn Kenyons, Dark Hunters Series

Sherrilyn Kenyons Dark Hunter series has 23 publications to date with 6 in the associated YA series The Chronicles  of Nick. The first book in the series, Fantasy Lover, which admittedly isn’t directly associated with the plot but is a really good book and creates a great introduction to the over all series, was first published in 2002. That’s 13 years, with over 29 books! As this figure does not include ebooks, the associated mangas or her sci-if or romance publications. So collectively that’s a whole lot of books!

I started reading her books while in high school. This means that for myself being reintroduced to the series is not such a big on taking . I already have an understanding of their series and general plot.


Discussion

However for new readers – this must be a pretty daunting series to approach. I have suffered this fear myself with other long running series with examples including George RR Martin, Terry Pratchett, and others. The idea of a organised, community lead re-read which utilises the community sites like for this series: the Offical Sanctuary (click to visit the site and find out more about the re-read and the books) – is an idea which really appeals to myself as a reader and prospective publisher!

The ability to break down a series to a single book, creating a book/reading club feel to allow new readers to discover books from long standing series with the support of established fans. While also allowing existing readers to rediscover books they love.

For the Dark Hunter Re-read I personally feel that this campaign is in need of a significantly increased social media presence. As beyond Sherrilyn Kenyons own site it is hard to find. A simple Google search brought up more of my own sites than Kenyons which is a little disappointing as this seems like such a good opportunity to interact with the digital community. I have recommended this series to numerous friends and colleagues who had never heard of Kenyons – there are always new readers to interact with. And as someone invested in the use of digital marketing and social media, I wish this community marketing campaign had been expanded upon. This might just be an international issue as it seems that this promotion is only being promoted by the U.S. publishers and hopefully this is an idea which will only continue to grow and possibly be used by other series and other authors on a bigger scale.

Thank you for listening to my little publishing rant and I would live to hear what you think about organised rereads and whether you have ever discovered a new author this way?

Maebhe

 

Dark Hunter Re-Read : Dance with the Devil

I am subscribed to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s newsletter and have been for a long time, however ive been a fan of her series for an even longer period of time! As her Dark Hunter series was one of the first urban fantasy series i discovered and represents of my biggest series collections i own.

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  This isn’t all of the books, its just the biggest collective image i could get & they are mostly in order 🙂 

 However as with many long series, when you discover a series in the middle it’s fun and exciting to binge! Buying books back to back and watching the series progress as your own pace -which in case was quite fast, especially in high school when i had more time and money to spend on just reading! But the series progressed and naturally got more complex, spliting apart into a number of sub plots and eventually creating a Y.A. back story which developed into an independent series for one of the main characters throughout the books, Nick Gautier. (Love him as a character and the YA series is really good.) This meant longer breaks between publications and therefore mentally a slower plot progression. I never lost any love for the series yet somehow i lost contact with the series and i am now a number of books behind.

SO! When i saw the email from Ms. Kenyon’s site discussing the Dark-Hunter Re-read it was the perfect excuse to rediscover some old loves and hopefully get back into the over plot structure. With the end goal of catching up with the publications i haven’t read, seeing what ive been missing out on and hopefully introduce some new readers to this amazingly funny and action packed, romantic urban fantasy series!

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 One of my favourite quote in life which i discovered from this series and my favourite book!

So the re-read is already a couple of books into the series. However this is exciting for me as the next book being read is Dance with the Devil (Book 3). This book is one of my absolute favourites! Zarek, our male protagonist, is one of those perfect damaged heroes who is really a marshmallow inside in need of a little love. This book also introduced me to another classic children’s novel i hadn’t heard of called The Little Prince which i just had to buy and my first time re-reading this book after reading The little Prince added even more layers to our damaged hero and made his romance with Astrid, our leading lady, all the better.

The humour in this book has already brought back so many memories of why i loved this series and this writer. Her dry wit has me in stitches but it also provides an insight into the characters that other writers can’t often capture. I am about two thirds of the way through and another rediscover was the historical undertones in this series –  as the fantasy element in this series is inspired from Greek Mythology – which as a history graduate with a love for ancient history just pushes all the right buttons for me!

If Sherrilyn Kenyon is a new author to you, i would highly recommend getting involved in the re-read or even just picking up one of her books they are truly amazing. She also writes an awesome Sci-Fi series. But i will be back on this book soon with a short review – don’t want to spoil anything.

But if you do give these books a chance or you already love the Dark Hunter series let me know your thoughts below!

Maebhe x

 p.s. a sneak peek of the madness which occurred in one of my bookcases trying to clear some space to find this series – book addicts raise your hands?… 🙂

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Tea Blog: #DearMe

My various social media sites have been taken over by the Hashtag #DearMe – originally an academic study and a book supported by a number of famous individuals including J. k. Rowling, created to fuel the discussion on what advice you would give your younger (16 year old) self regarding life, work and self confidence. The tag has been revitalised by a the queens of YouTube stars including Felicia Day and Grace Helbig through to Bunny Meyer and many others.

The stories these amazing women have shared so far have all been amazing, promoting self acceptance, confidence in both body and mind and general positivity when it comes to looking on life. It is simply inspiring to hear women who I aspire to, share stories about their own inadequcies and the struggles that they have overcome in life, so I decided to throw in my thoughts.

Young Maebhe was an incredibly awkward individual. Following an equally awkward start in primary school, the girl who spent most of her life lost inside her own mind, drifting out off windows or with her nose buried in a book (most likely a Harry Potter novel) I had a hard time making new friends. While I had friends and wasn’t bullied in high school, I struggled to adapt to social situations and had the pleasure of being the only member of the Library club in my first year. Growing up my greatest fear was a sense of social invisibility and the lose of self. I wanted to challenge my social anxiety, make more friends and become a more outgoing individual without having to lose myself to fit in. I loved my pink hair, I loved my books and my many other nerdy interests.

Now 22, I am a graduate, job hunting and I still have my pink hair, adore my books and have found many more nerdy loves. However I have grown as a person, I am much more confident in the person I am and my passions. Developing a thick skin against those who would drag me down to their level or encourage us to settle for “little town ambitions”.

#DearMe : I would want to tell younger me to hold strong to my dreams. Don’t let the doubts and differing opinions of others threaten your ambitions so much or discourage you. You will meet your best friends at university. People who will stick with you throughout life, who understand and love you for your bookiness!

As for romantic love – that will come later- stop stressing!


  

  However this is just the beginning we will continue to meet new people and take on more adventures – so I’m sure I’ll be back in a few years time with an update. We will hold on to our favourite mantras;
 Carpe Diem, Thrive & “Life isn’t finding shelter in the storm. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (From Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron- small hint about my next post)!

  Share your #DearMe story on Twitter on your own blog or below!!

I would love to hear your stories and your advice and ambitions 😄

Maebhe


Samantha Ellis’ Top 5 Literary Heroines

I need to get this book! Truly sounds amazing. A very feminist review of the women in classical novels (& I love that she agrees with my views on Cathy from Wuthering Heights!)

Penguin Blog

Samantha Ellis, author of How to be a Heroine, is fully aware of the importance of strong female role-models within the literary canon. So much so, that she’s written a book on the subject. Here she talks us through five of her favourites, from Anne of Green Gables to Scarlett O’Hara.

When I felt like I wanted to change, I used to read about the good-girl heroines of Victorian novels, but as Jane Austen rightly said, ‘Pictures of perfection…make me sick and wicked’, and now, if I try reading What Katy Did, Little Women or (aarghh) Pollyanna, I’m liable to get so mutinous that I throw down the books, drink all the whisky, put on my best dress and go rampaging. But here are some heroines I still reach for when I need inspiration.

Anne of Green GablesAnne Shirley, from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

If you want to change the…

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Made by Maebhe: Crotchet Creations

All this crafting inspiration has inspired me to start a new series: Made by Maebhe.

I’m not sure exactly how regular (regularity being an issue that i already need to work on) a contribution this series will be to my blog. However i wanted an opportunity to share my creations and share new skills i am learning.

The discovery of  my current favourite magazines, Mollie Makes and Simply Crotchet, has truly been sources of inspiration, fueling the need to buy some new wool so i can try out some of the new skills they talk about and replicate some of their ideas.

However before i get too ambitious i thought i would share some of my little creations to date. So far i haven’t taken on many large projects, however below you will be able to see two blankets i have made – however the first (red & white) took a ridiculously long time to complete since these big projects are something i tend to start and when i put it away for the evening i can forget to pull out again for quite sometime.

Giant Granny Square Blanket with scalloped edge

I am embarrassed to admit that this blanket has to be one of the slowest creations i have ever worked on. My Granny taught me how to crotchet when i was about 11 years old and this was one of the first projects i ever took on. I never liked joining the little squares together so for my first blanket i would just make a GIANT square. Simple but time consuming and therefore made it a lot less appealing a project to pull out whenever the crotchet cravings kicked in.

However 11 years later it is finally finished although i probably should have made it a little bigger if i wanted it to be a true blanket. I think its just a throw more than anything now, prettily adorning the end of my bed.

Crotchet Bows

This is one of my favourite little projects to make and i now have them in an assortment of colours and sizes. Below i have two examples in turquoise. I love putting them on clips for my hair or safety pins for coats etc. Can be made in about an 20 mins, really satisfying little project.Granny Squares and Hexagons

I crocheted these while living in Edinburgh completing my Masters. I have a box full of granny squares – many of which are a little funny as i have some difficulty with maintaining the same level of tension. There were many evenings after uni- or work when it was too abysmal to go outside or i was simply too tired to deal with people, i would turn to netflix and crotchet to pass the time and relax.

The hexagons i saw on my favourite crotchet blog – Attic24. Lucy, the crafter and creator of this blog makes some amazing and beautiful things with crotchet. I really cant recommend her blog enough! she is one of the few written tutorial i can easily understand and follow and she really has some beautiful tutorials. The rest of this post are all projects i learnt how to do from her site.

She made a beautiful Hexagon Blanket and i was in love. So i spent an evening learning how to make them. I didn’t have enough wool or colours to do them justice, however i have ambitions to return to this project with some good quality and brightly coloured wool.

Hearts and Roses

These last little projects are a few of the ones i had at hand but like my granny squares i have more in storage, especially the flowers which i can now make a couple of different kinds of flowers.

These are really cute little projects which can be added to clothing or other projects. I also made a number of bow headbands at Christmas for friends and family so i can find my own at the moment. However i made a few plain straight headbands and added these little flowers to decorate.—————————————————————————————————————————

I really hope to expand my skills this year and take on a number of new projects. I have already learned how to make a magic circle as a start for most amigurumi which is my most resent love and i am trying to learn.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little post and i would love to hear about your crafting ambitions or any useful learning resources.

Maebhe

Tea Blog: Crafting Resolutions

Since the start of the new year I have been so invested in trying to get a new job i .e. Leave my student stage behind and start a ‘career’ – without much success so far. As this can have a rather negative affect on your mental health and attitude. These effects are exasperated by the month joy of hormones.

When my mood is negatively impacted by life I always return to my crafting loves, especially my love of crotchet. I’m not sure if this is something I have ever really discussed on here but I was taught to crotchet by my granny when I was wee, as she looked after me a lot when my parents were working. And since then, following the growth of the Internet & the discovery of a wealth of tutorials and blogs on the topic I have expanded my crotcheting abilities beyond the simple granny squares to include everything from roses to bow headbands (which became quite popular Christmas presents last year).

I know it is late to be discussing resolutions beyond my usual reading resolutions to expand my reading pool & tackle my TBR pile. However I have decided that with the desire to maintain a positive outlook that I will continue to expand upon my crafting skills through the creation of unique and fun items.

As a start of this new resolution I purchased two magazines as inspiration;

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Magazine One: Simply Crotchet

Magazine Two: Mollie Makes

I believe that these magazines are published by the same publisher and there is a range of magazines involved including Simply Sew and other crafting magazines. However I think I’ll stick with my crotchet for now…. Although I do have plans to buy a sewing machine because I love my vintage finds and would love to be able to alter them myself therefore widening my options (despite as serious loss in the number of vintage fairs in Northern Ireland compared to Scotland).

What drew my attention to both these magazines was their beautiful design and simply layout. But most importantly their crotchet designs were also extremely exciting and already i have been inspired and have started learning a new skill called Amigurumi – taken from the Japanese terms for cute (Kawaii) and yarn. They are little projects made using continuous circle chains rather than rows. And from what I have seen online the options and creations are endless! I can’t wait to learn more.

These magazines both also came with little craft projects! A little needle holder & like heart crotchet pack (they can be made to look like old school American tattoos).

I am excited to see where I can go with this- what I can learn, what I will create and how it will make me feel. I hope you will share your creative outlets and hopefully a new series will come out of my new crafting resolutions.

Maebhe