Books · Reviews

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Illustrated Edition 

Published by: Bloomsbury 

Author: JK Rowling

Illustrated by: Jim Kay


  I feel that over my two years here my love for the Harry Potter series has been well document however recent stressers in my life have caused a resurgence of my Harry Potter usage (sounding a little like a smoker trying to quit here, however this is not an addiction I would ever give up!). The HP audiobooks are amazing tools for falling asleep too when you cannot get your brain to turn off. I also have amazing friends as they have managed to get some of these extremely difficult (& this is quite an under estimation of the ticket stalking process) to purchase ticket for the Harry Potter sequel theatre production, The Cursed Child next June. Which I will 100% blog because it’s one of the preview tickets – so early! Plus we are also prepping for this trip, 7 months in advance so hopefully it will mean some good costumes!

As part of this I recently purchased the new hardback, Illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! And it is simply gorgeous!


  Having created two children’s books through the completion of my masters I have had time to research a lot of children’s books, both written and illustrated. So I was extremely happy to see how the illustrations for this book turned out. I had heard about this book’s potential release a long time ago, and having seen the thousands of beautiful interpretations of the Harry Potter universe online, like those on Tumblr and Pinterest, and having followed the movies which were already visually beautiful, in my mind there were a couple of ways the illustrated edition could turn out.

  Firstly, illustrated books, like I just mentioned, being very closely associated with children’s publishing despite the growing adult illustration industry, i.e graphic novels and manga, could have been very ‘childish’ in style. Which in my mind this could be very daunting to adult individuals, like myself, who had grown up with the novels, but who could possibly be put off due to this style. Although I also realise that the diehard potterheads would enjoy it regardless in most cases.

  In a complete juxtaposition the style could have been too graphic, focusing of the older reading audience. Which could put off adults who want to introduce the books to younger readers or equally make it more difficult for younger reads to connect with the imagery.

  So I was genuinely so happy to see how they turned out when I saw the early sneak peaks which are even more glorious in the physical print. The paper quality is also REALLY nice (sad publisher issues). The illustration style is a happy medium making is accessible and beautiful without being childish.


This is one of favourite images from the book as they were able to capture an image I have always had in my head but have never seen, as this was an element of the book which wasn’t in the movie. The books use of imagery especially scenes which weren’t in the films is, in my opinion, why I am loving the illustrated edition so much and why it has been such a success. As it was difficult to imagine adding to the HP world, but this book and hopefully the whole illustrated series, has added to the visual ‘reality’ of the written books.    

  This is my last image but as you can see, it is a perfect example of how the illustrated edition has been able to expand our knowledge of the potter world. Not only illustrating the physical story/plot but treating the reader like a hogwarts student, educating you and allowing the reader to be fully immersed in the Harry Potter world. 

  I realise my photos genuinely aren’t doing this book, the quality and the imagery, justice. But I just wanted to share my thoughts and maybe inspire some Christmas ideas, because if I hadn’t bought myself it, it would have been an amazing gift to receive. 
Be back soon

Mwah, Maebhe x

Books · Publishing · Reviews

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)


Amazon PB:

Amazon UK: 


Barnes and Noble:




Google Play:


  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: 

Or feel free to send questions my way.


Books · Publishing · Tea Blog

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.


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?



Crafting · Publishing · Reviews · Tea Blog · Uncategorized

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;


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.



New Year and Resolutions for 2014

As seems to be becoming a recurring pattern during my masters – I have time then I have none! So I’m here, apologising again for my extended silence on my poor blog but a New Year means a New opportunity to prioritise and re-motivate myself!

2013 has been a monumental year universally with the death of one of the worlds greatest Peace advocates and Humanitarians, Nelson Mandela through to the scientific developments seen with the lunar landing of Curiosity on Mars and the discoveries which have came from its successful landing through to the nerd-tastic developments with the growth of comic-con in the UK and ALL the BOOKS!!

But it has a huge year for me personally. And I feel that I have grown so much as a person and I feel that I have gotten braver and broaden my experiences so much and made myself proud!
As in July I graduated from Queens University Belfast with a Bachelors in History despite having a mild panic attack during my dissertation, panic induced more from a fear from leaving education for the first time and having to decide what I was going to do with my life.

It was this fear which caused my to finally pursue my Publishing dreams and applied to a Publishing Masters programme at Edinburgh Napier University. Investing in my future, I moved country and entered an entirely new course which has been an interesting and enjoyable experience despite my introduction to the Mac which has been an experience to say the least. As historians tend to fear computers in favour of text books which is definitely still my comfort zone 😀 but I have been able to adapt surprising myself and even influencing my future career aspirations.

I know in comparison to some people, even some of the lovely girls I have met and befriended in my course, who have travelled miles further and committed to a larger move etc. (Kudos ladies). But for myself I know I have been sheltered by my family. Especially by my dad who turned me into a little bit of a bubble wrap child. And I love my family and appreciate how much they have helped me throughout my education but I realised I needed to make a change for the better and allow myself to grow and become more independent. And in regards to my comment about becoming Braver, I know I have always been a little bit of a Bambi in a rather loud and boisterous family. And moving away has shocked a lot of people and “staying away” has surprised even more. But I didn’t want to become another member of my family who has been born, raised and stayed in my town all their lives, I want to see the world and experience new cultures and simply learn as much as I can.

So my resolutions for this year are quite simple and I am focusing more on just enjoying where I am right now and making the most of the opportunities in front of me in definition:
Carpe Diem!
Which translated from Latin means “Seize the Day!” Which is basically the Renaissance way of saying Yolo which I hope is a term which dies in 2014 😀
Instead of focusing on my fears and allowing my anxiety which I rarely talk about to anyone, take over I am going to focus on making the most of the present because as Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“Today is a gift that’s why we call it the Present.”

This means living my life to the full but also simply being happy because it is the things we don’t do which we will regret later in life and if I have some of this moments I regret missing now at 21 – I simply don’t want to add to this list!

Okay this is getting wayyyy too deep so ill finish here with my book/blog resolution. I cant promise to read a new book every month but I aim to post a blog bi-monthly. And have a book review every other month! fingers crossed!!

Finishing with the man who always says these things best….
neil gaiman

Love you all and be happy
And please let me know what your resolutions are or if you do resolutions?

Maebhe x

Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea Blog: Halloween!!

Halloween was a blast! I feel my costume turned out well even if some people didn’t understand or think it qualified as a proper costume – I loved it!!

So I went as a gothic Rosie the Riveter! WW11 We Can Do It! Poster woman.
If I wasn’t doing the pose which I know is the wrong way round in this photo, people assumed I was a biker moll like from Sons on Anarchy. And inspired some of our photos I’ll show later on.
(My gosh that wall is making me look really tan when in reality im so pale i make Casper jealous! lol)

The hair was a lot harder to do than it normally is since I’d just had my full fringe cut back in les than 2weeks ago during my visit home to Ireland. So I didn’t have a whole lot of hair to work with & I had to improvise a little. A Barrel roll is fairly easy to do – separate your fringe in a u-shape from temple point-to-temple point and pull the rest of your hair into a high ponytail. The hair you have separated curl the hair with a curling tong in the direction you want the roll to go, so i wanted my roll to face my parting so i curled my hair that direction. You then backcomb the inside of your curled hair – so since mine curled into my parting – i backcombed the side of the hair closest to the parting & leave the outside so the it can be smoothed over the top of your roll. Gently roll your hair in the direction you want, gently brush the end of your hair to combine the curls and just roll them up into the roll. The best youtube video is definitely Cherrydollface’s because her directions are really clear and simple to understand.

But the girls in my flat had a blast making the most of what might be there only Halloween, but id have to ask to show their photos but ill see if they want to share.
halloween '13 1
Back to Halloween – ended up at the Three Sisters Bar in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. Which is Edinburgh Napers associated nightclub. And while Lizzie turned up at my flat before so we could walk up together.
halloween '13 7
We ended up meeting a lot of our fellow Publishing girls and having a good night and a giggle with everyone.
But there was one seriously creepy clown floating bout the nightclub, inspiring thoughts like Stephan King’s IT (one of the scariest books ever in my opinion) and you could hear girls screams moving across the club as he did. He was so freakn rude & annoying but we refused to allow him to ruin our night.

So it ended up being a great night but we walked home with very sore feet from all the dancing 🙂

A sister site was also christened just before Halloween – this is;
This is a blog focusing on me and my friend lizzie’s tea adventures in Edinburgh, She is a friend I have made since starting at Edinburgh Napier. And we share a love for tea (& food) 🙂 And this seemed the perfect outlet & excuse to visit as many tea shops as possible and be able to say its “work” and experience for hopefully a career in Publishing.

So id love for you’s to check it out, its still very early on but we hope to update more often as the craziness of the moment passes, and let me know what you think of it. 🙂
Now back to uni work… sigh 😉