In horrible news my old Kindle died. 

I went to charge it up and it took 6.5 hours to charge to 30%. Thinking it was being glitchy, I left it overnight. 12 hours later it was still at 30%. Ergh. Oddly, a twitter conversation later, I found out that the new(ish) Amazon Fire 7 inch was selling for £35. So I bought another, using vouchers from leaving my old job, and then managed to get freeeee Amazon Prime delivery. My new Kindle all in all cost me £5. Bang on. Plus it’s tangerine in colour. Gah it’s gorgeous. Is it worth investing in? Read on.

Specifications

Beautiful 7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600). Available in four colours.

Fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and rear- and front-facing cameras.

Amazon Underground: All-new, one-of-a-kind app store experience where thousands of apps, games, books etc. 

Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video and listening to music

Stay connected with fast web browsing, e-mail and calendar support

115 x 191 x 10.6 mm

313g

First Thoughts

I love how thick and chunky this Fire tablet feels. It has a weight, is sturdy and is covered in a textured (tangerine) plastic. Weighing 313g it feels weighty in my hand. Apparently it’s twice as durable as a Apple iPad Air 2. I believe that, but it is a lot, (lot) smaller in size.

Is it my eyes?

The 7in screen isn’t HD. The resolution is only 1024 x 600 pixels, so it can be a little blurry. But, the screen is pretty bright, and although the blacks are a little grey and it’s not as crisp as an Ipad it’s a 6th of the price. Plus for reading (which I’m mainly using it for) it’s brilliant.

Lag?

I’ve played numerous games on my new fire and I really love it. Although a little slow sometimes to load, all the games I’ve played, have been lag-free. SimCityBuilder (definitely worth a download) played seamlessly and Doodle Jump also. Switching between apps can be sluggish but not frustrating.

Battery lasts around 5 hours when just watching Video playback with maximum brightness. Obviously will last longer when dimmed. Charging takes a while but I just charge it overnight. (No biggie.)

Shall we go shopping?

Yes you only have access to the Amazon store but all main apps are available including video streaming services (I.e Netfix.) The camera is poor as like my old Kindle. Don’t bother downloading camera editing software use your phone instead. (I have an Iphone 5S and it is four times as good – maybe.)

Final Thoughts

Definitely worth buying. It’s not an incredible tablet and to be honest that’s not why I purchased it. The screen resolution isn’t incredibly high and moving between apps can be clunky but for reading it’s fantastic. Yes the battery isn’t crazy strong and yes it might be a little chunky (which I really like.) But I love this not only for the price but for  the colour. Oh my life – the tangerine colour is lit.

(+ it’s so good to photograph.)

 

I love a crime thriller.

There’s something deeply comforting in them. Is than an odd thing to say? I don’t know whether it’s the genre, or the typical characters that are written into crime thrillers, but they just do something for me. This one caught my eye because of the cover. Yes, I was that fickle. Turns out this book (For Reasons Unknown) was bloody brilliant.

For Reasons Unknown

Blurb

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word. Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…  

My Review

So to catch you up quickly the book follows the first in a new British police procedural set in Sheffield. DCI Matilda Darke is returning to work after nine months absence. In a fragile mental state she is tasked with cleaning up a cold case from 20 years previous.  But when another body appears it soon becomes clear that they are linked.

First thing first, Matilda. She’s the type of character I can’t help but love. A broken woman, eaten away by grief after the death of husband and an unsolved case with a missing child she couldn’t solve. We follow her story as she returns to work and quickly crumbles. Temporarily demoted and ostracised by her former team Darke struggles to keep her head above water. But she has a spark and determination to rise to her feet and regain her position. I adored her. Really.

The storyline is strong and brilliantly written. Multiple story-lines constantly cross paths but the author keeps them clean and un-jumbled. The case was a really well thought out mystery, filled with exciting and challenging characters. Johnathon is especially well-explored giving us a range of vantage points to watch the investigation play out. I also enjoyed the power struggle between Ben and Matilda. (The DCI that takes over from Matilda and is investigating the second body.) The power play between the two that threatens to upset the case is an exciting addition that is woven skillfully. Secondary characters namely the additional police force all have their own quirks and I look forward to meeting them in later books in the series.

Final Thoughts

I had an inkling who the killer was but it wasn’t confirmed until the bitter end. At that point I had nail bitingly fled through the chapters. This book is truly unputtdownable and had I had time I would have devoured it in under 24 hrs. It’s that good.

This is a belting story, that grabs you and doesn’t put you back down. Each chapter creates a new question, a new thread to follow. Saying that the author doesn’t complicate both characters/story threads and just creates a bladdy good read. Put it on your to-read. It’s already on my must re-read list.

AmazonGoodreads 

For Reasons Unknown

For Reasons Unknown

Welcome to another week commencing.

This week has been a good one. Before Christmas I felt ready and raring to go. January it just disappeared. That get up and go fell between my fingers. I blamed the weather and the dark mornings and nights but it was a combo. Work has been a little tough recently and my weight plateaued. But recently I’ve felt the fog clearing. I even managed to go to the gym three days in a row this week. Hasn’t happened in months. But here’s a look at my week commencing Mar 20. (Plus there is a cheeky cover reveal at the bottom so keep reading!)

Dressing for my size.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter/Instagram you might have picked up that I recently lost quite a bit of weight. Almost 28 lbs. When you’ve spent the last 12 months attempting to hide your body in over-sized jumpers, sweatshirts and leggings it takes a while to re-group. As I lost weight, and my body slimmed my wardrobe didn’t. This Monday I pulled open several drawers and snatched out three dresses I had once loved. They all fitted. Two better than they had when they were bought. It’s been a week of re-discovery, and happiness. Every time I look in the mirror I feel just so much bladdy better. Before anyone tells me, your size shouldn’t re-define you. I KNOW. But, the Lizzy I saw for 12 months didn’t define me. The Lizzy I see staring back is the one I want to define.

Nice to have you back babe.

Week Commencing Mar 20: My Trainers

Yorkshire Provender Cauliflower Cheese Soup

This stuff is honestly LIT. I saw it on offer in Waitrose when I was VV hungover. I wanted a soup that felt like a hug and this just hit the spot. Creamy, not too high in calories and with the addition of kale it was honestly fantastic and just what I needed. I want to re-create this when I have a spare minute.#

Week Commencing Mar 20: Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Zyliss Hot Mug Cafetiere

T bought me one of these a couple of weeks ago but I hadn’t got round to using it. It is really fab. If you’re the kind of person that likes nice coffee but doesn’t want to spend a fortune a week forking out on Starbucks spend £6. Pick up this gorgeous cafetiere style mug and sip away. FULL post to come soon.

Week Commencing Mar 20: Coffee Mug

Do something that scares you

I bloody hate that phrase. Who really wants to do something that scares them? This week saying that I’ve been completely out of my comfort zone. Filming, photographing and interview ing students it’s been intense. Two days full of multiple shoots it was a lot of fun but mentally exhausting. Sayin’ that, can’t wait to do it again.

Week Commencing Mar 20: My Feet

But keep to you

I was invited out to food a number of times this week and although I don’t want to say I missed out – I didn’t want to mess up all the progress I had made. I want to press the point that I don’t stop myself from having fun because of food. Sometimes you just have to align it with your goals. Been to the gym four times in a row, don’t feel like chomping down on 2,000 cals worth of burgers. Then don’t.

Week Commencing Mar 20: Brekkie Crumpets

A Time to Die (Cover Reveal!)

Jonas Lee has a new cover reveal! (And it is G O R G E O U S.)

Jonas is a fantastic author and I have had the chance to read/review a number of his books and they are wonderful. Full of action, mystery all set in a fantastical setting. Well worth a look. I’ve included a blurb, author bio and links so go check it out. (Please.)

AMAZON

GOODREADS 

Carter Gabel saved his own life, and rescued his city from destruction. But, after the Pirates forced him into hiding, he spent years holed up in Crighton, city of ghosts.  Just as he thinks the world has forgotten him, a knock on the door interrupts his life and as he opens it, his next journey begins. An unexpected foe waits for him at the end to challenge everything he knows and all that his future holds. What must Carter do to survive? And what does he sacrifice to become a legend?

Author Bio:

Writing out of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jonas likes coming up with new and creative worlds that speak to the plausible while remaining believable. With a fist-full of peanut M&Ms and a cup of coffee, he has written three novels about a snarky, supernatural teen able to time travel and more.

Beyond writing, Jonas has a gift for useless knowledge through watching trivia shows and a love for cinematic adventures. Music fuels his writing and you can see him with at least one earbud in every day.

That’s been my week – how was yours? 

Before we went to France I downloaded a lot of books onto my Kindle. I had just bought my new Tangerine Fire and wanted to try it out. I had read the very popular You Had Me At Hello a long while back and hadn’t come back to the short story sequel. Wanting a couple of short reads for the holiday I downloaded this to let you know what I thought. I also want to update you on my Kindle purchase. I still love it – maybe more than my old fire. The thinner design makes it feel more like a book and the colour is just beautiful. More on my Kindle in a post soon let’s dive in.

After Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

Blurb

A short story sequel to the bestselling romcom You Had Me At Hello!

In You Had Me At Hello, the one who got away came back… but what happened next?

Together, apart and then back together again, Rachel and Ben had a rollercoaster ride to get here. But now happily in love and partners in crime once more, it feels like it’s all been worth it.

But when a face from the past reappears, misunderstandings come between them once more.

Can they hold on to their happy ever after?

My Review

After Hello is the epilogue to You Had Me at Hello, McFarlane’s first novel. I was a little worried I had forgotten the characters in the book but I shouldn’t have at all. Each came back to me with clarity. McFarlane is great a reworking information into the story without bogging it down. I was soon up to speed with anything I had forgotten.

It is a really short read which dissapointed a little. It does pack a punch – the writing is fun as always. This isn’t the type of book you pick up for an intense read, it’s a short and flirty in style. It was nice to re-visit the characters and see how their lives are progressing after the ending. As with the first novel McFarlane dives into the realities of a relationship. Often books skim how relationships form and all the little arguments that can bubble under the surface. They are pivotal in this read and I liked the realism.

It was quite easy to guess the ending – it was a very smooth, or soft read. I think it could have been drawn out and played with more. As a reader who left the first book a while ago, more twists and turns would have made this a more grabbing read. It’s a brilliant book for a commute or a ferry ride. It feels satisfying but not electric. It has also made me want to read more from McFarlane – I have my eye on ‘It’s not me it’s you.’ I gave up romantic books towards the end of 2016. This author has made me want to rethink that.

Although it was quite an ordinary chick-lit, it drew me in, in a way a number haven’t. There was a homely, comforting feel which I don’t get from the thriller/crime books I’ve been reading.

Final Thoughts

The book After Hello is an easy read and if you’ve read the book You Had Me At Hello definitely give this a go. It’s a flirty fun book with a lovely ending. Perfect for a lunch-break or just a moment on the sofa with a glass of Merlot.

AmazonGoodreads 

After Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

After Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

I love stationary.

Bloggers and stationary go hand in hand. Especially book bloggers. I think we’re born with an internal magnet for gorgeous stationery. Notebooks for TBR’s, post-its for noting beautiful passages. I stumbled upon Jemma’s Etsy shop after joining in with a #TheGirlGang chat. Later that week I was trawling twitter and saw Mel had made an order. Checking the bank balance, crossing my fingers I wouldn’t want everything and searching for the Dorkface Etsy shop a short while later I clicked order. This is what I picked.

Let’s get lost

The first thing I clicked was this gorgeous A5 print. Jemma’s artwork is very unique but eye-catching to boot. Cartoonish, girly, cute images all perfectly pastel. However, this print was a little different. T and I constantly have a travel bug biting us and Canada is one of my all-time-wants to visit. The phrase ‘Let’s Get Lost’ and image definitely reverberated with me. I’ve ordered a frame for it (which is yet to appear.) But this is going to sit pride of place on our bookshelf.

Blue Blogging Stickers

My next choice were some of Jemma’s stickers. I don’t have a separate blogging diary so things can get, messy. I picked out a selection of Jemma’s blogging stickers. Blue in colour and covered in helpful phrases. These include phrases like comment on blogs, writing posts and twitter chats. I am forever forgetting when twitter chats are live so these will help stash the times/days in my memory. The stickers are a really lovely quality and I received lots more than I thought. They will last me quite a while and when they do get used up I’m sure to make another order.

Cute Candy Stickers

The final set was a selection of the cute candy stickers. I wanted these to decorate my ideas notebooks. I was really tempted by the bookish set but I’ve started to stray into more travel/lifestyle posts. I’m a book blogger by heart but I couldn’t resist these. Jemma has a really wide selection of sticker sets; from travel adventures to cute doughnuts and milk cartons there’s something for the blogger in everyone. There are also stickers and a notebook covered in the words ‘nasty woman’ which are helping to raise money towards planned parenthood. (Planned Parenthood.org.) They are on my ‘order soon list.’

I would definitely recommend Jemma’s products. There is a wide range of designs/products and they’re all really high quality. I will 100% be using my discount code very soon to order more prints. Jemma also regularly runs twitter giveaways/codes/releases new products. Her twitter is full to the brim with her love of blogging and bloggers, inspiring and promoting happiness, self-love but also how to cope when things take a wobble. I’ll link ya and share the love.

Which small businesses do you support? Oh and have you bought anything from Dorkface yet?