Saturday, 22 July 2017

Saturday Series: YALC - Packing, Packing, Packing...

Hi everyone! Today for Saturday Series I'm talking about packing for YALC. I may not have quite started my own yet, but I know exactly what I need to bring with me and am well on the road to sorting it all out, so I thought I'd share my key points with you all. Here's the essentials I'll be bringing with me;

Big Pile of Books: No trip to YALC is complete without a big pile of books to be signed. I've estimated I'll be bringing about 25 with me; 7 or 8 each day. It's a lot, but how can I pick between all the amazing authors?!

Schedule: One of the main things I've been working on today is my schedule. I've pretty much got everything down to a tee now, but I'll have a printed personal schedule to guide me through the weekend. You can see my post about scheduling from last week here.

Clothes and Essentials: Possibly the most boring part of packing, but definitely necessary.

Purse/Money/Phone: Of course very necessary; cash especially.

Tickets: The most important thing when it comes to Comic Con is of course tickets! How else do we get in and enjoy all the wonderful geekery! Make sure to bring any prepaid photo tickets also!

Sustenance: Comic Con gets hot and is extremely busy. The right sustenance is essential.

Geek-wear or Cosplay: Clothes are of course essential, but when it comes to Comic Con you know we're talking more about Geek-wear or Cosplay. You can see my post about my own outfits here.

Tote Bags: I know myself I will be buying a lot of books and geeky gifts, so tote bags are essential to carry it all around in.

I hope you all enjoyed my final pre-YALC post. Be sure to tune in next weekend for my daily wrap-ups over the entire weekend!

Thanks for reading, and do feel free to leave a comment below or let me know your thoughts on Twitter.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Monday, 17 July 2017

Book Tag: If I'd Been At Hogwarts

Hey guys! Today my post is all about the school we'd all love to attend; Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Below I've listed a few details and scenarios for what might have happened if I'd attended Hogwarts during Harry's time, and I'd love for you all to join in with me. I'll be tagging some of my favourite book bloggers on Twitter, but please do join in whether you're tagged or not and link your post in the comments below for me to take a look!

If I'd been at Hogwarts - A Book Tag

Wand - Dragon Heartstring core. Mahogany 11".
Animal - Grey tabby cat.
Position on Hogwarts Express - Front compartment near the window so I could watch the engine.
Immediately Befriends - Luna Lovegood.
First Impression of Hogwarts - I don't like small boats.
House - Ravenclaw.
House Friend - Luna Lovegood.
Favourite Class - Charms.
Least Favourite Class - Potions.
Most Likely Found - In the Library.
Book 1 - Races to protect the Library from the troll.
Book 2 - Petrified (Haha!)
Book 3 - Interviews Professor Lupin about werewolves.
Book 4 - Helps Cedric with the challenges.
Book 5 - Helps research The Department of Mysteries.
Book 6 - Joins the Quidditch Team.
Book 7 - Helps shield the castle.
NEWT Classes - Ancient Runes, A History of Magic, Charms, Transfiguration and Arithmancy.
Outcome of NEWTs - Outstanding for Ancient Runes and A History of Magic. Exceeds Expectations for Charms, Transfiguration and Arithmancy.
Profession - Department of Magical Histories.

I hope you enjoyed my answers. As always thanks for reading and do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

I'll be tagging Cazz (Loaded Shelves), Beth (Words from a Reader), Sophie (SophieReadsYA), Alisha (RealitysABore) and Jemima (DrinkingBooks) but feel free to take part if you wish, tagged or not! Do leave your link below so I can take a look at your answers too!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Spotlight Sunday: Diversity Recs - Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Hey everyone. Today I'm bringing back Spotlight Sunday and with it I'm starting a new feature called Diversity Recs. Every two weeks I'll be featuring a new YA or MG recommendation that deals with sexuality, gender identity, class, culture, or mental health and wellbeing in a way that deserves to be recognised. I hope you'll enjoy them, and if you'd like to take part and guest post a recommendation or two of your own, feel free to contact me via Twitter or email.

Today I'll be featuring Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee; a book that I loved and feel personally attached to.

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.
Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual. Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

Tash Hearts Tolstoy features Tash as our MC and wonderfully geeky heroine but one of the best things about Tash is that she's Romantic Asexual. Asexuality is one in the LGBTAIPQ+ spectrum that often gets neglected and ignored, both in representation and real life. Too often is the A attributed to Ally when it actually stands for Asexual/Aromantic/Agender. As someone who identifies as Romantic Asexual, the representation was a joy to find, especially as it was this book that actually allowed me to finally put a name to my feelings.

The representation is dealt with so wonderfully and so positively that I felt I just had to spotlight it as my first Diverse Recs post. Not only do we have Tash, who is completely comfortable within her sexuality and is an utterly positive role model in regards to accepting ourselves, but we also have those around her. Her friends specifically are wonderful in their support, but don't shy away in part of the book from asking the tough questions about Tash's sexuality; the effect of which is to of course educate the reader but I feel to also state that sometimes it is necessary to ask questions, so long as it's with respect.

We of course have the darker side, shall we say, featured in the people who aren't so accepting of Tash's sexuality but this is again done in such a way that is more positive than negative.

Overall Tash Hearts Tolstoy is such a wonderful example of Ace representation and I really do urge you all to read it, whether you identify as Ace or not. It's a wonderful story with a more wonderful, powerful message.

As always I hope you enjoyed my post, and do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter. Have any suggestions for recs or want to do a guest post? Let me know!

Don't forget to tune in on Sunday 30th July for my next rec.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Review Policy

Please note I am currently closed to review requests.

My preferred reads are Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, in the following genres, though I can be open to others dependant on content;

- Fantasy
- Science Fiction
- Contemporary Romance
- LGBTQAIP+ Fiction (Bi, Ace and Genderfluid rep in particular)

I will read a lot of books based on an intriguing premise, and am a fan of high stakes drama, but please be aware I do not review the following;

- Poetry
- Non fiction
- Erotica

I am also a fan of family dramas, by which I mean tales predominantly featuring friendships over relationships.

Lastly, accepting a request (or if I request to review myself) does not guarantee I will post a review. This is again due to time constraints as I work full time. Blogging is a hobby only. That said I will endeavour to read and review all material, even if it may be after the date of publication.

Reviews generally will be cross-posted to Goodreads, and to Amazon if requested.

Any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Saturday Series: YALC - The Art of Scheduling

Today for Saturday Series and my collection of posts about the UK's Young Adult Literature Convention (Just two weeks to go!) I'm going to be talking about The Art of Scheduling. Now this may seem like a little bit of a boring topic, but scheduling is at the heart of any convention. Without schedules, nothing would run, we wouldn't know where to go, and no-one would have a good time. With schedules, I make sure I'm where I need to be, and have the best possible time whilst at this wonderful event. Usually my schedule is little more than circling what on the official YALC schedule I want to do, and creating my packing list accordingly.

This year, as I'm not only going for three days for the first time but also taking part in some of what LFCC has to offer, my schedule and packing list are a lot heavier. I'll be going into packing a lot more next weekend, once the LFCC schedule has been confirmed, but for now let's look into scheduling YALC shall we?

My first thing to do, as I said above, is circle what on the YALC schedule I want to do. Its the best way of seeing where I might have clashes, and how busy a day is going to be. As you might be able to see, I'm planning on doing a lot.

Having decided what was most important for me to attend, I also filled out these awesome day-planners that the lovely CopperBoom folk created. You can find them here at to use yourself. This is more for me to just make sure I complete the most important items on my lists each day, rather than getting bogged down by a heavier schedule.

I'm not planning on going home lightly though. No sir. I'm going to be using my three days wisely, which is why I'm currently creating a full YALC and LFCC schedule for each day I'm there. As the LFCC schedule won't be out until next week, it's not yet finished and subject to change, but for now I thought I'd just show you a few snippets of how I'm organising my days.

Basically I'm using a spreadsheet to organise each day by time and what event I want to attend at that time. This way I can easily see any potential clashes, but can also have a day to day gameplan of where I need to be, so that I don't miss anything if at all possible. It will also allow me to easily see what else I can attend if I find myself with some spare time. Most importantly I can see where any potential clashes can be avoided, by attending a panel or signing on a different day, if applicable.

So as you can see above, I've noted that Holly Bourne is signing Sunday as well as Saturday. This way if I find myself unable to attend Holly's Saturday signing I automatically know there's no need to worry, and can highlight on my Sunday plan that it's more important than originally planned that I see Holly on Sunday instead.

By creating an order list for multiple signings as well, I know exactly what I'm doing even when it's busy. In simple terms, it's basically a way for me to keep all my thoughts organised and avoid any panic attacks. That's the plan anyway. Whether it works, we'll see.

I hope you've enjoyed my little insight into scheduling. As always do feel free to leave a comment below, or @ me on Twitter, and thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Bloggerific Blog-Hop!

Hi guys! As you might be aware a massive book-blogger appreciation thread started earlier this week, one I myself was tagged in by my lovely friend Alisha at realitysabore. It was amazing to see so much love between all these fantasic bloggers – to show the true spirit of the book-blogging community – but we pretty much broke Twitter with it. My own app is still suffering. Therefore I decided to compile a list of all these wonderful bloggers (Over 200!), their twitter handles and blog links, for ease of use, so that we could take part in a massive blog-hop. I do hope you all find the list useful.

Please note however that all I did was copy the handles of everyone who tweeted and/or was tagged, and searched Twitter profiles for blog links. Therefore I am in no way responsible for broken links, blog content, genres reviewed, etc. I’m simply trying to make it easier for everyone to navigate through the bloggers and their blogs. This also means that if I couldn’t easily see a blog or youtube link then the handle was removed from the list, as were duplicates. So if some people have been missed off, I apologise, but I can only do so much in my limited time.
  1. Britt Bryan: @__brittbryan –
  2. Suzanne: @thebookishlibra –
  3. Thebooksatchel: @thebooksatchel –
  4. BookBear: @MyBookJacket-
  5. Margot McGovern: @project_lectito –
  6. Marina Sofia: @MarinaSofia8 –
  7. Vijayalakshmi Harish: @GranthaMaven -
  8. Maggie: @thenovelorange –
  9. Molly: @MollysBookNook –
  10. Alisha: @realitysabore –
  11. Aldii: @PerfectInBooks –
  12. Nazima: @readinghijabsy –
  13. Shazi: @CrazyBookLover_ -
  14. Becca: @BrunetteBlogg –
  15. Sal: @TheDarkDictator –
  16. Holly (Me): @The_Arts_Shelf –
  17. Cazz: @Cazzimon –
  18. Beth-blogger: @BookLoverx –
  19. Chaol & okami trash: @LovelyOwlsBooks –
  20. Katheryn: @Kat_thebooknerd –
  21. Sofia: @SofiaSTRF –
  22. Grace Latter: @_gracelatter –
  23. Arianne: @Ariannebooklove –
  24. D. Carstairs-Wang: @official_dahabo –
  25. Michelle Toy: @ChelleyToy –
  26. thatfictionlife: @liv_gacka – /
  27. LaChouett: @ChouettBlog –
  28. Jamie Miller: @brokefrombooks –
  29. Stevie Finegan: @StevieFinegan –
  30. Mariam: @helloiammariam –
  31. Luna’sLittleLibrary: @lunaslibrary –
  32. Jim: @Yayeahyeah –
  33. Debbie: @SnugglingonSofa –
  34. Andrew Hall: @PewterWolf –
  35. Lucy: @LucyTheReader –
  36. Lizard & nerys: @littlehux –
  37. Layla: @readable_life –
  38. Amy: @GoldenBooksGirl –
  39. Sarah Withers: @swithers2 –
  40. Charlotte: @WBookishBlog –
  41. Amy McCaw: @YAundermyskin –
  42. Faye: @daydreamin_star –
  43. Louise Nettleton: @Lou_Nettleton –
  44. Charlotte Burns: @charlottesburns –
  45. Rosie: @rosiefreckle –
  46. Bex: @MyShelfMyself –
  47. Jess: @bookendsendings –
  48. Steph alittlebutalot: @eenalol –
  49. Lily: @sweetlovebooks –
  50. Nicola: @PrythianBworm –
  51. Charlotte Burns: @charlottesburns –
  52. Sarah Withers: @swithers2 –
  53. Cora Linn: @Corazzz –
  54. Donna: @donnamk79 –
  55. Sakina: @aforestofbooks –
  56. Samia Sharif: @ssharifbooks –
  57. Nad: @scorpioreads –
  58. Ellen Pellen: @PellenEllen_ -
  59. Jen: @BookSyrup –
  60. Sarah-Jane: @booklifeSJ –
  61. Giulia: @giuliablahh –
  62. Rebecca: @_rebeccastobart –
  63. Ross: @RoyalBookshelf –
  64. Becca: @RebeccaPAuthor –
  65. Leah: @girlvsbooks_ -
  66. Liv: @Livsescape –
  67. Shannon: @shannoliviab –
  68. Harriet Rosie: @Harriet_Rosie_ -
  69. ClaireVictoriaBooks: @clairevbooks –
  70. Zoya: @AnInkyRead –
  71. Naima: @violettereads –
  72. @salmahsbookshlf –
  73. Hala: @anbookwormlife –
  74. Sinead Anja: @DivBookHuntress –
  75. Kelly: @kellysrambles –
  76. Alice: @AliceRWB –
  77. Jenni: @JuniperJungle –
  78. The Book Moo: @TheBookMoo –
  79. Emily: @midwestbooknerd –
  80. Clare Stone: @dualreads –
  81. Offbeat YA: @OffbeatYA –
  82. Naj: @mashedpotates –
  83. Ruzaika: @RuzaikaDeen14 –
  84. Veronika: @VVeronika96 -
  85. Alyssa: @puckspaperbacks –
  86. Basically Britt: @BrittAlsemgeest –
  87. Leonie Christel: @thebookleo –
  88. Emma: @emmmabooks –
  89. Slaybrina: @Shandal96 –
  90. Sam: @Samsnonsense –
  91. Gabrielle: @frumiousreads –
  92. Camille Dent: @_theCamillion –
  93. Cherrie Walker: @Cherrie_713 –
  94. KalesKorner: @mozleigh –
  95. Maku Felix: @makufelix_-
  96. GabbyYaBooks: @GABBYABOOKS –
  97. Sarah Elizabeth: @xpectopatronerd –
  98. Aoife: @PrettyPPD –
  99. Rachel: @_sectumsemprah –
  100. Envy Fisher: @Envy_Fisher –
  101. Jess Watkins: @snowglobe10 –
  102. Megan Bourne: @butterflybourne –
  103. Karen: @teamsheltie –
  104. Midnight Book Girl: @Midnghtbookgirl –
  105. Anila X. Hoxha: @anila_h –
  106. Tessa: @Crazyfor_YA –
  107. Jemima Osborne: @JemimaJOsborne –
  108. Rachel Malfoy: @RacheyRagdoll –
  109. BluestockingBookworm: @bookworm_blue –
  110. Em: @keystrokeblog –
  111. Bradley’s Book Nook: @_bradleyjordan –
  112. Stephanie Plotkin: @TeacherofYA –
  113. Mia: @MiaBookAddict –
  114. Never Not Reading: @NNRblog –
  115. Elise: @thebookforums –
  116. Kristen Burns: @whykristenburns –
  117. Grace: @RebelMommyBB –
  118. Ashleigh: @frolic_fiction –
  119. Ali: @the_bandar_blog –
  120. Mahriya: @A_Bookish_Life –
  121. Zoe: @zcollins1994 –
  122. Anna: @ScoutFinch_75 –
  123. Fiction Fascination: @F_Fascination –
  124. Jess Hearts Books: @JessHeartsBooks –
  125. Charlie Louise: @abooksglory –
  126. Shannon Miz: @ShannonMiz –
  127. Kai Jiang: @quartzfeathers –
  128. Jordon: @SimplyAdrift –
  129. Kei: @lovely_pages –
  130. Lauren: @wxnderless –
  131. Mikaela: @wellthmbdrdr –
  132. Obsessive Book Nerd: @ObsessiveBooks –
  133. Olivia: @courtofunicorns –
  134. YA and Wine: @KrystiYAandWine –
  135. Sammi: @sam_bookishgirl –
  136. Melanie Bernard: @NoellBernard –
  137. Meredith: @Gryphongirl2007 –
  138. Miss Faith: @suckerforcoffe –
  139. Lila Bookkeeper: @TheBookKeeper5 –
  140. Erica Robyn: @ericarobyn –
  141. The Candid Cover: @candidcover –
  142. Jessica Wynn: @wynnagade –
  143. FLYLēF: @FLYLeFReviews –
  144. Ariel Brinkley: @_BestMermaid_ -
  145. Julianna: @blotsofink –
  146. Cassie: @CassieopiaB –
  147. Andi: @andiABCs –
  148. Suze Lavender: @SuzeLavender –
  149. Tina: @asreadbyTINA –
  150. Kim: @ThePeachMartini –
  151. Prags: @inkdin –
  152. Ali: @love2dazzle –
  153. Brittany Reads: @brittany_reads –
  154. Vicki: @Vicki_CosyBooks –
  155. Maddie & Bee: @MaddieandBee –
  156. Melisa Broadbent: @TheBroadbean –
  157. Fabulous Book Fiend: @fabbookfiend –
  158. Hummingbird Reviews: @HBReviews_ -
  159. Laura H: @sisterspooky –
  160. Olivia-Savannah: @Writing4joy –
  161. Jessica Samuelsen: @WritingPearls –
  162. Ashley: @akaleistar –
  163. Fawda: @wordwoonders –
  164. Reg: @shelatitude –
  165. Red Hot Ink: @Talia_RedHotInk –
  166. A Page to Turn: @apagetoturn –
  167. Natalie Biblioholic: @NBiblioholic -
  168. Amorette’s Reviews: @AmoretteReviews –
  169. Mia: @MiaBookAddict –
  170. Modern Belle: @MusingsoftheMB –
  171. Nissa: @ofpensandpages –
  172. Beware of the Reader: @BewareOffReader –
  173. Jazz Jackson: @bookwormjazz –
  174. Book Twins Reviews: @2booktwins –
  175. HEA Book Blog: @HEAbookreview –
  176. AlbaAndHerSecrets: @AlbaSecretsBlog –
  177. Genesis: @lattenightsbook –
  178. Kimberly: @kimbacaffeinate –
  179. The Staircase Reader: @staircasereader –
  180. Analee S. : @Book_Snacks –
  181. Mahriya: @A_Bookish_Life –
  182. Jackie: @booknerdjackie –
  183. Gretchen: @aboutthatstory –
  184. Bex: @nightowl_reader  -
  185. Foxy Blogs: @FoxyBlogs –
  186. Malissa Coy: @ReadsAllTheBook –
  187. Krissy’s Book Nook: @KrissysBookNook –
  188. Give Me Books: @GiveMeBooksBlog –
  189. Collector BBF/BGF: @CollectorBookBF –
  190. Reading Frenzy Blog: @ReadFrenzy –
  191. BadandDirtyBooks: @BadandDirtyBook –
  192. Lucia’s Book Reviews: @Lucia_18 –
  193. Rusty’s Reading: @rustysreading –
  194. Naomi Frisby: @Frizbot –
  195. BookBoyfriendAddict: @thebookbfaddict –
  196. JaymeBooks: @Jayme_Books –
  197. Julia’s Book Blog: @JuliasBookBlog –
  198. I’m a Bookaholic: @immabookaholic –
  199. Relentless Romance: @RelentRomance –
  200. Stacey is SASSY: @StaceyisSassy –
  201. TeriLyn Reviews: @TLSmitsky –
  202. Vanilla & Spice Bks: @VanSpicebooks –
  203. Bianca: @infatuat3d –
  204. Sweet & Spicy Reads: @SweetSpicyreads  -
  205. Peek a book: @peekabook2011 –
  206. ODbookreviews: @ODbookreviews –
  207. Theresa Jones: @theresjonesie –
  208. Holly B: @HollysReading –
  209. DeesRadReads: @DeesRadReads –
  210. Angela: @EggReader17 –
  211. Mistral Dawn: @MistralKDawn –
  212. GB: @gryffbooksblog -
  213. Mars: @Mars_aroace -
  214. Dani: @dani_reviews -
  215. Rimpy Toor: @rimpysreads -
  216. Shannon: @Shannon_Reads -
  217. Fernanda: @wanderlustread -
  218. Lea: @outerspades -
  219. Courtney: @curlybookowl -
  220. Charlotte: @crowdedbookblog -
  221. Sophie: @xsophiehoughton -
  222. Darby: @booksnblingblog -
  223. Emily: @acupofwittea -

Any queries or additions/amendments, please leave a comment below or feel free to @ me on Twitter. Happy blog hopping!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Saturday Series: YALC - Fan-Fashion

Any convention goer knows that cosplay and fan-fashion are at the heart of any event. After all, who doesn't love dressing up as their favourite characters?

I won't be in cosplay myself this year, unlike originally planned, for many reasons, but I'd still love this week to show you what I've bought instead, and share some tips about cosplay and etiquette.

I'll be wearing these two shirts from RedBubble on Saturday and Sunday respectively. ThroneOfShadows designed the white tee, inspired by the A Darker Shade of Magic series, which I'll be wearing Saturday when I hopefully meet Victoria Schwab herself for a second time. The black tee meanwhile is designed by FandomizedRose and will be my Sunday shirt. Though it clearly covers every one of my fandoms, in terms of YALC it matches my love for Yuki from Songs About A Girl by author Chris Russell, who I'll hopefully be meeting that day.

As for Friday, inspired by the fact that I'll be watching Les Mis that evening, and now matching that I'll be meeting Melinda Salisbury again who I watched The Phantom of the Opera with in November, this is the shirt I'll be wearing, designed by KsuAnn.

I absolutely love it because it is so me! Don't be at all surprised if I do burst out into show tunes at YALC!

As for cosplay, my top tips are;

1) It's up to you - There are no rules (though the con obviously has safety rules and guidelines re, weapons etc. I'm talking about character-wise here) so you can be whoever, however. Don't let your ability or budget restrict you. There are plenty of great free tutorials out on the internet if help is required.

2) Mind the weather - If you're travelling a distance, just be mindful of the weather, especially if you're wearing heavy fabric or carrying props. Just be mindful.

3) Acessibility - Big cosplays are great. Detailed cosplays with props are great, but these cons can get busy and a lot of the time there are stairs/steps to navigate. LFCC/YALC does have elevators in use, but still just be careful.

4) Baggage - I believe there are cloakrooms (I'm still trying to check) but at the end of the day your items are yours. If you're bringing a lot of books, or want to buy a lot, just be aware of not overloading yourself, especially if you've a long trip home.

5) Have fun! - Whether you decide to cosplay or not, no matter if it's your 1st or 31st, above all else have fun! That's what you're there for!

As for etiquette there was a viral campaign last SDCC I believe, which I'll reiterate here.

Cosplay is not consent.

It doesn't matter who is dressed as what, or how, correct etiquette and manners are key. If you'd like a photo, just ask. Most cosplayers are happy to oblige, but what they don't want is one person ruining the weekend they had planned themselves. Manners do go a long way.

That's it from me today. I hope you found the post useful.

As usual do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter, and thanks for reading.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Monday, 3 July 2017

Cover Spotlight Monday: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Today for Cover Spotlight Monday I'm featuring one of my favourite Spring releases, and that is The Waking Land by Callie Bates. Released just last Thursday I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publisher but will certainly be buying the finished copy as soon as YALC is over (I'm on a book ban until then! *Sad face*); it's just too gorgeous.

Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life. 
Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her. 
But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

A part of me is at a loss for words for how beautiful this cover is, but I do just want to point out the three main aspects I adore.

1) Elanna is obviously the character pictured but I love the luminescent orbs that seem to be following her as she flees through the forest, hinting toward her magical disposition.

2) The lush greenery surrounding the edges of the book not only represent Elanna's love of botany or even her connection with nature, I feel it just symbolises the book in its entirety and brings it to life.

3) Lastly I love the vines slowly creeping up the lettering, almost a statement as to nature's power and its slow journey to victory; and therefore perhaps Elanna's victory also.

Overall it is just one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen; I just adore it.

What are your thoughts on the cover for The Waking Land? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading, and do pop back later in the week for my review of this wonderful tale.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Saturday Series: YALC - Top Ten Tips

Today I thought I'd post my Top Ten Tips for attending YALC. Having attended for 1 day both last year and the year before, I've had my fair share of experiences at the con, including an anxiety attack or two, so I should hope third time's the charm and I know what I'm doing now. I hope you find them useful.

1 - Take your time: Don't let exhaustion (or anxiety) ruin your fun.

2 - Eat well: Further to that, make sure you eat the right things or exhaustion can creep up fast.

3 - Know your limits: We're all human. We can only do, and carry, so much. Don't do more than you know you can, and remember (as I have this time) three days are better than one!

4 - Schedule: Although the official schedule hasn't been released, when it is it's always a good idea to plan what you want to do. It's the best way to work out any potential clashes and get the most out of your day(s).

5 - Cash, not dash: Everything pretty much runs on cash at Conventions, so its good to have plenty on hand so you're not dashing for a machine.

6 - Be prepared to queue: Sturdy shoes, comfy clothes and a good book are highly recommended.

7 - Don't be shy: I'll admit I always fail here, but a good way to pass queuing time, and make the day more fun, is by talking with fellow book lovers.

8 - Give it a go: There's so much on offer across the weekend; including competitions and interactive sessions. Try a bit of everything!

9 - Keep your eyes open: Updates are usually posted over Twitter throughout the event, especially re giveaways, so keep your eyes open for any changes, offers, or special stuff!

10 - Have fun!: Most importantly, you're at the con to enjoy yourself, so have a wonderful time!

Thanks for reading! I hope you find my tips useful! As always do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter.

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf