Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sephora Giveaway Winner!

My first giveaway here at Imogen's Typewriter has finished! Thank you to everyone that took part, it was really fun seeing all your tweets :) But there can only be one winner and that is.... *drumroll* Vicki!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations! I've just emailed you and I will get the prize sent out to you ASAP! <3

Friday, 30 May 2014

Fiction Friday: Books I Read in May!

Oh May. With my assignment deadline, I didn't read as much as I thought I would but I did start doing full reviews of books which is a lot of fun. I stuck to two completely contrasting genres this month; horror/thriller and teen chick-lit, my tastes are flawless!



'It's OK, I'm wearing really big knickers!' by Louise Rennison
I read the first of the Georgia Nicolson books in March and enjoyed it. Just like that one I found myself laughing out loud at this book and picked the next one up right after finishing it. The plot is a little lacking but the characters are hilarious. This series is constantly putting a smile on my face.


'Knocked out by my Nunga-Nungas' by Louise Rennison
It was a little shorter than the other books but the plot picked up as Georgia deals with having a boyfriend. There was a lot of, as she would say, 'dramatosity.' I keep rating these books three stars but I do like them. I explain my stars system here!


Bird Box by Josh Malerman*
I did a full review of this here and you have a week till my giveaway of a copy ends. I've read a couple of thriller type books already this year like Lexicon and Unravelling Oliver but this was the first thriller thriller and I really enjoyed it. It made me want to write some creepy stories.


The Three by Sarah Lotz*
I did a full review of this book too here! This was one of the best books I've read this year. Of the eighteen books I've read, this is one of three (heh) books that have got  and it honestly deserves it. My mum has actually taken this off me to read even though she hates planes and she likes it so far. Read it.


If I don't get along with a book then I pause it, like Insurgent. This month we had another one. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. You may remember this from my Buddy Read announcement here where I was so excited to be reading this along with Lianne. Well. That clearly didn't happen. Let me start by saying that I don't really like being mean about books, I'm an attempting writer so I understand the effort and time and heart that goes into writing a book. I can be negative, but only if I feel I have a really valid reason.
But this book was just hard to read. I can see what Tahereh Mafi was doing and I can understand why but the abundance of similes and metaphors and all round purple prose... I just couldn't. To the paused shelf it goes.

What did you read this month?

*These books were provided by the publisher for review. It has not changed my opinion.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Beauty Review: Lush's Floating Island Bath Melt.

A Lush review for you today! A while back I finally bought myself a Floating Island Bath Melt. Even though I wasn't too sure on the scent, the ingredients sounded great and I wanted to see if it was as luxurious as they promised. Plus it kind of looks like the base of a cupcake...



I popped about half of it in my bath, sunk into the water and expected- something. But really I got barely anything. It didn't really fizz or melt, it just simmered. But after a while the water seemed a little softer than it normally does and my skin didn't feel as dry. But not by much. I still needed to slather on the body lotion afterwards.

All in all, I don't think I'll repurchase this. I much prefer the bath melts that are creamy to the touch as I find them a bit more effective at battling my dry skin. But if you're a sandlewood scent lover and your skin doesn't need hardcore moisturisation then this could be the bath melt for you!

If you want to try it yourself, it's available here for £4.15!

Have you tried Floating Island? What did you think?

Don't forget to enter my Sephora giveaway here!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Fiction Friday: Book Review: The Three by Sarah Lotz

"They're here. I'm ... don't let Snookie eat chocolate, it's poison for dogs, she'll beg you, the boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there's so many ... They're coming for me now. We're all going soon. All of us. Bye Joanie I love the bag bye Joanie, Pastor Len warn them that the boy he's not to­­-"




Pam, whose husbands name was Jim (The Office, anyone?), gets in a plane crash and leaves that message. Around the world three other planes crash. Pam only survives long enough to leave that message but there are three other survivors, all children, all fine. Or are they? The Three* is a book that explores the reaction of the world after this happens.


On with the review! In short, The Three is one of the best books I've read this year/ ever. Sarah Lotz has managed to write something about plane crashes that is better than Lost, which is not something I say lightly. The story was insane, every twist was like a smack in the face and even though I had no idea what was going on, it didn't annoy me like it normally would.

The characters all felt very convincing and real, and even though it was constantly moving from person to person it was easy to keep up and get to know them. I was rooting for people, had my heart broken as the narrative progressed and just wanted to climb into the story and try to sort things out. We see the British media frenzy- there's even a reference to Princess Diana in there, the Bible Belt of America's religious reaction, and Japans slightly better way of dealing with everything. Lotz manages to stay pretty accurate to what I think would probably happen if this freak tragedy happens, and it's a scary story in itself.

I've seen people compare it to World War Z which is one of my favourite books ever and I can see slightly how that might seem but for me, World War Z is more historical whereas this is more a media spin on a story. I really enjoyed the way this book was set out with prose then a book within a book, then more prose. It was a little Hamlet, a play within a play. I used to love reading these true crime books when I was a kid and that choice of formatting really made this book 'pop'. I don't think it would've been as good if it was just straight storytelling.

I was totally hooked, unlike Bird Box, I could not put this book down. I stayed up late into the night hunched over this book when I got to the last 50 pages and immediately took to twitter to vent my pent up feelings.



And that ending- the ending. Oh. 

I had no hesitation when rating this. I don't hand out five stars that easily but this is one of the best books I've read this year. Hands down.


If you want to buy this book and you should it is on Amazon here! Luckily I've been given the opportunity to give a copy away and all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below! Which ends Friday the 13th of June because I thought it was fitting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you think you'll pick The Three up?

*I was sent this book to review by the publisher. This is completely my honest opinion. The book being given away is being provided by the publisher for one of my readers. I am not responsible for delivery. This giveaway is UK only. If you're under 18 please ask a parent or guardian for permission to enter. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Haul: Indie Cosmetics!

I'm not hugely adventurous when it comes to cosmetics but since I went cruelty free, the options are less and less. I hadn't bought new makeup bar the odd mascara in a long time until I found myself watching Chloe Dykstra’s Last Minute Gift Guide in which she mentioned a couple of independent brands that I'd never heard of before- Which immediately made me feel like a bad nerd. I can quote Lost Season One word-for-word, I own Lord of the Rings Leggings, I wake up at 2am on Monday morning to watch The Walking Dead live- I should know about nerdy make-up! So I sought to rectify this immediately. This is the damage haul post.




Much more interesting than the standard black packaging, right?



My first order was from Victorian Disco who were doing 20% off at the time. I got two eyeshadows on sale for $3 (£1.82) each; Under the Outland Skies and Frozen Throne, both World of Warcraft references. A mini-size jar of Double Tap at $2.25 (£1.37). “Which leaves me to my second rule; the Double Tap. In those moments when you’re not sure the undead are really dead-dead, don’t get all stingy with your bullets.” 

They also offer a Blogger Package! Where you can get 6 sample sizes and 2 mini-size jars for $8 (£4.81). I was all over this and chose #Yolo, NOU, My Feels, The Amazing Bouncing Ferret, Snape was Innocent and Why does it have to be Dragons? sample sizes. Then Boomer Bile- a L4D2 reference I managed to understand because they always kill me, and Snivellus mini-jars. They also send free samples with any order, and I received Ay Sexy Lady and Queen Beryl.

It says on the website the current turnaround of how long your order could take. I was presented with a time of 3-4 weeks which was a little long but I got it in about 2 weeks and it was was completely worth it. 
International shipping is $7.50 which is £4.51 and I only ended up spending £11.71 in total, which wouldn't even buy me one Mac eyeshadow. They've just got a snazzy new website too! Check it out here!




After that I turned to Shiro Cosmetics, and snapped up the Why Not Zoidberg? Intertube- which has been discontinued while they reformulate much to my sadness. Along with a full size Smell Ya Later eyeshadow I hate anyone called Gary on principle, mini sized There and Back Again, You Know Nothing and Mother of Dragons, and samples in Lingered in Twilight and Master of Whispers. 

Much like Victorian Disco, you tick a box saying ‘I understand my package may take however long to ship, and I am okay with that.’ For me it was two weeks. They also send free candy, not pictured because… I ate it already, and samples. I got Hodor and I'll Move that For You. You can buy their products here!

They also do a really awesome 'Cages through the Ages' collection- just check out Ashley's review. 



And lastly! Geek Chic Cosmetics. Out of curiosity after all this nerdy makeup buying I googled around for a Walking Dead cosmetics collection and found their 'This Isn't a Democracy' line. Shut up Rick. I immediately knew it had to be mine, and I also bought it for Ashley's birthday present. It took a little longer to come because it got stuck in customs but it was worth it for the names alone; Stay in the House, Carl, Clementine will Remember, We're all Infected, You Best Pray I'm Dead, I ain't a Judas, and He's Korean.

They're a little more expensive at $5.99 (£3.57) a pot or $28.75 (£17.12) for the whole collection but they are all great quality and oh the opportunity to reference The Walking Dead while I do my make-up. Their website is here!

I’d also like to remind UK people that you can be charged customs on anything over £15 not including postage (around $24.60) which includes an £8 handling fee and 20% of the cost so I recommend keeping it under that. But you can clearly get a lot of great stuff for less that £15 with these brands.

Have you ever tried Indie make-up? What do you think?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Bird Box by Josh Malerman!

Warning: Do not read this book before bed if you're a scaredy cat like me!



Before the review I just have to show you the trailer. Book trailers are a thing! And boy is it a hair raiser.



So! Let me start this by saying that I, a grownish woman, am actually avoiding looking out of the window as I type this. I am sat by a window, the birds are chirping and someone is mowing their lawn, but I am not looking and have found myself doing this for the past hour after reading this book.

Bird Box* is a stand-alone thriller and the first novel of Josh Malerman. We follow the story of Malorie and two children as they leave their house for the first time in years, completely blindfolded, in a world where people see 'something'- go mad- and kill others then themselves. As they travel down the river, Malorie thinks back to how they got into such a terrifying and dangerous situation.

Let's start with the positives; I was a huge fan of the protagonist, Malorie, a grippingly real character and I felt really close to her as the story went on. Her development and motherly instincts just had me rooting for her the whole way through. I wanted her to be okay, I wanted the kids to be okay, I cared what happened.
In general the story had me guessing throughout, I watch and read a lot of horror but this was impossible to guess where it was going. Every time I thought I was understanding how this dystopian type world was, Malerman threw in a curve ball.
Another thing this book did really well was the pacing, when stories do flashbacks it can be done really well (Lost/ Fringe) or really badly (True Blood) and this book did it engagingly well. The going back and forth felt like Malorie was reliving those memories, and best of all, it was a natural process.

However, I didn't 'feel' the rare and elusive hook. I kept reading and it was interesting but I missed out on the pull. I did put it down a couple of times even though it was relatively short but it was easy to pick up again so I can't fault it too much. I would definitely be interested in a sequel!

In conclusion, I really recommend this book for fans of the horror genre or if you liked Cell by Stephen King! If you want to be blindsided by a brilliant storyline, this is for you. If you were unlucky enough to watch The Happening, this will cleanse the taste from your mouth.


Bird Box was released today and can be bought on Amazon here! Or you can enter my giveaway to win a copy in the rafflecoper below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you like scary books?  

*I was sent this book to review by the publisher. This is completely my honest opinion. The book being given away is being provided by the publisher for one of my readers. I am not responsible for delivery. This giveaway is UK only. If you're under 18 please ask a parent or guardian for permission to enter. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Fiction Friday: Free Comic Book Day!

Last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day which is the first Saturday in May when comic book stores bring in huge amounts of specially written comics for their customers to pick up for free. It's a great way of getting people in stores and appreciating that they still have them to go to in a time when independent shops are a rare being. It's great, and I've been going every year with my brother since I got into comics.



Personally my store (Travelling Man in Manchester) has a one of each policy, but this changes from store to store. Wherever you go on FCBD you're bound to find a great vibe, with anything from donuts, to chocolate, drinks and merriment. It's pretty much Nerd Christmas. The books this year were great, the art work is on form and the ones I've read so far have all had really interesting stories.



And I was lucky enough to find this tucked into one of my free books! Ah but what to buy?!



While I was there, in the spirit of FCBD I bought a couple things too. I got Letter 44 #1 because Charles Soule is probably the most interesting writer in comics at the moment- he writes, I think, 7 books, which is more than most full-time comic writers all while being a lawyer. I have no idea how he does it because I can tell you one thing, his writing is insanely good. Letter 44 is impeccable and I really recommend it.
Then I got Hacktivist #1 because I'm a sucker for a hacking story and I've just realised it's written by Alyssa Milano aka. Phoebe Halliwell from Charmed who I love!
And I picked up my usual Catwoman, the only DC book I still buy regularly. But that's a whole other story.



So if anyone needs me, I'll be reading these over the weekend!

What do you think of Free Comic Book Day? Do you visit your local store?

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Sephora Haul and Giveaway!

While I was in Florence I, of course, had to pop by Sephora because I have no willpower. I picked up a few things while I was there from their own brand which I've had a lot of luck with in the past and I thought I would show you and do a little giveaway while I was at it.





Oh Sephora, just open a UK store already.



The first things I picked up were a new foundation and concealer because these both seem light enough for my pale skin and have really good coverage. I haven't tried them out fully yet but if they're any good I'll put up a full review but so far- so good!



By the checkout was a stand for the Limited Edition 'Agua de Rio' bath and body products and I got suckered into getting the moisturising sorbet because the texture is really interesting! It's like a whipped product but gel-like. Personally I think I'll stick to creams but I can see this being used a lot in the summer when it's just too hot to put anything thick on.



Since I liked the smell of the sorbet so much I picked up the box of 'Agua de Rio' products so I can smell like a fruity cocktail all the time. It helps that the colour of them goes with my bathroom too. It comes with a bubble bath, a hand soap, a bath bomb and a loofa.

While I was there I couldn't help but pick up another one of the kits for one of my UK readers since we don't have a Sephora store here! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Fine Print: This giveaway is UK only. I bought it myself with my own money. If you're under 18 please ask a parent or guardian for permission to enter. The giveaway ends at noon on the 31st of May.

Do you like to buy makeup when you're abroad?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Fiction Friday: Books I Read in April!

April was a slow month. Not helped by my 30th of April deadline and my discovery of Sons of Anarchy (Bikers though) So I only finished 2 books. The shame! In my defence I did start Game of Thrones and that book is a beast. And for those wondering about my Buddy Read, I've still not finished it and Lianne couldn't finish it! Post will be up about that sometime this month! Anyway


Lexicon by Max Barry*
This may possibly be one of the best books I've ever read. Honestly I struggle to even put it into words. It's basically a thriller where certain words have the power to pull down peoples defences and make them do things, kind of like the imperius curse in Harry Potter. But so much more. The characterisation was flawless, as was the development of the story. The two sides of the tale run together in a way I was not expecting and when I finally figured it out I think I actually put my head in my hands for about five minutes because of how beautifully crafted this novel is. I've already bought a copy to give to a friend of mine.
Enough gushing? In short, read it. Dear god, read it.
I definitely need more of Max Barry's writing.



The Undertaking by Audrey Magee*
It took me a while to read this book because my dad nicked it the day it came in the mail and read it in a day. So I was excited to finally get to read it even though I'm not a big history fan, at least not the wars. I like happy endings more than anything but this book intrigued me. Told from the point of the view of a German soldier and the woman he married without ever meeting, you're brought through the war over around 10 years in quite a short book. I did find myself cringing at certain parts, I would beware this book if you have triggers because Magee doesn't shy away from the brutalities of war. An easy read, but difficult subject matter.
I found it hard to rate this one, it's a good book but I just felt there was something missing for me personally. I have a sticky note system when I read a book and this barely had any stuck in. Not a good sign.


Have read any of these books? What did you read this month?

*I won these from Goodreads giveaways, I'm not obligated to talk about them on my blog, I just read them this month.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

My Error 404 Lush Haul!

Last week I heard about the Error 404 bath bomb from Lush which is a completely free bath bomb you can get from Lush if you find a 404 page on their new website so I, of course, had to get one and while I had that to validate their rather expensive shipping costs (£3.95 for 2-5 days) I thought I'd pick up a couple things.


I'll talk about the Error 404 bath bomb but first, the rest of my haul. I had to pick up a Bightside Bubble Bar which smells amazing. It smells exactly like orange sweets to me, the boiled orange travel sweets you get in the tin. I'm nostalgic about that scent and it's really beautiful in the bath too. I'm so excited this has been made permanent. It's £4.50 which is on the expensive side but I get 4-5 baths out of it.

Next I popped the Soak and Float shampoo bar in my online basket because my scalp has been super sore since I got back from Italy. I've only used it once but so far, so good. My one issue with it is the smell- It smells like a bonfire. Like burning wood and smoke. It doesn't transfer onto my hair, thank goodness, but it takes over the whole bathroom so I've popped mine in an old lush tub.

I also got a sample of Angels on Bare Skin cleanser, I'm not a huge fan of this so I'll probably pop it in my upcoming giveaway since I seem to be the only one in the world that doesn't like it!



I thought I'd put in a couple extra pictures of the Error 404 bath bomb because it is so cute! I love the little circuit board design since it's a special for the new website and I just think that was a really great way for Lush to make finding an Error 404 page fun. Making a new website is hard so them having a joke with it makes the brand way cooler in my mind. It smells pretty simple, slightly floral and just really unoffensive. Get it while you can!

Did you find a Error 404 page? What are your Lush favourites?

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