Merry Christmas!

Seeing as it’s Christmas Day, I thought I would take this opportunity to wish those of you celebrating a Merry Christmas. To everyone else, whatever you are or are not celebrating I wish you a happy winter break.

This will be my last post on this blog for 2015, but I will resume posting again in the new year. As such I’d just like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

See you in 2016.

 

Laurell K. Hamilton London signing

As you may know if you follow me on Twitter, on the 7th of August I travelled down to London to the Laurell K. Hamilton signing at the Forbidden Planet megastore. I had a really great time, and if you’d like to see what I did you can watch the video below. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can scroll past to see my signed books and the two books I picked up whilst I was in London.

The books I got signed.

The two books I picked up from the Forbidden Planet megastore. I’m really excited to read both.

And finally, just to amuse…

This is what I had my camera balanced on so I could film.

March Hiatus

It is with regret that I write this post, to announce that The Flutterby Room will be on hiatus throughout March 2015. Taking a break from blogging during this month was not something I had planned, but events have conspired against me. I have a chronic illness, which flared up towards the end of December 2014, and I have been fighting to keep afloat. There will be one more post from me this month; one that I scheduled a while back. It is a review of WILD JUSTICE by Kelley Armstrong and it will go up on the 5th March.

Taking a deep breath and pausing in March will hopefully allow me to catch up with both my reading and write some new blog posts.

I hope you have a good March.

See you on the other side.

Becki

ICYMI Sunday 19 – I’m Ahead

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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

The last week has been interesting. I applied to two internships and got denied unfortunately, so my job hunt is still continuing. However, I have managed to reach and exceed my GoodReads challenge of 52 books in a year – at last count I have read 55 books this year so far. I managed to fit in 80 books last year, so I’m curious to see where I’ll end up this year.

On the blog the last week:

What else is going on?

  • BuzzFeed posted ’35 Tumblr Posts That Will Make You Reevaluate Your Entire Existence’ which you can find here. It’s quite a profound, and funny, read. So if you’ve got time go and check it out.
  • YouTuber/BookTuber Ariel Bissett talks about her thoughts on the latest YouTube Sexual Abuse scandal here, as well as provide a link to some useful posts if you want to learn more about what’s going on. I thought what she said was quite interesting, though I’m a little sad that the YouTube community is going through such a difficult time at the moment.
  • On Tumblr author Maureen Johnson talks about the proper etiquette people should use when making requests of other people here. I thought her suggestions were very helpful, and something I would follow myself were I brave enough to email an author/publisher…
  • And finally, if you haven’t had the chance to yet you can find both the new US and the new UK covers to the HARRY POTTER series side-by-side here. I think both covers look lovely, and I would like having either on my shelves (though I still have a soft spot for the original UK covers).

Anything new?

As I was nearing the end of my TBR pile, I lifted my book buying ban this week. The following lovely books arrived, and I’m very much looking forward to reading them.

  • Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier [Goodreads]
  • Night’s Honor (Elder Races, 7) by Thea Harrison [Goodreads]
  • Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, 3) by Sarah Rees Brennan [Goodreads]
  • Pure (Covenant, 2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout [Goodreads]
  • Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, 1) by Nalini Singh [Goodreads]
  • The Queen’s Readers edited by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn [Goodreads]
  • Adorned (Trinity of Souls, 1) by Georgeann Swiger [Goodreads]

Black Dog is a werewolf book that has been sitting on my TBR list for a while, and I’m really curious to see how it turns out as it’s a little different from the usual books. Thea Harrison, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Nalini Singh are on my to buy list so I had to get these books. I’m looking forward to seeing how The Lynburn Legacy concludes – rumours say it will hurt, eek! And I really enjoyed the first book in the Covenant series, so I had to get the second. I’m a bit of a lit geek, so I’m curious to see what the essays in The Queen’s Readers will be like. I also got Adorned for free on Kindle (hence no picture), and I’m quite enjoying it so far.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

#PenguinJourneys

I received a really interesting email from Penguin Random House UK several weeks ago, about something called #Penguinjourneys. It sounded really interesting, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get up a post in July. But because I quite liked the idea, I thought I’d put a post up now – better late than never!

#PenguinJourneys is basically a campaign by Random Penguin House UK to give holiday reading recommendations from both the Random Penguin House UK team and some of their authors. They also encourage other people to take part by offering some selections of their own.

My #PenguinJourneys is going to start in Africa before moving on to Asia, then on to Australia, then on to North America, before finally stopping in Europe. I am going to recommend a couple of books set in the destination or some authors from the continent. I would love any recommendations you have, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Let’s start…

THE PLACE OF LIONS & THE YEAR OF THE LEOPARD SONG by Eric Campbell

I read both these books a long time ago – I think I was pre-teens – and I have very find memories of both of them. At the time I was very into “animal books” and these very much fit the bill. In retrospect I don’t think they are a particularly good representation of Africa, but I think Campbell does a fantastic job of painting the landscape.

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TIGER’S CURSE by Colleen Houck & INK by Amanda Sun

Both books are the first in the series, and are actually set in two different areas of Asia. TIGER’S CURSE is predominantly set in and around India, whilst INK is set in Japan. What I like about both these books is that the authors pay attention to the culture of the country in which the book is set in. Never having visited either country, I think both authors do a good job in painting a vivid picture of the country in which their book is set.

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Garth Nix & Trudi Canavan

I am ashamed to admit that I cannot recall reading a book set in Australia, and a quick look at my Goodreads lists didn’t find anything either. However, I do have two lovely Australian authors to tempt you with… Nix and Canavan are both brilliant fantasy authors. Nix created a really interesting and fantastical world in his ABHORSEN series – there is even a fourth book CLARIEL coming out later this year. Canavan’s THE BLACK MAGICIAN trilogy is equally as good.

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DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison & BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong

As with our stop in Asia, both of these books are the first in the series. DEAD WITCH WALKING is set very firmly in the United States – Cincinnati to be exact, whilst BITTEN starts in Canada before crossing into the United States. Although both books fit firmly within the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres I think Harrison does a good job in painting what the city of Cincinnati is like and Armstrong does a good job in showing the difference between city and rural – though both countries have both, as Armstrong illustrates in later books in the series.

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BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys & ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

We’ve reached our final destination, and have two disparate books. BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY is set in Lithuania during World War II. It tells the story of Lina who is forced to work in Siberia in terrible conditions. Whilst ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is a contemporary set mainly in Paris, where Anna attends boarding school. We don’t see much of Paris, but what we do is beautifully done and really fits in well with the overall story.

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So that was my #PenguinJourney. I hope you enjoyed the trip. If you want to learn more about the books then follow the links.

My Valentine’s Ninja Book Swap!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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This year I decided to participate in THE VALENTINE’S NINJA BOOK SWAP. Everyone had to sign up by the 30th January, and (to quote the sign up page) “the basic idea behind it is that everybody who wants to participate is matched up with somebody else and sends them a parcel containing a couple of books from their wishlists, plus a card and a little present of some description.”

My gifts came courtesy of Orli @ Blame My Bookshelf.

The first book I got from her was Falling Fast by Sophie McKenzie. It sounds like a really interesting book, and a perfect Valentine’s Day read.

The second book I got from her was Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd. I had never heard of this book or the author before, but the book sounds like it has a lot of potential – though, I think it will be a sad read.

Orli also got me a Memo Pad, and wrote a nice little note for me (which isn’t pictured).

THANK YOU Orli!

If you missed out on taking part in The Valentine’s Ninja Book Swap, then don’t despair! They will be holding another book swap in the summer and they will have one for Hallowe’en. You can find out more information and get reminded about future book swaps by following their Twitter account @NinjaBookSwap.

Looking Forward to 2014 on The Flutterby Room

Having Looked Back at 2013 yesterday, it is now time to look forward to 2014 and what I am planning for the blog. My first goal is to get back to posting two reviews a week, but we shall see how that goes. I will also be holding a giveaway in spring (fingers crossed) for some Holly Black books (one of which is signed) and a bit of swag. The Flutterby Room will also be celebrating its third birthday in March, and I might do something to celebrate that.

To tie in with last years Looking Forward to 2013 post, I want to read in 2014. The top ten list will be made up of a mixture of already published and waiting to be published books in no particular order. The blurbs will either be from the back of the book (because I’ve already have a copy) or from Goodreads. The book covers will all be from Goodreads. Any publication dates have been taken from the Amazon UK website. So without further ado…

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

An elite academy with the darkest of secrets.
A dancer with talent she never wanted.
A legacy she can’t escape.

Vanessa Adler is dancing in her sister’s footsteps as a student at the exclusive New York Ballet Academy. Margaret Adler disappeared three years ago and Vanessa is searching for answers.

Dance is in Vanessa’s blood, in her soul – and perhaps it holds the key to the mystery. But the academy is a sinister place, plagued by fierce rivalry and scandal. Finding her sister is going to be dangerous, and the sexy, charismatic Zeppelin Gray may lead her far beyond the truth she was looking for . . .

The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison (adult)

ENTER THE WORLD OF THE HOLLOWS LIKE NEVER BEFORE!

In the Hollows, the supernatural Inderlander rule, and humanity must abide by their conventions, or else.

To survive among vampires, witches, Weres, gargoyles, trolls, fairies, and banshees – to say nothing of demons – humanity needs a guide. And now, written by Kim Harrison herself, here is an insider’s look at the supernatual world of the Hollows, from an overarching new story to character profiles, maps, spell guides, charm recipes, secret correspondence from elusive Trent Kalamack, and much more.

One misfired spell that burned off his hair is all it took to send investigative reporter Devin Crossman on a mission to uncover all the secrets of Rachel Morgan and expose them to the world.

Collected here are all his notebook entries and a treasure trove of evidence, including maps, species profiles, magic spells, documents from Inderland Security, Takata’s song lyrics, Betty Bob’s recipes, Ley Line Charms, entries from the Were Registry, articles from The Hollows Gazette, and many more documents that cast light into regions of the Hollows that have never been revealed.

But Crossman’s one-man war has not gone unnoticed . . .

Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

“They only come at night,
when the Star fades”

Lark Ainsley escapes the Iron Wood to search for her brother, only to find herself captured and imprisoned in an underground metropolis.

Powerful magic protects the city of Lethe, providing sanctuary from the Empty Ones, monsters who hunger for human flesh.

But this magic comes at a terrible price, and the city lives in fear of their leader Prometheus and his gang of Eagles.

Danger lies in the shadows, and Lark must find the light . . .

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison (adult)
Expected publication: 25th February 2014

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Expected publication: 30th January 2014.

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (adult)
Expected publication: 4th March 2014.

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Expected publication: 6th February 2014.

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stefvater

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie.

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh (adult)

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying, impossibly, of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York . . . and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never be the same again . . .

So that was my 2014 reading list. What books are you definitely planning on reading this year? Let me know in the comments, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on my picks.

Looking Back at 2013 on The Flutterby Room

Today is the last day of 2013, and to commemorate that I am going to look back at 2013 here on the blog. I did this last year and if you’re interested you can find my 2012 post here. 2013 was filled with highs and lows for me both in real life and on the blog, here’s hoping 2014 will be better.

The Flutterby Room had its second anniversary in March, although it wasn’t celebrated this year. We held three giveaways, and unfortunately the review count dropped from twice a week to just once a week on a Thursday – hopefully 2014 will see that rise back up to twice!! Even with dropping back to just one review a week, we managed to have 90 reviews up on the blog 🙂

January

Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder (ya/adult crossover)

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Sins of the Angels (Grigori Legacy #1) by Linda Poitevin (adult)

The Iron Legends (The Iron Fey #1.5, 3.5 and 4.5) by Julie Kagawa

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

February

A Witch in Love (Winter Trilogy #2) by Ruth Warburton

Skylark (Skylark #1) by Meagan Spooner

Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic #1) by Patricia C. Wrede

Young Warriors: Stories of Strength edited by Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman

Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder (ya/adult crossover)

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

March

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead

A Perfect Blood (The Hollows #10) by Kim Harrison (adult)

Falling to Ash (Moth #1) by Karen Mahoney

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire (new adult)

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

House Rules (A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, #7) by Chloe Neill (adult)

April

The Lost Prince (Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods #7) by Melissa de la Cruz

Hidden (House of Night #10) by P. C. and Kristin Cast

The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #6) by Michael Scott

Dragon Bound (The Elder Races #1) by Thea Harrison (adult)

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop (adult)

Amarok by Angela J. Townsend

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs (adult)

Eona (Eon #2) by Alison Goodman

May

Fire Study (Study #3) by Maria V. Snyder (ya/adult crossover)

Storm’s Heart (The Elder Races #2) by Thea Harrison (adult)

Serpent’s Kiss (The Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison (adult)

Oracle’s Moon (The Elder Races #4) by Thea Harrison (adult)

Lord’s Fall (The Elder Races #5) by Thea Harrison (adult)

Archangel’s Storm (Guild Hunter #5) by Nalini Singh (adult)

Tangle of Need (A Psy-Changeling Novel #11) by Nalini Singh (adult)

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

June

The Rising (Darkness Rising #3) by Kelley Armstrong

The Secret of Ella and Micha (Ella and Micha #1) by Jessica Sorensen (new adult)

With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent

Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire (new adult)

Debutantes by Cora Harrison

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1) by Catherynee M. Valente (middle grade)

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2) by Gabrielle Zevin

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole (adult)

July

If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun

Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #22) by Laurell K. Hamilton (adult)

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Dead Ever After (Southern Vampire Mysteries #13) by Charlaine Harris (adult)

The Bell Between Worlds (The Mirror Chronicles #1) by Ian Johnstone

Destiny Kills (A Myth & Magic Novel #1) by Keri Arthur (adult)

Mercy Burns (A Myth & Magic Novel #2) by Keri Arthur (adult)

Doll Bones by Holly Black (middle grade)

August

Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi

A Witch Alone (Winter Trilogy #3) by Ruth Warburton

Oath Bound (Unbound #3) by Rachel Vincent (adult)

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith (adult)

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September

The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

Tiger’s Curse (The Tiger Saga #1) by Colleen Houck

Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill (adult)

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

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October

Mutton by India Knight (adult)

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (Callie & Kayden #1) by Jessica Sorensen (new adult)

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

I Wished For You by Amy Huberman (adult)

Heart of Obsidian (A Psy-Changeling Novel #12) by Nalini Singh (adult)

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November

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A, Marr (middle grade)

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

This Child of Mine by Sinéad Moriarty (adult)

The Pleasures of Autumn (Pleasures #3) by Evie Hunter (adult)

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December

After Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries #13.5) by Charlaine Harris (adult)

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong (adult)

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Seeing it all laid out like that, it actually looks like review wise a lot has happened on the blog. It also appears that it was the second week of August when I slipped back to one review a week. Ah well. Of those 90 books I only awarded 10% 5 stars – just nine books of the 2013 reviews got 5 stars from me. I don’t know if that makes me a hard marker, but I’ve always been of the opinion that for a book to get 5 stars it should be something special.

I hope everyone (who is celebrating) has a brilliant time celebrating the arrival of the new year tonight. Happy New Year!

It’s Christmas!!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you’re having a really great Christmas if you celebrate, if you don’t I hope you’re having a fantastic Wednesday. This will be my last post here during the Christmas period (unless I do a Secret Santa one later today) until I look back at 2013 on December 31st and look forward to 2014 on January 1st.