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If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha – Blog Tour

I was so pleased to be invited to join this blog tour because I was really intrigued by this first novel from Frances Cha. The book follows Kyuri, Miho, Wonna and Ara who all live in the same Seoul office-tel, that’s basically a building with a mix of small apartments and commercial properties.

If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move.

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes.

When I first stated reading I wasn’t sure if I really liked any of the characters, they seemed really unlikable. But the more I read, the more the layers behind them were peeled back and we learn about their background and history. And they’re all drawn to make huge decisions some of which will leave you completely blindsided by their viciousness.

I was really intrigued to learn more about South Korea. The last book I read that was set in South Korea was The Vegetarian, which I also recommend but is quite different. But I hadn’t realised that South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world. Cosmetic surgery is a big topic for Kyuri and Sujin and it was eye opening to read their conversations.

“If I Had Your Face” is seriously a one or two sitting book. It is compulsive reading! You will be dragged into their world by your shoulders and not want to leave until the very last page. Also the cover art is just perfect and beautiful with a woman’s face split surrounded by the vines of a passion flower. This sums up the main themes perfectly.

I was supplied me with a copy of the book in return for an honest review. Contains Amazon affiliate links which help support this site.

14th Blogiversary!

Oh poor neglected blog. It’s about eighteen months since I last posted.

So a little catch-up: I’m still knitting, but not as much as I used to. I have an inprogress cowl from before Xmas that I haven’t picked up since then. What I am doing though, is reading. I’ve been taking part in the GoodReads yearly challenges for the last few years and last year read over 100 books. This year I’ve challenged myself to read 40 books. So far I’ve read 14 but whether I’ll reach my goal remains to be seen but since I read all of The Expanse series, most of which are over 500 pages long, perhaps I’ve actually read twice as much 😉

I got to spend Christmas and the New Year in New England in the USA. Eric’s from there and his parents invited me to stay for the holidays. The time flew by. I did buy some local yarn while I was there and many books. Oh and there were blueberry pancakes!  🙂

More later…honest…

Meet Charlie…

The newest addition to the household

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He’s the same age as Billie but is a little larger in size. I wondered how they’d get on together and at first there was a great deal of hissing from Charlie. Billie on the other hand was very curious about him.

 

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It took a day and a half but eventually they decided that they liked each other.

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It is so nice to have a multi cat household again. I’m not planning on expanding beyond two, but they seem a lot happier than Emma was as a solitary kitten.

This time next week I’ll be deep in Nanowrimo.

 

As usual I’m both looking forward to it as well as being rather scared! I really have no idea how I’ll do this year.

New Blog – Cowbridge Physic Garden

So, I’ve had a week off during which I relaxed, met up with friends, read a few books and caught up with some TV.  As well as that, I visited the Cowbridge Physic Garden

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It’s full of medicinal herbs as well as this willow structure which was built to celebrate the Jubilee

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Despite it being the very end of November there were still Welsh poppies blooming

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And before I forget, there was also a very lovely, and peaceful,  fountain.

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On Saturday I attended the NaNoWriMo TGIO meetup. It was a match day and so Cardiff city centre was full of rugby fans but a small group of us made it to the meet. Strangely enough, the entire group was composed of NaNo winners!

When I got home it was time to put my Christmas tree up which of course is never complete until graced with my hallmark Wonder Woman ornament. 🙂

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Finishing NaNoWriMo – and now what?

 

 

As much I’ve enjoyed Nanowrimo, I especially enjoyed going over the 50,000 word mark and finishing yesterday evening.

I’m off work this week and all the way through I’d focused on finishing the writing just before so that I could properly enjoy my time off.   So I could read all the books I’d saved up, catch up on films and tv shows  etc.

And yet, as happened last year, I finished and suddenly felt that sense of disappointment that it was over. Now I can always go back to that first draft and add more to it, edit etc. But in a way it’s a bit like Christmas, you spend all of that time planning and then suddenly it’s there and it’s a bit of an anticlimax. This will pass of course, I can already feel it passing, but despite the fact that I knew it was going to happen, it’s still not something that I can avoid.

Something that I do need to avoid for a while, however, is typing since my rsi is back. So it’s just as well that I have a week off. I’ve avoided knitting today for the very same reason.

Still Writing…

…and not crafting.

My word count is currently just over 34k and I’m on leave next week. My plan was to get to the 50k late this week, certainly by the weekend so that I can do relatively little during my week off.  I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to get through the just under 16k words required by the weekend but we’ll see!

 

New Blog – Writing, writing, writing

Yep, I’m still writing, so much so that I even took a day off work to attempt to write 10,000 words in one day. I completed the challenge but it was incredibly hard and took me the best part of twelve hours. It also left me with RSI in my right wrist.  I had to take a day off writing after that but I’m still over the halfway mark and ahead in my word count goal which is all good. 🙂

No crafty things achieved this week unfortunately.

 

Before I forget, I saw Argo on Friday and very excellent it was, too. Check out the trailer

 

 

A Write Maniac…

This is one of those days when I’m so incredibly relieved that I wrote the majority of this blog yesterday.  I’m currently in a nanowrimo induced walking coma.  You see, I was away this weekend visiting the lovely Jeni of Fyberspates and having a fantastic catch-up with her. I did manage to write 2000 words while I was away but there were still more to go last night. Tonight I have passed the 10k mark. I would be incredibly pleased if I wasn’t so exhausted!

Now to the crafty and visity stuff.

I had to rip my last project. I’d doubled two strands of worsted to knit a chunky pattern and had created a yarn that was far too thick. So it was basically a bit like knitting with cardboard and the resulting fabric wasn’t that dissimilar to cardboard either! So rip rip it went and I’m now knitting in Scrumptious chunky instead. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until next week for pictures.

Jeni introduced me to the crack that is Burford Garden Centre. This place has magical properties over your wallet. It will effortlessly divest it of cash.

I bought some bulbs! Blue tulips and giant Alliums. Hopefully I’ll avoid what happened the last time I bought blue tulips. I bought some from a stall at the flower market in Amsterdam, planted them in some nice pots and then forgot about them. It must have been at least a year later when I remembered the blue tulips and realised that I’d not seen a single one. However I did have loads of yellow ones! Hopefully this lot will come up blue.

The mobile signal around Jeni’s cottage is non existent so my battery was eaten up quite quickly as it searched for a signal. As a result I didn’t take any pictures of Jeni’s unit and the many wonderful yarns inside.  Instead I offer you some pictures of Minty, Jeni’s lovely black and white cat sleeping before the fire in her cottage.

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Minty is very fond of the wood burner.

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NaNoWriMo Begins….

This widget will update as my word count increases. Hopefully it will update often 😉

 

New Blog – Nanowrimo, procrastination and James Bond.

It sounds like a strange 1960s team-up show, I know. But the madness of National Novel Writing Month is almost upon me. I have only two days of sanity and freedom left before November first.

Back in February I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Some of my entries have been a bit scrappy and brief but they’ve still been there. So that won’t change but they may still be short. The word count gadget will be on the blog too. I honesty have no idea how it’s going to go this year. I have less of a plot idea than last year so I’m going to be doing even more creating on the fly than usual. My craft output may suffer I’m not really sure.

 

Speaking of which, here’s a quick shot (ie blurry pic) of my latest wip

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Ok, so it’s red and there are cables. Oh and it’s for me 🙂 No idea when I’ll finish it of course…:)

I love my job, I get to speak to the most fascinating people. Today I got to chat to a security expert about James Bond. He recommended that I read some of the Fleming novels so I’m going to add Casino Royale to the ever increasing pile of books by the side of my bed.

I’m only a recent convert to Bond. Casino Royale was the first Bond film I’d ever seen at the cinema. It was a breath of fresh air. Prior to that Bond films were a sort of boring, sexist kind of stain on Bank Holiday tv schedules. Although, even that said I’ve always had a fondness for the original 1960s Bond. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is still one of my favourite films. Perhaps it’s just the Roger Moore films that I have an aversion towards?

Seeing Skyfall – and if you haven’t already, run don’t walk to see it – made me want to revisit the 60s Bond films and watch CR again. I’ve got a subscription to Sky’s NOW TV film streaming service and they have all the Bond films ready to stream so since I couldn’t find my dvd copy I tried streaming it. Awful. It was like the worst You Tube-esque copy ever. So I had to quickly give up on it and find another copy. I did stream OHMSS and that was a lot better. Watched half of Dr No and then fell asleep. I did rewatch CR – it’s still brilliant – and the quite appalling Quantum of Solace over the rest of the weekend. When Bond’s best chat up line is “do you want to help me find the stationary?”, you know that it’s not really going very well…

Another issue with Quantum is that I forever associate it with these alternate theme songs by the legendary Adam & Joe.