Tag Archives: books

TOMS GIVEWAY – it’s here people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A while ago I had the opportunity to take part in the TOMS Blog Giveaway which was FAB because I love TOMS!  They sent me two copies of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters and my job was simply to read and keep one copy, review it on my blog and then give one copy away.  It sounded simple and it was…and I should have done it already but for some reason, whatever reason, life got in the way!  However as the old adage goes: better late than never!  And quite frankly the message in Start Something That Matters can never get old or out of date. So here goes…

I’m an advocate of TOMS model. I was desperate to get hold of a pair of TOMS shoes the moment I found out about them.  Mycoskie had me at “one for one!” 🙂   This way of giving back really appealed to me. Practical not only because it helps those in need and puts shoes on feet but also because TOMS is a successful business which gives back to our economy and creates jobs. Additionally the shoes look great so it was win/win really!

Start Something that Matters is easy to read, perfect for a cozy Sunday afternoon, curled up on the couch with a mug of coffee. It’s also pretty good for dipping in and out if you’re stuck on a commuter train somewhere because Mycoskie’s positivity and enthusiasm come through quite clearly in his writing.  And it’s surprisingly addictive and this is where I think Start Something That Matters really has some clout because you can’t stop thinking about it. 

This book has the power to change the way you think about giving and change the way we are living!  The TOMS one for one approach frees individuals from the burden of financial giving, which in a time of economic stress is tough on everyone.  Instead the premise is this: what can you give back to society for FREE? What skills do you have that you can offer to others for FREE?  I love that idea! It’s not just about money, it’s about using your skills and so it seems more personal, more genuine – to me anyway.  

As I finished the book I knew I wanted to find a way to give back like this too.  Eventually it dawned on me that I could put my acting training to use (finally) and get involved in reading books for free. I found a fantastic organisation locally called the Reading Resource which does just that. Here’s their link: http://www.readingresource.org/   They are responsible for producing hundreds of audio books a year which cover just about every subject and style you can think of! I was thrilled to get involved and chuffed to bits to be giving back in a way that wasn’t just handing over my credit card details.

The importance of this book is not how original it’s message is. In fact it’s not original at all really, philanthropy in business has been around for a long time.  The importance of this book really is the timing: Start Something That Matters serves as necessary reminder.  We’re a society which is being consumed by social media, we can make friends, purchases and even give online. Blake Mycoskie puts the “human” back into “humanitarian.” Giving is personal again and I think that’s a good thing.

Even if this book was useless and badly written (which is isn’t) everyone should buy a copy if only for the fact that with every purchase of Start Something That Matters, a children’s book will be provided to First Book and given to a child in need in the United States. So every home should have a copy gracing their bookshelves, virtual or otherwise!

And I have a copy to give away to one lucky person! 🙂 All you have to do is tell me who said this: “One person can make a difference and every person should try”  (clue: assassinated US President – I’m making this easy for you guys!) and share one way that you think you could give back in the one for one spirit! I would LOVE to hear your ideas – hopefully we can all inspire each other! 🙂

To find a random winner, I will probably ask my four year old son to pick a number (unless I can work out how to do that electronic random picker thing) and then happily mail Start Something That Matters to anywhere in the world! Yes ANYWHERE! So come on everyone let’s do this! 🙂

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Too good to pass up…

I saw this quote a couple of days a go and it’s been on my mind ever since.  It’s just good to pass up so I thought I’d share it on my blog.

“Try and fail but do not fail to try.”

I love it because that’s exactly the theory I apply to my writing…or at least I try to anyway!  The fact is that when you’re working away alone on a computer, typing (or not, as is often the case) it’s hard to keep the negative thoughts from floating to the surface and getting in the way.  It’s far too easy to find a reason not to write, a distraction to keep you from sitting at your desk. 

I’ve been procrastinating recently.  It’s been an age since I had a good solid couple of hours to write.  And I’ve been getting frustrated but tomorrow is the day.  I will not answer the phone, I will not drive out in the car, go to the supermarket, write emails or do the washing.  I am going to hole up in front of my computer, make a pot of tea and eat toast all day. I don’t know if I’m going to produce anything worthwhile but I’m going to TRY! 🙂

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A quick update! :-)

Wow so much going on and hardly any time to write it all down – eek! First I wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all the support I received at my book launch a couple of weeks ago. We had a great time and I was absolutely bowled over by the turnout and encouragement – it was just FAB!!! I will be posting pics on the blog as soon as I can get my hubby to download them from his Mac!

I also wanted to let you know that High-Heels And Slippers is currently on tour!! Many thanks to Rea for her review! 🙂 You can read it here:

http://reabookreview.blogspot.com/

As part of the book tour I’m currently participating in my first ever author interview with blog tour organizer Samantha Robey.  Eeeeeeeeeek! You can read it here (and laugh at my answers as I try to sound important!) at:

http://chicklitplus.com/interview-ella-slayne/
And there is a new Josie blog up – see how she reacts the first review of her novel! 😉

http://highheelsandslippers.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/josie-jenkins-responds-to-first-official-review/

 

I would love to hear from you so if you have chance to comment please do! 🙂 Have a smiley day! Ella

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Ok I admit it: I’m Hooked!

I just finished reading my first official e-book –  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  The book itself was completely brilliant. I didn’t want it end.  So much so that I immediately downloaded the sequel which I’m currently reading. 

So the book was great and so was the experience of reading it on my Kindle.  It’s light, easy to handle (although I did miss holding the spine of a book and didn’t feel comfortable reading in the bath like I usually would) and the screen was just like reading a paper page – completely different to a computer screen and much easier on the eyes.  It’s light and easy to carry around.

But the best thing about it has to be the fact that it can hold so many books and the online purchasing with Amazon makes it so easy! I have also been able to download some free samples of books, which has been useful for children’s material.  My daughter is sharing it with me and reading The Tale Of Despereaux at the moment. 

At first I missed not having a visible page number and seeing how far I had read but then I realised it gives you a percentage at the bottom instead which serves the same purpose. 

So far I haven’t even had to recharge the battery which is pretty good seeing as there are two of us using it!

I’m no longer a sceptic of the e-book phenomenon but rather a convert!  So if you too are a ebook reader – I totally get it now! And if you’re not I really think you should give it a try – it is probably better than you think – honestly!

Meanwhile, I’m excited to plan my summer reading and download some more cracking books! 🙂

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Tentatively Entering The World Of E-Books!

Ok so I admit to being extremely wary of the whole e-book thing.  Up till now I have resisted entering the world of e-reading and e-publishing because my own personal preference has always been to read books the conventional way – on paper bound together.  That way I can carry them around with me, in my car, on the beach, in the bath, without worrying.  I don’t have to charge a battery to read them.  There’s no screen to shatter, no micro-chip to malfunction.  If a book gets stolen I can easily and inexpensively replace it.   I don’t mind if my book gets bashed to bits, in fact I prefer them that way – I bend the corners over, I fold the covers back, I write in them  – you can’t do that with an e-book!

Then last week I decided to have a re-think.  I decided that even though, I liked the old system, I would only get left behind by being a stick in the mud.  Change happens whether you like it or not and the best thing you can do is embrace it – or at least work with it.  

 So I ordered a Kindle – which arrived today.  I have taken it out of the box and plugged it in to charge.  It is sleek, it is new and smooth.  I already like it a lot.    But I have yet to buy an e-book – the next vital step –  I’m working my way up to that.  

And I’m wondering how you feel about the e-book phenomenon?  Have you embraced it yet?  Or are you still resisting its pull?  I’d love to know what you think! 🙂

For now,  I’m heading off to Borders to mooch around the book-shelves  – the old-fashioned way!

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