SBC #1 | Swansea Blogger’s Collective – The Inaugural Meeting

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re doing well!

This post is delayed by over a month due to family circumstances. I’m sorry, I hope it was worth the wait!

Enjoy,


So first of all, I want to say a big thank you to my lovely friend Sarah (@_sarahecampbell on Twitter). At the end of July, she did a Follow Friday tweet and from this tweet I got to know Amy-Louise (@tomeswithtea).

I’d been so envious of the Northern TeensGate Book Blogger meetings (@TEENSgate @TGYAbloggers) for months and I longed for a similar group to be a part of that was local to me. So when Amy mentioned that there was a book blogging group being set up in Swansea, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it.


On the first Sunday in August, the first Swansea Blogger’s Collective (SBC) meeting was held in Swansea Waterstones. If you’re not familiar with this particular Waterstones, it’s in the building of The Old Cinema in Swansea and it’s so lovely! The meeting was held upstairs in a room that is usually sectioned off from the general public, which was pretty cool. Here are some photos of the building and cafe:

Everyone was so lovely and welcoming, and it was great to be around like minded people in person. As many of my book blogging friends live in other parts of the U.K., it was lovely to meet new blogging friends from the same area as me. It was also nice to put faces to the Twitter handles of people I’ve been following for a while. 😊

(Photo credit: Angharad)

The first meeting was used to get to know each other and what books we’ve all been loving so far this year. It was fantastic how generous the authors and publishing houses who sent books for us to review were. Considering it was the first meeting we received so many books, which was great! I mean, who can say no to free books and ARCS?

We also chatted about the upcoming events that will be held in Swansea Waterstones, so many to look forward to! A few have already passed now, but be sure to check out the upcoming events that will be mentioned shortly in my second SBC meeting post. 😊

It was lovely to have a cup of coffee, a chat about blogging and a wander around the shop after the meeting ended. Naturally I ended up adding even more books to my tbr pile, but I had to make the most of the 10% off. Well, that’s my excuse anyway…

I want to say a massive thank you to both Amy and Twitter Guy for making the SBC a reality, I’m so grateful. I had a wonderful time!

Also, if you haven’t followed @Swanseastones on Twitter yet, please do! Twitter Guy is absolutely hilarious and is basically famous now after his tweets. 😊😂


What is the Swansea Blogger’s Collective?

We are a group of like minded individuals, who love books and blog about them. The plan is to meet up in Swansea Waterstones on the first Sunday of each month to talk about our current reads, books to review, blog advice and tips – basically anything and everything book related!

There are also some great perks for coming along to the meetings and being a part of the group too:

– Free books/ARCs to read and review (when sent in by the publishers)
– Free hot drink from the cafe
– Free biscuits/nibbles
– 10% off in Swansea Waterstones on the day of the meeting (T’s & C’s apply)
– Having a great time!

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? But it’s not! All you need to be is a book blogger and you can come along. If you’re in the area feel free to come along, it would be lovely to meet you! 😄🎉


The Books:

The Island (ARC) – M. A. Bennett

Release Date: 9th August 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 304

I couldn’t wait to read The Island when I picked it up as I heard so many great things about it. It was the first of all the books that I finished and what a story it was!

You can check out my 5 🌟 review of it here: https://ashleighbekkah.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/book-review-the-island-m-a-bennett/

synopses:

Link is a fish out of water. Newly arrived from America, he is finding it hard to settle into the venerable and prestigious Osney School. Who knew there could be so many strange traditions to understand? And what kind of school ranks its students by how fast they can run round the school quad – however ancient that quad may be? When Link runs the slowest time in years, he immediately becomes the butt of every school joke. And some students are determined to make his life more miserable than others…

When a school summer trip is offered, Link can think of nothing worse than spending voluntary time with his worst tormentors. But when his parents say he can only leave Osney School – forever – if he goes on the trip, Link decides to endure it for the ultimate prize. But this particular trip will require a very special sort of endurance. The saying goes ‘No man is an island’ – but what if on that island is a group of teenagers, none of whom particularly like each other? When oppressive heat, hunger and thirst start to bite, everyone’s true colours will be revealed. Let the battle commence…

Purchase a copy here:

Waterstones
Amazon*


American Girl – Iowa Riley

Release Date: 28th June 2018
Publisher: Two Birds inc
Pages: 334

Iowa was so very kind and sent over physical copies of the book to review. Considering her book was self published through the publishing house I thought this was so lovely of her to do. I’ve heard fantastic things about American Girl and can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Synopses:

On a sweltering Brooklyn afternoon, 32-year-old novelist Kate Archer will destroy a stranger’s life – her own.

Kate has never let her heart get away from her. A novelist in her thirties, she lives with her husband Paul in their Brooklyn neighborhood. Her career is stagnant, and her marriage tepid, weighed down under a tragic secret – one she keeps to protect Paul at the cost of herself.

Her emotional collision with a man half a world away, a man who stokes her buried passion, knocks her existence irretrievably beyond her grasp.

Kate has the chance for a life she’s only imagined. But when a cruel twist of fate puts her at odds with the two people she loves most, her new life is torn apart. Kate cannot go back, and she cannot love the woman she’s become.

Negotiating between love and obligation, guilt and compassion, bravery and cruelty, can Kate must learn to sacrifice for her own happiness, and not the expectations of others?

Purchase a copy here:

Amazon*


Ascension – Victor Dixon

Release Date: 28th June 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 496

This book was described in the SBC as ‘Love Island’ in space. Now this is definitely something I can get on board with. Ascension sounds fantastic.

Synopses:

Six girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world’s craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.

Leonor, an 18 year old orphan, is one of the chosen ones.
She has signed up for glory.
She has signed up for love.
She has signed up for a one-way ticket.
Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets.

Purchase a copy here:

Waterstones
Amazon*


The War in the Dark – Nick Setchfield

Release Date: 17th July 2018
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 352

This books sounds so intriguing and I loved the postcard that came with it in the PR package too! The War in the Dark has been described as a mixture between James Bond and Indiana Jones.

Synopses:

A genre-defying page turner that fuses thriller and speculative fiction with dark fantasy in a hidden world in the heart of Cold War Europe.

Europe. 1963. And the true Cold War is fought on the borders of this world, at the edges of the light.

When the assassination of a traitor trading with the enemy goes terribly wrong, British Intelligence agent Christopher Winter must flee London. In a tense alliance with a lethal, mysterious woman named Karina Lazarov, he’s caught in a quest for hidden knowledge from centuries before, an occult secret written in the language of fire. A secret that will give supremacy to the nation that possesses it.

 Racing against the Russians, the chase takes them from the demon-haunted Hungarian border to treasure-laden tunnels beneath Berlin, from an impossible house in Vienna to a bomb-blasted ruin in Bavaria where something unholy waits, born of the power of white fire and black glass…

Purchase a copy here:

Waterstones
Amazon*


The Ghosts & Jamal – Bridget Blankley

This books sounds like an interesting and important read, I was sad to have missed Bridget’s signing in Swansea Waterstones in August.

Release Date: 23rd March 2018
Publisher: Hope Road Publishing
Pages: 230

Synopses:

The Ghosts and Jamal is an intriguing story, touching on religion, terrorism and Nigeria’s internal conflicts, following a young orphan who is negotiating an unforgiving society. Waking up in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, 13-year-old Jamal tries to piece together what has happened whilst simultaneously trying to evade capture by the attackers.

It soon becomes clear that he has been living in a separate outhouse from his family on account of the “bad spirits” or rather his epilepsy that plagues him.

Purchase a copy here:

Waterstones
Amazon*


Floored – Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

I’ve heard so many great things about this book and when I saw that there were a few ARC’s of it at the meeting I was so excited! I can’t wait to read it.

Release Date: 12th July 2018
Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books
Pages: 320

Synopses:

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

Purchase a copy here:

Waterstones
Amazon*


The Bloggers so far:

(Left to right: Zoe, Beth, Me, Rebecca & Angharad – Photo credit: Twitter Guy & Angharad)

Here’s a quick list of all of the people who are a part of the Swansea Bloggers Collective so far. Please feel free to follow them on Twitter and their blogs 😊

Swansea Waterstones|Twitter: @swanseastones|Website: https://www.waterstones.com/bookshops/swansea

Amy-Louise|Twitter: @tomeswithtea|Blog: https://tomeswithtea.com/

Angharad|Twitter: @autumninvading|Blog: https://twobookthieves.com/

Amy|Twitter: @Hubbuckox|Blog: https://anuoviinizi.wordpress.com/

Beth|Twitter: @BethanMay|Blog: https://bethanmaybooks.wordpress.com/

Shelby|Twitter: @shelbycat

Zoe|Twitter: @ZoeArtist|Blog: http://www.zoejameswilliams.com/

Rebecca|Twitter: @BookWormBecky2|Blog: https:/beckythebookbutterfly.wordpress.com/

Mike|Twitter: @MikeEverestEvs|Blog: https://michael-everest.com/

Zoe|Twitter: @_copperpoet|Blog: https://copperpoet.com/

Miss Y (Yvonne)|Twitter: @yvo3

Kelly|Twitter: @kellysrambles|Blog: https://kellysrambles.com/

Becca Jayne|Twitter: @LittleMemoirs|Blog: https://www.prettylittlememoirs.com/| Lacuna Candle Company: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LacunaCandleCo

Jo|Twitter: @myatticlibrary|Blog: https://mylittlelibraryintheattic.wordpress.com/

Karen|Twitter: @karenbultiauw|YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JH8jsWKfLZigOvAcLbGEg

Nad|Twitter: @scorpioreads|Blog: https://headscarvesandhardbacks.wordpress.com/

Sophie|Twitter: @23reviewstreet|Blog: http://23reviewstreet.com/

Rebecca Turpin|Twitter: @Charlie95

Rachel|Twitter: @RACHELb75|Blog: http://www.rachelreadit.co.uk/

Soph|Twitter: @sleepysophreads

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