Beautiful People – Parent Edition

Hello, hello! Beautiful People is back this month after a little break during April, which came at just the right time what with all the Camp NaNoWriMo fun.

If you’ve never come across this meme before, Beautiful People is co-hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further up and Further in. It’s a writer linkup that helps us get in touch with our characters each month, with a different fun theme. In honour of Mother’s Day (which in in May apparently, for us Brits it was actually in March…) this month’s theme is parents.


Beautiful People linkup for writers

Meet the Parents

Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?

Aria gets on really well with her parents, they’re interested in her life and support her, unlike a lot of parents in YA Lit. I wanted to show another side to parents of teens, they’re not always disinterested or judgemental, some parents are actually great! I think more YA books need to show teens a realistic image of good parents, not just bad ones.

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Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

Actually, she doesn’t know her biological parents, but she doesn’t realise that until the beginning of the book. Aria’s a Changeling, her parents don’t even know that she isn’t their real daughter, so it hasn’t affected their relationship at all yet. When Aria finds out she’s actually the daughter of a king from another realm she doesn’t believe it, but gradually she starts to accept it and become curious. As she finds out more about her biological father she realises that her real parents are the people who raised her and loved her, and they’ll never be replaced by the man who abandoned her. Ultimately, the whole experience makes her relationship with her parents stronger.

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How did their parents meet?

Aria’s mum, Eleanor (Ellie) was a singer with an orchestra that travelled around the country, and her dad, Stephen was a journalist who covered one of their concerts. He interviewed her, they fell in love, and the rest is history!

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How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

She’d love to be more like her parents! Her mum is an amazing singer and performer with so much talent, Aria’s always been jealous because she has absolutely zero musical ability (despite her ironic name). She’s not particularly academic either, she’s not a bad student but she doesn’t enjoy school and can’t wait to leave – although she’s got no idea what she’s going to do now. Her dad is a writer, he’s published several books and writes columns for local publications, he’s currently writing a piece about the White Hart of Hartwood for an anthology of local myths and legends. So Aria would be thrilled to turn out like her parents – maybe with a better sense of style!

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What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?

Seventeen… Stephen was probably showing off his first car, playing designated driver for his mates and trying to impress girls. He’s adorably dorky, with his horn-rimmed specs and granddad-ish fashion sense, so he was never the biggest lady killer, until he met Aria’s mum.

Ellie would have been practicing her musical instruments, singing with the school choir, probably sneaking out to dance at clubs with her friends. And looking forward to going to University the following year to follow her dreams of being a musician.

Now I’m starting to feel bad that I didn’t let Ellie “make it”… I’m sure she’s happy with the local amateur dramatics company and the Christmas panto. Maybe.

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Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

Hmm… well Aria and Ellie gang up against Stephen a lot, particularly when he wants to watch sport and they want to watch the cooking channel. They don’t argue much, but Aria is stubborn and head strong, whereas her parents are quite laid back, so they might disagree on things regularly but it never becomes a huge fight.

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What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?

Her toddler tantrums. Her dad still calls her Teacup, short for Storm in a Teacup, because her temper tantrums were legendary. She’s a fiery red head with two pretty chilled parents, which was a struggle at times.

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What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?

Probably seeing her mum performing on stage for the first time. She loves watching the videos of her mum’s concerts, but watching her in person for the first time was really special.

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What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

A bit of a nightmare probably! She was a fast learner and picked up most things earlier than expected out of sheer determination and a desire for independence. She was a very hard headed toddler, cheeky but lots of fun.

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Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?

They’re both very musical, at least Ellie is musical and Stephen loves music and writing about it. Aria was a pretty obvious choice for them. What they don’t know is that Aria’s biological mother named her Ariadne, and when her father swapped the babies he used his powers of suggestion to try and give them the name. It only partially worked, hence Aria.

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There you have it folks, Aria’s parental relations – quite an attractive couple if I do say so myself! I really wanted to give Aria a good strong family unit, especially as she was about to go through all kinds of upheaval thanks to the actual plot! I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Aria’s mum and dad and her background, I’d love to read about your main character’s parents, leave your links in the comments.




Ten book covers I need on my shelf

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme is a cover themed freebie, anything and everything to do with book covers!

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, go check their blog out and join in the fun!

I’ve decided to do the ten book covers I’m coveting right now, so get ready for some major eye candy. I already have some gorgeous covers on my shelf, so these are only the books I don’t own or don’t have physical copies of.

Top Ten Tuesday

1-3) A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Just look at these absolute beauties! I can’t get over how gorgeous Feyre’s outfits are on each cover, especially A Court of Wings and Ruin – the dress was designed by Charlie Bowater, whose fanart is just exquisite.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Sarah J Maas Lyndsey's Book Blog A Court of Mist and Fury Sarah J Maas Lyndsey's Book Blog A Court of Wings and Ruin Sarah J Maas Lyndsey's Book Blog

I haven’t got physical copies of these books because I listened to the audiobooks on Audible, and I’d love to have them sitting pretty in my shelf.

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4-7) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

This is one of those massive series that everyone else is obsessed over and I just haven’t gotten round to yet, but I’m going to change that this year! The covers are so cool, but I’ll probably borrow them from the library if I’m honest, only because it’s a long series and I’d have to buy them all, and that’s a lot of money.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer Lyndsey's Book Blog Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Lyndsey's Book Blog Cress by Marissa Meyer Lyndsey's Book Blog Winter by Marissa Meyer Lyndsey's Book Blog

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8) Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I can’t wait to get my hands on this book, but I’ll probably get the audio book, it just seems like the type of story I’ll enjoy listening to more than reading. I just listened to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and adored it, so this is right at the top of my list for my next Audible credit.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber Lyndsey's Book Blog

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9) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This is one book where I don’t care which edition I get hold of, both are equally stunning. Just take a look!

Strange the Dreamer 1 by Laini Taylor Lyndsey's Book Blog Strange the Dreamer 2 by Laini Taylor Lyndsey's Book Blog

I think the left one is the US version and the right one is the UK, but I’m not sure. Again though, I’ll probably get the audio book, as Laini’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the first book I listened to on Audible and I loved it, her writing is so lyrical and beautiful and just a joy to hear on my daily commute.

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10) Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

This one is just beautiful, and it has an LGBT romance at the centre, so that’s two huge boxes ticked. It sounds right up my street – elemental magic, a princess betrothed to the prince of an allied kingdom, it’s like a modern day fairy tale.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst Lyndsey's Book Blog

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Well, that list turned out to be very fantasy heavy! I might do a YA contemporary version at some point because there are so many absolutely stunning contemporary covers out there right now, and I’m desperate to read more of it. It seems I like my fantasy covers moody and atmospheric, with quite simple designs and rare pops of bold colour. When it comes to contemporaries I definitely prefer pastel colours, cutesy designs and preferably some kind of food or adorable creature, so that will be a fun list to put together!

Which covers are you coveting at the moment? And what did you decide to do with your cover freebie week? Leave your TTT link in the comments, I’d love to check them out!



Ten book covers I need on my shelf Top Ten Tuesday Lyndsey's Book Blog

Ten things that make me instantly want to read a book

Can you believe I have never done a Top Ten Tuesday? Me neither. So, this is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s theme is Top Ten Things That Make Me Instantly Want To Read a Book.

Top Ten Tuesday

Fairy tale retellings

I love any kind of fairy tale retelling, whether it’s set in modern times, olden days, the real world or a completely fictional fantasy setting. It could be a direct retelling like the Twisted Tales series by Liz Braswell, which reimagine classic Disney fairy tales, or a vaguely inspired story, like A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, which is based on Beauty and the Beast.

I just love the familiarity of sinking into a story you already know well, and seeing how authors have tweaked and changed the original to create something new and exciting.

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Doomed love stories

I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but there has to be a reason why Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most famous play. In fact, almost all of the Bard’s plays end with someone unhappy and alone – Othello, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice probably…

Modern contemporaries like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and classics like Wuthering Heights just speak to a dark little part of my soul that longs for the characters to suffer and end up miserable. I don’t know how I got this way, I’m very happily married!

Curly blog dividerEpic books that span years/decades/generations

I just really like to know people’s life stories, how the events of their youth can affect them years later, or even their children and grandchildren. Even better if it’s a slow burn romance that doesn’t come together until the very end, a la Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern. Flashbacks and other similar plot devices can give the feel of an epic story within a more conventional plot, but I just love seeing the key events as if I was really there, rather than hearing about them second hand.

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Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? My favourite kind are suspenseful and bloody, with bonus points if the MC is some kind of supernatural hunter, like the Winchesters. My absolute favourite is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Cas is endearingly sarcastic and witty, and the romance element is unlike anything I’ve read before. Plus, there’s lots of blood and killing and ghostly screaming and such.

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Sassy/snarky characters

Nobody likes boring protagonists who drift along with no agency and very little personality, sobbing and whining and generally being wet blankets. Characters with a little sass and a pinch of snark are my favourite. Whether they’re just dark-humoured or truly damaged, I just can’t get enough of their witty repartee. See: Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare, Ronan from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater and Jorg from Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

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High Fantasy

High Fantasy refers to novels set in an entirely fictional fantasy world, like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I love the escapism of opening a book and submerging myself in a completely different world, with new rules of science and magic, strange customs and cultures, and maybe an invented language or two. My favourites are Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series, Six of Crows.

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Mythical creatures

Dragons! Unicorns! Mermaids! Centaurs!

Give me all the mythical creatures and I will be a happy bunny.

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This is a relatively new one for me, but I’m almost finished listening to the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and I’m loving the atmospheric and magical setting of the circus. Caraval by Stephanie Garber is also right at the top of my wish list, and I’m open to any other circus book recs if you have them?

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Adorable boys

By this I mean the sweet, kind and gentle male characters that capture your heart and don’t let go. They’re usually tortured souls who don’t think they’re good enough for their love interest, or even their friends. Think Adam Parrish from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater, Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices by Cassie Clare and Nathan from Half Bad by Sally Green.

Who needs bad boys when you can have this lot?

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Set your story in a bakery or an ice cream parlour and I am there. Make your characters love food and constantly describe the delicious smells and tastes they come across on their travels. Introduce me to new delicacies from around the world, or fictional fancies from your fantasy world. Just give me all the food.



Those are the ten things that make me pick up a book and buy/borrow it immediately. What makes you read a specific book, above all the others on your astronomical TBR pile? Let me know in the comments.




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Camp Nano word count: 15,914 (45% of 35k)


Ten things make me want to read Lyndsey's Book Blog