NaNoWriMo Announcement!

With NaNoWriMo now just around the corner, I’ve decided to announce the piece I’ll be working on this November.

*drumroll please*

Soldier ◊ Sorcerer ◊ Healer ◊ King

The once powerful empire of Erelda has been plagued by drought, famine, highwaymen and poor leadership for decades when the Sacred Flame finally Names the successors to the four empty thrones.

Some believe that it is a sign that prosperity will return to Erelda but there are those who will stop at nothing to ensure that the four children chosen to lead never reach adulthood.

Intruiged? You can check out my interviews with some of my characters below and this pinterest board gives you a window into the world of Erelda.






Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What’s your story about? Tell me in the comment below!🙂

And feel free to add me as a writing buddy. May we conquer November, together.


Camp NaNoWriMo – A Review

So in the lead up to NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d share again with you my thoughts on Camp NaNoWriMo. Don’t let the names fool you – these are two vastly different creatures.

A.E. Browne

So, I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo this year, and boy is it a different beast to normal NaNoWriMo. If the November session is a huge street party of creativity, the Carnevale of writing, Camp NaNoWriMo truly is a camp. That one you went on when you were like thirteen, stuck in the woods or up a mountain with a group of the least talkative people. You know those ones who refuse to participate in the activities and sit in the corner on their phones/game consoles?

I’m certain that if you have people you can share your cabin with, it would be an awesome, supportive, inspiring experience. Unfortunately, that was not my lot this year. Maybe next year. Who knows?

That said, there were some amazing parts of Camp NaNoWriMo:

  • the ability to define your own goal
  • the thrill of seeing the word count rise
  • the race against the trajectory…

View original post 44 more words

“God was in the pictures” – The Gallery of Vanished Husbands Review

Author: Natasha Solomons

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

Told through a series of portraits, The Gallery of Vanished Husbands is the tale of one woman’s liberation. Set in the Jewish neighbourhoods of post-war Britain, Natasha Solomon’s novel tells the story of the fatefully named Juliet Montague, a young single mother with a passion for art and a knack for spotting talent. One day while out walking Juliet comes across a wealthy young painter, Charlie, who asks to paint her. Juliet agrees, one thing leading to another as she is swept in a world of artists, exhibitions and paintings. For Juliet, her gallery provides a shelter from her home life where, unable to obtain a divorce from her absentee husband, she lives in a state of limbo, avoided or condemned by the community she grew up in. As her focus turns to her paintings, she begins to loose her children. Her daughter Frieda is lured away by the religion and structures that Juliet once rejected. Her son Leonard is snared by disillusionment as he tries to gain his mother’s attention and affections through his own pursuit of art.

The Gallery of Vanished Husbands is a poignant insight into the conflict between orthodox Jewish culture and the burgeoning, changing world of 1960’s Britain. But more critically it is the tale of a mother who refuses to make the sacrifices expected of her for her children. It is the tale of a woman who wishes to lead her own life and who is willing to grab the opportunities presented her with both hands. Throughout the novel, the question of the whereabouts of Juliet’s husband George haunts her every move and shades the way she’s treated by others in her community but the answer to that mystery is one you’ll have to discover for yourself.

While this type of historical fiction is not the usual genre I enjoy, I did enjoy this book. The characters were strong, distinct, carefully painted and wholly human. Juliet is a relatable character for everyone who has ever felt confined by expectation. I really liked the way the book chapters were headed by the titles of portraits of Juliet which then told the story of each portrait. The pacing, for the most part was good although, towards the end, it felt rushed as Solomons zoomed through the years in order to present the final conclusion. I think something was lost in doing this, leaving the reader with questions about the interim years.

Nevetheless, I really enjoyed The Gallery of Vanished Husbands.

“You Could Rattle the Stars” – Throne of Glass Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3/5

Warning: This is pretty long. I didn’t mean for it to be but I suppose there’s no going back now.

I went into this expecting it to be, at best, tolerable. A lot of reviews I’ve read have been incredibly negative and those who did recommend it to me did so on the proviso that the sequel was undoubtedly better but you have to read the first first. For continuity, or whatever.

Having finished reading Throne of Glass, I can see why some people loved it and some people hated it. What most seems to divide readers is a scene I’m going to refer to as the Candy Incident.

*SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET* Skip past the italics for more spoiler-free goodness.

Essentially, there’s a killer lose in the castle taking out Celaena’s fellow competitors and she wakes one morning to find a huge bag of candy on her pillow which she then scoffs without checking for poison. Now, a lot of people have complained that she, as a supposedly trained and deadly assassin, shouldn’t be so stupid as to eat potentially poisoned candy when someone is going on a merry murder spree.


  1. It’s essentially been established for the reader (and I’m fairly sure Celaena has worked this out too, on some level) that the killer is definitely not the poisoning type. The tear apart corpse and devour body parts type, sure. But candy killer? Not so much.
  2. It’s ‘yulemas’ morning, (which, on a worldbuilding level is a bit of a cop out) and in Erilea, you’d expect a pressie on yulemas morning. My problem with this small detail is that someone has snuck into her room and she hasn’t noticed. But, in her defence, she’s been sleeping poorly and super paranoid for weeks at this point. She probably just wore herself out.
  3. Celaena is, as far as I could tell, fundamentally a girl who likes books and beautiful dresses and music and witty conversation. She likes people. She trusts people. Despite everything that’s happened to her, she is still so, so human. Human enough to let down her guard on yulemas morning because someone has done something nice for her. Human enough to trust in the kind gesture of another. And this is so, so important because, despite the competition, and the creepy killing creature stalking the castle, it’s beginning to feel a little like home, and she hasn’t had ‘home’ in so very long.


Things I loved:


Though there were some aspects of her personality that, when introduced, seemed a little contrived, Celaena comes across as incredibly real. She is full of contradictions, in the most human of ways. As the story goes on, you slowly learn more about her, her thoughts, her beliefs, her hobbies. And yes, some come out of the blue a little but it’s like having someone you’ve known for years reveal that they do watercolour painting in their spare time. People are full of contradictions and, like Celaena, our responsibilities and our desires pull us in different directions.

The banter

The banter between Celaena and Chaol, Celaena and Nehemia, and Celaena and Dorian, had me grinning and chuckling most of the way through. The lightness of tone and wit provided a sweet counter to the essentially dark tone of the book.


She was amazing and full of surprises.

The relationships

The relationships between the characters, romantic and platonic, were well executed. I do feel there were some hints of instalove, especially between Celaena and Chaol, but we’ll blame that on the adrenalin coursing through their bodies when they were training together all the time.

I personally really like Dorain and Celaena together but, long term, I think Dorian and Nehemia are more viable. And honestly, I think Celaena and Chaol work better as friends. Good friends. Friends with benefits, even, but just friends. I really want there to be more opportunities in all books, YA and otherwise, for male and female characters to have those super strong band of brothers type relationships without it turning into some lovelorn, sexual tension thing. So, you know, if you’re writing something like that and you need readers, you know where to find me.

Things I didn’t like so much:

There were a few times when some of the female characters super judged each other for what they liked, their ambitions, or apparent lack thereof. I don’t sign up to read about that. We all got our own thing going on and there are more than enough people in the world willing and ready to judge a woman’s choices without other women jumping on that bandwagon too.

The writing style, especially at the start, felt quite weak. It did improve and I look forward to it improving more as the series goes on.


All in all, though, I really enjoyed it. I found myself reading it when I didn’t really have the time which is always a good sign.

So, will I read the next one? Yes. Yes, I will.

Have you read Throne of Glass? What were your thoughts?

ROW80 Update

This week, I didn’t have to teach, but I worked every day and had an assignment due. Nevertheless, I feel that I’ve done ok. Now, let’s colour-code everything and find out.

  • Practice Duolingo everyday – almost. Only missed Tuesday.
  • Listen to music/watch a show in one of my target languages twice a week – done
  • Write 500 words every week day (2500 a week) – Hit 1,600 this week. Even though I didn’t hit the 2,500 goal, I’m happy with what I did get done.
  • Read a book a fortnight – on track
  • Keep on top of my CELTA coursework – done, though it’s getting harder as the course goes on.
  • Visit three new blogs a week – At this stage, we may as well just admit it’s unlikely to happen at the moment. Sorry.
  • Post a #bookstagram post on instagram at least once a week – done
  • Publish one non-blog-hop post a week – I did it! I posted a review of my bullet journal on Friday

World, meet BuJo. BuJo, meet World.

World, meet BuJo. BuJo, meet world. ¤ #bujo #bulletjournal #bulletjournalling #writersofig #amwriting #stationeryaddict

A photo posted by Amelia E Browne (@ameliaebrowne) on

I promised I would give you a glimpse into my bullet journalling. This is it.

I first came across bullet journalling a few months ago. As someone who loves making lists for almost everything, and comes up with a minute by minute ‘plan of attack’ for even the simplest tasks, bullet journalling seemed perfect for me.

The main problem I’ve found so far with the system is that I’m a perfectionist. By its very nature, a bullet journal cannot be always perfect (though the endless stream of images on pinterest and instagram would like us to believe otherwise).


I researched and researched and researched before I bought my notebook. There are two main notebook brands that the well known bullet journalists champion – the Moleskin and the Leuchttrum1917. I went with the later, despite my worries about the see-through-ness of the pages, simply because I couldn’t afford the Moleskin I preferred. My BuJo is lined.

As I began to use the notebook, I realised that my fears were confirmed – the pages are really thin and the type of pen you would use for the beautiful headings goes right through the page. In a number of videos I watched, the bullet journalists referred to this phenomenon as ghosting. I’m not a fan of ghosting. I like pages new. I like them thick. That said, I’ve managed to  survive.

As the primary purpose of this notebook was to replace my previous writing notebook (which I love but sadly cannot find anywhere), I haven’t gotten hugely into the weekly, monthly and yearly planners that the Bullet Journal movement is famous for. And I don’t see the point of making lists of movies or books. or tracing out trackers for everything under the sun. Mostly, this book is for writing, for notes and ideas and quotes and snippets and words. A couple of weeks ago, I started a word count tracker. Despite last week being wholly unsuccessful on the writing front, I feel that this tracker will prove especially helpful when we hit November (which is only a few months away!! nobody panic!).


What’s worked:

  • The index feature. I’m in love with it and it makes finding things so much easier. Before, I’d be leafing through pages and pages of various notebooks to find what I’m looking for. No longer!🙂
  • Combining all my notes and scribbles, whether for work or writing or life, into the one place.
  • Allowing my inner decorator to fly free with meters of washi tape and a truckload of beautiful pens.

What hasn’t worked:

  • Trackers, the recommended set up in general. I don’t really have enough separate tasks on my plate at the moment to fill out a day by day log.
  • The thinness of the paper really gets to me. I want to use nice, thick pens but they are visible on the next page, sometimes through a number of pages.
  • It’s not as pretty as I’d like, but that can be worked upon🙂

Have you joined the Bullet Journal craze? Does it work for you? What parts have you adapted to suit your own style?