Monday, 30 March 2020

Nayu's News #251 Happily hibernating!

Credit to whoever the artist is

Despite the deceptively sunny days and the changing clocks at the weekend, my body still feels it is winter due to the temperature so I am cosily hibernating away. Staying in due to a certain pandemic isn't too different for me, as I am mostly home and have plenty of hobbies to stay busy. Once the temperature starts increasing more reliably (it is the minimum temperature which I have to pay attention to) I will blog a bit more with what craft projects I have on the go. I can be found on Twitter daily @Nayuleska

I pray you are all staying as safe as you can, staying home where you can and only going out when you absolutely have to. The world is crazy but we will get through it. I expect it to be like this for a while. Take care and let's hope April is a bit kinder to the world than March has been.

Friday, 6 March 2020


Artist sadly unknown
I do have posts planned soon, but having a particularly cold spell so I am hibernating at the moment. As always you can find me on Twitter - link in sidebar somewhere!

Friday, 21 February 2020

Blog Tour: I Have A Hunch by Jeremy Decoursey (Cosy Mystery)

December 2019, Jeremy Decoursey, 296 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Book summary
Summer holidays are for relaxing, spending time with friends and listening to great music. All things that Alice desperately wanted to do. Instead she was sent to London to work with her Uncle Humphrey, a world famous private detective. Things start to get interesting when they’re employed to investigate the mysterious murder of millionaire, Victor Tymm. Together they start to gather clues  before they run out of time, and the killer can strike again.

Nayu's thoughts
Due to a slight hiccup my end I will have to share my review of the book at a later date, apologies for that. Jeremy has kindly written a guest blog post about his favourite detective books - I like Agatha Christie! None of the others though, which is fine as everyone has different tastes in books. See if you like his picks! 

Please excuse the format - Blogger and I are having a few issues.

Author Jeremy DeCoursey’s Top 5 

Detective Books
Meet Jeremy!
If you were to have a look through my bookshelves (digital or physical), you would find many genres of books. I stray towards science fiction and fantasy, however, I do have a lot of detective novels scattered across the shelves.

Below are a selection of detective and mystery novels and series which have inspired me to write I Have a Hunch.

Sherlock Holmes series
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Top of the list, of course! Although, I must confess I didn’t read the books until the time of the BBC adaptation of Sherlock. My favourite novel is the Red Headed League. As the story unfolds you realise that it’s a bigger mystery than you’d ever expect…

I was always aware of the stories, with a Sherlock Holmes film seemingly on TV every Sunday afternoon while I was growing up. There have been so many film and TV incarnations of the world-famous detective that I’m often hard-pressed to pick my favourite. I enjoyed Michael Caine’s comedic portrayal of in Without A Clue. But, because it was Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock that, made me pay attention to the books I must choose him. I feel privileged to have worked on the series with him, and to have my name attached to one of the many adaptations of Sherlock Holmes.

The Rivers of London series
Ben Aaronovitch
Magic, police, and mystery, set in London. This series feels like the Harry Potter sequels I hoped for. I was blown away when I read the first book in the series. Aaronovitch is able to conjure a realistic form of magic that blends with the real-world in a truly believable way. Each book expands the world which Aaronovitch has written and that is something which is very inspiring. With the next book just around the corner I can’t wait!

I was recommended the novels by the actor, Kobna Holbrook-Smith, who narrated the audiobooks, and now I often buy the books for my friends. I heard that the series is going to be adapted for TV; I would absolutely love to work on that!

Cormoran Strike series
Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling) At their heart, the Harry Potter series is written like a mystery series. Especially Chamber of Secrets where Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to piece together the clues to figure out why the Chamber was being opened. Part of why I love J. K. Rowling’s writing is that she plants clues throughout the novel, and series, so that big reveals don’t come completely unexpected. I have recently reread the entire series and am currently midway through The Deathly Hallows. Revisiting these books means you can see exactly where she’s placing the clues along the way.
As soon as I heard that the Cormoran Strike novels were written by J. K. Rowling, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, I had to read them. Once again she has created a world that you can immerse well. There might not be any magic here, but the story keeps you guessing at each point of the plot. One of my favourite parts about the entire series is how there are real-world, recent events which help drive the story.

And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie
The first book of Christie’s I read was the Poirot classic Murder on the Orient Express, which seems to have the most TV adaptations. I enjoyed the book, but I felt I didn’t connect to the lead detective Poirot. This was not because it was poorly written or an uninteresting mystery, but because I think I was expecting too much! It was almost overhyped as a classic murder mystery. I partly blame the shows I’ve watched which parody the story, it kind of ruins it.

However, that didn’t stop me reading more of Christie’s work. The next one I picked up was And Then There Were None. I was blown away. The idea of ten strangers on an island all slowly getting picked off one by one, in the same way described by a poem is so so simple yet extremely clever. From the first death you know that the countdown is on until all the remains is the murderer and the last victim. To try and figure it out as the characters do, and to be mislead again and again is what makes Christie such a great writer.

Lemony Snicketts A Series of Unfortunate Events This might be a strange choice for a selection of detective novels as it doesn’t necessarily have a detective in the lead. However, it does have a core mystery running throughout the entire series – who are the VFD and how did Baudelaire children’s parents die?
Growing up as a Harry Potter fan, I saw the Series of Unfortunate Events series as a weird copy. (I think this was because on the covers, Klaus wore glasses so they must be similar, right?). So, having seen the film, with Jim Carrey’s brilliant performance of Count Olaf, I decided to read the books. I was probably in my early twenties when I read them. The first few books are very self-contained. But then, in The Ersatz Elevator (the sixth book), the mystery really gets going and the stories start linking together. Because of the cleverly woven narrative, I have put it on this list. I love the way these books are written and they definitely inspired me to write I Have a Hunch.

What are your favourite detective novels? Tweet me at @DeCoursey!

Jeremy DeCoursey grew up in Weston-super- Mare. He graduated with a Triple Distinction BTEC in Film Production, before moving to London to work in the film industry. As a Location Manager, he has worked on BBC's Sherlock, Star Wars: Rogue One, Paddington, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, to name a few!
Besides reading and writing, Jeremy enjoys watching films, seeing musicals and travelling to far-flung places. He lives in London and has a kitten named Artemis.
I Have a Hunch is Jeremy’s first novel for teenagers. It’s about a teenage girl called Alice who is tasked with solving a murder mystery with her Uncle Humphrey, a world-famous detective in London. I Have a Hunch is available now in paperback and e-book.
Twitter: @DeCoursey
Instagram: jeremy_decoursey

Friday, 7 February 2020

Nayu's Gaming Time #26 Nintendo Switch Lite review + Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega39s incoming!!!!!

Before people get mad at me saying it isn't the correct title, it is for the Japan version. I put the Western version title below the first sentence. It is 39s in Japan, Megamix in the West. So nyah!!!
There is just under a week until this absolutely awesome game is out! 

The English/Western version title
I predownloaded it yesterday - for some reason games on the Japanese Nintendo Switch eshop take forever to arrive for preorder. I was checking daily and the one day I didn't check it appeared. I only noticed because someone I follow tweeted about it. 
 I will be spending my Valentine's day with the best vocaloid in the universe!!!! 
Eevee as herself, Eevee! With 4 sounds of her calling her name ^u^
With my adorable still fairly new Miku triplets, last seen welcoming my very new Eevee Pokemon plushie to my home! 

And yes I now have a Nintendo Switch Lite! I got it on Tuesday - I was able to trade my old Switch and one game in for it in Game, meaning I got it for free! I wanted a lighter console because I game for hours daily, I have weak hands and I found the weight of my Vita/2DS XL easier than my original Switch. The Lite is incredible. 
I had to buy the cute Pokemon outfit!

The Nintendo Switch Lite is totally the right choice for me. It's signifcantly lighter in weight, I don't feel like it will fall apart in my hands as there are no joycons, the clarity does seem better on the slightly smaller screen which I have got used to straight away. I love it to pieces. I'd hoped for but that hope failed when I saw the edition was for the main Switch. I understand Nintendo's reasoning for this - more people like the Switch then the Lite - but I was still very disappointed. There's still hope of me getting a fun decorated Lite! I love my yellow one so much, it is perfect for handheld only gamers. When I am able to play on the TV I have my PS4 with a stack of games to enjoy. I never used the rumble feature on the Switch because my cat didn't like it and I do a lot to keep her happy. I can still play wirelessly with my Zelda controller (I think....). All in all a very good trade in! 

I'd love to hear if you have a Lite, or are considering one. And are you getting the new Miku game now in Japanese or waiting for the English version? I've played a lot of rhythm games, especially Project Diva so there is no point me waiting when I don't have to. Very little needs to be understood in rhythm games! I was worried it may not work on the Lite, as one feature of the game is playing with joycons off the console for the non-button way of playing, but I am a button only girl plus I've since seen the back of the box which shows it is suitable for the Lite! 

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Happy 2020!

Apologies for the extreme lack of posting for well over a month. Winter has been rough as usual and I haven't had enough brain power to blog. I have been sharing my gaming choices and my craft progress on Twitter, which until the weather improves is like a super mini version of blogging. 

I hope you are all staying away from germs and have had a good start to 2020! My plants are already flowering! The image used is from previous year so not exactly what I am looking at but very similar. It is amazing it is alive with my very random waterings, but it has survived for 4 years now! 

I have already started 1 new type of craft this year! Not a project, a type of project. I will blog more once I have had more practice/made more progress. You can see my crochet projects on Twitter though. 

Anyway, sorry to be short but the weather is so cold my body feels like it has flu (it doesn't). Hope to be back as soon as the weather improves! Will be reading more then too. Gaming is a bigger distraction with pretty images.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Still hibernating

Wish I knew who the artist was for this image.
Hi guys! Apologies for almost a month of silence, I am sorry but winter is never kind to me. I am still hibernating, resting up as much as possible. I have read a few children's books, but mostly gaming. I am to write a few posts next week if my body permits me. I wanted to touch base and reassure you all is as well as it can be for winter. Just had a lot of low temp days which my body doesn't like at all. Please bear with me!  

Friday, 8 November 2019

Nose Knows by Emmanuelle Figueras & Claire De Gastold (Non-fiction, Children's, 9/10E)

 October 2019, What On Earth Books, 38 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Summary from press release
 In this fun flap-filled book, you'll learn how smell plays a key role in the lives of animals and how it shapes their behaviour and relationships. Each flap reveals the hidden side to each environment only perceptible through smell, providing a clear layering of information and contributing to the element of surprise throughout the book.

Nayu's thoughts
I am so happy - somehow there are no snakes in this book, which is brilliant! I had to cautiously open each page in case there was a giant sn*ke staring back at me. Yay! Although this probably marketed at children, in all honesty when it comes to non-fiction I prefer so-called children's books because they explain the facts in a fun way. There are ever so many facts crammed in this very big book! Many I didn't know, as well as some I had forgotten from my science lessons many moons ago. 

I like how every aspect you could possibly think of about noses eg size and shape as well as ones you wouldn't automatically think of eg communication are explored in this book. Each page explores a main fact about noses, with extra facts sometimes along the bottom of the page which I liked the format of. The illustration style is of a similar colour to actual animals so looks realistic. As expected us humans are not very incredible with our noses. Not every animal has a nose as a nose: by that I mean there is one that has a nose in it's beak! 

I liked how dotted throughout the book were flaps to lift that showed a different aspect of the animal in question and how they used their nose. This is why the book didn't get full marks as one or two were a bit scary for me which I hadn't been expecting the first time of seeing one, and it wasn't always easy figuring out how to lift up the flaps: I am the first person using this book so nearly all were wedged into the page: there isn't like a small indent that provides a means to lift the flap up. This book would get full marks for the amount and quality factual info about animals. I learn an awful lot, and I know children whose school I am donating this to will probably like their science lessons a bit more because of how fun a read it is. My favourite animals with interesting noses are bees and sharks! 

See more gorgeous artwork on Claire's website which is in French. 

Suggested read