**WIN** A Chocolate Gift Basket!

!!!,!!!!!!!!!!THIS COMPETION IS NOW CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Serenata Flowers  provide beautiful bouquets of flowers from the pretty to the exotic but they also have a fantastic selection of gift baskets. I wanted to give all of you lovely readers a treat for being so nice to me so when they asked me to participate in a giveaway I chose a hamper full of delicious chocolatey treats! Nomnom…

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The basket includes a selection of chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered nuts and Belgian chocolates, not to mention a cute wicker basket perfect for storing things in style. This hamper gained an average of 5/5 stars from 25 customer reviews on the Serenata Flowers website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THIS COMPETION IS NOW CLOSED

 

Chrissiexx

Clariel by Garth Nix (fantasy) & Competition!

Clariel is the fourth book in Garth Nix’s popular Old Kingdom trilogy. I haven’t read the others but as this is a prequel to the other three so I found it didn’t matter. Scroll down to win a copy of your own!

 

 

About

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. In Belisaere Clariel is forced to follow plans, plots and demands so she must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her – and it is herself she must question most of all. It seems that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating. With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape.

My thoughts about the story and characters (no spoilers)

I read Clariel for five hours with only tiny breaks in between. This is the longest a book has ever captured my attention! I love fantasy as long as it’s not too cliched with cheesy dialogue and too many elves and dwarves running about the forest. Clariel is set vey much in it’s own time and land so the characters, the city and the story have a timeless – at times almost contemporary feel. Nix has a way of effortlessly creating a scene in the readers mind that does not interfere with the pacing of the dialogue or the progression of the narrative.

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Clariel is a strong and determind protagonist but she also has her flaws (some of which she is even aware of) so she becomes an increasingly complex character. At first I wasn’t sure if the book had a fairly week premise: Catch creature, return home a hero but I was as naive as Clariel at that point! The supporting characters range from the sweet and surprisingly brave Bel, the cold hearted Guildmaster Kilp, Clariels strong willed mother and the slithery Moggart. There is magic all through this book which lies within people, swords and stone rather than wands which I was pleased about if I’m being honest. I also liked the way this book dealt with good and bad intentions and how the line between such opposites can easily become blurred. Here’s what other fans thought.

To sum up

Warning: There are no ‘real’ dragons featured – the cover is cleverly deceiving. This is a YA (young adult) book but I’ve leant it to my bloke who’s really looking forward to reading it. I really don’t think it matters what age you are as the narrative doesn’t stay in the classroom for very long before it escapes outward to places far beyond.

Win a copy of Clariel below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I was gifted this book to review which does not shape my opinion of it.

1st Blog Birthday Comp & Offers

It’s Manchester Flick Chick’s first blogversarry, hurrah! I’d like to say a massive thank you to you all for your comments and loyalty over the past year. Keep a look out on the blog over the next month, for the following:

Win a mini goodie bag of products from Crabtree & Evelyn, Barry M and The Body Shop

Get a discount on:

Lylia Rose jewellery and accessories

In Harmony Therapies – Hands free massage

A pampering massage party or single session

Lylia Rose

First up, one reader will win £5.00 off any order (including sale items) from Lylia Rose. They have the cutest, quirkiest and most wonderful collection of jewellery and accessories I’ve seen online. To be in with a chance of winning, please tell me which Lylia Rose product you’d like a discount on. Offer open to UK & Europe only.

This bank holiday in Manchester…

I’m going to Fiesta Del Fuego Mexican Chilli Festival
which will take over High St in the Northern Quarter. There will be a cook-off between six chefs, tickets are £12.00 if you want to be a judge of the best chilli dish. There will be a chilli eating competition, a wheel of fortune game you really don’t want to loose and a giant chilli piniatta, (whacking a chilli that can’t cause me pain with a big stick sound’s a lot more like my idea of fun!) and lot’s of Mexican street food. More info

I’ll also be visiting The Manchester Museum on Oxford Road to see Warriors of the Plains (25th May – 3rd November) an exhibition about Native American Indian warriors covering 200 years of honour and rituals. With costumes, weapons, photographs and even scalps (gulp!) on display. More info

For more bank holiday highlight’s such as The Great Manchester Run, head over to Visit Manchester