‘The Potion Diaries’ is OUT TODAY – and we get a sneak peak into Amy Alward’s spellbinding launch party

Attention all bookworms and bibliophiles: Amy Alward’s ‘The Potion Diaries’ is out TODAY. That’s right – that means all your pre-ordered copies will be arriving through your door any minute, or if you haven’t already bought your copy, you can rush out and buy it straight off the shelf.


We couldn’t be more excited for Amy and her team on her release day – which is pretty much like a birthday for books. And what’s a birthday without a birthday party? Even when celebrating the birthing of books into the big bad world, you need friends, tasty treats and festive decorations.

Which is exactly what ‘The Potion Diaries’ got.

Amy's Launch Collage

In honour of its release, June 30th saw Waterstones Picadilly decked out like a ‘Potion Diaries’ dream with stacks of Amy Alward’s beautiful book on display. Probably to make those without copies lust after it horribly. We know that’s how we’d be feeling.

Surrounded by friends and family, Amy also had some special guests in attendance, such authors Non Pratt, James Dawson and Laure Eve. On top of that, colleagues from both HarperCollins where Amy previously worked and Penguin Random House Children’s where she currently works as editorial director and Zoella’s editor showed up in all their finery.

Amy Alward's Launch

We also can’t get over how adorable the entire event looked. From potions and ingredients (seen below) such as Passion Drops and Merpearl, to ‘Potion Diaries’ themed cupcakes and bunting, it looked like a party not to be missed.

Congrats, Amy!

Potion bottles

The best Louis Tomlinson GIFs for every situation. #5yearsofonedirection

It’s only three weeks to One Direction’s fifth birthday and because celebrating just one day felt too short we are turning their anniversary into a month-long celebration.


A little party never killed nobody, so we got a bit inspired by none other than biggest party animal in the band Mr. Louis Tomlinson.

We wish he could invite us to one of his memorable nights out but while we wait for the call and to kick things off we have compiled some of his best moments through the years.

We present you…The best Louis Tomlinson GIFs for every situation:

When someone doesn’t think you are gift to humanity.


When you are VERY intrigued about a story.


When your friends decided to go dressed as carrots to a One Direction concert.

75b6d197d6a112a3cd6a5227c509d20d Continue reading The best Louis Tomlinson GIFs for every situation. #5yearsofonedirection

Nat Wolff is here looking scrummy talking about Paper Towns *dribbles*

If we weren’t already excited enough about the up and coming release of Paper Towns, Nat Wolff has made it a whole lot worse.

Of course we are overjoyed . . don’t get us wrong!

This summer we will see John Green’s coming of age book Paper Towns, adapted for the big screen and featuring the rather scrummy singer/songwriter Natt Wolff along with that little known model/actress/all around awesome person Cara Delevingne who plays the enigma that is Margo Roth Spiegelman.

But before we can check out the action we have a fancy little Nat Wolff featurette to keep us going.

Now hurry up and let us watch the movie already!

‘Potion Diaries’ author, Amy Alward, is saying GO ON A GAP YEAR – and here’s why

The books we read are full of adventures – great treks across the world, daring escapes from barren lands, underwater explorations, meetings with all kinds of locals. It’s a wonder that us bookish types tend to stay at home when we have so much love for the exciting and brave.

Well, maybe it’s high time we went on our own adventures, as author Amy Alward urges readers to.

Her own book ‘The Potion Diaries’ sees Samantha Kemi, talented alchemist on a mission to save the princess from a love potion, travelling to all different dangerous terrains in order to locate the ingredients for the cure.

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It’s no doubt Amy got some of that inspiration from her own gap year experience – and she wants to tell you why you should grab the chance to take one too:

Why everyone should take a gap year – mine turned me into an author

Gap years are getting a bad rep at the moment, with a top City lawyer saying she’d rather hire someone who worked a Saturday job than someone who took a gap year. But my gap year changed my life for the better – and, if you have the opportunity, I would tell you to go for it every time.

I took my year out after university. I had been working a part-time job while studying to pay for a potential Masters degree, thinking that continuing in academia was better than knowing what I was going to do for a real job. 

Instead, I got a call from my best friend, who had just booked a trip from Kenya to South Africa overland and was then flying to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and South-East Asia.

By morning the next day, I had booked to go with her.

But backpacking for me was not only getting lost in foreign countries and parties on far-flung beaches. Here are the top four ways taking a gap year changed my life:

1) Travelling gave me more perspective

After spending all my life trapped in “school mode”, it was amazing not to be constantly graded or assessed. Since no one was around to give me an “A” in life, I felt free to follow my passions and free to fail – a necessary step towards seeing the world more clearly.

Climbing a Dune 45 in the Namib desert.

2) Travelling helped me narrow down my passion

Even with four years of university behind me, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. A university professor? A journalist? A politician? But while I was away, I wrote every day, and it cemented in my mind that my passion was books and writing. When I returned from my gap year, I had more focus, and I could concentrate all my efforts on finishing my book and getting a job in publishing.

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Getting into the spirit at a restaurant in Zimbabwe.

3) Travelling helped me learn how to make a plan (and what to do when those plans go wrong)

In travelling, as in life, the best laid plans often go wrong! Even when I was in a serious car accident in Australia, almost got arrested in Zimbabwe, and had a near miss with a snakebite in Cambodia, I learned how to pick myself up and keep going.

Taking the plunge in a skydive!

4) Travelling gave me inspiration for future books

Little did I know when I was travelling just how much of my experience would make it into my books! The Potion Diaries is the product of so many different adventures, and it wouldn’t be the same book without them. In fact, I just might need to go again, just to get some more inspiration!

Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have always been the perf pair, these harmonies in ‘Use Somebody’ tho…

A long, long time ago, One Direction were on their first headline tour as little puppies with great voices, wearing a lot of baggy khakis and stripes. Actually, it was less than four years ago. Hard to believe, right?

The setlist of the ‘Up All Night Tour’ in 2011-2012 included a cover of the Kings of Leon song ‘Use Somebody.’

Back in 2012 while working on One Direction’s second album, song writer/producer Carl Falk told Examiner.com, “[Harry’s] got a bit of a raspy voice. It’s a good complement to have to some of the others who are a bit more ‘clean.'” He then went on to add, “[Louis’s] a good complement to Harry’s raspy voice. Their voices sound really good together.” Continue reading Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have always been the perf pair, these harmonies in ‘Use Somebody’ tho…

Fashion Fix: Calum Hood’s Drop Dead photocopy shirt

Welcome to Fashion Fix! Where we’ll be bringing you some clothing items worn by your faves. If you’re looking to achieve a celeb inspired wardrobe, then look no further – we can help.

Today we are looking at Calum Hood’s Drop Dead Photocopy shirt he wore at ROWYSO Melbourne on 25th June. Let’s take a closer look…

Drop Dead Calum

Given the name on his shirt, we had a pretty good idea where to find this… and we were right. Continue reading Fashion Fix: Calum Hood’s Drop Dead photocopy shirt

‘Red Queen': check out Casey Ann’s make-up tutorial in her latest Looks On Books

We weren’t convinced make-up tutorials and books went together as well as they did until we saw Casey Ann’s Looks On Books. Taking new releases, Casey sets about creating a totally literary look by matching the colours and design of the cover – and we think it looks pretty cool.


Casey seems to be as excited about ‘Red Queen’ as we are, using its beautiful, striking cover in her latest Looks On Books. With bold red lipstick and heavy, silvery eyes, plus an added tiara, we think she looks like a perfect match to Victoria Aveyard’s amazing new dystopian.

Check out the video here.

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

More bookish articles?

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