Thanks for visiting Sophia Tallon's blog! We review books, audio books, screenplays, films, web series, plus much more! We also do interviews, spotlights, and guest posts! Please see our Contact/FAQ's page! Make sure you follow us on Bloglovin' or by email! Posts go live daily at 12 a.m. Central Daylight Time.
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Thursday, 24 September 2015

(August) GLOSSYBOX vs. BIRCHBOX


So last month I got my second Glossybox and my first Birchbox! My question was, should I keep getting Glossy or switch to Birch? At the end of this post I'll let you know what I decided! I have them ordered from my favourites to least favourites.

GLOSSYBOX

1) Pop Beauty Kajal Pen in Sooty Black
I never seem to find the perfect black eye pencil but thanks to Glossy, I have! The normal price is $10 for .03oz. Would I buy this? Definitely!
2) Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara
Whenever I get mascara I usually end up not liking it because either the brush scratches my eyelid or it just makes it instantly clumpy. With this, the brush was really nice and the mascara looked great! The normal price is $23 for .3oz. Would I buy it? Maybe. I probably wouldn't want to pay that much for mascara since my absolute favourite mascara is cheaper.
3) Glamglow Youthcleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser
I was skeptical of how this mud to foam cleanser would remove makeup and clean my skin since most cleansers like this don't really seem to clean my skin. But after using this I have to say, I was very impressed. It took off my mascara, eyeliner, foundation, powder. I love this and definitely recommend it! the normal price is $39 for 5oz. Would I buy this? Probably. But I would most likely only use it when I have a lot of makeup on after a film shoot or a theatre performance since I don't wear that much on a normal day.
4) Doucce Blush Brush 
I got this for free in my August box thanks to the promo code BRUSHUP. I haven't used it yet but I will soon. The normal price is $32.
5) Sparitual Nail Laquer in I Feel The Earth Move
I haven't tried this nail polish yet but I will soon. The colour is a bit darker than I'd prefer but I do like that it is vegan and cruelty free. The normal price is $12 for .5oz.
6) City Cosmetics Total Eye Rejuvenation Serum
I didn't try this seeing as I don't have wrinkles so I gave it away to someone who could actually use it. The normal price is $97 for .5oz.
BIRCHBOX

1) Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
I have to tell you: This is the best detangler I have ever used. My hair is very very long and is waist length so i always use detangler after washing it. the normal price is $21.95 for 8oz. Would I buy this? Yes!
2) Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35 
I usually find that BB cream and CC cream I try is usually greasy on my skin but this wasn't so I did like it for that. The normal price is $32 for 1.6oz. Would I buy this? Maybe. The price is a tad high but maybe.
3) R+Co. Death Valley Dry Shampoo
I am a huge fan of dry shampoo so I was excited to try this. I used it and you would think with the price it would be great, right? Nope, it was just alright. It didn't have that much of a scent and it didn't absorb as much as my favourite dry shampoo. The normal price is $29 for 6.3oz. Would I buy this? No. Suave makes a better dry shampoo for a much lower price.
4) LAQA & Co. Charm School Kit
This is a stick for your lips and cheeks. I got the colour cray-cray which is coral peach colour. I tried it on my lips first and applied it as you normally would. It looked very odd and chalky so the next time I tried it I just barely put any on and it looked much better. I did try it on my cheeks and it wasn't a great colour at all. The normal price (For the set of 3) is $20.
5) DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler
I was excited to try this since it smelled lovely and seemed like it would work well with my wavy/curly hair. After using it as it directed, my hair didn't look any different than it normally did. The normal price is $28 for 5.1oz. Would I buy this? No.
So...as you can see from the pictures at the top, the Birchbox was a lot smaller than the Glossybox. The Glossybox box is a lot nicer and they put a lot into presentation plus they're products are always full or half sizes which I love. The Birchbox box is a lot flimsier and just not as good with presentation plus the samples were very small, extremely so in the case of the Supergoop! sample which was literally smaller than my littlest finger. I did like some of the samples in the Birchbox but overall I feel that my money is more well spent on a Glossybox. A Glossybox is $21 dollars whilst a Birchbox is $10. Due to the fact that Glossybox always has promo codes every month to get an extra free full size product in your box plus they always have full size or half size products in their boxes it's worth the extra money. I still have my Glossybox subscription but I did cancel my Birchbox subscription. Do you subscribe to either of these boxes? Which do you like best? Contact me and let me know or comment below!

If you want to try Glossybox, click here: https://www.glossybox.com/referal?CI=MTgzNTQ1
If you want to try Birchbox, click here:  https://www.birchbox.com/

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

(July) GLOSSYBOX


Hey, everyone! I have been really busy lately so I haven't had time to post a lot of my reviews! Prepare yourself for a bunch of stuff the next few weeks! 

To start off, I got my first Glossybox in July and below is what I thought of the items I received! (In the order of which I liked the best to which I liked the least)

1) Hey Honey I Peel Good!
I absolutely adored this product! I used it several time and it made my skin look so nice and lovely! I would definitely recommend it. The normal price is $59 for 1oz. So would I buy this? Maybe. The price is pretty high but it works so well that I just might.
2) Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm
This is now my favourite lip balm and it has a very nice peppermint smell. The normal price is $5.50 for .15oz. So would I buy this? Absolutely!
 3) Kueshi Anticellulite Booster 
I don't really have any cellulite but I used this anyway so I could let you lot know what I think! I smelled really nice and went on well. I wasn't greasy or gross. As I said before, I don't really have any cellulite so I can't say whether it gets rid of it. The normal price is $22.60 for 5.07 oz. So, would I buy this? Probably not. But maybe if I get cellulite I will.


4) Face Stockholm Eye Pencil in Dark Green
 I don't know why but the first time I used this pencil, it was really soft so I didn't like it. I tried it again recently and it wasn't soft anymore so it was better but I still wasn't really in love with the colour. The normal price is $17 for .15oz. So, would I buy this? No. Not in the dark green colour at least. I might try the black colour since I did like the way it went on.


5) Sesha Skin Therapy Rejuvenating Anti-Wrinkle Mask
I didn't try this since I'm only 18 and don't have wrinkles. My mum does so she tried it. (Whilst we watched Doctor Who) And she said she really liked it and she liked how cool it felt after putting it in the refrigerator. The normal price for One Sheet is $9. Would I buy this? Maybe, if I had wrinkles.
If any of you want to try out Glossybox click here:  https://www.glossybox.com/referal?CI=MTgzNTQ1

Thursday, 10 September 2015

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) J. R. Robinson


Today I will be interviewing J. R. Robinson! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me
First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I am a lover of the telling of stories. I believe completely in the power of the human imagination and truly enjoy the worlds in which can be created within the pages of a book. Born and raised in Michigan until leaving for California after high school, which is where I have resided for most of my years. I enjoy reading, learning, new adventures, early morning hours and precious time with loved ones.

What inspired you to become an author?
At an early age I wrote short stories galore – pages upon pages. It seemed to be my greatest outlet throughout my childhood for finding make believe places that just brought out so much more color in my life.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
All of my life I was raised to never lose the feeling of what it is like to be a child. To hold on to that childlike mentality that allows magic within our days. I wanted a book that could bring a tale of such power – to give others the understanding that we can keep our imaginations for a lifetime as long as we don’t forget where to find the key to unlock the door in which we keep it behind.

Who influenced you the most in life?
My daughter.

Do you have a favorite author? (Or name a few)
Too many to name.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Write every day, no matter what it is, write every day.

Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
Actually, I wished to be an oceanographer for my first career.

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favorite artists?
I usually do not listen to music while writing.

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
Taking a breather outdoors. A walk or jog.

After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favorite tv show you like to watch?
A wide variety of sitcoms and standup comics.

What are you working on currently?
A new children’s book – The Spiffy Kids Storybook Collection. Estimated publication date is November 2016.

When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
Spend time with my family, read, study, jog.

What are some of your most favorite books of all time?

- Oh the places you will go

- On the night you were born

- Harry Potter series

- Romeo and Juliet

- The Secret Garden

- The Wishing Tree

- Where the Sidewalk Ends

Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
Thatcher in Theodore Roberts and the Key to the Imaginary Door. Thatcher is a character with spirit, heart and a power to journey in to any part of his land – perhaps even beyond. The other characters that I love are not yet published.

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe. It was indeed well written, informative and exactly what I was looking for.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
Fiction is my favorite – as it can be anything and everything.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
To fly! I think that would be a great adventure from a whole new view.

Where can we find you on social media?
www.myspiffykids.com

www.facebook.com/myspiffykids

Social media for Theodore Roberts and the Key to the Imaginary Door coming soon.

Check back later this year as I will be reviewing J. R.'s book Theodore Roberts and the Key to the Imaginary Door!

Monday, 7 September 2015

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) Russell Boyd

Today I will be interviewing Russell Boyd! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me
First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I have been a musician for a living for 16 years. I play piano, guitar, and drums. I live in Round Rock (just North of Austin, TX) with my wife Kathy, son Compton (6) and daughter Cooper (2). We are all very funny. I have two albums with my band Dorkstar and am currently recording one of my own where I play most of the instruments.

What inspired you to become an author?
I have been reading since I was five years old, and as long as I can remember I have said I would write books someday. I have read many hundreds of books. When I was in third grade, I sat in the back row, ignored the teacher, and read the entire Chronicles of Narnia series that was on the shelf next to me. Not exactly an answer to your question, but the answer is that I've always been a writer. I wrote a book in fourth grade called "Dinosaurs of the 90's" and one in seventh grade called "Rambo Lowers Oil Prices." Both were illustrated.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
I had had a couple of false starts with novels. I decided to just write a silly, geeky story that mirrored my personality. That made the book much easier to write. I started by ripping off Douglas Adams and it grew into my own thing.

Who influenced you the most in life?
I have many, many influences from people I have read or listened to. Let's put the Beatles, Daniel Quinn, my Grandfather Bill Glazener, Douglas Adams, Sam Harris, the 80's thrash metal movement, the 90's grunge movement, and all things wizard and dragony at the top of that list. And anything that involves science and being nice to people. I try to use reason and compassion to run my life overall.

What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
My life has been filled with kindness and generosity from other people. I don't think I can narrow it down to one. My son says I'm the best Daddy ever. I take that as a pretty big compliment.

Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)

Douglas Adams is the biggest stylistic influence for the books I'm writing now. I'm also influenced by an assortment of scientists like Brian Greene, Richard Dawkins, Mikio Kaku, and Stephen Hawking. Other fiction writers I love are Mark Helprin, Terry Goodkind, Joseph Heller, Robert Asprin, and others.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Stick to the story. Before anything else, make you books an escape for people that they may want to visit again and again. I'm paraphrasing many authors, but Stephen King seems to be one of the loudest advocates for this and I completely agree.

Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?

Music came first, but you have a small window in your life to be a rock star and you can be a successful author forever. Rock n' Roll is a young man's game, but I can be a hundred and still make up stories. That's why I waited to write a full novel til later.

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
Oddly, I rarely do that. When I listen to music, I focus on the music. I do sometimes, though. My favorites artists include The Beatles, Dream Theater, Wu Tang Clan, Eminem, Led Zeppelin, and (again) all things 90's Grunge. I've been on a rock kick lately, listening to Foo Fighters and Aerosmith. They don't make rock bands famous anymore. That's at least one reason I'm not :)

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
I'm one of those guys that thinks writers block is a myth. I write myself into corners all the time. There is always a way to either 1) make random things I've thrown in all work together in some cohesive way 2) redo a few things that have happened to make them somehow cohesive, or 3) make things go in a direction I hadn't planned. Like many authors say, if the characters are alive, they'll just do things. I drive a lot as a musician, so I'll just ponder different possible ways the story could go. I ask myself questions on my notes on my phone until one of them makes me go "Hey! That would be cool." Or I make up a melodramatic action part that changes everything. At worst, I stop thinking about it for a week. Again, I don't know if that's writers block. That's what it takes to write a story that isn't a rip off of someone else's.

After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?

I absolutely never just flip on the TV to see what's on. I haven't done that in 20 years. But I always have a show on Netflix I'm watching. Right now I'm on Frasier season 5 and I love it. Mostly I'm a video game guy, though.

What are you working on currently?

As of today, I'm 65k words into my second novel. My first had 112k, and I revise as I go, so only about half of it is a true first draft. I discovered my personal "formula" with my first novel, and I'm using that for the second: quirky characters, odd situations, weird science and odd philosophical questions that hopefully don't beat people over the head.

When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
My two small children take up very much of my time. I read about 50 books a year, play lots of video games, record albums that take forever to complete and have three instrument to practice. I try to work out every day. This month has not been good for that.

What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
East of Eden, Catch-22, 1984, Ismael, A Tale of Two Cities, The Stand, Wizard's First Rule, Tolkien stuff, CS Lewis's Space Trilogy, The first few books of any Orson Scott Card Series,and yes, Harry Potter books.

Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
Wow that's tough. I got to know Chintz the best. Quincy made it to the next book (my books don't have sequels, but the characters often overlap like many authors do).

Which of your books are you most proud of?
I've only written The Chorus Effect, so that one so far. I think my second one will be better. I love The Chorus Effect and so far a few other people love it, too, but I intend it to be the worst book I ever write because I will only get better.

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
The Dirt by Motley Crue and Neil Strauss. I'm not a big Motley Crue fan, but that is a well put together telling of their crazy story.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
I plan on letting my books evolve organically and not force anything. I've never written and have no plans for a full series, but I'd like to do at least a trilogy before I die. Series are fun.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
I don't like my talents to be hidden. I prefer to show off.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?

I would make people, either as individuals or a group, read more books. It would be like a new species. It would change the world.

Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
I will be writing many books for many years to come. My books are funnier than most. Try them out.

Where can we find you on social media?
Facebook: facebook.com/russellsboyd
Twitter: @russellboydtx
Instagram: @russellboydtx
Website (not social,but I thought I'd add it): www. russellboyd.com and www.thechoruseffect.com

Check back later this year as I will be reviewing Russell's book The Chorus Effect!




Friday, 4 September 2015

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) Laura Simmons

Today I will be interviewing Laura Simmons! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me!
First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in northern Virginia and spent most of my career working for various Department of Defense contractors in the Washington, DC area. I have a fascination with all things metaphysical. I enjoy soap making, writing, jigsaw puzzles, bowling, vacationing at the beach with my husband, and studying tarot cards and other types of divination systems. Little Bits of Karma is my debut novel.

What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to write a book. It was the first thing I can remember telling my parents that I wanted to do when I grew up. As a child, I enjoyed creative writing exercises in school and loved writing short stories. I gradually abandoned writing as I got older but never lost the desire to write a book.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
I am captivated with reincarnation and what happens after we die. I’ve read extensively on this subject and was inspired by stories I read of different people’s past-life regression experiences and how it helped them to better understand why certain things happened to them in their current life. One thing led to another and the idea for Little Bits of Karma was born. I’m constantly thinking about these kinds of things.

Who influenced you the most in life?
My mom.

What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
That’s a tough one. I’m blessed to have a supportive circle of family and friends and a wonderful husband, all of them have done kind things for me at different times in my life.

Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
My favorite author is Stephen King. I also like Dean Koontz. I like to write romance novels and read horror stories.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
A good friend of mine who’s written a lot of papers in his life said its best to write what you have in your head, get it all out, and let it sit for a few weeks. Then go back and read it with fresh eyes and you will see changes that you want or need to make. He was right.

Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. (This was covered in the first question)

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
Yes, but I rarely have that luxury as I work a demanding, full-time day job and when I come home I spend quality time with my husband and usually end up writing on my laptop in the evening while we watch TV. Music inspires me and when I get the opportunity to write while listening to music, I enjoy Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Journey, Barbara Streisand, Donna Summer and Barry White.

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
I usually just think on it. I take a break and go do something else while thinking about the characters and what they should do next. It churns in my head for a week or more. Eventually it comes to me and I immediately write down the idea or a phrase to remind myself later if I can’t get to my computer right away.

After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?
I love Nashville, Under the Dome and The Big Bang Theory. I’m also addicted to HGTV.

What are you working on currently?
I’m working on a sequel/spin-off to Little Bits of Karma, tentatively titled Tough Karma. Two of the minor characters in Little Bits of Karma who cause problems are the protagonists of my next story. They unwittingly go on a terrifying journey through a life or death situation.

When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
I like to work out as often as possible with our Total Gym, take long walks, go shopping and read.

What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
I read mostly non-fiction books in my spare time. I find myself re-reading The Power by Rhonda Byrne when I start feeling down. I don’t have a favorite book.

Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
I love the character of Holly O’Rourke, my protagonist in Little Bits of Karma. She’s an incredibly patient, understanding, and kind woman who tries to do the right thing and has the misfortune of falling in love with the wrong types of men. As she investigates her past lives, she is alarmed at the things she did and how her current life reflects the karma she’s accumulated. I also love the character of Bryce Decker. He’s a minor player in Little Bits of Karma and the instigator of major change for two other characters. He’s attractive, intimidating, and kind of a badass. I love his devotion to family and how he would do anything to protect the people he loves. I’m enjoying the process of evolving him in my next book.

Which of your books are you most proud of?
Little Bits of Karma, it’s the only one I’ve written.

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
The last fiction book I read was Under the Dome by Stephen King. I thought it was good and I enjoyed it. It was different from the TV series. The only drawback to the story is that I thought it had too many characters and I had a hard time remembering who was who.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
Yes. My next book is a story of psychic warfare (for lack of a better term) between two longtime friends. One of them is a serial killer and the other doesn’t know it. The serial killer has his sights set on someone very close to Bryce. The story is pretty dark and it’s a challenge to write. Little Bits of Karma has a fun and lighthearted vibe, this one doesn’t.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
Writing would be my hidden talent which has surfaced in the past two years and enabled me to write a book. An interesting talent would be that I enjoy making pretty soaps. I used to sell them at craft fairs and since I started writing, I don’t make them much anymore.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
My desired super power would be to move objects with my mind. I think it’s called telekinesis. I would like to have this super power so I could easily lift heavy objects. It would be so cool to watch them hovering in the air and knowing the power of my mind is the only thing that keeps them from falling.

Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
Yes. I welcome feedback both positive and negative about Little Bits of Karma.

Where can we find you on social media?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter the most. I’m also on LinkedIn and WordPress, but I don’t keep up with them as much. I’m not very good at blogging. My Twitter handle is @LauraSimmons37 and my email address is lsimmons37@yahoo.com. I check email throughout the day and that is the fastest way to reach me.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Simmons/1609510075993542

My website is: www.littlebitsofkarma.com

You can find my book online at the following retailers:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Bits-Karma-Laura-Simmons-ebook/dp/B010P27HZS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1440033558&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-bits-of-karma-laura-simmons/1122181646?ean=9781478757160

The following is a beautiful video trailer my publisher created for Little Bits of Karma:

https://youtu.be/KnnQLec0ZH4

Check back later this year as I will be reviewing Laura's book Little Bits of Karma!