Tuesday, 8 December 2015

It's Christmas! (Well, in two and a half weeks it is....)

How we feel about Christmas can vary from year to year. Sometimes we NEED the festive season to force us to stop, relax, and take stock. I confess, this year I'm feeling mildly inconvenienced by it. Everything work-related sort of winds down from November onwards, which is lovely really, but I actually WANT to get on with stuff! However, the social scene hots up as people feel a compulsion to get together BEFORE the big day, as if 25th December is the deadline for all friendship interaction. 

I don't know how you guys below the equator deal with this, but I'm currently enjoying warm sunshine streaming in through my open window, and the mild weather is not making me think of cosy fur-laden sleighs or reindeer stamping through the snow. Maybe when it starts being all frosty outside and cosy inside I'll start feeling more festive!
Although I find it annoying when commercials start referring to it actually BEING Christmas when they start playing in October, I do appreciate the reminder to get my present-buying self in gear. So I'm going to be a big old hypocrite now and say.... Happy Christmas! (Yes, it's weeks away.) But I thought you might like a heads upThe Princess Guide to Being a Cat is now available in paperback, and in my humble opinion it would make a great Secret Santa or stocking filler gift! 

I'm also hosting some giveaways so there's always a chance for you to win a free copy.
If that's not exciting enough, The Princess Guide to Life is now being stocked in many libraries in the UK and USA (hopefully Australia will be added to the list in 2016). So even if you're not a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can still read it free.

On that note.... MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, 28 September 2015


Just a quick one to let you know that The Princess Guide to Life is ON SALE at Amazon this week! Princesses in the USA can get it for a mere $0.99 from today (September 28th) until 4th October. 

Due to a glitch in the matrix, the dates are slightly different for those in the UK, the deal is £0.99 and runs from Wednesday 30th September until the 4th October. 

That price drop though... from $8.99 / £5.99 to just 99 pennies!

Gratuitous Keanu Reeves picture
So tell your friends, grab a bargain and enjoy land Let me know what you thought of the book when you've finished reading!

There's more to pop stars than sexuality... probably

                                 Why does Jay-Z never strike this pose?
So I was listening to Beyoncé's song Flawless, which features parts of a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a prize-winning Nigerian writer. Part of the speech says "We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don't mind knowing about our sons' girlfriends, but our daughters' boyfriends? God forbid."  

How many times have you heard men joking about the fact that they'll "never" let their daughters date? Partly because they can remember all too well what they were like as teenage boys, and the thought of their daughters meeting anyone like that scares the crap out of them.

But along with protectiveness, there's a bit of competition mixed in; it's not that your average father doesn't want his little girl to grow up and have a happy relationship with a man who loves her; it just gets to him that he won't be number one any more. It's not only dads who feel this way – as we can see from these creepy / hilarious entries from STFU parents, there are plenty of mothers who wish they could marry their sons. 

The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speech is worth listening to in its entirety because it's full of interesting and important points. But when the frame of reference is a Beyoncé song, cutting the line to say that girls "cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are" strikes me as disingenuous. OK, so we know that Miley gets ridiculed every time she swings around naked and licks a hammer, Rihanna is generally considered every parent's worst nightmare, and everyone from Demi to Selena to Lady Gaga gets criticised for dressing in skimpy outfits or dancing suggestively. But are their male counterparts really allowed to be sexual without fear of reprisals? We'll probably never know, because the difference is that they don't do these things. 

The gender difference when you take to the streets to dance. Also, Yoncé's crew spend quite a lot of the video looking like they want to have sex with her, an element notably missing from Bruno and Mark's gang.

The video for Blurred Lines was infamous for showing fully-clothed men but near-naked women. In  Beyoncé's Drunk in Love video, she writhes around in a bikini while her husband just stands there, fully-clothed. Her video for Yoncé is basically nothing but close-ups of red lips and female flesh from different angles, to the point where it starts to be quite bizarre. Can you imagine Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars creating the equivalent lollipop-sucking, butt-shaking, crawling-on-the-ground piece of film? Then there's Partition, which is hypnotically beautiful to watch, but doesn't really support the idea that there is more to women than their sexual allure; the same goes for Rihanna's Pour it Up. I suppose the nearest male equivalent to pole-dancers would be hen party-style strippers, but I don't see Drake or Justin Bieber adding this to their repertoire any time soon. 

The closest match I could find to these ladies' overt sensuality was Jason Derulo, because he likes taking his clothes off, too. His Want to Want Me video has shades of equality; he's in his underwear in bed, and so is his lady friend... oh but there she is in a basque, watching him perform in a suit. We have several admiring close-ups of her buttocks, while he is shown having a little workout. The message is that his body DOES stuff; it's strong as well as sexy. Hers just looks good, and that's all it needs to do. 
We're constantly being told that women aren't allowed to be sexual because of the "slut" double standard. Maybe this was true 30 years ago, but today I think the reason people get their knickers in a twist over the likes of Miley twerking on Robin Thicke is because they're wondering WHY?  

Call me a feminazi, but I'm not sure how empowering this is. 

WHY do you feel you need to do that? Why don't you let your talent, your voice and your personality speak for you? Are you so insecure that you think getting more and more sexually explicit is the only way you can keep the world's attention? (Incidentally, he was criticised too; because you can only work that "dirty old man" act for so long before people get turned off).

We know that Bey, Miley, Gaga et al are talented ladies who can write songs, contribute to political debate and make their own choices. Beyoncé doesn't NEED to slink around in her underwear; she's just as attractive in jeans and a t-shirt (singing with Eddie Vedder at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival). In defence of her stripper-style antics, she's undoubtedly proving that motherhood doesn't meant the end of hotness, she's talking openly about being a feminist, and her music videos have enough variety to prove that sexuality is just one small part of her repertoire.

But looking at the music industry as a whole... maybe it's time to forget proving how sexual we are and start showing the world all the other stuff we can do. 

Failing that, true equality demands that the men need to strip off too. Who's with me? 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Married at First Sight...?

I love a bit of reality TV, and I'm not ashamed of that. Of course, I'm still selective in my viewing choices: anything Kardashian, yes. Jersey Shore, no. (At least, not yet.) I'm not even joking when I say that I've learned a lot about human psychology from watching them. (Come on, they're not ENTIRELY scripted. Do you think Kim and co would be that good at acting?!) 

It's all there: sibling rivalry, marital dispute, and the KER-CHING seen in Kris Jenner's eyes whenever one of her daughters reaches 18 and can make the big bucks with naked photo shoots. If nothing else, the programme exists to remind us how lucky we are to have (comparatively) "normal" families.

Kim Kardashian: making you feel better about your "crying face" since 2007
My latest TV love is #MarriedAtFirstSight. When I first heard about the format, I was as repulsed as everyone else really? We're treating marriage as nothing more than entertainment now? And a VICAR is OK with this? But when I tuned in (out of morbid curiosity) I was pleasantly surprised.

In case you're wondering, I'm talking about the British version of the show from Channel 4; you can check it out here. There are spoilers below so don't read if you don't want to know what happens! Here's Rita Hayworth and a quote from The Princess Guide to Life to act as a buffer...

After the "experts" narrowed down the pool of candidates based on personality types, DNA swabs and general compatibility, they came up with only three potential pairs. (One couple dropped out early on due to her cold feet but you'll be pleased to know that thanks to the miracle of social networking, there was a happy ending to their story.)

The show was cleverly edited for maximum shock value and suspense. In the wedding episode, Jason and Kate genuinely looked like any other couple getting married they were all shiny-faced and beaming, stealing coy glances at each other and going all giggly. If anyone looked like a good match, it was them. Meanwhile James and Emma seemed destined to be nothing but extremely well-suited platonic buddies. However, by the last episode it had all turned around; James and Emma were going for the slow burn (he's such an adorable teddy bear of a man that I suspect Emma's friends all said "If you don't want him can I have him?") while Kate and Jason's relationship had fallen apart. 

So what lessons can we learn from trash TV?

Firstly, Kate was utterly beautiful on her wedding day. Not just pretty in the way that all brides are, but movie-star gorgeous. After the programme aired, Twitter was awash with people despairing of ever getting married "If SHE can't find a man, what hope does anybody else have?" they moaned.

I've always found it incredibly bizarre when people have this attitude that "good-looking" equals "no trouble finding relationships". (Film critic Mark Kermode ridicules the notion of attractive women not being able to "get a man" in this radio review.) It's as if people believe that if you're pretty, that will somehow make all the men who ask you out magically compatible with you. If only! (Not to mention how inconvenient it would be for everyone else if only hot people could find dates.)

Jason said he didn't find Kate attractive – fair enough, you can't predict chemistry. But wasn't that risk exactly what he'd signed up for? His real disgrace came when he logged onto Tinder before he'd even told his "wife" that he wasn't feeling it "I never cheated on Kate. Nothing happened until I decided it was over." (Italics mine, because I just can't get over his arrogance.) I think we can conclude that some people are just incredibly dumb. Jason was MARRIED to Kate; a beautiful, intelligent, healthy, interesting woman. But rather than attempt to make this ready-made relationship work, he actually thought he'd do better on TINDER. Oh, Jason.

I was intrigued to read that he'd been encouraged to restart online dating by a "good friend" – I couldn't help wondering if that was his best man Tim, who'd given me an iffy feeling over the course of the show. From telling Kate about Jason's unflattering nicknames, to looking all sneery at every detail of the wedding, he just had "bad news" written all over him.

This reminded me of something I learned from watching Khloe and Lamar. (Reality TV wisdom; it always comes back to the Kardashians.) I couldn't understand why a seemingly nice guy like Lamar would have a friend like Jamie. I don't want to be horrible, because since appearing on the show, Jamie has sadly died due to drug use. But he didn't exactly endear himself to audiences as we saw him leeching off Lamar's finances and generally causing him trouble in his life and marriage.

When they made their now infamous "rap" video (in which Lamar talked openly about cheating on Khloe), I realised something: water finds its own level. You might meet a guy who seems lovely, yet he has this one friend who's really negative, or manipulative, or nasty in some way. And you dismiss it as some kind of weird anomaly. But it isn't his friends are signposts telling you who he really is.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Couple More Giveaways

Howdy Princesses! Just a quick one to say that I'm currently running 2 (count 'em) giveaways: Enter either or both for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Princess Guide to Life.

Here are the links:

Amazon (USA readers only I'm afraid):

and Goodreads (Open to everyone! Yay!)

Happy reading!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Unlimited Reading? Count Me In!

I'm thrilled to announce that The Princess Guide to Life is now available to read on Kindle Unlimited! 

If you're not familiar with it, Kindle Unlimited (known as "KU" among aficionados) allows you to borrow TONS of ebooks and audiobooks  for just £7.99 GBP / $9.99 USD per month. And now my book is one of them! If you read it I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

I'm excited!
Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Cheapest Holiday Ever

Photo Credit: Photorack
Holidays can get so expensive, can't they? On top of the flight, the insurance, the hotel and all those lovely meals out, you also have the totally necessary pre-vacay beauty treatments: a little fake tan so you won't be the whitest person at the beach, a pedi so that nobody shrieks in horror at the sight of your cracked heels and neglected nail polish, and several sessions of wardrobe-shopping. (Although you will in fact spend the entire holiday wearing your bikini and flipflops, occasionally slinging on a kaftan or a pair of shorts if you're going somewhere "fancy" for dinner, ie anywhere with a "no shirt, no service" sign.)

(By the way, is it just me or is it impossible to find a pretty, vaguely supportive and reasonably priced bikini? So far this year I have only been able to find flimsy scraps of material which would feel about as secure as wrapping a ribbon around my chest. They might be OK if you sit ABSOLUTELY STILL on your sun lounger, but a swim would surely result in getting arrested for indecent exposure.)

When it comes to getting away from it all, there's also the time issue: maybe you NEED a break now but you don't have any paid leave due from your job, or you're self-employed and can't just go gallivanting off into the sunset. Why not have a short, FREE break at home? Those of you who've read "101 Ways to Feel like a Princess" in The Princess Guide to Life know that I'm a fan of the "staycation": treating your home town like a new tourist destination and switching off from your usual routine. Here's how you can have the perfect ONE day mini-break!

1) Choose your companions - a partner, a group of friends, your dog? (Everyone needs an occasional break from having to make conversation.)

2) If it's sunny and you have an outside space, set yourself up with everything you need: a comfortable sun lounger, a parasol for moments when the heat gets too intense, a makeshift table for your drinks, sunglasses etc (I find a cardboard box especially elegant). Of course, if the weather isn't good (when I travelled I was astonished to discover that England isn't the only country to have random cold days in the summer), you can build yourself a similar little den inside (duvet on the sofa, hot chocolate on demand). Watch cartoons, get stuck into the kind of novel you normally reject for being too trashy, and forget that work exists.

3) If it's sunny but you don't have a garden, head to the nearest park / beach / flat roof, and prepare for your day of soaking up vitamin D. As well as keeping a book / pile of magazines to hand, remember some spray-on sun protection lotion for top-ups (I'm assuming you slather yourself in a suitably high SPF before you come out in your swimsuit) and maybe some insect repellent if you attract friendly flies who like nothing better than cuddling up close to you.

4) Pour some cold water over yourself. Almost as good as a dip in the pool!

5) To get that authentic "Toto, we're not in Kansas (/ Liverpool / Yorkshire) anymore," feeling, mix up a jug of Sangria, or fix yourself a snack of baklava.

Photo Credit: Evan Swigart
(Pro tip: When you've finished drinking the Sangria, serve the booze-soaked fruit as a nifty and waste-free dessert.)

6) If you want to venture into the world at large, try to avoid your usual haunts. Instead of doing your food shopping in the big supermarket you usually go to, find a little grocery store that sells foreign food. My local newsagent sells South African's finest biltong, and I have at least three Polish supermarkets within walking distance, all creating a pleasingly convincing impression of being far from home. 

7) Do all the things you normally only do when you're on vacation. Ignore your email inbox. Walk barefoot. Go into a shop that sells total rubbish and ponder whether your mum would like a plastic frog pencil-sharpener as a souvenir from your "holiday". Look at your town through the eyes of someone seeing it all for the first time  is it friendly? Trendy? Full of "characters"?

8) As the sun sets, string up some fairy lights around the back door or light some lanterns / candles. Invite your family / housemates / a stray cat to join you in a glorious al fresco meal like the ones you always see Italian people having (on commercials for spaghetti sauce).

You'll return to work on Monday feeling refreshed and relaxed in the knowledge that your holiday cost you nothing, and if you so desire, you can do the same next weekend....

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Giveaways Galore!

Howdy Princesses! My last Amazon giveaway went so well, I've decided to run another! Enter here for a chance to win a paperback copy of the Princess Guide to Life! And there's still time to enter my Librarything giveaway for the chance to win it in e-book form.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've had a long hard day and I'm going to have a lovely bubble bath! Stay in touch my lovelies :-)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Librarything Giveaway

Greetings Princesses! And how are you on this fine Tuesday? I have good news - I am giving away 25 e-book copies of The Princess Guide to Life. Head over to Librarything between now and the 2nd of June and enter for a chance to win!

In the meantime, here's my tip for the day!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Amazon Giveaway!

Hey Princesses!

Don't worry if you missed the last Goodreads Giveaway; if you live in the USA, I have a new contest for you! No purchase necessary, enter here for a chance to win a brand spanking new paperback!

And don't worry if you're outside of the US, I have more giveaways planned so stay in touch for more chances to win!

Rosie xoxo

Friday, 6 March 2015

Goodreads Giveaway

Greetings Princesses! Just a quick note to say that I'm currently running a giveaway for The Princess Guide to Life at Goodreads and you can enter it here:

Because... who doesn't love getting a shiny new book to read? 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Princess Guide to Life is Live!

It's here at last! This book has been a long time coming, but I wanted to make sure it was in tip-top shape before unleashing it on the world at large... and hopefully you'll agree it was worth the wait.

Here's the official blurb:


Everybody has the wrong idea about Princesses. Sure, we dress like superstars and rarely have to buy our own drinks, but we're not divas. (Life's too short to throw a tantrum because a barista spelled your name wrong.)
In this entertaining and insightful book, Rosie Blythe offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be a powerful woman in the 21st century. Discover the intriguing secrets of the Princess life:     
  • How to dress for maximum impact – and why stylists get it wrong
  • 6 types of toxic people and the surprising strategies you can use to deal with them
  • How to make Valentine's Day amazing when you're single
  • Budgeting so you can afford the wardrobe of your dreams
  • How to use celebrity tricks to create a sexy aura of mystery and avoid answering questions you hate
  • Why dependence on your phone is sabotaging your friendships
  • How to make your home look stunning and feel inviting (even when it's smaller than your cubicle at work)
  • What nobody ever tells you about getting ahead in your career
  • How to get what you want while convincing everyone you're adorable...
Packed full of smart (and sneaky) tips and clear, practical advice, this is the ultimate guide to living life beautifully... graciously... joyfully.... like a Princess.

The Princess Guide to Life is available as an ebook for the bargain price of £5.99 GBP / $8.99 USD, from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, and Tolino.

The paperback is available from all good bookstores for £12.99.

I hope you enjoy it – let me know what you think.

Now, Princesses, I must get on with writing the next book! Join my mailing list for updates on new releases, or drop in and say hi over at Goodreads.