Thursday, 20 March 2014

Mini Reviews: The Spoilt Brats Guide by Christy Powell

I don't tend to review two books in one go, but I got the chance to read The Spoilt Brats Guide to Rome, and The Spoilt Brats Guide to Kamalaya. Both of these books together ran a total of 20 pages, so although they are very short books, below they will be reviewed separately. Before I get to them here is some information about the author, the books, and how Beneath The Ink helped make these book interactive.

The Author Christy Powell ( is collaborating with the award-winning Colorado-based digital technology company Beneath the Ink on The Spoilt Brat’s Guide, a highly innovative and entertaining new travel guide iBook to bring a richer and more engaging third dimensional experience to readers.
Revolutionizing the traditional travel guide format, The Spoilt Brats Guide features ‘Binks’ which enable readers to go ‘Beneath the Ink’ and discover additional personal anecdotes from Christy, with supporting images and links. The Spoilt Brat’s Guide is Beneath the ink’s first foray into the travel book sector, however the company with its patented technology won the Innovation Award last month at the Digital Book Awards for Emma Boling’s ‘Mistress of France’ in the Adult Fiction category.
To give readers greater insight into the exciting Bink concept, the first six The Spoilt Brat’s Guides will be available as individual mini-guides for free download, before going on sale as a collection at £2.99. The guides to ‘Kamalaya’ and ‘Rome’ are already available for download with iBooks on Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on computer. For the full experience, The Spoilt Brat’s Guide is best viewed on tablet (iPad 2 or later generation).
Says Christy: “My Spoilt Brat’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek personal experience of travel. It offers all the information you need to know about a place without getting bogged down in the detail. I also aim to entertain rather than just inform. I want to have you laughing your head off while trying to book your ticket”.
“Most top hotels and resorts get plenty of write-ups but you then have to go to Tripadore to get the honest or unbiased opinion. My Spoilt Brat’s Guide tries to incorporate both, with a little bit of entertainment thrown in on top. Beneath the Ink has then taken these accounts and put them into fantastic ibooks with anecdotes and photos to make a winning combination. In fact the whole experience is so good you may not even need to go on holiday at all. Just sit back on the sofa, ask one of your kids to shake up a Margarita, turn the lights up bright so you can wear your sunglasses and flick open your iPad to the latest SBG – hey presto, you’re on holiday”, Christy continues.
Says Alex Milewski, co-Founder of Beneath the Ink "We have identified Christy Powell as a very exciting new writing talent and are ecstatic to be working with her on The Spoilt Brat's Guide. The locations, pictures, and her seriously amusing writing style all lend themselves perfectly to Beneath The Ink's technology. Now you can carry these great guides with you wherever you are, so Christy's favourite hotel, restaurant, and hysterical insights are only a touch away."

Title: The Spoilt Brats Guide to Rome
Author: Christy Powell
Find on iBook Store
The Spoilt Brats Guide to Rome gives us some of the best places to visit, but also info about the author herself. We get to look at photographs of various family activities, making food to feed the family at tea time, or photographs of ruins by her Mother-in-Law's house.
The Spoilt Brats Guide to Rome is informative, I liked how she advised of places to visit, and made it interactive by providing photographs of these places when you clicked on the highlighted words, but also made it feel more homely by including photographs of family and friends. The Spoilt Brats Guide to Rome is the shortest book out them both at on 9 pages long.

Title: The Spoilt Brats Guide to Kamalaya
Author: Christy Powell
Find on iBook Store
The Spoilt Brats Guide to Kamalaya is the longest of these books at 11 pages long. Once again this is also interactive and by clicking on the highlighted words we are treated to photographs of the island (see right, click to make it bigger) or a better explanation of the word is given.

The Spoilt Brats Guide to Kamalaya also links to relevant music videos that hold a particular interest to what the author is talking about.and places to visit.

Both of these guides were a new type of read for me but I really enjoyed the interactive element to them, never knowing what I would find under the highlighted word. While I don't particularly like hot sunny places, Kamalaya certainly has some picturesque beaches and places to visit that I would have no hesitation in visiting.

About Christy
Born in Hong Kong to intrepid parents, Christy had an unconventional upbringing in Hong Kong, the UK, Mexico, Spain and the US.  Married with three children, she now divides her time between Hong Kong and London.

Christy spent her early years living on the small island of Lamma in the South China Sea, the only non-Chinese family on the island.

Life changed dramatically when, at the age of eight, Christy was sent to boarding school in Kent; she started to write a diary.  At eighteen, Christy spent a year living in a remote village in the Sierra Norte Mountains of Mexico where, to help her get through the frequent bouts of solitude, she further developed her love of writing.

On graduating from Brown University, Christy returned to London to working for Chris Evans on his TFI Friday show, followed by two years at Condé Nast.

In 1998, despite having no prior experience of the beauty industry, Christy set up the first New York City-style nail bar in London with business partner, Katrina Fleming. They went onto establish a successful nail bar chain employing 45 staff and sold the business five years later for a sizeable amount.

Christy then followed her husband and his job to Hong Kong, thrilled at the prospect of giving her children the same childhood she had enjoyed.

She started writing News from the Nail Bar in 2007, over an extended period, six months after having her third child.  News from the Nail Bar was published in November 2011 and Christy was signed on by United Agents.

In July 2013, Christy launched her Just a bit Confucius chronicles providing a weekly insight into the intricacies of life in Hong Kong, and aiming to capture those ‘lost in translation’ moments.  The #JABC chronicles are published every Thursday.

Christy is also collaborating with the Colorado-based Beneath the Ink, on a series of iBooks,The Spoilt Brat’s Guide; the innovative technology and ‘binks’ enable her readers to gain more insight into the characters, places, concepts, and words that pique their curiosity without ever leaving the page.

Along with her husband Nick (aka The Italian), both Christy’s parents have been a big force in her life and have been very supportive of her career as both a writer and entrepreneur.

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