Saturday, 24 August 2013

Review of Ruthless by Jessie Keane

I've read most of Jessie's book and so I was thrilled to be contacted and offered a copy of her latest book Ruthless.  Wow, what a book.  The fifth in the Annie Carter series and in my opinion the best so far.  I can't wait for number six!

This book covers the 70's and 80's and sees Annie receiving her divorce papers from Max.  Previous books have seen Annie grow from a character with nothing to becoming the successful, stunningly attractive and seriously revered woman that she is today. However, the divorce knocks her for six but when old enemies, believed dead, make a re-appearance Annie has to fight till the end for her life and that of her daughters. 

Annie's daughter Layla comes into her own in this books and we watch as she turns from a gawky teenager ( hating her mother and idolising her father,) and transform into a beautiful strong woman in her own right.  Although the journey is far from smooth and Layla has some tough battles to fight.

When the trouble kicks off and Max head back over to England from his new life in Barbados the sparks between him and Annie fly and you are kept guessing until the bitter end, will they? won't they? get back together.

This book rivals any Martina Cole and is a thrilling page turned of crime, deceit and bloody violence all threaded together with strong, attractive woman and sexy London gangsters.  Jessie keeps you on the edge of your seat to the bitter end and kept me awake until the early hours desperately wanting to know the ending.

Would Max be able to follow the clues and save Annie in time? Is the evil and insane Redmond really back from the dead? or is it just all a figment of Annie's imagination?

10 out of 10 and a must read for any crime thriller fans.  To learn more about how Jessie began her writing career and how the character of Annie began click on the link below:

Friday, 23 August 2013

Me Time!

Phew it's been another busy week but it's finally Friday.  The kids have gone off with their dad for a long weekend leaving me some much needed me time!   It actually feels really strange as it's the longest they have ever been away.  Three whole nights.  I have very few plans for the weekend I'm just going to see what happens, chill out (yes, the wine is already open) and recharge my batteries.

Saying that my plan for a relaxing afternoon this afternoon went out the window when I visited my mum and dad, started chatting gardens and one thing led to another.  Before I knew it I was en-route to the garden centre, returning with a car boot full of plants.  So my restful afternoon was spent digging and potting and cutting the grass.  It's looking good now though and all my dead summer bedding plants have been removed and replaced with the new plants ready to give my garden some colour in the Autumn.

I'm looking forward to having a few nice sleep ins.  Hmm, well that's the plan but no doubt I will be awake at 6.30 am in the morning as normal and come tomorrow night I will be missing the kids like crazy.  Although having said that Mr Charlie has been testing my patience to the limit these last few weeks so the break, much as I love him, is well needed.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Nightmares, Accidents and the Daily Grind

Well my dreams of winning a share of the Euro millions jackpot didn't come to fruition.  We won a grand total of five pound something which shared between thirty odd of us probably wouldn't even cover my bus fare to the end of the road never mind my air fare to Greece.  Still I've paid my next pound and fingers crossed for Friday.

Instead of living the dream, I've been plodding on through my daily routine.  Up at 6:30am, showered, kids off to nanna's, straight to work, then home, collect kids, started the housework, cooked the tea, washed the pots, finished the housework, showered the kids and phew time to sit down.

It's actually been a day of accidents.  Faye falling off her bike again and having another bloody knee.  She has a matching pair now.  Charlie fell over his own feet and took the skin off his elbow and grazed all his side.  I think my kids need wrapping up in cotton wool.  The day started with Charlie getting his finger stuck inside a plastic ring that was meant to go around a drinking straw.  I'd just got into the shower and lathered my hair with shampoo when his panic stricken face popped around the shower curtain.  Waving his finger in the air, "Help mummy.  It's stuck"  Perfect timing Charlie.  So there I was trying soap and fairy liquid but there was nothing for it, with the tip of his finger starting to go blue, I grabbed the scissor and it was tough going but I eventually managed to free his finger.  All that excitement before 7am.

I have to say I'm shattered.  I hope I sleep better tonight than last night.  I was plagued by an awful nightmare that has actually bothered me all day.  I'm not normally a dreamer. In fact, I very rarely remember a dream but last nights dream was horrific.  So horrific in fact that I can't share it in here.

Anyway time for me to put my feet up and I'm thinking a large vodka might go down well to finish the day.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lottery Winner

Paying my pound into the syndicate for tonight's big Euro rollover draw the conversation soon turned to what we'd do if we won a million.  I certainly know what I would do.

I would be on the first plane out of here and heading to the glorious Greek Islands.  I'd buy a little white washed villa over-looking the sea and me and the kids would set up home.  I'd need four bedrooms one for each of us and a guest room for when the family come to stay.  The gardens are of vast importance probably more so than the villa itself. 

The grounds would surround the house and there would be a little outside area for my every need.  A large swimming pool with sun loungers would dominate the main area.  The kitchen would have large double doors opening onto the main eating area where a wrought idea dining table and matching chairs would be strategically placed amongst the olive trees.  Just around the corner would be a chill out area with large rattan sofa's ideal for putting your feet up with a good book and an ice cold glass of wine.  Finally, in a secluded area slightly away from the house would be space for me to write.  It must be over-looking the sea and be exclusively my space.

I may consider opening a little Greek Taverna.  Nothing too fancy.  A place for people to relax over a drink and meet with friends.  Maybe I'd serve a little food.  Traditional Greek of course.  I have to say I would have to employ a chef as cooking is not my forte.  I would, however, love to be stood behind my own bar.

Thinking back to the bar jobs I have had, it always brings a smile to my face.  I had the most brilliant times, the best laughs and met the most awesome people.  It's a time of my life that I always look back on very fondly and it's something I would love to experience again.

So fingers crossed our numbers come out tonight.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Review of Catcher Caught by Sarah Collins Honenberger.

This is the story of Daniel Landon, a fifteen year old diagnosed with leukaemia.  He's a bright, typical teenager that is just battling on and trying to live his teenage life, including hanging out with friends and more importantly girls.  There's a strong reference throughout the book to the character of Holden from J.D. Salinger's, Catcher in the Rye.  Having never read Catcher in the Rye it was a little tough to really understand some of the references to Holden, none the less, this didn't distract me from enjoying this book.

Daniels parents have a very hippie outlook on life, living on a houseboat for one.  The main issue is they refuse to go down the traditional methods of treatment ie, chemotherapy and radiotherapy instead choosing herbalist and natural methods.  At one point Daniel is taken across to Mexico for ground breaking natural treatments.  Is it really worth it?

This books throws up so many questions.  Should parents have the final say on what treatments a child does or does not receive?  The characters in this book are really well portrayed and give a good insight into how the disease effects not just Daniel but his immediate family and friends.

With the end near and Daniels health fading rapidly he runs away to New York.  Leaving a last will and testament he friend takes him to the station where Daniel says his farewell and begins his journey into the unknown. 

Collapsing in the street he wakes up in the hospital close to death and he begs the doctors for the previously declined chemotherapy.

I really enjoyed this book and loved Daniels character.  The only thing that spoilt it for me a little was the ending. throughout the book I'd routed for Daniel praying he'd get his miracle cure.  At the end he's taken for his treatment but what then...?  The book ends and I'm left wondering how Daniel's story ends.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


I'm back off my holiday.  Am I feeling relaxed? Nope.  Am I feeling refreshed? Nope.  Don't get me wrong I've had a brilliant time and spent loads of good times with the kids and my mum and dad and had some fun days out but it has been so tiring.  I don't feel like I have stopped for a week. 

We arrived home at 9.30am yesterday morning and within 10 minutes the washer was being put through it's paces and it was a conveyor belt of washing, drying, washing and drying.  Come 6pm and with nothing in for tea it was a trip to asda to get something quick and easy to eat along with loads of nibbles and a DVD for our feet up and chill out night.  I think I actually missed most of the film because as soon as my bum hit the sofa I was out for the count.

Today has been more washing.  A mountain of ironing to tackle followed by a tidy up of the garden and a mow of the lawn.  Those sneaky little weeds had snuck up thick and fast whilst I'd been away.  A quick trip to collect the beloved Guinea pigs (yes, they'd been on their holiday too) all finished off with a hover out of the car to remove the beach full of sand I'd managed to bring home.  Phew, finally come 4.30pm jobs complete, kids playing with friends, I grabbed my book and a coffee and headed to the sunny corner of the garden.  No sooner had I sat down when the black clouds appeared from nowhere leaving me shivering and heading indoors.  Typical.

We got up to loads of adventures this week.  Kite flying on the cliff tops, swimming, exploring the beaches and hunting for crabs at the lovely Robin Hood Bay.  We then headed off onto the countryside and watched the steam trains whilst relaxing over a lovely cappucino. Charlie was in his element with the trains.  It was just a shame that I didn't get to take him on one.  It wasn't a planned trip and it was a little late in the day but I will be returning to do that with him one day.

We had a trip to the Eden Camp War museum which Faye loved and got really into but Charlie hated every minute.  He refused to go into the exhibits after the third hut and when I did manage to get him into one he ended up nearly being hysterical and started feeling physically sick so maybe that trip wasn't such a good idea. 

We also had have a return trip to Flamingo land and it was an exhausting day of wandering around the zoo and checking out the roller coasters.  I'd bought myself a new camera before the holiday.  I do love taking photos but my old camera was a little slow and I decided to upgrade to a more expensive model and I got to put it to the test with my wildlife photos which I have to say I'm quite proud of.

So it's back to work tomorrow and to be honest I'm looking forward to the rest.

Friday, 9 August 2013

The shopping is done.  The washing and ironing is done.  The housework is done.  All jobs are ticked off the list.  The cases are packed and there is nothing left to do but chill out with a ice cold bottle of wine and wait for tomorrow when it's wah hey holiday time!

It's all been a bit last minute but got myself and the kids packed and organised in just a couple of days and I'm really looking forward to spending some quality, fun times with the kids and my family.  Unlike last year we aren't jetting off to some exotic climate, we are staying in this country on the good old British coast in a caravan.  Fingers crossed the weather stays nice but whatever the weather I've packed for every eventuality.  My car will be packed to bursting but what fun we will have.

I have to be honest I need this break.  This last 6 months have been fairly horrendous and I need a clean break to just relax, have fun and forget about everything.  I'm looking at this as a new start.  Hopefully when I get back I will be refreshed, recharged and back on form and ready to take on the world again.  Wipe the slate clean and move forward with some very big plans.

My writing has been suffering of late as well, so with some time away I hope to make a start on some new pieces and get back on track shortly.  Speaking of which I had a very unexpected e-mail yesterday regarding my book reviews on the blog and have been offered a pre-release copy of a very well known authors new book to review, so that was all very exciting and watch this space for that one. 

That's all from me tonight the wine is calling.  I will be back in a week with all the news and antics from my jollies.


Monday, 5 August 2013

Review of Ignorance by Michele Roberts

I didn't enjoy this book at all.  There aren't many books that I give up on but this one came really, really close.  I did persevere and read it to the end but the even the ending was awful.  The story just stopped and left far to many loose ends.  Nothing seemed to be resolved.  How did it all end for the characters?

I've read numerous good reviews on this and was sorely disappointed.  The actual story idea sounded really good.  Two little girls are thrown together  in war time France and through the occupation of the Germans their lives are bound together.

The characters just didn't connect with me at all.  The book flitted from place to place with no sense of real continuation.  I read pages without really following what was going on. The chapters were few and far between and there was no speech marks  which made following the dialogue very difficult. 

Sorry, but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tarot Cards and the Future.

I took the plunge tonight and did something I have wanted to do for years.  I had my cards read.  I've always been a little on the sceptical side. I'm not sure if I believe in all the life after death and whether cards can really tell us anything but I have to say that after tonight I maybe see things slightly differently.

There were a couple of random things at the start about a new house, possibly decorating, moving house or building a conservatory.  Well, at the moment none of those things are planned but who knows?  Then she mentioned a new car, or possibly tyres.  Well, my air pressure needs checking so I suppose that did cross my mind today.

The fallings out of the past week were clear to see and one of the first things she said was I'd told someone who had been trying to boss me about some home truths which quite shocked them as they were not expecting the reaction they received.  That was certainly the case on Tuesday.

Then we moved onto my dads health which hasn't been so good of late.  She brought up things that until I spoke to him tonight even I didn't know but the outlook is after a really roller coaster of a ride the future is looking a lot more settled, which was nice to hear.

I then moved onto my writing.  Obviously I want to know if anything will ever come off and if ultimately I will make a success of it.  The cards were positive and the there's good indication of success although I may need to think about taking it a new direction.  Then she got the crystal which also strongly answered my question so I was very pleased with that.

Saving the best till last I asked about relationships.  Basically I'm going to have someone special walking by my side, I may have already met said person or I will shortly.  The ex is not going to like it but there is a strong indication of a new romance. 

My final cards were of harmony, balance and love.  Couldn't really ask for more.  All in all it was a very enjoyable experience and one I would like to repeat.  Watch this space and I'll keep you posted on any writing success of new romances that come my way.