Saturday 11 November 2023

November Hello!


Hello. Long time no speak... again. Honestly, I wonder why I keep the blog sometimes but then I remember that I actually prefer writing bookish thoughts more than any of the social media stuff... Then I'm left pondering why I don't spend more time on here?! I blame my brain. I have a very short attention span these days so scrolling is easier than sitting still and thinking thoughts to translate into a blog post. 

Anyhoo! Hello! It's November! 
I cannot believe we're almost at the end of another year but since this is my favourite time of year I'm all excited about it.

I last updated on what's been going on in August (😱) so a quick run down of what's been going on since then:
πŸ‘‰I went to Florence (and attended RARE Florence whilst there.)
πŸ‘‰ The professor got promoted at work.
πŸ‘‰The little dude has started his second year of secondary school and got an award for academic excellence in his first year. 
πŸ‘‰I got a new hamster (named badgey) and he's pretty cool... (I still miss Bucky though. He was the bees-knees.)
πŸ‘‰I caught and recovered from Covid (for the second time.)
πŸ‘‰ My mum's health has been really poor and she's pending surgery but she'll hopefully be on the mend soon! Despite that, she was cleared to come visit for a couple of weeks which was lovely.
πŸ‘‰ It was my birthday! 38... that big 40 is creeping ever closer!
πŸ‘‰ I got a new laptop. It is super fast and super snazzy (not surprising considering my old laptop was over 8 years old) but like a new pair of boots, breaking in new technology takes time and I'm in the frustrating phase of having to reinstall things, save passwords, reset passwords, try and find where things are saved now... Bleh. It'll be good in a month or two once it's been suitably trained. πŸ˜‚
πŸ‘‰ I managed to snag tickets to RARE's 10 year anniversary in Edinburgh next year (Sept).
πŸ‘‰ We completely redecorated the little dude's bedroom... It's went from "little kid room" to "teenage room" but the general chaos it's caused with furniture and boxes and stuff being all over the house whilst we decorated, sold/gave away old furniture, moved in new furniture etc... Ugh. Glad we don't have to do that again any time soon!!
πŸ‘‰ I've been stuck in a never ending cycle of blanching and freezing vegetables from the garden... Not to mention making chutney, pickling beetroot and other forms of preservation. I love how the husband's hobby has forced me to learn a whole new set of life-skills so the abundance of stuff he hauls from his garden doesn't go to waste! 😢 

I'm sure there's other stuff that I could add in here but I've rambled enough... Whilst the blogging mood has stuck me, I plan on working up some posts today so hopefully the blog won't be barren for much longer! Also, I've managed to transfer my blog list to the new computer in an easy to click through format so I'll hopefully be hopping around and catching up with folks!
(Instagram is fun and all but I miss my original blog-buddies!!)

I'm not going to list off what I've been reading since August but instead share my birthday book haul!

I got the Waterstones special edition of Kerri Maniscalco's Throne of the Fallen and it is beautiful! Printed edges, gorgeous embossed cover underneath the dust jacket... I've always been a cover whore but I've never really been a book collector but with how pretty some of these editions are I may be flipping...

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
Between Us by Mhairi McFarlane
The Many Lives of Hadley Monroe by Bec McMaster
Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim
Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

In other news, it's the time of year for the HoHoHo Readathon hosted by Kimberly and I am, of course, going to take part! I think the HoHoHoRAT is my favourite of all of them every year!

 Who else is joining in?

Hope you're all well! 


Sunday 13 August 2023

Hello, Sunday Posters, it's been a long time!!


Hello Sunday Posters!!
Wow, it's been a long time... So long I can't even remember the last time! I bet there's a lot of new bloggers on the roll and others missing... But hopefully there's still a lot of familiar faces! 

So, what's been going on over here? 
Erm... Not much. My mental health is still on the merry rollercoaster it's been on for the last couple of years (I'm on a nice steady part of the ride atm). 
The kid has finished his first year of high school and is on summer break atm (driving me steadily more insane with his pre-teen shenanigans). I'm still in the same job (project managing STEM stuffs), the professor is still plodding away with his job... We still have 3 cats but we lost our Bucky boy hamster months ago and I miss the little nut something fierce. 
Summer is here and I've been hating it (naturally) although we've been going on some day trips and what not which has been fun.

I attended RARE London back in July and met a load of authors (both new and known) and now I'm on the countdown to RARE Florence in September!
I'm so excited for Florence... We haven't been out of the UK as a family since 2017(ish) so a break is LONG overdue! While in Italy we'll be enjoying both Florence and Pisa and even though it's only a month away it stills feels like it's too long to wait!

Despite being completely erratic at posting here on the blog over the past few months... or maybe that should be years? I've been trying to be active over on Instagram with reading updates, reviews and the like. If you have an account, and want to keep up with me, that's the place to do it!

Oh yeah, and I deleted all twitter accounts - personal and blog. Mr Musk has lost his flippin' marbles and the whole "X" thing was the final straw for me.

Throughout August I've managed to read a grand total of ZERO books, so far!
What can I say, I'm on a roll. πŸ˜‚

In all seriousness, I'm being such a moody moo mood reader at the moment... I currently have 6 different books at various stages of completion. Ideally, I'd like to finish all of them by the end of August but who knows what I'll end up doing. 


Friday 11 August 2023

Bad Luck Charm by Julie Johnson



As owner of an occult shop in downtown Salem, Massachusetts she’s accustomed to all things odd and otherworldly. But when a bloody animal sacrifice is left as a warning outside her place of business, the police seem to think Gwen might be the target of some truly evil-doers. Suddenly, her sunny existence is riddled with danger in the form of crazed pagans, rogue employees, and nefarious henchmen. And there’s only one man who can protect her until the storm passes...


Not in his love life, and definitely not in his line of work. Despite the ever-present oddities of his hometown, the private investigator and acclaimed police consultant prides himself on staying objective in every case that comes across his desk. That all changes when Gwendolyn — a woman who gets under his skin like no other — finds herself in the crosshairs of dangerous criminals. Graham is determined to make her safe, even if her presence tests his steely resolve. But as their mutual dislike sizzles into unexpected attraction… he becomes even more determined to make her something else:


3.5/5 Stars

Bad Luck Charm is a quirky romantic suspense / mystery set against a magical backdrop that left me confused as to whether or not magic is supposed to actually be real in this world or not... Either way, one thing is for sure, if magic is actually a thing in this world, Gwen doesn't possess it. What she DOES possess, however, is her grandmother's witchy shop in Salem alongside super savvy business acumen which (when combined with her sass) was enough for me to like her.

The whole book focuses around a series of weird ritualistic sacrifices which puts Gwen at the top of the intended victim list and throws her into the protective clutches of her childhood crush turned adulthood "enemy" Graham.

The push/pull between Gwen and Graham was initially delicious (how Gwen didn't know the snark between them was foreplay, I'll never know!) but it went on for so long that it got exhausting before they finally got it together... And just when you think all is good on that front Gwen is a pain in the ass again. But! Once together *together* there is no third act break up which was great as I really wouldn't have survived anymore drama/acrimony between those two...

The story was engaging but it would have read a lot better had it not been quite so long! 500 odd pages was a bit excessive considering a lot of it was relationship drama (that I've already mentioned was exhausting) and the story really wasn't that complex. That said, I didn't work out who the killer was until embarrassingly late in the story so that was genuinely fun!

I absolutely loved the setting, the witchy vibes, the history, Salem... Johnson really brought the environment to life... Plus, Graham gave me serious Henry Cavill vibes from his description and the supporting characters were interesting enough that I'm up for reading the next book in this series.

All in all, a good addition to the spooky season reading list, I'd say!

I know it's only August but I don't care... Who is getting excited for autumn/spooky season already?!


Monday 31 July 2023

Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

A novel of terrible first impressions, hilarious second chances, and the joy in finding your perfect match.

Dr. Briana Ortiz’s life is seriously flatlining. Her divorce is just about finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and that promotion she wants? Oh, that’s probably going to the new man-doctor who’s already registering eighty-friggin’-seven on Briana’s “pain in my ass” scale. But just when all systems are set to hate, Dr. Jacob Maddox completely flips the game . . . by sending Briana a letter.

And it’s a really good letter. Like the kind that proves that Jacob isn’t actually Satan. Worse, he might be this fantastically funny and subversively likeable guy who’s terrible at first impressions. Because suddenly he and Bri are exchanging letters, sharing lunch dates in her “sob closet,” and discussing the merits of freakishly tiny horses. But when Jacob decides to give Briana the best gift imaginable—a kidney for her brother—she wonders just how she can resist this quietly sexy new doctor . . . especially when he calls in a favor she can’t refuse.

This is one of three Abby Jimenez books I own and despite some niggles I'm ready to jump straight into another one!

Yours Truly captured my attention and held it from the first chapter to the last. A full day reading binge and I regret nothing.

Jacob and Briana were awesome together! They get off to such a rocky start full of misunderstandings but then the letters start and you just fall in love with them together...

I loved the banter, the getting to know you elements, and the hospital setting.

The first half was awesome and definitely heading towards a sparkly 5 stars from me... Then the second half hit and Briana's issues started to irritate me. The angst, stress and annoyance caused by the lack of communication (mostly on Briana's side but not exclusively) drove me demented... And just when I thought that the worst was over, and she was going to stop torturing the sweet gorgeous cinnamon roll that is Jacob, Briana lost her fckn mind! Like... what the actual hell?! 😣 I almost hurled the kindle across the room. (Vague, I know, but... spoilers.)

I understand the trauma she'd shoved down and ignored but she was so wilfully, ridiculously, stupidly illogical in thinking that Jacob could ever be anything like her crapbag ex or her worthless father. Just... Ugh. I wanted to shake her. Shout at her. Make her STOP sabotaging her life and happiness (and Jacobs too!!) But alas... All I could do is keep reading and eventually get to the happy ever after that mostly made up for the drama-based headache the second half of the book caused.

All in all, I appreciated the fact the book covered physical and mental health issues in a realistic manner and despite being an integral part of the story they didn't make the story too heavy or hard to read.

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