March 2019 Wrap Up

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Well these wrap-ups were supposed to be a monthly event and that hasn’t happened.  Life is just too busy sometimes but a lot has happened in March and I wanted to share it with you!

Bookish Events

On 5th March I was lucky enough to attend the 4th Estate Live Exclusive event on the 17th floor of the News Building in London.  Featuring 5 authors (mostly of non-fiction works), they were interviewed by Sarah Shaffi and they all sounded fascinating.

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The books I picked up from the 4th Estate Event

On 20th March I attended the Gollancz preview evening.  Previewing their upcoming releases including Stephen Chbosky’s new novel Imaginary Friend and V V James’s new book Sanctuary which is pitched as Big Little Lies with witches (exciting!)  We also heard from Ben Aaronovitvh and about how he bribes booksellers of the UK with alcohol to promote his Rivers of London series!  As part of this we got to try some fruity vodka cocktails and I’m pleased to report they were all delicious.

Wrap Up

I’ve read a total of 9 books this month – I’d committed to a lot of blog tours this month and I just about managed them all.  Going forwards though I hope to do less, and read more of the books on my shelves!

40139008 Keep Her Close by M J Ford

When a young woman goes missing from Jesus College, Oxford, DS Josie Masters is plunged into a world of panic as fear grips the city. Along with Thames Valley Police’s newest recruit, the handsome DS Pryce, Josie must act fast – and when two more students disappear from Oriel and Somerville colleges, she realises the killer is sending her a deadly message in a cruel game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?
In a desperate race against the clock, Josie hunts for the kidnapper, and soon discovers he could be a lot closer to home than she’d ever thought…
How did I get it? My copy was kindly gifted to me by Avon for the blog tour

41574674 The Shadow Between Us by Carol Mason

When Olivia moves to Port Townsend, her marriage is floundering, and her life is in pieces. She doesn’t know if things with her husband Mark are truly over, or quite why the phone call she longs for on her daughter’s birthday will never come.
Joining a letter-writing club seems like a harmless decision. But when she meets Ned, an ex-soldier badly wounded in Afghanistan, this unlooked-for friendship revives unexpected emotions and memories she’d rather forget.
Can Olivia find the courage to confront what she’s hiding from and finally begin to heal the wounds that have torn her life apart? From the bestselling author of After You Left comes a story about finding hope in second chances.
How did I get it? My copy was kindly gifted to me by ED PR for the blog tour

41210701 The Mum Who Got Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson

When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, She’s never felt more alive.
That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?
How did I get it? My copy was kindly gifted to me by Avon for the blog tour

43266075 A Gift for Dying by M J Arlidge

Adam Brandt is a forensic psychologist, well used to dealing with the most damaged members of society. But he’s never met anyone like Kassie. The teenager claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die. Obviously, Adam knows Kassie must be insane. But then a serial killer hits the city. And only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next. Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her. He just doesn’t realise how deadly his faith might prove…
How did I get it? I received an ARC from the publishers for the blog tour

39873226 Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Maddie and Ian’s romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son, Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.
From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.
How did I get it? I received an ARC from Quercus

41460984 Wildflower Park Part 2 A Budding Romance by Bella Osborne

Part two of this series continues with Anna making her way through life, newly single. Ex-boyfriend Liam who is back on the scene working with Anna’s company, admits to her at the team building session that he has made a mistake and wants her back – but not in a romantic, genuine way. To make things easy for her, hunky American colleague Hudson is on hand to pretend to be her boyfriend to get him off her back. Anna, believing Hudson to be gay confides in him and starts to get on with him really well.
Anna also has an ongoing flirtation with a mystery male who after a mistaken text, has started chatting to her and suggests they might meet.
Meanwhile, Anna’s best friend Sophie, is still suffering. Pregnant for the third time, with demon children and a next to useless husband, she continues to obsess over Hudson.
How did I get it? How did I get it? I download a copy from NetGalley

42659915 Wildflower Park Part 3 Oopsy Daisy by Bella Osborne

This novella is part 3 of a 4 part series set around Anna as she comes to terms with splitting up with her fiancée just a year before her wedding. She moves to a new flat on the edge of a pretty and peaceful communal garden known as Wildflower Park, to be near her best friend Sophie.
At the end of Part 2 Sophie has moved in with Anna, having left useless husband Dave. Anna is a little alarmed by this turn of events and speaks to Dave to try and encourage him to change his ways. Dave invites Sophie round for dinner – the house is clean and tidy and they come up with a plan for him to do his fair share around the house and with the kids. Sophie moves back home and is much happier, preparing for the birth of child number 3.
Meanwhile, Anna is still seeing Connor (the mystery texter) although there doesn’t really seem to be a spark there. Hudson is still on the scene too and hatches a plan for them to go to New York together – Anna has always wanted to go and when a job opportunity comes up he thinks she will be perfect for it. Only trouble is, Anna has a phobia of heights and is scared of flying so is in two minds whether she should go for it.
How did I get it? How did I get it? I download a copy from NetGalley

40723742 The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es

Little Lien wasn’t taken from her Jewish parents – she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es – the grandson of Lien’s foster parents – knew he needed to find out why.
His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences – so crucial in defining us – can also be redefined.
How did I get it? I brought it from Daunt Books

44431815 Nobody’s Wife by Laura Pearson

Emily and Josephine have always shared everything. They’re sisters, flatmates, and best friends. It’s the two of them against the world.
When Emily has the perfect wedding, and Josephine finds the perfect man, they know things will change forever. But nothing can prepare them for what, or who, one of them is willing to give up for love.
Four people. Three couples. Two sisters. One unforgivable betrayal.
How did I get it? I received an ARC from Agora Books for the blog tour

Movies

Before kids, my husband and I would be at the cinema every week, taking it in turns to choose what film we wanted to see.  Since kids, we have seem our fair share of cartoons!  But now the kids are older (12 & 17) we can now see pretty much what we want either with or without them. So here are the films we have seen this month

Captain Marvel

untitledWe are a family of lovers of the Marvel Universe and I was really excited to see Captain Marvel, the first Marvel film to feature a female lead as it’s main character!  Telling the story of how she went from being Carol Danvers to a Kree warrior to Captain Marvel, this is set in the early 1990s.  The special effects were great (Nick Fury and Agent Colson looked so much younger) and the soundtrack was fab too!  I thought Bree Larson was a great choice for the role and now we are all REALLY excited for End Game in April.

Us

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We saw this one without the kids!  This is one I didn’t know much about but after seeing an interview with it’s star, Lupita Nyong’o and then watching the trailer we thought we’d give it a go!
Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four  strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. The family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them.
I really enjoyed this – I won’t give anything away as there are quite a few surprises but it is creepy and tense and the acting, especially Nyong’o is superb.

Looking forward to April, I’m hoping to see Dumbo, Pet Sematary and of course End Game!

Personal stuff

I’ve never really spoken about personal stuff and up to now have kept my on line presence very much about the books.  But this month has been quite stressful and I would like to share it with you if that is OK?  (If not, you’ve read all the book stuff so you have my permission to leave!)

First the good stuff!  My youngest son performed in his first ever professional stage production and he played the part of Doodle in Bugsy Malone (he is one of Dandy Dan’s gang.)  They rehearsed so hard (for several months) and it was excellent.  I saw 3 out of 4 performances and I think I have a little star on my hands!  He was a natural on the stage and enjoyed every minute.  It was quite a tiring week with lots of late nights for him but it was worth it and I think he would like to continue to perform.

It was also his birthday and we took him and several friends to play laser wars and because they had the venue to themselves, had a great time.

Unfortunately, I had eye problems at the beginning of the month which made reading a little tricky which was a bit of a problem with all the blog tours I had committed to.  It started feeling irritated at work but I wear contact lenses and can’t see without them so had to leave them in.  Several days later it was painful and sensitive to light so I took myself off to the eye hospital who told me I had an ulcer on my eye!  Two types of eye drops and within a few days I was back to normal.  I’m being more careful with my contact lenses and not wearing them quite as much.  It made me realise how much I value my sight!

My older son started treatment for a condition he has called CRMO (Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis).  This is a recent diagnosis for him after several years of MRI scans and blood tests and constant pain in his thigh.  The consultants decided he should start a course of Pamidronate Infusions – these take place every 3 months usually over a course of 2-3 days.  Unfortunately, he had a pretty nasty reaction and was quite poorly and was in more pain than he had been before.  He is starting to feel more like himself now and we have been told future infusions are usually better tolerated so fingers crossed.

16 comments

  1. With all that you had going on this month I’m not sure how you managed to read so much! But sometimes it can be an escape….but not if you have an ulcer on your eye? Wow. I don’t think I every gave thought to an ulcer in your eye. Glad the drops helped and please be sure to take care of yourself and eyes.

    Applause for your youngest on his performance. All his hard work (and others) paid off in what sounds like some great performances. Hope your other son will fair well with his treatments. Poor guy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really happy I found your blog. I think it’s wonderful to not only get book recommendations but to learn about the person who is sharing them. Thanks for sharing the personal stuff too. I hope the treatment is a huge success. I am sure your TBR pile is never-ending but I thought I would share a psychological thriller that I absolutely loved called “All the Broken People” by Amy Rivers (you can read more on the author’s website – http://www.amyrivers.com/). This book is fascinating in that it really puts the reader inside the heads of characters that are faced with traumatic and sometimes impossible situations and you find yourself empathizing with both the good guys and the bad guys. I can’t say a book has done that for me before. The main character, Alice, has a pretty dark childhood that she is forever trying to escape only to find that her seemingly perfect husband has a past full of secrets too. She goes to Georgia to take care of her mother-in-law who had a bad accident and finds herself and her family in a life-threatening situation. I hate to say the cliché “I couldn’t put it down” But I really couldn’t. If you check it out please let me know what you think! Happy Reading!

    Like

    • Thank you for your kind words and sorry for the late reply. I’m really trying to get a handle on my TBR at the moment but will add the book to my “want to read one day” shelf on goodreads! Thanks for getting in touch!

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