Sunday, 30 September 2012

Getting Back to Work



*Flumps into computer chair.*

Well. That was certainly a bumpy kinda week!


Back in the hot seat...

It's sooooo good to be writing a post again! It's felt like forever!

As many of you will know, my year's maternity leave came to an end and I was back to work on Monday. My first week back to work was... Hard.
I am only going back to 20 hours a week, but believe me, this is more than enough and more than I would like to be doing. But "needs must" as they say and, with a mortgage to pay and hungry mouths to feed then this is just the way of it.

Going back to work was always going to be difficult  for me. I knew that I was going to have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I want to be out there earning a living, I have always worked for what I have, but then on the other, leaving my own children (and so young) to work with other peoples' leaves me feeling rather odd.

I also hadn't been realistic about what the impact of going to work was going to have on the me-time I had been carving for myself during maternity leave... I'm just physically and mentally exhausted. So much so that by Thursday, I hadn't read a line of my current novel, been anywhere near my running shoes and I hadn't even managed to get a single note/idea down for my writing projects... Withdrawals? You bet!

Confession? I was going to write up this post yesterday, but my own work-in-progress-hoping-to-be-a-novel-someday was calling and I couldn't help but go with it. It felt glorious to sink back into the mind space of my story. Finally. Some normality! (I'm in the midst of re-working chapter three - it really does suck!)



My week:

Monday came with butterflies in the stomach and pangs of guilt that threatened to crush me like a bug under a shoe... Okay. I'm open to suggestion for similes a little less gross but with the same kinda impact...

After a shaky start leaving the house, I was fine as I walked from my car and through the doors. That was until my colleague looked at me with the same sympathy and concern one would give to a kitten in the rain and that just did it. I ended up an embarrassing, blubbering mess!

It was all her fault of course.
Yeah. Way to go on sucking it up and getting on with things Schez!



But my co-workers were great and let me settle in slowly. It helped that I could flex a bit of the creative muscle and, I was also busy getting to know my new colleagues and children in the nurture group I am now supporting.

When I arrived home, there was no gushy reunion. Both my little lads were busy in their own games with Nan-Nan. Cheers then boys!
( Well, at least I know there are both happy. It would have been so much worse if they had been distressed by my absence)

When the alarm went off on Tuesday morning, it was dark and chilly. It also came with the following realisation: Oh good god, it wasn't a dream. I'm actually back to this...

Wednesday I was home ill. Trust me, you really don't wanna know, but it also must be some kind of "How quick can you get ill after your first day back at work?" record...

Thursday was just stressful. Maybe I shouldn't have gone in, but some weird, determined work ethic makes me do crazy things, so I found myself back in there and praying for home time.

Lucky for me, Friday's are spent at home with my boys. So that wasn't too bad. I think Friday's are going to be even more precious from here on in...

I just can't seem to shake how tired I feel. As soon as the kids were in bed, that was it. I was out like a light! I actually managed to get out for a run this morning for the first time since Sunday and it was hopeless. I couldn't get around my usual circuit without slowing to a brisk walk several times.Maybe it's just the combination not running for a while, being poorly midweek and generally being absolutely shattered?!

I  need to establish better routines so I can reclaim my me-time. All I really want to do at the moment is sleep!

Here's hoping that things get a bit easier and I get some routine established!
Happy weekend peeps!




Monday, 24 September 2012

Beating the Sunday Night Blues

Oh yes, I have them bad. The Sunday night blues. Probably worse than I have had them before. (I feel like the maiden tied to the stake as a sacrifice to the Kraken... Oooh, dramaaaaa!)
 
Source

A whole years has passed so tomorrow I go back to work. I am so, so nervous. I can't believe the time has gone so quickly. I feel awful that I am leaving my children to return to work. It doesn't seem fair somehow. However, I am blessed to have a wonderful mum-in-law who can't wait for me to go to work so she can spend some time with the bambinos! I know they are in safe hands which is comforting at least.

Funny Weekend Ecard: The best cure for the Sunday night blues is a Dirty Martini. Luckily I've had five so I don't even know what day it is anymore.

I know lots of people suffer from Sunday night blues; the weekend slipping away and the return to the Monday grindstone as it were, can leave one feeling a little flat.

So; here's what I did today that helped to cheer me up - maybe you could add some more in the comments box -lets banish the blues!

1) Hugs! - Never underestimate the power of a hug. It can really help. My boys gave me lots today.... I wonder if it's because on some level they can tell mummy isn't so happy today?! Grab your nearest and dearest and hug it out!

hug by johnny_automatic - from



2) Retail therapy - it doesn't have to be much, something small to cheer you up. Today I bought myself a bag of jelly beans and played "Guess the flavour". It's a tasty game, you really oughta try it...

Source

3) Starbucks - I  cant help it, love it! I still have to have decaf as I am still nursing; but it's still just as delicious!
A cupful of bokeh.
Source

4) Read a book - Seriously! It's great escapism. you can slip into a completely different life and time and have an adventure!


Pile of Books by J_Alves - A high stack of books, drawn in Inkscape.
 
 
5) Get Active - Technically, Sunday is the fay of rest, but a little bit of motivation can help boost the happy levels. It can be anything, running, walking, cycling, dancing around like a loon to your favourite tunes even; just get on it! Today I went for a jog. Though it was hard to get going, but by the end, I was feeling much better.; even more so when I discovered I had beaten my personal best!



bike by Machovka -


6) Be prepared - It sounds obvious but getting everything sorted and prepared for Monday will help you feel more relaxed and you will enjoy your weekend a lot more. Thinking about Monday is the last thing you want to do, but leaving it to the last minute is a stress you can do without.

list / liste by lmproulx - A lineart of a list
 
7) Have things to look forward to - Having things to look forward to gives you something to aim for. It maybe something special for Monday night tea, or maybe meeting up with a fried for example. Just give yourself something nice that you can look forward to getting to by the end of the day.

calendar by CoD_fsfe - Calendar/todo/deadline icon Originally developed for www.studenti.unige.it


What do you do on a Sunday to beat those blues?

Wish me luck for tomorrow - Have a great week everyone!









 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

REVIEW:


Spur of the Moment
By Candace Bowen Early

~ Adult fiction, Historical romance, Time travel ~


Paperback, 350 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Rhemalda Publishing (first published January 29th 2012)
 
* * * * out of five stars
 
 
 
 


The Blurb: (Via Goodreads)

Best-selling author Bronwyn Chase never quite fit in with the 21st century. On a publicity trip to New York City, a mysterious woman claiming to be a mystic from Bronwyn’s past gives her a silver knights spur. Asked to save Euric, a man she never knew existed, Bronwyn finds herself transported to 12th-century Cornwall. Landing at the feet of an entranced Euric, she discovers the instant connection she feels to him comes from a midsummer rite gone horribly awry on the eve of her birth. Forced to face a dark wicce who plans to use Euric for her own nefarious ends, Bronwyn summons her own mystical birthright to free him.

My Review

I'm just going to say it how it is: I reeeeeeeeeeeeally enjoyed this book; probably more so than the sequel.

I instantly liked Bronwyn and thought her character was very well developed. I also felt that the author cared very much for her too.
There was room in the story for Bronwyn to grow; we see how she deals with her past circumstances and also, how she deals with an agent who manipulates and uses her for her own gain. Her realisations, her strengths and her weaknesses.

Her voice was easy to accept and follow which kept the pages turning.

Thinking about it, I pretty much liked all the characters; which were well developed and interesting- especially Albert. You definitely need someone like him around!
Even the characters who you were not meant to like were well written. Janelle was perfect as a power mad, crazy bitch! Some the confrontations between her and Bronwyn were wonderfully charged and exciting! (C'mon Bronwyn -Kick her evil little butt!)

What really stood out for me with this story, is how the author dealt with Bronwyn's going back in time; I found myself giggling at points - there were some genuinely humorous  moments; especially concerning language and understanding form both parties!

As many of you have already read, I am not a huge romance fan, but the story between Bronwyn and Euric was wonderful to watch unfurl. Sometimes, romantic scenes can make me cringe as I feel they are overdone and "movie" style. "Cheesy" But I felt the author was very careful with the love and romance element. (which, pleasantly, resulted in my keeping lunch down! Hehe!) The author was very good at leading the reader down a road with description and leaving it just at the right stage for the reader to fill in the blanks. The interactions, thoughts and feelings were well described and believable.

There came a point  in which the story felt like it had finished... With 40% of the story left to go; I did wonder how the author was going to continue.. But I wasn't disappointed; in fact it was very satisfying and answered a lot of my questions about her future with Euric.

All this was set in the beautiful, historic and mystic Tinatgel in Cornwall. This was a wonderful story to get lost in.





Friday, 21 September 2012

Review:


Wicked Embers
By Candace Bowen Early

~ Adult fiction, Paranormal romance, Fantasy,~
 
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Rhemalda Publishing
 
 
* * * * out of 5 stars
 
 
 
 
 
The Blurb: (via Goodreads)
 
It’s been one year since Bronwyn Chase left the modern world behind, and an ancient evil is stirring in Cornwall ….

Bree Peltier is a skeptic. She doesn’t believe in mystics or witches. Between keeping up with her university studies and falling in love with her archaeology professor, her life is complicated enough. When a vengeful spirit possesses her childhood friend and goes on a killing spree, she is forced to re-examine her beliefs. The spirit is out to destroy the descendants of Bronwyn, and Bree is the only one who can stop it. If she believes.

Bree is a mystic. If she doesn’t embrace her birthright, she could lose everyone she has ever loved. If she does embrace it, she could lose her soul mate.

My Review:

Note: Won an ebook copy through "Now is Gone"

Erm, I have a confession - This is the sequel to "Spur of the moment"...  Just this one arrived first. So; whilst I was waiting for that one to arrive, I thought I would just take a quick look at this one.. maybe a page or so to see how it read and I erm, didn't stop reading! So I have kind of done this a bit backwards but I think it says a lot for the authors writing style.
There were references to the previous book, but it doesn't mean that you have read the first one to be able to fully appreciate the story; it was a solid piece of work in it's own right (Phew - good job really after my impatience to get on and read it!)

In the first sitting I think I managed about 40% which is a huge amount to someone who's reading time is in small windows; the pages just kept turning - the story flowed and it was very easy to settle into the pace of the book.
I thought the characters were well done, though Bree (protagonist) did irritate me at points. I know she was an emotional character and a lot happened to her to warrant her reactions, but it seemed to me she was crying through the whole book.

I absolutely loved that the author set the book in Cornwall, and in the beautiful Tintagel. It's probably one of my most favourite places - St Nectan's Glen is beautiful. So I could place the characters in their setting. There is a lot of magic, history and folk law surrounding the place so this was a fantastic setting for the story.

I am not a huge fan of romance, I am wary of it in books as I feel it can be over done, but personally, the romance works very well in this. 'Reece' not only acts as the love interest but a source of strength for Bree which helps move the story along.

The ideas and concepts for the story are interesting; I particularly liked the way the author explored the ideas of souls and the after life.

The ending is a bit... Well I don't want to say anything to spoil it but it wrapped things up and was actually quite satisfying.

I had trouble deciding how to rate this book. I was swaying between a three and a four star rating as there were parts that didn't quite flow or irritated me. I settled for a four overall as it touched on very interesting ideas and was generally a good read.

I would recommend this to people who like a paranormal romance and, are looking for something entertaining that that can be read quite quickly.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tell Me Something Tuesday #12

 













It's been awhile, I've missed some weeks of TMST but I've finally got my act together and I am joining in this week... Hurrah! And not a moment too soon as Cambria will be taking a break from TMST in October.

For those who don't know, Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Cambria Herbert.

Each week Cambria thinks us up a question for us to answer and we all post our answers and link up. Simple; but a wonderful way for bloggers and readers to get to know each other.

On with the Q!




This weeks question:


Do you like to read stand alone novels – why or why not? What is the last stand alone novel that you read?

My answer:

Oh yes sir-ree I do!

I love to read. That's the long and short of it. The only thing that matters, is if the author can reach me through their characters, voice and story.

It's strange. Before blogging, I would read mostly stand-alone novels, but since blogging and getting to read some very interesting and up-to-date booky-type blogs, I have more time for, and interest in, series books.

That being said, I sometimes have trouble with books as a series. They can be great to start with only to fizzle out, or the writer can seem to "run out of steam". I know that I will probably get beaten with a book for saying this, but "The Hunger Games "was teetering on the edge of this. (Covers head awaiting flung paper backs)
Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed them, but by the end of book three, boy was I glad to get to the conclusion.

Sometimes a trilogy can really take a nose dive. And I mean, a really bad one. (My brother can vouch for this, he was reading a fantasy series, now I think they may end up as door stops or coasters....) They can start off great, have a long, boring middle and a lame, unbelievable ending. Thankfully, I haven't got any examples to date, it's either that, or the memory is so horrendous that I've blocked it out...

Source
You can find some real gems in stand alone titles. I like that you have the beginning, middle and end in your hands all at one and not have to wait for the next instalment. It's almost as bad when you are watching a season and they end on a cliff hanger - and you know that you have to wait a whole year for the next bit. I'm not the most patient of people...

The most recent stand alone novel was Inkarna by Nerine Dorman (read all about it here)
It. was. Awesome! Loved it. It was something completely different an the author concluded it beautifully.




This is what I think of when I think of great, stand alone titles that I have enjoyed.

 







Monday, 17 September 2012

On My Kindle

I thought I would do a fast-booky-type-post, dedicated to what's new on my Kindle (Maybe this will turn into a regular meme thing, but I don't like to run with something until I feel I can commit properly...

I have been collecting some interesting titles for Kindle (and probably some not so great ones, but you have to take a risk to find the great freebies) and so I have some interesting titles to share with you guys; but what better place to start then ebooks that I have won?!

happy black moon outrayj by 10binary - With the colors around it. It's easy to see why the face is happy.

I know, I know; it's rather like tooting ones horn, but hey, this doesn't happen to me very often so I'm ready to toot a bit...

Toot-Toot-Tooooooot!

I was lucky to win these over at Now is Gone; run by the lovey Katy Zozaeva (go check it out, if you love books then you will certainly enjoy taking a look around!)


Three interesting titles that I am really looking forward to getting into... Next question... When am I going to get time to read them all???

Ah well, I'm sure I will squeeze them in somewhere... Sleep is not that important right?!


Best-selling author Bronwyn Chase never quite fit in with the 21st century. On a publicity trip to New York City, a mysterious woman claiming to be a mystic from Bronwyn’s past gives her a silver knights spur. Asked to save Euric, a man she never knew existed, Bronwyn finds herself transported to 12th-century Cornwall. Landing at the feet of an entranced Euric, she discovers the instant connection she feels to him comes from a midsummer rite gone horribly awry on the eve of her birth. Forced to face a dark Wicca who plans to use Euric for her own nefarious ends, Bronwyn summons her own mystical birthright to free him.




Bree Peltier is a sceptic. She doesn’t believe in mystics or witches. Between keeping up with her university studies and falling in love with her archaeology professor, her life is complicated enough. When a vengeful spirit possesses her childhood friend and goes on a killing spree, she is forced to re-examine her beliefs. The spirit is out to destroy the descendants of Bronwyn, and Bree is the only one who can stop it. If she believes.



Lust. Anger. Hate. Desire. Love. Happiness. Joy. iFeel.

Liv Christianni is isolated, alone, tortured and withdrawn, saddled with the torrential downpour of the world’s emotions. Accepting of her providence Liv has lost all hope, until one day fate steps in and spins the course of her life like a spiralling top. Hunted by a Spirit Stalker, Liv is forced to gain control of herself and her surroundings, threatened by the touch of her immortal love; she must find a way to survive both physically and emotionally as her reality is shaken up like dice on a Craps table. Can she find the courage to accept her true self? Can she love unconditionally cognisant of the condemning consequences? Can she rise from the ashes to become the person she was always meant to be?




*Reviews will follow soon guys, any you like the look of/going to add to your own reading list? Anyone read any of these? What did you think?!
Thanks for taking a look!*


 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

REVIEW


Inkarna

By Nerine Dorman

~ Supernatural, Mythology, Horror, Occult, Reincarnation~

Paperback, First, 297 pages
Published June 15th 2012 by Dark Continents Publishing

* * * * * out of five stars


The Blurb (via Goodreads)

Ashton Kennedy wasn't a nice guy. He cheated on his girlfriend, knocked up a powerful drug lord's sister, and abused vast quantities of illegal narcotic substances. Whoever ran him over with a big shiny SUV was doing the world a favour. His very male, tattooed body is the last place Elizabeth Rae Perry--a member of an ancient Egyptian cult--expected to reincarnate in, instead of the three-year-old girl she'd been promised.

Not only must she now come to terms with her new existence in the body of a disagreeable man, and clean up the mess he made of his life, she also has to unravel the mystery of why House Adamastor's chapter house is standing empty and find a way to protect a dangerous secret she had no idea she was supposed to keep. As if fate couldn’t deal her another blow, she has also attracted the attention of a malicious and potentially dangerous ghost. And to top it all off, she must deal with the consequences of finding love in a most unexpected place.



My Review

Wow.

This was a total shot in the dark; take a risk read. I have just joined NetGalley and was looking through the catalogue. Inkarna had an interesting looking cover and said “read now” ... So I did!

The opening line reads:

“ Tomorrow will be the first time that I die...“

Result? Hooked.

I started reading this with no background knowledge of book or author. I didn’t read the blurb and I didn’t allow myself to read any other reviews. This was just me and how the book made me feel whilst reading it.

There are many strands to the story. The obvious journey to discover why Lizzie hasn’t woken up in the body of the girl that was originally planned, the angry ghost of Ash (wouldn’t you be slightly ticked if someone was in your body?) The romance between Ash (Lizzy) and Marlise and add to that the background of Egyptian mythology and an inscription that could see souls severed and lost forever, well, then you have a wonderful concoction for a story that sits with you long after you have finished the last page!

Initially, it took me a little while to find my footing within the story. The language and style of voice made me feel that I might not be able to find my pace etc, but as I slowly started to understand what was going on the voice became easier to accept. Thanks to Nerine Dorman’s clear and informative writing, this only took a couple of pages and it turns out that the voice was very well suited to the character.

The ideas/concepts behind the story were very intriguing, and not something that I have come across. I am very interested in the idea of reincarnation but this story takes this concept a stage further with an 80 year old woman (Lizzy) being reincarnated in the body of a 21 year old man (Ash) ...By accident.

It turns out that Ash (who had inhabited the body before) was a bit of an unpleasant character to say the least and Lizzy has to face all that comes with her new body, including those who are not so happy to see the bloke walking around again. (Yikes)

The story was set in Africa, and I was unsure as how I was going to take this in as someone who has never been, but the author was excellent at setting up a scene, so I could visualise places; or at least have a sense of the terrain the characters were travelling in.

I very much enjoyed how Dorman develops Lizzy and her voice within Ash. She combines these characters slowly, and as a reader we observe how Lizzy takes on more of Ash’s behaviours and lingo.

I also found the relationship between Ash (Lizzy) and his girlfriend fascinating. Obviously, being a woman before and remembering this, Lizzy has to disentangle thought and emotion and follow her heart.

I thought the author moved very well between characters – with a balanced use of speech and description. If I was to be at all critical of this, it would be to say there were a few moments where I was wishing the story along a little quicker, but I genuinely feel this was probably more down to my impatience and the need to find out what happened next.

And I can honestly say that the ending felt very satisfying; it left me wondering if the author will consider a sequel to the story.

If you like mythology, the supernatural and something that offers something different, then Inkarna will blow you away with its cast of fleshed out characters and a rollercoaster of story.

 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mumma On the Run!

*UPDATE*

Woman running by laobc - A silhouette of a woman running.
 
 
After my last post of woe, I thought I would blog about a much more positive aspect of my life right now, and that is my attempt to get some form of fitness into our lives and be a better example to our children.

I looked at my Mumma on the Run page, knowing full well that I hadn't updated it in awhile, but it was still surprising how long it has been. My last entry is July, but hand on heart, I have been keeping up with my running and have managed to go a couple of times each week.

Keeping it moving

I started out on about two minutes, by the end of those two, teeny-weeny minutes, it felt like my lungs were on fire!(Embarrassing much?) But now I am up to twelve, solid minutes and it feels great... Nah, maybe not "great"...
I feel ridiculous running round the neighbourhood, (I'm paranoid that people are pointing and laughing..) I swear I jiggle where I shouldn't jiggle and, by the time I get back to the house I'm a sweaty, exhausted mess. But I feel proud of myself! I've also lost around 5lb (Oh yeah - fist pump!)
#

 Which isn't as much as I would like but slow and steady means I'm more likely to keep it off.

#
Change the attitude...


 
Little Life Changes

It's no all about exercise of the body, it's also about the mind and how I feel about food in general. I've never been 'big' but this is probably the biggest I have been. And quite frankly? It sucks.
When I was pregnant with my second, I hold my hands up, I don't think it was all baby weight if you catch my drift. It was more about comfort eating.

So I've been taking steps:
  1. Cut the snacking. Especially at night time Sounds obvious, but it was hard to do... Tuck the kids up an denjoy the peace witht a cuppa and a snack right?!
  2. Not buying the snacks in the first place - sticking to shopping list... Mostly... Oooh, chocolate buttons are on offer...
  3. Reducing portion sizes... Step away from the left over pasta...
  4. Having breakfast - helps to kick start metabolism
  5. Running a couple of times is pointless if the rest of the time I'm sitting on my a$$... So have increased daily activities - including more walking. If I can make it without the car I do, I park further away from destinations where possible/sensible with two kiddies in tow etc
  6. Keeping hydrated with water... I'm so rubbish at this one...

Goals and Rewards

Goal setting also helps to keep me motivated. I weigh myself each month, this way I can set weight targets without being obsessed by the scales.
And now I have conquered twelve minutes, the next step is to extend my circuit a tiny bit more. It's about realistic goals. If something doesn't work then I just scale it back and try again.

And rewards? Well, I have to decide that of I can reach a certain weight by the end of this month, then I will treat myself to a new pair of running trainers.

What makes me smile, is that my healthier life-style is already having a positive effect on my family. My husband and I are more conscience about what we eat, (whilst being realistic) and our 2.5 year old told us that he wanted to wear his "exercise trousers" (his jogging bottoms) so he could run like mummy... he then ran around the living room....

Heehee!

Anyone else doing the running thing?! Would love to hear any tips on keeping fit; or easy recipe links for meal ideas!

Keep happy peeps, thanks for readin'!



 

Monday, 10 September 2012

An Early "Midlife" Crisis?!

Oh $h*t.

stop watch by klaasvangend - This is the fixed version of my original stop watch (or chronograph) - I now converted the numbers to curves so it displays on all computers.












The count down has begun.



I have two weeks left at home with my darling boys; before the dreaded return to work after maternity leave.

I don't know why, but I somehow convinced myself that it would be O.K. this time 'round, that I would be able to cope much better but I am on official FREAK OUT peeps!

shhh, I'm hiding!

It's made worse by the fact that I think I am having  a midlife crisis of sorts... (Doesn't the term "Midlife Crisis" actually refer to one being in midlife?! I'm not there yet...)

Brace yourself, rambled explanation to follow:

When I was in school, I decided that I would follow a career in nursery nursing as it would result in a stable job. Being the eldest of six kids and supporting my siblings upbringing, childcare was the natural/obvious route to go.
I worked hard, got into college, (had a fit of rebellion and nearly messed it up) qualified and went into work.

A couple jobs later (due to bullies making me move on)  I settled at my current job. Career-wise, I was finally happy.

Then my miracles came into the world and suddenly it's all changed.

Having my own children has made me re-evaluate everything.

Green - Query Icon by ryanlerch - an icon using the triangle shape in the icons by molumen, but using a question mark instead of a exclamation mark.
Where do I go from here?

It just seems weird to me that I  am leaving my own children to go and care for someone else's all day.
It wasn't too bad when I went back to work the first time. I just went back into my usual role, working in the foundation stage of the school (2-5 year olds).

This time around, a year away has made a heck of a difference. There have been huge staff changes including several new Head teachers. Also, my line manager has gone on long term sick and no one knows if she will return.
I am not even returning to my usual role. I am being placed within a "nurture group". Translation? Year one kids who can't technically cope with year one.

In reality, this won't be bad. My normal, seeing-things-rationally-self would observe this as an awesome, new challenge. But I can't seem to shift the feeling that the school just didn't know what to do with me, as I wanted part time hours, so I was more of an inconvenience. An: oops, we gotta get her back in somewhere, after-thought.

Suddenly, nothing makes sense. I don't want this career anymore. I don't want to leave my children... But I have a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed. I have no choice.

College has been on my mind. But what would I study? Where do I want to go exactly? Could I even leave my job? The thought of leaving to try something else (possibly failing) is daunting. At least with this job, it's term time only, which works quite nicely having children... What is it they say? Swings and round-abouts?!

It's not just returning to work which has sent my head in spin, it's the thought that we need to move house as this one is so cramped. It's all the decorating jobs left undone...
It's the fact that my eldest boy OJ, is going through so much change himself. He's potty training, got his first "big-boy's" bed and he will be starting pre-school in October (hopefully, if the setting I really want him to go can give him a place.... Stressed much?!  *sigh* )

I'm lucky that my kids are going to be cared for by my mum-in-law, a lady who I adore and have a fab relationship with, but it doesn't stop the pang of jealousy that she will have my boys. Especially the fact she will be supporting OJ when he starts pre-school. At risk of sounding over-sensitive/dramatic, the thoughts have almost brought me to tears.

I've been tying myself in knots. I just feel that I am missing something. I should be doing something different with my life but I just can't seem to find it. The more I look, the more elusive the answer.
I would love to just read and write all day, but I have to stop the day dreaming and actually construct some kind of realistic, sustainable plan.

Maybe I should just give in to the crisis...

I'll get a tattoo...

(Isn't that what people do when suffering the midlife crisis?)

Dragon by ivoermejo -

It's that or the leather jacket and motor bike...

Apologies for the ramble, there is just so much change to deal with. Any thoughts/suggestions welcome!

Thanks for reading! (I feel better!)



 

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Blogger Award

Hi Bloggers!

A confession:

I am a bad blogger... On the 2nd September Desirae over at: The Not So Ugly Ducklings popped in to award my little bloggy space with a Liebster Award:

Ker-ching:

I am very honoured as this is my third nomination and it means a lot; it's a lovely reminder that my blog does really reach people.

So a HUGE thank you to Desirae and apologies for not getting this post up quicker!

So without further ado:

The Rules:

1) Post 11 facts about yourself
2) Answer the tagger's 11 questions
3) Create 11 questions for your own nominees
4) Tag the nominees and let them know they have been nominated
5)Nominees must have 200 followers or less, and you can't "tag back"


11 FACTS ABOUT LIL' O1' ME
  1. I had my first 'real' job just before my 13th birthday in a green grocers; my interview was: Manager: "Can you lift a bag of spuds?" Me: "Er, yes?!" Manager: "Okay, see you tomorrow"
  2. Autumn is my favourite season
  3. I sing when I think no-one is listening - especially in the car
  4. The muppets make me laugh
  5. ... So does Eddy Izzard
  6. I love looking at the stars, I used to sneak to the window to look out at them when mum turned out the light at bed time
  7. I can only eat mashed potato as part of a cottage pie... Can't eat it as is... weird
  8. I'm a daydreamer
  9. I love being at the beach but I'm not brave enough to swim in the sea
  10. I haven't had an alcaholic beverage since 2009 when we started trying for our fisrt baby...
  11. I would love a tia maria and coke ... but still nursing...

And now Desirae's 11 Q's...


1. What is the best book you have read in the last year?
It's been a great year so far for books... I truly couldn't choose one... The most recent books that stand out are Redhead by Ian Cook, Swift by R J Anderson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Jelly Bean Crisis bu Jolene Stockman... And many more...
2. What was your best holiday?
Being from a large family and not a lot of money, holidays are very few and far between, so any holiday is very special. I have treasured memories of breaks in Cornwall, but the best holiday was when my husband surprised me on my 21st birthday with a holiday to Amsterdam. (It was my first time on a plane -Awesome!)
3. What is your favourite part about blogging?
All of it! I love that I have somewhere to channel thoughts and ideas; I also love that I get to meet like (and not so like) minded people. It's fab!
4. What’s the strangest talent you have?
Talent? I'm afraid I haven't got any interesting ones... =0)
5. What is your favourite movie?
Uh-oh... My favourite movie? Erm... I have lots! But I guess "The Crow" is somewhere around the top...
6. If you could pick a book you’ve read to make into a movie, which one would you choose?
Easy. Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill.
7. What are the most important 3 things in your life?
My family, my books and music.
8. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I record my dreams and don't like driving at night time. It freaks me out.
9. Are you addicted to any Facebook games? If so, which ones?
I am on Facebook but I don't use it very often...
10. What is your favourite social media site?
Goodreads.
11. If a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out her nose?
Erm..., No idea but if I had been drinking milk at the time of reading this Q; it may well have come out of mine...

Now, becuase I'm a bad-a$$ blogger rebel, I am not going to pass this award on.... Only because the blogs I would award haven't changed and I can't award again...

 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

REVIEW

Redhead
By Ian Cook

~ Mythology, Horror, Occult, Adventure, Supernatural, Thriller ~

Paperback, 360 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Matador


* * * * * out of five stars





The Blurb: (via Goodreads)

Redheads have always attracted attention: desired, envied, pitied, ridiculed, even persecuted. Now the sacrifices begin…

In 1921, in the ruined city of Carthage near Tunis, a red-haired French archaeologist hears the cries of long-dead children as he stumbles upon a legendary sacrificial site. Shortly afterwards, he is viciously attacked by a hawk.

Back in present-day London, flame-haired journalist Rebecca Burns investigates strange and macabre events which seem to be directed against redheads worldwide. Together with young astrophysicist Dr Jim Cavendish and Professor Larry Burton, an authority on ancient civilisations, she is drawn into an age-old feud…a feud that threatens the very existence of redheads everywhere.


My Review:

I was very lucky to receive this signed copy from the author on "First Reads"...

This book was awesome! I don't think I have come across this kind of plot line. Mr Cook has woven a completely unique/original tale in Redhead.

It gives extraordinary detail about the myths across the globe surrounding redheads; with a wonderful slice of horror and adventure on the side. The mythological characters are brought to life within the pages.

The story is fast paced with short chapters that really work and keep it moving. The style is descriptive but not overly, so you don't feel that your wading through miles of description, yet the author still  manages to place you in the scene and moment. This works very well with some of the chilling scenes/action.

The characters are well developed; including the sly Dr Neferatu who you distrust in a matter of seconds of him appearing (rightfully so - he's evil...)
Rebecca is fiery, determined and brave. I really liked her. Jim's character worked as the blossoming romance and the sceptical scientist but, my favourite character had to be Jim's friend Prof. Larry Burton. He was written as a warm, clever and open minded character.

There are so many wonderful elements to the book; I would say there was some predictability within the story, but this is handled very well by the author and conclusions were satisfying.

I am so glad to have won this copy, as I don't know if I would have come across it otherwise. The whole package was a great read; very interesting and a unique plot.

Would recommend to fans of mythology and adventure.






 

REVIEW:



The Jelly Bean Crisis

By Jolene Stockman


~ YA/Life/Realistic/Contemporary~

Paperback, 308 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by CreateSpace


***** out of 5 stars





The Blurb: (Via Goodreads)

A total meltdown. The whole school watching. Now Poppy’s an ex-straight-A with no Plan B.

When Poppy Johnson throws away a full scholarship to Columbia, she can only blame the jelly beans. The yucky green ones? Midnight cram sessions and Saturday’s spent studying. The delicious red? The family legacy: Columbia, and a future in finance. Except now it’s starting to look like Poppy’s jelly bean theory is wrong. School has been her life until, but maybe it’s time to start living now.

Poppy has thirty days to try a new life. No school, no studying. Just jumping into every possible world. Thirty days to find her passion, her path, and maybe even love. The Jelly Bean Crisis is officially on.


My Review:

I absolutely loved this book.

I first saw a review for "The Jelly Bean Crisis" on a book blog, I instantly fell in love with the cover and it got me reading the review. As soon as I got my Kindle it went straight on there!

And I wasn't disappointed.

Poppy thinks she has it all worked out. Or rather, it all seems to be mapped out for her. She has her friends, she is a straight A student and to top it off she wins herself a scholarship... That's when she has her melt down and we learn about the jelly bean theory...
We all have systems (especially when it comes to eating jelly beans right?!), Poppy's theory is: eat all the not-so-good ones first so you are left to eat the best ones at the end. This theory also seems to apply to her life. She is getting all the worst bits out of the way first; school, college, etc to get to the best part at the end... A career in finance.

But she starts to wonder who she is actually doing it for and if she will be happy.

Stockman's writing style was easy to get into and just seemed to be fluid. I quickly relaxed into the pace and really enjoyed getting to know the characters.
I think what makes the book so great is that the character Poppy is someone who many of us can identify with. At some point in our lives (and for some, it's something that stays with us) we all ask: Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing with this life?

I thought Poppy's voice and character was believable and had me rooting for her all the way. The scary thing about this book, is how much you can relate to her. I kept finding myself nodding in agreement and determined to keep reading so I could see what she was to discover next.
As the story progressed, I also thought her character did too; she seemed to get stronger and a bit more 'gutsy'.
I particularly liked her grandmother; and I also liked the whiff of romance to the book - which wasn't overdone and was charming to follow alongside all the other events in the book.

Overall, the book is very well written, a believable and strong protagonist and a wonderful plot line.
It's a great read and I would recommend to anyone who would enjoy an inspirational read.
 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Long Awaited...

ASH
By James Herbert


IT'S HERE!

*SQUEALS*

O.K. guys, first let me apologise in advance if the horror genre is not your thing, it's just I am sooooooo excited about this book finally making it out into the world.

James Herbert is one of Britain's most successful horror writers, a true master of the genre and I absolutely love his spine-chilling work.

Not only has James Herbert received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2010 for Services to Literature, at Buckingham Palace (I wonder if Her Majesty enjoys his work?!) he was also awarded: The World Horror Convention Grand Master Award

~James Herbert has been awarded The World Horror Convention Grand Master Award. A yearly distinction given to an author who has contributed greatly to the field of horror literature. James was presented with the award in March at the 2010 Convention in Brighton, and joins the illustrious company of previous winners who have included Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Brian Lumley, Ramsey Campbell and Tanith Lee... ~ http://www.jamesherbert.com/news-about-james-herbert.html


After reading "The Secret of Crickley Hall" (2006)  I couldn't wait for his next work... The work was due for publication in October 2010...

And waiting....

And so, as the publication date drew ever closer; I was getting more and more excited. Only when I checked back, I saw that the release date had been pushed back even further to August 2012. I was just a little more than disappointed and the waiting continued.

Victory!

Finally, August 30th came around and I now have the copy here with me now (strokes the cover)! Haha! ...

The only problem is, that now I am worried. What if the wait and excitement (not to mention the almost hyperventilation when getting my hands on a copy) just wasn't worth it? What if I just can't get into the story? The characters? The flow? It's a nerve wracking times peeps.

I am still feverishly finishing two other books so I can start it... (Redhead by Ian Cook and The Jelly Bean Crisis by Jolene Stockman ~ awesome books with reviews soon to follow here on Read, Write, Blog ;0) )


BBC turns Crickley Hall into a three-part drama

 
I also found this little bit of exciting news for other J.H fans. His fantastic haunted-house novel; The Secret Of Crickley Hall is due to be aired by the BBC in time for Halloween. Below is the Youtube trailer.

Has there been a particular book you have been excited about this year or is there one you are salivating at the thought of?