Fact Vs Fiction

Walking A Million Steps

Normally, I walk between 8k to 10k steps per day, on a lazy Sunday I might only do 4k, so I thought to myself this won’t be that hard I just have to make sure my Sunday laziness is kicked into touch and I make an effort to walk further. If I had done the maths first I might not have signed up!

Starting on 1st July you have three months to walk one million steps, I am what should be a third through and as you can see I am a little behind on where I should be.

The good news is that it is not impossible for me to still hit the target, I have had the calculator out today and I need to so 11,666 steps per day, it means walking a little further than I normally would and no lazy Sundays. Luckily an excursion yesterday helped add a few steps to reduce that number, and any day that I can do more than the allotted quota will allow to make things easier.

I explain my reason for doing this over on my page and I don’t usually ask favours like this but if you can spare a pound or two to donate and help me reach my financial target would be greatly appreciated. You can follow my journey here Support Paula in the One Million Step Challenge (diabetes.org.uk) I will give you another update here on the blog in a couple of weeks but wish me luck, and hope for nice weather, I spend more time out doing things with the horses then and get more steps.

Fact Vs Fiction

New Ideas, New Ways Of Doing Things

For a long time I have tried to stick to doing this blog a certain way. I have tried to do fixed posts, book reviews on a Monday etc but that really isn’t working for me. I have neglected this blog and I think it was trying to force myself into box I have actually ended up avoiding it altogether so from today you are going to see a change.

I was sat in the horse field today thinking about a programme I have been binge watching on Netflix and that is partly what inspired this. The programme is The Bold Type.

(2052) The Bold Type | Official Trailer | Freeform – YouTube

The programme is very much an updated version of Sex And The City. I remember back in the late 80’s and early 90’s watching episodes of Sex and the City and Friends then ringing up friends to talk about it. sometimes we would meet up at one house to watch it together, it was a weekly event. These days it is all different, the idea of waiting for the next episode is something many are no longer willing to contemplate.

This is the era of Netflix and instant gratification, I did it myself, binge watching four series in a few days but it is not just the way we watch TV that has changed. We are more likely to post our opinions on a programme straight to social media than to wait to talk to a real life friend. We don’t have to deal with weekly cliff hangers that provide discussion for the days following an episode, we might even get a little annoyed at having to wait when we reach the end of the series.

I know for many this also translates to books, my daughter will check to see if the full series is available before she starts to read the first book. The word Spoilers is proclaimed on posts all over Facebook when a new episode of a popular series is launched, the majority of people needing to talk but not wanting to spoil it for others. The need to discuss our favourite shows has always been there but social media means we don’t have to hope that a friend likes the same as us, we don’t have to wait for someone else to catch up on the latest episodes. Today we type a few words and there will be a like minded soul out here, and even if it is not on your FB friends list there are other laces like Reddit and forums for everything imaginable where you can reach out to discuss your thoughts and theories.

So many people criticise the internet, focus on the negatives, but the truth is that as long as you are sensible and careful, you can find a community of people who get you within a few clicks. You can find your people, your modern tribe. The internet does not take away the desire for human contact, but it changes is. The need to reach out is no longer just a physical act, it changes the focus to the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspect of our personalities.

The internet like so many other things is a great place if used correctly, so I will be asking friends for recommendations for my next binge watch while I wait for the next series of The Bold Type.

Book Reviews · Fact Vs Fiction

Wrath (Lavinia Urban’s Seven Deadly Sins Series Book 3) by Lavinia Urban (Goodreads Author), Ava Manello

*All proceeds will go to Lavinia’s family in her memory*

When club enforcer Wrath is asked for help, he is torn between doing what’s right and stirring up a past that still haunts him.

What follows is a journey that forces him to question and re-evaluate everything he thought he already knew.

Decisions have to be made.

Should he continue on the path he’s chosen or is there a chance of becoming the man his mother would have wanted him to be?

Life doesn’t always have a happy ever after, no matter how much you want it.
This is a heart-wrenching tale of heartbreak and loss.

Be warned, it will leave your emotions in tatters.

I first read this when it came out, it the time the pain of Lavinia’s loss was still raw and I was not sure if that played into my reading of the book. Rereading it I now can honestly say it is not just the personal connection in is Ava’s creative talents that will destroy you and have you sat sobbing into your hankie while totally unable to put the book down.

The main character is not likeable, his life choices mean you should not feel empathy for him but as the story unfolds you will find yourself wishing you could reach in to the pages and led the boy down a different path to the one he took. It challenges your conception on good and bad, what is right and what is legal. And while Wrath may represent the stereotypical MC lifestyle you also get to see a balance of the good some clubs choose to do.

I highly recommend this book and cannot give it anything less than 5 out of five stars.

You can get the book here

And you can find out more about the amazing Ava Manello here

Book Reviews · Fact Vs Fiction

Book Review – The Spook’s Curse By Joseph Delaney

 

 

The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward have travelled to Priestown for some unfinished business. For, deep in the catacombs of the cathedral, lurks the Spook’s nemesis – The Bane. A creature he has never been able to defeat. As Thomas and his master prepare for the battle of their lives it becomes clear that The Bane isn’t their only enemy in town. The Quisitor has arrived, searching the county for those who meddle with the dark – witches, warlocks and Spooks!

My mum gave me this series of books for my son to read, he was 10 at the time and just beginning to really get into reading for pleasure. Because he is autistic I decided to take a quick read first just to be sure that he would be able to follow the book and if I am honest I cant say who enjoyed this book more.

The book is well written and there is a great mix of characters. The plot is easy to follow and just dark enough to intrigue without risking nightmares for your pre-teen. The book also explores family dynamics, and the way not every member is born to follow the same path.

Along the way you see the characters also have some moral choices to make, choices about what is right and what is safest. The choices are not always easy to judge and the reader will have to explore the grey areas between black and white.

Even though this book is not aimed at me it was an enjoyable read and I have no problem giving it 5 out of five stars. It is a book I have recommend to numerous people looking for things their kids can read especially boys.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars

Book Signings · Fact Vs Fiction · My Books

Myths And Legends

It has been a while since I logged into WordPress and I guess it will take me a while to adapt to this new look and I am most disappointed they took away the classic editor which I preferred over this. However, that is not the reason I am here today, normally Monday means a book review but today it is a shameless plug for a charity anthology I am part of. I really enjoyed writing this and hope you will enjoy not only my story but all the others included. The book was intended to launch for the Indie Love Signing in Cardiff which should have been happening this weekend but now has had to be cancelled until 2023. This book will be available for a limited time, but will be available again closer to the actual signing.

Tales of knights, dragons and curses are not just for children.

Join us as we get up close and personal with mythical creatures, magical moments and dashing quests for love as Indie Love presents The Myths & Legends Collection.

From Egyptian Gods to Arthurian legends, Robin Hood to Hades, there is something for everyone.

With 7 exclusive stories available for a limited time, are you ready for an epic romance?

You can grab your copy here but the 99p offer is ending very soon.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Flat Share By Beth O’Leary

 

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast.
Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash.

Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

I confess when my daughter first told me to read this, I resisted. I tend to avoid books where there seems to be lot of hype about it, mainly because they tend to let you down, but this one did the opposite, it far exceeded my expectations.

Yes, it is chick lit. but the characters written are not only realistic but also likeable, you find yourself rooting for them and rooting for that happy ending. I have to admit personally the idea of sharing a flat this way would terrify me in real life, yet in this modern world, where housing costs are increasingly expensive, shared houses and flats are becoming the norm for some people, especially for students and young single professionals. This makes the ideas behind this book even more intriguing, I loved the idea of leaving the hand written notes rather than just text messages, it provides a contrast against the ‘real’ lives of Tiffy and Leon. 

If you haven’t already guessed I totally recommend this book and you can grab your self a copy in your local bookshop or via amazon.

I give this 5 out of five stars along with thousands of others.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review: The Murder Game By Rachel Abbott

That’s the thing about old friends… they never let you forget.

The first time Jemma and Matt were invited to Polskirrin – the imposing ocean-view home belonging to Matt’s childhood friend Lucas Jarrett – it was for an intimate wedding that ended in tragedy. Jemma will never forget the sight of the girl’s pale body floating listlessly towards the rocky shore.

Now, exactly one year later, Jemma and her husband have reluctantly returned at Lucas’s request to honor the anniversary of an event they would do anything to forget.

But what Lucas has in store for his guests is nothing like a candlelight vigil. Someone who was there that night remembers more than they’ll admit to, and Lucas has devised a little game to make them tell the truth.

Jemma believes she and Matt know nothing about what happened to that woman… but what if she’s wrong? Before you play a deadly game, make sure you can pay the price…

From the four-million-copy bestselling author of Sleep Tight comes a psychological thriller that will have you gripped until the last page. Perfect for fans of Something in the Water, The Woman in the Window and The Silent Patient.

I got this book via Bookbub I have a feeling I paid 99p for it, the title and the blurb just caught my attention and I decided to give it a go. Although Amazon and Goodreads list it as the second book in a series it honestly, felt like it could be read as a standalone, I haven’t read the first one and the detective whose series it is part of does not play a major role in this story until the last few chapters.

This book is about secrets, desire, and betrayal, and I loved it. The first part of the book is told from the point of view of the outsider in this group of friends, the one who married into the group and has no idea of their hidden past, a past where it seems everyone has something to hide.

Normally, I get who the murderer is half way through the book, and yes in this I did get one person right but I did not get the whole picture, there are twists and turns aplenty as you unravel what different characters are trying to hide.

I highly recommend this book and it is very reasonably priced so if you want to grab a copy try here.

I give this book five out of 5 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review – Shadows in the Mind by Hemmie Martin

 

 

The death of a patient in a psychiatric unit leads DI Eva Wednesday closer to the world she’s been trying to avoid. Attempting to separate paranoid emotions from reality proves challenging, and having her mother in the unit adds another layer of complication. As Wednesday begins to put the pieces of her case together, she is compelled to hold on tightly to her own sanity as the lives of those around her unravel before her eyes.

The next book in the DI Eva Wednesday series and this one is a little more personal. My grandma had dementia so it really hit home in the way her mum’s deterioration progresses, and the impact this has on all the other family as they fight to come to terms with it and the fact that it may also be waiting in their own future.

The author does a brilliant job of balancing the home/work life balance and how it is impossible for one not to impact on the other, no matter how hard you work to keep them separate. My only grip is that occasionally the intricacies of the different characters issues did lead me to having to flip back a page or two, to double check that I hadn’t missed something but I think that sometimes reading during lockdown my mind does wander,

The only other negative I have is that I wish Hemmie would number the books on Amazon, I know there are a couple more books I need but I want to buy them direct and have them signed like the ones I already have but for the rest of you you can find Hemmie’s books here

I love this series and hope that book signings will resume soon so I can see Hemmie again and complete my collection but in the meantime I give this book 5 out of five stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars

 

 

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4) by Steve Cavanagh

 

The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.

Hollywood actor Robert Soloman stands accused of the brutal stabbings of his wife and her lover, but he is desperately pleading that he had nothing to do with it. This is the trial of the century, and the defence want Eddie Flynn on their team.

The biggest case Eddie has ever tried before, he decides to take it on despite the overwhelming evidence that Robert is guilty. As the trial starts, Eddie becomes sure of Robert’s innocence, but there’s something else he is even more sure of – that there is something sinister going on in the jury box.

Because of this, he is forced to ask: what if the killer isn’t on the stand? What if he’s on the jury?

There are very few crime books where I get to the end before I am sure who did it but this was one.

This was a great read on many levels, you have the dynamics of the crime itself but on top of that there is the complexities of human interactions and emotions within the jury. I have never sat on a jury, and obviously those I know who have cannot talk about it, but I can imagine that on a longer case it might be normal for relationships of one nature or another to develop between jurors, likewise there would be some who would really wind you up. It is the dynamics of these interactions which draw you in to this cleverly crafted book.

As it is a well known book I don’t think I need to say much more but I will give it five out of five star.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars