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Book Review – Scar Tissue by M. C. Domovitch

We start this review with a disclaimer that I did receive a kindle version of this book for an honest review,

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Let us start as always with the Goodreads blurb…

When successful model Ciara Kelly wakes up in hospital, remembering nothing of the weeks she has been missing, her only clues are the ugly words carved into her skin. According to the police she was a victim of the Cutter, a serial killer who has already murdered three women. For her protection the police and her doctors give a press conference, announcing that because her amnesia is organically caused, her memory loss is permanent. But, whether her memory returns or not is anybody’s guess. Overnight, Ciara’s glamorous life is gone. Her scars have killed both her modelling career and her relationship with her rich boyfriend. With nothing to keep her in New York, she returns to her home town of Seattle, moves in with her sister and goes about building a new life. But when her sister lets it slip that Ciara’s memory is returning, the killer comes after her again. If Ciara is to stay alive, she must keep one step ahead of the Cutter.

Because I received this in return for a review I am going to go into things a little more than I normally do in these reviews but in this case that is not a bad thing. I am always wary of giving away too much and spoiling things for readers so if I am vague in places trust me I am doing this for your own good.

I genuinely raced through this book it is a real page turner and if you enjoy thrillers with a twist then grab yourself a copy to take on your holidays with you I promise you won’t regret it, now there were a few things that did niggle me which I will go through but overall it was a real hit.

So let’s begin with niggle number one the main character, Ciara, I didn’t like her, nope that is not fair I did not dislike her I just didn’t care about her. I know that this author is capable of creating characters that draw you in and make you invested in them but this one for me seemed very shallow. I thought maybe as the book continued I would be more interested in her but even at the end I was still not connecting with her, but that is not as big an issue in this book as it could be, there is a cast of brilliant secondary characters and an intriguing bad guy.

My second minor niggle was the time line, the nature of the story means it is necessary to skip forward in time to progress the events however in places it can be a little confusing in places you skip a day or two in the next several weeks and a few times I did find myself having to double check the times as it would not always seem obvious, not a big thing however maybe the events could have been compressed into a shorter time period and this would have not been such an issue.

So now we have got the niggle out of the way lets talk good points, it is hard without giving spoilers but I loved the premise behind this story and am really looking forward to seeing that explored more in the next book, and I hope that in the exploration of that side of Ciara she will develop more as a character in her own right.

The truth is this book was not really about her it was about her attacker and let me say the faceless monster is compelling, I changed my mind about a dozen times during the course of the book about who he was, and I did get who it was before the end however I only got half points as I was off with the accomplice. This book was a real page turner as I said earlier and I read it all in a couple of sittings, it is one where when you pick it up you won’t want to put it down but is so well crafted that when you do you will not lose your train of thought when you pick it back up, in fact you will have probably spent some time between reading sessions trying to work out who the voices on either end of those phones calls belong to.

So scores, I was a little undecided here not because I didn’t like the book but rather my own star system does not allow me the mark I would have gone with, so, because I always round up if uncertain the book gets 5 out of five however if I could I would have gone for 4.75, knocking off points for the slightly clumsy time progression and because the main character seemed lacking in a little depth, but I can say I will be buying the next book in the series which I know is out later in the year.

Lazy sunday

Lazy Sunday #11

It has been a busy week here the monster turned 8 on Friday so everything has revolved around him this weekend likewise this post is shorter than normal as I just have time to down my vanilla latte before I have to get him ready to go out with his dad and his family, so without further ado here are this weeks selection of blogs I have been enjoying…

  1. I love shoes, one of the most frustrating things about my spinal issues is the pairs of shoes I have with heels that I can no longer wear. When I saw this post I was intrigued, whenever I go to museums I love looking at the old shoes but this exhibition is more a celebration of all types of footwear not just historical however take a look at the first photo I have to say those ‘feet’ shoes are freaky https://anabelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/toronto-bata-shoe-museum/
  2. Last year I only found this blog after the awards and when the meet up was about to happen but this year I am hoping to get to cast some votes myself and encourage you to support your favourite writers, photographers and other creatives https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/05/19/vote-now-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-now-open/
  3. As you know I lost my gran last year, it is so important to talk and learn the stories of our own family, I was lucky I was researhing the family tree so took advantage of that to find out about that part of my family, sadly my paternal grandparents passed when I was too young to think about our history and no one had ever really discussed anything so the stories were lost, if you get the chance take the time to listen https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/decoding-stories/
  4. Thank you, two simple words which mean so much yet we throw away so easily, how often do we say thank you to someone who holds a door and passes us something and of course we mean it on a very basic level but how often do we really thank those whose love and support really, today I would like everyone to say thank you to at least one person around them that they take for granted https://jedizaugg.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/a-simple-thank-you/
  5. Getting self published books reviewed without spending a fortune is a tough business so I was thrilled when Thomas Rydder published a link to this post which I will be hoping to put to use myself http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/list-of-online-reviewers-who-accept.html
  6. Finally I shall leave you with a rather interesting post on the craft of writing https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/write-selflessly-to-sell-more-books-writewithcare/

Right I shall away now to sort out the monster new clothes for him to put on, such hard decisions to make will he wear Marvel or Star Wars today? Enjoy your lazy Sunday and the rest of the week and I shall be back next week with more madness.

Lazy sunday

Lazy Sunday #10 & Vlog Time #65 – Strange Camera Effect

It is evening as I get round to this this week so rather than coffee I have a nice cold diet Coke with ice in front of me, it has been quite warm here today. Anyway as it is late I am going to just do four plus the vlog and an appeal on behalf of a friend…

  1. I think at times we all lose our way in the stories we tell, get to a point where we cannot see the wood for the trees, well if you hit the brick wlaa this post may help you identify problem areas, I know some seem obvious but they are usually the ones we over look… https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/5-reasons-your-story-is-stuck/
  2. I love snail mail, I love sending and receiving it but I cannot help but think how much more fun it would be to retrieve my mail from one of these, https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2016/05/03/what-the-mailman-saw-photos/
  3. I don’t write poetry very often, it is something I don’t feel comfortable with and when I do it tends to centre on nature or grief however I love this poem, to be fair I love most of the stuff he posts but this one struck a real cord with me https://chestermaynes.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/i-am-the-transformation-of-things/
  4. The final one is about loss and how we deal with it, how to make sense of it to those left behind, if that is possible https://rarasaur.com/2016/05/12/the-upside-down-tree/

I had intended on posting this Friday night but I got tired, then Saturday between furniture moving and Eurovision I pretty much wore myself out…

This is the trailer for Gareth’s GoFundMe which you can find here

I know most people are not in a position to help but if you can share with anyone who might be able to help him that would be great.

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Book Review – The Lady in the Van By Alan Bennett

I mentioned watching the film a couple of months ago and now as promised a book review…

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Lets start with the blurb…

In 1974, the homeless Miss Shepherd moved her broken down van into Alan Bennett’s garden. Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years.

This account of those years was first published in 1989 in the London Review of Books. The play premiered in 1999, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Dame Maggie Smith, who reprise their roles in this new film adaptation. Shot on location at Bennett’s house, Alex Jennings plays the author, alongside household names including Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent and Dominic Cooper.

When I watched the film I was struggling to remember certain aspects of the book, I read it years ago and like the other work by Bennett I have read I thoroughly enjoyed it but intrinsically the nature of his writing does not lend itself to film, they tend to be monologues best suited to stage or television where one person addressing the audience/viewer seems more natural than on the big screen. The film uses a dual personality to reflect the diary voice of Bennett but I admit for this one as much as I enjoyed the film I prefer this written format. It feels more personal as if you are reading his actual diary at times.

One of the things I find most fascinating is they way we make assumptions, we think we know about people yet so often our actual knowledge is pitifully lacking as we see as Bennett discovers much of the past only after the events have taken place, we judge people without stopping to wonder how they came to the place they are in now.

I will say that many of Bennett’s monologues or Talking Heads series are better listened to, I love the audio books of them but this is one I do enjoy reading.

It has to be 5 out of 5 stars.

Gold star

Lazy sunday

Lazy Sunday #9 & Vlog Time #64 – Introducing Miss Molly

Hello, or even good morning as it is still morning as I sit down to begin this, I have just stuffed my face with a bacon butty and m now sipping my mocha although it is so warm here today I could happily swap it for a nice iced vanilla latte. I have had a week off work and while you would think that would have given me lots of extra time I seem to have been really busy with family and have achieved very little this week, though I do have sore ribs now from laughing so much playing a board game called Vampireology with my daughter and her boyfriend last night, the game took four hours though we hope it will become quicker to play once we stop having to refer to the rule book every other move lol.  But you are not here to listen to me rave about a game you want to know what I have been reading so lets make a start…

  1. First up is a lady who has become a friend, she like so many of us us struggling with getting the breaks and initial sales and reviews to get going with her writing career in terms of making a living from it, so she has decided to treat everyone with excerpts on a Sunday in the hope you will like what you read, I have a couple of her books waiting to be read something I really need to remedy, if the excerpts intrigue you please consider either buying the books or even approach her about a trade for a review, without those Amazon reviews getting your work noticed is almost impossible, https://bridgetstraub.com/2016/05/01/excerpt-sunday/
  2. I confess I am sharing this mainly for one photo in it although it is of course a fascinating post, however the mural painted on the end of that building took my breath away and makes me think in an age of so many high rise buildings why do more companies not commission this sort of work https://anabelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/toronto-distillery-district/
  3. I am sharing this just because it is Monday tomorrow you might just need an extra smile https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2016/05/02/reserved-for-monday-funnies/
  4. Next up a post from my dearest friend Rhonda, she is developing an incredible talent with her camera, the only downside being we seem to be seeing less of her talent with words, however this post is something dear to my heart, that precious gift of being able to wander with your camera and capture a unique moment in time, https://50-shades-of-gray-hair.com/2016/05/06/in-the-blink-of-an-eye/
  5. THe next up is something that plagues every creative person at some point, the spectre of self-doubt this is a great post about trying to get past your inner demons https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/05/02/dont-let-writers-self-doubt-beat-you-4-steps-to-conquer-it/
  6. If you have been around Facebook or read certain other blogs you are bound to have come across this story in the last week or so but just in case you missed it… https://makropp.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/monday-musings-your-books-are-so-good-i-shouldnt-have-to-pay-for-them/

So that concludes the reading portion for this week now onto the vlog which I am afraid is very short this week and you do not get to see me at all, I had intended filming more and adding this footage to the end of a vlog but it was a little longer than expected and she is cuter than me…

One last thing I am going to leave you with is if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me playing with a new app on my phone to create photo collages, the perfect excuse for me to take more photos but here are a few I have made so far the app is called Phototastic, enjoy and I shall see you next week xxxx

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Book Review – And Then There Were None By Agatha Christie

Love her books or hate them you cannot argue that she created an incredibly legacy…

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As always we begin with the Goodreads blurb…

First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

I picked this book up again several years after my first reading after watching a television adaptation, I confess it was in part because they had sexed it up a little and I needed to reassure myself that they had stuck with the basic facts and to be fair it was quite a good adaptation other than the liberty or two they had taken. I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie, there are those who argue the books are too alike, that it is writing to a formula for the masses at it’s simplest, and maybe it is but sometimes that is exactly what one needs, something that takes you on a ride where corners are taken at a leisurely pace rather than at breakneck speed. This is a really good stand alone book, and one I have recommended as a good place to start reading Christie, though it does not feature any of her regular cast of detectives it can be examined as a study in guilt, one thinks of murder as a deliberate act, yet as we see deliberately failing to act can have the same consequences.

The book was published originally under another title which is no longer appropriate and although I am not generally in favour of censoring in that respect and believe that context is the right criteria for making that type of decision in this case it is right the title should have been changed and plays no real role in the book.

I give the book 4.5 stars out of 5 and a place in my heart.images 4.5

And for those who were wondering a bit of the adaptation…

Lazy sunday

Lazy Sunday #8

Hello, and happy Mayday, or Beltane depending on your beliefs, am sat here hugging a Dolce Gusto chococino caramel, the weather is rather grey and miserable but not as freaky as the weather you may have witnessed earlier in my vlog for this week. I will apologise for the face you are getting two posts today, I was going to do it as one but decided against it. So this week I have been sorting some files out on my computer and removing some of those duplicate files you get through things autosaving, so enough of my week how has yours been? I am hoping to get out in the garden a little this week as I have a week off work plus am heading to see my parents next Saturday for the day, a rare treat as I normally work Saturdays at the day job.

Now let’s see what gems I have found this week, though I have to say I did lose a couple I bookmarked as part of my technical difficulties this week…

  1. I am going to celebrate a couple of the people who made it through this years, A-Z challenge this week, as you know I failed miserably. One of the things I do love is the different themes people use or decide against using to get through the alphabet, the first up is one who takes the idea of A-Z literally dictionary style with the aid of her camera https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/a-to-z-challenge-z/
  2. The next A-Z winner mixes Superheroes and cross stitch to provide a very interesting cast of characters https://nerdygirlconfession.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/zatanna/
  3.  Linda’s A-Z this year has been quite a profound one to read, the monster has his own issues but thankfully hearing is not one of them although given the side effects of meningitis it very well could have been, but I do remember what it was like with his lack of speech for those years when all the other children were already expressing their wants, and the struggles he has still at times to make himself understood, don’t get me wrong he now has the vocabulary but he struggles still to reword things if you do not immediately understand what he is asking, we live in a world that is not forgiving to differences no matter how much we all pretend otherwise https://lindaghill.com/2016/04/30/zip-atoz-challenge/
  4. I love to see other bloggers, writers and creatives succeeding, am just sad that I am across the ocean and unable to show support in person, https://veggiewitch.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/ccee-2016-rocks/
  5. Something different for this one a book/film review, I had to pick this though as I love the book so much and I am sure you know which sister I relate to, she is not the only one who once cut off her hair for a good cause lol https://cafebookbean.com/2016/04/30/saga-saturday-ii-2/
  6. The final blog I am going to share today is responsible for you having to sit through a Glossybox review each month, and this post is another that inspired me, we not this box but I did try out one of the other perfume boxes, not something I would get regularly like Glossybox but it was very interesting to try scents I would not normally have looked at http://whichbeautyboxuk.com/?p=13294

So that rounds up this weeks selection, dinner is in so I shall finish off by adding the tags etc then go dish the pasta bake and garlic bread out, I wish you could be here to join us for lunch but instead I hope you will join me for coffee again next week.

Lazy sunday

Lazy Sunday #7

First sorry for missing last week but if you saw the vlog you will know that I have been struggling finding balance recently, I almost skipped today as I really do need to get the paint in the hall wiped down and mop the floors to remove the marks caused by me dragging my dead fridge out of the house to get ready for the new one coming tomorrow, but I decided you deserve better so a just made a quick latte and have settle down to share a few things with you, not quite all blog posts today as you shall see. I have not decided on the A – Z yet it would mean three letters a day to get back on track to finish on time I might try but we shall see.

  1.  So for the first blog post I shall share a nice quick flash fiction which made me chuckle, perhaps swallow the liquid in your mouth before you read this, I would hate to be responsible for anyone spraying tea or coffee over their screen, https://greenwalledtower.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/hed-make-a-brilliant-lawyer/
  2. As you are probably aware from my nagging I have started a newsletter you can sign up to via the website or in the side bar here, I am still getting to grips with making it really exciting and something you would look forward to receiving but I hope that in the up coming months I will really get to interact with people that way and share some exclusive content on there, after all there has to be a reason to expect people to visit you in more than one place and to show your appreciation for those who do, I do use mail chimp so I found this interesting and I too have a gmail account but so far it does not seem to have been too much of an issue but again is something that may have to be sorted https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/04/11/4-mistakes-to-avoid-when-using-mailchimp/
  3. Sometimes we all get stuck in a rut, trying different things can kick start us into getting back on track or sometimes we have to try various things before we go back to realise we were capable of doing things our way we just needed a push, I know I get like that. For me lists work, planning and gadgets, I do journal but never really got into the gratitude thing mainly because the thing I tend to be most grateful for first thing on a morning are pain meds and finding something to swallow them with, I generally wake up feeling stiff and it takes a little while before I am grateful for anything really profound like my kids or the furries mainly as they all cause me stress while I am waiting for the meds to kick in if only they all would wait 15 to 20 minutes after I have swallowed the tablets… https://mundusmediaink.com/2016/04/22/use-this-ability-to-improve-your-writing/
  4. One of the things I love about the A – Z Challenge each year is that I find really cool new blogs to follow, many of whom stay on my reading list long after the challenge for that year ends, so I would like to share with you one of this years new discoveries which I shall leave you to enjoy for a minute or two as I run out to bring the sheets in off the washing line as the sky has turned black and ominous https://artistpath.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/r-is-for-row-your-boat/
  5. Okay got them in, the heavens have not opened yet but you know it is not far away, you can smell it in the air, and possibly the faint hit of a storm brewing, that little charge that stands the hairs on your arm to attention, for the last blog post I am sharing it is from a lovely lady who has become a very dear friend despite the fact she has still not rounded me up a cowboy (complete with hat) and shipped him over to me, I mean she finds plenty of dishy ones for the covers of her books they must be everywhere, https://stephanie-hurt.com/2016/04/21/almost-back-to-normal/
  6. The final thing I am sharing today was on Tv here last night, but also shown at the cinema where my daughter and I went to watch it, I have to say the big screen way of experiencing live theatre was fantastic, I am hoping overseas friends will be able to see this clip let me know if there are any issues but this was just one of the highlights

I hope you enjoyed this little collection and I shall see you next week with another drink in hand and a few more posts to share with you all, have a lovely week.