1. Monday · Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Living a lie, Part One By M.L. Kacy

Because I have so many book reviews to get done I am going to do a second one on a Tuesday until I catch up…

 

In your early adult years, you think that you know it all. Well that’s how I was looking back on my life. Nearly nineteen-years later, it’s true what they say, you always learn by your mistakes, mistakes make you into a stronger person. Boy, did I make a hell of a lot of mistakes. I never thought that my life would turn out the way that it did. There are only four things that I would never regret, my four beautiful children. They were, and still are, my saving grace, my redemption of sorts. When the darkness became too much, thoughts of them would pull me into the light.

This is my story, it’s not a story that is all sweetness and light. It’s a story of love, regret, devastation, darkness and maybe a little redemption.

So here we are, I shall start from the beginning.
Part One

***Disclaimer- Some of the content in this book can cause triggers for some. Also, contains profanity, erotic scenes and only suitable for readers 18+***

This book is biographical of an extraordinary woman who has overcome so much in her life. Reading this as just a reader you cannot help but fell so much empathy for the main ‘character’ Rhea, I don’t want to say too much but she goes through events which are so traumatic and it is so well written that you do feel her pain and empathise with her.

For me reading this as someone who actually knows the author it adds another level of heartbreak and you want to run over to her and give her a big hug. The only issue I have is that I only bought part one, I strongly recommend buying the newer versions with part one and two together.

I give this a heart wrenching five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
1. Monday · Monday Musings

Book Review – The Runaway In Love, the Runaway Trilogy: Book 2 By Helen Bright

With police interviews and an ongoing threat to contend with, Kolya has to work harder than ever to keep his young wife safe. His vow to respect her innocence becomes harder with each passing day, so when an opportunity to create distance presents itself, he doesn’t hesitate to take it.
Tess is in love, though she’s finding it difficult to deal with her husband’s high-handed behaviour. Due to her background and fiery temper, she has little respect for authority, which often leads to potentially volatile situations.
If they want their marriage to survive, both will have to compromise, and give in to the soul-deep feelings which have gripped them since the day they met.

The story continues and if you want to read my review about the first story you can find it here, I love this series, the whole premise of the series fascinates me, I know some people may find it hard to believe what Kolya would take Tess under his wing but the whole thing of being responsible for a person who saves your life and vice versa intrigues me . It also helps that the characters are so well written, there are such a variety and each has been given the same attention even if they are a secondary character or only appear for a brief period in the story.

I confess to being friends with the author but the only way this influences me is in that I can nag her to get the final part of the trilogy out and then move on to telling us more about the other characters.

For me the score on this is so easy, five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
#Nano2020

Nano Update 2 – 08/11/20

The week started off so well, I was writing every day and even though I wasn’t quite hitting the targets I wasn’t far off. The life happened, or more specifically  combination of incidents at the day job, I was left emotionally and physically drained and missed several days, In previous years this would be the point I would have just thrown the towel in, life was against me, what was the point.

But this year is different, this year I am not letting others drain my dreams and destroy my future, today I take control of my life again and get back to the writing. Before it all went wrong I did hit another milestone…

Of course most people have hit that by the end of day three and buy day seven should have doubled it and added some, but for me it is a spur to push me to up those stats and get those words down, so let’s see where my restart is beginning…

5309 / 50000 total words
On average, you write  663 words per day!
At this rate you’ll be done on January 14, 2021!
I guarantee this story will be finished long before that but in order to do so I must not let myself be distracted and let other people determine my actions and my life. Hopefully by Wednesday I will have much better numbers to discuss.
#Nano2020

Nano Update 1 – 4/11/20

I am writing this first thing in the morning before I start Nano for today. So how is it going I hear you ask! Well there are positives and negatives, let’s start with a huge positive…

Yes, I have written three days running, this has been something I have struggled with in the past, last year I set up Nano and I didn’t even start, and this is something I do tell people who think they will fail Nano, I at the end of the month you have written more than you had the month before then it has been a success even if you don’t get a winners badge, speaking of badges I got the next one on the second day rather than the first…

Yes, that is the amount we are supposed to write each day but life gets in the way and the first day I was almost there, but the other two I only wrote about half the required amount so my stats right now are…

3040 / 50000 total words
On average, you write 1,013 words per day!
At this rate you’ll be done on December 20, 2020!
I am happy at this point with my numbers, I am just over a day behind but as well as that three day streak I am in the process of getting myself back into the discipline of knowing I need to write a set amount each day and working out what works best for me.
Previously I wrote most late at night but that is no longer an option, I take tablets at 10 pm and then I am out for the count. I cant really push them back any later because of the time I need to take them on a morning, so everything is about adjusting my life and therefore my writing to fit in with this new routine and with being back at work.
I work in a supermarket so there will be now furlough and staying at home for me to work for me, and I know there are arguments both ways that I am lucky to have a job when others face losing theirs including some of my friends but I will also be honest that the last lockdown here in the UK really damaged my mental health with the stress placed on us.
There will be another Nano Update on Sunday so hopefully by then that finish date will be back down to the official date of 30th November.
Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – So You WantTo Own An Art Gallery By Lee Benson

I picked this up at a book signing after talking to the author…

An art gallery is serious business…isn’t it? Not when it involves manic artists and predatory female staff it isn’t.
“The funniest and sexiest of debut novels”

This is a collection of anecdotes rather than short stories, taken from the authors time running an art gallery, in person Lee Benson is charming and witty, something you do get a glance of in his book but I have always promised to be totally honest in these reviews and this book does have a few issues.

The first one being the subject matter, if you have never been a part of the art world you may find some of the characters unbelievable, let me just tell you having attended art college after school for just over a year, these people really do exist,. I am aware every walk of life has its own colourful characters, but there is something about the art world which allows them full rein to express their personality in all its multicoloured facets.

The second issue is that the book is a collection of anecdotes rather than stories, so although occasionally you get a brief set up or a concluding comment you are not going to get to know what happened to the people you meet long term, they appear and are gone again if the fluttering of a few pages.

There is a part of me that wishes the author had written a fictional story about an art gallery owner, weaving a few of these tales together then throughout a storyline that gives us a deeper insight to some of the characters and then he could have told the other tales as was to engage the audience.

Does this mean the book is bad? No, it just means I believe it cold have been so much more, a view, which like art, is subjective., if you want a book you can pick up read a page and drop again then this would work, it is interesting and amusing but it needs more context especially for the non art world people.

I will round this up for Goodreads/Amazon but I am giving this 3.5 stars out of five, I just hope the author forgives me when I next run across him at a signing.

1. Monday · Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Yorkshire Ripper The Secret Murders By Chris Clark And Tim Tate

 

In 1981, Peter Sutcliffe, the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’, was convicted of thirteen murders and seven attempted murders. All his proven victims were women: most were prostitutes.

Astonishingly, however, this is not the whole truth. There is a still-secret story of how Sutcliffe’s terrible reign of terror claimed at least twenty-two more lives and left five other victims with terrible injuries. These crimes – attacks on men as well as women – took place all over England, not just in his known killing fields of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Police and prosecution authorities have long known that Sutcliffe’s reign of terror was far longer and far more widespread than the public has been led to believe. But the evidence has been locked away in the files and archives, ensuring that these murders and attempted murders remain unsolved today.

As a result, the families of at least twenty-two murdered women have been cheated of their right to know how and why their loved ones died: the pain of living with that may diminish over time, but it never fades away completely. Five other victims survived his attacks: their plight, too, has never been officially acknowledged.

Worse still, police blunders and subsequent suppression of evidence ensured that three entirely innocent men were imprisoned for murders committed by the Yorkshire Ripper. They each lost the best parts of their adult lives, locked up and forgotten in stinking cells for more than two decades.

This book, by a former police Intelligence Officer, is the story not just of those long-cold killings, of the forgotten families and of three terrible miscarriages of justice. It also uncovers Peter Sutcliffe’s real motive for murder – and reveals how he manipulated police, prosecutors and psychiatrists to ensure that he serves his sentence in the comfort of a psychiatric hospital rather than a prison cell.

This book was really interesting and if true crime is your thing you should give it a read. The crimes that Peter Sutcliffe were charged with are well discussed and have been written about frequently but this book looks at the geography of his life and the number of similar crimes committed in areas he had links with at times he was likely to be there. Some fit his known pattern, others are slightly different, but all share elements of his modus operandi.

Even before reading this I did wonder how many other victims there were out there, either people who were killed or those who had a near misses. I do understand from a practical point of view why there is nothing to be gained and that it would be expensive to investigate every crime that took place in every area he lived or visited, but you can’t help wondering if there are women out there who never got justice.

I give this book 5 out of five stars.

Fact Vs Fiction

NanoWrimo 2020- Time To Begin…

It is half past seven, on Sunday morning the 1st of November and I am about to start my Nano campaign for this year, now to be honest every time start this something happens, but this year everything has happened already.

I have actually planned ahead, I have two projects I intend to get finished during Nano. one only needs a couple of thousand words, the other is a project I am really excited about though I have set myself really strict timelines.

I had picked the start of November for a mental reboot, I have bought myself a nice new productivity planner, bought some Slimfast to replace the toast dripping in best butter that I had been having since my back went. The first couple of weeks after my sciatic nerve went with a ping I lost weight, to be fair I was barely conscious and drugged up on morphine, then of course being unable to move tends to lend to self pity and also eating a lot of crap, especially when you have no appetite but have to eat to take the painkillers to get you moving again.

I know a lot of people wait for new year to make a fresh start but this is more getting back into habits that I have settled into on and off the last year, now is the time to pull it all together and get some books out.

I will update you on my progress twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays, Wednesdays I will talk about the projects themselves and Sunday will be more about the numbers. Right I need to go, I have the family coming for Sunday Dinner before we go back into lockdown as I need some furniture moving, and I need to get some words down first!

6. Saturday · So it's Saturday

Weekly Round-Up – Saturday 31st 2020

Before we start,,,

You can get your free copy here

With that out of the way, lets see how the week has gone…

Podcasts

This week I have been binge listening to Best Case Worst Case, this is a different true crime programme where the actual professionals involved talk about the best and worst cases they have been part of., now I have to be honest one of the hosts Jim Clemente can get a little annoying and preachy sometimes. He is a former prosecutor and FBI agent, so while he has the most amazing credentials and stories, sometimes he can come across as a little naïve as to the fact that not everyone does everything by the book, he gets very defensive at any suggestion that anyone from the FBI particular might have dropped the ball., but overall the stories make it worth listening to, you can find more here.       

Music

Strange one this week but I actually found myself listening to an album by a wrestler.

I really didn’t expect to like this, first I am not a fan of the character, but when they said you could listen on Spotify premium which I have then I thought why not, one of my favourites as his version of Amazing Grace but done to the tune of the Animals song House of The Rising Sun, if you don’t have Spotify you can find it on I-Tunes or the album is on Youtube.

Reading

I have not done a lo of reading this week so I am still reading the same book, however I will mention a book I need to order called The Necroscope by Brian Lumley, if you love weird horror then you should check this out. We had to move my book collection last weekend for some work being done in the house and my son was helping me, he is 12 and just getting into the horror genre, but he found several books from this series and asked if he can read it, I said yes but then remembered I lent the first book to someone who never returned it so he will have to wait until book one arrives.

Watching – TV

This week on TV I have to confess being late to the party but my son has got me hooked on Gogglebox. It is something he started watching on the weekend he sleeps at hid grandma’s house, and it really didn’t appeal to me when he tried to explain it to me but after watching it with him a couple of times I have got hooked myself,

I think part of the reason that this is such a big hit is not only is it a peek into someone else’s home but also it is like having conversations with a friend about shows you have also watched, especially right now when getting together with friends is not allowed.

Watching – Film

I confess I have not watched a film this week unless you count Harry Potter film’s which i have on in the background as a constant white noise at the minute, but let’s face it you can’t beat a bit of magic especially when today is Halloween but rather than a clip from that I am going to share a clip from a classic horror film that I have been introducing my son to in book form.

Watching – Netflix

I love playing with my make up but I don’t have the skills to do the sort of things these people do, let alone the patience, i do however, enjoy watching people with more skills than me create art on skin, the types of things 

If you don’t have Netflix there are two series of this on I-Player.

I apologise for how late in the day I am publishing this, I thought I had hit the button but I got distracted, back with this next week…

Fact Vs Fiction

Author Interview with Paula Acton

Pop over to Karen’s blog to read an interview that I have up over there

The Magic of Stories

If you are a follower of my blog, you will have seen I read and reviewed every story in the Love Ever After anthology.

I chose a winner, which was my favourite, and little did I know it would be the first one in the book. First Contact by Paula Action. The story started off normally enough, and then unexpectedly takes a dark turn. It’s introduced as not being a bad turn of events but I knew that although a lot of people in the story were embracing it, I had a bad feeling this would not turn out well. I was right, and could see this as a Netflix series as I love finding this type of thing. Of course, I am not going to explain what ‘it’ is, because I want you to read it for yourself. That way you get the knee jerk reaction I did…

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Thoughts on thursday

Thoughts On Thursday! 29th October 2020

I am going to try to get back to doing some of these extended question of the days because some answers just don’t fit in a tweet!

You are stuck on an island with no way off and no one knows you are there, what three items do you have with you?

This one is hard because if we are talking a realistic answer of what items am I most likely to have in my bag it would be my phone, my kindle and my make up bag or my Filofax depending what I am doing, or possibly my reading glasses if I remembered to put them in the bag. The reality is none of these make an interesting answer because the batteries would die so quickly they would be of no practical use other than the glasses which I can use to start fires, but as I wear normal glasses too now they are not of any special use.

So let’s try the you can have anything…

The first thing I would want is a solar power generator (because this is a hot island, if not get me off it now), I will need power for the next two items so I will need to be able to keep them charged up.

The second item is my kindle, I have enough books on there to keep me in books for years, the generator can be used to charge it back up It might be a good idea now, as I write this, to download a few survival manuals, but on the positive side my dad did teach me a few bits of DIY and I have watched a few survival shows so I am pretty sure I can make a passable shelter unless there is really extreme weather.

The third item is my computer, now obviously, I have no internet, but I can still write (I would need my wired mouse and keyboard, not the wireless ones to go with it, but that all counts as one right?) The advantage to my computer over than pen and paper is that there is no limit to how many books I can write and I can have them all edited ready for publishing if I ever get rescued from this island. The second advantage is I have Sims 4 on the computer so I have a game I can play on and if I feel lonely I can create myself some friends o a family.

Of course, the really sensible answers would be a tent, a first aid kit, and a swiss army pen knife but hell, who wants to be sensible. drop your three items in the comments