Fluffy ducks and fudge monkeys. I am beginning to wish I gave up blogging after all. What a week. In a good way, but lordy, what a week.
Now for those who don’t know, I am a National Transport Manager by day. International if you take into account that I also look after Ireland. This year we are launching quite a change to our systems and it means quite a few depot visits as a result. Depot visits mean early mornings. Not so bad when it’s my local depot, a bit more painful when it’s not. This week was not. Typically, when at home my day starts between 08:00 and 08:30 and lasts until around 17:30 to 18:00. Not too bad, huh. If I’m at a depot, my days starts at 06:30. When I’m travelling to said depot the same day, this can typically mean my day starting at 03:00… I’ll just leave that thought there.
This week I have also had quite a bit on book wise. Not book post wise, I should clarify. I’m back to my usual zero envelopes through the door again this week lol. No biggie as I picked up just one or two new titles myself while out and about. No. This week I had a few bookish events on and as I stop now to write this post, I think I’ve worked out why I’m a little bit tired. I’ll just lay out my week for you. See what you think.
Up at 02:00. Leave home at 03:15 and arrive in Bracknell at 06:00 after a short coffee break at Oxford services. Spend day with visitors from two of our European subs and leave RDC at around 14:30. Head to hotel in Twickenham for the night.
15:30 head to Richmond for train into London. Have another cup of coffee and do a bit of reading. Catch 17:00 train from Richmond into London to attend my first ever First Monday crime. Fabulous evening spent in the company of bookish friends and listening to Mark Edwards, Ann Cleeves, Lilja Sigurdardottir and Caz Frear talk about their books with Rod Reynolds. Nice to catch up with Karen Sullivan, albeit briefly. She invites me to Lilja’s book launch on Wednesday at the Icelandic Embassy no less. 😁
Post event head to the pub for a brief catch up with Jacob Collins, Katherine Sunderland, Victoria Goldman, Joy Kluver, Timea Cassera, Karen Sullivan, Gabriela Harding and Amer Anwar. Head back to Richmond for the short drive back to the hotel. Arrive back at the hotel 22:30. Head to bed. Phew.
Up at 04:45 to shower and get ready for the day ahead. Do a touch of blogmin and leave the hotel around 05:50 for what now feels like the ten-mile hike back to the car park (only because I’m tired and it’s early). Arrive at RDC around 06:30. Spend the morning with the visitors and doing some budget work then leave Bracknell at around 12:45 to drive back home. Arrive home around 15:15 with a brief stop at Oxford services for coffee and cous cous. Don’t ask.
Lie In!!! Up at normal o’clock (whatever that means) and leave home at 09:15 for the drive into London (yes again). Meet my Estate Agent in Greenford to go and take a look at a couple of industrial units as we are searching for extra property around the capital. Look at units – very interesting (not). Head back towards Richmond and kill a bit of time in Caffe Nero, managing emails, doing some budget work and catching up on everything I miss while driving. Buy my team a lovely Danish pastry bar (I’m nice like that) and then head into London for the book launch. Arrive a tad too early so grab a coffee and do some more emails (as you do) and buy a few books. Well I was in Waterstones. Seemed rude not to. 17:30 I make the short walk to the Icelandic Embassy and attend the book launch. Fabulous evening had by all.
Had a great evening getting to know Jacky Collins, and meeting Barry Forshaw and Leigh Russell as well as catching up with Timea and Karen again. Leave the party around 20:00 for short trip back to my car and the oh so brief drive home. Still Wednesday when I arrive back and head to bed. Just…
Head into the office for 08:30. Normal day of boring spreadsheets. Feed my Admin team their Danish pastry. It keeps them quiet for a bit. Clear down some more emails. They now stand at nearly 2000 messages in the in box. Manage them down to a marginally less depressing 1700. Leave work at 17:30. Woohoo. Do my laundry. Not so woohoo.
Rinse and repeat Thursday. Well not quite. I had mushroom and tomato on toast for breakfast and, after another day of spreadsheet and budget hell, emails sit at around 1800. Had to do a grocery shop after work. Is there anything worse? Download a very special book from Netgalley and start reading, forgetting all other books in progress (sorry other authors).
Wake up at 05:00 with Kindle on my face… Quite impressive as would have expected it to fall off during the night. Finish reading my book and write-up a draft review for the publisher. Go me. Read another book and then at 15:00 leave home to drive to Crickhowell. Lovely evening spent listening to first Matt Johnson and John Sutherland speak about their personal experiences dealing with PTSD arising from their work with the Police, and their writing as a form of therapy. Stop on afterward to watch Matt interview author Harry Bingham.
Very entertaining and fun evening. Leave Crickhowell around 21:00 and drive home. Still Saturday when I arrive back and head to bed. Just …
Wake up reaaaaaaaaaaly late (well 09:00). Get washed and dressed and head into town for a coffee, a read and a teeny bit of shopping. Head home and keep falling asleep while reading my book. Cannot for the life of me think why…
Any ideas anyone?
Now this is not a typical week. To be fair, when booking to go to Crickhowell, none of the rest of this work week had been planned. I was meant to be at home all week. It was meant to be easy – your typical 9 hour office based days etc. But you know what else? I don’t regret a minute of it.
Yes. As I write this my eye lids feel like they want to sit in my lap – I’m not getting any younger after all and these late nights are a bugger – but I had a wonderful week. And all of that driving allowed me to clear another audio book off my list so I’m very happy about that too. And I had lovely compliments about my reviews this week from some fabulous authors. Makes the fatigue feel worth it. 😀
Speaking of books, no book post as I said, but I did pick up some lovely books on my travels, some of them signed too. This week I bought physical copies of Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir, Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear, The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen, The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan, Blue by John Sutherland and The Dead House by Harry Bingham.
There is a small chance I may have bought/preordered a few other books. Like Murder at the Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan, Dying Day by Stephen Edger, Blue (ecopy) by John Sutherland (well I can’t read a signed book…) and the hard copy of the CWA Short Story Anthology from Goldsboro Books.
Reading wise I’ve had a stonking week. Five, yes five, books read or listened to. Yee haw. My tbr doesn’t stand a chance. If I’d just stop buying more books that is …
Books I have read
Put your feet up and tuck into the mince pies, because you won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy this Christmas!
Too bad the same can’t be said for single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie. When her beloved Aunt Kate ends up in hospital just before Christmas, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter rush to rural Wales to take over her B&B. A picky hotel reviewer and his mad family are coming to stay, and without the rating only he can give them, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood.
But Lottie can barely run her own life, let alone a hotel. How will she manage to turn the falling-down guesthouse into the luxurious wonderland the reviewer expects? And could the mysterious taxi driver, Danny, who agrees to help her, turn out to be the real gift this season?
As the snow sparkles on the trees and hot chocolate steams in your hand, snuggle into the delicious magic of Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse.
Short but sweet, this was a great way to start the week. You’ll get my thoughts on publication day but this is full of chuckles, sweet moments and a kind of ‘The Money Pit’ vibe that just had me smiling from start to finish. You can preorder a copy here.
Memory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all. Is it really Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Or something more sinister? Kal is about to find out…
After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps a young girl in trouble.
The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And who by? Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral to save the young stranger. But Kal is in the grip of the London Cartel and is someone after the girl, or is the girl after someone?
The second book in the Kal Medi series sees Kal trying to help a young girl, Sophie, who appears to be in some kind of trouble. Perhaps not as action packed as its predecessor, I still really enjoyed the book, loving Kal’s independent if somewhat troubled spirit. You can see my thoughts in a couple of weeks, and order the book for yourselves here.
On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness…
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.
I’ve had this on the TBR for a while and finally got a chance to listen to the audio book version thanks to all my travels this week. What a book. Luc Callanach is certainly an intriguing character and I can’t wait to get stuck into the next in the series soon. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can order a copy here.
They thought they were safe. They were wrong.
The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.
As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.
At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.
The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.
Oh how I have waited for this book. And yes, this was the book I abandoned all other reads for. Totally worth it. You will find out how much in my review on publication day although readers of my blog with a weak constitution may want to give it a miss… 😀 In the meantime, preorder your copy of this, the seventh!!! Kim Stone book right here.
In the little village of Whistling, with its butterscotch cottages and rolling green hills, snow is beginning to fall. Christmas is coming, and Emma Halloway is on her way home.
When twenty-eight-year-old food writer Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she’s broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family’s cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn’t been back in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.
Emma’s grandmother is determined to bake her back to health and happiness, as the Halloways have done for generations. Surrounded by old friends and warm cinnamon buns, Emma starts to believe in her family’s special talents for healing again. But then in walks Jack with his sparkling hazel eyes, stirring up the family feud between them.
As the twinkly lights are strung between the streetlamps, Emma remembers just why she fell for Jack in the first place… and why a Halloway should never date an Allen.
The infuriating new lodger, Sandro, doesn’t believe anyone should have to choose between love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find herself heartbroken once more?
An utterly gorgeous Christmas romance about the importance of family, freshly baked biscuits, and learning to trust your heart.
Yes. Another Christmas book. And it’s not even my Christmas feature month yet lol. Well. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this lovely festive treat of a book with you in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you like to indulge in just a touch of Christmas magic, why not preorder a copy here.
There you go. Not bad for someone with a part time job and no social life eh? 😉 Blog wise it was another full on week and here are the highlights. Okay it’s actually all of my post links but you get the point…
The week ahead is a mixture of book love, reviews and blog tours. Blog tours are for The Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy, Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite and Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir. Book love entries come from the lovely Anne Williams of Being Anne and author Ann Girdharry. Plus I’ll be sharing the first of my #FirstMondayCrime reviews for The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan ahead of November’s stellar line up. Can’t wait for that one.
Back to a normalish week of workdom. Day trip to Dublin on Wednesday to do the Irish budget. I’m also lucky enough to be heading back to London for another book launch. I’m such a jet setter (not).
Have a wonderful week all. Hope it’s full of books and reading. Me? I’m looking forward to sleep.