Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 29/04/18


It’s quite possibly a little ironic that as the voting closes on the Bloggers Bash awards, for which I have been nominated as Funniest Blogger, that I find myself a little maudlin and about as far from funny as it is possible to be. This week has been a long one with trials and tribulations along the way, both work wise and personal, but none more difficult to bear than the decision I had to make this past weekend.

I had to say goodnight to my baby dog, Kaycee. Fifteen years old and with me since she was a gravy headed pup, she has been my one constant through a lot of difficult times. When I had to rehome my other dogs a couple of years ago due to personal circumstances, I took the decision to keep Kaycee on, knowing that at her age it would not be fair to leave her and expect her to be able to resettle in a new environment. I probably didn’t expect her to last as long as she did and she has had a fair old innings, but as her back legs start to fail her and with a few other medical issues to consider, after a discussion with the vet I decided the fairest thing for her was to let her have some peace and to say that final fond farewell. One of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make and if you spot typos in this post it is because after a day of tears yesterday I am crying again now trying to write this post. The only bright spot in the darkness has been the support of my lovely friends. Thanks guys.

It’s amazing how much pets become a part of our lives and how hard it is to let them go. It was the kindest thing for my Kaycee Beans but by god am I going to miss her. No more morning woofs reminding me that I do actually have to get out of bed having ignored my alarms for six or more snooze cycles. No-one left to make the morning toast for. My seemingly psychotic, thoroughly acrobatic toaster is now heading for semi-retirement as I rarely use it for myself but hey ho. Just another kitchen appliance to sit gathering dust, right?

I survived my trip to the commercial vehicle show and contained my excitement at all of the shiny vehicles on display. If you want to see just how thrilling it got, here are my highlights photos.


Contain yourselves now … Yes – that’s a Twizzy in a LoLoader.

Two days of training in Warrington and Basildon and a long ass day at work on Friday and then … well you know what.

My bright spot in the week, my first book post in over four weeks, courtesy of No Exit Press. First up Ten Year Stretch the short story anthology to celebrate ten years of CrimeFest which I admit I am looking forward to attending for the third time next month. Next up was Paris In The Dark by Robert Olen Butler.


Netgalley wise I was a little naughty but I don’t rightly care. Two new books and absolute crackers they are too. First to Die by Alex Caan and Perfect Silence by Helen Fields. Can’t wait to read them both. So exciting.


Purchased just the two books. Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt and The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton.


And that was it. Quiet week for me really. Reading wise, I benefitted from my road trips enabling me to finish an audio book on top of three regular reads. I’m not sure how but I ended up seeing a repetition in themes with three books containing missing children and three a supernatural theme or element. Not that I’m complaining, all were excellent reads and highly recommended.

Books I have Read

afwA Fractured Winter – Alison Baillie

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.
Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her. 
Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago?
What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?
A story of the shadows of the past, the uncertainties of the present and how you can never really know anybody.

Really enjoyed this chilling (in more ways than one) thriller from Alison Baillie. Suspenseful and creepy, and set in a beautifully isolated village there are enough dark secrets to thrill any psychological thriller fan. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the tour later this week but you can preorder a copy here.

TDD}The Devil’s Dice – Roz Watkins


A lawyer is found dead in a Peak District cave, his face ribboned with scratches.


Amidst rumours of a local curse, DI Meg Dalton is convinced this is cold-blooded murder. There’s just one catch – chiselled into the cave wall above the body is an image of the grim reaper and the dead man’s initials, and it’s been there for over a century.


As Meg battles to solve the increasingly disturbing case, it’s clear someone knows her secrets. The murderer is playing games with Meg – and the dice are loaded…

A white-knuckle crime debut introducing DI Meg Dalton, perfect for fans of Broadchurch and Happy Valley.

This has been on my tbr for a while and so when opportunity presented itself I decided to listen to it via audible on my travels this week. Unravelling a mysterious death was this murder or suicide or was something far more sinister at play? You can decide for yourself if you order your own copy here.

tcThe Craftsman – Sharon Bolton

Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago? 
Or is there something much darker at play?

Chilling and tapping into one of the most common fears held by many, The Craftsman is a truly dark and fascinating read. Witchy book number two, I loved this, although admit I was probably not as spooked as some have been, It takes a lot to rattle me. But still – you may not want to read this in the dark … You can order your own copy here.

trThe Retreat – Mark Edwards

A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

Mark Edwards turns to the darker side, channelling urban legend and dark mystery in this chilling North Wales set thrill ride. Missing children, curses and creepy small town legend all set this up to be a cracking and atmospheric read. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the tour but you can order a copy of the book here. Had to admit this made me smile as I have a Great Niece called Lilly and her little brother is called Lucas … Small world 😉

Four books – not too bad considering I have been struggling to concentrate all weekend. That takes my reading total this year to 74 books against a target of 85. I may just make it by Christmas … 😉

Blog wise I was quite busy with posts Monday to Friday, although I gave myself the weekend off. I’m nice like that some times.

The Picture – Roger Bray

Cross Your Heart by Kierney Scott

Guilt by Amanda Robson

One Way Or Another by Colleen Coleman

The Kindness of Strangers by Julie Newman

The week ahead is pretty quiet as my wind down (promised in January) finally begins. I have tours for The Fear by CL Taylor on Thursday, A Fractured Winter on Friday and The Craftsman on Sunday. Also a pretty fab cover reveal this afternoon if you’re about. So excited for this one.


This week I have a couple of trips to London to complete so hopefully more audio book time. I also have some grieving to do so if I seem to be missing, you know why. I’m sure normal service will resume soon i.e. sarcastic mare will return. In the meantime, have a fabulously bookish week and I’ll see you on the other side.


13 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 29/04/18

  1. Loosing a pet is like loosing a member of the family, a few months on and I still miss Milo everyday, the house is so quiet without him and he was such a character. Sending you big hugs x

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    1. It’s so tough when they’ve been with us for so long. She was such a gentle soul and still had so much bounce on her good days which makes it harder but it was right to say goodbye. Will always miss her.


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