Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 13/05/18

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Made the most of the beautiful weather this weekend and went for a lovely walk early on Sunday morning. A few miles and several steps covered, I also cleared 40% of an audiobook so it is all good. Productive day for me then. Whoop whoop.

So – how has your week been? I’ve had a bit of an emotional one again this week unfortunately. Took my little kitty to the vets as he’s been under the weather and we’ve been monitoring him for the week. Sadly, this time he hd lost more weight and the vet felt a mass in his intestinal tract which doesn’t look good. He’s on steroids to manage his condition and hopefully improve his feeding but we both know it is simply a matter of time before I have to say goodbye to Mars too. I am trying to psyche myself up for it, but I have to be honest, as nice as the gesture was, it didn’t help that the same evening I came home to a card from the Vets with their best wishes after the loss of Kaycee the other week. Can anyone guess who was an emotional blubbering mess? No? That would be me. Again.

I did manage to complete two of my three online courses, which sounds like far more of an achievement than it actually is, but hey. I now have certificates. Go me, lol.

Taking my mind off things, I had a meeting in Crawley on Thursday so I took the opportunity for a quick stop off in the city the night before to attend the launch of Roxanne Bouchard’s wonderfully lyrical crime thriller, We Were The Salt of the Sea. The event was hosted by the Canadian Embassy, the venue and the evening amazing, and a big thanks to Karen Sullivan for the invitation. Certainly a very memorable event with brilliant readings by translator David Warriner (in English) and Roxanne herself (in French) which made the night perfect. Might have picked myself up a sneaky signed copy of the book too, courtesy of the lovely Karen again. The dedication is in French but I have just about enough knowledge of the language to translate. It was lovely to meet both Roxanne and David and their respective partners, and to see a number of my good blogging pals too.

You know my theory that book post is like buses? Well – proven again this week. While I was away I received three letters/parcels. The first was a book-plate for The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton. If I hadn’t been expecting it then it would have been quite unnerving lol. The second was a copy of Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan from Avon Books. The third was something pretty special – a finished copy of The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl where I am quoted on the cover!!! My first (and probably only) time as a cover girl. I will treasure this for sure. Might even have to get it signed by the man himself as a super special copy.

Saturday saw me attending the blogger author meet up in Stoke organise by Stephanie Lawrence and Kerry Parsons. It was fab to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones. I am crap with pictures so there is no evidence to be found on this blog, but if you search about you may find some in existence elsewhere.

I’m probably a very naughty bunny – depending on your perspective – but I did go onto Netgalley again this week, In my defence, I had to as I needed books for blog tours … I just might have strayed and requested a couple more while I was there. Whoops. I picked up The Date by Louise Jensen, Follow Me Home by DK Hood, The Puppet Show by MW Craven and Strangers on a Bridge by Louise Mangos. I also received an advance copy of After He’s Gone from author Jane Issac, the first in a brand new series which I am really looking forward to tucking into soon.

Purchase wise – not so well behaved I’m afraid. I made a few pre-orders (as you do) and picked up a couple of bargains too. As well as preordering Follow Me Home, The Puppet Show and  Strangers on a Bridge, I picked up Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley; The Adulterer’s Wife by Leigh Russell; The Dying Place by Luca Veste; The Promise by Katerina Diamond; Dark Winter and Original Skin by David Mark. No audio books, the then I think I have enough to be going on with, don’t you?

Books I have read

aAbsolution – Paul Hardisty

Sequel to the critically acclaimed The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear and Reconciliation for the Dead. Claymore Straker returns in another gripping, page-turning, socially conscious thriller, with more at stake than ever…

It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.

So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible.

Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible. Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy. At times brutal, often lyrical, but always gripping, Absolutionis a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.

The final Claymore Straker novel but by god what a hard hitting, emotional read, full of social conscience and a clear passion for his subject. Paul Hardisty takes us on a roller coaster rise as Straker seeks to reunite himself with Rania, possibly the only woman he has ever loved. Full of action, tension and subterfuge this book has many facets, covering environmental and humanitarian issues whilst providing a compelling story told in such beautifully crafted language. Action with a heart. Loved it. It’s available now in e-book or from 30th May in paperback so you can pick up or preorder a copy here.

TRThe Reckoning – Yrsa Sigurdardottir

A chilling note predicting the deaths of six people is found in a school’s time capsule, ten years after it was buried. But surely, if a thirteen-year-old wrote it, it can’t be a real threat…

Detective Huldar suspects he’s been given the investigation simply to keep him away from real police work. He turns to psychologist Freyja to help understand the child who hid the message. Soon, however, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

For the discovery of the letter coincides with a string of macabre events: body parts found in a garden, followed by the murder of the man who owned the house. His initials are BT, one of the names on the note.

Huldar and Freyja must race to identify the writer, the victims and the murderer, before the rest of the targets are killed…

The best thing about long drives down to London are the hours of audio book I can consume while travelling. I devoured the previous book in the Freyja and Huldar series and couldn’t wait to read this one. I was not disappointed. A dark central story and a very chilling aspect to this novel as a whole, not just its setting, but by god was it a good read/listen. You can pick up a copy here and I’ll be sharing my review soon.

satlcoth:jpgSummer at the Little Cottage on the Hill – Emma Davies

Take an endless stroll through wild meadows and breathe in the sweet aroma of flowers in full bloom. The first ever guest at the little cottage on the hill is looking for an escape, but her past is not far behind her… 

Thirty-two-year-old ‘ice queen’ Isobel slams the cottage door and pulls the curtains shut. She has just six weeks to practise for a secret project that could save her career and no one must know she is here. 

When Tom, the local thatcher with eyes as blue and deep as the ocean, hears the sound of her violin on the breeze he feels a tug at his heart-strings that reminds him of happier times. Who is this mysterious new lodger, and why does she look so familiar? 

Desperate to find out more, Tom is devastated when Isobel refuses to enjoy everything the farm has to offer. He won’t give in, but just when it looks like Isobel is coming out of her shell, someone recognises her and the troubles from her past threaten to take away everything she has been working towards. 

Will the lessons Isobel learned at the little cottage help her to stand up and face the music? Will Tom ever find a way to unlock the emotion she needs to move on? 

After all the darkness I needed a little time in the light. And it doesn’t come much lighter and brighter than summer days in the beautiful gardens of Joy’s Acre, in my home county of Shropshire, the setting for Emma Davies’ Little Cottage on the Hill series. More romance, friendship and feel good story telling and a set of recipes and delicious sounding dishes to get your mouth watering. I’ll be sharing my review soon but you can pre order a copy here.

13Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

I have been intrigued by the sound of this book since I first heard about it late last year. I’ve had it on preorder since before christmas and it was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. I will admit – this was my first time in the witness box with good old Eddie Flynn but it will not be the last. Dark, twisted and ingenious, I loved this serial killer thriller with a twist. I’ll be sharing my review in a couple of weeks as part of the tour but you can order your own copy here.

Four. Been better been worse. I am also slotting in short stories from the Ten Year Stretch anthology too along the way, so it’s not all bad really. Busy week on the blog – highlights below.

Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley

Ten Year Stretch Part 2: Ten Years of CrimeFest.

The Retreat by Mark Edwards

Book Love: Sandra Danby

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

The Louisiana Republic by Maxim Jakubowski

Ten Year Stretch Part 3: Ten Years of CrimeFest

The week ahead is a little slower. I’ve a few blog tours lined up and perhaps a couple of reviews if I get a chance to type them up but my main focus (other than the cat) will be attending CrimeFest in Bristol from Thursday. Really looking forward to it. Be prepared for much tweetage as a result.

Blog tours are for The Old You by Louise Voss, Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone, Dying Truth by Angela Marsons and Freefall by Adam Hamdy.

Hope you have a fabulous week all. I’m not sure if I’ll be back with a post next Monday – it really depends on how I feel after CrimeFest lol. We will know by this time next week if I am funny though so that will be nice.

Enjoy your week,

Jen

 

11 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 13/05/18

      1. Christine

        I couldn’t have said that better, Jen We lost a 16 year old in Dec and our 19 year old in Jan five weeks apart so I feel your anguish.

        OK, regarding this post, your Rewinds are always the highlights of my Monday mornings! I live vicariously through your speed reads and festivals and joyful packages in the mail!! What fun!

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    1. Thank you. Looking forward to reading the David Mark books. I’m on mega catch up but one day I will have read everything. Well… quite a lot at least.

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