Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 20/05/18


Well this has been a week and a half. Well, technically it is a week and a day, but it one I would and wouldn’t like to repeat. It was with a very heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to poor old Mars on Tuesday. I discussed his condition with the vet and sadly she could tell the mass in his abdomen had grown dramatically in just a week. He wasn’t gaining weight even with the steroids and he was more and more tired so it was the kindest thing to do. I will miss him terribly, as does Luna who has had to say goodbye to both of her friends and really doesn’t know what to do with herself right now. I know the feeling.It didn’t make it easier that on the day in question, for the first time ever, WordPress through a wobbler and managed to delete the content of my post, a blog tour review for Louise Voss’s The Old You. A massive thanks to Jo Robertson for letting me know but I was awful rushing to prep the post while bawling my eyes out and trying to get to work. Apologies to Louise if my review wasn’t up to normal standards. I really did love the book. I was only working half a day too as on Tuesday afternoon I headed to London with Mandie for Johanna Gustawsson and Steph Broadribb’s joint book launch in Covent Garden. One moment of sun in a dark day. Well, that and the Chocolate bun from Ole and Steen. Well I was in mourning.

So, after that ordeal, I only had one more day to work last week as I was off to CrimeFest!!! Did I mention that? I think I may have … I’m not going to bore youa ll to death about it in this post, I’ll do a round up later in the week hopefully, but I will share a few book pics as I may have bought one or two whilst away.

Please note – Chris Whitaker loves me. Understandable as I am fab, but there you go. books I purchase this weekend are Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen; Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes; Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker; Hydra by Matt Wesolowski; Head Case by Ross Armstrong; Dark Pines by Will Dean; The Reckoning by Yrsa Sigurdardottir; and The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl. I also received copies of Ten Year StretchHidden Killers andHer Name Was Rose and a signed copy of A Fractured Winter from the lovely Alison Baillie.

I’ll update you all on the CrimeFest shenanigans soon (ish) but I have to say one of the highlights for me was finally getting to meet Rachel Amphlett. I absolutely love her work and she so lovely. And tall. Thanks to Rachel and Nick for the photo – not embarrassing at all 🙂


When we meet again, I shall wear stilts …

In addition to the above books, I may have purchased a few and also received one direct. Books I bought are: The Taking of Annie Thorne by CJ Tudor; Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough; My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England; Motherlandby GD Abson; The Watcher and Head Case by Ross Armstrong; Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates; The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty and Murder Map by Richard Parker. I also received an advance copy of Seven Bridges from LJ Ross and Peter Ritchie’sShores of Death where I am also quoted inside.

Today I braved Ikea and went shopping for a new desk and chair. I am working from them now and am slowing building up a writing space. This is what I have so far…

I can tell you’re impressed. When I got home, I found that my certificates from my recent online courses had been delivered so I’m like a proper expert now. Or something. No – hold your applause now. This wasn’t neuro-science.


And apparently over the weekend I became the second funniest blogger in the Bloggers Bash Awards. Can’t help feeling the badge needs the world “place” in is as the wording makes it seem like a gentle put down lol. Thank you to everyone who voted for me but it is a weird category for me to be in really. I may be a funny/sarcastic Facebooker/Tweeter but my blog is actually full of really long and really boring posts. Not funny at all. Unless you’re laughing at my typos. Some of them are hilarious.

Funniest Blogger - Second.PNG

Now because of the cat and Crimefest, my reading has been pants this week. I finished Ten Year Stretch, plus I managed to read a couple of others, Murder at the Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan and Seven Bridges by LJ Ross. You can read about them below.

Books I have read.

TYSTen Year Stretch – Crime Fest Short Story Anthology

Twenty superb new crime stories have been commissioned specially to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Crimefest, described by The Guardian as ‘one of the fifty best festivals in the world’.

A star-studded international group of authors has come together in crime writing harmony to provide a killer cocktail for noir fans; salutary tales of gangster etiquette and pitfalls, clever takes on the locked-room genre, chilling wrong-footers from the deceptively peaceful suburbs, intriguing accounts of tables being turned on hapless private eyes, delicious slices of jet black nordic noir, culminating in a stunning example of bleak amorality from crime writing doyenne Maj Sjowall.

The foreword is by international bestselling thriller writer Peter James. The editors are Martin Edwards, responsible for many award-winning anthologies, and Adrian Muller, CrimeFest co-founder.

All Royalties are donated to the RNIB Talking Books Library.

The contributors to Ten Year Stretch are: Bill Beverly, Simon Brett, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Jeffery Deaver, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Peter Guttridge, Sophie Hannah, John Harvey, Mick Herron, Donna Moore, Caro Ramsay, Ian Rankin, James Sallis, Zoe Sharp, Yrsa Siguroardottir, Maj Sjowall, Michael Stanley and Andrew Taylor.

A cracking anthology which I have reviewed in full. You can find the links for the final few at the bottom of this post and can order your own copy here.

MATGRPMurder at the Grand Raj Palace – Vaseem Khan

In the enchanting new Baby Ganesh Agency novel, Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigate a murder at Mumbai’s grandest hotel.

For a century the iconic Grand Raj Palace Hotel has welcomed the world’s elite. From film stars to foreign dignitaries, anyone who is anyone stays at the Grand Raj.

The last thing the venerable old hotel needs is a murder…

When American billionaire Hollis Burbank is found dead – the day after buying India’s most expensive painting – the authorities are keen to label it a suicide. But the man in charge of the investigation is not so sure. Chopra is called in – and discovers a hotel full of people with a reason to want Burbank dead.

Accompanied by his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, Chopra navigates his way through the palatial building, a journey that leads him steadily to a killer, and into the heart of darkness . . .

Started on audio, finished in book format, I do love an Inspector Chopra book. Murder, mayhem and missing princesses make for another cracking read. You can find your own copy here and my review will be published soon,

sbSeven Bridges – LJ Ross

Ryan’s most explosive case yet…

It’s been five months since a killer walked free and DCI Ryan is preparing to leave Newcastle to hunt him down – this time, for good. 

But Ryan’s plans are scuppered when events take a dramatic turn and he is forced to stay and face his past one last time, or watch a friend suffer the consequences. 

Amid the chaos, another killer is preparing to strike. When the Tyne Bridge explodes, Ryan’s team are faced with a frantic race to uncover a deadly foe who won’t stop until every bridge is burned, along with everybody on it…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. 

Love this series and this is another belter but writing the review will be tough as there is too much chance of a spoiler. So I will just say – read it. It’s fabulous. And if you do then no it’s not but yes it is me. You can buy your own copy here and my review will hopefully be up on publication day.

And that was it. You can catch up with my daily blog posts at the links below:

Ten Year Stretch Part 4: Ten Years of CrimeFest

The Old You by Louise Voss

Ten Year Stretch Part 5: Ten Years of CrimeFest

Ten Year Stretch Part 6: Ten Years of CrimeFest

Guest Review: Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons

Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone

Blog Tour: The Cathy Connolly Series by Sam Blake

Freefall by Adam Hamdy

This coming week I have a few tours to take part in and possibly some reviews if I get time. Tours are for As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg; It Was Her by Mark Hill; The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer; and Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates.

So that is it for now. I am hoping for a far less problematic week this week. Thankfully only four days at work for the next three weeks and then I am on on my hols. Cannot wait. Unbelievably I also celebrate my second blog birthday on Thursday. I am beside myself with excitement. Actually, I am quite impressed. Never been able to concentrate on anything for two years before. Go me,

Have a fab week all.


9 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 20/05/18

    1. Thanks Linda. Been a funny old week of mixed emotions. Luna is definitely missing Kaycee and Mars but I think she’s enjoying my new writing room so I’m expecting company while I work.

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    1. Thank you. I do miss him so much. Rachel is nearly six foot I think and her other half even taller. I felt like a lilliputian next to them lol. So great to meet her though. Major fangirling going on but think I managed to keep my cool 😀

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