Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 12/08/18


The view from my desk in my home office. Not the most inspired of views, I’ll admit, but it is just the beginning. I hope. After a little bit of jiggery and a lot of pokery, I got it to look a little more like this at least.


I know … It’s not that much more interesting to you, but it is to me. It signals my commitment of finally pushing myself to write that book I’ve been avoiding for ages. It will be hopeless and most likely terrible but if I don’t try I’ll never know right? This is just part of the transformation in my office thanks to my lovely brother-in-law aka Mandie’s other half, who came and assembled my tall book shelves for me too. I spent the rest of the day sorting five crates of books onto them and now they at least look loved. And full. Very full. So full in fact that if I buy any more books I will need a new bookcase. Whoops.

Sorted alphabetically, by author, signed split from unsigned, with a shelf dedicated to my self help/how to write a book books. Yeah. The reason for this sudden call to action? Well … big life changes for me. I have just left my job of the past nearly nineteen years. It has been a blast, I’ve learned a lot from my time there and been afforded so many opportunities for which I will always been grateful, and I know I will miss the people I worked with, but times change and life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you. It’s up to me to make this one count now, and make it count I will.

This is the first bit of downtime I have had in probably twenty four years since I started my degree. I worked full time in order to pay for it and have had a full time job since then, sometimes two jobs at once. I’m keen that way. It’s only since stopping that I’ve noticed just how exhausted I am so the change will most definitely do me good. Cant’s say it’s made me particularly productive on the reading front as priority is obviously finding gainful employment (I’m open to offers – within reason 😉 ). Whilst I am enjoying my rest, too much more of it will drive me crazy as I am not a person who can ever fully wind down. It’s not in my DNA.

It does mean my chocolate menagerie now has a new home. Eva – you will be glad to hear the Polar Bear survived the upheaval. For how long though I cannot comment …


I had no book post this week – not a bad thing as I have no space but hey ho. Netgalley wise I’ve been on a bit of a binge but all for blog tours so totally forgivable. I’ve picked up Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell; The Proposal by SE Lynes; The Wife Before Me by Laura Elliot and The Return to the Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies. I bought one book –  Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee, plus a couple of audio books, The Outsider by Stephen King and In Bloom by CJ Skuse. I was also gifted a copy of Valentina by SE Lynes which is rereleased today by the wonderful Bookouture. You can read my review a little later this morning.

Books I have read

dwDeepest Wounds – Gordon Brown

The past is a dangerous place. Craig McIntyre s mere presence removes people s inhibitions and turns their darkest thoughts into actions. As Craig McIntyre tries to escape bounty hunters from the Dark Web, he discovers that his details are linked to a clandestine government project. Might it hold answers to his past as well as dangers for the present? Back on the run in North America, McIntyre hooks up with some unlikely allies. But can he trust them any more than those who want to use him to shape the future…and to further their personal ambitions? Have those behind Factor really given up on their pursuit of him? Or is McIntyre being reeled in with some politically toxic bait? McIntyre is the key to an explosive secret that could change mankind forever.

Oh my. Well I know this is book three but it’s the first one I’ve read and I have to say it certainly opens in style. From there on in it is all action and intrigue with characters I grew to like very quickly. And it has quite a little twist as McIntyre is no ordinary hero. I really enjoyed it but dang it if I don’t have to go back and read the first two now and I am quite keen to find out just want happens to McIntyre and co next too. You can see my review soon but do bag yourself a copy of the book here.

twbmThe Wife Before Me – Laura Elliot

One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.

Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.

Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.

And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.

Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone. 

Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.

A totally breathtaking page-turner about the darker side of love and what really goes on behind closed doors. This book will have you gripped from the very first page until the dramatic final twist.

Blimey – this book. I’m used to some hard hitting and emotional reads from Laura Elliot but this was has a distinctly dark heart and it had me completely hooked. This isn’t the easiest read as from the very outset one thing becomes very clear about life with Nicholas, even if it takes Elena a little longer to figure it out. At times claustrophobic with more than a little bit of shock factor this is a tale which explores what really goes on behind closed doors and delves into a family history some would have preferred to remain buried. Top stuff and my review will be posted very soon as part of the tour. In the meantime, preorder a copy here.

vValentina – SE Lynes

When city girl Shona moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, she believes that all that lies ahead for her family is happiness.

But with Mikey working long hours away from home, the frightening isolation of the Scottish countryside begins to get to Shona. She feels lonely and trapped.

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina. Valentina enters Shona’s life like a whirlwind, bringing excitement and spontaneity to replace boredom and fear.

Now Shona has the perfect home, the perfect man, and the perfect new best friend – or does she?

As Shona’s fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood outside becomes the least of her fears…

From Amazon chart bestseller S.E. Lynes, Valentina is an unputdownable thriller with a twist that will take your breath away. Fans of Gone Girl, The Woman at the Window and The Wife Between Us will be gripped.

Clever. Very clever. That’s the only way I can describe this book. Actually – scrap that. Twisted and clever. That’s a better description. I’ve been hearing about this book for a while so when Bookouture decided to re-release it, it seemed a perfect opportunity to tuck in. I’ll be sharing my thoughts in my review later today but you can orders yourselves a copy here.

PSPerfect Silence – Helen Fields

‘Relentless pace, devilish cleverness and a laser-sharp focus on plot.’ Chris Brookmyre

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

I was late in coming to the Luc Callanach series but, by god, since I found it I cannot get enough. Now these tales are dark, very dark. But they are gripping and intelligently crafted and so tightly plotted that you cannot turn away once you start to read. This is no exception. I’ll be reviewing as part of the blog tour very soon, where I’ll also have an exclusive extract to share, but if you have ever read and loved any in the series then I can promise this is another doozy. You can order a copy here.

Yeah. Four books isn’t the best but in my defence I did have other things on my mind. And I kept falling asleep. Like everywhere. It’s a very hard job sorting out five crates of books onto shelves you know. And I was writing. Around 10k words right now so I have been busy. Sort of.

Busy enough week on the blog with highlights below:

Do No Harm by L.V. Hay

Martha’s Secrets by Joanna Larum

11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter

Kiss of Death by Paul Finch

The Affair by Sheryl Browne

The week ahead is a little quieter. A few tours planned in this week for Dead of Night by Michael Stanley, Never Say Goodbye by Richard Parker,  A Holiday to Remember by Susanne O’Leary and Pieces of Her by Karen Slaughter.

So this week I’m hoping to accomplish more writing and more reading and perhaps a few job opportunities. Who knows? Wish me luck in any case.

Have a fabulously bookish week all.


13 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 12/08/18

  1. Good luck Jen I’m sure this new chapter in your life will be a positive one for you and in the meantime enjoy a well earned rest and good luck with the book (and count me in for the blog tour) x x

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  2. Aww, hello there cute chocolate zoo! 😄 (I’m all for you eating the lot if it makes the creative juices flow, btw. Just keep my bear until last so I can mentally prepare myself 😂)

    I am not all surprised to hear you’re exhausted. I hope you’re able to catch up on some much earned sleep. Good luck with everything, the job hunting, the book and finding more space for another new bookshelf because you know you’re going to need more 😉

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  3. Excellent post! First was blown away by the organization of your board, then your fantabulous bookshelves, and then there was chocolate!! Best of luck with the writing and enjoy!!!


  4. Glad to hear that you might finally get a rest Jen.
    I’m particularly impressed by your NetGalley haul this time as most of the titles you
    hauled are ones I want to read.
    It’s SO FUN organizing bookshelves isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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