Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 02/12/18

It’s December now. All this Christmas crap is fair game – sorry 😉 Went to my first Christmas Market of 2018 on Saturday. Mandie and I boarded a train at Stafford and headed off to Manchester to sample their delights. In fairness, as we are both on diets and trying to be good (only so we can pig out on Mandie’s birthday later this month), we didn’t do a lot of sampling and although we bought chocolate, 99.9% of it was actually for gifts. I delivered the 1st of mine yesterday. BTW – if you are in or near Manchester, head into Debenhams as there is a Leonidas concession stand in there just for Christmas, and their chocolate is absolutely bloody lush. 

I do love Manchester’s Zippy Christmas …

So … Another pretty full on week for me has meant very little reading again. But it was all on a good cause as I did this …

Yep … believe it or not (and I was so far behind last week I really can’t) I actually completed my NaNoWriMo challenge. I have 50k words of a novel. My novel. They are 50k really really bad words put together in an altogether ridiculously impossible to interpret order, but at least it proves I can do it if I try. One year I will do this and possibly write something I might let someone else read. Possibly …

Cat update … Rory and Luna are still alive as I managed to remember to feed them. Mostly because they keep poking me until I did but I didn’t forget to do that part of adulting whilst writing so that is something.

Rory really likes crawling under blankets bless her. I have no idea what she got up to while I was in Manchester, but whatever it was tired her out …

Bought a few books this week but not sure which has had a cover reveal and which not so I will tell you about all four and show you the two I am certain have. First up was Dead Memories by Angela Marsons; Rogue Killer by Leigh Russell; Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan and All The Wrong People by Michael Grothaus. Really looking forward to reading all four of these books next year.

Don’t they look fabulous? They were it for me as I had no new Netgalley books and no audio. I did receive some lovely #bookpost though. I got Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews courtesy of Little Brown and The Bad Daughter by Joy Fielding from Bonnier Zaffre. Lovely jubbly.

Books I Have Read

Changeling – Matt Wesolowski

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.

Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…

Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

Oh lordy, how I love this series. This one actually made me smile, not because of the story as this is a very serious subject and the more you read, the more you realise how serious, but because, if Wentshire Forest were a real place, it would be nowt but a gnat’s nuts away from where I live and I can just imagine the setting so perfectly as a result. Creepy (in more ways than one) this story drew me in and kept me hooked to the end. It felt a little slower in pace than Hydra, more akin to the first Six Stories tale, as rather than a why dunnit, it is very much an investigation of a cold case, but it was skilfully told and did justice to a very, dark and troubling subject which is all too common in real life. You can order a copy of the book here and my review will be out in the new year.

Seven Days of Us – Francesca Hornak

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.

Olivia, the eldest daughter, has returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must go into quarantine for seven days. Her mother has decided it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some ‘special time’ together. Her youngest sister wholeheartedly disagrees. Her father isn’t allowed an opinion.

When no one can leave the house, seven days for the Birches feels like an eternity.

Especially when they’re all harbouring secrets. One of whom is about to come knocking at their door…

Got to be honest – the idea of being forced to spend seven days in quarantine with my family fills me with dread, but this is exactly what happens to the Birch family when oldest daughter Olivia returns from working abroad where she has been exposed to the Haag virus. At times poignant, and a perfect reflection of modern family life, this story will resonate with a lot of people. Each member of the family has their own story to tell, each life lived separately and yet forced to co-exist and face surprising and life changing revelations. You can order a copy of the book here and I’ll be reviewing as part of the blog tour later this month.

That was it for me again I’m afraid. A fairly lousy two books. A fairly busy week on the blog though with highlights below.

The Shape of Us by Drew Davies

I Wanted to Tell You by Anna Mansell

Dead Memories Cover Reveal – Angela Marsons

The Silent Dead

The Bookvent Calendar – Day One

The Bookvent Calendar – Day Two

The week ahead is pretty full on with posts every day, including new #bookvent doors to open. A lot of reviews planned this week too for the following books:

Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan; Cuckoo by Sophie Draper; Attend by West Camel; Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell; Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer; A Very Lucky Christmas by Lilac Mills and The Silk Road by Mark Leggatt.

As I’m no longer NaNo-ing, I’ll be concentrating on my reading for the next few weeks to catch up, that and trying to finalise by #bookvent choices as I keep changing my mind. Seven more to be revealed this week, so you’re almost luckier if you are in early as then I can’t change the line up lol. Off to London for a quick day (afternoon) trip tomorrow for the multi launch of five Orenda titles. Five!!! And on Wednesday I will have been in my new job for a whole month. I can’t believe how quickly that has gone.

Whatever you are up to, please make sure you have a fabulous week and I’ll see you next Monday.

Jen

6 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 02/12/18

  1. Hey Jen you seem to have mastered the new WordPress editor. I’m still afraid to give it a go, and to be brutally honest I’m not a big fan of ‘the boxes’. Oh well, I guess I’ll eventually just have to suck it up and go with it.
    LOVE the kitty pictures. Keep them coming. ♥

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  2. Congrats on the NaNo win. (I managed another win – a first draft that I hope evolved into a readable novel.)

    Love the kittie photos. We’ve just got some cute little 3 month-old grey stripey kittens – Taco and Belle. They bounce around so much that photos are a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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