Where I Went and What’s Been Happening

August 28, 2017

Goes without saying that I’ve abandoned this blog. I’ve left literally a year between posts. Bit of a shitty thing to do, I agree, so I’m here to have a chat with everyone, and kind of talk about what has been going on this past year. Grab a cuppa and have a biscuit (ideally bourbon or a custard cream but any will do) and get yourself comfy.

Right. It’s hard to know where to start really. I suppose it properly starts in January 2016. Things weren’t right with me, with work, or with my mental health, but I put it all down to “returning to work blues” and ignored it. I was going to have a good year, I told myself, and that was that.

Things didn’t improve, with work or my mood, so I decided obviously my job was the problem, and looked for a new one. The stars aligned, one fell into my lap pretty quickly, and I headed to Cuba, sure that when I returned, everything would be fine and good. I’d feel better, happier, and life would be great.

It wasn’t.

I love my job, I really do, but it’s probably the most stressful environment I could have dropped myself into. Pharmacy is a hectic, chaotic world, and I’m constantly dealing with people who are ill, some with simple ear infections and skin rashes, but others are dying, or their loved ones are dying and sometimes you’re in the firing line of their emotions. Their anger, their concerns, their fears for the future. I deal with it all, and it’s not always pleasant. It’s hard enough when your mental health is stable, let alone when it’s not.

And in September, my mood plummeted. I was struggling to get out of bed, I had no interest in anything. I couldn’t read, and I certainly couldn’t blog. I had no desire to do anything. I just wanted to sleep and ignore everyone. And that’s not a good place to be. So I finally admitted that I needed help. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shit-scared before a doctor’s appointment. I came so close to talking myself out of the appointment, saying that I didn’t need help, that I was fine and that I would feel better. Thank goodness I didn’t.

My appointment was difficult, I think I cried throughout the entire time I was sat with the doctor, and looking back, there was a lot wrong with the appointment, but I asked for help, and I got it. And it was like the sun bursting through the clouds, and I finally had a glimmer of hope. You don’t realise how far you are into depression until you get some help, and you suddenly realise that hiding from your phone, your friends and your life is not a healthy thing to do. But it was an easy coping mechanism. No one can tell you there’s something wrong with you if you don’t socialise with them regularly. I’m not perfect now, but I’m getting better.

And that’s all I hope for. To quote Glee, I am a work in progress. And you don’t know how good it feels to be able to say that.

The One Where They Left Me Alone in a Bookstore|Book Haul

August 23, 2017

The title says it all really. I should not be left unattended in a bookshop. I need toddler reins. I need someone to drag me away from the books. Or to at least remove my bank card from me. But no. They don’t.

And so, this happens:

omg why did they let me buy so many books?!?!?!?!?!


My bank account is sobbing. Adam is silently sobbing at the books which were bought instead of putting the money into the House Deposit Fund (but no, my £600 already went into the HDF this month, I’m not that much of an idiot.) (Well, I could be but I’m not. I’m commited to this house. I need a library sooner rather than later. Lol.)

I am deliriously excited for all of these, particularly The Power, Half of a Yellow Sun and The Upside of Unrequieted. I adored Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda so I have very high hopes for Becky Albertalli’s next book.

Seven Days of You has such a beautiful cover I just HAD to pick up a copy, and I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about Alex, Approximately so I will hopefully be picking that up very soon. (I also have Night Owls to read by Jenn Bennett, so I should probably read that soon too lololol.)

Have you read any of these books? Which was your favourite? Or which was your least favourite? Let me know!

Bout of Books 20 TBR Pile.

August 20, 2017

It’s almost Bout of Books time!! Are you excited? I am. SO EXCITED.

Anyway, I suddenly realised that I need to post my TBR pile. (Although let’s face it, I’m not gonna stick to it. I never do.) BUT I like having some kind of plan for Bout of Books, and part of the fun is going round and commenting on everyone’s TBR pile and getting excited with everybody, so here it is.

I’d like to get around 1,000 pages read this week, even though I’m working 6 days this week (boo!) but having the boxing happening on Saturday is gonna help, as I’ll have plenty of reading time while I (attempt) to stay awake long enough to watch the match with Adam. So for that reason, I’m mainly going to be focusing on e-books, because it’s easier to read undisturbed with a tablet compared to a physical book. But I also want to read Six of Crows, so that might happen. Or possibly Vampire Academy. Or maybe When Dimple Met Rishi. SO MANY BOOKS THAT I WANT TO READ BUT CAN’T POSSIBLY FIT INTO A SINGLE 47.5 HOUR WORKING WEEK.


So, after a quick study of my Kindle Library, I’ve picked out a few of the titles that have snagged my interest.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch sounds like such a ‘me’ read, about self-discovery and discovering more about the family you didn’t know you had, all set in beautiful Tuscany. I couldn’t resist when I spotted this as a Kindle freebie, and I will not be leaving it to fester unforgotten on my Kindle. (I hope. Heh.)

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken has been on my TBR pile (and Kindle) for longer than I want to remember, so I think it’s about time to finally settle down and invest myself in the story. Everyone and their dog seems to rave about Alexandra Bracken’s writing, so I’m hoping I’ll feel the same way when I settle down with this.

The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver is another book set in Tuscany (oops. Getting myself ready for my Italian Adventure next year, through the wonderful world of books.) and involves baking, so it’s a win-win in my eyes. The synopsis sounds pretty good too, and I am loving adult romances at the moment so yeah. This will hopefully be a pleasantly fast read for me.

So there’s a tentative TBR pile for you all, whether or not I’ll stick to it is another thing. (Let’s be real, if I do, it’s a miracle.)

Are you taking part in Bout of Books? (If not, why not?! Best readathon around I tells ya!) If you are, what are you planning on picking up?


Bout of Books 20 Sign Up

August 7, 2017

Ayyyyy, that’s right! No better way to announce your intentions to get back into reading more and blogging more by signing up for Bout of Books, so here it is guys. I’m back. I’m ready. And I am beyond excited for the 21st to get here so I can read!!

Bout of Books

As always, here is the official blurb from the official Bout of Books site: “The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team”

So yeah. I’m in. I’d love for you to join me (and everyone else!) in taking part in possibly the most fun readathon around.

Book Review: Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

September 5, 2016

Book Review: Pretty Honest by Sali HughesPretty Honest by Sali Hughes
Published by Fourth Estate on 11th September 2014
Source: Gifted
Pages: 331
A witty, wise and truthful beauty handbook for real women on what works in real life from Sali Hughes, beloved journalist and broadcaster.

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together” Elizabeth Taylor

Beauty books. Exquisite coffee-table affairs featuring improbably beautiful models with wholly-unachievable-to-most women looks, product review-heavy volumes which become almost instantly outdated, or tracts of holistic mumbo jumbo, like how to make an unproven face pack from organic molasses and rough-hewn porridge oats.

Not anymore.

In Pretty Honest, Sali Hughes draws on over 20 years of wisdom, advice and expertise to show real women how to make the most of makeup’s physically and emotionally transformative powers. Covering everything from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health, it's a work that is part instruction manual, part love letter to makeup – in a writing style that combines beauty editor, feminist and painfully funny best friend.

I’m an avid beauty and skincare fan. I read beauty blogs almost daily, and I’m constantly spending my money on makeup, (when I’m not buying books, of course) much to my boyfriend’s despair. So when Pretty Honest was released, I, along with many other beauty aficionados were giddy with excitement.

Sali Hughes knows her stuff. She’s The Guardian’s beauty editor, and has tons of experience when it comes to beauty. So you can guarantee that the products mentioned in Pretty Honest are one’s Sali truly loves and believes in. This isn’t a book filled with paid endorsements, this is a book filled with genuine product recommendations. And it includes practically everything you could ever need to know – from your skincare routine, to how to apply eyeliner, to following proper salon etiquette, this book has you covered.

It’s obvious as you read Pretty Honest that Sali Hughes is genuinely passionate about beauty. It’s not only her job – it’s her hobby. She draws on a lot of her own experiences in Pretty Honest, some of which has me busting up in a fit of giggles – although waxing is no laughing matter! It’s to the point, but it reads as though you’re having a chat with Sali instead of being lectured by her.

Pretty Honest is a book I will not hesitate to recommend to any beauty fan of any age. There’s something for everyone to learn here, it’s a total gem of a book that you shouldn’t miss, if only for the excellent introduction alone.

Top Eight Pre-Blogging Books I STILL Haven’t Read

August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Broke and Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

I thought this was going to be an easy topic to put together, but after sitting and thinking about it (with multiple Goodreads references), I don’t have too many pre-blogging books still staring at me from my TBR pile.

-Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Way back when, I used to look on the Mibba book forums quite a bit, and this book was constantly recommended by nearly everyone. I own it, plus books 4-6 in the series, but I still haven’t picked it up.

-This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
I was convinced that this was going to be the only Sarah Dessen book I’d ever read, but I’ve         managed to pick up Lock & Key and The Truth About Forever, plus bought a few more, and         STILL not picked up This Lullaby yet.

-Tithe by Holly Black
I don’t even own a copy of this book, yet it has been on my radar for YEARS, AND I STILL HAVEN’T PICKED UP A COPY. What is wrong with me?!

-The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
I’ve tried and tried and tried with this book, but I just haven’t been able to commit to reading it entirely, which is a shame as I’ve enjoyed Sparks’ work in the past. I have a feeling that this is going to remain one of those books that never get read.

-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m just not even going to bother talking about P&P. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said I was going to pick it up.

-The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty
I think the main reason why I haven’t read these is purely because they’re quite difficult to get hold of, which is so frustrating as I’m pretty sure I’d love the series.

-Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
One day I’ll read these books. One day I may even binge read them. Who knows?

-Anything Ellen Hopkins
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to bring myself to read any of Ellen Hopkins books, because I know they’re quite traumatic and deal with tricky subjects, but they’ve been on my radar for a long, long time.

3 Thrillers On My Radar

August 18, 2016

I’m not normally one for thrillers, but since reading both Mud Vein and The Lie, more and more have been catching my eye. These are three books that sound super creepy and perfect for the months ahead where I tend to put down the contemporary and pick up the creepy…

thriller tbr

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton immediately caught my eye thanks to its intriguing synopsis – an alleged mass-murderer who has his own fan club, thanks to being so charismatic and irresistible to women, who wants a particular lawyer to prove his innocence. I’m already interested to see how it pans out!

I Found You by Lisa Jewell doesn’t sound quite as intense as Daisy In Chains, but still has a mystery at its core, involving a man who can’t remember, the woman who takes him in, and a woman whose new husband has gone missing, leaving her alone in a brand new country.

The Method by Shannon Kirk is probably the most intense of the three, with a 16-year-old pregnant girl who is kidnapped, but the kidnappers don’t realise how much danger they’ve actually put themselves in. It sounds super dark and twisted, so I’m definitely game to pick up a copy soon!

Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

August 15, 2016

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K JohnstonA Thousand Nights on 6th October 2015
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 324
LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

I can’t resist beautifully written books, full of gorgeous imagery that I’m happy to delve into for a good few hours, and A Thousand Nights definitely delivered. I feel like a lot of the hype for this book was due to the comparisons to fellow Arabian Nights retelling, The Wraith and the Dawn, which I haven’t yet read. From what I can gather though, the two are very different. A Thousand Nights is not a love story. There is a romance in it, but it is so much more. It’s a book about faith and spirituality, about sisterly love and how one sister can save the other. Beautiful and exquisite, this is a book I could reread over and over again.

Lo-Melkhiin is portrayed as a bad man, a ruler who takes a different wife each night and murders them all before sunrise. Our heroine refuses to let her sister follow the same fate, and takes her place as Lo-Melkhiin’s new bride, knowing what the sacrifice means, knowing that her death is imminent, but not caring because it means her sister will be safe. Talk about a selfless act of love. I love that the main theme of A Thousand Nights, for me at least, was the bond that the two sisters had, and how it carried on through the book.

I also loved how Lo-Melkhiin was shown to be a good man by his mother, who had watched her son change and become the monster he currently was, and how it helped the heroine save the day, as it were.

Seriously, just pick up a copy of A Thousand Nights and read it. Thank me later.

Next on my TBR pile|mood reading picks

July 11, 2016

I haven’t read a single book in months, but I’m nearly finished with Me Before You, so I’ve started to timidly look at what I might like to pick up next…up next tbr

It’s (supposedly) summer now, and I love short stories, so hey, Summer Days & Summer Nights is bound to be a winner.


I’ve already purchased After You because I’m kinda convinced I’m going to need to pick it up fairly soon after reading Me Before You.

And finally, The Raven King. Because I need to finish this series and I need to know how it all ends.

Release Day Blitz: Our Song by Ashley Bodette

May 31, 2016

I’m not normally for participating in release day blitz posts, but when I was contacted to see if I was interested in promoting Our Song by Ashley Bodette, I wasn’t able to resist. It sounds like an amazing read, and I cannot wait to purchase my copy and dive in!

OUR SONG Release Day Banner


I broke up with Trip four months ago. But with the exception of my parents, I haven’t toldOUR SONG E BOOK COVER anyone why. Not my friends, not my little sister, not even Asher.

I’ve been missing my best friend every day for the last nine months. Even though Becca broke up with Trip months ago, she’s still been distant, even when we’re in the same room.

She thinks she can break up with me and then go on a “family” vacation with him? I’m going to prove to both of them that she never should have left me.”


Where to buy: Amazon US|UK|AU|CA|Smashwords|iBooks|B&N|Kobo

I’m also lucky enough to have a couple of teasers to share with you, just incase the synopsis and that BEAUTIFUL cover wasn’t enough to entice you into reading!