Book Review: The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

Professor Theo Cray is a computational biologist, on a field trip in Montana to study phenotypic plasticity in wood frog tadpoles, when he is caught up in a homicide investigation. An ex-student of his has been found brutally murdered in woodland not far from the motel he is staying at, and Theo is the prime suspect.

Upon further investigation, it appears that the murder was in fact a vicious bear attack, but Theo is not convinced. Against the wishes of local law enforcement, he sets out to investigate the death himself and uncovers a number of disappearances in the area, dating back to years before.

Using a combination of his own computer software, developed to sort through various points of information and identify patterns, and a quizzical and analytical mind, Theo doggedly begins to track a ruthless killer, unearthing bodies and secrets along the way.

But somebody is intent on keeping the murders a secret, and will stop at nothing to ensure that.

I absolutely LOVED this book! It was like a science lesson and a thriller rolled into one, and I learnt some brilliant tidbits of information along the way. Theo is an amusing character too, with some great one-liners and a stubborn determination to get to the root cause no matter what happens along the way.

Can’t wait to read the sequel!

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Book Review: When You Disappeared by John Marrs

I really like John Marrs’ imagination. His books are never your run-of-the-mill psychological thrillers, but instead something a little bit different.

Catherine’s morning appears to be a normal one – waking early to get the kids ready for their day, feeding the dog, going about her daily business. However, nothing is as it seems, as she gradually begins to realise. Her husband Simon has disappeared. His running shoes are still beside the door, his car is parked in the driveway, his wallet is on the dresser. But as for Simon, he has vanished without a trace.

Twenty-five years later, he appears on her doorstep, completely guilt-free about deserting his wife and children so callously, yet intent on explaining his life in the intervening years, and his reasons for leaving.

The story jumps back and forth from present day to twenty five years previous, detailing Simon’s story of adventure and debauchery across Europe and the US as a single man, and Catherine’s life of doubt and depression, struggling to raise her young family in the wake of their loss.

I must confess to disliking Simon intensely. He is a pathetic excuse for a man with no evident conscience, but his story is shocking and action-packed, and not what I had expected at all.

A fabulous read. Highly recommended.

Book Giveaway: Trespassing by Brandi Reeds SIGNED COPY!

Fancy a signed copy of this awesome psychological thriller? Comment below 🙂

Is it Friday yet?

I have some exciting news for you. After my glowing review of Brandi Reeds new novel last month, the author has decided to very generously offer a signed copy to one lucky reader.

So, who wants to win a signed copy of Trespassing by Brandi Reeds?

To be in with a chance of winning, comment on this post. Yep, that’s all! Tweeting or sharing on Facebook will give you an additional chance to win, so let me know where you have shared.

If you have read my review of Trespassing, you will know what an excellent book it is. If not, here is the book description.

“In a novel of mounting psychological suspense, a young mother follows a dangerous path to find her missing husband.

Veronica Cavanaugh’s grasp on the world is slipping. Her latest round of fertility treatments not only failed but left her on edge and unbalanced. And…

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Book Review: Our Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan

Chris is waiting for a train. But not to take him to another destination. Chris wants to jump in front of the train. He plans to commit suicide and join his wife Julia, who died the previous year.

Sarah has walked out on her ex-boyfriend, tired of being used for one thing, and arrives at the train station to wait for the next train home. Unwittingly, she interrupts Chris’s suicide attempt, and he leaves.

In the following days, Chris is angry that his plan to join his wife was thwarted. He wonders what to do next. He can’t keep on living without Julia. He is scared that the man who killed her will return and make good on his threats to harm the people Chris loves. He isolates himself and plans his next move.

Meanwhile, Sarah can’t get the stranger from the train station out of her mind. As it dawns on her that she stopped a suicide attempt and saved Chris’s life, she becomes obsessed with tracking him down and helping him.

What follows next is a tense psychological thriller that keeps the reader guessing. Chris’s life rapidly unravels as Sarah relentlessly pursues him and immerses herself in his life, certain that they can make each other happy. But Chris is still intent on suicide…

I really enjoyed this book, the debut from Darren O’Sullivan. Even though I had it figured out pretty early on, I was still intrigued to discover what would happen next. The author definitely knows how to keep the reader enthralled and I am looking forward to reading his next thriller.

Book Giveaway: Trespassing by Brandi Reeds SIGNED COPY!

I have some exciting news for you. After my glowing review of Brandi Reeds new novel last month, the author has decided to very generously offer a signed copy to one lucky reader.

So, who wants to win a signed copy of Trespassing by Brandi Reeds?

To be in with a chance of winning, comment on this post. Yep, that’s all! Tweeting or sharing on Facebook will give you an additional chance to win, so let me know where you have shared.

If you have read my review of Trespassing, you will know what an excellent book it is. If not, here is the book description.

“In a novel of mounting psychological suspense, a young mother follows a dangerous path to find her missing husband.

Veronica Cavanaugh’s grasp on the world is slipping. Her latest round of fertility treatments not only failed but left her on edge and unbalanced. And her three-year-old daughter, Elizabella, has a new imaginary friend, who seems much more devilish than playful. So when Veronica’s husband fails to return home from a business trip, what’s left of her stability begins to crumble.

Given her family’s history of mental illness, and Elizabella’s insistence that her daddy is dead, Veronica starts questioning herself. Every move she makes is now suspect. Worse still, Veronica is positive that someone wants her and her daughter dead, too–unless it’s all in her mind…

Somewhere beneath her paranoia is the answer to her husband’s vanishing. To find it, she’s led to a house in the Florida Keys. But once there, she isn’t sure she wants to know the truth.”

Sounds good? A signed copy of Trespassing could be yours! Just comment and reblog and you will be in with a chance of winning.

Closing date is April 30th 2018.

March Overview

Well, March has been a busy month for me with various comings and goings, and a little decision-making too.

I’m hoping that April and beyond will witness a huge change to my life, one that I have wanted for a long, long time. Exciting times!

So, let’s jump straight to it.

Recent achievements:

  • I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up, and I have even created a website, an Instagram, and a Facebook page for my new life coaching venture, A Happier Life For You. It is still very early days and I am taking it all one step at a time. I don’t think becoming self-employed is something I should rush into. I am also mulling over the best way to market myself – if anybody has any suggestions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
  • Work was getting a little more exciting, with a variety of new tasks coming my way, which made my working week so much more interesting. However, more recently, my co-worker was fired, which has halted my progression, hopefully temporarily, while they look for a replacement. Plus, my manager has recently gone on maternity leave, so things are up in the air right now – fingers crossed for improvements in the coming weeks.
  • I have started a Happiness Coaching course, and also a Handcrafted Herbalism Mini-Course. I’ve always had an interest in herbs and herbal medicine so this should be interesting.
  • I read 13 books in March. I’m quite proud of that fact as I do have a lot on right now, with courses and Facebook pages and the setting up of new businesses. I guess my New Years Resolution of organising my time better is actually working, as it is giving me oodles more time to read!!
  • I have been attending the gym every week for the past five weeks. Go me! Okay, so I only stay for an about an hour, but I think that’s adequate right now, especially for somebody who loves sitting around and being lazy so much.
  • I got a pay rise at work. Woohoo! This only happened today, and this post has been in my drafts all week because I couldn’t concentrate on getting it finished. But again – WOOHOO!!

I can’t think of anymore achievements right now but I think they will suffice. I am feeling quite positive about life at the moment, so let’s just hope I continue in this vein.

Goals for April:

  1. Continue going to the gym. I really need to invest in a sports bra so I can jog on the walking machine thingies. And I still need to eat healthier and cut out on the wine. Well, on weekdays anyway..
  2. Complete my coaching course and get my Certificate of Completion. Then enroll onto the next course to further my coaching knowledge.
  3. Work at developing my website. This may take some time as I am not particularly tech-savvy. A blog is easy. An actual website that has to impress people into using my services is scary!
  4. Gain clients. I’m not quite sure how yet, but I’m working on it.
  5. Train the new girl at work. Yes, they have replaced my co-worker, the one who was fired, and the new girl/lady is starting later in the month. Hopefully she will be a good fit for the team.

They are pretty big goals so I’m going to limit it to just the five. Watch this space to see if I achieve them, or check out my website at https://ahappierlifeforyou.co.uk/. I would appreciate your follow over there!

What goals do you have for April?

Meet New Blogger Friends

Happy four-day weekend, everybody!

While I have time off from work, I would like to meet some new bloggers, and also to promote my new health and wellness website. And what is the best way to do that? A link train!

I got this idea from another blogger, and also from the Twitter trains, which have introduced me to so many excellent bloggers. This is almost exactly the same – add your link in the comments and show some love to the other bloggers. It’s a great way to meet new people and discover like-minded blogs.

So I’ll go first.

My primary blog is https://redwineandfridaynights.wordpress.com/

My poetry blog is https://fragmentsofmymindweb.wordpress.com/

And my new website that needs some special love is https://ahappierlifeforyou.co.uk/

Comment with your link, and start showing some love! 💜