Book Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Another amazing psychological thriller and debut novel, full of twists and turns and shocks. I loved it!

Amber Reynolds is lying in a coma in hospital. Why is she there? Right from the start, the story keeps us guessing, overshadowed by a sinister malevolence that makes us suspect everyone of a crime we are not yet sure of. The story jumps from present day, where Amber lies trapped in a comatose state, aware of everything that goes on around her, to her life prior to the unknown accident, including her relationship with husband Paul and her erratic work life with a megalomaniac boss. Alongside this are diary excerpts, describing an unhappy and startling childhood.

What role does sister Claire play in Amber’s life? How happy was Amber and Paul’s marriage? And why does Amber seem slightly crazy?

Personally, I couldn’t put this book down. It had me gripped right until the very end, when it climaxed with yet another excellent twist. Debut novels this year are of a very high standard, especially in the psychological thriller genre and this one definitely deserves 5 stars on Goodreads. Highly recommended!

Thank you!

So today, as well as being Friday and the first day of autumn, has also been the day that my little blog hit a milestone – 100 followers!!

I am so pleased and extremely grateful that so many of you have chosen to join me on my journey, destination as of yet unknown, and I hope that you continue to follow my random posts and reviews.

Thank you all so much for being here! 💜

Love.. Not.

Lately, I’ve had love on my mind, which is very unlike me. By love I mean relationships, and not the comfortable, non-dangerous love I have for my son and family. As I swore off the relationships kind of love a few years ago, this is unusual.

“Love is a serious mental illness”, said Plato back in 360 BC, and I am seriously inclined to agree with him.  Although I think he may have called it a disease, but same difference. Socrates backed him up with “Love is a madness”, and these guys knew what they were talking about. Hence me giving the L-word the swerve. Keeps me sane, which is how I like it these days.

So it surprised me to get those old feelings back, that craving for a connection, and I found myself Facebook stalking the last excuse-for-a-man to use my heart as a disposable punching bag. Nothing much had changed there, which was to be expected, and I really wasn’t interested in re-hashing the past. What I was actually missing was not any one person, but the thrill that you experience when you meet someone new, when your heart starts to stir again, as if waking from a deep slumber. When your soul sits up and goes “let’s take another look at this one!” Waiting in anticipation for the next text, and thinking about them in your spare time. Watching indifferently as your sanity slowly slides out of the door.

Yes, it will always come back to that, and I savour my sanity these days. I like being in control of me, and being in love, or even infatuation, is not control.

I know, I sound extremely cynical, and I’ll be alone for the rest of my life at this rate. Blah, blah. I totally realise what I am “missing out on”, but I genuinely think that this is the most sensible I have been in a long time. I lose my shit when I’m into someone, and I don’t want to do that anymore. So I avoid relationships at all costs.

I’m not going to cast doubt on love for everyone, not by any means. I know it works for many; after all, I am surrounded by couples, but it always baffles me somewhat. For me, relationships have never been easy, or particularly happy. Love exhausts me. People exhaust me. Relationships just aren’t for me, and I don’t understand how people make them work. It makes me a little envious at times.

I haven’t come to this conclusion all by myself. I do speak from experience, and said experience is not something I look back on with starry eyes. I’ve been an idiot. I’ve been drawn to the wrong ones, I’ve offered them everything on a plate, and I’ve subsequently been treated like a doormat. My own fault? Maybe, but then if they had been decent men, they wouldn’t have allowed it to happen. They would have treated me with the respect I deserved. 

These days, I prefer to respect myself, and this includes staying away from relationships. I know my weaknesses, and I know that I’m a magnet for narcissistic mummys boys. It’s that old self-esteem thing – I only accept what I think I deserve, and until I’ve healed myself of these thoughts, I will stay single. 

Don’t I miss sex? Of course I do, I’m as red-blooded as the next woman. But I’m also realistic, and old-fashioned. I’m an all-or-nothing type of girl. If I’m having sex with you, I’m having feelings for you. Hook ups and one-night stands just don’t make the grade, but thinking about anything more than that gives me the heebie-jeebies. Intimacy scares me these days, and if I’m not ready for that, then I’m not ready for anything. 

I guess it’s a trust thing. I need to work on that.

So for now, I’ll just stay here, safely hidden away, until I start to love myself.

Book Review: The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan 

Wow! I have read a lot of books this year that have claimed to be psychological thrillers, but have fallen very short of the line. This book, however – now this is a psychological thriller!

The story is told from the POV of two sisters, Corinne and Ashley, who are grieving the loss of their beloved father. Corinne and longterm partner Dominic are desperate to become parents and are going through their fourth round of IVF, which is in turn making Corinne extremely anxious. Ashley, married with three children, is having problems of her own with her moody teenage daughter and grouchy baby Holly, as well as husband James who is acting increasingly distant and strange. To top it all, odd and unexplained things are happening to them both; silent phone calls to Ashley’s landline and mobile, a dead rabbit left on Dominic’s car bonnet, and little ‘gifts’ appearing and disappearing in Corinne’s home.

Enter the third POV, whose identity is kept anonymous, but who appears to have been watching the sisters since childhood.

I love an anonymous narrator as much as I love the guessing game that this book kept me in throughout. As soon as I thought I had it all figured out, somebody else began to act suspiciously until I was doubting myself.. was I the culprit?

Might I also add that this novel is a DEBUT for Phoebe Morgan, and if this is a sign of things to come, I can’t wait for her next book. 

5 stars on Goodreads – I highly recommend it.

Friday Love ❤️ 

We all love a Friday.. don’t we?! Okay, apart from those of us who work weekends. Fortunately, as I don’t work weekends, I am able to love my Fridays freely – hence the name of my blog. 😊

Not everything about this Friday has been good though, I have to admit. I left work early today to take my cat Masai to the vets. He has been under the weather for the past few days. I can’t really pinpoint what it was that was wrong with him as he was eating and going about life as usual. But he was far from normal. For those of you who are familiar with cats, or any pet for that matter – you just know when there is something wrong. This morning, there was no question about it. He refused to eat, he refused to leave the house, and he sat hunched up on the table and let out the occasional pitiful miaow as if he was asking for help. Broke my heart leaving him, so I rang the vet once I’d arrived at work. 

Fast forward to early afternoon and I left work and sped home to pick him up, all kinds of worst case scenarios racing through my mind. The vet was incredibly helpful and admitted him straight away to do a barrage of tests. I certainly wasn’t overreacting, which I knew already. It is terrible when your animal is in pain yet can’t tell you exactly what the problem is. You feel helpless. But he is in the right place now, and hopefully will be better by the time I pick him up tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for Masai. 


Have a great weekend! 💜

Cancer the Crab

When I was younger, I was totally obsessed with astrology. I devoured books on the subjects, scouring the descriptions for signs of myself, and  I obsessively read every daily or weekly horoscope I could find in newspapers and glossy magazines. I was desperate to discover myself and I became fanatical about it, but it eventually got out of hand. I needed quick answers to minor problems that had been blown up to massive proportions, and I turned to the classified ads. I ran up colossal phone bills on those ridiculous 0898 numbers, desperate for an answer to my current predicament. 

After struggling to pay my phone bill for a second month in a row, I decided things needed to change. I began to realise that astrology was definitely not going to predict my future for me, and I needed to lower my unrealistic hopes and expectations and just go with the flow. Fate would take me in the direction I needed to go, and Jonathan Cainer was unlikely to tell me where that would be.

It was extremely difficult to wean myself off, but it had to happen. I couldn’t afford to fund my ridiculous obsession, end of story. And I began to realise that every obsession directly corresponded with my latest crush. I needed to grow up, and fast.

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and I no longer give a damn about reading my daily horoscope. In fact, I actively avoid it, as I know how rubbish, and potentially addictive, they really are. However, I do still believe in astrology, and the different star signs. I am a typical Cancer, and the majority of the traits are exactly me. I still own astrology books and like to peruse them every now and again, especially if I have an interest in the opposite sex (Linda Goodman’s Love Signs has to be the best!) But I sneer at compatibility signs – I have been in disastrous relationships with two Cancers, two Scorpios, and a Pisces, and they have all ended badly, which is odd as my compatibility with these signs should be through the roof! As someone who has previously talked myself out of a crush based on that persons star sign, I have realised that it may not be entirely accurate. I don’t want to date someone like myself, after all! 

So these days, I take it all with a pinch of salt. But I’m unwilling to discredit it completely. After all, I’m a Moon Maiden through and through, and some of the things I read about my star sign are so me. I refuse to allow it to control my life anymore though. When I think back to my obsession, I cringe. Back then, I imagined that a few insincere lines written in a newspaper would tell me what was going to happen in my life, and that’s a little scary. My daily horoscope actually dictated how my mood would be that day. If the horoscope was good, I’d be happy. If it wasn’t the best, my mood would become melancholic. It was completely and utterly crazy, and I’m so glad that is all behind me. But I can certainly understand how, for someone who was so introverted and a little bit of a fantasist, it was so easy to be taken in by it all. 

Nowadays, I can stand back and look at it all realistically. Horoscopes are still in every newspaper and magazine I read so there must still be a huge interest in them. I just hope that nobody else comes to depend on them as obsessively as I did. 

Book Review: The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah 

I’ve read the majority of the Culver Valley series and am a huge fan of the author. However, although I enjoyed parts of it, this is my least favourite of her books so far. 

Nicki Clements is a housewife, compulsive liar, and adulterer whose secret life as a habitual user of dating site ‘Intimate Links’ is about to blow up in her face. Damon Blundy is a controversial and opinionated newspaper columnist who is murdered in a very odd way. What is the connection? Enter Simon Waterhouse and his fellow detective colleagues. 

I hate to say it, but I found parts of this book almost unbearable to read. It was the usual twisty-turny Whodunnit, but there was also a lot of waffle. However, the good bits are really good. Nicki, the main character, is entertaining enough, with her flirty email relationships, her ridiculous lies, and her dysfunctional family. I can’t say I particularly liked her, but her escapades made for good reading. I did find far too many characters who were just not relevant, and it was difficult in parts to remember who was who, and why they were even mentioned. 

Still, as I’ve said, the good bits are really good, as only a Sophie Hannah novel can be, especially the interactions between the team of detectives, who are a comedy act in themselves. But, as always, they are extras to the main story.

If I could rate this as 3.5 stars on Goodreads, I would. However, I can’t, so 3 stars it is. I can’t say I disliked it, but I’ve read better by the author. This won’t put me off reading more of her work.

September #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d actually be drinking tea. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I’d like to be, as I adore the smell and the flavour, but it doesn’t really agree with me when I drink it. I think it’s the caffeine, and drinking de-caff seems like a cop-out. So I stick to tea, like a good Brit. You? I can offer you tea or coffee, or green tea with lemon, which I just can’t get on board with. The choice is yours.

So today, as we are sipping on our tea/coffee/whatever, we will be talking about September, and how we can already feel autumn in the air. It is one of those crisply cool mornings that I always love so much about autumn; blue skies, warm socks, breath pluming in the chilled air. Condensation on the car windows, although this I’m just imagining. I am planning on hibernating today and won’t be using the car, which went in for its MOT yesterday and eventually passed, after some tinkering and a bill total that I could have done without.

Anyway, let’s talk about September, and autumn. Autumn is definitely my favourite season. I’m not sure why. I think it’s a combination of things. Not having to make the effort anymore to look cool, casual, and summery. Being able to wearing coats and boots and scarves in the rain and not develop a sweat because it’s too damn hot. This, for me, is a particular bugbear. I have very weather sensitive hair and will cover it with a hooded coat at the slightest threat of rain or moisture in the air, basically because I am very fussy when it comes to my hair. But when it is also a warm summers day, albeit rainy, you tend to get some funny looks whilst hiding under a hood, as well as showing signs of heat rage because it’s just too warm. Okay, maybe it’s just me, but I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying. I like the slightly cooler weather. I like wearing thick socks and scarves, and I like crisp mornings. I like pumpkins and the smell of bonfires, and I like making casseroles and stews for dinner. I love Halloween. Fireworks, I can take or leave, as I spend too much time dwelling on the effect they have on animals. 

Mostly, I love the colours of autumn. The reds and the golds, the leaves crunching underfoot, and the explosion of different colours in the trees. 


Photo credit: 500px.com

What about you? What is your favourite season? Would you like more tea/coffee/whatever?

This September is an important month for my small family, as my son starts high school next week. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it previously; if not, now you know. I’ve been vaguely worrying about it for a while, with a sense of nostalgia and a feeling that there are some things you can’t get back, no matter how much you wish for them. Like my little boy, who loved and needed his mum. Ryan still loves and needs me, but he is swiftly heading towards teenager-dom and puberty, craving independence whilst still shackled to embarrassing parents (me, apparently!) Most of the time, he communicates through grunts and shrugs, which is highly irritating, but which I am trying to ignore. We all go through this stage; I know I did, so I can’t really chastise him for the same thing I inflicted on my parents. 

So this September for me brings new beginnings for my son, fresh starts at work as colleagues leave and open up opportunities for others, along with cooler weather, hot and cosy comfort food, Christmas making an appearance on supermarket shelves, and falling leaves. Bring it all on; I’m ready. 😊