What Am I Reading? #Week 4

Well, I was going to post one of these every week. But then, I struggled to finish two books in Week 2, before racing through 4 books over the long weekend. It is therefore a fact – I’d get a lot more reading done if I didn’t have to work during the week! It ruins all my fun.

So, what have I got in store for this week?

1. When I Was You by Minka Kent

“After barely surviving a brutal attack, Brienne Dougray rarely leaves her house. Suffering from debilitating headaches and memory loss, she can rely only on her compassionate new tenant, Dr. Niall Emberlin, a welcome distraction from the discomfiting bubble that has become her existence.

But Brienne’s growing confidence in her new routine is shaken when she stumbles across unsettling evidence that someone else is living as…her. Same name. Same car. Same hair. Same clothes. She’s even friended her family on social media. To find out why, Brienne must leave the safety of her home to hunt a familiar stranger.

What she discovers is more disturbing than she could have ever imagined. With her fragile mind close to shattering, Brienne is prepared to do anything to reclaim her life. If it’s even hers to reclaim.”

I’m actually halfway through this one already, and I’m enjoying it. I love a good psychological thriller, and this is definitely one of those. The first half of the story certainly keeps you guessing, as Brienne’s life seems to spiral out of control. Then the twist hits you, and after that, it’s a race against time.

2. Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks

“Daisy and Simon’s marriage is great, isn’t it?

After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. A happy little family of three.

And so what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And that happy little family of three will never be the same again.

In Lies Lies Lies, Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks explores the darkest corners of a relationship in freefall in a mesmerising tale of marriage and secrets.”

I am a huge fan of Adele Parks and have read every single one of her books. I would describe them as women’s fiction more than anything else; the majority of them are based on relationships gone wrong and dealing with the aftermath. I’m looking forward to reading this, and the Kindle version is currently only 0.99p!

3. Drowning with Others – Linda Keir

“They have the perfect marriage. Did one of them kill to get it?

Prep school sweethearts Ian and Andi Copeland are envied by everyone they know. They have successful businesses, a beautiful house in St. Louis, and their eldest daughter, Cassidy, is following in their footsteps by attending prestigious Glenlake Academy. Then, a submerged car is dredged from the bottom of a swimming hole near the campus. So are the remains of a former writer-in-residence who vanished twenty years ago—during Ian and Andi’s senior year.

When Cassidy’s journalism class begins investigating the death, Ian and Andi’s high school secrets rise to the surface. Each has a troubled link to the man whose arrival and sudden disappearance once set the school on edge. And each had a reason to want him gone. As Cassidy unwittingly edges closer to the truth, unspoken words, locked away for decades, will force Ian and Andi to question what they really know—about themselves, about the past, and about a marriage built on a murderous lie.”

This was my Amazon First Reads for September last year, so I’m thinking it’s high time I gave it a read. It looks interesting enough – a body found in a lake, secrets from the past. Right up my street! I’ll review it once I’m done.

4. The Poison Garden by Alex Marwood

“Where Romy grew up, if someone died you never spoke of them again.

Now twenty-two, she has recently escaped the toxic confines of the cult she was raised in. But Romy is young, pregnant and completely alone – and if she is to keep herself safe in this new world, she has some important lessons to learn. 

Like how there are some people you can trust, and some you must fear. And about who her family really is, and why her mother ran away from them all those years ago.

And that you can’t walk away from a dark past without expecting it to catch up with you…”

I’ve had this on my Kindle for a while now. The reviews on Amazon look amazing, and I always enjoy a cult-based thriller. Watch this space for my review.

Happy Tuesday! ❤️

Monthly Overview

It’s been a while since I last posted, and to be perfectly honest I don’t have any real reason. I lost not only my writing mojo, but my motivation for anything that didn’t involve work or hiding at home. I even grew tired of my Facebook pages, and have been seriously thinking of downsizing. But when I have put so much time and effort into certain things, I am often reluctant to give up on them without a fight. Hence my dubious relationship history. But we have yet to discuss that, so let’s move on..

Anyway, I seem to have hit a major slump in my life just recently, and there are a number of factors that have probably contributed to that. Work has been a major hassle these past few months. My health has yo-yo’d, with various trips to the medical centre, and a number of blood tests. My son appears to be edging rapidly towards puberty, and his attitude towards me has plummeted. Oh, and my grandmother passed away, which hit me hard.

It has been a while since I suffered from full-blown depression, and it most certainly is not something I have missed. Yet lately I have found myself down for no apparent reason. Not just down, but teetering on the edge of a major slump. This I don’t need, so I’m going to drag myself to safety before it’s too late. 

So, as we are now well into the latter half of the year and I am increasingly wondering where the hell my life is going, I have decided to make some changes, and to put some plans into action. 

My recent achievements:

  • Work is gradually improving. The job is still pretty boring, but as staff come and go, new opportunities are created, which I’m hopeful about.
  • I completed a Payroll Diploma, which was funded by my current employer, and is a fantastic addition to my resume.
  • I am gradually inching closer to the 100 milestone with my blog; 87 followers and counting, which I’m hugely grateful for. Although I am still a little unsure about the direction to take it in, I am determined to make a go of it.
  • My three Facebook pages are doing fantastically, with a combined following of 350,000.
  • I completed a HR Management Diploma Level 3, another great addition to my resume.
  • I finally got a haircut, which I desperately needed. I have been trying to grow it, but it just isn’t working as it has a tendency to grow faster on one side, and ends up looking ridiculously lopsided. So I got it tidied up and sadly lost the length I had tried so hard to grow (on one side anyway).
  • I enrolled on a proofreading and copy-editing course, and am seriously considering a career move.
  • I acquired new friends in Italy and Greece via http://www.interpals.net. I am a lifelong fan of letter-writing and have a select few penpals who I try to regularly correspond with, although it generally falls by the wayside and they receive 3 or 4 letters a year from me. 
  • I finally got the apple tree in my back garden cut back, as it was seriously out of control.

Goals for September:

  1. Get healthy. As I don’t particularly over-eat, the only reasonable explanation for my fuller figure is lack of exercise. I need to get out there, and get fit. Being single for so long has made me seriously lazy, but I don’t need a man to make me feel better about myself. I can do that all by myself.
  2. Start putting the feelers out in the literary work, and offer my services as a proofreader. This will obviously be slow work in the beginning, as I have no real experience in that field and the competition is fierce. So I will need to market myself adequately, and work my backside off to attract clients. Watch this space!
  3. Blog a lot more regularly. Outside of a work environment, I tend to get lazy and need some kind of routine and motivation to get anything achieved. Ideally, I’d like to be blogging at least 2-3 times a week, so that’s what I’m aiming for.
  4. Use my social media more constructively. I’ve read that Twitter is quite helpful to use in conjunction with WordPress, so I’ll be blogging about that in the coming week, and attempting to generate traffic on both platforms.
  5. Book my car in for its MOT. I have my fingers tightly crossed that it will pass first time as I can do without any extra expenditure.
  6. Complete the Memory Walk. On September 3rd, I’ll be taking part in the Memory Walk in Liverpool, and raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. My grandmother, who we laid to rest on Monday, was suffering from dementia, and I will be walking in her memory. 

So, there is an overview of what I’ve done this past month, and what I plan to do in September. Writing it down in a blog post may be something I make a habit of doing from now on, at the end of each month. I am hoping it will motivate me! 

And if you fancy sponsoring me for the Memory Walk, all donations go to a very good cause – the Alzheimer’s Society, and a cure for dementia. 💙

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mw259224

50 Followers – Thank You!

So today, my little blog hit the 50 milestone, which is awesome! 😃 I just want to say a big Thank You to everybody who has followed, liked, commented on, and shared my posts. I am hugely grateful to you all for taking an interest in the stuff I write.

As a lot of you may know, I have been writing for years but have never had the guts to do it on a public spectrum. So this blog means a lot to me, and so does my audience. In the future, I am hoping to bag myself a custom domain and become a paid member of WordPress, so I would really like to make this work. Thank you all for joining me on my journey. 💜

Take Two!

Okay, so here goes! My second attempt at a WordPress blog! Although my old blog is still up-and-running, it has taken a different direction to what I had initially planned. For those of you who are familiar with my work over at http://www.fragmentsofmymindweb.wordpress.com, you will probably know about my struggles with depression and finding my true path in life. I have skimmed over certain areas of my story, along with dark poetry from my Facebook page of the same name, and I am more than happy for the blog to continue in that direction. However, with Is it Friday yet?, I want to try something different.

Some of you may have read about my desire to become a writer, and this is something that will probably never change. I have been writing, on and off, since I was very young, but have never had a great deal of confidence in my own ability. Until starting my blog, I have never showcased my work, ever. I guess I have always been too afraid, and this has coloured my whole life. I have constantly found reasons not to do the things I love, and have settled for mediocre and safe.

Well, this has to change!

Now, at 40, and working as a part-time payroll administrator for a recruitment agency, I am certain that there is something better out there for me. If I don’t follow my dreams now, I am going to be stuck in a rut for the rest of my working life. And I can’t allow myself to waste my days for any longer.

So this new blog is going to be bigger and brighter than Fragments, with stories from everyday life and more pictures of food and places and family.. I may even include picture of myself this time, instead of remaining anonymous. But be patient with me. I have to get a feel for this. I have always been an intensely private person, and the thought of anybody judging me for being myself has crippled me. I know that I need to shake this off and be confident about who I am. Criticism and feedback are part-and-parcel of being a writer, and this is something I will have to accept or I may as well give up now.

So, I will take a deep breath… And begin.