Friday, 30 June 2017

REVIEW - Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Title: Two Nights

Author: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Random House

Release Date: 29th June 2017

Source: Net Galley

Sunday Times bestseller Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Tempe Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunnie Night a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.

But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead?

Did someone take her?

If she is out there, why doesn't she want to be found?

It's time for Sunnie to face her own demons - because they might just lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

I'll own up to the fact I have never read a Kathy Reichs novel until now, I have however watched Bones the tv series and loved it.  I know for a fact I will love the Tempe Brennan novels but I need a whole heap of time set aside to read them as they strike me as a series that when you read one you need to go on and on.

Two Nights is not about Tempe Brennan, it has a whole new character,  one with a dark past, a need to be left alone and a thirst for justice, meet Sunnie Night.

Ah, I loved this, straight away the picture is painted of a young woman with a considerable back story and considerable talents.  I won't spoil to much of the story but she is approached by the family of a missing teenage girl.  She disappeared during the aftermath of a bomb explosion, one that killed her mother and brother.

Her extremely wealthy grandmother wants closure, where is her granddaughter? That is where Sunnie comes in and slowly she untangles a web that is so much more that a missing child.

Sunnie is a great character and I look forward to seeing her develop, you get the sense she has demons constantly following her which I am sure we will learn more about in the future.

A great addition to your crime/mystery bookcase.

Thanks to Random House/Cornerstone for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Running for my life - Zombies Run 5K - Week One

Over the last few years I have dabbled with running, every time using Six to Start's awesome Zombies Run and Zombies Run 5K app, each time I have failed miserably.  I would diligently go out and try my best but I think the most I managed to last was a month.  I have no willpower.

I am a failure.

But that is not the attitude and I don't know what is different this time, it could be the fact I have bought a decent sports bra and a hands free dog lead which FYI is the best thing ever.  These two simple things along with some spark inside me screaming at me to get going has led me back to Zombies Run 5K.

Zombies Run is excellent, the combination of story and exercise, ZR5K takes those same elements but puts you through 8 weeks (with three chapters/workouts a week) of turning your lack of running to a whole 5k of running. 

Can I make it to week 8?  Well I thought if I posted to the internet my weekly progress it would help me get there.

So without futher ado, my thoughts on Week 1


I have an office job so I would count my level of fitness as meh, I do walk my dog each day which takes us out for a little while but it is not like I am walking up hills every time.

The last time I did ZR5K I had a basic crap sports bra which led to aches in that general area and as I was combining dog walking with outrunning zombies I only had my hand held dog lead.

This time I have swapped both of these things for a better bra and a nifty hands free bungee dog lead that goes round my waist quite the thing.

All I needed to do now was download ZR5K on to the old iPhone. As I had been through the app before I skipped the first chapter which gives background to the app, I headed straight for the Week 1 - Workout 1.

Narrated usually by Sam, the radio operator of Abel Township along with Dr Maxine, I was gently eased in by doing a ten minute walk.  They start by giving you words of encouragement and then music will play if you have it synced with your playlists.  

So off I went listening to my uplifting Zombies playlist and every so often Dr Maxine would chirp up telling me how long I had been at it.  After ten minutes I was told I would know be entering the intervals section of the workout.  

I would be walking for a minute then slow running for 15 seconds, ten times.  Now that may sound easy enough but if you haven't run or exercised for a while then it does kill a little.

Anyway I managed it, the area I have chosen to do this in fits perfectly (at the moment) with the length of time to do my workout. It is a mixture of tarmac and dirt track plus its lovely and scenic too which helps.  But no amount of beautiful scenery could help me feel any less fit than I felt.

After the interval section has finished I was then told it was the ten minute free form part of the workout, I could walk or run or both.  I chose to walk slowly to begin with an occasional 15 second slow jog to kick my arse.

After those ten minutes where up, I was sweating like f*** but I felt happy, happy that I had completed it.  At the end of the workout Sam and Maxine have a bit banter with you and you are awarded a virtual prize for completing that chapter.

Did I manage all three workouts, yes I did, in fact I did week one twice as I managed to reset my achievements so started again!  

So over the two weeks of running week one what have I learnt?

Well I can do it and the free form ten minutes at the end I have found myself running for more of those minutes than walking.  I also find myself needing to run.  

I have also found I am a little self conscious especially if I come across people, I think I'm a little worried if I look ridiculous...

I don't think I could manage to start running with out this app, I like that it takes me by the hand and helps me through the stages.

Whilst at the moment running 5k seems ridiculous (plus the fact I need to figure out where exactly I'll do that 5k) I'm not writing it off just yet.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

REVIEW - Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

Title: Running Like a Girl

Author: Alexandra Heminsley

Publisher: Random House

Release Date: 16th January 2014 

Source: Own Copy

Alexandra Heminsley had high hopes: the arse of an athlete, the waist of a supermodel, the speed of a gazelle. Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, she decided to run.

Her first attempt did not end well.

Six years later, she has run five marathons in two continents.

But, as her dad says, you run with your head as much as with your legs. So, while this is a book about running, it's not just about running.

You could say it's about ambition (yes, getting out of bed on a rainy Sunday morning counts), relationships (including talking to the intimidating staff in the trainer shop), as well as your body (your boobs don't have to wobble when you run). But it's also about realising that you can do more than you ever thought possible.

Very funny, very honest and very emotional, whether you're in serious training or thinking about running for the bus, this is a book for anyone who after wine and crisps for supper a few too many times thinks they might . . . just might . . . like to run like a girl.

Bits of me wobble, no not those bits and quite frankly get your mind out of the gutter.  I'm talking my belly, my thighs and my horrible bingo wings.  

I have given birth to two children, I have an office job where I spend most of the day on my butt and the last thing I want to do when I get home is exercise, I'd rather have a chocolate bar but alas the older I get (nearing 40) the more I feel I really should exercise.  

I could go to the gym but I hate the heat and people, I could go swimming but I don't know how, what could I do?

Whilst out walking my dog, enjoying the scenery a sweaty yet stylish jogger flounced past and just then the light bulb appeared above my head..."I could do that!".  Well I did for a while, then I got fed up with it, I tried again and stopped but this time I am determined to make my love/hate for running stick and when I saw this book on Amazon I felt it call to me.

Alexandra Heminsley is a very normal non supermodel lady and I mean that as a compliment, she sweats, she chafes and she also inspires!  This is a great read for those of you like me who need that extra kick up the backside to get out there and just do it.

She tells us her story from just padding round the streets to running a flipping marathon.  This book is like Braveheart for procrastinating joggers, once I had read I thought heck I am going to go out there and run.

And I did and I am getting better, I just need to get over my fear of meeting other people and thinking they are laughing at my running.  

Anyhoo if you need some inspo to get out there and do it, read this book!

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REVIEW - Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Title: Fierce Kingdom

Author: Gin Phillips

Publisher: Transworld

Release Date: 15th June 2017

Source: Advance Copy
Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.

'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'

When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.

It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.

But sometimes the rules are different.

As a mother this book gave me chills, serious chills.  It is every parents worst nightmare, that one where you face a life or death situation and you have to keep your child safe.

Joan is at the zoo with her son Lincoln, just enjoying the last remaining hours of their day playing together and having fun.  Till she hears gun shots.

Making her way towards the exit of the zoo with her young son in tow she discovers a scene of carnage and no way out, all she can do is hide and hide is what she and Lincoln do.

Joan is horrified to discover everything in the zoo is being hunted, from the defenceless animals to the humans who were peacefully going about their day.  A group of boys are going around shooting everything and Joan doesn't want to get in their sights, can keep her son safe till the cavalry arrive?

This was a good fast read, the one that you have to finish once you start.  It gets your heart pumping as you follow Joan in to hiding, as they discover others hiding and of course the difficulty as a parent to make your young child stay quiet, to make them understand that one noise could be deadly.

Definitely one to put on your summer reads list.

Thanks to Transworld for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

REVIEW - Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Deadmen Walking

Author: Sherilyn Kenyon

Publisher: Piatkus

Release Date: 9th May 2017

Source: Advance Copy
Hell hath no fury as a demon caged . . .

Centuries ago, a bitter war for humanity was fought and lucky for us, the Sons of Darkness were put down. Yet nothing lasts forever. When one of their most capable generals is unknowingly released from her infernal prison, Vine sets out to free her brethren and retake what was once theirs.

But things have changed, and now an old dalliance is her sworn enemy. Devyl Bane hasn’t forgotten the betrayal that damned his soul, nor is he willing to forgo his one chance at redemption. With a new crew of Deadmen at his command, he is the last hope humanity has to close the cracked Carian Gate and ensure once and for all that the Cimmerian forces never again see the light of day. And nothing will stand in his way . . . this time.

Join Captain Bane and his crew . . .
My first foray in to the imagination of Sherrilyn Kenyon and it takes me to the high seas of old.  Its like Pirates of the Caribbean with considerably more supernatural sexiness.

The wonderfully named Devyl Bane is the captain of a rather special ship, his crew are not all there, literally, they are all dead.  Devyl is a man with a long past, a past filled with betrayal and in this first book of the Deadmen's Cross series we learn a little about his past and of course his very colourful crew.

The story starts with a young woman searching for her brother, she enlists the help of Devyl and his crew and together they set off to try and find out what happened to her brother.  Of course the path to her brother is lined with demons, nasty sea creatures and women scorned.

Without giving any spoilers I will say this is a fun story that is easy to lose some hours in, my only complaint was there was a heck of a lot of characters and I did get a little lost especially as a couple go by different names.  There is also a lot of info to take in but of course this book is setting the scene for future books.

For fans of bad boys, living and undead, this will be for you.

Thank you to Piatkus for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Writing as Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor, she is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of several series: the Dark-Hunters; the Lords of Avalon; and the League. She lives with her husband and three sons in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

My YouTube Monthly Faves #1 June 2017

I love YouTube mainly for cat videos and hilarious fail playlists but there is a lot of good viewing to be had there.  I thought I'd share with you the channel I've enjoyed watching!

This month I've enjoyed watching.....

Rachel & Jun!

They are a American/Japanese married couple and as someone who is fascinated by all things Japanese I love having a look at their life!

They have tons of fab videos that show off Japan wonderfully and all the wonders that can be found there!  They are also not afraid of poking fun at themselves!

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Sunday Post #60 - 11th June 2017

Welcome to my Sunday Post, a weekly meme hosted by Kimberley over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer . Join me as I ramble about my week in and out of the blogosphere.

I looked to see when I last did a Sunday Post and apparently it was October 2016!  Anyway I thought I would try and post a Sunday Post at least once a month.  

Nothing much exciting has happened in my life since I last posted except for my slight downturn in blogging which I think all bloggers experience, that feeling when you just can't be arsed!

But my mojo is returning little by little, I think the longer days help, saying that the weather is shit here in Scotland but I live in a country that isn't associated with tropical weather.

This week I have upped the ante with my running, I tried to do the Zombies Run 5K app a year or so ago but it fell by the wayside, I have started doing it again with great hopes of actually finishing it.

As I write this I am learning that Adam West has sadly died, he was my Batman, I loved watching him battling those wacky villains, he always looked like such a nice man.  

Have a nice week and if you are reading this, thanks for stopping by!

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The day that I walked in to Night Vale was the day I fell in love with podcasts.  

My phone how ever got pissed off quickly as it liked Angry Birds and I'd went and put it in the great recycle bin in the cloud to make way for episodes of quirky shows that me, the owner of said phone likes!

Anyway this week I've been listening to......

I actually only started listening to this on Friday, like yesterday and I have fallen in love with very quickly!  

I found King Falls AM when I was perusing the Podcast app on my phone and its description of......

"A lonely little mountain town's late night AM talk radio show and its paranormal, peculiar happenings and inhabitants"

Well, that had me intrigued and each podcast was only about 15 minutes long, a nice easy listen so I could afford to try it.  I'm about twenty episodes in now and its brilliant.

I was worried it would be like Night Vale (which I also love) but it is very different the only thing they have in common really is the radio setting and I suppose odd goings on but apart from that the two hosts Sammy and Ben are brilliant to listen to, they are funny, inquisitive and quite often a little freaked out.,  you could really be listening to late night radio jocks!!

Sammy is the outsider having moved to the town where Ben is a local yokel and the banter between them as Ben explains to Sammy the weird shit that goes down is great.

Their listeners are just crazy too, they include crazy old men, a dog breeder, the local bigwig (who may or may not be a vampire), a local cop and the local mayor, for an early morning show they have a varied listener base!

The story does move from episode to episode and you do realise quite quickly that this town is bonkers, I love it!

Have a listen and check them out at

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Friday, 9 June 2017

REVIEW - Flood by Stephen Baxter

Title: Flood

Author: Stephen Baxter

Publisher: Gollancz

Release Date: 9th July 2009

Source: Own Copy
From Terry Pratchett's co-author on the Long Earth books comes the ultimate disaster novel - the world is drowning and there is nowhere left on earth to go.

Next year. Sea levels begin to rise. The change is far more rapid than any climate change predictions; metres a year. Within two years London, only 15 metres above the sea, is drowned. New York follows, the Pope gives his last address from the Vatican, Mecca disappears beneath the waves.

Where is all the water coming from? Scientists estimate that the earth was formed with seas 30 times in volume their current levels. Most of that water was burnt off by the sun but some was locked in the earth's mantle. For the tip of Everest to disappear beneath the waters would require the seas to triple their volume. That amount of water is still much less than 1% of the earth's volume. And somehow it is being released. The world is drowning. The biblical flood has returned.

And the rate of increase is building all the time. Mankind is on the run, heading for high ground. Nuclear submarines prowl through clouds of corpses rising from drowned cities, populations are decimated and finally the dreadful truth is known. Before 50 years have passed there will be nowhere left to run.

FLOOD tells the story of mankind's final years on earth. The stories of a small group of people caught up in the struggle to survive are woven into a tale of unimaginable global disaster. And the hope offered for a unlucky few by a second great ark ...

This book ticked all my boxes, the usual ones I love such as disasters kicking mankind's behind, the world slowly falling to its knees, unscrupulous so and so's making fortunes from the planet's demise and the fact that what is happening in the book could quite possible happen.

It starts with our introduction to the group of hostages are the characters who take us through the story, their lives intertwining as the world disappears under the waves.

The sea levels are rising but they are rising faster than expected, now this is the bit I really enjoyed (that sounds bad when I read that back!) the description of the landmarks, the cities, towns, places that we know and love vanishing under the water, it really was horrific.  There is a map in my copy and the landmasses on the planet get smaller and smaller as the years go on, the world gets smaller and the population (which has also got smaller) is running out of safe havens.

Now I really wanted to enjoy this book and the whole end of the world by biblical flood sold the story to me but I'd say about three-quarters in to the book I got a little fed up, the characters just started to grate a little, maybe there was too many of them for my liking, maybe I'm just picky but I just started to lose any support I felt for them.

Flood also features a savvy billionaire who uses the flooding to his advantage to line his pockets, he plans to help save mankind just not all of it.

So to sum up this was an ok read but I found it was lacking something towards that three-quarter mark that could propel my reading happily without having to force myself past that point.

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Friday, 2 June 2017

REVIEW - How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

Title: How to Murder Your Life

Author: Cat Marnell

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Release Date: 2nd February 2017

Source: NetGalley
At the age of 15, Cat Marnell unknowingly set out to murder her life. After a privileged yet emotionally-starved childhood in Washington, she became hooked on ADHD medication provided by her psychiatrist father. This led to a dependence on Xanax and other prescription drugs at boarding school, and she experimented with cocaine, ecstasy… whatever came her way. By 26 she was a talented ‘doctor shopper’ who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists into giving her never-ending prescriptions; her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, and trying to hold down a high profile job at Condé Nast during the day.

With a complete lack of self-pity and an honesty that is almost painful, Cat describes the crazed euphoria, terrifying comedowns and the horrendous guilt she feels lying to those who try to help her. Writing in a voice that is utterly magnetic – prompting comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski – she captures something essential both about her generation and our times. Profoundly divisive and controversial, How to Murder Your Life is a unforgettable, charged account of a young female addict, so close to throwing her entire life away.

A book that involves heavy drug addiction, obnoxious self-centred, entitled erratic behaviour should really not be entertaining, it should be a warning to others to not go there, to do their thing but try to do that thing without a shed load of pharmaceuticals flooding their senses.  Is it wrong I found this to be a compelling read?

How to murder your life is the story of Cat Marnell and how she has dealt with her addiction, starting at the age of 15 when she is shipped off to a prestigious boarding school.  This is not a school from the picture perfect boarding school books we read as youngsters, this is the type of boarding school that features plenty of drink, drugs and sex.  To help her study Cat is given ADHD meds by her Dr Dad, just one is enough to hook her in and years later she is still addicted.

I know I mentioned it is an entertaining read but it is also a horrific read as you watch her really split herself in two, as she enters the workplace, earning her stripes in the best beauty departments of some of the most superior glossy magazines in the States.  She is keen and eager during her day (thanks to the ADHD drugs) but then outside work she is out of her face, needless to say these worlds collide and she reveals her true self to her colleagues.

But she still continues on, despite the end of a couple of dream jobs she still wants to be like her editor idols.  Oh and I better mention her love of Courtney Love too.  Now this was the one thing I could relate too, from several pages in, the music that I grew up obsessed with was mentioned and Courtney Love and Hole were always at the top of my CD pile (Well it usually was copied to cassette so I could listen to to my Walkman).

Cat's story is incredibly engaging and you know if it was possible I could quite have happily reached in to the book and given her a slap at the many, many bad judgements she has made.  I simultaneously hated and loved her.  But her world has moved in mysterious ways and through writing about the one thing she knows the most about, being drugged up to the eyeballs has led to her star rising and that includes the publication of this book.  

They are bound to make a film of this!

Thanks to Penguin/Ebury for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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