Saturday, 17 March 2018

Hola from sunny Spain

This is day five of our holiday and the least relaxed holiday we have ever had. This is our sixth visit to the hotel and we love it here, the scenary and grounds.

We were sure we were going get away as I was unwell but we made it. Finished the meds Wednesday night, feeling much better than I had (kidney infections are no joke) but by Thursday morning I was feeling poorly again, shakes, shivers, pain etc. So we had to get the onsite doctor, more meds with a whole list of DONT DOs. We then got a call from the cattery that Princess Trixie (if you are new to the blog, she is my wee helper kitty cat, 17 years young) was really unwell. There in was a visit to the vet, a night in the emergency vet, unpleasant interaction with a not so understanding vet (the rest of the staff were lovely), the hotel staff were fantastic helping to get us the consent form printed so we could sign and send it back.

After all of that, back at our vets, lots of bloods which showed improvement, IV fluids, she had a full bladder and wasn't passing urine and still refusing to eat despite offerings of chicken, fish and all selections of food. The vet wanted to send her back to the vet hospital for a feeding tube to be placed. I made a judgement call, I think at 17 that just is too much, I also think it sounded like she was huffing and with permission of the cattery I wanted her back there to see how she went. Try that first (she likes it there) and if still no joy off to the hospital she goes. Well, not even twenty seconds she was back and she had peed for Britain and was tearing into the food, Hurrah, tears of joy in this corner.

There is nothing worse when your furbaby is poorly and you are hundreds of miles away, we aren't out of the woods yet but she ate and slept. Awaiting an update this morning. We can only continue to hope and be positive, thanks for all your well wishes, tweets, messages, it means a lot.

Managed to get a bit of escapism with reading, thank God for books and a kind stranger came up to me yesterday and gave me a book. The kindness of others never fails to amaze me! We also saw a wee ginger kitten after the most worrying call about Trixie, he let me stroke him, reluctantly, twice.

Hoping news is happier with you guys, my internet is sketchy so I can't get on much xxx

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Someone To Look Up To by Jean Gill

Someone to Look Up ToSomeone to Look Up To by Jean Gill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 204

Publisher - The 13th Sign

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

By IPPY and Global Ebook Award Winner Jean Gill A dog's life in the south of France. From puppyhood, Sirius the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has been trying to understand his humans and train them with kindness.

How this led to their divorce he has no idea. More misunderstandings take Sirius to Death Row in an animal shelter, as a so-called dangerous dog learning survival tricks from the other inmates. During the twilight barking, he is shocked to hear his brother's voice but the bitter-sweet reunion is short-lived. Doggedly, Sirius keeps the faith.

One day, his human will come.

My Review

These books have popped up a fair bit over the past few years, who doesn't love animals so the market is absolutely there for it. I have bought many of them but to be honest this is the first I have read where the story is told from the animal point of view in first person narration. Meet Sirius, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, pedigree no less and his siblings as they are prepared to go out in the world to their new owners. We see the world through his eyes, thoughts, feelings and observations with his human, fellow pups and then out with his new owners and growing up.

When I read the first chapter I wasn't sure if I was going to get on with this, told from the puppy point of view and interactions with his sibling(s) I just wasn't sure. However, we get a beautiful insight into the surroundings and the first chapter is literally the first look at what was relevant to Sirius at that time in his new wee life. The chapters are relatively short, which I do love as it aids dipping in and out frequently if having a busy day, I quickly found myself not wanting to put it down.

We get a unique insight, I felt, from a dogs point of view. From how we treat them, our expectations and orders/rules as humans, teachings and of course the old actions and consequences. There are parts of this book that, as an animal lover, will take you on an emotional roller coaster, there is humour as well but just a warning for your furry loving hearts. I wanted to head to my local shelter and give all the animals a big hug and help out, I will certainly be looking at animal charities and local animals in need after this. The loyalty of a dog is second to none and reading about Sirius and the other animals in this tale, ooft I think you need a swinging brick to not to be swept along on an emotional train. It also makes you look at how you interact with your animals differently, I have a moggy now not a k9 and she rules the roost anyway so no changes required.

It is a book I picked up not expecting too much if I am honest yet it en captures the readers heart and attention very quickly. I didn't want to put the book down because I had to know what was in store for Sirius, it is his story and he hints at was is to come, telling it in his own time. A lovely book with some dark spots and emotional sparks throughout, 4/5 for me. This is my first time reading this author, I will have a wee look and see what other offerings she has.

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Friday, 9 March 2018

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare - Blog tour

Today is our turn on the blog tour for The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. As you can see we both had a nice chilled out time reading this book, as modelled by Princess Trixie.

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Mills & Boon

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

‘I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’

When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, he decides on the spot that she'll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she's pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has secrets and some rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she's seen the man beneath the scars, he can't stop her from falling in love…

When a girl meets a Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

My Review

Can I just say you this is absolutely going to be a marmite book, you will love it for what it is or pick holes in it and hate it. Emma is a seamstress and comes across the Duke of Ashbury when she has to go begging payment for a job she did for his wife who called off the wedding. Swallow her pride and go looking for payment or loose her home and security. The Duke has his own business deal, be his wife, no romance, no pretence, nightly visits in the dark until she gives him an heir and she need never worry about money again!

I loved Mills and Boon as a teen and it isn't books I pick up often these days so it is nice to reconnect or read a new author. Emma is fiesty, smart and has the offer of a lifetime however she has a huge heart and can't help but see by the Duke's angry and bitter persona and his terrifying scars left from battle. The two try to stick to their terms of the deal but attraction sneaks in, he has been in a self imposed prison and she has kept herself busy after being shamed and rejected in the past.

There are a lot of quips, retorts, bad language used from Shakespeare plays, some humor including a feral kitty which whilst playing a small part in the story did steal the show with his brief appearances. There is erotica too, the book reminded me of a mix between 50 shades and beauty and the beast. Some of the scenes are very explicit so if you are offended by sexual content there is a heads up on the chapters you can skip. Some parts of the story I wanted to skelp both Emma and the Duke, sometimes they had me chuckling. I love the house servants, Breeches the kitty was a token character but who doesn't love an animal with attitude. I really enjoyed reading this, it infuriated me, made me laugh, blush, cringe and want to keep turning page after page to see how it would all end. 4/5 for me this time, this is my first dance with Dare, it won't be my last, thanks to Mills and Boon for sending me the book and introducing me to a new author. A perfect book for poolside reading or February, if like me you try to read romantic(ish) books for the month of love!

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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Calling horror fans and a wee pre loved giveaway

If you follow the blog on all the platforms you know we went to horror con again recently. I grew up loving the horror genre, Master Stephen King sparked my life long love of reading, I really had no place reading horrors at such a young age but I loved it and still do! It has rekindled the passion, we embarked on a binge of horror movies and I have pulled out some of my horror reads and ordered a fair few more, some new authors for me.

These mugs I bought for all the girls going to horror con, I cannot recommend the seller enough guys. UK based, fabulous customer service and very very reasonable prices. Have a wee look, like her page if you get a chance. I have used my mug many times and it is still perfect (handwash only). The candle I got smells lovely but I love it so much I can't bring myself to light it, yet. You can find them on Facebook, Silly Rockabilly's Handmade Horrors. Last night, I also made a wee Facebook group for Lovers of Horror, click here to join us for horror chat (books, movies, events) and bringing lovers of the genre together. It seems there is actually loads of horror events all over the place and hoping to get to a few more this year.

I also thought rather than popping my dvd into charity, I would put it up as a giveaway. Watched once, region 2, approx 99 minutes long and released in 2008 I think.

Open worldwide, hoping to connect with horror fans all over and it is a perfect opportunity to get recommendations from you guys for some great horror movies/books. Stephen King remains one of my all time faves, looking forward to hearing yours. Good luck if entering the giveaway, as always, enter using Rafflecopter, any issues just shout, message, tweet.

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Bring Me Back by B A Paris Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the newest offering by B A Paris "Bring Me Back". Please check out the other blog tour stops on the poster as you find, generally, all stops offer different content.

I have to include a picture of the book itself, the page ridges were yellow and I think small touches like that, matching the ink on the cover just draws you immediately to it.

Bring Me BackBring Me Back by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - HQ

Source - Advanced Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She's turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

My Review

Lets kick it off by saying I have read the author's previous books and really enjoyed them. I think she had a unique voice in her writing that draws you in quickly. We meet Finn McQuaid, talking about the night his girlfriend disappeared 12 years ago and the statement he gave the poilce, admitting it was not quite the truth! What a way to open a book eh, I am super nosey so needed to know why wasn't it the truth, why did he lie or omit details and of course what happened to his girlfriend Layla. We flip to the present day, Finn has moved on and has a new partner that may raise a fair few eyebrows. We flip from present to past, back and forth getting an insight into Finn's world, what things were like in the before and now with the past catching up.

Paris creates a great suspense, thrilling atmosphere, teasing the readers with snippets of details and you know very quickly something isn't right, but what? The chapters are relatively short which is great for dipping in and out however, if like me, one chapters turns into ten you will just race through. I wouldn't advise reading this if you are just wanting one chapter before bed as you will have a late night for sure.

There are three main characters really, Ellen the new(ish) partner of Finn, Finn himself and Layla, despite being missing she is still very there especially in the then throwbacks. We learn the kind of man Finn is, what he has endured and how Layla going missing has shaped him as a man. The breakdown of characters psych as they experience what I can only describe as a type of cat and mouse game and how that impacts not only on them but their relationships and interactions to those around them.

As I said I do really enjoy Paris's writing, I do hope her next book is already being penned and we don't have to wait too long for it. All the books are standalone's and I think Paris is an author for watching, she creates characters that despite liking or hating them you are left wanting more and more. I really enjoyed this book, 4.5 out of 5 for me, if you like page turners and being kept on your toes I think you will love this!

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Sunday, 4 March 2018

March competition is now live

Initially I was aiming for the magical themed giveaway for February, however with the author Q&A's and the Instagram follower giveaway I held this back. The poll on Twitter was for a romantic themed giveaway or a magic Harry Potter style competition, the latter won. So, what is up for grabs?

Fantastic Beasts socks, a 3 in 1 pack size 4-8 (UK sizing), A Dobby bookmark, a wand pen, a Gryffindor nail stamper and a themed chain from the Ravenclaw house, all as in the photograph. In order to be in with a chance of winning as usual use the Rafflecopter to enter. Open worldwide, the giveaway runs until the end of the month. All winning entries are checked, any prize unclaimed will see a new winner picked within 48 hours. Good luck all, feel free to share and spread the word. Thanks so much to those who constantly interact, email, tweet, like, love across the blogs platforms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tick Tock by Dean Koontz

Tick TockTick Tock by Dean Koontz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - Dipped in and out over 3 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Headline Book Publishing

Source - Birmingham Horrorcon

Blurb from Goodreads

Tommy Phan, a successful detective novelist, comes home one evening to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. That night, with the popping of two stitches, something terrifying will emerge to tear apart the fabric of Tommy's reality--and his life.

My Review

Tommy is having issues with his family, he is Vietnamese-America, embracing his American half where his family want him to embrace the Vietnamese heritage. Tommy is struggling, he is a successful novelist making good money but it will never be acceptable by his mother. Just when he celebrates buying a flash new car, he happens across a doll that changes everything. On the run for his life, he comes across an unlikely ally in Del, a waitress he met earlier and are thrown together. Between them and her dog, the three try to stay ahead of the killer and stay alive before time runs out.

I have read Koontz before but think this book is a bit different, a monster yes but it has humour, family, family issues, attraction and I bloody love Del's dog, I only wish it had bigger parts in the story. Lots of hair raising moments, a deadly pursuit, life or death situation and Del, despite coming in as the second main character, actually steals the show. She is strong, quirky, seems to know so much more than she is letting on, talks in riddles and her dog, mother and home are all fantastic.

Pacey, intriguing and keeps you wanting to know what is coming next. The chapters are quite long, although there are wee page breaks so you can dip in and out reasonably well. I don't think there is a follow up to this book which is a shame as I would have loved to have seen more of these characters. I also wish the book had been longer as it seemed to round up really quickly, they do say a good author leaves you wanting more, 3.5 stars for me this time.

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