Summer is here, the sun is shining (well it is for now) and it’s the perfect time to sit back, relax and lose yourself in a good book.

a woman sitting in a deckchair on a beach, reading a book

I’ve put together a list of books that I’m hoping to read this summer and I thought I’d share it with you.

Thriller

I love a good psychological thriller and I’m already half way through this one.

cover art for book, a red butterfly on a window frame

Three Secrets

A terrible secret killed your husband…. But which one?

Robert kisses his wife on the head before heading out to the shop for more wine; he walks up the hill, takes a left across the footbridge, and jumps to his death on the busy motorway below.

Two years later, Francesca and her young daughter are leaving London for a fresh start. Money is tight, and Robert’s mother has found them a little cottage in her village. Francesca is grateful for the help, but why does Robert’s mother want to keep them so close? Does she know about what Francesca did in the hour before Robert’s death?

Soon Francesca begins to suspect there was more to her husband’s death than she realised, that there might be even darker secrets hiding in his past than her own….

The closer she gets to uncovering the truth, the more she asks: Is her own life in danger now, too?

Buy Three Secrets on Amazon for £20.03

The Light Read

Best for the beach or relaxing in the garden. A nice feel good read is great for the summer.

cover art for book, an illustration of four women on a beach and four different looking beach huts

How to Keep a Secret

A feel-good listen full of drama and romance, this is a story about family, being brave and opening up to love from international best seller Sarah Morgan.

Three generations of Stewart women, all with secrets to keep…

Matriarch Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she ever tell her daughters the reason why? Lauren and Jenna are as close as two sisters can be, and they made a pact years ago to keep a devastating secret from their mother – but is it time to come clean? Lauren’s teenage daughter, Mackenzie, masks her own pain by keeping her mother at a distance. Her mother, aunt and grandmother keep trying to reach her, but will it take a stranger to show her the true meaning of family?

When life changes in an instant, the Stewart women are thrown together for a summer, and suddenly they must relearn how to be a family. And whilst unravelling their secrets might be their biggest challenge, it could also be their finest moment….

Buy How to Keep a Secret on Amazon for £5.75

The Good Laugh.

I love a book that can make me laugh out loud. Nothing better to settle down with a funny book on a balmy summer’s evening.

cover art for book, a bright yellow background with shelves of kitchen utensils. A big pink fridge, a dog, two bottles of wine and a bag of groceries.

The Mum Who’d Had Enough

The voice of modern women is back! Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews.

Nate Turner has a nice life. He has a steady job as a driving examiner and lives with his wife, Sinead, and son, Flynn, in a lovely house in a good part of town. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Until one morning Nate comes downstairs to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table, listing all the many things that Nate does wrong – or doesn’t do at all.

Now, somehow, Nate needs to show Sinead he can change – fast. But as Nate works on being a better husband and dad, his life changes in amazing and unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

buy The Mum Who’d had Enough on Amazon for £7.11

 

A Little Romance

I’ve always been a fan of Marian Keyes and we all need a little romance in our lives.

cover art for book, a blue background with an illustration of a suitcase with pink bra and pair of red shoes.

Rachel’s Holiday

Rachel Walsh is 27 and the miserable owner of size 8 feet. She has regular congress with Luke Costello, a man who wears his leather trousers tight. And she’s fond – some might say too fond – of recreational drugs.

Until, that is, everything goes pear-shaped and she finds herself being frog-marched to the Cloisters – Dublin’s answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She’s outraged. Surely she’s not thin enough to be an addict?

Rachel isn’t expecting plump, middle-aged men in brown jumpers, and more group therapy than you can shake a stick at. Heartsick and Lovesick, she seeks redemption in the shape of Chris – a man who might be more trouble than he’s worth.

You can buy Rachel’s Holiday on Amazon for £6.45

Horror

My taste for horror has depleted over the years, but once upon a time I was a big James Herbert fan. This is one of his that I’ve not read, so if I did go back for a little scare, then this would be the one I’d go for.

cover art a silhouette of person struggling through moonlit cobwebs

Nobody True

Deadline. Jim True has returned from an out-of-body experience to find he has been brutally murdered and his body mutilated. No one can see him, no one can hear him, no one, except his killer, knows he still exists.

Freed from his body, True embarks on a quest to find his killer and discover why and how he has managed to survive. As he closes in on his murderer, True discovers that even the very people he loved and trusted have betrayed him. He meets his killer, a strange and sinister figure who can also leave his body at will.

An epic and deadly battle ensues between True and a seemingly unstoppable and hideous serial killer – a man now intent on even more murders, including True’s wife and child.

 

Buy Nobody True on Amazon for £9.99

What sort of books will you be indulging in this summer?

I prefer to listen to my books on Audible, in fact I’m quite addicted. You can trial Audible free for 30 days, you get a credit every month for a new download.




Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

The Laughing Kitten

a tabby kitten lying on the floor with what looks like a huge grin on his face.

Say Cheese!

I had to share this photo of my kitten, Ash. It looks like he’s laughing, or at least smiling for the camera.

He is spending more and more time downstairs with us now, he desperately wants to play with his big sister but she’s not interested in him at all. What a shame. Maybe when he gets bigger she’ll like him more. He doesn’t really help matters when he sneaks up behind her and jumps at her. You can see he’s loving it, he’s so playful. But Sabrina just dismisses him with a hiss like he’s an annoying little brother.

mmmm, I was 8 years old when my Mum presented me with an annoying little brother, perhaps I know how she feels!

At night we are keeping them separated which means that Ash is staying in our bedroom still. He has settled down a lot which means I’m getting more sleep again. I do keep waking up with him lying on the pillow next to me though. He’s so tiny I really don’t mind. I do worry about him snuggling up by my feet though as my condition means that I have uncontrollable jerks in my legs and I’m frightened I’ll kick him across the room, have you ever seen a kitten fly?

Thankfully, he’s keeping all his scratching to his scratching post which is good seeing as we have new sofas. I guess with hindsight it wasn’t a good idea taking on a new kitten the week after getting new sofas but we have been lucky so far. He is also litter trained which is good.

He’s such a lovely little boy, we all love him so much, I wish we could keep him as a kitten as he’s so cute. But, I am looking forward to seeing what he’s like when he’s grown up. He’s my little tiger.

 

Photalife

 

Sunday Snap

 

 

This weeks word(s) of the week are

Home Education

The Little Man left school shortly before the end of the half term and  has been home ever since. We have put in some applications for a couple of local schools but there are no places right now.

We have been working hard to keep up with what he may be doing if he was at school, thankfully, when it’s one on one learning you don’t need to have to work for so many hours as you would in a normal classroom. Star’s home tutor told me that nine hours a week was enough, so that’s our aim at the moment. Of course, we do go over as I like to turn other things into learning, there is so much to learn on a trip out to the park, the shops, or library. Also, we learn while cooking lunch together.

Each day we start with a simple exercise just to get him in the mood for learning. This may be a word search or a puzzle page. I printed off some great Football related code breaking sheets that the Little Man enjoyed doing and got him started with some maths.

Then we go on to a subject study, either Maths, English or Science. He likes Maths and Science best, it’s hard to get him to do any  English as he doesn’t like writing. I think I’ll let him write some work up on the laptop just to get him interested. He can always practice writing later. He loves reading though and I’ve picked a longer book to read together, Kid Normal by Radio One DJs Chris Smith and Greg James. It’s really funny and a bit challenging for the Little Man which is just what we need.

I also bought an electronics kit and he’s had loads of fun learning about and making circuits. We made an alarm for when the door opens and a sensor to tell us when the bath was full and it was time to turn off the taps. I think I learnt quite a bit too.

Finally, we had some craft sessions with a My Gecko Box which I bought him all about Rainforests. We used this as a project and as well as making a rainforest in a cardboard box, we also found out lots of information on the Internet about rainforests. Again, I think I learnt quite a bit too!

Here is the result;

The box that everything came in was used as the Rainforest base and he stuck on some green crepe paper and blue cellophane. The he cut out some green leaves and stuck them on. Finally, I help him tie two pieces of string to divide the sections. We labelled them (on the side) Forest floor, understory, canopy and Emergent.

The Little Man learnt about which creatures lived in which sections and had to choose where to put the creature that he made. In the box there were little bags containing everything he needed to make a Caiman lizard, A butterfly, a colourful bird, two snakes, two tree frogs and a spider. He had lots of fun making the creatures and the Rainforest.

(I bought the box for £19.99 and it contained every needed apart from scissors. It took the Little Man 3 days to make it all, so it was worth the money. I am now considering getting him a monthly subscription.)

We’ve had a really great week and I’m really enjoying teaching him. He seems a lot happier too. We are hoping to meet up with other home educating parents and their children for some social activities in our area.

Have you ever home educated a child, or considered doing so?

 

The Reading Residence

 

 

 

The other day I was browsing online for new clothes and came across Simply Be. This women´s clothing company started life as a plus-size fashion brand. But, from the looks of things they have diversified and now sell clothing for women sized between 8 and 34.

They stock thousands of different garments, so it is a really good place to pick up on the latest trends. As you will see, there is a lot going on in the fashion world right now.

2018 dress and trends

Without a doubt, dresses are back on trend. The range of cuts that is available is amazing. You can pick up anything from full-length maxi dresses to mid-thigh length skater and denim dresses.

There is definitely a more feminine vibe going on. A lot of designers have opted to make their dresses out of soft, floaty and highly-patterned fabrics. However, if you prefer something with a more tailored and formal feel you can still find that too. There are plenty of shift and sheath dresses available. Most of them could just as easily be worn to the office as for an evening meal in a classy restaurant.

model wearing a floral maxi dress

Personally, I love a long, colourful floaty dress like this one.

 

2018 skirt trends

For a while now, it has been far easier to find jeans and trousers than it has been to pick up a skirt. Well, in 2018, that has all changed. The skirt is back and again there is plenty of choice.

It is particularly nice to see classic pencil skirts making a bit of a comeback. They are a surprisingly flattering and versatile skirt that suits most women. However, you do need to buy the right cut for your body type. You can easily find out how to do that by clicking here.

model wearing a white long sleeved top and a black midi pencil skirt

I always wore pencil skirts to work, I like them just below the knee.

A better choice of tops

The fact that more women are likely to be wearing skirts, this year, means that there is a good range of tops available. Generally speaking, it is the bigger and baggier styles that are dominating.

model wearing a plum coloured v neck top with a ring detail at the side

This lovely floaty top would look fabulous with a skirt.

peach coloured top with embroidery

I have this top and it looks great with leggings or skinny jeans

Jeans and trousers

Over the past couple of years, jean cuts have become a little looser. This is a trend that is continuing. It is also good to see the return of the high-waist cuts, which are far more comfortable to wear if you are carrying a little extra weight.

a pair of stonewash bootcut jeans

Bootcut jeans have always been a favourite of mine

2018 summer footwear trends

There are some really lovely sandals and shoes on offer, right now. As usual, the classics dominate. However, they have been joined by a big range of more comfortable flat shoes. Totally, flat sandals are very much in vogue, this year, which is great news if you find that high heels make your feet ache.

flat sandals with gold fabric knots.

Even flat cosy sandals can bring a little glamour

Tips for changing your style

As you can see, right now, there is an amazing choice of different styles available in the shops. So, it is a particularly good time to take the plunge and change your look.

I did it last year, and am so pleased I did. Giving myself a bit of a style makeover worked wonders for me. If you fancy doing something similar I suggest you read the post I wrote about my experience. I am sure you will be able to pick up some tips and tricks to help you to do the same. You can read it here.

 

Disclosure: collaborative post.

 

Author: Stuart Turton

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Raven Books (8 Feb. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1408889560
ISBN-13: 978-1408889565

The Blurb:

‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

My Review:

I read about this book on another blog, Jera’s Jamboree, and I was intrigued. Having recently found a love of murder mystery thrillers, my former love was science fiction and it was mentioned that this book had an edge of sci-fi.

Starting the book it was just like you’d expect, a murder to be solved, a manor full of interesting characters, lots of clues to be solved. The main character has eight days to solve the murder, but each day is spent in a different guest. But…it’s not as simple as that as he flips from guest to guest, simply because one guest has fallen asleep, or been knocked out or even murdered.

A complete tangle is formed but the author never make you feel any more lost than the main character. As you approach the end the murder is solved and you are waiting to find out what happens next, all the time with niggling unanswered questions in your mind.

You are not left feeling baffled though, everything is explained, all questions answered, all puzzles solved. It just might not be what you were expecting.

I loved this book and find it difficult to believe it’s a debut novel as it’s so well written. Each character comes to life and is so different from any other character. Blackheath Manor is described so well you could imagine you are visiting it yourself. This book is full of emotion that will take you on a roller coaster ride of suspense, horror and tension. There may even be a love story or two but that would be telling.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a good read with lots of twists and turns but a satisfying conclusion.

cover art for the seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Audible

Audible is now my most favourite way of digesting a book and I bought The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle with my monthly free credit. I always listen to a sample first to make sure I like the sound of the narrator. It’s not easy to listen to a book if the narrator irritates you. Thankfully you can listen to samples on Audible and most narrators are really great at the job.

You can buy The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle on Audible here, or just listen to an extract.

 

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.