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Book Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork.

Book Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork.

Thank you to publishers Transworlds Books for gifting me this copy of ‘The Owl Always Hunts At Night’. This book was translated from Norwegian to English, which we British booklovers have greatly appreciated! This is the first book I have read by Samuel Bjork, I know the previous book ‘I’m Traveling Alone’ was very popular, and readers of that were excited to read this new book. However, ‘The Owl’ was fine to read as a standalone. 

I read this book as part of a buddy read with one of my favourite bookbloggers and lovely friend Irena. She read in Croatia, and I read in Scotland, and we spoke while we read about our thoughts and ideas about the book. It made reading the book even more fun. Irena is a brilliant blogger and person, and will also be writing a review of this book. You can find Irena’s Blog – BookDustMagic! and Twitter

 book friend

Description:

When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.

Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.

 

owl

Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Publication: March 23rd 2017 by Transworld Digital

My Thoughts:

This book wasn’t what I expected it to be when I first picked it up. The first chapter tells a story from years ago when some of the characters were younger, as the book progressed, my thoughts kept returning to this first chapter as I tried to figure out what had happened. I did not figure it out, until the twists told us so!! I like a book where I cannot guess the twists, this is a winning book for me. However, the very strange and different thing about this book for me was that I didn’t have a clue who the culprit was for the majority of the book, and I am always suspicious of practically everyone, but not in this tale. Honestly, it confused me a bit. This is one of the reasons that  enjoyed buddy reading this so much, so that at the end of each reading marathon, I would check in with Irena and see what she thought. 

This is the first book that I have read that is based in Norway, and the way the characters describe it, it sounds so cold and uninviting! But having a friend who is Norwegian I know that there are very beautiful parts of Norway, and I can only deduce that the negative way the characters spoke of the country (more so the weather) was part of her state of mind.

There are a lot of different elements to this story, a lot of characters and a lot of divided off stories. It made me wonder how it was all going to link up, but link up it did and it did it very well. It was a book that I had to concentrate on because of the many characters, but because of this I got very involved in the story and it completely wrapped me up for the week I was reading it.  I haven’t ever read a book like this before, with very strange ideas and a total mix of characters. The Author even mentioned Anonymous and Black Hackers (which I hadn’t heard of before, but I know of now after reading this).

Overall the book was gripping, thought provoking and a very different kind of thriller. 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

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8 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Divorced Not Dead Workshop, by CeCe Osgood.

Book Review: The Divorced Not Dead Workshop, by CeCe Osgood.

Thank you very much to author CeCe for my copy of this book. I loved the cover of this book and the description really intrigued me.

divorced

Book Description:

“That’s what you called it, Dorsey, and I love it …The Divorced Not Dead Workshop.”

Divorced five years and recently dumped by boyfriend Theo, Dorsey Bing, smart, funny and a wee bit angsty, brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced people. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through. That changes when her best friend, Pilar Vega, a feisty go-getter, chooses to set up the workshop, puts herself in charge and gets Dorsey to agree to be her “gofer.”

Things are fine until Dorsey’s widowed stepfather Ralph, and his bride-to-be, Audrey, ask Dorsey to join their wedding cruise to Cabo, which is on the very same weekend as the workshop. Dorsey and Pilar decide to hold the workshop during the cruise. But do things ever really work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.

Complications arise with a startling mishap, rebellious attendees and a fraud accusation, the arrival of Audrey’s good-looking but wily nephew Finn, and the reappearance of Theo. Struggling through the turmoil, Dorsey must face her biggest challenge if she’s to win the love, and life, she’s always desired. 

My Thoughts:

At the beginning of this book Dorsey is let go from her work, so she is unemployed and divorced! She casually mentions the idea of a workshop for divorced men, and her friend Pilar decides they should go for it. The book continues with how this workshop pans out, along with mishaps, romance, embarrassment and much more.

I liked this book right from the beginning when I was captured with giggles from the main character Dorsey having a go at a random lady for not wiping her pee from the toilet seat! Something that everybody would want to do, but perhaps wouldn’t storm out of the cubicle and yell ‘You peed on the seat, I’m not cleaning up your pee’. This made me love Dorsey, even though I was cringing a bit. After this escapade, we find Dorsey hiding under the table from an ex! She is a great character, full of womanly self doubt, love and comedy. The only thing I didn’t love about the main character was her name! Dorsey Bing, a very strange name, but I guess it sticks in your memory, and I did continue to think about Dorsey Bing after I finished the book.

I think this book is about self discovery, I liked the fact that it wasn’t about a young single twenty something, Dorsey and some of the other characters have been married and are now divorced. It was chick lit, but with something a bit different about the characters. I was slightly hesitant that I wouldn’t identify with the characters, as I am not older, divorced, the type to go to a workshop like this. But, I really could identify with Dorsey. In fact, I feel she has some character traits just like me. Dorsey is good at giving others great advice but not so good at taking it herself. She is self doubting, she blames herself for things that a friend would tell her, not to be so silly about. I loved Dorsey and hope that we get to see more of her.

The other characters were very well written too. Dorsey’s 2 best friends Pilar and Mimi. I would describe them as strange friendships, especially Mimi. They are not as upfront and all sharing as written in other chick lit books, but again this is perhaps something that is a lot more real??

The male characters were good. The book opens by saying that ‘men suck‘. The girls wish they could ‘desuckify’ them. I liked how Dorsey uses her own words. “Desuckify“. Not all the men sucked, and you will find out if you read it which ones do and which ones surely don’t.

There was a bit of comparison between Brits and Americans which I found amusing:

“they  were Brits, there’d be no fisticuffs”…….”maybe i was wrong, maybe there would be blood”

– gave a sweet kiss on the lips. Well so much for British reserve”.

It was amusing to see how an American author would write her thoughts on British people!

Overall, I really liked this book, the characters were great, very well written, the storyline was capturing. I wanted to know what would happen to each of them. I would recommend this book to everyone who likes chick lit, and those who want chick lit that is a bit different. I would recommend it to all ages too, don’t be fooled into thinking, I won’t relate because I don’t know anything about divorce. You don’t need to, it is brilliant and funny and makes you want to keep reading.

If you want to read this book, you can buy it from Amazon here:

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Divorced-Not-Dead-Workshop-Dorsey-ebook/dp/B00H11TB2Y/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Please let me know if you buy it, have read it, or are going to add it to your to be read list. I love to hear other people’s thoughts on books that I have read.

Until next time, happy reading! ♥

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Books

 

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Book Review – How to Bake a Man, by Jessica Barksdale Inclan.

Book Review – How to Bake a Man, by Jessica Barksdale Inclan.

 

how to bake a man

Thank you to the publishers ‘Ghostwoods Books’ for this title.

Publication Date: 11.11.14

The Description:

When Becca Muchmore drops out of grad school, all she has left to fall back on is her baking. Ignoring her mother’s usual barrage of disapproval and disappointment, she decides to start a small business hand delivering her wares. A friend introduces her to an office of hungry lawyers, who agree to give her a try.

Her lizard-booted neighbour Sal is happy to help out when he can, and almost before she knows it, Becca’s Best is up and running. Before she can settle into a routine, things get complicated. The office orgress could easily be Becca’s sister and has absolutely no patience with cookies or other frivolities. Even worse, her boyfriend is the man of Becca’s dreams – kind, funny, successful and brain meltingly gorgeous. As the dark undercurrents threaten to pull her down, Becca swiftly finds herself neck deep in office politics, clandestine romance, and flour. Saving her business (and finding true love) is going to take everything she’s got and more.

My Thoughts:

I was expecting this to be exactly my kind of book, I love chick lit books, especially ones that speak of delicious foods. So, when I saw this book about baking, love and complications, I thought this is the book for me. I was right!

Becca is a very relatable realistic character who over thinks life! She loves her baking and reminds me of a good real woman who isn’t obsessed with her weight and knows how to enjoy food. The recipes and cakes she speaks of made me want to bake and eat!

There are a few great characters in this book and the story keeps you interested in who is going to end up with who and what will happen to them. I love the character growth you see in Becca and this was part of the reason why I wanted to keep reading to see where she would be by the end of the book.

I loved that the book was very up to date. As an example of this, I will quote what Becca says at one point when she is so tired:

“….ready for a 3 day nap or an ‘Orange is the New Black’ marathon”, I can totally relate to that!

It is totally chick lit, a fun, easy read that you can just indulge in. I really want a good tasty cinnamon roll after finishing this book. I recommend ‘How to Bake a Man’.

chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Books

 

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Book Review: Written in the Stars, by Ali Harris.

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I was given this book as a gift, when I got it I was so excited to read it. The cover looked so pretty and inviting and I had heard great things about it too. So, did it live up to what I’d heard?

The story is about Bea and two different paths she took on her Wedding day. It is a sliding doors type book, a dual narrative. Bea is due to marry Adam, as she walks down the aisle she slips. The first decision, she gets up, composes herself and goes on to marry Adam. The second decision, she gets up and runs out of the church abandoning Adam and her Wedding day. It is a story of destiny and what will happen if………???

We hear about Bea’s Dad who left when she was young, Bea’s first love Kieran who also left and Bea’s feelings of inadequacy and inability to make decisions. There is Loni and Milly, who are Bea’s stables and loved ones. Her brother Cal who is a lifesaver to Bea. The author does a great job describing these characters. In a book, I love to read of characters that I can understand and relate to. While Loni is very extroverted and out there with her bright clothes and retreats, she loves Bea, and her children  are the most important things in her life. Milly is more reserved and sensible, but also always looking out for Bea. I was able to put myself right in the moments of the books and see why the characters do and say what they do. This for me makes a brilliant book.

When the author describes Adam, I get the impression he is secure, sensible and can totally see why Bea starts off thinking she should marry him. Along the way you can see how both characters develop……..Its very good.

Each of the paths that Bea takes explore her emotions along the way. We hear about her love for Adam and also her love for Kieran. The author also speaks of depression, she speaks of it in a very real way. Bea’s life went slow, Bea felt like she couldn’t make decisions herself. Bea’s character was written in such a consistent way (through both paths), which must have been very difficult to do. So, big praise to Ali Harris for that.

Throughout the book, I found myself wondering, who will she end up with? Which decision was the right one. Well, you will have to read the book yourself to find that out, I don’t want to write any spoilers, though it is very tempting to when writing this review to talk about the end……..

The story leads us thinking which decision will lead to Bea’s happy ever after, what is Bea’s destiny? This is a great book for anyone who thinks ‘what if?’  I most definitely recommend it.

I also would like to add that a really nice touch to Ali’s book at the end was that in the acknowledgements, she thanks her Facebook and Twitter fans. But she also thanks book bloggers and thanks them for the reviews we write. I thought this was really nice and its so good to be appreciated by the authors. So, big thumbs up for that too. ♥

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Books

 

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My Favourite TV Series EVER!!

My Favourite TV Series EVER!!

I have recently gotten BT TV and broadband installed, I also got a new laptop!! This has been fabulous, I will find blogging so much easier with a great new laptop and superfast broadband.

Another benefit of it is all the extra tv channels, the pause, rewind and fast forward of live tv.  (I know this has been around for ages, but its a novelty to me at the moment).

I have found Comedy Central, and Friends!!! Its their 20th anniversary, so they are showing back to back episodes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  ♥ ♥

This got me thinking to all the tv series that I have watched and which have been the best.

I decided to tell you my top 10. If you have seen and loved any of them, please share your thoughts with me.


 

1. Breaking Bad.

This one is so popular. Walter White is a chemistry teacher, he is diagnosed with cancer. So as a way to ensure his family are looked after, he embarks on a meth making plan. He enlists the help of a former student of his, Jesse Pinkman. The 6 series tell how their meth making and selling business gets bigger and bigger. One of the problems is that his brother in law Hank is a DEA agent! and is determined to find out who is supplying this new blue meth.

This is a gripping series, I absolutely recommend it.

BreakingBad


2. Gossip Girl

I loved this series. Its about privileged teenagers who live in The Upper East Side of Manhattan.  There is popular Serena who everyone seems to want to know all her business. Blair who wants to be the princess leader. Chuck, who is a kind of bad boy but lovable at the same time and golden boy Nate – who is not actually so golden as he seems. The series follows these characters and others who live their turbulent rich teenage lives There are 6 fantastic series. Gossip Girl is a gossip channel, a secret person who tells everyone’s gossip! It’s fab!

Gossip_Girl


3. Revenge.

I am not totally finished with this series, there are 3 series and I am half way through the third one.

This is about Emily Thorne, previously born as Amanda Clark. Her father was framed for a terrible crime, so his daughter Amanda, changes her name and comes back to the place where she grew up to wreak revenge on the people that she blames for her father’s demise.

revenge


 

 4. The O.C.

This is about the kids of Orange County, California. Seth lives with his parents, his long term crush is wealthy spoilt Summer. Living next door to Seth is Marissa, also spoilt rich popular girl. A young boy from the ‘bad’ side of town is thrown out by his alcoholic Mum and adopted by Seth parents. Seth and Ryan go on their adventures which include wooing the two girls. The story revolves around these 4 characters. Its easy watching American school trash. But I loved it. Unfortunately, they only made 4 seasons, but they were 4 fantastic seasons.

 

the-oc


5. Friends.

This needs no explanation, if you don’t know Friends, where have you been??? I’d loved Joey and Phoebe best for all their eccentricities. The 20th anniversary is the ideal excuse for a mega Friends rerun!

friends

 


 

6.Ally McBeal.

This is probably my all time favourite show. Ally McBeal is a lawyer, she ends up getting employed at the same place as her childhood, teenage first big love. Ally has a magical imagination and is always getting into fixes. The series follows the characters that work in the office, amidst all the strange, entertaining law cases that need argued.

Ally is ultimately looking for her true love, and gets into lots of funny situations trying to find him. A great cast of characters and an amazing show!

107-ally-mcbeal

 


 

7. Greys Anatomy.

There are 10 fabulous series of this, and I’m hoping they will keep making more. Its the story of medical interns who eventually become doctors and get their own interns, (a few series in anyway). A great series where you follow the lives of all the main characters, lives, loves, adventures with lots of hospital dramas to go alongside.

There is a doctor McDreamy too! Can you guess which one he is???

greys anatomy

 


 

 

8. Desperate Housewives.

So, this is the tales of the ladies of Wisteria Lane. Gabby – rich, spoilt kept wife. Bree – must keep up appearances of being very proper! Susan – a bit ditzy, but very loyal, very funny. Then there’s Lynette – ultimate family woman married, kids, works super hard. These women are the best of friends. The series follows their lives on the street, the adventures, problems and mysteries. This is a feel good series that leaves you wanting more after each episode. Love it!

desperate housewives

 

 


 

9. Dawsons Creek.

Ok, so this is quite an old one. An oldie, but a goodie! Tales of Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen. The kids start off young, but the series follows them through to adulthood. Love, live, adventures, teenage angst. Easy watching American stuff. It’s great.

You may be getting the impression by now, I like tv series that are escapism! And why not, life is tough. In my freetime,  I want to de-stress and these are great for that!

dawsons creek

 

 


 

10. Orange is the New Black. (OITNB)

This is a great new show, showing on NetFlix. Piper has to go to jail for a crime she committed 10 years ago. She starts off innocent, unaware and nice. ( like a lot of female prisoner shows), the story follows her time in the prison. She meets her ex girlfriend, while her fiance is waiting for her in the outside world. 

This is a different kind of show from the ones I’ve previously mentioned, but nonetheless entertaining and not too heavy. Because it’s on Netflix, it’s very addictive to watch show after show. Season 3 is nearly ready!! I can’t wait.

oitnb

So, these are my top 10! Are any of these your favourites? Or do you have any other fantastic recommendations, that I haven’t mentioned?

I’d love to hear from you for your thoughts on these or any other fab series that you love.

Until next time, thanks for reading! 😉

Running in Lavender
 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2014 in TV Thoughts.

 

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A Weekend of Baking.

A Weekend of Baking.

scones and jam.I decided that this weekend I would indulge in another of my favourite pass times. I have spent a lot of my recent free time reading. ( see my reviews). So it was time to do some baking. I made scones with raspberry jam. My first attempt at these were not so successful! I think I rolled them to thin, so they didn’t rise as much as I would have liked. 20140716_145407 Although they still tasted nice, they didn’t look the part and they weren’t fluffy enough. I used a recipe from @itvthismorning and @lisafaulkner1.

I used this link:

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/food/coastal-cottage-cream-tea-lisa-faulkner-recipe

I have to say I was very impressed with how easy the jam was to make, it tasted very sweet and yummy. If I make the jam again,I would half the sugar amount as it was incredibly sweet.

20140716_13283020140723_18095420140723_19315920140724_132024They didn’t last very long I can tell you that.

I will definitely be making these again. With thanks to ITV This Morning and Lisa Faulkner.

If anyone has any tips on how to perfect scones, I would love to hear them.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Baking

 

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Dining Review – Khublai Khan, Glasgow.

My dining experience at Khublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant. This restaurant is in Merchant City, Glasgow. My Husband and I walked in here off the street during Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. We just wanted a small snack, actually it was to escape a rain shower! I have to say, it was a great move!!! This restaurant is fantastic!!!!!

We were welcomed in by the waitress and she asked if we had been here before. When we said no, she explained that it was a slightly different dining experience. I had never eaten Mongolian food before. The choices include:

Full Feast – starter, many visits to BBQ grill and desert – £22.95

Mini Feast – starter, 2 visits to BBQ grill and Desert – £18.95.

Pre – Theatre – starter, 1 visit to BBQ grill and desert – £14.95.

Menu Khubla Khan.

This is the menu.

The waitress explained that the grill was around the back. We were to take a bowl, fill it with first rice or noodles, then any vegetables, then with meat. Any selection we want. When we looked at the meat selection, we were very surprised!!!! The labels next to each bowl of meat included:

Zebra!

Wild boar!

Crocodile!

Rabbit!

Octopus!

Horse!

They also had the usuals like chicken, beef, prawns. After we had put the rice, noodles, veg and meat selection in our bowls ( I chose crocodile, rabbit and prawns. Hubby chose boar, horse and crocodile). The next step was to make our sauce! Design your own taste.

This is all about the dining experience. There were suggestions on the wall, or you could make up your own. The choices included coconut milk, soya sauce, olive oil, mango sauce, lemon, rosemary, brown sugar, 5 spice, salt, garlic, ginger, cumin, pepper, fish oil…… There was loads. I made up a nice fruity, gingery, coconut type mixture.

The next step was to give your bowl to the chef. He then cooks it up in front of you. (You could go back to your seat and have it brought to you if you wish). I wanted to see what he did. The chef tipped the bowl out and stir fried it all up. But it wasn’t in a pan, it was like a huge hot plate. The chef was very chatty and told us how some of the commonwealth atheletes had been in to eat.

When the meal was cooked, we took it back to our seats, ready to try our concoctions. I was confident my sauce would be good, but crocodile and rabbit!!!!!! Well, the result…….. DELICIOUS!!!! Taste sensation and even better because I had made up all the ingredients and knew exactly what was in my meal.

As we were only in for a light snack ( errrrr 😉   ), we didn`t have a starter or desert. However, if I go back the salted caramel and chocolate cheesecake sounds amazing. 20140801_170333 20140801_170348I have to say this was a real dining experience, it was deliciously different. The price was good and the staff friendly. I most definitely recommend Khubla Khan Restaurant if you are in Glasgow. Here a few more photos that I took. Yum, yum. Who’d have thought I’d be eating crocodile!!!!!

The BBQ Grill.

The BBQ Grill.

The Meat! 20140731_173002 Yes, it really does say Horse! Zebra! Crocodile!  Weird, but actually very tasty!!! 20140731_173031 That’s our selection bowls ready to be cooked. 2 with the meat and veg, and 2 with the made up sauces! 20140731_173012 Smelling my delicious concoction of a sauce. I think I will call my sauce ” Coco – Ruity Sauce. It included coconut, mango, lemon, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and some Thai spices. Perfect! 20140731_173642 And there’s the chef cooking it all up. I think between me choosing the ingredients and Chef cooking it up, we made a fab meal! Even if I do say so myself. Thanks Khublai Khan for introducing us to Mongolian food, I think we will be back.

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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