The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan

My first book in my 12 months of reading journey was The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan.

What is the book about?

It is set just after the end WWII, we have Gus returning home to England, his two sisters Julia and Tilly waiting for him but it’s not just him that comes home, with him, he brings home a wife.

Krista is German and to say his sisters are shocked is an understatement but no one is more shocked than his fiancée Nella and Gus’s best friend Teddy.

All are carrying secrets and hate but they all have to try to get along, easier said than done. So we follow these character’s as they try to adjust to life after the war and also to each other.

Can it be done?

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Tough to start but brilliant ending.

 

My thoughts

I don’t normally read books that are set during or around the end of the war. I’m not sure why, I think, maybe it could be that it wasn’t really that long ago, especially WWII. I mean my grandparents were around at that time, so I find it quite tough to read. Also if there is too much army talk and technical terms used then I get lost.

But recently I have read a couple of books that were set around this time period that I really enjoyed which is why I decided to give The New Mrs Clifton a go.

To be honest I struggled with this book to start, I really struggled. I just couldn’t get into the story or follow the characters, I put it down I few times.
But with all books I like to get half way before I even consider giving up and even then I rarely do because once I have started a book I like to finish it, even if it takes a few months (like when I read The Hobbit).

So I kept going and lo and behold I got halfway and I started to like it, I started to enjoy the characters, I wanted to see the outcome for all of them.

As I say the beginning is a bit slow, it took a while for me to care about the characters, I don’t know if that’s because it was all about setting the scene, the author wanted you to know who was who and what was what and where. Which I know is what’s suppose to happen at the beginning of a book but I feel it may have gone on for too long.

If you persevere like me you are rewarded, the characters come to life, they all have their own stories to tell and they are told well. I especially loved how Krista was portrayed. Here we have a German woman who has married an English man coming to live in England, imagine that happening and how hard it would have been to start a new life here, especially when the war with Germany had just ended.

The author addresses this well, I felt sorry for Krista, I wanted her to do well and I wanted everyone to just leave her alone and just accept her, it wasn’t her fault that the war broke out, she had been to hell and back herself but she was a German living in England.

Elizbeth Buchan got the balance just right between Krista settling and people adjusting to her. It didn’t feel forced or unbelievable.

I also particularly liked the sisters and their relationship with Krista and each other. Both the opposite of each other with a different view on life but each with a secret that the other didn’t know. They both had their own personal reasons not to like Krista but they struggled, not wanting to upset their brother.

All three women have secrets that all come to ahead towards the end of the book, resulting in one very good cliff hanger, I just had to do a lot of reading to get there.

Was it worth it? I think so. I thoroughly enjoyed this book in the end. It’s a romance of sorts with family drama thrown in. It’s about trying to survive the war and staying together no matter how hard it gets but sometimes it’s not possible.

It’s about relationships between all, husband/wife, brother/sister, sisters/sister in-laws, ex fiancée’s to ex best friends, its got it all.

Elizabeth Buchan does write well, she brings the characters to life and is good at portraying the relationships between them all, as well as building tension but I just can’t put my finger on why I struggled so much at the beginning.

This is just my personal opinion of the book, I found the beginning hard work, you might read it and think What was she talking about?

But if like me you do struggle to get into it, keep going, it does get better.

Am I glad I read it? Yes. Will I read it again? probably not, so this book I will pass on for someone else to enjoy.

Please do tell me if you have read this book and what your opinions are of it, I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

xXx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 months of reading

Soooo I have a lot of books and by a lot I mean a lot.

They are not books I have read either, they are the total opposite. Most of them, in fact nearly all of them are books I have not read. I have an addiction to buying books and never reading them, that’s not to say I don’t like reading because I do, I really do. It’s just I buy to many to be able to keep up.

My plan for this year is too read all my books before I buy anymore, I am not letting myself buy any more.

These pictures below will hopefully show you why it is probably going to take me a year.

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So many books, so little time

All of these books apart from I would say 6, maybe 7 I haven’t read. I know, I know, why would I keep buying books? I don’t know, I can’t help it, I see it, I want it what can I say.

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And there’s more……

I was originally going to vlog my reading journey, I thought it might help motivate me to get the job done but although I have recorded a couple of videos, I have realised that I am not very good at keeping up with it and I haven’t posted them anywhere so far. Thats not to say I won’t in the future but for now I thought why not blog it. I may still do some videos but at least for the moment I don’t have the pressure of editing and remembering to record a video and I already have a blog so why not use it.

I was also thinking of doing a review for each book as well as blog my 12 month journey, I don’t know if that will be of any interest to anyone but I think it will help me to keep reading without the pressure of videos (unless I want to).

I mean we are already in February and I have only read 2 books so I need to do something.

When I have read the books I have decided that the ones I don’t want to keep I will donate them to charity or see if friends or family might like them. I’m hoping that I will clear some room on my very crowded bookshelves.

The first book I read was in January and it was called The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan but I will do a whole new blog post about that.

So without further ado, welcome to my 12 months of reading.

Wish me luck!

xXx

 

 

 

Where have I been???

“Sometimes you need to get lost to find your way.”

Where have I been?

The answer is, I don’t know.

I have been neglecting my blog for a while now and its not because I’m lazy or just cant be bothered or even that I have nothing to say (trust me I have a lot in this brain).  The simple answer is I let my (negative) brain win, I let the little voices in my head take over and they got me good.

I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the perfect blogger (what even is that?) not just the perfect blogger but just perfect in general (ridiculous I know).

I was so busy comparing myself to other writers that it made me feel that I wasn’t doing good enough, I actually made my thoughts and fears a reality, I stopped writing as much and when I did write I had changed my writing style. I started to try and adapt my writing and reviews to how I thought it should sound instead of how I wanted it to sound, I wasn’t being myself and writing how I wanted. I was rushing out my reviews because I was doubting my writing and my ability to review, was I good enough to have an opinion on what I was seeing/reading? who was I to say if this was good or bad?

I kept thinking I had to do more, be more, see more but what I really needed to do was stop.

The last few months have been hard, knowing that you want to write but you just cant. Knowing that you have probably messed up any chance of being a “successful” blogger because you couldn’t physically reply to the emails, or post a blog, feeling mentally drained but at the same time wanting to carry on, wanting to write that blog but getting nothing out.

Continue reading

Anxiety meet blogging, blogging meet anxiety.

I’ve come to realise that blogging with anxiety is not the easiest of things.

How can you blog when you have anxiety?

How can you have anxiety when you blog?

Often the two go head to head and many a blog has been left unwritten.

Should I just give up and realise it’s just not going to work for me?

I love to write but barely do I ever get anything written. The voice is so loud, it goes on and on and on, a running commentary inside my head.

From the moment I wake to the moment I sleep there is this constant ball of anxiety sitting in my chest, putting me on edge, waiting for anything to go wrong, for anyone to judge me just so it can be proved right.

I love life, I love to live my life but my days off are mostly spent sitting in my room (like I am now) staring, thinking, over thinking.

I should go to town, I should do writing, I should see my Nan/grandma, I need to see my friends but no, evening comes and I’m still sat where I was when I woke.

Another day has passed.

Work is my hiding place, I get anxious about being there, I worry constantly about everything going wrong or being asked things I don’t know but at least there, there I have peace from my social mind.

“Sorry I can’t meet tonight I’m working till 9pm”

“Sorry I can’t visit nan I’m working”

“Sorry I’m not off that day”

The list is endless and everyday I beat myself up because I have wasted yet another day, another has passed me by.

I wish I knew why my brain works the way it does, I wish I could switch it all off and re-boot it like you do with computers but I don’t seem to know how.

There must be a way? I’ve got this far in life, so the voice and the anxiety can be beaten but never for long enough.

Why is that little voice so important? Why does it win above all else?

It’s only me and my thoughts.

Everyday is a battle and one I have to keep fighting but sometimes I just don’t have enough soldiers, sometimes I’m too exhausted, so I sit and I wait, wait for it to pass, wait for it to become a little easier to handle, so that I can at least have some time for me.

But it’s still there just a little quieter for now, gathering its troops, rebuilding its weapons, getting ready to attack.

Battle number to many to count, waiting to charge.

The voice is never quiet for long, the anxiety is never gone, but I like to write, I like to read, I like to blog, I just have to keep trying but I just want people aware that I’m not lazy, I’m not fickle or unorganised, I’m anxious.

I want to write your review, I want to see your play, I want to hang out with my friends, I want to meet new people, I want to make memories and experience new things but right now the battle has been fought and I have been left drained.

I will rebuild, I will get my troops together but I need patience, I need time, I need reassurance.

Anxiety is a bitch and it’s real and it affects us all in one way or another, so let’s be kind, let’s ease the pressure, let’s just try and help each other get through this thing called life.

xXx

The Lovers by J.D Bretton

When author J.D Bretton asked me to review the 3rd book of his Tarot trilogy I did not hesitate, I really liked the first two and I wanted to know the ending to the love story I had been following.

Danielle has moved abroad in the hope of leaving her past behind, she has a new love in the shape of Sawyer but something was still not quite right, she was trying to start new by running away from her but you can’t run forever.

A dark and mysterious man enters Danielle’s life, he has a strange familiarity about him but it can’t be can it?

He’s called Noah but looks strangely familiar……..

This is a love story with a twist and you really do need an open mind and have a liking for the supernatural.

I found the ending to be a little to happily ever after for me and it was all over to quick, just as I was getting into the story and where it was going, it was over.

If your after a supernatural love story that doesn’t take to much time to read then the Tarot trilogy is for you.

JD. Bretton is a lovely story teller but I just wanted that little bit more.

As always my opinions are my own and I always recommend you see for yourself.

If you would like to read The Tarot Trilogy by JD.Bretton you can buy them here:

www.amazon.com

Knights of the Rose at the Arts Theatre, London

I have to say I throughly enjoyed Knights of the Rose at the Arts Theatre, London.

I don’t think it will be everyone’s cup of tea but it has lots of potential.

It’s has Knights and Princesses, singing and sword fights. With a talented cast and famous songs this new musical is a very enjoyable watch.

At times I did think it may have been better if it had its own original songs.

Its great that you know the songs but you know them to well. Some of them did fit perfectly but I found that in the more serious moments the songs didn’t quite hit the mark.

If this was a comedy/musical I think it could (would) work but as far as I’m aware it’s not suppose to be?

With songs like Don’t Speak being used in an arguement between the Princess and her Knight you could tell the audience didn’t know if they were suppose to laugh or not, with a few giggles escaping from the crowd.

I think the songs are too well known to be used in the serious way they were.

Putting that aside I still found Knights of the Rose to be very enjoyable, it has a great cast with fantastic voices.

My favourites being Prince Gawain and Sir Hugo played by Andy Moss and Oliver Saville.

Oliver Saville’s voice alone is worth a watch of this musical.

Also Sir Palamon played by Chris Cowley makes the perfect villian with a conscience.

The narration of the play comes from John, a Knight in training he keeps us up to date with who’s who and what’s what, with his own eager ambitions to one day be a Knight played wonderfully by Ruben Van Kerr he brings a lovely innocence to the character.

I also have to give a mention to Katie Birtill for her amazing vocals and presence on stage.

All the cast shine with their talent and I love the costumes and the traditional romance of prince/princess and knights, it was all very romantic.

I think the musical has potential to become very popular but it needs to lighten up a just little so that the songs work or it needs its own music to go with the feel of the story they are trying to portray.

I would definitely recommend seeing Knights of the Rose for its talented cast and good story telling.

The stage setting is impressive too with its rotating set and great props all blending in with the fantastic choreography by Racky Plews, it built the atmosphere right up especially in the opening scenes.

I did fall in love a little and I think another visit is in order!

I need to find me a Knight!

Big thanks to London Box Office for giving me the opportunity to review Knights of the Rose.

For tickets go to: www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

Knights of the Rose is at the Arts Theatre, London.

xXx

The Bridesmaids Dilemma by Karen King

The bridesmaids dilemma, a rom com, a will they won’t they and a oh my god will you just talk to each other rollercoaster read.

Jess doesn’t want to be maid of honour but has no choice, she doesn’t want to fall for the gorgeous Eddie but doesn’t look like she has a choice there either.

Eddie just wants to make sure his best mate behaves at his stag do but that’s easier said than done, he especially didn’t want to meet anyone, especially anyone like Jess.

With Majorca as the backdrop we have the perfect setting for a great holiday read.

I liked Karen’s writing of the characters in this book, she made them seem relatable. Their stories and emotions became real.

The passion and the frustration, the misunderstandings, I just wanted to bang the characters heads together and that’s what makes a good romance/will they won’t they.

That’s is also the sign of a good writer.

The bridesmaids dilemma is perfect holiday reading, sitting next to the pool with a cocktail in hand but if you can’t have that holiday you will feel your on one with these characters. Most of the story is set in Majorca following holiday rep Jess who has vowed never to fall in love……..

Its a good easy read with enough to keep the page turning to see if that happy ending plays out.

I don’t know about the bridesmaids dilemma actually being a dilemma maybe more of just a hiccup but once that was out the way and we got into the romance of the main characters Jess and Eddie the story really gets going.

If you like your romance, sun, sea and cocktails then pick yourself up a copy of The Bridesmaids Dilemma by Karen King.

If you would like to know more about the author and where to find her books, please click the link below.

www.karenking.net

Thanks to Accent press for asking me to review The Bridesmaids Dilemma.

xXx