Summer Bucket List


Because today folks, we are exactly halfway to Christmas. Yes, I’m one of those people.

So, Summer is exciting but what with work and the lacklustre English weather, it often whizzes by in a blur now I’m no longer at school with the luxury of taking a full six weeks off to revel in freedom.

Hence, bucket list! All the things I want to do, in one easy-to-check-off list of wonder. Here goes:

1. Head to one of the Summer Screenings at Somerset House for chilled back old-school movie and picnic.

2. Go camping in the Lake District for a few days of walking, relaxing and re-tuning with nature.

3. Eat strawberries. As many as I can get my greedy little paws on.

4. Finish writing my third book by the end of July. Deadlines, people!

5. Introduce my wonderful, city-girl friend to the joys of camping. I’m thinking in the New Forest?

6. Go out, dressed up, for dinner, once a week. Date night. Whoop whoop.

7. Fix yoga practice into my regular life, instead of just on sunny mornings.

8. Experiment with some new ice cream recipes. And French toast. And spring rolls. Also, a proper thai curry.

9. Have a BBQ, with awesome dishes on offer, home made cocktails and music.

10. Go to the local weekly Jazz evening and pretend I’m on holiday by sitting outside with a Sol.


Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00009]

The concept of this was simple enough – throw in a paranormal power and an ongoing makeover situation and this is chick-lit territory with a twist. The main character did a lot of personal growth stuff during the book and the countdown helped to keep things fast paced.

The story did a nice job of reminding you of the important stuff in life. The bucket list created within is something I know a lot of people do and the time restraints, murder mystery and aforementioned personal growth stuff fleshed it out nicely.

See this book on Goodreads.

Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig

Weddings Can Be Murder

Okay, so I realise the title should have given this away to me, but I thought this would be a little more mystery and less terrifying hostage situation. I do not do well with scary stuff. Nightmare ensue.

Still, I enjoyed it very much, the tension lightened by the banter between the two main characters and the undeniable chemistry between them. Enough to forget the horror of being hunted down by a serial killer at any rate, which never seemed to worry the main character quite as much as you would expect.

See this review on Goodreads.

The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver

The Vintage Summer Wedding

I liked this book, the story and the character of Anna. I’m rating it two stars instead of three because all the other people in Anna’s life – her father, her old school peers, people in the village – were so unbelievably harsh and unpleasant to her.

With the book being from Anna’s point of view, the only justification for the hostile words of the people in the village was her own belief that she had been a teenager with attitude…and well, it seemed unlikely that an entire village would take against her for being, for all purposes, a normal teenager.

Otherwise, I found the initial topsy-turvy descriptions entertaining and I identified with Anna – there have certainly been places or jobs I just didn’t want to be in and yet seemed to have no choice about the matter.

So overall a fun book about finding your own dream when you’ve been chasing someone else’s dream for so long, but the majority of the characters annoyed me.

See this book on Goodreads.

Before He was Famous by Becky Wicks

Before he was famous

I really enjoyed this story, showing the other side of fame, the tangled web of relationships both real and false. The two main characters were compellingly written, with real depth and history that made their love that much more special.

The twists and turns in the story kept the pace up while also managing to focus wonderfully on the turmoil that Chloe and Noah are experiencing as they try and get used to the roller coaster ride that Noah’s life is taking them on!

Definitely a recommended read, with an extra chapter and accompanying playlist available on the author’s website that is well-worth a listen.

See this book on Goodreads.

Love to List: 13/06/2014

Eating / Fresh pasta, parmesan, virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, basil leaves. All week. No joke.
Drinking / Green tea by the bucketload. Or teapot load. Doesn’t sound so drastic, but I have a big teapot.
Practicing / Baking. Banana bread, pear tea cake, chocolate fudge brownies. Next I want to make doughnuts.
Mastering / The art of procrastination. I’ve been halfway through A Month of Yoga for, ah hem, a month.
Learning / To take things a day at a time instead of rushing towards the finish line all the time.
Trying / To think of a great present for a 30th birthday girl I’m seeing at the weekend. Any ideas?
Playing / With my ASOS saved list and rearranging it in order of what I want most. I need to get out more.
Finishing / Moving all the furniture around. Again.
Reading / Too many books. See this weeks reviews here, here and here.
Remembering / D-Day and all that goes with it.
Wearing / Ripped jeans. Just too comfy. Strike the balance between PJs and actually being dressed when the doorbell goes and the postman needs you to sign for something.
Cooking / Nope. Meals out this week, lucky, lucky me, thanks to various family members birthday celebrations.
Working / Hard on writing the next book in the Equilibria Series! Exciting stuff.
Traveling / To Corsica! Not right now, but I’m about to push the button on the card transaction any. minute. now.
Wanting / To go see Maleficent, love all the live action fairytales in the cinema over the last few years.

P.S. I robbed the idea for this list shamelessly from How Sweet It Is.

Long Time Coming by Edie Claire

Long Time Coming

I loved the paranormal aspect of this story, it punctuated events within the book very nicely. The two (or should I say three?) main characters were very interesting and thanks to the flashbacks / reminisces about the past had a lot of depth to them that explained their actions. Even when a character was doing something I personally didn’t agree with, you could see from their history why they would act that way.

I worked out where the story was going very fast and even got so far as determining how it would come about long before it was mentioned by the author. However, there was one character twist I did not see coming and that remained in the dark right up until the author chose to reveal it. The story therefore kept me interested, entertained and involved with the characters.

A great read, very much recommended to accompany a sofa day or a plane flight.

See this book on Goodreads.

The One by Kiera Cass

The One

I’d been looking forward to finishing off the trilogy, although I didn’t re-read the other books before starting on this one so it took me a few to catch up on what was going on – not a problem as I dislike full recaps in the opening pages.

I had read some pre-release reviews that made the whole story sound very predictable but I have to say the author managed to draw out the love triangle for most of the book. Three quarters of the way through I still wasn’t entirely sure who America would choose. I knew who she should choose, but there was always a little niggling doubt…

The political situation got a lot more tense and immediate in this book than the first two. The twists in the story kept it interesting, although were in keeping with many other dystopian fictions that I have read recently. The trend seems to be moving towards doing actions that shock, rather than that fit neatly into the story – or maybe that is just a more accurate depiction of reality? Either way, I enjoyed the story and felt the trilogy was concluded satisfactorily.

See this book on Goodreads.

The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson

The Villa in Italy

To be perfectly candid, I originally downloaded this book because it was raining and the cover led me to believe it would be a light-hearted rom com set in sunny Italy.

However, what I ended up with was better than that. This story started off confusingly, but soon the main characters were in place and a mystery began to be uncovered, relationships developed and histories revealed. I found the whole thing enormously intriguing and couldn’t put it down. I even got to luxuriate in the promised Italian villa!

The characters were built up skilfully and the story helped each character to untangle their various issues and come to terms with themselves and what they wanted out of life in order to become happy. It was really interesting to gradually learn more about each person as their companions did. The imagery was beautiful and while not what I originally expected, I am more than glad that I found and read this book.

See this book on Goodreads.