April TBR ‘2020

Although I am now not posting this until mid way through the month, I thought I would still go ahead and let you see it.

This is going to be the first TBR in a little while where I don’t start off by saying I haven’t read anything! I actually had quite a successful month of reading, finishing off three books.

Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff, Wonderland and Cursed both edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, are all really great reads. Between these three I like to think I am now out of my slump.

I have reviews for all these fabulous books that you can go read if you want to know my full thoughts, but I can briefly say that they were amazing!

Now onto my April Reads.

MY first book for the month was Eden by Tim Lebbon. I have already finished this one and wow was it brilliant. Again I already have a review up for this that you can go read, but this is certainly a book I recommend! Its now one of my favourites. 48639012

Next I am determined to pick up The Queen of Raiders and get back into this world! I loved the first book that I read last month, and I need to continue before I forget what happened. This fantasy series reminds me of all the reasons I love fantasy books as a genre, and was so close to perfection in the first book. I truly wish I had picked it up sooner, but still dont regret picking up Eden. 45046587

Then if I have the time, which I really hope I do as then I will be caught up with my reading goal, I want to pick Looking Glass by Christina Henry back up. I picked it up briefly last month, but for some reason decided to switch to reading Eden. Christina is one of my all time favourite authors, so I know that this book is going to be amazing! I loved Alice and Red Queen, so can not wait to get back into this world. The first couple of chapters I loved- I really don’t know why I put it down! 45860328._SY475_

I really am completely excited to read again for the first time in a very long time, and now other than spending time with my partner and step daughter, I truly do not have anything else to dedicate my time to.

I would love to know of any books that you recommend I pick up during this lockdown, I am lucky enough to have some vouchers so would love to get some of your recommendations to give a try. Please please please leave your suggestions below?

What are you reading this month?





Eden by Tim Lebbon

I am back after a little bit of a break- there will be a post in the coming weeks explaining this little mini break, as I have been busy! But welcome to a review of what has possibly become one of my favourite books of all time.

A great big thank you to Titan for sending me this copy, this has been really not disappointed, and as Ive said, it is definitely up there with my all time favourites.

Now, I am going to be completely honest, I have a bit of a odd history with Tim Lebbon. I attempted to read his book Relics several times, and just couldn’t get into it, so I wasn’t having the biggest expectations going into Eden. Though the concept sounded so good that I felt I just had to give it an attempt, but now after how much I have loved Eden I am going to give Relics another try.48639012

In a time when Earth’s rising oceans contain enormous islands of refuse, the Amazon rainforest is all-but destroyed, and countless species edge towards extinction, the Virgin Zones were established in an attempt to combat the change. Off-limits to humanity and given back to nature, these thirteen vast areas of land were intended to become the lungs of the world.

Dylan leads a clandestine team of adventurers into Eden, the oldest of the Zones. Attracted by the challenges and dangers posed by the primal lands, extreme competitors seek to cross them with a minimum of equipment, depending only on their raw skills and courage. Not all survive.

Also in Dylan’s team is his daughter Jenn, and she carries a secret–Kat, his wife who abandoned them both years ago, has entered Eden ahead of them. Jenn is determined to find her mother, but neither she nor the rest of their tight-knit team are prepared for what confronts them. Nature has returned to Eden in an elemental, primeval way. And here, nature is no longer humanity’s friend.

Has that tempted you?

There are two things that I feel carry this book, the character and the descriptive setting.

Eden is described as such a beautiful but mysterious place, and the description is just that- beautiful. Its rare that I find a book where I can just sink in and be completely submerged in the setting. That being said at times this was a bit scary through the book, but thats the joy of great descriptive writing within a horror novel.

‘ final look at the body, the wild rose bush, its stem thick and green, its blooms lush and healthy. It was well fed.’

Now you may not understand the quote until you read the novel, but its just a great example of how the beauty of the writing is also so dark and twisted!

The relationships witihn this is are just so fascinating to see adapt to the situation and see progress through out the story. With a variety of different relationships, with parental, romantic, as well as distant past relationships and blooming new romantic. Looking at how a group of people with various relationships having to work together as one unit, would never be an easy situation, and this book perfectly sums up the tensions that can form.

Now although this is a horror, I didn’t feel like it was one of those that you have to make sure you keep the light on for. But rather it gave me more of a fear of being alone, and possibly a little of being out in the open.

Overall this book is just perfect! I don’t have a single bad thing to say about this one, as it is definitely now up there with some of my all time favourite books. Any horror, thriller or sci-fi fans really should give this a try, I think you will not be disappointed, it truly is a fantastic novel.  Easy FIVE STAR read!

My understanding is that the Kindle version is already available, however the physical will not be on sale until June now, but that gives you plenty of time to get your pre-order in.



Cursed edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

Different from normal, I want to start this by just saying that I hope that you are all staying safe and well, and that you are all healthy in the current situation.

Now, I know this is the second short story collection for me to read this month, but they have been a real help to get me over my nearly year long reading slump! Having short little stories for me to dip in or out off, is perfect for getting back into reading. Although I think I am finally getting to the point where I want to pick up a novel.

But back to this book; I want to say a huge thank you to the lovely people at Titan for sending me a copy for review, I really do appreciate each and every book you send me. 48693975._SY475_

This whole book of short stories, are all around a theme of the dark side of fairy tales, and being a lover of fairy tales this just sounded perfect. There was definitely some in this one that I had not heard of before, so it was really refreshing for them to be predictable- to be fair even those I had heard of I didn’t even find to be predictable. I have added the Goodreads blurb for Cursed below for you to get an idea of what I mean by the premise.

Here in this book you’ll find unique twists on the fairy tale conceit of the curse, from the more traditional to the modern – giving us brand new mythologies as well as new approaches to well-loved fables. Some might shock you, some might make you laugh, but they will all impress you with their originality.

As with all short story books, there was some that I loved, and some that I could of left unread (one I actually moved on from after only a page or two). But I still stand by this doesnt mean those stories are not good, but rather that I do not get along with that authors writing style, or even just the way they wrote the story. To be fair I didn’t walk away from any of the stories thinking it was boring or uncomplete, but rather just overwhelmed through confusing writing style more than anything.

But thats enough negativity, as I really want to make the point that this is a fantastic collection of stories that I have really enjoyed. Even more so than previous short story collections that I have read.

By far my favourite of the stories was As Red as Blood, as White as Snow, but I am biased as it is written by one of my altime favourite authors, Christina Henry (to be fair I read the book because of knowing this story was in it!).

As with all Christina Henry stories, it was dark, and took a surprising twisted turn! It left me wanting more, but not in a bad way. In a way that I felt there was enough concept to make so much more out of this. Now this is no criticism for Christina, but rather a huge praise! Even when writing a short story, her writing just makes any story feel like it could go on for pages and pages and I’d happily sit and soak it all in!

The final story that stands out to me is Wendy, Darling by Christopher Golden. Having been a Peter Pan fan since a child, I was really hoping that there would be a take on this story within the collection, and it certainly did not disappoint. Although a lot of more deep and twisted than the story that is commonly known, this left me with a lump in my throat and a whole lot of thoughts and feelings. The thought of your actions haunting you like that, till they ultimately come back to bite you is definitely one to get anyone thinking. This has left me wanting to go and find other versions of Peter Pan, especially as they are going to be as dark as this, it was creepy, beautiful and oh so harrowing, and yet it was perfect!

All in all, this whole collection (bar a couple) is my favourite collection I think I have ever read, I do love short stories! For anyone who loves childhood fairy tales, or even horror stories, this is definitely one to give a try. I would say it is a good collection to read if you are new to short stories, as they dont all feel like a short story as they are all well rounded stories. I gave this a four star rating, as it was so close to perfect, but then I think it would be hard for a group of short stories written by various authors to be wholely perfect. There would always be an authors story that you don’t get along with. Hence why I think this is about as close as you could get to perfect for such a book!

I believe this is already out, so while we are all hunkered down in our homes, I definitely think you should give this one a try!!


Thoughts on Covid19 as a disabled person…

I hope that everyone reading this is staying safe and well!

Now I know that everyone is probably getting a bit sick of hearing about this virus and all the disruption that it is causing, but I felt that I needed to say my piece about it all.

First of all I have been put into isolation for my own health and safety.  I have multiple conditions that make me immunocompromised as well as causing issues for my lungs and heart. Because of this I am at high risk, and have been medically advised that I am best off isolating.

Now I am by no means saying that this is easy, I’ve had to cancel plans with my family. Watch my partner go and pick things up from my family without being able to go see them myself. Its really tough when all you want is to go and see your parents, but all in all this is better. My parents may not be elderly, but they are still at risk of catching the virus; by keeping my distance and staying home, I am helping myself and my family, by reducing the risk of both catching and passing round the virus.

Plus being stuck at home can be what you make of it. You could sit around for hours on end, driving yourself crazy, getting unbelievably bored. Or you can use the time to catch up on that decorating project you’ve been meaning to do, you could catch up on that TV show you havent had time for, or like me you could catch up on all the reading you have been meaning to do. There is always something you can do to keep yourself entertained and just enjoy your extra time. Dont forget you can still chill in your garden, or take yourself for a walk. Its not about stay in doors but rather about staying away from people!

I cant help but feel like there is still some people that just aren’t taking this seriously. I know some people that are meant to be in isolation but are still going to work, people still having parties, or just generally just not following the isolation and social distancing rules. IT is really frustrating for someone who is abiding by it.

Generally I just have an over whelming feeling of fear about all of this, its a horrible, scary time, and like nothing I have ever experienced.

Im going to end this here as otherwise I think I am just going to get ranting on and on. I hope that you are all staying safe, at home with your family- I just pray that this all ends soon!schizo


Wonderland edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

As with all of my reviews, I would like to start by sending out a huge thank you to Titan books for sending me a copy of this book for review.

Join Alice as she is thrown into the whirlwind of Wonderland

Within these pages you’ll find myriad approaches to Alice, from horror to historical, taking us from the nightmarish reaches of the imagination to tales that will shock, surprise and tug on the heart-strings. So, it’s time now to go down the rabbit hole, or through the looking-glass or… But no, wait. By picking up this book and starting to read it you’re already there, can’t you see?51490745._SX318_SY475_

Being a short story book it is always hard to say what I thought about it as a whole, there was some that I loved- and  read several times over- and some that I really could of done with having not read.  That being said -and Im not going to go into detail about those which I wasnt a fan of- I think that on the most part, I didn’t get on with them because I couldnt find a comfort with the writing style. You know how some writing styles can just feel like hard work to read? Yes well some of the stories from authors I had not previously read felt like this. I am sure that if you like those authors then those stories would be just as enjoyable as the rest were for me.

One particular story stood out as being a bit odd- not bad!- I actually loved the story and found it so thought provoking, but I just felt that it was a bit random in this particular anthology. The story was The White Queen’s Dictum by James Lovegrove, now I did see the Alice in Wonderland link, I just felt that it was a bit vague and a bit stretched. IF it was in any other anthology, I’m not sure I would of seen the link, and I feel that in many ways the link was not an essentail part to the story. But otherwise I did love it, very emotional and definitely left me thinking.

Overall I loved many of the stories within this anthology, but two stood out a lot more than others. There Were No Birds to Fly by M. R. Carey and Six Impossible Things by Mark Chadbourn. Could I say why these stood out, no Im not so sure I could. I am writing this review a good four days after finishing this book, and these are the two that I am finding Im still thinking back on. There Were No Birds to Fly was so dark and twisted and yet oddly metaphoical that you just got dragged into it all the way along, I would quite happily read a full length novel around this short story, and its left me eager to hunt out some more of there work. Six Impossible Things just touched me. It was really such a deep tale, and one that I did not see where it was going until the final few pages. I cant help but just think back over it and all the power it held. Again I will be looking to get hold of more from this author as this short story has stuck with me!

If you love Alice in Wonderland, or just short stories then you should definitely look at getting your hands on a copy! They are short quick, easy stories to read, and they are fabulous in the most part!

This has been out for some time now so you shouldn’t have any issues getting a copy, so what are you waiting for….


March TBR ‘2020

So February followed on from previous months, and I didn’t manage to finish a single book!! However, I did really get into A Queen in Hiding, and think I have finally started to get back into reading! I actually want to be reading more now, and am managing a good few hours of reading each day.

That being said, I have a bit of catching up to do now in order to get back on track for my GoodReads goal. My aim is to try and read about four books in March, as that will nearly catch me up!

The First book has got to be A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff. I am incredibly thankful to Tor for sending me a copy of this, and so far I have really loved it. I have less than 100 pages left, so I am hoping to have this finished before this had even come out. This fantasy is the first in a four book series, and wow is it epic! I love it so far, though I do have my critics on it..

Following on from this, I should be getting my hands on the sequel, The Queen of Raiders, for my birthday in the first weekend of the month. I can not wait to jump straight into this one, and then probably going to want to marathon the entire series. I’m hoping that the sequel picks up where the first ended and keeps going at full speed! I just need to stay in this world!45046587

Following on again from last months TBR, I am going to stick to two of the other books on there.

The first is the Wonderland Anthology. I am still only about 150 pages into this, but I am absolutely loving the dark and twisted stories in this! I have just been picking it up every now and again for the odd story, rather than sitting and reading it all straight. That is probably why its been taking me a while to get through, but as I have a lot of appointments this month, I feel like I will get through more of it!

Then finally, I really really want to get round to The Stars we Steal by Alexa Donne. This came out last month, and I had intended to read it then, but as I haven’t I just have to get to it this month. This is another that the lovely Titan have sent to me, and I really do need to get my butt in gear and catch up with some of my reviews. So my TBR is written with that in mind. Stars We Steal_final[8603]

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.

So that is everything I hope to read this month, if I am right in thinking that I am getting out of my reading slump! Please keep your fingers crossed for me that I can get through all of this, and hopeful start to catch up with my reviews!

What are you hoping to read this month?


A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

The long and short of this review is that this book was a real treat! I want to thank Tor for sending this to me, I really do appreciate it and am thankful for every book I am sent.

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.45046606

My first point is actually my only negative, and to be fair it isn’t so much of a negative for the book but more for the blurbing of it. Through the first quarter of the book the storyline is long away from the description on the back, and takes a long while to even appear to be working in the direction of the blurb. It is not until around page thirty that Cerulia is orphaned. Now this takes away from the story a bit for me, as although I was engrossed, I knew what was coming, and that stops me from getting drawn in to the point that I cant put it down. But as Ive said this is less to do with the story or the writing but just the choice of what is on the back- going into book two I am not going to read the back.

Cerulia or Wren as she is referred to, is by far one of my favourite characters. Seeing her grow is really rather fascinaing through the story. IT does not always feel like she a ‘main’ protagonist as such, but that doesn’t bother me. Overall its definitely a story of many sides, and each of the ‘main’ characters all carry their own weight rather than one taking precident. However, personal preference is that Cerulia is the most engrossing to read from her point of view. Her character has such depth and you can see how her personality has evolved as she has grown.

The writing style through the whole book is just so beautiful. I found it to be very easy to read, and the description gave a great visual image of the world. As someone who can get very confused within epic fantasy novels, I found this one to be rather easy to follow along with. I think I only ever had one section where I had to refer back to appendix to work out who it was referring to- for me that is not at all bad within a fantasy novel.

I think the biggest thing to say is that this book has left me wanting to dive straight into the sequel, and isnt that the best thing to say about a book in a series? I actually have recieved a copy for my birthday so will be diving straight back into the world.

Now as this review is a tad late, the book is already out, and so is the sequel. I highly recommend grabbing your copy and enjoying both of the first two in preparation of the third coming out at the start of April. I have that and the fourth on order already!

So what are you waiting for?


MY Go-to Smoothie Recipes..

I’ve spoken a lot lately about how I am trying to lose some weight, and although to begin with I was following Slimming World, I have kind of deferred from it slightly. The main difference really is that for some reason, Slimming World says that you should not drink smoothies, and yet I am having one a day. Now I asked about this a lot, and no could ever give me an answer to why they are so high in syns, and I asked everyone in group and the consultant. All I was every told was that they change the fruit so you need to syn them- makes no sense to me.

As a general rule, I am having a smoothie most days. Normally just after I have a light lunch; I find that this stops me snacking between lunch and dinner which I used to be terrible with. This is just the normal recipes that I use most weeks, not sure that they are anything overly special but they are my favourites and I highly recommend them.

Strawberry Banana

Now this is quite a generic one that you see everywhere, but it is easily my absolute favourite! 1x Large Banana (or 2x small), Handful of large frozen Strawberries, 100ml of soya milk (could use cows milk, water or any other plant milk alternative). Blend it all up till its smooth! Super Yummy! You could also use fresh strawberries if you have none frozen, but you may then want to add a few ice cubes. img_1009


This is growing on me more and more! 1x Large Banana, Large Handful of frozen Mango, Small Handful of frozen Pineapple, 2x piled Spoonfuls of Alpro Mango No Added Sugar Yogurt, 100ml of soya milk. Blend till smooth! If you want to make this into a smoothie bowl, double up the amount of yogurt and reduced the milk to 50ml- it makes a thicker smoothie that you could then add toppings to. Again if you don’t have the frozen fruit, use fresh but add some ice cubes to make it nice and cold!


This is a new one for me, but it tastes good! 2x Large Handful of frozen pitted cherries, 250ml of Alpro Cherry Yogurt, 100ml of soya milk. Blend till smooth! You could add cherry juice to this to make it super cherry flavoured, but this then will add sugars to it. I’ve even been playing with the idea of adding Cocoa to this to make a bit of a black forest smoothie, but I’ve not found a way of this that I love yet!

I would love to hear any other recipe ideas you may have for smoothies! I am loving trying new ones lately. Generally I don’t like berrys in smoothies because of the seeds, but Im willing to try!



The Many Adventures of our Houdini, Tigger…

Now I am not too sure that I have let my lovely followers know, that we recently adopted a group of four gerbils. This was back in July, and we built them their own huge mansion to live in. I’m not going to lie, we are a bit behind on socialising them, we have actually found it to be quite tough to socialise them as they just don’t seem to respond the way previous gerbils I have had before used to.img_0605

The cheeky four’s names are Chilli, Stripes, Dash and Tigger, and this post is all about the adventures of Tigger over the last month.

Long story short, we were cleaning them out the other week. So going through the normal routine of getting them in their exercise balls or carriers, but low and behold, I go to get Tigger out and instead of climbing on my hand like the others do, she just clean leapt out of the cage. This was incidence number one!img_1079

This little adventure of hers led to her being loose in our living room for just over four and a half hours, and us having to recruit a friend to come over at nearly midnight. Oh and did I mention this was all the night before we had a house inspection?

Anyway, she was caught and put back with the others, and we started taking extra precautions when opening the cage.


But several days later, yes you guessed it, she got out again!

This time she managed to make a very tiny whole at the back of the cage, and squeeze through it. Still now we have no idea how she managed it! But the point is she did, and I’m ashamed to say that we aren’t completely sure as to when she got out. There is about a 36hour period when she may of got out – we’d had a really busy few days.img_0603

So anyway, we managed to locate that she was definitely within the living room. The door quickly got secured, and we started the hunt- yes once again it was gone midnight! Oh and yes, we were going away for the night the following day, so we had an hour to find her.

We managed to get her trapped under a sofa, so we called our friend again to help us with catching her, and had to take a break while we waited for back up – I had an asthma attack so had to stop for a bit.

Well, typically in the twenty minutes we weren’t in the room, we lost all sight of her. She was most certainly not under the sofa we thought we had trapped her under!

To speed things up, after an hour and a bit of searching for her high and low- Im not exaggerating, we were checking EVERYWHERE- she was not to be found. Knowing we had to be up and out the house within 3 hours, as it was 2am by this point, we had to just leave food and water down for her and call it a night.

Fast forward to the following day when we were back from our trip, we restarted the search for Tigger. This time though we had gotten hold of some super humane traps. There was clear signs that she was still in the room. There was now food in her water, food moved, and a cushion all nicely shredded- thank you for that! But we decided to not stress about turning the place upside down, and just laid the traps and refilled her water.

And low and behold, woke up the next morning to her safe and sound in the trap, although a little stressed which was horrible.

Well then came the next adventure, reintroducing her to her sisters. Initially we put her in a different cage but right up against the main cage as we needed to go out, and by this point she had been out for anything from 3 to 5 days. I spoke to vets to get their opinion on putting her back with the others, and it was generally agreed that she should go back with her sisters. It was actually believed that she would go back without any issues.

Oh boy was that wrong. We tried to reintroduce her, and very quickly she was attacked. After much perseverance, about an hour later I made the call to get her out of there. The final straw for me was when she was smothered by the other three all pinning her and attacking- much longer left they would of killed her. And you guessed it, when trying to remove her, she jumped out the cage AGAIN!

This time was easier to catch her though as after an hour she managed to get herself stuck in a toy bag, so it was rather easy to grab her.img_1254

Fast forward to now, she has got her own cage, all kitted out full of toys and activities and generally cosy comfy homeliness. We have found that she is preferring to be away from the big cage as it seems to stress her out, and she is getting so much better with human company- although could still use improvement!

The more we have thought about it, and the more we have seen her come into her own character, we believe that she may of been being bullied for a little while. We have always noticed that they are a group that will have fights but we generally don’t have to intervene. But she was and always has been significantly smaller than the others, never really been seen out and playing, and was always just shy away from everything. Don’t get me wrong she isn’t the most confident now, but she is definitely improving.img_1255

What are your thoughts, do you think it sounds like she was being picked on before? Have you ever kept a gerbil on its own and if so how did it cope?

This is a new venture for us, raising a gerbil individually, as I’ve only ever had pairs so I’m apprehensive as to making sure she is okay.

Health · Lifestyle

Periods from Hell after Depo…

God, sometimes I hate being a women!

For a bit of background, I was put on the depo injection at 15 years old, after trying the pill for about three years beforehand. I found periods unbearable at a young age because of the combination of hormone symptoms and my disabilities.

I always found that my periods were rather severe. Bleeding would happen every other week, I would always become anaemic from blood loss, pass out and generally be debilitated from the pain of cramps. Hence why from a very young age after hitting puberty, my family and the doctors decided to try and stop my periods using birth control.

Now I have come off of all birth control in order to try and start a family with my partner. I was warned that it could be that my hormones would react the same as they used to or it could be better. There was also a chance due to how long I’ve been on the depo that my hormones may never return normally- but that’s a whole different story.

What I have found has happened for me is that they have come back just as I remember them.

So since Christmas I have been having periods every other week again, and wow have they been HEAVY! I haven’t passed out from them, however I do have another condition that causes me to black out so its hard to tell. But oh the PAIN!

I am having to take my morphine, constantly have a hot water bottle strapped to my stomach, and am still snapping at everyone!

Doctors will be called in the week I think as this is ridiculous.

So my question to any of you who have had the depo is did your cycles get better? 

Currently I have only ovulated once since December that I have caught on test, but my last cycle was 25 days which is at least a touch more normal. Just praying for this one to finish in the next few days and will then start the ovulation tests again.

What other posts would you like to see about my trying to conceive journey? I am hoping to document most of it, as I feel like it would both be interesting for you and exciting for me to write. Not to mention the help it may give to other people who are coming off the depo after a long time, as there really isn’t much useful information out there about it.