Blog Archives

Blame by Simon Mayo – Read-along!

Hi everyone. The lovely people at Penguin recently sent me a copy of Blame by Simon Mayo. I’m so excited to read it! My boyfriend’s mum has also got a copy so, starting tonight, we have decided to do a read-along where we’ll read a chapter each night. This is actually a great way for me to read as with having little Willow now, I’ve been struggling to read as much as I used to, but setting aside half an hour or so to read a chapter is doable!

If you haven’t heard of Blame yet, here’s the blurb:

“Heritage crime [noun]: A previously undetected crime committed by your parents or grandparents for which you are held responsible. 

Ant and her brother, Mattie, are locked up in Spike, a new family prison.  Society demands they do time for the unpunished heritage crimes of their parents. Tension is simmering inside the jail.  When the tension breaks and a riot begins, Ant realizes they’ve got one chance to break out. 
It’s time for Ant to show the world that they’re NOT TO BLAME.”

Have any of you read Blame? If so, what did you think? Do any of you have it on your TBR list? Do you fancy reading along with us? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care,
Dayna.

Sleep tight my beautiful kitties.

It’s not often that I will post about my personal life. At least not a post like this…
When I moved away to Pembrokeshire, leaving my cats (albeit with my parents as 5 of the 6 were the whole family’s cats) was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In some ways, it was the hardest. I spent countless days crying and missing them. Particularly Felix as she was my little fur baby. I wanted to take her with me, but as grumpy as she was to the other cats, I wasn’t sure how she’d react to living with me on her own. It got even harder once Willow was born as I knew I couldn’t see them anywhere near as much as I had been but I was excited for the day when they’d finally meet her.
Yesterday I’d heard from my mum that Tessa was really poorly. Not just that, but Felix was also missing! Terra, our other cat, kept going out to look for her. In the early hours of this morning, cuddled up with my mum and dad on the sofa, Tessa sadly passed away from suspected poisoning.

Tessa lazing in the garden.

Felix still hasn’t come home and Terra is now also missing. We suspect they have both been poisoned, too.

Felix was always the crazy one.


Completely and utterly heartbroken over the news. Hurting so bad and I have cried so much my head hurts as well as my heart. I’m still holding onto a glimmer of hope that Felix and Terra will be found and that they’re OK but it doesn’t look good. 😭

Terra always dreamed big and saw himself as a panther in the making.


Such an incredibly sad day. I’m hating the world and hating the people who think it’s ok to poison cats and other pets. 😿 How can we have lost 3 beautiful cats in the space of 24 hours?! It’s just not fair!

Now Felix won’t be waiting in the garden when I come home from Wales for a visit. Looking at me all shocked when I call her name then happy purring and meowing when she realises it’s me. No longer will she laze on my bed, having some down time from the other cats, and no longer will I be able to have cuddles with our three fur babies.
Sorry for such a gloomy post. I just wanted to write about it and get all my feelings out. Completely devastated right now.

My Summer Book Stack.

Woohoo the Summer has officially arrived! Happy belated Summer Solstice everyone! Living in Pembrokeshire now means I get to go to the beach a fair bit during the Summer as we have several near by. That is on the few occasions that we actually get to see a bit of sun lol! I’m not one for the hot weather, but I do love bright sunny days where the sky is a beautiful shade of blue with a few fluffy clouds floating by. The perfect opportunity to sit on the beach and do a spot of reading. This brings me to my post. I’ve decided to put together a few books that I’d like to read over the Summer. My Summer book stack! Now, whether I’ll be able to get through them all, I don’t know but I shall certainly try. The books I’ve chosen are:


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Life and Death Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

I’ve had some of these books for quite some time but hadn’t got around to reading them. Hopefully I’ll get through them all this Summer! I am particularly excited about reading Lady Midnight as I adore Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Have you read any of these? Do you have a Summer TBR list? What will you be reading? Let me know in the comments below! 😃
Oh, and if you don’t already know, we’re on Facebook! Stop on by and say hi!

Take care,

Dayna.

My Proofreading Door Is Open!

Well, folks, it’s that time again where my proofreading door is open to you guys. Especially now that I have a little one and have a bit more free time on my hands (when she’s lets me, of course 😝). So, if you need a second pair of eyes to go over your work, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help in any way I can! You can email me at: secretlivesoffictionlovers@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you. 😊

Happy Friday everyone!

Take care,

Dayna.

Next On My TBR List: And I Darken by Kiersten White.


A few weeks back the lovely Harriet at Penguin sent me a copy of the soon-to-be released And I Darken by Kiersten White. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet BUT this weekend will be THE weekend that I can finally get engrossed in it! I am so excited to be reading this book! Here’s the blurb:

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White

Published 7th July 2016

 

“The phenomenal first book in an epic feminist trilogy set in the bloody Ottoman Empire, by the New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

 

Perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and The Queen of the Tearling, this is the ultimate, gripping, ‘can’t-stop-reading!’ novel to get stuck into on your summer holiday. Anti-princess Lada Dracul is destined to be the next feminist heroine, following in the footsteps of recent strong, gritty female characters Arya Stark, Jessica Jones and Star Wars’ Rey.

 

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way. 
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets. 
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.”

Look out for my review in the coming weeks! 😃

Have a lovely weekend, all!

Come Join Me on Litsy!

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well and enjoying the Summer so far! It’s been a while and I do apologise for that. Having a cute little baby girl seems to be taking up a lot of my time now, but I’m still here, I promise. 😀


Have any of you heard of an app called Litsy? No? Neither had I until recently when my fiancé’s mum introduced me to it. It’s a book community where book lovers go to chat about, well, books! Basically it is a simplified version of Goodreads. At least that’s how I see it. It’s the only thing I can think to compare it to.

When you sign up, they ask if you want to follow their suggested users. I chose to do that but you don’t have to. One of them is a Litsy book club which I thought was a fab idea and will hopefully be joining in the fun next month myself. 😀 

Here is what your profile layout will look like:


When you want to post something, just click on the cross symbol. You can then choose to write a review, write a blurb (or a general comment), or quote something from the book. Once you’ve chosen what you would like to do, you select your book and then you can write about it! It really is a nice little app. I think if I was to suggest any improvements, it would be to maybe have hashtags (or simply search for words) so that you can find other people who are reading the same book as you, like the same genre, are bloggers etc. So, if you love books like I do then come join me: SecretLivesOfFictionLovers

Enjoy your evening, guys! Oh and I thought I’d share a photo of Willow:


She’s wearing an Alice in Wonderland bow that I had made for her. I hope she loves books when she’s older!

Currently reading … And my Valentine’s Day gifts! 💕

Hi everyone! I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth … honest! This pregnancy (I’m now 38 weeks pregnant – eek!) just seems to have taken over! So apologies yet again for being so quiet! I seem to have really lost the reading bug of late but I’m *trying* to get it back! I’ve been attempting to read something on my Kindle but my hands are crying out for an actual book to hold and turn the pages of (you just can’t beat the feel of an actual book, right?) so I’ve given in and chosen to read The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury!

  
Here’s the blurb:

I am the perfect weapon.

I kill with a single touch.
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has its price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla’s fatal touch.
Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla’s chilling role to the girl she truly is.
Yet in a court as dangerous as the queen’s, some truths should not be told…”
I haven’t gotten very far but of what I have read, I’m really enjoying it! I love my YA novels and this was one that was recommended to me by Amazon. Seems completely unique to anything I’ve read in the past so thought I’d give it a go. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. 😃

Now on to Valentine’s Day … With having a little one due any day now, Aled and I didn’t go mad this year. He did offer to buy me a new Pandora charm but I opted for books instead! Coz I do love my books (even if I seem to have lost all motivation atm) and thought it a great excuse to get some new ones! These are the books I’d chosen:

  

For a change, I thought I’d go for a classic by H.P. Lovecraft and a book called Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. As you can see, it’s been compared to The Hunger Games but for me the only similarities seem to be the fact it’s a dystopian. Here’s the blurb taken from the back of the book:

I couldn’t find a blurb online that matched the back of the book, hence this picture.

Oooh Superheroes AND zombies … should be in for an interesting read here!

So, there you have it. I can’t wait to delve into these books and hopefully my reading bug will return and I’ll be back to normal with my head constantly stuck in a book. Or as much as our baby girl will allow, once she is here lol!

Currently Reading: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

A perfect Saturday spent enjoying a cuppa whilst reading a good book!

I know, I know, I’m real slow on the book wagon when it comes to reading If I Stay. BUT I finally am and can honestly say I’m loving it so far. Before picking up If I Stay, I was already a fan of Gayle Forman. I love her writing style. It makes reading her books a breeze and, before you know it, you’ve gotten to the end and find yourself wondering how the heck you got there so quick! This book is turning out to be no different which I’m thrilled about.
I’ve yet to see the movie adaptation so have no idea how it compares to the book. Have any of you guys read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?
I hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday; whatever you may be getting up to.
Take care,
Dayna.

Halloween Bookfest. Book #2!

Hi guys. So as stated in my last Halloween Bookfest post, next up on my Halloween TBR list was Stephen King’s Misery.

  

Oh boy what a read this was! It took a while for me to get into but I think that’s because I was getting distracted too easily. Half way through, though, I was finally engrossed and I couldn’t put it down. I spent the majority of yesterday reading it and finished it at 1am this morning! It was so scary in a suspenseful kind of way and there were moments when I was just too afraid to continue reading (like the axe part! Or the birthday cake)! Of course, I did. I guess I’m glutten for punishment lol! I got so panicky at times and thought my heart was gonna beat right out of my chest! A quote from the actual book summed my feelings up perfectly: “In a weird way it was just too good to put down. It was like a novel so disgusting you just have to finish it.” It was like Stephen King was talking about his own book! And that was another moment where I was afraid to keep on reading in case Annie came home to find Paul reading her “memory lane” book. Misery is one of those books that really gets you thinking about what psychological torture the main character must have gone through. He’s trapped in a house for months with someone who is a complete lunatic! One moment she’s all genuinely loving and caring and then the next she’s a complete psycho monster brandishing an axe (and that’s just one example)!! I’m surprised I didn’t end up having nightmares about it last night to be honest lol but so thankful that I didn’t! I thoroughly enjoyed this book but it really creeped me out. I think I’d better stick to my paranormal books because at least then none of that could ever be real. If you know what I mean.

The third book on my Halloween TBR list is the Crimson Peak novelisation by Nancy Holder. I am so excited to read this. I love Nancy’s style of writing and will no doubt sail through this book in no time!

Take care,

Dayna.

Baby Update!

Hi guys, I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend! I’m going to be posting 2 blog posts today (hopefully) and the first is about my ever growing baby bump!

I hit my 20th week of pregnancy last week so on the Monday I went for my second scan! Everything went really well and the baby is healthy and happy! Had to chuckle at its hands being up by its head and its feet in the air! It was so amazing to see its heart beating. I felt a little emotional seeing that. Still can’t believe I have a baby growing inside of me! 

20 week scan

Unfortunately the sonographer wasn’t positive about the sex of the baby. At the beginning of the scan the legs were crossed and later on during the scan the sonographer still couldn’t get a clear view as to whether it was a boy or a girl. I felt a little disappointed as I was SO looking forward to telling people what we were having (Aled on the other hand didn’t care either way lol) and being able to buy more gender specific things. We let everyone know how it all went and my mum kindly offered to pay for us to have a gender scan (which cost £69). I think she was as desperate as I was to find out what we were having!

So fastforward to this week! Thursday was gender scan day! I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep the night before! We walked into this lovely reception room with white sofas and turquoise coloured scatter cushions. First we had to fill out a form (a general terms and conditions/contract type of thing) and pay the remainder of the balance (you pay £25 deposit when you book the scan) then a few moments later the lovely lady sonographer lead us into the scan room. The scan actually had to be done twice because my bladder wasn’t full enough so she couldn’t get a good enough view in that region (the baby’s bum was sat on my bladder). Luckily I came prepared, so I had to go back into the reception room and chug down the bottle of water I had AND the bottle of coke (they suggest you drink/eat something sugary to get the baby moving) lol! About 5-10 mins later we went back in to try again. It was so cute seeing the baby’s hands moving about and its mouth moving! The sonographer was finally able to tell us the sex! We’re having a girl!! And shall be calling her Willow Rose. 

Gender Scan. Meet Willow Rose!

Willow because Aled and I love watching Buffy (Willow is one of our fave characters) and Rose after my nanna, Rosemary. We’d both agreed on Willow even before I fell pregnant and I’d chosen Rose not long after falling pregnant as I thought the two complimented each other nicely. Her middle name now has a little bitter sweetness surrounding it as my nanna sadly passed away on the 18th Oct after battling lung cancer for the last couple of years (unbeknownst to us, including Nanna, until recently). So I’m feeling a little teary as I write this. I never got a chance to tell her so I hope she’d feel touched that we chose her name.

The same day that we had the scan, I also had a consultant appointment. Ended up being there for 2 hours! I have white coat syndrome so whenever my blood pressure is taken its always high. It had to be taken 3 times(!) and because it was still high, I had to have an unexpected blood test which I sooo wasn’t prepared for! Me and needles are not friends and I always end up trying to stop myself having panic attacks and bursting into tears. It took 3 times for them to get blood out of me and was sent to phlebotomy for the last 2 times (as per usual with me). They always have trouble getting blood out of me but eventually they did it. The consultant has requested I get visited at home on a weekly basis to have my blood pressure taken to see if it will be at a normal heart rate. The midwife unit is not happy about visiting me at home and will come to see me only the once if my blood pressure turns out to be normal. The consultant has also arranged that I see the physio department about getting some crutches because being a below knee amputee whilst pregnant is taking its toll on my walking and I’m spending more and more time not wearing my leg due to being sore and achy. I’m also finding my hips and lower back are becoming more achy too. The one good thing about seeing the consultant was that we got to hear the baby’s heart beating! It was so amazing! Kinda made things feel more real!

Now that we know what we’re having, we can start buying more things! Yay! But less pink the better lol. And oh my gosh there is sooo much that we need to buy! The other day Aled bought me this changing bag:

  

Now I just need to find a pram/travel system to match it lol! I’d like to get a Cosatto and was a bit disappointed to find that an offer that Mothercare had on one that I liked has now ended so I’ll keep on looking. I think a pram/travel system will be our next big purchase and then the baby furniture. We already have a Moses basket and stand etc so don’t need to worry about that anymore. I’d also really like to get this bouncer for the baby:

Baby Bean Bag Snuggle Bed Bouncer .

It’s so darn cute and looks sooo comfy! If you click on the pic it should take you to the item on Amazon. I’ve been putting items on my Amazon baby wish list so bit by bit we’ll start buying things from there. All being well we’ll have everything we need by time little Willow arrives!

Wow, I seem to have written an awful lot today! I’m sorry for such a long post and if you’re still reading this then thank you for taking the time to stop by.  Now I must go and have a lovely cup of tea and maybe a mini hot cross bun! If I’m not careful, I think hot cross buns may be my craving lol!

Take care,

Dayna.

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