Looking Back At August and Forward To September 2017

Firstly… I’m not sure how this post is going to look. The thirteen year old was acting very shifty last night when I took her to a sleepover. I realised this morning why… she’s took the laptop ( for Netflix no doubt ) Yep, there’ll be big trouble when she gets home! So excuse any dodgy formatting… I’m doing this on my phone! 

So this is it, summer holidays over and back to work tomorrow 😭. I’ve taken a few days off from blogging & social media this week to spend a bit time with the daughter – we’ve done theme parks, shopping, movie nights etc. She’s 13 almost, so it was nice to connect again. It feels a lot like she’s drifted away in the last few months… though I’m mighty pissed off with her right now! 

I set myself a challenge over the holidays to read 20 books and I managed 24! So I’m really pleased with that. Here’s some of the highlights. 


September is looking really busy and I’m lined up to take part in some fab blog tours and have some amazing sounding books to read. I’m particularly looking forward to these books! 


Autumn is the best time for reading I think, with crisp mornings and cosy evenings. September and Early October are beautiful here I Cumbria full of gorgeous colours. It really is my favourite time of year! So when I spotted @ canelo_co had an autumn themed photo challenge on Instagram, I had to join in! My first post combined day 1’s prompt of #Leaves and day 2’s prompt of #scarves 


If you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m @vicki_cosybooks and if you’re interested in Canelo’s challenge, here’s the details right here … 


So, August was a great month but I’m ready for September now I think. Give me a week or two though and I’m sure I’ll be moaning about having to go to work again! I’m off out soon, as I support in a club for people with Learning Disabilities on a Sunday, so apologies again if this post looks awful (I’m mostly worried about the images as I can’t format them on my phone!) I’ll be back later this afternoon to fix it once I’ve got my laptop back! 

Weekly Wrap Up – 20th August 2017

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I can hardly believe it but here I am, four weeks of my six weeks off work over. It seems an awfully long time ago since I waved my daughter off for a week at Guides camp right at the beginning, yet on the other hand that list of must do jobs around the house remains untouched and I’m now left with just two weeks to do it all! How did that happen?

Contradictions seem to be the theme of the week, as I’ve spent a lot of it shivering, moaning and avoiding bucketfuls of rain. Is anyone else thinking that this is the worst summer they can remember? Yet there were a few sunny interludes and I managed to take my reading outside now and then. We even made it to an outdoor pool on Thursday!

I’ve managed to get a lot of reading done this week …currently on number six which I’ll hopefully finish today. I’ve harped on about this one a bit- but my favourite was The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase. I just adored it.

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I actually thought I’d done very well on the new books front this week – but then when I looked back there’s more than I remembered! (Although Another Woman’s Husband was a pre-order and I’d actually forgotten about a netgalley request until it was approved) – Ooops! Here’s the book which found their way to my TBR list this week…

Thank you to Abby @ Anne Bonny Book Reviews for District Nurse On Call which I won in a competition.

So how was your week? 

#BookReview The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase @MichaelJBooks

tvaw*** From the author of the immensely popular Black Rabbit Hall, comes Eve Chase’s new novel The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde *** 

From the present day . . . 

Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it’s the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.

to the fifties . . .

When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of ’59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter Audrey five years before.

The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s vanishing – until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?

Step back in time for a richly evocative mystery, where the beauty of a Cotswolds summer is vividly contrasted with the violence which shatters it. 

Published 13th July 2017 by Penguin (UK)  

If you follow me on social media then there’s a good chance you’ve heard me shouting my love for this book over the last couple of days. I make no apologies – I adored it. You know that feeling when you settle down with a book and immediately know you’re going to love it? The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde is one of those books and I savoured every single word.

The book is told in two, alternating time frames. Jessie in the present day is the second wife to a man who lost his wife in tragic circumstances and step mother to resentful and distant Bella. She’s never felt good enough as a replacement for Bella’s mother but hopes a move to the country will cement them as a family and banish the ghosts of the past. Bewitched by the stunning but derelict Applecote Manor, Jessie is convinced this is the place to bring them all together. But Applecote Manor has ghosts of it’s own…

The second time frame is 1959. Margot Wilde and her three sisters have been sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle at Applecote. The girls are intent on enjoying one last, glorious summer together before the eldest, Flora, leaves for Paris. But a sadness hangs over Applecote, in the memory of Audrey Wilde – the sisters beloved cousin who vanished mysteriously several years ago.

The alternating chapters of past and present compliment each other so well in this book. In the present, both Jessie and Bella are struggling to lay the ghost of her mother to rest, while in the past it’s the conspicuous absence of Audrey who haunts the Wilde sisters. The theme of loss and grief holding back and impacting the living runs throughout both periods, as does the need to let go to allow moving on.  There’s also a strong sense of coming of age in both era’s as well. Margot, ever overshadowed by her vivacious sisters struggles with her own identity, while Bella is caught up in grief at the loss of her mother and unable to forgive Jessie for taking her place. Despite there being sixty years between them, both girls are mesmerised by the missing Audrey and what happened to her.

The mystery surrounding Audrey is fascinating and had me gripped, I desperately wanted to know what had happened to her. Eve Chase’s beautifully, descriptive writing is so evocative that I could feel the heat and atmosphere of the scorching 1959 summer, almost see the haze of the sun and feel the excitement and nervous tension in the air as the Wilde sisters attempt to make this the summer of their lives, while the secrets and fate of their cousin hangs over them oppressively. In the present, there’s a tangibly cold, eerie and empty feeling to the house as Jessie tries to bring it back to life, with the suggestion of secrets being revealed around every corner.

The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde is quite simply, stunning. It has that deliciously gothic vibe of family secrets with a haunting house at it’s center. It envolopes you in beautiful prose and transports you completely to a different time, while the mystery of what happened to Audrey will keep you gripped. I was captivated by this book, snatching any chance I could to loose myself in it. One of my favourite books this year, I can’t recommend it enough and will continue to do so to everyone I know!

(I read an advance ecopy courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley)

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday – 16th August 2017

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Taking On A World Of Words to record and share our weekly reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?  

Currently Reading   

the houseWhat if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them.. 

 

Published 2nd November 2017 by Penguin (UK) 

I’m only a few pages in, but already hooked to this book! It’s another rainy, miserable day here in Cumbria and so I’m planning on curling up with this one this afternoon.

Recently Finished 

A much better reading week this week! I got through five books, which I’m very pleased with. Favourite? The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase. I absolutely loved this one. I really enjoyed The Wardrobe Mistress too by Natalie Meg Evans (I’m on a bit of a historical kick at the moment). I was a bit disappointed though with Did You See Melody by Sophie Hannah.

Reading Next 

any dream will doShay Benson adored her younger brother. She did all she could to keep Caden on the straight and narrow. But one day her best intentions got Shay into the worst trouble of her life. By protecting Caden, Shay sacrificed herself.

Drew Douglas adored his wife. But since losing Katie, all he could do was focus on their two beautiful children; everything else came a distant second.

Shay and Drew are each in need a fresh start, and when they meet by chance it’s an unexpected blessing for them both. Drew helps Shay to get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose. 

But when a devastating secret is uncovered, Shay and Drew’s new lives are threatened. It will take all of their strength, faith and trust to protect the bright future they dream of. 

Published August 10th by Cornerstone (UK)  

This one’s for the UK blog tour which stops by on Saturday. After this, I have no idea … free choice and whatever takes my fancy!

Oh, and I’m a bit shocked, because I’ve been using Netgalley for seven years  and FINALLY for the first time ever, after some serious reading and sheer willpower, this happened yesterday. I’m so proud!

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So, how’s your reading week been?