Tag Archive | Marian Keyes

Look At Me Go

What a difference this week is to last week. I’m positively flying through my goals this week. Lets look at them, and how I’m doing:

Exercise (weekly goal): 1x visit gym, walk 11km. 

To Wednesday: I’ve not been to the gym, but I went running yesterday – that’s just as good for me, especially as I did really well – ran 12 1/2 minutes in total (run/walk/run/walk), which is 2 minutes more than last time. It’s not great, but considering it’s only the second time I’ve been running in about 6 months, I’m well happy with it. So far I’ve walked just under 8km. Not bad going for day 3/7.

Writing: Write 100 Mon-Wed and Fri-Sun, Write 1,000 words Thu for One Thousand Thursday.

To Wednesday: I wrote 354 words on Monday and 167 words yesterday. I’ve not written today, but I will, even though I’m going out in a minute, I will. 

Blogging: 2x Check-ins for ROW80, 1x book review blog, 1 other blog.

To Wednesday: This is my first check in, I posted my review of Marian Keyes’ The Mystery of Mercy Close yesterday (highly recommend it, I loved it), and I posted my ‘other’ blog on Monday – having been to an SJ Watson and Rachel Joyce event

Totally Rocking my goals so far (and yes, Rocking did have to be capitalised, I’m Rocking them!). 

Tomorrow is One Thousand Thursday, my ‘invention’ (or whatever) to push myself (and hopefully you) to get a lot of words in the week. So far I’ve done really well, but with a slip up last week, of only 300+. This week I have to get back on it. I can’t encourage people to take part if I’m not doing it myself.

Plus, I’m at a good part in the novel. I’ve decided to carry on with where I’m going. I was telling my friend about it at the weekend, and I realised that the problem with it, isn’t really a problem. I think I was making it a problem, maybe as an excuse, but it can work this way. Definitely.

So there’s me. Lets hope I’m doing as well, and am as positive on Sunday when I next check-in for ROW80.

I’m doing well, how about you reader? Are you taking part in ROW80? If so how’s it going for you? If you’re not, what are you up to? I’d love to hear from you dear reader, know who you are and what you’re doing.

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes Review

Helen Walsh doesn’t believe in fear – it’s just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good jobs – and yet she’s sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced.

Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight and Jay is awash with cash, so Helen is forced to take on the task of finding Wayne Diffney, the ‘Wacky One’ from boyband Laddz.

Things ended messily with Jay. And she’s never going back there. Besides she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it’s all going well. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she’d left behind.

Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she’s never even met.

I cannot explain how excited I’ve been for MONTHS since hearing Marian Keyes has a book coming out. I’ve read every book of hers since Watermelon came out – apparently in 1995, and I can honestly say I’ve loved every single one of them. I, therefore had very high hopes for The Mystery of Mercy Close.

As expected, Keyes delivered. Once I started the novel, I couldn’t put it down, even in it’s hardcover state which I usually hate (too awkward, too heavy etc). Yes, I loved this one too.

Helen Walsh is the fifth and final Walsh sister Keyes has written about: Watermelons was about Claire; Angels was about Margaret (I still think this is my favourite of all her novels); Rachel’s Holiday was, unsruprisingly, about Rachel; and Anybody Out There was about Anna. And now we have Helen. I love that she’s gone back and written about each sister in the family, in each one you get a sneek into at least one of the other sister’s life, which is brilliant, because it’s kind of like keeping up with old friends.

In The Mystery of Mercy Close, Helen is going through a really bad time. She’s not got any friends, and in some scenes you can tell why (just wait till she interviews the neighbours, it’s hilarous, and cringy at the same time), and yet I loved her, and was routing for her in every way.

The story itself was gripping, from the off I was intregued, and worried for Wayne and his whereabouts. Once things kicked off, I was worried about several things going on with Helen. And I was excited about her relationship with Artie, and his kids. There were so many other things I loved about it, every page, every sentence was brilliant, but I can’t write about them all. All I can say is that if you love Marian Keyes like I do, you will not be disappointed.

This novel kills two birds with one stone (not including the enjoyment of actually reading) – it’s chick lit, so fits into the Chick Lit Reading Challenge, and there’s a mystery in it, so it fits in with the Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge.

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes Review

June the first, a bright summer’s evening, a Monday . . .

And into the busy, bustling homes at 66 Star Street slips, unseen, a mysterious visitor. As the couples, flatmates and repentant singletons of No 66 fall in and out of love, clutch at and drop secrets, laugh, cry and simply try to live, no one suspects the visitor patiently waiting in the wings. For soon, really very soon, everything is going to change . . .

 

Marian Keyes was the first author I really remember getting me into chick lit. I remember at uni reading all her novels, and loving every single one. As her career progressed, I carried on reading, and loving every single one of them.

Which is why it was such a surprise that I bought The Brightest Star in the Sky when it came out, but it sat on my shelf for a few years before I read it. I can’t explain why that is, I cannot understand any logical reason why I would have done that.

In January when I was deciding my 12 books for the TBR Pile Challenge, I knew I had to put this on – oh, how hard for me.

I started reading it, and, predictably, couldn’t put it down. I was enthralled with the characters, I laughed and cried with them. TBSITS is Keyes at her best (does she write anything that isn’t her best? I’ve not read it if she has – and like I said I’ve read everything of hers). It’s not Angels, which to be honest is hard to beat because it’s in my top 5 ever books, but it’s damn good. I’d recommend it to any Keyes fan, or female fiction fan, in fact anyone.

Keyes’ new novel ‘The Mystery of Mercy Close’ is out in September, and I will be there on the day, ready to buy it, and this time, I’ll read it immediately. I cannot wait!

(Untitled Blog)

I need to stay away from Facebook. It’s bad for me. Well, it’s bad for my writing. I’ve been saying for weeks that it is my life at the moment that’s conspiring against me from writing and blogging, and for a while it was. But this week, it’s definitely been Facebook. Or more specifically the games on there. I am obsessed with Bubble Spinner. It’s like a game I was obsessed with a uni – which I’ve totally forgotten the name of. I think I’ve got an obsessive personality (apparently it runs in families, and my dad totally has – I had no hope!)

I finished Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan yesterday. I loved it. During the first half, I spent most of the time questioning why I was enjoying it and reading it, when the topic was so nasty and was pretty gory. But the way it’s written just draws you in, and I loved the characters. This book is the final in a trilogy – I’ve not read the first two, but I really want to go back and read them (when I’m not doing an A to Z challenge).  The MCs in the first and second are siblings of one of the MCs in Fear No Evil so I kind of know them, althoug I’m not as keen to read them as I would be if it was the same MC  (Dillon the MC in this one is awesome – you know if it was a film you’d totally fancy him).

I’ve just realised I’m totally behind with my reviews for books for both the A to Z challenge and the Mystery & Suspense challenge. Hmmm. Will have to rectify that sometime. Maybe I’ll wait until I have the week off and catch up then. So far I’ve read 2 for the Mystery & Suspense and A and B for the alphabet one. Or more technically A and A and B. I’m just about to start another B… oops… But… it’s also another for the M&S challenge, so all good. I guess. Kind of.

That paragraph I wrote about Fear No Evil was almost a book review. Hmmmm. Might have to use that!

The next book I’m going to read is Linwood Barclay’s Fear the Worst. I bought it last weekend, but don’t have a clue what it’s about. I bought it totally on the author’s reputation. I’ve read two of his books and loved them, so when I saw another I had to have it.

Imagine… being an author whose books people buy on the knowledge of your writing. Cecelia Ahern, whose book The Book of Tomorrow I read earlier in the month, is the same – I picked that up because I knew I had to read more of her writing if it was available. It didn’t matter what it was about. Marian Keyes, Jane Green, Lisa Jewell and Dan Brown are some of those people. There are more, I know there are more, but I can’t think of them now. 

Ok, I’m off to bed – I have another full day of packing and moving stuff across London (literally all the way across – from North West to South East – we must be nuts!)

Mostly About Books

I had a plan today. I planned to read the next chapters of my writing course. However I stupidly left the book in the back office and I’m sat on reception. Doh! I’ll work on it this afternoon. I will, I will, I will.

I got a book in the post today. It’s only another prize from a competition I entered! This book’s really exciting for me, as it’s a) not available in England and b) an author I’ve never heard of – this could be a whole new discovery for me!

The competition was one of those ‘be the first to comment…’ over on The Lady Loves Books. The book is ‘At Home with the Templetons’ by Monica McInerney. Can’t wait to get started on it.

This may sound a little stupid, but I had a realisation this morning. I’m currently reading Husbands by Adele Parks. I bought the book a few months ago in one of those library sales I love. This morning though, as I walked between tubes (hurried should I say, not cause I was late, but cause I wanted to read more) I realised that before I started reading the novel I didn’t know what it was about.

‘Why’s that?’ you ask? It’s because I bought it without looking at the back. I knew it was Adele Parks, and I knew I hadn’t read it, so I had to buy it. It didn’t matter what it was about.

I developed the thought further and realised I’m the same with quite a few authors – if I love them, it doesn’t matter what their new book is about, I want it.

I thought I’d make a list of authors that this is true for, so here goes:

  • Sophie Kinsella
  • Adele Parks
  • Jane Green
  • Marian Keyes
  • Cecelia Ahern
  • Rowan Coleman
  • Audrey Niffenegger
  • Lisa Jewell
  • Dorothy Koomson

I’m sure they’re some I’ve missed out, but that’s pretty much my favourite author list!

I think I want a Kindle. There’s an advert at the tube station I go to in the mornings, and I keep looking at it… Anyone would think they put it there on purpose as Christmas is coming up…

I’d always been put off them, because I like books. I like holding them, reading them, turning pages etc.

But, I’ve just found a huge reason for wanting one – its size. I’ve got a few books on my TBR list that I’m desperate to read, but I’m put off because they’re so big and heavy to carry round (and I always have the book I’m reading in my bag). Although, if I did have a Kindle, I’d have to re-buy those books. I’d have more chance of reading them though.

Does anyone else have one? What do you think of them?

I’ve just had a quick look on Amazon and stumbled upon Jane Green’s Straight Talking. I wouldn’t say it was my favourite book ever, but it moved me, and actually changed my life – improved my life. I loved it. BUT Amazon reviewers didn’t as much. Out of 55 comments, 13 gave it one star, 3 gave it two stars and 5 three. What is wrong with these people??? I’m going to have to add a review of my own! *giggles to self* Well, actually, I’m going to have to re-read it, then add a review. Woo hoo – I’ve got an excuse to re-read a novel I love. Love it!

Assignment Four – DONE!

I know, it’s hard to believe isn’t it, but it’s true. Assignment Four is ready to go. The only reason it’s not been sent is that I want it to be sent from my Hotmail account, and of course we can’t access Hotmail from work. As soon as I get home I’ll zap it off. Woop!

You know I’d so love to just post that as a blog – it’s so much better than anything else I’ll have to write – but you know me and my rambling – I’m going to carry on and on and on.

I’m half way through writing a review of Rowan Coleman’s The Happy Home for Broken Hearts. I find book reviews so hard to do. Last time I said that in a blog I said I’d start doing more to get better at them. I didn’t. In fact, I’ve not done one since April, maybe March. That’s really bad when you consider I’m taking part in a Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge (see sidebar) where I’m supposed to review the books I read. I’ve a list of four I need to do for that 😦

Ages ago I started a list of all the books I’ve read since being an adult. I lost that when one of our work computers crashed. Last week I started writing it again. Taking my favourite chick lit authors only, I’ve got to between 38 -44 (I can’t for the life of me remember if I’ve read those 6 or not – I recognise them, but maybe from the cover only?). The list was round about 100 when I lost it, so I’ve a long way to go.

I took part in a survey to find the top 10 chick lit novels of all time last week. It was hard to pin down my favourite 5, but I managed it. They are:

  • Straight Talking by Jane Green
  • Angels by Marian Keyes
  • Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella
  • PS I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
  • Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

Ah, reading that list back makes me want to read them all again. 🙂

My Thursday Rambling

It’s Thursday and for the second week running, I’ve started my FictionFriday piece before Friday. I don’t know what the world is coming to.

I started writing it as Kate – the MC from one of my novels, the character from my last few FictionFriday pieces. But, I had to stop writing from her POV because it sounded like it might be personal. It wasn’t, but I imagine some people reading it could have taken it to be. That’s the pain writing from a POV of a character that’s in the same situation as me. I know that’s a little cryptic, but I’m afraid it’s going to stay that way.

So, I took the same idea and swapped over to using Dan as the character. Dan’s the MMC from the novel – Kate’s best friend. However I’m a bit stuck as to who the girl he’s with should be. There’s an exact place in the novel I want this story to fit in. Although I could never use this in the book (it’s 1st person from Kate’s POV), now I’ve got this idea in my head I NEED to write it. But I don’t know if the girl should be the one that turns into his girlfriend, or just a random girl.

Oh yeah, this piece isn’t going to be a complete story, it’s going to have to be something taken out of something bigger (that probably won’t be written), so sorry in advance. Actually I might be able to make it a self-contained story.

I read about 10k of ‘Holiday’ last week. I quite like it. I want to keep writing it, but think I need to put the bits together before I start on it. That’s why I’m loving these Fiction Friday pieces, little glimpses into Kate and Dan’s lives without getting into the novel.

I entered a ‘competition’ to ‘win’ a ticket to Rowan Coleman’s book launch party for The Happy Home for Broken Hearts (which I will review soon, it’s sooooo good). You have to write a short review of your favourite book of hers, then she’ll pick the 40 (yes 40) she likes and they get to go to the party. At the moment there’s only three reviews, so I’m totally going. I may have to warn my friends they won’t see me much this month, I’ll be at loads of author events. Woop!

Before I started writing, there was so much I wanted to say, now I’m here I can’t think of another thing. As soon as I press ‘Publish’ I’ll remember at least one. How annoying.

Ok, got some things…

I started Jane Green’s Girl Friday yesterday – I’m already on p124. I did read A LOT yesterday somehow. Oh yeah, it was raining on my lunch break so I sat in the canteen and read. It’s really good, but I’m having a bit of a problem settling into it being in the present tense. This happens quite often when I read a book that’s past, then straight away swap to one that’s present. I can’t really pinpoint why, but something in my mind just doesn’t like the swap over.

Other than that, I’m loving it – as I totally expected to with a Jane Green novel. She’s definitely one of my favourite authors. Straight Talking is possibly my favourite novel of all time. Oh, after The Time Traveller’s Wife and Twlight (I’m still freaked out a vampire/teen book is in the top 2). I guess it’s possibly my favourite Chick Lit book ever.

Speaking of which, I read something on Simon & Schuster’s Facebook page recommending a survey to find the top 10 Chick Lit novels of the last decade. It’s run by Chick Lit Central on Facebook…. Actually, I’ve just looked and it’s closed. Damn, I didn’t give my opinion. To take part you had to list your top 5 chick lit novels. I couldn’t think of my top 5. I got top three – Straight Talking by Jane Green, Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella and Angels by Marian Keyes. But 2 more? Ooh, that’s hard. So I didn’t add any, and now I’ve missed my chance  *stamps off in a mood*

A few weeks ago one of our computers at work crashed and lost everything that was on the desktops. Yes I had loads of stuff. I had thought that it was probably stuff I’ve emailed myself anyway, but I’m now not so sure.

I’m 100% sure I’ve lost my list of books I’ve read. I was compiling a list of all the books I can remember reading as an adult – just for my own amusement. I was up to 90 odd. And have lost it. I am so annoyed with myself for not saving it somewhere else too.

I think, although I’m not sure, I’ve lost a load of research I did on Italy. Damn.

This should teach me a lesson. I need to buy an external hard drive to save all my stuff on. I know you can get them online and stuff, but I just want one. However I do it, I should do it soon, every 3 days I get a reminder pop up telling me to do it. I’ll be so annoyed at myself if I lose everything and haven’t backed it up. Just another thing for the ‘To be done’ list!