49. 'Before You Go' by Clare Swatman

Monday 30 January 2017

Before You Go is powerful story of love and loss, by debut author Clare Swatman.
When Zoe’s husband Ed dies, her world caves in. But what if Zoe can get Ed back?
You find your soulmate . . .

Some people stare love in the face for years before they find it. Zoe and Ed fumbled their way into adulthood, both on different paths – but always in the same direction. Years later, having navigated dead-end jobs and chaotic house shares, romance finally blossoms. Their future together looks set . . .
Then the unthinkable happens.

One morning, on his way to work, Ed is knocked off his bike and dies. Now Zoe must find a way to survive. But she’s not ready to let go of the memories. How can she forget all of the happy times, their first kiss, everything they’d built together? Zoe decides she has to tell Ed all the things she never said.

Now it’s too late. Or is it?

48. 'The Silk Weaver' by Liz Trenow

Sunday 29 January 2017

A novel of illicit romance set against the world of the silk trade in London
Anna Butterfield moves from her Suffolk country home to her uncle's house in London, to be introduced to society. A chance encounter with a local silk weaver, French immigrant Henri, throws her from her privileged upbringing to the darker, dangerous world of London's silk trade.

Henri is working on his master piece to make his name as a master silk weaver; Anna, meanwhile, is struggling against the constraints of her family and longing to become an artist. Henri realizes that Anna's designs could lift his work above the ordinary, and give them both an opportunity for freedom…

This is a charming story of illicit romance, set against the world of the burgeoning silk trade in eighteenth-century Spitalfields - a time of religious persecution, mass migration, racial tension and wage riots, and very different ideas of what was considered for women.

47: Goodbye 2016 / Hello 2017

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Top Highlights of 2016 • 

- Getting my anxiety under control. While it is very much still there in the background I have a much stronger handle of my anxiety and am in a better, happier place for it. I have also come off my medication, which was a big goal of mine for 2016. I really wanted to be off everything before I get married in June 2017, and through working through things and taking the time to adjust and heal I have achieved this. 

- Making contact and building relationships with publishers. It's very much in the early stages, but to be working with people in an industry I very much love is a real joy. I have also started making contact for submissions of my work, although I'm not quite ready yet it has given me a goal to work on throughout 2017. I have away wanted to have my writing published in some form by the time I was 30, so I have 2 years to work on this. 

- Spending time with the people who enrich your life, and distancing/cutting the cord from those who are only around for fair weather or just serve to cause conflict. It's so hard to not take it personally when it is clear you are an after thought to someone after years and years of friendship, but it is okay to let go and move on from that relationship if it no longer brings you joy or enrichment. 
- Returning to my Cathedral Guide training after a hiatus. 
• Goals for 2017 • 

- Getting Married. On Friday 23rd June 2017 I will say 'I do' to my best friend and partner in crime. We will have been engaged for 2 years, and together for 6 years by the time we wed. It feels so good to be able say that I'm getting married this year, although I am grateful for the longer period of engagement as I feel it really gave us the time to enjoy being engaged before we got into the hardcore wedding preparations and saving. 

- Improving the content on the blog and posting on a regular basis. Sometimes I don't give myself enough time, or I say yes to books that I have a gut feeling that I just won't like. I want to be firmer with what I chose to review for publishers. I feel so privileged that my little old blog has caught the attention of those working in the book industry, and that they'd like to work with me to promote books on their portfolios. It's definitely a relationship I want to nourish for further development in 2017. 

- Read more books. For reviewing purposes, and for general pleasure. I'm aiming for 100 books read in 2017, which I will keep track of via my Goodreads account.

- Refining what I post on my Instagram - remember to follow me!

- Improving my health and fitness. I signed up for the gym on January 2nd (as did most of the UK I imagine!) and did my first proper work out in goodness knows how long. I've wanted to improve my fitness for quite some time now, but I lacked the motivation. Suddenly with the wedding looming and only six months away I've realised I need to get my backside in gear. I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and the endorphin kick afterwords was so beneficial. I feel that this will help my anxiety as a result. 

- Work on my original writing, both fiction and non-fiction. I have so many notebooks and files filled with half finished stories, or a heck of a lot of planning. This year I want to go through everything and really work at getting them in a more polished position. 

What are your goals for the New Year?
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