Saturday, 30 June 2012

Book review - 'All the Single Ladies' by Jane Costello

All The Single Ladies

I'll admit it. The first thing that attracted me to this book was the title. Being an enormous Beyonce fan it caught my eye and when I read the back my first thought was I have to read this. My second thought was 'why didn't I think of this as a book title?' Genius! But alas, Jane Costello beat me to it.

From the back cover:

Samantha Brooks' boyfriend has made a mistake. One Sam isn't going to let him forget in a hurry.

Sam has been with Jamie for six incredible years and in her eyes he's been the perfect boyfriend - loving, intelligent and, until now, committed.

But after all this time in a job he despises, he finally gives in to his wanderlust and drps a bombshell: he's bought himself a one-way ticket to Sounth America, to start a new life. And Sam't not invited.

But Sam isn't giving up without a fight. With Jamie still in love with her, torn about whether to stay r go, she has five months to persuade him to do the right thing. So, with the help of her friends Ellie and Jen, she hatches a plant o win him back.

Only, by the time Jamie finally wakes up to what he's lost, a gorgeous new pretender has entered Sam's life. Which begs the question....will she still want him back?


I read a Jane Costello book a while ago and have read one this week since reading All the Single Ladies. All three have been easy reads and have had main female characters that I have liked and enjoyed reading about. What I think this book does in comparison to the other two I have read of hers is tackle some hard issues...I don't want to say too much in case I give too much away but I felt the book did this well and these storylines added alot to the book.

Sam's relationship with Jamie is the main focus of the book but the relationships she has with her family and friends are put under the microscope and as someone who finds human relationships fascinating I enjoyed this aspect of the book.

I could identify with Sam alot. Break ups are hard and it can make you feel like you don't know where you are heading as the plans you had before no longer stand. I enjoyed reading about her less rational moments, notably the facebook stalking she does of her ex but I also liked how she took action, moved forward and found her own feet. Yes there were times I wanted to shake Sam but I can relate to being in love and wanting desperately to be with someone. We have all done crazy things and break ups can bring out the irrational being in all of us.

Usually when I read a book I know exactly where I want it to go but with this one I wasn't sure. I liked Jamie initially but over time I started to feel he wasn't right for Sam and I wasn't sure if I wanted them back together or not. In the end I was happy with the ending and felt it was the right one for the story. The pace of the book is quick and chapters often only last for 2 or 3 pages which makes it hard to put down as I kept thinking 'just one more chapter....' then it would be an hour later.

I really enjoyed this book and will be keeping an eye out for Jane Costello books in the future.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

One year and counting!!!

Monday 13th June 2011
I am actually a lot more nervous then I thought I would be. It is strange really because nobody knows who I am so what do I have to be scared of? Over the coming weeks I hope to work out some kind of blogging schedule and set myself some goals to try and make myself SIT DOWN AND WRITE instead of simply dreaming about it.

Here goes nothing.....

In some ways it does not feel like an entire year has passed since I wrote the words above but in others, I feel like a completely different person. Whilst this blog has mainly been a writing diary of sorts it is only natural that my 'real' life has crept in at times. It is lovely to have the highs and the lows stored somewhere to look at and to remind me that I really am a lucky girl. Ok, since it documented my 29th birthday a few months back I guess I should say lucky woman. Eek!

I don't have any big blog birthday plans. I wish I had been more organised and thought of a competition or challenge or something but alas I have not. I was going to list all the amazing things that have come out of the last year but instead I have decided to simply say thank you. In list form as I love a list. Thank you to every single one of you who has:

1) offered me advice,
2) nudged me gently,
3) shoved me with both hands,
4) celebrated achievements with me,
5) virtually held my hand during the rough patches,
6) motivated me,
7) shared your experience with me,
8) accepted me even though I lurk in the shadows,
9) cheered for me and with me,
10) empathised with me,
11) challenged me,
12) been kind enough to give me a blog award,
13) sprinted with me.

If you did one, some, or all of the above, thank you!

And as a last bit of lovely news my nephew was born on Monday! Adam is truly gorgeous and one hug so far has not been enough so I am going home to see him and my lovely sister this weekend. There are no words to describe how wonderful it was to take the call saying he was here safe and sound. Tears said it all!

So Adam's arrival along with finishing my first draft of my WIP have meant this year has ended with a bang! Here is to all the words, friends, surprises and excitement the next year brings.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

ROW80 Check-in 10th June 2012

Well my friends, it has been quite a week! Still no niece or nephew yet but my lovely sister has been having a rough time with Braxton Hicks contractions and a really bad back amongst other joyful about to give birth things so I have naturally been spending time with her and trying to make her more comfortable. Hot water bottles were created by angels in my humble opinion. Yes this has made me all a bit...distracted but I don't regret a single second I spent with her rather than writing or doing my reports for work. One of those beautiful moments when you get perspective. With that said though, I haven't done badly.

My goals are:
1) By 11th of June have a finished first draft of my WIP.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day. (1,750 words in a week)
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge (or as much as I can!).
4) Review one book a month.

And here is how my week has looked:

289 words

325 words

313 words

332 words

356 words

I didn't write on Saturday as I went to a wedding. So today I came back to my flat and felt very strange leaving my sister still pregnant and not in a great way so I decided to distract myself. I sat down, wrote 2944 words and only went and FINISHED MY WIP!!!!! What is that I hear you say? I have achieved goal 1 a day early? Splendid!!! I cannot say how amazing if feels after nearly a year of plodding away at this WIP (with some gaps) to actually have a rough (very rough) draft. Thank you to those of you who commented and tweeted me about this goal, as always you guys are great cheerleaders/arse kickers!

I am not 100% sure of my next step however I have lots to type up before I start editing as I have written by hand lately so maybe I will do that over the next couple of weeks. Although you may remember the 11th of June deadline was partly set because my work schedule is about to go insane so I wanted to get The End written before the madness starts! The other reason for this deadline was because it is my blog birthday on Wednesday! One whole year! I don't know where the time has gone but I have loved every part of this crazy blogging experience. Getting the first draft of the WIP wrapped up before my blog birthday seemed like a nice way to round off the first year of my writing life! I might do a special birthday post on Wednesday which I need to give some thought to just to mark the occasion.
In reading news, I am on my third fourth book of this week so I am reading book number 41 of the year so I have made up a tiny bit of ground here. I haven't done my June review but there is plenty of time for that!

So for now I am off to bed but I will catch up with you guys tomorrow and check out your check-ins. I hope you are going full steam ahead as the end of the round creeps closer!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

ROW80 Check-in 3rd June 2012

I am happy to say that I have had one of my most productive weeks in weeks maybe months!

First, recap of goals:
1) By 11th of June have a finished first draft of my WIP.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day. (1,750 words in a week)
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge (or as much as I can!).
4) Review one book a month.

Here how my week has looked:
269 words
And I wrote my book review for the month of May which can be seen here so goal 4 met.

254 words

300 words

263 words

266 words

283 words

Total word count for week - 1635

I didn't write on Friday because I packed up for my week off from work and came to stay with my sister and brother in law so I spent the evening with them. She is due her first baby any minute now  (am sure I have mentioned it once or twice!) so I am here for the week. I have felt more like my old self e.g. on Tuesday I had a friend come to stay from work so I knew I wouldn't have time in the evening so I wrote before work. Felt very NaNo!! I haven't made any sprints as work has been mad so I have been getting in later than the sprints start but I love seeing how everyone else has got on.

So am on track for goal 1, only missed one test mile so am doing well with goal 2 and I posted my review for goal 4. Goal 3 has been tricky as I seem to be finding it hard to find time to read which I hate!! I am on book 39 so a bit behind but hopefully I will read lots this week although I have to write a report for each child in my class which will take up lots of time.

What I am really excited by is the fact that I am so close to writing The End! I have one or two scenes to write to end my WIP and I have thought of one I want to write to include earlier but I am getting there. I have written in a linear fashion from start to finish and I think this works best for me so I have learnt something about myself as a writer! I have no idea of the length of my WIP as I have been writing in a notepad so I will have to type those bits up when I have finished before I start editing. Oh yes, and I need to read up on editing at some point. Editing is going to be mammoth as the first 50,000 words are in third person and from then on first person so going to need lots of work. Oh and I should really give it a title. So much to do!!

I hope you have all had great weeks! :)