How Do You Unravel A Life…?

the dark room

3.5 out of 5 Stars

“Guilt. It’s like a cancer that eats you from the inside out. Destroying everything in its path.”

Anna Walker has a great life with her husband Nick who loves her and who she loves in return. So, why is it that when she meets bartender and photographer bad boy Alec Prentice she can’t stop thinking about him? But, when thinking leads to doing, and passion turns to  obsession she knows that she has to get out. For the sake of her marriage and her sanity.

But, is it really that easy to walk away? Is it that easy to cover the lies and deceit so that loving, doting Nick will never find out? As things begin to take a strange and dark turn and spiral out of control, Anna begins to realise that you can’t ignore that scarlet letter stamped on you. It will always come back to haunt you

““I don’t know how to make it any plainer to you Alec. It is over! You are making things harder on both of us.” I was trying to keep from yelling and drawing attention to us.

“Anna, I need you…”

He stepped toward me and put his hand on my arm. I instantly jerked it away.

“Don’t you dare touch me! You shouldn’t be here. I want you to leave. Do you understand? I want you to leave!!” My words were choked on tears as I shrieked at him.

He recoiled in anger.

“Who the hell do you think you are anyway? You fucking bitch!”

“Get out of my way Alec. Let me leave! I wish I would never see you again! You are nobody to me. I regret the day I ever met you. Do you understand me? I want you to go away!” I was remorseful for being so harsh. I regretted the words, as soon as they came out of my mouth. I could see the hurt in his eyes. I didn’t want to hurt him, but I did want him to disappear from my life, from my memory. From any existence that had to do with me.”

“You think you can get away from me Anna? You can’t. You can run away and pretend that you don’t want me, but I know you still do. You’re mine, Anna. You hear me? You are mine!””

A wonderfully written psychological thriller that was NOT what I was expecting! The story does start off a little slow and I feel that the whole affair between Anna and Alec  was a little  rushed through. I really did enjoy the thrill when it did take off and the supporting characters were FANTASTIC! I really enjoyed Anna’s boss Janice (the strong ex-New Yorker who gave up her life there to take care of her ailing mother and stayed to open an art galley in Wilmington), the old high school sweetheart, Timmy (the small town farmer with the heart of gold), the artist Daniel and his partner Theordore (who are just too lovely for words) and of course, the adorable little bundle of fur, the kitty Chase. She makes you love them all and wish they were a part of your life.

The suspense is wonderful and it all has an air of “Fatal Attraction” to it. I read the whole book in one quick sitting and was disappointed when it was over! It’s a great ride from start to finish as, even though it starts off slowly it does a great job of building up the characters. Although, sometimes I did find that Natalie did SUCH a good job at building up her supporting characters that I almost wanted to hear more about them than Anna and her cheating ways! I also wish that there was a little bit more about Alec. I know that the air of mystery surrounding him lends to the story… but, I wanted to peel that onion open just A COUPLE more layers!

All in all a wonderful read for those who are fans of suspense!! (No. I will not mention “Girl on a Train”, “Gone Girl”, etc. that description would have had me running for the hills) This novel has more of an old school mystery feel with a grittier, more modern feel!

If you’d like to check out more about Natalie Banks and her works please seek her out at:

Website:  https://www.nataliebanks.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nataliebanksnovels/

Instagram: @nataliebanksnovels

The Dark Room is Best Served with

A Cosmopolitan (with a cherry)

cosmo

If you’d like to find out why it needs to be served with a cherry…. well, I guess you should read the book to find out!! Lol!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2oz Vodka
  • 1/2oz Cointreau Liqueur
  • 1oz Cranberry Juice
  • 1/4oz Lime Juice
  • A single cherry to garnish

Directions

  1. Chill your cocktail glass (the easiest way is to fill it with ice)
  2. Put plenty of ice and all of the ingredients into your shaker or stirring glass and shake or stir vigorously for about 20 seconds
  3. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass
  4. Throw in your cherry
  5. CHEERS!!

Food For Thought..Happy National Stuffed Mushroom Day, And Superbowl Sunday!!

Happy National Stuffed Mushroom Day!! And coincidentally, it falls on SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!!!

football.gif

So, I have a dilemma with this years Superbowl… I don’t know who to cheer for!! I’m not a fan of Tom Brady (please, don’t start hitting your unfollow buttons… I’m sorry.) (and no, it’s not because of his deflated balls specifically… Lol!) But, the Pats have also already had their day in the sun… But, the Eagles are my brother in laws team AND pretty much my teams arch nemeses… my team is the Cowboys (PLEASE, don’t start pushing your unfollow buttons AGAIN! I know… why?? But, think of what I’ve had to go through the past few years and you can at least feel A LITTLE sorry for me!!) But, if the Eagles win I will NEVER. HEAR. THE. END. OF. IT. What to do?!?! Any suggestions??

Well, it’ll be an interesting night. But, at least A DELICIOUS NIGHT!!!

So, on to stuffed mushrooms!! I went with Jalepeno popper stuffed mushrooms!! Here’s the recipe and they only take about 25 mins, so plenty of time at Half-time!! Although, Justin Timberlake will be bringing sexy back.. so I don’t know if you’ll want to miss that! Lol!

Jalapeno Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 24 whole white button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (4-oz) can diced jalapeños, drained
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place a baking rack on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. Remove stems from mushrooms.
  4. Combine cream cheese, garlic, jalapeños, cheese and cooked bacon.
  5. Spoon cream cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Place on baking rack.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Now back to the game!!!

Thank you!! Liebster Award Nomination

award

I’d really like to thank Meg over at Culmination heaven for nominating me!! Go check out her book reviews

How did you get started blogging?

I started doing some ARC reads and editing for some authors I had met on Goodreads and realised that I loved doing it, so I figured that branching out and networking a little more would help me find other Authors to work with.

If you could meet anyone, dead, alive or fictional, who would it be?

DAVID BOWIE!!! Lol! I’ll probably regret my answer because there are definitely many MANY fictional characters that I would LOVE to meet! …. But, there are so many to choose from that none spring immediately to mind. But, David Bowie was the love of my life and I would have LOVED to meet him… So very sad…

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Well, I definitely have to say super speed… not for any normal reason like being able to get places fast, but because I want to be able to read faster. Lol! I read pretty fast now, but imagine with super speed!! I could read 50 books a day!!

What do you consider your biggest weakness?

Organizing my time… It’s funny because I’m so good at it at work, but then it comes to my own time and I think I just get overwhelmed with how many things I want to do…

What do you wish someone had told you before you started blogging?

I wish I had learned more about the workings of social media. Lol! I know most people won’t understand, or believe this.. but, I’m in my 30’s and was not on any social media (well.. Goodreads. But, that’s it) until about 2 months ago when I started this blog… *Audible Gasp from the Audience* I know… IT’S UNHEARD OF!! I have just in the last 2 months finally joined Facebook *shudder* , instagram and my blog and I’m STILL trying to figure it all out!! I just learned the wonder of the #(hashtag) YESTERDAY!!! Until then, it was always a Pound sign to me! Lol! So, needless to say, It’s been a wild ride… and it probably wasn’t the best idea to start it all in the crazy busy Holiday Season… But, such is life!

What is your life motto?

I’d have to take a page from Oscar Wilde on this one and say “Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken.” Truer words are never spoken. If we can’t be ourselves… then, what’s the point?!?!

How would you describe yourself using only 4 words?

Weird, Strange, Abnormal, Odd. …Guess I could have done that in one.

If you had the chance to learn anything you wanted, what would it be?

Everything!!! (if it’s one word, then it’s one thing…right?) If I could, I would literally move to a cabin in the woods with stacks upon stacks of books and just learn for the rest of my life…. ah, to dream.

If you could vacation with one person anywhere in the world, where you go and who would you take?

We’ll, I guess I will say that I would choose my man… Because he will possibly read this and would be sad if I chose someone else 😉 but, I really live travelling with him. We always have so much fun. As for where we would go?… I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

To just breathe. Sometimes you can’t control the bad things that will happen in your life and sometimes you can’t help but get overwhelmed. People can always wait. Take a moment. Take a breath.

Here are the rules:

Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you, provide the link to their blog.
Include award graphic.
Answer the questions provided.
Create a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
Nominate 5-11 upcoming or recently followed bloggers and share your post with them so they see it

Now, I always hate nominating people for these things because I love all of the blogs I follow so much! (as evident from a lot of my lack of time management answers because half the time I should be thinking of my own blog, but instead I get busy reading and commenting on everyone else’ blogs! Lol!) So, if you like my questions then YOU’VE BEEN NOMINATED!! And I really appreciate you all and would love to read all of your answers! Actually, please comment below if you’re going to fill these out so I can make SURE that I pop over and check them out!! Plus, I really like the questions and would really be interested in all of your answers!

  1. What are 5 words of phrases that make you laugh?
  2. What are 5 ways to win your heart?
  3. What is something you’ve always thought “…. What if?” about?
  4. What are 5 of you pet peeves?
  5. If you could trade lives with anyone for one day, who would it be, and why?
  6. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  7. What is your favourite joke?
  8. Where would you go if you were invisible?
  9. What is one thing you own that you wish you didn’t?
  10. What is a weird habit that you have?

Massive Giveaway for 1 of 3 Books by Author Brent Jones!

Hello All!!!

You may all remember my post from a little while back “A Trip of a Lifetime or a Lifetime in a Trip” for “Fender” By Author Brent Jones . Well, he’s having a massive giveaway over at

http://authorbrentjones.com/2018/01/16/massive-giveaway-win-1-of-3-kindle-ebooks/

Giving away 300 kindle EBook copies in total of 3 of his novels!!

fender

the fifteenth of june

the matchbook

I will tell you now. I’ve read them all, and they are all FANTASTIC READS!! And for FREE!!!!!??? Brent must be CRAZY! And you would all be crazy not to try and get yourselves a copy! It’s running until January 31st so, time is running out!

CHEERS!!

 

 

Let’s get THEATRICAL With Fire!

theatrics

4 out of 5 Stars

What would you do if you lost everything? I you were at the end of your rope and the bottom of your bottle. That is what happened to Broadway actor Rudy Burns. One night, everything was taken from him. His only option? To become someone else entirely. To REALLY put his acting skills to the test and become a professional boxer because,

“If you want to get rich, sell to the rich. If you want to get FILTHY rich, sell to the dirt poor!”

world champion

I absolutely love the old 20s looking graphic style. Set in the prohibition era it was a great story of love, loss and a man trying to get his life back after it is brutally taken away from him at the top of his game. I highly recommend this and can’t wait for further instalments to see Rudy’s (or the Count’s) life come together.. or come apart.

Theatrics is Best Served With

A Flaming Asshole

Pardon my language! Lol! But, I couldn’t help myself! With the story being called “Theatrics” I felt that I needed a THEATRICAL drink! What is more theatrical than LIGHTING THINGS ON FIRE?! And with Rudy’s new vicious persona  I thought what better drink than a good ole flaming asshole?!

Disclaimer* PLEASE, BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS DRINK. I AM A DRINKING PROFESSIONAL (yes, that’s a thing… lol!) BE SURE THAT YOU BLOW THE FLAME OUT OR LET IT GO OUT ON ITS OWN BEFORE DRINKING. USE A LONG LIGHTER SUCH AS A BBQ LIGHTER FOR SAFETY, OR JUST GO TO A BAR AND HAVE A PROFESSIONAL MAKE YOU THIS BEVERAGE.

Now, with the legalities out of the way… HERE WE GO!

flaming asshole

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz grenadine syrup
  • 1/2 oz green creme de menthe (if you want to change things up, I accidentally used
  • melon liquer and it was delicious! Lol!)
  • 1/2 oz creme de banane
  • 1/2 oz high alcohol rum (minimum 40%)

Directions:

Layer in this order: grenadine, creme de menthe, banana liqueur, white rum. (Layered over the back of a spoon lightly dipped in the previous layer) Ignite rum before serving. (May take a little while as the alcohol has to heat to a certain temp before igniting)

 

 

 

The Brotherhood of the World Award

Hello All,

Thank you to Claire over at https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com who Nominated me  for The Brotherhood of the World Award for Bloggers.

Brotherhood

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions sent to you.
  • Nominate around ten bloggers.
  • Create your set of questions for the nominees.
  • List the rules and display the Brotherhood of the World logo in your post.

Claire’s Questions:

  1. If you were able to choose which author you could go to dinner with, who would you choose and why? George Sand (or Amantine Lucile Aurore Duphin) who was a French romance novelist from the 17th Century. She was an amazing woman who, back way before women had any rights, would wear pants, smoke cigars, hunt, etc. and wrote under a male pseudonym to be taken seriously in the writing world. I feel like it would be amazing to have dinner with her and hear about her choices in life and her many torrid  love affairs! 🙂 
  2. What’s your favourite time of the year? The 1st snow fall! I love those big fluffy flakes!
  3. What’s the last book you read? Read my next review to find out!! ;p
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I could never choose one place. I’m a traveller at heart and my partner and I have thought about getting a ‘summer home’ type of place that he and I can travel to.. but, we know we would get bored and it would wind up a waste of money.
  5. When you’re not blogging or reading, what do you do in your spare time?  ….Spare Time?? THAT’S A THING?! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS!!!! Lol! I do still enjoy my video games when I have the time. I’m a big RPG girl. I also love my travel and the outdoors life, so packing up and going camping is also a must!

Thank you to Claire for Nominating my, I loved your questions!

I’d like to Nominate:

  • Trang over at: https://bookidote.com
  • Carol at: Retired? No One Told me! https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/78816115
  • Ethan at https://ethanbayesblog.wordpress.com
  • Rubab Bangash at  https://recipesbybangash.wordpress.com
  • Julia at http://unbreakablejoyintuitiontales.com
  • Sarah at http://thefamilythatplays.site
  • https://reneworredo.com

My Questions

  1. Why did you start Blogging?
  2. What time of Day do you normally do your writing on your Blog?
  3. What gets you up in the morning? (the most exciting part of your day)
  4. Do you have a stress release hobby? And what is it?
  5. If you could go back and choose one thing to do in your life, what would it be? (or maybe you don’t have to go back!)

To those of you who I nominated, it’s not  so you are not required to answer, but I hope you do!!