My very own website!!! Yikes!

Fear of missing out? Now it’s a reality

According to Wikipedia:
“Fear of missing out (commonly abbreviated as FOMO) is described as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent. This social anxiety is characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. FOMO is also defined as a fear of regret, which may lead to a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, a profitable investment, or other satisfying events. It perpetuates the fear of making a suboptimal decision about how to spend one’s time”
It’s a real issue although often used colloquially in a humourous way and it is this light-hearted version that I am writing about.
Despite my addiction to reading Facebook and Instagram posts, I have never considered myself to have FOMO. But now I, like many others during lockdown, find myself dwelling on the things that I am missing out on. The fear is now a reality…
This month we were supposed to be attending the launch of Paulton’s Park’s new area.
I should be frantic with exam invigilation and my mum should be enjoying the last few babysitting sessions with Zach before he starts school in September.
Matthew and Anya should be having class photos, discos, sports days, leavers’ assembly for Annie as she leaves infant school.
We hadn’t booked a summer holiday this year as we planned to have lots of days out. Not going to happen, is it?! Chris and I had planned to re-visit Stratford upon Avon without the kids so I could enjoy the history of the place.
I was so excited that I’d managed to get tickets and was finally going to cross Wimbledon off my bucket list.
This weekend we were supposed to host a big family party to celebrate my birthday and Matthew’s and be the first family get-together since my grandmother’s funeral last year.


The children are missing out on their education. Their engagement with any home learning is reducing week on week. They miss their friends.
I miss my mum and dad. Usually I see them most days. We are currently skyping daily, joined by my sister twice a week. But it isn’t the same. We haven’t eaten together, sharing a takeaway and a bottle of Prosecco. We haven’t done the school run together or been to the shops.
Over a month ago I write a post about the lockdown silver linings. I felt optimistic that the lockdown would quickly have a positive effect on the pandemic.
The truth is that I’m more scared now than I was then. The schools are set to open and my colleagues have been working tirelessly to make sure that it is safe for those chilodren that are venturing back in (staff have also been supporting the children of key workers this whole time so I have been very upset by the media coverage casting aspersions on their commitment).
Our leadership has been haphazard at best and the continuing saga of Dominic Cummings and his lunatic behaviour has undermined the efforts of our nation.
Oh, but at least toilet rolls are easily available now…



#Project366 2020 week 22

Day 145: cross stitch update, Anne Boleyn almost done but I did make a mistake with colour on the sleeve although it isn’t too noticeable

Day 146: a little swordfighting. I’m not sure who Zach is helping or hindering

Day 147: every evening we sit down to watch a film and Anya sits next to me eating a Peperami: doesn’t she know I’m vegan?!

Day 148: the SpaceX shuttle launch was cancelled but I loved the sunset colours anyway

Day 149: early morning walk, or should that be run!

Day 150: birthday boy! Matthew is a whole 10 years old!

Day 151: my birthday! One more year to go until I’m 40…

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Water’s Edge, by Gregg Olsen

Water's Edge book cover


A body on a beach is the new case for Detective Megan Carpenter. It soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose…
I absolutely loved the first book featuring Megan and this second book in the series Water’s Edge was an enjoyable police thriller but didn’t pack quite the same punch. Megan’s backstory which featured heavily in the first book was of secondary importance this time.
I enjoyed the first person narrative again as Megan negotiates a new professional relationship when she is partnered with rookie Ronnie. This character development allowed touches of humour to contrast with the grisly deaths that form the main plot and the experiences from Megan’s past.
Megan is a tenacious and determined police officer, haunted by her own past. She uses her role in the police to hunt down killers with the idea of ‘an eye for an eye’ rather than legal justice.
There are plenty of suspects and twists to keep the reader entertained and guessing until the end. I would have liked to know a little more about the motive but enjoyed the extra drama of the reveal.
The plot is delivered in short chapters to maintain the pace and make you read just one more when you should be doing something else!
I believe that Water’s Edge would work as a stand alone novel but I think it would be beneficial to read the first in the series, Snow Creek, which I have previously reviewed.

Water's Edge blog tour banner

GREGG OLSEN Water’s Edge Media Kit:
Author:  Gregg Olsen
Amazon: https://geni.us/B0854143TDSocial
Apple: https://apple.co/32qn3tz
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Vmqn7O
Google: http://bit.ly/3902iYb
The young woman’s body is lying with her arms stretched out to each side. Her lips slightly parted. Her face untouched by injury and her hair spread around her head like a fan. A redhead. Just like the others.
When the body of Leann Truitt is found in a secluded cove in Mystery Bay, Detective Megan Carpenter is one of the first on the scene. The victim has tell-tale marks on her wrists, ankles and neck where she has been bound. But that’s not all. Next to Leann’s body lies a puzzling clue – an unusual symbol scratched into a rock.
With rookie Deputy Ronnie Marsh under her wing and the investigation underway, Megan starts to receive disturbing messages. Someone knows about her traumatic past. They know what she did.
Determined to stay focussed, Megan soon makes a chilling link between Leann’s brutal killing and the unsolved murder cases of two other women – all redheads with the same marks on their bodies, the same symbol carvings found at the crime scenes, and most shockingly, all had been pregnant.
The killer stalks his prey, kidnapping and torturing them in a very exact and methodical pattern. And he is not finished yet…
When the body of another woman is found bearing a striking resemblance to the other victims, Megan must crack the clues fast if she is to catch the twisted soul before they strike again.
Megan might be closing in on the killer, but someone is watching her every move. Can Megan hide the secrets of her past threatening to destroy her future? And can she protect herself and Ronnie before they both find themselves in terrible danger?
An addictive, gripping and completely unputdownable crime thriller from the Number One New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA Today and Amazon Chart bestselling author.
author Gregg Olsen
Author Bio:
A #1 New York Times, Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, seventeen novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.
The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel.
The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington’s Secretary of State for the book’s contribution to Washington state history and culture.
Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).
Author Social Media Links:
Website: https://www.greggolsen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreggOlsenAuthor/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Gregg_Olsen

What Only We Know, by Catherine Hokin


What Only We Know book cover

TRIGGER WARNING: What Only We Know deals with the Holocaust and suicide
In 1930s Berlin, Liese’s life at her parents’ fashion house is thrown into turmoil as the Nazis start their process of eradicating the Jews. First their business then their lives are in danger.
In the 1970s and 80s, Karen Cartwright struggles to deal with the aftermath of her mother Elizabeth’s suicide. I enjoyed the setting of Aldershot as it is very close to where I live!
Catherine Hokin’s narrative so clearly evokes the two time periods she is describing. I found myself completely immersed in the settings and amongst the characters. I was incredibly frustrated, even angry, at Liese’s parents for their constant disregard for their daughter. They are so wrapped up in each other, even as she desperately tries to save them from certain death.
Liese is a very likeable character and I felt devastated by her life story as it unfolds. Karen is more complex as she has the selfishness of childhood at the start of the book and gradually becomes aware of the nuances of her parents’ relationship. She feels guilty and unloved as well as blaming her father for not preventing her mother’s suicide.
What Only We Know is a clever title as it could refer to the survival guilt specific to survivors of the Holocaust, or it could be a reference to the secrets that Liese has kept since that time. It could mean the secret side of ourselves that we hide to protect ourselves and others from the truth.
This is not a pleasant book to read but it is a terribly wonderful. The atrocities committed by the Nazis must never be forgotten and their victims should be remembered. Some of the events in the book are shocking and harrowing: if we ever become complacent and immune to the horror then we provide the opportunity for evil to reappear.
I have read a few other WW2 fiction novels recently, but what makes this one different and unique is that it looks at the aftermath of the Holocaust and the personal difficulties faced by one survivor. This book also shows the effects of mental health struggles on other family members.
What Only We Know is an incredibly powerful book and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

What Only We Know blog tour banner

What Only We Know book description:
A door slammed and the unmistakable sound of boots came crashing up the hall. Liese held her little daughter’s hand so tightly, the tiny fingers had turned purple. The SS officer’s hand was at Liese’s throat before she saw him move. ‘I can kill you easily, then I can kill your daughter.’ He relaxed his grip a little. ‘Or perhaps I could kill her first?’
England, forty years later. When Karen Cartwright is unexpectedly called home to nurse her ailing father, she goes with a heavy heart. The house she grew up in feels haunted by the memory of her father’s closely guarded secrets about her beautiful dressmaker mother Elizabeth’s tragic suicide years before.
As she packs up the house, Karen discovers an old photograph and a stranger’s tattered love letter to her mother postmarked from Germany after the war.
During her life, Karen struggled to understand her shy, fearful mother, but now she is realising there was so much more to Elizabeth than she knew. For one thing, her name wasn’t even Elizabeth, and her harrowing story begins long before Karen was born.
It’s 1941 in Berlin, and a young woman called Liese is being forced to wear a yellow star…
A beautiful and gripping wartime story about family secrets and impossible choices in the face of terrible hardship. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzWe Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.
author Catherine Hokin
Author Bio:
Catherine Hokin is a Glasgow-based author writing both long and short fiction. Her short stories have been placed in competition (including first prize in the 2019 Fiction 500 Short Story Competition) and published by iScot, Writers Forum and Myslexia. She blogs on the 22nd of each month as part of The History Girls collective.
Buy Links:
Amazon: https://bit.ly/3e1ofIy
Apple: https://apple.co/3e28r8h
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2zWwXZK


#StayClassyMama 84

Hello and welcome to the #StayClassyMama linky.
Half term, not that you’d know it!
I am thrilled to be joined by new regular hosts, Karen from Cats, Kids, Chaos and Sophie from Mummy of a Square Peg! And we have a new badge for 2020, please make sure you update it on your blog! Sorry but your link will be deleted if it does not have a badge or backlink.
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