Friday, 13 October 2017

The Blind by A.F. Brady

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been very absent on the old blog and YouTube lately, truth is I’ve been struck down with some mystery illness and I’ve been spending most of my time on the sofa, so hold out, hopefully things will be back up and running in the next few weeks when I shake whatever this is, in the meantime, I’m part of a book tour today for The Blind by A.F. Brady and so a book review is what you will find today.

The Blind has been called a 21st Century ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ which had me excited as I’ve not delved into many books that cover mental health issues, especially not from a psychologist’s point of view.

Our main Character is Sam, a psychologist with a reputation for being able to crack even some of the toughest cases so when she hears about the mysterious new patient Richard, she has no doubt that she will be able to get into his head space, however, Richard puzzlingly seems to be perfectly sane but it isn’t long before Sam is drawn down the rabbit hole with him and along the way, she realises she has to confront her own issues too, issues that have been allowed to slide for far too long.

The Blind wasn’t what I was expecting, for me it didn’t follow the normal ‘recipe’ if you will of what I’m used to a thriller being, however, the narrative was fast paced and the scenes at times were so evocative that I felt like I could almost be watching them in real life. I liked the dark journey as it felt perfectly appropriate for this time of year as the nights are drawing in and everything becomes a little more atmospheric so for that reason, The Blind was a winner for me, just don’t go into this with any preconceptions of the genre and you’ll enjoy it more.

I should mention that there was various triggers throughout this book for the likes of suicide, domestic abuse and alcoholism.

Let me know if you’ve read this book, and if not, are you planning on reading it anytime soon?

Thank you for sticking with me while I’m poorly.

Rosy xx

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong


Hi Everyone, 

Hope you're all well, as you're reading this (if you're reading it within the first two weeks of publishing) I'm currently on holiday in Florida and my scheduling worked... let's keep all fingers crossed that it all goes to plan!

I'm back today with a book review, I was sent the book The Watcher by Ross Armstrong in return for review as part of the blog tour by HQ Stories.

You can also check out all the tour dates in the tour banner below:

The Watcher is the story of Lily Gullick who lives in a nice new build flat with her husband Aiden. Lily is a keen bird watcher which ends up translating to being an avid people watcher too and after a short while, Lily feels like she knows most of her neighbours across the way in the old estate which is due for demolition.
Naturally curious Lily can't seem to separate her hobby of bird watching from the more intrusive pass-time of essentially spying on her unsuspecting targets through their own windows in their various homes, catching them in their natural environment if you will, however, one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and the next day she is horrified to discover her elderly neighbour Jean has been murdered.
Lily begins to lose all sense of the outside world as she goes further and further into her observations to uncover the culprit with each new lead sending her further into herself and her voyeurism but Lily isn't the only one who is watching, someone appears to be watching Lily too, and that person could be very dangerous.

I initially struggled to get invested in Lily's character, her obsessive nature was a little hard to get to grips with at times and I found it difficult to comprehend her actions as she is thrown into a seemingly scary and foreboding situation. Lily seems unable to grasp the full gravity of the danger she is putting herself into and for that reason, I was unable to identify with her as a person. The story however was an interesting one with a twist I didn't see coming (and I'm usually pretty good with twists!). The last few chapters of the book made it for me as I had been a little uncertain where the story was leading up until that point.
Once a fair amount was revealed about Lily's character I was then able to connect the dots and assign more meaning to her seemingly erratic and compulsive behaviours.

Overall, I gave 'The Watcher' 3/5 stars and I'd be interested to read it again to see if there was something I just wasn't getting first time round, I feel that now I know what the twist is, I would be able to see the book from a different viewpoint.

Have you read the watcher? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Bye for now.



Monday, 11 September 2017

AD* Stemuderm Review: Should You Try Stemuderm For Aging Skin?

Hi Everyone,

Today I'm bringing you an Ad from Solvaderm, the ad was written by Solvaderm for publication upon this blog, as such, this is not a personally written piece.

Hope you're all well,

Rosy xx

Stemuderm Review: Should You Try Stemuderm For Aging Skin?

Aging skin can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, causing significant changes in a person’s mental health. When a person starts to notice the visible signs of aging, they may start to feel self-conscious and the way they feel about their body may also be affected negatively. While botox and other expensive surgical options can help to reduce these signs, these options are often very expensive and they can be invasive. For those who are experiencing the visible signs of aging, especially at a premature age, there is an alternative option that does not cost hundreds of dollars, does not cause any significant side-effects and are not invasive – the alternative option is a high-quality anti-aging cream.
Anti-aging creams have become quite popular in the beauty industry, with more and more people starting to turn toward these creams as an alternative to the more expensive options on the market. There are a significant number of different options on the market today, such as anti-wrinkle creams, eye serums and even some options that help to restore the lost elasticity of the skin. Today, we want to introduce you to Stemuderm, a revolutionary anti-aging cream developed by one of the world’s most trusted companies in the anti-aging and beauty industry, Solvaderm.

What Is Stemuderm And Who Is It For?

Stemuderm is a relatively new product by Solvaderm. The product has been created to offer a revolution in the anti-aging and skincare industries. Stemuderm has been developed by renowned dermatologists and is one of their award-winning products. Unlike many products that are currently seen on the market, this particular product focuses on all of the most common symptoms that people experience when they start to age – some even at an age that is considered premature. This means the product will not only take care of fine lines or another specific problem, but rather focus on all of the problems related to aging skin; thus offering an advanced formula that also provides a deep and high-quality moisturizer for the skin.
Another excellent feature of Stemuderm is the fact that the product can be used by anyone. This is a feature that we do not often see in anti-aging products, as they are often created for people of older ages. Instead, Stemuderm also offers a solution for those younger individuals that are experiencing signs of aging too soon. According to the products official web page, people of any age, from as young as their 20s, can utilize the benefits that this particular cream has to offer them.

The Benefits Of Stemuderm

There are a significant number of benefits that Stemuderm is able to offer its user. The most significant benefit is the fact that this cream is suitable for all users, whether they are in their 20s or late 50s, or even at a more mature age. Other benefits that Stemuderm is also able to offer its user includes:

  •     Developed by dermatologists and dermatologically tested.
  •     Does not contain any parabens or perfume; thus the risk of skin irritation is significantly reduced.
  •     The product is perfect for every skin type, be it dry, oily, combination skin or normal skin.
  •     Potential users who has acne-prone skin does not have to worry about experiencing more severe acne while using this product.
  •      In addition to assisting with the removal of facial wrinkles and fine lines, Stemuderm also helps to restore the natural elasticity of skin in the face, thanks to the stem cell solution utilized in its formula.

How Stemuderm Should Be Used

Applying an anti-aging cream in the correct way is very important if you wish to reap all the benefits that the particular product has to offer you. When it comes to Stemuderm, the application is quite easy, but it is still important to read the entire instruction label and consider exactly when, how and to which areas the product should be applied.
Stemuderm should only be applied after the face has been both cleansed and toned. A very small amount of the cream should be applied to the face, as well as the neck. The eyes should be avoided as a separate product can be utilized for this especially delicate area of the face. The cream should be massaged into the face in circular motions.


Precautions and Potential Side-Effects

As with any product, be it natural or contain a chemical structure, being educated about the potential side-effects that might be experienced while using a product, as well as precautions that should be taken into consideration, is essential. This will help you prevent the development of any significant side-effects that may lead to unpleasant effects on the face.
Stemuderm has not been associated with any potentially harmful side-effects and it has been proven to be relatively safe. There is, however, a slight concern about a potential allergic reaction that may be experienced by users with excessively sensitive skin. Thus, to avoid the risk of an allergic reaction, users should first apply a small amount of this anti-aging cream to the inner part of the arm and wait a couple of hours to see if any reaction develops. In case of an allergic reaction, it is advised not to use the product on the face.

Final Words

Aging is, unfortunately, a natural part of life. The effects of aging can often be unpleasant, such as causing the development of wrinkles, fine lines and puffiness around the eyes. The skin’s elasticity also deteriorates with age, causing skin to become saggy. While botox and other more invasive options are not the most useful options when it comes to treating aging signs on the skin on a small budget, Stemuderm poses as an effective alternative. The product utilizes stem cell technology to assist with reducing the visible appearance of aging, and has numerous additional benefits to offer the user, such as intense hydration, as well as an enhancement in skin elasticity. The product can be used in the morning and in the evening, and comes at a very convenient price.


Monday, 28 August 2017

The Palette That Started It All | Urban Decay Naked


Hello Everyone,

I hope you're all well and have had a great summer, I can't believe Autumn will be upon us soon, especially since we haven't really had a summer here at all, it's been rain, rain, rain here.

With the poor weather and the inability to go outside, I've spent a large amount of time sorting through my belongings lately, donating things to charity, binning things, ebaying other things and rediscovering old favourites and one item that got me thinking was my trusty old Urban Decay Naked Palette

The Urban Decay Naked palette is more than just another palette in my collection to me, it is the palette, the one that started it all and became an accidental symbol.

I had always looked at the makeup stands in the lovely shops that I couldn't afford, I loved everything about these stands, the perfectly made up sales assistants, the beautifully packaged products, the huge range of shades and the boxes of things that I wasn't quite sure what they actually were but I wanted them. 
At the time I was using an old white eye shadow that I had been given free with a magazine, I didn't own a blusher and my mascara did nothing for me, these makeup halls were filled with promise, of the woman I wanted to one day be and at the center of it all was the Naked palette. I had watched a girl online using this palette in a tutorial (this was waaaaayyyy before YouTube is what it is now) and my mind was made up, I would own this palette.

I got myself a nice little job and with the first pay day I treated myself to the Naked experience, and it didn't let me down. Naked 1 (which, at the time was the only naked palette) was everything I had hoped it would be, highly pigmented, wearable, beautiful and so very very smooth. Even a novice (like I was at the time) could create something beautiful using this palette. My favourite shades were Sin and Naked, and I would pair them together most days for work.
The palette above isn't instagram ready, it's very used, has traveled the world with me and has been with me through some of the hardest and best times.

It is currently well out of date, but I just can't part with it, I know it is a bit silly to be sentimental over makeup, but this isn't just makeup to me, this little box of nude shades is a symbol to me, the girl then wanting to be the woman I've become now, the gateway to makeup love and the ability to exercise my own creativity in thinking up looks that match my mood.

The reminder that once I was stood there on the outside looking into a world I couldn't understand but years later I was stood with an overnight bag stuffed full of my favourite products doing my best friend's makeup for her wedding day along with the other bridesmaids (and yes, my bag contained in-date Urban Decay products!). Sometimes things can seem unattainable, impossible at times but if you work at them, they can stop being dreams and become a reality.

My collection of pretty things and special makeup may be a lot bigger these days, but I'll never forget the day I grasped that brand new Naked palette in my hands and started on the next stage of my life journey.

Do you have a special item you just can't part with?

Rosy xx

Monday, 21 August 2017

Girl's Day Out | Waterstones Fort Kinnaird


Hi Everyone,

Today's post excites me very much because it combines my favourite things, books and my little lady.

Girl's days are something me and my little girl look forward to, we take ourselves off somewhere nice together to get some quality time in, sometimes we go swimming, sometimes we visit tourist attractions, other times we hit the shops for a spot of retail therapy and one type of shopping we are always both excited by is book shopping.

I was invited to visit Waterstones in Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh with my mini me to check out their new store layout, Waterstones in Fort Kinnaird used to be situated on the opposite side of the retail park but recently moved into another building. I used to visit the old store quite a lot and I (like many other people) believed that they had closed down at this location, I can't tell you how happy I am that this isn't the case!

Upon arrival we spotted the new school book section, having just started school, my little one is excited by all things 'school' and instantly spotted the Topsy and Tim Start School book that has been a staple in our house at the moment! If you have a child due to start their first term soon I really recommend this book, it goes over the feelings of nervousness and the excitement of starting primary school.

If you're a book fanatic like me, being surrounded by all the titles of books you are yet to read is an exciting prospect, I remember spending literally hours a day of my late teens in Waterstones and that excitement for a shop filled with literary treasures has never left me and I'm so excited that this bookish love is passing down to my daughter too.

Each section in the Fort Kinnaird Waterstones is perfectly stocked and there are loads of little reader tips with various recommendations and added information about various books (in the pictures above you can see what looks like post-it notes on the shelves, they're what we are talking about here) which I love reading and have picked up some great new books this way in the past.

Along with the standard book covers for casual reading, there was also a sizable range of more gift worthy editions of books from classics to children's books all beautifully bound with the most beautiful covers, I occasionally treat myself to such prizes and I definitely buy them for my daughter for Christmas gifts too but I always like a browse, how beautiful is that hardback copy of 'A Little Princess'? I am adding that one to my wish list!

I couldn't write a post about visiting Waterstones and leave out my book shop ritual of hunting out the Enid Blyton selection, I have some serious nostalgia of autumn evenings as a kid reading about the Malory Towers capers and they still hold a special place in my heart even after reading thousands more books since those long cosy nights.

The Magic Faraway Tree was another obsession of mine as a little kid and I often think of this book on my many woodland walks to this day and if you have a child who loves a bit of magic and adventure, you can't go wrong with this story of a trio of siblings who move to the countryside from the city only to discover an enchanted wood full of exciting secrets, magic lands and quirky forest folk.

For those of you looking to buy a bookish gift for a reading obsessed friend or loved one, look no further than the gift section in your local Waterstones, there is always a plethora of goodies from Penguin Classics themed mugs to playing cards to tote bags to local themed items.

I do love seeing a bit of personality in shops and I always find things to suit the local area when I'm browsing a Waterstones store, Fort Kinnaird has loads of lovely Scottish items being that we are in Edinburgh here but when I travel up and down the UK, I have found books and gifts proudly showing off the area you are in at the time.

The range of kids character toys is fantastic, I have a fair few at home myself for both me and my daughter, I don't know about any of your children but my little girl loves picking a character soft toy to take to bed and then we read a story or two featuring the toy of the night, it's a little ritual we both enjoy immensely, my cottage however, is at serious risk of overflowing with the amount of cute things we both insist on collecting and perhaps we should rein it in... (as I look down at my new pusheen themed slipper socks Mr Sparkles brought me two days ago).

After our little browse I went to speak to the manager of the Fort Kinnaird store, Keith Cooper.

If ever there was a man to ignite a passion for books, Keith is your man. I asked about their Scottish author selection and was thrilled by all the information I was given whilst being shown various books around the store, I learned about Scottish folklore that I had never heard of before (although I live in Scotland now I'm originally from Newcastle) including a story of the Kelpie which was such an interesting legend, forget your Loch Ness, read up on The Kelpie! I also saw a Scottish Fairy Tales book I'll be going back to get next month!

I also discovered that some of our favourite kid's books have been translated into Scots now too, such as the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson who now has a pizenous plook’ on his neb thanks to James Robertson, a Scottish writer of several short stories, poetry amd novels, who translated the book. 

I discovered Keith also had a liking for crime novels (which as many of you will know are a favourite of mine) and he pointed me towards some of his favourites from Scottish authors, there were so many exciting sounding stories to pick from but I finally settled on Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre as it came highly recommended, it is the story of a blogger who upsets a few people with her sexism posts and has information leaked about her online, then she meets Peter who knows nothing of her past and they marry after a whirlwind romance but before long Peter is dead and the press are calling her the Black Widow, but did she do it?

I can't wait to read this one, I'm excited to read more from Scottish authors as so far I've not come across many and living in Scotland I should remedy that asap.

My daughter picked up Princess Evie's Ponies: Willow The Magic Forest Pony which is her second book from this series now. She also latched on to a Mog teddy after being a huge fan of the Mog series by Judith Kerr and we went upstairs to the cafe to have a look at our books and have a hot drink, this is another ritual of ours on our 'Girl's Days' and I love that Waterstones at Fort Kinnaird have a cafe in the building because it is a perfect way to relax with your new read, little one had hot chocolate and I had an Earl Grey tea.

We were very kindly gifted our books and drinks and even Mog too which was a lovely surprise and I can't thank Waterstones enough for having me but in particular, Keith Cooper for taking the time to talk to me and give me loads of information and exciting recommendations, we had a lovely time.

I'd love to know how any of you blow off steam when you want some quality time.

Do you visit Waterstones yourself? Let me know if you've been to Fort Kinnaird!

Bye for now,

Rosy xx

*As stated above, books and refreshments were provided free of charge (Mog too!) but all opions are my own.
None of the links are affiliate links.


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Things I've Been Loving Recently | Favourites


Hello Everyone,

This past month has been one hell of a month for me, it's been a very testing time indeed and I think that when you're having a rather terrible time of it, you just need some things that make you happy which is the inspiration behind this post, I decided to share with you some of the things I've been loving lately because sometimes you really need the little things that cheer you up.

As you can see, there's a good range of bits here but I'm going to start with one of my new favorite books that I recently finished:

I loved this book so much! It was beyond any expectations I had going into this narrative and I have to be honest, I was pretty excited when I received the package containing The Women of the Castle* which is a new release about a widow of the resistance in Nazi Germany, who, after her husbands execution for his role in a failed plot to assassinate Hitler, begins a search for fellow wives and widows of the resistance with the aim of saving them and bringing them under her care at an old castle passed down from her late husband's family.
The story of the unlikely companions is extremely absorbing and I was unable to put this book down, the women all have very different characters and secrets of their own which, when combined with the tales of their past, present and future, delivers such a compelling story that I wished it would never end.
I'm really into history and one period of time I'm particularly interested in is the World War 2 era and I'm especially interested in the lives of the women of that time period but The Women of the Castle also offered up a look at the lives of German women rather than the allied side and that to me is what made this book so unique and I rated The Women of the Castle 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

My next favourite might seem a little peculiar as I'm not sure I've ever blogged about tea before but lately I've been buying this China Rose Tea from Twinings, Twinings has been my favourite tea brand for ages but after discovering this China Rose tea, I've been even more hooked, it's a black tea (I just can't get down with green teas sadly) with a subtle but delicious hint of rose, ah-may-zing! Also, you might also be able to see my favourite cup of the moment from Cath Kidston's new Pet's Party range which you may have seen in my recent Homeware Haul (#PLUG).  

My next favourite is the Modern Renaissance Palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills which isn't a new palette but like many other beauty fans I was really excited by the release of the Subculture palette, that is until I saw the reviews (which were terrible if you missed that) and so I rekindled my love of the Modern Renaissance Palette every time I've had makeup on, I'm sure you know the score but all of these shades are really highly pigmented, blend beautifully and have an interesting colour scheme that is kind of neutral kind of not so you can either create a bold 'Look at Me' look or stick to a more everyday thing (which is what I do because I'm old and boring).

The makeup brush is from my new favourite set from Primark, you may have seen the post where I slated the newish brand Indy Luxe for producing poor quality, ebay style brushes for an offensive mark up, in that post I recommended these Primark brushes instead, they're only £10 for a set, themed and soft. Job done.

As you can see, the shade Golden Ochre is my favourite shade to use but I also love Buon Fresco which is a dusty rose colour and pretty perfect.

The final thing I've been loving is this gorgeous Rainbow Shine Wand*, you all probably know by now how much I love Lee Stafford, I've talked previously about Lee Stafford's 'The Straightener', the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Long Tong and the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Blow and Go Nuts and with all of these hair tools I have been nothing but 100% satisfied.
The Reason I'm loving this Rainbow Shine Wand is because, unlike the long tong, it doesn't have a clip over the barrel which works better for my fine hair as the clip was prone to leaving a kink.
It is taking a little getting used to using a barrel over my usual straighteners but the overall look is really pretty when I do use this wand instead, I like to brush the curls out for a loose wave and I have had loads of compliments.
I also love the handle, it is really satisfying to hold as it feels slightly rubbery to the touch, I really like the feel of it over the standard plastic finish I've had on wand handles in the past, is that weird?
The selling point for me is definitely the design though, that rainbow barrel just has all of my favourite aesthetics covered! You know by now I'm a bit of a sucker for designs and this, much like the rest of the Lee Stafford range, is absolutely stunning!

They also include a real glove to stop amateurs like myself from burning their hands styling, this has been a life saver because I'm a clumsy oaf when it comes to styling my hair as I'm usually a 'tuck it into a bun' girl, I say real glove by the way because every other 'glove' I've had with a hair tool has been a two finger shield which is no use to me when I'm burning all over the show, the glove with this little beauty is a real, full hand, five finger, actual glove. Thank you Lee Stafford! Oh and one more thing, the glove is pink... just casually throwing that in, not that I like pink or anything... 

So that's my little favourites post if you will, as always, if you've tried an of these do let me know!

Bye for now,

Rosy xx 

* = PR Sample, all thoughts are my own.


Monday, 31 July 2017

A Little Bit Of Self Care


Hello Everyone!

Today we are going to talk a little about self care.

Sometimes I get carried away, I can be a bit of a workaholic and find it really difficult to switch off, this can mean that I take on task after task and spend my entire day, morning to night, working on everything and anything that has come my way and then suddenly I realise weeks have gone by without me taking a break, yes weeks.

I start to notice the tell tale signs that I've pushed too far yet again, the tight chest, the pains in my back, the feelings of anxiety or stress... That's usually the point when I remember I started watching a movie two and a half weeks ago, turned it off to catch up on something and I haven't actually stopped since then.
A few years ago this would have been my cue to head to the town, burn off some stress walking miles around the shops and go home with a new lippie or two. Times have changed though and now I live a three hour round trip from the shops and when you factor in traffic near the city, parking and travel time it just isn't as relaxing as it once was, now I like to relax at home.

The first thing I do to de-stress and begin my self care time is turn that phone on airplane mode, this stops me being distracted as message after message pours in and it also stops me going to my emails or apps and updating for a while, once I know I have my phone out of the picture I start on a bit of pampering

At the moment I have been using the T-Zone range that you can pick up at Superdrug, it's all really affordable and I am enjoying using the products.

The cleansing wipes are amazing, like I've said, sometimes the end of the day arrives and I've not stopped for hours and I just can't be doing with a full cleanse, tone and moisturise and so (provided I've not had a full face of makeup on because I always do the full routine then) a quick wipe with these bad lads and I feel refreshed, also, they're black which is so unusual and I love something different. They have a light musky scent and don't leave any residue behind, job done and off to bed.

I have been enjoying the face masks too, I'm trying to get more into face masks as I really want to look like I have the skin of a teenage girl even though my teen years are long gone but that's another story.
These masks self heat and are activated by water so to use one I wet my face and squeeze the sachet into my hand then massage into my face, if I want the mask to be warmer I just add a little more water, as the mask is massaged in it keeps warming and after about a minute I rinse it all off and boom, clearer looking skin.
The mask is designed to open pores and then the charcoal acts as a magnet to draw out dirt and impurities while the bamboo extract is there to control oil. Magic.

My newest favourite tool in younger skin is the Sensse Anti-Ageing Facial Cleansing Brush and Exfoliator, if you know me you'll know that I love me some anti-ageing tools (read about the other device I'm using at the moment - The PMD Microderm) and you might also know if you follow me on twitter (@RosySparkles) that my beloved Magnitone Lucid died on me and therefore I needed a new cleaning brush and this one ticked all the boxes.

Apart from being beautiful to look at, the Sensse brush has three speeds so that you can set your intensity, the first setting is for sensitive skin (moi) and then goes up to a higher level for deep exfoliation and anti-wrinkle treatment.

The bristles are designed to massage the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which as you probably know, are two of the vital components in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, I have high hopes for this one!
Oh and it also has a built in battery that is supposed to last 60 uses, so you don't have to charge it each time, perfect.

I've been using the Sensse with the facial scrub from T-Zone which is designed the same sort of way as the face packs with the Charcoal to draw out imperfections and the bamboo to keep oil at bay or my Liz Earle cleanser because I love me some Liz Earle.
The T-Zone range are mineral oil free and purifying and I can't wait to try more from the range.

After all of this I do like to just settle down with clean skin, hair in a messy bun, a good book and a glass of wine (or a cup of tea if it isn't wine o'clock, you don't have to stage an intervention!) and after a few hours I start to feel human again, then I check all my emails and start again the next day back on the rollercoaster trying to remember to take a breath!

How do you like to relax?

Have you tried any of these products?

Rosy xx

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Say My Name by Alegra Huston


Hello Everyone, 

Welcome to my second post this week! If you missed yesterday's post, it was an unfavourable review of some rather popular makeup brushes so if you missed that then be sure to visit that post here, but today we are here to talk about a recent read of mine:

Say My Name is the story of Eve, a middle aged woman who is slowly drifting into surplus in a miserable marriage with a man more intent on discovering his spirit animal than paying any mind to the needs of his wife.
Eve spends her spare time searching for hidden treasures to help out her friend's antiques business between gardening work and dealing with her surly and self obsessed husband but one day her luck changes when she discovers a beautiful but damaged mystery instrument and meets the young and beautiful son of an old friend, both by chance but both carrying the opportunity for change, self discovery and satisfaction, the question is, will Eve step out of her comfort zone to chase her own inner self?

Say My Name was a fast paced and electrically charged read about the paths we take, the people we meet and the effects of it all on our being, it is about what is left when you've spent your life catering to others as a mother and devoted wife and then find yourself with an empty nest and a selfish spouse but mainly, it is a look into fixing the broken and wearing our scars well.

I gave Say My Name 3/5 stars on goodreads.

I have an extract from Say My Name below so that you can sample the writing style and see if you think this may be a book for you.

There, under a table heaped with chinofthsornobody uses anymore, she spots it, almost hidden behind    random objectcarrying price stickers faded by time.
Daylight filters through grimy windowonto worn green velvet, golden wood.
Strangely, the case is open—as if ithoping to be found.
Its bigger than a violin, much smallethan a cello. Its fat, squarer than mosinstruments of its kind, with an  elongateneck, and—this is what draws Eve in—encrusted with vines. The fragilcarvings seem greener. They were once painted, maybe.
Eve moves the piles of junk aside so thashe can crawl under the table. Usually shwears jeans for these expeditions, buits a hoNew Yorsummerso this morninshchose a thin dress, counting on thintricate print to disguise any smudges. Iwill rip easily,   though, so she tucks up thsides into her underwear to keep it off thfloor.
As she crouches down, the bones of heknees crack. Though shes fit and strong,her forty-eight-year-old body is starting tshow age. Her brown hair has almost ngray in it—good genes, her mother would havsaid—but soon shell have to decidwhether to color it. Shes never seen thpoint of lying about her age and, beinmarried, shes less concerned aboulooking young than she might be if shwere single. Still, the ugly milestonlooms. Shes tied her hair in a ponytail  ancovered her head with a scarf to protecagainst cobwebs.
By profession, Eve is a garden designer.Her husband, Larry, makes enough as product development manager for a pill-coating supplier to pharmaceuticacompanies tenable him to treat her littlbusiness as, basically, a hobby. Thiannoys her, but the truth is, she treats ithat way too. Taking it more seriouslwould mean confronting Larry and  claiming ownership of her time anpriorities, which she is not prepared to do.

The status quo feels fragile, although ialso feels as lasting as mortal life allows.  Althats required is that she keep thdelicate political balance, and doesnt rocthe boat or disturb the sleeping dogs. Shegotten into the habit of not pushing  ancommunication past the minimum required for practical matters and the  appearance of enough closeness to assurher that their marriage is sound.
On weekends, guiltless and free, shsearches out treasures for her friend Deborahs antiqushop. Larry doesncomplain; she suspects hes glad to have the house to himself. For her part, sheglad to be away from it. 
The strangobjects she finds ignite her imagination, conjuring up lives more exciting, anmore terrifying, than the low intensity safety of her own. Today shes exploring northerly part of NeYork City that, like a tidal pool left bsuccessive immigrant waves, housepeople from nations that may or may nostill exist: Assyrians, Armenians,Macedonians, Baluchistanis. Thalphabets in which the signs are written change block by block. Neighborhoodlike this are her favorite hunting grounds.

On her hands and knees under the table,she tugs at the instrument in its case. Ishifts with a jerk, leaving a hard outline ooily dust on the floor. Probably it hasnbeen moved in years. She lifts it up onto tin chest, keeping her back to thstorekeeper to disguise her interest.
The vines twine over the bodof thinstrument and up its neck, stretching out into the air. Though the delicacy of thcarving is almost elfin, it has the strength of vines: blindly reaching, defying gravity.The tendrils are dotted with smalflowers:jasmine, so accurately rendered that Eve identifiethem instantly. A flap of velvet in the lid conceals a bow, held in place bribbons. It, too, is twined with curlinvines.
She wiggles her fingers into the gapbetween the instrument and the velvet lining, pryinit loose. A moth flies ouinto her face and disappears in the slantinshafts of light.
Holding it by the neck, she senseanother shape. With spit and the hem oher  dress, she cleans away the dust.Theres a pudgy, babyish face, the vines tightening their weave across its eyes.Cupid, blinded by love.
Eve pinches up dust from the floor tdirty the face again. She has learned not timprove the appearance of things until after the bargaining is done and thmoney has changed hands. Then she turnthe instrument over.
The back is in splinters.
Eve touches her finger to thraggeshards of wood, longing to make this beautiful thinwhole again. The damagmust have been deliberate: an accidenwould have broken off the vines. Whadrove that person over the brink?Musicians frustration? Rage at fate? Heartbreak? She can almost feel remnants othe emotion stuck to the gash, likspecks of  dried blood.
If she had it repaired, the cost woulalmost certainly be more than thinstrument is worth. And even an expermight nobe able to restore it completelyIt could  serve as a decorative item, buonly if the gash stays hidden. Deborah wont want ishe has a rule againsbroken things. Also,  she feels morcomfortable with things thahave names, like bowls and vases  and candlesticks. Passionless things that sit prettily in nice rooms. Thhistory that thiobjecbearon its back would freak her out.
Eve moves to return the instrument to its exile, but she can't bring herself to do it.Now that she has touched it, she cannopush it back into the shadows.

Let me know if you've read Say My Name or if it sounds like something you'd enjoy reading,

Bye for now,

Rosy xx

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