Don't tell by Karen Rose - A book review

Shhh... he's coming for you. Don't tell

I'm ashamed to say I'm totally one of those people who judge books by their cover (books only though) and therefore if I hadn't been leant this book by a colleague, which came with a glowing review, I probably wouldn't have picked it up off a shelf and that would have been such a shame. After quite a few chic lit reads recently this thriller was a welcome change, even if the first few murder descriptions were a bit graphic for my liking. I can't decide if they got tamer as the book progressed or if I got used to them! Anyway back to the review...

Plot - the story centres on Caroline Stewart who builds a new life in Chicago after running away from her violent husband. Just as she and her son are starting to feel safe after seven years away, her old car is pulled from the lake making her husband realise they could still be alive and he embarks on a murderous journey to track them down.

Rather than being a strict thriller, Rose manages to weave in a love interest in the form of Caroline's new boss Max Hunter, and for a while this 'will they, won't they' overshadows the reader's fear of her husband tracking her down. It's a well written book and Caroline and Max's characters have real depth, you certainly can't see all their actions coming, which is something I often find in thrillers. Rose also manages to twist your emotions and loyalties to different characters, just when you decide to feel sorry for one of them she manages to make you question it! I won't give away the ending but it's a good one, a 'just one more chapter before bed' kind of ending.

Just one word of caution from the colleague who lent me the book, apparently some of Rose's books can be quite similar, so she wouldn't suggest reading them back to back. I’ll definitely be reading more in the future though.



Springtime surprise project – what I sent

As I mentioned in my last post, this month I joined the Springtime Surprise Project hosted by Captured by Lucy. I've already revealed the gorgeous gift I was sent by Cristina, so today I thought I'd share what I sent to her.

Cristina mentioned she liked simplicity, beauty and mindful living and having seen a glimpse inside Cristina's house on her blog, I designed a simple flower embroidery to compliment a lovely purple colour used throughout her home. It's the first time I've attempted an embroidery like this, so kept things simple using backstitch, but I learnt a new skill with the French knots on the dandelion head, which I expected to take forever and be really fiddly, but they were surprisingly easy to do!

To go with the embroidery I made a simple pom pom bookmark in some chunky purple wool and continued the purple theme with a little lilac heart soap and some patterned papers for her origami makes. I also found some cute bicycle paperclips and bakers twine, which I thought represented the mindfulness of cycling and baking, to complete the package. I'm delighted to report Cristina liked her gifts!

I'd love to take part in some more gift swaps, are there any you would recommend?



Inspired by | the blackbird

It’s the turn of our feathered friends in my monthly  ‘inspired by’ series and this time I’ve been inspired by the little blackbird who visits the lawn in front of our kitchen window. I watch him while washing the dishes, as he hops along the grass and flits from tree to tree. I love how the bright yellow of his beak contrasts against his black feathers,. But it got me thinking that blackbirds might be a bit overlooked when it comes to inspiration for designs and accessories compared to those with more colourful feathers, blue tits I’m looking at you, however I’m pleased to report this isn’t the case – just take a look at some of the gorgeous items below…

Blackbird and bees lampshade | Kettle of Fish | Folksy

Blackbird brooch | Kirstin Stride | Etsy UK

Mr Blackbird china mug | Sam Wilson Studio | Etsy UK

Blackbird linen cushion | Rustic Country Crafts | Not on the high street

Which is your favourite?


Springtime surprise project

Back in January and filled with new year excitement I signed up for Captured by Lucy's Springtime Surprise Project - my first gift swap! I was a bit apprehensive about picking gifts for someone I hadn't met before, but I'm so glad I joined in as it was super fun. My partner was Cristina Colli and it turns out (what a small world we live in) that I'd only been looking at, and admiring, her home over on Apartment Therapy a few days before finding out that she was my partner!

I'll share my gift to Cristina in another post, but for now here are some details of the amazing surprise I received.  Lets start with the wrapping, which was beautifully done, tissue paper tied with blue string and garnished with feathers, mixed with origami boxes and envelopes. Having had a look at Cristina's website and blog (she takes the most beautiful still life photographs) I was really hoping she would include one of her prints so was over the moon to open six, which will look great in our bedroom. The whole box matched my love for florals and feathers perfectly, fabric pieces, buttons, washi tape, cute little felt chicks as well as a mini recipe book and clever origami bookmarks she'd made herself. I even did a little squeal on un-wrapping the floral cushion cover, which is just gorgeous and I had a spare cushion pad in my cupboard so it is already in use!

I really hope Cristina likes her gifts as much as I liked mine. It's been so fun taking part and seeing all the other swaps taking place on #springtimesurpriseproject - definitely a perfect way to celebrate the start of spring.


Recently I’ve been...

Loving the red roses the boyfriend brought home for Valentine's Day, they lasted a week and were the first fresh flowers we've had in the new house. I also love that we have somewhere to put vases now, our old flat was so dark they could only go on the window sill, but here they look lovely on a sideboard/cupboard thing the boyfriend's parents have just donated to us!

Reading Don't tell by Karen Rose, another book that has me hooked. Here's my version of the bio - Caroline Stewart starts a new life after running from her abusive husband. Just as she finds a new love interest, a car is pulled out of a lake in her old town and her violent husband realises she could still be alive... yep it’s a nail biter.

Crocheting this giraffe for a friend's baby. I'm getting dangerously close to running out of wool, but have just started the body of the giraffe and then it's just a case of stuffing and sewing together! I've really been enjoying picking this up for an evening in front of the TV. I am slightly terrified at the prospect of having to sew it all together though.

Photographing some deer, although my wildlife photography skills still leave a lot to be desired! We're so lucky to live just a short walk from Parham Park and have recently been two Sunday's on a row for a walk amongst the snowdrops and ancient trees. Getting outdoors at the weekend is so important if you spend all week in an office, we always come home refreshed and ready for a cup of tea!


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