Here it is – the final post of 2023. I originally drafted a blog post to go out before Christmas but you know how it is, life and other stuff gets in the way. I’ve now scrapped the festive frolic, and instead, here’s my review of the year.
We managed three trips, without any trips, so to speak. A huge relief after last year. We walked the Guernsey coastal path, visited Crete to undertake a 18 km hike through the Samaria Gorge, and enjoyed a leisurely cruise around the Adriatic, all without major mishap. It’s always good to discover somewhere new and if you like your scenery to be stunning, I highly recommend the Krka National Park in Croatia. We’d never heard of Krka before we booked our cruise but it really was an ooh aah just look at that view type of place.
2023 has been an eclectic year in terms of books read. In the name of research I’ve had to broaden my habits and have become a regular visitor to my local library’s history section. Some books have impressed me, others not, but I am soaking up a whole new layer of knowledge – ask me a question about the Free French Army, why don’t you (who? what? Exactly. I didn’t know such a thing existed either twelve months ago). Anyway, talking of France, my favourite book, chosen for research purposes, would have to be Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks, closely followed by Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield, chosen not for research purposes but because it called to me from the library shelf with its beautiful cover and I needed a break from World War II.
The book that probably left the most lingering impression was When I Come Home Again by Caroline Scott – the haunting and poignant story of a soldier with complete memory loss in the aftermath of World War I. This was one of those books that just reaffirmed my love of reading; one of those books that made me wistfully sit and think I wish I could write like that…
And talking of writing…
2023 saw the publication of the third Eliza Kane novel, Trouble on the Tide. I’m pleased to say the book was well received and sales of all three Eliza Kanes continue to trickle in when I pop my head out of my shell and do a bit of publicity. More than one happy reader has commented they think Trouble on the Tide is the best book to date. Another said it made her cry – always music to an author’s ears! As regular readers of this blog will know, this will be the last Eliza Kane for now. I always think there’s nothing worse than watching season 6 of a TV series you know should have finished at season 3. I like to think the Eliza Kane series is fresh and original. It’s good to end on a high.
What else have we been up to this year? The weather was pretty pants but we did visit the theatre a few times. I finally got to see Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap which has been on the list for a while, and more recently, we went to London to see Back to the Future, the musical – a great evening of entertainment and nostalgia. Also while in London we visited the Monet Immersive Experience where you can literally step into a Claude Monet painting. As surreal as it sounds – highly recommended!
Life hasn’t been all jolly this year, there have been some real lows, but there’s a lot of misery in the world right now without me adding my pennyworth. All I will say is I’m glad I’d already made the decision to take a break from Eliza Kane in 2024 because if I’d promised book 4, I’d be panicking. Next year is going to be busy, and full of new challenges – some of which I’m very much looking forward to. I may not have much book news to blog about in my posts for 2024, but please keep reading because I’m going to have lots of other stuff to keep you entertained.
Meanwhile, thank you for your continued support of my writing journey throughout 2023. I wish all book lovers and readers everywhere, a very happy, and peaceful new year.