The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide


You know when you buy a book for someone and they just don’t love, or they keep slightly quiet about it. Well, I bought this for T a couple of months back because he’s a cat person (I’m not a cat person in the slightest,) and seeing as he was trying to read quite heavy political books at the time I thought – he would love that. Turns out he didn’t, so I decided to read it and let you know what I thought – so read on to find out.

A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another. 

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.

The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. The book won Japan’s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award and was a bestseller in France and America.

Right, so The Guest Cat is a very simple novella with a very simple plotline. A young couple renting a beautiful guesthouse become enamoured by a tiny cat who they attempt to entice into their home. Refusing to pick her up or invade her space the cat quickly becomes a regular visitor and soon has the young couple under her spell. The couple know that the tenure in the guesthouse will come to an end in a few short months as the older couple who own the house attached to it are becoming a little old and frail and the estate will be sold and bulldozed to be made into flats. With this in mind, the couple spends as much time with the darling cat Chibi. The story narrates the touching story of the warmth, light and meaning the little cat brings to the lives of the couple.

I might seem a little bland or a little two dimensional but this book is so much more than that; it brings a life lesson both of love, companionship and respect. The Guest Cat is written in first person narration, almost in a memoir recollection. It has both detailed paragraphs and events that pinpoint important moments in the life of the couple of the cat (and there is cause to believe this is a true story.) There is very little interaction between characters it’s really a focus on the relationship between the couple and the cat that grows beautifully throughout.

The writing is very poetic and very descriptive and I have to say it’s my very favourite writing style. I love overly descriptive text and I think at times this can cause the story to become very loose in terms of tangents and time frames. I think at times this could cause some readers to become bored (I think this is where T struggled with the book) but for me, it just wove stronger the bonds between the three ‘characters,’ and as I continued through I grew quite attached despite the shortness of the book.

There are inconsistencies – Chibi is described with different colourings at one point which is a minor flaw, but at one point the wife and the cat have quite a tense falling out, Chibi bites her and she, in turn, discards the bed they’ve set up, the toys they’ve accumulated; but a passage or so later they are fine the cat is back and there is no explanation. I did like however that Chibi is referred to throughout but the humans are never named. The writer, his poet wife, the friend named Y – the names referred to towards the end are all cats. I liked this.

I get why T wasn’t sure on this – on a superficial level, it’s a story about a cat and a young couple and their relationship. Underneath it’s about so much more – the trouble of housing, the relationships that are altered and damaged by the cat, the personality changes from having a new companion and the climax of the story how this can abruptly change at any moment (for multiple reasons.) This is a decent little read that will entertain, provide a little philosophical insight but will probably really you consider getting your own little Chibi.






How many books have you lied about reading?

I have a confession; it’s months and months since I read a classic book. PLEASE DON’T ATTACK ME.

I went through a stage of really getting into classic books; I read them in the bath, on the floor of
img_1961 trains, on buses and snuggled up in bed. I checked them off my list of books I really should get read list. I think I might have made it through half the list I promised myself I would read and then for some reason I stopped. I put down all the classics and pretty much have only been picking up crime and thriller books since. I’m not sure why – oddly I’m often terrified by crime books but it’s all my tiny mitts have wanted to read recently.

I clicked onto Facebook this morning (#PRODUCTIVITY) and this post flashed up; How Many Of These Books Have You Lied About Reading?

I love Buzzfeed and their click-bait titles, and I thought what the hell. I ended up with this answer.

You checked 5 out of 52 on this list! 

You’re not bothered about how cultured you’re perceived to be. You’re not into the
classics and don’t mind who knows that. Lying about the books you’ve read is a slippery slope that you refuse to fall down.

So, these are the books that I might have white lied about reading and to be completely honest with you, I’m not even that ashamed.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I feel many readers, as like myself might have at some point said a tiny porky as to whether they’ve read someone’s favourite classic. Maybe in this situation:

Person in Love with the book: “Oh god, everyone has read Gone with the Wind! Seriously, it’s an honour to have been born in a time where it was written.”

Lizzy (awkwardly) “Oh, never read it myself – cover put me off. Think I might have heard good things but not put my mind to it yet.”

Person in Love with the book: “Well, right, bye.”


Okay, maybe not as extreme as that but it’s how I’ve felt on numerous occasions. It’s kind of when you meet a boy and they ask you whether you’ve heard of a certain band and suddenly they are your favourite band despite the fact you’ve never heard of them.

“Oh, didn’t they do a secret gig in Manchester 4 years ago – yeah I was there. Wore a band tee and they picked me out from the crowd. Pretty cool tbh with you. Oh you didn’t hear of that very secret gig, well can’t call yourself much of a fan can you.”

So, I thought today we could all be very honest and come clean about the classic books we haven’t quite got round to yet but might have lied about reading. In the spirit of positivity let’s not get down that we never made it through Oliver Twist or that we found Pip’s journey a massive let down (Great Expectations is not a book I own up to have read – I despised it.)

PS: I just want to point out Buzzfeed it’s not that I’m not into classics ie your statement “You’re not into the classics and don’t mind who knows that.” It’s just there were quite a few on the list I did actually read and enjoy and there are a few on there I haven’t read YET.

If you want to take the quiz (I know I just slated it a little but you might be intrigued here’s a cheeky link,) and let me know which bookish white lie reads you want to get off your chest in the comments.




Fear’s Revenge by Lynn Case: A guest post for MLBB


Hellllo readers hope you’re well – I apologise that the blog has been a little off for a while there’s a reason for that and it’s also the reason they’ve been a lot more guest postings but I will get into this. I currently have very little internet and unfortunately before that day came that the internet just wasn’t there I had quite a few scheduled up to post so I apologise it’s been a little heavy on guest postings recently. Today I have a fantastic guest post from Lynn Case and it’s a brilliant interview so I hope you won’t mind! Enjoy 😀

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Well, I’m, just a country girl at heart, I have lived most of my life in California.  Except for a few years spent in Alaska while my husband, Dan, was serving in the U.S. Army. We have two grown children and many pets. Multiple dogs, cats and a very curious cockatoo named Clyde. I love to cook, if you follow my blog on my website you will see a few recipes that I like to share and I love to write.  I don’t always make public the things I write, but some I do.

We have traveled across the country and have visited thirty eight states in the U.S. some multiples times.  Through our travels is where I get some of the inspirations for my stories. Writing short stories here and there while growing up, being a private person, I never shared my writings, even with close friends or family.   Much less allow them to be made public.  I was strongly encouraged to publish my first novel, Fear’s Revenge in September 2013.

I received tremendous feedback from readers so I decided to release my second novel, Return to Lily Cove in March 2014 and just his past August I released my third novel, Gabrielle, lost and I am currently working on my fourth novel in the series, Feathers in the Wind.  Hopefully, I can get this one done and released in early 2016.

Who or What inspired you to start writing this book?

I kept having scene run through my mind and after a few days of it repeating itself I decided to start writing them down.  Day after day until the first book was done.  Then it was onto the next story.


What three words would you use to describe this book?

Roller coaster ride, maybe? That’s what one reader said about it.  I really liked that description. 

Who is your target group for this book?

My books are about women in their late 30’s.  Because basically us women are never older than that, right ladies?  So my target group is women 18 and over.  I feel that some of the chapters are a little graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend them for younger audiences. 

Tell us about this book.

Allison Symms had forgotten everything about that night over twenty years ago.  The night she was held captive in an old cabin in the woods. Last thing she can remember is running through the woods and crashing head on into something, falling back knocking herself unconscious.

She doesn’t remember anything about that night until one day she gets knocked over by a city bus taking a turn to sharp and hits her head against a flower planter and goes unconscious once again.  Then she begins to have horrific nightmares and flashbacks to events that she can’t remember.

After seeing her therapist and undergoing hypnosis, all is revealed about the lost events of that one traumatic night. Allison decides to take the law into her own hands and take Fears Revenge on the four boys that held her captive.

As each detailed step of revenge Allison takes against, Cole, Tyler, Tony and Bobby she is beginning the healing and growing process in more ways than she bargained for. 

Do you have a favorite chapter from this book?

In Fears Revenge my favorite chapter is definitely chapter 15.  I think I was laughing the whole time I was writing the main scene. 

What do you hope people will gain from reading this book?

Well, I hope they enjoy reading my novels for stories themselves.  I do hope the readers ultimately get the message that regardless of what or how your life has turned out we make our life what we want.  If we don’t like what we have been dealt with in life, we have the inner power and strength to change it.  

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?

All my novels are available in print in perfect bound, hard bound and in ebook for those readers to download on their iPads, tablets and smart phone.

What advice would you give to other Writers?

Write, just write.  Write it down.  Whatever comes to mind, it may not make sense to you right now, but later on it might.  Just keep writing, never give up something you love doing.

 Tell us the link where potential readers can buy this book.

My books re available pretty much everywhere.  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, Xlibris and my website 

Any additional links?

My website :

Facebook :



 Is there anything else you would like to share about this book?

 Yes, It has been reviewed and had a Hollywood Coverage completed and is available for movie or television.


So there we go readers – a fantastic interview with a really fantastic author. Have a wonderful Tuesday and I hope you enjoy the post later today too!


Street Preacher by Aaron Davis


Helllo readers, cheeky little Sunday posting for you. I’ve got a really exciting post for you next week which I’m going to be typing up tomorrow *eeee* but for now, a really super lovely guest post from Aaron Davis and the book Street Preacher.

When John begins shouting his sermons in the middle of crowded downtown sidewalks, his only goal is to collect enough money for some food and a place to sleep.

. . . INSTEAD . . .

. . . he finds himself on the path to faith, a path that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

Can you describe your book to my readers in three ish sentences?

Street Preacher is somewhat inspired by Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” That is to say, I was reading that a lot while I wrote my novel. Mine, however, is about the struggle to find faith beyond just simply saying “I believe” or affiliating with a church. This struggle is observed by various characters that each reflect different views of faith. There is John who is the protagonist. George who has no faith. Marty who is a sort of jaded, ministry-worn sort of Christian. Jennifer is an idealist. And Walter usually comes into the book to speak truth, though he is not without his faults.

Who is your favourite character from the book and why?

My favorite character is Walter, because he authentically loves others despite his own homeless situation. It was tempting to make him perfect so I had to add a bit of pride to him, but I think that is common. Even at our best, we all struggle somewhere.

Is there anything in the book you wish you had changed now that it’s out there in the world; a different sub-plot or maybe a new character completely? (I love asking this question!)

If I were to add more to this book, I would have developed Marty a little more. He runs the shelter, so he cares, but he also has an almost jaded view from working there so long


So is this the only book in the series? (Or will there be more?)

This book is not part of a series, no.

Do you have any other books, or plans to write more?

I have two other projects in the works.  I am writing a book of my own struggles with depression and I am writing a novel about a police detective tracking down a serial killer. The theme of that book is vengeance vs justice.

Where can my readers follow more of your writing?

People can learn all about my writing, plus read blogs and poetry at

So there we go, a lovely little post with the author Aaron Davis! Have a fantastic evening and thank you to this wonderful author for letting me feature his book on MLBB!





3 days, 3 quotes, tag! Day 2.


Hellllllo and welcome back to the THREE DAYS THREE QUOTES TAAAAAAGGG. After being tagged in this many a time I’ve decided to finally to complete it and share some fantastic quotes with you.

I want to do a life update soon because there’s quite a few things I have to share with you and I want to write a post about it, but I really want to cover wherever I live with hella bookish quotes. Not just these ones but a selection – maybe some of these will make it because I tend to prefer less well known quotes but we’ll see.


I’ve chosen this quote because, I feel like this is a bit of a book that has been forgotten. The noughts and crosses series was the first YA book/series that I really, really read. I adored this series of books and yet I don’t this it’s got the recognition it deserved. I also adore Malorie Blackma’s writing just generally and I really need to read more.

If you haven’t read/heard of the Nought’s and Crosses book here’s the blurb, although I hope you have! It’s a fantastic series.


Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

^ this book broke me and the series even more.

SO, today I’m tagging M from M Read’s Books so complete this tag and come back tomorrow for another quote! 

Of Wisdom and Valor by Aleksandra Layland


Helllllllo readers, hope you’re well and ready for an excellent but really LONG post so I won’t be here long. I’ve got a fantastic Q+A with Aleksandra Layland and her book Of Wisdom and Valor.

If you were to describe your book in only three sentences what would you say? (They don’t have to be short sentences!)

Sometimes shorter is best. Specifically, for “Of Wisdom and Valor:”

  1. The good guys win in the end, and you’ve never seen a war like Leofric plans one, but “luck” or “providence” can still have a critical role to play in who survives in the end.
  2. The love stories are touching, and there are several; love is truly the force that holds the universe together and it can transform even the dustiest of hearts into one of passion for life.
  3. In its small way, this novel is also a subtle salute to those who protect and defend us in a dangerous world, and to their families who love and support them while they do so.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most? Who would you say is your favourite?

This a hard one because I really enjoyed writing three characters more than any others: the heroine, Keridwen: the hero, Leofric; and Leofric’s friend and lieutenant, Wulfgar. Since Keridwen and Leofric are no surprise (if an author doesn’t enjoy writing about their hero and heroine, they need to replace them!) and are impressive as the main characters, let me address Wulfgar. He surprised me the most because the more I wrote about him, the more his role in the story increased and the more I liked him. Although Kimbria is not in our time, and is a world not of our own, I see Wulfgar in my head as somewhat of a tall, reddish-haired (close-cropped on the head, and only short growth on the face), man in his early forties who can be absolutely uplifting with his good humor, joking, and teasing. He’s charming and very approachable, yet you want to get out of his way if he loses his temper. The good news is, his temper is the quick kind… it may be quick on, but it’s always quick off, and he’s loved by the men-at-arms who serve under him for all he can break into a swearing session if something “stupid” or irritating happens.


Did you learn anything from writing your book and if so what was it?

I learned a lot of technical things. Although the story isn’t set here on our own Earth, I used our experiences and civilizational developments in building the world in which Kimbria is located. The indigenous people, the Kimbrii, are a sort of blend between medieval Vikings in appearance and early age Polynesians in culture, such as wearing Viking-inspired dress, dancing and chanting in ancient Hawaiian-inspired movements, and originally skilled in hand-to-hand combat inspired by Maori greenstone weaponry. When they become a horse people, I used the native American, European, and Asian horse cultures as models for their mounted archery. (These cultural differences are spelled out in the first book in the trilogy, Ansgar: The Struggle of a People. The Triumph of the Heart.)

I should add that something else I’ve learned much more about while writing the book is my English heritage. I knew my mother’s paternal grandparents were English, but I didn’t know where from or any other details until I worked on our family genealogy after I retired. To honor those roots, which come from northern England, I incorporated my mother’s maiden name of “Layland” into my pen name; and adopted place names and even the name of the indigenous people, the Kimbrii, from the counties and peoples where my English ancestors lived. (If you’re curious, “Aleksandra” is a nod to my father’s Polish roots.) In the bigger picture, I learned how long it takes me to write a book. I type with two fingers! The idea for the love story of Keridwen and Leofric came to me in my twenties, in dreams. I’ve only been able to finally write it in my sixties, as well as to add to it the rest of the other books which fill out the Windflower Saga trilogy and book series.

Is there a message in your novel that you wanted your readers to grasp?

Very much so. Each of the novels in the trilogy as well as the three related novellas that I’ve completed so far, have a specific theme. “Of Wisdom and Valor” is very much focused on the struggle between good and evil, both within an individual and within a society, as it expressed in the forces that contribute to war and peace. The individual struggle is personified in the character of Gethin, or Lord Gethin as he became. A sort of “con man on steroids,” one to whom the lives of others means nothing.  This individual struggle is captured in the phrase, “Every child can become the light of the world, or its darkness.” On the societal level, the struggle is characterized by corruption in all levels of society, from the monarchy, the religious hierarchy, and down.

 The theme is that corruption in society should be fought, not necessarily by war, although this situation came down to it, but by the commitment and involvement of citizens to demand and bring about good governance, and to hold public officials, religious leaders, and their fellow citizens accountable. Overall, the Windflower Saga is meant to be uplifting in spirit, even though it deals with some very harsh realities of life.


What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

My mother took me to the library as a small child and I learned to love to read. Both of my parents, though they had only a high school (that the American term) education, loved to read. My dad, who was a brick and stone masonry contractor, use to say that he graduated from the University of National Geographic magazine. And the hardest decision my mom had to make the few times we moved from one part of the US to another, was leaving books behind because there wasn’t room in the moving truck to take them. I use to go to the library as a child, as soon as I was old enough to walk there on my own, and rove the shelves, taking an armload home and bringing an armload back, every two or three weeks. I read all sorts of things, both fiction and non-fiction, but I really enjoyed history and biography a lot.

What are you writing next? Is there a second book on the way?

Of Wisdom and Valor is the second book in the Windflower Saga trilogy (the other two are Ansgar and Far Haven), which I wrote last year, along with three novellas (The Feathered Crown, Far Endeavor, and Bind Not the Heart) that relate to characters in the trilogy. I also just finished two small picture books for kids (Tiyo, the Dog Who Saved Ansgar and Bright Star, A Pony of the Kimbrii) and a short “chapter book” (Keri and Kalina) for young readers. I’m currently working on a “middle grade” novel called Golden Skye of Ansgar, which actually tells something more of the lives of Leofric and Keridwen, when the last of their children is born and they are about to abdicate from the throne as joint monarchs after serving the people of Kimbria for twenty years. Two novellas for young adults and three other novellas are on my plate. They will complete the Windflower Saga book series.

Finally, where can my readers find out more about you and your writing?

I have an author’s page on Amazon. After I finish the novels and novellas in the series, I hope to prepare an “illustrated companion and author’s commentary” in which I can tell the story of what inspired the series, things about the characters that were cut out during editing, etc. The questions I’ve often wished I could ask an author who was no longer with us.





Audio Excerpt from the novel “Of Wisdom and Valor”

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of (?) Genre

Hellllllllllo readers, the topic for today’s TTT kinda scares me, but mostly because I’m actually not going to do a genre. I’m going to list my top ten favourite books at the moment. I know I’m not the kind of person to really list my ‘favourite’ books but I thought it might be time to tell you which ones make the list time after time after time.

This is my all-time favourite chick-lit book. I have read this maybe eight times and it just makes my heart want to cry a little. It’s one of those books that just makes me so goddamn happy. The characters are really well written and likable, it has exciting sub-stories and it’s just brilliantly written.

This book got me through a hell of a lot and I’m really tempted to read it again soon but I’m a bit worried about the memories it will drag up. That’s the problem with books; I think feelings and memories really stick to the bloody pages and leave you feeling a little like a moron. This book however if you’re feeling heartbroken is a bloody winner.

I  have always adored this book quite a bit; Orwell has forever been an author that has inspired me to write due to the number of different genres and books he has managed to create and craft. This book has given me so many feels and really made me fall in love with Orwell’s writing. He has this way with words that I think no one else has.

This is a book I read recently but that doesn’t mean that it can’t rank highly on my list of fantastic books. I bought this for 20p from a book store that was closing down in Hanley. I picked it up because of the words book club and the cover, covered in leaves. It ended up being a book that helped me breathe again. That helped me realise the person I wanted to be.

This also only recently made it into my top ten books of the moment but it’s one I’m going to read again soon. Sometimes a book only needs to relate a little bit to really make you fall in love with an author. The running, the stress on the main character, the writing style, the beauty of the plot and the running. This book was stunning.

This book, well if you’re yet to read this book then it’s just something you will one day have to get a copy of, sit down and read. This book gave me so many feels, so many shivers. It tells the life of a man that’s going to die, but instead of feeling sad about that he wants to leave lectures that explain, mainly to his children, but also to us, how we can live our lives to the fullest. It’s a stunner.

I feel like the books I’ve picked aren’t very impressive? Like I could have picked 10 super impressive books. Like Ulysses or Great Expectations, but I would rather pick this. It’s a stunning book or romance, love, friendship and forgiveness. Written in an incredible writing style it really is a beauty.

FInally, because there have been two last spots in my list of books for a long time, The Book Thief. I adore this book; it is just the perfect historical fiction – if you haven’t read it you need to because, well, it’s probably top three.

Digital Detoxing (with a book obvs.)

DigitalDetoxing (2)

Helllllllo readers, interesting post today and I know it’s been done before but I wanted to talk about my personal experience with Digital Detoxing. Many of you will know the last couple of years my self-esteem has really dropped. I don’t know when it happened but I kinda felt like I lost part of Lizzy. She kinda fell away like a shadow. For a year (a WHOLE FUCKING YEAR) I just struggled through. Then recently I decided it all needed squashing, my insecurities needed stamping on with both feet.

Anyone that struggles with low-mood and anxiety based wobbles will know then when you’re in that frame of mind your memory and your ability to concentrate just GOES. Well, I was work a month or so a go, and I took my laptop into work and then I left without it. AND I COULDN’T GET IT BACK. So, there I was, in this total confusion and facing an evening alone with my own thoughts. Well what happened instead was  I pulled my socks up, and I had a digital detox and IT FELT FUCKING AMAZING. So, here is my recipe for a bladdy brilliant digital detox.

Bath (OR Fricken awesome shower singing session.)

Okay, so this just might be me, but when I’m feeling insecure there are two ways I can go. It either has to be a really sumptuous bath with a lovely Lush bath-bomb, something like the Frozen Let it Go (Geddit) or something really colourful and glittery or it’s a shower singing session with some really fruity scented shower gel something like the Imperial Leather Mango.

Whichever you feel able to do, do it. Get clean, get those wobbles out of your mind and your chest (they settle there don’t they.)  



I absolutely adore a hot chocolate and I’m an absolute sucker for a really heavy, rich one covered in cream and marshmallows, but when I’m feeling a little anxious there are normally struggles about my weight too, so I try to keep a bit healthier. I absolutely adore the Options Hot Chocolate Sachets; they taste delicious even if you mix them with water, and you can use hot milk if you do feel like making it creamier. I ADORE the limited edition Belgian Choc Sweet Popcorn flavour.



Throw yourself into the snuggliest, comfiest clothes that just make you feel fricken amazing. Whether they’re covered in unicorns or they’re splattered with stars; GET THEM ON. I promise your freshly washed pajamas (if possible,) are an absolute hunk. I think this emoji set are to die for. 


 SNuggle up in bed (and turn everything off)

So you’re hella comfy but what next; for me it has to be getting into bed, setting an alarm for the morning and then turning my phone onto do not disturb. It can be tempting to just turn it on silent but I really that turning DND on and shutting it in a drawer is the only way I will really, really ignore my phone. Also getting into bed and pulling the duvet on or snuggling on the sofa with the blanket is a welcome distraction from my blinking and buzzing phone.



I really feel like so many of us don’t read enough any more –  I always see bloggers and youtubers going on about the last time they read a book was MONTHS ago (or the last time they went on a really beautiful holiday.) Well folks, it’s time to dip back into that holiday bag and pull out a tried and tested book. For me if I’m having wobbles in my life then I want something that falls far from the tree – so  I want a book that lets me step back.





Sleep. That is all.

So that is my list for people that need some time to step back and BREATHE. It’s okay to get things wrong. It’s okay as long as you learn and don’t let it get to you. A digital detox and a space to get away might be just what you need.