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The month that was: April

What happened:
Goodbye April, you fabulous month! The first thing that happened was Easter, which involved lots of yummy food and last-minute bits and bobs to finish off the launch and book tour of Lost. That's because I only finished the first draft at the end of January so editing and launch prep took place over an intense two-month period, which also included 40 hours of consultancy work, each week, for many of those weeks... when April 7th rolled round, it was the strangest feeling.

Lost has now had its launch and the book tour is complete. I'm thrilled with the reviews Lost has received, so far, and I'm so pleased that everyone who has read it is excited about Found, the third book in the Arielle Lockley series.

(If you've read Lost, please leave a review on Amazon when you get chance - I appreciate them so much, and they really do help me out as an indie author.)

I'm also thrilled that on the launch day of Lost, Kept went to #4 in the overall Amazon.co.uk best sellers (free) chart and #1 in the humour (free) chart. Kept also made it to #25 in the humour (paid) chart, and stayed in the UK top 100 humour chart for just over two weeks. *proud face*

I finished work mid-April, so caught up with some life admin, including going to the hairdressers. I am not a fan of the hairdressers, and hadn't been since December - oops - I became less of a fan upon learning that my hairdresser has left the salon to work in a bank, of all things! Thankfully, my new hairdresser did my hair beautifully. 

I headed to the land of Arielle's parents to have a birthday lunch with my parents, aunt and uncle (Olly has just started a new job so couldn't take the day off), and to give my dad the keys to my flat since we headed out to Morocco a few days later to celebrate my birthday. (He was down for Comps-sitting.) It was a fleeting visit, but lovely to see the family, plus the sun was shining on the Jurassic Coast - always cheering! (It's *so* Enid Blyton there - Kirrin Castle was based on nearby Corfe Castle, and you can just picture the Famous Five hiding in that gorse. Smugglers ahoy!)

As for Morocco, I'll be blogging all about it soon, but it was a mixed holiday. I had a gorgeous day on my birthday, and there were parts of the holiday I really loved, but we had a lot of hassle from some locals - sometimes aggressive - who seemed to be under the impression that tourists are walking cash machines to extort money from. Still, I turned thirty - gulp - in the scorching sunshine, and I had a fabulous birthday. {^_^}

What I ate:
I went back to Dirty Bones as their guest after my bad experience last month, and this time round things were much better. The service was spot-on, and the food we chose was a lot tastier. I can highly recommend their Mutt's Nuts cocktail and, if you're there on a Wednesday, their Fried Chicken Special is such great value!

The day after my book launch, I had my favourite Bún gà Huế from Pho for lunch - I ruddy love Pho - and a delicious chicken and chorizo burger from Deliverance for dinner. Deliverance tends to be on the pricier side for takeaway food but, man, their food is tasty. It was a very greedy day that day!

I enjoyed a dim sum dinner at Ping Pong with my friend Hayley in April - hello to their ginger and limoncello caipirinha - and tried out Bengal Clipper with friends. The Bengal Clipper is a nice and reasonably-priced Indian restaurant in Shad Thames, a great little part of London, and it's worth bearing in mind if you ever fancy Indian and you're in the London Bridge area.

We cooked so much yummy food at home in April, including LOTS of lamb dishes. There was a roast lamb dinner for Easter, obviously, and we then used the leftover lamb to make this simple lamb tagine with lemon couscous. Jamie's Guinness lamb shank was another dish, and I recreated the Persian lamb couscous dish I discovered via Gousto. (Use this recipe for baharat as you probably won't find this spice mix in the supermarket!)

I also went to Lord Bute in Highcliffe for a family birthday lunch before I headed to Morocco. Their three-course lunch menu is awesome value, and also very tasty (pictures below are two of my courses... Yes, that's more lamb!). As for Morocco, I will be blogging soon about the food we ate there, but I can report it was full of delicious dishes. I had a very happy tummy in April!


What I watched:

Better Call Saul ended - I thought the last episode was a little slow but, overall, I enjoyed the first season - but that was OK because the news season of Game of Thrones started in April. Woohoo! I'm also really enjoying Lip Sync Battle - as someone who *cannot* sing but would love to be able to, I would be perfect on this show!

Film-wise, from what I can recall, I watched Divergent, The Art of the Steal, A Beautiful Mind, Chef, Begin Again, The Pursuit of Happyness, and the latest X-Men film. I enjoyed Chef the most, out of these.

What I read:
In April, I read 23 books! But, I had no book to write, plus I also joined Kindle Unlimited which spurred on my reading. As always, you can find all my book ratings over on Goodreads. My favourite reads this month though were: The Paper Magician and The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg.

I also really liked Prey by James Carol, Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch, Follow the Leader by Mel Sherratt, Second Time Lucky by Sophie King, Fat Chance by Nick Spalding, Because She Loves Me by Mark Edwards, From the Cradle by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards, and The Venus Trap by Louise Voss.

How was your month? x

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