poorly pug

I’ve Been Away For a Long Time – Here’s Why… #MPBooks

poorly pug
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Hi everyone!  I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’ve been away the last few weeks.  Although my posts have gone out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’m sure many of you have noticed how I haven’t been around to answer comments and read and comment on many other people’s blogs.  Some of you may have read my previous post in February where I explained what’s been happening, well today I have an update.

in pain
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The last month or so has been a bit of a nightmare for me.  Apart from the boiler breaking down during the coldest part of the last month (yes that snowy frozen part of February – great time for the boiler to pack it in!), in February I also suffered some kind of strange injury around my rib cage which left me in such great pain I’ve found it hard to move.  The most basic of movements like turning around in bed or even lifting myself out of bed has been super painful that I’ve come close to screaming it’s been that painful.  I was told by one doctor that I might have dislocated something in my rib cage.  The doctor was a little difficult to get a straight answer out of so I found another who said I might have pulled a muscle.  Well, this pain wasn’t going away so I was sent off to the hospital for two days of tests!


I’ve been prodded and poked, had numerous blood tests, x -rays, and other checks done.  The results of which showed that I haven’t broken something…phew, but I do need to rest and relax completely and not strain myself in the area which is hard as it means I can’t pick up anything heavier than a bag of flour as I feel pain if I pick up anything heavier!   The doctors then sent me home….

check up
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Once I’d got home though I got a call that I needed to come back into hospital, and quick!  This was bizarre, I’ve been told by a GP to go to hospital but never had the hospital themselves call me back.  So off I went to the hospital as it was getting late.  When I got there I was subjected to yet more tests before the doctors finally told me I had a dangerous imbalance of electrolytes in my body!  I’m now taking these tablets to help balance out my electrolytes and I’ve been allowed to go home but it was quite dramatic at the time!  My mum actually likened it to an episode of ‘House’ as the doctors were constantly trying to figure out what was wrong with me!

I’m now back home and taking it easy.  The complete rest seems to be doing my body good, I think I’m recovering as I’m able to turn in bed now without shooting pain, but I’m taking it very slowly as I don’t want anything to flare up before its fully healed.  During this whole time I’ve tried spending time on my laptop or phone but to be honest my mood has been so low the last few weeks that I decided to just rest and sleep more than anything else 😮 !

But now I’m officially back 😀 although it will take me some time to catch up with everything.  I’ve written just one review today, the only one in the last three weeks, but am now enjoying myself a lot more, feeling positive and far better so I’ll be returning to my normal blogging hopefully soon in the next few weeks.  For now I’m still taking my time so I hope you won’t mind if I am not fully active here yet (no daily blog posts just yet) but I will post as often as I can and post more than just reviews.  I’ll also start visiting blogs more often too and reply to you guys.

Wordpress anniversaryThank you for all the support you’ve all given me in the last few weeks and this past year.  To add to the celebration WordPress gave me this anniversary badge for registering a year ago.  It’s not quite the time I launched my blog but it’s still something to celebrate :)

In the meantime, while I get my bearings and back into things why not tell me about any exciting news you’ve had, or been doing this last few weeks while I’ve been away?

Don’t  forget to follow me in these places too if you’d like, just click on the link(s) below to visit 🙂 ! 

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February 2018 Early Round-up #MPBooks

Picture of reading in bed
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Hello everyone.  I hope you are all well and having a great February.  I’m sure plenty of you know or if you didn’t might have spotted that I’ve been less active than usual.  I’ve reduced my posting schedule to just three a week (going out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), been slow to reply to comments and I’ve not been around much on everyone else’s blogs.  No it hasn’t been a love of the Winter Olympics that’s kept me away, although I will admit that I am a fan of watching both the summer and winter Olympics.  First I’d like to apologise for being away for quite a bit.  Things have been a bit uphill in my personal life lately.  Apart from planning a move and the stress and complications of that and other things, I’ve had a bit of an accident too which has put me in a bit of a low mood recently.

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January 2018 Round-up #MPBooks

Picture of reading in bed
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So the first month of January feels as if it has flown by and I’ve been very busy.  Not only have I managed to post a lot of stuff on my blog and get back to pre-scheduling most posts, but I’ve also been busy in the offline world.  My time with blogging is going to be hampered a little bit though over the next month as I’ll be away for a bit, but I’ll still keep reading (I just can’t help but love reading!) and do my best to not let it look like I’ve disappeared.  To those kind friends who worry, don’t worry, I’m not pushing myself or anything, I have a lot of pre-saved posts all ready to go so you might not even notice I’m gone! lol  In the online world I also have some more exciting news to share but I want to save that until a little later when I’m sure everything’s going well.  So anyway, on to what’s happened in the last month…Read More »

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Goodbye 2017 Hello 2018 #MPBooks

New Year 2018
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Another year has passed by and with it I want to take a brief look at last year, the things that happened as well as a look at what I hope will happen in the future.

2017 has been a year of ups and downs for me personally but I ended it on a high.  It’s my first year of blogging here at My Peacock Books and I’ve loved it!  I’ve developed a blog that feels personal to me, shows off my personality and I enjoy having fun with it but at the same time I’ve been able to connect with some amazing people out there, including some brilliant bloggers.

For less than a year of blogging (I started here in April) I’m amazed that my blog has had nearly 6,000 views, well over 3,000 visitors, 2,567 likes and a total of 510 followers (social media included)!  Thank you so much to everyone who has visited, liked, commented and followed.  You’ve really made me feel welcome in the blogging world and I can’t thank you enough.

So which posts have been the most viewed of all last year?

Books in bedThe most viewed post with over 200 views is What Makes A Book Young Adult / YA Versus Just Adult?  This post was my first real article/discussion post and has been read again and again.  I still haven’t written up a follow up to this, apologies, but I will do this year and hopefully soon.  It’s a post I’d still love to hear new opinions on so please do visit and comment if you haven’t already.

user satisfactionThe next most popular post with 143 view is Free Books/ARCs Help the Publishing Industry so Stop Complaining!  This post has had a bit of a mixed reception.  Some people agreeing with my view that books given free for review are nothing to complain about, but it’s brought up some interesting debates over book piracy and it’s something I plan to look into more in future.

correctingIn third place for most viewed thing, with just under 90 views is Does Editing in Books Matter?  I’ve always had issues with books and editing, personally believing that books should be as well edited as possible, but there are varying views and it’s great to read some of them and see what others think.

So all three of my most viewed posts have been articles.  In fact virtually all my articles have topped all other posts as being the most popular proving I should write more 😉   However I want to show off a range of my posts and I can’t help but laugh at the 4th most viewed thing on this blog…my About page!!! 😮  Sure if you want to know more about me please do visit (I’ve recently updated it) but really, I didn’t expect that to be so popular with 85 votes!

Picture of a sad girl

One of my poems got very high views (47) Is This The Final Goodbye?   It was written for Metal Health Awareness week and there’s more than just a poem in this post but a lot about mental health awareness, as well as a true story of some of what I’ve been through.  It’s never easy to write about yourself but I hope it was well received and if you do take a look I hope it doesn’t upset too much.

The Lost Sentinel book coverThe book review with the highest votes (45) is for a book I would still recommend today and that’s The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson.  I know the author’s brilliant ability to immerse you into a dark and exciting fantasy world, having read her previous book Visions of Zarua, however The Lost Sentinel is her newest work and so much happens in this story, it’s a really great read!

And a fun one to end with.  The arty post with the most views, a photograph, is this one, Pedestrian Pigeons, for the weekly photo challenge ‘pedestrian’.  It’s of a fun photo of pigeons!  So please take a look if you want 🙂

So, that’s a look at some of my best posts of 2017.  Other news from last year include the fact that I’ve been approached by a new publisher for reviews.  I don’t know if it’s a one-off thing but I’m hoping it’s a regular thing as they have some very interesting books and I’d love to have more to read!  Along with the ups I’ve had some downs though, the worst being my diminishing ability to read digital books.  It’s just something that I can do in small bouts but it gives me headaches so I can’t do it often.

So what do I hope for 2018?  To be honest, more of the same would be wonderful!  I’ve received around 500 followers (more than I imagined I would) and wouldn’t it be amazing to double that?  But in reality even if nobody else followed this blog, I’d still write here as often as I can because I just love writing, blogging and sharing my thoughts with anyone who cares to read them 🙂

Writing in park
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One of the big things I’d really like to do is to get writing more.  I know I have a lot of posts in my head on different subjects but it’s getting around to the actual writing that’s hard.  It’s not just the confidence issue, especially around creative fiction writing, but also a case of not having the time.  Like many of you I’m busy a lot with offline life and sometimes things crop up that means I can’t always write when I want.  Reviews seem to come to me easily, but writing not so well.

I’d like to be able to visit more of your fabulous blogs.  This though is completely dependant on my time and I admit that I am struggling at times.  I’m not able to visit everyone I like as often as I like but I certainly want to get into the groove of being far more active with your blogs so I hope you’ll forgive me when I can’t attend and like to hear from me when I do, lol 🙂

Social media
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Another thing is social media…I’m hopelessly lost on some of them.  I’m not the most active online at least that’s how it looks, it shows when I disappear for days (or occasionally weeks) at a time :/  This is something I hope to get fixed, and get into the habit of knowing how to use these platforms better for my blog so that my channels aren’t boringly repetitive.  The key is to knowing how to use each platform, that way I won’t be entirely lost.  I think maybe I should have just put: be more organised – that seems to be the real goal here!

I plan to set a lower goal of books to read in the Goodreads Challenge.  If I’m honest I’d also like to take a chance or at least a look at some other book challenges too.  Not sure if I’d take part but if you know of any you enjoy let me know 🙂

Image of My Peacock Books logo
Phoenix the Peacock

One more thing that I think I need to work on is the tagline of my blog as well as making it clear to people that Phoenix the Peacock is a mascot (as some have called me Phoenix in 2017! 😮 )  My tagline used to be Books, Art, Poetry & Peacocks!  It’s now changed to Books, Art, Poetry, Peacocks & Lots of Other Stuff! but I’m not sure if that’s imaginative enough or not?  I want something memorable and instantly recognisable.  What do you guys think?

I do have a personal resolution too…I want to work at being happier.  That sounds weird and silly but I make it no secret on this blog that I do sometimes suffer from horrible bouts of depression.  I’m not naturally a depressive person, I don’t want to be at least, but at times it can be overwhelming.  It’s at these times that I struggle personally the most, although it’s also a time of great creativity with much of my darker poetry becoming a cathartic experience and lifting me out of that low.  So this year I hope will be a happier one for me personally…and I also wish that for all of you ❤ 🙂
I may even write more about this subject in the future, it’s not always popular but mental health is a topic that can be misunderstood and can be hard to talk about and I would like to break that barrier, especially on this blog.

So that’s it!  A look back at the best of 2017 and a look to the future of 2018.  There will still be lots of book reviews, poetry, the usual types of posts and hopefully you’ll all continue to enjoy reading 🙂

What are your best moments of last year?  What are you looking forward to this year?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you and love to have more interactions and blogs to read 🙂

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Reading in bed

Late November 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

Reading in bed
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I’ve struggled to get online the past few days, right after blogging about free ARCs my internet’s been sketchy at letting me back online to post more, so apologies for this being late!

Before I begin this post though I’d like to clarify something about my previous post  Free Books/ARCs Help the Publishing Industry so Stop Complaining!  I explained the value of free books and ARCs to the publishing industry but part of the post was taken up with comments (some great comments by the way) which focused on the negative aspect of free books.  This sparked a lot of interesting discussion and thoughts turned not only to the benefits of free books but the negative aspects of piracy among other things.  This is something I’d love to write more about soon and I’ll be doing so as soon as I can.  Thank you all for your thoughts on this subject, it’s great when a blog post you write gets so much interest and discussion back, and a special thank you to everyone who shared the post and followed my blog too thank you 🙂 ❤


November was a fun/not fun month for me.  It was my birthday in the middle of the month (thank you for all the well wishes everyone!) and although this was a happy time, it was spoilt by the fact I developed a horrible virus which left me feeling wiped out physically and very tired, a virus I’m still in the recovery stages of (although don’t worry, it is nothing serious thankfully 🙂 )  So onto November’s highlights:

user satisfactionNovember’s most popular post: Free Books/ARCs Help the Publishing Industry so Stop Complaining! was only published on the last day and has been viewed so many times it’s the second most viewed post on this blog after What Makes A Book Young Adult / YA Versus Just Adult?, with over 100 views already and counting! 😀  Please check out the post if you haven’t already and leave your thoughts on the subject.

The second most popular post on this blog was surprisingly a photography on the subject of ‘temporary’featuring berries!  If you enjoy looking at photographs or just want to see what all the fuss is about then please do check out this post by clicking to see it 🙂  PhotoChallenge: Fragile Berries 

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The third most popular post was a book review of a simple yet interestingly surreal picturebook called Piggybook by Anthony Browne  and just edged ahead of my only poetry post of the month Distant Sun (pictured) which is a very short poem and not my usual style.


Plans for December…

So onto next month and what is in store for this blog in December?  Well I finally feel I’ve gained back my ability to write and with my last post being so well received I plan to write a lot more, it also helps that I’ve cleared a heavy backlog of book reviews by posting them almost every day in November.  I still have some reviews to share but there will definitely be a lot more other content too.

Goodreads 2017 challengeI fear my own Goodreads reading challenge to read 60 books in 2017 will be left unfinished :/  I read over 50 books last year but this year I’ve taken a lot more time off reading and read some longer books too which meant I didn’t read as many, plus I’ve had far more freedom to add different content to this blog so I’ve been focusing more on other projects and not just books to read and review.   I think I’ll set a new target next year, a little lower, but has anyone else ever failed their reading challenge?  Anyone going to accomplish it this year?

Tomorrow’s blog post will be a book review, the book review, of Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki which got the unpleasant comment and unhelpful vote on amazon (which by the way threw my amazon ranking down about 40 places 😮 😦 )  I would never solicit positive votes from anyone as I value my own integrity as a reviewer but if you ever enjoyed any of my reviews (or that of any other reviewers) and happened to find them on amazon UK or Goodreads you can always let us know by way of clicking ‘helpful’ or ‘like’ 😉

Also, expect lots of Christmassy stuff happening this month and more articles/discussion posts on various subjects, as well as me sorting out my social media which on some channels (Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc.) has been a little slow and stagnant 🙂

Hope you all had a great November!  What are your plans for the coming month?  Anyone looking forward to this month?

By the way, anyone notice the snow on my blog?  Like it or does it slow down the loading of the blog? Please let me know 🙂  You can also follow me in these places: 

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Cat covering eyes

The Gremlins in my Head #MPBooks

Cat covering eyes
Image from Pixabay.com

For most of yesterday I’ve been feeling like the cat in the picture.  I’ve had a splitting headache, found it hard to function and am struggling hard to shut out thoughts of guilt and sadness which have plagued me since I started coming down with something a few days ago.

I don’t like to admit I’m not feeling good, but the truth is that although the last few days of last week I’d been feeling positive, I started to come down with something and it seems relentless in wanting to put me on bed rest.  I feel like I’ve got a sleeping sickness, I’m just so tired all the time and when I sleep, which has been for most of the last two days, I don’t feel refreshed at all 😦

Though I suspect (and hope) that all I’ve come down with is a nasty virus or similar, it’s the negative impact on my mood that’s really worried me.  I try to keep myself cheerful and upbeat, in fact I want to feel positive, but something inside, almost like a disconnected thing is trying to bring my mood down and bring in all these horrible negative thoughts which ultimately plunge me into depression.

Sometimes it’s been so easy for me in the past to give in to these thoughts, to embrace the pain and horrible feeling they give me of guilt and upset.  It’s been so easy to give up, to let go, to enter that dark realm of dark thoughts that spiral me ever further into a place I can’t crawl back from.  It’s a place, a realm, I’ve sometimes been almost eager to enter, not happy with my own life, my own existence, I’ve found it hard to even want to grab the sides of the long dark pit and crawl out.

But despite that horrid darkness, I stop.  I stop myself going there again.

It doesn’t always work out this way, of course, sometimes I relish being in that realm and enjoy breathing in the mind-choking air, but now I’m discovering I’m stronger than I think.  I can resist the urge to fall into that dark pit, or at the least I hover past its entrance, look down and fight that will to put myself there, to accept that I have to feel that way just because everything in my life seems to want me to.

Today, although I still feel ill and an incredible guilt is filling me for not being able to keep up my personal commitment to check in with all you wonderful people and your blogs, I still resist the urge to get fully depressed.  It’s almost like I’m fighting myself and the happy me is winning this battle.  I refuse to let the depression take hold, to let it throw me into that pit, to make me resist the urge to leave.  Today I am okay.

Does this mean it’s not possible to become depressed like that again?  No.  It just means that today, I’m coping better than I used to with this thing, and I’m determined to not let it control me.

Well I went off-topic here, waaay off-topic and wrote something from the heart based on my emotions and how I’m feeling today.  I am still feeling ill and this post was a real depiction of how I feel and became far more raw than I thought it would be.  I’ll be posting up a lot of book review posts the coming days which I’ve prepared so I can sleep off this (hopefully a virus) thing.  
  Inspired by the daily prompt: Gremlins

Please let me know any of your thoughts you have on this post, I’d love to hear from you (though I might need time to reply as I may be asleep) 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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Birthday Bookish & Arty Treats! #BookHaul #MPBooks

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Whooo! Birthday! Whoooo!



As many of you know I had a birthday on Monday and it was lovely to get some messages from everyone here as well as on various social media and of course at home.  I’ve had a great birthday and spent some time away and apart from a bit of a bout of headaches at the end of the week I’m still feeling very cheerful.  I’ve taken a bit of time away from the blog, though you may not have noticed as I kept putting up my automatic blog posts 😀 .  Not only did I receive lots of lovely birthday presents but also some more book post which felt like a bit of a birthday present, and I also treated myself to some bookish arty treats too!  So I thought I’d share with you some of the books I got myself, beware there’s a definite Christmassy colouring theme!

Firstly I got a great book in the post from Bookbridgr.  I’m very much into books that look at cultural issues and am especially fascinated with things that happen in other countries so I was excited to be approved to read and review this:

A book proof and press release – I love getting proofs it feels kind of special!

The Maid’s Room by Fiona Mitchell – Set in the heat of Singapore, The Maid’s Room follows the lives of two Filipina maids- sisters Dolly and Tala who are working hard to send money back home and British ex-pat Jules who has left her job as a midwife to move to Singapore with husband David.

The book proof also has an unbelievably strong book smell – I’m a book sniffer and proud of it 😜☺️!  The next set of books are also a birthday present.  it combines two things I love: Colouring and stickers!!  I’ve always been a secret sticker-freak and these books let you colour in pictures and add stickers of cats and dogs to make the scenes fun…

Stickers, colouring and animals – bliss!

And finally the books I treated myself to!  I can’t lie, I love Christmas and everything about it!  My family has always enjoyed celebrating Christmas our way, stress-free and making sure we all enjoy it.  I love anything with a Christmassy theme and Christmas pictures are some of my favourites to colour in.  So I treated myself to these three books which are filled with Christmas pictures..

Christmas! (and cats! 🐱)

I’ve also received a new sketchpad and some other great goodies 🙂 So that’s it for my treats post.  Do you like any of the books I’ve received, looking forward to any reviews I might make?  I might just show off the colouring books in more detail in the future 🙂   I’m going to be more active in a few days, I’ve got lots of posts I want to get out and done before Christmas.  Although it’s still November I can tell you that I have Christmas posts lined up already, plus lots more reviews I really want to get done and posted before the end of the year.  I hope you’ll want to stick with me throughout the next few weeks, and a big THANK YOU to everyone who follows, likes, comments and shares this blog.  You guys are the reason I love blogging and keep coming back.  😊😊😇🙃 ❤ ❤ ❤

What do you think of my new book treats?  Are you looking forward to anything special for Christmas?  Have you recently treated yourself of gotten some new books or things? Let me know I’d love to chat with you 🙂  Check me out in these places too: 

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