The Other Twin – LV Hay

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved?
And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her?

What happened to Poppy’s sister? Was it suicide, or was she pushed? Poppy isn’t convinced it’s the former, so starts digging into her sister’s life, revealing a host of secrets that others would far rather have remained firmly buried.

The Other Twin is a smart psychological thriller, with an expertly woven web of twisted plot strands. There are secrets, lies and half-truths buried in the wintry lanes of Brighton, and Hay delivers an authentic taste of the city and its inhabitants as the tension ramps up and Poppy gets deeper into the mystery.

Poppy is a compelling heroine, drawn inexorably into the sometimes murky lives of her friends and family. It’s been some time since she was last home, and the people she knew have changed – who’s telling the truth and who’s bending the truth? I loved Poppy’s detective work into her sister’s life through the medium of blog posts, each throwing a new slant on what she thought she knew of her sister. Who is the mysterious Jenny? How is she linked to Poppy’s former boyfriend Matthew, his sister Ana, or any of the other key players?

The Other Twin is a relatively short read and I whistled through it in a couple of sittings. The writing is sharp and smart, the twists and turns nicely paced, and the characters well-drawn. Highly recommended.

The Other Twin by LV Hay is published by Orenda Books, and is available now. You can find Lucy on twitter @LucyVHayAuthor or at her website
Many thanks to Karen at @OrendaBooks for the review copy.


Day nine of Blog Every Day in November, and today we’re talking blogging.

Lego Tourist Guy

I’ve pinched Janet’s questions from her blogpost on the same topic – I’ve talked about blogging before on here a few times, but I quite liked these questions. She assures me that she doesn’t mind me using them. You should go over and read her post too.

How and when did you decide to start blogging?
It was back in March of 2003 – I’d always fancied starting some sort of blog and my friend Jon invited me to set up a Livejournal blog. Ten years and over ten thousand blog posts later, here I am. Livejournal used to be a real community place where the conversations in the comments were often more entertaining than the posts themselves. LJ is still going, but a lot of my friends on there have migrated over to Facebook, Twitter or Google+, or a combination of the three. Some have even ended up on wordpress or blogger. Some have, sadly, vanished off the face of the internet.

What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
I used to have a blog (actually, I used to have lots of blogs) called That took a lot of explaining. Then one day I woke up from a dream in which I was drinking in a coffee shop called Espresso Coco, decided that it was far to lovely a name not to have, and promptly acquired the domain I sat on it for a while, wondering quite what to do with it. Then I decided it was the perfect name for a blog, set it up on and here we are. I may link it up to at some point if I can find the funds to do so.

What’s the best post you’ve ever written?
In terms of pageviews, it’d be stationery geek, but it’s really hard to choose a personal favourite. I had huge fun writing the Bond Skyfall one and the one about the perfect movie length, and the top ten Discworld books post generated a load of discussion over on Twitter.

I’ve also got one in draft about the Sam Neil Haircut Theory, but you’ll have to wait for that one. #tease

What are your favourite and least favourite things about blogging?
Favourite things are easy – I love the process of writing and coming up with stuff. I found this with photography, noticing the little things which others might have missed. It’s great fun writing a post and setting it loose, generating conversations with new people and learning new stuff.
Least favourite? Spending ages crafting a lovely blog post and watching as it gets no comments, no mentions, nothing on Twitter. Wondering if it was as interesting written down as it was to me in my head…

Right. Question time. Tell me about your favourite blogs and bloggers. Bonus points for links!

D is for…


day 8 - 08-20-11

That’s me. Hi.

My name is Dave. I’m a blogger, cyclist, photographer, writer, geek, juggler, caffeine junkie, the list of labels is as long as your arm. Married, father of two, the irrepressible EB and Ms LB.

I go by the username dakegra online. It’s pronounced dah-keh-gruh, though I’ve heard it pronounced various different ways – dah-kee-grah, dake-grah, dake-gray. It’s made up of the first two letters of my first and middle names, and the first three of my surname.

I decided to use it many years ago when I was looking for an good username. It’s got the advantage of being fairly short and also (more importantly) unique. If you see a dakegra around the internet, chances are it’s me. Unless they’re doing something naughty, in which case it’s definitely someone else. 🙂

In my time I’ve studied astrophysics and information systems, worked as a librarian in a big law firm, designed and built automated workflow systems and mortgage forms, done a bit of coding, worked for various financial services companies and am now doing clever things with digital in central Leeds.

I do a bit of writing – I’ve written a few short stories, including one *very* short one which was published in a very swish glossy coffee-table magazine. I’ve even ‘won’ NaNoWriMo, but only once.

I like cycling too – in June 2012 I cycled 100km around London, at night. I’ve written a fair bit recently about bikes & stuff.

I write about all sorts of weird & wonderful things. You may have noticed. This blog doesn’t really have a focus as such – I tend to write about anything that comes to mind. A mishmash of thoughts that fall out of my head, though there tends to be a fair amount of coffee, photography, books, bikes and allotmenteering.

I set up this blog to talk about any and all of the above. You can also find me on flickr, twitter and other places around the internet.

Or you can email me:

I like emails.

follow the humming…

I present for your consideration a new blog I’ve started following, followthehumming | Then and now, and some bits in between.

Andrew is using the 10 years of diaries he kept from 1985 to look at what’s changed between then and now. Looking at such things as Elite, why a Kindle is more than just reading and why we used to call places, not people. It’s an interesting blog, well worth following.

You can follow him on Twitter too, at @followthehum. Ten points to anyone who gets the reference in the blog title.

All this talk of diaries made me realise that I missed my ten-year anniversary of starting a blog. It was on 13th March, 2003, to be exact, over on LiveJournal. I’ve had a variety of blogs in a variety of places since, but the LJ blog is still going.

I’ve made dozens of friends around the world, and posted an awful lot of stuff.  In fact, it’s 10,109 journal entries, with 34,840 comments posted and 62,420 comments received. I know that’s over ten years, but, like whoah, dude. That’s totally a lot. </Keanu>

Anyway, via the wonder that is LJ Archive I’ve, well, archived it all to a handybendy archive on my PC, dropboxed it up so I don’t lose it, and can use it to see what I was up to, ten years ago. Full credit to the Chief Hummer for the idea. *hat tip*

Back in 2003 we were down in Kent, visiting the in-laws. We’d gone to the beach and Ed was communing with the sand and eating ice cream. I was laid up in bed, watching Kind Hearts and Coronets. Brilliant film.

Ten years on and young master Ed still likes nothing more than a good day out down the beach, more or less irrespective of what the weather is doing, and, of course, ice creams, and  I still think Kind Hearts and Coronets is a fantastic film. So, not much has changed in that respect. Hopefully future entries will be somewhat more enlightening.

So, dear reader. I give you a shiny new blog to follow, and a new blog series from YT.

Watch this space. And follow the humming…

reblogged: I would not believe it unless I’d seen it

I can watch Danny MacAskill do amazing things on bikes all day. Never seen someone do the same sort of things on a ten grand racing bike though…

I would not believe it unless I’d seen it.


A conflagration of blogs

Recently I decided that it was time to relaunch my blog. I’ve been blogging in various guises and on various sites since 2003.

The trouble was that I’ve got too many blogs.

For example, I’ve got blogs on livejournal, blogger, two on wordpress (main one, one about my adventures in allotmenteering) a couple on Posterous (main one, one about skyrim (the amusingly named ‘an arrow to the knee‘, one about enjoyable sentences), two on Tumblr (one main one as well as one set up with a friend to post photos of coffee) as well as a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+ and so on.

They were all interlinked, and cross-posted to each other in various ways – a post to my will update @dakegra on Twitter and trigger a post on wordpress to my defunct Somewhere along the line gets updated and probably triggers another post to @dakegra.

Posts to would update @coffeecuppics on Twitter and trigger posts to… oh, I don’t know. Somewhere.

Horribly complicated.

So I’ve decided to start afresh. Sort of[1]

I’d bought the domain name earlier this year, having woken up from a dream in which I was drinking in a coffee shop of that name, decided that it was far to lovely a domain not to have, and promptly acquired it. I’ve sat on it ever since, wondering quite what to do with it.

And now I know.

So, welcome to espresso coco. Home of my ramblings, cool things I’ve found on the internets, photos of interesting coffee, ruminations on life in Leeds, thoughts about Skyrim, ponderings on various other subjects, with the odd enjoyable sentence thrown in for good measure.



[1] I’ve taken some/most of the content of the various other blogs and imported them here.

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