Tuesday, 17 January 2017

BOOK REVIEW ~ Believing again - A tale of Two Christmases by Martin Crosbie - Cosy read

TITLE - Believing Again ~ A tale of Two Christmases

AUTHOR - Martin Crosbie

KINDLE EDITION - 183 pages

BUY LINKSAmazon UK Amazon US


Two weeks before Christmas, Becky gets what she always wanted. James proposes to her and promises that they’ll have lots of Christmases together.
When Stephen returns home after serving overseas all he wants is to spend Christmas with his new wife, Myra. All he can think about is her touch, her warmth.

A compelling story of two couples, traveling their separate paths, building their lives together, until one day a secret is revealed that changes all of their lives.
And, afterward, nothing will ever be the same again.

Believing Again: A Tale of two Christmases is a heart-warming tale of love, commitment, family, and, of course, Christmas.


This book is two tales intertwined. It starts just before Christmas. There's Becky and James; Stephen and Myra.

Becky and James are college sweethearts who have a romantic courtship and eventually marry.

Stephen is in the Army. Myra is his Sisters Friend and work colleague. Their's is more of a whirlwind romance, and although they hardly knew each other, they married before he headed off to Afghanistan.

The two couples do not know each other, however their worlds collide when tragedy strikes. Then the lies and deceipt appear and their lives change forever.

This wasn't a very long book, in fact it was only about 180 pages log, however the author packed a lot of story lines into this book, and it made for a great read. It was well structured and the author managed to build up the characters with ease in just a few pages.

It only dropped a star rating for me, as towards the final pages, I felt it jumped quite a bit and I would have liked a little more dialogue between the characters which could have been achieved by adding just a few extra pages to the book.


Born in Aberdeen, UK

Website http://martincrosbie.com/

Twitter martinthewriter

In a press release, Amazon called Martin Crosbie’s debut novel My Temporary Life one of their success stories. His self-publishing journey has been chronicled in Publisher's Weekly, Forbes, and Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper. Martin’s recent release The Dead List (A John Drake Mystery) was awarded a publishing contract by Kindle Press.

He’s also the author of My Name Is Hardly - Book Two of the My Temporary Life Trilogy, Lies I Never Told - A Collection of Short Stories, How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon's Kindle - An Easy-To-Follow Self-Publishing Guidebook, 2016 Edition, and Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Christmases.

Martin was born in the Highlands of Scotland and currently makes his home just outside Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Book Review ~The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson - Cosy Read

TITLE - The Christmas Cake Cafe

AUTHOR - Sue Watson

KINDLE EDITION - 258 pages


SYNOPSIS - Heart-warming and hilarious, a story that will make you laugh, cry and bring a smile to your face. Get ready for another deliciously amazing Christmas treat from Sue Watson….

As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose. But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection. Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.

A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.

When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix.

As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?


I got into the cosy Christmas read mood, after reading books by Sue Moorcroft and Mandy Baggot, and someone happened to recommend this.

It mainly centres around Jen; Librarian and long term girlfriend. Just when she thinks that her Boyfriend is going to propose, he actually leaves her. She faces a lonely Christmas.

Her Sister Jody, who is her Dad's younger Daughter from his second marriage, tries to persuade Jen to go on a working holiday with her and her friends in the Swiss Alps. Reluctantly she goes, knowing that her Sister and her friends will be on the lookout for ski instructors and parties.

She manages to find herself a job in a little cafe. At night she went to clubs with Jody and her friends and getting into the spirit of things, she clumsily fell about drunk. Then the unexpected happens and a victim of her clumsiness is a handsome ski instructor. The rest you'll have to read for yourself.

This was a great read; light hearted; funny; warm and with a feel good factor. The characters were well written and descriptive with the most amusing personalities. Although the plot line was a little unbelievable and romantic, it was nonetheless most enjoyable.


Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,' tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she's not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA.'

Sue's second book, 'Younger, Thinner, Blonder' was released in October (2013) and her third book 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cake' is released on June 27th 2014.


Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Book Review - Dead Secret by Janice Frost - Police Procedural

TITLE - Dead Secret

AUTHOR - Janice Frost

PAGES - 302

BUY LINKS - Amazon UK Amazon US

SYNOPSIS - Who killed Amy Hill?Amy Hill, a nineteen-year-old student, is strangled and her body dumped on open ground in the city. New police partners, D.I. Jim Neal and D.S. Ava Merry are called in to investigate this brutal crime. The last person to see Amy alive was Simon, the son of a family friend, but before he can be properly questioned he disappears.

Detectives Neal and Merry are led on a trail of shocking family secrets and crimes. Can this duo track down the murderer before anyone else dies? Stopping this tragic cycle of violence will put D.S. Merry’s life at risk in a thrilling and heart-stopping finale.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.

DEAD SECRET is the first in a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ava Merry and D.I. Jim Neal. Ava Merry is a young policewoman, recently promoted to detective sergeant. She is a fitness fanatic with a taste for dangerous relationships. Jim Neal is a single dad who juggles his devotion to his job with caring for his son.

Set in the fictional Northern city of Stromford, this detective mystery will have you gripped from start to shocking conclusion.


This Author was recommended on a Facebook page I follow. When I read that it was a crime series featuring the same detectives, I thought I'd invest in the series as I'm always look for new authors/crime series to try. I wasn't disappointed.

The main two characters are DCI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry. Their new case is to investigate the murder of a student, Amy Hill.

As with all crime novels there are several suspects; all of them have secrets. Different families become intertwined with lies and deceipt.

I liked how the author developed the new working relationship of the DI and the DS, and I can see them being a formidable duo in the following books.

It was well put together and an imaginative plot, with lots of twists and turns. It left you guessing and just when you thought you knew who the murderer was, you were thrown in the opposite direction. Just how a good crime novel should be. I'm certainly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Also in the Series are Dark Secret and Husbands Secret.


"I am the author of three crime/mystery books featuring Detectives Jim Neal and Ava Merry. All three, Dead Secret, Dark Secret and Her Husband's Secret are set in the imaginary East Midlands city of Stromford
Jim and Ava pairing up to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. It is their first major case together and the two soon discover that they have very different personalities. Neal is
intellectual and considered, Ava clever and occasionally reckless. Both are passionate about the job they do but have to work hard at being an effective team.

Dead Secret reached #13 in the Amazon Kindle Store and Dark Secret reached #10. Both books spent several weeks in the Top 100. Her Husband's Secret was published in November 2016.

I was born and grew up in West Lothian, Scotland. I spent several years living and working in London before moving to Lincolnshire where I currently live with my husband and two grown-up sons. When not reading or writing, I enjoy walking in the hills absorbing the scenery.

I am delighted to be published by the wonderful Joffe Books."

Follow Janice on Goodreads - Click here

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Book Review - A Mothers Confession by Kelly Rimmer

TITLE - A Mothers Confession

AUTHOR - Kelly Rimmer

LENGTH - 354 Pages

- Amazon UK ; Amazon US


Your husband took his own life. Tell the truth and destroy what’s left of your family. Or keep a secret that will tear you apart. What would you do?

Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete.

But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.

Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost… shouldn’t she?

From the bestselling author of The Secret Daughter and Me Without You comes another emotionally gripping and gut-wrenching read about love, loss and the strength of a mother’s love. 


I had heard a lot about this book and when I had the opportunity to read and review it, I jumped at it.

This book really packs a punch. It's a very hard hitting novel, told from the aspects of two women. Two women who played a big part in the life of David; a man who it seemed on the surface, had it all.
There's Olivia the Wife and Ivy the Mother. It started off as a good marriage (although David was controlling before they married) but then it changed.

It was easy to get embroiled into their lives. I got annoyed with David's parents as they couldn't see what he was like. Either that or they just turned a blind eye.

I enjoyed the way the story was told from the eyes of each women, as it gave a different perspective to the world around them. I wanted to shake Olivia though and give Ivy a piece of my mind!

This was a well written and emotional portrayal of life in an abusive relationship and what happens when it comes to an end. As you would expect there is a twist.

This was one of my favourite reads of 2016 and I look forward to reading more books by this author.


"When my childhood friends grew out of make-believe games, I realised that I’d have to become a writer (or join the real world with them, but that seemed far too dull).

Several decades later, I live in rural Australia with my husband Daniel and our two young children, and when I’m not reading, writing, or daydreaming about reading and writing, I have one of those unfathomable IT jobs which no one outside of the industry really knows about."

Contact the author
Website -Click here
Goodreads -Click here
Amazon author page - Click here
Facebook - Click here

Monday, 14 November 2016

My Hearts Desire by Andrea Kane - Historical Romance

My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane Tour Banner

My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane 

  My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane
Book DetailsGenre: Historical Romance
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Number of Pages: ~ 402 Series: Book 1 in "Barrett Family Series
Purchase My Heart’s Desire at: Amazon Barnes & Noble or Add it to your reading list on: Goodreads


Lady Alexandria Cassel scorned London's frivolous social whirl, seeking adventure as a stowaway aboard a merchant ship. Drake Barrett was the vessel's powerful captain—and a cynical duke who disdained a noble's shallow life. At sea he revealed neither his origins nor his wealth, and to Alexandria he was simply a man who made her cool reserve fly with the winds… whose desire for her was as wild as the ocean they sailed.
Caught in the crossfire of war, they were shipwrecked on an idyllic island, where they tasted perfect passion… and tenderness. But Drake dreaded the day of their rescue—when his love would discover that the virile man she adored was at the pinnacle of the aristocracy she despised. Hardly did they suspect the base treachery that would soon threaten them… and the dangers each would brave to join forever their hearts and lives!

Read an excerpt:

No storm could be as fierce as the one that raged in Alexandria’s flashing eyes as she faced Drake across the cabin. Her expression was murderous, her small hands clenched at her sides, her tone lethal.
Drake closed the door behind him with a firm click. “By ‘your clothes’ I presume you mean that dusty gown and shredded chemise you discarded on my cabin floor?” He leaned nonchalantly against the wall, regarding her with amusement.
Alex was too angry to be shocked at his casual mention of her undergarment. “You know damned well what clothes I mean!”
“Now, now … such language, my lady. I am truly shocked.”
She looked as though she might strike him.
“I demand that you return my things at once!”
His brows went up. “You demand? Careful, princess, your snobbish airs are showing. Remember, on this ship the only one who demands is me.” He crossed the room, ignoring her as if she were no more than an annoying child.
She stepped in front of him, blocking his way.
“Did you want something, my lady?” He paused, studying her livid expression. She was as transparent as glass, her anger and exasperation clearly evident on her beautiful face.
Drake grinned. “Your clothes are no longer with us.”
The color in her face deepened. “What?”
“They were torn from your adventure.”
“Liar!” she shot back. “There was no reason for you to discard them … at least not for the reason you just gave.”
Her accusing tone made him chuckle. “You are quite correct, princess. The real reason is that I cannot have you parading around in your finery. My men are already lusting after you quite openly. We wouldn’t want to further intoxicate their senses, now would we?”
“The only one on this ship who has treated me with any disrespect is you!” she retorted.
“Then be grateful that I have limited you to men’s attire. Perhaps you will be safe from my lecherous advances.”
Drake moved away, and Alex turned her back as he took off his shirt and tossed it carelessly onto the chair. Tossing his breeches next to his shirt, he put an end to her torment by climbing into his berth.
The cabin was silent. Drake could sense Alex’s presence nearby, and he knew instinctively that she was not in bed.
He heard her jump. “What is it?”
He cleared his throat. “Is there some problem?”
“No … yes …” She paused. “May I use your basin and some water to wash the dirt from my face?”
Drake smiled in the darkness. “Go right ahead. And, princess … if you can find your way around in the dark, help yourself to one of my shirts. They are clean and more than large enough to protect your modesty.”
Again, silence. Then, “Thank you, Captain.”
Her bare feet padded across the room. Drake listened to her opening the heavy chest, taking out one of his shirts, and slipping it on. Splashing sounds told him she was washing, followed by her soft footsteps as she returned to her cot. Then a thud and a cry of pain.
Drake was out of bed in an instant, moving toward the sound of her choked cry.
“Alexandria? What is it?”
“I walked into the cot,” she whimpered.
“Are you badly hurt?”
In truth she was not. It had been a sudden painful blow, yet already the pain was subsiding to a dull throb. But it was more than she could withstand after her emotionally taxing day. Hot tears filled her eyes, spilled down her cheeks. Try though she would, she could not control the sobs that shook her.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped. “I never cry … and it is not that bad a bruise … I just can’t …” She shook her head helplessly, covering her eyes with trembling hands.
There was no forethought. Drake reacted instantly, pulling her into his arms.
“Shhh,” he soothed, pressing her head against his chest. He felt her tears drenching his bare skin, her narrow shoulders shaking. “It’s all right, sweetheart … don’t cry,” he murmured, raising her chin with his forefinger, wishing he could see her face. He stroked his other hand down her back, pressing her closer to him.
They became aware of each other at the same moment. He was totally naked. She was clad only in a thin white shirt. She needed comfort. He needed more.

Author Bio:

Andrea KaneAndrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.
With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Connect With Ms. Kane on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.


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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Book Review ~ Detached by Christina Kilbourne

TITLE - Detached

AUTHOR - Christina Kilbourne

GENRE - Young Adult, Teenager

Purchase the book - Click

Book Blurb from Amazon
Anna has never felt like she belongs, but now she feels detached. The only solution she sees is taking her own life. Through the perspectives of Anna, her best friend, and her mother, her story shows how depression taints even the simplest human interactions, and how different people can interpret the same scenario in vastly different ways.


I personally think this book should come with a note of caution due to the subject matter. For anyone who has been at the front of a family member attempting or committing suicide or for anyone who has felt suicidal, this book could be quite upsetting.

This is a hard hitting and emotional read and I am quite surprised that it's a YA book.
Anna is very well like; much loved by her parents, Brother and School Friends. She's attractive to boys. The problem is she can't see any of this. She doesn't like herself; she doesn't want to be here; she wants to be dead like her beloved Grandparents, who died in an accident.

I liked Anna instantly. She was a caring person and very thoughtful towards others. She even thought about the impact her suicide would have on others and wanted it to be as painless as possible. I hated how she was feeling and I was really routing for her.

The book was written with each of the chapters written from the perspective of each of the different characters. All of the characters were instantly likeable. This was a good way of getting to know them and I enjoyed the way the author portrayed them.

I thought the way Anna's thoughts and plans had been written, on how best to commit suicide was eloquent and very deep. A lot of emotional research had gone into this.

I won't include any spoilers, but this was hard to put down, and very easy to immerse yourself in. It's a very hard hitting and thought provocative read.
Thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book

Friday, 4 November 2016

Book Review ~ One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot

TITLE - One Christmas in Paris

AUTHOR - Mandy Baggot


BOOK BLURB from Goodreads
They say Paris is the City of Love, so bring your je ne sais quoi and don’t forget the mistletoe!

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men ... Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris?

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.


For those that have come to know me (I suppose you can also tell by my blog name), I love to travel. My favourite City so far, in Europe, is Paris. So to come across one of my favourite chic lit authors, Mandy Baggot, writing a new book based in Paris, this made me a very happy reader.

When an author writes about a place I love, it brings wonderful memories alive. One Christmas in Paris was no exception thanks to the main characters Ava and Julien.

Ava joins her best friend Debs in Paris. Ava has an over-bearing Mother who seems to want to control Ava's life. She also has an ex, Leo, who cheated on her. As a last minute decision, she jumps on the train to Paris with Debs who has a work assignment there, without telling anyone she was going. Debs wants to cheer her friend up in the beautiful and romantic city, and who knows, Ava may even find love again.

Summing it up in one sentence " I loved this book!". I had read a lot of thrillers lately and was needing a break from mayhem and murder and this was just the book I needed. Paris came alive with the descriptive writing of the sights and sounds of the City. It shows that the author did some great research. I have been there several times and I'm very familiar with the tourist areas of the city. My memories of Paris came flooding back, except this time I was seeing it through Ava's eyes.

This was a beautiful and heart warming story with beautiful characters that kept me up reading until 3.30am! It is the perfect book to curl up with in front of the Christmas tree, with a nice mug of hot chocolate. It's just that kind of novel. A must read and not just for chic lit lovers.

What others are saying about Mandy Baggot's  books.

I adored every single second … goes straight to the "My Favourites" shelf and is going to stay there FOR EVER … 10 stars out of 5.’ On My Bookshelf

I LOVED THIS BOOK … it's warm, sweet, romantic, likeable, cosy - just the perfect book to curl up on the couch in front of an open fire with. Gorgeous.’ Behind Green Eyes

If you love Christmas, and are looking for a book that will fit with absolute perfection, this is the book for you. I really loved it … so many laugh-out-loud moments … will have you laughing at the memory long after you've put the book down.’ Being Anne Reading

Leaves you with a lovely warm glow in your heart and a tear in your eye.’ Sincerely Book Angels

If I had to pick five Christmas themed novels to give to my friends this year I have to tell you that One Wish in Manhattan would be in that bundle. What an amazing, Christmas magical story this is … I simply adored One Wish in Manhattan.’ Keeper Bookshelf




Mandy Baggot is an award-winning romantic fiction author, writing hot heroes and emotional
reads. She is represented by Kate Nash of The Kate Nash Literary Agency.

In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK's Festival of Romance and has since scooped Top Ten Reads/Book of the Year places from a number of UK book bloggers.

Traditionally published by US publisher Sapphire Star, Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse, and most recently, digital fiction specialists, Bookouture, a great story is never far from her fingertips!

A contributor to writing blogs and short story anthologies, Mandy is also a regular speaker at literary festivals, events and women’s networking groups.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World's Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1's Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.

Visit her website at http://www.mandybaggot.com/

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Guest Blog, Giveaway & Book Review ~ The Christmas Promise - Sue Moorcroft

I'd like to welcome Author Sue Moorcroft to my blog today. Sue has her new book out The Christmas Promise, so I invited her to come a long and be a guest on my blog. I've also read and reviewed the book and have shared it below. Her blog post is an interesting one about something that happens just twice a year. Please read on .....................

TITLE - The Christmas Promise

AUTHOR - Sue Moorcroft


BOOK BLURB from Amazon

‘I love all of Sue Moorcroft’s books!’ KATIE FFORDE

Countdown to Christmas with your new must-have author, as you step into the wonderful world of bespoke hat-maker Ava Bliss…

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.


I'm not a big Christmas lover. I hate the commercialism of it all. I do however love the Family closeness of the day itself (when I'm not working). One thing I do love though is a cosy Christmas novel, and this book was no exception. 

This book centres around Ava Bliss, who I instantly warmed to. She lives with her best friend Izz, who has a successful job, whereas life isn't going too well for Ava. Ava is trying unsuccessfully to have her couture Millinery business taken seriously, and is struggling financially. 

This book has several different aspects to it. There is the modern day crime of Sextortion, which to me was well researched; then there is the subject of terminal illness (several tears shed here); then there is the world of the couture milliner. I learnt a lot about millinery from the book, and again it shows a lot of research must have gone into this book.;

So many different emotions were packed into this book and I couldn't put it down, reading it until the early hours.

I won't say what the Christmas Promise was for fear of spoiling the story, so you'll have to find out for yourself, however it's a promise you'll want to be a part of.

GUEST BLOG by Sue Moorcroft. 

The Changing of the Clocks

Did you have an extra hour in bed on Saturday night? Or add an extra hour to your day on Sunday?
In the UK, as in many parts of the world, twice a year ‘our clocks are changed’. Now it will be lighter earlier in the mornings but darkness will come sooner in the evenings. To celebrate this official beginning to wintertime I thought I’d share a few facts:

The UK has just left British Summertime and we’re now on Greenwich Mean Time.

The other name for British Summertime is Daylight Saving Time.

As if to celebrate the onset of Winter along with the clocks, The Christmas Promise entered the Kindle Top 100 on Sunday morning!

We’ll get British Summertime back at 1am on March 26th 2017. (I’m looking forward to this already. I’m a summertime person).

Changing the clocks was first suggested by William Willett in 1907 and he campaigned for his scheme to be implemented until his death in 1915. Germany went first, in April 1916, and we followed suit in May after passing The Summertime Act 1916. WWI was underway, of course, and making use of daylight helped the economy.

The first short story I sold was to The People’s Friend in 1996 and concerned the clocks going forward in spring. It just took one person to forget to change his watch and I had a plot! Luckily, mobile phones that change automatically were not in every pocket at that time.

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Book Review - Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

TITLE - Wonder Cruise

AUTHOR - Ursula Bloom

GENRE - Romantic Fiction 

Get a copy - Amazon UK

Synopsis from Goodreads.

Ann Clements is thirty-five and single, and believes nothing exciting will ever happen to her. Then, she wins a large sum of money in a sweepstake and suddenly can dare to dream of a more adventurous life. She buys a ticket for a Mediterranean cruise, against the wishes of her stern brother, the Rev. Cuthbert, who has other ideas about how she should spend her windfall. Ann steps out of the shadows of her mundane life into the heat of the Mediterranean sun. Travelling to Gibraltar, Marseilles, Naples, Malta and Venice, Ann’s eyes are opened to people and experiences far removed from her sheltered existence in the offices at Henrietta Street, and Mrs. Puddock’s lodging house. As Ann blossoms, discovering love and passion for the very first time, the biggest question is, can there be any going back?


Ann comes across a lot older than her years and a bit prim and proper. It doesn't help that her Brother Cuthbert wants her to remain a singleton; a spinster, so his Daughter will inherit everything she owns. He and his wife are so old fashioned. Ann's life was very structured and routine. She goes to work as a typist, goes home to her rented room and then repeats it all over again. 

Ann just had one dream; to travel; see the world; see the churches, cathedrals and cities that were featured in Mr Thomas Cooks holiday brochures. Imagine her delight when this became a possibility.

I initially found the book a bit slow and just couldn't see where it was heading. Too much of it focused on her mundane life. There seemed to be some naivety to the writing. However not to be one to give up, I continued reading. I enjoyed how the author had made Ann a naive 30 something, unsure of the ways of the world, and then allowed her to bloom and become the young woman she still was, in the prime of her life.

There was a comedic element to the book too, especially within the description of her fellow travellers. the pictures you form in your mind make you smile. Some of the story-line I found a bit unbelievable for the time period it was written in, however it was a fairly fun read.

The book was building up to the climax and the much anticipated ending, and then........ it was all over. I feel it needed to have a more structured and lengthy ending and some parts of the story needed to be elaborated on more. I was left disappointed. It did make me smile in parts but it just needed more substance.

Thank you to the author for the chance to read and review her book.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Book Review - Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

TITLE - Local Girl Missing

AUTHOR - Claire Douglas


Synopsis from Amazon

Twenty years ago
21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night.
She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier -
and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca.

A body's been found.
And Francesca's drawn back to the seaside town she's tried to forget.
Perhaps the truth of what happened to Sophie will finally come out. Yet Francesca is beginning to wish she hadn't returned.

Everywhere she turns are ghosts from her past.
The same old faces and familiar haunts of her youth.
But if someone knows what really happened to Sophie that night then now's the time to find out - isn't it? 

Except sometimes discovering the truth can cost you everything you hold dear - your family, your sanity and even your life . . .


Oh I loved this one!

Frankie and Sophie were Childhood Friends. Friends that appear to have secrets. When Sophie was 21 yrs old, she suddenly disappeared on a night out. Her trainer was found on the pier so there was the assumption that she had an unfortunate accident. But was it? Rumours abound in this seaside town.

Many years later, Sophies Brother Daniel, who carried a torch for Frankie, made contact with Frankie to say that remains have turned up, and they are possibly Sophie's. He needs Frankie's help as he believes his Sister was murdered.

The book then becomes a completely compelling read and I couldn't put it down. Suspects kept turning up in the form of ex-boyfriends; friends and even their siblings. It is a real modern day whodunnit!

There are so many twists and turns in the book. You think you've worked out who did it, if it was indeed a murder, only to realise you're wrong, again, questioning if it was indeed an accident. The book is engrossing and unpredictable. I just don't understand the 1 and 2 star reviews as to me this was one of the best crime novels I've read this year. Intriguing storyline and numerous interesting characters. I shall certainly be adding this author to my list of favourites if all her books are as good as this.

Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me to read this.