Friday, 15 April 2016

"Wonder Cruise" by Ursula Bloom - Plus Guest blog post - My holiday read

Those who know me really well, know I love two things a lot (apart from My Husband and my cats), books and holidays! Well I am off on a road trip of the USA in a few days time and I wanted a travel inspired book to read that was nice and light hearted, to read on the plane. Who better to offer me a great read other than Ursula Bloom. This is her new book, Wonder Cruise, released on the 15th April. She was kind enough to do a blog post feature for me too. I'll be reviewing the book when I'm home and doing a blog post about my holiday. I am a bookalicious traveladdict after all. Please take a read ........

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom
A witty, heartwarming read with great romantic and comic characters. This warm, feel-good tale will make you smile, and you’ll be rooting for Ann to find lasting love and happiness. A moving portrait of an unforgettable 1930’s woman; Ann Clements will stay with you long after the last page.

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?

‘Brightly told and very readable.’ Woman’s Journal

‘… with every book she adds something to her reputation … related with all Miss Bloom’s liveliness and easy skill.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Ursula Bloom writes in a delightful way, with a deep understanding of human nature and a quick eye for the humorous things in life. Wonder Cruise … is one of the most entertaining novels we have read for a long time.’ Cambridge Daily News

‘Vividly entrancing.’ Scotsman

‘She has always been able to tell a story … Miss Bloom is to be heartily congratulated.’ Everyman


You and Your Holiday by Ursula Bloom

One of the most annoying things in this life is that other people always return from their holidays declaring that they have spent quite the most marvellous time, and you yourself always seem to get landed with a tragic failure! Either these people are luckier than you are (which I beg to doubt) or they are more untruthful. Nobody likes to confess to the failure of a holiday; everybody likes to brag about the fun it has been and the wild success of that glorious fortnight. But they are not essentially truthful.
If you are honest, then you can probably only admit to one really marvellous holiday in your whole

life. I am not including the ones of your childhood when naturally they were always glorious and always a success. You need more as you grow older, for your standards are higher. I can only produce one truly marvellous holiday (a cruise to Norway in S.S. Orontes), and that is being honest. It hardly seems the qualification for writing this, when you come to think about it, but it is because I feel the tragedy of all those misspent holidays that I’ve got to do something about it.

So here we are!

We look forward to the precious holiday of a fortnight for weeks; we talk about it for weeks afterwards, trying to lend it some of the brightness it never really had, but when we look into our own hearts, most of us have to admit that the whole thing fell very far short of expectation.

And why?

Possibly we approached that holiday without giving it due consideration and forethought. I am convinced that the really entrancing holiday does not drop into your lap by accident; it has to be well planned. Possibly the venture was ruined because, although the place was well chosen and the weather propitious, loneliness crept into the picture, and loneliness in itself will ruin any venture of any kind, and anywhere. Or it may have been the right place but at the wrong time of year, and you went on the recommendation of a friend who had enjoyed it enormously, but had gone at the right time, which you never took into account.

Are you surprised when you really come to think about it? Of course you can’t be.

The key to a successful holiday is to know what you are seeking, and what you expect to get from it. The attitude of “ Really, I don’t mind where I go, or what I do, as long as it is a good holiday,” is quite a fatal one. Here is a questionnaire to help you, and I suggest that you are scrupulously truthful in your replies to each question, because those replies are the stepping stones to a really good time.

What do you actually want?

    Do you want a rest?
    A lively and well-entertained time?
    Do you want complete relaxation and peace?
    Are you seeking lovely scenery?
    Bracing air?
    Relaxing air?
    Do you want to meet a lot of new young friends?
    Or are you seeking older people?
    Do you want golf and tennis?
    Just a country holiday with games?
    Pleasant single companionship?
    Or a love affair?

The point is that you will never get what you want unless you know what you want. Decide upon your essential need, because if you blind yourself to this, calamity has already overtaken your holiday and it may be utterly ruined from the outset.

So many people go away for a holiday, forgetful of the fact that change of conditions and climate can wreak havoc with the tummy, which immediately refuses to behave. They then fly to the other extreme and make themselves ill with dosing. Never take immediate strenuous exercise if used to a sedentary life, work up slowly to it.

Provided that you have made proper plans, and are taking the holiday seriously, it ought to be the happiest you have ever had.

I hope so.

Ursula Bloom
Bestselling author Ursula Bloom wrote over 500 books (her first when she was only 7 years old), a feat which earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. She also wrote short stories, and radio and stage plays. Ursula was chief crime reporter for a national newspaper at a time when few women worked as Fleet Street journalists, and was also the agony aunt for a weekly magazine, and beauty editor for Woman's Own! Her books are now being reissued in paperback, and published as ebooks for the first time, starting with her witty holiday romance "Wonder Cruise". Ann Clements leaves behind her dull life to take a Mediterranean cruise, where she discovers more about life, love and herself.