Thursday, 16 October 2014

My crafty creations

Just wanted to share some of my latest crafty creations

I do take orders for cards for any occasion and handcrafted items .
You can follow my little craft blog here and on facebook

Infinity scarf

chunky scarf


Friday, 10 October 2014

Latest TBR list

These are the latest titles on my TBR pile.
Christmas read a thon is about to begin

Monday, 6 October 2014

Review: A Cornish Affair by Liz Fenwick

The blurb
Running out on your wedding day never goes down well. When the pressure of her forthcoming marriage becomes too much, Jude bolts from the church, leaving a good man at the altar, her mother in a fury, and the guests with enough gossip to last a year.

Guilty and ashamed, Jude flees to Pengarrock, a crumbling cliff-top mansion in Cornwall, where she takes a job cataloguing the Trevillion family's extensive library. The house is a welcome escape for Jude, full of history and secrets, but when its new owner arrives, it's clear that Pengarrock is not beloved by everyone.

As Jude falls under the spell of the house, she learns of a family riddle stemming from a terrible tragedy centuries before, hinting at a lost treasure. And when Pengarrock is put up for sale, it seems that time is running out for the house and for Jude

My review

Jude really does leave her decision until the last minute. She is fully aware of the damage she has done and decides to leave for Cornwall.  It seems that all is going to be okay for Jude as she takes on a new job at a beautiful mansion, but a turn of events threatens not only Jude's job but also the future of the mansion.  

Jude does not have time on her side, as the new owner of the mansion just wants the house sold, out of his life. Jude also has to give some of her thought to what she has left behind, her jilted groom and her own parents, who cut her off.

Jude was not really a character I warmed to.  For me, the beautiful setting, the history of the house and the Trevillion family much more of a page turner. In fact the house seemed to be the character I cared for the most in this battle of characters and wills.

This was a novel from my own book shelves, not a review copy

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Family day out

We had a day out at Audley End House & Gardens in Essex last Sunday.

We visit there several times a year as we have English Heritage membership.

Here is a photo diary of our day out and photos from previous visits , to show how the gardens change over the year.

These pictures are from last year in the Spring

The apple and pear trees create  a wall around the kitchen gardens... a later photo
shows how they look now

Can you tell, I love Irises and these flag Irises are just stunning

These are pictures from our weekend summer visit

A different view of the house as we had to park in a different car park

The apple and pear tree wall is now in full fruit

My two boys,one aged 6, one 6ft :)

This is my mum and dad's garden.  He is a gardener by profession and always
has the best looking garden in the street

Friday, 29 August 2014

Guest Author - Marilyn Chapman

I am delighted to have Marilyn Chapman, Author on the blog today and will let Marilyn explain why I feel a special connection with Marilyn...(my Top Read for 2014 review is at the end of this post)

Baggy Pants and Bootees
Marilyn Chapman

Baggy Pants and Bootees started life as ‘Sophie’s Secret,’ a partly completed novel that was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award in 2012.
It was there, in Bedford, that I met Carol Wright, the owner of this amazing blog. We made an instant connection. We were sitting at adjacent tables in a restaurant where the service was exceptionally slow – and the conversation soon flourished.
I still smile at the memory of that ‘new’ talent award. After many years of being a journalist and freelance writer, the word ‘old’ seemed far more appropriate in my case! At that stage, however, I had still not realised a long-held dream – to publish my debut novel.
Baggy Pants and Bootees was published as an e-book by Safkhet Publishing in February this year and, to my amazement, reached No 79 in Amazon’s military romance category, just one step behind the best-selling author Sebastian Faulkes.

Only one thing remained: to see the book in print. That day will finally arrive on Monday September 1 2014. Thanks, Carol, for being part of the journey.
Baggy Pants and Bootees as a paperback on 1st September 2014
Baggy Pants and Bootees

When war baby Sophie joins the macho world of 1960s journalism she’s determined to prove that she’s ‘one of the boys.’ Until a phone call from her estranged mother sets Sophie on a quest to uncover the secret of her birth.
Was her father the all-American soldier she dreamt of when she was a child, or someone far more sinister? This is the story the ambitious reporter was destined to write.
Helped by the charming but mysterious David, Sophie uncovers the tragedy of teenage orphan, a GI romance and a terrifying rape that leads to an innocent man’s court martial – and finds clues to her own unhappy childhood.
Torn between her secret love for Steve, the newspaper’s most eligible bachelor, and her desire to know who she really is, Sophie follows David to find her father. Only when faced with the startling truth can she accept the tragedy of love, loss and betrayal and begin a very different kind of future.

About the author
Marilyn Chapman is an NCTJ accredited journalist who spent her early career on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and later freelanced for national newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Mail and Woman.
Marilyn began writing for a football magazine at the age of fifteen and attributes her dry sense of humour to a very eventful life! She has worked in recruitment, training, estate agency and public relations.
Born in Guernsey, Marilyn lives with her husband in Lancashire. A member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists Association, she writes commercial women’s fiction full time.
Twitter #Marilynchapma77

My review for this novel
Sophie is a junior reporter and a very determined young lady. She has had a difficult childhood and not much support from her estranged,  single parent, mother who has had struggles of her own.

When Sophie's mother becomes poorly, Sophie discovers a few more clues about her past and decides now is the time to investigate and discover the real truth about her mother, her father, her past.

Steve also works at the newspaper. Sophie and Steve have a few misunderstandings that really do not help their working or personal relationship. Steve is not keen that Sophie only seems to call when she needs help and Sophie is not keen on Steve's laddish reputation.

The novel has two timelines, Sophie's story in late 1960's and her mother Fran's story in war-time 40's.  The story switches back and forth between the time periods with ease to give Sophie the answers she so desperately wants.

I really enjoyed the author's ease of storytelling in this historical romance saga.  I would like to see more from this author.

5 out of 5! Top reads for 2014.

review copy. This did not influence my review in any way

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: Just Desserts by Sue Welfare

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Publisher: Notting Hill Press; 2 edition (11 Jun 2014)
  • ASIN: B00KY653NE

The blurb
After spending a lifetime looking after her husband, Harry, Katherine Bourne has had enough. Every time she chops up her delicious home-grown tomatoes she dreams of murdering her husband. Why can’t Harry just have an affair with a younger woman, and leave? 

Trouble is Harry has no intention of giving up his home comforts. Not when he’s been having his cake and eating it for years. Glamorous banker Carol accompanies him on business trips and the odd weekend away, but she too is beginning to think maybe life with Harry is growing stale. 

So who’s fooling who? Harry, happy in his illusion that he’s a sex god and all his women love him? Katherine and Carol, unlikely partners in Harry’s parallel lives? Against a background of gleeful coincidences, cute Cambridge cafes and the unexpected joys of unexplored freedom, the women decide that revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

Magnificent! Another brilliant story from Sue Welfare. 
What happens to a cheat who has had 2 women at his beck and call for too long? 
Here we pick up the story as Harry's long suffering wife, Katherine, calls time on their marriage. He believes that his mistress, Carol,  will pick up the pieces...after all he has promised her all this time that he will leave his wife...only now that day has come does his mistress really want to wash and iron his shirts?

A larger than life cast of believable characters in a Rom com drama for us ladies over 40.

Harry was so easy to dislike right from the very first time he "cooed" Kitty-Kat. :) 

This is a re-release but I personally didn't feel it was dated, the only clues were the lack of mobile phones and internet. Simpler times. :) 

Loved it! 5 stars

This was a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. This did not influence my review in any way. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Guest Author - Carol E Wyer

Today I am featuring Carol E Wyer who is celebrating a new release

Humorous author, Carol E. Wyer has just taken launching a new book to a new level. To coincide with the forthcoming release of her seventh book, Carol will be taking on some unusual challenges including belly dancing, a ‘Bush Tucker’ trial, zorbing and zip lining while playing a kazoo and indoor skydiving.

Carol says, “After completing the book I suddenly had an urge to have a go at some of the challenges that the characters face. So, I thought, why not? The inner child in me went crazy with delight and encouraged me to commit to a few mad challenges before I remembered how old I really am. It’s too late to back out now so, we’ll have to see how they work out.”

The first challenge is in London at GoApe where she will attempt to zipline while playing a kazoo and try not to land on her publisher who is accompanying her. You can see the results at her blog or YouTube.

Her latest release, Three Little Birds due out August 15th is a tale of friendship, self-discovery, romance and topped with lashings of the by now familiar humour we have come to expect from this author.

Amazon UK Amazon UK

Three Little Birds

If your friend challenged you, would you dare?
Charlie Blundell cannot get over the tragic death of her only daughter. She drifts between her job at the Art cafe and her hospital radio show, the only things which give her life purpose.
Her best friend, the madcap Mercedes, cajoles Charlie into writing a 'carpe diem' list, but then swaps Charlie's list with her own. Now, each must complete the other's challenges, and the outcomes will astound both of them. The challenges begin as a series of relatively harmless, fun activities. Soon, though, the stakes increase when Charlie has to complete her challenges to save the hospital radio station.
As the tasks become more demanding, a handsome stranger takes an interest in her, but he is not what he seems. One challenge causes a secret buried deep within her to surface, which may prove to be her undoing.
Three Little Birds is a story of love, friendship and discovery, laced with hilarity and topped by a wickedly funny parrot called Bert.

Three Little Birds is published by Safkhet Publishing and released August 15th

Carol E Wyer is an ex-teacher and linguist who lives in rural Staffordshire. Having written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, she turned her attention to the adult market in 2010 when her son flew from the nest.

Her best-selling novels have won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, she has appeared on over thirty BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’. Her writing style has been described frequently by the media as 'witty' or 'humorous' and has even been compared to the acerbic wit of Jeremy Clarkson and the humour of Robin Williams.

Carol has written articles for and featured in several national women’s magazines including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman's Own who also wrote about her journey to becoming a best-selling author.

Last year, she took a crash course in stand-up comedy and has performed her comedy talk Smile While You Still Have Teeth to sell-out audiences in Lichfield, The Black Country and will be on main stage the Isle of Wight Literary Festival in October along with big name celebrities, Alan Titchmarsh, Katie Price, Sheila Hancock and novelist Katie Fford

Follow Carol on Twitter @carolewyer or Facebook Carol E Wyer