Blog No 178 – Book Review – The Sister Returns by Joanna Rees

As I’m passionate about historical fiction, i did accept this offer to write a book review for Joanna Rees latest book, The Sister Returns from the Stitch in Time Series. Joanna is another new author to me, yet I was eager to commence this novel

The book is available in most bookstores and online retailers now. Congratulations to Joanna for a magnificent book.

Book Description

To have a future, she must confront her past….

It’s 1929 and after running away from her family in Lancashire, becoming a dancer in London and having a riotous time in Paris with her best friend Nancy, would be fashion designer Vita Casey is now living a much more sedate life in New York with her baby son Bertie, far away from her real brother, Clement and her nemesis Edith.

When the disastrous events of the Wall Street Crash change their destinies, Vita and Nancy flee to Los Angeles, where Nancy is determined to make it in the talkies. Schmoozing their way into the ranks of the Hollywood elite, Vita is starting to think that she can begin to fulfil her fashion ambitions. But when the love of her life, Archie is hired as a writer in Nancy’s new movie and Clement exacts his ultimate revenge, Vita’s past and present collide.

She has no choice but to tell the truth and try to reclaim what is rightfully hers before it’s too late.

to think that she can begin to fulfil her fashion ambitions. But when the love of her life, Archie is hired as a writer in Nancy’s new movie and Clement exacts his ultimate revenge, Vita’s past and present collide.

She has no choice but to tell the truth and try to reclaim what is rightfully hers before it’s too late.

About The Author – Joanna Rees

Joanna Rees, aka Josie Lloyd and Jo Rees, is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including rom-coms, blockbusters, and big-hearted adventures such as The Tides of Change and A Twist of Fate. Based in Brighton, Joanna is married to the author Emlyn Rees, and with whom she has three daughters. They have co-written several novels including the Sunday times number one bestseller Come Together, which was translated into over twenty languages and made into a film. They have written several bestselling parodies of their favourite children’s books, including We’re Going on a Bar Hunt, The Very Hungover Caterpillar and The Teenage Who Came To Tea. As Josie Lloyd, Joanna has written the novel The Cancer Ladies Running Club. When she’s not writing, she likes running along the seafront with her dog.

Book Review

I have not read the first and second books in the Stitch in Time series, yet I’m eager to get hold of both copies. This book had me hooked from the beginning to end and now I am wondering why there’s not a book four in the making. The book does have an unexpected ending but could be explored more in another novel.

This book commences in the early 1930’s in New York and continues to Los Angeles and then returns to the UK. The novel follows the lives of two women and a baby boy.  Vita & Nancy are best friends and Vita is the mother of baby Bertie.  The story unfolds about Vita being a single parent and how Nancy is a fiancée and yet doesn’t become a married woman.

Nancy chases her dream of becoming a movie star in the talkies and Vita returns to work to be a fashion designer. Throughout the book you learn more about Nancy & Vita’s families, which is not always a bed of roses. Love appears to be troublesome and revenge has been added to mix to provide some excitement.

This book was compulsive reading, and I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and its characters. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will love this book and author. This book gets 5 stars from me.

Some of Joanna’s Other Books

Stitch in Times Series

  1. The Runaway Daughter
  2. The Hidden Wife

Joanna’s Social Media and Random Things Tour

Blog No 177 – Book Review – Daisy and the Dazzling Dachshunds by Janey Clarke

Have you ever chosen a book by its cover or is it just me! Seeing the book cover with several little cute dachshund dogs provoked my curiosity. I’ve accepted a further offer to write a book review for Janey Clarke’s latest book Daisy and the Dazzling Dachshunds. Janey is another new author to me, nevertheless, I was excited to commence this novel.

The book is available in most bookstores and online retailers now. Congratulations to Janey for a marvellous book.

Book Description

The discovery of a murdered woman with a rescued dog and her puppies on Bodmin Moor, hurtles Daisy, a shy retired librarian and her oddball friends, into another dangerous, yet comical escapade.

Daisy is on a mission to find the murdered woman’s killer, linking events to the puppy farm, and is suddenly thrust into a world of explosions, shootings and kidnappings!

Furthermore, family secrets come to light and Daisy discovers an unexpected revelation that will change her life forever. This newfound knowledge is difficult for Daisy to cope with and somewhat hinders the situation that befalls herself and her friends. And if that isn’t enough, the return of her ex-husband poses even more problems.

Daisy enlists the help of Cleo her cat, and Flora her puppy, both rescue animals, in her search for the puppy farm. However, the question remains, even with all the help she has, can Daisy manage to outwit the villains and save herself and the puppies from harm?

About The Author – Janey Clarke

Scottish born, I now live on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset with my husband, and Monty our enormous cavalier spaniel. As a lifelong sufferer from EDS, I cope with my restricted mobility by dictating all my novels. Changing primary schools, meant that I was unable to read until given special lessons. This gave me a deep love of reading and I devoured books. After extra training I specialised in teaching children with reading difficulties. Still an avid reader, I love cozy mysteries, where the murder doesn’t scare me to death!

Book Review

This book is full of warmth, mystery, and cute little animals. Such a joy to read a novel with so many entwining stories that keeps you engrossed in a book

Daisy recently separated from her husband and moves into an area with other retirees. She wants to establish a new life and continue her hobby of painting. In the adjacent properties are her newfound friends, all with quirky personalities.

Alongside her friends, she tries to locate a puppy farm, resolve a murder, ascertain her family, continue to build relationships, and look after abandoned pets. While all this is going on her ex-husband makes an unwanted appearance. You will learn more throughout the book about Cleo that cat and Flora & Lottie the dachshunds. Furthermore a little sprinkling of fur and four paws, always creates an entertaining novel

I could certainly relate to some of the individuals and even visualise some of the antics played out. This book was compulsive reading and had me smiling at situations. I would recommend this book to other avid readers for an unexpected treat

Janey’s Other Books

  1. Daisy and the Deadly Dagger  

Janey’s Social Media and Random Things Tour

Blog No 176 – Book Review – The Island House by Mary Considine

As I have an enthusiasm for books, I’ve accepted a further offer to write a book review for Mary Considine’s latest book The Island House. Mary is a new author to me, nevertheless I was keen to commence this memoir.

The book is available in most bookstores and online retailers now. Congratulations to Mary for such a truly inspirational book.

Book Description

Mary and Patrick’s dream was to live in London, have 2.4 children, the nice house, the successful jobs. But life had other plans, and in one traumatic year that all came crashing down.

Bruised and battered, Mary finds herself pulled towards Cornwall and dreams of St George’s Island, where she spent halcyon childhood summers.  So, when an opportunity arises to become tenants if they renovate the old Island House, they grab it with both hands.

Life on the island is hard, especially in winter, the sea and weather, unforgiving.  But the rugged natural beauty, the friendly ghosts of previous inhabitants, and the beautiful isolation of island life bring hope and purpose, as they discover a resilience, they never knew they had.

It has been empty now for six years, and it is full of ghosts. Every wall is patterned with black mould, in lacy fronds or lumpy stripes; every window in the house is broken.

We pile bedding, blankets, coats on to the bed and the cats climb in with us, mourning their lost comforts. We listen to the wails of wind and the menace of waves through the broken glass and breathe in the spores and the damp, clinging together, our family, in the faint warmth of the bed.

We are entirely happy.

About The Author – Mary Considine

Mary Considine

Growing up in the flat landscape of Bedfordshire, Mary Considine fell in love with Cornwall and the sea on her first visit as a small child. Distracted by the badlands of London, she spent the 90s writing and directing plays on the London and Edinburgh Fringe, and scriptwriting. Work included Angels, Time Out Critics Choice; The Other Half, commissioned by the Carlton TV screenwriting initiative; and a short film The Hand Job, shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank/Channel 4 short film competition. The noughties were spent teaching drama in secondary schools in the hills of North Yorkshire and, in pursuit of her now husband, back in London, before realising her impossible dream of moving to St George’s Island in 2010. 

She now lives in North Devon with her husband, Patrick, and seven horses.

Book Review

I found this book to have both heart and soul, it was very inspiring indeed. This book provides an insight into Mary & Patrick’s life. Commencing in the city of London and moving onto St George’s Island, Cornwall.  Along the way, there’s moments of endearing friendships, compassionate family members and willing volunteers.

You’ll observe the evolution of pigs, ducks, dogs, and bees. The creating of being self-sufficient from the island. The restoration of an old property and the conservation of the island. The book elaborates on the history of the island and its inhabitants.

Mary & Patrick’s life does experience some personal challenges, both happy and sad moments, which you’ll learn more throughout the book

This is a beautiful written memoir, and I would recommend this book to any avid reader or book club reading lists.

Mary Considine Social Media and Random Things Tour

Blog No 175 – Book Review – Surf, Sweat and Tears by Andy Martin

Who doesn’t like a fiction book, I’ve accepted an offer to write a book review for Andy Martin’s latest book, Surf, Sweat and Tears. I was intrigued to learn about the life of Edward George William Omar Deerhurst and his passion for surfing.

The book is available at @orbooks https://www.orbooks.com/catalog/surf-sweat-and-tears/Congratulations to Andy for a thought-provoking book.

Book Description

This is the true story of Ted, Viscount Deerhurst, the son of the Earl of Coventry and an American ballerina who dedicated his life to becoming a professional surfer. Surfing was a means of escape, from England, from the fraught charges of nobility, from family, and, often, from his own demons. Ted was good on the board, but never made it to the very highest ranks of a sport that, like most, treats second-best as nowhere at all. He kept on surfing, ending up where all surfers go to live or die, the paradise of Hawaii. There, in search of the “perfect woman,” he fell in love with a dancer called Lola, who worked in a Honolulu nightclub. The problem with paradise, as he was soon to discover, is that gangsters always get there first. Lola already had a serious boyfriend, a man who went by the name of Pit Bull. Ted was given fair warning to stay away. But he had a besetting sin, for which he paid the heaviest price: He never knew when to give up.

Surf, Sweat and Tears takes us into the world of global surfing, revealing a dark side beneath the dazzling sun and cream-crested waves. Here is surf noir at its most compelling, a dystopian tale of one man’s obsessions, wiped out in a grisly true crime.

About The Author Andy Martin

Book Review

This book had touched so many emotions with me and has left me questioning whether Ted is alive or dead. You must read the book to establish your own conclusion, however, expect to be intrigued

I felt Ted was emotionally wounded originated from his childhood. He showed signs of vulnerability, low self-esteem, and rejection, throughout his life. One consistent thing in his life was surfing and his passion took him around the world. Even with surfing, Ted, stride to be better and was accepted in the surfing world as an athlete. His knowledge of the sport was incredible and still to this day it suggests that Ted is still remembered in the surfing community. Ted’s emotions have impacted his life in one way or another, leading him down a road that conveys happiness to him but unfortunately may have ended his life.

If you have a passion for surfing or like a true story, I suggest you read this book. I have a better understanding of surfing terminology and for the sport itself. I am glad that Andy wrote this book about Ted, as the world needs to read Viscount Deerhurst life story to enable history to be told. Ted if you are out there, keep riding the waves.

This book was compulsive reading, and I would thoroughly recommend this book.

Andy’s Martin Other Books

  1.  With Child: Lee Child and the Readers of Jack Reacher
  2. The Boxer and The Goalkeeper:
  3. Stealing the Wave: Sartre vs Camus
  4. Walking on Water

Andy’s Martin Social Media and Random Things Tour

Blog No 174 – Book Review – Through the Water, Darkly by Victoria L Short

As I have a passion for books, I’ve accepted a further offer to write a book review for Victoria L Short latest book Through the Water, Darkly. Victoria is a new author to me, regardless I was eager to commence this historical romance novel.

The book is available in most bookstores and online retailers now. Congratulations to Victoria for a truly incredible book.

Book Description

What if their future lay in her past?

Caroline Curtis is an avid horticulturalist, who is injured during the restoration of a local country estate. She wakes in a familiar body, but a different time, and with mixed memories of her twenty-first century life and those of a seventeenth century lady, which causes difficult conflicts not only in herself but the people around her. The first English civil war is over, and the king deposed. The Prince of Wales is fleeing the country, and, as Caroline fights to change the future of the man with whom she has fallen in love, she begins to realise that time is not a straight line.

About The Author – Victoria L Short

Photo Credit Victoria L Short

I’m a mother to two teenagers and since moving from London the Suffolk five years ago I found I had some spare time, so I started to write. I wrote a little novella Our story coming home, which being my first I tend to cringe lol. Then in 2018 I re-produce my late grandfather WW2 logbook, A Stoker Logs, HMS Whelp, The Forgotten British Pacific Fleet. my grandfather served as a stoker on HMS Whelp, alongside Prince Phillip as the ships second in command.

My latest novel is an 80k romance time-slip called Through the water, Darkly which I super proud of. In-between writing and running a household I work in the film industry doing hair, makeup and wardrobe.

Book Review

This book is sprinkled with romance, historical facts and an out of body experience.

The book commences in the 21st Century when Caroline retrieves a work-related accident, and she suddenly experiences an out of body experience living in the 17th Century. She finds love with Nicholas, Lord Trevilian and becomes Lady Trevilian and Mistress of Debden Manor.

Throughout the book, Caroline struggles with culture and equal rights as she knows how the world has evolved in the 21st century. Caroline manages to appear too forward with her use of the English language in the 17th century, this can get her into trouble at times. Her knowledge of 21st century medical issues can improve the lives of people back in the 17th century. Caroline develops some very touching friendships and in one specific friend shares her horticultural knowledge to empower her.

Caroline foresees the future and attempts to change the course of action for love but is unable to delay the inevitable.

This book was extremely obsessive reading, and I must admit that I cried at the end. I would thoroughly recommend this book.

Victoria’s Other Books

  1. The Forgotten British Pacific Fleet. A Stoker’s Log

Victoria’s Social Media and Random Things Tour

Blog No 173 – Book Review – The Orphanage Girls, Mary Wood.

Anyone who knows me or who kindly reads my blog, will appreciate that I love to read books. I have a passion for historical fiction; therefore, I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to write a book review and be included in the @RandonTTours for Mary Wood’s latest book The Orphanage Girls

The book was released on 12th May 2022 and is available in most supermarkets, bookstores, and online retailers. Congratulations to Mary for another incredible book.

Book Description

Children deserve a family to call their own. Ruth dares to dream of another life far away from the horrors within the walls of Bethnal Green’s famous orphanage. Luckily, she has her friends, Amy, and Ellen – but she can’t keep them safe, and the suffering is only getting worse, surely there must be a way out of here? But when Ruth breaks free from the shackles of confinement and sets into east London hoping to make a new life for herself, she finds that, for a girl with nowhere to turn, life can be just tough on the outside.

Bett keeps order in the unruly part of East End and takes Ruth under her wing along orphanage escapee Robbie. But it is Rebekah, a kindly woman, who offers Ruth and Robbie a home something neither have ever known. Yet even these two stalwart women cannot protect them when the police learn of an orphan on the run. It is then that Ruth must do everything in the power to hide. Her life and those of the friends she left behind at the orphanage depend on it.

About The Author – Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool, United Kingdom during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com

She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Book Review

Oh my, I think I felt every emotion reading this book, happiness, sadness, fear, and empathy. The book focuses on Ruth’s life, starting as a 12-year-old orphan. Ruth’s life begins in an orphanage and along the way, she establishes relationships with individuals and the story is told. Initially Ruth’s life is plagued with hardship and cruelty, but she soon discovers people’s kindness and generosity in the outside world. Ruth begins to build a happier life and creates long-term and loving relationships.

Ruth is already a very compassionate person, nevertheless, she soon learns that life outside the orphanage teaches her diversity and culture. Ruth is enriched in love and along the way her life evolves. The book is very heart-warming and very hard to put down as the story captivates you to the bitter end, where you may shed a tear or two, like me.

Mary has the extraordinary gift of developing a story with an incredible imagination and dovetailed with her research. This book was awarded 5 stars from me and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Mary Wood’s Book Series

  1. Breckton
  2. Generation War
  3. Girls Who Went to War
  4. Jam Factory Girls
  5. Orphanage Girls

Blog No 171 – 2021 Reading List

My goal for 2021 was to read more than 40 books. If I could beat my previous years target of 66 books or more, I was going to be extremely happy. I achieved 43 books in total, therefore I superseded my target and averaged nearly one book a week, which wasn’t bad for last year.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. The Whitechapel Girl – Gilda O’Neil
  2. Quick Cooking – Mary Berry
  3. The Colliers Wife – Chrissy Walsh
  4. A Sisters Sorrow – Kitty Neal
  5. The Jam Factory Girls – Mary Wood
  6. The Abandoned Daughter – Mary Wood
  7. The Little Book of Colour- Karen Haller
  8. Joe Biden – Beatrice Gormley
  9. The Brave Daughters – Mary Wood
  10. The Wronged Daughter – Mary Wood
  11. An Orphan’s Journey – Dilly Court
  12. Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls – Mary Wood
  13. As Time Goes By The House – Anne Bennett
  14. Get Fit, Get Healthy, Get Happy – Mark Wright
  15. Another Mans Child – Anne Bennett
  16. Unnatural Causes – Dr Richard Shepherd
  17. Winter Wedding – Dilly Court
  18. Where’s There’s a Will – June Francis
  19. Girls in Tin Hats – Anne Murray
  20. A Girl From Woolworths – Elaine Everest
  21. Two Pence to Cross the Mersey – Helen Forrester
  22. The Case for Keto – Gary Taubes
  23. Suspects – Lesley Pearce
  24. Fortunes Daughter – Dilly Court
  25. A Promised Land – Barack Obama
  26. A Mother’s Secret – Kitty Neal
  27. The Patchwork Girls – Elaine Everest
  28. A Winter Love Song – Rita Bradshaw
  29. The Forgotten Daughter – Glynis Peters
  30. The Doctor Will See You Now – Dr Amir Khan
  31. Reluctant Heiress – Dilly Court
  32. It’s a Love Story – Martin Kemp & Shirley Kemp
  33. Rome is Where the Heart is – Tilly Tennant
  34. Over the Rainbow – Katie Flynn
  35. Keto in an Instant – Jen Fisch
  36. Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart
  37. Shamed – Linda Castillo
  38. The Stolen Baby – Diney Costeloe
  39. The Butler – Danielle Steel
  40. A Sinple Wish – Rosie Goodwin
  41. Meet Me in London – Georgia Toffola
  42. The Red Cross Orphans – Glynis Peters
  43. The Asylum – Carol Minto

Here’s a reading Q&A

What is your favourite time of the day to read.

I tend to read when I go to bed, however I do listen to audiobooks during the day whilst I’m undertaking tasks.

How many hours do you read a day.

I can read or listen anything from 15mins to 2/3 hrs. It all depends what I’m doing or how tired I am.

What is my favourite genre.

Historical fiction is my favourite, however I’m trying other genres. I do like biographies, I feel it’s an education learning someone else’s struggles. It can make me appreciate my life and have empathy and compassion for other people. Even though I have cancer, I’m always saying there is someone out there suffering more than me so I’m lucky.

Which author did you first get obsessed with.

I would say it was Lyn Andrews then Katie Flynn

Who are you currently obsessed with.

Definitely Mary Wood and Dilly Court. To be fair my obsession is growing with many authors.

Can you read multiple books at one time.

Yes I can, nevertheless I think two is enough for me.

Which book/books was your favourite this year.

I did love “The Orphans Journey ” by Dilly Court, “Patchwork Girls ” by Elaine Everest and “The Jam Factory”’Series by Mary Wood.

Who was your favourite author this year.

I would say Mary Wood because her books are all so different and clearly well researched. Her imagination is incredible and it blows my mind how creative she is with her books.

Which new authors did you try this year

I would say Tilly Tennant and Georgia Toffola this year.

Which book touched you this year.

It has to “The Asylum” by Carol Minto. The true story was about the horrific abuse by her family and Aston Hall, the asylum.

How many books do you intend to read in 2022

I’m think about 40 again, let’s see what happens.

Blog No 167 – 2020 Reading List

My goal for 2020 was to read more than 46 books. If I could beat my previous target of 46 books or more, I was going to be happy. I achieved 66 books in total, therefore I superseded my target and averaged 1 book a week.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. Girls in Tin Hats – Annie Murray
  2. Villa of Secrets – Patricia Wilson
  3. Hold on Hope – Jean Fullerton
  4. Perhaps Tomorrow – Jean Fullerton
  5. Sisters of Gold – Annie Murray
  6. A Glimpse of Happiness – Jean Fullerton
  7. I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
  8. The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  9. No Cure for Love – Jean Fullerton
  10. The Secret Midwife – Katy Weitz
  11. The Volunteer – Jack Fairweather
  12. Permanent Records – Edward Snowden
  13. The House Across The Street – Lesley Pearse
  14. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kaye
  15. The Whitechapel Girl – Gilda O’Neil
  16. Christmas With The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  17. Finding Freedom – Carolyn Durand, Omid Scobie
  18. Royal – Danielle Steel
  19. The Orphan Twins – Lesley Eames
  20. The Rag & Bone Girl – Maggie Ford
  21. Going Hime to Liverpool – Kate Eastham
  22. The Country Bride – Dilly Court
  23. Liverpool Daughter – Katie Flynn
  24. A Springtime Affair – Katie Fforde
  25. The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron
  26. Goodnight Sweetheart – Pam Weaver
  27. Memories are Made of This – June Francis
  28. Pack Up Your Troubles – Anne Bennet
  29. How to Make it Happen – Maria Hatzistefanis
  30. Official Secrets – Marcia Mitchell & Thomas Mitchell
  31. A Daughter Ruin – Kitty Neale
  32. A Village Scandal – Dilly Court
  33. Many a Tear Has to Fall – June Francis
  34. Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
  35. It’s Now or Never – June Francis
  36. Walking Back to Happiness – June Francis
  37. The Spitfire Sisters – Margaret Dickinson
  38. Love Letters in the Sand – June Francis
  39. Shadows of the Past – June Francis
  40. Her Father Name – Beezy March
  41. How to be British – Tim Benson
  42. The Jones Family Food Roster – Alison Jones
  43. The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Walsh
  44. An Ophran Christmas – Katie Flynn
  45. Diagnosis – Lisa Sanders
  46. The Orphan Thief – Glynis Peters
  47. Mind Over Clutter – Nicola Lewis
  48. The Prison Doctor – Dr Amanda Brown
  49. An Orphans War – Molly Green
  50. A Strong Hand to Hold – Anne Bennett
  51. Time To Say Goodbye – Rosie Goodwin
  52. The Organised Writer – Anthony Johnston
  53. The Christmas Wedding – Dilly Court
  54. Rag and Bone Christmas – Dilly Court
  55. For Better or Worse – June Francis
  56. The Winters Promise – Rosie Goodwin
  57. The Orphans of Halfpenny St – Cathy Sharp
  58. A Daughter Duty – Maggie Hope
  59. Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell – Horace Greasley
  60. Dilly’s Sacrifice – Rosie Goodwin
  61. Dilly’s Lass – Rosie Goodwin
  62. Dilly’s Hope – Rosie Goodwin
  63. The Mill Girl – Rosie Goodwin
  64. Will You Take Me Home – Julie Tottman
  65. The Convent – Maria Hargreaves
  66. Home Front Girls – Rosie Goodwin

Here’s a reading Q&A

What is your favourite time of the day to read.

I tend to read when I go to bed. I can read everything from 10 pages to 100 in a night.

How many hours do you read a day.

I can read anything from 15mins to 2/3 hrs. It all depends how tired I am.

What is my favourite genre.

Historical fiction is my favourite, however I’m trying other genres.

Which author did you first get obsessed with.

I would say it was Lyn Andrews then Katie Flynn

Who are you currently obsessed with.

I would say Dilly Court and June Francis. To be fair my obsession is growing with many authors.

Can you read multiple books at one time.

Yes I can, nevertheless I think two is enough for me.

Which book/books was your favourite this year.

I did love “Rag n Bone Christmas” by Dilly Court. I also enjoyed “Will You Take Me Home” by Julie Tottman. This was a true story, which involved a Yorkie dog, therefore I brought the book for my goddaughter too as she’s a reader.

Who was your favourite author this year.

I would say June Francis because her characters in her books follow through her books, which I loved.

Which new authors did you try this year

I would say June Francis and Jean Fullerton were the most popular as I had read a few of their books.

Which book touched you this year.

It has to “The Convent” by Maria Hargreaves. The true story was about the horrific cruelty to children by a nun in a care home in Oldham, U.K.

How many books do you intend to read in 2021.

I’m not sure I’ll reach that target again but let’s see what happens.

Blog No 166 – Overview of 2020

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Happy New Everyone

Family & Friends

Thank you to friends and family for your continuous support. I have a huge amount of respect for people that consistently care and support Mr Zebrakat and I. Honestly from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. Especially all the people who sent cards, flowers, plants, mags, chocs & sweets, biscuits and messages.

The year started with a trip to County Cork, Ireland to celebrate Aunt P, 80th birthday with family. It was was such a heartwarming celebration. Aunt P knows how to provide a party, we had it all, fabulous food, good company and magnificent entertainment. She’s a very courageous lady, she had literally just finished treatment for breast cancer and we were hopping on a plane. Thank you Aunt P for a wonderful time.

To my relatives in Ireland it was wonderful catching up with you all. We will be back when it’s safe to fly again.

Covid 19 played havoc with special birthdays, weddings and new baby’s this year. I’m sure these celebrations were as special as they could be.

Hamish & Lottie

Hamish has been part of the family now for 2 years. Lottie & Hamish are very much in a routine with toilet breaks, feeding and sleeping. Your more than likely to find Lottie at my side and Hamish sleeping on my bed blanket. I’m sure my neighbours must laugh at Lottie and Hamish when they are running into the house together from the garden. It’s quiet comical watching them following each other like sheep. They are known to kiss and lick each other first thing in the morning.

Hamish still looks like a lion and is slightly larger in stature to Lottie. Lottie can hold her own too, if Hamish tries to grab her. Pets are obviously very therapeutic.

Home

Copyright 2019 Zebrakat

We are still tweaking our current residence. It’s certainly changing in appearance and no longer represents a typical terraced house floor plan. We started in the roof space and now we are on the ground floor, working from the front of the property to the rear. I’m waiting for a replacement front door, which has been delayed due to covid 19. It’s been on the order since October.

I wanted to show you a cupboard that I’d designed earlier in the year and finally put into its place. I needed the unit to fit on a plinth in my guest bedroom. It’s made out of scaffolding boards. Anyone who knows me will appreciate I love a little timber in my decor.

The cupboard consists of doors, drawers and shelves. Behind the doors is some hanging space and some additional shelving. Its perfect for guests and now considered a new heirloom.

Health

I’ve already discussed my health in previous blogs. I’m glad treatment is over for now, I’m hoping my body gives me a little respite from medical appointments and health issues. I’m planning to continue as I do, live life and be happy.

Travel

Travel this year has been a bit of a washout, however I’ve still managed a few places. I was able to fly to Ireland earlier in the year, which was amazing. I’ve also visited Bath & York, both historical cities. Bath & York are full of beautiful architecture, fabulous restaurants and quaint shops. I would recommend both cities a visit, magnificent gems of the U.K.

Mr Zebrakat

Mr Zebrakat is working from home and on site as he works in the construction industry. It is nice having him around. On a positive note, covid had Mr Z at home when I was going through treatment. He unquestionably is happy he’s working and is one of the lucky ones still working.

Mr Z is undoubtedly been my tower of strength going through treatment and family hospitalisations etc. Thank you Mr Z for always being there as always as usual, what would I do without you.

Hobbies

Reading, I did about 66 books last year, so beat my previous years record. Watch out for my next blog for my annual list of books.

Covid has allowed me to frame up & hang some travel pictures etc. I’v also been filling up photo albums with old photos. I still have numerous to do but I’m getting there. I’ll then move on to filling up scrapbooks with memories and mementos.

Hopefully 2021 will no longer be a year of doom and gloom. We all need to be vaccinated and getting on with our lives. Love to you all 🤣

Blog No 153 – PRRT During Covid -19

Hello Everyone

Sorry, it’s been some time since I last blogged. Life took over, covid -19 took over and PRRT symptoms took over. I don’t think anyone is going to forget 2020 in a hurry. I can’t wait to see what the history books say.

Let me start, by telling you I’ve had PRRT #3 last month and I will be having #4 is in October. My PRRT goal was to improve my daily symptoms and if it slowed down my progression that would be a bonus. I have been typical patient in respect of symptoms, hair thinning, pain, flushing and fatigue. It’s also true that your symptoms do indeed get worse as treatment goes up.

I was initially an in patient over 3 days but due covid -19 the hospital started to do the treatment as a day case. Personally, my preference is getting the treatment in a day but I don’t like the travelling home situation. On a good day it can take up 90 mins, nevertheless if traffic is bad it can take longer.

Once the treatment takes hold, I did endure tumour pain. As the tumours get inflamed, you know the treatment is on track. It can aggravate your carcinoid symptoms too, which intensifies your flushing or bowels. Lucky me, I was exposed to both. The next treatment had been delayed due to me sustaining bone pain. Therefore, we are allowing 12 weeks instead of 8 weeks I was doing, between treatments.

Covid -19, has been challenging for everyone and more so for many people. I personally think people has become complacent, ignoring the rules etc. I don’t understand people’s ignorance but I guess that will always happen through any situation. I would like to say thank you to all workers, key workers and the medical profession for working through a particularly hard situation.

During treatment and covid -19, my mother was diagnosed with a secondary cancer. She’s being tough, however she has suffered additional side effects and her chemo has been cancelled on a couple of occasions . She is fighting through the obstacles like a trooper. Mother & daughter going through treatment at the same time, just blows my mind. It certainly would make a great book.

I’m going to embark on my blogs again so please watch this space. Love to you all.