The Village Witch Hocus Pocus Box {June}

Hey everyone.

Today I bring you an unboxing of June’s Hocus Focus Box by The Village Witch. The theme for this month was Summer Solstice and Festivals.

When this box arrived I could smell it before I even opened it. There was a gorgeous subtle citrus scent coming from it.

The contents of this box are absolutely gorgeous and so very me. The scents are all citrus which are my favourite, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruits and even a hint of coconut.

The spell that came with the box is really great and really fun, I am looking forward to doing this.

So let’s look at the contents:

  • Spell sheet instructions
  • Summer Zing Aura Spray
  • Summer Zing Ink
  • Summer Solstice Oil
  • Summer Solstice Spell Shooter
  • Summer Solstice Magical Bonfire Burning Mix
  • Summer Cleansing Salt
  • Small Dreamcatcher
  • Magnetic Polaroid Photo Frame
  • Festival Savings Tin
  • Hanging Twizzler
  • Goodie Bag

There was a new and exclusive item in this box, the spell shooter. What a fun product! I can’t wait to go into the garden and complete my spell with this witchy party popper. Even the paper in it is biodegradable.

I’ve hung the Twizzler at my back patio door for now, once I’ve finished my garden it’s going to go out there.

So far the Summer Solstice box is my absolute favourite. The quality is as good as all the other boxes and the scents are amazing. The Village Witch really pull put the stops when making these boxes. The boxes are £30 including postage and always exceed their value.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Previous Unboxing Posts : Mar/Apr/May

*Disclaimer – I received this product free of charge. All opinions are my own and without bias.

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The Retreat by Mark Edwards {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I bring you a review of The Retreat by Mark Edwards.

I’ve been a fan of Mark’s for quite some time after reading one of his other novels, The Magpies. After that I went on a binge and read loads of his work.

I picked up The Retreat not that long ago as I had it pre-ordered but I’ve only just got around to reading it and wow, it was amazing.

I absolutely loved it. The book initially gives the impression that it is heading down a certain road but the twists and turns never fully reveal what is going on until the end.

Mark has such an amazing writing style, you find yourself drawn into the world he creates as the imagery is so realistic and written so well.

Mark creates characters that you feel you understand, like you know them. They all have a depth and soul.

I would give this book a 5 star rating and recommend it to anyone who loves mystery or thriller books.

I’ve picked up A Murder of Magpie’s which is the sequel to The Magpies and I can’t wait to read it.

You can pick up a copy of The Magpies here and find out more about Mark and his other books here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson {Review}

Good Morning,

Today I have a review of the 2nd novel by Kiltie Jackson.

I loved Kiltie’s first novel A Rock n Roll Lovestyle, so when I got the opportunity to read this I wasn’t going to say no.

Blurb…

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

Review…

Well I have to say Kiltie definitely has a way with words. After I read her first book I was hooked on her style. Kiltie writes in a way that is so easy to follow the book is over before you realise it’s even begun.

The characters have such depth you feel like they are real people who you know really well. Kiltie knows how to write a great villian because in both novels I’ve felt such utter dislike for them and not an ounce of sympathy.

This plot for this story is really good and has a great addition of being rather humourous. I love the twist of adding Death as a character and it really makes this novel stand out.

It was really good to see characters we grew to love in Kiltie’s first book have roles in this one as well. It is done in such a way that you really don’t need to read the first and allows this to be strong as a stand-alone novel.

Unfortunately for you An Artisan Lovestyle isn’t released until 28th June but it is well worth ordering, currently the kindle price is less than £2 which I assure you is a massive bargain.

You can pre-order from Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise xx

*Disclaimer – This ARC was given to me free of charge. This however, does not bias my review or opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finally A Diagnosis!

Hey everyone.

I’m back today with an update on my health. Yesterday was a big day for me. I had an appointment with my consultant to finally get the results from the biopsy that was taken during surgery on the 20th April.

It turns out I have Crohns Disease. This was a much better result than what it could have been. However, it is still very much life altering. There is no cure for Crohns and it is a very unpredictable chronic illness.

The consultant is hopeful that with the right preventive medication that I should be able to manage things well. I have been referred to a specialist and IBD nurse to get everything started.

I was happy that he said he wants me to start swimming in two weeks to build up my strength and mobility. I love swimming so that works really well for me.

Today I plan to start setting up a health bullet journal as I feel it will be really helpful in tracking all the appointments, symptoms and food issues as well as holding information and such.

I am not going to lie, I’m somewhat scared of going forward, Crohns is new to me and I’ve got a lot to learn about my body and with it been unpredictable it means I know I will have bad days and weeks ahead of me but I am grateful to finally have some answers and support.

The last few months have been a massive struggle and things have been hard. I always thought It was rough before but it was nothing compared to this.

I’ve had an iron infusion, 4 blood transfusions, over 4 weeks in hospital, a minor operation, major operation and 4 infections since leaving hospital but I am getting there. I have another surgery to face within the next few months to get the stent removed from my kidney. I’m trying to be positive now and start planning my new life.

*Warning*

There are photos below from my time in hospital so contain transfusions and neck cannula etc and displaying my weight loss (total of 8 stone, 3 of which was due to my illness over the last 3 months).

Thank you for reading and sticking with me during this time. Its very much appriciated.

Emma-Louise x

Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I have a review for you for the book Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this which was fantastic as I had heard such good things about him with his debut novel Our Little Secret.

Blurb…

Close your eyes…and count to ten.

He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.
When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

Review…

Let me start by saying this book was brilliant. It takes a lot for me to really enjoy a good thriller as I find most of them fairly predictable but this kept me on the edge all the way through. There were a fair few twists which I didn’t see coming a mile off. I guessed who the perpetrator was as it was unveiled in the book, Darren did a great job there.

The plot concept was great. It felt like we were joining Daniel on this wild ride and uncovering things as he was which added to the atmosphere.

Darren’s writing style flows so well and he isn’t afraid to write graphically or against what is generally expected which is what gave this novel that extra bit of edge.

I would gladly give this 5 stars and recommend it to any lover of a good crime/thriller. I will definitely be reading his other title now.

You can purchase Close Your Eyes here for UK customers and here for US customers.

If you fancy checking out Darren’s debut novel Our Little Secret you can find it here.

To find out more about Darren you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

*Disclaimer – I received this book free however, all opinions are my own and are expressed without bias.

Recent Purchases {May}

Hey everyone.

I thought I’d share with you my more recent purchases. Not all are planner related. There are some bookish items as well.

Lets start with my YourWorldOfColour orders. I ordered these beautiful spring/summer feel kits and some matching day of the week covers along with some swear word quotes. These are bright, fun and amazing quality.

Next is my first ever order from Linouspots. These are lovely watercolour stickers and didn’t cost a fortune in shipping. They arrived really quickly.

I purchased this Filofax Ranger from a destash in a group. I am now using it as a wallet/purse combo.

I ordered more inserts from Queen Mabel and Doris as mine are almost empty. I got two different weekly styles and some dotted inserts.

Now we have another destash purchase. These are fab and I couldn’t resist for the price.

Last but not least an order from Fable and Black which are one of my favourite stores for bookish goodies. I got the Rattle The Stars Throne of Glass cup and a Bad Witch badge.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Rock-A-Bye Baby by L.R.W Lee {Release Day}

Hey Everyone!

Today I bring the the exciting new fantasy release of Rock-A-Bye Baby by L.R.W Lee.

Rock-A-Bye Baby is the prequel book to Lullaby by the same author.

Here is the blurb for Rock-A-Bye Baby.

Winds Blowing. Boughs Breaking. A Cradle Falling. Can the Sand Maiden Prevent Disaster?

Alissandra, an immortal Sand Maiden, and daughter of the most powerful king in Dream Realm, has always been close to her father despite being one of twenty-two children. She’s put him on a pedestal and sought to make him proud of her as she weaves the dreams of her many mortal charges helping them make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said.

But with her latest charge, she starts to sense that her father isn’t all she dreams he is. It’s hard to accept that the parent you love isn’t perfect, but how do you do it when he’s a god? How far do you let him push before you say no? And how far do you go to push back?

I’ve read it and have to say it is amazing. It is the perfect lead up to Lullaby. Which I would also highly recommend. Both of these books are incredibly well written and the storyline is on that will suck you right in and make you invested in the characters. It’s impossible not to love Allisandra.

Rock-A-Bye Baby is available in Paper and Kindle format and can be purchased here for UK customers and here for U.S customers.

If you want to try before you buy you can download the first 3 chapters here.

To find out more about the author you can visit her website here.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Emma-Louise x

June TBR List

Hey everyone. Can you believe we are heading into June? I know I can’t, it’s going far too quickly.

I thought I would share with you my June read list.

First we have;

Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan.

Blurb…

He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.

When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

The Retreat By Mark Edwards

Blurb…

A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Blurb…

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

The stunning sequel to the Sunday Times bestselling Caraval

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more – and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets . . . including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about – maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

That’s it for this month. Feel free to pop a comment below recommending any books for July or sharing your tbr list.

Emma-Louise x

Grand Opening #abusetalk Forum

#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

Up to date information on the day on virtual opening event: https://www.facebook.com/events/227612351343912/

Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.

A bit about my journey:

My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.

Since this publication I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.

My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.

I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, its opened many doors, its connected many people, its supported lots of individuals and it has created an community.

I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.

I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.

In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.

Why have I opened a forum?

I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. Thats when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.

I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.

How do I access the new forum?

You can head there right now… www.jennifergilmour.com/community

PLEASE NOTE: You will only see the news and updates forum until you are registered, once you are registered you will see the main Abuse Talk Forum appear with all the topics and discussions.

Who is the forum for?

Anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse.

It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more.

Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Its FREE! All you have to do is register at: https://jennifergilmour.com/AbuseTalkForum/?wpforo=signup

There will be a VIP Membership area but that is opening later on, updates will be given and this will be just £10 a year with a bag full of offers, discounts and more. This is you really need that extra security and community.

Sign up for notification of this service here: http://eepurl.com/dor93f

I would like to sponsor the forum, how do I do this?

The forum is open for sponsorship to cover the maintenance and time it takes to moderate the posts.

Anyone can be a silent sponsor for £1 or £3, scroll to the bottom of this page: https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

For businesses/charities/organisations/advocates etc please contact me for availability – contact@jennifergilmour.com

Sponsors will receive a unique badge to place on their website and social media to show that they support the forum.

Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…

#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.

Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.

Not in the UK? Thats not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the timezones most used.

Find out more here:

https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

Need to know more?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at contact@jennifergilmour.com

Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you – it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Video on how to register and see how the visibility of the forum is altered with the registration- https://youtu.be/YtImyAHffDE

Jennifer Gilmour

Your World of Colour PR Kit – May

Hey everyone, today I’m sharing with you my PR kit from YourWorldOfColour. I love my little packages from Carlyann, they are always full of fun and functional bits that are incredibly useful especially since I’m am more of a functional planner.

The first picture shows little Unicorns eating fries, Office desks, Coffee cups, antibiotics and trainers. These are all great for me. I normally wouldn’t use the trainers but I’m taking up running once I’m better so they will be useful then.

The next set are cleaning check lists which I use all the time and March Wacky Holidays which I will save for next year

Then last but not least the amazing Cow kit! I love this so much and cannot wait to use it:)

So that’s everything. You can see my purchases from Your World Of Colour in another post later this week.

Don’t forget you can use the following code for a discount:)

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x