My Reading Review Journal (ad-gifted)

Hey Everyone,

It’s pretty clear to you all by now that I have a love for books and stationery. This post combines the two!

As part of the Fiction Cafe Review Team I was gifted a gorgeous Reading Journal by S.L Grigg. I was so excited about this as a reader, trying to find the perfect reading journal is difficult because it’s hard to find something with comprises all the stuff you want to note. As a book reviewer I look for ones with a lot of detail and note space.

This reading journal was perfect. Each book has a dedicated 2 page detailed spread to dicuss what you thought of it. I also has a few little puzzles and colouring ages, a full index and a place to list you TBR.

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I wanted to customise the journal further and combine it with my love of all things arty so I decided to take the cover and paint it, along with adding some quirky ’emma-isms’ inside. I plan to add more as I go as well. Here is my before and after.

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The journal itself has space for more than 100 book reviews so it will last sometime and for £7.99 it’s an absolute steal. If you would like to purchase a copy or see more reviews on it you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

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Family Fun

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Hey Everyone.

When I was recovering last year. I made a few promises to myself about the life I wanted to live. Like most of us do, we often take things for granted and don’t often realise how lucky we are with the smallest and simplest of things.

I realised that I wanted more family time, that I didn’t have to wait until I had the money for some grand day out. In fact I could make some great family days with little to no money because ultimately it’s not money that you need to spend, it’s time.

We moved in December and part of me was really sad as I loved Guisborough, I loved that the Priory no more than a 10 minute walk away and it’s a place that I have loved for over 20 years.

However, now we’ve settled and my health has improved ten fold we have started to be more active as a family.

I now live in a place that is 20 minutes by bus to Guisborough so I can still visit the Priory and I am 15 minutes by bus to visit a Victorian seaside town and beach and I am a 10 minute walk from the rolling countryside. I am lucky, I live in a pretty and scenic place.

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My partner had the week off over Valentine’s and we decided to not buy each other gifts. Instead we were going to spend the day at the beach as a family and that is what we did.

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We had such a lovely day. We went in the afternoon after Alexis finished nursery and thankfully the weather was great.It was chilly but the sun was shining.

Saltburn is a really nice beach. Part of it is full of rockpools and pebbles while the other part is a long stretch of sandy beach.

 

While we were there we collected some pebbles to paint at home and found some shells. We took a walk out over the long pier and had a play in the 2p machines in the tiny pier arcade.

 

 

 

 

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We then spent another day painting our pebbles ready to put in our garden which we are doing up ready for summer.

 

 

 

Here are the rest of our pictures:)

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

 

Blog Tour: Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow {Review} [ad]

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Good Morning,

Today I have a review for the book Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow. Love Heart Lane is the first in a duology.

Blurb

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village f Heartcross she only expected to stay a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the mainland is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

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Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Heart-Lane-Christie-Barlow-ebook/dp/B07DX1YXKM/

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Love-Heart-Lane-Christie-Barlow-ebook/dp/B07DX1YXKM/

Review

I really enjoyed Love Heart Lane. I instantly felt a connection to Felicity. Her story was one that a lot of people will probably resonate with. Although the book was a light and easy read it touched on some very deep issues. I really loved the idea of this little village pulling together as a community when things go from bad to worse. I would like to think that as society we would pull together in the same way.

It is easy to see why Fergus behaves the way he does with her after everything they have been though together. Isla was a character who also stood out to me, I would really like to see more from her and Drew in a future book.

The writing was really well done and flowed with a great pace. I found that once I got started pages flew by without me even realising. It’s rare these days I get to start and finish a book within a day or two.

I would really recommend this book to others, if you are looking for an nice enjoyable romance that has depth and excitement then this is the book for you.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

website www.christiebarlow.com

Twitter @ChristieJBarlow

Facebook page Christie Barlow author

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Thank you so much to Rachel and Christie for proving me a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and taking part in this blog tour. I received this book free but all opinions and thoughts on it are my own.

Please pop along to the other Blog Tour hosts and see what they thought of Love Heart Lane.

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Emma-Louise x

Writing Great Fantasy: World Building Workshop {Review}

Today I have a different sort of review for you. As many of you know I am currently writing a book. I have a few different books started but this current one is the biggie for me. I often look at courses to improve my writing skills or teach me more about the genre I am writing in.

I want to give my readers something with is compelling, believeable and enjoyable. I want to immerse them in a world they feel is real. Thanks to Facebook’s marketing I am often suggested new course providers and courses. In this instance it was Udemy and a writing course.

I had a browse of the online catalogue and came across the course Writing Great Fantasy: World Building Workshop. Looking at the module breakdown it was perfect. The course material is only 4.5 hours long but has a lot of assignment style questions along the way.

I finished the course yesterday and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It covered everything you  need to know about creating a world, from how to draw a map to creating creatures. The lectures were really well done and very thought provoking. I have come away from the course brimming with ideas and a million things I want to now add, it’s given me the opportunity to consider things I would never have thought of and I now have the ability to create a well rounded believable world for my characters.

I really had fun with the map making and character creation parts of the course. They provided me much needed knowledge and I filled gaps in my map that I hadn’t realised would be problematic.

A massive bonus to this course is that when you finish you get a fantastic discount to use against the course Writing Your Fantasy Novel by the same instructor, Jason Link. I will  be taking up that offer, however, I have another course through them I also bought when on offer to start first. This one is called Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Mastery which sounds great.

The courses can be a bit expensive if you get them full price (though very worth it) but Udemy often have sales where you can pick up the courses for £9.99 so it might be worth it to keep checking back if you want the lower cost.

All in all if you want to write fantasy I would absolutely recommend this course.

Here is a copy of my certificate of completion and the map I made, I have blurred out the names of places to leave some mystery and intrigue for my readers.

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As of today’s date (30/01/2019) there is a current sale on for reduce price courses, the ones I mentioned above are all included.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

 

 

R-Kive Leather Journal Review (ad)

Hey!

So a little while back I was approached by the lovely Dyanna over at R-Kive Leather to see if I would like to try out one of their products in exchange for a little PR work. Of course I jumped at the chance because I have been eyeing these up for over a year now and desperately wanted one.

Once we decided on the leather, I then had to decide on the type of notebook cover I wanted. Now this was no easy thing. In the end we decided to go with a B6 Hobonichi weeks hybrid. Now this may sound odd but in fact it just means adding a little extra height to the B6 to allow for the weeks to sit in the pocket.

The cover arrived just before christmas and I have not had the chance until now to get this post written so let’s get cracking.

First of all it arrived beautifully wrapped and well packaged. The smell of the leather was so good, I could smell it before I even opened the envelope.

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The leather itself….WOW it is absolutely gorgeous. I love floppy leathers so this could not have been more perfect, it is so so soft and silky. It is an absolute dream to touch and it is so tactile. I imagine it may mark easily but let’s be realistic, who doesn’t love a marked up, well worn journal?!

There was some great size pocket inside, two at the front along with a credit card size pocket then another pocket at the back which you can slot the weeks into. It came with 4 strings and some B6 journals already made up for me. The elastic is quite thin, my personal preference would have been to have thicker strings so I will probably change them out at some point. The spine was not reinforced, something I hadn’t thought of or specified but not I have seen the flexibility of the leather I would probably add a reiforced spine on hindsight as it just gives more structure to the overall cover.

It fits the Weeks and the B6 notebooks beautifully, however, for now I have decided to use it to hold my B6 Staology journal. When I have hospital stays for surgeries though It will be used to house everything I need to take with me.

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All in all this is a beautifully made cover. The leather and workmanship is extremely good and I will be ordering another at some point in the future.

Thank you so much Dyanna for making this for me and allowing me the opportunity to try one of your beautiful creations.

You can find out more about R-Kive Leather here and visit their shop here.

Thank you so much for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Lock by Andrew Barrett {Review} (ad)

Today I have a tour for the novella The Lock by Andrew Barrett.

Blurb

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI. I was finishing up at a sudden death in an old house, waiting for the body snatchers to arrive, when I heard a noise from the cellar.

I had time to kill, so I went to investigate.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one with killing on his mind.

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Review

The Lock is a face paced andpls which has all the makings of a fantastic book. The benefit to this being shorter than your average novel is that there is no filler at all so it gets straight into the thick of the story and the resolution.

The novella is split into different point of views over various characters which makes for a compelling read.

Barrett writes a great villain and in this case it was a refreshing change to see a CSI who wasn’t all prim and proper and enjoyed a good moan about his job.

For those who like a thriller mixed with a splash of horror this is the perfect one for you.

Author Bio

Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in
Yorkshire.

He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s
life revolves around crime. In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 120,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the
trilogy.

Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds. He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come. Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories. You can find out more about him and his writing at
http://www.andrew-barrett.co.uk

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Social Media and Purchase Links

Contact: andrew@andrewbarrett.co.uk
Website: https://www.andrewbarrett.co.uk
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/AndrewBarrettUK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewBarrett.author
Exclusive Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BarrettERG/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewbarrettauthor
Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Barrett/e/B0055888Q0/
Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Barrett/e/B0055888Q0/

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Sinister Gathering by Dianne Ezzard {Review} (ad)

the sinister gathering

Blurb

Sophie attends a well-being retreat hoping to find herself, instead she finds a dead body.

Coming to the Scottish Highlands, she hopes to escape life and get in touch with her inner self. She wants to free herself from the anxieties that have gripped her for years.

Peace and harmony are advertised but what she discovers is anything but.

She is around women with other ideas. As she gets to know the strange bunch staying at Glenloch Hall, fights and arguments become the norm.

She should never have entered that fateful property.

She was looking for peace but found death.

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Review

I was a little worried when I got this book, with it being the 3rd book in a series and not having read the first two I wondered if it would mean I struggle with catching up. I was assured that it would be fine to read as a stand alone and it was. It would be nce to have more background on Sophie but it isn’t a necessity as the author does a good job of filling in the blanks as you go through the story.

I have to admit though I did struggle with the book, I don’t feel that the story really gave me the feeling of suspense as I read it and I did not warm to any of the characters. I didn’t feel invested which is a shame because the storyline itself was a good one.

The pacing of the story was done well but I found there was a lot of filler that was not neccessary. There were certain things written into the story that were not factually accurate and that made it hard for me to really absorb mysef into a world that was part of the world we live within.

All in all though, it wasn’t a completely bad read. The author puts forward a compelling storyline that I am sure some will love.

I am afraid that this only gets a 3 star for me but please, give it a try yourself.

Purchase Links

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinister-Gathering-Sophie-Brown-Book-ebook/dp/B07HWP9V5H

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Sinister-Gathering-Sophie-Brown-Book-ebook/dp/B07HWP9V5H

Author Bio 

Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives.

Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a cafe and managed a charity.

She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.

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Social Media Links

http://dezzardwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dezzardwriter/

https://twitter.com/diane_ezzard

Thank you for reading and please pop along to the other bloggers taking part and see what they thought of The Sinister Gathering.

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Emma-Louise x

Blog Blitz: Broken Glass by J.M Sullivan {Extract}

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Broken Glass

Author: J.M. Sullivan

Genre: A/ Dark Fantasy / Fairy Tale Retelling

Cover Designer: Westerfield Creative

Publication Date: January 15th, 2019

Publisher: Bleeding Ink Publishing

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

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Blurb

The scariest thing about Wanderland isn’t death–it’s the momerath.

And now Dinah is one of them.

***

Alice Carroll has spent the better part of her life avoiding Wanderland–and the momerath–at all costs. But now with her sister gone, Alice has only one place to go.

Back to Wanderland.

Armed with only her blade and a raging vendetta against the traitorous Red Queen, Alice storms the undead wasteland to find Dinah and atone for her mistakes. But with relentless momerath and a ruthless Queen encroaching, will Alice’s determination be enough? Or will she fall down a new rabbit hole searching for revenge?

Extract

She killed another Joker today.

Excuse me.  I mean, ‘Guardsman.’

Ha.

That’s the real joke. The Red Queen cares about the Marked as much as a cat does a dirty litter box. She’ll use them if she must, but otherwise they’re disposable.

Except for me.

She watches me.

I don’t think she knows what to do with me. Not that I blame her. I don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes I feel like everything is normal, and other times, well—then, at least, the voices tell me that everything is fine.

I don’t quite believe them.

It would be easier if the memories stopped. Of life before. It’s muddled, but there are fragments of purpose and joy, all tied to a quiet, blonde girl. She is strong, stronger than she knows—I know this because I know her better than myself.  And yet, I don’t remember her.

I am empty.

The memories are not mine—they belong to someone else. I am a traitor in this body, an unwelcome host. And yet, the longer I stay grey, the more this body calls to me. Like the other Marked.

We understand each other.

They tell me things. Secrets the Queen will never know. I can read them in their eyes. I can feel them in my bones. Words unspoken, but always heard. Whispers, desperate songs, pleading for salvation. And all the while, they watch me. Waiting. Haunted stares as she kills our brothers and sisters. Their pain is palpable, heavy in the air and on my shoulders while they call to me on an undiscovered frequency.

I hear them laughing.

I hear them crying.

I hear them . . .

I hear . . .

Them.

Author Bio

Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. When she’s not buried in her laptop, you can find her watching scary movies with her husband, playing with her kids, or lost inside a good book. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., you can find her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks– she’d love to hear from you.

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Author Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16508815

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SS5c9t

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmsullivanbooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@jmsullivanbooks

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-m-sullivan

Web: https://jmsullivanbooks.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43452770-broken-glass

Buy Link

Alice: https://amzn.to/2VScax7

Broken Glass: https://amzn.to/2ROiI0t

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

December The Village Witch Sub Box

Hey Everyone,

I know I am a bit late to the party with this box but I wanted to share it with you anyway. This was the December Yule themed subscription box by The Village Witch.

I really loved this box, the aroma I got from just opening it told me that it would be one that I would really enjoy. It smelt of ginger, cinnamon, winter spices. Perfect for this time of year.

Contents Included:

Treat Bag

Heart Home Decor

2 Chritmas Scented Scandles

Warm and Cosy Aura Spray

Peace of The Season Salt Mix

Yule Incense

Yule Oil

 In with the New, Out with the Old Floor Wash

Winter Solistice Spell Shooter

Yule Ink

 

As always the quality was amazing. The quantity you get with these boxes for only £30 is amazing. The retail value is way over what you pay and they always include little extras.
I had so much fun doing this spell, the spell shooter is especially good to do.
You can get hold of a TWV Subscription box by clicking this link.

As you can see I loved using mine:)

Thanks for reading,
Emma-Louise x