It’s A Family Thing: The Christmas Rehearsal by Sue Wickstead {Review}

Alexis and I have had the pleasure of reading all of Sue’s books until now. I was hoping to have this review out to you sooner but due to moving and then Christmas I simply didn’t get the time.

Blurb

The Christmas Play Rehearsal

It is Christmas time, and the school has been getting ready to perform their Nativity play.

With lines learnt and songs to be sung, it is time for the dress rehearsal. The teacher knows there might be a few problems to sort out, but at least they will know what to improve on or change along the way.

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Purchase Links

The Christmas Play Rehearsal  https://amzn.to/2zPugqt

Sue Wickstead’s other books on Amazon

Amazon .co.uk http://bit.ly/JJKSupersonic

Amazon .com http://amzn.to/2BxvU2l

A Spooky tale .co http://amzn.to/2Dq6P5X

A Spooky tale .com http://amzn.to/2zGGBtR

Jay-Jay the supersonic Bus  http://amzn.to/2DyvTrO

Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure – e book http://amzn.to/2BWINPD

Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure http://amzn.to/2CdNEjO

Jay-Jay and the Carnival http://amzn.to/2E3Z6LL

Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus https://amzn.to/2NljxHY

 

Review

What a delightful little book this was. Different to the Jay-Jay bus books we have read previously, this book was full of festive cheer. Alexis loved reading this and looking at the pictures. Sue as usual did not disappoint in writing a book and creating a little world that my 4yr old loves to learn about.

 


Author Bio

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

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Social Media Links

https://www.suewickstead.co.uk/

Facebook: – Author Page http://bit.ly/2kEEhPq

Twitter https://twitter.com/JayJayBus

 

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise and Alexis x

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Lucy Hall’s Little Book of Social Media by Jennifer Gilmour {Review}

Little Book of Social Media Review

 

It’s Jennifer Gilmour here to review a little book which is packed with prompts and ideas. I am an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships and also have a love for stationery.

Little Book of Social Media – Lucy Hall

Tips, Ideas and Inspiration

picture of product

About

 The little book of social media content ideas and inspiration is perfect for your pocket or bag. A 138 page, A6 social media content ideas book which has been meticulously created! To help inspire you and to help you visualise social media post ideas. Whatever page you open there will be a new idea for your next social media post (over 130 ideas presented in full colour and in a fun and creative format). Sent to you by Mingo Mail.

Now available: UK, USA and Europe. £8 plus postage UK £2.30, EU Postage £4.90, USA/Rest of the world £6.90

My Review 

WOW, what a book to get you going especially if you are stuck for ideas or need a bit of a nudge in your creativity. I will be constantly referring to this gem and have recommended it to others as a go to book for those who need some help in their social media content. I thought to be able to showcase the Little Book of Social Media I should show that I have taken action with some of the pointers.

GIF

 

 

So excited to have my GIF up and running and people have responded positivity to it. Its how I end my YouTube videos as one of my slogans.  

create

Creating an image with quotes was an easy task for me as I already had started it, but this made me realise that I need some consistency. I looked at my Instagram feed and realised it wasn’t as organised as it could be with my quotes and so I decided to create a pattern. I have been running this for a few months and people have commented on how it is pretty. My quotes are positive/motivational or thought provoking in linking to domestic abuse.

Before and After shots of my feed.

Do you think it looks better?

showtime and groupie

 

This one I have combined. In my street team I have a regular feature that rewards people who share material/take part/being a street team member. Its a monthly giveaway and members can join in with this each month, it works well and I am thankful for the support. I am planning on recognising regular contributors and working on how this will work long term so this one has given me a lot to think about.

 Find out more about my street team here: www.jennifergilmour.com/street-team

This book has certainly influenced my content and I am enjoying putting it to practical use. What are you waiting for?

 Link to buy: https://www.lucyshall.com/shop-1/little-book-of-social-media-inspirationv

 Jennifer Gilmour

2019 Planner Set-Up

HAPPY NEW YEAR

It’s a new year and usually with that a whole new set of planners. This year though I am only introducing one new planner and continuing to use a planner I used for the last 4 months of 2018.

Let’s star with my good old faithful. My EDC/Handbag planner is a Hobonichi Weeks style planner, which I loving refer to as the faux-weeks. I got this from Aliexpress for around £6 after hearing about how nice they were from one of my YWOC PR teamies ( who sent me 4 more lol). I fell in love and haven’t looked back. I love the space in it, it is light, versatile and perfect for popping in my handbag. It is great pop having all my appointments and such in. I do decorate it when I can be bothered but I am not fussed if it stays plain as it is purely a functional planner.

 

My other planner which is more comprehensive and which I am using for everything (social media, house, blog, book reviews and colletions) is a Scribbles That Matter Bullet Planner. I had been eyeing this up then Sam (another YWOC PR Teamie) showed me hers when we attending a blogging event together in December and my partner bought it for me for christmas. This planner is in the form of a bullet journal and has the inside set up for you, this is perfect for me as not only did I love the style but I love not having to worry about drawing it out myself each week. This will be the one coming to hospital with me for my surgery appointments so I didn’t want the pressure of decorating.

I added my own collections to some of the blank pages and I have to say I am loving it so far. The paper quality is aaaammmaazzzinnnggg.

 

 

I picked planners this year based on 2 reasons;

  1. Maximum Functionality
  2. Something that is easy to carry around, take to hospital and most importantly not to have to decorate each week if I get sick again.

 

What are you using this year? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Hey_bloggers Christmas Party

Hey Everyone,

I was lucky enough to attend my first blogging event on December 15th over in Hull. The event was the Hey_Bloggers christmas party which was hosted in the Lexington Bar at the Doubletree Hilton

I was a little nervous going but excited. Not only to attend but alo to meet a couple of wonderful people who I have known for sometime via social media.

The train took 3 hours each way but it was well worth it. Unlike most blogging events, with this been a Christmas party there were no workshops but instead party games, icebreakers and lots of socialising and networking. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of bloggers who I hadn’t met before across many different fields.

One of the games we played was called Socialise and Mingle and it was so much fun. It is a great ice breaker style game but also a great one to play with friends and family.

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There were lots of things going on but it was such a great atmosphere, it felt quite intimate and not overwhelming which was great for a newbie like myself. It meant I had the opportunity to engage and talk to almost everyone there.

We also got an amazing googie bag which was full of lovely gifts from different brands. So a special thank you goes out to Hugh Rice Jewellers, Metcalfe Skinny, High Maintenance Jewellery, Rock on Ruby, Fenitmans, Wordery, Napoleons Casino, Sienna X and the Hull Truck Theatre.

The event was also catered for by Like Sugar Bakery and the cakes were amazing!

There was a raffle which was raising money for Oscar’s Chance Charity which is an amazing cause. I won two tickets to The Deep Hull, a watch, sweets and a cut and blow dry.

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Thank you to Hey_Bloggers for putting on a fantastically Festive Event, I cannot wait for the next one.

Here are some more pictures of my time at the event, featuring the wonderful Sam Alderson and Jennifer Gilmour.

Emma-Louise x

Alaria Playlist

Sometimes when I write I like to do it in complete silence, sometimes when I write I like background noise from the TV and then sometimes when I write I have a playlist of songs going through my head which sum up situations, scene, dialogue etc.

Alaria conjures up a lot of songs for me, coincidentally mostly from the same band. They create the perfect atmosphere and imagery in my mind and help me pull scenes together.

My Alaria playlist is quite small currently but I am only at the beginning on my journey on it. As I write more I will undoubtedly add more to it.

Alaria Playlist

What!? There Have Been No Posts!?

Hey Everyone,

As the title suggests, lately there have not been any posts from me. We moved house on the 1st December and the week prior to that I was decorating the new house and the week after I was very unwell and had hospital appointments.

I have found that managing my Crohns and moving quite a bit difficult, the stress of it meant as soon as we moved I was really unwell and I havent felt that bad since before my operation. I honestly thought I was heading back into a major flare, luckily though it seems it was just a mini one and I needed to rest.

I had news from my Urologist last week that while there are two options to having a permanant fix for my kidney both are such high risk to life with low success rates that I have been advised against them. I am waiting for a MAG3 scan to confirm the damage to my right kidney before moving forwrd. It might mean the damage is as severe as with my left kidney and I will have to have stents fitted in both. For the forseeable future though my left kidney will have to be re-stented every 4 months, this means more surgeries which I am not thrilled about to say the least.

At the moment I am just taking things one day at a time and seeing how I go. I have no expectations when it comes to my health as each day can vary so much.

I am currently trying to work my way through blog posts that I have missed and feel terrible for committing to them and then not been able to uphold my end. I thought that at least if I can get the reviews out there even f they are late, it’s better than nothing.

I hope you are all well and getting into the festivities that come with this time of year. I am so happy I have my tree up, it feels like Christmas is coming now.

Take Care,

Emma-Louise x

A Hollow Sky by M. Sean Coleman

A Hollow Sky

Hey Everyone,

I know it’s the 11th December and I am extremely late with this review, well to be honest, with all my reviews. Still, I would rather post even if it is late.

Blurb

A SUSPENSEFUL, ATMOSPHERIC THRILLER.

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

 

A_Hollow_Sky_eBookCover_NEW

Review

I really enjoyed the previous Alex Ripley novel so I was excited to get stuck into this one. I wasn’t disappointed as I really enjoyed it. The outcome was somewhat predictable but this didn’t spoil the reading experience or the story. All the little turns were a great read and I was so eager to see what happened with Megan and Alex in this situation.

Coleman writes really well, he manages to write with a talent that let’s the words flow from the pages and immerse you in the reading experience. It was good to see more about Alex and her life surrounding her husband and how it also has had an impact on her thought process and mental clarity. I really am excited to see how things move forward for her after the end of this book.

I am looking forward to seeing what he releases in the future and I can’t wait to read more about Alex Ripley.

You can see my review on the first book in the series here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row by Emily Harvale {Extract}

Hey Everyone

Today I have an extract for the book Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row by Emily Harvale.

Blurb

It’ll take a miracle to makeJuliet’s Christmas merry, but Mistletoe Row is the place to be when you needsome Christmas magic. 

The last person Juliet Bell expectsto see when she returns home for Christmas is Harrison Bow.Especiallywith the most beautiful woman in the world by his side. Twentyyears ago, Juliet and Harrison had the shortest romance in history, consistingof one date – and one blazing row. But Juliet will never admit when she’swrong, and Harrison doesn’t forgive easily, so they haven’t seen, or spoken toone another since.

Harrison Bow vowed he’d never visit hisgrandfather at The Grange, again, or drive along Mistletoe Row, the scene ofone of the unhappiest times of his life. He hasn’t been back for twenty yearsand he’s only here now because his brother pleaded with him to come. At leastwith his executive assistant joining him, he’ll be able to do some work. 

But Juliet’s sister, Zoe and Harrison’s brother,Luke have some surprises in store for their elder siblings, and so it seemsdoes Fate. After Harrison risks his life to save Juliet, the least she can dois be nice. The problem is, Harrison is hotter than the log fire in TheMistletoe pub, and when she’s surrounded by twinkling lights and softly fallingsnow, it doesn’t take long for her to realise she’s in love with the man shethought she hated. Even if he doesn’t appear to be in love with her. 

Purchase Link

https://newbook.at/Bells-and-Bows

Extract

In this extract from Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row, Juliet Bell is going skating on the lake within the grounds of her former home. It’s something she has longed to do, since the day she and her family left The Grange.

‘Yeah. He’d probably have an apoplexy if he saw me skating on his lake. He’d set the dogs on me.’

‘I didn’t know they had dogs,’ Bernard said.

Rosa shook her head. ‘They don’t, darling. It’s a figure of speech.’

‘They should have dogs.’ There was a thoughtful look on Bernard’s face. ‘A house isn’t a home without dogs.’

‘Luke likes dogs,’ Zoe said.

‘So does Harrison.’ Juliet bit her lip. ‘I mean, so did Harrison. At least he said he did. But then he said a lot of things. Sorry. Not going there again. Okay. So I’ll be back around twelve-ish. We’ll have lunch and then do stuff around the house. Yes?’

‘Sounds like a plan,’ Rosa said.

‘Always good to have a plan,’ replied Bernard.

‘Absolutely,’ agreed Juliet.

Zoe grinned mischievously. ‘I’m glad you all think that.’

‘Oh?’ Rosa gave her a curious look. ‘Don’t you then, sweetheart?’

‘I definitely do. In fact, I have a couple of plans of my own. But they’re top secret and on a strictly need-to-know basis.’ She beamed at each of them. ‘And for now, none of you need to know.’

‘I hope your plan includes getting me a lovely Christmas present,’ Juliet said, hastily eating her toast and draining the last dregs from her coffee cup.

‘Oh it does, sis. And you have no idea how lovely.’

Juliet grinned at Zoe and rose to leave. ‘Right. I’m out of here. See you all later. Have fun.’

‘You too,’ everyone replied.

Juliet grabbed her skates, almost falling over Cinnamon, who was munching a slice of buttered toast, retrieved her thick, black jacket from the coat hook and dashed out the front door onto an icy, Mistletoe Row. She nearly landed on her backside as her feet slipped beneath her, but she managed to grab the door handle and steady herself.

‘That’s twice I’ve almost fallen over,’ she said out loud. ‘And everything comes in threes.’ She shook her head and sighed.

Glancing at her watch, she saw it was ten-to-ten and yet there wasn’t a car in sight. No people, either. But it was such a lovely day. She took a deep breath of the cool, crisp morning air and then walked gingerly over the road to the park, where the ground was still covered in snow. She ran across the snow-covered grass, through the apple orchard and made her way to the back gate of the grounds and gardens of The Grange. The gate was unlocked, as Luke said it would be, but she hesitated before she pushed it open. This would be the first time in twenty years that she had set foot on this hallowed ground and she needed a moment to let it sink in.

Only a brief moment though. Her excitement got the better of her. She shoved the ornate, wrought iron gate open and quickly closed it behind her. The path was slippery but she didn’t care. She ran, slipping and sliding as she went, to the lake, stopping the second she saw it.

Its beauty took her breath away. It hadn’t changed one bit. Even the bench looked the same, but perhaps a little older and more weathered. She raced towards it.

‘Hello bench,’ she said, laughing heartily at her foolishness and then she sat, almost reverently, and sighed. Dropping her skates beside her, she stared ahead at the lake. ‘Hello lake. You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.’

If it could talk, she was sure it would say the same.

It was several minutes before she looked away and she took a long, deep breath as she slipped off her boots and put on her skates.

She got up and stepped onto the ice and it was as if something magical shot through her entire body, from her feet to her head. She closed her eyes, stretched out her arms, gracefully shaping her fingers like those of an ice dancer, and pushed away with her left foot. She skated in circles of eight, moving her hands behind her and clasping her fingers as she retraced her glide path backwards. She lowered her body, bending one knee and stretching her other leg out in front of her.

Raising herself upright, she leapt into the air, stretching her legs wide apart and reaching forward to touch her toes, landing gracefully as she skated forward into a spin. That was followed by more jumps; a triple axel, a double Lutz. She was in her element. Her skin was glowing in the warmth of the sun, her blood was racing through her veins, her muscles flexed and toned. She didn’t want to stop.

Skating faster, she made a circuit of the lake, and another. More jumps, more spins. She could stay there all day. Fleetingly, she saw a figure out of the corner of her eye. Had Luke come down to greet her? She carved her blades into the ice and skated into an area where she was blinded by the sun. She closed her eyes against the glare but as she moved forward she heard the crack and felt her blade catch as she came to an abrupt stop. She glanced down as lines, like lots of little blood vessels, fanned out from where she stood. Her eyes shot towards the figure and only now did she see who it was.

‘Harrison!’ she shrieked as the ice cracked open and she fell into thefreezing waters of the lake. I hope you enjoyed the extract. Thank you so much for allowing me to share it with you.

About The Author

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.


Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

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Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

The Village Witch Sub Box {October 2018}

Hey Everyone. I am so sorry this post is a little delayed. I hoped to get it brought to you sooner but life has been so chaotic.

Today I am bringing you the reveal for October’s Hocus Pocus Samhain box from The Village Witch Shop.

October’s box was all about Halloween and honouring your ancestors and the ancestors of Witches past.

I kept my box until the 31st to complete the spell and I had such fun with it. I really enjoyed making the ancestors oil which doesn’t just look pretty but is functional too.

In this month’s box there was:

Skull jar

Ancestral Herb and Root Mix

Samhain Aura Spray (which smells soooo good)

Remember The Ancestors Ink

Samhain Oil

Invoke the Spirits Water

Thining The Veil Salts

Invoking the Spirits Incense

Black spell candle

Orange tealight candle

Skull coaster

Treat Bag

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Yet again the TVW team knocked it out of the park not only creating an amazing quality and value for money box but providing us a fun and loving spell.

The boxes can be found here and are priced at £30 which includes all postage and packing fees.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Blitz: Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson {Extract}

Visions of Zarua

Good Morning !

Today I am bringing you an extract for the exciting novel Visions of Zaura by Suzanne Rogerson.

Blurb

Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

Universal Purchase Link – Universal book link

 Visions of Zarua is only 99p for a limited time to celebrate the book birthday.

Extract

Jago story takes place 350 years before Paddren’s begins. Jago’s scenes are written in first person and we join him as he arrives back at the city of Zarua from a pilgrimage of the realm and beyond. He’s received a letter from his brother warning him something dark is happening in the great city. Jago meets his old mentor and is thrust back into his former role as junior wizard, or so he thinks…

We entered the great hall amid a tide of Elders and juniors, all hastening to find a seat. The central stone pews were already full, while the tiers of seats encircling the room were filling fast; it seemed the whole magical community was attempting to cram into the expansive hall. Usually such grand gatherings were reserved for seasonal celebrations and annual graduations.

I hovered on the threshold of the room and scanned the sea of faces for Jaspen, trying to ignore the nerves fluttering in my belly.

‘Do you want to say a few words?’ Alnard asked, his tone almost gentle in its enquiry.

I frowned. ‘Say a few words about what? What’s going on?’

‘Isn’t this why you’ve returned?’

‘I came back because Jaspen asked me to. Where is he?’

Alnard put his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eye. I saw his Adam’s apple shift as he gulped.

I knew that whatever he was about to say, I didn’t want to hear it. I tried to pull away from him, but there was strength in his old hands.

Using every ounce of will, I tore my gaze from his and found myself staring at his lips. I saw him form the words, and knew them before my ears even caught the sound.

‘No.’ I squeezed the letter in my pocket, my brother’s voice echoing in my head. He was here waiting for me, we were going to laugh off our stupidities – my need to escape, his paranoia.

My mentor squeezed my shoulders with his bony fingers, forcing me back to the present. ‘I thought you knew…’ Alnard’s eyes clouded over, and I heard the emotion catch in his throat. ‘I’m sorry.’

The truth crashed down on me, making it impossible to breathe. Jaspen was dead…

Somehow, I’d known. My subconscious had been trying to warn me ever since I’d stepped onto Zarua’s soil.

‘When?’

‘It was a week ago. We are about to hold his funeral; that’s why I thought you had returned.’ Alnard hung his head. ‘How stupid of me to assume…’

I forced my fist to unclench, releasing the letter in my pocket. I had to preserve it – my only memento of him and the last conversation we never had.

I pictured his face on the day we said goodbye. I’d never meant for it to be forever.

‘How did he die?’

A pained look creased Alnard’s face.

‘Please, however terrible, just tell me.’

‘Jaspen killed himself.’

I absorbed his words. ‘That’s not possible.’

Alnard hung his head, making no comment. I stared around the room over his stooped shoulders. Fetter Cairn sat at the back of the hall. He broke from his conversation to look at me and raised a hand in greeting, a brief flick of his wrist, nothing more to acknowledge the years we had been friends.

Numbly, I allowed Alnard to guide me to an empty seat at the front of the chamber. As we waited for the ceremony to begin, a dreadful certainty gripped me. Jaspen would never kill himself…

Visions ISBN 978-1518802393 Visions of Zarua cover

Author Profile

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Visions author photo 2018 (2)

Social Media Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon author page

Goodreads

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x