It’s A Family Thing: Jay-Jay Playbus Books by Sue Wickstead {Review}

Welcome to the first Mummy and Toddler joint review. Today we are reviewing the books Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus and Jay-Jay and His Island Adventure both by Sue Wickstead. Both are children’s books for age 3+

Sue was generous enough to send us these copies to review when she found out how much Alexis loved to read. It’s so nice to share my love of reading with my children.

We read The Supersonic Bus first and really enjoyed it. We learnt all about how Jay-Jay had transformed from an ordinary bus into a super Playbus. 

Alexis really enjoyed this book, especially when Jay-Jay had all the toys put inside for the children to play with. 

When I asked Alexis what she thought of this book she said “she enjoyed it very much and liked the bus”.

We then read the Island Adventure book. This was a great story about Jay-Jay traveling to an Island on a Ferry and meeting new children. Alexis loved the pirate theme of the book and very enthusiastically kept saying “yarr” all the the way through.

When I asked Alexis what she thought of this story she said she “wished she had a Playbus” which even as an adult I can sympathise.

As an adult reading these books I found them enjoyable. They were interesting and educational without been too in your face about the lessons they taught. I was a little worried that Alexis may lose interest as they are a little wordier than her normal book but it wasn’t a problem, the stories were entertaining enough to keep her fully engaged.

We both really liked these books and will definitely be reading more by Sue. 

For more information;

Sue’s Author Page

Original Playbus Page

Sue’s Website

Sue is a supply teacher and has worked with children for over 20 years, it was through her charity work with The Bewbush Playbus Association that she got inspiration for her Jay-Jay series. 

You can find Sue’s books for purchase here.

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise and Alexis x

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Clipped Wings By Jennifer Gilmour {Cover Reveal}

I am excited to share with you the cover for the 2nd novel from Jennifer Gilmour, Clipped Wings

Blurb…

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isnt the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.

But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in todays society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself. 

Clipped Wings will be available later this month. Don’t forget you can also read Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x


The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle {Review}

​A contemporary romance inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market.” Four neighbors encounter sinister enchantments and a magical path to love in a small, modern-day Puget Sound town, where a fae realm hides in the woods and waters…

Today I bring to you my review of Molly Ringle’s The Goblins of Bellwater.

Blurb…

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own. 

Review…

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this via NetGalley and I have to admit when I requested it that initially it was the gorgeous cover that dragged me in. Once I read the blurb I just had to read the book. I seem to have a bit of a thing for books featuring Goblins. I find them really interesting and full of fantasy.

The Goblins of Bellwater proved to be a book full of Magic, Intrigue, Bravery and Sadness. When I say sadness I mean it in the best way. 

Following the story of Skye it’s so easy to feel sorry for her, suck in a situation she cannot control and more importantly cannot discuss. Skye choses actions she knows are wrong but is compelled to do and she feels such sorrow for the situation she puts others in.

Livy is someone who would die for her sister, she’s at a loss now to help but once she finds a way she stops at nothing to break the spell. Facing the biggest challenge of her life and putting all her trust into something unknown she shows courage and bravery.

Kit is a great guy, I instantly liked him and felt bad for him stuck under the curse. Building a life around the complexities of such it’s great to see him let others in and to let himself find love.

Grady is a cool guy who just wants to help. He ends up stuck in a situation which is equally as frustrating as Skye’s. Together they find a way to endure what is happening to them, their reliance on each other ultimately saves them from the prospect of a life of misery. 

I liked how all the characters developed over the duration of the book, each learning about themselves on the way.

The Goblins as much as I dislike them are so fantastically written that you cannot help loving to hate them especially Redring.

I thought the story was magically, and beautifully written in many ways. It completely sucked me in with the vivid details and descriptions. 

Molly’s writing style flows so naturally and she created a world I wanted to be part of. I found it really hard to put the book down as I wanted to keep going and find out what happened. The pacing is perfect, nothing felt too drawn out or equally rushed. I feel like I want to read it again just to get back into the world.

The Goblins of Bellwater has definitely earned a place on my Top 10 of 2017.

5 star all the way.

You can purchase a copy from Amazon UK and it’s currently under £4 on kindle. An absolute bargain. I’m going to hunt down the rest of her works!

To find out more about Molly and her books you can find her here.

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise x

P.s look at this beautiful cover.

Writing TN Set Up

I finally got my writing TN set up completed. A while ago I bought a second hand Meadowgate TN from someone who had customised it with ink droplets and it was perfect. 

I finished setting it up yesterday when my friend Kirstyanne brought me a NaNoWriMo insert for it. 

(I’ll drop shop links below).

I have put in it;

  • A NaNoWriMo insert
  • A general writing insert full of prompts, info, ideas etc
  • A insert with chapters and writing info for my current work in progress
  • A tasks and notes insert to track everything I need to do.
  • My writing journal

I also have some cheetsheets and resources tucked in the back pocket.

I am so happy with it, not just how it functions but the style of it. 

Now for the links.

Leather TN from Meadowgate Leather

NaNoWriMo insert from BugzPlanning

Lined inserts from Paper Trail Notebooks

Task Insert from The Punk Planner

Pumpkin clip from Stitch and Weave

Ravenclaw Dashboard from LalaPlans

Accessories from The Royal Planner

All cheat sheet and resources are from Megg Geri and Eva Deverell

Thanks for reading:)

Everything Begins With Us by E.A Andrews {Review}

Blurb…

Eighteen-year-old Harper Deacon has never been a rebel. She’s always been a rule-follower who goes along to get along. Until she does the one thing her mother asked her not to do. When she bails on college to pursue her dream of becoming a musician, her mom kicks her out and she moves into the house she inherited from her granddad.

Smith Dalton doesn’t follow the rules. He bends them to his own needs. After driving off the lead singer of the indie rock band he recently joined, Smith talks Harper into being the band’s new lead singer.

Sounds like the perfect plan. But Harper has her doubts. Joining a band with three guys? She’s never even had guy friends before. Spending a lot of time with a certain guitar player who is too good-looking, too cool, and too much of everything? That could get complicated. Especially when the guy is a player who just hooks up and moves on. The last thing Harper needs is to fall for a guy who will only break her heart.

Music is her number one priority and she has every intention of staying focused on what really matters. But, as Harper is finding out, being in a band is about more than just the music. And sometimes, what you think you want and what you really need are two very different things. 

Review…

I really enjoyed this book despite it not been my standard genre. 

The main character Harper is easy to relate to and I found myself cheering her on and really wanting the best for her. Even her love life wasn’t all shiny and great as is often portrayed. 

Smith is a lovable guy with a tragic secret, I loved him equally as much as Harper. 

Together and with the band they make a life together and forge a family that they have longed to have. 

Touching on mental illness this book isn’t as light and fluffy as I expected. With twists and turns throughout.

I hope there will be a sequel as I would really love to know more about Harper and Smith’s future. 

I would rate this book 4/5 stars. Well written, interesting and held my attention.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James {Review}

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Today I have a review for you from the book Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James.

Blurb..

When they were children, Megan adored her younger sister Chloe. Now she can’t bear to be in the same room as her.

Megan believes Chloe is a psychopath and her sister does appear to be a textbook case: cold, cruel and lacking in empathy.

Why does Chloe want to taunt Megan at every opportunity?  And why does she persist in manipulating their mentally ill mother, Tilly?

When Tilly, under Chloe’s malignant influence, becomes dangerously unstable, the consequences are ugly. Megan’s world falls apart. Her sister’s out of control and there’s little she can do about it. Until Chloe’s actions threaten the safety of Megan’s former lover. A man from whom she has kept an important secret…

A study of sibling rivalry and dysfunctional relationships, Sister, Psychopath tells the story of one woman’s struggle to survive the damage inflicted by her own flesh and blood.

Review…

What a corker of a book! I seriously enjoyed reading this. The main character Megan is the sort of woman everyone can relate too. Most of us have siblings or family members we cannot stand, all have unrequited love, and generally stuggle for our careers and money. Chloe on the other hand plays the perfect villian, everythign about her reminded me of the mean girls you get at school and within business enviorments that drive you insane and get away with everything.

The build up through the story to that main critical point was fantastic, I never saw what was coming and the end twist? Saaayyy whaaaat???? I did NOT  see that coming, maybe a few little parts of I had an inkling but not on that scale.

Maggie has a way of writing that sucks you in and keeps you glued to the pages. The character development was really well done. I would give this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Oh! What A Pavlova by Isabella May {Guest Post}

Oh! What a pavlova Tour Banner

Today I have an guest post from Isabella May, author of Oh! What a Pavlova.

Blurb…

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

Excerpt…

What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC or pen and paper?

I’m a mix of notebooks and PC when I am starting out on a new book. Notebooks are great to transport to cafes (I’m a dance mum so spend a lot of time waiting around with a coffee and cake!). Even in a noisy setting, you will overhear something in a conversation which sparks off an idea. And I often find that my characters start ‘talking to me’ and will let me record several paragraphs of an argument or confrontation … or even a sex scene for a future chapter!

Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?

Alas, living in Spain means it’s tricky to get to author conferences. I hope to attend some in the future though. On the other hand, I am near the Gibraltar Literary Festival and have been a few times. It’s had some really inspired line-ups over the past few years, and this October’s is no exception.

How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?

At the time of writing this, my second manuscript (a story packed full of cocktails and my usual jump-off-the-page characters, humour, travel and magic), is with my publisher, Crooked Cat Books for perusal. I’m keeping my paws crossed for a good response! And that’s it. So far, I have only written two books. But book three is already swirling around nicely in my head … that might just have to be based here, on the lively Costa del Sol.

What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?

I wish I’d been told to believe in my writing sooner. For years I doubted I had any true ability because I had no writing training or credentials. But eventually my confidence grew with practice, and, to be honest, by attending local writing groups here in Spain and biting the bullet to read my drafts aloud. The best thing I have ever been told when it comes to writing is that the infamous rules are there to be broken. In other words: learn them and then decide which to discard of. Obviously, this will change from novel to novel, but I think that as writers we uphold way too many rules, and actually, it is only through their wild abandon that we will find our true voice.

What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?

My favourite thing about the whole writing process is that exciting flurry of words which comes out of absolutely nowhere … and then you can’t find pen and paper for toffee/fire up the laptop quickly enough! Those words are almost divine. Record them however you can though because you can bet your bottom dollar that when you do get around to jotting them down later, they won’t be there.

Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?

Rebecca Campbell’s Light is the New Black is definitely the book that gave me the extra kick up the backside.

Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?

Daniel Mays would make the perfect Daniel. As for Kate, I’d love to see either Emma Watson or Emily Blunt take on that role. I think both would portray naivety and self-doubt brilliantly, slipping into self-confidence in the business world with ease. Time to create a secret Pinterest board and start visualising!

What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?

I hope it doesn’t sound like trumpet-blowing but there are many things I am proud of having achieved: One being *undoubtedly* this book. Then again, it did take a whopping seven years.
But I am also thrilled at the number of countries I have visited. Being one with Itchy Feet who doesn’t get to travel as much as she’d like now life has brought her family to Andalucia (the airfares here are shocking … the rail networks few and far between … the car journeys vast!), I would have to say all the travel I did prior to hitting thirty! I think I have totted up forty countries at last count. And I am also proud of myself for sticking out my degree. It was four years long and some of the ‘pathways’ that went with my Modern Languages degree, were far from fun, or my areas of expertise: Politics, Economics etc etc … Yawn!

I suppose I should also say that I am proud of myself, and my husband, for bringing up two bi-lingual children, giving them opportunities that will really open doors when it comes to their future careers. They both attend the local Spanish state school.

I could go on … but I must retain an element of mystique!

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Writing Resources #1

Every budding writer is constantly on the look out for anything that will help them on their journey. Every published author has a method in which they promote that worked from them. More often than not each of these methods is unique and differs from others. As a result it means that finding information can be overwhelming. However, I stumbled across 2 resources which put information out there which is plain, simple and incredibly helpful.

The first resource comes from Eva Deverell.

Eva has a website, Instagram and Pinterest name packed with information and free worksheets and printables.

Website: http://www.eadeverell.com/

The second comes from Megg Geri.

Again Megg has multiple channels in which she shares information However, the website is amazing. I was also lucky enough to win a digital copy of her book ‘Write A Novel In 30 Days’ and I’ve found it amazing. It really gets you looking not just at methods of writing but at why you write and what inspires you. I would absolutely love this in a print version.

Website: https://megg.me/

Link to the book: https://gumroad.com/l/writeanovelin30days#

Here is a little look at the things I printed from both sites. 

As you can see there are many different forms of information.

Hope you find these as helpful as I have.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Losing Myself by Victoria J Brown {Review}

Today I have a review for Victoria J Brown’s book Losing Myself. Losing Myself is the sequel to Holding Myself.

Blurb…

Since Kat made her decision, everything around her seems to be falling apart. Not only is she dealing with family’s secrets, lies and deceit but the salon, which is opening around the corner, threatens her livelihood.

To make matters worse her relationship with Max is on the rocks. Although her relationships with Max’s mother, her step-mother and her sister have grown stronger, are they strong enough?

Working tirelessly to save her salon and save her relationship with Max, she is battling everyday to stay focused on her future. But what will the future bring?

Review…

After reading the first book which I enjoyed (you can see my review here) I was really looking forward to see how Kat’s story progressed. 

All the way through I felt so sorry for her, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. 

I really felt like I could relate to her, more often in life we have more town’s than It’s and this was a more realistic story to follow. There was no Knight on a white horse ending, it just simply was as it is. 

We saw Kat develop into a more rounded person and come to terms with loss of not just her business, her friend and her partner but of the single person without children. Kat took on the new roles in her life with dignity and grace despite been utterly heartbroken. 

We see her sister go through turmoil and I would personally love to have a story which focused around that and her as a main character, perhaps a novella. It was be such a good read. Kat struggles to make sense of the world in which her sister is lost too but does what she feels she can all the way through. 

I really enjoyed this and it is far from some soppy romance. It’s realistic and shows that despite going through the worst of times we can all come out on top. 

I would rate this book 4/5. Brown’s writing style flows perfectly and interest in the page never wavers. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby {Excerpt}

Today I have an except from the book The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby.

Blurb

“Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. 

James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?

The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?

Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”

Excerpt 

“I stare at the screen exasperated.

Am I being pressured by a bunch of women I’ve never met before into having a baby asap? Isn’t that like the most important decision in your life? One that you don’t take lightly but think about long and hard? Preferably with your partner. Haven’t these women ever heard of family planning?


Then it dawns on me. I know what’s happening here. This is cyberbullying. It’s when people use social networks in a deliberate manner to harass other people. I’ve read a lot about this on the internet. There’ve been suicides. Jobs have been lost over this.


I just never thought it’d happen to me.


I rub my nose with the back of my hand. I brush against the mug of tea, which I’ve put too close to the edge of the table. It shakes perilously. A few droplets splatter over Giacomo’s beige shagpile rug.


‘Shit!’ I jump up and rescue the mug from toppling over. I run to the kitchen for some paper towel and dab the droplets until they dissipate.


‘Phew!’ I plonk back in the chair. Where was I?

I peer at the screen.


SkinnyMumof2: But if u are not pregnant and u don’t have kids and u are not necessarily trying what are u doing on mumsnet AshleyPiccolaMia?


She has a point.

What exactly am I doing on Mumsnet? On a non-bank holiday Monday. When everyone is hard at work milking the cash cow or saving the world.


I can’t tell the truth. Because… thing is… the reason I’m online so much and spend all this time talking to people on Mumsnet and Gay.com (it only happened once! I was curious…) is because I’m bored.


Ever since I moved my cookery show online I don’t get out much. The TV crew I work with comes to the house to do the filming. It’s cheaper that way, and Giacomo’s kitchen is way more swanky-looking than most of the studios’ ones out there.


I’m terribly, mind-numbingly, tear-jerkingly bored.


I get all my groceries delivered.


I don’t have a pet to keep me company. Not even a goldfish—


AshleyPiccolaMia: Finding new friends I guess *smile*

SkinnyMumof2: On mumsnet of all places…

PinkBear87: How has it come to this? To look for friends online? You should be going out there. You should be meeting with real people…

TatianaTopBanana:Honestly, AshleyPiccolaMia you should get a life.

SkinnyMumof2: Yeah. Why don’t you go out instead of lurking online?

PinkBear87: No offence AshleyPiccolaMia but that sounds a bit weird… like stalking…

I gasp. Lurking? Stalking? It’s not like that at all.

AshleyPiccolaMia: That’s not what I’m doing!


But everyone has left the chatroom.

‘Well, that went well,’ I say to nobody in particular. My voice echoes in the empty room. I put my hands to my face. My cheeks are flaming hot. Whatever. I don’t need to talk to people. There are lots of things I could be doing instead.”

If you like the sound of The Sinking Chef you can get your copy from one of these Amazon stores.

  AMAZON LINKS

The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited

US

https://www.amazon.com/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

UK
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

Australia

https://www.amazon.com.au/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB
Canada
https://www.amazon.ca/Sinking-Chef-Sylvia-Ashby/dp/1548021784

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x