Q & A with Childrens Author Stuart Reid

I am very excited to welcome Stuart Reid onto my Blog today, I hope you are ready for bogies, snot, bottom burps and bums…I kid you not! If I say that this author has described as the “Billy Connolley for kids” that should give you some indication of how this post today is going to go!

Stuart is an author of the Gorgeous George books for Children, he is a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and tours schools bringing his books to children everywhere. . I admit I had great fun writing up this post. I hope you all enjoy it…


I don’t know about you, but for me I love Book Covers! Want to have a look at a couple of Stuart’s? (I apologise for reducing the synopsis for each book!)

Gorgeous George and the Zigzag Zit-Faced Zombies

Sneezing, sniffing, snoring and snots! Zombies, zebras and zits! 

Must…..have….bogiieeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

Bogies, baddies, bagpipes and bums! Farting, false teeth and fun!

A must read for children (and anyone else) who love crude, rude, exciting, silly, sometimes smelly and humorous books.


I must admit the kid in me is sniggering sssoooooo much 🙂 🙂

Okay now for the Q & A (aka – author interrogation!) – make yourself comfy…

1.When was the moment that you realised you wanted to write children’s books?

​I’ve always loved writing. When I was 16, becoming a sports journalist would’ve been my dream job (basically being paid to watch football) but I studied Business Management instead because I thought it was sensible. After 25 years in business, I was running a 300-bedroom hotel in Dubai; I had a large house, a maid, a gardener, a swimming pool and two 4×4’s and I realised that I wasn’t happy. Work was unfulfilling and the credit crunch made things much harder. My wife persuaded me to start writing again… anything that would make me happy… and I began writing about people, situations and weird stories that I laughed at when I was 9 years old. I regressed back into my childhood and have never been happier.

I think being happy is your work is important, but still WOW…

2.Where did the idea of taking your books direct to your audience come from?

In 2009, I decided to give up my job… along with my salary, my car, my house, my healthcare and my pension… to start writing children’s books, so my family and I returned to Britain where I finished my first book. I was luckily enough to find a small publisher who agreed to publish the first book but he said “You’ll never make any money being a children’s author” so I started working as an area manager in retail again (which was soul-destroying). I realised that my target market meet together five days a week, forty weeks of the year… if I could tick the education box for the teachers, the reading inspiration box for the parents and the enjoyment and excitement boxes for the kids, then I might have a product that schools could benefit from. Six months after my first book was released my diary was so full with bookings from schools, libraries and book festivals that I was able to give up my proper job again and become a full-time children’s author. Since then, I have hosted over 1,500 events throughout the Uk and Ireland, as well as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, India, Hong Kong and Australia.

Finding your target audience was obviously important!

3.Is there a special standout moment from your books or from your performances?

Yesterday I was boarding a flight in Australia, returning from the Adelaide Festival, when an Emirates check-in staff member asked for my ticket and passport. She looked at the passport and then asked, ‘Are you the author? Were you performing at the Fringe? You asked my husband up onto the stage to be a lady elephant!’ – I nearly wet myself laughing. I also hosted an event in the Middle East with a group of boys from a royal family and almost started a riot. After one of my Edinburgh Fringe events last year, one of the parents described me as ‘Billy Connolly for kids’ – which is a massive compliment but one which I felt wholly inadequate to justify (didn’t stop me putting on my posters though). Writing scenes in my books where kids can help me bring the stories to life is great. Young volunteers help the audience visualise certain chapters by throwing false teeth at me, becoming snot zombies, enacting the water and the mountains and the tents around Justin Bieber’s campsite, as well as unleashing the two cheeky chimpanzees that amuse the crowd and terrorise the elephants.

Audience participation appears to be a key factor and also increases the fun!

4.Its obvious children love these performances from the video. I also noticed the adults loved it as well. Is this something you expected?  

​The more I’ve toured, and met mums and dads and teachers, the more I’ve found that most people still hold onto their inner child… the little person they once were that enjoys silliness, that laughs uncontrollably and helps them realise that it’s okay to have fun. Life can often be challenging but people need to laugh more, to enjoy life as much as possible and never take themselves too seriously. We’re only on the planet for a visit!

Yep, I have many silly, hysterical moments, and thats all I am saying about that lol

5.As I am a lifelong bookworm, I have to ask what were your favourite childhood books?

When I was about nine, I was hooked on a mystery series entitled Alfred Hitchcock’s The Three Investigators, where my love of an abstract adventure came from. Before that, the first book I remember reading by myself was Roald Dahl’s The Twits, and loved the monkeys gluing the furniture on the ceiling and Mr Twit pulling off the birds’ legs (which sounds a big gruesome nowadays). I also remember a hilarious book called Fungus the Bogeyman, as up until that point, I never knew you could put bogies in a book! And as a teenager, To Kill A Mocking Bird was the first book I ever read twice.

I remember The Twits and have heard of but never read Fungus.

6. And because I am nosy, what are your favourite books as an adult?

​I am obsessed with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, and have recently started another Stephen King phase. My two teenager daughters are brilliant at recommending books too. I’ve just finished You by Caroline Kepnes, although it was a wee bit rude so I will be having words with that daughter! I couldn’t put John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars down, and it was the first book where I’ve actually cried buckets. Me Before You was very good and I shed a tear or two with RJ Palacio’s Wonder. I still enjoy reading children’s and young adult books, as I need to be aware of market and like to recommend books to little readers and their teachers.

Never too old to read children’s books!

7. And yes, I’m very nosy! What are your interests and hobbies away from books?

​I love cooking and will always be experimenting in the kitchen – creating new tapas dishes is my favourite thing right now. My wife and I love to travel, so if she’s not joining me on my book tours, we try to squeeze in a cheeky wee holiday or weekend break every couple of months. And although my stage shows are quite energetic, and my fitness levels are okay, I don’t play football anymore, as I’m scared of breaking my leg and not being able to perform on stage. Playing FIFA on the PS4 is the best sport I can manage these days.

8. Apart from bringing stories to a younger readers, what are your future aims or dreams for your books?

​If I was to allow myself to have a dream for my Gorgeous George books,it would be a movie or television series, with a young Rupert Grinch playing George, an older, balder Robert Carlisle wearing an enormous ginger moustache would play Grandpa Jock. A younger version of Letitia Wright (from Black Panther) would be Barbara and Allison would be played by the Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, if she had a time machine go back to being a kid again. The adventures would be a mixture of live action, bright animation and full-on CGI, with Simon Cowell as the villain in Giant Geriatric Generator. We’d need a cast of hundreds for the Zig-Zag Zit-faced Zombies story and Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright and Woody Harrelson would have feature too, with time-warp trouser trumpets, aliens, Loch Ness monsters, piles and piles of pink poo, a parody of A Christmas Carol would need to be the festive adventure and there’s also a love story for Grandpa Jock too. But to be honest, I haven’t really given it much thought.

Oh I agree no thought at all hahaha

9. If I could wave a magic wand what would you wish for?

​Wow… you mean apart from the last answer? Well, I suppose I want every kid in the world to see one of my live events, and to feel inspired enough to want to read more books, more often. And not just my books, but any good book. And to learn to love reading, and to share that love of reading with their own children. My books are yucky… they are about boogers, bums and big bottom burps and my characters will never grown up… but I know that every little reader will, and they’ll leave Gorgeous George behind and read other books, better books and more intelligent books but I’d love it if my books were the inspiration for that. Oh, and world peace.

My love of reading started as a child and has been with me ever since!

10. Now the 3 W’s – What is next? Where Will it be? And When will it be?

​It’s already shaping up to be another busy year. My diary is full for months with a short tour of N.Ireland, followed by my first gigs at the Brighton Fringe, then the launch of Book no.8 Gorgeous George and the Incredible Iron-Bru-Man Incident in July. My sixth year at the Edinburgh Fringe is in August with 60+ appearances there, more school events, Book Week Scotland and my first tour of schools in Qatar. There is also the possibility of hosting events in Australia again with Perth Fringe in January 2020 and back across to Adelaide again in February. It’s great to be so busy… I think I have the best job in the world!

Wowsers…very busy and I wish you all the very best. I agree, it does sound like you have the best job!!


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be appreciated so much 🙂 xx

The Awakening Aten by Aiden K. Morrissey #TheAwakeningAten @AidenKMorrissey #RandomThingsTours @annecater #HistFic #Review

I am delighted to share my review for The Awakening Aten by Aiden k. Morrissey. My huge thanks to Aiden for my copy of his book and also to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for accepting my request to join the Blog Tour.

Let’s have a look and see what The Awakening Aten is all about…

he Awakening Aten envelops the reader in an Egypt of whispers and fears, of webs within webs, deceit upon deceit. Its themes of murder, intrigue, political and religious conflict, corruption, tomb robbing, war and executions are set against a background of fundamental ideological change.  

Ancient Egypt is seen through the eyes of two families; one royal, the other commoner. Yuya, whose tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, is a foreigner who rises from slavery to become Regent to an infant Pharaoh and thus, the most powerful man in the world’s wealthiest empire. His children and descendants will remain at the very heart of the country’s destiny. Kha is a tomb painter and builder who experiences both the despair of imprisonment and the horror of war. As Overseer of the King’s Works he restores the Great Sphinx, and inscribes the ‘Dream Stela’ placed between its paws, still visible today. Through tragic and deathly events his family and that of Yuya become entwined.  

This is the fictional tale of real people, whose possessions and artefacts can be seen in museums throughout the world. It gives a voice to those people, inspired by their personal items, buried with them 3,000 years ago.

PURCHASE LINK – Amazon UK

If you like ancient historical fiction novels that have a huge amount of factual detail incorporated, then you should consider picking up a copy of The Awakening Aten. It is set in 1420 BCE Egypt and it is the first in a planned 5 Book Series.

I enjoyed this story so much and rather than write a review about the story itself I am writing about the things that stood out for me. It is just that when I try and write a review on the story it sounds so confusing because it is such a big story, and I don’t feel able to do it justice. That makes it sound like the story is confusing, and actually, once you get into it flows wonderfully and makes complete sense!

The story has quite a large cast and the main characters have a mention in a handy list at the front of the book. What I liked about this list was that is was broken down into family groups. The author has also noted which characters are real or fictional.

The cast covers a diverse range of backgrounds from those facing death to the King. In between, there are priests, mercenaries, artists, builders and princes just to name a few. This is where that handy list comes in useful as I started to get to grips with them all.

The story itself charts the lives of the key characters, the roles they play as well as the everyday things. Here the author manages to weave individual stories that gradually build into a far bigger picture.

The research and knowledge are very evident and the inclusion of some very interesting notes from the author adds to that feeling that the details were right. I am not knowledgable in this era of history, I do know bits and pieces like most others but things just felt right as far as I was concerned.

The story itself had so many things going on and though it follows the lives of the main characters, I also felt as though I was getting a grand tour of ancient Egypt and all that was involved at the time. The story has a lot of drama and it is explored through various means. There is murder, corruption, power-struggles, religion, social etiquette, tombs, mummification… in fact, pretty much everything I would expect from this period and then a whole lot more!

This was such a fascinating and very insightful novel with some fabulous detail. Following different families as they made their way through the story. It has left me very eager to read the next in the series.

This is a book that has left me wanting to read more and it is one I would definitely recommend.

I am of Irish heritage and was the first member of my immediate family to be born outside of Ireland. My professional life has caused me to travel the world. I am now looking forward to settling in the North East of England, to concentrate on writing.

A graduate in Law from Leicester University, after working for some years in a commercial environment, I qualified as a Solicitor in 1981.

My career developed in an unusual way and I have lived and worked at various times in Italy, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany.

I have always had a love and fascination for history. A holiday in Egypt sparked a particular passion for Ancient Egypt, especially the latter part of the 18th Dynasty. A history, which Pharaoh Horemeb (Djeser-Kheperu-Ra circa 1319-1292 BCE) tried to destroy and which only came to light following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

‘The Awakening Aten’ is the culmination of many years of research.

I have built up a substantial collection of academic books and novels on Ancient Egypt, its customs, traditions and daily life. I am fortunate to have been able to visit all of the major museums containing artefacts from Egypt throughout the world, as well as spending months in Egypt itself studying the funereal valleys and other sites. All of this supplemented by internet research.

This novel is the first in a plannned five book series, looking at the fictional lives of real people through a period of major political and religious change, spanning approximately 130 years.

My hobbies are reading, which I enjoy as much as I do writing, and taking bracing walks along the North East Coast and in the Northumberland Hills.

Website: http://www.aidenkmorrisey-author.com/

Twitter @AidanKMorrissey

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Secret – Violet’s Story by Eliza J Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be shgaring mny review for The Secret – Violet’s Story by Eliza J Scott. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for accpeting my request to join the tour and also to Eliza for my e-copy of this book.

Having read the previous book I was eager to return back to the Life On The Moors series. Although I think this could be read as a stand alone novel, I think it is best read in series order.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

It’s been two years since glamorous and ambitious Violet Smith fell head-over-heels in love with blacksmith Jimby Fairfax, and moved back home to the North Yorkshire village of Lytell Stangdale to be with him. 


Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Their romance is blooming and Romantique – the business she set up with Jimby’s sister Kitty, designing luxurious underwear and burlesque costumes with the odd wedding dress throw in – is thriving. 


But on a romantic weekend break, a face from her past triggers a series of events which send Violet into turmoil. She finds herself with no alternative but to reveal a secret she’s buried deep for the past sixteen years. A secret she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her best friends, Kitty and Molly, and they share everything. 


With the revelation forcing a wedge between herself and Jimby, heartbroken Violet fears that he won’t ever be able to think of her in the same way again and won’t want anything more to do with her. 


As ever, Kitty and Molly rally round, offering their advice and support but Vi is worried that keeping her secret was just a step too far for Jimby. 
Will she succeed in showing him their love is strong enough to overcome it? 


The Secret – Violet’s Story is book 3 in the Life on the Moors Series. 

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK or AMAZON US

This is the third in the Life On The Moors series and I love it. The Secret is all about Violet, or Vi as she is known to everyone. She returned to the village of Lytell Stangdale a few years before and fell in love with Jimby, a childhood friend. The story that follows is one that caught my attention as I discovered more about Violet and what her secret is!

As soon as I started reading this book I felt that connection come back from the previous book, The Talisman – Molly’s Story. The friends that make up this series so far have been Kitty and Molly, so it was so nice to read about Violet. The warmth of the friendship that these women have is just a great thing to read about. They are supportive of each other in that wonderful “they have your back” sort of way. They have a more sisterly than friend relationship.

They know everything about each other, well almost! As Violet had been away at University she had a section of her life that she had not told anyone about. This I completely understood and also why she never said anything. I think it was quite plausible for her to hold this secret back. Something happens that makes Violet think it is time to explain, but will this drive Jimby away from her?

This is such a wonderful stroy that I happily immersed myself in, I happily read this while sat in the garden in the sun. The descritions of the surroundings, the village and the general characters were great. It didn’t take me long to get into the story and I loved that I was reunited within the characters of the story again. Emotions did come into play as I wondered what was going to happen and also the revelation of the secret.

If you love books about friendship, relationships within a gorgeous setting then this is a book, in fact it is a series that you should consider picking up.

It gets a Definitely Recommended from Me!

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links – BLOG TWITTER INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK GOODREADS BOOKBUB

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be fabulous 🙂 xx

Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry #20booksofsummer (3/20) #NetGalley #Review

I am delighted ot be sharing my review for Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry. My thanks to the publisher Avon Books UK for accepting my request to read this book via NetGalley.

I have had this title on my shelf for a while and I have decided to include it in my #20booksofsummer Readin Challenge. This is number 3/20.

Let’s see what it is all about…

You can trust your family, can’t you…?

Tess Piper was fourteen when her adored twin sister Edie disappeared.

She has spent the last twenty years building a life away from her fractured family, desperate to escape the shadow of the past.

Only now she needs to confront the huge hole her sister’s disappearance left in her life, because a body has been found. The police are shining a spotlight on the Piper family. And secrets are about to surface.

After all, it’s common knowledge that more often than not, these crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Someone they trust. Someone they know…

What really happened to Edie Piper?

For 20 years Tess has not known what had happened to her sister Edie when they were both 14 years old. When Edie’s body is finally discovered it brings with it a lot of uncertainty and loads of unanswered questions. Throughout the story, new questions are asked and most of them are answered.

This story is a back and forth one, alternating between present day and 20 years ago where it builds up a picture of the girls growing up and also of Tess as she is today. Tess and Edie had been close but, as they grew older they started to drift apart as their interests and like started to change. Edie was more outgoing of the two, but Tess found herself more isolated, the odd one out if you like and wanting to hang onto her sisters coat-tails. Tess was more old-fashioned, preferring things to stay as they were, while Edie wanted to discover new things and people.

All families have things that are not shared with their children. Parents don’t discuss their doubts and fears with them, wanting to keep their children’s childhood as happy and carefree as possible. The full details of their childhood only start to emerge as Tess starts to dig into the past and finally starts to discover hidden truths.

This story has a good pace to it and follows the lives of the girls and the key figures in their lives. It is a story that felt more like a murder mystery rather than a crime thriller for me. It is one I enjoyed and I had a character in my head for the culprit and, while I was right in my assumption I did have the odd wobble of doubt and thought I may have misjudged it. For me, this didn’t take away any enjoyment of the story, it is about the journey and the reason behind the truth rather than who was responsible.

It is one I would recommend!

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks #COMEBACKFORME @HeidiPerksBook @arrowpublishing #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Come Back to Me by Heidi Perks. My huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy for arranging my advanced copy of the book and accepting my request to join the Blog Tour.

Before I go any further, let’s have a look and see what this Psychological Thriller is all about…

A shocking discovery. An island wrapped in secrets.You can bury the body, but the truth will always surface…

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body. For Stella Harvey, the news is doubly shocking, as the body is found in the garden of her childhood home. The home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.

Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the Dorset island.


But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets. But one thing rings true… You can’t bury the truth forever.

Fans of THE BAY, BROADCHURCH, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR and Lisa Jewell’s THEN SHE WAS GONE will not be able to put this novel down.

Stella loved living on the island of Evergreen, growing up in this isolated community was wonderful. She was heartbroken when her parents decided to suddenly move and Stella not fully understanding why! It is only years later that she begins to learn the truth as she returns to her childhood home to discover who the newly discovered body is! She discovers that it is not the place she remembered it to be, the secrets run deep as the naivety of her childhood is challenged.

This is a story with two timelines and told by two main characters, Stella and her mother and alternates between the present day and back to 1993 when Stella was 11 years old. From these two characters, I gradually learnt about the other family members and friends as the truth of the story began to emerge. The truth is not obvious and the author teased with details, just allowing little snippets and glimpses to be revealed. I was never sure if, or who I could trust anyone, and as this is a psychological thriller, this mistrust works well. Also adding to the psychological aspect is the isolation of the island and also the community. There are only a handful of residents mentioned and they do have their part to play, what they also add is the general feeling of the community.

The setting of this community on an island adds to the air of mystery. It sounds idyllic with its beaches, cliffs and wooded areas. Visited only by tourists in the height of the season, accessible only by boat. This mystery and intrigue is mirrored by the sparse smattering of characters. While I loved the idea of the setting the characters I just could not take to, they felt cold and aloof and, never once did I feel I could trust any of them.

I did think I had this story worked out early on, haha yeah right! Me and thinking I have things right … definitely not a strong point of mine! As I got further in I found I was adding to my original theory as the author gradually teased me with little reveals and revelations along the way. I like this continual seeding of self-doubt and it added to the general feeling of suspense.

If you like psychological thrillers that are all about discovering past truths and uncovering secrets then you will enjoy this one. It has plenty of drama and disfuntional families with a dramatic setting adding to the suspense-filled air.

It is one I would definitely recommend.

Heidi Perks’ debut novel Now You See Her twice reached the Sunday Times bestseller list, first in hardback in July 2018 at No.9 and again at No.6 in paperback in March 2019 where it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2019. Now You See Her has sold over 120,000 copies across formats to date and has received a staggering 200 five start reviews on Amazon from readers. It has also been optioned for TV from the production company behind BBC One’s ‘The Miniaturist’ and Channel 4’s ‘National Treasure’.

Heidi Perks worked as a marketing director for a financial company before leaving to become a full-time mother and writer. She is a graduate of the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel Writing Course (the only creative writing school run by a literary agency). Follow Heidi on Twitter @HeidiPerksBooks and join in the conversation with #COMEBACKFORME.

You can get a copy from Amazon UK

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Many thanks for reading my post a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

A Feast of Serendib by Mary Anne Mohanraj @mamohanraj @rararesources #cookbook #BookReview

I am delighted to share my view for a cook book that will definitley tickle your tastebuds. A Feast of Serendib by Mary Anne Mohanraj. Mary brings a delicious feast fantastic with her Sri Lankan background and other cultural influences to create an amazing cook book.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for accepting my request to join the tour and also to Mary for my e-copy of her book.

Dark roasted curry powder, a fine attention to the balance of salty-sour-sweet, wholesome red rice and toasted curry leaves, plenty of coconut milk and chili heat. These are the flavors of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was a cross roads in the sea routes of the East. Three waves of colonization—Portuguese, Dutch and British—and the Chinese laborers who came with them, left their culinary imprint on Sri Lankan food. Sri Lankan cooking with its many vegetarian dishes gives testimony to the presence of a multi-ethnic and multi -religious population.

Everyday classics like beef smoore and Jaffna crab curry are joined by luxurious feast dishes, such as nargisi kofta and green mango curry, once served to King Kasyapa in his 5th century sky palace of Sigiriya.

Vegetable dishes include cashew curry, jackfruit curry, asparagus poriyal, tempered lentils, broccoli varai and lime-masala mushrooms. There are appetizers of chili-mango cashews, prawn lentil patties, fried mutton rolls, and ribbon tea sandwiches. Deviled chili eggs bring the heat, yet ginger-garlic chicken is mild enough for a small child. Desserts include Sir Lankan favorites:  love cake, mango fluff, milk toffee and vattalappam, a richly-spiced coconut custard.

In A Feast of Serendib, Mary Anne Mohanraj introduces her mother’s cooking and her own Americanizations, providing a wonderful introduction to Sri Lankan American cooking, straightforward enough for a beginner, and nuanced enough to capture the flavor of Sri Lankan cooking.

Purchase Links: Serendib KitchenPre Order Link

Several words spring to mind as I read this book – mouthwatering, delicious, tasty, do-able, yummy… I think you can see where I am going with this!

Before I start on the recipes I am going to mention all the other things that are included in this book. Mary has included little snippets from her life, her family and friends. Sri Lankan cookery has taken recipes from other cultures and they have been adapted over the years to fit with the food available. These little asides are included in the introduction to some recipes, as poems or in the fabulous Introduction at the beginning of the book.

Some of the recipes have little alternatives or tweaks that she has thoughtfully included, little adaptions that are handy to know and come from experience. Each recipe has a wonderful photograph, I like to see what an end product is so these are a very welcome addition.

Now then, the recipes…Wow! every course is catered for, starters, mains, vegetarian, fish, dessert and, drinks. I have tried a couple of dishes, only simple things as I am between shopping trips at the moment, and to be fair my little village shop does not carry a lot of the ingredients. Though in the list of main ingredients there are often alternatives, this came in very handy indeed.

The first thing I tried was the Chai Tea, this sounds a little bit random, but I buy Chai Tea so I reasoned that as I have everything I needed why not make my own! Much better than the shop bought one I get, I can see this is a recipe that I will be using quite often.

Next up was the Braised Pepper Chicken, a milder recipe that had ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, onions and tomato. A simple recipe to follow that makes use of my basic store cupboard ingredients. Very tasty and I served it with just simple boiled rice, though I do add a veg stock cube to the water while cooking.

I am looking forward to trying more recipes in this book. On my list for the future is Black Pork Curry, Beef Smoore, Beet Curry, Raita that is different from the one I usually make and, I definitely want to try the mango pickle. There are so many recipes that I would love to make and try though.

If you are looking for a cookbook that has a very good mix of recipes then this would be one that would be a good asset for your shelf. A mix of ingredients that are easy to source though I would have to travel a little further afield for some of them.

The recipes I tried were easy to follow and extremely tasty, it is a book I would definitely look to buy in its physical format. It is not just a cookbook, it has so many interesting extras and this makes it enjoyable to read and peruse through

It gets a Highly Recommended from Me!

Mary Anne Mohanraj is the author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press) and thirteen other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. The Stars Change was a finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards.

Mohanraj founded the Hugo-nominated and World Fantasy Award-winning speculative literature magazine, Strange Horizons, and alsofounded Jaggery, a S. Asian & S. Asian diaspora literary journal (jaggerylit.com). She received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and was Guest of Honor at WisCon. She serves as Director of two literary organizations, DesiLit (www.desilit.org) and The Speculative Literature Foundation (www.speclit.org). She serves on the futurist boards of the XPrize and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Mohanraj is Clinical Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, withher husband, their two small children, and a sweet dog. Recent publications include stories for George R.R. Martin’s WildCards series, stories at Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, and Lightspeed, and an essay in Roxane Gay’s Unruly Bodies.  2017-2018 titles include Survivor (a SF/F anthology), Perennial, Invisible 3 (co-edited with Jim C. Hines), and Vegan Serendib. http://www.maryannemohanraj.com

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See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog Tour. Some of them will have recipes and extracts to share as well as what they think of this book.

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The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir @SussexMysteries #Audible #AudioReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for the Audiobook version of The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir. I was the lucky recipient of this from Isabell after she ran a Giveaway as part of her Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A young woman named Zara goes missing, one year to the day that her boyfriend, Joel, was killed in a hit-and-run. Is Zara in danger? Is she still alive? What really happened to Joel, and who is to blame?

In the quiet seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, the police appear to be doing little to find Zara. Her friend Janie decides to make it her mission to track her down. It’s the “swinging sixties”, and Janie fears that Zara may be mixed up with drugs, alcohol, or worse. As Janie explores the strange circumstances of Zara’s disappearance, she starts to question the truth about Joel’s death.

Janie runs the mobile library and has a passion for crime fiction, especially Agatha Christie. Can Poirot help Janie solve the mystery of Zara’s disappearance? 

As she looks for clues she comes across some unsavory characters who each have a reason for wanting Joel dead. Can Janie untangle the web of lies and find out the truth?

Local librarian and mystery reader Janie Juke felt like just the right person to look into the death of Joel and the disappearance of Zara. Her love of Agatha Christie and Poirot gave her the push to use her ‘little grey cells’ and do some sleuthing of her own!

The narrator, Penny Scott-Andrews had just the right tone for me. I was easily able to imagine a young woman who was very excited to be searching for clues.

The story itself is set in the 1960s and I felt that able to remain in the time as the book progressed. It had mentions of music and bands as well as news items of the day.

While it is not what I would call fast paced I found the story to be quite addictive to listen to. It is a cosy mystery and also has Janie’s family involved. They voice their concerns as she investigates and they are also her sounding blocks.

This is the first in the Sussex Murder series and I am very interested in reading/listening to more. A good cosy murder/mystery with references to Poirot and Christie that kept me entertained.

It is an audiobook that I would Recommend.

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Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds : The Musical Drama #Audible #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review of Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds. This is a new release and Audible Original Drama version released in 2018.

I did wonder how I would get on with this as I am such a huge fan of the Richard Burton version…

An Audible Original Drama

One of the world’s most recognisable sci-fi stories, H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds established numerous conventions for the genre, including the threat of an invasive extraterrestrial species, space travel and intergalactic conflict, inspiring directors, gamers, producers and writers alike with its sobering story of struggle and survival. 

Marrying the suspense, drama and urgency of Wells’ original novel with Jeff Wayne’s rousing and flamboyant score, Audible’s new and exclusive dramatisation uses action, narration, original music and evocative sound design to immerse listeners in a world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate. 

Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Musical Drama stars Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Adrian Edmondson, Theo James and Anna-Marie Wayne. 

Also featuring: Rachel Atkins, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Josh Bond, Nicholas Boulton, Philip Bulcock, Jessica Dennis, Stephen Fletcher, Pete Gold, David Holt, Roger May, Harry Myers, Richard Reed, Mark Straker, Ben Whitehead and Sarah Whitehouse. 

I am not going to go into the ins and outs of the story, it is based on HG Wells and has been adapted into various films and shows.

I heard this for the first time while at primary school. One of the teachers brought in the vinyl record in and I absolutely fell in love with it. That would have been The Musical Version and I would have been 10 ish years old at the time. Since then I have listened and seen different versions of this and I have to be honest nothing has come close to the sound of Richard Burton’s voice. It just has just the right tone to it. So why I hear you ask would I listen to yet another version? Well, why not!

The memorable and chilling music is something that is so well known and adds an ominous and chilling atmosphere. The music is something that I have always loved. This version does not have the songs as it is the drama and not the musical version. There is a new feel to the music score and while a lot of the original content is there I discovered changes. It has a more modern feel while still holding the original style.

So to the narrator, I loved Richard Burton narrating the musical version and for me when I listened to it as a child, his voice seemed to fill the room. Michael Sheen has a different tone to his voice and adds something different. He seems to have more variation to his voice that was I admit a very nice change from the more monotone Burton.

I have to say that I am always going to be a fan of the first recording I heard. It filled me with awe, fear and also excitement. It opened up a world of mystery and my imagination loved it. This Drama version does do a brilliant job, it has the drama, excitement and atmosphere. While for me it will never be as good as the one I first heard, it comes in at a magnificent second. I will say that the voices and the music really did work well for this slightly more modern feeling of this re-working.

I would love to see a live show of this and it has been on my bucket list for a long time.

This is one I will listen to more than once and I would Highly Recommend.

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Summer Season on the Seafront by Katie Ginger @KatieGAuthor @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Summer Season at the Seafront by Katie Ginger. I had the pleasure of reading her previous book in this series “The Little Theatre On The Seafront” so I was excited to return and see what was going to happen next. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and to Katie for my e-copy of her book.

Let’s see what it’s all about…

The Greenley Players are back practicing their Shakespeare and, as usual, things aren’t going to plan.

Sarah Powell is fed up with her sad single status and when her estranged father walks back into her life things get even worse. Can dishy doctor Finn MacDonald mend her broken heart and help her figure things out?

TV star, Nate Hardy’s career is going from strength to strength until his performance is interrupted and he has to flee the West End to hide away in Greenley. Will he ever get his career back on track or will Sarah and the rest of Greenley’s madcap residents capture his heart forever? 

Purchase links for Amazon UK US

I loved coming back to the Theatre and the Am Dram players. It didn’t take me long at all to remember the characters and their quirky ways. This time Sarah takes the main stage, with supporting roles by Gregory and Cecil, although other cast members do also have parts to play.

I immediately took to Sarah and found myself sympathising with her as she forlornly fails to find a decent match on the dating sites. A surprise lands on her doorstep and it leaves her having to re-assess what she originally thought. I loved this surprise for Sarah and though the author handled the reactions very well. Oh my goodness that was so cryptic!

Nate, the actor fleeing London under a shadow is a great character. Yes, I will admit that initially, I felt he was little stereotyped, but after I got to know him I was pleasantly surprised. Just goes to show how wrong you can be about people, which is perfect for him!

This is such an adorable read and I was so happy to reconnect with the wonderful and slightly mad-cap characters. Mrs Andrews… though I think she would scare the socks off me, also had me giggling. Gregory and Ceil are simply perfect in both their character, outlook and cheeky little asides and are such a wonderful compliment. Sarah and Nate are the main focus and I loved their individual stories. Friendships, relationships, and dealing with emotions are wonderfully wrapped up and around a story that I adored.

In picking out and highlighting just a few characters it meant the flow of the story did just that “it flowed” beautifully. I was happily turning pages from start to finish and I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series.

If you are after a wonderful story, in fact, a series then have a look at this one. Wonderful storylines, brilliant characters that had me smirking, laughing, and also wiping the odd stray tear. Summer Season on the Seafront gets a Highly Recommended from Me!

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Summer Season on the Seafront is Katie’s second novel. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award. She is also the author of some cosy mystery short stories. Katie loves making her characters either fall in love, or killing them off – it depends on her mood!

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive her two children: Ellie, who believes everything in life should be done as a musical number from a West End show; and Sam, who is basically a monkey with a boy’s face. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

For more about Katie you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor

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In Safe Hands by JP Carter #Review #NetGalley

I am delighted to share my review for In Safe Hands by JP Carter with you all today. I read this e-book via NetGalley and my thanks to Avon Books for accepting my request to review.

Let’s have a look and see what it’s all about…

How far would you go to save the ones you love?

The first book in a gripping new crime series featuring DCI Anna Tate.

When nine children are snatched from a nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again. The community in the surrounding area is in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

But DCI Anna Tate knows that nothing is impossible, and she also knows that time is quickly running out. It’s unclear if the kidnappers are desperate for money or set on revenge, but the ransom is going up by £1million daily. And they know that one little boy in particular is fighting for his life.

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DCI Anna Tate has ever worked on – not only because nine children are being held hostage, but because she’s pretty sure that someone close to them is lying…

A parents nightmare is one that involves their child being kidnapped. Made worse again if that child is reliant on medication. When 9 children are taken from a nursery it is a race against time for DCI Anna Tate to find them as a media frenzy is in a full whirlwind of speculation and finger-pointing.

This is such a hard review for me to write because as much as I enjoyed the story I found it hard to connect to. Saying that I also found it had a hold on me that kept me reading to discover the truth.

The premise for the story is one that caught my eye and also that it is the start of a new series. The plot itself was good and so were the characters. Given that there are 9 sets of parents, teachers and police it would have been easy for the author to get bogged down with so many characters. Instead, the author chose to focus on the parents of the child requiring medication. The other parents do get the odd look in, but in keeping them in the background it kept the flow of the story moving t a good pace.

DCI Anna Tate has a backstory that compliments the kidnapped children. Now, this character I really didn’t take to, I am really not sure why! Was it her backstory that felt a little too convenient? I am not sure! There was just something I couldn’t pinpoint.

I felt that things fell into place a little too quickly and conveniently, for me it gave it a slightly rushed feel. I did get an inkling as to who was behind the kidnapping, although not the reasons behind it. That said I did enjoy the story and would recommend it to other crime readers and I will be keeping my eye out for further books in this series.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx