Friday, 29 September 2017

Booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone

It is the end of October.... Already!  Where has the month gone?  So, if it is the end of the month, that means it is also time to bring you a booktuber highlight.

This month I have decided to bring you Katytastic I have been watching her for years.  I have watched her transform from teen to young woman.  She has never lost her enthusiasm for books.  It is her enthusiasm and fun approach that grabs my interest in the books she highlights.  In this clip she is showing her book haul and she definitely has plenty to show.  I wish I had her book haul and the bookcase behind her!

She seems to work for quite a few publishers, as you will see in this clip.  This means that she has quite a few new release books which also draws me back, after time to her clips as I get to be updated on what is new out in the book world.

If you take a look through her videos you will find a wealth of information, box openings, and some just down and outright fun bookish clips too.  Take a look at her subscriber total... 243K! She must be doing something right, she is bringing books to a massive amount of repeat viewers. including me 😃

As you awake to the weekend, like I have this morning, click on the clip above and take a look at the world of Katytastic.

Happy reading

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Writing for Bliss

Hi Everyone

I have in my hand one of the most brilliantly thought out and written jems of writing!  I am going to treasure this work of art for a very long time.

As I read this I felt like I was reading a journel writen by Diana Raab.  It covers so much I am impressed.  Take a look at some of the content you will devour as you read this:

She starts with an introduction talking a writing and bliss, the theapy, healing and transformation you will find in writing. Then she takes you on a journey through...
  • preparing to write
  • cultivating self awareness
  • speaking your truth
  • examining your life
  • finding your form
  • journaling
  • letterwriting
  • essay writing
  • blogging
  • memoirs, biographies and autobiographical writing
  • poetry
  • writing proms further reading
I'm telling it is a gem that is worth picking up.  There is so much in this that I can't begin to give the book full credit.  I have read many writing books but this is one of the best for every level of writer.

Happy reading

A Seven-Step Plan For Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life

Writing for Bliss is most fundamentally about reflection, truth, and freedom. With techniques and prompts for both the seasoned and novice writer, it will lead you to tap into your creativity through storytelling and poetry, examine how life-changing experiences can inspire writing, pursue self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and, understand how published writers have been transformed by writing.

Poet and memoirist Raab (Lust) credits her lifelong love of writing and its therapeutic effects with inspiring her to write this thoughtful and detailed primer that targets pretty much anyone interested in writing a memoir. Most compelling here is Raab's willingness to share her intimate stories (e.g., the loss of a relative, ongoing struggles with cancer, a difficult relationship with her mother). Her revelations are encouraging to writers who feel they need "permission to take... a voyage of self-discovery." The book's seven-step plan includes plenty of guidance, including on learning to "read like a writer," and on addressing readers as if "seated across the table ." Raab covers big topics such as the "art and power of storytelling" and small details such as choosing pens and notebooks that you enjoy using. She also helps readers with the important step of "finding your form." --PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

Available to buy from....
From Loving Healing Press

"Writing for Bliss is about the profound ways in which we may be transformed in and through the act of writing. I am grateful to Diana Raab for sharing it, and I trust that you will feel the same as you read on. May you savor the journey." --from the foreword by MARK FREEMAN, PhD 

"By listening to ourselves and being aware of what we are saying and feeling, the true story of our life's past experience is revealed. Diana Raab's book gives us the insights by which we can achieve this through her life-coaching wisdom and our writing." --BERNIE SIEGEL, MD, author of The Art of Healing 

"Only a talented writer who has fought hard to overcome life's many obstacles could take her readers by the hand and lead them through the writing process with such enormous compassion, amazing insight, and kindness. Diana Raab is a powerful, wise, intelligent guide well worth our following." --JAMES BROWN, author of The Los Angeles Diaries and The River 

"Writing for Bliss is far more than a 'how-to manual'; it enlightens the creative process with wisdom and a delightful sense of adventure. Bravo to Bliss!" --LINDA GRAY SEXTON, author of Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton 

"Uniquely blending inspiring insights with practical advice, Diana guides you on a path to discover the story that is truly inside you and yearning to be told." --PATRICK SWEENEY, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Succeed on Your Own Terms

“Through my writing, mentoring and workshops, I guide others to discover and tell their own unique stories and abiding truths. The craft and practice of writing can be transformative and empowering—a cornerstone for emotional and psychological well-being, and a way to tap into one’s true inner voice and passions.” -- Diana Raab

Other books by the author...

About the author

Diana Raab, PhD is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, workshop leader and speaker. Her passion is writing for healing and transformation.

She's the author of eight books and over 500 articles and poems, and editor of two anthologies, WRITERS ON THE EDGE: 22 WRITERS SPEAK ABOUT ADDICTION AND DEPENDENCY and WRITERS AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS. Raab's two memoirs are REGINA'S CLOSET: FINDING MY GRANDMOTHER'S SECRET JOURNAL and HEALING WITH WORDS: A WRITER'S CANCER JOURNEY. Her fourth and most recent poetry collection is called LUST.

Raab has been writing since the age of 10, when her mother gave her a Khalil Gibran journal to help her cope with her grandmother suicide. Since then, she has been using writing as a way of healing and transformation and inspiring others to do the same.

She is the mother of 3 adult children, and grandmother to two. She lives in Southern California.

She blogs for for Psychology Today, PsychAlive, and Boomer Cafe.

Find the author on the following sites...

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.


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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The pet itch

The Pet Itch
Author: Elli Woollard
Illustrator: Elina Ellis
ISBN: 9781848861749

The Pet Itch
Hi Everyone

How can you resist this little picture book the pictures are just too adorable!

This is  a story of  a critter who wants a pet.  None of the adults want a pet.  So he sets out to convince them.... with a pet itch.  Although the story line is fantastic it is the illustrations that bring it all together so brilliantly.  The pictures capture the essence the author writes of.  They are bold, bright, funny.  So is the story.  

This really is one that I would purchase over and over for any little one needing a gift. 

Take a look at these few pages and you will see what I am meaning by the brilliance of the story/picture connection:

And what about this one:

So, what do you think, adorable or what?


Mossy the monster wants a pet Itch but his family are not so keen!

But that's not going to stop Mossy and his scheming older sister.  They have a plan!

This was available from: Book depositoryFishpond and Amazon

Happy reading

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Shadow Sister

The Shadow Sister
Author: Lucinda Riley
ISBN: 9781447288602

The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters, #3)
Hi Everyone

This series just keeps getting better!  I have to wait now until November for the next book.  It's going to be a struggle, I have questions I want answered.

As for this book, it is the story of CeeCee and I loved her.  There are so many parts of these characters that you just can't help but connect with.  If it isn't the main sister of the story it is the historical ancestor or one of the back characters.  I have found this in every one of these books so far.  Lucinda Riley is a creator of master piece characters.

What I loved most about this book was the book shop, the owner, the connection to Beatrice Potter and pull between each character. I wanted, particularly, to step into the book shop.  I could visualise every wall in that shop.  I wanted to go sit in there with with the other customers and just read the books too.  It seemed more like an old library with wall that talked and told stories of the past.

The connection Lucinda Riley makes between present and past in these stories is brilliantly plotted.  I start reading about the present, get dragged into the past and thrown back into the present.  I become so entwined in each character that I forget I am reading about the present characters life and her journey.

If you haven't already discovered this series than look them up.  I am hooked!


Star D'Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father - the elusive billionaire, named Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted by him from the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to their true heritage, but Star - the most enigmatic of the sisters - is hesitant to step out of the safety of the close relationship she shares with her sister CeCe. In desperation, she decides to follow the first clue she has been left, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world . . .

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in the Lake District, living close to her idol, Beatrix Potter, when machinations outside her control lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society's most notorious players, Alice Keppel. Flora is pulled between passionate love and duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a game - the rules of which are only known to others - until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life . . .

As Star learns more of Flora's incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

This was available from: Book depository, Fishpond and Amazon

Happy reading

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook
Authors: Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison
ISBN: 978-1-101-90266-0

Hi Everyone

I have been waiting to get my hands on this book for a while now and I finally have it!  I am a little slow at getting this, so much so that they have their next cookbook out now too.  I wanted to see this first before I got over excited and purchased the second book, but I have to say I think it will be on my wish list also.

So, what do these girls promote?  For anyone who hasn't followed these two ladies before they have actually been around for a while.  They have tried, and promoted, many, vegan, and raw diets in the past but after years this they have looked to science.  In their Trim Healthy Mama Plan book they explain the fundamentals of their dietary ideas of eating fat and carbs but not a the same time.  Their theory being, your body burns either fat or glucose for energy so eat either fat or carbs but not always both at the same time.  They do have 'energy pull' recipes where both are combined but these are are not the every meal time occurrence. 

Well, what did I think of the recipes?  This book is beautiful!  The recipes are standard sort of recipes but they have been adapted to fit the plan. They fit in with family cooking easily and are great for people like me with allergy children.  You will find 350 healthy well balanced recipes that will suit most people.  I say most because I know what it is like living with special dietary needs :) Each recipes has a coloured picture... always a winner in my view.  I actually think this book has had a lot of thought put into the presentation and publication.  In my view it is a great asset to my recipes book collection and I am sure you would find something in it to become a family favourite on your table.


In their debut cookbook, the Trim Healthy Mamas share hundreds of delicious, healthy recipes to help readers successfully slim down while eating well. This companion cookbook to the bestselling Trim Healthy Mama Plan is just what readers have been waiting for. It features simple, mouthwatering, recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner--including slow cooker and one-pot meals, hearty soups and salads, omelets and waffles, pizzas, breads and more. No Trim Healthy Mama should be deprived, so there are also favorite snacks, delectable desserts, and the smoothies, sippers and teas fans love. With pantry-stocking advice, time-saving tips, and information on how to cook for the entire family, the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook offers a delicious and nutritious way to make trim and healthy meals with less stress--so you have more time with your loved ones.

This was available from: Book depository, Amazon and Fishpond

Happy reading

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Towards another summer

Towards Another Summer
Author: Janet Frame
ISBN: 9781869419745

Towards Another Summer
Hi Everyone

Okay, here we have it... a book that I just didn't click with. 

I listened to this on audio book.  The reader was great, but I struggled with it the whole way through.  I am in two minds about the whole book though.  One is that it was on audio, so I have this deep down feeling that I should read it in book form.  Two, I did like that is was set in New Zealand.  The setting was the one thing that kept me listening actually.

In honesty this is probably a really good classic but I just couldn't click with it.  We all have books that we just cannot connect with and I have found that book of mine.  As I write this I think of all the classics I had to read and study for my degree and remember all the times I just wanted to shut the stupid book but then I became entwined in the plot in some way.  The more I re-read to study each classic the more I fell in love with them.  Especially - A Tale of Two Cities.  So, maybe I should just read it again.

Leave me a comment if you think I should re-read it in book form.


Towards Another Summer is a meditation on the themes of exile and return, homesickness and not knowing where home really is. It is suffused with beauty and tenderness and shot through with self-deprecating humour and frailty. Grace, the protagonist, is taking a break from writing a long novel and seems to be losing her grip on daily life in London. She feels more and more like a migratory bird as the pull of her native New Zealand makes life in England seem transitory. The desire to leave behind the social human agonies of appearing neither too clever nor too stupid, too helpful or too lazy, becomes overwhelming for Grace. Frame's observational prowess is apparent in Towards Another Summer in the vivid and heartbreaking passages about children and childhood and in Grace's growing awareness of the demanding forces of social convention.

This was available from: Book depository, Amazon, and Fishpond

Happy reading

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lottery in Paradise

Hi Everyone

What a treat to sit down and read this!  I would love to see it made into a movie. 

I adored the characters the most in this novel.  The plot kept me hanging in there, but I become really fond of the antics of all the characters combined.  I think I smiled most of the way through this one.  There was one thing after an other, all connected to the plot in some way, but really I could have just kept reading to see what antic would happen next.  Especially what Fab would do next, she had spark! 

And yes, the plot was good.  The crime was answered with a dramatic ending and the book finalised well.  But I still go back to the characters on this one.  They really made it for me.

So for Lottery in Paradise, for me it was all about the characters, characters, characters!

And to any directors out there... These books would make a good series or movie :)

Happy reading

Meet the crime-solving duo of the Florida Keys: Madison who has all the charm of the girl next door, not to mention a deadly aim and Fab, her best friend, a femme fatale private investigator with a taste for danger and stilettos.

When their neighbor is found dead, the headlines read, "It doesn't pay to be a lottery winner." It gets you nothing but an endless line of crazies at your door, greedy relatives and acquaintances. Sleuths Madison and Fab don't have time to be concerned about the latest murder; they have problems of their own trying to figure out why their house has suddenly become the focus of several attempted break-ins. The duo are off on more adventures -- what could go wrong chauffeuring a limousine full of college girls? Or chasing after a custom Ferrari? Along the way, there's a break-up, a wedding, and the usual run-ins with the law.

If you like sassy, exciting crime novels, then you'll love Lottery in Paradise, the eleventh book in the scorching Paradise series about two seductive ladies who use unconventional and highly entertaining measures to maintain the peace in the steamy and twisted paradise of Tarpon Cove.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they're like won't be able to devour just one!”

Available to buy from.....

"Another FABULOUS book by one of my favorite authors. I love how there are always several different stories going on. I loved the ending..." 

"Another great story in the Paradise series! My love for these quirky characters grows with every book! Hope they never end!"

"An excellent story that is jammed packed with fun, happiness, anger, & a few stupid decisions. She captures the reader's attention & keeps it from beginning to end. This is another winner in the Paradise series!"
Above reviews from Amazon


Book Excerpt:

Fab hit the steering wheel with a closed fist. "I'm going to run that jerk off the road."

"No. You. Are. Not. And you're not going to shoot out his tires either." Though there was a zero chance of that happening. As talented as the hot, sexy woman was, she couldn't steer and shoot at the same time. "We'll act like normal people and call the police." Normal, I laughed to myself. I hadn't heard myself described that way in a long time. Mostly, I heard "weird" bandied about. An over-exaggeration - I'm familiar with weird, and that's not me.

"You better come up with something better than that." Fab pulled up alongside the truck on the driver's side.

I powered the window down and hung my head out, my hand in mid-air, ready to flag the man down, even though I knew that chances were slim that he'd pull over. Pulling my head back in the window, I said, "Change of plans." I pushed my red hair back into place, smoothing it down, certain it was a wind-whipped mess. "The fancy tow truck is one of Brick's."

Brick and I had a tenuous relationship; it was hard to trust him when I knew he never put Fab's safety first, or mine either. He opposed our relationship, knowing that several times I had convinced my daring friend to calm down and rethink her plan. As backup to Super PI Fab, there were few jobs that didn't include flying bullets and running for our lives. I was happy for the respite. So were our boyfriends,who'd had a face-to-face with Brick, laying down the rules: no more withholding details, and if it came out after the fact that he knew there was a high chance of danger, it would be the last mistake he would make. My boyfriend followed that up with a right cross to Brick's eye.

Fab made an outraged sound. "I don't believe you."


Also available in the Paradise Series

About the Author:

I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; poetry, sappy short stories (my best friend made me swear that I’d never show anyone until I changed the names), and a romance novel shoved under my bed.

I wanted to create books with a wide-range of unforgettable characters, with heat and romance, and lots of guns. It wouldn’t be complete without a slice of humor and charm.

I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites...

Follow the Book Tour


I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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Open Worldwide
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