Blog Archives

As Autumn Arrives …

Well, where did we leave it?

With all the changes and variations to the lockdown restrictions, it’s hard to keep up sometimes.

Well a birthday is a good place to start, eh? Our beloved little great-niece Thea’s 1st birthday was in August. We couldn’t party in ‘full on whole family’ style for obvious reasons but Thea nonetheless had a wonderful day.

Here she is, bless her, in her celebratory outfit ‚̧

Birthday Girl

I’ve been enjoying spending some extra time with Thea and both our great-nephews these past few weeks, and with my family in general, given how lockdown has affected our various work patterns, health & wellbeing.

The joy of simple pleasures. I’d forgotten how much fun a game of hide n seek could be.

Peek -a-boo, dear little Henry

Or feeding the goats with sweet little Stanley at Christmas Tree Farm

Hungry chops

In September we were lucky enough to get away for a few days to north Wales with two good friends of ours. Our timing was spectacular, not only because where we stayed is sadly now in temporary local lockdown, but the weather was fantastic. Never did I think when I was packing my windproofs and waterproofs that we’d be blessed with dazzling sunshine and temperatures of 25 degrees.

Here is a snapshot of our trip ūüėÄ

October is always special for me as Dave and I celebrate our wedding anniversary (17 years this year!) and my birthday. On both occasions we ate out and had successive fabulous meals. We received some lovely cards and messages and I had some gorgeous birthday gifts.

Then and now ‚̧

I was lucky enough to appear on fellow author Anne Stormont’s blog this month where I wrote about a typical (or not so typical) day in my writing life. Thank you to Anne for inviting me to feature.

You can read my post here ūüôā Jan Brigden’s Writing Day

Also, another fab addition to project Briggy to report in the shape of our new pergola. Clever man, my husband ‚̧

As we speak, I am working on a novella for my publisher Choc Lit UK It’ll be Christmas-themed and out in time for the 2021 festivities. I love all things Christmas so it is a joy to be able to set a story at this time of year. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I’ve read two cracking books over the past few weeks, one fiction, one non-fiction.

Sue Moorcroft’s Summer on a Sunny Island whisked me to Malta where I have previously visited and loved. I felt like I’d returned in person such is the brilliance of Sue’s writing and descriptions in this novel. Rosa and Zach are both on the island for very different reasons, having endured past setbacks in love and life. From the moment I met each of these characters, I was rooting for them to get together but the author creates enough tension and drama to leave you never knowing for sure if they actually will. The perfect escape from all the madness and chaos going on around us. Top marks from me ūüôā

Being a serial overthinker and someone who suffers with sporadic episodes of anxiety, especially in these strange times, Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff was a welcome distraction. Simply explained tips and encouragement, via 100 short chapters, on how to put things into perspective to save yourself a whole lot of angst and frustration. Good to dip in and out of when the worry bunny comes calling. It certainly gave my spirits a lift ūüôā

Blooms this time around are a feast for the eyes. Beautiful birthday roses and some glorious gladioli. Enjoy!

Until next time, keep safe and well everyone. Here’s hoping we can return to normality some time soon.

With much love,

Jan X

Hooray, Hooray! 11 Today!

It’s a very special day for my lovely publisher¬†Choc Lit¬† they are celebrating their eleventh birthday. It has been fabulous to see them branch out to incorporate Ruby Fiction¬† and I’m very proud to be part of the whole #ChocRuby family. A huge celebratory cheer of thanks goes to the team for all your hard work and support for us authors and our books.

There will be fun, prizes and, no doubt, chocs aplenty all day over at Choc Lit & Ruby HQ, so be sure to keep an eye on Twitter & Facebook and join in the celebrations.

Here’s to another fab year!

 

Sip Sip

 

It such a joy for me to have both As Weekends Go and If I Ever Doubt You published by Choc Lit and here is a slideshow of some of my fave moments over the past five years ‚̧

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With much love,

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Cheers!

Jan,  x

 

From My Home to Yours …

I hope this post finds you and all your loved ones safe and healthy and well. Such a¬† strange, scary, unnerving old time for everyone, isn’t it. Bless those poor souls who have lost their lives. My heart goes out to their families and friends ‚̧

I was re-reading my previous blog post (written pre-lockdown) about how I’d be reporting back to you on the various family events coming up in April, always a mad month birthdays-wise in our family. As is May.

Little did I know at the time what the next few weeks would bring and how much they would impact all our lives.

Yet for all the negatives and sadness and worry –¬† perfectly understandable –¬† I have been reflecting on all the good in my life, who and what is really important. Counting my blessings. As I’m sure a lot of us have.

 

Obviously my husband, strong marriage,¬† family and friends are at the top of my list of things to be thankful for. I’ve also appreciated the importance of my home. Dave and I live in a maisonette in a densely populated town, albeit on the “slightly” quieter and greener fringes of that town. We’ve lived here a number of years, seen huge changes, met and waved goodbye to various neighbours and witnessed countless dramas.

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Over the last few months I’d begun to feel a bit restless, agitated, less tolerant of the litter, mindless periodic car vandalism the ever-growing traffic, beeping car horns, hollered expletives and general lack of consideration of one or two of our fellow residents. I actually uttered those immortal words to Dave one evening, “It’s not like it used to be round here.”

And then came lockdown.

Now, I’m not saying all of the aforementioned niggles will magic themselves away when things return to normal, whatever normal may be, but I do know that during the extra time we’ve spent indoors and especially the time spent going out for our hourly walks for exercise, or sitting in the garden, that my love for our home and its surroundings has reignited.

Indoors, we’ve had a good old declutter, spring-cleaned and had a mass filing and shredding of paperwork session. Outdoors, we’ve tackled the garden. Dave, unable to work at the moment, has dismantled our decking with plans for a new shed to take its place. Our walks have taken in new local routes I never knew existed. Bridleways and woods full of foliage and blossoms. Hopscotch patterns chalked on pathways, pictures of rainbows in windows, the background sounds of birdsong and children’s laughter as they splash in their paddling pools or play in their gardens, between homeschooling sessions. Less traffic. Fresher air. Bluer sky. An abundance of butterflies (one landed on me – I was so chuffed!) and bumble bees aplenty. Majestic trees, one of which we pass on a certain route, is home to a woodpecker who we now listen out for every day.

Obviously it’s a godsend that we have social media and phones and video calling, etc, so we can all stay in touch, but it has also been wonderful to slow down, give the brain a rest and appreciate those things we either take for granted or never notice.

I know for sure that I’ve been more creative, writing blog posts and a Christmas novella and a few comical odes and ditties . I’m looking forward to the publication of my sequel to As Weekends Go later this month.

Published by Choc Lit, it’s entitled If I Ever Doubt You and here is the blurb and the glorious cover.

She might have scored a celebrity footballer, but the game isn’t over yet …
Rebecca Dunning should be blissfully happy ‚Äď after a whirlwind weekend, she and top footballer Alex Heath are still going strong. But as the murkier side of the celebrity lifestyle reveals itself, so does the creeping doubt.

Rebecca finds herself isolated in the fake, flashy world of toxic WAG cliques and ruthless reporters, and when a mysterious online admirer follows Alex’s every move, she struggles to cope. Can she keep playing the media game for the man she loves, or will she have to admit defeat?

MORTON POST IIEDY

 

The beautiful blooms below are dedicated to our brilliant NHS and carers and key workers for whom we’ve been clapping and banging our saucepan lids in appreciation of the invaluable work they are doing throughout this pandemic and for all they do in general.

No applause will ever be loud enough. clapping-hands

Thank you.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone ‚̧

Much love,

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Jan x

 

Marching on …

 

Seeing all the glorious blossoms and daffodils means that spring has sprung. My favourite season. Full of promise and new beginnings and summer still ahead.

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It’s been a busy couple of months. In early January my lovely publisher Choc Lit offered me a contract for my second book (title tbc). It’s the sequel to As Weekends Go, telling Rebecca and Alex’s story going forward. It’s also a standalone story in its own right. I’m pleased to report that the structural edits are done and I’m currently awaiting the first glimpse of the cover.

Exciting!

Watch this space …

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Midway through January, all the ladies in our family attended eldest niece Jo’s baby shower. With plenty of Jo’s female friends there too, a great time was had by all. Sister Sandra (Jo’s mum) created some brilliant games and a quiz and we each wrote a little note for Jo’s memory jar – a precious keepsake for her sent with love and special wishes. We devoured a delicious buffet and cupcakes and the Prosecco flowed. Plenty of photos taken too in front of the stunning flower wall.

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January 31st saw niece Marie-Claire officially graduate with a BA First Class Honours degree in Primary Education from Canterbury Christ Church University. A grand ceremony was held at Canterbury Cathedral. So proud of her achievements and of how well she is doing in her chosen teaching career.

Hip Hip Hooray!

 

 

More joyous news in February when niece Jo and her fiance Anthony welcomed dear little Stanley Edward into the world. He’s absolutely adorable and Briggy and I were thrilled to meet him on Valentine’s Day when he was one week old. Crazy to think we are great uncle & great auntie thrice over. We love it!

 

And now here we are in March. Lots of family celebrations  over the next few weeks which I look forward to telling you all about next time, along with any fresh Book 2 updates.

Finally, some glorious blooms for you to feast your eyes upon: gorgeous daffs, a beautiful scented bouquet from my lovely friend Kay, and last but not least, the majestic camellia bush in flower next to our front door.  Enjoy!

 

Until next time, with much love,

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Jan X

 

 

 

So pleased to accept a Sunshine Blogger Award – Nominated by Jessie Cahalin

Sunshine-Blogger-AwardNominee

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award allows bloggers to highlight and celebrate their fellow bloggers’ creativity and positivity within the blogging community.

I am thrilled to have been nominated, along with ten other bloggers, by Jessie Cahalin of the fabulous¬†Books in my Handbag blog. Jessie was herself previously nominated. Congratulations!¬† I love Jessie’s gem of a blog with all its entertaining and engaging features and¬† value her friendship and support.

Below are the 11 questions set by Jessie for her nominees, with my answers :

Which three photographs would you present to capture your life?  Feel free to include these in this post if you can.

I believe laughter is one of the best tonics in life.  When was the last time you could not stop laughing?

At home last week when Briggy almost did the splits springing off the sofa with cramp in his  lower leg. 

Explain the last act of kindness you showed to a friend or stranger.

Listening to a lady in the hairdressers whose older sister had recently passed away. She just wanted to talk about her.

Do you prefer the winter sun or the summer sun?  Explain your response.

Ooh, that’s a close one, as I do love crisp blue-skied sunny winter days, however, being on holiday in Spain and sitting outside on a terrace, people-watching, on a warm summer’s evening with a long, cool drink in my hand, gets my vote.¬†

Describe your perfect Saturday evening.

Cozied up on the sofa watching TV with Briggy,  a Chinese takeaway, a bottle of wine and some choccies on the side for afters.

What sorts of characters do you prefer to meet in novels?

Multi-layered ones – open-minded,¬† fun to be with, resilient and self confident, but able to laugh at themselves and not be afraid to show their emotions. Big-hearted and kind. I don’t want much, do I?¬† ūüėÄ

Give one sentence of advice to yourself when you were sixteen.

Know your worth.

Is there a friend from the past you would love to get in touch with and why?

Not really. I think I’m still in touch with most of them in some way or other.

What is your food heaven and food hell?

Food heaven is one of Briggy’s fabulous Sunday roast dinners with extra crispy roast potatoes and all the trimmings. Food hell would be anything garlicky.

Share your favourite recipe.

I wish I could say I enjoyed cooking but truth is I’m not really that adventurous or experimental. I do bake a mean Victoria sponge though. Briggy would also sing the praises of my cauliflower cheese (extra thick sauce with added chopped leeks).

The cake recipe I follow is here ~ BBC GOOD FOOD

If you could travel back in time where would you visit and who would you take with you?

Being a huge fan of the film Grease, I’d love to experience being a teenager in the 1950’s, like my parents. The music, the fashions, the lack of cars on the roads, the sense of hope and new beginnings after the second world war. A new Queen.¬† Obviously it wasn’t all sweetness and light – what era is? – but it did seem a safer, more innocent time to be alive. Obviously I’d take Briggy with me. I could teach him to jive!

 

I nominate these lovely people for a Sunshine Blogger Award ūüôā

Sunshine-Blogger-AwardNominee

 

Christine Stovell

Sharon Goodwin

Elle Turner

Rose McClelland

Sue Fortin

Kathryn Freeman

Morton S Gray

Nicola Cassidy

Heather Smith

Samantha Tonge

Sharon Booth

Big cheers for you all.¬† I love your blogs and you fully deserve¬† recognition for your¬† supportive, engaging, inspiring, creative and motivational posts. Please don’t feel obliged to respond, but if you do choose to accept the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few little rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Do leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11¬†new¬†questions.

 

Here are the 11 new questions for my nominees:

 

What are the best and worst gifts you’ve ever received?

Who is the celebrity you’d most like to share a 100 mile taxi ride with and why?

If you could interview any author past or present, who would it be and why?

What’s the most nerve-racking thing you’ve ever done in your life?

What’s your idea of the perfect holiday?

What do you find best helps you to relax, de-stress and re-focus? 

Which song triggers happy memories for you and why?

Who is the fictional hero you’d most like to spring to life before your eyes?

Which city in the world would you most like to visit?

What’s your favourite food treat/indulgence (however big or small) ?

Which three words best describe you?

 

Until next time,

With much love,

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Jan X

 

 

As autumn arrives …

I love the cooling crispness of  autumn, the colours, the crunch of leaves beneath my feet.

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A new season of promise following an eventful few weeks …

 

As August began we celebrated the arrival of our lovely great-niece Thea Eugenie, baby sister to Henry (now 18 months). Sweet as sweet can be.

 

During this month I also gleefully revisited my own childhood when my niece Marie-Claire – newly qualified as a primary school teacher –¬† asked me if I would like to help her prepare her classroom ahead of her¬† welcoming her pupils for the start of term. I was thrilled at the prospect (any excuse for a spot of cutting out, colouring and laminating) and here are some of the colourful results of our fun-filled hard work.

 

The end of August brought a visit to glorious¬†Kew Gardens¬†.¬†We were lucky with the weather which made everything look extra spectacular. ¬£18.15 (with a donation) per adult entry fee (well worth it). We also took a packed lunch as there are plenty of picnic areas. I couldn’t believe some of the weird and wonderful plants we saw, not to mention the glass sculptures. We braved the treetop walk which gave us the wobbles a bit. Overall, we walked about four miles, so the feet were well and truly hanging off by the time we got home. A fab day for sure. Took some good pics as well. See slideshow below.

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Into September and off we went on the ferry from Southampton to the Isle of Wight for a mini break with two good friends. We stayed in Rookley which was centrally located, although nowhere is too far to get to on the island. I hadn’t been back since childhood and Briggy had never been so we packed in as much as we could during our four days there. Lots of laughs, good food and sightseeing including a visit to¬†Steephill Cove¬†¬†which came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint. We also visited the sand shop in Alum Bay and filled a small glass vase of our own as a memento. A fond trip down memory lane. Loved it!

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*Cymbal Clash*

On my return from the Isle of Wight I found out the good news that my sequel to As Weekends Go is scheduled to be released by¬†Choc Lit¬†¬†early next year. Title to be finalised. Edits to be done. I am thrilled that my second book will be published. Watch this space …

 

At the end of the month my niece Jess and I took a trip to the MAC¬†store near Carnaby Street where Jess had a fabulous makeover (18th birthday prezzie). All the staff were chatty and welcoming, especially Jess’s makeup artist who did her proud. Jess was able to redeem the cost of the makeover against some of the gorgeous products that were used on her face. I, of course, sat enthralled watching the process and snapped a few pics. We also had a wander down Carnaby street and a nose round the wondrous Liberty store. A top day out.

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Bookswise,¬† here’s what I’ve recently read and enjoyed.

I’m a big fan of Tammy/Tamar Cohen’s writing and have been working my way through her novels.¬†Stop At Nothing¬†¬†is her latest and¬†The Mistress’s Revenge¬† a few years older – both novels thrillingly gripping in subject matter.

The Dead Wife¬†is, in my humble opinion, Sue Fortin’s best novel to date. Full of mystery and murky family secrets. So cleverly written and engaging.

 

So many blooms to choose from this time around (what with our visits to Kew and the Isle of Wight) so here’s a colourfully foliage-filled snapshot.

 

Until next time, with much love,

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Jan x

Summer Summary …

Mid-July. Seems mad to be saying that but here we are and I’ve snippets aplenty to share with you since my last update.

After some worrisome humps and bumps in the road, I’m so pleased to report that I’ve finally submitted my sequel to As Weekends Go to¬†Choc Lit¬† ¬†HOORAY!¬† ¬†Such a relief. I just hope they like the story enough to give it a Yay instead of a Nay. Keep your fingers crossed for me, dear friends.

Talking of¬†Choc Lit¬†, they celebrated their 10th birthday in June. What an achievement. It’s a delight to be part of such a solid, successful, professional team. We all celebrated online by posting our various good wishes and congratulatory messages and photos with our books and the glorious cupcakes we were kindly sent which can only be described as didn’t-touch-the-sides delicious. Thank you,¬†Choc Lit

A raft of family birthdays including an 18th and a 21st (our lovely nieces) were much celebrated. Amidst all the partying, I managed another London walk (diamond-studded London) with Mum and my great friend Noreen. I love these walks, always so entertaining and informative. London Walks Diamond Studded London Mum and I also visited the Charles Dickens Museum (both great fans)  in Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, where Oliver Twist was penned. We spent a good couple of hours browsing the family rooms and soaking up the history and memorabilia.

Another event I enjoyed tremendously in early June was a day spent with my bestie Clare at the¬†3 Principles Conference¬†in Hendon. Clare introduced me to self-help techniques and mindfulness of which I’ve become a huge fan. I’m always open to anything that helps to quieten my mind when it’s cluttered with meddlesome muddled thoughts. Before attending the conference, I’d read a couple of books about the 3 Principles (mind, consciousness, thought) including¬†Somebody Should Have Told Us by Jack Pransky¬†¬†to gain a basic understanding. Listen to the speakers’ own experiences and explanations, however, brought a deeper appreciation as well¬†as great comfort.¬†

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Later in June, Dave and I went on holiday to Spain with my parents. We stayed in gorgeous Los Boliches (halfway between Malaga & Marbella) an area we all know and love. A brilliant time was had by all which made it extra special given Dad’s past health worries. Lots of lounging, laughter, good food and the “occasional” tipple was just the tonic we all needed.

cannizzaro house4 of us Thomas Bar

The first Saturday of July saw our annual pilgramage to the Old Coulsdon Village fete. Always a joy and a super sunny day to boot. Classic cars, dog show, tombola, you get the picture. We love it!

Just last week, Dave and I took ourselves off to Wimbledon on the tram. Glorious sunshine and a short walk up leafy Wimbledon Hill Road brought us to the village. We crossed the common to beautiful Cannizaro Park, walked round the flower gardens and the Italian garden before grabbing a coffee on the terrace of the Hotel du Vin (Cannizaro House). A browse round the lovely independent shops and a pit stop at the handinhand pub completed our jaunt.

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And so to what I’ve read over the last few weeks …

Quite a few books of different genres (including three on holiday) so here are the reads that particularly sparkled for me.

Blooms are in abundance at the moment, but this stunning bougainvillea we saw in Spain takes top spot on the blog this time around.

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Until next time, enjoy the sunshine and the rest of the summer.

Much love,

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Xx

 

All good wishes and a big festive thank you

There’s no denying I’m a Christmas superfan, always have been, and enjoy everything about it, from putting up the decorations (or creating the grotto as Mr B calls it ) to sending and receiving cards, to mince pies and mulled wine after some hearty warbling¬† at the annual church carol service.

Then there are our fun-filled family gatherings, lots of laughter and sparkle and shameless overeating.

I do also fully appreciate that both Christmas and New Year can be a very emotional time, sometimes for happy reasons, sometimes for sad, and that not everybody relishes the festive season.

I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Christmas, you find peace and some comfort.

May 2019 be a peaceful, healthy and joyful year for us all.

Thank you all for your ongoing cheerleading for me, my blog and my novel. The sequel is on its way (honestly!) I truly value your support and friendship.

Cheers!

 

AWG FESTIVE 2018Much love,

Jan x

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My mad year so far (as in crazy, busy, celebratory mad) Well, mostly!

I kept trying to pen a news blog prior to this. January and February flew past and as with my novel writing, the will and the want were there but sadly I couldn’t convey any actual words, or at least the right words.

Having finally opened up over the last few months to my loving family and closest friends, my patient supportive publisher and equally supportive GP that I’d been struggling to cope, the relief has been enormous and as much as it sometimes feels a bit two-steps-forward- three- steps- back¬†, the mixture of medication and therapy, including a confidence workshop, has given me some clarity about my priorities going forward. It’s a work in progress as we say in the writing world but one that I’m hopeful is moving in the right direction.

What has been fabulous about 2018 so far is the catalogue of uplifting family events and celebrations we’ve enjoyed.

A special birthday for Mum kicked off the month of March in style and although we were thwarted by the snow and ice that day, we made up for it at the weekend with a lovely family lunch and much cake and fizz.

Mid-March saw the arrival of our dear little great-nephew, Henry David, and I know I’m biased but take a look at this beautiful face!

 

So wonderful for Mum and Dad to become Great Grandparents in their Diamond wedding anniversary year.¬†60 glorious years. Such an achievement and a congratulatory card from Her Majesty the Queen which thrilled them both. We’re all so proud of them.

 

M&D 2

Naturally, we celebrated this momentous occasion with a great gathering at my younger sister Karen’s with family and friends, a delicious spread of food, bubbly aplenty and lots of laughter. Mum and Dad received some delightful gifts and cards including a fantastic memory book our niece put together with written¬† contributions and photos from all the family, some funny, some sentimental, but all created with love and gratitude for the influence and impact they have both had on us all.

 

April brought more excitement with a glorious family wedding to celebrate the marriage of our lovely Nephew Andy and his beautiful bride Alison. What a great day we had. Dressed in our finest threads and willing the weather to be fine, which it was, the venue and setting were superb ~¬†Surrey National Golf Club¬†¬†~ and with an evening reception to match, I haven’t danced so much in ages and it was good to catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. A triumph of an occasion for sure.

 

We’ve still some celebrations to come with a big special birthday looming for Dad at the end of April which I shall report back on next time round.

I’ve not done much reading lately but two books I did want to mention, one fiction one non-fiction, are the following:

 

 

That Summer At The Seahorse Hotel¬†by Adrienne Vaughan¬† ~¬†The title alone made me want to dive into the story. Adrienne’s talent for creating engaging, entertaining characters, some of them warm, some witty, some wonderfully wacky, but all memorable, gets stronger with every book she writes. The stunning Irish setting and grandeur of the family home holds lots of hopes, fears and secrets and the drama, whether recounted from the past or firmly in the present, never lets up as each story thread unravels. Loved it!

 

Clarity¬†¬†by Jamie Smart ~ A lesson in how to de-clutter the mind in order to¬† reduce stress levels, improve confidence and to think and communicate more clearly. It’s one of those books which I read straight through without trying to analyze every detail as I went and found so inspiring and helpful it really brought home to me how your thoughts can control you and leave you either dwelling on past events you cannot change or pondering the future to the point where you can miss out on appreciating the present. Something about the simple, non-baffling way the writer of this book explained things really resonated with me.

A bevy of blooms I’ve delighted in these past few weeks, some sent to me, some observed, some bought, all of them loved and appreciated …

 

Well, that’s all for now. I told you lots had been happening.

Until next time.

With much love,

JANNERS WEDDING

Xx

As November meets December …

A new month and the health and wellbeing road to recovery marches on with continued¬† appreciation of how lovely, kind and supportive people can be. It saddens me that I’ve been unable to complete my second novel as yet, but that little inner spark of creativity and passion remains, and reading back through what I’ve so far produced of my sequel to As Weekends Go, keeps the flow and gives me great heart that my confidence will return and it’ll all come good.

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Now, I’m not even going to attempt to disguise the fact that I adore Christmas. I equally appreciate and respect that it can be a sad time for some people so I hope you’ll forgive me for indulging my love of all things festive. The moment I turned over the calendar and saw this gorgeous feline face staring back at me, I remembered the 1st of the month also meant that I could unveil a calendar of an altogether different type ūüėČ

Big kid? Who me?

 

 

November brought lots of family and friend catch-ups which was lovely. As much as I value these get-togethers, I also think it’s important to have 1-2-1 chats as you can more fully discuss topics and news and sometimes open up a bit more.

As Weekends Go featured in a couple of promotions mid-month which resulted in a welcome mini-spike in sales and some wonderful feedback. I also donated a paperback copy in aid of Children in Need via Paddy Heron (known as Fundraiser Paddy on Twitter) who, for the third year running, kindly organised a fabulous author auction showcasing books of all genres for people to bid on. I was proud to support such a worthy cause.

 

 

It was a joy to appear again on the brilliantly supportive Jessie Cahalin’s blog. If you’ve not yet visited Jessie’s blog, you’re in for a real treat. She has fun and factual posts and features of all varieties¬† –¬† a real mixture to suit all readers’ tastes.¬† I thoroughly enjoyed creating this piece and a special postcard to present to the readers along with a short extract from As Weekends Go which you can read here ~¬†BOOKS IN MY HANDBAG BLOG¬† Many thanks to Jessie.

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My Postcard!

 

November blooms came courtesy of a dear friend who sent me a stunning festive display of lilies and winter berries. My gem of a sister also bought me a glorious Poinsettia which has pride of place on my Christmas sideboard display. I also wanted to post some gorgeous snaps I took whilst out walking. Nature really is a thing of beauty, eh?!

 

I mentioned in my previous¬† post that I’d been reading Rose McClelland’s¬†THE YEAR OF NO RULES¬†¬†which I’ve now finished and can report is a sparkling read which very much portrays the joy and importance of recognising and appreciating your self-worth. I loved main character Sasha and rooted for her throughout especially given how manipulative and controlling her boyfriend Kirk could be. Enter lovely, sweet-natured, dependable¬† Sam, a million miles away, personality-wise, from Kirk, who seems the perfect love match for Sasha, but … life’s never quite that simple is it? This book touched my every emotion and deals with some raw, deep and delicate issues but also made me smile and laugh out loud at times. It’s so well written and expressive. I look forward to reading more from this talented author. Enjoy!

ROSE M

 

I’m currently reading Sue Fortin’s latest thriller¬†THE BIRTHDAY GIRL¬†¬†and a thriller it is too.¬† Halfway through and loving it. More to follow in my next post.

SUE BIRTHDAY GIRL

 

If you love your festive reads I must say Choc Lit  have some super choices available. Look at these beauties!

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Much love,

Jan X