This and That Thursday

Hello

Over the last few weeks we have been trying to get some adventures in before Christmas. Christmas is always a busy time for us work wise so it is always nice to have a little break before the madness starts.

Lantern Show

We went to a lantern show near us which was absolutely amazing and great fun.

Carol Train

We went with family on a steam train for a Christmas evening which involved carol singing, mulled wine, Christmas decorations and festive fun. It was really nice to spend time with family and I love going on a steam train.

Bath

We usually go to Bath over the New Year but because of work commitments it wasn’t possible this time so we went this week instead. I love Bath and I really missed not going last year. I was really happy to visit Toppings’ new location and to visit the new Persephone Books that has opened. I also visited Mr B’s Emporium which has really changed since we last saw it. It wasn’t all bookshops though, we also went to the Rossetti exhibition at the Holburne Museum and the Fashion Museum in the Assembly Rooms. I really did not want to leave but I have a big list of places I want to visit next.

The rest of our time has been taken up with Christmas decorations and work. Here are a few snaps of the Christmas decorations.

Happy Reading

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WWW Wednesday: 15/12/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is well and having a good week so far. I will be honest I have been away for a few days and have gone on another book splurge which I will tell you more about later in the week.

Anyway, here is how my reading has gone this week.

What I am Currently Reading

I have just been reading this so far this week and I have given my other books a rest.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Absolutely loved this book! Review

What I Think I will Read Next

I have a lot of Christmas books to read so it will definitely be a Christmas book of some kind that I will read.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Christmas for Beginners by Carole Matthews (Review)

Christmas for Beginners by Carole Matthews

Blurb

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Christmas is fast approaching at the new Hope Farm. Owner Molly Baker has been convinced to organise an open day to raise some much-needed funds ahead of the New Year, but the nativity tableau is proving challenging. With anti-social sheep, awkward alpacas and a seriously sequinned Santa Claus to assemble, Molly is feeling overwhelmed, and in desperate need of some Christmas spirit…

Despite the chaos of the farm getting in the way of her event planning, Molly is looking forward to spending the holidays with boyfriend Shelby and his son, Lucas, hopeful that a happy family Christmas is exactly what they need to draw them all together. But while she is busy making plans on the farm, Shelby, it seems, has ideas of his own.

As the nativity draws near, the team are working hard to pull off a spectacular festive fete – and make sure the animals and humans remain on their best behaviour.

Will this Christmas be merry and bright… or is there more than one surprise in store for Molly and Hope Farm?

Review

I received this book as my last book from Willoughby Book Club and I was very excited when I realised it was a Christmas book. I will be honest and say that I had completely forgotten that I had read a Christmas book by Carole Matthews last year but once I realised, I knew I was in for a treat. I haven’t read the previous book in this series but I didn’t really need to as it didn’t affect my understanding of the story.

Molly runs and lives on Hope Farm with her unruly but loveable animals and Lucas who is the teenage son of her boyfriend Shelby. Shelby spends most of his time away filming as he is an actor. The farm is there for children who have problems and Molly with her business partner Bev will do anything to make these children’s a lives a little easier.

Bev has planned a big Christmas open day for the farm with a nativity and a grand light switch on by the mayor to help raise funds for the important work the farm does. Molly however is dreading it as she struggles with people and much prefers her own company and the company of her animals. Molly also panics about everything so she spend a lot of time worrying about the open day as well as what is happening in her private life.

As the open day is being planned we see how Molly and Shelby’s relationship develops and also how Molly looks after and negotiates looking after a moody teenager and helping him through his problems. I will be honest I really did not like Shelby and kept hoping that Molly would come to her senses.

My other favourite character apart from Molly was Mark the Hot Mayor as Bev likes to call him. He seemed quite different from the Mayors I have come across in the past but he was always there to help Molly with the farm no matter what the task and was an excellent role model for the children at the farm.

The real stars of the book are the dogs and the alpacas and I must be honest I felt sorry for the dogs. The dogs had very basic names like Big Dog and Little Dog, the alpacas had amazing names like Rod Stewart and Tina Turner. The antics the alpacas got up to were also hilarious.

I loved this book and read it very quickly and I really want to read the prequel in the new year. I must read more of Carole Matthews as she is such a good author and always makes me laugh. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository |Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Carole Matthews born 1960 is a British author. Matthews has published 34 novels and currently lives in Milton Keynes with her husband.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good week. I am still catching up on my book reviews but hopefully I will get up to date before Christmas.

Here is how the blog has been going this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’m throughly enjoying my Christmas books and Wheel of Time combination.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Friday Poetry: Thomas Hardy

Hello!

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by Thomas Hardy.

Snow in the Suburbs

Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward when 
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.

A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eye
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodgings lumps with a rush. 

The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.

Thomas Hardy

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Tenth Man by Graham Greene (Review)

The Tenth Man by Graham Greene

Blurb

In a prison in Occupied France one in every ten men is to be shot. The prisoners draw lots among themselves—and for rich lawyer Louis Chavel it seems that his whole life has been leading up to an agonising and crucial failure of nerve. Graham Greene wrote The Tenth Man in 1944, when he was under a two-year contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the manuscript lay forgotten in MGM’s archives until 1983. It was published two years later. 

Review 

This book originated from a lost manuscript of Greene’s that turned up in an MGM sale. The person who purchased the manuscript returned it to Greene and he turned it into a novel which was published in 1985. 

This is a short book but one that really packs a punch. The book begins with a prison in occupied France and the news that every tenth man is to be shot. The prisoners are left to decide amongst themselves who will be shot, so they decide to draw lots. The rich lawyer Louis Chavel’s nerve leaves him and he gives up everything to the man who will take his place. 

Janvier is the man who takes Chavel’s place so he leaves all his new wealth to his sister and mother. When Chavel finally leaves the prison he has nothing to his name but he is still drawn to life he once had and so makes his way to his old home where he finds Janvier’s sister and mother. 

The book looks at the final years of the Second World War and how even the best of men can change in dire times. It is a story of cowardice, guilt, courage, romance and much more. Those who lie are trusted and those who tell the truth are not believed, everything is turned on its head in this book. 

I must admit the ending of the book was not what I expected and came as a big shock but it did show that miracles do happen. I will be honest as much as I love Greene’s books this book did not really enthral me that much as I just did not like the character of Chavel very much so I only give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Henry Graham Greene (1904-1991) was an English writer and journalist regarded as one of the leading English novelists of the20th century.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Mid Week Quote: Gabrielle Union

Hello!

Happy Wednesday!

My chosen quote this week is by the American actress Gabrielle Union (1972).

“Don’t save your best for when you think the material calls for it. Always bring your full potential to every take, and be on top of your job, or they will replace you.”

Gabrielle Union
If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 8/12/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a good week so far. We have been putting our Christmas decorations up and I have started my Christmas reading.

What I am Currently Reading

I have just started Christmas for Beginners but I am hoping it will be good. I am reading a chapter a day of The Eye of the World and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Really enjoyed both of these books. My review for Christmas with the Teashop Girls is here.

What I Think I will Read Next

The Christmas reading continues.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest (Review)

Christmas with the Teashop Girls by Elaine Everest

Blurb

It is late 1940 and the war feels closer to home than ever for Rose Neville and her staff at the Lyon’s Teashop in Margate. The worry of rationing hangs overhead as the Nippies do their best to provide a happy smile and a hot cup of tea for their customers. When a heavy bombing raid targets the Kent coastline, Lyon’s is badly hit, throwing the future of the cafe into jeopardy.

The light in Rose’s life is her dashing fiancé Capt. Ben Hargreaves and planning their Christmas Eve wedding. But she must also plan to take two new step-daughters into her life and get on the right side of her wealthy mother-in-law, Lady Diana. Is Rose ready to become a mother so soon?

When Rose’s half-sister Eileen makes contact, it seems that Rose’s dreams of having a sibling are coming true at long last. But her friends begin to suspect that something is not right between Eileen and her husband: just what are they hiding?

As the Christmas Eve wedding draws near, the bombings intensify in Kent and London, putting everything and everyone Rose loves in danger. Only one thing is for sure: it will be a Christmas she never forgets . . .

Review

I read a Christmas book by Elaine Everest last year and really enjoyed it so I thought I would read another one this year as well. 

The story centres around Rose Neville who is the manageress of the Margate Lyon’s Teashop. However, Rose is trying to manage the teashop in the middle of the Second World War, with the constant threat of bombs landing and rationing making it ever harder to keep the teashop well stocked. But she also has her wonderful mom Flora to help her keep her spirits up and all her wonderful family as well as the love and support of her fiancé Ben. 

The story opens with rather a dramatic scene that left me desperately wanting to know more and I must admit that meant I could not put the book down until I had all the answers. As the story progresses we get to meet Rose’s future mother in law and the new family she will be joining. But at the same time Eileen, Rose’s half sister makes an appearance and things start to look a bit suspicious to Rose’s friends.  

My favourite character of the book is Mildred. Mildred stands no messing whatsoever and spends her time at sea on her fishing boat. She helps Rose, Lily and Katie and treats them as if they were her own daughters. She will fight for justice and will stand up to any man. I just couldn’t help but like her. My second favourite character was Anya who is also stubborn, determined and has a fiery temper. She also comes out with some fantastic lines. 

I really enjoyed this book and definitely plan on reading more books by Everest in the New Year. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Elaine Everest was born and brought up in northwest Kent and has written widely – both short stories and features – for women’s magazines. When she isn’t writing, Everest runs The Write Place creative writing school in Dartford Kent, and the blog for Romantic Novelists’ Association. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I have a busy day today playing for services. I usually do two services in the morning and by lunch time I am home but today I have the two in the morning and one in the afternoon. However, I am planning a nice evening reading whilst the husband watches the Grand Prix.

Anyway, here is what I have been up to on the blog this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I have way too many books on the go. I usually much prefer to read one book at a time but I just can’t focus on the one at the moment.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you