I'm 44, married to Steve (47), Mum to two (21 & 20) and a Shih Tzu called Bella (11). I'm our Church Treasurer & secretary (on a voluntary basis) since July 2014. I started my Book Blog in October 2015. I created Bowen's Book Publicity in June 2020. I love to #sharethebooklove 💕
This is the second collection of over thirty short stories, raising funds for the British Deaf Association. The book contains musings, nonsense, and trivia. The forerunner to this volume, The Hairdryer died Today published in 2022 is also in aid of the same charity.
Thanks in advance for supporting this very worthy cause!
**Bowen’s Book Publicity is promoting this book free of charge**
In this Billionaires for the Rose Sisters story, Jessie Rose is shocked by the chemistry she feels when she meets billionaire Joel in Mustique. She’s come looking for escape, and brooding Joel’s not looking for anything permanent, but they can’t deny their fling is dangerously close to being a temptation they might not be able to walk away from…
Well, I wish someone would send me off to a luxury resort, all expenses paid, for a month. It sounds awesome!
It’s definitely what Jessie needs after the tough time she’s had lately.
Jessie is an instantly likeable character. I could understand her being so uncomfortable being waited on hand and foot. This holiday destination couldn’t be any more of a contrast to her day-to-day life. However, I don’t blame her for relaxing into it and deciding to enjoy it for what it is. Joel obviously helps, although she is convinced she might get him into trouble for keeping him from his work. I loved that she had no idea who he really was.
My heart went out to Joel. Some might think he has it all, but he’s had his fair share of heartbreak and I could understand his reluctance towards Jessie. In fact, I respected him more for it. He faces a real battle between his heart and his head. I loved the talk his mother has with him. That started the tears!
I was absolutely swept along with Jessie and Joel’s story. I loved these characters and was rooting for them both from the very beginning. The chemistry between them is undeniable. It’s heart-wrenching at times and it did make me cry. It also made me smile, a lot!
**Many thanks to Rachael Stewart for my review copy**
The place had a gruesome past that nobody wanted to talk about…
Camp Deathe is now a great place to spend the summer. Ritchie soon finds a group of outsiders like himself. Teenagers who ignore the organised activities, and bunk off in the old abandoned cabins deep in the woods. The cabins that have a history.
The campfire monster stories were meant to just scare them. Nobody expected them to come true. Then one of the teenagers disappears in the middle of the night.
Something is watching them. It hides in the woods and hunts at night.
Ritchie will have to uncover the secrets of the camp, and understand his own problems in order to survive.
Camp Death is Book 1 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.
Camp Death is a creepy little YA novel. An excellent start to the Eerie Things series!
Ritchie and his sister are treated to a few days away with their parents. Camp Deathe is no ordinary resort though. The teenagers get to stay in cabins with kids their own age whilst the parents enjoy a bit of couple’s time in the onsite hotel. Nothing is quite as it seems though.
There are organised activities for the teens but of course they mostly end up where they’re not meant to be, listening to stories about monsters. Stories which aren’t supposed to come true!
I thought this was the perfect setting for a horror novel.
I knew something bad was going to happen, but each time I thought I had it sussed I was proved wrong. The tension builds throughout the story and each chapter ends in a way that makes you have to read the next. It left me guessing right until the end.
Maria has a wonderful life. Together with her daughters, Lucy and Clara, she runs a successful estate agency, priding herself in matching the right properties to the right people – even if she has yet to find the ideal home for herself.
But behind the happy exterior, Maria is anxious about her fiftieth birthday coming up. She’s feeling, well, less excited and more than a little terrified about how life is running away from her.
For a birthday treat, Lucy and Clara have planned five ‘nostalgic’ dates for her and their dad, to remind them of when they first fell in love. But Maria barely has time for the here and now, never mind a cringeworthy wistful jump back to the past. All she wants is to find that perfect nest to settle down in, no matter how many moves it takes.
The Wilshaw women are a close-knit family, so when tragedy strikes at the heart of the home, Maria is shocked at how easy the potential to lose everything becomes.
Will Maria realise that perhaps it’s better to accept herself as she is rather than move house again? And in doing so, can she change her outlook on life for good?
I love feel-good stories about families, the ups and downs of life, and the complexity of human relationships.
This book is so full of love. The love between a husband and wife. The love between a mother and her daughters. The love between sisters….
There are some lovely characters throughout this story. Maria is very likeable and will likely be very relatable to many. I can understand her anxiety about turning 50. I’m less than 5 years away from that age myself. Life flies by far too quickly and it’s scary! Every birthday should be celebrated though. Some people don’t get many.
I loved the idea of nostalgic dates for her and her husband as a way of celebrating her birthday and spending precious quality time together. Some of these moments are quite amusing! I didn’t really understand Maria’s reluctance to participate. I did feel a bit sorry for her husband at times. I imagine it’s quite difficult to switch off though when you own busy businesses and have fallen into the habit of prioritising work over each other. We’re all guilty of taking each other for granted sometimes.
This story highlights the fragility of life and how quickly things can change.
Some things have a way of putting a new perspective on life, making us realise what we already have rather than always wanting the next best thing whether that be houses or otherwise.
Fiona Alderton is fast approaching her fortieth birthday. Her life is chugging along a track she carefully laid twenty years ago. Successful husband, beautiful Highgate home, vast walk-in-wardrobe, and two delightful sons. But the sky is not all brilliant azure, there are clouds: a diminishing sex life, a teaching job she loathes, and an increasing dependence on alcohol. Still, her decision, twenty years earlier, to cut adrift a life of libertine excess to hitch herself to sensitive, geeky David Alderton, her Safe Bet, looks like the right one.
Until, two days before her birthday, Fiona and David are rushing around preparing for the school run, and their mobiles get muddled. Fiona sees a text meant for her husband, and her Safe Bet suddenly resembles a ruinous roll of the dice. How will she react?
5 out of 5 stars “This is Elliott’s second book and it’s a real page turner! Enjoy, and I hope he has plans for another soon.” – Amazon reviewer
All she wanted was to go out and, I don’t know, climb a tree or something.
Q heads out into the woods near her house to escape her responsibilities, but the short walk to clear her head ends up being a lot longer than expected when she finds herself, suddenly, very far from home. With no way to return. She just crosses her fingers and sets off in any direction. I could’ve told her that’s not the best tactic, but she wouldn’t have listened (not that listening to me was an option anyway).
Will she be able to find her way home with the help of some strange new friends? And will they be able to help her escape the thing that follows? The thing that got her into this mess in the first place.
Barker’s debut novella, written, illustrated and self-published as part of her EPQ.
Of Skinned Knees and Nettle Stings is a unique tale, with truly unique characters, which I found very entertaining. I loved Thibault! Q is an instantly likeable character too, and I enjoyed her story.
It’s extremely imaginative, funny, heart-warming, and clever.
The narrator amused me!
I think this book will be enjoyed by all, whatever the age of the reader.
An excellent debut by Miss Leona Barker. Brilliant idea for an EPQ by the way!
I still can’t believe this actually happened, but we had the most amazing time on Saturday morning!! (Me, Steve, and Bella.)
From Friday 20th January until Saturday 11th February I enjoyed a lovely, relaxing stay at Peartree Cottage, in Aston-sub-Edge, Gloucestershire. Steve had to work nearby at Long Marston for three weeks, so this time me and Bella went with him. Why not, eh?
Whilst there the lovely owner, Sally, introduced me to Burnt Norton, a book written by Caroline Sandon (Montague) which is based on true events that happened at the real Burnt Norton, also located in Aston-sub-Edge.
You may remember my review from a couple of weeks ago. If not, there was a hardcover copy of the book at the cottage for me to borrow and I was very intrigued so I took advantage of the opportunity to read it. I am SO glad I did.
My published review resulted in conversation with Caroline via social media. Such a lovely lady! As we book bloggers do, I had researched Caroline’s other books and added them to my list. Chuffed to have discovered a new author and to have other books already to look forward to.
During my research I had discovered that Caroline owns and resides at Burnt Norton as the 8th Countess of Harrowby with her husband, the 8th Earl of Harrowby.
What I hadn’t realised was that Caroline is good friends with Sally and they regularly walk together. They were out walking on Friday and Sally mentioned that the lady staying in her cottage (me) had read her book and had really enjoyed it. When Sally mentioned that my name was Kerry, Caroline said she had been chatting with a book blogger called Kerry via social media since a new book review for Burnt Norton had been published.
They soon realised that I was the same Kerry.
Small world or what!?
Caroline, very kindly, invited us to go see her at Burnt Norton on Saturday morning before we headed home. How amazing is that!! Of course, we weren’t going to say no. Caroline called me on Friday night to make arrangements and once we’d checked out of the cottage on Saturday morning we made our way round to Burnt Norton where we were greeted by the very lovely Caroline, and her dogs. She showed us around the grounds, explaining the history of the Keyt family and showing us where the elaborate house he built to the side of the beautiful original house would have been. I don’t want to say too much about that as you really need to read the book for yourself. We also saw the two pools which inspired a famous poem by T.S. Eliot and extensive grounds with trees around 270 years old which were planted by William Keyt. It was fascinating listening to her talk about the history of the property and for me (as Steve hasn’t read the book yet) to be able to visualise where the story took place. The true story of the Keyt family that happened there in the early 1700s. Also, how they came to live there and how the Keyt’s story inspired her to write her first book.
I was blown away! It was truly a privilege.
Once back inside, Caroline welcomed us into her kitchen, made us a coffee, and we chatted about all sorts. When we told her we were from Newcastle-under-Lyme we learned that they also own Sandon Hall in Staffordshire. A beautiful place. If you’re looking for a wedding venue, look it up. There will be a literary festival there later in the year, so watch this space!
I could not believe it when she told us what the book she is currently writing is about. I don’t think I’m allowed to share those details yet, but needless to say I can’t wait to read it!
We were there for a couple of hours and we are so thankful to Caroline for her time and hospitality.
She gifted me a copy of Shadows Over The Spanish Sun….
….which she signed for me 🙂
We also had a photo together
A day to remember forever!
If you would like to learn more about Caroline, her books, and/or to see a picture of the stunning Burnt Norton check out her website –
As Bella drops her son off at university, she’s devastated. It’s been the two of them ever since Asher was born. The only thing helping her through is an upcoming week-long wilderness retreat in Sweden, a surprise gift from her sister and Asher.
The lodge is modern and luxurious – but the surrounding forest is foreboding. Named Dead Man’s Forest after the legend of a local bandit left to die inside a wooden coffin, there are rumours that, on quiet nights, you can still hear the scratching of his fingernails against the lid.
When someone begins leaving unsettling notes, and a figure from her past comes back to haunt her, Bella’s unease grows. This certainly isn’t the restful retreat she signed up for. And when another guest suddenly disappears, Bella fears she might not make it home alive…
I finished The Wilderness Retreat late last night. There was no way I could go to sleep until I had.
When we first meet Bella, she is dropping her only child, Asher, at university before jumping on a plane to Sweden for a week of relaxation, courtesy of her older sister. The Retreat is located in a beautiful place, but I’m not sure I would want to be somewhere so remote, especially on my own with a group of strangers so I could understand Bella’s reluctance. I found Bella quite relatable as a mother. I have two adult children and I know I would hate not being able to even text them/or them me if needed. They are still your babies no matter how old they get!
I knew something bad was going to happen at this retreat, but I was not prepared for the story that unfolded. It’s quite disturbing to say the least. The tension and suspense kept me glued to my kindle. I felt so scared for Bella as the story progressed. I could feel her fear, her frustration, her desperation, her panic. I would have been desperate to get out of there too! I suspected everyone at one point or another of causing her agony. I even thought Bella herself was having some kind of breakdown.
When it clicked my jaw dropped!
Brilliant! I loved it!
**Many thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy via NetGalley**
I have just been re-reading bits of this book, prior to writing a review, and as before, l find l can’t put it down, with the end of one engrossing chapter leading me on to the next. The story of a young non-violent revolutionary in the 1980s , when there were American nuclear missiles on British soil, is moving and inspiring and at the same time very funny. Whether he is feeling angry or frustrated or elated, or even just annoyed with himself because he has burnt his boots sitting too close to a campfire, Chris Savory takes you every step of the way with him in this heartfelt memoir. I thoroughly recommend it.” – Amazon reviewer
Confessions Of A Non-Violent Revolutionary
The True Story of a Peace Activist in Thatcher’s Britain, Chris Savory
‘…Insights into how individual action can play a role in avoiding Armageddon.’ – Billy Bragg
Britain in the 1980s – strikes, the dole, IRA bombings, CND demos, poll tax riots, vegetarian food, radical feminism, and an international build-up of weapons guaranteeing ‘mutually-assured destruction’. Rejecting the privileges that life offers him, Chris Savory seeks to redress wider injustices in society by rejecting future wealth, power, and status to follow his ideals. He throws himself into political struggle – living in poverty, sleeping in tents and on floors, braving the mud and cold, surviving on bean stews and wholemeal bread – to the general disapproval of respectable society. His aim? To bring about a non-violent revolution, disarmament, and an eco-feminist socialist utopia! Oxford University in 1980 opens up a world of opportunity, but the threat of imminent nuclear war pushes Chris to make life-changing decisions. Alienated by the casual superiority of his peers, he abandons essay-writing and sherry with the Dean to embark on a constant round of organising and protesting – peace camps, marches, illegal direct actions, communes, and anarchist street theatre. The triumph of Thatcherism and the defeat of progressive politics leaves him feeling despair, anger and isolation. But having given everything to fight the system, how can he re-enter mainstream society? At the heart of this memoir is a deeply honest and heartfelt human story, spiced with humour and colourful details of the 1980s’ counterculture. In an age of climate crisis and Extinction Rebellion, Confessions Of A Non-Violent Revolutionary is a thought-provoking and engaging record of a previous wave of mass civil disobedience and an opportunity to learn lessons from the recent history of grassroots political struggle.
CHRIS SAVORY has spent his whole adult life trying to make the world a better place through protest, local politics, education, community campaigns and volunteering for social enterprises. He was born in 1961 in Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia. He arrived in England aged two and has subsequently lived in Kent, Essex, Paris, Oxfordshire, Missouri, Yorkshire, Berwickshire, Herefordshire, Dorset, and South-West London. Chris is married with two adult stepchildren. He loves his ukulele, choirs, watching football, rivers, soft toys, marmalade, the seaside, beer, country music and London. He struggles with chronic depression, exhaustion, and joint pains.