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Eleven Days in June by R. P. Gibson Colley

Eleven Days in June (The Little Leaf Series, 1)

Devon, 1985. Dan is 20, lives in a sleepy village and works in a small DIY shop. He likes numbers and hero worships Lord Nelson. But he finds ordinary people difficult to understand and he’s certainly never kissed a girl. His mother mocks him, and he misses his father and he pines for Ollie, his only childhood friend who truly understood him.

But, despite it all, Dan thinks he’s happy enough. Until one June day, the beautiful and mysterious Libby walks into his shop – and into Dan’s life.

Libby’s sudden appearance turns Dan’s ordered existence upside down. But Dan soon realises that Libby isn’t who she seems. Who exactly is she? What is she hiding, and, more importantly, who’s that threatening man always looking for her?

In trying to help Libby, Dan comes to realise what’s missing in his own life, and, in turn, appreciates what’s really important…

 

My review

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, confident novel. The story it relates is interesting with a very strong sense of time and place. For those of us who lived through them, it’s nice to go back to the 1980s, which was in some ways the best decade ever! And for those who didn’t, it’s a lovely introduction to that period.

There’s excellent characterisation with intriguing relationships going on, both good and bad. Dan, probably more anti-hero than hero, is a likeable protagonist in whom the reader quickly becomes invested.

I also like that it’s a novel that’s happy in its own skin – or rather, covers. It’s content to be itself, original, different, not contorting to fit into a particular genre. It thus comes over as a very genuine, natural book.

It’s a delightful, entertaining and absorbing read.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08QLLHH2Y/

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QLLHH2Y/

 

Author auto-bio

I was born one Christmas Day, which means, as a child, I lost out on presents. Nonetheless, looking back on it, I lived a childhood with a “silver spoon in my mouth” – brought up in a rambling manor house in the beautiful Devon countryside. It’s been downhill ever since.

I was a librarian for a long time, a noble profession. Then I started a series called History In An Hour, “history for busy people”, which I sold to HarperCollins UK.

I now live in London with my wife, two children and dog (a fluffy cockapoo) and write historical fiction, mainly 20th-century war and misery, and humorous books set in 1980s England.

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The Mirror Dance by Catriona McPherson

Synopsis

Something sinister is afoot in the streets of Dundee, when a puppeteer is found murdered behind his striped Punch and Judy stand, as children sit cross-legged drinking ginger beer. At once, Dandy Gilver’s semmingly-innocuous investigation into plagiarism takes a darker turn. The gruesome death seems to be inextricably bound to the gloomy offices of Doig’s Publishers, its secrets hidden in the real stories behind their girls’ magazines The Rosie Cheek and The Freckle.

On meeting a mysterious professor from St Andrews, Dandy and her faithful colleague Alex Osbourne are flung into the worlds of academia, the theatre and publishing. Nothing is quite as it seems, and behind the cheerful facades of puppets and comic books, is a troubled history has begun to repeat itself.

This is the fifteenth book in the Dandy Gilver series. Published by Hodder and Stoughton.

 

My review

This book was my introduction to this series, but I was able to get stuck in straight away. There is no doubt an added richness from following the series from its start, but the degree of enjoyment is not affected in the slightest. This is a charming and clever book.

I like how it’s a mix of factual setting in the publishing industry in Dundee, and fiction. And there’s another element too. Stories set in this era always have an added poignancy. People are so optimistic after pulling their lives and society back together after the first world war. The reader knows that everything is about to come tumbling down again. The genteel ways of the upper middle class and above, with their households of servants and gardeners, are about to end forever. This is the atmosphere that emerges in this beautiful book.

Dandy is a likeable, energetic heroine, ably assisted by Alex with whom she has a slightly nuanced rapport, and her indomitable maid Grant. Together they wade into this particular mystery with enthusiasm and persistence.

The plot is original and clever, and the story is absorbing and immensely enjoyable.

And I absolutely adore the cover!

 

About the author

Catriona McPherson was born in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years, and went back to university to study for a PhD in semantics. During her final year she applied for an academic job, but left to begin a writing career.

These days, McPherson lives with her husband on a farm in the Galloway countryside, where she spends her time writing, gardening, swimming and running.

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Botanical Curses and Poisons by Fez Inkwright

Botanical Curses and Poisons: the shadow lives of plants

Discover the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and malignant properties of toxic plants.

‘If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison’, it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.’ – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Poisonings are among the most memorable deaths in history, from the Roman Empire to the Medieval era and beyond. Concealed and deliberate, it’s a crime that must be planned in advance. And yet there is a fine line between healing and poisoning – Paracelsus argued that only the dosage matters!

In Botanical Curses and Poisons, illustrator, author, and folklorist Fez Inkwright returns to archives to uncover the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and untold stories behind deadly plants, witching herbs and fungi.

Filled with beautiful illustrations, this treasury of folklore is packed with insight, lore, and the revealed mysteries of everyday flora! Botanical Curses and Poisons is printed in hardcover with metallic foiling, a ribbon bookmark, black-and-white illustrations on nearly every page, and a wealth of folklore, history and poetry about the deadly plants within!

From the creator of Folk Magic and Healing (2019).

My review

This is an absolute treasure trove of a book, packed with truly fascinating – and horrifying! – information and beautiful illustrations. It incorporates botany, chemistry, botany, literature, social commentary – and that’s just scratching the surface.

It’s principally about the darker side of plants, their less nice characteristics – specifically, how some of them can kill us and don’t always need a helping hand from a human to do so. The legends and historical accounts of infamous poisoning cases that were carried out by assorted baddies are both macabre and truly riveting.

But it’s not all bad news as we do get to see some plants being used for healing too… but not always with the desired effect. For example, the doctrine of signatures was a misguided attempt to cure parts of the body with a plant that looked like the afflicted area. This proved to be disastrous in some instances.

We get to see wise women and witches, and examine the fine line between the two. Hedge witches, who used plants in lotions and potions, were treated with great suspicion and cruelty at the time of the Inquisition.

Then comes the kernel of the book. It’s an A-Z – well actually Y, but that’s near enough – of plants from all continents, their medicinal and deadly properties, details of where and how these are and have been used, topped off with legends and stories about them and the people who made use of them in one way or another.

The book finishes with a useful index and bibliography which make this a very complete reference work that’s handsome, educational and immensely enjoyable.

 

About the author

Fez Inkwright is an illustrator, author and folklorist. Her greatest passions are botany, nature, primitive religions, and folklore, which flavour most of her work. For the past eight years she has produced work for children’s books, hand-drawn maps and tattoo design and now spends her time indulging in conservation work and writing. She lives in Bristol with two cats and several hundred bees.

 

Gardening / Plants / Folklore & Myth / Herbal Remedies

ISBN 978-1-912634-22-4

£12.99 / $16.95 (USD) / $22.95 (CAN)

Hardback 224 pages 210 x 148 mm Black-and-white illustrations throughout

Published 7 January 2021

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Housewife Writes Bestseller by Ann Victoria Roberts

‘Housewife Writes Bestseller – A Tale of Life & Luck’

Synopsis:

One Thursday in July, 1989, beneath the headline, Obsession That Became A Bestseller, the Daily Mail featured a photo of a young woman looking like a lottery winner. The Sun’s piece was cheekier: Mum Makes A Million, appeared beside the boobs on Page Three.

Ann Victoria Roberts hadn’t posed naked and hadn’t won a fortune. She’d written a novel that prompted a bidding war for publishing rights across the world. In the eyes of the press, the fact that Ann was not a career woman, but simply a wife and mother, was newsworthy.

In this memoir, the author reflects on the joys, the travels and the heartaches of her life as a sea-captain’s wife – and the decade of coincidences and lucky strikes that led to the writing of two big historical novels, Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story. Amidst the fanfares and famous names, and the journey that took her from York to Australia and back, Ann reveals the work behind the success, and the truth behind her characters.

As readers, we browse in bookshops, spot a favourite author or intriguing title, and take it home. Rarely do we consider the path that book must have taken from the author’s pen to a bookshop shelf. And yet the story behind it is often stranger than the fiction it contains…

 

My review

This books is a real gem, or rather gems because it’s not just the account of Ann Victoria Roberts, our housewife, becoming an author, but it also the story about the novels that she wrote! There’s so much happening within the pages.

Ann was inspired to write her books after discovering the diary of a relative, Liam, who died in the First World War. The author’s subsequent success is a testament to both him and to her own resoluteness and perseverance. It’s so poignant that this young man, one of the tragic generation that were cut down by international conflict, lives on in the writing that he inspired with his humbled diary.

‘Luck’ is mentioned in the book’s subtitle, but other than there being a modicum of ‘right time, right place’ and a smattering of happy coincidences the author’s success is mainly due to her hard work, careful research and lovely writing style. She’s a natural storyteller with a warm, inviting tone. She knows what details to include, and what to leave out. She creates settings and personalities succinctly yet also vividly.

The element of life is certainly there in terms of Ann’s experiences and the family life background to this huge undertaking. It’s lovely to glimpse beyond the written page to find out about the very human side of a bestselling author.

There’s another aspect to the book: it also acts as a writing guide, although not explicitly. Ann’s careful cataloguing of the steps she went through, the decisions she made, the actions she took most definitely to be taken on board by all aspiring authors. The main lesson is that there are no short cuts, that the effort has to be put in to gain the rewards. Ms Roberts wasn’t looking for acclaim and wealth from the book, just the sense of achievement, and this is encouraging to writers. We all know that the success stories such as this are few and far between, but they do happen. And even if it doesn’t in our case – I haven’t quite given up hoping though! – the act of creating a memoir or novel is highly fulfilling and worth undertaking in its own right.

I was glued to this wonderful, enlightening, inspiring book. Absolutely one to read.

 

About the author

A lover of history, art, and the sea, Ann Victoria Roberts was simply a Yorkshire wife and mother when her success hit national headlines in 1989. Her first historical novels, Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story, had just sold for what was then a record sum for a first-time author. Inspired by a diary written by a young Australian soldier during WW1, she began researching his family background in York, which led to a novel based on the relationships of a previous era.

As the wife of a sea-captain, Ann’s writing was often interrupted by voyages with her husband and children – she even received news of Louisa Elliott’s acceptance while on the bridge of an oil tanker entering port!

Her fifth novel, The Master’s Tale, based on the life of Captain Smith of the Titanic, was inspired by little-known facts behind the disaster, and praised for its authenticity. A keen reader and researcher, Ann enjoys painting pictures with words and regards good historical fiction as a pleasurable way to discover how life was lived in the past. Her seventh book, Housewife Writes Bestseller – a Tale of Life & Luck, is a memoir of crazy days, huge upheavals, and the strange events that led to her success. Ann is now a grandmother, and lives in Southampton UK with her semi-retired Master Mariner husband.

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Two Nosey Parker Cosy Mysteries by Fiona Leitch: brilliant!

Murder on the Menu

The first book in a NEW cosy mystery series!

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

Purchase Links

amzn.to/389aWWW

http://mybook.to/murderonthemenureveal

 

A Brush With Death

Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is back!

When a body turned up at her last catering gig it certainly put people off the hor d’oeuvres. So with a reputation to salvage, Jodie’s determined that her next job for the village’s festival will go without a hitch.

But when chaos breaks out, Jodie Parker somehow always finds herself in the picture.

The body of a writer from the festival is discovered at the bottom of a cliff, and the prime suspect is the guest of honour, the esteemed painter Duncan Stovall. With her background in the Met police, Jodie has got solving cases down to a fine art and she knows things are rarely as they seem.

Can she find the killer before the village faces another brush with death?

 

Both these books can be read as standalones. They are humorous cosy mysteries with a British female sleuth in a small village, written in British English and with mild profanity and peril. Each book ncludes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes!

 

My review

These two books are glorious! For me they’re exactly what cosy mysteries should be – character driven, lots of fun, a plausible plot, enough tension and red herrings to keep us on our toes, and an ending that’s satisfying, but still leaves wanting more in the series.

Jodie is a great heroine. She’s wonderfully human in being imperfect, has an engaging and energetic personality and comes over as a likeable, genuine, nice person. She has good relationships with her mother and daughter Daisy, although the former is definitely hard work at times! I love the repartee and teasing that goes on within the family: a warm, homely touch. She’s a dedicated divorced mum, and gave up her beloved job with the Met after an incident that left her daughter worrying every day that her mum might not come home. She’s thrown herself whole-heartedly into her new official career as a caterer, and also into her new unofficial one of amateur sleuth. She’s well qualified for both these roles, and her skills in all areas are called upon frequently.

The two novels are utterly delightful, both the sort of book that it’s so hard to put down once you’ve started reading. The humour is lively and witty, the pace of the writing is brisk and the plots are clever and well developed. You really do get sucked into the action and care about Jodie and her family.

I’m hoping this will turn into a nice long series!

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brush-Death-Nosey-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08CTX44K5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Brush-Death-Nosey-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08CTX44K5

 

Author Bio

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. After living in London, Hastings and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters.

 

Social media links

https://www.facebook.com/fiona.leitch.1/

https://twitter.com/fkleitch

https://www.instagram.com/leitchfiona/

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The Mystery Shopper and the Hot Tub by Helen Field

Synopsis

A genuinely very funny and irreverent debut novel about life, love, sex, double lives, mystery shopping and hot tubs.

Brooke’s a gorgeous young mum who lives in Essex. Her favourite things in life are her baby, her husband, Chardonnay, hot tubs and OK! magazine.

All that’s missing from her life is the hot tub. Brooke’s bored at home and wants financial independence, but mostly a hot tub and Dean’s a man with traditional values and he doesn’t want Brooke to work. She secretly takes a job at a nearby country house, meeting the incorrigible Lady Townsend. This unlikely friendship, plus some jaw-dropping events, helps Brooke realise that she’s capable of so much more than she thought.

Dean is a devoted husband and father, and, knowing what Brooke wants most of all in life, he secretly takes up mystery shopping hoping to make some extra money to pay for it. And if he gets some peace and quiet whilst doing so, all the better.

The elaborate web of lies they both weave results in numerous madcap situations, but can their deceit undermine the love that they have?

 

My review

This book is deceptively simple because there are so many layers to it. At first glance it’s about two rather shallow people who put image above everything else. But at heart, there’s goodness, good intentions, loyalty, love and wanting to surprise their partner. Due to lack of communication lines get crossed, and both parties of Brooke and Dean sneak off on secret missions in order to accomplish their well-intentioned but misguided goals.

All sort of social issues are swirled around in the story which stars what appears to be the stereotypical Essex couple. This alone brings bubbles of classism and snobbery, both society’s and the characters’, to the surface. The rights and wrongs of conspicuous consumption and consumerism slosh around there too. And that’s just a quick toe dip.

Brooke is exasperating and endearing, Dean likewise. They’re both incredibly selfish, yet also genuinely caring. It’s fascinating reading about them and the messes they proceed to get themselves into. They develop from caricatures into warm, human beings.

The humour is abundant, the atmosphere lively, the writing razor-sharp and the author’s eye unsparing. This book makes for a thoroughly entertaining and also thought-provoking  read.

 

About the author

Helen Field is a business woman, writer, publisher of greetings cards, funny poet, speaker, traveller and author of The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub.

She was born and brought up in Waltham Abbey in Essex and currently lives in a small village in North West Essex, so it would be fair to say she has earned her “Essex girl” badge!

Helen has had a varied and interesting career in retail and hospitality in UK, Europe and USA, including setting up and running her own restaurant. She runs her own training consultancy to the hospitality industry. One element of her business has been designing and implementing mystery shopper programmes all over the UK for some of the most well-known organisations. With inside knowledge of the industry and armed with thousands of funny mystery shopping incidents, she was inspired to write her debut novel, The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub.

Helen has recently spent time combining work and writing with travelling with her husband, including four months in Europe in a 20 year old campervan, a completely wild four-month ride round India by train and a month in an isolated log cabin in Finland.

She rides a motorbike and has three talented and amazing grown up children.

P.s. She doesn’t have a hot tub… yet!

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L’Origine by Lilianne Milgrom: fascinating and multi-faceted

Lilianne Milgrom

on Tour

January 18-29

with

L'Origine

 

L’Origine:
The Secret Life Of The World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece

(historical fiction)

Release date: July 28, 2020
at Little French Girl Press

255 pages

2020 Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award

***

Buy It Here

Amazon | Bookshop

***

See the book on Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

L’Origine‘ traces the extraordinary, clandestine odyssey of an iconic 19th century painting that shook up the author’s world and continues to scandalize all who set eyes upon it.
Gustave Courbet’s portrait of a woman’s exposed torso and sex – audaciously entitled ‘L’Origine du monde’ (The Origin of the World) – was so shocking it was kept hidden for a century and a half, surviving revolution, Nazi plunder and the foibles of its eccentric owners.
Today it draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Orsay Museum. Lilianne Milgrom brings a fresh, feminine perspective to an iconic work of art created specifically for the male gaze.
L’Origine‘ offers readers more than a riveting romp through history–it also reflects society’s complex attitude towards female nudity.

NB: this is a historical novel, no explicit scenes

My review

When I first saw a copy of this famous/infamous painting, my reaction was a lukewarm and rather dismissive ‘Okaaaay’ as it just wasn’t something I’d ever want to hang on my wall. But it’s not a picture you’re ever likely to forget, and I have to confess that over time it started to intrigue me.

I was therefore delighted to discover Liliane Milgrom’s book inspired by this painting, and which is utterly fascinating. I don’t know which element of it I enjoy the most: the eye-opening, autobiographical prologue that gives an insight into being an artist and copyist, the narrative fiction recreation of the painting’s creation, the portrayal of the Parisian art scene, the peeks into the lives of the main characters we meet or the glimpses of how art dealing works. Each aspect of the book is richly detailed and riveting.

Artist Liliane Milgrom is as deft with a pen as a paintbrush. She has an inviting, easy-to-read style. We learn so much from this novel whilst being thoroughly entertained. Just as a sleek, superb finished painting belies the hours of painstaking labour with inevitable frustrations and struggles that went into it, so too must an immense amount of background labour gone into this novel in terms of research, not to the mention the weeks the artist spent in Paris copying the painting. All that hard work pays dividends many times over.

I shall definitely be heading to the Musée d’Orsay to see this painting, very aptly in the flesh, once pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. Very much something to look forward to, since I now have a vast new appreciation for L’origine du monde. I’m also rather hoping Ms Milgrom will write another novel soon too!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

L'Origine - Lilianne MilgromLilianne Milgrom
Paris-born Lilianne Milgrom
is an award-winning international artist,
writer on the arts and author.
Her art can be found in both private and institutional collections
around the world
and her articles have been published in
Huffington Post, Daily Art Magazine, Ceramics Now and Bonjour Paris.
Her 5-star, bestselling novel ‘L’Origine‘ is the result of ten years of research
and was accepted into the Historical Novel Society.
Lilianne lives in Washington DC with her husband.

Follow the author on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Join her mailing list

***
You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter,
as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners will receive an ecopy of this book

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ MORE REVIEWS

L'Origine banner

 

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The Silver Rose Dating Agency by Angelena Boden

The Silver Rose Dating Agency

When lonely widow Kitty Merriweather moves to Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, she joins the Silver Rose online dating site because it offers a safe place for the over sixties to find romance.

There, she meets the enigmatic Harvey, a scientist working on a conservation project in Bali who promises her “hot days and stormy nights.”

Love blooms quickly but Kitty breaks all the rules laid down by the agency, putting herself at risk. When little things don’t add up she dismisses them as being unimportant. Nothing matters more than her plans for them to live happily ever after.

When she confides in her new friend, Edna Reid, octogenarian and former café owner, Kitty gets angry at Edna’s implication she is likely the victim of a scam. The more Edna hears about Harvey, the more she is convinced he’s only interested in Kitty for her money.

Using her knowledge of computers Edna finally uncovers the truth, but where does black magic and murder fit into this intriguing cosy mystery?

 

My review

This books makes for an interesting read, and it’s actually quite dark, much more so than the rather jolly cover might suggest! There’s a lot of very raw grief and some distinctly unsavoury skulduggery going on.

Kitty and Edna are the two main characters. Edna is the more proactive and likeable of the two, although we do care what happens to Kitty. She’s a little prickly and decidedly naïve, but she’s genuine and, quite frankly, deserves a bit of fun now that the boring Bob is six feet under.

The writing is sharply witty with wonderful imagery. The story flows along at quite a pace, especially considering the age of the protagonists!

There are quite a lot of characters to get to grips with, but each is so distinct and unique that you don’t get confused between them.

Much to enjoy.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KFFMQB2 

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KFFMQB2

 

Author bio

Angelena Boden has spent thirty- five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District but has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Great Malvern, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes every afternoon and fits family and reading in between.

She is the author of two novels published by Urbane Publications (rights reverted) and two self-published cosy mysteries and a number of business books (Management Pocketbooks). Angelena is a regular blogger for a mental health publisher (Trigger) and Autumn Voices website which promotes authors over 60.

Social Media Links –  angelenaboden.com

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Grow Bag Gardening by Kevin Espiritu

Goodness, my head is reeling! There is so much information packed into this book.

Author Kevin Espiritu is obviously passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about gardening in general and grow bag gardening in particular, and his enthusiasm shows on every page. It’s only to be expected that the reader absorbs this fervour too, along with all the information.

Anyone, anywhere can do grow bag gardening, whether you only have a balcony or are blessed with a good-sized garden. Grow bag gardening means you can create a small, dedicated environment for a particular plant. If your soil type has hitherto limited what plants you can grow, well, that’s no longer the case. You can create a patch of sandy, well-draining soil in the midst of your heavy clay, or vice versa. You can grow everything from microgreens to a tree in a grow bag. The author gives you the ‘how’ for every scenario. He also throws in the where (indoors and outdoors), when (seasonal or pretty much all year round depending on the plant involved and where it’s being grown), what (everything) and why (too many reasons to list here!) for good measure. And don’t forget the who – everyone can grow-bag garden.

I learnt a truckload, and not just about how to choose or make the ideal grow bag for whatever project is in mind. I’ve been gardening for years but hadn’t come across air-pruning before, nor such detailed guidance concerning creating your own potting mixes and fertilisers. I love to discover new concepts, approaches and ideas and I’m already putting them into practice.
The book is well written in that everything is clearly explained and demonstrated, and the accompanying photographs are relevant and instructive.

It’s without a doubt one of the best gardening books I’ve ever read. And in nearly six decades I’ve read a heck of a lot!

I could go on for days about this book, but you’ll have to excuse me now as I have to go and do some grow bag gardening!

Revolutionary, inspiring, absolutely to recommend.

 

Published by Cool Springs Press. Available from 23 February 2021.

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One Summer In Monte Carlo by Jennifer Bohnet

Synopsis

Monte Carlo means different things to different people; a billionaires’ playground, overflowing with glitz and glamour but also where dangerous secrets hide.

For Nanette Weston, and her then fiancé, F1 racing driver Zac Ewart, their dream life came to an abrupt halt 3 years ago following a car accident which Zac walked away from, but left Nanette being airlifted back to the UK, never to return and never to see her fiancé again.

Monte Carlo was a place she wanted to forget, not revisit. But when her friend and employer, Vanessa asks Nanette to look after her children in the Principality for a few months, Nanette knew she had no choice but to return.

As the F1 circus once again comes to town, with Zac in pole position, mistakes of the past, leave legacies for the future…

This book was previously published as Follow Your Star by Jennifer Bohnet.

 

My review

It’s not all glitz and glamour in Monte Carlo, and neither are the lives of stars and famous people. This book shows you both sides of these places and people: Monte Carlo with its seedy side, and the less attractive side of an admired racing driver. Things are not what they seem.

Atmosphere is the main strength of this novel, and all the settings we are taken too are vividly depicted for us.

We have an interesting, varied range of characters, some of whom we warm to more quickly than others, but that’s only to be expected when we’re seeing them warts and all.

An enjoyable, thoughtful novel.

 

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3cqDnQh

 

Author bio

Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of women’s fiction, including ‘Villa of Sun and Secrets’ and ‘A Riviera Retreat’. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.

 

Social media links

http://www.jenniferbohnet.com/

http://facebook.com/Jennifer-Bohnet-170217789709356

http://twitter.com/jenniewriter

http://instagram.com/jenniebohnet

Newsletter sign up link: http://bit.ly/JenniferBohnetNewsletter
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-bohnet