Sapphire in the Snow – An Update

Some of you may remember a review I did last year on a historical novel I loved many years ago, Sapphire in the Snow by Carol Townend.

A quick update – Carol has now revised and reissued it with a shiny new cover as an ebook along with Shattered Vows, another novel I really enjoyed.  I’m looking forward to Leaves on the Wind appearing – I see this could be as early as April!

Links to buy in the UK for the reissues are:

Sapphire in the Snow

Shattered Vows

The Stone Rose

Needless to say, I’ve already got my copy!

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New Films: La Belle et La Bete

A new French speaking version of the film was released in France in February!  Hope we get it here too, it looks wonderful – and I love this director’s work.

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This Week from New King’s with the Sea Thrown in!

Early morning at New King’s.

New Kings

Afternoon at the harbour at Gourdon.


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My Fictional World

My Fictional World


Having been invited to look at Jocelyn’s post at The Reading Residence, I thought it would be fun to add my own answers to what is my fictional world.  So here they are.

What were your favourite reads from your childhood?

Mostly anything by Enid Blyton especially her Mallory Towers, St. Claire’s and Famous Five series and I was also encouraged to read Tolkein’s The Hobbit by my brother when I was eight.

There are always those books that defined your teen reads and stay with you – what were yours?

Actually, I wouldn’t say so.  I graduated to reading adult level books when I was about eleven, so I don’t define my reading that way particularly.  I do remember reading the Sweet Valley High books and enjoying those but then I discovered more meaty sagas like Catherine Cookson!  At the same time my Aunt had also introduced me to the books of Georgette Heyer.

Who are your favourite authors currently?

Oh that’s a tough one as they constantly change and grow.  I love the work of Nora Roberts, Abby Green, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Marguerite Kaye, Louise Allen and many, many more.  It depends on what genre I’m reading currently too.

Which 3 genres do you gravitate towards most often?

Historical, Romance and Thrillers.

Can you choose your top titles from each of those genres?

Historical: The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman, Romance: Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer and Thriller: The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver.  Again, I could name so many books and so many genres.

And your least favourite genres?

I don’t really have any I actively dislike, but on balance I probably read less Fantasy novels.

Of the many, many fictional and fantastical worlds, where would you most like to visit?

Pemberly from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Come on, who wouldn’t?!

Everyone loves a villain, right?! Who would make your favourites list?

The Marquis of Vidal for a fun and thrilling villain!  See Devil’s Cub…

Share the books that have had you sobbing?

Only one – ever – An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer.  The Battle of Waterloo, ’nuff said.

And let’s end on a high! Which books leave a smile on your face, and maybe elicit a few laughs?!

Not a series I read much, but recommended by a friend I distinctly remember snorting with laughter reading one of the Argeneau Vampires series by Lynsay Sands, Single White Vampire – and the cod piece incident!  Go and read it for yourself, lol!


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Awesome Blog Content Award

Awesome Blog Award

A big belated thank you to the lovely Lindsay J. Pryor for nominating me for an Awesome Blog Content Award.  I have been very remiss  not posting about this, sorry!

The rules: post the logo, link back to he/she who nominated, provide an A-Z guide to your soul and then nominate forward.

– You know I don’t nominate forward right?  Ok then…

I’m not sure this is entirely soul-like, but I’ll have a go.


A is for me actually!  Handy since we’re talking about me…

B is for books.  Any of them – they are the stuff of life for me.

C is for chocolate, necessary at times downright sinful at others – oh well.

D is for devilment.  I do have a rather wicked sense of humour.

E is for Essex, the home of my ancestors – the history of which is also dear to me.

F is for finery.  I love costume, jewellery and accessories of many eras.  Part of my art I suppose.

G is for genealogist – another of my many beloved roles.

H is for History of Art and History, my twin passions which tie into many parts of my life.

I is for irritating.  I can have a short fuse, and dislike people who hurt others for no reason.

J is for junket.  Anywhere fun you care to say – charging through fields looking for ruins, up and down stairs at castles, films at the cinema etc.  Things I wish I had more time to do.

K is for kismet – what you do to others will come back to you.

L is for Leopard and my first article!  Watch this space…

M is for music, something that I’ve always had a gift for and constantly listen to.

N is for no.  I never used to use it enough, now I’ve learned to and to tune others out when needed.

O is for original.  Yes sirree, that’s me and proud!

P is for my pets.  I’ve always had lots of them – cats, dogs, rats and guinea pigs are a few current ones.

Q is for quiet.  I like my space and am often accused of being too quiet.

R is for rock concerts – my favourite kinds – see also M.

S is for study.  As a student as well as holding a job and attempting to write it can be hard, but is so important to me.

T is for travel, part of my soul belongs to other countries and special places in the world.

U is for uncomfortable.  Don’t put me on the spot please.

V is for vilify.  I try, but don’t always succeed to see the best in everything.

W is for writer, aspiring one mind you.

Y is for yellow and orange the colour of the sun.  I wish I saw it more.

Z is for zillions.  I don’t wish I had them but sometimes they’re useful – I do appreciate ambition and dreams and the ability to grab hold of them and achieve them!  I certainly have zillions of dreams!


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Early Morning at King’s

Early Morning Kings

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New Films: The Invisible Woman

Looking forward to this after I see The Monuments Men:

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Book Review: Loving Lord Ash by Sally Mackenzie

Loving Lord Ash by Sally MackenzieI received a copy of this book in return for an honest review via Netgalley.

I’d not heard of this author until recently, and then heard good things so volunteered to read this new book. It being part of a series did not spoil my read, as other characters were mentioned in such a way it was easy to keep up.

I’ve given the book 3 stars, and at a pinch I might say 3 1/2. Why? Because I just didn’t care about the hero and heroine – and that’s really important to me. Lord Ash and his wife Jess I just didn’t believe really cared for one another at all – which perhaps makes it all the easier to believe their 8 year estrangement!

So what I did like: interesting beginning – a couple that are not a couple – other characters that are equally interesting like Roger and Dennis – but didn’t steal the limelight away.  There was an interesting element of bawdiness too. My jury’s still slightly out on that. Loved the warm relationship between Ash’s parents and the understanding of the love of pets.  Great open mindedness about the different types of love and relationships too.

But again, though I understood the difference in Ash and Jess’ stations in life, it still came across as quite absurd, especially the much contested virginity issue between the two – which did take right until the end of the book to be resolved and there wasn’t enough tension there for me to really care if they made their marriage work or not.  Percy the villain frankly was a bit strange and not terribly villainous imo if you had to believe that he had the power to destroy relationships.

It was a shame as I began to feel a little bored at the end, it had just been played out a bit too long and I lost interest.  I certainly wouldn’t rule out trying the author’s other stories however.

This book will be available from Zebra on the 4 March 2014 in both ebook and print format.

A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.

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Excited About Outlander

Having read some of the books I’m really intrigued to see this series!  I hope we get it in the UK – preferably on a decent channel I can watch!

Anyone else excited?

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Dressing Chessington, Or Decorating for Shehanne Moore!

The lovely Shehanne had me creating the scene of the homecoming of Lord Devorlane Hawley for her latest book Loving Lady Lazuli.  (Go and buy it!)

You can find her post about it here: Welcome to Chessington and my original pinboard ideas here.


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