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Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking back always makes me feel a bit nostalgic and there are points in this year that I could relive time and time again.

Highlights for me were being there at the launch of Virginia's historical fiction novel Day's Dying Glory in April and then the Perthshire holiday straight after. That was a super relaxing time that will remain in my most treasured memories for years. Here are some pictures of the holiday:

You may have recognised the ruined house as the one we used in the Ghost Story Competition video. That was another highlight of 2017 - our first competition encouraged about 100 entries and all the stories I read from the longlist were absolutely superb. It was a tricky business creating the shortlist but we got there in the end.

I have also reviewed some very good books, and read some super books that I will post throughout January.

Take a look at some of the books I've read here.

And after such an amazing year, I'm now looking forward to 2018 with some fairly…
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Merry Christmas!

Hello!

I am writing this while hanging my head in shame because, if you look back over the last few entries, you'll see that I haven't written one for ages!

This is, quite simply, because I haven't read much in the last few months. I have a new job as a primary school teacher which is taking over my life but I am determined that next year, I will write at least 1 blog entry a month. I'd like to write more but I'm not sure that's realistic.

So, here goes...

(There is still a week of holiday left before I return to work so expect a few more entries soon!)

Merry Christmas, as Christmas lasts until 5th January in this house!


"Aaru" by David Meredith Book Review

When Rose dies, her younger sister (Koren) is angry and upset. Actually, that's an understatement. It's angry/upset on steroids! Some authors shy away from dealing with bereavement but David Meredith couldn't do this as "Aaru" wouldn't exist if there was no 'death'. It's such a tricky thing to portray fierce emotions in an imaginary character. It can be draining on both the author and the reader. But I have to say that David Meredith NAILS IT! The emotions are so raw, so real. I would be surprised if the author has never had a close bereavement. The reader really feels Koren's pain.

That's not to say I sympathised with her. Alongside the emotions was a large amount of teenage angst. (What can I expect - she's 13 and 1/2 years old!) I can't say I actually liked her personality. I didn't like her attitude towards her parents. I found it chokingly inconsiderate - after all, they were grieving too. But the (major) flaws in her per…

"13 Traditional Ghost Stories From Lincolnshire" Book Review

Written by Michael Wray
Illustrations by Anne Marshall
Edited by Chris Firth

☆☆☆

I was born in Orkney, but I grew up in Lincolnshire. I went to primary school there and only moved back to Scotland after I had started at John Leggott College. As a result, I feel a certain connection with the place.
Growing up in a village on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, I was very aware of the ghost stories around where I lived. My mum grew up in Epworth, so I was well accustomed to the tale of Old Jeffery that is featured in this book. Our house, itself, was very old and I'm pretty sure it was haunted. It talked - creepy floorboards when no-one was there, doors closing when I couldn't feel a draught - that sort of thing. Close to our house there used to be a wood where apparently someone hanged themselves. We were also down the road from Thornton Abbey with its headless ghost who sometimes runs across the road. (The story, as I heard it, was that someone was fishing in the monastery pond an…

"Casting Off" Book Review

Casting Off by P.I. Paris
When the residents of a Highland care home discover that the new owners are about to substantially put up the fees, they know that dramatic action is called for. But what can a group of senior citizens possibly do against a big organisation? For Dorothy, the situation is serious. If she can t raise money she'll have to leave all her friends, like dear Miss Ross.

In protest, the residents barricade themselves into the lounge. However, their rebellion fails, so worldly-wise Joan suggests a most unusual way to cover the rise a very naughty chat line for men who want to talk to older women in a particular way ! As their lives take a series of unexpected turns, things get increasingly out of control ...

Casting Off is a hilarious, poignant tale of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice and how it s never too late to try something new.



So, where should I start? We bought this book at a stall in a small village somewhere near Tain. The author was there, selling the book…

Inspirational Perthshire

I’m not sure what it was about my last holiday that made it so special. Whether it was because it was intertwined with the Day’s Dying Glory book launch event at Innerpeffray Library, or because I needed a rest from all my responsibilities, or that it was just an amazing place to stay…I really loved last week’s holiday!
The cottage was The Old Post Office on Dunalistair Estate and we had booked it from Saturday to Saturday. The road to the cottage was bumpy and bendy which, being a non-driver, I didn’t mind a bit. In fact, it seemed to add to the whole experience. Once at the cottage, I realised what an astonishing view we would have for the next 7 days. The cottage looked out across an open field, over Dunalistair Water and to Schiehallion beyond. On clear days, you could see the whole mountain which stood quite close to the cottage. Once every day, however, the mountain top would be covered by mist that would make you thankful you weren’t climbing the imposing natural structure!
The w…

Change of Circumstances

Last week, I was on holiday in Perthshire. While we managed to get quite a bit of holiday-ing in, it also meant that I felt relaxed enough to read.

This week, I've started my final teaching placement. Because of this, I'm not reading as much as I'd like. Therefore, I'm hoping to post up at least 2 blog entries a week instead of every single day.

I'm taking my kindle everywhere I go as I can't be without it for long periods of time! And I'm still accepting review requests. Please see my Review Policy if your are interested in getting your book reviewed on here.