Booklovers: New Spring reads on the way

Do you plan your next read?

Like many booklovers I’m always looking ahead and often have a few books lined up for reading. Sometimes I can’t resist a title, or a cover, or especially the newest book from my favourite authors.

Here’s a few that are on their way to publication for spring.

Book. Poppy's Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain

Pre order

 Heidi’s books are always a good read . I love the way they are set around one location and sometimes the characters crossover from one book to another. This is the second book set in Nightingale Square.


Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square. Close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies.

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness. As the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for …

Book. Bring me Sunshine by Laura Kemp

Pre order

I’ve read all of Laura Kemp’s books. Her characters are always so real, they have quirks and issues that you can relate to. I’m currently reading a pre-publication copy of this and love the setting and the mix of characters.


Charlotte Bold is nothing like her name – she is shy and timid and just wants a quiet life. When her job doing the traffic news on the radio in London is relocated to Sunshine FM in Mumbles, she jumps at the chance for a new start in Wales.

But when she arrives she discovers that she’s not there to do the travel news – she’s there to front the graveyard evening show. And she’s not sure she can do it.

Thrust into the limelight, she must find her voice and a way to cope. And soon she realises that she’s not the only person who finds life hard – out there her listeners are lonely too. And her show is the one keeping them going.

Can Charlotte seize the day and make the most of her new home? And will she be able to breathe new life into the tiny radio station too…?

Book. New starts & cherry tarts by Liz Eeles

Pre order

My next early read from Netgalley is by Liz Eeles. I haven’t read anything by this author but seeing the cover and reading the synopsis assures me it’s my kind of book. A cup of tea and a feel-good romance makes for a cheery spring read.


After yet another failed romance, twenty-six-year-old Callie Fulbright is giving up on love. She’s determined to throw all her efforts into her very own, brand-new café: The Cosy Kettle.

Serving hot tea, cherry tarts and a welcoming smile to the friendly locals proves to be the perfect distraction, and Callie feels a flush of pride at the fledging business she’s built.

But her new-found confidence is soon put to the test when her gorgeous ex reappears in the quaint little village. She’ll never forget the heartache Noah caused her years ago. But when they bump into each other on the cobbled streets of Honeyford she can’t help but feel a flutter in her chest…

As Callie and Noah share laughter and memories, she starts to wonder if this could be her second chance at happiness. But when Callie discovers that someone is mysteriously trying to ruin the café’s reputation… she has an awful suspicion that Noah knows who’s involved.

Was she wrong to ever trust him again? And can she find out who’s behind the lies and rumours, before it’s too late for the Cosy Kettle?


book - Don't turn around by Amanda Brooke


Finally, I’ve decided to include this one. Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke is out now and it is totally different from my other recommendations. But I’m adding this as I recommended it on Instagram and so may people said it’s their kind of book.

Wow! you all love the scary thrillers and murder. I haven’t read this but I have read a couple of books by Amanda and you do get drawn in, they’re a great read and page turner.


She died.
You’re next.
Now he’s coming for you

Ten years ago, Jen’s cousin Meg killed herself after failing to escape an abusive relationship.

Now, Meg’s ex is back and Jen’s domestic abuse helpline has started getting frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg – details that only the dead girl or the man who hurt her could have known…

As Jen starts to uncover the past, someone is determined to stop her. Can she save this young woman from Meg’s fate? Or is history about to repeat itself?

Hope you like my recommendations, let me know if you read any of them, find me on twitter . Happy reading.


2018 was Decisions, Challenges and Changes

In 2018 I made some decisions, took on some new challenges and had some changes thrust upon me. I found new entertainment, I embraced some age issues, and I made sausage rolls, totally unheard of for me. Oh and I definitely went overboard on the dog photos.

New challenges

I started the year as a new committee member of my local WI. My role is to grow our social media presence. We are now connecting with other WI’s and community groups across the country and around the world. It’s been really fun and will continue this year.

Fun pyjama night at our women's institute meeting


2018 saw me bake sausage rolls, totally unheard of by me as I’m not and never have been a lover of cooking. My teen loved the pork & black pudding rolls I made. I’ve since made cinnamon rolls so hey 2019 could be GBBO for me.

homemade sausage rolls



After letting my roots grow and giving the grey a chance I finally had the last of my colour cut out. I have totally embraced my grey hair. I love it and received so many compliments which have given my confidence a boost.

letting my hair grow grey


Thrust upon me

My boy turned 18 this year and after dropping out of Alevels with only 6 weeks to go before exams I was so stressed about it, he was so relaxed. But he said he’d get an apprenticeship and he did. Now 9 months on and he’s loving it. He’s been so lucky as it’s a very good company he’s working for. If you ever find yourself in a position like this I’d definitely repeat what my husband said to me at the time,  ‘don’t panic, he’ll be fine’.



Facing up to the fact of having arthritis for 30 years! and I’ve finally embraced the flat shoes. Partly because there’s so much choice, and the fact you can wear them with anything. Winning a pair of Vionic Cece boots on my birthday reinforced my decision to buy comfortable shoes, even if I have to spend a bit more.

cece boots by Vionic footwear



Thanks to a recommendation by Jess Soothill, creator of Mothers Who , I discovered a love of podcasts. I’ve always been a talk radio fan but now I’ve a listening collection from fashion based to comedy.

My absolute fave is from the Telegraph fashion team Fashion Unzipped, I love their honesty when discussing trends, designers, fashion and style. My culture fix is from The High Low with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, and for creative chat there’s Hashtag Authentic from Sara Tasker blogger at Me and Orla.

For a  comedy fix I’m absolutely loving the new and very funny podcast Older & Wider, with Jenny Eclair & Judith Holder (the writer/producer of Grumpy Old Women). They’ve had some fab women on as guests so far, I look forward to hearing what’s next.

If you like talk radio and have never listened to podcasts have a look, there really is something for everyone whatever your interests.

podcast images


Obligatory dog photo

…… and just because I mentioned the dog photos I’ll end with our Ralf. A rescue dog who has brought an extra something into our life for the past two years.

I hope your 2019 is as fun and busy as my past year has been.  What are you looking forward to this year?

Is there an adverse effect of Instafamous outfits?

Do you buy outfits because you’ve seen them shown off on social media or does it put you off?

Firstly let me say I love Instagram, I love seeing outfits, homes and especially cute dogs.

But Instagram is also a platform to show off goods and services at their best. It must be a godsend to some small businesses who have the opportunity to reach a wider audience than before. and I’ve bought some real handmade treasures. like our felted mini Ralf

Mini felted dog

…..and my Tea, Cuddle dog, repeat Tshirt.

dog themed t shirt

You can see the dog theme can’t you.

I haven’t bought any items of High Street clothing purely because I’ve seen them on Instagram. But I have seen some of my purchases on there after I’ve bought them, and some are tagged #gifted. Now that’s a whole other story, how does it make you feel if you see something you’ve spent your hard earned money on being shown off as gifted?

Obviously it’s not the whole world, I’m only talking about my Instagram feed. But could you be put off buying if it looks like everyone is wearing a particular item?

I think sometimes seeing an outfit all over instagram might make it look like you’re going to bump into 10 people wearing it when you’re down the pub, but will you?

marks & spencer side stripe dress

For example, I thought the instafamous Marks & Spencer side stripe dress which was all over Instagram would be everywhere. Actually that wasn’t  the case as I didn’t see one person wearing it in real life.

I know this is my personal view and maybe I follow too many of the same type of accounts but I wonder, is there a misleading adverse Instagram affect regarding fashion.

What do you think?

Ralf Reviews: Scrumbles dog food

Our Ralf is really fussy about what he eats, well actually that’s me being fussy about what I buy him. We’ve always checked the content of Ralf’s food and he’s been trying something new, Scrumbles dog food.

Ralf with a bag of Scrumbles dog food

I’ve read so many things about the bad additives and grains that are added to some dog foods. You do have to check the labels if you care about what you feed your dog.

My friend’s lovely dog eats one of the mass produced brands of dog food, he looks good with his beautiful shiny coat but he’s always being thrown out of the kitchen door because WOW he stinks. Apparently this is due to the food he eats, which he may be having a reaction to.

Bad dog food ingredients from

Scrumbles is made by people who are pet owners and know what they want in a food. It has high meat content and quality ingredients, most importantly avoiding bad grains to bulk up the food. It’s wheat free, gluten free and hypoallergenic. Which is great if you think your dog might have a sensitive stomach.

list of ingredients in Scrumbles dog food

Ralf investigated the packaging and then had his first taste…..

Ralf sniffing the Scrumbles dog food package

…….which for a fussy pup was good to see.

Ralf eating Scrumbles dog food


If you would like to know more about Scrumbles, you can find them here.


Home and Horizon Snapped Up Linky

Snowflakes & Cinnamon Swirls – Heidi Swain, book review

Snowflakes and cinnamon swirls book cover


I was lucky enough to read an early kindle copy of Heidi Swain’s new book, another heart warming romantic read.

Hayley, the Wynthorpe Hall housekeeper, has a disastrous engagement party at the pub. With the whole village in attendance distraught and embarrassed she decides to leave her village home and move into Wynthorpe Hall to escape the gossip.

Welcomed by her employers the Connelly’s and her colleagues. They prove to be more like family than her own.  Rallying around her as she tries to mend her broken heart. Vowing to concentrate on a future without relationships, love and romance Hayley throws herself into her work.

Then the arrival of Jamie Connelly’s friend Gabe throws a spanner into the works.

When the family  plan a winter wonderland event for Christmas Hayley’s hidden talent is discovered by her colleagues. This means she and Gabe are thrown together to work on the designs.

Hayley and Gabe soon discover a mutual attraction. But both hampered by past tragic events causing emotional barriers, means things don’t go smoothly.

Will the Winter Wonderland be finished in time for Christmas?  Will Gabe stay?  Can Hayley find love again?

All of these answers can be found in this heartwarming Christmas story. Heidi Swain writes characters you can relate to and Snowflakes and Cinnamon swirls at the winter wonderland is no exception. Reintroducing some of the characters from the village of Wynbridge brings a warm familiarity to readers and fans of Heidi’s books.

This is definitely a cosy winter read and a book for your list.

Snowflakes and Cinnamon swirls at the Winter Wonderland – Heidi Swain – 1 Nov 2018