12 Days of Clink Street Christmas

Book Review: Nomit and Pickle Go Shopping by C.E. Cameron

Nomit and Pickle Go Shopping is an illustrated adventure where the two featured characters go to the shops. 

Nomit and Pickle’s story is something children can relate to. It’s an endearing story of working as a team and the art of compromising to find a good outcome.

It’s aimed at 5-7 year olds. There are a few words they may struggle with but overall, it’s fine. I am certainly not the target age for this book but even as an adult, I found it charming and I feel it portrays a lovely message.

The illustrations are lovely, adorable, bright and engaging.

With Christmas coming up, this would make a wonderful stocking filler.

Nomit and Pickle Go Shopping is published by Clink Street Publishing. Click to view Amazon UK

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Book Review: Olga’s Egg by Sophie Law

When Fabergé specialist Assia Wynfield learns of the discovery of a long-lost Fabergé egg made for the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, she appears to be the only person with misgivings.

On travelling to St. Petersburg to see the egg, Assia moves among Russia’s new rich but finds herself pulled back into a family past she would rather forget.

With news that a friend is missing, Assia starts to dig deeper. But does she really want the answers to the questions she is asking?

Set in today’s glamorous world of Russian art with glimpses into the lives of the last Romanovs as their empire crumbled in the wake of the Russian Revolution.

It’s the second stop for me on the 12 Days of Clink Street Publishing blog tour and today, I am reviewing Olga’s Egg by Sophie Law.

The story of the Romanovs has always fascinated me so I was already intrigued by this novel before I even began to read. From page one, it immediately drew me in and I very quickly got to the point where I couldn’t put it down.

I felt such an empathy for Assia. She starts as such a vulnerable and tragic character. I really wanted to reach in to the book and give her a hug and tell her that it was alright. There are many ways in which she is a relatable character.

There is a big mystery that drives this novel forward as Assia tries to figure out what has happened to a family friend. Like her, I wanted to solve this puzzle. There is certainly more going on in this book than first appears that’s for sure.

I felt that, as the reader, I was getting pulled further into the world created and the mysterious circumstances Sophie Law has created.

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Book Review: Texts From Dad: The Coronavirus Chronicles by Peter Barber

Texts From Dad: The Coronavirus Chronicles is an hilarious account detailing 57 days of corona virus lockdown by way of daily texts to his daughter that ended up going viral.

Bringing a smile by taking a different view. Introducing humour and leading the reader through a slow realisation that we have all been affected in the funniest ways if only we would stop to think about it.

Written by A technophobic old fart that has trouble programming a dishwasher who was pushed into writing a blog using modern technology during forced isolation. Funny, or insane? You decide.

Laugh at him, or with him. Either way, you will probably end up laughing at yourself too.

It’s always a sign that Christmas is coming when the 12 Days of Clink Street Publishing blog tour arrives and today, I am reviewing Texts From Dad: The Coronavirus Chronicles by Peter Barber.

This book details Peter’s life as he, along with the rest of the country, tries to navigate his way through the first national lockdown. With it being about this subject, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

My first thought was how relatable I found it.

Peter is really great at commentating the thoughts of a nation. He has an interesting point of view and he is a natural story teller.

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Book Review: One? by Jennifer L Cahill

It’s London in the mid-noughties before Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi.
Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual.

Penelope works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for love. At twenty-eight she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming.

Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness. Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future.

One? follows the highs and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.

First thing I want to mention is the amazing cover on this novel. At first glance, it seems simple and beautiful but there are so many layers to it. Look at it long enough and you’ll see what I mean.

One? primarily follows Penelope and Zara as they navigate themselves through 90’s London joined by a few people along the way.

The characters have unique voices. All have their own personal goals, triumphs and struggles. They are all developed well as is the plot. I was desperate to know what would become of them all.

I could identify so much with these two ladies especially. I found myself moving to London in my early twenties having never been away from home before so Zara’s feeling seemed partially familiar. The overwhelming feeling of being alone in a big city.

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12 Days Of Clink Street Christmas: Matthew Redford

Matthew RedfordIt’s my final stop on the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas. Joining me today is Matthew Redford, the author of the short story, Who Killed The Mince Spy? 

Tenacious carrot, detective inspector Willie Wortell is back to reveal the deviously delicious mind behind the crime of the festive season in this hugely entertaining, and utterly unconventional, short story. 

When Mitchell the Mince Spy is horrifically murdered by being over baked in a fan oven, it falls to the Food Related Crime team to investigate this heinous act. Why was Mitchell killed? Who is the mysterious man with a long white beard and why does he carry a syringe? Why is it that the death of a mince spy smells so good?  

Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, the best food sapiens police officer, once again leads his team into a series of crazy escapades. Supported by his able homo sapiens sergeant Dorothy Knox and his less able fruit officers Oranges and Lemons, they encounter Snow White and the seven dwarf cabbages as well as having a run in with the food sapiens secret service, MI GasMark5.

With a thigh slap here, and a thigh slap there, the team know Christmas is coming as the upper classes are acting strangely – why else would there be lords a leaping, ladies dancing and maids a milking?

And if that wasn’t enough, the Government Minister for the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Trade (DAFaRT) has only gone and given the turkeys a vote on whether they are for or against Christmas.   

Let the madness begin!

 

Matthew and Clink Street Publishing have shared an extract from Who Killed The Mince Spy today. Enjoy!

Who killed the mince spy

 

“This is taken from the beginning of Chapter 1 where we are first introduced to Mitchell the Mince Pie who is working undercover and who is danger from a mysterious man with a long white beard.”

The soft sound of castanets drifted across the morning daybreak as effortlessly as a butterfly meandering over a garden in summer.

Except this was no summer day.

It was a cold, brisk December morning. A frost had settled overnight, not too thick to be troublesome, but thick enough to mean that car windscreens needed to be scraped with whatever device the driver had to hand. For Mitchell it was the back of an unused library card which he had found lurking in his wallet, not that he could actually remember signing up for one in the first place. No matter, it was coming in useful now.

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12 Days of Clink Street Christmas: Daisy Mae_224’s Traditional Christmas

eBook Daisy Mae - 9.6.17 - v6My next stop on the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas has arrived. Author Daisy Mae_224, the author of Dating Daisy shares her traditional Christmas. Over to you, Daisy Mae_224… 

I’ve decided honesty is the best policy. If you are reading a Christmas blog, you probably expect to read how much I love Christmas. How I can’t wait for it to come round – again. How I love the preparations and the traditions etc… Well – you may just be disappointed.

I really dislike Christmas! And I am not Mrs Scrooge either!

– So now, I’ll try and explain why –

For starters, I’m not religious. I do actually like that part of Christmas however, as that is about story-telling, kindness, and involves the Nativity, children, and singing beautiful Christmas carols. It is rather magical to light candles in a church and sing Hark the Herald at the top of your voice on a cold winter’s evening.

It’s the commercial side of things which are so abhorrent. Somehow we are all caught in a trap of “finding something someone might like.” Also, even those little stocking fillers cost a fortune. And the vast majority, beautifully packaged they may be, will just end up in land fill sites. Having cleared out and downsized from my 6 bedroom house a few years ago, I am in fear of clutter. Never again will I be doing all that!

Let me say up front it’s not so much the cost. I’m a generous person and I love giving things to people and spreading a little happiness. It’s just that when the world is full of starving, poverty-stricken people, how can we the rich of the Western world, be quite so greedy. It makes me feel so uncomfortable. I don’t like opening my presents as I feel so guilty about that. I sit with a pile next to me and watch everyone else open theirs, and I just don’t want to do it.

The sad fact now is that as I am divorced and my parents have died, I can’t think of Christmas as the family occasion it used to be. I miss my parents, especially at Christmas. My children divide themselves up for a day each between myself and Voldemort. There is always a big row about which day is for who, and I dread it.

Then there’s the food. It isn’t a great Christmas to be sweating in the kitchen over an enormous and gastronomically fashionable Christmas dinner. How often have I downed a few gin and tonics one by one, stuck in the kitchen, while everyone else is laughing in the lounge. Because it’s supposed to be such an amazing dinner, it’s very stressful. Mostly they can’t all decide on one meal, so I’m trying to cook a turkey, a ham and a salmon for example, all at the same time. It just doesn’t work! And I’ve never been very good at gravy!

I have to say I like to plan the day so we don’t just “sit around looking at the tea cups!” Last year, soon after the children arrived on Christmas Eve, we went out for lunch at a New Forest pub, following a dog walk on Canada Common. When we got home, we all jumped in Edward’s amazingly hot, clean, sparklingly fresh, hot tub with a few mugs of tea.

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12 Days of Clink Street Christmas: Extract From The Shield by C.J. Bentley

The Shield CoverIt’s time for the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas and today, author C.J. Bentley joins me with her book, The Shield which is book one in the Finder Series.

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.

A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner? 

With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

 

C.J. Bentley has shared an extract from The Shield with us today. 

“Can you lot see that dust cloud over there?” Jeanette was facing the field and had to move her head to where she meant as her hands were full. “It looks as though it’s coming this way I wonder what it could be”.

“Sometimes you get dust clouds when there hasn’t been much rain, the wind whips up and disturbs the dust, you know a bit like in the desert, mini tornados”, Richard liked his geography just as I liked my history. As we were so intent on carrying the heavy shield between us and joking as to who the first person to let go would be, we didn’t notice what was happening in the distance.

“Can you lot move around so I can see, my back is where you are looking,” Hugh turning studied the dust cloud for a while, “looks like a horse coming towards us don’t you think?”

“I think you must be eating lots of carrots if you can see a horse that far away,’ Linda moved her head round and watched the dust cloud approach, “do you know Hugh I think you are right it is a horse with somebody riding it and quite fast, looks like some sort of a flag flying too”.

“I think we should put this down and run,” Richard looked quite scared.

“Don’t be daft you lot, it’s probably one of the girls from the riding stables riding towards us trying to frighten us, if we stand our ground she will stop”. I wished I felt as confident as I sounded but something about the ‘cloud’ coming towards us reminded me of something, something, or someone, it couldn’t possibly be what I thought it was.

The way the person confidently rode the horse and looked to be encased in shiny armour which flashed as the sun hit it, the white horse moved in a colourful swathe of material in blues and reds, swirling around his legs as he galloped towards us. The shine of the rider’s metal suit of armour. The long pole from his foot to past his head, which was encased with a plumed helmet, was flying a coloured flag on the top. It all reminded me of my favourite book, ‘Ivanhoe’. What we were looking at was surely an apparition, my imagination playing tricks on me, but on the others too. Strange we could all see it, so no apparition then.

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