My Writing Ramblings: June Favourites

July is here and wow, the weather has been amazing. I am keeping everything crossed that it lasts. As June is now finished, I wanted to look at some of my favourite things from last month.

My favourite book from last month was Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay by Ali McNamara. I am a huge fan of Ali’s novels so it was no real surprise that I adored this novel.

Her writing style is so effortless and she creates wonderful characters. The plot for this book was great; a woman inherits a castle and meets a handsome stranger. Also, this cover is just so beautiful.

Here’s the blurb for the novel.

Amelia is a single mother, doing her very best to look after her young son, Charlie – but money is tight and times are tough. When she first hears that she is the last descendent of the Chesterford family and that she has inherited a Real-Life Castle by the sea, Amelia can’t quite believe her ears. But it’s true!

She soon finds that owning a castle isn’t quite the ticket to sorting out her money problems that she’d first hoped: she can’t sell, because the terms of the ancient bequest state that any Chesterford who inherits the castle, must live there and work towards the upkeep and maintenance of the family home. So ever-practical Amelia decides to uproot her little family and move to this magnificent castle by the sea.

Living in a castle on the beautiful Northumberland coast is fun at first, but organising the day-to-day running is a lot more complicated than Amelia first imagined. Luckily she has help from the small band of eccentric and unconventional staff that are already employed there – and a mysterious unseen hand that often gives her a push in the right direction just when she needs it most. It’s only when she meets Tom, a furniture restorer who comes to the castle to help repair some antique furniture, that Amelia realises she might get the fairy-tale ending that she and Charlie truly deserve…



There are so many great TV shows being released right now. The one I enjoyed most in June was definitely Black Mirror. I do think that Charlie Brooker is a genius. It’s sad he’s not doing his end of year show but if it’s because he has been writing Black Mirror, that is fine with me.

There have been mixed reviews about the latest series but overall, I loved it. Granted, this series was possibly a little more surreal than previous series but that is the beauty of this show; even if the technology doesn’t exist, it feels as though it could. We have an Amazon Echo and I’ve nicknamed it Black Mirror.

I will also admit that I loved the Miley Cyrus episode and I’m proud of sharing this information.


Movie wise, June was a little quiet for me. There wasn’t anything at the cinema that I particularly wanted to see. July is another story. So, in the absence of any new releases I wanted to watch, I have been getting my Disney fix and re-watching some of my favourites. It is a big list.

I grew up with all the classic Disney movies. I couldn’t quite accept that I saw the first Toy Story film in the cinema over twenty years ago but for me, these films never lose their magic. My motto is ‘you’re never too old for Disney.’

I’ve already ticked The Little Mermaid off my list. This was the first film I owned. My Mum brought it for me on a VHS. We were at Disney a few years ago and got to see Jodi Benson (Ariel) tell The Christmas Story at the Candlelight Processional that they hold every year at Epcot. The eight year old me was in her element.

For the first time, I watched Alice in Wonderland. I know, it took me this long.

Which Disney film is your favourite?


I am a monthly planner. It’s something I find comforting and relaxing. I have mostly been planning digitally. I love the flexibility of it. At this point, a special mention needs to go to Holly Pixels who has some beautiful stickers.

The only thing about planning digitally is that I can’t always have my iPad to hand, especially at work. To get around this, I brought a Hobonichi Techno diary. I had seen a lot about them online so I thought I would give it a go.

It’s quite slim but laid out well and it can be as high or low maintenance as you like. It’s one to consider if you’re looking to get into planning. I’ve found it a good thing to do if I’m anxious. It’s an excuse for an adult to legitimately buy and collect stickers. my current obsession is The Coffee Monsterz Co.


My final favourite is an app. Wizards Unite is a phone game I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. It’s the Harry Potter equivalent to the Pokémon go game. A lot of work has gone into this app and the detail is amazing. I’ve only been able to play a few times so I am not that far through but I am loving it so far.

Again, it’s great if you’re feeling anxious.

What have been your favourites for June?


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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