Saturday, 30 August 2014

Family day out

We had a day out at Audley End House & Gardens in Essex last Sunday.

We visit there several times a year as we have English Heritage membership.

Here is a photo diary of our day out and photos from previous visits , to show how the gardens change over the year.

These pictures are from last year in the Spring

The apple and pear trees create  a wall around the kitchen gardens... a later photo
shows how they look now

Can you tell, I love Irises and these flag Irises are just stunning

These are pictures from our weekend summer visit

A different view of the house as we had to park in a different car park

The apple and pear tree wall is now in full fruit

My two boys,one aged 6, one 6ft :)

This is my mum and dad's garden.  He is a gardener by profession and always
has the best looking garden in the street

Friday, 29 August 2014

Guest Author - Marilyn Chapman

I am delighted to have Marilyn Chapman, Author on the blog today and will let Marilyn explain why I feel a special connection with Marilyn...(my Top Read for 2014 review is at the end of this post)

Baggy Pants and Bootees
Marilyn Chapman

Baggy Pants and Bootees started life as ‘Sophie’s Secret,’ a partly completed novel that was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award in 2012.
It was there, in Bedford, that I met Carol Wright, the owner of this amazing blog. We made an instant connection. We were sitting at adjacent tables in a restaurant where the service was exceptionally slow – and the conversation soon flourished.
I still smile at the memory of that ‘new’ talent award. After many years of being a journalist and freelance writer, the word ‘old’ seemed far more appropriate in my case! At that stage, however, I had still not realised a long-held dream – to publish my debut novel.
Baggy Pants and Bootees was published as an e-book by Safkhet Publishing in February this year and, to my amazement, reached No 79 in Amazon’s military romance category, just one step behind the best-selling author Sebastian Faulkes.

Only one thing remained: to see the book in print. That day will finally arrive on Monday September 1 2014. Thanks, Carol, for being part of the journey.
Baggy Pants and Bootees as a paperback on 1st September 2014
Baggy Pants and Bootees

When war baby Sophie joins the macho world of 1960s journalism she’s determined to prove that she’s ‘one of the boys.’ Until a phone call from her estranged mother sets Sophie on a quest to uncover the secret of her birth.
Was her father the all-American soldier she dreamt of when she was a child, or someone far more sinister? This is the story the ambitious reporter was destined to write.
Helped by the charming but mysterious David, Sophie uncovers the tragedy of teenage orphan, a GI romance and a terrifying rape that leads to an innocent man’s court martial – and finds clues to her own unhappy childhood.
Torn between her secret love for Steve, the newspaper’s most eligible bachelor, and her desire to know who she really is, Sophie follows David to find her father. Only when faced with the startling truth can she accept the tragedy of love, loss and betrayal and begin a very different kind of future.

About the author
Marilyn Chapman is an NCTJ accredited journalist who spent her early career on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and later freelanced for national newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Mail and Woman.
Marilyn began writing for a football magazine at the age of fifteen and attributes her dry sense of humour to a very eventful life! She has worked in recruitment, training, estate agency and public relations.
Born in Guernsey, Marilyn lives with her husband in Lancashire. A member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists Association, she writes commercial women’s fiction full time.
Twitter #Marilynchapma77

My review for this novel
Sophie is a junior reporter and a very determined young lady. She has had a difficult childhood and not much support from her estranged,  single parent, mother who has had struggles of her own.

When Sophie's mother becomes poorly, Sophie discovers a few more clues about her past and decides now is the time to investigate and discover the real truth about her mother, her father, her past.

Steve also works at the newspaper. Sophie and Steve have a few misunderstandings that really do not help their working or personal relationship. Steve is not keen that Sophie only seems to call when she needs help and Sophie is not keen on Steve's laddish reputation.

The novel has two timelines, Sophie's story in late 1960's and her mother Fran's story in war-time 40's.  The story switches back and forth between the time periods with ease to give Sophie the answers she so desperately wants.

I really enjoyed the author's ease of storytelling in this historical romance saga.  I would like to see more from this author.

5 out of 5! Top reads for 2014.

review copy. This did not influence my review in any way

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: Just Desserts by Sue Welfare

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Publisher: Notting Hill Press; 2 edition (11 Jun 2014)
  • ASIN: B00KY653NE

The blurb
After spending a lifetime looking after her husband, Harry, Katherine Bourne has had enough. Every time she chops up her delicious home-grown tomatoes she dreams of murdering her husband. Why can’t Harry just have an affair with a younger woman, and leave? 

Trouble is Harry has no intention of giving up his home comforts. Not when he’s been having his cake and eating it for years. Glamorous banker Carol accompanies him on business trips and the odd weekend away, but she too is beginning to think maybe life with Harry is growing stale. 

So who’s fooling who? Harry, happy in his illusion that he’s a sex god and all his women love him? Katherine and Carol, unlikely partners in Harry’s parallel lives? Against a background of gleeful coincidences, cute Cambridge cafes and the unexpected joys of unexplored freedom, the women decide that revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

Magnificent! Another brilliant story from Sue Welfare. 
What happens to a cheat who has had 2 women at his beck and call for too long? 
Here we pick up the story as Harry's long suffering wife, Katherine, calls time on their marriage. He believes that his mistress, Carol,  will pick up the pieces...after all he has promised her all this time that he will leave his wife...only now that day has come does his mistress really want to wash and iron his shirts?

A larger than life cast of believable characters in a Rom com drama for us ladies over 40.

Harry was so easy to dislike right from the very first time he "cooed" Kitty-Kat. :) 

This is a re-release but I personally didn't feel it was dated, the only clues were the lack of mobile phones and internet. Simpler times. :) 

Loved it! 5 stars

This was a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. This did not influence my review in any way. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Guest Author - Carol E Wyer

Today I am featuring Carol E Wyer who is celebrating a new release

Humorous author, Carol E. Wyer has just taken launching a new book to a new level. To coincide with the forthcoming release of her seventh book, Carol will be taking on some unusual challenges including belly dancing, a ‘Bush Tucker’ trial, zorbing and zip lining while playing a kazoo and indoor skydiving.

Carol says, “After completing the book I suddenly had an urge to have a go at some of the challenges that the characters face. So, I thought, why not? The inner child in me went crazy with delight and encouraged me to commit to a few mad challenges before I remembered how old I really am. It’s too late to back out now so, we’ll have to see how they work out.”

The first challenge is in London at GoApe where she will attempt to zipline while playing a kazoo and try not to land on her publisher who is accompanying her. You can see the results at her blog or YouTube.

Her latest release, Three Little Birds due out August 15th is a tale of friendship, self-discovery, romance and topped with lashings of the by now familiar humour we have come to expect from this author.

Amazon UK Amazon UK

Three Little Birds

If your friend challenged you, would you dare?
Charlie Blundell cannot get over the tragic death of her only daughter. She drifts between her job at the Art cafe and her hospital radio show, the only things which give her life purpose.
Her best friend, the madcap Mercedes, cajoles Charlie into writing a 'carpe diem' list, but then swaps Charlie's list with her own. Now, each must complete the other's challenges, and the outcomes will astound both of them. The challenges begin as a series of relatively harmless, fun activities. Soon, though, the stakes increase when Charlie has to complete her challenges to save the hospital radio station.
As the tasks become more demanding, a handsome stranger takes an interest in her, but he is not what he seems. One challenge causes a secret buried deep within her to surface, which may prove to be her undoing.
Three Little Birds is a story of love, friendship and discovery, laced with hilarity and topped by a wickedly funny parrot called Bert.

Three Little Birds is published by Safkhet Publishing and released August 15th

Carol E Wyer is an ex-teacher and linguist who lives in rural Staffordshire. Having written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, she turned her attention to the adult market in 2010 when her son flew from the nest.

Her best-selling novels have won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, she has appeared on over thirty BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’. Her writing style has been described frequently by the media as 'witty' or 'humorous' and has even been compared to the acerbic wit of Jeremy Clarkson and the humour of Robin Williams.

Carol has written articles for and featured in several national women’s magazines including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman's Own who also wrote about her journey to becoming a best-selling author.

Last year, she took a crash course in stand-up comedy and has performed her comedy talk Smile While You Still Have Teeth to sell-out audiences in Lichfield, The Black Country and will be on main stage the Isle of Wight Literary Festival in October along with big name celebrities, Alan Titchmarsh, Katie Price, Sheila Hancock and novelist Katie Fford

Follow Carol on Twitter @carolewyer or Facebook Carol E Wyer

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Guest Author - Samantha Tonge

Today Samantha Tonge is guest author. She is celebrating the release of her latest novel

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2404 KB
  • Publisher: Carina (24 July 2014)
  • ASIN: B00KYU49XK
Every girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…
Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!
A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!
But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade - there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…

Two halves of the same shell

Recently I was walking along a beautiful, sandy beach and kept seeing open pairs of empty razor clam shells, the two halves still attached. It got me thinking how many human couples are part of the same whole too, even though they are individually quite different.
For example, later this year, my husband and I are going on a family trip to Japan. For months now I have been fretting about all the negatives. How the long aeroplane journey will aggravate my bad back – as will the thin Japanese beds on the floor. Plus I’m a pizza and pie kind of girl – how on earth am I ever going to find anything to eat?!
Whereas my other half could sleep standing up. He’ll eat anything, cooked or raw. Plus he doesn’t worry about things in advance – he’s a ‘live in the moment’ kind of guy – and despairs of my ability to find the potentially disastrous loopholes in any best laid plans!
Yet together my anxiousness and his laid back nature compliment each other perfectly. A bit like the qualities of Gemma and Lord Edward in From Paris with Love. Whilst this book is a standalone sequel, those of you who’ve read the first one, Doubting Abbey, will have seen how this theme relates to the two main characters. Gemma is flighty, spontaneous and good-natured. Whereas at the beginning Edward is uptight, lives life to a schedule and could beat Grumpy Cat in a competition to take the most down-in-mouth photo! Yet these opposites do attract and as a result Gemma and Edward learn to view the world in a slightly different way. This journey of change continues during their trip to Paris. Gemma has matured after dating a responsible aristocrat for a few months, whereas after his stuffy upbringing, Edward is finally learning how to have fun.
And there is certainly scope for fun in From Paris with Love, thanks to the French capital’s gastronomic delights and wonderful places to visit. Plus a mystery man called Joe Bloggs (yes really!) and hot rockstar Blade, both complicate life for the couple. Will Gemma and Edward still be two halves of the same whole by the end of the story…?

And by the way, I am really looking forward to my Japan trip. Honest. As long as I can have a double futon to sleep on and there is a McDonalds next to the sushi bar!

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, came out in November 2013.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lisa Dickenson blog tour

Congratulations to Lisa Dickenson on the release of the first part of

Today Lisa is in the hot seat

o   Please tell us a little about You had me at Merlot
You Had Me at Merlot is about two friends who go - one of them reluctantly - on a singles holiday to a vineyard in Tuscany. I didn't want to write a story about some 'poor' thirty somethings who couldn't possibly be happy without a man, so although there is tons of romance I hope it shows that singleton should be celebrated too.

o   What research did you have to undertake for this 4 part series and was it difficult :)  ?
 Oh Carol, I had to drink SO MUCH wine in the sunshine.  God, being a writer is awful.  Sadly I wasn't able to dash off on my own You Had Me at Merlot Holiday so most research was done from memory of when I've been to Italy and to vineyards in California and Australia, and through staring at Tuscany travel brochures with envy.  And the lovely people of Twitter helped with the opening scene by answering my random questions about Wimbledon. 
o   The Twelve Dates of Christmas was a hit last Christmas for you, any plans for a series this Christmas?
 No plans in the pipeline yet, but you never know! One of my favourite places in the world is New York at Christmas - the angels of Rockefeller, shopping on Fifth Avenue, snowy Central Park... I got engaged there in December 2010 actually, so I'd love to base a novel or series there.

o   What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?
 SO MANY - I'm going to have a nice little mini-reading-break before I start Book 3 (don't tell Manpreet at Little Brown!) so I intend to crack on with Belinda Jones' The Travelling Tea Shop, Holly Martin's One Hundred Proposals, Lucy Robinson's The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me and also some thrillers but I haven't quite decided which yet...

Find out more about Lisa Dickenson at   and on twitter at

Friday, 18 July 2014

Review: Sophia's Secret by Julie Ryan

This is the second book in the Greek Island Mystery series.  Although each book is intended to be read as a standalone, some of the characters from the first book, ‘Jennas’s Journey’, do make an appearance.
Kat has never understood why she was sent at the age of seven from Greece to live in England with her Aunt Tigi. When she receives an email from her grandmother, the first contact in over twenty years, informing her of her mother’s death, she knows this could be her last chance to find out the truth. Little by little she finds out the shocking facts as her grandmother opens her heart.  It seems everyone has a secret to tell, not only her grandmother, as Manoli, her school friend, also harbours a guilty secret. Then there’s a twenty year old mystery to solve as well as a murder and what happened to the missing Church treasure?

My review
I read this novel as a standalone, as I have yet to read Jenna's Journey.  
I loved the strong characters in this novel, even the characters to hate for their actions evoked strong feelings. 
It is a story that spans generations of a family and the parallel stories do need your full attention. 
Set in Greece, it gives an insight into traditions and the lifestyle of days gone by.

I loved this novel and will now read Jenna's Journey to find out more about some of these characters.

5 out of 5 for me!


The boy knew he shouldn’t be out so late on his own but a dare was a dare! His best friend, Vasilli, had dared him to meet up at midnight in their den in the woods. He’d been so excited he could barely sleep. His mother had come in to tuck him in—not that a boy of nearly eight needed tucking in he’d reminded her as they went through the usual nightly ritual.
“Night night.”
“Sleep tight, mind the bugs don’t bite.”
Then when she’d gone, he forced himself to stay awake until he heard his parents come back up the stairs to their room.  He waited for the light to go out and gave it a few more minutes to be on the safe side. The luminous watch that he’d asked for on his last birthday was showing nearly 11.30. There would be plenty of time to get there. He peered out of his bedroom window. It was dark out. There were no streetlights in his village. It was lucky that he’d remembered to pack a torch. He crept silently down the stairs, careful not to wake either his parents or the sleeping twins, put a jacket on over his pajamas, slipped his trainers on and spying the fruit bowl on the table, put a couple of apples in his pocket in case he got hungry.
The gang had built the den during the long summer holidays when they were allowed to play out until late provided that they told an adult where they were. This was different. The summer had given way to autumn and there was a chill in the night air. He wrapped his arms round himself for extra warmth or maybe just to give himself courage. He thought fleetingly of turning back but he knew he wouldn’t be able to stand Vasilli’s taunts of ‘chicken’ the next day. All he had to do, he reminded himself, was cut through the woods at the back of his house and meet his friend in the den. Just then, as if giving him a signal, the moon came out from behind the clouds illuminating the woodland path. He set off at a run, not wanting to be late. Once he reached the safety of the den, they’d have a good laugh about what a great game it had been.
An owl hooted in the branches above him almost scaring him silly. It felt so different at night. Every sound was magnified a thousand times, making him alert to every eerie sound. Little creatures scurrying around made the leaves underfoot rustle. Twice now he’d thought he heard someone following him but when he stopped there was no one. Only a few more metres to go and he’d be safe.
Not wanting to cut through the churchyard, he kept to the wall until he reached the woods. The moonlight showed him the den, just as he’d left it. He rushed inside, breathing heavily, surprised to see that Vasilli hadn’t arrived yet. He glanced at his watch. It was only 11.54. He decided to wait no more than ten minutes and then he was going home. His father would give him a right talking to if he got caught. He’d probably be grounded for weeks. It never crossed his mind that his friend wasn’t coming. He settled himself into the snugness of the den to wait. At least it was warmer in here, out of the wind.
He woke up suddenly, surprised that he’d fallen asleep. There were footsteps just outside the den: Vasilli must have been held up. He was about to shout to him but thought he’d surprise him instead by shouting ‘boo’ as he crawled through the entrance. The footsteps stopped and he heard a scraping noise. He peered into the darkness but couldn’t make out what his friend was doing. Then the moonlight clearly showed him that whoever it was, he was far too tall for his friend. It was a man with a spade. He could hear the soft earth plop onto the ground as he dug a hole. Suddenly the den smelt of fresh earth and vegetation. He hoped the man wasn’t going to be long. He was in enough trouble already. The moon disappeared and it was dark again, totally silent now except for the sound of the spade on the damp earth. He’d wanted an adventure but suddenly an adventure on your own wasn’t nearly so much fun.  He wondered what the man was doing. Maybe he was burying treasure. They could come back tomorrow and dig it up. That would be fun. He knew though that he shouldn’t be here and was afraid. What if the man caught him and told his parents? His heart was thumping so loudly he was sure the man could hear him but the spade just continued to thwack as the soil was lifted. It seemed like hours but his watch showed it was 1.10am. When the moon came out again he saw the man lift something big and heavy into the hole and start to cover it up. Now he knew he had to remain totally silent or else he’d end up in the hole too no doubt! He had a horrible thought that perhaps instead of treasure, the man was burying a body. At any rate it certainly didn’t look like treasure. Why was he out here in the woods at this time? He couldn’t be up to any good? Just then the man trampled down the earth so that it wouldn’t leave a trace just as the moon slid out from the shadows. The boy realized with a jolt that he knew the man. Fear trickled through his body, just as he lost control and wet himself. Hot urine trickled down his leg, turning cold seconds later. He didn’t consider the trouble he’d be in for wetting his pajamas, right now he just wanted to be anywhere else but in the middle of the woods with a murderer for company. He was tired, cold and wet. He watched the man leave and when he was sure it was safe, he ran all the way home. He was relieved that his parents hadn’t missed him.  He half expected all the lights to be on and his father standing in the middle of the living room asking him where the hell he’d been. Instead there was a gentle snoring noise coming from the bedroom.  Luckily the twins hadn’t woken his parents up while he’d been out. He quickly changed into clean pjs. He’d admit to wetting himself in the morning but that was all. He crept into bed and fell asleep straight away but somehow his mother’s words kept playing on his mind over and over again. ‘Mind the bugs don’t bite.’ He dreamt of bugs covering him but instead of a bug’s face, he saw the man in the woods. He was to dream the same dream time and time again.


Chapter 1

They say you should never go back to a place where you were once happy, not unless you are prepared to be disappointed. As she surveyed the all too familiar island from the deck, Kat wished she’d heeded that advice. The beautiful cove where they’d played as children was now home to a luxury hotel—the azure blue waters of the infinity pool glinting in the sun. ‘Why on earth had she come back?’ she asked herself. She knew that it would only lead to more heartbreak, yet after all this time she had finally been unable to resist the pull of her homeland.
“Is that it?” Asked an excited voice next to her.
“Yes darling, that’s where mama grew up. If you look carefully, you can just make out the house where I used to live when I was your age. It’s at the top of the hill. Can you see it yet? The little house painted yellow. It’s called ‘To spiti lemoni.’
“I see it, I see it,” replied Izzy jumping up and down.
Looking at her daughter’s face flushed with youthful exuberance, Kat felt a tug of nostalgia for that innocent time. She put her arms round her daughter and hugged her close, wanting to protect her from anything that might harm her. 
“When’s daddy coming?” Izzy asked out of the blue.
“You know he has to work, sweetie. This is going to be our little adventure, okay?”
“But I’m going to miss him sooooo much.”
Luckily before Kat could think of anything else to say, they were caught up in the swell of passengers disembarking. Pushing their way past dithering tourists trying to get their bearings, they set off up the hill towards the lemon house. Luckily they hadn’t brought much luggage, just a bag with a couple of changes of clothes each, swimming things, underwear and a few toiletries. Anything else that they needed she figured they could buy on the island. They wouldn’t need much as she didn’t intend to stay for long. She’d planned on being away for a week, two at the most depending on how long the formalities were going to take. Izzy had her own backpack with her DS in it. She’d virtually refused to come away without it and Kat could empathize with that because she felt the same about her Kindle, which went everywhere with her. She knew she gave into her daughter far too much but she could honestly say she wasn’t a spoilt brat like some of the other kids in her class and that was down to her. She could hardly give Robert any credit for his daughter’s upbringing, as he was never there.
The email had pinged into her ‘in’ box just as she and Robert hit a really bad patch. They’d been arguing more and more recently. She knew he worked hard but he didn’t appreciate that she worked too as well as looking after their daughter and the house. It seemed that lately more and more was left to her and when they did speak it was just to complain about each other. She was fed up with his long hours and lack of family time; he complained that she was never satisfied. Then the email from Greece had arrived informing her of her mother’s death. For the rest of the day, she’d put it to the back of her mind. After all, she hadn’t seen her in years so she could hardly play the grief-stricken daughter. Then that evening over dinner she’d mentioned it to Rob and his sense of duty had insisted that she go and pay her respects. Of course, his work responsibilities didn’t extend to him accompanying her and with nobody to look after Izzy she’d almost turned it into a holiday, pushing the real reason why she was here to the back of her mind.
The sun was blazing and already she could feel a trickle of sweat run down her neck into the crevices of her shoulders. They stopped at the periptero, which had expanded from the tiny kiosk that she remembered into what looked almost like a shop with awnings and freezers taking up most of the outside space. She had to face up to the villagers at some point she reasoned and this seemed as good a place as any. Achilles had barely changed at all. As a child she’d thought he was old but back then he couldn’t have been more than forty-five. Now, he must be nearly seventy but she recognized the weather beaten features and the kind eyes. Steeling herself, she spoke to him in Greek remembered from years past.
“Two ice-creams please.”
Achilles looked up from the newspaper he was reading,
“You’re back then? We weren’t sure if you’d come or not.” He said.
For a second she wondered how he could possibly recognize her after all this time. Then she looked down at her daughter who was the spitting image of her at the same age. She knew that whatever she said would be all round the village in a matter of minutes. Achilles would take great pleasure in passing the news on to all his customers and soon everyone would know that Pelagia’s daughter was back for the funeral. There was a pause as neither knew what else to say until finally, remembering the circumstances under which she’d returned, Achilles waved away her offer of a ten euro note and said the ice-creams were on the house.  Before he could ask any more questions they moved up the hill and sat on a low-whitewashed wall to eat their ice creams. Looking around her, Kat thought that this part of the village had changed very little. She still recognized most of the houses although some had evidently been sold and tarted up as holiday homes. Where the roofs had once held spare water tanks in case of drought and solar panels for the hot water, now they were proper roof terraces with sun loungers and patio furniture catering to the needs of tourists. The traditional donkeys that she remembered from her childhood had long gone, as the islanders’ wealth had improved. Now you had to be wary of young men riding mopeds and scooters instead. It felt strange to be in a place that was so familiar, yet to always be the outsider. It was strange too how she never quite felt English in England yet she’d been away so long she no longer felt Greek either. Even her name was neither one thing nor the other. She’d changed it from her birth name of Ekaterina to Kat when she’d realized that nobody in her class could pronounce such a mouthful. It wasn’t quite English either as she hadn’t liked to be called Katie. Perhaps she really should have trusted her instincts though and stayed at home.  She’d only come because Robert insisted. It was almost as if he had an ulterior motive. She pushed that thought to the back of her mind too. Now she really was becoming paranoid. Maybe that’s what returning to the island did to you?
Soon they reached the top of the hill and the lemon house, pausing only to take in the tremendous view that she recalled so vividly. On a clear day you could see all the way across to the mainland. It was a view that no camera could quite capture. Its exquisite beauty refused to be pinned down. Maybe it wasn’t so bad to be back, after all?
Out of a childhood habit she automatically felt under the terracotta pot where her mother had always hidden the door key. Nothing! She couldn’t believe she’d come all this way to be refused entry to her own childhood home. Her emotions were running high but she knew she couldn’t let the tears fall, especially not in front of Izzy. She thought that if she started crying, she would probably never stop. Then the door opened and her grandmother said.
“I heard you were back. You’d better come in.”
Achilles’ early warning system had worked faster than even she could have anticipated.
“I got a text from Achilles in case you were wondering.”
Sophia marveled inwardly at how well her grandmother could read her mind but then that was something she’d always been good at. Somehow though she hadn’t associated mobile phones with her grandmother and wondered if she was being unreasonably ageist or if it was because the way she remembered the island was before the advance of technology.

About the author

Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a dippy cat with half a tail.  She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance!
“Jenna’s Journey” is her d├ębut novel set in Greece, a country to which she has a strong attachment
Author Links

Twitter - @julieryan18
Facebook -
Jenna's Journey