Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday - Water, water everywhere!

Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's theme is Water (This can be covers with water on them, books with bodies of water in them, titles with bodies of water in them, etc.)

I did a water themed TTT post a couple of years ago, but it turns out I have read ten more books with water related titles since them so there is no duplication.

Second Chances in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen - To be fair I could have had 7 books just from this series as the word Bay is in every title. (review)

Hopeful Hearts at the Cornish Cove by Kim Nash -  With a bonus lighthouse playing a key role in the story. (review)

An Island in the Sun by Kate Frost - Islands are surrounded by water so they totally count. This one is set on the Portuguese island of Madeira. (review)

Far Across the Ocean by Suzie Hull - A part of this book was set in Madagascar which is quite an unusual setting. (review)

The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune - Loved this book!

An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan - This is set in the very far north of Scotland

The Custard Tart Cafe by the Sea by Isabella May - I promise you the words by the Sea are really on the cover! You just have to look closely! (review)

Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak - This is set in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus

A Granite Springs Christmas by Maggie Christensen - Another big series by Maggie Christensen which is set in the fictional town of Granite Springs

The Lights of Sugarberry Cove by Heather Webber - I like a book with a touch of magical realism! (review)

Maybe I will have another set of watery books in a couple of years time. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Weekend Cooking: Buttercream

Recently I have tried two different types of buttercream, so today I thought I would post about some of the different types of buttercream techniques.

American Buttercream

The most common type of buttercream/frosting is American buttercream. In it's most basic form it is a mixture of butter and icing sugar (which is powdered sugar for my American friends). To this mix you can add flavour and colouring as desired. For example, you can add in vanilla essence and whatever colouring you like

250g unsalted butter, softened

450g icing sugar

Place butter in bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes until pale and fluffy. Sift in icing sugar and flavour, folding to combine. Return to mixer and beat until combined, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Here I made my son a green flamingo cake which is covered in buttercream.

Swiss Buttercream

This is the first of the egg based buttercreams. It is trickier to make but it is also silkier than the basic buttercream above

6 large egg whites
1 2/3 cups caster sugar (310g)
¾ tsp (3g) salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
565g unsalted butter, softened

Fill a pot with at least 4cm of water.  Bring to a boil, then adjust temperature to a gentle simmer.

Combine egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar in bowl of a stand mixer. Set over simmering water, ensuring that the bowl doesn't touch the water,  stirring and scraping constantly with a spatula, until egg whites hold steady at 80°C – approx. 10-12 minutes

Once ready, transfer to stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip at high speed for 10 minutes, until meringue is glossy, stiff, and cool - around 32°C.

With mixer still running, add butter, 1 - 2 tablespoons at a time. Volume will initially decrease, but as cool butter is added, it will begin to thicken and cool. Buttercream should become thick, creamy, and soft with the temperature being around 22°C

Here it is used as the frosting for an Emoji Cookie Dough Cake 

French Buttercream

This buttercream is made using eggs and then slowly adding in a hot sugar syrup in. I've definitely made French meringue using a similar technique, and I think I have made buttercream but I can't  remember which cake it was!

250g sugar
1/4 cup water
6 large (95g) egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch salt
255g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed into 1-tablespoon pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and place it on the stove over medium heat. Use a wet pastry brush to brush down any stray sugar crystals around the rim and sides of the pot. Bring the sugar mixture to a gentle boil until the sugar reaches 115°C which should take around 6 minutes.

Meanwhile add the egg yolks and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the yolks over medium speed until they are a very pale yellow color and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Decrease the mixer’s speed to low and slowly stream sugar mixture into whipped egg yolks, trying to avoid the sides of the bowl and whisk attachment.

Once the sugar has reached 240°F (115°C), add it to the whipping egg yolks. Pour the sugar in a thin, steady stream into the bowl taking care to avoid the sides of the bowl and the whisk. After all the sugar syrup has been added, increase the mixer’s speed to high and continue whipping the egg and sugar mixture until the outside of the bowl is at room temperature

Decrease the mixer's speed to medium-low, then begin adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time until each piece is incorporated and then add the next piece of butter

After all the butter has been added, scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and whip the buttercream for 3 additional minutes.

Italian Buttercream

Italian Buttercream is similar to French buttercream but it uses egg whites instead of egg yolks

5 large egg whites at room temp
1 1/4 cup (250 g) castor sugar, divided
226 g butter at room temp and chopped into tablespoon-sized pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water

Boil 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium heat until it reaches 245 F or the firm ball stage. 

While the sugar is cooking, pour the egg whites into the bowl you plan to whip the icing in, then wait for the syrup to come to about 230F-235F. Whip egg whites with the whisk attachment in a stand up mixer on high until soft peaks form which should take about 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar and beat

Slowly pour the hot syrup into the meringue steadily with the mixer still on high.

Beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until the outside of the bowl is room temperature

Beat in butter by the tablespoon using a medium speed. The butter will deflate the frosting a bit. After all of the butter is added, turn the speed up to high for 7-10 minutes until smooth.

German Buttercream

This is a custard based buttercream or more precisely creme patissiere based. I made a vanilla cake a few weeks ago which I covered with German buttercream and it was delicious. I could eat this off the spoon by itself! So yum!

The first step is to make a creme patissiere. You will need about 600g. 

600g creme patissiere, cooled to room temperature.

250g unsalted butter, softened

1 tbspn vanilla bean paste

Combine ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is smooth.

Russian Buttercream

I got very excited a couple of weeks ago when I heard about Russian Buttercream icing for what I thought was the first time. However, as I was looking through my old Bake It Box recipes, I realised that I had made a version of it before when I made a Spooky Ghost Cake which is really a Yoghurt and Raspberry Cake with raspberry coulis and Russian buttercream icing. It is a very simple recipe, very tasty and smooth but not overly sweet! You can also add vanilla and a small amount of salt if you like

Last weekend I made a vanilla cake and covered it with this. I have been told that I can make this one again! 

400 g Butter (soft )
320 g sweetened condensed milk

Place the softened butter cut into pieces in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed for about 8 minutes until it is light and fluffy

Add 1/3 of the condensed milk, beat to combine. Repeat until all the condensed milk is added.

Change the whisk to a flat spatula and beat on low speed for 2 minutes to smooth out the buttercream

Ermine Buttercream

There is one other version of buttercream that I know of that I haven't tried yet (although as demonstrated earlier my memory sometimes fails me!) which is Ermine Buttercream. This one is different as it uses flour as one of ingredients

4½ tbsp plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
230g unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
Pinch of salt

Whisk together flour and sugar in medium saucepan. Whisk in milk. Place saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously, then cook for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Pour pudding onto a clean heatproof plate or shallow container. Cover immediately with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly against pudding surface. Allow to cool.

In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter until smooth, fluffy and lightened in color, Add cooled pudding one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add any flavourings and salt and beat until buttercream looks thick, smooth, and creamy which should take about 3 minutes

Phew....that's a lot! Do you have a favourite buttercream recipe, or do you know of another version that I haven't mentioned here?

Weekly meals

Saturday -  Chicken Friccasee
Sunday -  Baked potato with bacon and mushroom
Monday - French Sausage and Bean Casserole
Tuesday - out for dinner
Wednesday - Eggs on Toast
Thursday - Chicken kiev with mashed potato
Friday - Enchiladas

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction






Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a genre freebie, so I am choosing to share the last ten Historical Fiction novels I have read.

Escape to Tuscany by Kat Deveraux - A dual timeline WWII novel set in Tuscany (review)

The Girl from Venice by Siabhon Daiko - A dual timeline WWII novel set in Venice (review)

The War Nurses by Anthea Hodgson - Another WWII novel, but this time it is not dual timeline and is set in the Pacific theatre

The Book Binders of Jericho by Pip Williams - Not even WWII! This one is a companion book to The Dictionary of Lost Words

The Girl Who Escaped by Angela Petch - A novel set in WWII Italy. There's a bit of a theme happening this year apparently (review)

The Forgotten Palace by Alexandra Walsh - This is a dual timeline set in Crete in the late 1899s (review)

My Father's House by Joseph O'Connor - a mystery set in WWII Italy - really good read!

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan - This is a WWII novel about 4 women competing in a cooking competition on the radio (review)

The Flame Tree by Siobhan Daiko - Another WWII novel, this time set in Hong Kong (review)

The Proxy Bride by Zoe Boccabella - The story of an Italian woman who migrates to Australia just before WWII and her descendants.

It would appear that I am reading a lot of books set in Italy and WWII books, as well as women in red dresses on the cover!! Have you read any of these books? What's the last historical fiction book you read?

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Blog Tour: The Little Paris Toy Shop by Lauren Westwood

Here are 3 signs that you are really enjoying a book by an author you have never read before:

1. You are looking up the author's backlist to see which book you are going to buy next before you even get to 25% of the way through.

2. You are constantly swapping between your phone and your Kindle so that you can keep on readiing wherever you are.

3. Every time there was a time out in your son's basketball game, you start reading, even though it is only a few seconds.

When I saw this book, it was a no brainer that I was going to read it, based purely on the title, but also because of the gorgeous cover. Trying new authors doesn't always work well, but this book was definitely worth taking a chance on.

We meet Sarah as she is rushing through narrow laneways in Paris. She is trying to get to a shop to buy a specific bottle of wine for her demanding property developer boss, but as she rushes through the lane she stumbles across an antique toyshop. In the window, there is a set of animals that bring back instant memories, memories that she has worked hard to suppress for several years. Inside the shop is a magical world full of toys. Some are new, others are antique, and still others are being repaired. The shop is run by Franz, originally from East Germany, who focuses on creating delights for children of all ages. But not many people come into his shop. His landlord is threatening him with eviction if he can't turn things around. 

Also in the store is author Tomas who comes to the store to pick up gifts for his next door neighbour Andre. Andre is a young boy who has not left his apartment due to fear. He is looked after by his grandmother Marthe who is struggling to cope with his issues, and is very much afraid to face up to her own medical issues. Tomas has a number of books published, but he is totally adamant that there is no publicity featuring his image. He prefers to be an international man of mystery

Each of our characters has experienced loss of some kind, and each of them are prisoners in their own lives in their own ways. And yet, as they come together they begin to help each other to face their past and look towards their future.

This book was so good! So good! It isn't always an easy read because some of the issues that the characters faced and their grief and challenges, but the story was revealed layer by layer for each of the characters with such care and tenderness. 

Paris is very much integral to the story. Tomas gets to share his Paris with Sarah, taking her to sights such as the Orangerie and Sainte Chappelle amongst others places. And the toyshop just sounds so magical. It read as though it could just about be a tardis inside, with various rooms including one big enough for a mechanised castle!

I can't wait to read more from Lauren Westwood. If you have read her before what book would you start with?

Rating 5/5 (just my second 5/5 read of the year)

The Little Paris Toyshop

In the tangled streets of Paris, there is a toyshop… 

A place where memories are lost and found, where pain and love, regret and joy are waiting to be discovered.

The old man sets the animals in the cars of the miniature train. A tiger with a jewelled collar, a monkey in a pillbox hat, a poodle, a dancing bear, an elephant, an ostrich with plumed tail feathers. The music plays; the animals trundle around the track. Their gentle faces have seen everything and reveal nothing. The joy, the sorrow, all the spaces in between. On the outside, they are smiling. Inside, they mourn the one that was lost. 

When Sarah, a successful hotel designer, encounters a run-down toyshop in Paris, little does she know that her life is about to change. Against her better judgment, she agrees to help the elderly owner, Franz, save his shop and transform it into a magical destination for children and adults. She meets Tomas, a small-time crime novelist, who gives her a glimpse of a different life – one that can only exist on the other side of her own grief and guilt. But Tomas is hiding painful secrets of his own that threaten to destroy their blossoming relationship.

Can two lonely people move beyond the shame and heartbreak of the past to find their own happily ever after?

A spellbinding tale of love and memories lost and found. Perfect for fans of Joanne Harris’s Chocolat, Karen Swan, and Jojo Moyes, The Little Paris Toyshop will hit every emotion for readers who love literary romance. 

Purchase link - https://geni.us/TheLittleParisToyshop

About the Author

I write emotional women's fiction and intelligent romance. My books explore the darkness and the light of the human spirit, and take you on an emotional journey. My latest book, The Little Paris Toyshop, is a spellbinding tale of love, loss, memory, and Paris. Discover the magic and romance today.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @lwestwoodwriter

Facebook: @Lwestwoodbooks

Website: www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com

Instagram; https://www.instagram.com/Lwestwoodwriter/


Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Little Paris Toyshop by Lauren Westwood (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Blog Tour: The Widows Wine Club by Julia Jarman


Earlier this week, I did a Top Ten Tuesday post where I listed ten books with yellow covers! Somehow, I didn't include this book even though I knew that I was reading it this week! My excuse is that I have it on my Kindle and therefore the cover is in black and white!

Originally I was planning to have this as my Weekend Cooking post for today. After all, with wine club in the title that kind of indicated that there might be something about wine in the book but, apart from occasionally mentioning wine, there really wasn't, so I had to rethink. Somewhat strangely, I was actually reading two books with wine in the title in the last week, which is more wine than I actually drink!

Zelda, Viv and Janet meet in the most unfortunate of circumstances at the funeral home where they are making arrangements for their husband's funerals. When they are all invited to join a bereavement support club which meets in their town, they meet again. They take one look at the group and agree it is not for them. Instead, they become the Three Muscateers.

The book follows the three very different women as they navigate life on their own, from family dramas to deciding if they want to take another chance at love, health issues, and for some of them, learning things about their past that change their perception of their lives.

Each of the women have their own interests, but there were times where I was left wondering which one we were talking about as I tried to keep up with the chopping and changing between their stories. Through their various interests we learned about gardening, New Zealand, and a search for a wartime GI.

Julia Jarman has published more than 100 children's books but this is her first book for adults. I do hope she writes more.

Thanks to the Rachel's Random Resources, the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this.

Rating - 3.5/5

About the Book

The Widows’ Wine Club

The beginning of Janet, Viv and Zelda’s friendship could not have been less promising…

Navigating their new lives as widows, the three women venture to the same dreary bereavement group in a chilly church hall. But what bonds them is not their shared predicament, but instead how quickly they all decide to flee the depressing gathering, choosing instead to share a bottle of wine. The Three Muscat-eers is born.

The women may be down but they’re not out; in their sixties but certainly not past it. They agree a mission: to find fulfilment as single women and recover their joie de vivre. And as they start to feel ready to face the world again, the friends support each other to dive headlong into new hobbies, new adventures, and even to dip their toes into the wonderful world of dating again.

When one of the ladies gets life-changing news, there’s only one thing for it. The Widows’ Wine Club closes rank, and it’s ‘one for all and all for one’. Because when they stick together, there’s nothing the friends can’t achieve.

Purchase Link - https://mybook.to/widowswineclubsocial

About the author

Julia Jarman has written over a hundred books for children, and is now turning her hand to uplifting, golden years women’s fiction. She is now drawing on her own experience of bereavement, female friendship and late-life dating.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julia.jarman.9/

Twitter https://twitter.com/JuliaJarman

Weekend Cooking: Polish Honey Cake

For a person who doesn't particularly like honey, I seem to be cooking with it quite a bit at the moment. The most recent recipe that I have tried is a Polish Honey Cake from In Belinda's Kitchen by Belinda Jeffery. This book was chosen as the Lambs Ear Cookbook Club book of the month a couple of months ago but I hadn't yet had the opportunity to cook from it. Given that I need to return it to the library I needed to get to cook something asap!

In addition to the honey, one of the other key ingredients in this recipe is dates. This is an ingredient I haven't cooked with a lot either. The combination of the honey and dates, along with the spices was a winner, and we will definitely having this one again.

However, we didn't quite follow the serving suggestions. Last weekend I cooked this on Saturday morning thinking we would have it for dinner, but we ended up going to watch my son play basketball. It was at an odd time so we got takeaway for dinner on the way home. Then we were out for breakfast and dinner on Sunday so there was no need for cake. This meant we didn't actually try it until Monday, and then we proceeded to have it as breakfast during the week. So for us this is a Polish Honey Breakfast Cake!

There are a couple of other recipes that I do still want to try out of the book, so I might need to reborrow the book. We'll see!

It certainly looks like Max gives this book his seal of approval

Polish Honey Cake (Belinda Jeffrey)    

¼ cup (20g) flaked almonds
400g unsalted butter
1 cup (350g) honey, plus extra to drizzle
1 firmly packed cup (200g) brown sugar
3 cups (450g) plain flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
300g pitted dates, roughly chopped
2-3 tsp very thinly sliced glace ginger
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup (60g) sour cream
½ cup (125ml) hot black tea
2 tsp vanilla extract
Thick cream or vanilla bean ice cream to serve

Preheat oven to 160ยบ. Grease a 25cm non-stick bundt pan well, then press almonds into base and a little up the sides.

Place butter and honey in a saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the butter has melted. Stir in brown sugar.

Meanwhile, combine flour, soda, ground ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add dates and glace ginger and toss to coat.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, sour cream, hot tea and vanilla, then whisk the egg mixture into the melted butter mixture.

Make a well in the centre of flour and pour in butter mixture. Lightly whisk to a loose batter, then pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto the rack and cool completely.

Slice and serve drizzled with extra honey, with cream or ice cream.

Weekly meals

Saturday -  Takeaway
Sunday -  Out for dinner
Monday - Smoky pork chops with mash, broccoli and gravy
Tuesday - Steak with roasted baby potatoes
Wednesday - Pork Nachos
Thursday - Out for dinner
Friday - Chicken Friccasee

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Friday, August 18, 2023

Blog Tour: All Good Things by Amanda Prowse

I am always curious when I hear of an author who has published many, many books in a genre I love and yet they were previously unknown to me. And so it was that when I saw that Amanda Prowse, author of more than 30 books was being offered for blog tour that I went ...why not. I mean all those books must mean that there are people out there buying her books, right?

Daisy Harrop is a bit anxious for her evening shift. She works as a server in a small Italian restaurant in her town. She loves the owners, she works hard, but tonight the restaurant has been booked out by the Kelleways, her next door neighbours. Her glamourous, rich, loving, close, popular next door neighbours. Which is everything that Daisy is not.

The Kelleway's are coming together to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of Winnie and Bernie. In attendance is their golden boy son Lawrence, his long suffering wife Julie and their children Cassian and Domino. Also in attendance is their heavily pregnant daughter Cleo, who never quite shone as brightly as Lawrence, and her husband George.

Daisy has often longed to have the life of the Kelleways. Instead she lives in the drab and messy house next door. Her mum is depressed and never leaves the house, her dad works hard and then there's her brother Jake. Daisy longs for the Kelleway's life, and has strong feelings for Cassian.

However, over the course of the night, we as readers get to see how appearances can be deceiving. Lawrence is flashy but there's no substance. Julie is tired of covering up for him, and for having to run every time his business deals collapse.  Cassian and Domino are emotionally wounded after being ripped out of their beautiful life in Melbourne unexpectedly,  and they are both hiding big secrets of their own.

This book has an unusual structure. All the events take place over the course of one evening, with flashbacks to the past to tell the story of what led to the place with each of the characters finds themselves. All of the characters are given a voice, which means that there are a lot of perspectives. There were times when I was surprised by some of the perspectives, but not necessarily in a good way.

I will say that I did want to keep reading this book to see how it all played out, but I didn't particularly like many of the characters. There were liars and cheats, shallowness and deception, and just plain awfulness. There were only a couple of characters that seemed to have any integrity whatsoever. And I struggled with the ending. I was reading away and then realised I only had a couple of percent to go and there was still so much that was unresolved, which is pretty much how it ended. 

It is always good to take a chance on a new author, but in this case it didn't really work for me unfortunately.

Check out other stops on the blog tour. Maybe others will have enjoyed this book more than I did.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources, Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

Rating 2.5

About the Book

All Good Things

In this captivating story from the bestselling author of Picking up the Pieces, Daisy has always envied the perfect family next door. But will a weekend of unexpected drama prove that the grass isn’t always greener?

Daisy Harrop has always felt like she exists in the background, and since her mother stopped getting out of bed, her life has come to a complete standstill. Daisy would give anything to leave the shabbiest house on the street and be more like the golden Kelleways next door, with their perfectly raked driveway and flourishing rose garden…

Winnie Kelleway is proud of the beautiful family she’s built. They’ve had their ups and downs—hasn’t everyone? But this weekend, celebrating her golden wedding anniversary is truly proof of their happiness, a joyful gathering for all the neighbours to see.

But as the festivities get underway, are the cracks in the ‘perfect’ Kelleway life beginning to show? As one bombshell revelation leads to another and events start to spiral out of control, Daisy and Winnie are about to discover that things aren’t always what they seem.

Purchase Link - https://mybook.to/All_Good_Things

Author Giveaway

Amanda Prowse would like to give a prize to the best review – any length, any star rating of a Fire Tablet. Will ship it anywhere worldwide.

The prize for the best review is a:

Fire HD 10 tablet | 10.1", 1080p Full HD, 32 GB, Black - Without Ads.

· Fast and responsive: powerful octa-core processor and 3 GB RAM. 50% more RAM than previous generation.

· Up to 12-hour battery life and 32 GB of internal storage. Add up to 1 TB with microSD (to be purchased separately).

· Brighter display: vivid 10.1" 1080p full HD display is 10% brighter than previous generation, with more than 2 million pixels.

· Enjoy your favourite apps like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Now, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and more through Amazon’s Appstore (Google Play not supported, subscription fees may apply).

· Stay connected: download apps such as Zoom or ask Alexa to make video calls to friends and family.

Please ensure your review is posted by midnight on Sunday 17th September in order to be eligible. Please tag Amanda Prowse on social media with a link to your review, wherever it is posted. The winner will be selected and notified by Close of Play on Friday 22nd September.

About the author

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty-eight novels, two non-fiction titles and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart-topping No.1 titles 'What Have I Done?', 'Perfect Daughter', 'My Husband's Wife', 'The Girl in the Corner' and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda has appeared on numerous shows where her views on family and social issues strike a chord with viewers. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national and independent Radio stations including LBC, Times Radio and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, 'A Mother's Story' won the coveted Sainsbury's eBook of the year Award and she has had two books selected as World Book Night titles; 'Perfect Daughter' in 2016 and 'The Boy Between' in 2022.

Amanda is a huge supporter of libraries and having become a proud ambassador for The Reading Agency, works tirelessly to promote reading, especially in disadvantaged areas. Amanda's ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can't possibly read another book until the memory fades...

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

'A powerful and emotional work of fiction' - Piers Morgan

'Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill' - Daily Mail

'Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues' - Hello!

'A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read' - The Irish Sun

'You'll fall in love with this...' - Cosmopolitan

'Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.' - Heat

'Magical' - Now magazine

Social Media Links –

Say hello on Twitter: @MrsAmandaProwse

Friend me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmandaProwseAuthor

Tag me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/MrsAmandaProwse

Visit my Amazon Author Page: Amanda Prowse Author

Check out my website: www.amandaprowse.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Yellow Covers





Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is Characters from Different Books Who Should Team Up (or date, be friends with, etc.) (Submitted by Cathy @ WhatCathyReadNext) but I am going off piste!

Last weekend we went to an exhibition of French artist Pierre Bonnard. We saw a poster there that he created in the 1890s and I am seriously contemplating buying a print to put in our dining room. It's a bit odd really because yellow is not usually my colour, and the poster was very yellow.

So here are ten books with yellow covers.

Honey: Recipes from a Beekeepers Kitchen by Amy Newsome - I recently bought this cookbook!

Heartbake: A Bittersweet Memoir by Charlotte Ree - This is on my TBR list!

The Wonderful Thing About Phoebe Rose by Josephine Moon - I recently had this out from the library but had to return it unread unfortunately!

Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan - I read this short story collection years ago and loved it!

Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  - Gosh, it's been a long time since I read this book (my review)

The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey - Another book I read years ago.

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
- Among the many series that I keep on saying I really need to get back to soon is the Flavia de Luce mystery series, featuring a precocious young girl as the sleuth. This is book 3 in the series.

Yellowface by R F Kuang - This book seems to be everywhere at the moment, so I had to include it in a list of books with yellow covers

Miss Cecily's Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman - I bought this book a while ago but still haven't read it! 

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke - Another book I read years ago!

Can you think of any other books with yellow covers?