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Reviews Written by
Shirley Davis "Shirl D" (Bristol, UK)
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Ivy White Sticky Dots 8mm
Ivy White Sticky Dots 8mm
Offered by Shop Inc
Price: 1.03

5.0 out of 5 stars excellent craft pen marking system, 17 April 2014
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Like another of your reviewers, these dots have enabled be to organise my Promarker pen storage.

Each dot was coloured, still on the backing sheet, with the ink colour itself. The dots dry quickly - alcohol ink helps this to happen, of course. More than that, the dots lift from their backing paper (on the tip of a pokey tool - paper crafters will know what I mean). Placed on the end of the marker pan, they form a visual coding system that will make my pens more usable.

I have my pens stored in Really Useful Boxes inner like this http://amzn.to/P6fi4y. The trays are placed on the longer side with the pens stored horizontally in colour families in the holes.


A Weekend with Mr Darcy (Austen Addicts)
A Weekend with Mr Darcy (Austen Addicts)
Price: 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Falling in love with Mr Darcy & my Kindle, 3 April 2014
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This book will always be a memorable one for me with its emotional story and the idea of an Austen weekend played out for my entertainment. Katherine and Robyn both have reasons to find love. They share a love of Jane Austen from differing viewpoints. The former is an academic; the latter is a consumer of all-things Jane.

Like these two characters, I have always enjoyed the books, the dramatic TV series and the film versions. I own many DVDs that can be played again and again when the mood is right. So too with this book; it will remain on my Kindle to be reread when I need a feel-good romance, knowing that second-time-around I'll be able to appreciate the writing and plotting as a budding writer likes to do.

But an equal accolade for this book goes to the medium I chose - Kindle download. I find that page-turners are a different breed in the e-book format. The relationship between reader and text is for another day, another place, but Victoria Connelly has ignited a passion for reading on my Kindle that many authors have yet to earn.

Thank you Victoria; thanks Jane; bless you Warwick!


Christmas Carol
Christmas Carol
Price: 1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Festive Novella, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Christmas Carol (Kindle Edition)
Resting between the novel and short story genres, Christmas Carol is a far cry from its classic Dickensian predecessor.

Light romantic comedy is just the right level of story involvement to get me through a hectic Christmas holiday, albeit one spent at home. Picking up my Kindle from time to time, I needed to get back into the story easily.

Carol, our heroine, has so many flaws she really does not like herself when they are revealed, a little cruelly, by one of the three exes attending her sister's wedding. Told from the first person viewpoint (the only weakness for me), the novella is slow to start and fast to finish. By the time she was halfway through final completion of her relationship with ex no3, I could see how the story would end. I did not want more because I had signed up for a novella BUT I will be reading more of Michele Gorman's writing!

Thank you for the entertainment, Michele. Good Luck to Carol and ...you didn't think I'd tell you, surely not!


This Time Next Year
This Time Next Year
Price: 3.08

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm the Right Age, 13 Dec 2013
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I am indeed the right age for reading This Time Next Year. When I was 50, a new life began as I married the lovely man I met on the Internet!

The Dating Game is a minefield. How easily we Oldies forget what to do! How simply we slip back into a new relationship when we find The One.

This short book is written in the style of a monologue with some exchanges of dialogue reported by Alison. This allows the reader to observe the way Alison is perceived by her colleagues, friends and family. Like many of us (all of us?), Alison is self-critical and often negative about her life. She has to learn to see the point of view of another if she is ever to find love again ...enjoy her journey!


Christmas at the Beach Cafe: A Novella
Christmas at the Beach Cafe: A Novella
Price: 0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Festive Fiction Festival Book #1, 13 Dec 2013
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The title of my review refers to my personal challenge of reading as many short stories and novellas as I can.

Not having read The Beach Cafe, I encountered the characters in Christmas at the Beach Cafe: A Novella for the first time. For me, the test of good writing (or the reading of it) is whether the characters come to life in my imagination. Can I see them? Can I hear them? Are they willing me on to read to the end? Is a bedtime read enough or should I be taking my Kindle through to the lounge?

Evie and Ed are well-drawn characters. I shared Evie's frustration as the Cafe filled up with unexpected visitors - friends and family. Then I rejoiced as she realised this was what Christmas was all about. She & Ed found they're own way to share private moments. They grew as people by the close of this short book.

Well done to Lucy Diamond for showing me how deceptively simple characterisation can be - when it is done well.

There was no room at the inn but there is plenty at the Beach Cafe!


Perfect
Perfect
by Rachel Joyce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing & Insightful Read, 29 Oct 2013
This review is from: Perfect (Hardcover)
Having thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Joyce's first novel (The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry), I was interested to see her next book. Would the quality of story-building and character creation continue?

The answer is a Big Yes to both ingredients. This intriguing tale focuses on two boys, time and the impact of one incident that leads to another ...and another.

Rachel Joyce has more than pulled it off with her second novel. She has shown her ability to create a world with quirky characters ...just like real life.

Fabulous!


Pewter Elephant Badge or Brooch Gift for Scarf, Tie, Hat, Coat or Bag
Pewter Elephant Badge or Brooch Gift for Scarf, Tie, Hat, Coat or Bag
Offered by Jewellery Gift Palace
Price: 3.40

5.0 out of 5 stars making amends, 14 Jun 2013
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I wrote yesterday about the lateness of this product - it is now with me after a silly long postal journey that was NOT the seller's fault at all. The item is lovely and will still be gifted, albeit rather later than intended. Thank you to the seller for your patience and understanding with me - and with Royal Mail!

Customer service like this is so rare!


What Nurses Know - Multiple Sclerosis
What Nurses Know - Multiple Sclerosis
by Carol Saunders
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.68

5.0 out of 5 stars For MS-ers too, 21 May 2013
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If you do not know what an MS-er is, let me explain - anyone who has the condition of Multiple Sclerosis may call themselves an MS-er.

Understanding the condition and how it affects you is key to coping. Finding out about every little nuance, listening to your own body - these are the skills that have helped me most.

But every so often, I've needed a more professional approach, a guide that I can turn to where the correct medical jargon is employed. What Nurses Know - Multiple Sclerosis offers the guidance I need.

May it help you too.


The Artist's Way: Morning Pages Journal: A Companion Volume to "the Artist's Way"
The Artist's Way: Morning Pages Journal: A Companion Volume to "the Artist's Way"
by Julia Cameron
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars This Book will help you to write something, 21 May 2013
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This is a review I first wrote in 2001 when I was under my former name!

I was sceptical about another 'how to' system of creative writing. But I am housebound & wanted something to stimulate me, inspire me and this book, together with The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (the instruction book to this, the Companion Volume or exercise book) has reawakened my writing voice. It is not diary writing. That is usually done at the end of a busy day - so easy to choose sleep in preference to writing. The Artist's Way: Morning Pages Journal: A Companion Volume to "the Artist's Way" are where you start the day by offloading worries, celebrating joys, pondering problems, writing a load of rubbish - or it would be to another reader but they are not going to see it so that doesn't matter. You are simply writing to yourself, for yourself.

The Journal is a beautiful book in itself, but not so ornate you feel writing in it would spoil the volume. I thoroughly enjoyed using it and will continue the system in exercise books of my own choice. One day I will buy another of these as a refresher course - perhaps when I need a further boost of Julia Cameron's personal and stimulating advice.

I recommend The Artist's Way: Morning Pages Journal: A Companion Volume to "the Artist's Way" as a present to your Creative Self.


The Memory of Lost Senses
The Memory of Lost Senses
by Judith Kinghorn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Memory makes Excellent Reading, 19 May 2013
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Memories are important in older age but they slip in and out of focus with possible repercussions that affect the past and the present in ways seen and unseen, silent and heard, light and dark, but always important. Starting in 1911, delving into the past, taking us into the future, this is how I would summarise The Memory of Lost Senses, Judith Kinghorn's eagerly awaited second novel (after the enjoyable first one, The Last Summer), in which the reader is taken from sleepy Hampshire to Paris and Rome in the late 19th century, and then way back, to when and where it all began ... to when Cora had to flee to Europe as a girl ...

Following on from that tremendous and unsettling event, Cora, Countess de Chevalier de Saint Léger, has led quite an adventurous and colourful life. Now, living at Temple Hill in the Hampshire village of Bramley, she knows she'll never leave England again, and that she must hold on to her memories, her truth that sometimes troubles her. At other times, she finds pleasant thoughts of yesteryear and the people that shared those times. And it seems Cora is tenaciously protecting her grandson Jack from the consequences of her past actions.

Why has Cora spent her life travelling through Europe? How many marriages has she had, exactly? Is there a Big Secret? Cora's lady companion, Sylvia thinks she has the right to know, the right to be the person who will set the secrets down on paper forever. But another writer, the young Cecily Chadwick who lives in the village, becomes interested in the new occupants at Temple Hill, not least Jack. Will Cora be able to hang on to her memories long enough to do what is right for Jack as his romance with Cecily develops in the summer haze, and later, when he returns from the brutal World War that comes along to change many things forever?

Oh, how I loved these characters when the story was lifted from the pages to me, crafted in Judith's clear narrative voice. How well I knew them by the time I closed the book - wasn't I there, at Temple Hill taking tea on the lawn with them all, uncovering Cora's life story in fragments?

This is not a straightforward fictional memoir and it is certainly a considered read. You might, at times, be mesmerised by the small pieces of information you glean from dialogue, from the effect on the surrounding characters, from delving into Cora's recollections. You must trust Judith Kinghorn's skill, for her understanding of the way memory works in later years makes her admirably capable of weaving a tale that unfolds gently, beautifully, with a definite ending in mind.

I fully intend to hold on to my copy forever; I know I shall read this novel again, and again. Judith Kinghorn writes literature I love to read and I cannot wait for the next book - but I know I'll have to.


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