INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020

So today the 8th March is when we celebrate being a woman or should I say being a strong woman. Do we actually think we are strong? No one’s life is without upset, hurdles, worries, trauma and we all get through it the best way we can. We don’t stop and think I’m being really strong dealing with this!  I think it takes someone else to point out that you are strong and getting through what you are dealing with.

I thought I would think about the people I know, who I think are strong and what they are strong about.

My friend Jackie because she had cancer and recovered, I cannot imagine how people deal with this horrible condition as I am sure I would just crumble and be no use to myself or anybody.

My daughter Billie as she had an awful car accident where we thought we would lose her but she recovered because she had so much fight in her.

Sheree who I got to know at the wellbeing centre as she is always so positive and I am trying to take some of that from her because I used to be very negative.

My Nan, who not only took on looking after her daughter but me as well from the age of four, plus going back to work full time. I miss her so much.

The last one is my daughter-in-law Megan who not only deals with three children under six, including twins but does it on her own for half of the year as my son works away.

These are my strong women who actually deal with things that many deal with every day, we all have our own ideas about what makes you strong and we all deal with things in different ways.

Let us stick together and become stronger, as a team.

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THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD BY JOSIE SILVER – BOOK REVIEW

PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN ON THE 5th MARCH 2020

What if you could live your great love story again?

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’ve been together for almost a decade, and Lydia thinks their love is indestructible.

But she’s wrong. Because on her 27th birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob ’til her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to live her life well. So, enlisting the help of his best friend and her sister Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world and starts to live – perhaps even to love – again.

Then something unbelievable happens, and Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie. But what if there’s someone in her new life who wants her to stay?

IMG_2422Josie Silver is a writer of love stories.

Also the author of the Sunday Times and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club bestseller One Day in December. It has been published in 31 languages and counting. Josie is an unashamed romantic, and lives with her husband, their two teenage sons, two cats and a dog in a little town in the Midlands. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is her second novel.

WHAT DID I THINK?

A super chick flick that I enjoyed immensely, I loved Lydia and all she went through is so lovely. I hoped for a good ending and you got that although I was not expecting that at the beginning. Some things surprise you but you can understand them, I could connect with the running away but what a great time she had. Brilliantly written and I will lookout for more from this author.

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BIGGEST EVENT IN KENT FOR LOCAL TALENT

This is going to be such a huge event for all the talent that we have in Folkestone, from authors to artists plus well-being practitioners. I have over 35 authors signed up plus many for well-being which I am trying to get a good selection of.

If there are any more artists that I do not know about then please let them know about this great event and ask them to contact me at my email: karensworld.writer@yahoo.com

There will be a bar and food all prepared and sold by the lovely Chis and Liz from The Chambers, a sitting and chilling area to refresh you as there is going to be so much to look at. Plus while you are relaxing your feet you can listen to some live background music.

Plus free parking at the event so no worrying about that, you can also get a bus from Folkestone bus station straight to the event.

This is the first time an event of this size has been offered in Kent and after the huge success last year of my author one at The Chambers in November I anticipate this to be spectacular.

The mayor will be opening the event at 10 am with other local dignitaries popping in during the day. The event will finish at 8 pm.

See you there

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LUNCHING AT THE GRAND IN FOLKESTONE

The month has come round quickly so this time it was the turn of The Grand to host us, the Wednesday lunch club is such a bargain at two courses for £9.75

You have a choice of about three things at each course which one is a vegan option. Most of us went for the roast as it was a cold miserable day outside. I had the lamb which was so tender with the vegetables cooked just right. I’m not sure about the meat put on top but I think this is too keep it from drying out if they have to keep it warm.

We also had the sweet-sour chicken thighs and the winter vegetable stew.

I should mention that a couple of ladies had minestrone soup and the grilled goats cheese en croute which did look very nice.

The dessert, which is the best part, I had the lemon tart and Jackie had the selection of ice-cream.

            

Lots of catching up between us all. Our next one is in April as March was a bit busy.

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DEAR EDWARD BY ANN NAPOLITANO – BOOK REVIEW

PUBLISHED BY DIAL PRESS ON 14th JANUARY 2020

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 192 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the aeroplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle’s garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.

As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

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ANN NAPOLITANO

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Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the Assistant Editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught Creative Writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA programme, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

WHAT DID I THINK?

Really loved this even if it was a bit of a stretch that a boy could survive this plane crash but the story made it good plus the way it was written. I stayed up reading this as wanted to know how it finished. Very well written going through the years after the crash and how everything made a dent in his life. Coming to terms with something like that happening to you at 12 is unbearable even to think about but I loved the way the author really went in deep, it was like she had a connection with the child. A good five stars from me and definitely one to read or go on your list.

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ALKHAM VALLEY GARDEN CENTRE & TEA ROOM

If you have never taken a drive out to here then get it on your list of places to go, I believe you can even get a bus there from Folkestone bus station the 91. I took my friend there the other day, we had a super cream tea, the scones are so big…..not sure how they get them that big. We were served by a gorgeous young lady called Jade, I might be a bit biased as it is my granddaughter. lol

                          

They have some lovely bright flowers in the garden centre so I got a few pink ones to brighten it all up outside as we still appear to be in the dull, wet winter weather.

This will certainly cheer you all up.

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ECO FOOD WRAP – THE DETAILS!

I asked Gaile to tell me some more details about these wraps as they are such a good idea. She has been wonderful and written all about them here, let me know what you think.
Gaile Utting – Why me? If you are wondering?
I feel passionate about doing something to help the environment reducing the single-use plastic. The first time I saw the wraps I loved the fact how clever it is using cotton & beeswax. It was a no brainer for me that I soon learnt how clever it is keeping food fresher, I just had to have some & tell my friends. I have to thank Jane Perry for showing me how to make the wraps and her support. It was only last year Jane had to return to New Zealand for good was when I took it over.

Eco Food Wrap

Where it comes from:-

Wraps are an ancient Egyptian technology, invented by the Egyptians about 2000 years ago. As a natural food storage solution, they work slightly different than their artificial counterpart. It does not stick by chemicals.

What it is:-

All-natural, hygienic, breathable, reusable & biodegradable. Made from beeswax & 100% cotton. 

Why use it:-

Use instead of single-use plastic cling film or tin foil. It enhances the food to breathe naturally so the food is fresher that’s simply better than using cling film. 

How to use:-

Using the warmth of your hands to shape & seal over bowls, dishes, jars. Just wrap it around food, use as a liner in the fridge for vegetables plus line your fruit bowl to keep them fresher and to last longer.

How to clean it:

Lay wrap on a flat surface.  Wipe with a clean, damp cloth or sponge.  If necessary use a mild detergent. Dry naturally. 

Sell-by date:- 

Eco food wraps can last up to 12 months. 

Gaile is on Facebook here.

If you wish to meet her she will be at my event here.

 

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FOLKESTONE MONOPOLY NEWS! SO EXCITING

What did you want to see on the new Folkestone Monopoly game? I have some news about two places that have made it in!

  • FIRSTLY Folkestone Museum’s square is confirmed as Angel, Islington.
  • SECONDLY, The Memorial Arch is confirmed too as ‘Passing GO’. It will get to star on a space all of its very own in the game, just like the Museum.
  • FINALLY, one of the Folkestone-themed MONOPOLY cards is being revealed as well. It’s one of the specially Folkestone themed Community Chest and Chance cards which will fine players for, losing their lunch to a pesky seagull!

 

As well as the spaces and cards being themed, the game will also see all of the tokens specially Folkestone and seaside customised.

IN it will come an ice-cream cornet and an umbrella (of course, bearing in mind the typical British weather), amongst others.

OUT will go the classic MONOPOLY tokens like the Scottie Dog, top hat and boot. They all, literally, get the boot in this very special edition.

We came up with so many places that we thought should go on here, I wonder what ones they picked? I cannot wait for Easter and get my hands on one of these, I am trying to get a preview so I can tell you all about it on release day! Watch this space.

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THE TEMPLE HOUSE VANISHING BY RACHEL DONOHUE – BOOK REVIEW

PUBLISHED BY CORVUS ON 20th FEBRUARY 2020

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Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without a trace…

When Louisa arrives at Temple House, an elite Catholic boarding school, she quickly finds herself drawn to sophisticated fellow pupil Victoria and their young bohemian art teacher, Mr Lavelle. The three of them form a bond that seems to offer an escape from the repressive regime of the nuns who run the cloistered school. Until Louisa and Mr Lavelle suddenly vanish.

Years later, a journalist with a childhood connection to Louisa determines to resolve the mystery. Her search for the truth will uncover a tragic, mercurial tale of suppressed desire and long-buried secrets. It will shatter lives and lay a lost soul to rest.

The Temple House Vanishing is a stunning, intensely atmospheric novel of unrequited longing, dark obsession and unintended consequences.

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RACHEL DONOHUE

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This is Rachels first book and full of everything in detail, sometimes I had to go back and read a bit again but it was compelling with twists. School, girls and rumours but what really went on? This will keep you intrigued and turning those pages.

 

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THE HOUSE ON THE LAKE BY ROSAMUND LUPTON – BOOK REVIEW

PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN ON 20th FEBRUARY 2020

Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend’s rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It’s miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe.

But when a woman from the local village comes to visit them, Lisa realizes that she and Joe aren’t as safe as she thought.

What secret has Rowan Isle House – and her friend – kept hidden all these years?

And what will Lisa have to do to survive, when her past finally catches up with her?

Nuala Ellwood is the author of two bestselling novels: My Sister’s Bones, for which she was selected as one of the Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’, and Day of the Accident. Nuala lives in York with her young son. The House on the Lake is her latest novel.

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WHAT DID I THINK?

I really like this author as her books are good, fast-paced and full. I think this is my favourite so far as it kept me gripped as wasn’t really sure what was going to happen next. A bit different from the usual so it keeps your interest, characters were all good so keeping up your interest to want to know more about them. I really enjoyed this so would recommend it.

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