From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes the moving story of a man whose life is changed in an instant. How do you start again when you lose the only love you’ve ever known?

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.

In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate a life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?

And in the aftermath of the tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

IMG_2422 copy.jpgAmanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty-three novels and six 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 is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC 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 while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

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…

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WHAT DID I THINK?  Amanda has the ability to write from the heart, I used to think that she had experienced these things as she wrote about them with such feeling and knowledge. But I need to rethink that as she is just not old enough to have crammed all these things into her life! So she is a very talented person to know just what these people are thinking and feeling. Every one of her books is a best seller and that is why she gets right to the nitty-gritty of feelings. Most people would end up a crying mess but she just writes it all down and gets it all out.

This book drifts between the two main characters which I found really interesting as you get both sides of the story. Let’s face it there are always two sides to everything so what a brilliant way to write it. The characters are down to earth so you can feel with them as you go through the book. I really liked this and it would be an ideal Christmas present to curl up in front of the fire with.









Why not enter our Kiddies Christmas Writing Competition. Tell us in 70 words Why I Love Christmas, put your name and phone no. at the top of the page. Take your entry to the MIND Charity Shop in Hythe with a £1 coin, to receive your free gift !! Larger prizes for the winners !! Closing date 12/12/19








2020 UK TOUR



The United Kingdom, Friday 22nd November 2019 – The UK’s best-selling country act The Shires today release a taster single ‘New Year’ from their eagerly awaited forthcoming album ‘Good Years’.  ‘New Year’ is out now on BMG, listen here. ‘Good Years’ will be available as a limited edition red vinyl as well as on CD and streaming platforms.

The title of the group’s newest record couldn’t ring truer for Ben and Crissie as the release follows two gold-certified albums and three Top 10 singles firmly cementing their status as two of country music’s most prominent voices.

The band’s new music coincides with the announcement of a UK tour which will see the duo play the likes of the London Palladium, Bristol Academy, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Brighton’s Dome alongside a number of other venues across the UK.

As with all their albums ‘Good Years’ was recorded in the home of Country Music, Nashville. It is a poignant project for Crissie and Ben now having made huge waves both on home soil and across the pond as the first UK artists to win ‘Best International Act’ at the prestigious CMAs.

Speaking on the release of their latest single and the new album Crissie and Ben said; “We are so excited to be releasing ‘Good Years’, our 4th album recorded in Nashville and also announce our next UK tour!  Honesty and storytelling have always been such an important part of our songwriting. We’ve poured some of the incredible experiences and life we’ve lived into these songs. We can’t wait to hit the road next year and play these live across the country. The songs mean so much to us personally, but there really is nothing like looking out at our fans in the crowd and seeing how much of an impact they can have in someone else’s life. It’s truly a very special thing”. 

Ben and Crissie will embark on a UK tour in May 2020, full list of dates noted below: 

27th April, Weymouth Pavilion

28th April, Torquay Princess Theatre

29th April, Stoke Victoria Hall                

1st May, Lincoln Engine Shed     

4th May, Birmingham Symphony Hall

5th May, Aberyswyth Arts Centre

6th May, Guildford G Live

8th May, Bristol o2 Academy

9th May, Cambridge Corn Exchange

10th May, Nottingham Royal Centre       

12th May, Carlisle Sands Centre

13th May, Aberdeen Beach Ballroom

14th May, Edinburgh Liquid Room

15th May, Gateshead The Sage  

17th May, Ipswich Regent Theatre          

19th May, Manchester Bridgewater Hall

20th May, York Barbican

22nd May, Oxford New Theatre

23rd May, Liverpool Philarmonic Hall

24th May, Cardiff St David’s Hall

26th May, Basingstoke The Anvil

27th May, London Palladium                  

2nd June, Brighton The Dome

3rd June, Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall

4th June, Bedford Corn Exchange

For more information please contact:





Connect with The Shires

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter/ Spotify



The single amongst us will not be single for long and who would blame them as Christmas is so much fun for two rather than one.  The many bars and clubs in Belfast will be bursting with singles looking for their date that they found online. It’s so easy now to pick out all the traits that you like in a partner and the more precise you are the better the chance of you finding exactly what you would like. It’s just like going shopping, I love it. Really go through in your mind from previous relationships, what did you really like about them or, did they do nice things for you, buy you flowers for no reason, leave a love note in your bag. So many little thoughtful things can make a good relationship fantastic. As long as you are both on the same wavelength then the world is your oyster. That also works the other way as well, please do not hold back in saying what you do not want in a partner, that does not mean just the main things like smoking or watching sport. Try to think about all the little niggly things that after a year feels like huge complaints, we all try to accept people for who they are, not changing them. So if you are going to love them unconditionally then don’t have any little problems as after a few years they will feel like boulders, not a tiny pebble.

This Belfast Dating Site is a fantastic place to start your search for your dream person, there are so many on here I am sure you will find the one. Fill in as much detail as you possibly can and be truthful as you do not want to be living a lie or even trying to remember what you lied about. Sometimes people can lie about their age but what is the point when as soon as you go on holiday they are going to see your passport, so many forget about that so then when they are in the departure lane and they look at the picture, glancing down at the date of birth and you then know you have been rumbled! What do you say? “I never have been very good with numbers” and try to laugh your way out of it. Do you trust them again? Yes, its only a number but what else have they lied about and it goes on and on. Be truthful always, then you never have to worry about what you say.

Take some photos so they are recent as there is nothing worse than meeting a 50 year old that said they were 30, why would you, your never going to look that young again so get over it and meet someone who wants you to be 50 as lets face it don’t the oldies have more fun? They certainly know more than the youngsters so that’s all good in the dating world with so much to choose from! Happy dating guys


The end of the year is looming, it seems to have come around so quickly. Along with making plans for Christmas, your thoughts may well be starting to turn to next year. What will you want your year to look like? Have you already made some plans that you are looking forward to? We are all hoping that next year will be a good year, so we thought that today we would share 4 ways to enjoy 2020, a few suggestions to help you to make the most of it. 

Image Pixabay – Pixabay License 

Go on your travels

Whether you choose to take off in a camper van or book yourself round the world tickets, taking time out to travel will always give you a boost and something to look forward to. 

If your budget allows, make a variety of plans dotted throughout the year. You might have a few day trips, with the odd overnight stay and weekend break thrown in, and maybe one longer holiday at some point. Lots of little trips will give you plenty to look forward to. 

You might take a look Bolsover Cruise Club, you might book a week-long spa break or perhaps it is Disney World that is calling to you. Go for it, have fun with it.     

Learn something

Of course we learn new things all of the time, but we would suggest that next year you plan to learn something new. There are plenty of benefits of learning a new skill, aside from the fact that is enjoyable. 

You could enrol at a local class and take up anything from French to floristry to photography. You might find that you meet new friends there and you could discover a new hobby that you are passionate about. 

Alternatively, there are thousands, of course, available online, from full degrees to little taster sessions. You could pop over to YouTube and learn about anything from puppy training to modern calligraphy at the push of a few buttons. 

Make more time for family and friends

When we are busy, catching up with family and friends can sometimes slip down the priority list a little. We dash off a text to check that they are OK or we spot an update on Facebook so we know they are having a good day. It really isn’t the same, though, so make 2020 the year of spending more time with your loved ones. 

You could start making plans now, booking a few things into your diary and inviting people over or out on adventures. You know that if your year is about spending more time with these people, it is going to be a good one. 

Take breaks

Make sure that you take plenty of breaks for yourself. It can be all too easy these days to feel like we always have to be ‘doing’, and that an unproductive day is a wasted day. 

Do more of whatever helps you to relax and unwind. It might be yoga, it might a good book and a cup of tea or perhaps it’s pottering about in your garden. 

We would suggest that you make 2020 the year of breaks!











Following a major UK tour earlier this year; National Treasures Si King and Dave Myers, aka The Hairy Bikers, have announced their 2020 live return due to demand with a 38-date tour across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.  With their irresistible enthusiasm, The Hairy Biker’s tour offers an epic night of cooking and conversation. 


The Hairy Bikers have been entertaining Britain with their TV shows for over a decade and have sold in excess of 5.7 million copies of their books. They understand the importance of great food and home cooking to every household. Their unique blend of foodie expertise, humour and motorbike enthusiasm has earned them a huge and loyal following. They are regular faces on the BBC, with many Prime-Time TV successes tucked under their leathers. Their recent series ROUTE 66 is available on iPlayer now with their new book One Pot Wonders being released on October 31st. 


With their unique blend of tasty recipes, cheeky humour and irresistible enthusiasm, The Hairy Bikers have become Britain’s favourite food heroes. Born and bred in Barrow-in-Furness, Dave Myers’ versatile skills have taken him to some unusual places. He worked in a steelworks as a student, to finance his studies in Fine Arts, and later joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics. Si King hails from North East England and is a big, blond bearded biker with an infectious laugh. He worked for many years as an Assistant Director and Locations Manager for film and television, including the Harry Potter films.


Si and Dave met on the set of a TV drama in 1995 and have been cooking and riding together ever since. They have now written over 20 cookbooks, including British Classics, Mediterranean Adventure, Mums Know Best, Bakeation, Meat Feasts and 12 Days of Christmas. In 2012, the boys shed more than six stone between them on The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight. They have also created a range of low-fat sauces (available in Asda and Ocado), launched an online subscription-based weight-loss club, The Hairy Bikers’ Diet Club, and published an acclaimed autobiography, Blood, Sweat & Tyres.


No strangers to the live arena, The Hairy Bikers performed their sell-out BIG NIGHT OUT show in theatres across the UK in 2010 and completed another ambitious nationwide theatre tour in April 2013. Earlier this year The Hairy Bikers embarked on a 3-month UK theatre tour, involving an evening of cooking and conversation. Si and Dave said:


“We can’t wait to tour again in 2020. The audience is a huge part of our show, so no night is the same! There will be music, chat, food, questions, answers, fun and frolics. A perfect bikers night out! See you there.”




Sounds like something you would eat so make sure you say bath before truffles. The first thing I noticed was that these dissolve completely so no bits floating about. The smell then hits you as it is powerful but really nice, I tried the rose and frankincense and it made the bathroom smell lovely for a couple of days. I had a good soak and read my writing magazine, there was a very good article about writing thrillers so I took that on board and jotted down some notes when I got out of the bath. A good bit of multi tasking there. These truffles are smaller than the bombs so are only £3.50, mind you I should ask for a discount for all the promotional work I’m doing for them. I know a few friends who have bought them since I have tried them and it’s so convenient that you can buy them locally in Folkestone at The Wellbeing Centre.

I think these have more of a punch to them even though they are smaller, good things come in small packages. Like the last time, I slept through the night so that makes you feel better for a start. I didn’t have the soreness and ache in my bones for a couple of days so it’s all good. I didn’t look any younger though so it does not work miracles.

Next I will try the rhubarb and black pepper, I had forgotten how nice it is to lay in a nice hot bath and read. It also makes you relax and take some time just for you. What do you do for some ‘me’ time?




In the run-up to Christmas, a serial killer stalks the streets of Aberdeen . . .

A brutal murder.
A young woman’s body is discovered with horrifying injuries, a recent newspaper cutting pinned to her clothing.
A detective with everything to prove.
This is her only chance to redeem herself.
A serial killer with nothing to lose.
He’s waited years, and his reign of terror has only just begun . . .

Introducing DI Eve Hunter, HOLD YOUR TONGUE is your new obsession.

IMG_2422Deborah Masson was born and bred in Aberdeen, Scotland. Always restless and fighting against being a responsible adult, she worked in several jobs including secretarial, marketing, reporting for the city’s freebie newspaper and a stint as a postie – to name but a few.

Through it all, she always read crime fiction and, when motherhood finally settled her into being an adult (maybe even a responsible one) she turned her hand to writing what she loved. Deborah started with short stories and flash fiction whilst her daughter napped and, when she later welcomed her son into the world, she decided to challenge her writing further through online courses with Professional Writing Academy and Faber Academy. Her debut novel, Hold Your Tongue, is the result of those courses.

hold your tongue


Another crime that will be up there with the good ones, I love the way she has been off work but still comes back with a limp, very down to earth. The pace is kept up in this story plus it keeps you reading and changing your mind. Will definitely be looking for more of Sam’s books as if they are all as good as this one then she will go far.











I love going to this shop at Christmas time as they have so many unusual gifts and stocking fillers. I use the wax melts now at home as the smell lasts longer and goes all through the rooms. The choice here for the melts was so good and then I spotted an electric melt for only £10 and that is a bargain as the ones I have seen were more than that. What a good present though, so I bought one for myself with a couple more wax melts. The melts are very popular now with them even being sold in Poundland and the selection of fragrances is enormous so have a good look about and smell them all.

I could not believe the size of this candle! I think he said it burns for a thousand hours, a tad expensive at £70 though and a gorgeous smell. I do love a few candles on during the winter, I even have them in the bedroom as it makes it all cosy when I am reading.

Well worth popping in here as they have some great bits.


I had a lovely time yesterday looking round the garden centre as they had a Christmas fair on as well. So many super gifts here for Christmas with many of them one off’s so no chance of duplicating gifts. I loved the stained glass shapes to hang in your window and the crystals are beautiful and a good price. They had a notebook in the garden centre gifts that I thought was lovely but it was £10 it had shiny pictures of books in bookshelves. How many notebooks are you allowed to have? I am sure I will use them all eventually! I will just pop it on my Christmas list.

My granddaughter Jade works in the tearoom so we popped in there for a tasty cream tea, I should have taken a photo of the scones as they were enormous and delicious.

I had a chat with this elf or Santa, lol I’m not sure what he is but he didn’t answer back!

This is on until 4pm today Sunday and well worth popping along.

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