#AtoZChallenge 2015 Reflections Post @AprilA2Z

Welcome to my 2015 #AtoZChallenge Reflections post.

My theme was all about characters from books I’d read, plus each day I ran a book title challenge. I encouraged readers to think up book titles using the alphabet letter of the day in their titles to photos I gave them. The audience participation was fun and added another dimension to my posts.

I had a great tour visiting lots of really different blogs I would never normally find. Each day I gave links to 5 randomly chosen bloggers also taking part from the sign up list. Some folks never made it to the challenge or dropped out which was a little disappointing when visiting.

I really enjoyed taking part in little extras like giveaways, chances to have my name in a book, etc

Every year I take part in the challenge my followers increase and my site traffic improves it’s a great community to be a part of.

The easiest blogs to visit for me are other WordPress bloggers because I’m set up with WordPress myself and it makes commenting easy, the same will be said by those who use BlogSpot, they’ll find navigating another Blogspotter easier, there are also many other styles of blogs out there. Do you tend to visit other like minded blog styles or do you enjoy the challenge of seeing a different blog?

I’m not a great one for the stats, but another blog I read inspired me to check mine out for April and I found I had 5651 views with a daily average of 188, not bad for a month’s haul.



Here are links to some blogs I enjoyed throughout the tour;

Hilary over at Positive letters taught me all about Cornwall http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/

Elizabeth Hein had a wonderful tour posting all about the Galapagos islands https://scribblinginthestorageroom.wordpress.com/

Diane Coto at FictionZeal.com had a great mystery book theme

Alison Williams gave us writing Tips https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Luccia Gray chatted about books and authors http://lucciagray.com/

Here are links to all my posts for those who want to catch up.

A for Anne Haddon – An Englishwoman’s Guide To the Cowboy by June Kearns http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sw

B for Beynn Firehand – Eyes Of The Enemy by Kelly Hess http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sy

C for Charlee Montague – Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sA

D for Dermot Finnegan – Secrets Of The Heart by Adrienne Vaughan http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sC

E for Emily Braden – Dreaming Of Love by Melissa Foster http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sE

F for James Finn – Business As Usual by E.L. Lindley http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sG

G for Garnet Sullivan – The Devil, the Diva and The Deep Blue Sea by Margaret Langstaff http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sI

H for Rose Haldane – Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sK

I for Isabella Lanchester – Last Child by Terry Tyler http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sM

J for John Steel – Rise of The Phoenix by Phill Syron-Jones  http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sO

K for Kate Wolsley – The Orchid Tree by Siobhan Daiko http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sQ

L for Lottie Brinkley – Stable Mates by Zara Stoneley http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sS

M for Matthew Hopkins – The Black Hours by Alison Williams http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sU

N for Nin – Marked for Magic by Daisy Banks http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sW

O for Rose O’Carroll – I Listened To My Heart by Rosemary Gallagher http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6sY

P for Mrs Parish – Motherlove by Thorne Moore http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6t0

Q for Quetzalcoatl – The Obsidian Mirror by K.D Keenan http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6t2

R for Rhe Brewser – Death In A Dacron Sail by Noelle Granger http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6t4

S for Samuel – The Broken Angel by Monica La Porta http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6t6

T for Tiola Oldstagh – Sea Witch by Helen Hollick http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6t8

U for Uther Pendragon – The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6ta

V for Vince Crow – Trading Vincent Crow by D.C.J Wardle http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6tc

W for Sergeant Winston Windflower –  A Twist Of Fortune by Mike Martin http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6te

X for Xania – Humming by Rachel McAlpine http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6tg

Y for Yvette – The Mystery Box by Eva Pohler http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6ti

Z for Joss Zebediah – Yesterday’s News by Sam Cheever http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6tk

Relections Badge

Jubilee Violin By Jenny Worstall

Jubilee ViolinJubilee Violin by Jenny Worstall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book featured in the April AtoZ Challenge and I have finally got around to reading it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-iK

A wonderful book containing three short stories. Well written and thought provoking. I know that the first story is written about the authors daughter. The book left me wanting more! I would happily have read longer versions of all of the stories.

View all my reviews

My Year of doing good, May 1st

So having managed to complete a couple of weeks of doing good deeds. I head in to May. For those of you who are bamboozled by this post, it all started when I read a book called “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. It inspired me to start my own attempt to do a good deed a day for the year. Here is a link to my post about her book http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-1hL I’ll be posting my weekly reports on my challenge on Sunday’s, it feels like an appropriate day.

A Year of Doing Good: One Woman, One New Year's Resolution, 365 Good Deeds. by Judith O'Reilly

May 1st – Whilst visiting my Mother I helped her sort out a few snags on her computer. Blogged about the May edition of Fleet Life where I have a monthly page of book reviews, 5 authors got a free promotion for their books today! I know it made at least one of them have an unexpected smile on their face! Made a date to meet up with some of my anti-natal group (No! I don’t have something to tell you!) We’ve been friends now for over 16 years!

May 2nd – After the busy April A to Z Challenge, today I returned with a guest author interview on the blog, Donna Childree, got her moment of fame today. Made lots of new friends during the challenge who I now regularly keep in touch with over the net. Sent a good friend an e-mail to keep in touch.

May 3rd – Instead of procrastinating I actually loaded up my car with filled bags and boxes for the charity shop and delivered them today. Part of me felt relieved that I’d done my good deed, the rest of me squirmed in anguish at my haste to throw things out, what if I need it? Posted another guest author interview, today Melda Beaty got a chance to shine. Signed up for several more blogs in a post AtoZ Challenge day of reflection.

May 4th – With the weekend upon us I didn’t know where I would find the chance to do my good deed today, but I found 2! Firstly I remembered to take a large bag of dead batteries with me when I went out so that I could dispose of them at the supermarket in the special collection unit. (This should mean that they don’t go into landfill waste) Then there was the opportunity to make a donation to the RSPCA who were collecting just outside of the store.

Good deeds

May 5th – Wrote a letter to a friend whom I haven’t caught up with for a while, and visited new friends on the blogging scene.

May 6th – Bank Holiday Monday, and I struggled to find a good deed today. The only things that count are spending an hour with my Mum and popping another coin in to my slowly filling jam jar. Some how it didn’t feel enough.

May 7th – Today I wrote a 5* review of a book called “The Doctor’s Deceit” It’s written by Kathy Steinemann and she’d asked me to review it. It is a sequel to her book “Vanguard of Hope” which started from a set of diaries. The  review was based on what I read and I thought the book was very well written. It deals with rape and sexual abuse victims in America in the 1800’s and also tackles racial abuse. The Sapphire Brigade are a secret society who try to help the victims and deliver justice.  After I’d written the review Kathy told me that she is going to keep writing these books to help support other victims. Her third book is going to involve letters from victims in today’s world which she hopes to incorporate into her book, thus giving them a place to vent their feelings. I’m glad I gave Kathy this review and hope that it will help raise awareness for her books and her cause.

May 8th – Baked cakes to take round to have with coffee at a friend’s house. Still visiting several bloggers everyday and leaving comments.

May 9th – Picked up litter at the park. (realised I often pick up litter without giving it much thought )Posted a book cover release post for an author and a book review for another.

May 10th – Spent the evening getting frozen to the bone, whilst watching my son’s cricket match. Was able to help clear everything away at the end as my good deed today. (Amazing how many people suddenly have something better to do when clearing up need doing!)

May 11th – Made a donation whilst I was out to shrapnelonline.org.uk a charity helping injured troops with prosthetic limbs and high spec wheelchairs.

One Woman’s choice by Karen Whitaker

One Woman's ChoiceOne Woman’s Choice by Karen Whitaker This book had a place in my 2013 April A to Z Challenge. Karen then invited me to read and review her work, which I have the pleasure of providing for you below.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Karen Whitaker’s book reveals her life from its start in the 1960’s in America, it was a challenging life at times, filled with struggles including; prejudice, single parenting, step children, half-brother and sisters. We feel Karen’s pain as she grows up in an extended family where love was often needed more than it was given. Karen’s family, peers and religion shape some of her later choices involving abortion, adoption and her own single parenting. Karen hopes that her book will help others who find themselves with similar choices to make in their own lives.


View all my reviews

“Y” AtoZ Challenge- You Wish

As the end of this brilliant challenge draws ever nearer todays letter is “Y”.

You Wish by Terry Tyler, who you may remember featured very early on with the letter “D” for Dream On, here is a link to the post in case you missed it http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-hq

Today Terry returns with another of her books. If you want to catch up with an author interview of Terry click over to http://www.cynthiaharrison.com/?p=5590 Cindy’s blog.

PLEASE don’t forget, that as part of the challenge we are asking visitors to leave comments. Thank you.

Do we control our own destiny – or might it be determined by fate,
coincidence, luck…or even magic?

Ruth, an amateur psychic with a husband who smokes cannabis for breakfast, is haunted by a tragic event from her teenage years which, she suspects, was the result of a wish she made on an allegedly enchanted stone. Too embarrassed to admit her fears, she keeps her secret to herself for twenty-five years.

Petra is the perennial singleton amongst her friends, unable, she thinks, to fall in love. She comes across the stone at a Psychic Fair and makes a wish, just for fun. As the wish begins to come true she wishes she had chosen her words with more care.

Spoilt, weight-obsessed Sarah wants nothing more than to be “size zero”. As her life spirals downwards into the seedy world of drug abuse and addiction, she remembers the day at the Psychic Fair when she wished for her heart’s desire.

When Ruth learns of the fates of Petra and Sarah she is forced to confront her guilt and discover the truth about the Wishing Stone…

Terry Tyler’s debut novel is a quirky contemporary drama exploring the themes of family affairs, infidelity and guilt, incorporating jealousy, drug abuse and the obsession of a Facebook stalker, against a backdrop of secrets and superstition.

Here are Terry’s behind the scenes notes about her book;
You Wish… is about whether or not our lives are shaped by destiny, fate or our own personal choice – or if sometimes there might be mystical forces at work!  This is illustrated in a very down to earth way, though, in the stories of Petra (the girl who thinks she’ll never fall in love), Sarah (a spoilt ‘princess’ who is obsessed with getting to Size Zero) – and Ruth, a wife, mother and distinctly reluctant fortune-teller, whose own story, taking us back to the 1980s, links them all.

Many of my readers tell me they love reading about Petra’s growing obsession with Jay – and cringe away as they read it.  Haven’t we all, at some point, wanted to say to a friend, “Look, face it, he’s just not that into you, leave him alone, you’re making fool of yourself”?  Self obsessed Sarah was terrific fun to write – so many people have told me that they’ve hated her but loved reading about her!

One readers thoughts on the book were;

Just got a Kindle in my Christmas stocking and took the plunge with this offering by Terry Tyler. What a good choice! It held my interest from beginning to end with a very credible plot. The author expertly jogs the teenage memories of those of us of a certain age with lots of clever references to the fashions and fads of our yesterdays. I found myself thinking about the book between sessions and looking forward to the next read which surely is the sign of a ripping yarn. I’ll certainly be reading the next one.

Product Details

Here are the Amazon links:



Here are links to more AtoZ Challengers;






“W” Where The Hell is Darcy?

This book entry for the AtoZ Challenge was sent to me by Katty Kitt, there’s a book out there for everyone! This book may contain adult content. It’s Humour, but I wouldn’t pass it on to your granny!

We’re nearly at the end of this brilliant challenge, keep on writing your comments, it’s all part of the challenge theme. Thanks.

The letter W
Title: Where the Hell is Darcy? A Smutty Snorty Guide to Sex, Dating & Relationships
Genre: Humour
Link:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BDUK4SE

This is not a book for incurable romantics, nor any sort of ‘How to Find your Man’ gloop-fest. It’s more about realising your man is a totally hideous disappointment and all dating websites are manifestations of Satan…probably.
After Mr Grey led us all up the garden path of feeble submission, what women really need now is to regain our default setting of glorious superiority and have a few snorty laughs to get us ready for leg shaving season. Just don’t lend it to your granny…

Warning: This book is funny and very filthy- so don’t lend it to your granny…Where the Hell is Darcy? A Smutty Snorty Guide to Sex, Dating & Relationships

Ladies- Admit it. Your love life has as much romance as a George Michael stroll on Hampstead Heath…We know this because ours does too…

There are no solutions to rubbish relationships that don’t involve serious psychotherapy and nipple clamps, so bugger that…..What we need is a smutty guide to understanding men, sex, dating & relationships that deals with real life…in all its spotty-arsed dweebness…. A comedy book that will make us snort while we eat cake, glug wine or shave our le

If you are single, or your man is more Arsey than Darcy and you are stuck with Brian from Cleethorpes, Dan from Accounts or Julian from Brideshead Revisited, then buy this book!

Discover all this and much, much more:

– How to find your own gorgeous hunk of uselessness
– Why dating websites are the Devil’s testicles
– How to diagnose which sort of twat he is
– How to pretend you’re not deranged
– How to relieve the boredom during blow jobs

– What he’s thinking when he does that gormless face
– Why bondage is great if you’re lazy
– How to avoid traumatising him with your period
-Why his exes are deeply weird
– Why his mother hates you
– Why sex is just horizontal Riverdancing without the clogs
– Why weddings relieve the boredom of his Y-Fronts
– Why your bridesmaids need to look like baboons

– How to deal with cheating and getting pissed at Christmas
– Why revenge is fabulous
– How to get over him and how to get the bastard back
– How to grow old and fat with Mr Darcy

Kattykitt doesn’t promise to turn you into a love guru. To be honest, she doesn’t want the competition. Her Darcy is out there somewhere and she doesn’t want him falling for you…
But she does hope the book makes you giggle a bit though, because if your love life is half as dire as hers, that sure beats the hell out of rocking in a dark corner…

Here is what one reader thought of the book, giving a 5* review;

I recognised a number of characters here, and although it made me wince, it also made me laugh out loud, a thing too rare in life! My strong advice is to buy this book, it might just save your life, if only by laughter…..

Here are links to more bloggers taking up the AtoZ Challenge;




“V” Vanguard of Hope by Kathy Steinemann

I read and reviewed this book for Kathy a while ago, you can read about the book http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-eQ and catch up with Kathy as she was also a guest author on the blog http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-eT

As this great challenge draws to an end, PLEASE keep writing your comments as our challenge relies on them.

 Letter of the alphabet: V

Vanguard of Hope

By Kathy Steinemann

LISETVILLE, 1890 — Murders are committed; homes are burned; family secrets are buried; an unexpected romance complicates lives. Amid the mystery and violence, a vigilante brigade emerges to administer justice.

Flowing through the intrigue and drama is a dark undercurrent that will touch your heart as you empathize with the victims.

What Readers are Saying:

“I am hooked. I do hope that I will be able to get all your novels.” – Lorene Charlton

“It’s not chick lit.” – A Male Reader

“This book keeps you in suspense right to the end. The dark underlying theme is tackled in a sensitive manner.” – S.L. Banks

“I started reading this novel to help quiet my mind at a late hour, but found myself still awake in the morning. Its intense read was much more than I expected. It has ‘all’ the elements from love, betrayal, suspense, and romance, to murder. ‘Vanguard  of Hope’ will touch everyone who reads it. If you’re a young adult or older, this excellent novel will awaken you
deep within your soul.” – Toni Gee

“The book was excellent! I really enjoyed reading it. I could not stop. Every chance I got, I was trying to sneak in just a couple more diary entries! I look forward to reading the next
book in the series. And I will most certainly be recommending this to others to read!” – Brandy Mayan-Rooks

Kathy tells us;

This novel addresses a few social issues that existed during the 19th century. Some of those issues have improved over time; one has not. The challenge in writing the book was to engage the reader in a plot with unexpected twists, while discussing a sensitive theme.

http://kathysteinemann.com/Books/Vanguard_of_Hope/                Vanguard of Hope: (Sapphire Brigade Book 1)

Here are 5 links to more AtoZ Challengers;






“T” Talk of the Playground by Rosie Amber

Letter “T” is ALL MINE! I can’t let the opportunity go by without a small plug for my own book now can I?

Even though I’m telling you about my own writing I’ll still really appreciate your help promoting this post via your social networks because I’m on my own with this one today! Also a comment or 5! below would be really terrific,  thanking you in advance…..

When the police have been seen at school on the second day of term, fighting breaks out amongst parents and gossip about individuals threatens to spiral out of control, can Mrs Hardy, the Headmistress at Moortulk Primary keep control for another school year? Sophie Grey lands a self-made job where she is in a prime position to hunt out the inside story. Is this an idyllic English school?
Talk of the Playground - purple 1563

Here is  a lovely 5* review for my book;

Rosie Ambers first novel is a dry, humorous look into the world of the english school yard – the workings of a school, the children’s antics and also the parents which are considerably funnier – a real life glimpse of the minefield that parents need to cross whilst steering their offspring through their school years punctuated by the english festivals, fetes and fundraisers that make up a school year. Sometimes true life is stranger than fiction! A must read for any mums who navigate the daily trials of junior school life.
If you have enjoyed reading and taking part in my AtoZ Challenge through-out April, My book as a new purchase in your collection would be greatly appreciated! Thank You for your kindness. If you already own a copy then please consider buying a copy of the soon to be released sequel “Talk of the Village school”.
Here are 5 randomly selected links to more AtoZ Bloggers;

“S” on the AtoZ Challenge

Today’s letter on the AtoZ Challenge is “S”, as we head in to week 4 of the challenge. I bring you Sweet Innocence by Victoria Steele. Victoria has previously been a guest author on my blog, you can read more about her here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-gp

If this is your first time visiting an AtoZ Challenge post then can I PLEASE ask you to add a comment to the post, as this is part of the challenge, thank you.

Product DetailsVictoria was recently a guest author on this blog, this is her first book in the Prodigy series. She comes from Georgia in the U.S. You can follow Victoria’s answers to my questions on the guest blog here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-gp

When Nicole moved to Savannah she was looking for a quiet life. But she soon realizes something is different about the old southern mansion next door. She’s drawn to it by an unknown force. When she finally meets the owner, her life changes drastically. She develops a lust for him that can’t be quenched, until he kisses her and starts the fires burning. Will he be able to let her go once she knows the truth? Can she handle the truth? Will it be too much for her innocent world? Will she live through one night of passion with him?
A note from Victoria about what inspired the book;
Well the book is based in Savannah, Georgia which is one of my favorite places. It’s the most romantic city. The story is inspired from years of reading and watching everything vampire. I wanted to put a southern spin on it. I mean, Savannah is supposedly one of the most haunted cities in North America and then you throw in some moss hanging off old live oaks eerily and then a sexy vampire. Why not? I’m excited about the next part of this series. It’s got a wicked twist and a romantic entanglement, but that’s all I can say…
Here are 5 other bloggers taking on the AtoZ Challenge;

“R” Rekindled Flames by Stephanie Hurt

It’s day 18 of the A to Z Challenge 2013 and today’s letter is “R”. My book today is Rekindled Flames by Stephanie Hurt.

Please don’t forget to add your comment at the bottom of this post because part of the challenge is to increase all blog comments, thanks in advance.

He haunts her dreams; She torments his nights!

When Lydia returns home for her father’s funeral she’s forced to face hard reality. She left town two years earlier with a secret and a broken heart. As she sits at the graveside she sees the man that’s haunted her dreams for those two years. She realizes it’s time to tell him the secret she’s carried around for two years, but will he forgive her or turn away? The fire they started that fated New Year’s Eve two years ago has smoldered, building in intensity and heat. Can they rebuild the fire or will the secret put it out forever? Take the journey with these two and find out if loves win or will burn out?

Product Details

Rekindled Flames – This is the 2nd book in my “Flames of Love” Series. Secrets can tear people apart and especially when it involves two people who love one another. But when that one secret comes out will it put water on the flames burning feverishly under the surface or will it fan the flames to full intensity. He haunts her dreams; She torments his nights!


Here are 3 links to other AtoZ Bloggers ( sadly a couple of links that I’d prepared for you are no longer doing the challenge);