Off On A Secret Mission for The Ministry Of Magic

Dear Readers,

Instead of my letter from Hogwarts, I’ve been summoned to the ministry for a while to take part in a secret mission, so I won’t be blogging for a few days. I’m not allowed internet access nor will my muggle phone work there, so I shall endeavour to catch up with any urgent business in the evenings.

I’m forbidden to divulge any details of my mission else I shall have to put a curse on you, I’m not on holiday and I haven’t done anything wrong, in fact quite the opposite, which is probably the reason the ministry have demanded my attendance.

So I’ve packed a bag and bought a ticket and am hoping I’m allowed on the right platform.

The review team are still around working on your behalf and they’ll be supporting #TuesdayBookBlog and #AugustReviews

Please support our #AugustReviews campaign by sharing on social media as we encourage readers to leave a book review on Amazon

See you all soon.Make an Author's Day


Rosie 1

Making a Difference Makes Me a Better Person

Today I’m chatting to Joanne about how blogging and writing have changed my life.

Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have author, blogger, and book reviewer Rosie Amber chatting about her multi-layered life.

Here’s Rosie!

rosie2My second act journey began as my youngest child’s Primary education journey came to an end. It felt like the ending of an era and I wanted to have something to remember it by for myself and my friends. So I wrote a book loosely based on all my experiences along the years of Primary school education. In just three months I had my book full of fun memories covering incidents from the eleven years that our family had been going to a small village school. It’s called Talk of The Playground.

I never thought much further than that, but my friend introduced me to self-publishing. I had no budget for anything to do with the book, I’m a full time house-wife with a part-time job…

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Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy and Pacifyin’ is for Kids by Nonnie Jules

Sugarcoatin is for Candy, and Pacifyin is for Kids!Sugarcoatin is for Candy, and Pacifyin is for Kids! by Nonnie Jules

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a collection of the best posts from Nonnie’s blog. Nonnie tells it as it is, straight talking mixed with inspirational quotes and good advice. She talks about creating a nation full of happy loving people and she is inspired by some great people from her life.

I read this right on the back of a book that was all about creating a better world for our children by turning our world from one of fear to one of hope. I couldn’t believe the serendipity feeling that occurred when I read some of the points in Nonnie’s book. Nonnie even names Pope Francis who had a very closely related character in the book I read. (See yesterday’s book review of The Rubicon Effect)

Back to Nonnie’s book, she has a wonderful quote ” A tiny spark ignites a flame, just as a helping hand can do the same”. Nonnie helps others and enjoys doing a good job. She gives plenty of advice to writers and authors about how they can promote their work and she talks about another book she’s written The Good Mommies’ Guide to raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters.

A great writer, this lady deserves your support.

Find a copy on or

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

A to Z April Challenge 2014

So what is the A to Z Challenge? It’s 26 blogs using the letters of the Alphabet all through April taking Sundays off. It’s a chance to find new friends, get new followers and promote your work and your blog content across the world. Anyone with a blog can sign up and take part. This will be the 5th Year of the challenge first introduced by Arlee Bird in 2010 and it has grown in success each year. Last year over 1600 bloggers entered and during the challenge we are encouraged to visit as many of the participants as we can and leave comments. I think it is a fantastic opportunity to expand your blogging world. Find out more at

My 2014 A to Z Challenge:

April 1st – A world Apart by Camelia Miron Skiba

April 2nd – Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

April 3rd – Coronado’s Treasure by Randy Mixter

April 4th – Derek’s Revenge (The Derek Series) by Mac Black

April 5th – Everlasting by Candace Knoebel

April 6th -Round up of the tour so far

April 7th – Finding the Right Time by Stephanie Hurt

April 8th – The Georgie Connelly series by E. L Lindley

April 9th – Hidden Heart by Camelia Miron Skiba

April 10th – The Imdaland series by Rebecca Etherington

April 11th – Jaded by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

April 12th – The Bench by Sue Koenig

April 13th -Round up of the tour so far

April 14th – Legends of Windemere series – Family of the Tri-Rune by Charles E Yallowitz

April 15th – My GLR by John W Howell

April 16th – Nobody’s Fault by Terry Tyler

April 17th – The Orphan and the Thief by M L LeGette

April 18th – The Potter’s Daughter by Daniel A Smith

April 19th – Quentins by Maeve Binchy

April 20th -Round up of the tour so far

April 21st – Red Clay and Roses by S. K. Nicholls

April 22nd – Silk, Spice and Furry Dice by Andy N Robinson

April 23rd – The 20’s Girl by June Kearns

April 24th – Unforgiven by Barbara J Hancock

April 25th – Victoria by Stephanie Hurt

April 26th – What it Takes by Terry Tyler

April 27th – Round up of the tour so far

April 28th – X by Jack Croxall

April 29th – Over Odyssey – Yellow by Tony Carnival

April 30th – Zen Master Next Door by Edward Kardos

Reflections of the 2014 challenge.

AtoZ Banner [2014]

Good Deeds week 25th – 31st August

I began my own challenge to do at least 1 Good Deed everyday for a year on the day I started reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly (April 16th). My eyes have been opened to opportunities that would have passed me by if I were not conscious of my desire to seek out a Good Deed. I keep a weekly diary of my challenge which I publish each Sunday here on the blog. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week;

Good deedsAugust 25th – Caught up with my blogging friend Harula as she too carries out a weekly diary of Good Deeds. We support each other through the challenge. Some days it’s hard to find a Good Deed and sometimes harder to find the motivation to want to find one.

August 26th – A Game of tennis down the park this morning and I picked up litter on the way out. Good Deed ticked off.

August 27th – My friend’s birthday today so I have just dropped off a card and a gift, hope she has a great day.

August 28th – Took my son to play with a school friend and gave some cakes for them to share later. Easy Good Deed!

August 29th – Another play date and was able to give more cakes, then I provided tea for some more friends here at our house. 2 Good Deeds! On a day which also had a lot of stress in other areas of my life.

August 30th – Made sure we really thanked the over-worked shop assistant who was completely fed up with the queue by the time we reached the front. We then had to query the price she had for our goods and the poor lady had to go and check the price of the goods back at the shelf. After grudgingly making her way back she then had trouble correcting the total of our purchases, we were definitely NOT her favourite customers today! So I made sure she was really thanked by us for her trouble.

August 31st – I can’t believe this is the last day of August and the school summer holidays are coming to an end. Sent an e-mail to a find with information she had previously requested. Helped promote a book for another author. Have been upping my tweeting /retweeting to help others and to increase my social presence in readiness for the Romancing September tour. I would love all the authors who are participating to benefit from a large coverage during the tour. Had a lovely note from an author who had seen an increase in her book sales after one of my guest author interviews. Perfect! That’s what it’s all about.

Good Deeds week 4th – 10th August

Continuing my challenge to do a Good Deed every day for a year, I began back in April when I started to read “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. This is a weekly update on my own progress and you can catch up with previous weeks from the link on my Home page. I have already inspired others to take up the baton and run with the challenge too, which is really exciting.

Good deeds4th August – Decided on a BIG re-vamp of my guest author posts today, where by I make them individual and specific to the book that an author has written. Have spent several hours writing out guest author questions and sending them out to authors. Let’s hope they want to get involved and send me back their replies! Some brilliant friends have helped me get some new profile pictures, have you spotted them?

5th August – Took the children to visit their grandparents and we all spent some family time catching up, although we took goodies with us Mum came back with lots of fresh vegetables for us to bring home. Had a mad plan to launch a Trans Atlantic author blog thingy for September, contacted a friend who agreed to join the madness.

6th August – A work morning today. They are planning to overhaul the farm Granary where our office is, they started cleaning out the loft today and lots of muck and dust began falling on the computer, so before I left I covered up the electrics as best I could. Drafting guest author posts for you as the replies come in, look out for the new version of posts. Am very excited Judith O’Reilly agreed to do a guest author post for us in September, Yay!

7th August – Have signed up to follow Project Light of Life , a bucket list blog exploring happiness, growth and the world. If you live in the US enter the fab competition to win some books on the site. Do read Christine’s bucket list of kind acts and volunteering, it is truly inspiring. Have a child visiting today, so am off to the park for some more cricket! (Gotta wear them out!)

8th August – My blog is 1 year old today! Thank you to everyone who has signed up and supports my posts. I’ve had a real blast and I love my blog. Launched our Romancing September blog tour across the world, looking for romance authors who want to promote their work during September. Lent a friend a book.

9th August – Filled in a on-line survey, used the staff members details who served me so they get a pat on the back. Am extremely busy liaising all the authors who are signing up for Romancing September the World Blog Tour.

10th August – Been down to the cricket club for the annual awards morning for the junior members, took a bottle of wine for my son’s team coach who does the job unpaid in his own time. Having my mother-in-law over for tea this afternoon. Sent out a load of thank you e-mails to people who have been doing a grand job for me recently.

Good Deeds Week June23rd – 29th

During this week I will officially pass my 10th week of Good Deeds, I started back on April the 16th, a Tuesday. Now I blog from Sunday to Saturday giving you, my readers, a weekly update on my challenge to follow in the footsteps of Judith O’Reilly author of “A Year of Doing Good”, who inspired this series of posts. If this book is new to you catch up with my review of the book here

My challenge is to complete at least 1 Good Deed a day for a year. I have already inspired others to take up the challenge and to draw on the good effect this can have on their own lives and I am especially thrilled to hear each week of others who are picking up the baton. I hereby invite you to join in too and let me know how you got on and what surprises came to you as a result.

Here’s an example; I have baked cakes and cookies which I take as gifts to friends when I visit, then the good came back to me and I won a years supply of rice and pasta! Which again I turned into a good deed as I have been able to give much of it away after providing free meals for my family.

Friends and family pass on books to me which I read, review and blog about, in turn more people send me books and the cycle continues. I pass on my love of books across the globe and back again.

Good deedsJune 23rd – I now look forward to Sunday posts where I catch up with Harula and we swop our Good Deed posts, they inspire us to continue and it’s so lovely to read what others are doing. Here is a link to Harula’s blog for you to enjoy her posts as much as me. Sent 2 books to my mother-in-law to read and received 3 books back from her for me to read.

June 24th – Drove my daughter and two of her school friends to the Sixth Form College for their taster morning, helped to start some new paperwork checks at work which need implementing. Rang another work colleague and offered some extra help. Found my jam jar of saved coins in the kitchen and realised that I’d not put any money in it for a while. Added some money.

June 25th – Found money on the ground near my car at work, so saved it for my jam jar. I’m the person who goes around looking at the ground, usually to stop myself tripping over invisible objects, but it does mean I have the potential to spot shiny objects on the ground. Over the years I’ve found quite a lot of money; My best was £20 at the Boxing Day races! I certainly came home with more than I won on the horses! I once found £10 on the floor of a charity shop, but I felt I couldn’t pocket that due to the location, I was quite gutted at the time! Anyway back to today, I was going to dodge out of work quickly when my conscious reminded me of a phone call which needed making. I hesitated, should I pretend to forget it and leave it for someone else? No! my “Good Deeds” inner voice shouted! Oh Bother! Took 2 minutes to make the phone call which didn’t make any dent in my time, but meant the job was done. “See, I was right” said my inner Good Deeds voice smugly. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Replied my inner adolescent child.

June 26th – The July issue of Fleet Life has arrived and I’ve scanned my page of book reviews ready to post on Monday when the online version goes live. Due to the imminent summer holidays, deadlines for the August and September issues all have to be completed by the 19th July, so today I’ve sent off my copy for the August issue. I love doing the “Big Reveal” at the beginning of each month and sometimes surprising authors with the news of their free book promotion.

June 27th – It’s school prom night tonight, so I’m firstly a taxi driver today as the girls get ready. Later tonight they are going to the prom in a horsebox! Which they’ve done up like a party bus. Have bought snacks for any of the pre or post prom parties and I have got flowers and beers for the two wonderful parents who are providing the transport and the after party sleepover. Posted a devilish writing prompt on the community storyboard site involving writing using a dialect.

June 28th – It’s Friday and the evening is warm and sultry, so I’ve decided to go and watch my son play cricket under the false pretences that it will be a lovely way to spend a few hours. However out team’s game has been allocated the pitch in the middle of a field with very little shelter and the black clouds are heading our way. Then it starts to rain! Rain doesn’t stop much play in youth cricket, so I huddled with other mother’s under umbrella’s as we muttered about the umpires and the English weather. My good deed was being their to support the team who played badly in poor conditions, we clapped each lad who bravely faced bowlers who had better luck and sad as it may be us Mum’s were thankful when the game ended early as the opposition walked all over our team. We hurried back to the warmth of our waiting cars and left the menfolk mumbling about the state of play. I gathered are a few pieces of litter and couldn’t wait to get home!

June 29th – Agreed to review 2 more books for authors, finished reading another book and posted my review on the blog and at Goodreads. Will sort out some more books to pass on to my Mother-in-law. Took cakes when we went to tea with the relatives. Did some weeding in the garden and watered some thirsty looking plants for the mother-in-law. Hope this made up for the fact that I had to tell her that the jam was “off”, my son said the pate smelt “funny” and my husband commented on the cracked china – oops!

Week 2 of good deeds…

Please read about the wonderful blog that Harula is wrting each week in her own Good deeds challenge, and Great News! more people are joining us! Will you be next to take up the baton and run with it?


Here is my second week of Good Deeds, a challenge I am taking one week at a time, with the intention of allowing it to grow and flourish into a full year, and perhaps beyond!

For the original post see:

Monday 27th May

Had a long conversation with one of my students over lunch, giving it my full attention even though I was feeling quite stretched as the morning session had run over, and I wasn’t yet fully prepared for the afternoon.

AND good deed(s) received: A fellow blogger left a comment on my previous good deeds post saying she would join the fun! Hooray:-) Thanks so much…

Tuesday 28th

I agreed for a South Korean teacher, who happened to be staying here in the community too, to join in on and observe one of my lessons. She wanted to see how I combine teaching English with personal…

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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 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 a charity helping injured troops with prosthetic limbs and high spec wheelchairs.

2013 A to Z Blog Challenge

I’m going to take part in the 2013 A to Z Blog Challenge for the month of April. Each day of the month except for Sundays, I’ll write a post using the letter of the day. My theme for the blog will be books and I’ll need 26 books for the challenge. There will be over 1000 bloggers taking up the challenge this year and blogging about anything and everything.

To all you lovely hard-working authors who would like to help me and have their books written about each day? Send me a message, you can submit as many books as you like, but if there are several book titles for one particular letter of the alphabet then I will have overall decision as to which book I include that day.

Priority will be given to any author who has recently been a guest author on this blog, there is still plenty of time during March to become a guest It’s not a closed case.

The letter “T” has already been taken by my own book, but the rest of the alphabet is FREE!

Here’s what I’d like;

Send me the letter of the alphabet which you would like the book submitted under.

The book title.

A short link to where it can be purchased.

A  3 – 4 sentence book summary. As the challenge is about blogging and not just advertising please add something individual about each book entry. For instance; what inspired you to write this book, have you had a special interview regarding the book, what is unique about one of the characters, have you recently improved the cover or launched it as an audio book, that sort of thing.

The last few letters left to fill are; K,Q,U and X. Any help will be much appreciated. (26/03/13)

Thanks for taking part,