Did I Meet You In 2016? A Year in Review #NewYearsEve #WeekendBlogShare

Hello Lovely Readers – Did we meet in 2016?

On this New Year’s Eve: My 2016 year in review

I think many folks will be looking back at 2016 and wondering what it all meant to them. I’ve handpicked some of the highlights for me.


In April I had a planned meet up in Glasgow with Barb Taub, Cathy Ryan and Alison Williams. These lovely ladies are all part of my review team. Barb is an author and her blog posts are just the best to entertain you. Cathy is a book reviewer and her book reviews are extremely popular, check out her blog here. Alison is an author and editor, check out her rates and recommendations from satisfied customers.

In June I went to the Bloggers Bash in London and met lots of faces from social media. Sacha Black, Ali Isaac, Hugh Roberts and Geoff Le Pard are the bash organisers. It was the second year of this event and if you can get to London easily and want to meet a variety of bloggers and network, this annual event is a great opportunity. Next year’s date is June 10th, more details here. I chatted with Shelley Wilson, Christina Philippou, Mary Smith, Lucy Mitchell (Blondewritemore), Sarah Hardy and Suzi from Suzi Speaks, the founder of #SundayBlogShare.

Shelley is a very inspirational blogger and author, splitting her work between fantasy and non-fiction self help. I’m thrilled that she will be running a four week guest series on ways to motivate yourself here on the blog every Wednesday this January.

In August had I an enforced two weeks off as I was required to do jury service, not something I wanted to attend, but you can’t wriggle out of it very easily these days. However is was interesting to see how the system works, how strict it all felt and how sad that the case I had, ever came to court. On a positive note, whilst in Guildford I made a renewed contact with Christina Philippou and this lead to me attending her book launch in September.

At Christina’s book launch for her debut novel (Lost In Static), I met Neats from the Haphazardous Hippo ( lilac Hippo) a book blogger who lives near by and we met Chris’ publisher Matthew from Urbane Publications. This is small up and coming publisher check it out here.


My links with Chris and Neats took me to a Blogger/author meet up in London. Event organisers; Kim Nash @kimthebookworm and Holly Martin @hollymartin00  run these events alternating between London and Birmingham. This was a fun afternoon with a mix of authors and book bloggers all chatting in a relaxed atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed chatting to; Author Jessica Norrie, Book bloggers Susan Hampson, Anne Williams and  Jo Robertson, authors Barbara Copperthwait,  Jan Brigden and Steven Hayward

Another day I met book reviewer Liz Lloyd for an Autumn walk around a local village.

Late November Neats invited me to a book launch. We spent a Saturday afternoon in Farnham meeting author Kristen Bailey as she launched book #2 of her contemporary women’s fiction  “Second Helpings”. We also networked and by chance met another Urban Publication’s author Shirley Golden.


December saw me heading to Leicester to meet Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns, Adrienne Vaughan, Margaret Cullingford and several other members at their monthly RNA meeting. Lizzie, June, Adrienne and Margaret are also know an the New Romantics Four. With me came author, reviewer and Twitter Queen Terry Tyler, Cathy Ryan, Shelley Wilson, and Proofreader Julia Gibbs. It was great to meet Terry’s sister Julia, who was recently on the TV quiz show Pointless. If you need recommended help with copy editing or proofreading do check out her site here.  In the evening we met with authors Mark Barry and Georgia Rose. Mark runs workshops in schools encouraging reluctant readers to pick up books and Georgia has been a guest speaker for Mark, she also runs her own self publishing workshops.

The 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge tells me I’ve read 175 books this year, however I’ve also beta read 4 books and have read others which aren’t yet on Goodreads, this bumps the number up a little.

What am I going to do next year? Perhaps I’ll meet you. I plan to go out and meet lots more authors and bloggers, nothing beats a face to face meeting.

I’d like to wish all my readers and reviewers a very Happy New Year.

Here are useful Twitter handles of people I’ve met this year.






































THE INFINITY POOL by Jessica Norrie @Jessica_norrie #LiteraryFiction #fridayreads

The Infinity PoolThe Infinity Pool by Jessica Norrie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Infinity Pool is a piece of literary fiction set on an island where a camp exists called Serendipity, where men and women can go to relax, regenerate and find themselves in fairly basic and primitive surroundings. The camp offers holistic therapies, fresh food and the chance to meet like-minded individuals.

The story opens with an attack on a key member of Serendipity, it then turns back almost a year. Adrian is a known womaniser and searching for a fresh injection of life he befriends a young local girl. Island villagers already dislike visitors to the Serendipity camp, they find them intrusive and disrespectful of their local culture and customs. There is often an undercurrent of trouble waiting to erupt between the campers and the villagers.

When the camp re-opens the following year, the leader fails to turn up. Magda, the camp’s head housekeeper makes sure the camp continues to run as best she can, but some returning campers are disappointed by the absence and the camp’s atmosphere degenerates without their leader. Relationships with the villagers heat up and become violent.

You won’t find cosy characters here, many were selfish and awkward showing how they didn’t mix well with the locals. There are several storylines vying for attention, and the ending wasn’t what I expected at all. This book is quite different from lots of mainstream dramas, but will draw its own audience of readers.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE INFINITY POOL by @Jessica_norrie #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Infinity Pool by Jessica Norrie


The Infinity Pool by Jessica Norrie

4.5 out of 5 stars

This was one of those surprise gems that I find now and again on Rosie’s review team list.  An unusual and intelligently written holiday drama, the story takes place on an unnamed island where the locals fail to find accord with the owners, staff and guests of Serendipity, a New Age/bohemian/back to nature type retreat.  It centres round some jagged relationships: charismatic womaniser Adrian, village girl Maria who catches his eye, Serendipity regular Alice (wonderfully obsessive and creepy!).  Then there is the effervescent Ruby who finds love with a local, female detective Chris, who isn’t quite sure what she’s signed up for, and Bernard, the creative writing teacher who is frustrated and bitter about his own inability to produce any work of note.  Eventually the resentments and incompatibilities erupt, not only between incomers and locals but between the camp residents.

The book starts with a dramatic episode, then goes back to September 2010, which sees Adrian at his lecherous best, the camp successful, but the seeds of discontent among the villagers are already sown deep.  Fast forward to June 2011, and Serendipity is all but falling apart, with key people missing, guests unhappy, and finances falling short.

The subtle characterisation in this novel is excellent; there’s a hint of mockery of the New Age claptrap in some of the guests’ silliness, and I smiled at the smugness of those who considered themselves more ‘in touch with their feelings’ than some of the newcomers (especially those who had not yet experienced the wonder of Adrian).  The comparison between the simple lives of the villagers and the spoiled Northern Europeans who aim to slough off their weight of the privilege by rather self-consciously going ‘back to basics’ is artfully portrayed.

At the dramatic end, some of the characters who were dubious about the place find that their lives have changed for the best after all, though perhaps not in the way that Serendipity intended.

Alice is an excellent character; I spent much of the novel wishing that more was being done with her, and felt some of her potential went undiscovered by Ms Norrie, but her end scenes really worked and I decided that, in this case, less was more.  The high spot the whole novel, though, is the sections from the point of view of the character who has a head injury.  So good I read them twice.  I’ve been close to someone with a brain injury and worked with some sufferers, and this gives such an insight into how it (probably) really is for them.  He has quite an adventure; it’s entertaining to read as well as being an eye-opener.

This is how to write a novel with a fair bit of domestic detail and without great swathes of thrills and spills, and still make it a real page turner!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimted



Who can refuse an #Author / #Blogger Meet up? #MondayBlogs @kimthebookworm

What does a gal do when invited to spend an afternoon talking about books?

She says YES!

A quick e-mail on Friday evening had me heading to London on Saturday, to meet up with a group of bloggers and authors, and talk about books for an afternoon, who couldn’t resist?

We met in the @Canal125 Bar, Restaurant- overlooking the Regent’s Canal in Islington near Kings Cross, London (Bizarrely just a little further up the road from the Bloggers Bash venue back in June for those readers who met there)

The idea is to meet up with a selection of authors and bloggers at an Author/Blogger Shenanigans

Event organisers; Kim Nash @kimthebookworm and Holly Martin @hollymartin00  run these events alternating between London and Birmingham.

Here’s a little gallery of pictures thanks to Chris and Susan for the photos

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So who else was there? My chance to name drop with abandon…

Anne Williams @Williams13Anne blogging at Being Anne

Book reviewer Rebecca from @Ifonlyread blogging at If only I could read Faster

Book reviewer Karen @karendennise blogging from My Reading Corner

Author Annie Lyons @1AnnieLyons more from Annie here

Author Jessica Norrie @Jessica_norrie Facebook link here

Book reviewer Laura from @lozzabookcorner blogging at Lozza’s book corner

Author Fiona Wilson @FWilsonAuthor Facebook link here

Book reviewer Susan @Susanhampson57 blogging at Books from Dusk till Dawn

Book reviewer Joanne @jocatrobertson blogging at My Chestnut Reading Tree

Book reviewer Dawn @crooksonbooks blogging at Crooks On Books

Author Jan Brigden @JanBrigden Romaniacs link here

Author Sue Fortin @suefortin1 more about Sue here

Author Jan Ellis @JanEllis_writer more about Jan here

Book reviewer Rachel @Gilbster1000 blogging at Rachel’s Random Reads

Author Barbara Copperthwait @BCopperthwait more about Barbara here

Author TA Williams @TAWilliamsBooks more about TA here

Author Abigail Osborne @Abigail_Arthur more about Abigail here

Book reviewer Neats @lilac_hippo blogging at The Haphazardous Hippo

Author Christina Philippou @CPhilippou123 more about Chris here

Author Steven Hayward @stevieboyh more abut Steven here

Book reviewer Linda @LindaHill50Hill blogging at Linda’s Book Bag

Author Eva Holland @HollandEva more about Eva here

Apologies to anyone I missed. Do yell and I’ll add you in.