Sunday, 23 July 2017

Latest review for Letters to Eloise

Review from Books in my Handbag Blog

Thank you so much to Jessie for the lovely review for Letters to Eloise on her fab blog 'Books in my Handbag Blog'. I do treasure each and every review. Thank you!! Visit Jessie's fabulous book blog below to explore other books she keeps in her handbag!

See the review below and see other books in Jessie's handbag:

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Letters to Eloise FREE on Amazon!

Only a few hours left on offer!!

Letters to Eloise is FREE today! Don't miss out. Need a holiday read? This love story will win you over. Click on the link below to Amazon and download now for FREE!

Letters to Eloise is the incredibly warm, witty, poignant and heart-wrenching debut epistolary novel by bestselling author Emily Williams; a love story of misunderstandings, loss, and betrayal but ultimately the incredible bond between mother and child.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Download Letters to Eloise for FREE today!

Only a few hours left on offer!!

Letters to Eloise is FREE today! Don't miss out. Need a holiday read? This love story will win you over. Click on the link below to Amazon and download now for FREE!

Letters to Eloise is the incredibly warm, witty, poignant and heart-wrenching debut epistolary novel by bestselling author Emily Williams; a love story of misunderstandings, loss, and betrayal but ultimately the incredible bond between mother and child.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review - Using dictation software to write again

Please Dragon help me write again!

For those who are regulars to my blog you maybe aware that I suffer from numerous joint/wrist complaints. After a car accident (as the pedestrian) over ten years ago and then a riding accident several years ago, I have suffered from numerous injuries in my arms/hands such as tendinitis, recurring nerve problems, joint cysts, cubital tunnel syndrome and now investigations into rhuematoid arthritis/autoimmue disease. Writing is a challenge. More than a challenge most days. But I'm a writer and that won't change. I need to write. I need to get those thoughts from my head, so I have looked for solutions.

Software for speech recognition has been suggested and I have being researching into this. Reviews are mixed, but I was willing to give anything a try. So far I have been practising using the downloadable free software onto my Iphone. I wanted to get a feel for dictating before I invested more in this idea and purchased the computer package (which has questionable reviews). Here are my findings from the Dragon dictate app for Iphone.

Review into Nuance Dragon Dictation App

I'm going to divide this review into pros and cons, which I feel suits this review better, with an overview of the results are the bottom.

  • I don't have to use my arms at all. Well that is the theory, not in practise yet. Only my thumb for copying and pasting the finished writing into what ever program I'd like it in e.g. email or text message or copied across to put into word
  • My voice seemed to work well with the app and there were few words 'substituted' when the program wasn't sure what I said.
  • You can talk faster than you can type so should produce quicker writing, however see below in cons as it doesn't work this way.
  • I can write anywhere that I have my phone.
  • The large amount of errors. Apparently this will improve as I get used to using the program and more competent. However at the moment a lot of time is spent going back to correct the errors, which means using my hands.
  • Having to remember to say ALL the punctuation. This is very time consuming and slows down the writing considerably.
  • Writing speech marks etc is very difficult due to the punctuation.
  • Stilts the thought processes. I found it hard to make the writing flow. I have to concentrate too much on remembering to say things (punctuation) that the writing became stilted. This wasn't such a problem for emails and texts and shorter passages of text.
  • Speaking out loud seems to limit my creativity. Hopefully again this will improve as I get used to the software.
Dragon Dictation is FREE in the Iphone app store or can be purchased on Amazon at:
Warning: Make sure the version that you buy is compatible for your software/computer.
Next steps and verdict

This is the best recommended speech software out there but at the moment I'm not completely sold that it will help solve my problems. The software has clitches that if dont improve over time and gaining competency, mean I would use my arms nearly as much as I would before or would make writing twice as time consuming. My next steps are to try the software on my laptop to make it easier to write larger passages of text for example during my novel writing processes. If Stephen King can apparently do it, so can I! And if it works, it will open the whole world up again for my writing. So watch out, my novels will come thick and fast!

If you have had any experiences with this software, I'd love your thoughts in the comments below.

Letters to Eloise my debut is available to download on KindleUnlimited or on ebook/paperback here:

Book review of Fun and Games at the Zoo by Kevin Price

Review of 'Fun and Games at the Zoo' by Kevin Price

We were lucky enough to meet the lovely author Kevin Price at the South of England showground and he kindly signed the books to our son Elliot. (We felt guilty afterwards as we'd totally forgotten about our daughter, so she missed out on having her name there too! Oh well, if she asks, we'll tell her she wasn't born at the time we went to the show!). Our son loves to roar extremely loudly whenever the book is near as Kevin Price wrote 'How loud can you roar?' when he signed the book!

Our son loves the books. Anything to do with animals and he gets excited. Zoo animals are particular favourites. Add in a dinosaur and you may have him hooked for life! This review is for 'Fun and Games at the Zoo' but we will also review the other book we bought, 'Feeding time at the Zoo', at a later date. Both were real winners.

The review

A fun, rhyming story featuring the popular Maisie and Bertie characters from The Beauty Contest at the Zoo
Children can join in with the games that Maisie and Bertie play with the animals; they can race with the cheetah, bounce with the kangaroo, swing through the trees with the chimpanzees, roar with the lion, dive with the penguins, pull funny faces with the monkeys, hang upside down with the fruit bats, slide down the elephant's trunk, and roll with the porcupines before snuggling up with the bear in his den at bedtime.

We quickly realised that this is not a book to read at bedtime. For once, our son became far too excited and secondly, the book has various actions on each page that you just have to get involved with. Perfect for rolling around hilariously on the floor being an animal! Cries of 'again, again', would come after each action. Without giving away too much of the plot, the story will have you running, jumping and warned!

A lovely story follows the energetic actions. If the actions put you off, just ignore the action box or cover it with hand (if your children are young enough to be fooled!) and you're still left with an entertaining story that you'll want to read again and again. Elliot loved the porcupines although he called them 'hedgehogs'! Luckily the book ends with a snuggle down in bed for a nice rest as the bear goes to sleep in his den.. A great idea for calming down the little ones and trying to encourage bedtime (if you've made the mistake of choosing to read it then!).

We thoroughly enjoyed this charming book. I am so glad we bumped into Kevin at the show, thank you! We are really looking forward to your next books and hope to meet you again at the show next year to buy our signed copies!

We will be reviewing this book, by Kevin Price, next on the blog

More about the author
Kevin Price hasn’t always been a children’s author. In fact, until very recently he was the Managing Director of a company that supplies construction materials, having spent his working life in the construction industry. However, after the loss of his much-loved daughter Maisie, he found that writing poetry helped him to express his grief. One day it was suggested that he should have a go at writing a children’s story. Having spent a week or two thinking about this, Kevin sat down and wrote his first rhyming story, The Beauty Contest at the Zoo. This would become a book which features Maisie as one of the central characters and provides a lasting celebration of her short life.

Having written the draft for The Beauty Contest at the Zoo, Kevin spent the next few weeks writing solidly and many more stories and rhymes appeared, including The Silly Solar System and Crazy Creepy Crawlies, both of which have become books in their own right.

Kevin has now left the construction industry and is a full time children’s author and the proprietor of KAMA Publishing. He plans to publish many more books in the near future, including more zoo stories which feature Maisie and her father Bertie and sequels to The Silly Solar System and Crazy Creepy Crawlies.

Review of Jungle Jam in Brazil

 Read with Mummy review 

Review of Jungle Jam in Brazil by Louise and Noam Lederman - with many thanks to the authors for the lovely picture book copies of Jungle Jam and Jungle Jam in Brazil.

 "The band is getting ready for their biggest show yet. They are going to Brazil in a jumbo jet." Gina the Giraffe loves being part of the Jungle Jam band but she is nervous about leaving her home and trying new things. Follow Gina on her courageous journey and learn about the fabulous music and culture of Brazil. This sweet, captivating rhyming book is designed for young children as an introduction to new sounds, cultures and musical instruments. Jungle Jam in Brazil shows children that they can do anything they want if they simply try their best and be 'brave and strong'.

We were thrilled to receive both Jungle Jam books through the post. My two children were delighted when the books arrived and couldn't wait to get stuck in. What a lovely treat it was for us to receive these lovely books. Animal books are always a favourite with the children.

Excited to have the first book Jungle Jam

We have read and reviewed the first in this series 'Jungle Jam' and are pleased to bring to you the review of the second book in the series 'Jungle Jam in Brazil.' In this book it follows the same beloved characters from the first book, with gorgeous bright coloured illustrations. 

As we were already familiar with the characters, this book felt like coming home to old family friends. We settled down with the book and immensely enjoyed it. My son was thrilled by the music and culture of Brazil. Although he's possibly a little young, at two, this delightful rhyming book had us hooked and learning. We followed the story learning all about new sounds and musical instruments as Gina the giraffe learns to be brave. The spot the instrument game at the end was a lovely touch. My son loved naming the different instruments as he found them hidden in the picture.

A lovely story to tell children. I'm sure we'll be reading this again and again, and we'll be looking out for any more in this series.

Buy the book here:

Book review - The Art of Hiding - Amanda Prowse

I was delighted to receive an advance review copy of this fabulous new book by Amanda Prowse. I have read several of Amanda's books and this book met my high expectations. It was deliciously and heart breakingly good! The Art of Hiding is out on the 18th July.

Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.
Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.
But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Review of The Art of Hiding

The story follows Nina and her perfect life which unravels after her husband is killed in a car accident. I loved the character Nina. I totally invested in her during the novel, and cried along with her at the turmoil her life after Finn was killed. Prowse writes with such strong emotion, it's hard not to be deeply affected by the plot. The marriage between Nina and Finn is perfect, although we don't know Finn that well, which makes my sadness for Nina and her lovely children rather than for Finn as a character. I did feel I'd missed out on knowing Finn apart from in Nina's reflections.

A fantastic novel to delve into what makes you really happy in life. Very thought provoking. Prowse has again created a novel packed with high emotion and fast paced to keep me gripped right until the last pages. Despite the sadness of the storyline, I was left feeling an optimistic hope. Prowse is a gifted storyteller and I cant wait until her next one.

Thank you to NetGallery for the copy.

Pre-order a copy of this novel here:

About the author

Amanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author sixteen novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world.
Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments.

Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio but her first love is and will always be writing.

You can find her online at, on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, and on Facebook at