Judy Leigh is Back With Her New Book! - Author Interview


My next novel, The Old Girls’ Network , is out on 16th June! I was inspired to write it when I moved house to a rural area where the neighbours are very friendly and there is a strong sense of community. In the short time I’ve lived in Somerset, I’ve made great friends, met remarkable people and I’ve been impressed by the warmth and kindness of the locals. I’ve been given fresh vegetables, cider; I’ve borrowed all sorts of implements from bench saws to pick axes; I’ve rescued a farmer’s sheep; I helped a farmer who’d overturned his jeep and I’ve been dug out of the snow by a lovely local man with a huge piece of farm machinery. Life here isn’t dull. Most of my novels up to now have been about older people taking journeys of some kind; in the case of the first three books, my central characters travelled both abroad and within the UK. In The Old Girls’ Network , my fourth novel, Barbara, who is in her seventies, leaves her hometown, Cambridge, to stay with her sister Pau…

Guest Blog & Author Interview - Marcella Steele


A TIME TO REFLECT  The world is collectively on time-out, the merry-go-round has stopped, and the pause button has been clicked on our usual routine. We face an unprecedented sense of uncertainty. When will life get back to normal? In this space of powerlessness and forced change, we have the unique opportunity to take a step back and re-evaluate our lives - our hopes and dreams. Whether you are forty, fifty, sixty or beyond...ask yourself, “Am I living the life I envisioned for myself?” A few years ago I asked myself that very question in the midst of a life crisis. At fifty three, when I was supposed to be cruising towards retirement in a career built over many years, it all came crashing down. Not unlike what many of us are experiencing now, I felt powerless and trapped - unable to control my fate. That is, until I discovered my resilience and strength. And in those moments when the thread of predictability unravels, there is the space for dreams to bubble to the surface. I…

It Shouldn’t Be All Doom and Gloom, Should It?


Heads are spinning with the domestic takedown of COVID-19. No wonder anxiety and frustration levels are running high. Can’t say we weren’t warned about it, but still, there’s been little time to process, and for most of us in this part of the world, we simply aren’t used to this kind of disruption. This kind of impact. Or this kind of fear instilled into our minds to control the spread of this virus. Daily life nears to a standstill. For now, anyway. As more and more non-essential activities, services and businesses shut down or move online, and travelling comes to a halt, it becomes more and more dizzying. Social distancing is a thing now. For introverts (and of course our fur babies), it’s business as usual. But for those energized extroverts who need their peeps, well, they’re probably really feeling terrible. And let’s not forget those huggers out there. But you’ll get your hugs soon. I promise. Who’s to Blame?  Try not to get caught up in the petri dish of conspiracy theor…

Celebrate International Women's Day With a Book!


International Women's Day is March 8th! This year's theme, Each for Equal , challenges stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements. Various events and traditions will be taking place to honour and celebrate women's rights and achievements worldwide. Take the time to explore this global event and be sure to check out the lists of books that show the positive role women (and the authors who wrote them) have played through their unique experiences.  Check out You Tube video -  International Women's Day 2020 Here's are some sites to find your next book that honors women: We Forum : 6 News Books to Read for International Women's Day  Bustle : 15 Great Books to Read for IWD Independent : Eight Best Books by Empowering Women Lit Hub : 33 Life-Changing Books to Honor IWD

Feeling A Little Grumpy? Could Be Your Water Intake


We all know drinking enough water is an important part of healthy living, beyond just quenching a thirst. But drinking the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses a day to reap the benefits? That's difficult, not to mention cumbersome, especially when you're just not that thirsty. Thankfully , recent studies have suggested that drinking 2 L of water a day to stay healthy is an old wives tale that originated in the 1940's and then again in the 70's. And studies (of these studies) have suggested that scientists back then neglected to tell us that we can get our daily quota from many of the fruits and vegetables we eat and all the other beverages (soda and other high sugary drinks don't count) we consume on a daily basis. Phew. Eight glasses aside, in reality, if you do work out, need an energy boost, or feel a little sluggish, water can help you increase your basal metabolic rate. And going for the water instead of a caffeinated drink could actually make a huge diffe…

Author Interview: Judy Leigh


Here's what Judy Leigh (author of A Grand Old Time and The Age of Misadventures ) had to say about her hilarious and feel-good novel, Five French Hens , released Dec 2019!       In a hundred words or less, tell us a little bit about you.       I'm an idealist, and I love meeting new people. (I already sound like an ad for a lonely heart!) I live in the depths of Somerset currently, but I’ve lived all over the UK from Oxford to Cornwall to Liverpool. I often have wanderlust and leap in the campervan for new experiences. I used to teach theatre before I threw myself into writing. I have two children who have just grown and flown. I love music, theatre, running on the beach, football, yoga, going to the gym. I have three black cats. I ‘m a vegan and a Reiki healer. When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be a writer? When I learned to read at my Mum’s knee when I was three years old. She was my most encouraging critic and I’m sad she’ll never get to read one of my …

Digging In - 50 Shades of Grief


BY CATHERINE MAVEN - Grief comes in many shades. It can be a stabbingly red pain that feels too sharp to survive (much like childbirth, actually). It can be a dull grey ache that colors everything the same shade, that makes you forget that the world actually contains other colors. It can be a black that threatens to drown you, a darkness that makes you want to die and take the world with you. And it can be the crazy orange of a sunrise or sunset, a shade so crazy that nobody would believe if you dared to paint it. “Digging In” (by Loretta Nyhan) is about a widow named Paige Moresco, who married her high school sweetheart and then lost him many years later – but still too soon – in a car accident. The novel takes place two years after her husband’s death, and focuses on her struggle with her rebellious and sullen teenage son, Trey, and on her terror at accepting the changes in her working life. A woman whose life has been defined by staying “safe”, this novel explores Paige’…