Lockdown, Life, and Hobbies.

Lockdown, Life, and Hobbies.

It has been a very strange and heartbreaking time in our lives with Covid-19 spreading in the world and changing the course of our lives. I never thought I’d see this day and especially not now when my boyfriend and I were about to start our lives together. But now life feels in limbo, scary, and full of anxiety. Not only because we don’t know what the future hold, but I’ve found those around me have made these trouble times so much harder by doing what they want and not what they should at time which puts them and those around them in danger. It makes me very sad how all this has affected the world and human relationships. But also, it makes me proud of all of you who are following the rules, staying safe, and caring for your loved ones.

Lockdown has left me struggling to see the light in the future I had been stepping towards… It doesn’t mean the lights not there and I never stop having hope for life to somehow get us back on a good path we were on. But most days it’s not easy to get up and do things, However, while trying to battle these feelings I have started some new hobbies and tried to keep up with some of the ones I enjoy.

Firstly a  new hobby DIY Miniature Dollhouse kits. Honestly, they are very addictive and I wanted to do more after I first did a tin version during Christmas. I found the craft to be both fiddly but relaxing and nice to do in stages where on days when you just can’t focus on anything big doing a small part of the project soon adds up and I finished with lights and music my woodland dome a week or so ago. It did look pretty and now I’ve started a new miniature project. The nice thing about these is that the instruction in English and you can tweak parts to make them the way you want while following the guide.  If you are looking for a nice project to slowly complete this might be one to try.

Secondly, Diary writing: This s not a new hobby but with the lockdown and so much reflection and perspective about what’s going on in the world, I’m writing it frequently. Keeping a diary really does help put some of those emotions in one place and later might even help bring out emotions in future novels. But for me, diary writing has always helped my mind work through things and come to a place where things feel clearer,  or putting an end to relationships that just leave me drained, or writing to remember the fact my boyfriend is great a Ludo and racings. Overall writing has a positive effect on my emotional health. So, if you have lots of bottled up thoughts and emotions during this time, writing them down might help things feel clearer for the future.

Thirdly Reading is one of the best pass times and even when you feel like you’re on the go slow. Just a few pages of a book can move your mind forwards and take you somewhere new and exciting even just for a few moments…

Fourthly Meditation my boyfriend and I started doing meditation together over skype every day. It’s one of those times you have to work very hard to keep your mind quiet and your thoughts from wandering. I think for me that is a work in progress as my mind always wanders moves and stresses. But doing meditation does create a sense of inner calm I’ve found.

I’m sure all of you have your own ways of coping with the lockdown, spending moments with loved ones you live with, and looking to the future and what is best for your health and well being. I think the lockdown has done that for me, it’s helped me see what is and isn’t good for my emotional health and well being and in many ways how things have to change in the future to make life better. Especially letting go of those toxic and unpleasant relationships that the lockdown has helped me reflect on and made me realize just how unhappy being around that kinda energy has made me at times. But also, I feel very blessed to have friends, my boyfriend and cats, and some family who love and care for me as much as I do them.

What hobbies have you all been doing in the lockdown? I hope you’ve all kept well, stayed safe, and kept in contact with those you care about and who cares equally about you in the best ways.

Lastly thank you to all key workers who have put their lives on the line to try and keep us safe medically, and connected with food, mail, and needs must travel… You all have done a great job around the world and we will not forget your bravery, care, and compassion.

Stay safe, stay home, and Spread the love.

Katrina.

A Cozy Mystery Series by Linda Weaver Clarke

A Cozy Mystery Series

In this mystery series, Amelia Moore is the founder of the Moore Detective Agency and specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations. With the help of Rick Bonito, her business is flourishing. This series is available as seven individual novels or as a three volumes.

In Amelia Moore Mysteries, Volume 1, they travel to exotic places such as Bali Island in Indonesia, Ireland where she gets to kiss the Blarney Stone, and Mexico where she experiences what a rain forest is really like. Volume 1 includes three cozy mysteries.

If you have longed to visit an exotic island, The Bali Mystery will take you there. When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.

Ireland is the next place you can visit with Amelia and Rick. When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents in The Shamrock Case, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years? Why did her parents leave Ireland suddenly and move to America? Is there more to this case than meets the eye?

The last place Amelia was thinking of visiting was Mexico. In The Missing Heir, Dell Murphy has passed on and left a fortune to his nephew. He wants his nephew to continue his work at the orphanage in Mexico, but there is one problem. Neal Woods is missing! If Amelia and Rick can’t find him soon, the fortune will be turned over to Dell’s brother and sister who intend to close down “Uncle Dell’s Orphanage.” If that happens, where will the children go?

In Amelia Moore Mysteries, Volume 2, they travel to the haunted Stanley Hotel at Estes Park in Colorado and Color Country in Southern Utah where they visit Zion National Park. Volume 2 includes two cozy mysteries.

In The Mysterious Doll, Pauline Jones is confused why her boyfriend took off without telling a soul where he was going. But that isn’t all. Sam Whitaker is accused of stealing a valuable porcelain doll from the museum. His disappearance makes him look guilty, but Pauline is convinced he is innocent. When Amelia finds Sam, she realizes they need to prove his innocence. Where is the antique doll and who has taken it?

In Her Lost Love, Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. That was twenty-five years ago. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

In Amelia Moore Mysteries, Volume 3, they travel to the beautiful Louisiana Bayous and visit many intriguing lighthouses along the coast. Volume 3 includes two cozy mysteries.

In Mystery on the Bayou, Amelia is approached by a woman who is concerned about the son she gave up for adoption sixteen years ago. Millie fears he has inherited Marfan’s Syndrome from her side of the family. Not only that, but she has been having nightmares that make her fear he is in danger. She petitioned the court to view the sealed records but was refused. Will Amelia and Rick be able to convince the courts to help them? If her son is in danger, will they get there in time?

In The Lighthouse Secret, Rick Bonito’s uncle supposedly drowned five years ago and his body was never found, but something did not seem right about the report. Uncle Antonio was an excellent swimmer. His disappearance seems quite suspicious to Rick’s father. He never felt the complete truth had come out about his brother. It is now up to Amelia and Rick to find out the truth about his uncle.

“This is a cozy mystery, but there is also suspense, danger and, of course, romance. You have all the makings of an exciting novel.” —Library of Clean Reads

“Amelia and Rick have the makings of being a lasting couple that readers will adore and root for. Clarke knows both her characters and locations well and it shines through each word she writes.” —Socrates Book Review

 

Amelia Moore Mysteries Volume 1: https://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Moore-Mysteries-Book-1-ebook/dp/B087ZS8FJZ

Amelia Moore Mysteries Volume 2: https://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Moore-Mysteries-Book-2-ebook/dp/B087ZS56FY

Amelia Moore Mysteries Volume 3: https://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Moore-Mysteries-Book-3-ebook/dp/B0881893F4

Author Bio:

Linda Weaver Clarke was raised in the Rocky Mountains of Southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. She is the author of Historical Romances, Swashbuckling Romances, Cozy Mysteries, Mystery Suspense, a Children’s Book, and Nonfiction. Linda is a missionary at the Family Search Center where she helps people find their ancestors so they can learn about their heritage. To learn more, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

Linda’s Website: www.lindaweaverclarke.com

Linda’s Author Blog: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Linda’s Audible Audiobooks: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindaweaverclarke

My Review of Nightmare Asylum and other Deadly Delights by Sonia Kilvington

My Review of

Nightmare Asylum and other Deadly Delights by Sonia Kilvington

Nightmare Asylum and other Deadly Delights is a book of short story full of dark fantasy, deep routed psychological fascinations, and the twisted times when asylums were full of people committed for disturbing acts and emotional states of mind. I really enjoyed each story because I think the author got into the mind of characters’ dark thought and emotional attachment and helped the reader not only see the terrible acts some committed but also what brought their mindset to that point.

The book itself starts with Nightmare Asylum where a midwife dreams of being stuck in the hospital she works at when it was an Asylum. She’s lost and scared, but one night after waking from her dream she is needed by the hospital to deliver the baby of Evelyn Green a well-known child killer. However, this delivery changes her life for the worst now and no one wants her near their children. What could be so dark that mothers fear there midwife.? Does she really belong in an Asylum after all? You’ll have to read this collection of stories to find out.

Though there are many stories I enjoyed, one that stuck in my mind was about a man who was fixated on a young girl because of her dress. It was interesting because although he was clearly mentally unstable, the reasoning behind his need was to recreate the person he’d lost long ago, however, I think his story told that no matter how close to memory you feel it will never be the real thing and therein lies the darkness the drove him forwards.

Also, the story about the android made me see the future in a new light. This one was rather interesting because being in love and attached completely was what the bot was programmed for and yet the actions, he took to never leave his intended made me shiver.

The author does an amazing job of looking at how far a person can go down a dark road and the horror people leave behind the lives of the others.

I would recommend this book if you like dark stories, scenes, and characters that will take you down the darker side of the human mind. I also think anyone who has watched the American horror series would really enjoy this collection of short stories…

Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nightmare-Asylum-other-Deadly-Delights-ebook/dp/B083R5YMX2/

My Review Of Secrets and Shadows Of The Missing: Living Dreams 3 by E.MG Wixley

My Review Of

Secrets and Shadows Of The Missing: Living Dreams 3 by E.MG Wixley, 

Secrets and Shadows Of The Missing: Living Dreams 3 has heart wrenching, gripping and heart-warming moments all rolled into one story. I could feel the nightmare of Eleanor’s parents and friends throughout this book, but also the closeness of those trying to help. I also loved the supernatural and powerful feel to this book, as well as the twist and turns within each character and the changes in their lives.

The story itself follows Eleanor, Leo, and William as they play in the grounds of their school. However, Eleanor misses her parents and goes off by herself leaving her friends behind. Little did they all know that it would be the last day they would see Eleanor. Now everyone looks for her, dreams about what could have happened. But the big question is who took Eleanor? And will she be found in time? Read this book to find out.

My favourite characters were Leo and William, being siblings they had this powerful mental connection, I thought their dreams to find their friend and how they linked to the supernatural world was really gripping.

I also thought Sophie was a great character with a warm heart and in some ways,  a saving grace throughout the story,

I thought E.M.G Wixley, did an amazing job of telling a story that not only was packed with so many emotions but expressed just how a missing child can affect everyone differently and families as a whole.

If you like stories with supernatural themes, amazing characters and a storyline that will keep you engaged until you know the end give this book a try.

Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Shadows-Missing-Living-Dreams-ebook/dp/B008N051FI/

 

Echoes Of The Asylum By Sonia Kilvington

Echoes Of The Asylum By Sonia Kilvington

The strongest influence on my writing, and the inspiration behind my short story ‘Winter Baby,’ in ‘Nightmare Asylum’ was the amazingly talented, Helen Dunmore. Her writing is beautiful and dark; it is uncompromising in its willingness to explore what it feels like to face a severe threat, only to discover, that the most deadly danger of all, is already lingering, malevolently, inside of you! Her characters often seem to be on the verge of disintegration, and so are many of mine.

The lead story ‘Nightmare Asylum,’ is based upon a reoccurring dream I had in my twenties. In the nightmare, I was trapped inside a Victorian mental asylum. I knew that I shouldn’t be there, but no one would listen to me or let me out. I had encountered several scary looking psychiatric hospitals to visit a close relative when I was young. I knew how creepy they felt and how much people in my family feared them. Electrotherapy was a popular treatment for most mind-related ailments at the time, and I remember listening to a description of how it felt to wake from this horror; not knowing your own name.

Some of my stories in the collection were inspired by places. A couple of years ago, I was a guest writer at the Alibi Crime & Noir Literary Festival in Slovenia. On the first evening, we chose a folded piece of paper containing a title and had the following day to write a story, reading it to a live audience, the next. I felt inspired by the atmosphere in Slovenia and wrote, ‘Happy Death Day,’ incorporating the town in which we were staying and some local names and customs. Two other stories, ‘Every Move You Make’ and ‘Every Smile You Fake’ are set in Ennis in the Republic of Ireland, where I stayed for a while. I loved the quaint but slightly seedy undercurrent it had. The place had a classic noir feel, and I tried to capture that in my writing.

Quite a few of my stories contain elements of truth. I tend to write in disguise, subjugating my life experiences into unrecognisable scenarios. My story ‘Paranoid’ was based on a feeling of being harassed when I was younger. It starts out innocently enough. Boy meets girl, their eyes lock, then she finds this attractive stranger belongs to an orange-clad cult. The stalking begins, groups of people with tambourines were following me everywhere around town, urging me to join. I remember slipping out of the back doors of shops so that they wouldn’t find out where I lived. It got so bad that I couldn’t go into town on my own… Just like the character in my story.

Many of the tales are in Nightmare Asylum are based on fear, guilt, shame and loss. I will often take a complicated feeling, push it to an illogical extreme and then see what happens. Writing is an adventure for me, and I never really know in which direction it will go.

Sonia Kilvington Bio:

Sonia Kilvington is a journalist and fiction writer from the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus. She has published many articles, travel features, short stories and interviews in glossy magazines. She loves to write dark and disturbing short stories in genres such as noir, crime, ghost and Sci-fi. Her online writing credits include Out of the Gutter Online, Spelk fiction, Pulp Metal Magazine & Near to the Knuckle. Her new short story collection, Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights – published by Close To The Bone, is available on Amazon.

 Links

 Website: https://soniakilvingtonwriter.com/

Amazon author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sonia-Kilvington/e/B005FDXFQS/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 FB writer’s page: https://www.facebook.com/soniafiction/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Soniacyprus   (@Soniacyprus)

 LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonia-kilvington-26b2b721/

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soniakilvington/?hl=en

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4898959.Sonia_Kilvington

 Contact email: soniawriter@hotmail.co.uk

Amazon book links for Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights:

Amazon.co.uk. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nightmare-Asylum-other-Deadly-Delights-ebook/dp/B083R5YMX2/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Nightmare+Asylum&qid=1578909796&s=books&sr=1-5

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Nightmare-Asylum-other-Deadly-Delights-ebook/dp/B083R5YMX2/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=nightmare+asylum&qid=1578910007&s=books&sr=1-5

 

Birthday Expectations by Patricia Asedegbega.

  1. Birthday Expectations by Patricia Asedegbega

“Today is different,” Balou thought as he stood at the foot of Rosario´s bed watching her sleep. He would give her a few more moments before waking her up properly.

“It is my birthday!”

Balou remembered Rosario´s last birthday. Flowers had arrived from all over, at one point, it felt like they were in a flower shop. He, of course, had had a great time sniffing every single one that had come in, it had become a game as Adela tried to get some out of his reach.

“No Balou, this one is poisonous for cats, it will make you sick.” She had said on various occasions, moving the offending plant out of his reach. But it hadn´t only flowers, a number of breakfast baskets had been brought, of which he had sampled some of the ham, for, of what use were they to him if he could not eat any of their contents? The fruit baskets he had completely ignored, the people that had sent those obviously needed a Master class on the art of buying presents.

The telephone had not stopped ringing all day, a few at indecent hours when Rosario had not even woken up! Good thing that there were two telephone numbers in the house and most did not have her private line. The staff wrote down a lot of messages that day.

However, the best part was when the doorbell rang at noon and the opened door revealed Rosario´s family that had come all the way from Sevilla to surprise her. He had positioned himself in the middle of the staircase to know if to flee or go down, depending on who was on the other side. As soon as he saw who it was, he had raced down to greet his human grandfather.

“Balou!” The man had bellowed as he had been flung in the air and he knew that somehow he would be caught, even though, he was a cat, he always landed well. The rest of the day had been very satisfying for him, Rosario´s mother had taken over the kitchen and that woman could work wonders, because barely an hour later, they had all found themselves seated to a splendid meal. Himself included! His high stool had been brought from the kitchen and placed as tradition dictated, next to Miguel, that shared his roast lamb with him, not just the main course, he was given the excellent jamón they had brought with them, shrimps, roast fish…Oh, what a beautiful day it had been! Full of chatter… and food, laughter…and food and then…food.

So what was in store for him today? A cake made entirely from tuna? A room full of treats he could dive into and not be found in days? a whole jamón? A T-bone? Fillet Mignon? The images kept popping in his head, as he started nibbling Rosario´s toes. She moved her feet mumbling something unintelligible and he advanced to her face. Nothing like water to wake one fully up, the next best thing to a glass of said liquid, was his raspy tongue. He proceeded to give her a thorough wash. That method had never failed in the past, there was no reason it would do so now.

“Balou! It´s 4 am!” Rosario exclaimed as she opened her eyes and looked at the clock on her nightstand.

Balou stared at her unblinking. He had been quite considerate and waited quite a bit, occupying his thoughts with of ways his birthday could be celebrated, he did not understand what she was complaining about.

“Oh you little monster! I can´t believe you are three years old today. My special little boy.” Before he could escape, he had been caught in a tight embrace and covered in kisses. He suffered the torment in silence for a few moments and then wriggled his way out. That birthday tradition he did not in the least bit care about.

“Well there is no going back to sleep now, so let´s go and see if there are any presents for you.” His ears perked up at the last part as he ran ahead of her wondering what he was about to get, he had to come back as his human was taking her time wearing her sleepers. Why could she not go barefoot like he did?

She opened one of the bedrooms and Balou peered suspiciously in, wondering what on earth could possibly be of interest to him there.

The room had been completely transformed, there was a gigantic cat tree that occupied a whole wall. Full of levels, ladders, scratching posts, dangling toys, condos, hammocks…Balou stood in awe, it was almost at the level of the ceiling. Suddenly, he caught the whiff of something very, very pleasant, he approached his new castle and discovered that there were treats inside some of what one could only call ” the rooms” in his mansion.

“This is the best birthday ever! I can go back to sleep and you can discover what surprises await you in every compartment.” Rosario chuckled, grabbed him just before he disappeared into his kingdom, and planted a few more kisses on his head. He let her, she deserved it today.

“I wonder what the staff has prepared for me”, was the last thought that came into his mind as he embarked on what could only be described as the best culinary experience ever.

From the “Rosario and Balou series.”

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stand-corrected-Rosario-Balou/dp/1499590156/

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQEddWJsJcE&fbclid=IwAR1-wRxg20pkMQhiHhJfHo7NJW7ru412rIDV70Lta1iCAB6Czf_3AGxr4HY

Blog Link:

https://pasedegbega.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2qA6ngsdTNi00EiQ5dAWmvQdhLhEKZM7unMFwYqkYgTD0tg7LMJB47bN4

My Review Of  Robberty Bobberty And Friends By Rachel Coverdale, Illustrated by Shelly Oyston.

My Review Of  Robberty Bobberty And Friends By Rachel Coverdale,

Illustrated by Shelly Oyston.

Robberty Bobberty and Friends is a beautifully illustrated and told story for children aged 4-8. Even I quite enjoyed reading this book in the sense it reminded me of all the great books that brought reading alive for me. If I were a child I think this would be one I’d want to read again and my nieces love these kinds of books as they can easily say some of the rhyming words.

The story itself follows a cute bunny called Robberty Bobberty as his mother shoos him out to play and learn a new skill. But can an energy fulled Robberty Bobberty stop long enough to learn what his friends and the world around him have to teach him? You and your young children should read this book and find out.

I really thought all the little creatures featured in this book were well presented in a fun and beautiful way such as the frog with her babies growing in their eggs and the mouse with her carrot growing from the ground.   Each creature has something to teach us. I think children will really connect with the images as well as the little learning aspect throughout the book.

I also thought the end of the story makes this a perfect bedtime read for adults to read to their children and was rather calming and cute ending.

I would recommend this book if you have children who love rabbits and other cute animals all tied up in a fast-paced exciting adventure.

Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robberty-Bobberty-Friends-Rachel-Coverdale/dp/1916108024/

Birthday bloggers – Summer Changes, Winter Tears

Beautiful post xxx

Voinks

Many years ago I visited the island of Malta, and although I have seen some drastic changes over the  years, it remains in my heart.  ‘Changes,’  told the story of an unadventurous young woman living in London, working in a respectable job,  then deciding to live in Malta when she falls in love with the place and the people.

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Unexpected events in my own life gave me time to finish writing the book, and eventually it was published.  Fast forward several years, the publishing contract expired, and having learnt more about the industry I self-published the book under a new title ‘Summer Changes, Winters Tears.’  

 Amazon. Summer Changes link 

Summer changes cover pixels 850 1209 4.11.19 ebookWhat do you do if you’re a book blogger and have a birthday coming up? Celebrate by inviting authors to tell you about their books, of course. 😀 Having recently undergone the experience herself, Katrina made the theme for her…

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The Fifty-Year-Old Divorcee by Liz Hinds

It is Alison’s 50th birthday, her first birthday since her divorce from Brian. Adam and Chloe are her children; Pippa and Bev are her friends. We join her at evening time as she is about to go out for a celebration meal with Pippa and Bev.

The Fifty-Year-Old Divorcee

I did a twirl in front of the long mirror in Chloe’s bedroom. Not bad for a fifty year old, even if I say it myself.

Benjamin Bear was stretched out on Chloe’s pillow. I thought she’d taken him to university with her but I guess there’s not enough room in the bed for Chloe, Benjamin and Tryboy. I must try and remember what his real name is instead of using the nickname Brian gave him when he scored a try in a rugby game. But I mustn’t think of Brian now, not on my birthday. I must think of other things.

Oh-oh, but not Chloe in bed with Tryboy. I definitely must not think about that. Our roles have been reversed: Chloe is an adult having sex; I am a naughty child who forgets her manners in public.

When I was her age sex was barely on the agenda. Will it ever be again?              

Very very very late

‘Snot fair, not my birthday any more. I love birthdays. I love Pippa and Bev. Love Adam and Chloe. Love Brian. NO, no, don’t love Brian. Brian is lying cheating ratbag. Don’t love Brian. Brian has dimples when he smiles. Doesn’t smile at me any more. Only at bimbo. Brian left me for a bimbo. Bimbo, bimbo, bimbo. Don’t love Brian. Love me. Am new woman. No, Pippa and Bev are making me new woman. That can’t be right. Don’t want new woman, want Brian.

16th April

I am a fifty year old divorcee with a hangover. I might as well go the whole hog, bleach my hair, buy a black leather mini skirt and hang round dimly-lit bars.

John Morris, my favourite client, an old gent with old-fashioned manners, who always pays me a compliment, came in this morning. He looked me up and down and said, ‘You look different this morning, my dear. I hope you’re not going down with something.’

I was tempted to tell him it’s too late, I have already succumbed. I am old and unloved.

I once would have thought that forty-nine was ancient. Now I would give anything to be forty-nine again. I mustn’t be so silly; I’m just feeling bad because of this long-lasting headache – which almost certainly isn’t a brain tumour. I am very fortunate. I have my health (so far), family, home, and a job. I should be grateful. There are worse things in life than being fifty and divorced. I will pull myself together.

Lunchtime

It appears that undesirability has rendered me invisible. I was in Eatz, waiting to place our sandwich order, when a young executive-type came in. Jeff looked up from behind the counter, where he was buttering bread, and said, ‘Good afternoon, sir, what can I do for you?’ I was so amazed that neither had acknowledged or even noticed my presence that I said nothing until Moira came out and served me.

I crept into the loo to check my appearance when I returned to the office. I was definitely older-looking and less attractive than I remember. I wonder how long I’ve been in decline. Probably ten years at least. The only wonder is that Brian stuck it out so long.

This is an excerpt from my first novel, This Time Next Year, available from Amazon. I am currently writing a sequel – by popular demand! In the run-up to the launch I am planning to narrate and broadcast This Time Next Year as a series of podcasts.

Amazon links

This Time Next Year

https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Time-Next-Year-Hinds/dp/1471652122/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380828860&sr=1-3&keywords=this+time+next+year

The Dog-walking Club

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-walking-Club-Liz-Hinds/dp/1729286054/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=the+dog-walking+club&qid=1553003404&s=gateway&sr=8-2

I have a writing blog:

http://notanotherwannabewriter.blogspot.com/

and an everyday blog: https://liz-and-harvey.blogspot.com/

I have a Facebook page Not Another Wannabe Writer @LizHinds99

I’m on Twitter Not Another Wannabe Writer @Liz_Hinds99

Also but infrequently on Pinterest Not Another Wannabe Writer

and Instagram notanotherwannabewriter

Ask a Duchess! Lady Imogen Solves A Birthday Present Problem by Glynis Louise Donohue

Ask a Duchess!
Lady Imogen Solves A Birthday Present Problem

Dear Lady Imogen,

It’s my birthday next month and I fear my husband will do what he always does, which is buy me something he thinks I need, like a food processor, when what I’d really like is a diamond ring. How can I steer him in the right direction?

Thank you,

Sick of kitchen equipment

 

 My dear friend,

What on earth is a food processor?  Do you mean a cook, though I do not comprehend how one could buy one, precisely? It is true there was a disturbance amongst the ton when The Earl of Westchester apparently stole away the Baron Hutchings’ cook by offering her financial inducements.  It actually came to blows in White’s, I’m told. Our chef de cuisine, I might add, has a particularly good way of “processing” collops of veal, which my dear Ivo, the Duke of Sarisbury, enjoys very much. I blush to admit he says he likes the dish because the whiteness of the veal reminds him of a woman’s breast. He says this with a lift of his brow and a gaze at that part of my own body that I find quite thrilling. But I digress.

 My experience with the Stock Exchange has taught me that gentlemen need to feel the decisions they make are their own. You must not, therefore, ask for a ring outright. It is imperative he imagines he thought of it himself.

At dinner, while walking in the park, in the carriage, on any and all occasions, sigh and raise your ringless hand saying, I hear diamond rings are all the rage this year.  Lady Jersey is wearing the most beautiful creation, but, of course, one of her many…er, gentlemen friends may have given it to her.  Her husband has no taste.  Unlike you, my dear! And smile engagingly at him. Repeat this as often as you can.

Then, after a week or so, refer to the specific place where a ring might be had – Garrard’s, of course. On several occasions, have your coachman drive past their premises (just off Haymarket) and draw his attention it.  Oh, look, my dear.  There’s Garrard’s.  I believe that’s where Lady Jersey’s ring was obtained.

Finally, about a week before your birthday, drive past that establishment and carelessly drop your glove out of the carriage window.  Insist on descending to retrieve it. As a gentleman, your husband will naturally descend with you. You will not bother about the glove. Let the driver find it. You will take your husband’s arm, press your nose against Garrard’s window and exclaim, Oh! how beautiful, just of all things what I should desire!  Do look, my dear! 

Back in the carriage, not forgetting to rub the smudge from your nose, sigh and look down at your ringless hand repeatedly. In a voice of wonder then, and later, as often as you can, exclaim: oh, the rings in Garrard’s were so beautiful, were they not, my dear?

            If, after all this, your husband is so obtuse as to not take the hint, he is really of no use to you at all. I should immediately follow the lead of Lady Jersey and find yourself another … interest. ButI shall leave advice on that until another time.

            Good luck, my dear! I hope your husband comes up to scratch and you receive a ring, not a cook, for your birthday!

Imogen, Lady Sarisbury.

Imogen, Lady Sarisbury first appeared in the works of GL Robinson, her good friend and editor, to whom she told her story.  It was published under the title Imogen or Love and Money. If you would like to see more advice from her, read her story or listen to the first chapter of her fascinating life, please go to the website:

https://romancenovelsbyglrobinson.com

Her ladyship will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Please contact her via the website above.  In view of the technical difficulties of communication with the early nineteenth century, she is unable to respond to you direct.

Glynis Louise Donohue

Writing as GL Robinson

Novels available on Amazon

 website: https://romancenovelsbyglrobinson.com

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Imogen-Love-Money-Regency-Romance-ebook/dp/B07ZXKVSNY/