Friday, 24 May 2019

Bathroom Blinds with Make My Blinds

blinds, make-my-blinds, bathroom, home

AD | It's been over a year since we've been in our home together, yet there is still a lot of work left to do on the house! In particular, one of the areas that we've done next to no work on has been the bathrooms. As everything seemed to be working fine, pretty much all we did was add towel rails, toilet roll holders and light shades - and give everything a thorough deep clean, of course!

As we had to buy a lot of essentials (and pay for work on the things that urgently needed sorting) money has been tight in terms of spending on the house, so a lot has gone on the 'to sort in the future' list - including the bathrooms. However, when the lovely people at Make My Blinds kindly offered us a blind for our home, the bathroom immediately came to mind!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Book Review: Circle of Words by the Brussels Writers Circle

circle of words-brussels-writers-circle, anthology

Founded in 1997, the Brussels Writers’ Circle now has about 200 members of many nationalities. The group meets and discusses works in English, and is open to both mother and non-mother-tongue speakers. It is indeed proud to count members from Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, the Seychelles, Zimbabwe and to publish this sample of their work.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

5 Ways to Increase the Natural Light in Your Home

window, skylight, natural-light, home, flickr-eleaf

AD | Whether you're stuck inside working or doing chores or simply lamenting at the grey British weather, sometimes, this can get you down. There are many known advantages to natural light including improved mood and wellbeing, as well as physical health benefits, which is why it's important to get out when you can and soak up some Vitamin D.

Of course, though, natural light doesn't just mean spending time outdoors and feeling the sun on your skin. When you welcome increased levels of natural light into your home, you are opening yourself up to brighter, lighter rooms which will not only boost your mood but could also help to reduce costs on lighting and reduce eye strain caused by a darkened environment.

So, how can you increase the levels of natural light in your home?

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

the-reflections-of-queen-snow-white, david-meredith, book

What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an ageing Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion.

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Book Review: The Demon Girl's Song by Susan Jane Bigelow

the-demon-girls-song, susan-jane-bigelow, book

More than anything, Andín dal Rovi wants to escape her small town life, helping her father in the store, watching her younger brother prepare to take the place at University she’d longed for.

Instead of escape, she gets a thousand-year-old demon stuck in her head, and she loses everything – her home, her family and her country.

In the quest to regain her identity, she finds herself racing against time to uncover the secrets of her world – and save it from utter annihilation.

Monday, 6 May 2019

5 Reasons to Try Scrapbooking


AD | Scrapbooking is a great hobby, perfect for beginners and craft aficionados alike! Not only does it give you the option to reminisce on great memories and protect them for many more years to come, but it is also a brilliant outlet for your creativity.

I've recently started giving scrapbooking a go, and so far, I'm loving it. Although I'm still just at the beginning of my scrapbooking journey, I think it's a fantastic hobby and that's why I'm sharing just a few of the reasons why you should try it out!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

7 Strategies to Help You Save for Your First Home

money-saving, homeowner, house, property

AD | For many people, buying a home is a big dream. However, these days, it’s something that seems to be getting more and more out of reach. In this post, I'm sharing seven strategies that you can try in order to save for your first home.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Book Review: The Love Triangle by Nic Tatano

the-love-triangle, nic-tatano, book

Public relations expert Lexi Harlow is the queen of getting her clients out of sticky situations. But can she do it for herself?

After an incendiary breakup (setting fire to her cheating boyfriend’s pants), Lexi decides to play the field for the first time in her life. Two suitors are vying for her affections: New York’s most eligible bachelor and pro quarterback Jake Frost, and sports agent Kyle Caruso. But when the athlete hires the agent, and both enlist her services to take care of public relations, well…

There’s only one way Lexi can get out of this love triangle before everything blows up in her face: choose one.

But when the candle she’s burning at both ends meets in the middle, the choice is no longer hers.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

5 Laundry Money-Saving Tips

socks, laundry

AD | Since my partner and I bought our house and moved in together last year, it's been a steep learning curve for both of us as we've had to learn to properly 'adult'. From managing money and paying the bills to doing the weekly shop, keeping on top of chores and maintenance around the home, there's been a lot to wrap our heads around!

Luckily, for me, laundry is one of those chores that never really seems like a chore. Although needing to stand behind the ironing board for hours isn't much fun, washing, drying, and ironing clothes is an essential part of daily life (unless you're rich enough to buy new clothes every week - which I'm definitely not!)

On the subject of money, being on a tight budget has meant that we need to carefully watch our spending and keep track of every last penny. While laundry certainly isn't our biggest expense, we are always looking for good ways to save ourselves a little extra cash and make our household more efficient.

As a result, I've put together five of my top tips to help you save money with your laundry!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Reading Round-Up: March/April 2019

my-secret-lies-with-you, faye-bird, books

Where is 2019 going? It seems barely five minutes since we were welcoming in the New Year, yet here we are with my second Reading Round-Up post of the year! So, shall we take a look back at what I've been reading, hoarding and wishing for over the last few months?

If you missed my last Reading Round-Up, you can find that here.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Book Review: 50 Years of Glastonbury by Malcolm Croft

50-years-of-glastonbury, book

Glastonbury is a festival like no other, and this visual history follows the world-renowned gathering on its 50th anniversary - complete with photographs, line-ups, and firsthand accounts.

From its humble beginnings as a folk festival (where £1 got you a ticket and a pint of milk), Glastonbury has grown into one of today’s biggest global music events. Hundreds of the world’s most famous acts have played the iconic Pyramid Stage - including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Coldplay, Radiohead, The Smiths, Jay-Z, Metallica, and Paul McCartney - and tickets sell out within minutes. 50 Years of Glastonbury celebrates the music, the mud, and the mayhem that have made the festival so popular, for fans and artists alike. Packed with incredible photographs and stories of the acts and attendees who have made Glastonbury a phenomenon, this is a must-read book for festivalgoers and music fans everywhere.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

10 Steps to Publishing Your Own Book this Year

books, the-writing-greyhound

AD | If you have a head full of ideas and a creative mind, one of the things which you may have considered trying out this year is publishing your own book.

Writing and publishing a book is a huge challenge and it is something which can take months or even years to complete... just look at how long it has taken George R. R. Martin to finish the last books in his Song Of Ice And Fire series!

Writing and publishing a book is a huge job and one which will take time and effort. So, what better time to start than now?

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Book Review: Predator by Wilbur Smith

predator, wilbur-smith, book


Two men are responsible for the death of Hector Cross’ wife and only one is left alive: Johnny Congo – psychopath, extortionist, murderer, and the bane of Cross’s life. He caught him before and let him go. Now, Hector wants him dead. So does the US government.

Congo is locked up on Death Row in the most secure prison in the free world, counting down the days until his execution. He’s got two weeks. He wants out. He’s escaped before and knows he can again, and with whizz kid D’Shonn Brown enlisted, he might just have a chance.

Cross, still licking his wounds from his last bruising encounter with Congo, is back and ready for work. In the middle of the rough Atlantic stands oil supertanker Bannock A. Terrorist activity in the area has triggered panic and there’s only one person they can trust to protect her.

What is promised as a cakewalk turns out to be much more, a mission that will test Cross to his emotional and physical limits. But a life spent in the SAS and private security has left Cross hard-wired for pain and as he is thrown into the bull pit once more, he will not stop until he has snared his prey.

Hector Cross is Predator.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Interview: Almond Jones

wingmen, almond-jones, book

It's been a little while since my last author interview - let's bring it back in style!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Wingmen, and to celebrate, I'm pleased to be welcoming author Almond Jones to The Writing Greyhound.

Almond Jones is an independent publisher and author who started a publishing company in 2016, before releasing debut novel Wingmen.

Learn more about Almond Jones and Wingmen below!

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Book Review: An Extraordinary Boy by Vernon Hewitt

an-extraordinary-boy, vernon-hewitt, book

In 1993, 24 terminally ill children are abducted by aliens from hospitals across the UK. They are discovered later dispersed at random and in pairs, cured of cancer with their genomes modified to contain an extra ten chromosomes. The last two, Max Lennox and Jonathan Price, are found in a wood in Leicestershire and later there are rumours that the aliens returned to leave a device of some kind buried in the ground. Who or what is behind these events and why have the children been altered? 

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Character Bio: Onion from Sour Fruit by Eli Allison

sour-fruit, eli-allison, book

I love delving into the science behind stories and sometimes, there's nothing more satisfying than getting to know a new character! When I was younger, I always loved creating new characters on The Sims and imagining their lives, their homes, and their jobs - and that's a passion that has never left me.

So, when author Eli Allison got in touch about sharing a character bio for Onion, the main character from his speculative fiction novel Sour Fruit, I couldn't resist the chance to help breathe life into her character!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Book Review: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

flawed, cecelia-ahern, book

You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking Young Adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Book Review: Agent of Equilibrium by N.J. Mercer

agent-of-equilibrium, nj-mercer, book

The gift had always been with him. But only now was he beginning to understand it. Sent by his mysterious benefactors to investigate a series of powerful psychic disruptions, Johnny crosses paths with the deadly Disciples of Disorder and suddenly more than just his life is at stake. It’s the very nature of Earth. Travelling north and confronting beings whose existence he couldn’t even have imagined, he discovers the Equilibrium that preserves all life in its current state and learns of the terrifying forces that seek to overturn it. This journey will expose Johnny and his loyal companions to the fantastic, the sublime and the depraved. It will ultimately reveal to him the hidden conflict that defines reality itself. Agent of Equilibrium is a work of epic urban fantasy, combining elements of science fiction, horror and the occult. It will take you on a white-knuckle ride through darkness and hope. It might even alter your perception of the world you think you know.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Reading Round-Up: Jan/Feb 2019

little, edward-carey, book

We're already well into 2019 and spring is fast approaching - though it might not seem like it just yet! It's been a busy time for my reading, as usual, with the cold weather making me stay indoors and read more. So, let's see what's been going on in my bookish world during January and February!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Book Review: The Red Pearl by C.K. Brooke

the-red-pearl, ck-brooke, book

Treasure lost, passion found?

Antonia Korelli is on the run from her coven of priestesses. She never desired a life confined to the temple, relegated to chastity and service to the goddess, Azea. Instead, she longs for true love and adventure in the Kingdom of Elat.

Enter Robin Watkins, a fiery dreamer on a mission of his own, to uncover the legendary lost Red Pearl. Only, he must first regain his treasure map, which was stolen by his former best mate and conniving ex-girlfriend.

When Antonia becomes unwittingly entangled with Rob, she's more than dismayed to find herself stuck on his harebrained hunt. But somewhere amidst their bickering and banter, their plight for survival through desert and tropics, and the joint pursuit of impossible dreams, Antonia begins to realize that perhaps she might have found the unforgettable adventure - and romance - she was seeking.

Monday, 25 February 2019

3 Places to Stay in the Derbyshire Peak District

derbyshire, peak-district, england, uk, travel

Travelling is wonderful but with such a rich variety of sights, views, history, culture and activities on our doorstep, sometimes there's no need to go further afield for a memorable getaway! Of course, it's no secret that I love getting out and about, exploring as much of my home country as I possibly can, but I'm hoping to share more and more of my travels here on The Writing Greyhound.

As a result, I've compiled a little list featuring just a few of my favourite places to stay in the Derbyshire Peak District - a brilliant part of the country that's off the usual tourist trail.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Book Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

because-youll-never-meet-me, leah-thomas, book

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times - as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Film Review: How to Train Your Dragon 3 - The Hidden World

how-to-train-your-dragon-three, the-hidden-world, film, cinema

Weighing in as one of my most highly anticipated films of the year, How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World promised to be a fantastic tale and a worthy new addition to a much-loved animated movie series. 

I had purposely avoided watching teasers and trailers in the run-up to the film’s release, as the last thing I wanted was to end up inadvertently spoiling a major twist or key plot point for myself before getting a chance to see the movie in full. Luckily, I managed to succeed, and after watching the film last Friday evening, I am especially glad that I did!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Book Review: Nirvana by J.R. Stewart

nirvana, jr-stewart, book

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?
Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realised - even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Interview: Skye McNeil

hearts-abroad, skye-mcneil, book

With just over a week to go until Valentine's Day, what better opportunity could there be to chat with a romance author? Skye McNeil is the author of wonderful romance novel Hearts Abroad, and she's kindly agreed to stop by the blog for a chat about her writing life.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Book Review: First One Missing by Tammy Cohen

first-one-missing, tammy-cohen, book

There are three things no-one can prepare you for when your daughter is murdered:
  • You are haunted by her memory day and night
  • Your friends and family fear you are going mad
  • Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.
Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

Monday, 28 January 2019

3 Walks in the Derbyshire Peak District

thors-cave, derbyshire, peak-district, travel

The Derbyshire Peak District is a wonderful part of the country, filled with rolling countryside, picturesque views, and plenty of exciting places to visit and things to do. The Peak District is also a haven for those who like to stay active and get out and about, boasting a wide variety of trails and country walks suitable for people of all ages.

To pique your interest, here are three of my favourite walks in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Book Review: Fugitive Six by Pittacus Lore

fugitive-six, pittacus-lore, book

The Human Garde Academy was created in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth. It was meant to provide a safe haven for teens across the globe who were suddenly developing incredible powers known as Legacies.

Taylor Cook was one of the newest students and had no idea if she’d ever fit in. But when she was mysteriously abducted, her friends broke every rule in the book to save her. In the process, they uncovered a secret organisation that was not only behind Taylor’s kidnapping but also the disappearance of numerous teens with abilities. An organisation that has dark roots in the Loric’s past, untold resources, and potentially even a mole at their own school.

Now these friends, who have become known to other students as the “Fugitive Six,” must work together to bring this mysterious group to an end before they can hurt anyone else.

Monday, 21 January 2019

I'm Not Ashamed to Go Make-Up Free Every Day - Here's Why


First of all, I think it’s important to start this post by saying that I have no issue either with make-up or with those who choose to wear it. I think it can be a great way to express your personality, glam up for a special occasion or even just cover up the visible effects of a sleepless night! However, as you’ve probably gained from the title, it’s just not for me. 

In this post, I’m going to explain the reasons why!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

5 Dream Home Improvements

home-sweet-home, home-improvement

We all have a vision of how our dream home would look, from spectacular swimming pools to state-of-the-art kitchens with all the latest gadgets! Although the chances are that your real home may not be the exact replica of your dream home, it can still be fun to daydream about the improvements you’d make to your property if you could. If only you won the lottery, right?

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Book Review: A Quiet Genocide by Glenn Bryant

a-quiet-genocide, glenn-bryant, book

Germany, 1954. Jozef grows up in a happy household – so it seems. But his father Gerhard still harbours disturbing National Socialism ideals, while mother Catharina is quietly broken. She cannot feign happiness for much longer and rediscovers love elsewhere. Jozef is uncertain and alone. Who is he? Are Gerhard and Catharina his real parents?

A dark mystery gradually unfolds, revealing an inescapable truth the entire nation is afraid to confront. But Jozef is determined to find out about the past and a horror is finally unmasked which continues to question our idea of what, in the last hour, makes each of us human.

A terrifying and heartbreaking story.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Interview: Jay Marksman

of-thieves-and-dying-leaves, jay-marksman, book

I am super excited to be welcoming crime author Jay Marksman to The Writing Greyhound on this cold January morning - what better way to stave off the January Blues than with some bookish chat?

Keep on reading to learn more about Jay and his writing, not to mention an insight into his novel Of Thieves and Dying Leaves.

Monday, 14 January 2019

5 Healthy Habits for 2019


January is always a good time for reflection, with the New Year providing the perfect opportunity to look back on the past year and focus on setting goals and targets for the year ahead. It’s always good to have aims in life and things to strive towards, as this can help you stay focused and motivated as well as generally creating a more successful life to lead.

We are constantly warned about the negative impact of unhealthy habits by both the media and those around us, and in an increasingly sedentary society, keeping fit has never been more important. Now, I’m far from the healthiest person (I’ve never been to the gym in my life) so I’m well aware that I’m far from a leading authority on healthiness, but at the same time, what better time to turn over a new leaf than the start of a new year?

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Book Review: The Draughtsman Damsel by Emily Klein

the-draughtsman-damsel, emily-klein, book

At the age of ten, following her father's political decision, Annabelle is torn from her childhood home at the Duke's court at Calais and from her best friend, the Duke's youngest son, Thomas. She comes to the English court and tries her best to avoid all courtly, ladylike occupations, and to follow scholarly pursuits, usually reserved for boys. 

Her father, Lord Latimer's connection with the Duke diminishes and he decides to match her for marriage elsewhere. After an unsuccessful courtship event, a letter arrives from the Duke asking Latimer, who is an Architect, to return to Calais and aide the Duke in constructing a grand chivalric monument; Annabelle who is by then found out to be competent at planning and sketching joins her father to be further educated there. 

Latimer's Mason falls under the Duke's influence and cannot assist in building the castle. Latimer then recruits Thomas, the Duke's son, as a consultant and his own daughter as his assistant draughtsman. The Two, after many obstacles and tribulations, reluctantly and unwittingly fall in love. Latimer's relationship and connection with the Duke deteriorate further, and it sets a course of events in motions that results in the banishment of Annabelle and her father. Will Annabelle and Thomas' love conquer all obstacles?

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Interview: Sharlene Almond

initiated-to-kill, sharlene-almond, book

I love a good thriller - throw some historical influences into the mix and you've got a book I'm bound to enjoy reading! One book that sounds just like that is Initiated to Kill, a fast-paced thriller from author Sharlene Almond. Sharlene has kindly agreed to stop by The Writing Greyhound and answer a few questions, so read on to find out more!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

5 Books I Want to Read in 2019

After three consecutive years of failing to read the five books I set out to read in the January of each year, I'm starting to wonder if the reason why I'm not reading these books is because I'm not motivated enough. Sure, I love reading, but with a busy lifestyle, long working hours (especially with the combination of blogging and my day job) and near-constant tiredness, if a book isn't motivating me, the chances are that I'm going to put off picking it up.

So, this year, I'm determined to beat my Goodreads challenge and read a minimum of 50 books in 2019. One of my New Year's resolutions is to stop feeling so guilty about taking time for myself, which ties in perfectly with my reading goal.

Let's make 2019 the year of reading!