Chai And A Chat #92 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 16

Well, hello all!

I hope you are all well, and have your cuppa ready!

  • Monday, and back to school for me! My class was up to 13 this week, with an addition to my ‘bubble’. We had great fun, writing letters to aliens! In my downtime, I spent hours and hours calling the parents of my new children, due to start in my class in September. It is very strange, you know. For most teachers, they are welcoming back chilren who have suffered a broken year of learning, but they have been to school before. For our Reception children, it is a WHOLE other scenario. Some of these children have never left their parents side, let alone been to nursery… And in less than two months we are going to be separating them from their carers, and plopping them into a new bubble, consisting of 29 other children, like them, shell-shocked, possibly crying, with no previous experience. Usually, we have transition days, where the children can come in for an hour to meet us a few times, and we also do home visits. With the pandemic, however, we can’t do any of this… So, the phonecalls were made, and I managed to get through to most of them. I can’t comment aas yet, but I am sure next academic year will prove to be interesting in many ways! The parents I spoke to were all lovely, and there was only one who couldn’t communicate, as she had little English! So… September… bring it on!
  • Something lovely also happened… one of my TAs (Teaching Assistant) gave me a gift. I was not expecting it, but it was so touched. It is a personalised necklace for me!
  • Something HUGE… I managed to write some new WIP words for Book two! I have been stuck in such a rut recently. The last couple of months have not been conducive to me writing, but I found my writing mojo! Here’s to me getting back into it!
  • I even completed week 3 of Couch To 5K and for the first time, I ran a whole lap of our running track, without stopping! Granted, I am not running fast, because I don’t think my knee would forgive me, but I did it!
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The beautiful sky on my run today #beautifulsky

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  • On Sunday, we spent the afternoon watching Lil Man play his first match of the season. It was a friendly one, but such a lovely day!
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Glorious day to be a #cricketmum

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This week is the last full week we are in school (half week next week) before the school holidays kick in. So, there will be more getting ready for the September. By then I hope we have more guidance from our Academy about how things are going to work, timetable wise, in September.

Lil Princess has her orthodontist appointment too, on Tuesday, so I’ll be juggling my timings at work, to fit things in. It is important to get started for her, preferably before term starts, so she can get used to everything before starting back at school.

Oh, and while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

What have you been up to?

Stay safe, my dear friends!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 280 – Read


“Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.”

Joseph Addison

Thanks, Spidey! I always appreciate your quote selections, and I love that you chose to think about reading today. This quote makes me happy that my brain is being exercised as much as the rest of me at the moment, perhaps even more so!

I love books.

I definitely have an addiction.

I try not to buy too many physical books, because – space. But somehow they still end up in my basket. My Kindle is groaning with the amount of books I hvae waiting to be read.

I’ve even started adding ones I’d like to another list, on Amazon, so I don’t get them, just yet, as I must do justice to the ones I already have! (Unless they go on sale, in which case, it would be foolish to not!)

And as I read, I always review. I have done for the last few years, since I started blogging, and getting to know authors. The importance of reviews stretch beyond just letting other readers know what you think.

Well constructed reviews are also crucial for authors too. It’s not just about the ratings and getting five stars across the board. A good review will give the author food for thought. There may be huge praises involved for the writer, but sometimes there is constructive advice within reviews too, things that may help an author refine and hone their skills for the next book.

Since I started doing my monthly review posts, I realised that initially, I wasa automatically giving any book I read 5 stars, because I felt I should. And to be honest, I rarely read books that I wouldn’t like. Tried and tested authors.

But my range changed as I began blogging, and I found my preferred genres widening. Becoming a member of NetGalley further expanded my reading and reach, and I realised that blanked 5 stars were no good for anyone!

So, over the months, I honed my ratings to the meanings below. I shall be including this in all my round up review posts, so you will know what the ratings mean to me!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - loved it so much, I need ALL the books this author has ever written!
⭐⭐⭐⭐ - great read, something I'd read again
⭐⭐⭐ - enjoyable storyline and characters
⭐⭐ - an okayish read
⭐ - really wasn't for me 

And please remember, your reviews and ratings mean a lot to all authors!

If you’ve read Marriage Unarranged, and haven’t quite got round to reviewing… pretty please do!

So tell me, how do you rate books you read?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

The Day She Came Back by @MrsAmandaProwse #BookTour #BlogTour

I am absolutely thrilled today, to be a part of the blog tour for my absolute favourite author, Amanda Prowse, and her latest release, The Day She Came Back.

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know what a huge fan I am of her books, and I can, hand on heart, say that she not only writes the most amazing books, but is the most wonderful individual too. A couple of months ago, we were supposed to meet, for a radio interview, but then the COVID thing happened, but I hope to still get a chance to fan-girl face to face soon enough!

Enough of that, and back to the book in question.

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: how do you forgive the family that lied to you, and love the mum you never had?

When her loving, free-spirited grandmother Primrose passes away, Victoria is bereft, yet resilient—she has survived tragedy before. But even her strength is tested when a mysterious woman attends Prim’s funeral and claims to be the mother Victoria thought was dead.

As the two women get to know each other and Victoria begins to learn more about her past, it becomes clear that her beloved grandmother had been keeping life-changing secrets from her. Desperate for answers, she still struggles to trust anyone to tell her the truth.

To live a full and happy life, Victoria knows she must not only uncover the truth, but find a way to forgive her family. But after so many years, is trusting them even possible?

And here is my review:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star!

A new Amanda Prowse book? Yes, please!
There are those authors who you know, that even without reading the blurb of a book, you are going to enjoy, to matter what, and for me, Amanda Prowse’s books are just that,
Due to the craziness of COVID-19, I hadn’t heard as much about this particular release, and when the opportunity came to read, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer to read. And I wasn’t disappointed – at all.
In fact, I stayed up until the wee hours to read it, and had to force myself to put it down, to finish in the morning, because I was that immersed in the story.
The Day She Came Back tells the story of three women, interconnected forever, but apart for reasons beyond their control.
Victoria is an eighteen-year-old girl, brought up by her wonderfully eclectic grandma, Prim. Her mother, Sarah, passed away when she was a baby. Suddenly, she is left all alone after the sudden death of her only living family member, Prim.
Victoria is a character filled with confusion, and her journey through her grief is heart-wrenching.
Prim was a feisty woman, but her real inner strength is revealed as the story progresses.
Sarah, a woman who never got to see her child grow up, has a story equally heartbreaking.
The other characters in this book, like Daksha, Victoria’s best friend, Gerald, Prim’s ‘gun-toting’ beau, and Flynn, that crush that materialises, but crushes in a different way, flavour the whole story in a unique manner.
Despite being set in Epsom, Surrey, Victoria’s flights to Oslo add another beautiful layer to the story, with Amanda’s descriptions giving you hints of her own love of Norway.
I shan’t discuss the plot here, because you really need to read it yourself, but Amanda has tackled, with great sensitivity, loss, grief, addiction and reconciliation.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Buy it here!

Amanda Prowse is one of the UK’s most prolific and loved storytellers with global sales of 8 million copies and legions of loyal readers.  Based in the West Country, Amanda is the author of 25 novels and 7 novellas with books sold in 22 countries and translated into 12 languages– no mean feat when you consider her first novel was only published in 2012!

A passionate reader since her first visit to the local library aged 6, Amanda would read everything and anything and – armed with her precious library ticket – would spend hours reading loved Enid Blyton, Anna Sewell, Judi Blume, Nina Bawden while scribbling short stories of her own. As time passed, she moved onto the more risqué delights of Lace, The Thorn Birds and A Woman of Substance; gritty, emotional stories that would inform her writing. 

A powerful storyteller and a master of the addictive plot, Amanda’s rich imagination and prolific writing talent has seen her write over 20 bestsellers with millions of copies sold across the world. She often writes for 15 hours a day and sees her plots like movies in her mind that she’s compelled to get down on paper. These heartfelt human stories have made her one of the most successful female writers of contemporary fiction today and she has become a regular interviewee on TV and radio as well as a successful journalistic writer. 

Amanda’s ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night; great characters that stay with you and stories that inhabit your mind so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades. She is also a passionate supporter of military charities and those that support women’s causes and holds regular ‘Evenings with Amanda’ events as fundraisers for her chosen charities.

Twitter – @MrsAmandaProwse

Read it…. you WON’T be disappointed!

Chai And A Chat #91 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 15

Well, hello there, my dear Peeps!

Fifteen weeks, and still counting!

Got your drink?

  • Another week passed at school. I had my special Beaut back in class, this week (He’s my special needs child) I have been worried about him being at home, but equally, was worried about him being back in and adapting to the new routines and systems, but you knw what? He did really well! The rest of the week has been filled with paperwork, as we reaad new policies that have been sent to us by the government, regarding reopening to all pupils in September, including our brand new starters in Reception class. Such woolly advice! I’m just glad our head and the Senior Leadership Team is sensible enough, for the most part, the help organise things for us in the best way possible. I have some new responsibilities going forward, so am trying to prepare for them too!
  • We had our two birthdays on the Monday, as you all know, so a socially distanced birthday cake was cut in the garden with a candle on a cupcake so he could blow it out, and not worry about blowing on the cake everyone was going to eat! Except it was blowing up a gale, so I had to hold the cake through the kitchen window, for him to blow the candle out! And we video called Mum and sang to her! We will have to meet to celebrate that 70th at a later stage.
  • Fitness-wise, I have carried on with my Flat Tummy challenge, and the Plank Challenge ( I can hold a plank for 1 minute and 10 seconds!) and I completed week two of the CouchTo5K runs as well!
  • The rest of the week flew by in a blur. I’m getting up early, but falling asleep fast too. The weekend was a mix of the boys visiting barber shops, and us girls attempting to get to the hair dresser too! Pubs and restaurants opened on Saturday, and as Lil Man and I went on our walk, on Saturday evening, I was slightly alarmed at how many people were out, and crammed in to certain venues! Don’t they get that the virus hasn’t gone away yet?
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Hair done, FINALLY! #lockdownroots BE GONE!!!

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  • I am also still trying to eat a Keto-style diet, and this weekend, I experimented with Keto bread… I’ll let you know what it tastes like next week… it’s cooling as I type!

This week, we are still at school, preparing for the grand reopening in September, as well as teaching our mini class that we have.

I also have the 2nd birthday of my Finndian nephew #2 on Wednesday. Can’t believe time is flying so fast!

Also, Lil Man is playing his first cricket match of the season, on Sunday, so fingers crossed for better, less windy weather!

Oh, and while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

What have you been up to?

Stay safe, my dear friends!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 279 – Storm


“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.”

Roy T. Bennett

Thank you, Spidey, for another profound quote for me to ponder upon.

We’ve certainly, as a whole planet, weathered a huge storm this last few months.

I don’t think there are many people out there who haven’t been affected by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

If there is anyone, lucky you.

Most people have either known someone who has contacted this nasty virus, if they haven’t suffered themselves, or they know of someone who has been taken from this earth too early. Another victim of COVID-19.

If the virus hasn’t physically affected you, you still feel the effects. Be it your job. If you weren’t in essential jobs, suddenly you were at home. Either working from home, furloughed (if in the UK, at least) or you found yourself out of work.

Kids sitting at home, parents trying to be teachers.

Worry on your mind for members of family or friends who were sheilding, as vulnerable members of the community.

Who’d have thought that a time would come where you wouldn’t even be able to hug your own friends and family, if they didnt live in the same house as you?

Four months of a storm that is only just showing signs of calming a little. But it hasn’t disappeared yet.

There is still a chance the storm may pick up it’s severity again.

But we can’t live in fear either.

So, we carry on with life, as best we can, hoping that we don’t get caught in the storm… again…

So… tell me, are you hopeful?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤

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