Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Spotlight: Mr Maniac by Johan Fundin

I was recently given the opportunity to read the new novel, Mr Maniac by Johan Fundin, a murder mystery story set in the North of England.

Young female students are being murdered in the university city of Blackfield, and a horror suspense novelist is asked by his uncle, the lead detective on the case, to aid in the investigation. But there is something else going on here. The murders are eerily reminiscent of those in the writer's own new, and yet to be published, manuscript. He also has a particular connection with one of the victims.

Could he be involved? Has he taken on the persona of his own evil creation, the central character of his new novel?

With the help of his cat and a new girlfriend, who happens to be involved with a shadowy international law enforcement agency, Kenneth Sorin embarks on a path of discovery through both reality and his own subconscious to uncover the truth about the murders and his connection to them.

The book is populated with a variety of well drawn characters, including an old lady who is apparently ringing Kenneth from the grave, having passed on 10 years before! This novel is most certainly not your average crime story and contains some adult themes. It will keep you guessing right up until the final revelation, and I found it to be an excellent read which was a real page turner throughout.

Mr Maniac by Johan Fundin is published by Matador and is the author's first suspense thriller for the international market.

You can get your own copy here and on Amazon .

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Book Spotlight: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

Brief Synopsis

Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse?

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.


Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee is a very intriguing book. It is a very emotional novel which pulled me in from the very beginning. The threads of loss and family run through the novel and gives it a universal appeal which many of us can relate to. I loved delving into the story of the family curse. This made for a very atmospheric read for me. It's intriguing to follow Ian Perkins as he delves into his family's history and discovers more about how the story of his family all fits together.

This is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it! M. Jonathan Lee is an excellent writer, who is gifted at telling a story with lots of intriguing layers. This is a great read.

You can find out how to pre-order the novel here .

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Hello July

I'm a day late, but better late than never....Lol.

** Note to Self (a gentle nudge with love, because I need it right now, but with no self judgement): Get it together Dori ;-)

Anyway, I hope that July is great for you and me. June was tough for me, but I'm believing that much better is ahead. Here's to good times :)

I'm planning to be much more present here on the blog again, because I miss it and I need to get back to the things that make me happy. Life is so short and we must enjoy each day to the fullest. We have to spend more of our time here on Earth doing what we love. I've been reminded of this a lot recently and it's so very true. So watch this space! :)

Happy July and have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! 

These two daisies make me think about life. They're a part of nature and indeed part of this world just as we are. When I took this photo, I was just walking by and I looked down. I was drawn to taking a photo because they made me think of faces. Daisies often remind me of smiling faces. 

These two are missing a petal or two here and there, but they're doing their best to show up in the best way they can...while being the best version of themselves with what they have. Thinking of this reminds me of a quote by the late tennis champion Arthur Ashe.

"Start where you are.
 Use what you have.
 Do what you can."

~ Arthur Ashe

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book Spotlight: A Life Between Us

I've recently read an intriguing book called A Life Between Us by Louise Walters. It's a real page turner that really spurs you on to see how it all turns out. This is a family saga. I thoroughly enjoy novels in this vein and this one definitely did not disappoint.

A Life Between Us tells the story of Tina Thornton and her twin sister Meg. There's just one thing...Meg has died in a childhood accident nearly forty years before and Tina blames herself for her sister's death. We see Tina struggle with this as an adult and it greatly affects her life to say the least. The novel is set up in a way which tells a parallel story of Tina and Meg's older relatives in their youth. I found that this made for an interesting way to flesh out just who these family members are and to see what drove them to act in the ways that they did. Another thing that I enjoyed were the letters which Tina wrote as a child to a relative. This was an excellent way to take glimpses into the past and this made the story even more engaging for me.

Tina goes for a visit with her Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia. This visit shines a light upon family secrets and helps Tina to see things in a new way. Questions about just what happened on the day that Meg died are revived for Tina and she begins to question just what she really knows or how she remembers it all.

I found this to be an incredibly intriguing book because as a reader it made me think about how family secrets can be a big part of a particular family's story. Secrets can colour how we see ourselves within the story of a family and how we see others. Of course many of us don't have such a dramatic family history as we find within the pages of this enjoyable novel, but as a reader I found this family to be fascinating.

A Life Between Us is Louise Walters' second novel and I must say that she is a gifted writer. This story is beautifully told and is a truly emotional journey.

I really enjoyed this book! I found myself reading well past my's that good!

You can get your own copy here and also on Amazon.

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Hello June

I didn't get the chance to welcome in June a few days ago, so even though we're three days in, here goes.....Hello June!!! :)

I love the warmer months as many of us do. I love watching the sunset at the end of these long summer days, as the sun does its beautiful dance along the horizon, as it bids us good night and makes way for the moon. There is such a magic at that golden time in the evening when the shadows grow longer and everything is bathed in this amazing light.

It's about that time here as I type this. Nature is glorious.

Hello June!

Here's to many more golden evenings like this :)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Unofficial Beginning of Summer

Happy Weekend!!!

It's the three day bank holiday weekend here and it's Memorial Day weekend back home in the US, so we've finally arrived at the unofficial beginning of summer even though the official start of summer is in June. But hey, all works for me. Lol. I'm just glad to see warmer days and we're actually having some warm, sunny days here in Wiltshire right now, with not a rainy cloud in sight. Woo Hoo! ;-) I don't know how long the sunshine will last, but I'm gonna soak in the warmth and the good vibes to the fullest while I can :-)

Have an amazing weekend wherever you are, whether it's an extended weekend or not. Enjoy!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Flowers

Happy Friday!

I have another flower post today, but then I love flowers...I imagine many of us do though. What's not to love, huh? :)  These photos are actually taken from the same bouquet, but just on different days. The top photo is the most recent. I had to capture the beauty of the lily and share it once it bloomed out. Isn't it gorgeous?

Nature is extraordinary!

Have a great weekend :)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Unbeknown

Just under a year ago, regular readers may remember, my Book Spotlight featured "The Lines of Tamar", the debut novel by Sheila Mughal. The previous review can be found here. It is a mystical thriller featuring biblical characters, a little folklore and some very well researched genealogy which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

So I was delighted when I was asked to review Sheila's sequel novel - The Unbeknown. Like it's predecessor, this story is set in modern times but draws on many centuries of historical background to weave a tale that enthrals and enchants in equal measure.

Starting in 1793 with four young boys exploring a labyrinthine system of caverns and tunnels that hide a secret that cannot be revealed to the outside world, the story moves to the present day and follows the life of a young stage magician. How are his strange abilities linked to the happenings of centuries before? Embarking on a paranormal detective mission, his journey takes him to many places but it is the discoveries within himself that are the most revealing.

A mix of alien conspiracies, sacred scriptures, demonic conjuring and lost biblical prophecies are all pulled together to create a truly unique novel that was a pleasure to read.

The Unbeknown by Sheila Mughal is available on Amazon.

 *Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Monday, May 08, 2017


This is my beautiful orchid :) My hubby gave it to me as a surprise gift about three weeks ago and it is still beautiful and thriving...fingers crossed ;-) I've always wanted to try growing and caring for an orchid, so I'm excited to give it a go. The flowers are seemingly so perfect that they don't look real. Orchids are just exquisite!

I'm been studying up on how to care for this beautiful plant. I love plants and gardening, so I'm hoping to develop a true green thumb like my mom had. She was a great gardener and could grow just about anything of the floral or vegetable variety.

I'll share updates from time to time about how the Yellow House orchid is doing ;-)

Have a great day and week!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Visiting Bath Once Again

This past Saturday, my hubby and I took a trip to Bath. It's not too far away and we love visiting there when we get the chance. While we were there enjoying ourselves, we wondered why we don't visit more often. We've decided that we'll definitely be visiting more often and enjoying more of what that beautiful city has to offer :)

The photo above is one of my favorite views of Bath along the River Avon. It's so beautiful. A great deal of Bath is constructed out of Bath stone, which has that lovely honey-colored hue to it.

The photo below is from lunch...nachos!!  ;-) Nachos are always a good idea in my book. Lol.

It was an overcast day for the most part, but it didn't matter because we had a fantastic time!

If you'd like to check out a few of my past posts about Bath, you can see them here and here.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Hello May

I hope you have a wonderful new month! 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Photos

Happy Sunday!

I hope that things are well where you are. I'm doing great, especially since I'm able to get here again. I love blogging! :) As I mentioned in my last post, things have become a bit more hectic, but hopefully I'm getting a handle on things once again, so I'll be able to come here and share more of my photos and thoughts. I appreciate everyone who continues to visit me here even when I can't get here as often as I'd like. Thank you so much for sticking with me :)

As usual, I've been snapping a few photos here and there with my phone. These days mostly everyone does this too though, right? Lol. Anyway, I try to capture a bit of what I see daily...some things turn out great and sometimes the idea or intention doesn't come through in the end product. Lol. Still, I love photography, so I hope you'll keep visiting me to see what I see!

Here are a couple of photos that I took recently when we were out for a walk on a beautiful day here in Wiltshire. We were up on the edge of a slope, looking out across the fields and into the distance. It was an absolutely BREATHTAKING view! I couldn't capture it well enough to do it justice, but at least I hope that you can see some of what I saw :)

I'll be back with more photos in a few days.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Checking In

Hello :)

I just wanted to check in. I haven't posted in over a week. Sorry. Things have recently become quite hectic, so I'm not able to get here like I want.

However, this weekend I'll be back to share some photos and some thoughts, so watch this space :)

I hope that you're having a fantastic week!

Friday, April 07, 2017

Natural Scenes

I thought that I'd share a few photos from my Instagram account again. Recycling is good ;-)

I've taken these over the last week or so. I love nature and I love capturing little bits of it when I can. Whenever I'm not able to get out and about, I can always take a look at photos like these and I'm instantly taken back to that moment.

All three photos were taken here in Wiltshire. It's great to see the trees and flowers sprouting out for spring.

Happy weekend! :)

Monday, April 03, 2017

Book Spotlight: Blokes, Beers & Burritos

I love to read, so books are always welcome around my house. A good, fun read gets me even more excited, so I'm thrilled to introduce this great new book.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Being True

This is a photo that I recently shared on Instagram. It's kinda recycled in a way since it's been posted there, but hey, recycling as a practice is good isn't it? :)

I took this photo one day when I was just sitting in my armchair. I looked out into the backyard. I thought about how that couple of little daffodils are holding their own in contrast to all of that green. They are beautiful and I loved how they contributed a bit of difference to their fully green surroundings.

I may be reaching here, but for me, it reminded me that we must be beautifully and fully ourselves no matter who is around. And when we are true to ourselves, we make our mark and the uniqueness shines through! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Food Spotlight: Barry Norman Premium Pickled Onions

British film critic, writer and media personality Barry Norman is celebrating a great milestone. He's celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of his range of Premium Hot & Spicy Pickled Onions.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Photos From a Weekend

Today I thought that I'd share a couple of slightly fuzzy photos from the past few days that I've shared on Instagram. I took both last weekend. The top one was from when I was out and about having a short Sunday morning walk. The bottom one was taken from the passenger seat in our car as we headed out to do an errand.

As I mentioned on Instagram, the top one reminds me that spring is on its way in little ways that we can notice here and there. The bottom photo just reminded me how much I love the countryside, even with slightly broken fences :) Both remind me of the beauty of nature.

I hope that you have a great weekend wherever you are! :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

International Women's Day 2017

Happy International Women's Day!

On this day especially, I think of my mother, my sisters, my grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and all of the women who have lighted my way and/or paved the way on my journey as a woman. I am grateful for my journey every single day, but I love that women and their contributions are highlighted on this day. As we celebrate the contributions of women, we must also shine a light upon the injustices which women and girls experience daily around the globe. There is so much work still to be done.

I find encouragement on my journey quite often through quotes and this is one of my favorites. 

"I got my start
 by giving myself a start."

~ Madam C.J. Walker
Businesswoman, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist


Saturday, March 04, 2017

My 9th Blog Anniversary

Today is the 9th anniversary of the day that I started this blog. Who'd a thunk it? :) I can't believe that it's been so long, but then it seems like the last nine to ten years have gone by in a blur anyway. I started out on March 4th and I've always liked this day because it feels for me like it sounds...I march forth! :) When the month of March comes, even though it's still chilly, the mind turns to thoughts of spring and summer. It's like we get to shake off the chill of winter and go forward into the renewal that spring brings.

On the first of March, I shared a quote on Instagram that I thought was very appropriate for this month. It's a quote from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I thought that it sums up March perfectly.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations 

I hope that I can bring some renewal and new energy here as I go forward with my I march forth and onward towards my 10th blog anniversary. I'm planning to share more photography as always, but I also would love to dive a little deeper and share inspiring things. I hope you'll join me :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Whimsical Fashion Colouring Book

There's a fabulous new colouring book out now, it's The Whimsical Fashion Colouring Book by fashion designer Natasha Itzcovitz, which is created in the style of Iain R. Webb's Vogue Colouring Book. I love colouring. I have several adult colouring books and they are one of my favourite ways to relax and to let my creative side take over. Itzcovitz's book is a lovely addition to my collection and I know that I will thoroughly enjoy colouring in every single page. The illustrations are gorgeous!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Film Spotlight: Fright Night

Eureka Entertainment has released Tom Holland’s directorial debut FRIGHT NIGHT, the iconic 1980s vampire classic starring Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall, for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, in a Limited Edition Dual-Format SteelBook and a Special Dual-Format Edition will be released on 10th April 2017.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Things That Light the Way

This past weekend I embraced two things that I love...taking pictures and sketching. If you have visited me here before, you'll know that I love sharing photos from my Wiltshire adventures and from anywhere else that I find myself roaming :) However, I don't usually share sketches or anything I've created. Never really thought to do so. Maybe I should share more of my creative hits and misses since creative expression is a big part of who I am. Hmmm. Watch this space.

Anyway, back to my point :) So, I had my trusty phone camera out on Saturday as hubby and I drove through the countryside as we did our errands. My camera on my phone isn't the best, but it's good enough to give the general idea of what I saw. Lol.

Here's a photo that I took of a tree along the roadside. A friend on Instagram remarked that the tree looks like a deer with his back turned to the road while he reads a book. I cracked up when I read her words because I immediately saw what she meant :) His antlers and head are so clear. I just think it's wild that I snapped this picture at exactly that moment as we drove by and it looks so much like a deer. And I'm in awe of her picture interpretation skills. Who knew that huge reading deer sit along the edges of Wiltshire roads? :)

As for my sketching, well before yesterday morning it had been a LONG time since I've sketched anything. I used to draw all of the time years ago, but that interest seems to have dried up, or maybe the urge to draw got pushed to the side due to everything else taking so much time. Well, this past week's stress shifted something within me and out of the blue I just picked up my sketch pad on Sunday morning and I let my pencil do what it wanted.

Below is the result.

I don't know exactly who this is, maybe it's kind of a self-portrait, maybe it's not. I'm jealous of her hair though. Lol. I have very curly hair, but I can never get it to look like this...perhaps this is a spiritual intention road map to how I want my hair to be in the future :) Or maybe it's not about me at all and this is just a character that sprung out of my mind and came through my pencil and her name is.....ummm, Ruby...yeah let's call her Ruby  ;-)  

Rediscovering my love of sketching was therapeutic and I'll definitely be keeping my pencil close by as I go forward. I'm going to make time for sketching here and there even if it's only for a few minutes. It never hurts to have more than a few things that bring you happiness. I'm grateful that I have photography and sketching to light the way!

Hey, maybe I'll draw some friends for Ruby....hmmm...maybe I will :)

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Evening Light

I took this photo yesterday evening. The sky was just so beautiful! Even though spring is still a few weeks away, this gorgeous sky made me think of warmer days. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Newsies Comes To The Cinema

There's something exciting coming!

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Newsies is coming to cinemas on 19th February. This fun and exciting show has been filmed live onstage for audiences to enjoy around the world!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Keep Getting Up

This has been a good week because my husband and I are alive and well and that's a blessing :) However, I have to say, this week has been trying to drag me down big time, but here's the thing. I KEEP GETTING UP! That's what we all must do right? :) These two quotes above along with prayer have helped me through.

I know that this is just a season and I'm weathering this storm to the best of my ability. I won't go into it all because I don't want to bore anyone. Lol. I'll just say this, it's to do with my seemingly never ending job search. It is what it is (shrug). Things are opening up slowly...very slowly, so in the meantime I'm gonna be over here being ME :)

Today and this weekend I'm giving some love to my writing and especially my poor book. My book has been sitting there patiently waiting for me while I've been going through all of this craziness.

I thought I'd share these two quotes just in case anyone else out there is going through something. Hang in there :)

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Frozen Hills

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when we were out for a walk. 

Lemme tell was COLD!!!! Despite the frigid temperatures and wind sweeping around the hills, it was a beautiful spot to enjoy nature and that's exactly why I was there. I needed to be rejuvenated and this walk did the trick. It was a sunny beautiful day, but the ground was still very frozen in the shade like in the photo above. Here's another photo from that day that I shared previously.

As I'm looking back over my photos, I'm thinking that it's time to go back out again and soak up the natural calm that I find in nature, even if it's a little chilly. I'll throw on an extra scarf ;-) 

 I'll definitely share whatever I see here :)

Have a great day!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Trees Seen On A Walk

Happy Friday :)

I thought that I'd share a photo that I haven't shared before. As you know if you've visited me here before, I love taking pictures. So I'll sometimes just look back at what I've got that I could share.

I took this photo back in November when we were having a walk along a nature trail here in Wiltshire. I love trees and I love black and white photography so this is a favorite of mine :)

Have a great weekend wherever you are!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winter Sunshine

I thought that I'd share a bit of winter sunshine today. I took this last Friday and shared it on Instagram, but I wanted to share it here also :) It was a beautifully sunny day.

There was a haze in the distance and the ground was frozen hard, but that big beautiful sun was there, so all was well!

Nature always restores me.

Happy day to you wherever you are! :)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Beginning 2017

Hello :)

It's a few days into 2017 and I haven't posted since New Year's Day...please forgive me, I've been under the weather. I've been fighting one of those colds that just doesn't want to go away. Hubby is sick too, so we've been getting through it all together around the Yellow House. It's like a duet or something. He'll cough and then I'll cough or vice versa. It's like we're doing some kind of call and response musical performance. I'll be glad when the cough and all that goes with it, leaves us alone.

In the meantime, I've been back at my job search. I'm doing my best to have an optimistic attitude about it all. Something will come through and hopefully it's just in the knick of time.

I've been doing a bit of thinking and planning about what I want to get up to in 2017. My main goal is to get back to writing my book. I must admit, the job search had all but pushed my novel off a cliff, but I managed to rescue it and I'm holding on tight and not letting go. I've put too much of my heart into my book to let it go now. I know that it's VERY important for me to find a job, but as I've mentioned before, balance is important. Therefore, I'm getting on with my book. I'll write more about my book soon.

The other thing that I've been doing is taking pictures, mostly stuff to put up on Instagram. From time to time I'm going to grab some pics off there and publish them here. They're not extraordinary or anything, but I like to share what I see. Here's one from over the weekend.

It's fuzzy because I took it out the window as I was on the passenger side of the moving car and also it was a quite foggy Saturday morning. But I like how it turned out. It's very moody and looks like it could've been taken many decades ago.

I hope that you're having a good start to 2017 :)

Until next time...