Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Film Spotlight: Conversation Piece

This month, Eureka Entertainment released Luchino Visconti’s 1974 film Conversation Piece, a heartfelt tale of loneliness and intimacy starring legendary actor Burt Lancaster, along with a superb international ensemble cast. The ensemble cast features Helmut Berger, Silvana Mangano and Stefano Patrizi (with uncredited cameos by Claudia Cardinale and Dominique Sanda).This release is part of their Masters of Cinema Series.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Spotlight: Behind Closed Doors

Detective Inspector Beatrice Stubbs is the central character in a series of novels by author JJ Marsh. I was recently given the opportunity to read the first in the series, Behind Closed Doors.

We are introduced to DI Stubbs as she is asked to travel to Zurich to head up a multinational team of detectives investigating a number of suspicious deaths across the continent of Europe. Over a period of years, several seemingly successful and wealthy businessmen have been driven to take their own lives. Or have they? Could this, in fact, be the work of a serial killer?

Under pressure from her bosses, and motivated by a desire to put her own troubled past behind her, Beatrice Stubbs has little time to mould her pan-European squad into a team that will work effectively together. Dealing with an apparently unfathomable case, at least one hostile colleague, as well as the alien world of international finance, this investigation promises to be make or break for the Scotland Yard detective.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well-paced and believable book. Despite the horrors of the case involved, there is always a dash of humor throughout the story, with credible characters and dialogue. Whilst Beatrice is the central character, there is a great ensemble cast of personalities that I felt brought this novel vividly to life. More than once I found myself giggling along at the team members' interactions as they worked and socialized together. As the investigation proceeds, the palpable tension is slowly ratcheted up and there is an ominous sense of danger as the list of deaths may not yet be quite complete.

Behind Closed Doors is a great summer read, and I will certainly be seeking out the rest of the DI Beatrice Stubbs series before the sixth and final book is released in the autumn!

This novel is available here and at all good bookshops.

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

World Photo Day

Happy Friday!

Since it's World Photo Day, I thought that I'd share a photo. I took this back in 2013. I like the way that the tree branches scatter across the path as they simultaneously reach to the sky.

Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Wonderful World of Festival Food

Summer is a glorious season. It's a time to spend outside with family and friends in a variety of ways, like going to the beach, going on a picnic, or going to a festival. There's so much to see and do. I love all of these activities and plenty of others, but one of my absolute favourite pastimes is going to festivals, especially music festivals.

I've gone to a quite a few music festivals over the years and I always love the laidback vibe. Everyone's there to enjoy themselves and make some fun memories. When I go to a music festival, I'm there of course to see the musicians, but the food and drinks are always inviting.

When I walk through those gates at the festival, the first things that hit my senses are the sounds and the delicious food smells. This makes me so happy. The music draws me in like I'm following the Pied Piper and the cooking aromas draw me in even more. I know that somewhere a musician is firing up his bass guitar and the cooks are firing up their diesel generators in order to make festival food culinary magic.

I've had a variety of festival foods ranging from burgers, fries and spicy chicken wraps to fish & chips. There's usually a bit of everything you can think of and some things that you haven't thought of,  but would love to try. There's a variety of foods to discover as you dance and sing your way through the day and night. It's always a fun time!

*collaborative post

Monday, August 15, 2016

Morning Sunshine

I shared this picture on Instagram this morning and I thought that I may as well share it here too. I took this early this morning as the sun was rising and flooding diagonally into the kitchen window. The sunlight made the roses glow. These are from our backyard and are probably the last few for this year, so they're even more precious to me.

Have a great day and week wherever you are!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Spotlight: Learning to Fly by Jane Lambert

I'm very excited to share a great book with you today, by the talented debut novelist Jane Lambert. Learning to Fly follows the story of forty-year-old air stewardess Emily Forsyth. She has a wonderful, jet-set lifestyle and a handsome husband-in-waiting boyfriend to top off what seems to be the perfect life. Then one day it all comes crashing down as her dashing pilot boyfriend leaves her to 'find himself', or so he says. Emily takes stock of her life in the aftermath and decides to follow her dreams.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Book Spotlight: We All Have Our Moments

Day-to-day life has its ups and downs and we all have to deal with things in the best way that we can. We experience moments of laughter, despair, anger, and a variety of other emotions throughout our lives. It's all just part of  being human.

In the witty new book, We All Have Our Moments, by Liz Cowley, readers are given a wonderful collection of poetry that covers many key moments in life. The author shines a light upon family, career, marriage, love, regret, joy, sadness and so much more. Her observations of day-to-day life experiences such as standing in a supermarket queue behind a slow shopper are hilarious and so relatable. Liz Cowley does a masterful job of weaving life's greatest joys in with life's moments of sadness in a way that is bittersweet and yet satisfying for the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The universal themes really appealed to me. I nodded in agreement several times as I read. This collection is a quick read and can be read in one sitting, but it's definitely the kind of book that readers will want to revisit to over and over again.

We All Have Our Moments can be purchased here.

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

Monday, August 01, 2016

Happy August

It's a bit rainy today, here in my corner of Wiltshire. It feels more like early autumn right now, instead of the first day of August, but I'm okay with it. I have no choice, right? ;-) Usually by this time of the year I'm wearing a sweater and wishing that we'd have had at least a bit of warm during the earlier days of summer. Well this year has been different. We actually had some really warm...downright hot weather during July, so I'm satisfied...a bit of proper summer like my hubby would say :) So it's all good.

I took the photo above this morning. I love how the spiderwebs in the trees hold the raindrops and they're suspended in the act of dropping from the sky. I love nature's gentle, simple beauty.

Have a wonderful day wherever you are!
Happy August!