30 Apr 2014

TIS THE NIGHT WHEN IT IS SAID FAIRIES RETURN TO US.

Tis the night when it is said fairies return to us. When if you sit beneath a tree you may catch a glimpse of the Queen of the Fae astride her white horse.
- Beltane legend.

Like many of the traditions and symbols surrounding Christmas (and indeed other Holy days) with the rise of Christianity the ancient pagan festival of Beltane (one of the eight Sabbats) was absorbed into the Easter celebrations though oddly enough whilst celebrated as a holiday in many countries May Day as it was to become known was never embraced as a 'Christian holiday' as such.

Marking the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year Beltane (meaning Fires of Bel) though traditionally celebrated when the Hawthorn began to bloom is now celebrated beginning with the rising of the moon on May Day Eve (April 30th) throughout May 1st unless of course you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere in which case you'll more than likely be celebrating come the 31st of October/1st of November.

A festival of fire, of the end of winter, of the coming of summer. A celebration of fertility, of the union between the Goddess and the God, between man and woman. A time of love and handfastings. Celebrations have included and in some cases still include the .....

  • braiding of hair to honour the union of the Goddess and God/man and woman
  • circling of the Maypole for fertility 
  • jumping of the Beltane fire. Made of the nine sacred woods*Birch (the Goddess), Oak (the God), Rowan (the Tree of Life), Willow (the journey to the afterlife, to the Summerland), Hawthorn (purity), Hazel(wisdom/learning), Apple (love/fertility), Grapevine (joy), Fir (immortality) - to ensure fertility and to cleanse, purify and revitalise. Traditionally herds of cattle were driven between the Belfires to protect them from ills 
  • placing of a rowan branch on windows and doors for protection against evil
  • washing of the face with dew at sunrise to ensure continuing beauty.
* Representations in brackets  

Though primarily a festival dedicated to fertility I really don't want to go into the Maypole as a phallic symbol or indeed the traditions which saw young people spending the night in the woods 'A-Maying' and married couples, err, 'removing their wedding rings' (and all that might entail) for the night and instead will mention the traditions that honouring the fairy realm believe that should you bless the fae with offerings of flowers and/or sweets you shall surely be blessed in return.

'This May Eve as I burn, year wheel take another turn. Fire flame and fire bright, bless us on this May eve night'


NB Whilst generally accepted as widely held beliefs details and spellings etc  can vary from individual to individual, from tradition to tradition, from country to country etc.
Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

28 Apr 2014

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH THEM.

Standing at four foot four inches tall Worcester's Darius, the world's biggest rabbit, weighs in at approximately and costs £2,500 a year to feed. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE

       Wanting Malcolm his pet goldfish to lead a more exciting life a former metal worker from West Yorkshire spent seven years and thousands of pounds designing a device in which he takes his pet for a walkies. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE

And it seems he is not the only one .....


Snapped by a man jogging in Peckham, London ....... a man walking along the high street with two ducks on leads. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE

From the most romantic article of the week to my favourite article of the week .....


I love you to pieces ...... Loved-up boyfriend proposes by writing romantic poem on personalised jigsaw featuring the faces of himself and his girlfriend. FULL ARTICLE


A group of prisoners from South London are planning to sue UK prison services after claiming they were being discriminated against by an authority that refused to recognise their religion of Jediism, the religion practised by the characters in the Star Wars films.  FULL ARTICLE


When a quiet village in Cumbria was terrorised for six months by a vandal who repeatedly slashed tyres everyone presumed it was the work of a knife wielding thug until CCTV captured the real culprit .... Jess, a border collie dog. FULL ARTICLE


A dog that jumped through a TV after seeing a dog on the screen, wind that blew a man's glasses off his face and into the road where they were crushed by a car, a snail that ate some carpet - just some of the more strange insurance claims made by householders. FULL ARTICLE


And finally Mr T's choice, the news from overseas .....

A court heard how a passenger wearing a blanket as a cape and brandishing a Toblerone bar like a sword demanded that his flight from Amsterdam to Hong Kong be diverted to the Russian resort of Sochi so he could watch the Olympic Games. FULL ARTICLE

And finally should anyone care to enter .....

Contestants are wanted for the UK's first streaking competition. FULL ARTICLE




Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

26 Apr 2014

PUBLIC BATTLES, PRIVATE WARS.

The wife of a man whose family for generations had been miners, his father the last of them. The wife of a man whose mother, an actual Woman Against Pit Closures, ran a kitchen feeding a then striking community. It is to them I dedicate this review. 

PUBLIC BATTLES, PRIVATE WARS by LAURA WILKINSON.

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

Yorkshire 1983.

Miner's wife Mandy is stuck in a rut. At twenty-three, and trapped by domesticity, her future looks set and she wants more from life. Husband Rob is a good-looking drinker, content to spend his days in the small town where they've always lived - where Mandy can't do anything other than bake cakes and raise her children.

When Mandy's childhood friend - beautiful, clever Ruth - and Ruth's Falklands war hero husband, Dan, return to town, their homecoming is shrouded in mystery. Like in their schooldays, Mandy looks to Ruth for inspiration - but Ruth isn't all she appears.

 As conflict with the Coal Board turns into war, the men come out on strike. The community and its whole way of life is threatened. Mandy abandons her dreams of liberation from the kitchen sink and joins a support group. As the strike rumbles on, relationships are pushed to the brink, and Mandy finds out just who she is - and who her true friends are.
...... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: The race is about to begin, gun aimed at the pewter sky.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 174}: 'I don't want my boys going down the pit. But I do want there to be a choice, for them and others, for there to be a community here. Industry. I can't imagine what it would be like without, and that's what we're fighting for. It's what I'm fighting for.'


MY THOUGHTS: Having witnessed the destruction of a mining community first-hand I knew this was going to be more of a personal read than most and as such was probably going to be either a big hit or a huge miss.

Thankfully a hit, the story of a community and in particular one woman's public battles and private wars this is a novel with a big heart.

Though essentially the story of one young woman's journey of self-fulfilment Public Battles, Private Wars intertwines the story of the struggle against pit closures, of one veterans struggle since returning from the Falklands War. Mixing fact with fiction at a time when Margaret Thatcher was regarded by some as a feminist icon whilst for many women like Mandy 'feminism' was still a dirty word. Though politics is the backdrop of the story it in no way intrudes into what is a very human tale of very real people.



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of the author I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.


24 Apr 2014

THE VISITORS.

THE VISITORS by REBECCA MASCULL.

SOURCE: A Blog win courtesy of Lindsay over at THE LITTLE READER LIBRARY with thanks to the author, Rebecca, who not only supplied the book but kindly sent me some promotional bookmarks.

Imagine if you couldn't see couldn't hear couldn't speak...Then one day somebody took your hand and opened up the world to you.

Adeliza Golding is a deaf-blind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father's hop farm. Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion; her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, who she has christened the Visitors. One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it. Finally Liza can communicate. 

Her friendship with her teacher and with Lottie's beloved brother Caleb leads her from the hop gardens and oyster beds of Kent to the dusty veldt of South Africa and the Boer War, and ultimately to the truth about the Visitors.
..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}:My name is Adeliza Golding.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 29}: She takes me in her arms and holds me tightly. I am nearly eight years old and it is my first hug with Mother.

MY THOUGHTS: What a lovely cover. Simple and yet eye-catching, its especially perfect given the Victorian setting of the story.

Historical fiction combined with a tender love story, a murder and a good old-fashioned ghost story that, incredibly atmospheric, far from being in any way scary I actually found immensely touching. This is a wonderful debut novel by an author well worth looking out for.

The moving story of a young girls emergence into adulthood at the end of the Victorian era. I was particularly impressed by the authors ability to get inside the thoughts and feelings of a deaf-blind girl who, her temper fuelled by frustration, finds herself increasingly isolated until her world is opened up thanks largely to the friendship and tutorship of a young hop picker.

A wonderful tale of abiding friendships that perhaps could have verged on the overly sweet if it weren't for the contrast between the relationship shared by Adeliza/Liza and Lottie and that enjoyed by Liza and Lottie's brother, Caleb.

A flawed character who seemingly always sees 'the grass as being greener' it is Caleb's enlistment into the Boer War that though very interesting from a historical point of view proved the least compelling aspect of the novel for me. Written in letter form, not my favourite type of narration it has to be said, I'm afraid it failed to engage me in the same way as the rest of the novel.

Liza's story aside, strangely enough given that historical novels with a supernatural element rarely 'do it for me' it was actually the ghost story that I found most absorbing. Incredibly intriguing, though gripped from the start I admit that at times I did find myself wondering just where (if anywhere) it was leading and whilst I don't want to give anything away I will say stick with it to anyone struggling with this side of the book as chances are you won't be disappointed.



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

23 Apr 2014

WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2014: THE BOY WITH THE TOPKNOT.

Unfortunately unlike last year when we were notified in plenty of time what our designated book was this year we weren't notified until fairly late so I'm afraid I wasn't able to read let alone review my given book .......



The story of Sathnam Sanghara who when asked why he did not fictionalise his story instead of laying bare such intimate details of his family's life simply stated he 'absolutely had to write a memoir' #1.This is the tale of a young man of Punjabi descent for whom growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties is a confusing business until aged twenty four he makes a discovery that changes everything.

Thought of as a beautifully written and important book for Sikhs by one site #2, The Boy With The Topknot (subtitled A Memoir Of Love, Secrets, And Lies In Wolverhampton) is an award winning book regarded by many as a hilarious and heart-rending reinvention of the modern British memoir. #3

Seemingly well received, at the time of writing of the 187 reviews on Amazon.co.uk not one reader rated it less than three stars out of five, many thought of it as a book that despite delving into issues of mental health had the ability to leave them laughing out loud, that though about the life of a British Asian it managed to captivate a much wider audience. #3

On the other hand, felt by others that whilst it was engaging as a memoir the authors own neurosis had the power to irritate #4, that at times it read a little like lad's mag journalism #5. As always its up to the individual to read it and make up their own mind.


#1 THE GUARDIAN
#2 SIKHNET
#3 AMAZON.CO.UK
#4 COLIN MULHERN
#5 PENGUINS READERS GROUP



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

22 Apr 2014

THE INSPECTOR AND MRS JEFFRIES.

THE INSPECTOR AND MRS JEFFRIES by EMILY BRIGHTWELL.

SOURCE: Received for review from publishers Constable & Robinson whose catalogue can be found HERE.


When a doctor is discovered dead in his own office, Mrs Jeffries' diagnosis is murder .....


Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard may not be the most dynamic detective on the force but, whether he realises it or not, he has the help of his housekeeper, Mrs Jeffries, when it comes to cracking cases.


The death of Dr Bartholomew Slocum, found slumped across his desk as though he had simply fallen asleep, at first seems like it might be a tragic accident, but Mrs Jeffries senses something more sinister and is determined to discover the doctors' murderer.

..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: Dr Bartholomew Slocum was definitely dead.


MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 57}: She hoarded her tidbits of gossip like an old miser with a pot of gold.


MY THOUGHTS: Just as Holmes has his Watson so Inspector Witherspoon, albeit unknowingly, has Mrs Jeffries 


The first in a series (now running to more than 30 books) of Victorian crime novels featuring the mild mannered (some would say inept) Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard, his housekeeper, policeman's widow, Hepzibah Jeffries and, to a lesser extent, his other servants who amongst others number Smythe the coachman, housemaid Betsy, and arthritic cook, Mrs Goodge.


OK, so The Inspector And Mrs Jeffries is somewhat plodding and simplistic (rather like the good Inspector himself), has a plot that doesn't necessarily hold up to close scrutiny and is littered with Americanisms but in its favour its a charming, fun read full of the most deliciously eccentric characters.







Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Constable & Robinson, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.

20 Apr 2014

CELEBRATING EOSTRE, THE BIRTH OF THE EASTER BUNNY (OR IS IT THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE INVENTION OF CHOCOLATE?)

 I remember reading somewhere that research showed that something like 53% of children aged ten and under believed that the whole purpose of Easter was to celebrate the birth of the Easter bunny. That more than a quarter thought it was the anniversary of the invention of chocolate so with that in mind I thought I'd share these gems with you.....

Named in honour of the Goddess Eostre (aka Ostara) after whom the springtime Paschal festival is named though a time of spirituality, of the turning of the earth, there is no reason why it can't also be fun which is where this fun ritual perfect for children comes in.

For The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit you will need ..... 

  • A bag of jelly beans
  • Marshmallow chicks, bunnies etc
  • A chocolate rabbit for each participant
  • A glass of milk for each participant
  • To click HERE for full details.


..... This morning in the Terry household

An elderly man is driving along a country lane when he hits something.
Getting out of the car, to his dismay he realises he's knocked over and killed the Easter bunny*.
Not knowing quite what to do he waits by the road side until another driver pulls over.
Full of remorse he explains what has happened to the motorist who goes back to his car to retrieve what looks like a spray can of deodorant which he liberally sprays over the deceased bunny who gets up and runs off.
"Oh my goodness," exclaims the elderly man. "Its a miracle, what was in that can?"
"Hmm," says the motorist looking at the spray can "It says here its hair restorer." 

* You'll be pleased to know no bunnies were actually harmed in the telling of this joke. TT

Sung at the end of each school day I loved sharing this with a class full of children and now enjoy it with our great-nephew aged three.


(Standing in the middle of a circle surrounded by children pretending to sleep) See the little bunnies sleeping till its nearly noon,
Come and let us wake them with a merry tune.
They're so still,
Are they ill?
(Putting finger to lips and whispering) Ssh, ssh, ssh.
(Loudly) Wake up soon.
(Children jump up and hop around) Hop little bunnies in the clover,
Hop little bunnies day is over.
Stop little bunnies,
Stop, stop, stop (Children stand still).


And last but by no means least .....


Some of you may have seen already seen these 'Vintage Easter bunny photos that will make your skin crawl' but for those of you who haven't ......

Click HERE.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

18 Apr 2014

GUESS WHICH BLOG IS FIVE TODAY .....


I'll never take for granted
how greatly I've been blessed
for when it comes to those who support me
you really are the best.

Thank you to Mr T for nagging encouraging me to begin blogging,
Thank you to all my fellow bloggers,
to those who follow Pen and Paper,
to those who leave comments,
to those who silently stop by.
I couldn't have done it without you.


A double celebration ......


Happy Birthday to our nephew, Christopher, who is 21 today.
Love Aunty Taitty and Uncle Neal. x


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

16 Apr 2014

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING.

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by CATHERYNNE M VALENTE.

SOURCE: Received for review from publishers Constable & Robinson whose catalogue can be found HERE.

September is a twelve-year-old girl from Omaha. With her dad fighting a faraway war,and her mum always out at work, she is lonely, stuck in a rut and starved of adventure. So when a Green Wind arrives at her window and invites her to Fairyland she accepts in a flash (mightn't you?).

But Fairyland is in crisis, crushed by the iron rule of the villainous Marquess - and September holds the key to restoring order.

With a book-loving dragon and a mysterious boy named Saturday by her side, she sets out on a thrilling quest to fix things. But time is short, and time is ticking, and every story must have an ending. Can September save Fairyland? Can she even save herself?
 ..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1: Exeunt on a Leopard}: Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents' house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillows, and played with the same small and amiable dog.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS {Page 167}: The Wyverary drifted helplessly to sleep, sitting up. He snored lightly; it sounded like pages turning.

MY THOUGHTS: Having seen it featured and positively raved about on so many blogs this has been on my Wish List for a long time but I kept putting off for fear it may not live up to all the hype. Something as it turns out it both did and didn't do.

For the sites requiring a star rating, as an exceptionally whimsical and magical read with some truly memorable characters aimed at ten to fourteen year olds I'd have to rate The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland a solid four, perhaps even five, out of five. But older than the intended audience and given there is so much more to a book than merely an original plot and fanciful characters I'm having difficulty in rating it.

Overall I felt this was a unique read, a one of a kind, and yet at the same time there were elements of it that were so reminiscent of other works - of authors such as Terry Pratchett and Lewis Carrol, of books such as Alice In Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - that I found myself feeling a bit let down.

Full to bursting point of wonderfully imaginative characters and creatures too numerous to mention though I will make exception for my favourite A-Through-L the wyverary (a wyverary being the result of a wyvern and a library who happen to love each other very much). My problem being there were simply too many and whilst some were woefully underused (the three witches, Hello, Goodbye and Manythanks come to mind) others, seemingly only there to tantalise, disappointingly never got anything more than the briefest of mentions.

Though undeniably creative and full of delightful imagery, imagery so vivid as to make it perfect for a movie adaptation (arguably something the author had in mind whilst writing the book) whilst I'm sure the story would have appealed to my childhood self it just didn't live up to my adult expectations hence the final mark of a lesser if still respectable rating of three out of five.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Constable & Robinson, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.

15 Apr 2014

FOLLIES PAST: A PREQUEL TO PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

FOLLIES PAST: A PREQUEL TO PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by MELANIE KERR.

SOURCE: Received for review from Petticoat Press.

"I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being..." 

 So begins Mr. Darcy to lay before Elizabeth his faithful narrative of Mr. Wickham's villainy toward his sister, Georgiana. The facts he sets out are brief but potent. They contain a story unto themselves, and that story is the subject of this book. 

Taking its facts from Austen’s own words, Follies Past opens almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. Fourteen-year-old Georgiana has just been taken from school and is preparing to transfer to London in the spring. It follows Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and into the arms of the charming and infamous Mr. Wickham.

To read this book is to step back into the charming world of Jane Austen’s England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield, and to discover a host of new characters each with engaging histories of their own. Authentic in its use of language and meticulously researched, it is a truly diverting entertainment.
..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}: Caroline Bingley had long known the name of Darcy, and she had always hoped to increase her family's intimacy with it.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 56}: In fact, Caroline spent almost no time thinking of Mr Darcy at all. It might have entered her head, had she let it, that it was odd for a woman set on marrying a man never to think of him, but being almost entirely of mercenary ambition, Caroline believed Mr Darcy to be constantly on her mind because his income certainly was.

MY THOUGHTS: I was approached by the publishers of Follies Past who, despite my concerns that I wasn't a big fan of the so-called classics or of authors such as Jane Austen, were confident enough in the appeal of this debut novel by Melanie Kerr to send me copy to review regardless.

A prequel to Pride And Prejudice written in the style of its author, Jane Austen. As I last read anything by Ms Austen as a girl I cannot in all conscience say just how successful this was but I will say that the writing felt authentic, the spirit of the original, from what I can remember, upheld.

Whilst not exactly a fast paced thriller, indeed compared to the genres I tend to favour it was undeniably slow, but in its favour were the well depicted characters. Characters such as the wonderful Caroline Bingley who considering I'd always thought women of this genre to be simpering came as a delightful revelation.

So, will I be reading Pride and Prejudice or indeed any of the other so-called classics as a result of reading this? As hugely impressed as I am with Follies Past and its author I can't make any promises but one thing I can say for certain is that I will be sure to keep a look out for any of the future books written by such an obviously talented writer as Ms Kerr.




Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Petticoat Press, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.

14 Apr 2014

FROM WALKING CORPSE SYNDROME TO A DANISH PASTRY VIA THE WIG AND PEN.

'Walking Corpse Syndrome', 'Chronic Lateness Syndrome', 'Uncombable Hair Syndrome' and 'Hola-Hoop Intestine' - Just a few of many odd but genuine ailments. FULL ARTICLE    

And talking of zombies .....

 The people of Cardiff have been running for their lives as Zombies invaded the streets of the Welsh capital which saw hundreds of participants taking part in the 2.8 Hours Later game that sees players immerse themselves in a film-like story where actors playing the living dead are out to get them. FULL ARTICLE

A Surrey motorist stopped for driving without insurance pleaded with police officers saying the car must have been insured because he had his MEERKAT TOY at home. (The response?) A tweet assuring the public that stuffed toy animals are NOT evidence of car insurance. FULL ARTICLE 

From the Police service to the Fire Brigade .....

London Fire Brigade has been forced to issue advice on how to make cheese on toast (something even I can do relatively safely TT) after a hungry South London resident accidentally stated a fire by putting a toaster on its side to make the snack. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE

And back again with yet more 'tweeted' advice from the Police .....

'When driving please don't attempt any sexual interaction. It might be fun but you'll both be red-faced when we stop you for poor driving' - The post tweeted by Police after an incident involving a half-naked Surrey motorist. FULL ARTICLE


The article that left me asking 'WHY?' and will doubtlessly have men groaning .....

A boffin who had previously studied bee keeping at a university near Cardiff let a bee sting him on the penis and scrotum ..... to see which hurt more. FULL ARTICLE

When maintenance works closed some of the streets around the Wig and Pen pub in Truro, Cornwall, the landlord wanted to let customers know it was business as usual so got a sign saying 'The WIG and PEN is open for business' except there wasn't quite enough space between the words 'pen' and 'is'. IMAGE AND FULL ARTICLE

Bought by a Cardiff man in a 'moment of madness' five years ago, his wife has ordered the removal of 65ft fibreglass dragon from their garden. FULL ARTICLE

Headline of the week .....

Britons need to eat fewer baked beans because of impact of 'smelly emissions' on global warning, peer warns. FULL ARTICLE

And whilst on the subject of flatulence, here's Mr T's pick of the week .....

Lenny the cat who was returned to an animal shelter two days after his adoption because he was 'too gassy' has found a new home following a FaceBook campaign. FULL ARTICLE

Following last years success OF Cadbury's  Mini-Egg sausages an experimental butcher from Merseyside has created another wacky-themed snack, a Cadbury's Creme Egg wrapped in sausage meat. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE

A golf fan has bet nearly £1,000 on Rory McIlroy to win The Masters after bizarrely finding the northern Ireland star's face in a Danish Pastry. FULL ARTICLE


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

12 Apr 2014

THE LITTLE TERN.

THE LITTLE TERN: A STORY OF INSIGHT by BROOKE NEWMAN.

SOURCE: Bought at a fundraising event.

The Little Tern is the enchanting story of a bird who one day discovers he has lost the ability to fly. Life becomes meaningless and, deserted by his airborne friends, he is left alone.

But then new friends arrive and they bring with them a fresh view on life. Through this experience and the friendships that are formed from it, the Little Tern encounters things he had never noticed before. And soon he realises that life is much richer than he had previously known and discovers that our real strength comes from our seeming weakness.
..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE: This is the story about an extraordinary little bird.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 55}: 'Losing a thing means it is last and gone. Misplacing it is quite different. The thing you have misplaced is there, not lost. Finding it means paying attention to detail and recognising what it is you have not been recognising.'

MY THOUGHTS: Picking up the book I was hoping for a book in the vein of The Velveteen Rabbit or even The Little Prince. What I wasn't expecting was a fable for adults that whilst not unsuitable for children per se because of its overuse of metaphors which goodness only knows I struggled with and general lack of charm I wouldn't have thought appealing to them.

A short philosophical picture book with water colour illustrations by Lisa Mann Dirkes. The story follows a now flightless little tern who, as season follows season, searches for meaning, discovering things through his newly found friends that he'd never noticed when he could fly. 

Perhaps a tale I'd have enjoyed more if I hadn't thought it so charmless, the author so self aware. Maybes a book I'd have got more out of if I had merely taken it at face value instead of spending so long looking for a deeper philosophical meaning but as it was I'm afraid this simply wasn't a book I enjoyed.



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

10 Apr 2014

TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW.

TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW by MIRANDA DICKINSON.

SOURCE: A win courtesy of Avon books.

What a difference a day makes…


Nell Sullivan has always been known as ‘Miss Five-Year Plan’. But when she finds herself jobless and newly single on the same day, Nell decides it is time to stop planning and start taking chances.

Nell blows her redundancy cheque on a trip of lifetime to a place where anything's possible – San Francisco. There she meets a host of colourful characters, including the intriguing and gorgeous Max Rossi. Very soon the city begins to feel like Nell’s second home.

But when it’s time to return to London, will she leave the ‘new Nell’ behind? And can the magic of San Francisco continue to sparkle thousands of miles away?
..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1: The day that changed my life}: When the thing that was going to change my life arrived, it didn't look anything like I'd expected.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 44}: She reached into an overhead cupboard and produced a box of English breakfast tea like it was the most precious gem in the world.

MY THOUGHTS: No matter what the 'official' definition of chick-lit (and believe me there are many) I personally always think of it as being a light read (often verging on the fluffy) that, usually with a romantic edge, is written for women about women (albeit generally about women unlike any I've ever met).

A book that ticks all the boxes and then some. Sadly Take A Look At Me Now took 'light reading' to a whole new dimension in that the story required no imagination whatsoever, every word, thought and action recited as if to a child. The characters bland, one dimensional and juvenile - considering that they were in their late twenties/thirties for the best part of the book it was like reading a teenagers diary, the word 'hun' overused and infuriating.

With themes of food pretty much in vogue at the moment, the author takes advantage of this in that in main character, Nell, we have a baker extraordinaire who dreams of running an authentic American diner serving pancakes and waffles but even this is cloyingly saccharine sweet and over done.

Perhaps a novel best left to those more into chick-lit than myself. The only positive thing I can say about it was I enjoyed the descriptions of life a la San Francisco even if all of the characters from Nell's cousin (the typical Brit living abroad), to Greek taxi driver, Apollo, and diner owner, Annie, (all of them, along with the homeless, nauseatingly cheerful and living the dream) were unimaginative stereotypes.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

9 Apr 2014

REVEALING RIGHT CLICK.

Love. Marriage.  Infidelity. Parenthood. Crises of identity. Death. Cupcakes. The themes in Right Click, the third and final instalment in the Click series, couldn't be more pressing for this group of friends as they navigate through their 30's. Another six months have passed since we last eavesdropped on the hilarious, poignant and often times inappropriate email adventures of Renee and friends. As the light-hearted, slice of life story continues to unfold, relationships are tested and some need to be set "right" before everyone can find their "happily ever after."

-Right Click by Lisa Becker.

They say there is an exception to every rule, right? And Lisa Becker's 'Click' series of books proved to be one of those exceptions.

Not normally a big fan of the letter/diary/email message format of writing the first two books in the series, 'CLICK: AN ONLINE LOVE STORY' and 'DOUBLE CLICK' proved such an enjoyable revelation that I'm really looking forward to the release of .....




Available from stockists Mid-May both here and in the US, in the meantime I'd like to share this extract from a previous interview I did with Lisa who can also be found on .....





I first met my husband while wearing my pajamas.  Really!  No, we weren't at some kinky singles party.  I was sitting comfortably in my apartment and he was hanging out in his.  But, I will never forget his email introduction via an online dating service, which invited me to check out his profile.  It was sweet, endearing and intriguing enough for me to log on to learn more about him.  After a week of emails, followed by a week of phone calls, we met for our first date - a traditional dinner and movie outing.  Even before I opened the door to greet him, I knew he was "the one."  Considering he lived 30 miles away, I'm not certain our paths would have typically crossed.  But after nearly 13 years together - including nearly 10 years of marriage (which in Los Angeles is apparently no small feat!) and two beautiful daughters, I have no doubt he is my soul mate. 

After my now-husband and I met online, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had during the whole online dating experience.  How could I forget the guy who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night.”   I decided to capture some of them in writing and, from there and based loosely on my own experiences, my novel Click: An Online Love Story emerged.  The entire story is told in emails between our heroine, Renee Greene, her three best friends and the gentlemen suitors she meets online.  The format felt like a modern way to tell the story that fit the topic, and allowed readers to develop an intimate relationship with the characters.

Clearly, I’m a big fan of online dating and find it to be a useful tool for young professionals who are busy working and finding it difficult to make the right connection at the gym, bar, coffee shop or grocery aisle.  I say, people today are “married” to their cell phones and laptops, so why not use that technology to really get married, right?

- Lisa Becker
March 2013.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.