A New Cover For ‘1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’ (the relaunch!)

I had a great time writing ‘1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’  which I published in 2017. I had an even better time revisiting the book and have relaunched it this week with a new cover. Later, there will also be a collection of four short stories I wrote at the time, all set in 1962.  😊 My dad provided inspiration for this novel. He was a cycling enthusiast, entered races (and won), and he was in his late 20s in 1962 – so the characters were not based on him, or his life story. He just gave me the idea. In 2012, we were watching a programme that marked 50 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dad turned to me and said ‘You know, people were petrified that we would all be blown up, but I just wanted to get a good time in the time trial race I had entered on Sunday.’ This conversation sparked something in me, and the book was born!  Dad helped me with a bit of research, including asking everyone he knew if they remembered how they felt about the looming threat of nuclear war in 1962 – as a person living in the north of England. Interestingly, Mum said she hardly remembered anything about it! 

I have been lucky enough to join a book promotion called ‘Soulful Reads’ which runs from June 19 to July 19. Well worth a nosy, I’ve had a preview of the titles – some will definitely end up on my reading list. 

Click this link : https://books.bookfunnel.com/soulfulreads/t6p3xc0jiz to check out the Soulful Reads promotion.

I will be releasing the prequel to 1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire later this year.

The Queen’s Speech (and other shorts from 1962) is a collection of four short stories I wrote in 2017 when I was researching the novel. I think this prequel will get readers in the mood for reading about 1962.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, there are no MINI’s in the short story collection, just one in the novel.

Happy reading everyone, have a great weekend, Samantha 🙂

A Touch of History #BookReview Rosalind Minett @MinettRosalind @BookFunnel #IARTG Intrusion – A Relative Invasion

Hi everyone! I am still part of this fab BookFunnel promotion of 28 books written with a historical flair. As promised, I have been reading some of these books, so that I could pop a review on.

This is the BookFunnel Link – have a browse and see if you fancy any of these lovely books while they are on offer until the 19th of March.

I read Rosalind Minett’s INTRUSION A Relative Invasion from this promotion and it was beautiful.

Intrusion by Rosalind Minett

WAR THREATENS AT THE VERY SHORES OF HOME . . .  WITH RUTHLESS HITLER IN EUROPE AND DEVIOUS COUSIN KENNETH AT THE DOORSTEP. A fateful rivalry is born . . .

Lonely Billy’s excitement at having a playmate turns to dismay. Frail, artistic Kenneth is hideously devious, Uncle Frank is an outright bully and Billy’s parents fail to see further than Kenneth’s porcelain looks to his darker soul. Those very emotions that enable Hitler’s rise – envy over strength, desire for new territory – now ferment in the Wilson home.

Only his secret sighting of a precious Cossack sabre can comfort Billy by imagining he has its power.

As war becomes a reality, this becomes an icon that sustains Billy through evacuation and hardship, but is it destined to damage as well as protect?

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(Photo from Google search WWII evacuees labelled for reuse)

Rosalind Minett

Rosalind Minett writes novels and short stories, with several short and long-listed in competitions. Several stories have been performed at Story Friday, Bath, and others, including flash fiction, included in anthologies.

Rosalind trained as a dancer, but grew to love acting more. She gained a place at RADA, but took parental advice and let academic life take over. She gained a B.A. Cert. Ed and Ph.D then became a psychologist working with both children and adults. If she hadn’t, she would have spent her life interpreting characters that dramatists and scriptwriters had created instead of working with real people. Now, later, she very happily creates them herself especially their quirks. In her career, she met and worked with a wealth of characters whose characteristics she can draw upon. However, she does not write biographically, much preferring to work from imagination.

Not surprisingly, it is the inner life of her characters that determines their fate in her stories, whether humorous, historical or criminal. Whatever the genre, Rosalind’s stories always have a keen touch of humour and a dark edge. This is evident in her first short story collection “Me-time Tales: tea breaks for mature women and curious men”, quirky and satirical.

Her ironic avatar – Girl Before Word Processor – (with thanks to Picasso) suits her background and personality. Its two faces suggest her two selves, the serious and the irreverent. They also refer to the watcher and the seen, the inner and the outer person.

Rosalind lives in the South West of England and spends non-family time enjoying the scenery, sculpture, theatre and fine art of the region.

She blogs at http://characterfulwriter.com

 

My little review (also on Amazon and Goodreads) *****

I enjoyed that the word ‘umpteen’ appeared in the first chapter, reminding me of how older relatives used to talk when I was a child in the 70s and 80s. I knew then that the prose was going to be lovely and fitting. Billy, aged five is excited about his cousin Kenneth staying. He turns out to be a real bully – his parents believe anything he says. I noticed his character so why didn’t they, even when Kenneth’s eyelashes were compared to a camel Billy’s dad commented ‘Displays calm, the camel, but they can turn nasty’ (quote from the book). This was a great piece of foreshadowing. Billy’s only saviour is his neighbour who has a fancy Russian knife (for display purposes, but looking at it made Billy feel brave). Not only is Billy’s life intruded by his cousin, but World War II is about to start. The reader learns from Billy’s observations of his parents how scary this is going to be. Billy is evacuated early on, his journey to the country is so enthralling, children wondering where their next meal is coming from – and some sharing out food. The heartbreaking bit when Billy is the last to be chosen. Gas masks, uncles returning from Dunkirk, it’s all in there. The most heartwarming bit for me was Billy’s stay with Mrs Youlden, her two younger children and another evacuee Alan. Billy has never experienced poverty before or been cold and dirty but here, he is loved and makes a true friend with Alan. Reading this book was like going back in time to childhood.

I really enjoyed this book – don’t forget to click the link

Happy reading everyone!

Samantha xx

PS, my book ‘1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire)’ Is also part of this promotion.

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#BookReview The Witches of Helcombe by Harry Bradford #IARTG

Hello! I am still part of this fantastic BookFunnel Promotion so if you are a fan of literature written with a historical flair then please click the link in pink above to see if you fancy any of the titles. All the books are on special offer, I have read three of them now, recently finishing this one: The Witches of Helcombe by Harry Bradford

The Witches of Helcombe.: Book 1 of The Devon Witches Series (The Devon Witches Series.) by [Bradford, Harry]

The Blurb: It’s November 1609 in Devon, south-west England where in a remote village, an elderly witch cures a sick child and having no daughter of her own, passes her powers to the infant.
Years later, Cromwell’s parliamentary forces pursue a pregnant Queen of England across Devon, determined to stop her escape to safety in France and to hold her for ransom. Worse still, the unborn child’s life is in danger in the womb.
Can the Queen save her child? And, in danger of cleansing by fire, will the witch agree to help?
And how will the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emissary react to the presence of witchcraft in the village when he comes to take over as Reverend at the church?

Come with me to the 17th century where witchcraft is rife in the villages and the Devil lurks around familiars and in ancient graveyards.

Harry BradfordHarry Bradford:

Harry Bradford was born in Maidstone, Kent.

He spent just over 20 years as a policeman in that County, retiring and moving to Manotick, a small town near Ottawa, Canada, some twenty-six years later.
He and his wife, Linda, two dogs and an irascible cat, finally settled yet another twenty years later, on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, where they now live in a rambling bungalow, half way up Mount Maxwell.

A voracious but undisciplined reader, he was motivated to write this first novel, Nexus, as he simply couldn’t believe there were any more ways for people to kill or maim each other, (he hates murder/mysteries and gratuitous violence), or for the earth to suffer armageddon!

A failed retiree, he’s now working on the sequel to Nexus, (amongst a dozen other, unrelated, activities), which he hopes to have ready for publication soon.

 

My Review:

A powerful start to this novel, Isabel is saved by a witch who shares her powers and provides her with a mirror so that she can ask for help. The novel is written in a similar style to original fairy tales – soon I was mesmerised into the story. We then follow Isabel’s life, she marries – will her husband accept her powers? She has a child of her own – will this daughter (Mary) inherit witchcraft? Charles I is the current monarch, and his wife Henrietta needs help with her pregnancy. Isabel acts as a midwife here – but is judged as a witch – interesting because the Queen’s male physicians had been cast out. Due to that period in history – Henrietta must flee from Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads. Extra characters are introduced here, that normalise the use of witchcraft. An enjoyable take on the English Civil War – the witches were not the enemy here.

 

opened book
Photo by Joy Marino on Pexels.com

Join me next week when I review Intrusion by Rosalind Minett, also available on the BookFunnel Promotion (make sure you click the link because you won’t be able to find all 28 books together on special offer after the 19th of March 2020)

Intrusion (A Relative Invasion Book 1) by [Minett, Rosalind]

A Touch of #History For You ~ Sharing #BookReviews for 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire) @BookFunnel Promotion

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One of my books 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire) is participating in a Book Funnel Promotion There are some really great books on offer (I have read three now) so, if you enjoy novels written with a historical flair, then have a look at the offer and see if there is anything you fancy.

Let me show you a few of the covers and blurb before I tell you about my book.

Rosemary for Remembrance by Nikki Broadwell

Rosemary and Dylan have grown apart since his return from WW2 and prison camp. But when memories from a bygone era begin to haunt them, they are drawn together to discover the source. The key could be the locket that Dylan found in an antique store that bears Rosemary’s initials. ‘Together Forever’ are the words inscribed there, and somehow the daguerreotype portraits seem familiar.

Can the mysteries of the past have an effect on the present? Find out in this gripping tale of love, loss, and secrets revealed.

Based on the wartime diaries of the author’s father.

Click here for details of how to buy this book (it’s on offer)

Book Cover

Abducted as children.

Sold into new lives…

Brother and sister struggle…

Nat is a slave. Ziva is a beloved daughter, purchased to replace a lost child. Her despicable master lusts for her. Her rejection sets off a devastating chain of events that could send Nat to the mines and ruin her adopted father.

Can they avoid the trap?

Will Ziva escape the clutches of the wicked master?

First in the series, Lost Children of the Prophet tells an ancient tale set in the earliest biblical times, following events in Ancient Matriarchs book three. Follow the danger and intrigue of a brother and sister who fight for each other. Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Get it now

A Ring of Truth by Michelle Cox

In this SECOND book of the series, Henrietta and Clive delightfully rewrite Pride and Prejudice—with a hint of mystery!

Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other’s family. “Difficult” because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard—and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot.

As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?

Buy it here

1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire) by Samantha Henthorn

‘A warm, humane, affectionate, finely-observed tale of a teenage boy, his family, friends and Lancastrian community, set in the sixties against the chilling backdrop of the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis’ – Kindle customer.

‘1962 has a playful concept that places one young boy’s dreams in a troubling time. There is a sense of fun with Ernest’s unstoppable optimism.’ Rocliffe

Ernest Bradshaw lives in a two up two down with his mother, Rose and Uncle Billy. They go to church every Sunday, along with most other people in the village. While Rose is praying for peace, Ernest is hoping for two things; that he can run away from the school bullies, and that his mother doesn’t notice the hole in his sock. Ernest’s Auntie Marigold and Uncle Norman live in a bay-fronted detached house, and despite their seemingly perfect life, they too have seen the news and are petrified about events thousands of miles away in Cuba.
With school teachers getting carried away about the Cuban Missile Crisis and Rose having a mini-drama at work, Uncle Norman steps in to solve problems at home and introduces Ernest to a cycling club he has seen advertised in Bolton. Here Ernest meets Christopher and Janet, his new friends, and Mr and Mrs Towers – club leaders. Can Ernest get enough money together to buy himself a racing cycle and win a cycling trophy before the world ends?
An uplifting, heartwarming coming of age, family story with all the nostalgia and charm of 1960s Lancashire.

Get it here

Here are some reviews for 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire) :

A thoughtful, engaging insight into the world of a 15 year old boy and his cycling ambition. I couldn’t put it down as I was introduced to a wonderful array of characters. Such a unique read. Clever and quirky. Look forward to reading more from this author.

This story carries the echoes of the era that seem quite prescient for today.

A warm, humane, affectionate, finely-observed tale of a teenage boy, his family, friends and Lancastrian community, set in the sixties against the chill backdrop of the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis.

Light and gentle, this is a nostalgic book that doesn’t worry too much about tense action or vivid drama, but instead relies on the reader’s desire to be swept back in time to a real place. I found this book easy to read, if a little slow, but kind of like a really comfortable old sweater: warm, cozy, a little out of date, but just what you need to escape real-world brutalism. A decent novel!

After the Clarion Palmer Trophy May 1953

^ My dad is holding the bicycle in this photo – he inspired me to write the book and gave me the 1960s research.

 

 

 

#BookReview #WizardRing by Clare Blanchard @CBcrime @BookFunnel A Touch of History #IARTG

WELL! Hello everyone, I have just finished reading yet another book that I could not put down Wizard Ring: From darkness into light (Wizards Series Book 1)

Wizard Ring by Clare Blanchard

 

I told you all the other day that my book 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire) has been lucky enough to take part in a BookFunnel promotion called ‘A Touch of History’ this promotion includes some great looking books (I have read two of them now) and runs until the 19th of March 2020. The books are all on special offer and there is a great selection. If you like books written with historical flair, then this sales promo should be right up your street! Including an interesting mix of fiction styles and themes, all with a strong historical element. Click this link to see if you fancy reading any of the titles.

 

Wizard Ring: From darkness into light (Wizards Series Book 1) by [Blanchard, Clare]

BOOK BLURB:

I knew nothing about the alchemist John Dee until one winter’s night in Prague when I met the ghost of a barber.
My name is Sylvia. I was just a burnt-out teacher with a subversive sense of humour. Then my mother gave me a magic ring made in the Prague workshop of John Dee.
I’ve never been the same since.

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John Dee, alchemist to Queen Elizabeth I

MY REVIEW: 5/5

Brilliant! Part contemporary, part history. Sylvia is a world-weary teacher, she lives with her mother Svetlana (originally from Prague) and son Rusty. The three make for interesting characters and in-depth family dynamics. The internal politics of the school open up a great storyline – sorcery is all around Sylvia (most of it personality-driven!) Clare Blanchard has provided a clever observation of school on both sides of the desk, the stressful impact of working in any public sector environment, and the notion that the supernatural could save you from this stress. Sylvia’s mother has given her a ring, made in Prague by the alchemist John Dee – history books report he was in Queen Elizabeth I inner trusted circle and sent to Czechoslovakia by the Queen sometime in the 16th century as a spy. This is where the intrigue lies for the history lover, Tudor Royal courts were reportedly ruled by jealous paranoia – completely believable that a sorcerer would manufacture an energy-giving ring capable of influencing those around. Will Sylvia manage this power? A well-observed, interesting and lighthearted glimpse of history influencing today.

 

Clare Blanchard

Clare Blanchard is a British author who lives in the wine-growing country of Czechia near Lower Austria in Central Europe. She writes crime mysteries and urban fantasy novels with a strong historical flavour.
Her debut novel was the crime mystery The Tainted Vintage, published by Fahrenheit Press in July 2018. Set in a small town in Czechia, the novel opens a series featuring the somewhat ill-matched but oddly effective detective duo, Dvorska and Dambersky. It is to be followed soon by the second book in the series, The Russian Dolls, which deals with the world of international art theft, as well as a classic murder mystery.
A fan of Nordic noir, Clare Blanchard likes to treat the locations and historical eras in her books as if they were actual characters in the book. This goes not only for her crime fiction, but also for her new Wizards series, which takes the reader into the realm of historical urban fantasy on the murky borders between magic and science. Wizard Ring is the first of a planned series dealing with the dark arts in modern life that are hidden in plain sight.

silver colored pendant with green gemstone
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

 

I am going to see how many books I can read during the promotion, next on the list for me is The Witches of Helcolmbe by Harry Bradford.

 

The Witches of Helcombe.: Book 1 of The Devon Witches Series (The Devon Witches Series.) by [Bradford, Harry]

Thank you for reading, and please join me next time I post about this historical fiction book promotion

Happy reading, Samantha x

#BookReview M J Dees @mjdeeswriter Fred and Leah #HistoricalFiction Book Promotion #IARTG

Hello everybody! I am honoured to be taking part in a historical fiction promotion called A Touch of History at the moment with my book 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire).

When I looked at the other books involved, I thought ‘I need to read some of those!’ 

Have a look at this link to see if you fancy reading any yourself: PROMOTION LINK They are all on special offer and can be downloaded to any device.

This morning, I finished reading Fred and Leah by M J Dees.

Fred and Leah: A True Life Second World War Drama of Love, Loss and Captivity

This is a heartwrenching must-read, the tag line being:

A True Life Second World War Drama of Love, Loss and Captivity

And the blurb:

It’s World War II and soldiers are not the only casualties.

On September 3rd, 1939, Fred knew he would have no choice but to go to France and fight.

However, when he found himself among the thousands of men stranded after the Dunkirk evacuation, he had no idea when he would see his wife Leah and his two children again.

Leah is left trying to raise her two children by herself but, even she can’t stop the bombs from falling on her street.

M J Dees’ fourth novel and his first historical novel, Fred and Leah, is based on a real life love story of two people whose lives were irrevocably altered by war.

Outstanding, yet Heart Wrenching
This book described what soldiers had to deal with in time of war as well as in captivity. It also showed what families had to deal with at home. Leah had to raise two small children while Fred was overseas fighting and then as a prisoner. She had to protect her children from the bombing and hide in the bomb shelters. It showed the mental anguish the soldiers had worrying about their families at home and how they were surviving. Then the mental anguish those at home suffered worrying about their loved ones fighting and if they were ever going to come home. Then the adjustments after the war. How some adjusted while others never did or at the least had trouble. Fred had to find the strength to not only survive the war himself but to help his fellow soldiers survive the best he could. This book showed the horrors of war both on the front and at home. This is a must read book if you want to learn about WWII. It made me feel as though I was with Fred and also experiencing what Leah was feeling during those years. Peggy Coppolo (5 star Amazon.com review)

M J Dees

M J Dees was born and raised in Kingston-upon-Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He has worked in a variety of jobs in a variety of countries and is currently living with his wife, daughter and two cats in São Paulo, Brazil. LIVING WITH SACI is his first novel and is set in São Paulo. THE ASTONISHING ANNIVERSARIES OF JAMES AND DAVID is about two twins growing up in Yorkshire in England. WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY set in a dystopian future. FRED & LEAH is a second world war drama based on the true story of his grandparents. His fifth novel, LIVING WITH THE HEADLESS MULE a prequel/sequel to LIVING WITH SACI and has just released his new sci-fi series, MASTERY OF THE STARS.

 

photo of a man holding a gun
Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

 

My review: (Five stars) My mother was a ‘war baby’ and often spoke of this fact when I was growing up. So when I saw this historical fiction novel, I wanted to read it. Leah gives birth just as Fred goes off to war. Leah stays at home with her young son Jim and baby girl Beattie. The couple has moved around because of Fred’s army career – fortunately, Leah can rely on her father, a shopkeeper from Northumberland.
I believe this is a true story, based on the author’s family well written with literary flair—an essential part of life writing is to recount historical events for future generations. The chapters told about Fred detail his lengthy time as a POW in harrowing detail – the realism used here is superb, highlighting the physical and emotional effect on WWII soldiers. I have often heard that these men will not talk about what happened during the war; there must have been some heavy-duty research that went into this book. As the pages turned, I was taking note of the dates 1940, 1941, 1942… Was Fred going to get home to rescue Leah from the nightmare she was going through? If things weren’t bad enough for her with only her father to support her and the two children, Leah suffers a serious illness. Mental illness is one of the cruellest things a person can experience. It could have been a puerperal psychosis or a stress reaction to the war, but poor Leah ended up in hospital for a long time – without advancements in treatment in the years since this period of history. And I think this is the crucial part of this book – would things have been different for Leah had her husband not been taken away from her by war? Fred and Leah’s story provides a snapshot of the human devastation of war. A dramatic, heartwrenching must-read.

Join me on Friday, when I read the next book in this BookFunnel promotion – Wizard Ring by Clare Blanchard

Wizard Ring by Clare Blanchard

Happy reading, Samantha xx

Don’t forget it’s on Kindle Unlimited!

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“I’m putting my foot down Brenda, I’m not parting with it!” Brian and Brenda Towers stood face to face in their lean-to shed. Not by choice, there was little room, especially for both of them to be in there, nose to nose, stomach to stomach.
“Brian!” Barked Brenda “That Pre-war contraption has not seen the light of day since… since… PRE-WAR!”
This was true, the New Hudson bicycle lay cluttering up the final few feet of Brian and Brenda’s lean-to shed. Gathering dust and rust like aphids feeding off a rose bush. The tandem and their newer individual bicycles plus Brenda’s gardening paraphernalia also created chaos and clutter. Brenda did not like this, it made her feel as though her house was about to fall down. If only everything could be tidy, all at once, organised and compartmentalised like the rest of her life. Brian did not see it this way.
“What if it comes in handy one day?” Brian pleaded.
“It has! Today is its lucky day! Young Ernest Bradshaw is crying out for a bicycle to race on, you said so yourself, I heard you and Sid whispering behind his back don’t forget!”
“I’m not a flaming charity, Brenda! That cycle cost me… it cost me… err”
“You can’t remember, can you? It was that long ago… you miserly old buzzard Brian Towers!”

Read 1962 on Kindle Unlimited here

Happy reading, Samantha

 

1962 an uplifting read.

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Later that same day, when the Sunday roast had been cleared away, and hours had passed with nothing to do and nothing to say. Ernest, his mother and Uncle Billy took the weekly bus journey to Auntie Marigold and Uncle Norman’s house.
Marigold Bradshaw was always going to do well for herself in life. This was obvious on the Bradshaw family photograph, captured in sepia when Marigold was fourteen and Rose was nine. Marigold, imposing and impressive on the back row, shoulders straight, hair behaving itself, brand new dress. The centre of the photograph, the centre of attention, her proudly positioned head articulated ‘I plan to marry well’. Marigold stood above her little sister : Rose, perched upon a three-legged stool underneath Marigold. Head bowed, small and shy with her hair in her eyes, and a hand me down dress. Rose had no plan, but in life, received a surprise. Marigold pitied her little sister, but it was not her job to pass judgement; not on a Sunday.

Available UK here

Available US here

Piccalilly is Two Years Old!

Piccalilly is two years old!

From the writer of ‘1962’, the Curmudgeon Avenue series and ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’, Piccalilly is a short children’s novel about Lillian, an eight year old girl who is missing her older brother, Joe. He has been serving in the army in World War One. When Lillian’s parents receive a telegram informing them of the worst, Lillian discovers that Joe’s spirit is living on in a series of comforting events.

You can download your copy hereScan_20170731

It’s that time of year to curl up with a good (free) book

Here is the link for the latest BookFunnel promotion, Back in Time (Romance) https://books.bookfunnel.com/elsajoseph300/59nwhdyzja

I won’t go on, because there are loads of books to enjoy on here.

Happy reading! Samantha x

interior of house
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com