Tag Archives: book tour

Blood of the Red Rose by P J Gray plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Blood of the Red Rose by P J Gray to review. This is Philippa’s debut novel.

Blood of the Red Rose by P J Gray

Here is the book blurb.

Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, finds himself exiled in France when Warwick the Kingmaker puts Edward IV on the throne of England. Desperate to return the throne to the rightful King Henry VI, Beaufort finds himself caught between Henry’s bitter wife Marguerite of Anjou and the French ‘Spider’ King Louis until Edward and Warwick fall out in spectacular style and, at Louis’ urging, Warwick becomes their unlikely ally. Set on the rich stage of the Wars of the Roses, this is a tale of intrigue, love and war that can only end in tragedy.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, as I am a huge fan of Philippa Gregory stories which are set at a similar time during the War of the Roses.

It was useful to have a list of characters and dates at the beginning of the book, but I still found it confusing to work out who was on which side, particularly with changes of allegiance. It was also a hard story to get into initially, but I did later find myself focussing on Kate and skimming through chapters that she didn’t feature in. Kate was the illegitimate daughter of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick and we see an affectionate bond between the two of them. She seems to have achieved a closer relationship with her father than either of her half-sisters. However he still marries her off to Stephen Thevenot. Their marriage does not fare well and Stephen mistreats her. Luckily for Kate, she is soon widowed. After this she blossoms. You’ll have to read the book to find out who her next relationship is with.

This book is available on Amazon currently priced at £10.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. An interesting historical read.

About the author

Philippa was born in Chichester and developed a passion for history whilst growing up in Cyprus and then North Yorkshire. She began writing when she was at junior school, winning the school prize for English, and wrote and illustrated her own stories which she read to her long-suffering friends. She started her first novel, Blood of the Red Rose, when her elder daughter was a baby and finally completed it twenty-eight years later. Philippa has two daughters, four grandchildren and a grand-cat and now lives in Cyprus with Paul, her husband of twenty-five years, three dogs and four cats.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to one lucky winner. Open to UK and US residents.
comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

Blood of the Red Rose by P J Gray

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Advertisements

Guest post: My top ten inspirational authors by Kathleen Webb

Guest post by Kathleen Webb, author of “The Past is Present”.

The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

My top ten inspirational authors are as follows:

1.Dean Koontz  .. I admire him so much.  Although in the past I have read many of his books, it was his life story that adhered me to him.  Against all odds, he was still able to achieve his passion for story writing;  remarkable.

2.Stephen King .. Again his passion to please the reader – however dark the novel, is something you have to admire.  His ethic for writing is brilliant and one I hope I can duplicate.

3.Khaled Hosseini .. Although once a doctor, his passion for writing comes through in his novels.  Once he left Afghanistan it seems there was no holding him back.  His books are original and I think contain some elements of his previous life;   great inspirational man and author.

4.James Patterson.. A great inspirational man to get you writing; I love his style, short sentences and descriptions and great stories.

5.John Grisham.. I have read many of his books which were of the Jury and Legal genre, but I particularly liked one of his recent books – “Camino Island”;  Something different from him.

6.Victoria Hislop .. I like her writing style.  I think my favourite was “The Island”.

7.J.K.Rowling.. I have only read two of the Harry Potter books.  I like the way she writes in this series, expressive and compelling. I haven’t, as yet, read her adult novels.

8.Patricia Cornwall.. Her upbringing was difficult which helped to  drive her to achieve the amazing success she has enjoyed.  Her previous employment in Crime detection definitely gave her the edge; marvellous crime novels.

9 and 10.  ..   P.D.James and Ruth Rendell... These two authors wrote great mystery/thriller stories, every one different.  My then teenage daughters read most of their novels.  Wonderful books across the age groups.

And you may read my review of Kathleen’s book here, plus have a chance to win yourself a paperback copy.

Author photo - Kathleen Webb

Kathleen Webb

The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book “The Past is Present” by Kathleen Webb to review. This is Kathleen’s debut novel.

The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

Here is the book blurb.

After the untimely death of her mother and father, twenty-four year old Catherine Morgan leaves the Cambridge home where she has spent the better part of her life, to move to Cornwall. She takes a job as a teacher, working in an old rambling school which has been converted from a domestic home, perched high up on a hilltop, overlooking the beautiful Cornish coastline.

Out of the blue a letter arrives from a bank in Switzerland, advising Catherine that she is the sole heir to a fortune of over thirty million dollars. With no living relatives, save for a great aunt in the USA, Catherine sets out to uncover the source of this staggering inheritance, and to unravel the mystery that lies behind it.

With the help of her great aunt, Catherine begins to dig deep into long forgotten family secrets. Strange dreams begin to plague her. She is haunted by the eerie feeling that someone from her family’s past is trying to help her. Catherine must work to make sense of the past while defending herself, and her fortune, from someone in the present who will stop at nothing to secure the money for themselves.

I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I read the words “family history” in the blurb. One of my favourite genres.

It starts in 2010 with Catherine getting a new job as a teacher in Cornwall. As we are introduced to Catherine, we discover that she has recently started to suffer from disturbing visions. It is as if someone is trying to tell her something. A house features in many of these dreams, but how can Catherine identify it?

We then move back to 1985 where we meet best friends Rachael and Susie who are about to start studying at Yale.

The story continues to move back and forth between 2010 and 1985. A few weeks later, Catherine’s only relative, Great Aunt Izzy arranges to fly over for a visit, but before she does so, Catherine receives a redirected letter. She can’t believe the contents. It is from a Swiss Bank about an account in her name valued at over $30m. She phones Izzy, who tells her the letter is genuine but that she can’t explain until she arrives, and to hide it as she could be in danger.

Lots more to come in this as we unravel al the strands of the mystery. I found it so gripping that I read the whole book in one day, although I have to say I wasn’t overly fond of the writing style.

This book is newly published on Amazon currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A gripping read. Highly recommended.

About the author

Living in Hertfordshire, Kathleen Webb has always held a passion for writing and since retiring she’s finally found the time to realise her dream and complete her first novel. When not writing she can be found spending quality time with her grandchildren and children and baking delicious decorative cakes.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to 2 lucky winners.
comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

And look out this afternoon for a guest post on my blog by Kathleen.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

As Good as Gold by Patricia Furstenberg

I have received a free copy of the children’s poetry book As Good As Gold: A dog’s life in poems by Patricia Furstenberg for son2 to review.

As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg

Here is the book blurb.

As engaging as a tail wag
Celebrating the simple things in life as seen through the eyes of our old time favourite furry friends, “As Good as Gold” is a volume of poetry revealing the talent and humour we always knew our dogs possessed.
Dogs are full of questions, yet they are famed sellers of innocence especially when it comes to explaining their mishaps and often foolish effervescence through ponderings such as “Why IS a Cat Not Like a Dog”, “As Brown as Chocolate”, “Silver Stars and Puppy Tail” or, best yet, “Dog or Book?”
A book with an enormous heart for readers of all ages, it includes 35 poems and haiku accompanied by expressive portraits of our canine friends.

As Good as Gold by Patricia Furstenberg

My favourite poem is “As Pink as a Puppy’s Tongue” because it has a pug in it and pugs are my favourite dog. This is a very good book.

The two sentences above are what son2 has written for his review.

I also read this book and loved how the 35 poems are arranged in categories. So it starts with a section where the poems are all questions from the dogs. The second section features poems, each based on a particular colour. Then we have musings. And finally Haiku, which are 3 line poems. I remember being taught Haiku at school, but certainly never succeeded in writing any as good as these. And all the poems are beautifully illustrated with dog photographs.

A delightful collection, that you can dip into time after time. Great for reading out loud to younger children or for older children to read themselves. And appealing to adults too, especially dog lovers.

Newly published today, As Good as Gold is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in kindle format. A lovely poetry book. Highly recommended by both son2 and me.

About the author

Patricia Furstenberg came to writing through reading. She always carries a notebook and a pen, although at times she jots down her ideas on the back of till slips or types them on her phone.

Patricia enjoys writing for children because she can take abstract, grown-up concepts and package them in humorous, child-friendly ideas while adding sensitivity and lots of love. What fuels her is an exhilarating need to write and… coffee: “How many cups have had this morning?” “None.” “Plus?” “Five cups.”

Between her books you can find the beloved Joyful Trouble, The Cheetah and the Dog, Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles.

She is a Huffington Post contributor and pens the Sunday Column for MyPuppyclub.net as well as dabbing in freelancing. After completing her Medical Degree in Romania she moved to South Africa where she now lives with her husband, children and their dogs.

Author Website
Pat’s books on Amazon UK
Pat on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest.


I’m participating in the blog tour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James

I have received a free copy of the book The Dog Ate My Homework and other poems for children by Aaron James for son2 to review.

The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James

Here is the book blurb.

The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James is a collection of short poems that will capture your imagination. Filled with fun stories that make you think, laugh and tell your friends. Do you remember your first day at school? Or when you tried to convince your teacher you actually done your homework? Or the excitement you felt when you bought your new pair of trainers? In The Dog Ate My Homework you will get a chance to read all these stories and many more!

The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James

My favourite poem is The Dog Ate My Homework because it is funny that a dog actually ate his homework and that the teacher didn’t believe him. This is a good book.

The two sentences above are what son2 has written for his review.

And you may click on the image below to see a fullsize copy of my son’s favourite poem as it appears in the book.

The Dog Ate My Homework poem

I loved these poems too but I was expecting there to be a lot more than just five poems in the book. The blurb describes three of them plus “many more”. So only two more poems does feel a bit of a let down compared to expectation. And why are there 7 blank pages at the back of the book. Were these for more poems which didn’t materialise?

The Dog Ate My Homework is available on Amazon, currently priced at £5.99 in paperback and is also available in kindle format. Suitable for a wide age range. A lovely illustrated book to read out loud to your children or for them to read themselves. But a shame that there were only 10 pages.

About the author

Born and raised in Tottenham, North London and today living in Bromley, South London with his wife, Aaron James works as a poet and spoken word artist. The Dog Ate My Homework is his first children’s poetry book.


I’m participating in the blog tour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim

I have received a free e-copy of the recipe book Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim to review.

Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim

 

Here is the book blurb.

There’s nothing quite like Comfort Food to put a smile on your face and a feeling of contentment in your stomach. Chef Julia Bettelheim is passionate about feeding people; from the students in her university kitchen to guests and family at home. From recipes that are as simple as a sandwich to as technical as a fruit cake, she knows the importance of creating delicious meals that are full of flavour and which always have budget in mind. Her recipes include easy to make classics and mouth-watering family favourites, using easy to find products that are fresh and economical. Fun, fast, indulgent and nurturing, there’s a time and a place for Comfort Food in every kitchen.

I’ve always enjoyed browsing through recipe books, although I did reluctantly reduce my own collection which filled several shelves in the bookcase down to about one shelf to make more space for the boys’ books a few years back. So I was particularly looking forward to reading this book and trying my hand out at cooking some of the recipes. I’m hoping that e-recipe books may be the way forward for me.

Just like most recipe books it is sub-divided into chapters, starting with soups. There are some very tasty sounding treats, but equally a few that I would prefer to avoid like Scottish Rolls. This was one of the two recipes that I was asked to make, but I declined as it includes black pudding, something I hate. Maybe comfort food to some, but not for me. This particular recipe was in the England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales chapter which I laughed to see even included a Deep Fried Mars Bar.

However it was a delight to see tasty sandwiches included. Absolutely comfort food, but something not usually encompassed in a recipe book. And I loved reading the introduction where it mentioned how Julia started with index cards as a teenager. I’ve lost most of my handwritten childhood recipes, but I do still have one scrapbook that I used to paste in recipes from magazines, so I could really relate to that.

Comfort Food is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A nice recipe book, so long as you aren’t too bothered about the inconsistencies in units, which did bug me a bit. I’ve got my eye on trying the caramel crumble next.

Easy to navigate around the e-version to any recipe with a single click from the index. Nice photos although I would have preferred every recipe to have a picture.



I was asked to test out the Easy Biscuits recipe.

Easy Biscuits

Easy Biscuits

These biscuits are very easy to make; the only time-consuming bit is rolling the balls onto the sheet pan. The biscuits themselves are very plain, but you can let your imagination get the better of you.

Ingredients
500g butter
1 cup sugar
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
5 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in the milk and vanilla. Stir through the flour until it is all mixed in. Roll tablespoonfuls onto a sheet pan and bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until just golden. Using a small 8 oz ice cream scoop also works if you prefer large biscuits.

At this point you can divide the mixture into portions and add some goodies to each portion, for example:

  • 50g candy coloured chocolate
  • ½ cup white chocolate bits and ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup choc raisins
  • ½ cup milk choc bits

Store biscuits in an airtight container and they stay fresh for about a week.

Easy biscuits

With two blocks of butter, this certainly made a lot of biscuits. Took me a while getting all batches through the oven. And it really hit the spot with all the family, so I’ll definitely be baking this again. I chose to do four variants – plain, chocolate chip, honeycomb and currants using half a cup for each addition. Although you shouldn’t call the plain that in my opinion, as they were so sweet with both sugar and the condensed milk, especially compared to how I often try to reduce sugar content in baking.

I wasn’t quite sure what the recipe meant by rolling tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet, so I just pushed the mixture off the tablespoon, but otherwise lives up to its name of easy biscuits. Also the recipe needs to be proof-read, as currently it reads that the additional ingredients should be added after baking. I assumed that they were to be added before cooking, not as decoration.

However I did find it particularly irritating that there was no consistency over the units used in the recipe – some ingredients in grams and some in cups. I feel it should have been one or the other. Personally I try to avoid recipes using cups, as I never know what size cup to choose, so mine may have then been wrong against the amount of butter. Also it would be more helpful if it indicated what size tin of milk to use. There was only one size at my supermarket, but is that the case everywhere?

It wasn’t just this recipe that had multiple units. It was fairly common throughout the book. Also some recipes had a combination of ounces and cups, introducing yet another unit. So if there is a reprint, I would recommend standardising the units used throughout. Otherwise define the size of a cup either at the start or end of the book.


About the author

Growing up in Wellington, New Zealand, British born Julia Bettelheim enjoyed an early start in the catering industry and as a teenager took lessons from a private chef. Her family then moved to Melbourne, Australia where she lived for the next twenty-two years and worked as a tupperware sales representative travelling the city providing cookery demonstrations and sharing recipes that were suitable for storing. After her divorce in 2008, Julia moved back to England where she now lives in Chatham, Kent and works as a chef in the kitchen of the cafe at UCL in London.


I’m participating in the blogtour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts to see what tasty recipes they have tried.

Comfort Food by Julia Bettelheim

I’d love to hear what dishes are your comfort food?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

I have received a free e-copy of the book Tunes on a Penny Whistle: A Derbyshire Childhood by Doris E Coates to review.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

Here is the book blurb.

The early 1900s were a period of great hardship for many working-class families, particularly in rural areas. However, they were also times of pride and self-sufficiency, with fun and laughter derived from simple pleasures as well as mutual support and courage when poverty could have become unbearable.

This book is a personal history of a childhood in the village of Eyam – known as the Plague Village – in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Doris recalls how her mother confronted tough living conditions without labour-saving devices and often with little or no money.

She remembers, too, her father, who fought for the right for union representation, worked for self-help groups, and organised political meetings and village entertainments. He was a talented self-taught musician, producing a wide range of music on his Canadian organ and penny whistle. His fighting spirit made him a remarkable and influential character within the village community.

Both humourous and shocking, this description of domestic and community life at the beginning of the twentieth century is illustrated with many contemporary photographs, documents, and line drawings by George Coates, the author’s husband.

This book is a biography originally published in 1983, mainly about the author’s father Harry Dawson, but also all their family life during her childhood. This new edition has been edited by Doris’s son Richard with supplemental information from ancestry databases and also includes plenty of period photos.

Doris was born in 1908 in Eyam, Derbyshire into poverty. The cottage had no plumbed water, gas or electricity. An earth closet at the far end of the garden and baths in front of the living room fire. But the family had a good quality of life despite the lack of facilities and shortage of money. Lots of foraging walks and selling teas to passing ramblers helped.

Eyam was a rural industrial village where shoe making was the main industry. Harry worked long 12 hour shifts, five and a half days a week in the shoe factory, but still found time for newspaper reporting, local temperance and friendly societies, cycling and music. The working conditions were dreadful and the pay appalling with wages at about half the national average. The union didn’t reach Eyam until 1918 when Harry was sacked on suspicion of having joined the union. He hadn’t but soon did. And of course with no income, things became even more difficult for the family. And worse still in 1922 when the shoe factory owners tried to evict the family by putting their rented cottage up for auction. But Harry went into debt and bid 3 times over its value to buy the cottage that his family had lived in for at least 3 generations.

Doris’s grandfather George Dawson was famed for his tune to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and his musical prowess led to the family being held in high esteem locally even though they had no social status.

And Doris’s mother Margaret spearheaded the campaign to get a district nurse.

School was stressful for Doris aged 8 with physical punishments from the teacher and she was near a nervous breakdown when the school medical inspector intervened on his annual inspection. 2 months off school and then a different teacher improved the situation. He encouraged her to sit the Grammar school scholarship examination, which she passed but there was no transportation and the family couldn’t afford the boarding fees. But even so in 1926, Doris became the first non-Grammar school student to qualify for higher education at Goldsmiths’ College, London. Again money was a problem but was overcome with a loan.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format or hardback. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. A fascinating insight into the local and social history of the early twentieth century.


Here is an extract from the book to give you a flavour.

No Power to the Workers
(Chapter 7 page 93)

So it was that our district nurse arrived in 1917, a crucial time in the life of the village. Self-help and thrift had done something to ameliorate life’s perpetual difficulties, but with wartime strains, long working hours and wages in the factories barely half the national average, morale was low. When the suggestion was made that workers should join a union and fight for their rights, some were apathetic, while others saw this as the only hope of improving their conditions.

Trade unions had strengthened during the war, when there was a great demand for labour to fulfil Government contracts. The National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives (NUBSO) had achieved good conditions for workers in Northampton, Leicester and other large centres. A working week of forty-eight hours was agreed, and with wage increases and bonuses it was possible to earn 45-55s a week (£2.25–£2.75).

By 1917 the union was turning its attention to smaller centres. John Buckle was appointed organiser to recruit members in Eyam and Stoney Middleton, and to try to bring conditions in the factories up to union standards. He met with obdurate resistance from the bosses. Any worker who was suspected to joining the union was sacked instantly.

Seven firms were involved in the dispute. Four, in Stoney Middleton, all made heavy boots for men, pit boots, army boots and carters’ boots. Three factories in Eyam manufactured light shoes for women and children. They were all family firms, and the bosses were what was known as ‘little masters’ who came from the same background as most of their employees, and spoke with the same Derbyshire accent. They had no pretence to culture or education, and treated with suspicion people like my parents who were well read (through self-educated) and who were not afraid to express their opinions.

Context

Chapter 7 describes in detail the working conditions in the shoe factories in Eyam and the neighbouring village, Stoney Middleton. The author’s father, Harry, had worked in one of these for all his working life – 30 years or so.

Through the contemporary notes of the professional union organiser, this chapter describes the ultimately futile fight for union recognition and nationally agreed pay rates. Harry lost his job on suspicion of joining the union (which at that point he had not), and was never able to work again in the village again through what today would be regarded as victimisation.

2018 is the Centenary of the strike in Eyam and Stoney Middleton, and Eyam Museum is promoting events and exhibitions to commemorate it.


About the Authors

Born in Eyam in the Peak District of Derbyshire, Doris E. Coates achieved a successful and varied career as a teacher in both Derbyshire and later in Norfolk. Along with her husband George, she was an active member of her community promoting local groups, enjoyed singing in the local choir and, after retirement, turned her talents to writing. Her son, Richard Coates, now based in Bath enjoyed a happy childhood and grew up appreciating the importance of a strong education. After gaining a scholarship at Oxford University he went on to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Later as a management consultant he worked for international companies including Audi, British Airways and Mars in both the UK and oversees and continues to sit on the board of Davos Consultancy. Now retired, and in memory of his mother, Richard has decided to republish her books with fascinating new additions after researching further into his family history.


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour, including my own review of Tuppenny Rice and Treacle, in which I try out the Bible Cake recipe.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle by Doris Coates

I have received a free e-copy of the book Tuppenny Rice and Treacle: Cottage Housekeeping 1900-1920 by Doris E Coates to review.

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle by Doris Coates

Here is the book blurb.

Feeding a family on a limited budget is always a challenge. Yet even with a budget as low as ten shillings (50p) a week in the early part of the twentieth century, it is remarkable how interesting and varied the menu could be.

This delightful book draws on recipes compiled by Doris’s mother in Derbyshire and mother-in-law in Cumberland, and contains detailed records of weekly expenditure.

It includes numerous recipes for nutritious and filling meals for working men and growing families, taking full advantage of what was available – hearty meat dishes, with lots of root vegetables, puddings and dumplings to fill them out, cakes and buns, sweets and jams, and beverages to go with them (some highly alcoholic!). The recipes work just as well now as then.

It is also full of household and cleaning hints and products, illustrating immense pride in the home, as well as medicines, lotions and potions that would ‘kill or cure’.

This book originally published in 1975, is mainly based on the recipes and notebooks of both Doris’s mother Margaret Dawson and mother-in-law Jane Coates from the period 1900 – 1920. This new edition includes additional material sourced by Doris’s son Richard Coates.

The notebooks would have included household accounts and money saving tips. And the recipes weren’t all food, they also encompassed how to make your own medicines and cleaning materials. It was very difficult for Margaret to balance the £1 budget and if she overspent one fortnight, she would have to cut back the following, as there was a family horror of debt. She supplemented the income with paying guests, teas for ramblers and piecework for the shoe factory, although this only earned 9d per dozen.

However her accounts for several years show no record of purchase of boots, shoes, major items of clothing or toiletries. Items like tinned fruit were beyond their means, but however short of money, she still had to fill the store cupboard for the winter, so there are recipes for preserves, pickles and bottled fruit. All such a fascinating insight.

Then recipes for cheap cuts of meat – rook pie for instance. Followed by substantial filling puddings, some were regional specialities like Coniston Pudding and Felixstowe Tart. And the interesting names of others like High Church Pudding and Duchess of Sutherland Pudding. Of course not missing out teatime favourites, again many are regional like Northumberland Griddle Cakes and Sledmere Gingerbread.

And I loved the fact that the teetotal family were of the opinion that potent homemade drinks were innocuous, so we see the likes of Nettle Beer and Cowslip Wine.

At least the author warns us not to try the cough mixture recipes, as I see ingredients like laudanum. And I love the household tips like how to test the heat of the oven.

Tuppenny Rice and Treacle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format or hardback. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. A wonderful glimpse into the early twentieth century household accounts, with plenty of recipes to browse.


And I’ve been busy trying out the Bible Cake recipe. This is not just a recipe, but a puzzle too, with the ingredients all being listed as Bible references.

Bible cake

Bible Cake

This ‘puzzle recipe’ has been known in the North of England at least from the turn of the century.

  1. ½ lb Judges 5, verse 25 (last clause)
  2. ½ lb Jeremiah 6, verse 203. 1 tbsp 1 Samuel 14, verse 25
  3. 3 of Jeremiah 17, verse 11
  4. ½ lb 1 Samuel 30, verse 12
  5. ½ lb Nahum 3, verse 12 (chopped)
  6. 2 oz Numbers 17, verse 8 (blanched and chopped)
  7. 1 lb 1 Kings 4, verse 22
  8. season to taste with 2 Chronicles 9, verse 9
  9. a pinch of Leviticus 2, verse 13
  10. 1 tsp Amos 4, verse 5
  11. 1 tbsp Judges 4, verse 19

Note: leaven means baking powder.

Beat Nos 1, 2 and 3 to a cream; add 4 one at a time, still beating; then 5, 6 and 7, and beat again; add 8, 9, 10 and 11 having previously mixed them, and lastly No 12. Bake in a slow oven for one and a half hours.

Bible cake

Here is the solution to the puzzle:

  1. She brought forth butter in a lordly dish – ½ lb butter
  2. The sweet cane from a far country (sugar) – ½ lb sugar
  3. There was honey upon the ground – 1 tbsp honey
  4. As the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not – 3 eggs
  5. And they gave him a piece of cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins – ½ lb raisins
  6. All thy strongholds shall be like fig trees with first-ripe figs – ½ lb figs (chopped)
  7. The rod of Aaron… yielded almonds – 2 oz almonds (chopped)
  8. Soloman’s provision was… thirty measures of fine flour – 1 lb flour
  9. Spices in great abundance – Season with spices to taste
  10. Thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt – Pinch salt
  11. A sacrifice with leaven (yeast) – 1 tsp baking powder
  12. And she opened a bottle of milk – 3 tbsp milk

This made a very large quantity of mixture, so I had to split it across 2 tins, as I didn’t have a large enough tin. I followed the quantities stipulated exactly and was quite surprised how stiff the mixture was for a cake, more like the consistency of rock buns. Also I had to guess what temperature a slow oven would be. I opted for 160 degree in my fan oven but with hindsight, this may have been too high. I ended up covering the cakes with greaseproof paper after 45 minutes to avoid the outside over-cooking and took them out of the oven at 65 minutes compared to the expected 90 minutes.

However the resulting cakes were delicious. But surely ingredients like figs would have been difficult to source in Margaret’s time, so I imagine this would have been a cake for a special occasion in those days.

Bible cake


About the Authors

Born in Eyam in the Peak District of Derbyshire, Doris E. Coates achieved a successful and varied career as a teacher in both Derbyshire and later in Norfolk. Along with her husband George, she was an active member of her community promoting local groups, enjoyed singing in the local choir and, after retirement, turned her talents to writing. Her son, Richard Coates, now based in Bath enjoyed a happy childhood and grew up appreciating the importance of a strong education. After gaining a scholarship at Oxford University he went on to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Later as a management consultant he worked for international companies including Audi, British Airways and Mars in both the UK and oversees and continues to sit on the board of Davos Consultancy. Now retired, and in memory of his mother, Richard has decided to republish her books with fascinating new additions after researching further into his family history.


I’m kicking off the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour. I’ll be back on January 29th with my review of Tunes on a Penny Whistle.

Tunes on a Penny Whistle by Doris Coates

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard Macdonald

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard Macdonald to review.

The Prisoner's Wife by Gerard Macdonald

Here is the book blurb.

From the CIA headquarters to the danger zones of Morocco and Pakistan, undercover agent Shawn Maguire is embroiled in a sinister conspiracy and an unlikely romance in this exhilarating debut spy thriller.

Shawn Maguire, unemployed American spy, has been paid to find a young Iranian now being interrogated in one of the CIA’s black prisons. The prisoner’s location remains unknown – he may be in Fes, Cairo or even Peshawar – but Shawn has every confidence that he’ll find his man eventually. Based on his time as an agent, it’s an assignment he knows he can handle. But there’s one person he’s not sure even he can handle:  the prisoner’s wife.

The Prisoner’s Wife is a political thriller ripped from today’s headlines; a tense trip through the murky worlds of state–sponsored terrorism, nuclear politics, secret American jails and lawless rendition. Conspiracies abound in this sophisticated and suspenseful novel, with its crackling dialogue and evocative, lawless landscapes. Maguire is a first-rate protagonist, complicated and heroic, and writer Gerard Macdonald does an expert job of capturing the casual ambivalence of the American intelligence officers in their rendition campaigns and keenly observes the cynical manner in which operatives prop up or depose criminal leaders depending on America’s own needs.

A pulse-pounding account of political intrigue in the Middle-East starring complex hero Shawn Maguire, The Prisoner’s Wife is the perfect next read for fans of espionage and international thrillers.

This book is mainly set in 2004, with a few flashbacks to 2000. It starts with the prisoner Osmani being abducted in Paris by CIA agents Calvin and Hassan. A few weeks later Abbasi pays suspended CIA agent Shawn to find Osmani.

Shawn begins his search by meeting Osmani’s wife Danielle whom he is attracted to. She comes back to his Sussex home, from where a game of cat and mouse with the CIA continues throughout the story, as they pair head to Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan trying to locate Osmani, whom the CIA are torturing and regularly relocating.

Danielle quizzes Shawn on his past relationships, but she is very much a closed book herself.

Plenty of conspiracies at every turn..

The Prisoner’s Wife is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.99 in Kindle format and is also available in hardback. An interesting read.


Here is an extract from the book to whet your appetite.

Shawn shook his head. He glanced back at the bundles of notes in the summer house.

‘Serious money. How do you know I won’t take it, and run?’

‘You have many faults,’ Abbasi said. ‘I have never heard dishonesty was one of them.’ He made a comprehensive gesture, taking in house and garden. ‘Also, as they say in movies, we know where you live.’ His tone changed. ‘There is something else. When he was not riding shotgun with the Taliban, Osmani claims he was conducting an archaeological dig in Afghanistan. Excavating cellars in Ghorid ruins, somewhere on the Turquoise Mountain. Near Chist, I think. Now, whether he was doing that or not, he claims he found something of interest.’

‘Claims, how?’

‘He called me from Paris. Before your colleagues picked him up. Some time ago.’ From his diary Abbasi took a handwritten note. ‘Osmani wanted money for information. A great deal of money. There you have the phone number. The address, in the quatrieme.’ Abbasi paused. ‘I had a second call, from the same number. This time, it was his wife.’

Shawn paid attention.

‘Is that surprising?’ Abbasi asked, noting the reaction. ‘The man has a wife?’

‘It’s a lead,’ Shawn said. ‘It’s interesting. So, tell me. What’s Osmani claim he found? What does he believe you’ll pay for?’

‘A small nuclear device, a mobile device, built under the direction of Dr.. Qadir Khan. You do know of Dr.. Khan?’

Shawn said, ‘I worked on his proliferation file. He’s a problem for us.’

‘And for us, for Pakistan, a national hero.’

‘Well,’ Shawn said, ‘you got my attention. If I do take your money, where do I start?’

 

 


About the author

Author Gerard Macdonald lives in West London and is currently working on a short series of political fiction books.

Website – http://gerardmacdonald.net/


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

The Prisoner's Wife by Gerard Macdonald

 

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

SaveSave

12 Days of Clink Street Christmas Guest Post: Festive Recipes

Guest post by Rick Hay, author of The Anti Ageing Food and Fitness Plan.

The Anti Ageing Food and Fitness Plan by Rick Hay

Here are a few of my favourite fast recipes to help make Christmas Day healthier.

I have provided for some easy breakfasts, desserts and sides which would allow a bit of a blow out at lunch and dinner which we all deserve – it’s Christmas after all.

Berry Superfood Bowl – a healthy start to Christmas day:

Ingredients
a small bowl
a handful of english spinach
a few blueberries and strawberries
a banana
1 teaspoon of Chia seeds
100 mls of almond milk
a dollop of unsweetened greek or coconut yoghurt
half of a sliced peeled kiwi fruit
a few teaspoons of oats and some desiccated coconut.

Method
Blend the almond milk, banana, spinach and pour into a small bowl – you could heat in slowly if desired.
Top with the blueberries, sliced kiwi fruit, strawberries and oats.
Top with a dollop of the yogurt and some desiccated coconut.

Serves 1

This is true nutrient dense fuel.
It is an antioxidant powerhouse that will really help boost immunity and help with recovery and tiredness after exercise.
It’s a mini multi vitamin/multi mineral christmas breakfast bowl.

Christmas Green Smoothie – the perfect festive breakfast or snack

Ingredients:
one small avocado
a handful of spinach
250 mls of rice, oat or coconut milk
two dates
cinnamon, nutmeg or all spice
Serve of plant based protein and or a handful of nuts if desired
Two or three teaspoons of a plant based protein powder can be added as could a handful of nuts for extra protein.

Method:
Blend the avocado, spinach, dates and the rice, oat or coconut milk for thirty seconds and serve.

Serves one.

This sweet green smoothie is packed full of magnesium to help sooth and nourish.
The avocado is a great source of protein and fibre which will help to satisfy you if you’re feeing hungry .
The deep green colour is due to the high chlorophyll levels and will help with detox and energy too.
This smoothie will keep you full and will also help you to control the portion size of your next meal.
Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg or all spice to give this a festive feeling.

Kale, Bean, Spinach and Cranberry Bowl – a healthy Christmas Side Dish

Cook a portion of brown rice – around a third of a cup.
Lightly steam a handful of kale, a handful of spinach together with a few cauliflower florets.
When ready place the brown rice in your bowl, add the spinach, kale and cauliflower – season with turmeric and add a drizzle of coconut or olive oil.
Add a couple of tablespoons white beans and some coconut flakes or nutritional yeast.
Top with a few dried cranberries to make this dish a little more festive.

Festive Raspberry and Chia Energy Burst: a healthy Christmas dessert

Ingredients:
1 cup of Raspberries
1 cup of Blueberries
1 Banana
1 teaspoon of Chia or Linseeds
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 Dates
2 tablespoons of coconut or unsweetened organic greek style yogurt
1 serving of plant based protein if desired
Rice or Almond Milk 200 ml

Method:
Blend in a mixer or blender and then place in the freezer for15 minutes.
This delicious berry based festive dessert contains cinnamon to help reduce cravings.
The blue and red pigments in the berries are great to boost immunity and they also provide energy to help you get through the rest of the day.
Increase protein levels further by adding the linseed or chia seeds and yogurt and add a serving of plant based protein to help with satiety, lean muscle mass, fat burning and toning after exercise.
The dates add vitamins and minerals and provide extra fibre to help keep you full and to help keep blood sugar levels steady.

More lighter dessert options:
Sweet Peach and Sultana with Agave

Steam one large peach and serve with a few sultanas.
Top with a teaspoon of agave and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Spiralised Cinnamon Apple
Spiralise one small apple – add raisons and mixed seeds a teaspoon of cinnamon.
This is tastier if you also add 20 to 30mls of rice milk or a dollop of unsweetened yoghurt.
Baked Honey Pear
Bake one pear for ten minutes on a low heat.
When ready serve with a teaspoon of honey and two teaspoons of coconut yogurt.
Finish off with a handful of goji berries.
Cacao Yoghurt
Fold a teaspoon or two of cacao into 100g of natural greek style yoghurt.
Top with passionfruit or half of a kiwi fruit and add some sultanas, prunes, dates or raisins.


About Rick Hay

Rick Hay is a renowned fitness and food expert with over twenty years experience as a nutritionist. Since relocating to the UK from his native Australia in 2010, Rick has successfully made a name for himself on television where he is currently the resident Health and Fitness Expert for Ideal World TV. He has previously written for Natural Health and Your Fitness magazines and is the author of Nutritional Blast (published February 2016 by Ideal World TV).

Website – http://rickhay.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Futrients

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rickhayuk

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/antiageingfoodandfitness/


This post is part of the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas blogival. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of festive reading tastes.

12 Days of Clink Street Christmas