Book cover reveal: Breakfast at Poldark’s by Samantha Tonge

Today I am really excited to be part of a cover reveal for a perfect holiday read for this summer; Breakfast at Poldark’s by Samantha Tonge!Breakfast at Poldarks_FINAL (3)

DREAMING OF THE PERFECT MAN?

Kate Golightly needs to move forward and what better way to do that then with a trip to the Cornish coast with best friend and boss, Izzy.

The sea wind is just what Kate needs to finally relax and begin to let go of her past. Except she’s suddenly got one big reason to panic! She RSVP’d ‘yes’ to the Queen Bee of her high school’s wedding saying she’s bringing her boyfriend (she doesn’t have one) who looks just like Ross Poldark!

With only two weeks to find the Poldark look-alike of her dreams Kate is under a lot of pressure for the Cornish coast to deliver…

A hilarious and moving romantic novel from bestselling author, Samantha Tonge. A must-read this summer!

   Amazon UK            Amazon US

GJSUzgHd

About Samantha Tonge

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. She has sold over 80 stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, “Doubting Abbey”, from CarinaUK HarperCollins, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones won the 2015 Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Twitter               Facebook             Website

Isn’t the cover pretty, don’t you just wish you were sat on that beach?

Linnet Sig

How to conquer blogger FOMO

fomo

As a blogger I always feel like I could be doing MORE.  Writing more posts and scheduling further ahead.  Being all over social media all of the time.  Commenting on more and more blog posts.  It’s easy to feel that if you don’t do these things, you will be missing out on the blog life and failing to make your mark as a blogger.  Here are my tips about how to conquer that FOMO fear!

Move away from your blog

Close your laptop and make a cup of tea, or whatever you fancy.  Relax and clear your mind so you can go back to your blog with a fresh perspective.  This is what I do when I get to the point where I have so many tabs open that I don’t know what to do next.  There’s no way I can work effectively like this, so I find it best to do something else entirely for a while.

Recognise that a blogging break will not mean the end of your blog

A few of my fave blogs including Cakey Dreamer, Christine Everyday and Miranda’s Notebook have recently taken a break.  You know what? I haven’t resented them for taking time away or deserted their blogs, so why should you worry that your readers will do that to yours?  We can be much harder on ourselves than any one else will be.

Decide where time on social media is best spent

There are so many social media platforms and only so many hours in the day.  I prefer to concentrate on two; Instagram and Twitter.  I take photos for Instagram in advance and try to post once or twice a day, but hey, if that doesn’t happen I don’t sweat it.  I like to pop onto Twitter and chat with other bloggers of an evening, but it also helps to know when Twitter chats are happening so you can make time for them in your day.  I also use Hootsuite to schedule promo tweets in advance.

Set a comment target for yourself

I love reading and commenting on other blogs; otherwise, what’s the point in being a blogger myself?  If I manage to comment on 5 other blogs in one day, I am quite happy.  To me, that’s a realistic target that doesn’t frighten me.

Don’t spread yourself too thinly

Sometimes I do feel, I want to comment on all the posts and speak to all the bloggers and post on all the platforms and schedule one month ahead… PHEW.  But then I remember, I would prefer to have a small and connected readership and in turn, build meaningful friendships with bloggers.  I am not going to be everyone’s BFF and that’s okay.

Small changes can make a big difference

I can often feel FOMO about technology.  I don’t have a snazzy camera, I’m not very adventurous with building websites and designing graphics.  However, I have discovered that small changes add up.  You can get a new blog header designed by an artist on Etsy, or you can update your ‘about me’ page and add a new photo of yourself to your homepage.  Things like this can give your blog a new look!

How do you cope with blogger FOMO?

Linnet Sig

Welsh Wednesday: Welsh folkore

welsh wednesday button

Welcome back to another edition of Welsh Wednesday!  Today we are discussing Welsh folklore.  Wales (and the British Isles) has a rich tradition of mythology and folklore, and I learnt about many of them at school.  Here are some of my favourite stories.

ylolfa.com

ylolfa.com

The Mabinogion are stories written centuries ago, perhaps during the 12th century, based upon even earlier stories which had been spread verbally.  Most have roots in locations around Wales and are written in medieval language.  If you are looking for magic, giants and romance, the Mabinogion has it all!

Culhwch and Olwen

Culhwch is a warrior who falls in love with a beautiful princess, Olwen.  She is so beautiful that white flowers grow in her footsteps (her name means ‘white footprints’ in Welsh).  Her father the king sets Culhwch an impossible set of challenges to complete before he can win her hand in marriage.

There are several examples of this type of story in other nations’ mythology; the father testing a potential son-in-law, with the intention that he will not survive the trials.  A very interesting part of the story is that Culhwch calls on his cousin, King Arthur (heard of him?!), for help.

Branwen

This is a legend with huge links to Anglesey, the island where I grew up.  The King of Britain desires peace with Ireland, so arranges a marriage between his sister, Branwen, and the king of Ireland.  However, the marriage angers Branwen’s half brother, and he mutilates the Irish king’s horses in revenge.

In Ireland, Branwen is treated like a slave as punishment for her half brother’s behaviour.  She befriends a bird who flies over the sea to tell her brother her king about her treatment, and the king raises an army to rescue her.  The king is a giant, and he wades through the sea from Anglesey to Ireland to save his sister.  Ultimately the mission ends in tragedy and disaster…

Gelert

Gelert was the faithful dog of Prince Llywelyn.  While the prince was out hunting, his baby was attacked by a wolf, but Gelert killed the wolf and saved the baby.  When Llywelyn got home to see his baby out of his cradle, and his dog with blood around his mouth, he put his sword through Gelert, thinking the dog had tried to kill the baby.  It was only after he had struck the death blow that he saw the wolf and realised his mistake.

Overcome with remorse, Llywelyn buried Gelert with great ceremony and was never happy himself again.  His grave is a popular tourist destination in the village of Beddgelert, which means ‘grave of Gelert’.

Be sure to check out Tayler’s post about her favourite stories.  Which is your favourite?

Linnet Sig

Three ways to cope when your family live hours away

IMG_2182

These are my parents.  I am an only child and I live 200 miles away from Mum and Dad.  Here’s my advice if, like me, you live hours away from your family…

Plan trips in advance

Due to the distance, I don’t see my parents very often.  But we do have fun planning trips to visit each other.  We take it in turns, my parents will come to Cardiff, then I will stay with them in North Wales.  My mum comes solo sometimes to Cardiff for girly shopping trips, and in June we’re going to London together.  Christmas and special occasions are arranged months in advance, to make life easier and to keep everyone happy.

Remember why you moved away

No, I don’t mean, think about how annoying your family are and be glad that you moved away!  Chances are however, that you didn’t take moving away very lightly, or they moved away from you for a specific reason.  Perhaps it was for education or career; in my case it was for love.  As much as I miss my parents, I know that moving to be with Oliver is one of the best things I have ever done.

Connect, connect, connect

There are so many ways to stay in touch these days! E-mail, phone, text, and all of the social media apps… My parents are quite traditional though, and our main method of communication is to speak on the phone a couple of times a week, with a few texts and emails in between.  I’m also planning to send snail mail and parcels more often, it’s such a cute way to say ‘I love you and I am thinking of you’.

Do you have any other tips for coping with living away from family?

Linnet Sig

Fun Disney Chat with Cakey Dreamer!

Please welcome Sian from Cakey Dreamer!

sianprofile

Which Disney character is your bff and why?

I’ve always wanted Flounder to be my BFF because he’s so cute- although I’m a bit of a scaredy cat too so it probably wouldn’t be the best idea for us to hang out together… So maybe I’ll choose Pascal from Tangled because he’s tougher!

The Fairy Godmother says you have to become BFFs with one of these, who do you choose and why?

  • Cinderella’s stepsisters
  • Cruella de Vil
  • Sneezy the dwarf

Well, I have a dalmatian so I obviously couldn’t be Cruella de Vil’s BFF, I’d be too afraid! Cinderella’s stepsisters would be amusing but annoying after a while, so I’ll go with Sneezy the Dwarf because that poor guy needs a real friend to help him figure out what is causing his allergies!

Which characters wardrobe do you raid?

I’d love Belle’s wardrobe. I’ve always really loved her green dress which is strange because I don’t really like the colour green! But all of her dresses are beautiful!

You’re getting married. Which Disney song do you walk down the aisle to?

I actually am engaged so this is something I’ve thought about but can’t decide. My favourite film is Beauty and the Beast so I thought about going with that song- but it’s a bit of an insult to Dan! I think I would go with an instrumental version of When You Wish Upon a Star!

Which Disney setting are you going on holiday to and why? Eg wonderland, under the sea with Ariel?

I think I would go to Mount Olympus to visit Hercules and Zeus because it’d be amazing to see the world from the clouds. Also, I bet clouds are really comfy to sit on. As long as I didn’t have to visit the Underworld too!

Gaston has noticed you. What do you say when he asks you out?

I’d like to think I’d say “pfft- no way!” but when I was in Florida, I was walking along and actually bumped into Gaston when he was going in for his break from his meet and greet and he smiled and said hi and I went all weak at the knees. So… I hope I would say no (I’m sure Dan hopes so too), but who knows!

The Disney pets are in the animal sanctuary. Who is going home with you and why?

I’d like to take the 101 Dalmatians (yes, all of them) and Lady, Tramp and their family please. I have no idea what I would do with that many dogs, but I would love them all!

Blog                   Twitter                  Facebook             Instagram

Linnet Sig

How to make posters as part of a gallery wall

Hands up if you love looking at pretty quote prints on Etsy and Instagram?  Me too.  So I thought I would share how I made the below posters to make a gallery wall in my bedroom.  The temptation to take the quotes off my computer screen and onto my walls was too much!

20160512_082818[1] 20160512_082820[1] 20160512_082826[1]

First of all I bought these gorgeous prints as instant downloads from the amazing Etsy shop, The Sunshine Garden.  Then I went to Snapfish where I ordered the quotes to be printed as 10×8, which I thought would be a good size for a poster.  Then all I did was wait for them to arrive in the post!  I loved them as soon as I opened them.

I was a little worried about fixing them on the wall because I thought they might damage the paintwork, but a little bit of blu tac on each corner seems to be okay.

Now I wake up every morning and these posters are the first thing I see.  I hope you like them!

Do you have a gallery wall?Linnet Sig

A Barry M Beauty Haul

I am reviewing some Barry M items which I recently bought on a trip into Cardiff city centre.  Barry M are one of my fave brands and I knew I could rely on them to refresh my makeup collection!

20160508_121521[1]

First up is this nail varnish.  I was drawn to it because it’s limited edition and I loved the glossy look of the polish.  It’s a deep red/orange that looks really great and lasted for five days with no chips.  Perfect for summer! It cost £3.99.

20160508_173601[1]

Next is this blusher, which cost £3.99.  I wanted a coral shade and under the bright shop lights I thought this was coral, but at home and on my skin it looks more pinky.  It is a really nice shade though and is my new favourite blush.

20160508_121550[1]

Now we have the lip products which both cost £3.99.  The perfect pink pout is a beauty goal which so far has eluded me, but I think I may have found my dream combination for this summer.  The lipstick is shade 153 and is the sweetest, deepest shade of pink, I absolutely fell in love with the shade and it looks so amazing on.

The lipgloss is Lip Boss shade 3, a very cute pink which adds a lovely gloss to the lipstick.  It also adds a pretty pinky sheen on its own but I have to admit that I don’t wear gloss often, and this is quite a sticky one; best for hair updo days if you know what I mean, long haired ladies!  The smell however is divine, it’s like a sweet shop, mmm…

20160508_121545[1]

All in all a very successful shopping trip! Have you bought any beauty products lately?

Linnet Sig

How to get FREE books

freeAs a book lover I am always looking out for book bargains or even free books.  I thought I would share with you my top tips on how to get free books.

Use the local library

It’s the obvious one but one that deserves a mention nonetheless.  There’s no better way to while away an afternoon than to explore a library’s bookshelves and find some hidden gems.  Or, you can reserve books online and then simply visit to pick up your free wares.  Best of all, I recently made a discovery about library services.  You can request that they order books into their catalogues for you!  This is really great and makes your book habit much lighter on your finances.

Online book swap

OK this one is not technically free because you have the cost of postage, but connecting with other book lovers online to swap pre-loved books can introduce you to new genres and authors.  I like to sign up to Jocelyn’s periodic swaps.

Book swap café

I love it when you go into a cafe or pub and they have books available either for you to take or to swap in exchange for another.  It’s also a great idea to set one up in your workplace; if a few of you take some books into your office and put them on a shelf, then you can peruse each other’s books and find new treasure.

Register with book reviewing websites

If you’re a blogger, it’s a great idea to sign up to some websites which provide free books in exchange for a review.  Check out Blogging for Books and Netgalley; it’s very quick and easy to sign up and set your preferences so you can request the books you think you will enjoy.

Sign up to mailing lists and follow along on social media

If you enjoy a certain genre, then be sure to check out Instagram and Twitter accounts based on those types of books.  For example, I love a murder mystery and so I follow Cozy Mystery to be kept up to date about free books which are available in the genre.  For a more general approach, be sure to sign up for daily emails from Kind of Book.

Do you have tips about where to find free books?

Linnet Sig

Disney Interviews with The Morrell Tale and Floraful

Let’s meet Tayler from The Morrell Tale! Tayler is a lifestyle blogger who loves to talk about being a mother to her rambunctious toddler, Rhys, her marriage to her eternal companion, Justin, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, books she reads, recipes she cooks, her faith, and anything else she can think of. Tayler is a “retired” teacher, having turned from a 3-year veteran to a SAHM. She loves history, speaks Welsh, and is a self-proclaimed GEEK.

new 038

Which Disney character is your bff and why?

Belle would definitely be my best friend. She and I are both bibliophiles and love to live a thousand lives in the books we read. We also both want adventure. One of my favorite quotes from Beauty and the Beast is “I want much more than this provincial life!/I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/I want it more than I can tell/And for once it might be grand/To have someone understand/I want so much more than they’ve got planned.”

The Fairy Godmother says you have to become BFFs with one of these, who do you choose and why?

  • Cinderella’s stepsisters
  • Cruella de Vil
  • Sneezy the dwarf
I would choose Sneezy the dwarf. I don’t like Cruella De Vil as a villain, and the step-sisters are just entitled spoiled brats. But, Sneezy seems like a fun guy. Poor boy just has allergies! As do I! I’ll just hop him up on my Benadryl and off we’d go!

Which character’s wardrobe would you raid?

Anna’s! I love her dresses! Of course, I’d make them modest to Mormon standards (no bosom or shoulders showing), but she and I have the same hair, so I know they’d compliment me well.

You’re getting married. Which Disney song do you walk down the aisle to?

Well, I did have a friend whose wedding song “Now I See the Light.” I really like that one.

Which Disney setting are you going on holiday to and why. Eg wonderland, under the sea with Ariel?

Scotland. I know it’s a cop-out, but Brave is a Disney movie. I’d love to visit medieval and/or Celtic and/or mythological Scotland! Also, I’d love to go to Neverland and play with the Mermaids and pixies!

Gaston has noticed you. What do you say when he asks you out?

No. I’d think a lot of judgmental negative things about him, but I wouldn’t say them to his face.

The Disney pets are in the animal sanctuary that you are visiting. Who is going home with you and why?

Probably Pegasus, because how cool would it be to have a flying horse?!?

bloglovin | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest

Next we have Hannah from Floraful!

NYX_Lip_Lingerie_exotic

Which Disney character is your bff and why?

I would say that Winnie the Pooh would be my Disney BFF because he’s just so darn cute and cuddly, and we share our love of honey! And he and his friends have so much nuggets of wisdom they can offer me for life.

The Fairy Godmother says you have to become BFFs with one of these, who do you choose and why?

  • Cinderella’s stepsisters
  • Cruella de Vil
  • Sneezy the dwarf

I would probably go for Cruella de Vil, then I would sneakily drive off and rescue the puppies so that she will not kill them.

Which character’s wardrobe would you raid?

I would probably steal Aurora from Sleeping Beauty’s wardrobe…I love how she can go from earthy-boho into fancy princess. My dream wedding dress is actually similar to her dress silhouette.

You’re getting married. Which Disney song do you walk down the aisle to?

Probably Beauty and the Beast. It’s so so romantic and fitting for our wedding setting (church and hotel ballroom). I was considering that as our first dance with Celine Dion’s version.

Which Disney setting are you going on holiday to and why. Eg wonderland, under the sea with Ariel?

The Notre Dame Cathedral in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I actually have been fortunate to go inside when I went to Paris in 2013. But I want to go again to explore the nooks and crannies of the cathedral, making me feel like I am in the film.

Gaston has noticed you. What do you say when he asks you out?

I would awkwardly say no and walk away.

The Disney pets are in the animal sanctuary that you are visiting. Who is going home with you and why? 

I would take the 101 dalmatians and rescue them from Cruella de Vil!

                                                 Twitter                             Instagram

Linnet Sig

International giveaway: Two crocheted necklaces

Today I am really excited to start the week by opening a giveaway!  The prize is these two necklaces which I handmade myself so I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed making them.

The first one has appeared on the blog before, it’s a long necklace designed to be wrapped two or three times around your neck.  It’s a very versatile piece and adds a certain flair to any outfit.  The beads are a beautiful variety of blues and purples.

20160514_175528[1]

The second necklace is a much shorter design, and it’s a string of blue and green beads.  I loved how these colours looked together and I was going for an ‘under the sea’ feel.  It can be worn as a choker or as a slightly longer necklace.

20160514_175716-1[1]

Here’s the terms and conditions of the giveaway.  It’s open internationally until 31st May 2016.  I will contact the winner when it closes who will then have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.  Finally I will post the prize within a week of discussion with the winner.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linnet Sig