Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Normally I would start a Monday Magic whilst sitting with a cup of coffee on a Monday morning.  But since I was last here, I have been found lurking in hospital corridors again….when a nurse pal texted me last week saying she hoped the picolax (medicine used for bowel clearance!) wasn’t too awful, my response was it wasn’t awful enough as I had to go back for a repeat run.  So the weekend has seen me on clear fluids and then foul fluids (a different, stronger bowel prep), and another admission this morning.  Several nurses looked at me and said that I looked familiar….well let us just say that i will be even more familiar as we go for the third time lucky.  Aghhh….I keep telling them that my gut is also affected by dodgy connective tissue, making it resemble baggy tights!


Enough of that…..there have been some really lovely, inspirational moments this week too that have not involved hospitals or drugs.  A Performing Arts Evening hosted by my Alumni committee, where some very talented people from across the generations and the disciplines spoke and performed with such passion and dedication.  Actress Molly Hanson left us in no doubt just how hard it is to break into the world of acting, the hard graft required at drama school and then the months spent doing any job to pay the bills.  But the elation of winning an acting nomination recently made it all worthwhile.  Amongst this week’s blogs is one that Molly writes with student Isobel Thom (see previous post about Izzy here).


Beautiful young actresses Molly and Izzy

Young singer/songwriter Josh Selimi is currently studying accounting whilst looking for an agent and promotion, whilst at a very youthful 90, Bob Barter stole the show when he took to the keyboards and entranced us with his jazz.

The following night we were treated to a performance of The Adams Family by our daughter’s and eldest son’s schools.  Staged in a local theatre, these young people sang, danced and acted their hearts out – whilst many are studying for GCSEs and A levels.


The middle child celebrated his first birthday away from home and was in full student mode outside a pub by midday.  He actually hung up on his mother when I phoned him and sang Happy Birthday….so hubby phoned straight back and sang the next line, with the eldest finishing off our little ditty!  Talking of birthdays, yours truly spent the weekend up to elbows in icing and glitter creating a pinata unicorn cake for a special 6 year old.




Without further ado, please spend a little time having a look at these great blog posts – enjoy some tips for coping with “one of those days” and breaking down tasks into bay steps, and learning that laughter really is the best medicine.  Enjoy!—a-review

Please share the posts you enjoy and drop a comment or a like for these bloggers.

Have a great week,

Claire x




Monday magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It it the beginning of a new week and time to find some more fantastic blog posts for you.  Here at PainPals HQ, I am in full throes of prep for my little visit to hospital tomorrow – and am trying to get ahead with preparations for a 3 tier unicorn cake that a little girl has asked me to make for her party next weekend.  It is amazing just how definite a 6 year old can be about what they want!!  My unexpected day trip tomorrow has thrown a spanner in the works and I am really hoping that I won’t feel too rough on Wednesday for making some Unicorn sparkle.

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 12 March

I am sure that you have had quite enough of the babble about family PainPals over the last couple of days, so I will launch straight into our blogs for the week and a post entitled “No Monday Morning Blues” seems a perfect place to start!  Yesterday I wrote about Mother’s Day, but I want to draw your attention to a heartfelt post about World Childless Week.  There are a couple of reviews here for you, something for March: MS Awareness month and not forgetting that this week celebrates St Patrick’s Day – Casey the College Celiac has delivered us some fab treats meaning that no one need miss out!

Grab a drink – mine is clear fluid today! – put your feet up and enjoy some great posts.


Image found on Casey The College Celiac site


Why not share your favourites and let the bloggers know that you enjoy their work? Please like, comment and share these fab posts.

Have a great week,

Claire x



Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

It has been a freezing week here in the UK, with widespread snow and some areas completely cut off.  Now the big thaw starts….we hope!  I can’t claim to have been cut off, but the cold is not the friend of my back and the titanium inside me feels as cold as the snow outside.  My spinal cord stimulator has been doing battle with the chronic nerve pain in my leg and back, as is seemed to ricochet off the charts….forget pain scored out of 10, how about multiply that by 10.  Even turning the stimulator up – increasing the intensity and speed of the “current” that I feel – couldn’t dampen it.

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You!

But the good news is that whilst I have been keeping warm inside I have been doing a fair bit of blog browsing and even got round to finally registering on UK blogs!  I guess the next thing to do is sort out going self hosted – the student engineer is supposed to be doing this and hosting me, after all IT and software is his thing – and he has been web hosting since he was about 14.  But I am just his mother….and placed way down the list of priorities!!!  There are no plans in the pipeline to attempt to make my fortune blogging, but it would be nice to be able to be available for some more review opportunities… come on, son, get it sorted.  He is currently sitting here programming and flying a drone in my lounge……aghhh mind the dog! (My video won’t work so a pic will give you the idea)IMG_20180305_165617264_HDR


The other son has been in contact this week, but not because he wanted to make conversation with his parents…..we usually just get messages passed on from Snapchats received by the lovely girl.  He wants his suit, his shoes, tie and tie pin sent to him….by this Thursday please for a formal dinner.  Hmmm….I wonder if there will be a little something for Mother’s Day sent by return courier?  I won’t hold my breath.

Our other family member to be happy to see the thaw is our shaggy old dog, Samson.  He will hide rather than have to go outside and I am sure that the cold makes his arthritis worse.  But do you think he will take his pills? We have tried burying in his food, wrapping in melted cheese, fig rolls, even inside pasta….but he is wise to it all now and will eat his food leaving 3 pills in the bottom of the bowl, with not a tooth mark on them!!  Suggestions people – he is on doggy cocodamol and Pardale V – and his cocodamol costs a damn site more than mine!!download (2)

So now some blogs for you – I have found everything from heat hacks (perfect just now), to skills we mustn’t lose (please, please let me know how you score…and if you have tapped a tree!), to making fashion accessible.  Sustainability is very current and we can probably all pick up some tips to change our habits, and if you are planning a UK or European city break don’t miss The Style Thread.  The final post in an invitation to a special virtual coffee morning on International Women’s Day – join with bloggers globally to celebrate.

Grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy some “me” time!

Please comment, like and share these posts if you enjoy them!

Have a great week,

Claire x



Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

We awoke to snow this morning and the Monday garden did look pretty magical!  But then the reality kicks in as we don’t do snow well here in the UK and by mid morning the rail companies were already announcing changes and cancellations to timetables tomorrow.  My girl and her friends are dying for the snow to continue so that they have a snow day tomorrow – it is bitterly cold, but I’m not sure if there will be enough snow for no school.

monday magic

My morning has been spent with another hospital visit: picking up results, being booked in for more investigations and all rounded off with the obligatory vampire visit for blood tests.  Apparently I’m anaemic (again) and my red blood cells are small…that is a new one on me.  It did make me smile when the young registrar asked how much red meat I eat….I could hear the student engineer’s response which sure enough he gave when I said it too him later “Never enough, MOTHER!! We NEED steak every day”.  In your dreams boy, unless you want to start paying more rent….

There has been a huge loss in our house this week leaving a massive void.  It is a death, but not of a person or a pet.  We have had to have our enormous ornamental cherry tree cut down as it was diseased and one half had already died.  But we tried to keep it for as long as possible – I don’t know how old it was, but we have been her 18 years – as it was such a major feature of the garden.  Now there is literally an empty void and a huge scar in the shape of diseased, raw stumps and an overwhelming that sadness that there won’t be the pink blossoms this year, or even the nightmare of the leaves in the autumn.  Funny how this loss can induce grief isn’t it?!  So I guess soon we will be looking for a new family member to inhabit the back garden…maybe another fruit tree, or something faster growing…..

My weekly inspiring blog posts may be coming a little to you than normal….in fact it is nearly wine o’clock here for those who enjoy a tipple, or perhaps that coffee is still on the menu.  So whatever your drink of choice, sit back and enjoy a few minutes with some inspiring blog posts and a vlog this week!  I will definitely be having a go at baking the GF choc chip cookies and eating them whilst reading some of your posts…..

Please like, share and comment…and have a good week!

Claire x



Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It is the beginning of the week so that must mean time for some inspiring blog posts in a little Monday magic!  The last week has encompassed Valentine’s Day, the second half of half term and a trip to Berlin in our household.

I did manage to get to the RSC Twelfth Night at our local cinema, and whilst I couldn’t stand by the end, it really is a superb production. Adrian Edmondson – yes of Young Ones fame – steals the show for me with an outstanding performance of Malvolio.


Adrian Edmondson as Malvolio (source: Google Images)

When coerced by his colleagues into ridiculous costume, Malvolio gallivanted across the stage serenading the audience, making me think of a cross between a jester and an English Morris man!  So how did the rest of the family mark Valentine’s Day? We arrived home to pizza boxes and various teenage girls wrapped up in blankets in the lounge, and the student engineer did make a trip to London for an evening for two – I don’t believe he has a romantic bone in his body though!  As for the politics student, contact has been remarkably quiet this week….but he is probably even worse than his brother, so I would be very surprised if his girlfriend was given a card, let alone flowers!!

The eldest jetted off to Berlin for a weekend away with friends…..the friends were staying Photo from Clairein a posh(ish) hotel and our engineer was staying in a hostel next door.  Never one to waste money, his thought process went something like this “I’m not spending all that on a hotel, but if I stay next door I can sneak in with my mates and still use the facilities!”  We only knew he had arrived when his sister had a photo pop up on Snapchat…..I asked him to send some pics, thinking he  or his friends might feature in them, but this is what he sent! He is currently sending us angry emoji faces as he has been sitting on the tarmac for 2 hours in a plane that has a “problem”!  I believe they are now airborne, so hubby has been summoned to Heathrow……


I have selected a wide assortment of posts again this week – but I believe that there is something here for everyone.  The Big Money Saver post, whilst not specifically a chronic piece, is great for my spoonie friends out there and the post on PixieDusk “We Need To Talk about Cancer” is truly inspirational and I urge you all to read it.  When I found the wonderfully named Pass The Prosecco Please blog I was determined to find something there to share, purely because I love the name!!  The Mens’ Health Summit is really important – all you blokes out there should have a look, and if the men won’t, ladies please do! The posts are all fab, so sit back with a cuppa – or a Prosecco! – and steal some time to read relax and enjoy.

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Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! (1)

Do you have a favourite?  Have you enjoyed these? If yes, please like, share and comment for your fellow bloggers.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! #Valentine’sDay

Love is in the air…..well it is Valentine’s Day this week anyway, and I hope that love is in the air for you, whether it be romantic or otherwise.  February 14th has never been a huge deal in our house – I don’t think Dad has ever sent Mum a card let alone flowers.  I have had flowers and cards over the years…and the occasional meal out – but I think after a particularly memorable night, crammed between 2 other couples in a Chinese restaurant and listening to their conversations as we couldn’t hear each other, the consensus was better to stay at home. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We might have passed this on to our kids having just mentioned it to one son, who looked at me as if I was mad even mentioning doing something to mark the day.  Funny thing is we are going out this year – hubby is taking me to a live RSC streaming of Twelfth Night….might even get a McDonalds out of it if I play my cards right (are they gluten free I wonder?!).

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Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!Valentines (1)

So fingers crossed the current flare of POTS symptoms have passed by Wednesday otherwise he will be taking his daughter or mother in law!!  Talking of POTS – that is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, not the cooking variety – I saw the online community working at its best over the weekend.  A member of a POTS group put up a very distressed post that signalled an intentional overdose of drugs was being taken – the members of the group went into overdrive to find out where this person lived in the world, making contact with personal friends to check on them, calling on Facebook to help via the reporting suicidal thoughts, and sending message after message of support and hope.  I am so pleased to report that a message was posted last night saying that a stranger had called an ambulance, and the POTSIE was safely in hospital being assessed and truly appreciating all the good wishes.  No trolls, no nasty comments – social media at its best!nope

Yours truly has been sitting watching the winter Olympics and gasping out loud.  The wind!! How are those snowboarders doing it?  I have found the ice dancing particularly inspiring – it took me back to being about 8 and reading the Noel Streatfield novel White Boots.  That book changed my life and I was going to be an ice skater!!  Dad took me to Streatham ice rink in south London, I put one foot on the ice expecting to glide away – and, you guessed it, my derriere met with a very cold, wet landing.  Bang went that dream.  But some of those Olympians are inspirational – the young Russian girls literally float over the ice with such ethereal beauty, and the Canadian pair are just something else.  A human body really shouldn’t be able to do that!! (My bendy  friends will recognise this sentence!).

From inspirational athletes to inspirational blog posts!  This week I have added in some posts for Valentine’s – they are alternating with the normal mix of fab posts from some old  pals and some new friends – some spoonies, others not!  So sit back and relax with some great Monday Magic blog posts!

Really share the love this week and share these posts, comment and make a blogger’s day!

Have a lovely week,

Claire x



Post Comment Love

The Mystery Blogger Award

img_0989I am delighted to have been nominated for this award last month by Kim – I have delayed sharing it to avoid boring you all, having already written about one award in January! It is always an honour to be recognised by a fellow blogger and I am so thankful to Kim at Keep It Mindful blog. I “met” Kim at the end of last year soon after she started blogging about living life as a young mum with 2 children and a chronic illness. Kim has Multiple Sclerosis and writes with frankness and honesty on all manner of things – about her illness flares to potty training! Visit Kim here on Keep It Mindful and find out more.

The Mystery Blogger Award:

“It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”
  Created by Okoto Enigma.

The rules are:

Put the award logo/image on your blog.

 • List the rules.

 • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

 • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

 • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

 • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

 • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

 • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

 • Share a link to your best post(s).    


Three Things about me:

1.  I am an avid reader, belong to several online book clubs and a local one where we meet monthly in the pub.

2. I started nurse training 30 years ago next month – March ’88 set.  We are having a reunion weekend in May – I haven’t seen some of the others since the early ’90s.

3. I have a fish phobia – live fish or fish with heads & eyes.  Not great when hubby had a huge tropical fish tank when we were first married!!

My Nominees:


My questions for you:

  1. What book has made an impact on you (at any age!)?
  2. Who from history would you like to have a drink  with?
  3. Tea or coffee? Cup or mug?
  4. What has been your greatest achievement?
  5. How would your friends describe you – in 3 words?


My answers to Kim’s questions:
1. What made you start blogging?

I was about to have a trial for a spinal cord stimulator to help control my chronic nerve pain and the blogging idea was to cover two bases: for friends and family to know how I was doing & save hubby on phone calls; I had received so much support from others online and I thought maybe I could give back some support & experience.  I must admit the fact my kids thought no one would want to read anything their mum wrote was a bit of a red rag to a bull!

2. Where would be your dream place in the world to see?


3. What is your ultimate goal in life?

For me this links to number 5 – to live life to the full whilst I can.  We never know what is around the corner.  If my kids are happy, generous and thoughtful adults…and I have been able to support/help others for as long as possible (I know, I know – the nursey, touchy, feely bit!) then my job is done!

4. If you had one super power what would it be?

Recently I have watched the TV spin off from the X Men, The Gifted – the gift of one mutant was the ability to change/take away the feeling of pain.  This would be my super power!!

5. Who or what is your motivation?

One of my closest friends died aged 37 from breast cancer and I have cared for various young patients as a cancer, AIDS & hospice nurse who died.  They are definitely my motivation, particularly now I have chronic illness, to live life to the full.  There are too many to list here but a few names that stay with me are Clare (aged 21 uncontrolled type 1 diabetes), Connie (age 23 cancer), Paul (age 28 AIDS), Sunil (mid 40s Motor Neurone Disease), Samantha (age 27 breast cancer) John (mid 30s Cancer of tonsils).


My 2 favourite posts that I have written are: Today You Beat Me and Be Kind to Each Other

Thank you again, let’s keep the positivity and enjoy your day/night.

Claire x 

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Mystery blogger pin

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Good morning – just about at the time of writing – and welcome to February.  It is a freezing morning here and we have even had a few flakes of snow – yours truly plans to stay indoors for the day.  It must be cold as the lovely girl actually put on a coat when she went out to do her paper round this morning, and believe me this is unheard of!.  Then it took hubby nearly 10 minutes to defrost the car windscreen, which was just as well as the student engineer and his other half wanted a lift to the station, but they were both still in bed 10 minutes before hubby needed to leave to get the girl to school!!  I have never seen two young men get out of the house so fast!!

Never a dull moment in our house this week with umpteen trips to see different doctors.  Gastroscopy on Monday – “would you like sedation, Claire?” “err…do I look stupid? Of course I want sedation!!! I’m a nurse and I have seen these….” – orthopaedics on Tuesday,(will write a proper post), GP on Wednesday.  Dad was really disappointed that I couldn’t arrange anything for Thursday and Friday!!  But of course there was the Blue Moon to distract everyone…or not in our case as it was too cloudy to see….and for me it really didn’t matter as fatigue and brain fog as dense as those clouds took over.  Well that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it!pexels-photo-271897.jpeg

I wouldn’t want to leave out the middle child – particularly as we did receive contact from our politics student that wasn’t football related.  At 11pm Saturday night the ipad pinged and a message popped onto the screen – words to the effect “I have flu, I’ve thrown up everything I’ve eaten…what do I do?”.  Isn’t it amazing how these young, independent adults suddenly want their mummy & daddy for advice?  I mean what does he really think we are going to do from 300 miles away?  That makes me sound awful, and I’m not, honest – it just amused me. pexels-photo-416520.jpeg“Keep drinking….no, not alcohol, water!  Paracetamol….well ask a friend to go buy you some…..and don’t exceed the 24 hour limit!!”  We did speak to him yesterday and half his halls have flu, but I think he will survive.  I mean, I have had a shoulder hanging out again all weekend – what is he complaining about?? (This is tongue in cheek for those of you now wondering about my sense of humour – believe me, the son in question has the driest, darkest sense of humour around!)


In England the 1st February was #TimetoTalk Day – recognising and talking about mental health and illness.  I hope that opening up about this health issue is not confined to one day only, and I have found some great blog posts that focus on different aspects of mental health.  There is also a cosmetics review, some tips for all us bloggers to help our writing, and tips to juggle a busy life.  Two posts that really jumped out at me this week: one is published on a new blog, Chronic Pain India – please read the story of Namrata, A Hashi Warrior; the second is something close to my heart as an ex NHS nurse – the decision of The Ealing Mummy to leave the NHS.

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Monday Magic 5th Feb


So give yourself that break from whatever you are doing, grab a cuppa, sit down and explore some fantastic blog posts!


Image courtesy of Oriana’s Notes

Please give some feedback and comment, like, share posts!

Have a great week,

Claire x



Book Blog Tour & Review: “When The Stars Come Out” by Laura Trentham


Review Tour


Disclaimer: I was fortunate to be given an advance copy of this book by the author and publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Blog Tour – for the latest in Laura Trentham’s Cottonbloom series 

I wonder if you remember my previous review of Laura Trentham’s book Leave The Night On in which we met the Abbott brothers?  Well this new contemporary romance in her Cottonbloom series follows the brothers again, focusing particularly on Jackson, twin of Wyatt who we met before.  The Abbott garage is in trouble, not least because eldest brother Ford has announced that he plans to sell his share and he has now disappeared.  The remaining three, Jackson, Wyatt and Mack have now idea where he is and no idea who the mystery buyer could be.

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Book review - Stars


Still employed at the garage is mechanic Willa, quietly and diligently working under the bonnets of cars and trucks, but hugging a multitude of secrets about her life and loves to her heart.  She doesn’t think that anyone notices her, with her home cut hair, charity shop clothes and beat up old car – and this is how she wants it.  She certainly doesn’t want Jackson to know how she feels about him.  But Willa hasn’t factored in that the Abbott boys are a close-knit family and do notice when someone they care about is in need.  Wyatt has had a few rough edges knocked off him since falling for Sutton Mize (see my last review!), and Mack has always looked out for Willa.  But it is Jackson who has started to notice Willa as a living and breathing woman, rather than just a mechanic and he wonders why she is living in a cold, damp caravan, driving a clapped out old car and failing to eat properly.  Don’t they pay her enough and why does she want cash only?

“I’ll have a pork plate and sweet tea to go.” Willa did a mental calculation for tax and
pulled out two fives. More than she should spend, but her stomach vetoed any protest. Now not only was she saving to fix her car, but she needed a cushion. If she had to move, money was a necessity. Any decent place required a deposit for rent. Not to mention utilities. And how long would it take her to find another job that didn’t require her Social Security number or real name? The thought made her stomach hurt from something other than hunger.
“Make that two for here, Rufus, and I’m buying.”
Willa spun around. Jackson Abbott’s chest filled her vision. The animal like noises her stomach was making must have drowned out his approach.
“Sure thing, Jackson.” Rufus favored them with a grin and turned to dole out barbeque, baked beans, and slaw. She tucked her hair behind her ear, feeling intensely vulnerable without her steel-toed work boots, coveralls, and ball cap. Her flip-flops, worn-out jeans with a rip at one knee, and a black T-shirt with the emblem of a band she’d never listened to were from the thrift shop down
the street.
“You don’t have to pay.” When she found her voice, it was breathy.
“I want to.” His words were low and rumbly and sexy, and she resisted the urge to lay her cheek against his chest, desperate to have someone, anyone, to lean on, even for a moment. Obviously, hunger was impeding her mental faculties.
In the two years she’d lived in Cottonbloom, she’d never run into Jackson outside of the garage. Her forays to secretly watch him race didn’t count since he’d never noticed her. The only place she was a regular was at the library, because it offered free Internet and entertainment—two things she couldn’t afford to waste money on.
Her mental faculties slipped further away as she allowed her gaze to wander over his shoulders before rising. He’d showered, his damp hair darker than its usual rich brown, but hadn’t shaved, his stubble even more pronounced from the afternoon. The scent of soap and clean laundry was mouthwatering in a different way than the barbeque was. The butterflies in her stomach did a slow bump and grind. God, she was hungry for so many things.

So begins the romance that forms the bedrock of the story, but it is by no means plain sailing.  Willa is a determined young lady who trusts no one and is living a life on the run – but what or whom is she running from? Her back-story winds through the book allowing us to watch a veneer of self-preservation to be chipped away as her confidence in those around her begins to grow.  She allows herself to form an attachment to a stray dog and this is when her true nature starts to shine through and little by little we learn just what Willa is running from and how much of this is herself.


Jackson has his own demons to tackle, in the form of his absent brother and his estranged mother, who abandoned the family as children.  But we see him mellow as his feelings for Willa deepen and he realises that he can have what he sees his twin enjoying – that is a loving relationship.

This would not be a good contemporary romance if there were not some glamour and an opportunity for the hero to be dazzled by the hidden beauties of his new love.  Ms Trentham does not fail us, and with the help and friendship of Sutton, Willa allows herself to once again feel feminine and become the lovely young woman that is hiding beneath her greasy overalls.

not a car - Social Media

I think that if you enjoy a good romance, with some intrigue and some great characters then you will enjoy When The Stars Come Out.  It can be read as a stand-alone book, but I personally enjoy a series that is set around a town and which interlinks characters and plots from book to book – like large chapters of an overall novel.  This is an easy to read, light story that will brighten these cold, wet months at the start of the new year.  I am now looking forward to the next instalment – surely, we need a tale about the other Abbott brother, Mack! Please, Laura Trentham!!  Four stars from me.

Published: January 30th 2018 by St Martin’s Paperbacks

Book Links:


Amz: Amazon
BN: Barnes & Noble
iBooks: ibooks
Kobo: Kobo
GooglePlay: GooglePlay

Author biography:

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in
Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an
English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical
Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.
She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. KISS
ME THAT WAY, Cottonbloom Book 1, won the Stiletto Contest for Best Long Contemporary and finaled in the National Readers Choice Award. THEN HE KISSED ME, Cottonbloom Book 2, was named an Amazon Best Romance of 2016 and was a finalist for the National Excellence for Romance Fiction. TILL I KISSED YOU, Cottonbloom Book 3, is a finalist in the Maggie contest. LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, the latest Cottonbloom book, was named an iBooks Best Book of the Month and a Recommended Read from NPR.

When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to
soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be- read pile of books on her nightstand.

Link with Laura on Social Media:

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Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Monday Magic 29 JanGood morning on the last Monday of January!  Our week has passed in a flurry of parents’ evening, book club, Burn’s night celebrations and not forgetting our son’s better half being offered a great new job.  Funnily enough we haven’t had any news on the politics student other than a text about football scores – oh, the life of a first year student!

Parents’ evening was like a speed dating event…five minutes per teacher and when the bell rings get up and run!  Not sure the computer goblin automatically churning out slots on the online booking system had allowed for mass movement between the hall and the library, and he hadn’t allowed for a wheelie like me – although hubby just used the wheelchair to barge through other parents!  For Burn’s night we were greeted by a piper resplendent in kilt , sporan and full regalia.  How is it that one set of bagpipes can sound as loud as the  (what is the collective term for bagpipes – haggis? sporan? noise?) whole Edinburgh Tattoo?  It certainly had the desired effect of moving guests swiftly from the lobby to the dining area, but I think the ladies serving whisky must have been deaf and in need of a few drams by the time the meal was served.  Slightly disappointing this year was the lack of kilts….couldn’t persuade hubby into one!

Our book club read the new Emma Donoghue book The Wonder this month – review to come – and as usual we had lively debate from the actual book, to last month’s book again (The City and The City by China  ……..) which is being made into a TV series starring David Morrisey, to the current BBC TV series McMafia and Hard Sun.  Amongst the blog posts that I have for you this week is an online book club aimed specifically at those who would find it hard to get out of the house to attend one.  This could be spoonie friends, elderly, young/new mums….anyone who enjoys a good book.  Talking of which, I am taking part in a blog tour this week so will just drop a flier in for it – more info later this week.Review Tour

I am sitting here Nil By Mouth and have a hot date with a gastroscope this afternoon, so it does pain me somewhat to invite you to pick up your coffee…..but I will do just that and encourage you to kick off your shoes, sit down and enjoy some great posts from some lovely bloggers.  Maybe I will give the pilates a go whilst you down your caffeine….


courtesy of Surviving Life’s Hurdles blog


Please comment, like, and share the posts you love.

Have a lovely week,

Claire x