The French Girl Lexie Elliott

51ALn99byyL._AC_US218_Pub: Berkley Books

We all have our secrets…

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway…until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive. And there are some people you can’t forget…like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free…


This was an interesting debut.

It is also a book that I have mixed feelings about,

Six friends holiday in France, and when the sexy next door neighbor disappears and several years later turns up dead, there is a feeling that all of them have something they do not want to be discovered.

Their ‘friendships’ seem based on the secrets they each share and Severine is a girl that is forever present.

This is not a pacy read and quite unlike other books of this genre.  It was a book I picked up and put down, I think because it was a little slow.

I really wanted to love The French Girl but to be honest I didn’t care about it. The characters were dull and the constant ‘appearance’ of Severine, was annoying. It could have been so much better with a bit more imagination and more pace.

I  hope this authors next  book is more gritty.




Japonisme: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-sabi and more Niimi Longhurst

51+zelYWsmL._AC_US218_Pub: Harper Thorsons

A Japanese-inspired guide to living a happier, more fulfilled life.

Japonisme explores the Japanese art of finding
contentment and includes practical tips and tricks
to live a happier, healthier, more thoughtful life.
What is your ikigai (purpose)? How do you practice mindfulness in the unpredictability and chaos of everyday life?
From shinrinyoku (forest bathing), calligraphy, ikebana
(fl ower arranging) to tea ceremonies and their approach to
food, the Japanese have found contentment through traditions,philosophies, and the practice of art. This book shows how we can all incorporate aspects of Japonisme into our daily lives.
Enhance your lifestyle and enrich your mind by looking at life
through the lens of wabi-sabi (the transient nature of life),
kintsugi (repairing broken ceramics with gold) or kaizen
(habit-forming techniques), in an accessible, practical way


The Danish have ‘Hygge’, Italians have ‘Dolce far Niente and the Japanese..

well they just seem to have everything covered in the art of living a calm, peaceful and productive life.

Japonisme, is a wonderful book. I have always been interested in their traditions and ceremonies and devoured the wisdom within it’s pages. It will be a well thumbed guide for me, if only just to remind myself to sometimes ‘stop’.

Every thing in the Japanese way of life has a meaning, everything is done with mindfulness and ritual.

In three parts, this book covers life, food, crafts self improvement and generally helps us find peace and contentment. Our lives are a continuous rush to get things done and rarely do we enjoy the process, we do not take time to ‘please ourselves’, and find time to relax.

With the tips and information provided, there are recipes also included, we can at least find small steps to enrich and improve our daily habits.

It is a must have for those of us who need more personal time and cannot find a way to have more of it.


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Mehndi for the Inspired Artist Heather Caunt-Nulton (Author),‎ Alex Morgan (Author),‎ Iqra Qureshi (Author),‎ Sonia Sumaira(Author)

61xeIQT2O2L._AC_US218_Pub:  Walter Foster Publishing

Mehndi for the Inspired Artist is your one stop resource for creating mehndi designs. Whether you’re familiar with the art form, or are coming to it with fresh eyes and eager anticipation, our four expert artists will give you the most rewarding experience possible.

You’ll be creating artwork on day one with this guide book’s step-by-step approach of creating a variety of traditional and modern mehndi designs. You will then learn to incorporate these elegant mehndi designs into DIY art projects you can place around the house, and have the pride of knowing each one has a unique, personal flair.

Customize candles and mason jarsjewelry and stationery, and anything else you can get your hands on. Mehndi for the Inspired Artist is sure to inspire endless DIY craft projects with contemporary mehndi patterns that will delight henna enthusiasts of all ages.


This is a great beginner’s book..

It is also very beautiful. showcasing the art of ‘Mehndi’.

Mehndi is traditionally Indian, and I have always admired the beautiful painted hands of the girls on their wedding day.

This is a book that not only tells you the history of this art form, but it shows you how you can learn and create your own painted items using the technique.

Using pens, pencils, paint and henna paste, there are many templates to copy and inspire.

Each technique is perfectly explained and each of the book contributors add their own, ancient and contemporary patterns to items such as candles, jewellery boxes and even a tambourine, which is truly amazing.

I am sure with a little practice this art will a beautiful skill to master.


#WIN this book

Leave an inspiring comment and I will choose  winner on Sunday


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The Wife Between Us Greer Hendricks Sarah Pekkanen

unnamed Pub: MacMillan

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.

It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong.


The Wife Between Us is just one of those books that grips from the start and doesn’t let go.
I can see a lot of readers wanting this read on their book pile.

I do not usually like collaborations, but the twists with this wife/mistress plot line is simply brilliant. I imagine the authors had a lot of fun bouncing their ideas and getting them down. The writing is amazing.

Vanessa Thompson’s marriage has ended, and when she finds out that her husband is to remarry she has an idea. I was absolutely thrilled with the drama and the unsettled feeling I got with every page.

I could read it all over again and still be thrilled



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Reversible Afghans

61aB9or5n8L._AC_US218_Pub: Annie’s

A variety of special stitches and several colours of yarn make each of these six afghans one-of-a-kind. Designs are reversible, giving each side a different pattern. Five of the afghans are made using worsted-weight yarn and one is made with sport-weight yarn.


Six beautiful Afghan throws ..

which are stylish, modern and stunning are showcased in full coloured stunning photography.

With a stitch guide included, you will some basic knowledge of how to crochet. The projects are given skill levels, that anyone can master.

Yarn recommendations and finished sizes are given, as are any embellishments addition such as fringes.

This is lovely little book, and a welcome addition to my crafting library.



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Learn to Tapestry Crochet Maria Isabel

61XHDYKB8gL._AC_US218_Pub: Annie’s

Tapestry crochet is worked using double crochet with a tight tension and two or more strands of yarn or thread at the same time to create a colourful fabric. It takes a little getting used to but is not difficult. Add colourwork to your projects with this wonderful book. It takes you through the basic steps from how to carry and wrap yarn to changing colours. It includes 6 projects perfect for beginners in this technique.


Using a simple Double crochet stitch, these six beautiful projects can be easily mastered.

A basic crochet demonstration is shown in photographed pictures, along with a clear and easy to read stitch guide.

The six projects are beautiful and modern, ranging from hats to cowls and bracelets to slippers.

The easy to read instructions will ensure a perfect result to your work and the only difficulty is choosing your yarn colours.

I loved the choker pattern and the Spanish Tile Bag is not only useful but it’s totally adorable.

I loved this book and can see that in my craft room it will be well used.



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Create Your Life Book Tamara Laporte


Mixed-Media Art Projects for Expanding Creativity and Encouraging Personal Growth

618k3xmNsKL._AC_US218_Pub: Quarry Books

Based on much-loved mixed-media artist Tamara Laporte’s popular, multi-year series of online classes, Create Your Life Book offers mixed-media drawing and painting projects that can raise your awareness of and help you work through personal challenges and other obstacles to creating art and achieving self-fulfillment.

Each themed chapter presents 4 to 5 two-part projects: First you will explore a commonissue that hampers creativity and/or positive self-worth. The second portion is a step-by-step mixed-media art project specially designed to help you work through that issue.

There are also project outlines which have been contributed by Tamara’s guest teachers: Roxanne Coble, Andrea Gomoll, Alena Hennessy, Mystele Kirkeeng, Ivy Newport, and Effy Wild, each of whom are noted mixed-media artists in their own right. Tamara also shares inspirational photos and uplifting and encouraging affirmations. The final chapter presents a simple binding method for creating a keepsake book of your Life Book projects.


This is a book designed to inspire and help you express your creativity.

It is perfect for mindfulness, and self healing.

Mental Health is key in today’s world and Tamara Laporte’s fabulous book is a helpful tool for self expression and personal growth.

The 18 projects range from a Zen Butterfly, designed for you to let go of negativity, to Counting your Blessings.

Through art, and you by no means need to be a fantastic artist, Create your Life helps you understand where in your life you can transform a defeatist attitude into a more calming acceptance of your life and personality.

A range of art supplies are suggested, but a simple pencil and piece of paper can be a god start. A good idea that is recommended is a notebook, to carry around and write down thoughts and feelings to aid your artistic flow.

It’s an amazing book and I recommend it for everyone who feels they struggle in their daily lives.


I decided to have a go at the first two projects.


The project is called The Zen Butterfly. It is designed for you to ‘let go of what no longer serves you’  The butterfly is flying towards the sun which shows positivity and the tail has a trail of words that symbolise what it is you are flying from.

With some A4 card and some coloured inks I set to work. I also used some stamps to create some background.


2018-01-13 09.20.51 2018-01-13 09.28.15 2018-01-13 09.38.27


Using Zentangle the butterfly is decorated with shapes and squiggles. This action is for meditation purposes and you are to focus on your life and what you want to achieve.

2018-01-14 09.52.33 (1)

The second project is called Envision your World. 

This is a dream board, and it is to help you focus on what you want in your life. this can be anything. A new job, a holiday or something more mindful such as happiness or love.

2018-01-14 09.53.02 (1)

As you can see I am no artist, but this is a fun and helpful way to just relax and take stock. Just to take an hour or two to think about about me and my life was a wonderful way to relieve stress.

In todays busy world I think that this is something we don’t do very often, Everyone needs a moment of quiet to re-evaluate our lives and what is happening around us.

Be creative x 


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