Friday, 30 March 2018


Reggie Lambert (Audrey Hepburn) returns home after a skiing trip to discover that her husband has died. At the funeral she finds out from CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) that he was involved in the theft of a quarter of a million dollars during World War Two. The charming Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) offers his help, but as the number of dead bodies increases, so do Peter's aliases, leaving Reggie uncertain as to whether or not she can trust him. The cast also includes James Coburn and George Kennedy.

Recently I've gotten into watching old films (with my mother). We were watching our way through a Cary Grant collection when I came across this film. I've only seen one other Audrey Hepburn film in the form of My Fair Lady but I was willing to give this a go, merely because it wasn't the other Hepburn - Katharine who'd annoyed the hell out of me when we'd watched Bringing up Baby the previous week.

I imagine that this movie might have been a prime gripping thriller in its day, but considering some of the things I've seen, it wasn't as thrilling but very much an enjoyable film. The chemistry between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn was wonderful, it was full of little comic moments, and a twisting plot that although easy to unravel in the end, was enjoyable.

There was something about this movie that just made me love it, and also something about the way the movie that gave me that feeling of deja vu, though I'd never seen it before. Later we worked out, with the help of google, that the last sequence of the film is actually playing on the television during a scene in one of my favourite movies Pretty Woman. Small world.

Charade is available to buy from Amazon price £3.99.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Dusty Pages Review: Vampire King

Tired of waiting around for true love, Cindy--a young girl from the Farrington Kingdom whose father died years ago, decides to take matters into her own hands.

King Caspian II organises a ball for his son and invites every eligible woman in the Kingdom, meaning Cindy's invited too.

The trouble is, her stepmother, Ida, rips Cindy’s dress to shreds and forbids her to attend the ball. Cindy trips over a drunken a woman of the night who's blessed with extraordinary magic. She transforms Cindy's tattered dress into a beautiful ball gown, a carriage from two beggars and sends her on her way.

But the Prince doesn’t catch her attention, instead it’s King Caspian himself who lures her into his bed. After a night of pure passion with the King, Cindy discovers that he isn't human at all, but a vampire, hell-bent on having her in his bed again.
The old adage that you should never judge a book by its cover has never been more true. First look at this book, it's cover is impressive so when it came up on my FB news feed, I thought it was a bargain at .99p and I was in for a really good book.


It was appalling. First I couldn't tell what era it was supposed to be set in. It started classic Cinderella world but then people talked like they were on some teen soap from the nineties. Just call me Cindy! The writing was crude, immature, trying to be sexy but failing miserably. Cinderella is a character I associate with purity, innocence, and this turned her into a vapid, stupid girl desperate to get it on with just about anyone.

There wasn't much paranormal about this book until it was almost too late. The dialogue made me want to cringe in places and the love scenes - honestly, I skipped past them they were so dull. This reads like teenage fan fiction (the really bad kind - poorly constructed and barely edited.) USA Today Bestseller? I checked, its true but only as part of a collection of other stories by multiple authors, nothing on her own.

To try to be fair though I will say some nice things about it. I did read to the end - though that had more to do with my innate inability to leave things unfinished than riveting plot - but there's that. I did also like Martha - the fairy godmother/hooker character but only because she somewhat reminded me of Nanny Ogg. My apologies for comparing the two go to the great Sir Terry Pratchett, may he rest in peace.

And I did really like the cover. The Art is exceptional.

I give it

Monday, 26 March 2018

Pre Trip Checklist

With my flight to Japan in just 48hrs, I am super excited but also trying to make sure that I remember everything that I need to take with me. I don't talk about it much on this blog but as a Type 1 Diabetic there are certain extra's I need to remember to travel.

1. I have to pack my insulin into my hand luggage. Putting it into the hold will cause it to freeze and make it useless.

2. They say to work out exactly how much you will need of all the diabetic accoutrements and then double it. It means finding space for test strips and needle heads but luckily both can go into hold baggage & be perfectly fine.

3. As its a long haul flight (13 hours) I have to inform the cabin crew that I'm a Type 1 Diabetic encase of medical emergency - also I imagine so they know that I am carrying needle heads. Though I did recently hear a troubling story about a Diabetic who was thrown off a British Airlines flight - luckily not flying BA.

These things aside, there are any number of things that I have to remember to take with me in order to make this trip as enjoyable as possible, other than basics like clothes & shoes.

1. My Camera - I have a digital SLR which I was bought for my 30th birthday. It takes great photographs and that is something I want to be able to do on this holiday if nothing else.

2. Foot Soak - courtesy of the lovely people at Lush, I have bought a crumbling foot soak bar that I can just sprinkle into water to help sooth my feet after a long day. Considering how much walking will be involved, this is an essential.

3. Ipad, Ipod, Iphone - there are going to be long patches of this tour where I am stuck on a tour bus. I have music, games, and audio books stocked up to keep me entertained when we're not taking in culture.

4. Travel things - This includes Passport, currency, documents, and even a plug adapter & chargers as will probably need all of these things to leave the country. I tend to buy a book or magazine at the airport too.

5. Tour brochure - Our tour company very kindly sent us printed colour booklets of what we will be doing on each day - including what meals they will be providing on what days, what locations have conveniences, and even the places in which we will be expected to remove our shoes! Handy.

6. Space - Last but not least, and somewhat important I don't want to over stuff my case. I want to have plenty of room in which to bring back my souvenirs.

See you in a few weeks :)

Friday, 23 March 2018

Beginning of Spring

Spring has sprung. This week marked the official start of spring, the weather is starting to improve and soon it will be much more fun to spend time outside. Spring is one of my favourite seasons because you can still enjoy some of the delights of winter - hot chocolate, wrapping up warm - but start to see some of the joys of summer - sunshine, lighter nights and lots of flowers and trees coming into bloom.

There are lots of things I associate with spring - lambs, new life, fresh starts. Spring cleaning is another. Its the time of the year where you clear out all the clutter that accumulated over the winter (or the last year in general), sort through what you want and don't want. This can be very true in writing as well - its often the time I decide which books to take forward and which to put to one side. Its also a time when lots of new titles are hitting the shelves.

It also means that Easter is just around the corner. For some it means a time of religious significance, to me it means chocolate eggs and bunnies. Unfortunately this year it falls on April 1st. I imagine there will be several parents who well get a kick out of fooling their kids that there are no eggs this year (remember though its only allowed up till 12pm). I won't be doing Easter myself, as I won't be in the country, though I wish everyone a very happy one.

Just one last thing...

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Dusty Pages Review: The Hook-Up Experiment

As the owner of Pick-A-D*ck, New Orleans’ premier hook-up website, my job is simple. Connect two people for a no-strings, no-expectations hook-up. The plus for my clients is that I’m the one who gets to sift through the d*ck pics—except this time, they're required.
My problem? My brother, co-owner of Pick-A-D*ck’s sister dating site, doesn’t believe it’s possible to hook up with someone three times and not fall in love.
I disagree. I know it’s possible.
And my disagreement is exactly how I end up reconnected with my high school nemesis, Elliott Sloane. The guy who asked me to junior prom and then stood me up. Who egged my car when I rejected him, and convinced my senior homecoming date to ghost me.
It should be easy to hate-screw him. If only he was still that person, instead of a hot-as-hell single dad, working as a builder to make ends’ meet, fighting for custody of his daughter.

Three hook-ups.
One outcome.
When you giggle at the chapter titles you know you are in for a good book. I picked this book up after seeing it recommended by one of the many book related pages I subscribe to on Facebook. I'm not normally into romances that don't have some kind of twist to them (murder mystery, aliens, werewolves, vampire etc) but the premise of this book appealed to my sense of humour. What could be funnier than a girl who runs a business based on those annoying pics men think they need to take and send to a woman of their genitalia.

As a compliment to this book, not only were there times when I laughed out loud but I read the book in one sitting not able to put it down. Payton and Elliott connect in a way that I think makes for a good relationship whether it be fictional or otherwise. Elliott's three year old is also completely adorable, by far one of the best characters in the book.

Another pair I liked outside of the main couple, were Payton's brother and his business partner who are clearly completely into each other and into driving each other up the wall. There is a second book in this series, due out in April I think, that focuses on this couple and I will be interested to read that too.

I give it

Monday, 19 March 2018

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Victoria Cooke

1. Tell me about your book, The Secret to Falling in Love, and where you got your inspiration for it?

The inspiration came from my own observations of people being absorbed by technology. I’m a social media addict myself and am guilty of checking my phone every few seconds but since having children, I’ve become really aware of it and make a conscious effort to be involved with the people around me rather than those on social media. I wanted to have a little fun with the issue – what if our technology was ripped away? Would life be better or worse? And so on.

2. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to see play the lead?

I think Emily Blunt would make a fab Mel and Sam Clafin would make a perfect Scott.

3. What are the top three books in you TBR pile? 

1) Everything Everything
2) The Girlfriend
3) Behind Closed Doors

4. You’ve just been kidnapped and the people from the last TV Show/Movie you watched have to save you. Who is it?

Oh no, I wouldn’t stand a chance! I don’t think the people on Love Island would manage!

5. How important to you view maintaining your twitter account?

I believe all social media is important for maintaining a presence and a relationship with readers.

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

It’s a bit of a cliché for a writer but a house by the beach on Martha’s Vineyard would be perfect!

7. If you could fight anyone in history, who would it be?

I think the teenager in me would love to live in Beverley Hills 90210

8. How would you survive a Zombie apocalypse?

I watch The Walking Dead and I can tell you, I’d die of fear before a zombie got within 20 metres of me!

9. Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Definitely – I shouldn’t, but I do judge a book by its cover. It’s the reason I recently bought Sarah Morgan’s Holiday in the Hamptons, the cover is gorgeous.

10. What do you find are the most effective way of marketing your book?

Interacting with readers and getting involved with online reading communities.

11. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I love honest reviews, good or bad. The good ones give me confidence to continue writing and the negative ones provide food for thought, and even enable me to improve on my next piece.

12. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

I base many of my characters on a type of person, rather than an actual person, or I mix and match traits that I notice in different people.

13. What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

Dee Myers, she’s a bitch and thinks she can treat people like crap. I’ve worked for people like her in the past and don’t have any time for them.


Status Update: I’m going offline for a while… Wish me luck! xx

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta's and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.
That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!
Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline!
If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her… 

About Victoria

Victoria grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of her career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher in year three who saw potential in a six page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel in 2016.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Going on Tour

A book tour? No, sadly not. I wish :) However, it is the trip of a life time. If the flag above isn't a clue as to destination, then here is a big one - I'm going to JAPAN! I am super excited. In just 13 short days I will be on a plane.

Stops on the trip include Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, & Hiroshima. I am an amateur photographer so I will be taking my camera with me, hoping to get some really nice pictures.

Its spring. So hopefully the cherry blossom trees will be in bloom and I'll get some truly magical images. Many of which I will share when I get back. I love Japanese culture and am looking forward to seeing a blend of beauty, nature and technology.

It also means that this blog will a little light on interesting things, though I am planning to program in several things so your regular favourites will still go live for the time I am away.

Bon Voyage!