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#Papercraft and murder!! Book review: Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy. Stationary Shop Mystery 1

#Papercraft and murder!! Book review: Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy. Stationary Shop Mystery 1

Can you imagine how delighted I was to be approached by an Author who not only really looked at my blog and reading preferences, but also had written a book containing my love of crime stories and papercraft!!! I didn’t think such a book existed. But this is the first in a series! 😁


Description

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana’s stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn’t the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta’s best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.

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Publication date: September 24th 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press


Thoughts:

I was excited to start this book with it being a cosy mystery based around a crafter who owns her own craft shop. Delta has moved to Montana away from her beloved Gran to start a new business venture which includes papercrafting 💖

Within a few days Delta gets far more than she bargained for in her new town. A murder happens on the same night in the same hotel as her very first craft fair as owner of her new craft shop Wanted. Not only is she in the next room when the murder occurs, her business partner and her business partner’s brother are implicated in the crime! Is Delta’s dream job about to be ruined as her best friend and business partner get blamed for a murder? Delta sets upon finding out who the murderer is, and why they did it.

There are plenty of suspects and plenty of motives. With the help of ex policeman Jonas and canine friend Spud, Delta starts her sleuthing.

Delta is a likeable character. Of course I enjoyed her love of crafting and the mentioning of all types of crafting products that I also use, like washi tapes, stationary and pretty notebooks. It was also a nice touch where Delta made a suspicions board and used washi tape to link her thoughts.

Delta easily makes friends with the local people in the area and becomes a member of The Paper Posse who are a group of women who chat and look out for each other. Together they share clues about the murder and also share some amusing nick names.

Last Pen Standing has the traditional cosy mystery sleuthing, clues and red herrings. But it has the added brilliance of being set in lovely little town with a main character who loves to craft.

I very much look forward to the next book in this series.

Have you read this book? Do you know of any other stationary / crime books? Are you a crime and stationary lover yourself?


Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/VivWrites

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Posted by on October 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Fun, magic and music. Film Review: Mary Poppins Returns.

Fun, magic and music. Film Review: Mary Poppins Returns.

If you are reading this post, then chances are that you love The original Mary Poppins with Julie Andrews. The Return of Mary Poppins was released in the cinema last year. But I am just getting round to watching it.

I haven’t done any film reviews on ChocolatePages before but for this film I am making an exception.

MARY POPPINS RETURNS STARRING EMILY BLUNT.

Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days unless he can pay back a loan. His only hope is to find a missing certificate that shows proof of valuable shares that his father left him years earlier. Just as all seems lost, Michael and his sister receive the surprise of a lifetime when Mary Poppins — the beloved nanny from their childhood — arrives to save the day and take the Banks family on a magical, fun-filled adventure.

Release date: 21 December 2018

Well to get straight to the point, this film was awesome. I loved everything about it. This is high praise for remake of such a fantastic and well known film. Mary Poppins and the gang were modernised for present films, however all aspects of Mary Poppins, Cherry Tree Lane, Jane and Michael and even Michael’s children were so similar to the original. Little Georgie Banks had all the same characteristics as Michael Banks in the original, his cheekiness and inquisitive nature.

All the songs and music came from the same vein as the original, although there were no copies, which made it its own film but such a great sequel. There is a song that can be compared to the chimney sweep song with Dick Van Dyke and his pals. This one is sung by the new London Laddie of the street and his gang of pals.

Jane and Michael are the adults in the film and I saw many similarities to Michael as an adult to Mr Banks adult (Michael’s father). Mary Poppins being the saviour again appeared just as she was needed to remind the Banks family of what is important in life, but also to take them on a magical adventure.

Remember that magical kite from years ago???? Georgie just happens to find it.

Emily blunt does huge credit to the original Mary Poppins, by her clothing, word’s, singing and body language. It is all so very effective as a follow on film.

Mary Poppins Returns was a joy to watch and took me back to the times I watched the original Mary Poppins so many times when I was younger.

I highly recommend watching this film if you enjoyed the original. And if you have never seen the original????? shame on you, get watching the two of them!

Have you seen either or both films? What did you think?

 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2019 in film review

 

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Ghosts, Murder and Doubt! Book Review: The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen.

Ghosts, Murder and Doubt! Book Review: The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen.

Thank you to Hannah Miller and Author Tess Gerritsen for my copy of The Shape Of Night. I had not heard of this Author before, but as Hannah contacted me asking if I would like to read The Shape of Night, I did a little looking into Tess’ work and saw she is not only a best seller, but also has had her books made into films! I went into this book thinking would be a murder crime book with a hint of paranormal.

Description:
A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine–and to a string of unsolved murders–in this haunting tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.
Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.
Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.
Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.

Published October 1st 2019 by Ballantine Books

My Thoughts:
I went into The Shape of the Night not knowing exactly what to expect, but having read that the author is a best seller, I did have quite high expectations.
The main character Ava is a food writer. ( a big tick for my reading preference). She had suffered a tragedy which led her to escape her home town and rent a house in Maine. Here she would heal and write her new food book.
The recipes and food talk was very welcomed by me in this book. However the rest of the story was more than I was expecting.
The Shape of Night was a book that turned out to be a bit different to how I was expecting it to be. I adore crime thriller books, I don’t much like paranormal. I was expecting this to have a hint of paranormal, but in fact it was mostly ghostly occurrences.
Ava “ sees” and “feels” Captain Brody, a sea captain who lived in the house many years ago, but died at sea. If you like paranormal books then this would be an amazing book for you. It was very well written and the characters ( including the ghostly one) were fully descriptive and ‘came alive’ on the pages. ( pun intended😄). However I don’t like paranormal as I like my books to be believable. For some this would be believable, for me, it is not.
One of the big characters in the book was Ava’s pet cat Hannibal. He was well named as he is a big hunk of a cat. Hannibal made me smile and tense up with his antics.
The beginning and the end of this book were very good and I did read it fast. The beginning we learn about Ava, and then the death occurs. The middle is a lot of paranormal. But the end was excellent. Therefore I have mixed feelings about the read.
I will conclude by saying this book was very well written, the characters were fully developed with Ava especially evolving throughout the chapters. The descriptive words were fantastic making me hungry, and feel the chills of the sea wind and salty air. If you like paranormal and crime books, I highly recommend The Shape of Night.

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

www.tessgerritsen.com

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 21, 2019 in Books

 

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Quick Coffee Break Reads. 3 Short Stories by Susan Willis.

Quick Coffee Break Reads. 3 Short Stories by Susan Willis.

After a busy time doing whatever you do, isn’t it nice just to sit with the beverage of your choice and relax into a book. Well these short stories by Author Susan Willis are the perfect coffee break read. They are each ten minute reads to give you that quick bookish escapism time between the busy hours of your day.

I was lucky enough to see these 3 books on Amazon available to download for free. At the time of writing this, they are 0.99p each.


Paul’s Romantic Picnic.

Description:
Paul has been given another chance to impress his ex-wife and launches himself into organising a romantic picnic in the countryside. Along with folding chairs and a picnic rug, he has brought wonderful food and a bottle of her favourite wine. But funnily enough his ulterior motives don’t quite go according to plan…

Published 20th May 2019.

Amazon.co.uk


Meet Me At The Eiffel Tower.

Description

Angela is worried that her and hubby, Peter are growing apart. Since Christmas they haven’t spent any time together and she arranges a holiday to Paris. It’ll either make us or break us, as the saying goes. When they were giddy twenty-three-year olds they’d had their first weekend away together in Paris, and she hopes to rekindle their loving relationship with a little Parisian magic. But will Peter actually turn up?

Published 4th June 2019.

Amazon.co.uk


Chocolate Cake for a Wedding.

Description:
Hollie makes wedding cakes and meets Andrew in the park looking distraught. His fiancee is being a tyrant and insists upon having a traditional fruit cake. He hates fruit cake and when he looks though her portfolio of wedding cakes, she realises he is a chocolate cake fiend. She also realises that he has the best smile ever…

Published 15th May 2019.

Amazon.co.uk


My Thoughts:

These three reads were perfect little mini book breaks for me. At different points in my days, I sat and read each one. They are easy reads with quick plots and believable characters.

My favourite of the three was Meet Me At The Eiffel Tower. It was cute, believable and had a satisfying ending.

The writing on all three books flowed well and took me completely into the stories for the short time I was invested in them.

Having read the Author’s work on these short stories, I am in no doubt that I would enjoy her longer novels.

Fancy a quick read, I highly recommend these little reads.


Links for Susan Willis.
Twitter – @SusanWillis69
Facebookhttps://facebook.com/AUTHORSusanWillis
Instagram – susansuspenseauthor

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2019 in Books

 

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Sun, Sea and Secret Coves! Book review of The Secret Cove of Croatia by Julie Caplin.

I saw this book talked about on Twitter. As I have a friend who is Croatian, I mentioned it to her and we both decided to read this book. You can see irena’s review HERE!. I was very much looking forward to reading Irena’s thoughts on how her country was represented. Click over and see what she thought.

Description:

Sail away to beautiful Croatia for summer sun, sparkling turquoise seas and a will-they-won’t-they romance you won’t be able to put down!

When no-nonsense, down-to-earth Maddie Wilcox is offered the chance to work on a luxury yacht for the summer, she can’t say no. Yes she’ll be waiting on the posh guests… But island-hopping around the Adriatic sea will more than make up for it – especially when Nick, her best friend Nina’s brother, is one of them.

Sparks fly when they meet on board and Maddie can’t believe self-entitled jerk Nick is really related to Nina. But in a secret, picture-perfect cove, away from the real world, Maddie and Nick discover they might have more in common than they realise…

Trigger warning: mentions eating disorders, the way it’s mentioned may not be appreciated by sufferers.

My Thoughts:

I was originally intrigued by this book because it was based in Croatia. I didn’t pay to much attention to the blurb or reviews so I went in a bit blind. Perhaps this was why the first few chapters didn’t grab me straight away.

The story consists of a luxury holiday on a yacht which sails around Croatia. The characters on the boat are a mix of hot, entitled models to salt of the earth Maddie. ( star of the show and main character).

I think it took me a little while to get into the book because some of the characters were so irritating. In my considered opinion though, the author made me feel irritated by these characters so that indeed makes a good writer.

When the setting and characters are laid out for us, I got into the book properly and then I saw the awesomeness of Croatia. It sounds like such a beautiful place, with idyllic beaches, history, art and delicious food. I was happy to read about a drink that was mentioned that Irena had sent to me from Croatia 😊.

The plot is typically chick lit. Good guys and gals, and not so good guys and gals. But their antics on the yacht and around Croatia kept me entertained and kept me rooting for Maddie.

The Secret Cove in Croatia is a great summery read where you can escape to the beautiful coast of Croatia, taste the delicious foods and drinks of the land. Ok, you may be irritated by some of the characters you meet, but you will also learn about how first impressions sometimes can be misleading, and sometimes can be bang on! A fun easy reading book that I’m glad I read.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@JulieCaplin

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

The seaside is not always fun and sun!Book Review: The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson.

The seaside is not always fun and sun!Book Review: The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson.

This book was highly recommended to me by a friend who typically a book lover, lent me the book, but insisted she got it back once I’d finished it. This was a sign it was going to be a good read. So much so that I had to deviate from my #10BooksofSummer to be able to read this and return it. My friend was of course correct, and it is a fantastic book. I didn’t know that the Author Dorothy Koomson wrote murder type books, but she does! And since reading The Brighton Mermaid, I am now a fan of this well known and so well published Author.

This book was published in May 2018, so if my review makes you want to read it, it is most probably available in your local library.

Description:

Brighton Beach, 1993

Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.

Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.

But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

Fast-paced and thrilling, The Brighton Mermaid explores the deadly secrets of those closest to you.

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Paperback, 490 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by Arrow Publishing

My Thoughts:

This book captured me right from the first chapter. Nell and her best friend Jude are sneaking out at night, without their parents knowing. While they were out they find the body of a dead girl on the beach with a tattoo of a mermaid on her. This finding will be what devastates so many people’s lives over the course of the book.

Nell was a great character to read, complex due to the situations she found herself in during her childhood but so determined to find out what happened and who is the Brighton Mermaid as she became known as. To make things worse, Jude also goes missing. Nell makes it her purpose to find out what happened to Jude and the girl they found on the beach.

Skip ahead 25 years and Nell now an adult is still looking and all consumed by Jude and the Brighton Mermaid. The book alternates between Nell’s point of view and her sister Macy’s. Both sisters are complex characters and the Author wrote them so well with the development of them over the chapters. I felt so sorry for Macy riddled with anxiety and holding a secret from her sister. The relationship between the 2 sisters was interesting. They shared so many things and have both experienced trauma but both reacted very differently.

I was happy to find that I read through this book speedily so I could write my review and give it back to my friends within weeks of her giving it to me. ( school holiday bonus means extra time to read) 👍😊.

The Brighton Mermaid is a mystery book with complex characters that show how different humans react to intense and horrible situations. It is a book written with great insight into human emotions, and it is an entertaining crime story that gripped me from the first chapter.

When I see a book written by Dorothy Koomson now, I will certainly be paying more attention. The Brighton Mermaid was my first but will not be my last by this author.



Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of 14 novels including more than 12 Sunday Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages and she continues to be a method writer whenever possible. She wrote The Brighton Mermaid in part as a love letter to the place she’s called home for more than ten years. And she hopes you enjoy it.


Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@DorothyKoomson

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2019 in Books

 

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Book Review: Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee.

Book Review: Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee.

I was sent an advanced copy of Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee. With thanks to Author M J Lee and publishers Canelo . This is book 2 in the detective Ridpath series, but it did not matter at all that I had not read book 1. Crime thrillers are my thing, so I was looking forward to getting stuck in to this book.

Description:

One chance encounter, one street side murder, will change everything… The extraordinary new Ridpath crime thriller
Manchester has been at peace for twenty years. Not any more.

DI Ridpath is in the process of getting his life back together when everything goes wrong.

Driving to meet his daughter, he his caught in a horrific motorway accident, in which a near-naked man is rundown by a lorry, while fleeing from a lone gunman. As Ridpath closes Manchester’s road network in search of the assailant, one question remains: why did nobody else see him?

Ridpath’s investigations, which at first seem to follow protocol, soon unearth a number of inconsistencies, which pulls the police force itself into question, and hint at something sinister to come…

For Manchester is on the brink of a fresh surge of violence unlike anything it has seen in decades. As Ridpath battles this unprecedented conflict, he must battle his own demons. One thing is for sure. There will be blood on the streets…

The nail-biting sequel to Where the Truth Lies, M J Lee’s Where the Dead Fall is an absolute must read, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Faith Martin and Peter James

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the DI Ridpath series. I haven’t read the first one and it didn’t matter. In this book, Ridpath is recovering after cancer treatment and so is on lighter duties and has been asked to work at the coroners office instead, much to his dismay. However, the determined detective that he is, can’t stay away from the Major Incident Team. Plus when he is the only witness to see a man with a gun, he is involved automatically.

This book is current and I love that it was based in Manchester and talked about daily conversational things, like the football league talk and Theresa May. Although I enjoy the murders, detective work and the twists and guessing work of thriller novels. In order to bring a book to life, in my opinion the characters need to seem real, and for me that includes life talk, like who will win the football game that the two detectives support. Of course, this also brings major hassles to DI Ridpath, as his decisions involve holding up a traffic jam for 3 hours prior to a major football match! This is also the time when he sees what no one else sees, and brings him slap bang into the middle of a murder….. the problem is, he is the only one that thinks its murder!

DI Ridpath is likeable and a very good detective, but also so infuriating to, as he puts his work before everything which includes his family and his own health. Of course that makes him a great detective but also one full of personal problems.

As the book is based in Manchester, it talks a lot about the gang wars that occured there in the past. The police are majorly concerned that these murders are going to re start what was dubbed as ‘Gunchester’. The detectives talk about finding out the Who, Where and Why of the murders in order to solve the case. I liked that we were totally involved in the way the police worked and attempted to solve and bring to justice the criminals. However what was interesting in the book was the politics and sometimes division between the different branches and levels of police. I think the Author M J Lee has done real and thorough research in order to make this book as realistic but obviously fictional as possible. A talented, clever and imaginative Author. I recommend Where the Dead Fall to all fans of crime thrillers, and especially those who prefer British crime books.


Links:

www.writermjlee.com

Twitter/WriterMJLee

Amazon.co.uk

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2019 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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A Cosy Mystery in Cambridge. Book Review: Death Comes To Call. ( Detective Tara Thorpe). By Clare Chase.

A Cosy Mystery in Cambridge. Book Review: Death Comes To Call. ( Detective Tara Thorpe). By Clare Chase.

Death Comes To Call is book 3 in the Detective Tara Thorpe mysteries written by Clare Chase. Although I have read and enjoyed other books by Clare, I somehow missed the first in this series. However it did not matter that I hadn’t read the previous books. Death Comes to Call was great as a standalone. I could however tell when there were bits in the book that had come from previous books, which only made me wish I had read them first.

Description:
When a promising local artist disappears, the victim’s brother begs Detective Tara Thorpe to take the case. It seems there’s no evidence of foul play… he simply disappeared without a trace.
Tara agrees to do some digging… never mind that her unorthodox approach to policing has got a few of her colleagues’ backs up. Amongst them is her former supervisor Detective Patrick Wilkins… he’s had enough of Tara calling the shots and will do anything to knock her down. She must be careful.
At least she has an ally in their boss, Detective Garstin Blake. He’ll always back her hunches. If anything, they work together too well… at least, that’s the rumour around the station these days.

When a body of a young woman is found frozen near the fens, Tara’s evidence suddenly becomes key to solving a high-profile murder. Is their missing artist still a victim… or in fact a clever murderer with a deadly plan?

An unputdownable page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page! Can be read as a standalone.


These are the books in the series. As you can see there is another Tara Thorpe book published since I read this one.
The Tara Thorpe Mystery Series:
Book 1 – Murder on the Marshes
Book 2Death on the River
Book 3Death Comes to Call
Book 4Murder in the Fenswithout a trace.

My Thoughts on Book 3 Death Comes to Call.

If you like cosy mysteries, then this is a book for you. Tara Thorpe is a detective with a journalistic instinct. That’s because she used to be a journalist! I knew from the start that was going to spell trouble, but also that it would make Tara a great detective.

The case Tara looks at initially seems to be quite open and shut! But Tara is not so sure and keeps digging. Her journalistic nose is correct and soon she has 2 dead bodies to investigate. Whilst the investigation continues to question work colleagues, friends and family of the dead,Tara continues to rub some of her colleagues up the wrong way. This never stopped a journalist before and I think Tara maybe forgets she is now a detective not a journalist. Tara is likeable and clever. When she has a bit between her teeth she will not let go.

I enjoyed this book because of the good range of characters, each with their own depth of personality. It’s not often I read cosy mysteries, I tend to go more for the dark or psychological thrillers so it was a good change to be transported to Cambridge which sounds like a beautiful arty place with many chameleon type people and places. I got the impression from this book that the area where that the Author wrote of could come across as idyllic until you look more closely to see the underbelly of deceit amongst some of the inhabitants. ( always a good premise for a murder or two!)

Death Comes to Call is a fictional cosy mystery which is so well written that the words flow enough to transport you to Cambridge in the snow. Where with each chapter you get to know Tara better, and while getting a feel for her, I got a suspicion and dislike for many of the other characters, while never guessing whodunit!

Clare Chase is a fantastic Author and I highly recommend her books to all lovers of cosy mysteries and to anyone who has been to Cambridge!


Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads

www.clarechase.com

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2019 in Books

 

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Creative Ways to Decorate your Envelopes. #snailmail #paperlove.

Creative Ways to Decorate your Envelopes. #snailmail #paperlove.

In my previous posts, I have shared with you reasons why writing letters is a good thing. See my 10 reasons to write a letter HERE! .

Today I will be sharing some ways that you can easily and very effectively decorate the envelopes of the letters that you write and post. Happy mail becomes happy to the receiver right from the moment they see it fall through the letter box. So for maximum joy, you could make your envelopes look pretty with easy to find materials.

You don’t have to have a big supply of crafting materials to decorate your envelopes. This one was done using wrapping paper.

Just stick it around the outside of the envelope while leaving space to write the address and it’s done. Easy but so effective. All it took was a little bit of wrapping paper. There are loads of designs for paper, so when you wrap your gifts consider keeping the edges for your envelopes.


Another easy way to make your envelopes look pretty is to use stickers. These are on sale in many bargain shops. ( The Pound Shop, Home Bargains, The Dollar Store or whatever your countries equivalent). Super cheap but immediately brightens your envelope and therefore bringing attention straight ways to the recipients happymail among the bills and junk.


If you want to be more creative, you could use twine or string and wrap it around the letter. Obviously make sure it doesn’t go over the address. ( Postie needs to see where it’s going 😉). You would be surprised how many things make it through the post in one piece. I got creative and tried different options.


Aside from wrapping paper you could use patterned paper. If you have stamps, you could stamp on your envelope. Stamps are very cheap and again available from the bargain stores. Use your imagination and the creativity will flow.


Ok for the next one, my bookish friends may be a little aghast at me…..but look how pretty. You can find cheap old books from charity shops /thrift stores. Tear a few pages put and stick them in a creative way. The outcome always looks great and you don’t need to be precise at all. I love this effect.


An idea that I came across recently from a youtuber video was to use napkins in your decoration. I was unsure if this would make it in one piece through the mail. So I tried it to see. My advice would be to take the layers apart and just stick down the patterned piece. I had a envelope travel from UK to France in one piece…. and the UK to New Zealand in one piece!

Just stick an address label on top and it looks amazing. There are so many cheap napkin designs and you can make them appropriate to the season or occasion too. ( birthday/ Christmas or interest design).


Another very cheap and effective option is to use cuts from magazines. This is a particular favourite of mine. It could be a picture of food, a view or words. Whatever you think your recipient would like.

As you can see you can mix up and use the ideas in combination for great effects.


Here are a few more examples of how I have decorated my envelopes. I hope I have inspired you to make your mail look attractive. Let me know if you already decorate your mail, if you have any tips or ideas to share with me. And which idea you might try yourself.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on August 4, 2019 in crafts and paperlove, love

 

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Time of my Life, by Laura Heffernan. (Oceanic Dreams #2) A Summer Reads book review.

Time of my Life, by Laura Heffernan. (Oceanic Dreams #2)  A Summer Reads book review.

This lovely summer novella, Time of My Life by Laura Heffernan is book 2 in a sequence of novellas all written by a variety of Authors, with a common theme of being set on a Cruise Ship. When the Author contacted me describing this book as a gender swapped dirty dancing based novella, but it was based on a cruise ship, well I was intrigued. After having a browse at the book in question, I came across other books which have been written and are in the process of being published by Laura Heffernan, and I think I am onto a winner here!…….. Her books sound exciting, and some are based on reality shows! I love these. Anyway, back to Time of My Life….

  • Print Length: 142 pages

  • Publisher: Wild Rose Creative Content (June 3, 2019)

  • Publication Date: June 3, 2019

Description:

Janey’s never felt this way before, but staff is forbidden from dating passengers. It’s only one dirty dance....what could go wrong?

Legend says everyone who boards the Oceanic Aphrodite will meet their true love within a day. Of course, staff like Janey know that’s a crock. She’s on the ship to teach pole fitness and earn her paycheck, not for romance. Then she runs into Frank in the boarding area. He’s everything Janey isn’t–refined, classy, rich, privileged–but his good looks and charm also make him undeniably appealing. Unfortunately, he’s a passenger, which means nothing can happen.

When Janey’s partner becomes too ill to perform in the end-of-cruise talent show, Frank offers to fill in. He’s never done pole fitness, but his ballet background makes him the perfect choice. Not to mention their only option. For the first time, Janey hopes the legend is real–but if she gives into temptation, she could be out of a job.

My Thoughts:

Janey and her dance partner Penny are boarding their Cruise Ship ready for a summer of sun, dancing and teaching dance. Right from the very first few pages, there is problems for the girls. Penny has personal and relationship (or lack there of) problems. And Janey falls over and hurts her ankle before even getting on board. The whole of this novella is based on the Cruise ship, and while previously I might have thought, that is a small setting for a book, actually it was perfect. The setting was made clear to us almost straight away, (The rich area, and the staff area!). Because the setting was laid out, the reader can focus on the plot and the characters. 

From the start I did not like Janey. Perhaps I was guilty of judging on first appearances, just as I blamed Janey for. She meets Frank, a doctor who wants to help her with her hurt ankle. But Frank is a passenger and seemingly quite a rich and important passenger! Now the staff and the passengers are not allowed to mix! Boss Rules! I have to say, if I ever had any thoughts of working on a cruise ship, this would not be the one for me. The management there were awful. The trip for the passengers sounds great, but not for the workers.

The plot does follow the idea of Dirty Dancing. Janey is teaching and showing Pole Dancing, but her partner Penny is unable to dance. The final dance means a lot to both girls, so they need to find a way to make it work! There is a lot of ducking and diving, and swirling and whirling to make their plan work. Always on the watch out for people wanting to catch them out, Janey had to be super careful with all her moves. 

The idea of pole dancing has never appealed to me, and I probably like many others I think could have got the wrong impression of it. The lessons that Janey gives shows that pole dancing teaches strength, technique and confidence and if you wish it to be, sexiness.

This short read was the perfect length for the story. I enjoyed my fictional trip on the cruise ship. I liked being proved wrong from my first thoughts of Janey. Mostly I liked escaping to the ocean, meeting different people and dancing away the stresses. A great summer read.

 

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About the Author Laura Heffernan

Laura Heffernan is the author of the Reality Star series (available now) and the upcoming Gamer Girls series (2019). When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, and new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her husband and two furry little beasts.

Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, board games and reality TV.


Where to find Time of My Life and Links for the Author:

 lauraheffernan.com

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads

Twitter@LH_Writes

Facebook

BookBub

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2019 in Books

 

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