Musings of a tired mummy…zzz…

My very own website!!! Yikes!

This has not been a good week for bloggers

Social media seems to have been conspiring against us bloggers/digital influencers (or whatever the heck we are) this week.

First Facebook announced changes to the feed which will result in less posts being shown unless we pay to promote them. Not a problem if you have a big following, plenty of sponsored posts and a regular income. I don’t.

Then a company attacked a blogger asking for a freebie in exchange for promoting their business. The response was hideously vitriolic. I have written before at my surprise that bloggers are so poorly thought of by companies and the general public. Yet I am daily bombarded with offers to try products or insert links with little or no compensation. The benefit to the company is always far more than to the blogger. Yes a free product is nice but it won’t pay the bills or mortgage!
Today I got an email from YouTube to inform me that my channel will lose its monetisation as I do not have enough views or subscribers. This was a major blow and even more so as I worked really hard the LAST time they changed the rules removing monetisation from channels without 10,000 views.
The odds certainly seem stacked against me and many other bloggers and vloggers at the moment. It is ironic that we are encouraged to make use of small businesses but big business are trying to kill us off, true in the real world and the digital one as well.
If you enjoy reading my blog and watching my videos then please follow and subscribe on my social media. If there is a blog or channel out there that you enjoy, head over there now and support them! It takes so little effort on your part but can make a huge difference to me and my virtual colleagues.

Beck Valley Books: Reviewers’ Choice 2017

I am very proud to have become part of the Beck Valley Books review bloggers and have enjoyed some great books in 2017. The reviewers have put together their top books of 2017:
Our fantastic tour reviewers have been busy voting, from all our incredible reads of 2017 that we have had the pleasure of touring, for our Beck Valley Books Reviewers Choice 2017.
Here are their Top 6 Favorite books!
Here we go…..
Beck Valley Books Reviewers Choice for 2017
1st PLACE
Truly Madly Whiskey (A sexy stand-alone contemporary romance) 
by Melissa Foster 


Emotionally riveting, sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Watch mysteriously sexy Bear Whiskey claw his way to his happily ever after with sassy, rebellious Crystal Moon.

In TRULY, MADLY, WHISKEY…
Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends.

Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.

The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotionally charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from …
See our book tour page, including review stops HERE
2nd PLACE
Whisper of Love (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor) 
by Melissa Foster

Tempest Braden adores her family and her small hometown, but sometimes too much of a good thing can be confining. At almost thirty, having watched most of her siblings find true love, she’s anxious to experience her own happily ever after, and the move to Pleasant Hill, Maryland, is just the change she needs. When she rents a room from ruggedly handsome, and closed-off, artist Nash Morgan and his adorable son, Phillip, she thinks she’s found a little slice of heaven on the outskirts of town, where she can concentrate on building her business. That is, if she can ignore the undeniable heat between her and the sinfully hot single father.

When Nash bought his farmette, he had one goal in mind—to provide a loving, stable home for his son. He never imagined he’d be raising Phillip alone, or renting out a room to keep their heads above water. Then again, he never imagined losing his brother, or spending two years sailing around the world with parents who seemed to forget one son was still alive.

Sparks fly from the moment Tempest moves in, and her positive energy and inquisitive nature brings new life into Nash and Phillip’s quiet, confined world. For the first time in years, Nash wants to let a woman into his world, but while his loss made him stronger, that strength came at a price, leaving him walled off and wary of opening his heart again.

WHISPER OF LOVE is part of the Love in Bloom series. While this can be read as a stand-alone novel, for even more reading enjoyment you may want to read the entire Love in Bloom series in series order.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from …
See our book tour page, including review stops HERE
3rd PLACE
Read, Write, Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers) 
by Addison Cole
 


Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends! All books can be read as stand-alone novels.

Read, Write, Love at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Read, Write, Love. The stories and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.


In Read, Write, Love at Seaside…
Bestselling author Kurt Remington lives to write. He spends twelve hours a day in front of his computer, rarely leaving the seclusion of his beach-front property, where he’s come to finish his latest thriller — that is, until free-spirited Leanna Bray nearly drowns in the ocean trying to save her dog. Kurt’s best-laid plans are shot to hell when he comes to their rescue. Kurt’s as irritated as he is intrigued by the sexy, hot mess of a woman who lives life on a whim, forgets everything, and doesn’t even know the definition of the word organized.

Leanna’s come to the Cape hoping to find a fulfilling career in the jam-making business, and until she figures out her own life, a man is not on the menu. But Leanna can’t get the six-two, deliciously muscled and tragically neat Kurt out of her mind. She tells herself she’s just stopping by to say thank you, but the heart-warming afternoon sparks an emotional and unexpectedly sweet ride as Kurt and Leanna test the powers of Chemistry 101: Opposites Attract.

FREE!!
Available to buy from …

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    KOBO    iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

See our book tour page, including review stops HERE
Joint 4th PLACE
Hurricane in Paradise (Paradise Series) 
by Deborah Brown

 

Set against the steamy backdrop of Tarpon Cove’s sun-kissed, tropical waters, sexy sleuths and best friends Madison and Fab are at it again dealing with the occasional dead body. Hidden just below the surface of the small town lies an underworld, one steeped in deceit, corruption, and deadly secrets. It’s only a matter of time before Madison and Fab find themselves on a collision course with the police, who consider them likely suspects in a murder.
Ride along on their adventures when the duo realizes that a family member is missing and pull themselves away from all jobs to track him down. Theories: walked away, freak accident, kidnapped? If so, then why no ransom demand?
Hurricane in Paradise is book ten in the thrilling and humorous provocative Paradise series, which finds the two waist-deep in mystery and romance. It is a smart, adventurous read that delivers heart-thumping, non-stop action. Join Madison and Fab as they solve the most twisted of cases, through unconventional ¬– and highly entertaining – measures… sometimes in flip-flops.
The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they’re like chips…you won’t be able to devour just one!”

 

Available to buy from…..

See our book tour page, including review stops HERE

 

Joint 4th PLACE
Just Three Dates 
by David Burnett

When their mothers become matchmakers, entangling them in a series of dates with each other, Karen and Mark must each decide whether to entertain the idea of a “marriage of convenience,” or to hold out for an increasingly unlikely marriage based on love. 

 

Since breaking with her last boyfriend, Karen has refused to trust any man her age. For the past three years, she has not dated the same one twice, and only one in ten has received even a goodnight kiss as she turned him away. Karen is an artist. She follows her feelings, lives in a cluttered loft, and gushes over vivid sunsets.
Mark still dreams about his almost-fiancée, and his date book has been empty since he threw her out a week before he’d planned to ask for her hand. His friends call him the “Ice Man,” since he seldom smiles, especially at a woman. A math professor at the College, logic guides his behavior, he loves order, and an elegant proof is a thing of beauty.
Both Karen and Mark have all but abandoned hope of ever falling in love, and, left on their own, these opposites would never attract. So, their mothers become matchmakers, entangling them in a series of dates by extracting promises that Karen and Mark will go out together three times, suggesting that, in the absence of love, a “marriage of convenience” is a live option.
If you enjoy heartwarming stories based on true-to-life behaviors, with complicated relationships and a less-than-certain outcome, this book is for you.

 

Available to buy from….
See our book tour page, including review stops HERE
Joint 4th PLACE
Nights at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers) 
by Addison Cole


Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends! All books can be read as stand-alone novels.Nights at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside Nights. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In NIGHTS at SEASIDE… 

Sky Lacroux has finally realized her dream and opened her own tattoo shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She’s happy as can be, preparing the shop for its grand opening and renting a cottage in the Seaside community while renovations to her new apartment are being completed. The only thing missing is the one thing she longs for, and has no control over—love.Sawyer Bass, a professional boxer, plays his guitar at a local bar to escape the painful reality of his father’s deteriorating health and a recent health warning of his own. But when he spots a stunning brunette across the room, escaping reality goes out the window, and the beautiful woman becomes the focus of his next song—and maybe even the rest of his life.

When Sawyer walks into Sky’s tattoo shop and sees the woman from the bar—Sky—the chemistry between them is instant. Sawyer is everything Sky could ever hope for in a man. He’s honest, loving, sensitive, and potently virile—but boxing goes against everything Sky believes in. The closer they become, the more she realizes that her alpha boxer is waging his own emotional battle—only the battle she thinks he’s waging isn’t the one that threatens to tear them apart.

Available to buy from…
See our book tour page, including review stops HERE
Check out all our incredible tour reads of 2017 HERE
 
Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team – Apply Here x
 
I confess that I have only read one of these so I’d better go and check out the others! Happy reading everyone!

 


Wedding Wednesday! The proposal

I joked on Sunday when I announced our engagement that I would be spamming my blog with wedding posts from now on! 🙂
I have decided to be more restrained and post every now and then on a Wednesday when I have an update on our wedding plans. Obviously our wedding is important but we are a family first and foremost, and, as I wrote before, we practically have a marriage already, just missing the legal bit!

So to start off, I thought I would tell you about the proposal.
Chris didn’t get down on one knee (with his knees it wouldn’t have been a good idea!) and I wouldn’t have wanted him to. He didn’t ask my dad’s permission and I wouldn’t have wanted him to do that either. In fact the latter would have been enough for me to turn him down!
It was completely unexpected. On New Year’s Eve I was in the kitchen with my mind firmly on my mocha and crisps when Chris told me to put them down. NOTHING disturbs crisp time so it was very unusual 🙂 Then he asked if I’d like to choose an engagement ring while we were at the shops.

I don’t think I actually gave him an answer. I was in complete shock. We had always agreed that we wouldn’t get married as neither of us wanted a wedding day. But now he had asked and I had nodded and kissed him.
I like to think it was a bit like Prince Harry proposing whilst cooking a roast chicken. Marriage is about the normal everyday things a couple does together, not a big gesture followed by a huge ridiculous wedding day (think we will beat Harry and Meghan on that one…)
I hate to spoil the romance but we didn’t have the opportunity to go and look for rings as we had the children with us. Actually, we almost talked ourselves out of the whole thing several times as well! All of the things that had worried us and made us determined to avoid a wedding weighed heavily on us. But then we decided to focus on what WE wanted and stop worrying abut everyone else.
I’ll tell you about the ring next week…

Shopkins puzzle set and Jurassic World dino excavation set

Two of our favourite brands that were given as gifts by my sister this Christmas, yay!

My mum and I are huge puzzle fans but poor Anya rarely get a chance due to a lack of space and clumsy siblings 🙂 but it is an important talent to develop as it improves hand-eye coordination, problem solving and concentration.

This Shopkins set of 4 puzzles are fun and bright, full of our favourite characters and lots of detail-. Anya loved them.
Now onto the Jurassic World dinosaur excavation set. This one is a bit more complicated to review. As you know from my older posts, Matthew is obsessed with dinosaurs and this set really captivated him.
The tools provided in the set are difficult to use and hurt our hands. Halfway through, I decided to try getting the block wet which made it slightly easier. Oh my goodness, the mess! I was relieved I had put a tray down to catch all of the dust and lumps. It was highly addictive and I kept chipping away sneakily whenever Matthew left the room. There was huge excitement every time we located a new bone or managed to remove it from the block.

 

The model was a little tricky to put together as some of the block clogged the holes. But then disaster struck! The tip of the tail was missing 🙁

I tried to contact the manufacturer to request a replacement and was completely ignored 🙁
Then I tweeted The Entertainer which was where my sister had bought the set. I didn’t think they would be able to help as the activity had been completed and it was a parts issue.
Wow, talk about customer service! I was immediately offered a replacement set and it arrived the very next day! And here is our completed dinosaur:

Thank you so much to The Entertainer for being so wonderful!

 


#GlobalBlogging Linky

Hello and welcome to the Global Blogging Linky!
I need to start off by saying a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who linked up last week.
It was a pleasure to read your posts and I can’t wait to read what you have written this week!
I have chosen this post by Daddy Poppins as my favourite from last week: he has really captured the expectations versus the reality of parenting in a hilarious way 😀
One Messy Mama’s favourite post was this by Stories of Our Boys and Shank You Very Much chose this one from Our Rach: go and have a read if you missed them!
I am very excited to have been invited to join as a host for 2018. This year we have the extra twist that we want to be more active on social media (see below to get your posts shared on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest)
Bloggers from all around the world are invited to link up their posts: come and join us!
As usual for a linky there are a few rules:
    1. Please add our badge to the HTML / Text portion of your post. Or add a backlink to one of our blogs. If you need any help linking up,  tweet one of us (@HeatherKeet, @musingstiredmum, @onemessymama4), we are happy to help!
      One Messy Mama

       

    2. Comment on one post from each host and then at least the one in front of yours (minimum 4 in total). Please add #globalblogging to any comment so we know you came from here!
    3. You may link up 1 or 2 posts per week between 6am on Monday and 10pm on Tuesday (GMT!). All subjects welcome!
    4. Fancy a retweet? Use our handles and we will retweet you! (@HeatherKeet, @musingstiredmum, @onemessymama4)
    5. Pin to our Pinterest board! #globalblogging
    6. Want an extra like on Insta? Use the hashtag #globalblogging and check out the others as well!
    7. We can share your post on Facebook too! Just mention us on your FB post and we will share it on our pages @loopyloulaura @ShankYouHeather @onemessymama4
I look forward to reading your posts and getting social!
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