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The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane, by Dee MacDonald

 

The Silver Ladies are Tess and Orla, best friends who both want to lose some weight and find love.
This book was a real breath of fresh air and really made me question why there are not more books with mature characters: are we uncomfortable withh the idea of sex for the over 60s?
Tess and Orla join a slimming club and an online dating site with very mixed results! I have experience of the latter so could identify with their search for love and the unsuitable matches.
The relationship between Tess and Orla is fun and honest and their experiences are realistic which engages the reader. The two friends contrast with each other delightfully: Tess is serious and quite naive, eternally hopeful while Orla is more worldly wise, extroverted and confident.
There is also great sadness and emotion in the book. The women are both widows, plus Tess has an ex husband with a glamorous second wife. Tess has survived breast cancer and another character has a terminal stage diagnosis.
Tess is such a sympathetic character that the reader can’t help but root for her to find love and lose the weight so that she finds happiness. The ending is happy and hopeful!
I really really loved this book!

 

THE SILVER LADIES OF PENNY LANE By Dee MacDonald
AMZ: https://geni.us/B07NXVZWFGSocial
Kobo: http://ow.ly/89ty30owenx
iBookstore: http://ow.ly/MfIq30oweo0
Googleplay: http://ow.ly/MfIq30oweo0

 

Tess and Orla have been best friends throughout most of their adult lives. So when life gave them lemons and their loved ones let them down, they pooled their resources and bought a dressmakers shop on the corner of Penny Lane. And they’ve been doing just fine ever since.
But one day, while studying her tired eyes and shapeless figure in the mirror, sixty-two-year-old Tess realised that she doesn’t want her life to be just fine anymore. She wants it to be extraordinary. For as long as she can remember she’s put everyone else first. Now she wants to rediscover herself – and experience the kind of whirlwind adventure that will have the power make her smile when she’s confined to the armchair of a retirement home.
With the encouragement of fun-loving and quirky Orla, Tess joins an over-the-hill dating agency and the two friends book a singles cruise around the Mediterranean. And that’s when their adventure of a lifetime really begins…
A totally uplifting, heart-warming, hilarious page turner about embracing the moment, learning to love again and the joy of second chances. Perfect for fans of The Kicking the BucketList and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
 About the author
Dee MacDonald wrote her very first book – at around seven years of age! This was a love story which she duly illustrated before sewing all the pages together up one side. Writing was what she ‘was good at’ in school and she won several essay competitions, but then life got in the way and she didn’t pick up a pen again until after retirement.
Dee left Scotland and headed for London at the beginning of the swinging sixties. After typing her way round the West End she became an air stewardess on long haul routes with BA (then BOAC) for eight years. After that she did market research at Heathrow for both the government statistics and for BA, she became a sales rep., and was the receptionist at the Thames Television Studios in Teddington when they had the franchise.
She then ran a small B&B for ten years in Cornwall, where she lives with her husband. Dee has one son and two grandsons who live locally.
You can find Dee on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dee.macdonald.18659
and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DMacDonaldAuth


#StayClassyMama 28

Hello and welcome to the #StayClassyMama linky.
How was your Easter holiday and have you settled back into the school routine yet?
Please have a read of the rules and make sure you have my badge on your post or page!

Let your blogging friends know about the link up and encourage them to join us! Last week was super quiet and I’m hoping it was just because you were all too busy enjoying time with your family 🙂

THE RULES:
  • Add 1 or 2 posts (old or new), any topics welcome but a focus on the highs and lows of parenting is preferable: what meals and recipes have worked or not? what new toys have you discovered? where have you taken the kids this week? have you done a craft and got glitter everywhere? what gorgeous item of clothing is covered in snot?
  • The linky will open at 6:00am on a Thursday and close at 11pm on a Friday
  • Please comment on the host post and any other 2. I am going to aim to do my commenting and sharing over the weekend (but, you know how it is with life and stuff!)
  • Please add the badge to the bottom of your page or post: I hope you like it!
  • To generate even more talk about your post, tweet me @musingstiredmum with the link you have posted using #StayClassyMama and I will retweet.
  • The same goes for Facebook: tag me on @loopyloulaura and I will share on my page
  • When commenting on other people’s posts use #StayClassyMama so we know which link-up you are coming from
  • If you can please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest that would be great! It will make it easier for me to tag you when I share your posts.
PLEASE GRAB THE BADGE AND ADD YOUR LINKS BELOW!
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Toddler versus teenager: which is easier to cope with?!

I now have a threenager (hi Zach!)
A complicated whirlwind of emotions…

 

 

I remember when Matthew was a toddler, and I had a newborn Anya, my neighbour with teenaged children came around and said she didn’t envy me as the toddler years are the hardest which REALLY surprised me.
This week I have been invigilating exams and driven to distraction by the antics of the teenagers. I may look all sweetness and light now but I was a dreadul teenager and cannot ever apologise enough to my parents…
So which is easier to parent: toddlers or teenagers? I asked my fellow bloggers for opinions and here they are (not swayed by Zach having a tantrum on my wedding day 🙂 ):

 

Emma from Emma and 3:  Toddler was much harder, less able to reason with them plus they limit what you can do. I love being with my teenagers they are funny, we can go out for impromptu meals and nights out. They are great company
Helen from Kiddy Charts: They are both equally as hard for different reasons; can’t talk to your toddler as they don’t understand, and struggle to talk to teens as I went and raised kids that know their own mind, stand their ground and answer back!?!? So probably not a bad thing overall, just hard to deal with when they leave their pants all over the floor
Mandi from Big Family, Organised Chaos:  Both difficult for different reasons, toddlers went to bed early and got up earlier, whereas teens stay up til late but lie in (even when they’re not supposed to!), toddlers asked lots of questions, whereas teenagers know the answers to everything! 
Natasha from Mummy and Moose:  It depends on the teenager but in my experience toddlers are way preferable to teenagers. At least you can put them to bed and know where they are for most of the time. Teenagers have more freedom to make so many more mistakes. 
Rosie from Busy Mum Lifestyle:  Teenagers are definitely harder. At least with toddlers you know where they are, what they are exposed to. For me the hardest part of parenting teenagers is giving them freedom and hoping you can trust them to be sensible. Social media is also a huge worry 

Emily from Confessions of A Slummy Mummy:  I have a toddler and a teenager….. the teen is the hardest, she slams doors!
Emma from All She Loves:  I have both (well, my daughter has just turned 4 and my son is 16). My son and daughter are/were quite different – maybe down to being a boy/girl. But the toddler years are harder. Apart from having to do more for them – bath/feed/dress etc which is time consuming and sometimes stressful, they have massive tantrums and screaming fits. You can’t leave them at home either when they are in a bad mood! So most of the time you have to deal with it in public! Although teenagers grunt at you – if you’re lucky – you know you can sort of reason with them. Or they can understand you more! 
Fran from Back With A Bump:  I have a 3 year old and an almost 11 year old. Both surpass themselves in terms of stroppiness and attitude..something I didn’t think we’d experience for a good few years yet! Although teen years and hormones are tough at least at that age they have a better understanding than toddlers who can have a meltdown just because you gave them the wrong colour spoon! 
Amy from Amy Mighalls:  My teen is definitely easier but then he is a very laid back boy compared to his crazy little sisters. The worry if you are doing the best for them remains the same though plus I’m a wreck when he goes out, at least I can keep the toddlers with me, swings and roundabouts!
Denise from Mum on a Mission for a Better Life: I have three girls. My older two are now aged 20 and 21 but they were terrible teenagers in terms of moods and attitude! I found it much easier when they were toddlers. It was not until my oldest got to about 16 that she grew out of the teenage angst and my 20-year-old has literally only just about grown out of it! I also have an 11-year-old girl who already has the attitude of a fifteen-year-old but was an absolute angel as a toddler, so for me the toddler years were much easier!
Veronica from My Parenting Journey: I have three children aged 13, 10 and 6. The most difficult stage for me was their toddler years. They were everywhere – making a mess wherever they were. 
A massive ‘thank you’ to all of the bloggers who contibuted to this post. A real mix of opinion!
Have the parents of teenagers forgotten what the toddler years are like? Is it impossible to imagine the teenage years? Do we have selective memory (the reason for being able to go through childbirth more than once?!): I can’t remember Matt and Anya being toddlers but here is the proof!:
Is personality a major factor? Are toddlers and teens equally difficult but in different ways? What do you think?


An epic battle ahead with Schleich’s Eldrador range

Schleich is a brand that my children are very familiar with due to the high quality details and the breadth of the ranges (Matthew in particular has loved their dinosaurs!)
Now we have discovered an epic battle between the four worlds of Eldrador based on fire, water, stone and ice.

 

We were sent 4 newly released figures from the Eldrador range, aimed at ages 7 to 12 so perfect for Matthew.
Here are Schleich’s descriptions of the new creatures:
Fire Bull – The fire bull doesn’t dither for long – and stakes opponents on its pointed glowing horns its flame tail: a single hit will knock out even the most stubborn attacker!

 

Ice Spider – The ice spider is enough to make opponents fall into a long cold sleep. With her eight eyes, she can keep an eye on several opponents at the same time and fend them off.

 

Battle crab and armoured turtle defend the water and stone worlds – No opponent who penetrates the water world will manage to escape the fighting crab with weapon and completely turnable upper body: on its six legs, the grim sea-dweller can move lightning fast and catch up with even nimble opponents super quickly.

The armoured turtle with its weapon from the stone world, is a master of deception: many of his opponents think that he is slow, old and cumbersome. But then he suddenly spins on his own axis at lightning speed and crashes his massive double club at its enemies.

 

 

The RRP for these creatures is: Armoured Turtle £13.99; Battle Crab £13.99; Fire Bull £9.99; Ice Spider £9.99.
Matthew’s favourite is the armoured turtle. I love it too as the face is so reptilian and realistic but also cute like a tortoise (I am desperate to own a tortoise 🙂 )! I think Matthew likes it for its strength and weaponry as well as the articulated movement.

Looking at the whole Eldrador range, I love the imagination that has gone into creating the different creatures. As well as being very detailed figures, each one is also fun to play with.
Schleich’s Eldrador collection is available from Smyths Toys, Amazon and other toy retailers.

*We were sent these figures for the purpose of this review. All opinions and photos are our own unless stated otherwise.


The Family Lie, by Jake Cross

Anna wakes at night to discover her daughter and husband missing. She believes they have both been taken but the police think her husband has snatched Josie. A text message seems to confirm this but Anna still isn’t convinced.
Nick’s drugged body is found and when he regains consciousness he is devastated to learn of their daughter’s disappearance.
The kidnappers demand money and Anna then Nick go on missions to deliver the ransom. Then Anna runs away…why? Nick then gets a text to say that Anna has snatched their daughter but he rejects it.
This book is told as the drama unfolds so is fast paced and the reader is left as confused as the characters. Can Anna and Nick trust each other? Which one of them is hiding a secret that has put their daughter in danger?
My overall impression of this book is positive but I admit to having very mixed feelings about the narrative structure. The drama and action throughout the plot is brilliant. The revelations will keep you guessing the whole way through.
However, I didn’t particularly like the way it jumped between Anna and Nick’s experiences. I felt the confusion was uncomfortable although this was obviously the style that the author had chosen and the evocation of emotions was that which Jake Cross wished to convey to his audience.
This is a purely personal opinion and the author is successful in conveying the characters’ range of emotional responses. I enjoyed the character of the lead police officer Miller and how she interacted with the main characters; in particular, her dialogue made her feel very real.
I look forward to reading more from Jake Cross in the future.

 

Author:     Jake Cross
Book:        The Family Lie   
Publication Day:  April 23rd 2019
Buy Link:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B07N8VVHGFSocial
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2t41M85
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2D1yls8
Googleplay: http://ow.ly/sLbg30nxGTv
Description:
You whispered goodnight to your daughter. You didn’t know that would be your last goodbye.
You wake up in the middle of the night.
Your five-year-old daughter is gone.
Your husband is nowhere to be seen.
Your family think he took her.
The police believe he’s guilty.
But he wouldn’t do that, would he?
He’s a loving father. A loving husband. Isn’t he?
An addictive and completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist that will blow you away. Fans of The Girl on the Train,K.L. Slater and Shalini Boland won’t be able to put down this jaw-dropping novel.

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Author Bio:
Jake has been making stuff up from a real early age. His parents never believed his silly lies when he was young, so he still has no idea why he thought he could invent a decent story as an adult. But he kept trying, and here we are. THE CHOICE is his first novel, the first of three thrillers to be published by Bookouture, and he hopes you like it. If you don’t, he at least hopes you don’t ask for a refund.
Author Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jakecrossauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeCrossAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17625443.Jake_Cross