#Bookreview RETURNING TO THE LAND OF THE MORNING CALM by Hans M. Hirschi (@Hans_Hirschi) #LGBT A truly romantic novel about a love that survives against all odds – authortranslatorOlga

Olga and her blog introduced me to this very talented writer. Today is the book launch of Hans M. Hirschis new book and here is Olga’s post:

#Bookreview RETURNING TO THE LAND OF THE MORNING CALM by Hans M. Hirschi (@Hans_Hirschi) #LGBT A truly romantic novel about a love that survives against all odds – authortranslatorOlga


Ireland’s Holocaust heroine

Another great story on David’s excellent blog. Still so many stories to tell about WW2 and the Holocaust. Thanks David!


The great events of our past – the wars and the genocides – are just a series of small steps strung together… steps that when looked back upon appear to be a seamless, momentous journey.

And because of that, we tend to overlook many of those very people who created the events that make history so extraordinary.

The name Mary Elmes is not one that conjures up any special memory to most people, and that’s probably just the way the Corkwoman would have wanted it.

Look at her photo and words like ‘refined’, delicate’ and ladylike’ spring to mind. Mary Elmes was all those things and more besides. She was also fearless, iron-willed and relentless in her cause – to bring help and succour to frightened, dispossessed people in fear for their lives. Were it not for Mary, hundreds of children would have died at the hands of the Nazis…

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“Whiskey and Ribbons” by Leesa Cross-Smith

Whiskey and Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

Review by Claire Fullerton, originally posted on her blog here Whiskey and Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

Claire is an accomplished author with outstanding taste. I like reading her reviews and this book really looks amazing, so I’ve ‘stolen’/ re-blogged this review:

Claire’s review:

The title Whiskey and Ribbons is derived from a toast delivered by Eamon, one of three narrators in this psychological treatment of love spun unexpectedly and repercussively awry. “Women, you are sleek and gorgeous. You hold us together, you’re the ribbons,” Eamon says, yet we hear this speech as his brother, Dalton’s, memory, for the reader learns at the start that the toast maker is dead. Eamon and Dalton have grown up together as brothers, yet the ties that bind are unusual and not honestly revealed for what they are until well into the story. Author Leesa Cross-Smith holds the reader captive in language so creative and au currant that we identify with both well-drawn characters and readily understand why Eamon’s wife, Evangeline, weighs issues of loyalty between the two charismatic young men, though one is alive and the other is dead. That Evangeline is a new mother, having given birth to Eamon’s son after his death as an officer in the line of duty is the dilemma, for who is she to turn to in her prostrate grief but a brother-in-law who equally grieves? Three vantage points are entwined to tell this one story of familial connections, in a seamlessly crafted, roiling momentum that will have you thinking they each have a justifiable point. All praise this spell-binding debut author. Leesa Cross-Smith has penned an uncommon novel in a voice you won’t easily forget.

Review: “Sinister Dexter” Book 3 in the fabulous PorterGirl – Series by Lucy Brazier

I’m delighted to present my review for this hugely entertaining and simply brilliant book.  Lucy and her books have been on my blog several times, which means this may be old news to you anyway…

So we’re back in Cambridge and its old College. Narrator Deputy Head Porter leads us drily and with breakfast sausages gallore through the investigation of dead bodies found on campus grounds. This is complicated by college rivalry, hierarchy, excentric behaviour and procedural mayhem.
While the mysterious nature of their deaths inspires the Dean in most bizarre ways – and what would you expect from him other than bizarre I ask – there are different theories and strands of the investigation.
All of this is interspersed with excellent observational humour, hilarious situational comedy and brilliant characters, making this hugely enjoyable and entertaining. My partner worked in Academia and absolutely adores this series. I get a great kick out of it just having been a benefactor of Academia as it were, enjoying the many truths about campus life that ring true to me.
The writing and language used are inventive, original and witty to a point that Brazier might as well write about the local telephone directory and I’d enjoy it. In this case, the mystery kept me on my toes as well as the many shenanigans and tribulations that go on in the background. Many grins and smirks and lols.

The book found me at a very busy time but I managed to find the time to read it, which should tell you something: Highly recommended.

Sometimes the opposite of right isn’t wrong. It’s left.

Tragedy strikes once more at Old College… The Porters’ Lodge is down to its last tea bag and no one has seen a biscuit for over a week. Almost as troubling are the two dead bodies at the bottom of the College gardens and a woman has gone missing. The Dean is convinced that occult machinations are to blame, Deputy Head Porter suspects something closer to home.

The formidable DCI Thompson refuses to be sidelined and a rather unpleasant Professor gets his comeuppance.

As the body count rises, Head Porter tries to live a secret double life and The Dean believes his job is under threat from the Russian Secret Service.

Deputy Head Porter finds herself with her hands full keeping Old College running smoothly as well as defending herself against the sinister intentions of the new Bursar.

Spies, poisoning, murder – and none of this would be any problem at all, if only someone would get the biscuits out and put the kettle on… 

This is the third instalment of the world-renowned PorterGirl series set in the ancient and esoteric Old College. Author Lucy Brazier opens the lid on a world which has sinister overtones in this cozy, BritLit mystery.

The Amazon links…

UK https://amzn.to/2uTULKU

US https://amzn.to/2uPGIGr

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Over my Dead Body: Murder at Eurovision – A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery by Christoph Fischer

Thanks Sally for this shout out about my latest muder mystery. You’re a star!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Delighted to showcase the new book by Christoph Fischer – Over my Dead Body: Murder at Eurovision – A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery.

About the book

On her return from a cruise ship gig Bebe Bollinger learns that fellow Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler has decided to enter a European Song comptition for the UK. While Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for ‘Eurovision’ in Malmö, a string of ‘odd accidents’ endangers several participants of the competition. This stirs her desire for playing detective again but also a curiosity to check out the suitability of Eurovision for her own career.
Follow Bebe’s continued search for fame and a comeback before it’s too late, step into the weird world that is Eurovision fandom and see how Bebe gets on with her naughty daughter and deals with those evil TV presenters.

One of the early reviews for the book

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The WINNERS of the 2018 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 

Huge congratulations to all the winners at the 2018 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards – worth checking out these blogs, some of which sounds really great and I wonder why I hadn’t known about them.
And thanks to the committee for putting on such a great event

Reblogged from Sacha Black: The WINNERS of the 2018 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards Are… @bloggersbash – SACHA BLACK


THIS IS IT FOLKS, the winners of the 4th Annual Bloggers Bash awards. Thank you to everyone who nominated, voted and promoted the bash. I can’t believe we’re finally at the end of another year.

This year was the biggest yet, with just short of 10,000 votes.

A HUGE congratulations to all the winners and runners-up of the awards. Don’t forget, winners will receive a £10 Amazon voucher and a notebook from Greenstory stone notebooks stationary and the second place and everyone who placed will receive a badge.




Who is the blogger that excels in a variety of categories? Who provides excellent content, is sociable and engaging with readers, shares other posts, or has a writing style that keeps you coming back time and time again?

Whoever you choose needs to be an all-rounder. A blogger that is head and shoulders above the rest as that’s what makes the Best Overall Blogger.

Nominees: Retirement ReflectionsDaddy And DadJenny in NeverlandLife, Books, and More…I’m A Writer, Yes, I Am!Me and My BooksGin & LemonadeLinda’s Book BagA Brummie Home and AbroadBut I Smile Anyway…Smorgasbord-Variety is the Spice of LifeSue Vincent’s Daily Echo, I’m Sick and So Are You

RUNNER UP – But I Smile Anyway

SECOND – Gin & Lemonade

WINNER – Linda’s Book Bag,



Which blogger always makes you laugh the most? Whether that’s through humourous content or their blogging manner. A blogger that has your sides aching from laughter and brightens up the blog-o-sphere is what makes the Funniest Blogger.


Nominees:Professional MoronBarb TaubMonster in the next roomThe Tattooed book geekWhinge Whinge WineHot mess memoirMidlife SmartsFatty McCupcakesShallow Reflections, The Cynical Sailor & His Salty SidekickDown The Hall on Your LeftThe Phil FactorJen Med’s Book ReviewsJudy E MartinLutheranliar Looks at Life

RUNNER UP – Fatty McCupcakes,

SECOND – Jen Med’s Book Reviews

WINNER – The Tattooed book geek



Who inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought-provoking and inquisitive? Perhaps they’re a muse to you with the constant provision of inspirational content or imagery. Who’s the one blogger that touched your heart? This is what makes the Most Inspirational Blogger.


Nominees:Ali – The Dragon SlayerDinosaurs Donkeys and MsErika KindMemoirs of Miss WavesTina FriscoLondon UnattachedSage Wolfsong CreationsUnfold and Begin.comJill’s Book CafeLike Mercury CollidingOut an’ AboutMy Dad Is a GoldfishMumofthree WorldHalf Baked In ParadiseRachna saysBrilliance WithinWords In the Light, SYL65’S BLOGChocolate’n’WafflesYou Are Awesome,Robbie’s InspirationLove Books Group

RUNNER UP – Love Books Group

SECOND – Jill’s Book Cafe

WINNER – Ali – The Dragon Slayer



This award is for the blogger with the most informative and original content. Who creates fascinating content that you find yourself longing to read? Perhaps they’re a history blogger or they write about the craft of writing/blogging, or maybe they like archaeology or wine tasting. They could be an artist or musician. The topic is irrelevant, it’s the original content that counts. A blogger who shares a wealth of knowledge in an informative way is what makes the Most Informative & Original Blogger.

Nominees: Beauty Balm,  Chat about booksBibliobethA Writer’s PerspectiveWhen Women InspireMombianchrismcmullenNotebooks and GlassesHouse of HeartthoughtsofjustafanJennifer GilmourTrick BesidesOdds n Sods: A cabinet of curiositiesTalk About Pop MusicSizzling Towards 60 and BeyondThe Book TrailThe Cobweborium EmporiumPostcard ReviewsWild DaffodilAn Historian About TownGlobal Housesitter x 2Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

RUNNER UP – Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond

SECOND – The Book Trail,

WINNER – Jennifer Gilmour



There are so many wonderful book bloggers out there, but which one stands out for you? Whose book reviews do you enjoy reading and engaging with? It’s not the number of reviews that are important, but more about the quality of them. Who has you clicking the ‘buy now’ button after reading a riveting summary, or who has the most thoughtful reviews? A blogger who shares an abundance of book reviews in a memorable way deserves the Best Book Review Blog.

Nominees: Between the LinesStory SnugCleopatra Loves BooksCrimeBookJunkieThe Book OwlThe Bookworm DrinkethGrab This BookHeavenaliLisa’s RamblingsThe Book Review CafeSwirl and ThreadOlga Author TranslatorRead It DaddyStefLoz Book ReviewsBlack Books Blog, The Vagaries of UsWhispering StoriesBooks n All Book PromotionsBiblioManiacdamppebbles.comFather Reading Every DayJo&IsalovebooksmychestnutreadingtreeAnne Bonny Book Reviews

RUNNER UP – The Book Review Cafe

SECOND – Swirl and Thread

WINNER – Jo&Isalovebooks



Which blogger goes out of their way to help others? Maybe this is someone who helped you kick-start your blog with tutorials or how-to guides. Perhaps they continually reblog your posts. It could be a blogger who consistently provides useful posts on how to boost your blog. Or maybe you want to nominate someone who provides an engaging platform for others.

Someone who selflessly dedicates themselves to other bloggers is who deserves the Services to Bloggers award.

Nominees: Bang2WriteMakeItUltraEm LinthorpeAnnette Rochelle AbenPortobello Book BlogThe Militant NegroNicholas C. RossisRosie AmberAlways Trust In BooksTwo Drops of Ink:A Literary BlogCompulsive Readersbytheletterbookreviews

RUNNER UP – Rosie Amber

SECOND – Portobello Book Blog

WINNER – Compulsive Readers 



Have you stumbled upon a blog by chance and discovered useful information or thought-provoking content? Is there a blog that doesn’t get the notoriety they deserve? Maybe they have such an original style you can’t help but read their posts. A blogger who you believe should get the limelight for a change is who deserves the Hidden Gem award.

Nominees: So Many Books, So Little TimeA Mindful TravelerA Simpler Grace,  Bookliterati Book ReviewsRetired? No-one told me!The DreampackerKalifornicationXtherebemonstershere.comFiction Is FoodJane Dougherty WritesMeadowtree Style,  Must Hike Must Eat, Image Earth TravelBook Lovers’ BooklistBeing In NatureTeagan’s Books, Sarah TebbThe Tennis FoodieOff-The-Shelf BooksWillowdot21Deb’s WorldUnbound RootsWheelescapadesNovel DeelightsThe Quiet KnitterQueer Little Family

RUNNER UP – Deb’s World

SECOND – Retired? No-one told me!,

WINNER – The Quiet Knitter



A category for those bloggers who have been blogging less than a year (joined the blog-o-sphere after 1st June 2017). Did they join with a bang? Have they made an impression? Do they engage with readers? Are they funny, or well designed, or maybe share posts that make you smile time after time. A newbie blogger who deserves recognition makes the best Newcomer Blogger.

Nominees: A Knight’s ReadsThe Daily Tales of Gregg SavageKatie’s Book CaveLoving the Fifty Somethingsarahsthinkingagain, The Horror ClubMy Plaid HeartZooloo’s Book BlogLosing the PlotThe Beardy Book BloggerOver The Rainbow Book Blog

RUNNER UP – A Knight’s Reads

SECOND – Losing the Plot

WINNER – The Beardy Book Blogger



Which blogger do you want to go to the pub with? Or maybe have dinner with? Who never fails to reply to comments, and has thoughtful things to say? Maybe they encourage the community through weekly challenges or blog parties. A blogger who makes the blog-o-sphere a better place is what makes the Best Pal.

Nominees: BookwitchAnnika Perry’s Writing Blogcollenchesebro.comAnita Dawes and Jaye MarieDare To Live CourageouslyLadies living in BooklandRachael’s ThoughtswitlessdatingafterfiftyA Chronic VoiceBooks From Dusk Till DawnBeing AnneD. G. KayeInvisible-no-MorethewanderingdarlingsFrom Michigan to GermanyA Walk and A LarkJust Another Blog From a Womanfancypaper

WINNER – Being Anne


Don’t forget you can sign up for updates on future bashes by joining our mailing list.

First reviews for Over My Dead Body: Murder at Eurovision (Bebe Bollinger Murder Mysteries 2) 

Having just returned from Eurovision in Lisbon I couldn’t be more pleased to find these first marvellous reviews for Murder At Eurovision

Top customer reviews

May 16, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second in the Bebe Bollinger series by Christoph Fischer. The sleuth is once again the charming, talented and a bit snarky Bebe Bollinger, an early 60s chanteuse with a remarkable career behind her but fighting to be back in the spotlight.
It is quite a change up from the first book, the author having chosen the setting to be Eurovision, the longest-running annual international TV song competition, held in a different country each year. I have to admit I didn’t even know Eurovision existed until I started to read this book, but I learned a lot.
Bebe is colorful, intelligent and one of my favorite characters. When her friend Bonnie Tyler (think Holding Out for a Hero and Angel of the Morning) is chosen to represent the UK at Eurovision, Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for Eurovision in Malmö and discovers a string of odd accidents happening to several participants in the competition. This triggers her detective antennae and she decides to attend the event. Going there also allows her to assess the suitability of a Eurovision appearance for her own career.
The author does an incredible job describing Eurovision, with its countries’ representatives, both new and seasoned, the outrageous costumes, lighting, and most of all the crowds and the carnival atmosphere. I know he’s been to one or two!
We again meet Beth, now a former police detective with a drinking problem who does legwork for Bebe when she is otherwise occupied, and Bebe’s grasping and selfish daughter Helen, who shows up at the festival and promises to ruin Bebe’s renewed and growing reputation. Bebe somehow gets herself into the middle of the action, singing a version of one of Bonnie’s songs on stage with another vocalist and being asked to judge the competition, as well as be a presenter on the day of the event. While her status grows, contestants continue to fall until it becomes clear that what Bebe suspected all along: these are no accidents.
Bebe deals patiently and with aplomb with nasty TV reporters and career climbing presenters, but ultimately begins to think she may be the next target. I honestly did not know who dunnit or why until the very end.
For fans of Bebe Bollinger, mysteries with a colorful and detailed setting, followers of Eurovision, or women of a certain age (like me), this is the book for you! I anxiously await the next book to find out what happens with Bebe’s career.

May 10, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
Mr Fischer has created quite the endearing character in Bebe Bollinger, this force of nature that somehow manages to take setbacks in stride while never losing her basic positive outlook on life. In this book,Bebe is in Malmoe and it is Eurovision time – a yearly highlight as far as this reviewer is concerned. Mr Fischer clearly shares this opinion and his insight into the backstage workings of the event helps create a vivid backdrop to a fast-paced whodunnit.
This is a perfect weekend read, delivering a balanced combination of humour and mystery. Plus, of course, there is Bebe: I must say it is refreshing to have a lady of a certain age take centre stage – and to do it with as much zest and energy as Bebe does.

May 2, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Over My Dead Body: Murder At Eurovision (A Bebe Bollinger Mystery) by author Christoph Fischer.

Christoph Fischer writes another adorable murder mystery with comedic undertones, unpredictable suspense and memorable characters.

This is an endearing tale that is easy to get into and a nice escape from your average mystery novel. The writing is right in your face and it’s humorous even when it’s trying to be serious. I enjoyed the twists in the storyline that kept me on my toes.

I tore through this book in no time and appreciated the hilarious drama and ongoing escapades that only a persona such as Bebe Bollinger can offer. Totally enjoyable and entertaining.


Here are the blurb and an excerpt:

On her return from a cruise ship gig Bebe Bollinger learns that fellow Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler has decided to enter a European Song comptition for the UK. While Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for ‘Eurovision’ in Malmö, a string of ‘odd accidents’ endangers several participants of the competition. This stirs her desire for playing detective again but also a curiosity to check out the suitability of Eurovision for her own career.

Follow Bebe’s continued search for fame and a comeback before it’s too late, step into the weird world that is Eurovision fandom and see how Bebe gets on with her naughty daughter and deals with those evil TV presenters.


Praise for The Body in the Snow:

This comical romp of shenanigans and investigation will keep you reading with curiosity and hoping that Bebe still gets her last shot at renewed stardom. A fun read!

This delightful and sometimes comical whodunit will keep you guessing to the very end.

For a first dip in the cozy field, this award-winning historical and crime fiction writer has taken the gold. I highly recommend this book for an intriguing and never boring read!

A very enjoyable book. With a fantastic cast of characters plus humour, murder, romance this is a cracking mystery.

 In Body in the Snow, Mr. Fischer proves his versatility as he leaves his comfort zone to wonderful effect in weaving this story and creating these great characters. It is a book I recommend highly.

Here is an excerpt:

Malmö, Sweden, May 2013

Bebe couldn’t keep up with all that was going on around her on the media balcony. A team of paramedics were busy working on the victim lying only a few metres away. Their actions spoke volumes. Bebe had seen enough of her fans fainting in over-heated concert halls to know that this patient would not be resuscitated any time soon. As if to confirm her fears, the paramedics exchanged a look and shook their heads. A chill ran down her spine. The dart made it clear that this was a premeditated murder, and put all the dubious events and ‘accidents’ that had gone on in the run-up to the contest into a sinister context.
The security guards were quick to respond. They cleared the balcony, ushering the journalists and TV crews to a conference room on the mezzanine level.
“You may continue your coverage for now,” they were told by a suited man with a headset and clipboard. “When the police arrive they’ll decide what happens next. To make sure they can carry out their investigation, we have strict instructions to keep you all here for questioning.”
A TV audience of over one billion people was watching the contest ‒ the British TV viewers waiting for Bebe to chat to them in less than a minute ‒ while a murderer was still on the loose. What were the organisers and the police thinking? Would he strike again, and if so, who would be his next victim? Was the dart maybe meant for Bebe? Was she safe? And what could she do to prevent the murderer from striking again and ruining her moment in the Eurovision sunlight?
Leonard took her softly by the wrist.
“We’re on in ten seconds,” he said, looking into her eyes. “Forget about the guy and focus on the show. Security and the police have this covered, you’re not in danger. Just be professional. Can you do that for me?”
Bebe gulped and nodded. Her thoughts went to the dead presenter and she regretted her earlier irritation with him. The poor man. She took a deep breath, glanced to the stage to remind herself what a big deal the next few minutes were for her career and what she had to do now. This light on the camera turned to red and she was on…

Meet The Bloggers Who Are Attending The 2018 Annual Bloggers Bash #BloggersBash

I hope to be there with them. A great event and a smashing bunch of bloggers – it’s not too late to go.

Hugh's Views & News

On behalf of the committee of the Bloggers Bash, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who has confirmed their attendance for the 4th Annual Bloggers Bash. Bags are packed, votes have been counted, cakes baked, envelopes sealed, outfits chosen, and the fun starts at 10:30 when Sacha flings opens the doors, and the hugging begins. (Please – no screaming this year when you see Geoff’s beard!)

#bloggersbash #bloggers #awardsWhere & When?

Saturday 19th, May 2018 at The George IV pub in Chiswick, London. Click here for full details on how to get there.

We’ve lots going on during the day, including two speakers, a panel debate and, of course, the announcements of this year’s bloggers bash award winners. We’ll also be announcing the winners of The Bloggers Bash Blog Post competition. Click here to see the agenda.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you all to this year’s attendees who have…

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Welsh Wednesdays: #LlandeiloLitFest in Pictures

Half a year of preparations have come to an end with what might be considered a fairly successful event. Over a 1000 visitors, fantastic feedback from over 200 people, a positive vibe and buzz in town, excellent talks and readings and given that we are a volunteer run second year the few organisatorial hiccups might be forgiven. We still got a lot to learn but for now, thanks to everyone involved: the artists, the public, the volunteers, businesses and sponsors, venue holders and everyone who’s been supportive.

I’m still too tired for many words, so here are the pictures to speak for themselves.
Roll on 2019…