#BlogTour THE DAISY CHAIN by AL CAMPBELL #BookReview @RedDoorBooks

Delighted to be joining you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE DAISY CHAIN by AL CAMPBELL.

My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


Kew Gardens, 1771. Four women – the first is Daisy, a talented orphaned botanical painter and scientist, newly arrived in London from Suffolk. The second is Fanny, her sister, locked in a loveless marriage with an oafish nobleman. The third, Kate, is an enslaved black lady’s maid. The fourth, Charlotte, Queen of England, uncomplaining but confined to a life bearing King George 15 children.

When Daisy meets eminent scientist Joseph Banks and not only becomes Artist in Residence at Kew Gardens, but ‘Lady-in-Painting’ to Queen Charlotte, life changes for everybody. However, whilst expecting a quiet and studious life, Daisy is unwittingly inveigled into espionage, tea smuggling and the ‘triangular trade’ by mysterious Dutchman Johannes Van der Humm.

When a fabulous flower is discovered in South Africa and sent back to Kew for the Queen’s birthday, the women little guess it offers a route to freedom. But only if Daisy can foil a plot to steal it from under the King’s nose. Who is friend and who is foe? Can she work out whom to trust before disaster strikes?

Set in an incredibly exciting period of history, The Daisy Chain is a pacy debut novel, brimming with adventure and romance.






This was a wonderful historical romp! Combining my love of gardening, with some strong female characters, this was an exciting read from start to finish and does a wonderful job of transporting you back in time to a fascinating period of history and takes a look back at some of the excitement while new plants were being discovered, alongside the more questionable events of those years involving slavery.

After the death of her father Daisy has no option but to move to London to live with her sister and her unsufferable husband.  She becomes governess to her niece, but her true love is her artwork and she soon finds her work gets noticed in high places.  One of those being by the director of Kew Gardens who invites her to work for them, cataloguing all the new flowers and plants.

While there she ‘blossoms’ and becomes confidante to a royal visitor and I loved how the women were at the fore of this story!  She also catches the eye of a mystery Dutchman and finds herself wondering just who to trust.. one person definitely not worthy of trust is her sisters’ husband! Awful man!!

This book worked for me on many levels – especially that of the plant links alongside the royal mix!  And the fact that the story ventures into the darker side of life at the time with slavery and smuggling really added to the mix. It also gave a good insight into the excitement of the times with new things being discovered in far off lands and brought to these shores.

An exciting historical debut – looking forward to more from this author in the future!



#BlogTour THE BECKET LIST by HENRY BECKET #BookReview @the_becket_list @RedDoorBooks

Delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on THE BECKET LIST by HENRY BECKET! My thanks to the author, publisher and Helen Lewis for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


What’s on your Becket List? What really grates on you? What gets you ranting at the television?

Henry Becket decided to compile a list of things that could be put right/restored/replaced to help rid the world of unrighteous anger. A list of things that make him (and he suspects many, many others) angry. Turns out there’s so much to be angry about!

This is a hilarious, witty guide that will find a good home in many a downstairs loo library. It’s the ultimate gift for the grumpy git in your life.

It’s also a wonderful form of escapism from what might be perceived as the REAL issues of the day. After all, there’s nothing like a pandemic to make you realise you miss not being able to complain about the price of a packet of crisps in a pub, or about the wobbly table leg in a restaurant… ah, those were the days!

An A to Z of First World Problems is… just that. The Becket List is a not entirely serious compendium of ‘First World Problems’ – the sort of stuff that drives us round the bend on a daily basis.

How is it that atonal music, bus stations, cling-film and coat-hangers can b*gger us up so comprehensively? Or passport control people, Chuggers, email strings, fake candles, loud eating, predictive text, or just about anything you’ll find in a typical hotel bedroom?

Embracing both the inanimate – from allen keys to rawlplugs – and the animated (well, in some cases) – from your fellow-travellers to every third-rate waiter who ever walked the earth – this book is essential for your sanity. As such, this comprehensive A to Z provides a signal service to humanity.

A collection of entries about many of the things in life that, whilst essentially trivial, day after day contrive to p*ss you off. In the greater scheme of things they don’t matter a damn, but in the context of advanced civilisation they take on a huge significance. The book is a both an important resource for future social historians and a call to action. It’s also, mostly, really rather silly.






I don’t know whether I should be concerned that I found myself agreeing with so many of the ‘grumbles’ about modern life in this book!!! Have I reached ‘that’ age already where everything annoys me?!! It appears so!! And if you find yourself being irritated by so much of life, or you know someone who loves to moan and grumble about the trivial things, then they need this book in their life!!

It’s a book that makes you laugh out loud! It’s a book that notices all the silly things in life that many shrug off, but there’s something about ticket machines, BBQ’s, Kidults, loud eating, lifestyle bloggers (hopefully not book bloggers!) , to name but a few things, that set your teeth on edge and cause an irrational (but rational  to you!) response to all that life throws your way on a day to day basis!!

It’s sweary and snarky – that always appeals to my sense of humour! – and it’s also wonderful to know that you aren’t alone in these outbursts of grumpiness!! I found myself nodding along way too readily to many of the A-Z breakdown of 1st world problems and it was just so deliciously right about the world as we know it!!  Nothing escapes the wrath of Henry Becket, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others, and I loved that!!  Why is it that all that is meant to make our life less stressful has just made it even more stressful??!!

A book that sums up life’s little inconveniences and aggravations in perfect form!! Fabulously grumpy!!


#BlogTour CALL ME JOE by MARTIN VAN ES & ANDREW CROFTS @RandomTTours @The_JoeProject @RedDoorBooks @AndrewCrofts @LiterallyPR #CallMeJoeBook #TheJoeProject

Delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for CALL ME JOE by MARTIN VAN ES & ANDREW CROFTS. My thanks to the authors, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!


The world is on the brink of disaster.
The environment, society and mankind itself are facing extreme challenges in a world that is both more connected, and yet more divided than ever before. Fear and confusion seep into all parts of everyday life now, more than ever, the world needs one voice, one guide…

One day the Earth is plunged into darkness and when light appears again so does a man – call him Joe – claiming to be the son of God.

Can Joe bring the world’s most creative thinkers and leaders together to tackle the ills of mankind?

Can he convince us all to follow him before it’s too late?

In this compelling and prescient novel, Martin van Es and Andrew Crofts highlight the key concerns of our time and imagines a future where we, at last, all work together to ensure the future of our world and all the life that calls it home.



publisher website



Here’s an apt book for the times!!  So much of this struck true with me of the world we currently find ourselves living in, that it made it so much easier to connect with and understand! If only we had a Joe…..

This is a book told through the eyes of a few characters, all part of the world but all living very different lives.  Except they all soon share a common experience when the world goes black for 12 minutes… there was no warning, there are no contingency plans in place for such an occurrence  – and how people react around the world is a fascinating insight into humanity!

Sophie is a school teacher when this event happens so has to try and keep her pupils calm while this madness is going on.  When light returns she sees a man walking across the school fields who says he’s just arrived.  She finds herself talking to him and feeling that she needs to help – the pupils in her class are even more fascinated by him and I loved the innocence of children and their questions to him.  If only adults had such an open mind!  For Joe he is openly questioning why humans do so much harm to their planet and one another.  It makes no sense to him – he’s not the only one who wonders why!!

Meanwhile, Governments all around the world are showing their true colours. Suspecting one another of having a hand in what has happened, trying to work out how to deal with what has happened.  And the more they hear about ‘Joe’ and the effect he has on people that he meets in person or via videos, the more they soon pull together to try and discredit him as he baffles them. Is he for real?

This book does a brilliant job of showing up the role of ‘fake news’, the word of the media vs the experiences of people, and how those in favour of the status quo are rattled by this new prescence spouting new ideals and reaching people in a different way to the norm.    It shows up the inequality, the greed, the overpopulation, the climate issues. the intolerance that humanity faces day in, day out and how trying to change people and their ways leads to resistance and underhanded tactics by those not in favour.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, especially with its’ relevance to the present time!  The battle between those who don’t want change against those who would prefer a kinder, more fair world was fascinating and this book gives you a lot to think about!