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I can’t actually remember a time before Ernie, it feels like I knew him forever and then one day he wasn’t there…

Ernie started school at the same time as the twins and he immediately stood out with his cheeky grin, effusive manner and sparkling personality. He was just one of those kids you noticed more than any of the others. It wasn’t that he was naughty although I do suspect that there was always high jinks when he was about.  It wasn’t that he was the tallest, shortest, thinnest or fattest. He was just Ernie and he was different. He lit up the room with his giggle and people swarmed around him like butterflies to nectar. 

There was always small bits of that worst torture implement known to a parent hidden in his pockets, down his socks, up his jumper – Lego. Have you ever stood on the stuff? It’s like standing on an upended plug and I’ve stood on a fair few of those over the years. He’d squirrel away the best pieces, little figures he’d made, only to produce at will in the school ground much to the amusement of his friends and to the horror of all of the adults. You never took your shoes off anywhere near Ernie…

Each summer we used to bump into Ernie, Joe and Claire in Herm, a magical place  for long, lazy summer days where the sun is hotter and the sea the coldest thing known to man – He’d usually be hanging around one of the shops – they sell Lego in Herm. thank goodness they also sell shoes!


There’s a quote, I don’t know by whom. ‘The brightest stars burn the quickest’, and so it was with Ernie. When his star fell he’d taken every opportunity and had lived a life longer in his short years than most of his peers. In truth, he’d probably done better than most adults. But that’s not the point…

I’ll always remember Ernie and with the creation of Ernie’s Angels other families will benefit from his short flame searing its mark across Guernsey’s skies.

GRANNY’s GONE AWOL IN GUERNSEY came to fruition in December with some messages flying up and down the M4 between Claire and me (I was visiting family in Wales). One feels so helpless but if me scribbling some word can help then so be it. 

GRANNY’S GONE AWOL IN GUERNSEY is available to pre-order on Amazon here. It is book two in a series but Amazon have kindly agreed to make BOY BRAINY, the prequel, permanently free here

There will also be a paperback coming of the book in addition to a very special edition with drawings – needless to say they won’t be by me but by a very talented local artist (more on that soon), All profits to Ernie’s charity. 

Jen x

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The Pact, S E Lynes

You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.The Daughter 15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, but she can’t speak the words out loud. 

The Mother:  Toni is a doting and over-protective mother, terrified for her daughter’s life. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm. She needs to know what secrets Rosie has been keeping, and how she ended up in a hospital bed – but Toni has a secret of her own…

The Pact: Thirty years ago, Toni and her sister Bridget made each other a promise: never to speak of their childhood; to protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…

But in order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever. 

My review

This is the first book I’ve read by this author so I really didn’t know what to expect. Written from 3 different perspectives the writer immediately demonstrates her skill in providing each character a unique voice. There is a fourth voice here too but to tell you more about that would spoil it. 

Toni and Bridget have made a sacred promise, one that is their undoing because when Toni’s daughter gets herself into hot water there is little they can do except perhaps try and solve the mystery themselves. 

Rosie, a shy over-protected 15 year old is desperate for a male role model in her life and when she meets what she thinks is the ideal boy online she falls head first, at least over the airwaves, for what first appears to be the most amazing bloke imaginable. He’s everything she’s always hoped for and there is no way her mother is going to stop her from meeting him because she’s not going to tell her. 

A scary story overall because at its heart it contains every parent’s worst nightmare. How can a parent protect a child when they don’t know what’s going on in their life? Fast paced and enjoyable I read this in one sitting. 

Available from Amazon on pre-order here 


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One Summer in Rome, Samantha Tonge

Book blurb

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!

Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…

My review

When I heard Sam had a new book out I was first in the queue. There’s just something about her writing that whether it’s set in Greece,  Rome or some other distant land she drags you, kicking and screaming, from the comfort of your own sofa and into another far flung location. There’s an awareness of all things cultural and an ability to set a scene that is Sam’s trademark. Match that with strong characters and quirky plots and you have a best seller…

Mary Smith is thrown out of her comfort zone and into Rome, more particularly as a waitress at a little pizza restaurant set in the most adorable Italian square. She meets the owner and other restaurant workers but is intrigued by the surly, uncommunicative but sexy as hell Dante. But he’s hiding a secret that could change everything. Not only that but, with the season about to launch and restaurant critics about to appear, there is a chance that their little slice of ‘the good life’ is going to prove unequal to the newer, brighter pizzerias. 

Bloody wonderful


Pre-order here or, if you’re a book reviewer it’s also on NetGalley 

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Valentine’s post

A funny thing happened to me in the supermarket… Yes, really! I was there with my 4 red chocolate roses when I had to explain myself to the man at the check-out as to why there were four – for my 4 boyfriends perhaps? Cheeky so and so but it did make me chuckle. I’d just had the shift from hell and looked as bad as I felt but, in this post-Weinstein world, there is room, I feel, for a little romantic humour; certainly in my life there is. 

I’m on nights next week so Valentine’s will pass me by in a sleep deprived fugue but I’ll probably still arrange something mad. There probably won’t be flowers, chocolates or cards bought but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about making a little extra time to do something special. 

To celebrate here’s a little treat. I try not to plague the world with free books. They are hard enough to write without giving them away but every so often I’ll pop one up for free, only for one day and only one book so if you haven’t read ENGLISHWOMAN IN PARIS now’s your chance 😂. It’s the second book in my ENGLISHWOMAN 5 book series, the prequel short story, ENGLISHMAN IN BLACKPOOL, is perma-free and the rest…? All really expensive at 99p… x

BTW there are 4 people in my life that deserve chocolate roses, only because they have to put up with me, and that’s hubby and the three kids. If the cats were allowed I’d have bought six 😂