A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly June Link Up

Welcome to Book worms Monthly June linkup

Hello, Welcome to Book worms Monthly, June. I managed to get through four books last month and I’m waiting for my next Audible credit so I can buy Fiona Barton’s The Suspect. I really enjoyed her other two books. Remember, if you can’t get a hold of books you can always try Audible. They are always available 🙂

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly

Book worms Monthly will be posted every month, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly May book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

book worms monthly June

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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A Place to Read

The Child by Fiona Barton – book review

The Child by Fiona Barton

The Child is Fiona Barton’s second book featuring newspaper reporter Kate Waters. I recently read the first book, The Widow and was instantly drawn in by Fiona Barton’s fabulous story telling.

Front cover of The Child by Fiona Barton.
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd 
ISBN: 9780552172455 
Number of pages: 448 
Weight: 314 g 
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 28 mm
Waterstones paperback £8.99

Before I begin my review I need to tell you that I will be using affiliate links throughout my post. This means that if you click through and make a purchase from them I may earn a little money. This will be at no extra cost to yourself, so thank you in advance for your support.

The Blurb

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance.

But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her. For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

My Review on The Child.

I really enjoyed The Widow, I love the way Fiona Barton weaves you into her characters world. Even if you work out the answers, you still want to go on reading to see how it all unravels.

The child was slightly different I was kept guessing for much longer, but when the penny dropped it made me feel very emotional.

I listen to my books on Audible when possible. I love to be able to plug in and block out the world. It also means I can continue with my crochet, or even do the washing up or go to the toilet without having to stop listening. I’m a member of Audible so I can get a book a month for my £7.99 subscription. I already have Fiona Barton’s third book in this season in my basket waiting for my next credit. You can get the book on Audible here.

The audible book has a different voice actor for each of the characters which helps you keep track of what is happening. I did find the jumping of timelines a little more difficult in the previous book with the same actor reading all the parts. Some stories work better when there is more than one voice, it does make it more like listening to a drama than reading a book though.

As for the story, I found it really gripping. I found it hard to stop listening. I connected with the characters for who they were. It’s hard not to like Kate even knowing she’s a journalist and poking around in other’s lives, she is good at coming up with answers that even the police don’t see. She has no shame about the way she worms herself into lives, but she never causes harm.

The main character in this story appears to be Emma, who is the only one who has her part in first in first person. This is her story, what happened to her. The other characters seem to be the main focus, but we know it’s all about Emma really and that it’s only Kate who can bring the truth to light.

I have to admit it brought a lump to my throat a couple of times.

There are some touchy subjects involved including child abuse and baby death, so it won’t be a good read for some. But for those who love a good page turning ‘who dunnit’ type book, then you’ll love this.

I’m adding my review to The Monthly Book Blogger Linky over on Lovely Audio Books here.

If you like reviewing books then please feel free to join in my monthly linky which starts on the first of the month and runs to the end and you can link up as much as you like so long as it’s book related. You can find the linky by clicking here or the image below.

bookworms monthly
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A Place To Earn

Earning From Awin Affiliate Program

As I earn most of my money at home one of the ways I increase my income is with affiliate programs. I started this many years ago and I’ve tried several, but Awin affiliate program has been my favourite for a long time. Now I want to share with you how I make money using Awin. I will be writing further posts in the future as there is a lot to cover. You will be able to find them under the ‘A Place to Earn’ in my index bar at the top of my page.

Awin

There are many affiliate programs you can join but I’ve been a member of Awin for a while and I find them easy to use and get commissions from. They’ve been really reliable and although I haven’t made a huge fortune from them, the extra income has been more than any affiliate program I have used before. This is not the only reason I recommend them though. So I’m going to give you a review of what it’s like working with Awin.

Joining Awin

If you click the banner above you will be taken to the Awin sign up page as an affiliate or an influencer. You can also join if you want to use Awin to find affiliates for your business.

After joining I recommend you download the welcome pack and work through the instructions step by step. It’s really not complicated and getting set up is easy. You choose who you want to work with and with a click of button you can request to become an affiliate.

Once you have joined your selected advertisers you will see what they offer in the way of creatives. These are banners or images you can use to promote. For instance, I am affiliated with Deramores and Etsy (two of my favourites) so I can share these banners with a click to copy from Awin and then a paste into HTML on my site.

One of the reasons I love being affiliate with these advertisers is because they update their creatives frequently, and I have lots to write about for them because I love the sites and what they sell. I also manage to get the most clicks to these sites whenever I advertise them.

Choosing Advertisers

If you go ahead and join Awin, then read the instructions then you will not need me to tell you what to do. But there are a few points that I’d like to make and one of those is choosing advertisers. You can pick as many as you like but I think it’s wise to find your favourites and stick with them. If you like something but don’t want to put too much effort into promoting them you can stick a banner in your sidebar. But if it’s an advertiser you really want to promote then you can do so whenever you want.

You can place your banners and links almost anywhere on your blog, website or social media. They all require a little effort and are done in different ways, but your introduction manual will guide you how to do that step-by-step.

The more interest you have in the advertiser, the easier it is to promote. If you love something then you want to tell others about it and your enthusiasm shows. It works much better than a banner in your side bar or in the middle or bottom of your post. Enthuse about your advertisers products and people will click through to find out more. If they purchase you will earn.

I write blog posts about my favourite advertisers, I find it really easy to do so. A special occasion can make things easier. At Easter you will see me writing about chocolate, and for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas, there are tons of gifts waiting to be written about. Catch a reader’s interest and they will buy. They may see something they’ve been looking for for ages, or they may just get a great idea of what they would like and click through to find more. They don’t have to buy the actual product, once they have clicked your link, no matter what they buy from that site, you will earn a commission.

If a site you are affliated with has some special offers or competitions you can share them and get clicks through to the site which may increase your profit from future purchases.

Don’t forget to enter the Cadburys Father’s Day Competition!!

cadbury competition banner, win 1 of 5 Father's Day Chocolate gifts

What’s great about Awin is, if you add a Publisher Master tag, whatever you link to on your website, if you are an affiliate it will send the clicker through your affiliate link. This means you don’t have to add your affiliate link yourself every time, it’s done automatically.

The instructions on adding a master tag are in the welcome pack.

Aside from Awin, some advertisers offer extra incentives for joining their programs and advertising for them. Etsy is good for this and feature an affiliate every month. They also offer gift vouchers in return for blog posts. So you may not get paid a fee for the post, but you can get a gift voucher and earn commission from anyone who clicks through and buys something. It all helps!

Social Media

If you don’t want to write blog posts you can write about your favourite advertisers and products on your social media and then link with your affiliate link. You can shorten your link so it looks neater on your posts, but it’s vital that you tell your readers that it is an affiliate link. This does put some people off clicking, but a good practice is to tell them that it’s not going to cost them any extra to click the link, but it may earn you some money. Then thank them. This method works a lot better. It’s open and honest and doesn’t break any advertising rules.

A lot of your advertisers will allow you to take images from their site and use them elsewhere so long as you are linking back. However, if you ask them, many of them can provide you with better images to use. Some sites do not allow you take pictures from their websites, so you will need to contact them. I’ve never had any issues in gaining images from my choice of advertisers.

Awin offers so much, including detailed reports about how well your links are doing, how many clicks they’ve had and if anyone has purchased. You can’t withdraw your cash until you reach £50, but that’s a good thing because it’s a great way of pushing you forward to reach your target. It’s an easy target to reach if you do it properly.

If you decide to sign up to Awin I’d be happy to help with any questions you may have.

I will be writing more posts on how you can earn money from affiliate advertising on Social media, including Pinterest. I’ll also tell you how to write the best posts. So watch this space and come back soon.

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A Place to Read

The Widow – Fiona Barton

My review of The Widow by Fiona Barton. The links are affiliate links and may earn me a little money but cost you nothing more if you click through and purchase.

The Blurb

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

My Review of The Widow

I listened to The Widow on Audible after reading a review by Mum of Three World who has read all three books in the series. I’m currently on the second book, The Child. The latest book is The Suspect and I will be reading (or listening) to that next.

Fiona Barton is a great writer that grips you from the first page and refuses to let you go. So be prepared to read her books very quickly because you won’t be able to put them down. As I listen to the books I generally find books that start with dates and characters get a bit confusing because it’s not so easy to flip back and check on what happened previously.

With The Widow the book switches timelines quite frequently from the present date, to what happened before the death of her husband and even further back to the missing child. It’s kind of obvious what has happened, but despite that the unravelling of the story is riveting.

On Audible The Widow has just one narrator which I enjoyed. I always listen to a snippet of the book before purchasing as you will be listening to that voice for hours.

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A Place to Enjoy, Crochet

Crochet Kits – 10% off at Deramores

Today I’m bringing you some delightful crochet kits from Deramores who currently have a 10% off sale.

Being in lockdown means lots more time for hobbies and my favourite pastime is crochet. Especially when I have an e-book playing in my ears. Reading and crocheting at the same time is my idea of heaven.

Now, I’m not professing to be the best at crochet, I’ve had a few disasters for sure. Then some days my hands just don’t want to work which doesn’t help! But even if you are an amateur it’s a hobby that’s easy to pick up. I can knit a little too, but I love that crochet works up quicker than knitting. I can be a little impatient.

I love to shop at Deramores, a lot of their patterns are free to download but you can also choose to buy the wool needed for the pattern at the same time in their kits. And for this week they are offering 10% off their crochet kits. I’ll just add at this point that I am actually an affiliate for Deramores so if you do click my links and go on to purchase something I will earn a little commission…at no extra cost to you. So thank you 🙂

10% off Crochet Kits

There are loads of kits to choose from but here are a few of my favourites. Now, which one will I choose?

Belatane Blessings blanket crochet kit

Beltane Blessings by Crystals and Crochet in Stylecraft Special DK

£28.43 Sale priceWas £31.59

crochet kit rainbow

Rainbow Window Decoration Crochet Kit and Pattern in Deramores Yarn

£12.41 Sale priceWas £13.79

(I already downloaded the free pattern for this and used some of my wool stash to make one.)

crochet kit rainbow blanket

Rainbows Rule Blanket by Kate Rowell in Scheepjes Chunky Monkey

£28.23 Sale priceWas £31.37

crochet cardigan kit

High Street Cardigan Crochet Kit and Pattern in Lion Brand Yarn

£30.33 Sale priceWas £33.70

dandelion cushion crochet kit

Dandelion Cushion Crochet Kit and Pattern

£8.87 Sale priceWas £9.85

I’d love to make them all, and I’ll definitely make another rainbow for the window. I really would like to make the rainbow blanket, but first I need a new cushion cover and I love the dandelion one. Do you have a favourite? What have you made lately?

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A Place to Read

Interesting Times – Terry Pratchett

April 28th would have been Sir Terry Pratchett’s birthday, so it was only natural that I would re-read one of his books. In fact I decided to listen to one on Audible, Interesting Times, read by Nigel Planer.

Interesting Times

‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ is purported to be a Chinese Curse, although there is no real evidence of this. So, as you can imagine, Sir Terry Pratchett ran with this and this book is set mainly in Hung Hung in the Counterweight Continent. In this world we would be looking towards China and Hong Kong. Ok, I thought it would be an appropriate read for these Interesting times that originated in China.

The Blurb

MIGHTY BATTLES! REVOLUTION! DEATH! WAR! (AND HIS SONS TERROR AND PANIC, AND DAUGHTER CLANCY)

The oldest and most inscrutable empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes. Warlords are struggling for power. War (and Clancy) are spreading throughout the ancient cities.

And all that stands in the way of terrible doom for everyone is:

Rincewind the Wizard, who can’t even spell the word ‘wizard’…

Cohen the barbarian hero, five foot tall in his surgical sandals, who has had a lifetime’s experience of not dying…

…and a very special butterfly.

My Thoughts

As a huge fan I was already familiar with most of the characters. This would be an advantage as they are not introduced and just become part of the story without much back history. When you already know all the back history of the characters then the story takes on a different meaning.

You only have to read Terry’s first two books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic to know what the revolutionary treatise ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ would contain, which is probably a very different view to what actually happened. The Great Wizzard* sent to help the revolution is in fact a blundering idiot who just seems to get lucky sometimes. (when he’s not being very unlucky!)

*Wizzard – how Rincewind spells Wizard on his hat which makes him stand out from all the other Wizards.

The plot moves fast and can be a little confusing at times, but it’s also a great page turner and makes you laugh out loud. I remember when reading the book I got a little fed up of Mad Hamish (Who is deaf) saying ‘whaaaaat’ but being read by Nigel Planer it seemed a lot funnier. However, Nigel Planer also pronounced a few things not how I would have expected them to be pronounced, in particular place names. I have always pronounced Ankh Morpork as in Ank, not Arnk. This irritated me a little more than it should have done.

Conclusion

I would say that all of Terry Pratchett books are read alone, but there is a sequence in which the characters are introduced and they become like old friends when they pop up in new stories. If you are new to Terry then I’d consider starting more chronologically. You can find a complete chronological list of Discworld books here.

You can purchase the paperback version of Interesting Times from Waterstones for £8.99

Thanks for reading, do let me know if you have read any Terry Pratchett books and are familiar with the Discworld.

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links in my post which may earn me a little money at no extra cost to you, so thank you if you use them.

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A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly May

Welcome to Bookworms Monthly May linkup

Hello, Welcome to Bookworms Monthly, May. I cheered myself up by listening to an old favourite of mine by Terry Pratchett. Interesting Times. It’s an old book but I’ll review it soon for those unfamiliar with the great man. We are certainly living in Interesting times at the moment and I know that libraries are closed. Remember, if you can’t get a hold of books you can always try Audible. They are always available 🙂

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly

Book worms Monthly will be posted every month, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly May book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

bookworms monthly May

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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A Place to Eat

Meal Planning – Cookery Programs

So, the lock down has been extended and it seems that all they are showing on television are cookery programs! I think the consensus is because we are stuck at home then all we have to do is cook! If only that were true.

I missed my planning post last week. But things went well, we had a BBQ which was really nice, and it’s good to take advantage of the nice weather. I think there may have been a lot of BBQs recently.

This week, I’ve had to think really carefully about my online shopping because I just keep fillin my trolley with my regular purchases and we are not getting through everything. I mean we the kids love potato waffles but we really don’t need four boxes in the freezer do we? The fridges empty quickly so I’m going to concentrate less on frozen food this week and more on fresh.

Recipes

I’m getting really bored of cooking, I mean really bored. I often cook from scratch but even though there is more time, I just want to grab a can or jar instead. I seem to be going the other way!

I did watch Mary Berry make some nice salmon the other day, very similar to my twirls but with cream cheese and not twirled up but left flat. There was a topping of lemon zest and parsley too which looked yummy. I think I may just give them a try. I might serve them with roasted Mediterranean vegetables.

This Weeks Meal Plan

This weeks meal plan - cookery programs
  • Monday – Pizza, salad and garlic bread
  • Tuesday – Salmon and med. vegetables (chicken for those that don’t eat salmon)
  • Wednesday – spaghetti bolognese
  • Thursday – gnocchi bake/ past bake
  • Friday – Fish/chicken and chips
  • Saturday – fajitas or curry (whatever everyone fancies)
  • Sunday – Gammon with potato dauphinios

Lunches for the kids, which they generally make themselves.

  • chicken nuggets and fries
  • sandwiches
  • salad bar with soft tortillas
  • sausage rolls and cheese and crackers
  • toasted cheese sandwiches (Did you see the rainbow ones on This Morning?) We won’t be making them, lol.
  • fish cakes/ turkey dinosaurs and waffles

I haven’t put days as they can just pick what they want and which day.

I saw Joss Stone on This Morning and she told of her favourite meal of all time. I’ve memorised it, I don’t know why. Anyway, she takes a crepe/think pancake and fills it with a baked bean and cheese mixture. Then she lines several up like enchiladas in a dish and covers with a tin of tomatoes and more cheese and bakes them. My husband says yes…but personally I think it sounds gross. I just thought I’d share it with you 🙂

Have you been watching any cookery programs?

Linking up with Katy as usual. Click through to see what everyone else is making this week and most of all, stay safe x

Katykicker
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A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – It’s been a while!

It’s been a while since I did a meal plan. In a way I’m lucky because being an ‘at risk’ customer, I’m getting my weekly shopping slot with barely any problems. Of course I’d rather not be an ‘at risk’ customer, but I feel really weird looking at photos of people visiting supermarkets, standing in queues to get in, keeping two trolleys apart from anyone else. I couldn’t imagine not interacting with the cashier, we always get someone chatty, it would be hard seeing them behind a screen. And everyone in masks. It’s a dystopian world that I would feel really uncomfortable in.

We usually do a big shop online weekly then I have someone pick up bits and pieces throughout the week. So, it’s been hard getting used to thinking about everything I would need so I didn’t need top ups. I admit that I went a little crazy and stocked up on the things that I know my family would definitely eat if there was nothing else, but now I have a cupboard and freezer full of stuff. So this week I’ve shopped a lot more carefully. I have to think of things for the kids lunches too with them home every day. Some days we go over the top with a cooked meal, and other days it’s just sandwiches. I’ve bought treats and then hid them so they can be handed out during the week, otherwise they’d be gone on the same day!

This weeks Meal Plan

weekly meal plan
  • Monday – pizza and garlic bread
  • Tuesday – salmon twirls and potatoes (chicken for the non fish eater)
  • Wednesday – lasagna or bolognese
  • Thursday – battered vegetables and noodles
  • Friday – fish/chicken and chips
  • Saturday- curry (I have a choice of Indian or Thai)
  • Sunday – roast chicken dinner

Salmon Twirls

Here’s my Salmon Twirl recipe from an old post

salmon Twirl recipe

Battered Vegetables

I love to make my own batter with plain flour and sparkling water. We do a range of battered vegetables, carrots, courgettes, aubergine, mushrooms etc. I also do some battered chicken slices for those that want them. Once you make the batter, everything needs to be dipped in flour, then dipped in egg before being coated in batter and deep fried. I like to deep fry in the wok, but my new deep fat fryer has a really good filter on it so I may do them in there this time. I generally serve with egg noodles and offer a range of sauces for example, soy, plum or oyster.

Katykicker

It’s been a while since my last meal plan.

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A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly April

Welcome to Bookworms Monthly April linkup

Hello, Welcome to Bookworms Monthly April and what a strange month it is. The Coronavirus COVID-19 has so much of the world in lockdown, unable to leave their homes. This means there is plenty more time for reading, Yay! Sadly, I’ve spent so much time working with my kids on their school work and trying to keep things running. I’ve really not had much time for reading. I started a book, couldn’t get into it and I had trouble picking something else up. I have started reading again now though. Remember, if you can’t get a hold of books you can always try Audible. They are always available 🙂

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly

Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly March book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

bookworms monthly April

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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