Book Review: Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

From Under the Duvet

Christmas is not Christmas without reading or watching A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The Muppets version starring Michael Caine is traditionally watched on Christmas Eve by the whole family but other versions are watched too throughout the month. On 1st December, I take my illustrated version of the tale off my forever shelf for its annual read. This well-known story is perfect for Christmas with its cruel villain, lessons on love and redemption as well as its powerful festive imagery. So I jumped with glee when I was offered the chance to read the prequel Miss Marley: A Christmas Ghost Story – a prequel to A Christmas Carol.

Miss Marley Miss Marley: A Christmas Ghost Story – a prequel to A Christmas Carol

Title: Miss Marley: A Christmas Ghost Story – a prequel to A Christmas Carol

Author: Vanessa Lafaye

Genre: Festive, general fiction

Publisher: HQ

Release date: 1st Nov…

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Writers Tag – let’s continue to connect!

I am excited to have been nominated for this. Thank you Viola Bleu. It is time for me to ponder the answers. Watch this space.



A few days ago, I was delighted to find I’d been tagged by a blogger whose posts I admire and have enjoyed for some months (when I take my head out from a pile of dirty horse rugs and sit down in front of WordPress which sadly is not often enough).

K M Allen posts about all sorts of interesting literary subjects, from great writing advice, tips and updates on her own journey to complete her present manuscript.   I’ve always felt KM has the sort of site which I’d like to aim for.  It is profressional, yet relaxing to work your way around, never short on quality content and inspiring in its message.  So I want to thank her firstly for even thinking of me! (In fact, the day she followed my measly effort at a site, I fell from my chair and scrabbled to get back on to…

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Self-Esteem test… what negative worries soak up your energies on a daily basis?

Sometimes a blog post, like this one arrives in your reader at just the right time. Life is changing with my daughter growing up fast – I am sure to be facing the dreaded empty nest soon and my priorities inevitably are changing too. This exercise has made me consider where I am in my life and what I need to focus on next to create the life I desire.

Thanks Viola Bleu for sharing.


I’ve been quiet for a few days haven’t I? I’m still here but focusing on me and The Book!

I’ve been mulling over something I studied a while back and fancied sharing it with you 🌸

I recall a test in which we participated during our 12-week self-esteem course (I say ‘we’ .. that’s myself and seven other women who had qualified for this course having done the Freedom Programme at my local Womens Aid centre).

The amazing volunteer leader who stood at the front had six sheets of different coloured A4 paper. She held up the white sheet.

‘This represents me; my self esteem, which is extremely good.’

(immediately she said this, I curled my toes with embarrassment – how could anyone be that self assured … but I hadn’t completed the course had I)

‘This red piece of paper represents my husband – and when you do…

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My Best Reads of 2017

From Under the Duvet

New Goals

It is time to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018. Reading challenges are over and new ones are beginning. I exceeded my goal of 42 books in the Goodread’s challenge by reading 63. The goal for 2018 is 52 starting with The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. There have been many good books published last year and I discovered lots of new authors thanks to online book clubs especially The Fiction Café Book Club.  My TBR list has grown exponentially with books I would never have found without this positive, active book community.  I tried to choose my top 10 but this proved impossible.

My top 15 books read in 2017

These are in no particular order.

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley
This is the third book of one of my favourite series, The Seven Sisters. It is set in a  rambling bookshop, the countryside made…

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The Ellfaenian Journals


Dear diary,

I feel sick! School starts tomorrow. My heart is racing and my stomach is flipping over and over. Every time I think of walking into the classroom, my chest feels tight. I don’t want to go. I can’t do it!
I try to tell myself it will be different this time. It’s a new year, a new start for everyone. People and friendships change over the summer holidays don’t they? It may not be like before. School could be an escape from the suffocating atmosphere at home. A sanctuary.
Who am I kidding? It will be like jumping into another layer of Dante’s hell.
After all, JT, with her long perfect hair that flicks in unison with the flash of her perfect smile, will still be there. Like a puppeteer, she will still pull her posse’s strings, reminding them of my failings and the need to punish…

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