Talk of the Town linking Bloggers and authors ~ sponsored by National Pen

Welcome to Talk of the Town linky which I co-host with Heidi from Cosmochicklitan.

If you haven't joined in with us before:


What is Talk of the Town?

A place for bloggers and authors to link up their bookish posts.


What post can you link up?

It does have to be book related but doesn't have to be a review - it can be anything you would like to share with others. It could be a Q&A, guest post, book news, book event, blogging tips, giveaway, top 5 books you've read, your weekly/monthly roundup or even something you've made from instructions within the pages of a book! As long as it is book related, go for it. The post you choose can be something you're really proud of, has a message that you think others will benefit from or a book you think deserves to be noticed. Your post doesn't have to be recent either. It can be from your archives. And you DON'T have to join in every week.

Authors, you blog too! and if you would like to join in you're very welcome. I would request that you don't use the linky as only promotion though. Links to your books that you have in your posts are fine. I'm thinking here of the fabulous posts I read on writing tips or your inspiration etc and I know some of you join in round robins where you have a question to answer.


There is no cost for you to link up with #TalkoftheTown.  Link up to find new blog readers and increase traffic to your blog/website.

Don't know how a linky works? Follow my walkthrough - it's easier than you think!

The link is open now until Tuesday evening.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you're sharing. Alternatively, please link back to Talk of the Town on your post.



Talk of the Town



If you would like us to RT your post tweet the link to @shazjera or @cosmochicklitan or add #TalkoftheTown.

Don't forget to leave your comments on the posts so that we can create a supportive community.



Talk of the Town is sponsored by National Pen.



National Pen, established over 50 years, provides a complete range of promotional products and personalised Pens that can be customised with your logo.

Their products are particularly suitable for small and medium size business as they offer low order quantities. All products have a one year guarantee.

Do check out their website for a fabulous range of personalised pens, key chains, note pads, magnets, calendars, mugs, shopping bags and more that can be imprinted with logos, graphics and messages.

Each month, a post will be chosen and the blogger/author will receive a Paragon Pen inscribed with Talk of the Town (colours vary).




This week I'm linking up my review of Dorothy Koomson's When I was Invisible.  It's a powerful story looking at how a devastating event has total power in changing your path through life.

Want to make brownies with a special ingredient (yes it is linked to books!)?  Looking to join in a new book tag? or on the lookout for a new read?  Check out the fabulous posts from last week.

I can't believe how fast the countdown to the summer holidays is going ... lots of summer term 2 tasks being ticked off my list (transition visits for children to secondary schools, meetings with SENCOs from secondary schools and parents, observations KS1, new parents evening, and the official SEN-D handover).  I needed the day away to see eldest in Portsmouth last Saturday - it recharged my batteries :)



Looking forward to seeing what you link with us this week.


















Ten things you never knew about kissing ...

Of course there are a number of types of kisses - we show affection to our children by kissing them or when they've fallen over and hurt themselves we might have kissed the injury to make it 'feel better.'  We might kiss someone as a form of greeting or to show respect and in religion, we see people kissing inanimate objects which is a symbolic act.

As a reader who enjoys the romance genre, a romantic kiss (if written well) can convey so much.  Sarah Morgan is one author (in my opinion) who is fabulous at showing her readers a 'soul kiss' with her words.  In movies too, romantic kisses hook us in.  The following YouTube movie from Julia's channel includes kisses from Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars. The Lucky One, (500) Days of Summer, Silver Linings Playbook and many more.





Kissing is so popular nationally that a day has been set aside to celebrate.  Have you heard of National Kissing Day and did you know that it's been running for 10 years?  No?

It encourages everyone to appreciate the importance of a kiss and to spread the love.  You can nominate your most kissable celebrity each year.  There a few category winners for 2016 - check out the celebrities who won and let me know if there are any surprises for you! Visit the website for how to make your own lip scrub and home remedies as well as techniques.

Did you know ...




  • There are approximately 10,000 nerve endings in your lips (sensitive!)
  • One kiss requires your body to coordinate 146 muscles and approximately 112 postural muscles (burning 2 - 3 calories per minute).
  • When your lips touch someone else’s 5 out of 12 of your cranial nerves are engaged. Your brain is trying to gather information about the other person.
  • The mouth is full of bacteria. When two people kiss, they exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria. 
  • ... and while most of our bacteria is identical to everybody else’s, 20 percent of it varies between each person. This means that every kiss actually helps boost your immune system.
  • Kissing releases endorphins ... and the longer you are together with the same partner, also releases oxytocin.
  • People remember their first kiss far better and more vividly than their first sexual experience (do you remember yours?).
  • Men who get a peck on the cheek from their wives before heading out to work live five years longer than men who don’t (my OH is ok then!)
  • Around 90 percent of the world kiss. The other 10 percent doesn’t for a variety of reasons. Some cultures refuse to kiss because they believe that the mouth is the window to the soul, and they fear having their soul stolen.

And my personal favourite:

  • In France, French Kissing is called a tongue kiss or soul kiss because if done right, it feels as if two souls are merging.

Whether you're an everyday lipstick/lipgloss user or prefer to leave your pout bare, here are five easy things to do to keep your lips healthy (and this applies to men too!).


  1. Eat a healthy diet that's rich in Vitamins B and E
  2. Exfoliate lips once a week with a gentle lip scrub
  3. Do these simple face yoga exercises
  4. Don't bite, lick or chew on your lips
  5. Use olive oil to keep your lips soft and supple


To get the most benefit out of those kisses you'll need lips that are healthy and moisturised :)






The giveaway is for my UK/ROI readers and up for grabs are 3 x Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm (Cherry).

Alfred Woelbing invented Carmex® lip balm in the USA in the 1930s. The Woelbing family still runs the business today and Carmex has become one of the world's most loved lip balms with over 130 sold every minute

Carmex's unique formula soothes, moisturises, and relieves resulting in soft, healthy looking lips. This award winning lip balm is a favourite of celebrities and makeup artists all over the world.

SPF15

Ingredients:

Petrolatum, Lanolin, Aroma, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cetyl Esters, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Cera Alba, Benzophenone-3, Camphor, Menthol, Vanillin, Synthetic Linalool, Benzyl Cinnamate, Geraniol, Contains Oxybenzone

Directions: Apply liberally and evenly as often as necessary. Especially useful before and after exposure to sunlight, wind or low temperatures (and of course kissing!).


Entry via Rafflecopter below.  Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering.




Good Luck!







Book News : Summer in Tintagel by Amanda James

I loved Mandy's novels A Stitch in Time and the sequel Cross Stitch (contemporary romance with time travelling makes these unique reads) so when I saw her new novel, Summer in Tintagel (due to be published by Urbane Publications on 14th July) it went straight on my wishlist.





Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Urbane Publications (14 July 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1911129783
ISBN-13: 978-1911129783


We all have secrets…… 

Ambitious journalist Rosa Fernley has been asked to fulfil her grandmother Jocelyn's dying wish. Jocelyn has also passed on a secret - in the summer of 1968, fleeing from the terror of a bullying husband, she visited the mysterious Tintagel Castle. Jocelyn wasn't seeking love, but she found it on the rugged clifftops in the shape of Jory, a local man as enigmatic and alluring as the region itself. But she was already married, and knew her husband would never let her find happiness and peace in Jory's arms. 

Now as her days are nearing their end, she begs Rosa to go back to Tintagel, but is unwilling, or unable, to tell her why. Rosa is reluctant - she has a job in London, a deadline that won't wait and flights of fancy are just not in her nature. Nevertheless, she realises it might be the last thing she will do for her beloved grandmother and agrees to go. 

Once in Tintagel, Rosa is challenged to confront secrets of her own, as shocking events threaten to change everything she has ever believed about herself and her family. She also meets a guide to the castle, Talan, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Jory. 

Will the past remain cloaked in tragedy, sadness and the pain of unrequited love? Or can Rosa find the courage and strength to embrace the secrets of the past, and give hope to the future?




Cornwall is a popular setting in novels isn't it.  Whether that's a light-hearted read or something deeper and darker and ghostly ...

Here's an extract from Summer in Tintagel:

Rosa kneels on the lawn. It is summer, but the grass is damp under her bare legs and she wishes that she had taken the picnic rug that Mummy had tried to give her just now. Mummy said that she was wilful and she’d have to learn by her own mistakes. Rosa wonders what wilful means as she pours water from the plastic teapot into a tiny cup and places it in front of Barney, her oldest teddy bear. Wilful is perhaps the same as stubborn. Daddy often says she is stubborn.
            ‘Would you like tea too, Miss Jemima Puddleduck?’
A stuffed green and brown duck looks at her from its one glassy eye, but says nothing. Rosa nods. ‘Yes, of course you would. You can have a biscuit too.’
            Rosa puts cups in front of all her toys and looks back across the long expanse of grass towards her house. The sun hides itself behind a cloud, but that isn’t the reason she has goosebumps forming along her arms. She feels her heartbeat quicken and she tightens her grip on a biscuit. It crumbles and leaves as sticky smear of chocolate on her fingers. Rosa licks the chocolate, but her stomach rolls and she tries to blot out a voice in her head. Daddy will be angry, very angry.
            A scream pierces the silent afternoon. It comes from the house and it sounds like her mother. Rosa leans her back against a tree and draws her knees up under her chin. She looks at a grass stain on her white sock and her whole body begins to shake. A siren wails up the valley and she knows that something bad has happened. Very bad.
            She has been under the tree what feels like a long time, but then she sees Daddy burst from the house as if he has been fired like a bullet from a gun. His hair is messy and he runs his hands through it with wild jerky movements. Daddy’s tie is pulled to the side and he doesn’t look at all neat. Being neat is something he is very proud of. Rosa tries to make herself small, but he has seen her and runs towards her ... fast.
            Daddy kneels beside her and puts his big hands on her shoulders. He shakes her roughly. ‘This is all you fault! Dabbling in evil always ends in disaster, do you hear me?’
            ‘I ... I ... haven’t done anything ...’
            ‘Don’t lie! All this mumbo jumbo about ghostly old ladies appearing in my house and warning you about ...’ Daddy’s face looks like a Halloween mask and his mouth twists down at the corners.  ‘Never mind. You are going to your room and staying there for the rest of the day!’
            Rosa’s arm hurts where Daddy is squeezing it as he drags her back to the house. Her eyes fill, but she won’t let him see. She is glad she is going to her room, because she doesn’t want to know exactly what has happened; the bad thing that has made Daddy so angry. Rosa has a good idea already and this makes her so sad that she can hardly breathe...

Intriguing!

You can connect with Mandy on her blog, stay up to date by visiting her Facebook page and tweet with her @akjames61. https://twitter.com/akjames61

What reads are on your list this July?

What stories will you be delving in to on holiday?

You're welcome to share in the comments.