Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Contemporary Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson @scorpioscribble

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson


My Review:

I have previously read Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson and admired her writing style,  so was looking forward to delving into her latest offering. I wasn’t disappointed, even though it is completely different  from what I expected.

In a way it’s a strange, almost uncomfortable tale, told in both present time and flashback. But it is one I came to understand; so many times we are judged by how we look and the author skilfully handles the characters; they come to life slowly but surely as the story progresses.

The dialogue is realistic and natural; the internal monologues of Cal as an adult are fascinating.

Some sections of the Northern setting in the 1980s were familiar for me  and gave a good sense of place. The…

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My #BookReview of This Rough Ocean by @annswinfen English Civil War #HistFic #wwwblogs

Rosie Amber

This Rough OceanThis Rough Ocean by Ann Swinfen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This Rough Ocean is historical fiction and set during the English Civil War. It begins in 1648 at a point when Cromwell’s supporters and soldiers take over leadership of the country by force.

This book is about John Swynfen and his wife Ann. John is a representative in the House of Commons, he seeks peace between the warring factions, but finds himself arrested when Cromwell’s New Model Army seize control of London. He spends a year imprisoned; suffering torture, neglect and is on the brink of death, all because he refuses to weaken and agree to support Cromwell.

John’s wife Ann, is heavily pregnant, but escapes London with her children and servants before she is used as a porn in the war. After a premature birth of her daughter, she arrives at the Staffordshire home of John’s parents…

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Walk in their shoes

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“.. before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“Is everything okay over there?” said my son, calling from half a world away. “Yes… fine…” I replied, moments before madness hit London Bridge. Britain, like so many countries recently, reeled once again as violence destroyed lives and peace. That attack followed hard on the heels of Manchester and Westminster, and would precede a lethal attack on Finsbury Mosque.

“My daughter and granddaughter were there,” said our Companion, speaking of the Manchester bombings that killed children as young as eight years old, as we struggled to come to terms with yet another explosion of hatred and inhumanity.

Britain is far from being unique in this. Globally, over eight hundred terrorist attacks have been listed this year alone…

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A very slow death


In my early forties I was struck down by a disease I knew nothing about. For ten years I suffered from untreated Hypothyroidism. It ruined my career as a writer and came close to killing me. This is my story…

With the power of hindsight it’s hard to believe that nobody noticed. I certainly didn’t: although the evidence was staring at me in the face every time I looked in a mirror. My wife didn’t seem to notice: although really she did but it’s just that I wasn’t prepared or able to listen to any of the hints that she tried to drop in an admittedly uncharacteristically subtle manner. My friends didn’t notice: but they were probably amused that a weight fascist such as I had piled on so many pounds. The truth of the matter was that I was falling to pieces. My body had gone into shutdown. My…

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Note on the small dog… Obsession

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Her favourite ball had been lost in the bushes,
In spite of the brambles, the thorns and the rushes,
We’d looked for it everywhere, to no avail
And the small dog was sad with no wag in her tail.

For almost a month she’d refused to play ‘fetch’;
With the air of a glum, inconsolable wretch
She had ducked when I’d thrown every ball that she had,
And believe me, she knows how to make me feel bad!

Then the ball guy comes round, so I warn of her grief,
And he looks at the doglet in sheer disbelief…
She is wagging her tail and her sorrow’s worn thin
As she drops a new ball at his feet with a grin.

She has groomed it and fetched it and chased it with glee…
Why couldn’t she just do the same thing for me?
I may feel redundant, but also feel…

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Coming off Amitriptyline

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!

Heavy sadness holds me captive in its net; yet, through the woven gaps, I can see great beauty and flickers of enchanting happiness and humour. Lozenges of light, fired by a crystal in the Living Room, fall from adjoining walls, colourful descent that never actually lands. Last night, as a friend and I sat amidst the magical night lights of the garden, bats – two or three of them – flittered overhead, a lovely sight and a welcome.

Birds, absent for so long, begin to nestle in bushes, and a throng of thrumming bees buzz busily in my Japanese Anemone.

The sad emotions are essential, both chemically and cyclically – perhaps definitively so. I am in the process of weaning myself off Amitriptyline (an old-fashioned anti-depressant) and of opening the gates to floods kept at bay too long. I cannot be chirpy and cheery, supportive and elderly aunt-like forever.

No, reshape…

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Straightening the Curve

Cynthia Harrison

Still eating a plant-based whole food diet. My energy level is amazing. I feel easy in my body. I’m never hungry. I don’t miss butter on my potatoes. And I lost a pound. For a few years now I’ve struggled with some messy digestion issues every morning. That’s gone. Arthritis is gone. My craving for chocolate is gone. I could care less about potato chips. I’m sleeping like a baby.

All of these changes in one short week have been sort of shocking. In a good way. It feels good to feel like myself again. One thing that happens to people as they age is our bodies get less and less effective in fighting off the ill effects of a poor diet. With me, it started in my 40s with my gall bladder. The symptom of gall bladder disease is acid reflux. The body takes in too much fat for…

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