Blog Tour Book Review – Tales from the Pays d’Oc

Tales from the Pays d’Oc

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The Blurb

Twenty-one tales of life, love and laughter in the land of sun and vines.

What is Matthieu doing up an olive tree? Why won’t Joséphine ever eat pizza again? Who went four by fourth? And who rescued two hapless Americans at Armageddon Falls?

Travel to the Languedoc, feel the scorch of the sun on your shoulders, smell the dust and the lavender and the ripening grapes and follow the adventures of the Saturday Club and the regulars at l’Estaminet.

In this collection of stories, Patricia Feinberg Stoner revisits the territory of her memoir, ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ with a whole host of new and familiar characters.

What I Thought

This book didn’t grab me and did take a little while to get into.  It is a book of short stories all set in the same small village in France. At first they appear unconnected apart from their location, but as you read on, the stories all start to connect up and some characters appear in a few of the stories.  I thought this was great and really enjoyed that element.

Some of the stories grabbed my attention better than others but if I am honest it wasn’t a book I wanted to reach for all the time, it just didn’t have me hooked like some do.  However, any fan of short stories will enjoy it as a charming, pleasant read.

Where To Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Author – Patricia Feinberg Stoner

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Patricia Feinberg Stoner is a former journalist, advertising copywriter and publicist. For four years she and her husband were accidental expatriates in the Languedoc, southern France. During that time she wrote a series of magazine articles which eventually became her first book about the Languedoc: ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc.’

Now back in the UK, she lives with her husband in the pretty West Sussex village of Rustington, where Michael Flanders encountered a gnu and the mobility scooter is king.

She spends much of her time writing short stories and comic verses. Her first book, ‘Paw Prints in the Butter’, is a collection of comic poems for cat lovers, and is sold in aid of a local animal charity. In 2017 she published her second book of comic verse: ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’.

In the autumn of 2018 Patricia returns to the locale of ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ with a new collection of stories: ‘Tales from the Pays d’Oc’.

Patricia welcomes visitors to her Facebook page (Paw Prints in the Butter) and to her blog 

Twitter @perdisma

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Thankyou to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on this book tour.  I was sent the book in return for my honest review.

Everyday Morning Skincare & Make Up Routine

Good morning and happy Friday – here is to the beginning of the weekend!  I am looking forward to another sunshine filled weekend and hope you have lots to look forward to as well!

Today I am sharing my everyday morning skincare and make up routine with you.  This post is sponsored by latestdeals.co.uk and you can find all their make up deals at the link below.  They have some fantastic offers and total bargains on their websaite so definitely one to check out if you want to try something new!

https://www.latestdeals.co.uk/tags/make-up

I am no beauty or makeup expert but have found some great products that seem to work well for me.  I have dry, sometimes sensitive skin which can be a pain.  I am obviously in my thirties now so taking care of my skin has become even more important to me lately.  If you are interested in seeing my evening routine which is when I focus more on skincare, please let me know in the comments below.

Everyday Morning Skincare and Make Up Routine

My favourite skincare products have been from Nivea and Simple and this has been the case for many years.  I will take off my make up in the evening and so in the morning will generally just use  a cleansing wipe or my Simple Micellar Water and Toner.  I know cleansing wipes are not the best thing to use but they are great for convenience, for taking with me when travelling or staying at Ste’s and as I do a proper skincare routine in the evening to remove my make up, I don’t think I need to worry too much about using them in the morning. I generally purchase my cotton wool pads from Primark as they are nice and cheap, and will often get my cleansing wipes from there too.  I tend to use the moisturiser pictured from Nivea which is super hydrating and always leaves my skin feeling well moisturised.  Ut also contains an SPF which is important for me, particularly in this weather,.  Some of the medication I use can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.  Although I do not seem to suffer with that, I like to make sure I stay protected anyway.

I generally wait about ten minutes after moisturising before I start putting other products on my face.  This gives the moisturiser time to sink in and I tend to get dressed while I wait.  Primer comes next but to be honest, I have never found one that seems to make a lot of difference to my skin.  A couple of months ago I picked this up from Loreal.  It is their CC cream and I have found it works really well to even out my skin tone and reduce any redness I can get through my skin being a bit sensitive.  My make up seems to apply really well over the top too.  As you can see, my tube is almost empty but I will definitely be repurchasing this one!  I featured this in my February Favourites post which you can read here.

I do use an eye primer though as my eyelids are quite dark and they do get greasy.  This one from MUA evens out and lightens the colour of them and makes sure my eyeshadow isn’t sliding off after a couple of hours!  It was really cheap but does the job I need it to.

I will sometimes just use the CC cream and won’t add any foundation but if I do, my go to daily foundations at the moment are the Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation.  I love the speed and easiness of the Revolution one, and the fact you can apply it just where you need it.  I purchased the Bourjois one after seeing a YouTube recommendation by Pixiwoo  and have been really pleased with it.  I went for the serum formula due to my dry skin and have found it works really well for me.

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Next up concealer and this is one of my must haves due to my very dark circles. No matter how much sleep I seem to get, they rarely ever look better!  My two favourites are these ones from Bourjois and Collection Lasting Perfection.  I apply in a triangle under my eyes and pop a bit on my nose and the centre of my forehead.

I have a huge selection of eyeshadow palettes but my favourites have to be my Revolution ones!  I don’t always wear eyeshadow for everyday but if I do, these will generally be my go to.  Neutral browns, pink or peachy shades tend to be the everyday colour I go for.

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For the rest of my face I tend to use just a bit of blusher and highlighter for everyday.  The photograph shows a few of my faves.  If I am staying at Ste’s or away somewhere I tend to take my Primark PS Chocolate Cheek Palette as it has a couple of blush colours and a highlighter so I don’t need to take as many products with me.  Thy also smell of chocolate which is a heavenly bonus!

I have recently discovered the Brow Tattoo from Maybelline and it is brilliant!  I am not big into doing much with my brows anyway, but this leaves them looking a little fuller but still natural and lasts for three days so saves time in a morning!  I will then just comb them through with the Browdrama which is just like mascara for the brows and they are sorted!

Maybelline has also been my go to mascara brand – I don’t think you can beat them!  I am currently using this one to finish off the day time look.

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My last step is to use a setting spray.  I am currently using this one which is fab and I also like the hydrating one from Elf, which helps stop my skin looking too dry.  In this weather, spraying your face with a nice cool mist is also very lovely!

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I like having my makeup neatly organised in these clear organisers.and I found them available on Latest Deals here

I hope you enjoyed reading about my morning routine.  As I said I am no expert but these products I use regularly and I find they work well.  What are your everyday must use items?  Let me know in the comments below.

Once again a big thank you to latestdeals.co.uk and check out the link at the beginning of the post for all the latest make up deals and offers!  Have a fab weekend!

nat

BlogMas Day Seven – Book Review – The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers

So I thought I would share some of the festive books I have read and have been published lately which are wonderful for getting in the Christmas spirit.

The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers is a collection of eighteen festive short stories by a range of authors.  I haven’t read a short story book in a while but do really enjoy them from time to time.  The cover looked fun, if a little like a children’s book but it certainly isn’t one!  They were certainly some funny stories, some dark humour, some were lovely and some sad.  It was a real mixed bag and there were only a couple I didn’t finish that didn’t seem to suck me in like the others did.

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Description

Nine mall Santas must find the imposter among them. An elderly lady seeks peace from her murderously loud neighbors at Christmastime. A young woman receives a mysterious invitation to Christmas dinner with a stranger. Niccolò Machiavelli sets out to save an Italian city. Sherlock Holmes’s one-time nemesis Irene Adler finds herself in an unexpected tangle in Paris while on a routine espionage assignment. Jane Austen searches for the Dowager Duchess of Wilborough’s stolen diamonds. These and other adventures in this delectable volume will whisk readers away to Christmases around the globe, from a Korean War POW camp to a Copenhagen refugee squat, from a palatial hotel in 1920s Bombay to a crumbling mansion in Havana.

Includes Stories By (In Order of Appearance):
Helene Tursten, Mick Herron, Martin Limón, Timothy Hallinan, Teresa Dovalpage, Mette Ivie Harrison, Colin Cotterill, Ed Lin, Stuart Neville, Tod Goldberg, Henry Chang, James R. Benn, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Sujata Massey, Gary Corby, Cara Black, Stephanie Barron and a Foreword and story by Peter Lovesey

Favourite Stories

Chalee’s Nativity

This story is set in Bangkok and is about two street children, Chalee and Apple.  It is a sweet story, if a little sad as it is never nice to think of children like this, especially at Christmas.  The bond between the two is ever present though and it just shows what joy can be bought through the simplest of things.

Cabaret Aux Assassins

This was probably my favourite of all the stories and I wish there was more!  The only problem with some short stories is that you wish they weren’t short at all, but full novels.  This book has mystery, spies, Paris and even Sherlock Holmes.  It was a fab read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Supper With Miss Shivers

A heartwarming ghost story emerges after a couple are invited to dinner by a stranger.  Although a strange situation, this is a lovely little Christmas story.

When The Time Comes

This is a good story, which shows that even the bad have some good in them.  I enjoyed this one and had my fingers crossed through it all for the central character, hoping she would get her Christmas wish of where she wanted to be.  And a baby is born which is always lovely!

I liked the fact that each story had an introduction to the author which also mentioned their other work.  It is a good place to start looking when you read a story by an author you enjoy and want to find more.

If you are a short story fan, or haven’t read one before but enjoy dark humour, mystery and Christmas then I suggest you give this one a go.  I really enjoyed it and I am sure you will too

Where To Buy

Waterstones

https://www.waterstones.com/book/9781616957759

Amazon

 

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Wanted to share this little beauty with you! The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is a total godsend if like me you suffer with dark circles under your eyes!

As I’ve said before my skin is the first to show the signs that I’m dehydrated and I’m really having to try and take care of it. I’m also not sleeping too well – a combination of the pain and another of the lovely steroid side effects!

This concealer is really inexpensive and pretty brilliant! It’s easy to blend and highlights the area while covering up the dark circles really well! I use it in shade number 2 for any face blemishes I need to hide and shade number 1 for the under eye area. A definite hit!

💜

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