Category Archives: Book Shops

Diana’s January Book Review ~ The Strawberry Thief by Joanna Harris

Diana’s January Book Review ~ The Strawberry Thief by Joanna Harris. I must be the last person to read Chocolat, so when I spotted this paperback in Waterstones before Christmas, I was drawn to it. I think it is the fourth in the series, but great as a standalone novel too.

I’m not strictly following the theme running through many books I choose to review this time, for reasons you’ll read in my review:

  • They tell a tale linked to history
  • The books are often set in two time periods
  • The location is a place either I have an affection for, or one I would dearly love to visit.

Why did I choose this book?

Strawberry Thief was set in a small (imaginary) village in south west France near Bordeaux, where some of my family live, and so it was easy for me to imagine the scene from the start. I did not know at the time, but Vianne tries to make sense of the present by reflecting on her time with her mother in the past… but above all, I chose it because I love chocolate; and wild strawberries too.

Did you feel empathy for any particular character?

I could not help but feel Vianne a kindred spirit, trying to settle into a new home – a quiet village; quite a contrast to her last base in the city. Suddenly coping with all the joys and drawbacks of living in a smaller tight knit community. Mind you, as a chocolatier she had an advantage; chocolate.

Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?

Yes ~ What will the wind blow in today?

A mysterious book of life’s struggled, neighbourly conflict, misunderstandings, guilt and love ~ maternal and romantic and of course CHOCOLATE!

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Book Shops

Indie Stars Bookshop

Hello folks

It’s very nearly Advent and I am happy to link hands with many of my author friends in a special bookshop for this festive season!

There are lots of festive treats

to buy,

to win

and to browse.

Why don’t you click on the link above and check it out?


Do take a look. I’m working though reading works by the authors included in the ‘shop’ because, as you know’, I really like to promote books I’ve read and enjoyed.

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Book Shops, Events, Marketing your novel

Book Blogger Hop ~ Signed Books 13th to 20th August

13th to 20th August


A big yes to this one. If I see there’s a book signing at a bookshop I will usually (until the last 18 months) pop by and speak with the author. If they are famous I may leave it, but if there are only a few folks about I’ll give them some encouragement and buy a signed copy.

Here are just a few of my signed books on my book shelf.

I met Liz Harris, author of The Road Back; Ben Hatch, author of Are we Nearly There and Adam Croft in different bookshops. I met Adam Croft, now a famous Indie author and prolific writer, in Ampthill bookshop. This was his very first mystery, well before he was well known, at the very beginning of his writing career. I actually bought two books and he quipped

“Will you sell them when I’m famous!’

Two of the books above were at author talks; that’s You, Me Always by Jill Mansell given at Kirkcaldy library and EAST of WEST, WEST of EAST by Hamish Brown at Kinghorn Library.

I met Victoria Howard at a stall when she was attending Glamis Castle Classic Car Show.

Why do I support indie and trad authors in this way?

  • Because I enjoy meeting and encouraging other writers,
  • Because I like to think the reading of the book will be much more insightful having met the author,
  • and finally because I do book signings myself and appreciate the support of others too.

If you want to know more about Book Blogger Hop here’s a link.

If you would like a signed copy of Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself as a gift for a young adult who is struggling to know what to do next, send me an email on or and I’ll send you a free copy if you live in the UK. (5 copies to giveaway in August!)


Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reading, Book Shops, Libraries, Marketing your novel