Mother Distracted

Mother Distracted

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Friday, 1 July 2016

New Releases, Free & Bargain Books Link-up - 01/07/2016

How are you all this week?  It's a big day here in Wales as we're all biting our nails in preparation for tonight's Euro 2016 match against Belgium.  Even my love of Hercule Poirot won't stop me from supporting our boys tonight!

And at least it's a bit of relief from the political upheaval caused by Brexit.  I can't believe the referendum was only a week ago. It feels like 6 months have passed.

If you want to avoid the politics, as usual there are plenty of great books to escape with in this week's linky. I hope you have a peaceful week!

Here are the fab books on offer this week.  You're sure to find something that takes your fancy.

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Click HERE for this week's awesome selection.

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
 Life as Leels | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | All Romance Reader
It's My Side of Life | Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures | Bound 2 Escape
Beck Valley BooksA Library of Reviews | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews
Miki's Hope | Taking Time for Mommy | Nicki's Nook
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance | A Bit Bookish | Mother Distracted | Colorimetry
Totally Addicted to Reading | 3 Partners in Shopping | Angie's Angle I Creat Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings
Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMieiAli - The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom WannabeMy Bizzy World |  Deal Sharing Aunt 

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Click HERE for this week's awesome selection.

And don't forget you can always add some of your own!

Beck Valley Book Tour: Executed In Paradise by Deborah Brown

When a body turns up at the Cottages, Madison and Fab are on the case. But when the killer makes a habit of discarding bodies on Madison’s property… it’s personal.

While on the hunt for the killer, the duo track down a double-crossing bail jumper, repossess a Lamborghini, and Madison lands her first case.

As more bodies pop up, the cops are eager to name a suspect. When a close friend is arrested as the prime suspect, Madison and Fab will stop at nothing to prove her innocence, but will they be too late?

Executed in Paradise, the ninth book in the scorching Paradise series about best friends who maintain the peace in the paradise of Tarpon Cove through unconventional ­– and highly entertaining – measures.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they're like chips...you won't be able to devour just one!”

Available to buy from.....

"The Paradise series has it all! There is action, mystery, murder, romance, humor, & the greatest friendship of all time." 

"Multiple story lines made it impossible for me to put it down. The suspense, humor, love, romance, and of course touches of sarcasm, make this book the best one yet."

"I absolutely love the stories of Fab and Madison. You never know what is going to happen next. Adventures, drama, love, and all the humorous situations they find themselves in make wonderful reads."
Above reviews from Goodreads/Amazon

My Review

I love the Paradise series by Deborah Brown and this latest, Executed in Paradise doesn't disappoint.  The terrible twosome Madison and Fab are at large once again cleaning up crime whilst managing to bicker and joke the whole time.  

It is the strength of their relationship which I think is at the heart of the success of the Paradise novels. Madison and Fab are like the best mates you wish you had whilst suspecting that you could never keep up with them, or their handsome boyfriends, Creole and Didier.

The pace of the story is as hectic as usual as the girls rush from case to case, solving some by the skin of their teeth and enjoying winding up Brick, Fab's boss in the process.  It's great to see Brick develop some grudging admiration of Madison at long last.

All the usual characters are there, Spoon, Madison's mother, and even Brick's pneumatic and vitriolic receptionist who hates Madison and Fab with a passion.  Then there are the strange collection of tenants at The Cottages, including a dead stuffed cat and a Professor with some very odd habits.

Executed in Paradise works well as a stand alone story but the rest of the series is so enjoyable, I highly recommend that you check them out.

About the Author

I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites...

Also available in the Paradise Series

Follow the Book Tour

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

Win $25 Amazon.com Giftcard / Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
Open Worldwide
Ending on Thursday 7th July at 11.59pm EST

Enter Below and Good Luck !!
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Thursday, 30 June 2016

13 Budgeting Tips For July To December

We are half way through 2016 already - and I suspect many of us are very glad about that, given the year it's been so far.

Image credit:  TaxCredits.net

Back in January, here at Hobbis Towers we resolved that this would be the year we made sure we budgeted properly for Christmas and Caitlin's birthday.  I also have nieces and a nephew with birthdays in November, December and January.  It's quite an expensive time for us.

Lots of you started the 365 Day 1p Savings Challenge. This is a great way to save over £650 by the end of the year by saving the number of pennies which matches the number of the day out of 365 / 366 days in the year.

But have you kept it up?  I must admit I tend to fall a bit behind then make one large payment to cover what we owe!

On day one, 1st January you save 1p.  by 1st June, the 153rd day in the year, you're saving £1.53 and so on right up to the 31st December where, this year, you'll be putting away £3.66 as it's a Leap Year.

We found our template at Skint Dad.

The 365 Day 1p Saving Challenge

It's easy when you start off but as you get later into the year, you're paying over £2 - £3 per day into you savings jar - but this is still about the price of a coffee each day.

By the 31st December we will have saved £667.95 if we can stick to the plan.

You could still start the plan from 1st July and have around £500 by 31st December.

Otherwise, now is a very good time to sit down with your budget sheets and check that your outgoings are not exceeding your income.

I like to list any big ticket items coming up in addition to birthdays and Christmas and check we can cover them.  Both my car insurance and our house insurance fall in this second half of the year and we need to allocate enough time to get a number of quotes.

Unless it's a very good deal we never accept the automatic renewal premium quoted by our insurers as we know that the best deals often go to new customers with loyalty rarely being rewarded.

You can find an excellent guide to budgeting, including a template from Martin Lewis on the Money Saving Expert site here.

Here are some useful tips you may find handy to save some cash or get your finances in shape for 2016 Part II - all road-tested by the Hobbis family.

Lots of them you will already have heard of but it never hurts to have a reminder, does it?

Use Direct Debits (1)

Arrange to pay your bills by direct debit - including your credit card bills. It is too easy to forget to pay your monthly credit card bill which means you accrue interest and your credit rating may be affected - even by missing one payment.

Check out Guarantor Loans (2)

If you need a loan but your credit history is poor, or you haven't yet built up a credit history, take a look at guarantor loans where you can borrow up to £10,000 if you can get someone else to guarantee your loan for you. This means that if you have trouble paying, they will step in and make the repayments for you. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions you are signing up to though.

Do your comparison shopping (3)

Don't buy anything online without checking whether there is a voucher discount code or cash back available from sites like topcashback.co.uk or myvouchercodes.co.uk.

Invest in a restaurant discount card (4)

You can save significant amounts off eating out and taking kids to the cinema with a subscription card like Tastecard which can quickly pay for itself as it has loads of 2 for 1 deals or 50% at restaurants around the UK.  We use ours at Pizza Express for example.

Take a thermos (5)

Invest in a thermos.  When you out and about you can save a fortune on coffee shop lattes or just fill it with water to keep it cool and carry a Robinsons Squashd mini squash pod to give the kids a drink.

Get off and walk (6)

Walk some of the way - get off the bus a stop or two earlier.  It's a great way to build in some extra exercise.  In general we try to leave the car at home as much as possible to save on fuel costs.

Create a kids' party stash (7)

Buy kids' birthday cards, wrapping paper and party presents when you see them and in the sale. Create a mini stash so that you won't be caught out when that party invite card appears and you have 2 days to find a present.

Use your loyalty cards (8)

If for no other reason than that you might accrue enough points to give yourself a mini treat to perk you up when money is tight. I find that the Boots Advantage Card is quite generous, although Boots is not the cheapest chemist by far.  It does mean that I can have yet another red lippie to cheer myself up completely free.

Check out Ebay and learn how to snipe (9)

I saved a fortune buying kids' clothing bundles for my two when they were younger and I learned how to use a bid sniper which automatically bids for you up to an amount you specify to hopefully win the item during the final stages of bidding.  You know when a bid appears from nowhere topping yours and snatching your coveted item from under your nose, or when the price starts to rocket?  That's bid sniping in action.  You never know when they're there but you can do the same.  Try Goofbid.com where you can set up your own sniper using your current Ebay log in details.

You could also sell lots of the toys, books and kids' clothes you no longer want on Ebay too. Be aware though that there may be sellers fees and listing fees, plus an extra charge for using Paypal.  You need to do the maths to ensure that you are actually making a profit.

Create a savings jar (10)

At the end of each day, just chuck your loose change into it - perhaps 20ps and 50ps.  You'll be amazed how the total will rise or try the 365 day 1p savings challenge I mentioned earlier.

Check out Aldi and Lidl (11)

Since we swopped to Aldi about 9 months ago we have saved a small fortune.  I would say our weekly shopping basket (including the odd treat like a bunch of flowers or sweets) is about 30% less than the big four supermarkets without sacrificing the quality.  In fact, the quality of some of the produce is better.

I have also found that items such as Easter eggs and particularly their Christmas produce is excellent and much cheaper.  If you prefer to have everything branded, Aldi and Lidl may not be for you but I think once you see how much you save, like me, you'll probably wish you had started shopping there earlier.

Buy Own Brand rather than Premium Brand (12)

If you don't have an Aldi or Lidl near buy, you can also save quite a bit by choosing the supermarkets' own brands.  Very often food stuffs are produced in the same factory and then packaged into the different brand packaging with the accompanying variation in price.

We have tried this with various success, the only notable failure being coffee.  Pricier though it is, we still love our Gold Blend.

Write your Christmas present list now (13)

Lastly, I know it is ridiculously early but write your Christmas list now - particularly what you plan to put in the kids' stockings if you have them.  I always find it's relatively easy to budget for their main presents but I end up spend way too much on bits and pieces to go in their stocking.

Why not assign a financial limit for things like Christmas stockings and start to buy small items as you see them to avoid that mad panic in the last week of December. It's also a good time to buy teachers' presents or the general gifts you might give to people like your milkman or the window cleaner.

Hide them all in a drawer somewhere out of the way of prying eyes and little fingers.

The trick with all these tips is to work out ways to save money without compromising on your quality of life.  It can be done.

If you adopt some of these tips then you may be able to create a Christmas fund to relieve some of the pressure on your finances at the most expensive time of year.

*This is a collaborative post
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