Secrets of a Sun King by Emma Carroll



Book 2 in my 12 months of reading is Emma Carroll The Secrets of a Sun King.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was an easy read with lot’s of adventure. As the guy in Waterstones told me its a good old-fashioned adventure story and that it is.

Yes it’s probably aimed at the younger audience but I don’t care, I’m not one of these people who worry about what age a book is aimed at. If I like the sound of the story then I’m going to give it a go.

Harry Potter and Twilight are possibly 2 of my favorite series of books and I don’t think you can say they are specifically aimed at adults. Anyway I digress, this book is not to be taken too seriously. it’s about 3 kids taking a cursed canopic Jar back to the resting place of King Tutankhamun to rescue Lil’s granddad from the curse. They have to find the final resting place of the Pharaoh before it’s too late and without anyone catching them especially Howard Carter who is looking for the tomb himself but saying that it is a great story about friendship, family and adventure.

I had to tell my adult voice to be quiet on a few occasions when it was trying to tell me that would never happen or don’t be silly, they could never have done that. You need to let yourself get lost in the fun of it all and isn’t that what books are for?

I loved all the characters and I especially loved the story throughout the book where don’t just follow Lil’s adventures but we learn about King Tutankhamun (Kyky) and his friends Lysandra and Maya.

There are some historical facts in the book that the author states in back. For instance it is documented that King Tutankhamun heart is actually missing (this is the focal point of the story) which I did not know, I like that she clarifies the fact from the fiction and that I have learnt something new.

I also like that her main character Lil (Lilian Kaye) is actually named after a real little girl Ella Lily Kaye, her mum won a bid at a charity auction for Grenfell to have a character named after her. How wonderful is that? A great way to raise money for an amazing cause but also a great way to make reading exciting for children.

I do recommend this book to be read as it’s just a wonderful adventure story that is well written and filled with mystery, it’s even better if you love anything to do with ancient Egypt and I would go so far as to say it would probably make quite a good adventure film.

As always let me know your opinion if you have read this book I always like to know.

Now to decide which book to read next in my 12 months of reading journey!



Get ready to Rock! Rock of Ages UK Tour, The Hawth, Crawley



Rock Of Ages Production Photos©The Other Richard

Rock Of Ages Production Photos ©The Other Richard

No matter where you sit in The Hawth Theatre you are guaranteed a good view of the stage, which is brilliant because I definitely didn’t want to miss a second of this fabulous show.

I have seen Rock of Ages before but it was a few years back so I was intrigued to see it again to see if anything had been changed and because if I’m honest I wanted to see Kevin Clifton as Stacee Jaxx. I was intrigued.

This musical has it all. The music, all the 80’s rock classics played by a fantastic live band, the set, a great cast (all of them superb), great 80’s costumes, choreography, humor and a llama! Like I said it had it all, even Curly bloody Watts (Kevin Kennedy) who is hilarious as The Bourbon Room owner Dennis.

Rock of Ages UK Tour©The Other Richard

Rock of Ages UK Tour ©The Other Richard

Rock of Ages UK Tour©The Other Richard

Rock of Ages UK Tour ©The Other Richard

Lonny (Lucas Rush) had to be my favourite of the show. As the narrator he brought great humour and storytelling, he had impeccable comic timing. He kept the laughs coming and the audience joining in (Hey Anne). Then to top it all off he had a great pair of…………lungs.

That man can sing.

Sherri was played by the amazing Jodie Steele, I was lucky enough to see her in Heathers when it transferred to the West End so when I saw she was cast as Sherrie I knew she would be perfect. Her vocal talent alone is mind blowing.

Luke Walsh plays Drew he is another one with a great pair of lungs! His voice I could listen too on repeat. Honestly I’m not joking when I say this cast is phenomenal. Luke and Jodie share great chemistry on stage making their characters likable and believable.

Rock of Ages Photo Credit : The Other Richard

The humor can be a little risque but that’s the point, it’s the 80’s, it’s rock n roll, anything goes. Also if you know the story or have seen the film you know what to expect, if not just enjoy the ride and don’t take it too seriously. Rock of ages is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s a deliciously raunchy, rock n roll 80’s night out, with great costumes, staging, chorography and cast. In my opinion its not one to be missed.

Now onto Kevin Clifton, did he make a good Stacee Jaxx?

I must admit I had my reservation when taking my seat, I mean I know he can dance but can he sing? Can he be the bad boy that this character needs him to be?


Rock of AgesPhoto Credit : The Other Richard

Rock of Ages Photo Credit : The Other Richard

The answer is hell yes! As soon as he came out on stage all my reservations disappeared. This man can belt out a tune and act the bad boy. He makes you hate him and want him all at the same time. He is definitely not the Kevin you know from Strictly, he is Stacee Jaxx, he takes on the character and plays it well. For me he played it perfectly.

Rock of AgesPhoto Credit : The Other Richard

Rock of Ages Photo Credit : The Other Richard

All the cast in my eyes were perfect. From Zoe Birkett as Justice to Alexander Day as Franz, I could list them all but this blog has to end at some point, just know that everyone who works on this tour are all amazing.

It’s a good night out with lots of laughs and lots of wanting to sing your heart out. You really don’t want to miss it, if I could go again I would.

Rock Of Ages Production Photos ©The Other Richard

The Rock of ages UK Tour is at The Hawth Theatre Crawley until the 23rd February.

Don’t miss out!



The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan

My first book in my 12 months of reading journey was The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan.

What is the book about?

It is set just after the end WWII, we have Gus returning home to England, his two sisters Julia and Tilly waiting for him but it’s not just him that comes home, with him, he brings home a wife.

Krista is German and to say his sisters are shocked is an understatement but no one is more shocked than his fiancée Nella and Gus’s best friend Teddy.

All are carrying secrets and hate but they all have to try to get along, easier said than done. So we follow these character’s as they try to adjust to life after the war and also to each other.

Can it be done?


Tough to start but brilliant ending.


My thoughts

I don’t normally read books that are set during or around the end of the war. I’m not sure why, I think, maybe it could be that it wasn’t really that long ago, especially WWII. I mean my grandparents were around at that time, so I find it quite tough to read. Also if there is too much army talk and technical terms used then I get lost.

But recently I have read a couple of books that were set around this time period that I really enjoyed which is why I decided to give The New Mrs Clifton a go.

To be honest I struggled with this book to start, I really struggled. I just couldn’t get into the story or follow the characters, I put it down I few times.
But with all books I like to get half way before I even consider giving up and even then I rarely do because once I have started a book I like to finish it, even if it takes a few months (like when I read The Hobbit).

So I kept going and lo and behold I got halfway and I started to like it, I started to enjoy the characters, I wanted to see the outcome for all of them.

As I say the beginning is a bit slow, it took a while for me to care about the characters, I don’t know if that’s because it was all about setting the scene, the author wanted you to know who was who and what was what and where. Which I know is what’s suppose to happen at the beginning of a book but I feel it may have gone on for too long.

If you persevere like me you are rewarded, the characters come to life, they all have their own stories to tell and they are told well. I especially loved how Krista was portrayed. Here we have a German woman who has married an English man coming to live in England, imagine that happening and how hard it would have been to start a new life here, especially when the war with Germany had just ended.

The author addresses this well, I felt sorry for Krista, I wanted her to do well and I wanted everyone to just leave her alone and just accept her, it wasn’t her fault that the war broke out, she had been to hell and back herself but she was a German living in England.

Elizbeth Buchan got the balance just right between Krista settling and people adjusting to her. It didn’t feel forced or unbelievable.

I also particularly liked the sisters and their relationship with Krista and each other. Both the opposite of each other with a different view on life but each with a secret that the other didn’t know. They both had their own personal reasons not to like Krista but they struggled, not wanting to upset their brother.

All three women have secrets that all come to ahead towards the end of the book, resulting in one very good cliff hanger, I just had to do a lot of reading to get there.

Was it worth it? I think so. I thoroughly enjoyed this book in the end. It’s a romance of sorts with family drama thrown in. It’s about trying to survive the war and staying together no matter how hard it gets but sometimes it’s not possible.

It’s about relationships between all, husband/wife, brother/sister, sisters/sister in-laws, ex fiancée’s to ex best friends, its got it all.

Elizabeth Buchan does write well, she brings the characters to life and is good at portraying the relationships between them all, as well as building tension but I just can’t put my finger on why I struggled so much at the beginning.

This is just my personal opinion of the book, I found the beginning hard work, you might read it and think What was she talking about?

But if like me you do struggle to get into it, keep going, it does get better.

Am I glad I read it? Yes. Will I read it again? probably not, so this book I will pass on for someone else to enjoy.

Please do tell me if you have read this book and what your opinions are of it, I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.










12 months of reading

Soooo I have a lot of books and by a lot I mean a lot.

They are not books I have read either, they are the total opposite. Most of them, in fact nearly all of them are books I have not read. I have an addiction to buying books and never reading them, that’s not to say I don’t like reading because I do, I really do. It’s just I buy to many to be able to keep up.

My plan for this year is too read all my books before I buy anymore, I am not letting myself buy any more.

These pictures below will hopefully show you why it is probably going to take me a year.


So many books, so little time

All of these books apart from I would say 6, maybe 7 I haven’t read. I know, I know, why would I keep buying books? I don’t know, I can’t help it, I see it, I want it what can I say.


And there’s more……

I was originally going to vlog my reading journey, I thought it might help motivate me to get the job done but although I have recorded a couple of videos, I have realised that I am not very good at keeping up with it and I haven’t posted them anywhere so far. Thats not to say I won’t in the future but for now I thought why not blog it. I may still do some videos but at least for the moment I don’t have the pressure of editing and remembering to record a video and I already have a blog so why not use it.

I was also thinking of doing a review for each book as well as blog my 12 month journey, I don’t know if that will be of any interest to anyone but I think it will help me to keep reading without the pressure of videos (unless I want to).

I mean we are already in February and I have only read 2 books so I need to do something.

When I have read the books I have decided that the ones I don’t want to keep I will donate them to charity or see if friends or family might like them. I’m hoping that I will clear some room on my very crowded bookshelves.

The first book I read was in January and it was called The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan but I will do a whole new blog post about that.

So without further ado, welcome to my 12 months of reading.

Wish me luck!