Saturday, 28 February 2015

5* Review for the Long Leg of Italy

A wonderful glimmer of sunshine in a difficult week.

I was pondering what to include in my round-up of the week when an e-mail dropped into my Inbox. Author and publisher Jamie Cawley had very kindly offered to review The Long Leg of Italy: Explore with Just Us Two.

This is what she had to say:

"5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining and Informative Exploration of Italy, February 28, 2015

This review is from: The Long Leg of Italy: Explore with Just Us Two (Kindle Edition)

The Long Leg of Italy is an excellent account of a couple's experience travelling through Italy.

Rosalie has included beautiful photos, along with great detail of her travels through culturally and historically rich places including Rome, Florence, Venice, Sorrento, and wider Italy.

Her account of her dealings with the Vatican were particularly interesting to read.

This book catalogues Rosalie's Italy experience with food, religion, stunning attractions, transport, and the epic history that this country has to offer.

The Long Leg of Italy is a part of the Just Us Two travel series, and once you have read it, you are sure to want to check out the others!

Overall this is an outstanding book for anyone that enjoys travel."

Thank you Jamie for this wonderful review. 

Readers, you will find links to your favourite on line retailer or local bookstore worldwide in Rosalie's Bookstore
You can also read a free preview of Chapter One 'How it all Started'  

Rosalie xx

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

When the best laid plans go astray.

Yes, it happens to us all. 

We have things all nicely planned out and then woosh! It all falls down. Well nearly always all. And if things were not planned out in the first place, life could not be accommodated so easily.

A madcap exploit or just brave?

Last week I wrote about my series of birthday lunches and tacked on a little about my Zip Wire challenge in May.

Then we had a Gold Wing Club national meeting where I took the opportunity to gather (not quite twisting arms) sponsorship for my forthcoming Will Lewis Zip Wire Challenge in aid
of Dreamflight Children's Charity on May 9th this year. The response so far has been very generous and if I haven't approached you yet, don't be imagining that I have forgotten you! All the £1,£2,£3,and more added up to a tidy sum of money and a good start to meeting and beating I hope my target.

The story behind my madcap adventure.

Yes folks! I will be flying off the mountain at Bethesda, North Wales, fastened in a sling like the person in the picture. With a bird's eye view as I zoom over Penrhyn Quarry and its deep lake, I will be realising another dream. The dream wasn't originally to do the Zip Wire thing but to go in a hot-air balloon. The family were very silent on this and ignored it. I wonder why? Then I saw the Zip Wire Velocity on BBC Cymru/Wales last year and announced,
'That is what I want to do for my birthday'.
Quite a big milestone one you understand. The silence which greeted this announcement was resounding.

A week before my BIG birthday, a member of the Lancs & Lakes Gold Wings region brought details of this latest Dreamflight Fundraising Event organised by the Liverpool Fundraising Group. Lancs and Lakes Gold Wings region of GWOCGB are supporting it - we all do a lot for charity - and I jumped at the chance. Not doing things by halves, launched myself into marketing mode. Just Giving - the site where you can donate on line or by text - provide an excellent marketing kit. I got busy setting up 'my page', pushing other stuff to one side. 

Resuming my marketing and promotion plan for The Long Leg of Italy, released in January, we had yet another meeting with Gold Wing friends at the Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass, above Llangollen. It started to snow and was perishing cold. The scenery however, was as dramatic as ever in its winter dress although not the snow we experienced two years ago when this picture was taken.

In the midst of all this, the phone rang with some devastating news. The last few days have been a trifle exhausting as hospital visiting took priority amid the usual flotsam and jetsam of family life. Hence my late posting in Rosalie's Chatter.. . .


Formatting text books for Kindle. New  developments.

Amazon Kindle have brought out new software for text books. This is exciting as the original complex formatting will be retained. It will avoid having to re-format the layout, tables, diagrams etc. We plan to put all five of the Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides through this process as the reader will see it 'as is' in the print version. They are user-friendly workbooks with complex images and layout.

Reviews for other authors.

Read the latest review I have done by request on the 'Books I have reviewed' page. 
The Ultimate Guide to Consulting in the Networked Age. Well worth a read.

Fund raising.

Following on from the above about my Zip Wire Velocity Challenge, if you would like to help send sick and disabled children to Orlando, Florida for the holiday of a lifetime, without their parents, every £1.00 (or whatever currency is your countries) helps. Thank You. Will Lewis is a young boy who did the challenge but has since passed away. 
You can sponsor at   or click the Just Giving button on the top right of the screen.

Thank you.

Rosalie xx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Week of Birthday Lunches

It has been a busy week as we went out on a programme of birthday lunches with friends and family.

This, along with a birthday book promotional period for The Long Leg of Italy and setting up pages and posts for my forthcoming Zip Wire Challenge has meant that Rosalie's Chatter has been a little neglected.

Well, in one fell swoop I have condensed what we have been up to.

1) A lovely lunch with friends at the Chain Bridge Hotel, Llangollen.
2) A wonderful family lunch with husband, children and husbands/wife, and grandchildren.
3) A third lunch with friends at the Glasfryn Mold.

So we are all partied out. Chocolates all eaten. House like a flower shop just how I like it. And so we roll on to Mother's Day and Easter before my BIG CHALLENGE

Rosalie xx

PS. If you want to sponsor me I would really appreciate it. Go to my Just Giving page or Text FREE on 70070 using code LLGW80. Thank you. Rosalie.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Zip Wire Challenge for Charity.

Lancs and Lakes Gold Wings (a region of the Gold Wing Owner's Club of Great Britain -GWOCGB)

Photo copyright and courtesy Lancs and Lakes GoldWings

supporting the Liverpool Dreamflight Group -Will Lewis Zip World Challenge 2015

Photo courtesy ZipWorld
Photo courtesy Dreamflight

 Hello friends. I have signed up - in my old age - to do a Zip Wire Challenge and I need your help to raise money to help to send sick and disabled children to Orlando, Florida for the holiday of a lifetime. 

Who?    the Dreamflight Charity

When?  on May 9th 2015 - Time t.b.a.

Where? Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, Bangor.North Wales.

Photo courtesy Zip World

Here is a link to my Just Giving page with my story.

As a member of GWOCGB for over sixteen years, my husband Allen and I  have been involved in raising money for charity for many years. Each region usually nominates a local charity. We also support the nominated National Charity. This Dreamflight Event is an extra one as it is such a worthy cause.

I really need your help - just a £1 will do - to raise at least my required minimum amount.

  • How? Use the 'Donate' button on my Just Giving page. It is a secure site and your details will not be passed on. You can also Gift Aid if you are a taxpayer.which costs you nothing. If you are not familiar with gift aiding it is simply that the HMRC give back to the charity the tax you have already paid on the amount you have donated. 
  • Donating by Text is also free on 70070 using the code LLGW80 
  • The donations go straight to Dreamflight which is a national charity.

More about Zip world and the velocity challenge. 

'Zip World offers visitors a totally unique and world-class experience as they fly for over a mile through the skies on the longest zip wire in Europe – “The nearest thing to flying”!!'

Last but not least.

If you are in the area do come along and cheer me on. Spectators wait at the signing-in post I understand. Hey-ho! Life is for living!

Rosalie xx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Changing Shopping Habits - A Quantum Leap.

One store closes - another gets the feel good factor.

Well, there is no use procrastinating. I had to bite the bullet. Our local Tesco is one of those hit by the recent changes in the supermarket world.
let me be clear. Our local store is not the mammoth store in the centre of town where you have to negotiate numerous roundabouts and lane changes just to buy a loaf of bread.
No, where we lived now and have lived for many years we have been lucky enough to have a Neighbourhood Shopping centre about half a mile down the road - on a bus route. In fact before we moved we had one where we lived in the Dee |Valley.

First it was Kwik Save - all excellent basics and no frills which meant a trip to Sainsbury's for extras.

This was in the hey-day of Kwik Save when they had these Neighbourhood Shopping Centres. (As a trainer/assessor working in a Cheshire college I was fortunate enough to sample these across the North West, North East and Midlands of the UK. And believe me - they were for the local neighbourhood, slap bang in the middle of a housing estate and not easy to find or be directed to if you were not local! Numbers of main roads? a shrug of the shoulders with the rejoinder "do you know . . .?" "Well actually, I am from North Wales / Cheshire and no, I don't know." Oh, happy times!)

I actually started my Direct Sales career at Kwik Save Gwersyllt when the manager of Wholesale Windows sent me to meet a Rep there. It was the week before Christmas and buying new windows wasn't the topic high on the list of most people.  "He will show you the ropes." He did. I chatted to the throng as they came through the checkout. I got four leads. And they all sold.

Then Kwik save became Somerfield with a move up in the selection pecking order.
Somerfield then became the Co-operative with a loyalty card and even more improvements. Then the store was transformed to Tesco with all the added benefits of their wide selection. The area had expanded. We were laughing - or at least enjoying a one-stop-shop for once.

Now, in the wake of the news of closures, out local store, which in one form or another has served a community (made up of various bordering villages which together make up the size of a town) for around thirty-five years is to close. It is a devastating blow. The local papers have been informed that Tesco will meet our needs with the Tesco Extra in the centre of town or the new one about eighteen or twenty miles away in the south of the county.

Will Lidl come to the rescue. Will it fit the bill? 

Today, I bit the bullet. Since the massive expansion  last year it certainly has become more popular as
Photo courtesy
testified by the car park. It is but a few hundred yards away from the Neighbourhood Shopping Centre. Today I had to queue on the railway bridge as there was a bottleneck at the traffic lights onto the other main road into town. I managed to find a car parking slot. I got a small trolley - well I was only looking wasn't I?

In reality, it was an upmarket replica of what Kwik Save used to be. No frills, no fancy gimmicks. Just lots of goods stacked high and - I have to say - in some cases in no particular order.
How exciting. It was like browsing in a market. Popping items into the trolley, telling myself that the nutrition content was similar so I would have to be open-minded about brands, I worked my way around the store. In some cases I found my usual brand (oatcakes) jostling for shelf space with other totally unrelated items. The fruit and veg looked fresh and enticing. Whole mangoes? A large selection of meats? Salads? Dairy? The flowers could not be equalled on quality but at a lower price. The list went on.

At the checkout, where you offload onto the belt, put back into the trolley before going to a packing shelf, the friendly assistant comforted me. " 
      You will be alright when you get used to it. It has improved since we re-opened and it is cheaper."
I will just have to remember a few things:
  • Don't go at 12:30 on a Saturday
  • Be open minded about brands
  • Try to gwet at the back of a queue so as to have enough time to get shopping onto the belt before it starts to go through the till
  • Sus out the best place to park so as to not mingle with traffic coming in
  • Allow enough time to wander and browse.

And last but not least in winter  - take a woolly hat. As I said, no frills!

Hey Ho!

Rosalie xx
PS. If  I really can't cope I can simply hop on a train to Liverpool for some R&R. It is right next door to the car park. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Subscription Services are in the news for eBooks

With Netflix creating a new market for films, a range of subscription services for eBooks are making themselves known.

There has been much interest in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, a service where the reader pays monthly for unlimited downloads. This service however, for authors and publishers, is exclusive as they have to sign up for KDP Select which is exclusive. This means that the titles cannot be listed elsewhere.

Being a bit of a rebel at times and not liking to be hemmed in, apart from having all titles available on Kindle (to purchase) I haven't gone down this route. I do feel however that the success of this Amazon service has undermined sales in general and subsequently the author and publisher. After all why should you buy individual books when you get get much more for your money every month regardless of individual cost.

And what if your titles are not on Kindle? The alternatives are Oyster and Scribd which were around before Amazon Unlimited and marginally cheaper. All have a free trial period. Oyster offer eBooks only for Android, iOS and Kindle Fire. Scribd offer eBooks and PDF's (which can mean any type of document).
Judging from the numbers of large publishers making books available on Oyster and Scribd - and therefore not available on Kindle Unlimited - there is still plenty of choice around.

The pros and cons of each service are listed very clearly in this article by CNET associate editor Sarah Mitroff .

As we distribute ePub through US distributor Smashwords and, after careful vetting for quality all titles are included in the Premium Catalogue, all titles are shipped to both Oyster and Scribd. Titles are also for sale on the Scribd bookstore. Win-win.

As Sarah says in her article, don't forget the libraries. These are an important aspect of any community is my personal view.

Happy Reading in whatever way suits you best.


Monday, 2 February 2015

A Valentine/Author Special Birthday Gift. Goodreads Book Giveaway. UK only.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Long Leg of Italy by Rosalie Marsh

The Long Leg of Italy

by Rosalie Marsh

Giveaway ends February 12, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win