20.2.18

Temporary Car Insurance for your newly qualified teenage driver

So your teen has passed their driving test! Yippee! they can take you home from parties, ferry you to the pub, share the driving on holiday ... oh wait... you do know that you need to sort out the car insurance right?

On the very moment they pass their test, they are no longer insured to drive the family car they've been cheerfully practicing in! Yes a quick call to the insurance provider is needed.


In our case Raffy had been driving my Fiat Panda, not a well known sports car or hot hatch, and it had raised my insurance to have her on the policy from £200 a year, to £400.
So it was with some surprise to find that upon passing her test the insurance now rose to £4000.

After some clutching at my chest and deep breathing, I went to a few comparison sites to look around, I did finally find insurance at as little (as little! *bitter laugh*) as £1500 a year, but as Raffy tends to only use the car for about an hour a week to drive to and from college, this seemed excessive. So it looked like her driving days were numbered.

That's when I remembered a product I'd heard of that enabled people to drive your car with a temporary insurance, literally an hour at a time if necessary. It was sold to me at the time as festival driving insurance "giving a mate a lift? why not share the driving to and from the festival" but I realised this might be useful for newly qualified teenage drivers too.

I took a look at Cuvva as it was the first one I had heard of, but it turned out they wouldn't insure drivers under 19. As Raffy isn't 19 for a good while yet I had a hunt about. And I found Veygo. Underwritten by Admiral Insurance it enables you to insure a car for anything from an hour to...well a month or so if you like (perfect when your student comes home for summer from University and wants to borrow dad's wheels) . And as it's done via an app you can even do it on the go. They insure learners too!

I used it for the first time this Monday, and it seems pretty simple to use. You take pictures of the car (if you forget to do that and then need to claim, your excess will be higher) and then fill in the info on the app and it's all good, the policy documents are emailed to you immediately (Mr TM and I joked that Veygo should sponsor Police Interceptors as one of the major crimes seems to be young lads driving uninsured, for only £17 or so they could escape a fine or worse!)

I insured Raffy for 24 hours as she wanted to car late in the evening, Veygo stipulate that for insurance after 10pm and before 5am it must be 24 hrs minimum, but even then it was only £26. For day time only on a Saturday the cost was more like £17. All in all a cheaper option than £1000, as she doesn't have her own car, and is now using mine only occasionally.

So there you go, my top tip. Try out temporary car insurance to ensure your new driver doesn't forget how to drive! Veygo even say you can earn a years no claims discount if you use the app for driving more than 30 days in a year!


14.2.18

Wordy Wednesday with a scary twist

Hello Wordy Wednesday lovers, I hope you didn't think I had abandoned you or that I no longer loved you as I haven't posted a bookish blog post for a while. It is laziness on my part and not a lack of love at all, and as it's Valentine's day, here is a book suggestion with all the twists and turns of a romantic affair. Yes love is a roller coaster and so is the theme of this Wednesday's read.

Due to be released March 1st, here is a sneak preview and delicious taster of a book you are sure to be tempted by.


Let me introduce you to C. L . Norton, self described grumpy author, writer of Season's End.

Today's author lives on the South Coast with 2 rescue kitties and a long suffering husband who tolerates her eccentricities in the hopes that one day he can retire on her writing income and game all day and night.

C.L is ratty, moody, hates mornings, but never sleeps past 5am. She lives mainly off of coffee, and tutors English for fun.

Her dream is to open an indie bookshop.

But what of this book?

Let's get down to the grilling, grab a chair, a biscuit and a cup of something hot and let us begin;
C. L. is your new book a thriller a mystery or a horror? 
I think labels are overrated, but I would say it is a horror in the Gothic tradition.

"Season's End is set in a typical seaside town where the tourists triple the population every summer. Only this year, there's something sinister going on. Ave is a teenager with a wealth of secrets, Scott is a 40-something with no responsibilities except his beloved funfair. Can they work together and defeat the power that comes with blood ties? With twists and turns, this incredible novel will leave you wanting more."

Can you judge a book by its cover? 
Covers are hugely important to readers, I have done research!  Apparently, faces are frowned upon.  .. my cover was created by KGHH Design which is part of Gore Publishing.


What does a writer eat for breakfast?
This morning I had Turkish Delight simply because I overslept and am barely awake.  Generally though, I eat coco pops or honey loops.

How many drafts did you write before this was ready for publication?
Loads!  I think that the final version was about draft ten or eleven.

Why should people read this book?
Because it is full of twists and turns. It's more than just a gore fest.  It has a heart to it too.  In fact, there is very little gore, as I mainly write more Gothic horror and so there are a fair amount of atmospheric moments.

What's the best roller coaster you've been on?
I took my nephew Craig to Thorpe Park when he was 14. I don't remember the name of the coaster, but I do remember going on it over and over again until Craig said he couldn't take it any more!  He went for a sit down and I went on it a few more times.

Are men or women characters easier for you to write? Do you have a preference?
I am happy writing characters of any gender whatsoever, however, my next book has a mainly female cast.

'Summer read' is a label bandied about a lot, what is your idea of a summer read?
A classic.  Something like Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde.

Season's End brings to mind the end of a summer season but is this book a good read at any particular time of year?
I think it would work pretty much all year round.  The book is set in the autumn/winter, but it would be a good choice for any season. Probably particularly suited to a miserable day, and we get lots of those throughout the year!

I love to read books set in locations I have visited. Do you only write about places you've been to? Or do you travel in your books?
I make places up.  There are a few true locations mentioned in the book, but the main of the action takes place in a completely made up seaside town.  I travel a lot, I appear at book signings throughout the UK, and so I am always picking out bits of places I go to that will come in handy for a new book.

In your opinion, is social media affecting our attention spans and is it spoiling our ability to read a whole book?
I don't think so.  I do think our schools are affecting our ability though.  I work with kids who don't read because they have outgrown the books in the school library, but they don't know where to go next, so they stop reading.  I have found that if you go to these young adults with a good book that is 'aimed at adult readers', their love of stories comes back.  We need to enhance school libraries with a range of books, including those aimed at adults.

Do you write on paper or a digital medium, I assume authors all use computers but is paper still a writers friend?
I am always being told about various packages that supposedly make writing easier, but I just stick with good old Word.  However, when the first draft is complete, I print it out and complete the developmental edit on paper.  I then type up the changes and do the same again.  I do recycle though!

What's the first thing you do with a new book (that you've written) when you receive your copy from the publisher?
I take a photo of it and stick it on instagram!  I then work out who I need to give copies to and send them out.

Well you will have to wait until March 1st to have a read but add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf and pop it on your wishlist at Amazon. I have a sneak preview digital copy on my kindle, just waiting for me to finish my current read (So many books, so little time)

Happy Valentine's day one and all and always give your love to a book.


6.2.18

Valentine Gift ideas for your loved ones and for you

I've been married for 26 years and even before then I was a 'secret card and that's all' sort of Valentine's Day giver.

Back in the day an anonymous card declaring your love was cute, it wasn't creepy or stalkerish and sometimes you'd find out who your admirer was and you'd get together.

The first card Mr TM ever sent was a Valentine's card from a 'secret admirer', and once I guessed it was him we went out on a date...reader I married him etc

Anyway, these days Valentine's day has become another chance to spend money and buy things people don't need. I'm a grump and don't usually sign up to all that, but then I was shown a few things that I confess made me go 'awww!' and tempt me to shop.


Another thing that seems acceptable in these enlightened times is buying a gift for yourself (self love and selfishness is so 'in' darling!) and to buy gifts for those you love in a non-romantic way, such as your children.

And despite my grump, sometimes treating people, and even yourself, is nice.

So here are a few of the things that turned my head, and who I'd buy them for..

First Mr TM, what to buy a man who has everything? (by which I mean me obviously), well how about The Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love’ Mug and saucer set £14.99 from TruffleShuffle? Perfect as he's that bit older and can remember the heady days when Lennon and McCartney brought love to the charts, now I can bring love to his morning tea!

Beatles themed all you need is love mug and record coaster
And for the simply delightful DD? Well despite the market being flooded with all things unicorn, I still thought this colour changing Unicorn Mug £9.99 from 'I Want One Of Those' was fun and cute. The 3D mug will change colours when filled with a hot drink, just right for a chilly February afternoon catching up with Friends on Netflix (It's what all the teens are doing)
3d unicorn mug with rainbow mane

I won't tell DD about this Rainbow In My Room light £9.99 from The Hut though, or she'll want that too! You really can't have enough rainbows and it would look cute in a baby's room too - a sweet treat for the nursery.
rainbow lamp

For me? I would opt for this Globe Journal £32.99 from The Fowndry because I'm hoping to travel more in the next few years and it looks like a cute way to track my travels on this 3D globe where I can colour, jot and jet set across the world. Pin point my plans and colour where I’ve been. Like a bullet journal on a globe!
a globe you can draw on

Of course no blogger would fail to mention gin,and so I'd finish up with this pretty G & Tea Cocktail Set £30 from Root7.com Forget tea, I drink Gin! This is surely one of the gifts of 2018 with it’s quirky twist and take on the classic teapot. So pretty and so *ahem* useful.

Gin and tea teapot for making gin cocktails in glass and gold

So there you are, my family Valentine's treats, all available online, so no excuse, you can buy without moving from the sofa.

Happy Valentine's Day, I think right now the world needs all the love (and possibly gin) it can get.