Letterbox Cake with bakerdays & a giveaway 

Letterbox Cake with bakerdays & a giveaway 

What’s in the tin?

It’s a Cake!

My partner turns 30 this week and as we were having his parents over, when bakerdays offered to send me a letterbox cake in exchange for an honest review, I said yes.

The postman delivered a slim brown box which contained a tin and some birthday favours (balloons, candles, blower) as well as a sweet card from the bakerdays team.

Now the cake is quite small but it needs to be to fit through a letterbox! But it is beautifully decorated – you can personalise your cake with a photo, name, preferred message, you name it. And it comes in a range of tasty sponge flavours, which taste great.

And now the reason I’m telling you all this
A giveaway!

You can win the letterbox cake of your choice from bakerdays delivered to your door. Here’s how.

– follow ramblingmads the blog (and on Twitter and Instagram if you aren’t already)

– post a comment telling me what special occasion you’d like to celebrate with a bakerdays letterbox cake. Please include your Twitter handle or email address to make it easy to contact you if you win.

The winner will be chosen at random a week from today Tuesday 27th July 2027.

The cake will be sent to you direct from bakerdays so I will need to ask for some details if you win. This will include which letterbox cake you’d like and your UK postal address (no P.O Boxes). Please see the bakerdays website for cake options.

UK only due to the fact the cake will be sent via Royal Mail.

Book Preview: Daughters of India – Jill McGivering

Book Preview: Daughters of India – Jill McGivering

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Written by a journalist specialising in Asia, this historic novel tells of Isabel and Asha, two women caught in India’s struggle for independence. 

Isabel is the daughter of British parents, her father a high ranking Raj official. Her life is pampered and privileged,  far removed from that of Asha – whose father swept the streets until he was falsely accused of theft and fired. 

As adults their lives cross paths again, Isabel is a bored housewife trapped in a loveless marriage and Asha a teacher fighting for independence. 

Told from the perspective of the women themselves McGivering presents the fading opulence and extreme poverty of both sides of the independence battle. As the Second World War looms will these women end up on the right side of history? 

I found this utterly enthralling – I’m a massive history geek so that intrigued me right off. India’s struggle to shake off the  British Empire isn’t exactly taught in schools. I also really appreciated the two protagonists being female – women’s voices are so often from the narrative of history. 

It’s also really well written, the story flows and the characters felt real. There’s a lot packed into this book and I will be mulling over it for a while. 

Daughters of India is published in hardback on the 22nd July so if it sounds like something you’d enjoy (and I hope it does) then place an order at your bookseller of choice now. 

Book Preview: The Midnight Queen – Sylvia Hunter

Book Preview: The Midnight Queen – Sylvia Hunter

I was kindly sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Midnight Queen is the first in a new trilogy set in an alternate history Britain. 

Its the 1800s, Henry the Twelth is on the throne, magick is everywhere, you can study it at Merlin College, Oxford (if you’re a man of means and family), people speak their own languages and worship an entire pantheon of gods. 

Grey Marshall is studying at Merlin College when he stumbles into a conspiracy that threatens not only his own life but the stability of the realm. In trying to unravel it he meets Sophie, who just might be the key to everything. 

There’s a lot packed into this book, the plot is definitely something you can get your teeth into. Intrigue, murder, magic, love, a hidden princess and a tragic secret or two.

I really enjoyed this, the writing is pacey, the characters strong, and the plot kept me rapt. 

If you liked Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series or Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha books then this is for you. 

I cannot wait to see what happens with Grey and Sophie in the next book, Lady of Magick. 

The Midnight Queen will be published on the 20th July 2017 so now’s the perfect time to place your order. 

Book Review: Look What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt 

Book Review: Look What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt 

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks, 

When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one

I can’t remember when I first heard of Lizzie Borden but I was a rather macabre child so probably quite early on. She seems to be having a bit of a moment right now – with this book and two tv shows about her (Netflix currently has one with Christina Ricci as Borden). 

Schmidt researched this book rather thoroughly – including staying in the Borden house. Luckily her writing style means it doesn’t feel like an academic tome. 

In fact it reads like a rather modern thriller – with multiple narrators and flashbacks. The setting is the rather claustrophobic house the Borden family lived in – Mr Andrew Borden, his two adult daughters, Lizzie and Emma, second wife Abby and housemaid Bridget. The doors and windows are always kept locked even in the heat. 

It’s a small cast of characters and Lizzie dominates the household with her childish behaviour and temper tantrums. Sister Emma desperately wants to escape and Lizzie refuses to let go. 

The book is incredibly well written and really draws you in to the tense environment. Opening in the immediate aftermath of the murders, Schmidt spins a tight web of resentment and bitterness. 

I read this in two sittings, breaking for an appointment because it’s so gripping. Even knowing the rough outcome didn’t matter. 

If you like thrillers, historical, biographical books, this is one for you. In fact, even if those genres aren’t your thing, read it anyway. 

Book review: He Said/She Said – Erin Kelly 

Book review: He Said/She Said – Erin Kelly 

I do like a good psychological thriller and this is a cracker. 
Erin Kelly has written a heck of a book, and the twists keep on coming. 

Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of Laura, with some chapters by her partner Kit. Both are witnesses to a crime that brings them into contact with Beth, who might be dangerous or is she? 

Eyewitness testimony is a rather complex subject (I live with an expert on it) but it’s the fallout of the case Laura and Kit testify at that drives the drama in the narrative. Eventually Laura is living her life in ongoing terror and spiralling anxiety, something I can relate to  (though thankfully not in the same circumstances). 

I did not expect the clever twist at the end, which flips the plot on its head – no spoilers here. 

I highly recommend you pick up a copy and read it asap. 

Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This is an incredibly accomplished debut novel – it made me think of the brilliant Isabel Allende in style and the plot is mythic and magical and marvellous. It’s no surprise this is a bestseller.

Isabella lives with her father, a master cartographer on an island governed by strict rules – an entire section of which is out of bounds.  When her father is arrested and her best friend goes missing, Isabella gathers her courage and the maps that decorate her home and sets out with the rescue mission. 

I don’t want to give away any of the island’s secrets so just go read this for yourself. 

My Little Friday Night Box

My Little Friday Night Box

This month’s My Little Box comes with the proviso “Do not open before Friday night” well I’ve always been a rebel. 

This box is all about your Friday night – whether you’re going out out or staying in. 

Party types
Great nights out – this pamphlet folds out and is full of ideas and tips for throwing a party or finding one.
Coasters & hair pin
Ingenious bra clip covering bow for backless dresses
This month’s beauty picks

Batiste Dry Shampoo – do I even need to say more. 

NailMatic Varnish in Biba 

My Little Beauty Back to Black Eye Pencil and Smudger – this is pretty long lasting. I tested it on the back of my hand, one tiny smudge as it’s very soft, and it won’t budge.

And finally a cocktail recipe – Dirty Dancing

Did you get this month’s box? What do you think of the contents.