Barbara Copperthwaite

I have just finished reading FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD by the bestselling author of psychological crime fiction, BARBARA COPPERTHWAITE. Her debut, INVISIBLE, went on sale last year and became an Amazon Top Ten best seller in the UK. FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD has been equally successful, charting as soon as it was released. It is a fabulous read! I cannot recommend it highly enough. Although it was scaring me witless, I just couldn’t put it down; Barbara is such a talented writer.

She was raised in Lincolnshire, beside the sea and in the countryside. There, she became a lover of … Read the rest »

Debbie Rix

Debbie Rix

Debbie Rix

My guest on Hot Holidays! today is none other than Debbie Rix! Debbie has had a long career in journalism, corporate communications and event management. Since 200 she has built her company, Debbie Rix Communications, on the sound journalistic principles of innovation, clarity and entertainment. Debbie’s fabulous book, Secret of the Tower, was released in March this year. Set in medieval Pisa, it tells the story of the extraordinary woman behind the most famous building in the world – The Leaning Tower of Pisa and is available at Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

ES: It is … Read the rest »

Linda Hill

 

Lovely, smiley Linda Hill

Lovely, smiley Linda Hill

Whoop!  Whoop! Fabulous blogger LINDA HILL tells us about her Hot Holidays! today.

Having worked in education since leaving university Linda finally decided to ‘retire’ herself and concentrate on having fun rather than working. She loves reading, travel, blogging and gardening and is now kept busy with all four.  Linda is a huge cat lover but no longer have any, and has been a huge Bryan ferry fan for 40 years! Her husband is a keen photographer and so the pair of them are always off on their travels to make use of photographic opportunities. … Read the rest »

Anne Williams

Our Lovely Anne in China

Our Lovely Anne in China

Anne’s Hot Holidays was due to go out ten days ago. It was set up, but then, SOMEONE, forgot to make the post live. You just can’t get the staff! Seriously, sincere apologies to Anne for the hold up and my thanks for her co-operation and understanding. Elaine x

ES: I am so happy you’ve agreed to share your Hot Holidays with us, Anne. Please can you tell us how you came to be such a prolific blogger and reviewer?

AW: I’m originally from North Wales, but have lived in Wetherby in West Yorkshire for … Read the rest »

Michelle Pentecost

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I am so excited about my Hot Holidays! guest today – massive drum roll and fireworks – because, it’s MICHELLE PENTECOST.

Michelle Pentecost

Michelle Pentecost

 

 

Michelle is a hugely talented West End star whose credits include:

Lead Singer in Magic of the Movies
Elle in Bedding Belle – Hippodrome Theatre, London
Eva Peron in Evita – Dominion Theatre, London and European Tour
Elphaba – Apollo Victoria Theatre, London and UK Tour

Michelle, Stu, Gemma and David with their cocktails

Michelle, Stu, Gemma and David with their cocktails

Vava & Dance Captain – Paradise Moscow – UK and European Tour
Dick – Dick Whittington – Norwich Theatre Royal
Grace Farrell – Annie – UK and Irish Tour

She can be heard on the cast recordings of Just So, Marilyn in soho cinders and Emma in Bonnie and Clyde and her concerts include Elphaba at West End Live – Cardinal Place and Evita at West End Help for Heroes Live Concert.

Michelle is also the principal of the performing arts company Dynamix Dance, which specialises in out-of-hours West End Workshops and providing corporate events and trade shows with innovative event staff made up of performers and models. And, before studying at The Arts Educational School, London, Michelle was one of MY drama students for six years! (And I take full credit! LOL!)

ES: So, Michelle, where did you spend your last holiday and what made you choose it?

MP: My last holiday was 10 days spent in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain. This was a family holiday spent with my boyfriend Stuart, my mum and dad and my brother, his wife Gemma and my nephew Benjamin.
We chose to stay at the 5 star luxury Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel. It was truly beautiful there. Fantastic open plan suites with extensive balconies with pool and sea views. We were greeted with glasses of champagne and then another bottle of champagne in our rooms each to get the holiday started properly.

Myself and the family had a wonderful time here, there are some lovely restaurants within the hotel including our favourite style: Teppanyaki. This is my nephews particular favourite as he loves it when the chefs set things alight and he gets to see so much fire so close. (He thinks he is Fireman Sam). It was very interactive at this restaurant and the food was delicious.

When we didn’t want to eat in the hotel restaurants but instead venture out and walk down to the marinas, there are also lots of fabulous restaurants only a short walk away.
We ate at a real mixture of places while we were there, although Stuart managed to eat well-done
steak pretty much everywhere we went. You can take the boy out of Scotland ….
There are also nice places for cocktails by the marina. One night my mum & dad had Benjamin for a sleepover and myself, Stu, my brother David & Gemma we went for a night out for cocktails and tapas. It was really fun. We played a game called Cocktail Challenge, where we all chose each others drinks and you had to drink them regardless and you also had to try to guess what was in them etc etc. Needless to say we were all a little tipsy.

For us as a family we all have different criteria that make a great holiday:
Stu and I want sunshine, relaxation, good quality drinks, a good gym and nice food.
My mum & dad want sunshine but also lots of shade, light food & to see their children & grandchild having fun.
My brother & his family want children’s entertainment, good food & children options and relaxation.
I think this holiday delivered for everyone!
The only thing it lacked was a personal assistant to reserve our sun beds everyday for us – is that asking too much?!?

ES: Sounds like you had a fabulous time. What is your favourite type of holiday?

MP: I actually find a variety of holidays my favourite. For me it is who you spend it with that really makes it great I think.

I love it when Stu and I go away just the two of us and we get to spend quality time together. And to be honest we can kind of go anyway and we always love it. Whether it’s a cheap last minute trip or an expensive planned in advance trip we are always smiling.

I also love my annual Ibiza holiday! Ibiza seems to be the one place that I love to return to every single year. It gets better and better. Ibiza has so many layers to it… You can go there and party day and night or you can visit the beautiful beaches and restaurants or you can do a mixture of the two. Some of my favourite things to do in Ibiza are to party at Blue Marlin & Ushuaia from day til night and then also to visit the beautiful island of Formentera. This year for the first time I went to a club called Sankeys and the particular night that I went was an Old School Garage night…. It was INCREDIBLE!
Music really does make my soul come alive!

Another annual trip I do, is a few days in the sunshine with one of my best friends Eilidh. We don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like because our work schedules are very different plus we don’t live overly close to one another. Therefore a few days holidaying together is a great way to rekindle our friendship. We spend most of our holidays laughing at one another, playing cards, doing dance routines and drinking cheap cocktails or daytime Shandies.
We always book a cheap all inclusive deal (or as we call it: All you can eat!) at a hotel that has in- house entertainment and is close to the local nightlife. One of our favourite things to do, is to play cards whilst we watch the hotel show before we head out to dance the night away.
Our stomach muscles take a real battering on these holidays as we eat way too much but then laugh non stop!

I also love an educational holiday…visiting new places and learning about their culture, their architecture, their food etc. City breaks are great for this as well as long haul trips.
I went to Madrid earlier in the year for my best friend Katie’s hen do. We visited some incredible buildings, churches and museums and also ate some traditional tapas whilst watching traditional Flamenco dancing. A wonderful weekend with wonderful ladies!

ES: Wow! You have some great times by the sound of it. And, what’s your least favourite holiday?
MP: My least favourite holiday…. Hmmm?!? Well I don’t like to be cold and I hate the rain, so any holiday that has these two things as its main factors wouldn’t really excite me too much.
I feel very privileged to say, that to date I have never had a horrific holiday.
Although there was this one holiday I went on with an ex boyfriend where we didn’t speak to each other for the whole week and also had a huge domestic on a canoeing trip -needless to say it wasn’t my favourite holiday!

ES: Tell us about your best ever holiday and just what made it so special.

MP: LA!!! Wow, what a holiday this was!! In 2013 myself and one of my best friends Alana, went to LA for a week.
Alana had been to LA before and hated it but I begged her to join me and promised it would be fun!
We had a small itinerary before we went to La La Land but apart from a few places we were open to suggestions and going with the flow. Thank goodness that was the case, because we met so many incredible people that invited us to join them at amazing parties and places that we in turn met even more amazing people, of which we are still in contact with now.

Some of the places we went to include:

Day 1: Bar Marmont, House of Blues, Sky Bar, Andaz
it was this night that we met and rapped with the legend MC Kie!

Day 2: Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hyde, Nick Cannon’s Recording Studio for an after party.

Day 3: Hollywood Blvd, The Ivy for lunch, Hollywood Hills House Party
(we made friends with the two girls sat next to us at lunch and they then took us for a tour around the mansions and then we took them with us to a mansion party)

Day 4: Mondrian Pool Party, Club XIV (we shared a table with some billionaires – casual!)

Day 5: In and Out Burger, The Grove, Farmers Market, Aydin’s recording studio –
I actually ended up recording a duet with a friend of mine, Cameron that lives out there and then making a music video for it. Check it out at www.michellepentecost.com
This was such a brilliant memory and one we will never forget.

Day 6: Universal Studios, Evita Club.

Day 7: (Last Day) Brunch with my friend Fabio at Caffe Primo, then our new friend Aydin gave us a lift to the airport.

If someone told me about all the great things that happened to these two ordinary girls on this trip I would not believe them – luckily it happened to me, so I know first hand that it definitely did happen!

ES: That sounds amazing. I’ve never been overly-enamoured with LA, obviously I need to go with you! 🙂 But have you ever had any holiday or travel disasters?

MP: The major travel disaster that springs to mind, is when I missed my flight to Ibiza!
I had an evening show at Wicked and a flight early the next morning. My plan was to have a drink with some friends after work to kill some time then head to Gatwick slowly for my flight for one to join some girlfriends for a hen do.
However one drink lead to a few, then it was time to head to the airport but my taxi was major major late!! This then meant that I missed my train!! This then meant that I was running round Victoria station with a suitcase that by this point had a wheel missing and as I ran down the platform for my next train my mobile literally jumped out of my handbag and in slow motion slid down the platform and onto the track! There was no chance I was gonna get on the train without my phone so instead I waited for that train to depart – I hung myself off the edge – (ES: You could have been killed!) Then a lovely cleaner came to my rescue and retrieved my phone. I then had to wait again for the next train… long story short… I missed my flight!!!!! and cried ALOT!
I had to buy another one (which cost more than my whole holiday) – but hey ho, it was soooo worth it!
Ibiza is the one place that I make sure i go every year – that must show how much I love it there.

 

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ES: I’m with you on Ibiza. It was my home for a number of years. Michelle, is there a place you long to visit?

MP: I have always wanted to visit the other side of the world… Australia/Thailand etc
I want to experience completely different cultures, visit cultural landmarks and also see where lots of friends of mine have lived or are now living.
So, I’m so pleased that Stuart and I are actually making this dream come true this Christmas as we are doing a trip of a lifetime for a month… visiting Bangkok, spending Christmas travelling round Thailand for 8 days, then spending New Year in Sydney before travelling around Australia for a few weeks then onto Dubai to celebrate my birthday.
Wow!! Now, this trip will I’m sure have some incredible things to write about!

ES: Then you must come back and tell us all about it! Now, just between ourselves, have you ever had a holiday romance? Details, please…

MP: Ha ha ha! I actually met the love of my life (my current Scottish boyfriend) Stuart on holiday.
I was on a little girlie holiday with my friend Eilidh and he was on a big stag do with his friends and the dads etc.

I was on tour at the time with Evita and happened to have a scheduled week off, so Ei and I decided to book a last minute all inclusive holiday to Tenerife. We juiced for the week before so we felt slim and ready to sunbathe and then dance the nights away – our fav thing about holidaying together is dance routines lol

Stu and his group were staying in the same hotel as us. We all clicked straight away, although I thought Stuart was too laddy and he thought I was stuck up – match made in heaven.
However one night we were all out (which became usual), and we were in a particularly gross club when this really creepy guy got overly close to me, I caught Stuart’s eye and gave him a wide eyed stare meaning for him to come help me, which he did very quickly. Thanks to that creepy man I saw a whole different side to Stu, which I’m so happy about as it was this act that got us properly talking and it made us realise that we had a lot in common and very similar desires of life.

Through talking we established that my next tour venue after holiday was Carlisle – this is close to Stu’s home town Edinburgh. We agreed that Stu would come visit me the following week and we would stay in touch. I fell for Stu instantly and hoped that he would keep his promise – he did!!

We are still together over a year and a half later and Stuart has now moved from Edinburgh and moved in with me in Essex.

Yay!!!!

ES: Oh, how lovely, a real-life holiday romance!! And finally, what tips would you give to holidaymakers and travellers?
MP: Always travel with people you can laugh with as no matter where you are you will always have a good time. And do research the local area. I am someone who enjoys nice restaurants and a good boogie at night time, so it’s important for me to have a choice of places to eat out and some nice bars to have cocktails and dance the night away. And most of all, make the most of every place you go to.

ES: Michelle, you have been the most brilliant Hot Holidays! guest. Thank you so much.

Wasn’t she wonderful? If you want to find out more about Michelle – www.michellepentecost.com or www.dynamixdance.co.uk You can also follow her on Twitter – @michpentecost @dynamixdance

Carol E. Wyer

 

Carol raring to go in Iceland

Carol raring to go in Iceland

 

I am so thrilled that zany, funny, grumpy, woman-after-my-own-heart traveller Carol E. Wyer is my guest today. *Does happy dance!*

Carol E. Wyer wants to live in a world where gummy bears do not rot your teeth and everyone laughs at least fifty times a day.
As a humorous writer and blogger, she’s been featured in and written for Woman’s’ Own, Yours, Choice, and Woman’s Weekly magazines, the Huffington Post and been interviewed on numerous BBC radio shows, NBC and Sky television and BBC Breakfast television.
When she’s not hiding in … Read the rest »

Alix Long

Alix on her recent holiday in Amsterdam

Alix on her recent holiday in Amsterdam

Having read and written stories since she was five-years-old, the great feedback she received from publishing online prompted Alix to start thinking about becoming a professional author and sending her work to literary agents. This has led to Alix appearing on Sky News and visiting schools to give talks about writing and the publishing industry, as well as regularly writing for the Huffington Post. In the meantime, she reads unendingly, scratches countless ideas into notebooks and blogs on Delightful Book Reviews
Find out more about Alix or read her reviews:
www.Delightfulbookreview.blogspot.co.uk

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alix-long/

https://twitter.com/long_alixRead the rest »

Holly Martin

 

HOLLY MARTIN

HOLLY MARTIN

Today I am delighted to have the wonderful Holly Martin as my Hot Holidays! guest.  Her latest book, Fairytale Beginnings came out on 10th July and I have just started reading it and am loving it!  Holly won the Carina Valentine Competition at 2013 Festival of Romance with The Guestbook and the Sunlounger Competition, which led to her story being published in the Sunlounger Anthology.

ES: Hi, Holly, thanks so much for joining us today. Can you start by telling us where you spent your last holiday and why you chose to go there?
HM: Last year, … Read the rest »

Angela Marsons

 

Angela with her partner Julie enjoying their holiday

Angela with her partner Julie enjoying their holiday

I am so, so happy today because my Hot Holidays! guest is Angela Marsons. Yes, THE Angela Parsons; the author of Amazon #1 Bestsellers SILENT SCREAM and EVIL GAMES, two of the best books I’ve read – nay, devoured – in a long time.

Angela lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.
She first discovered her love of writing at junior school when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card … Read the rest »

Annie Burkin

 

Annie in Marbella last week

Annie in Marbella last week

Today we have such a special treat because our Hot Holidays! Guest is East London writer and actress ANNIE BURKIN! And she joins us on such a special day, too (see below).

Annie decided to reignite her passion for acting back in 2005 where she enrolled at the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. Here she learnt drama through improvisation and also was given the opportunity to write, perform and direct a series of 20-minute plays over a few years resulting in her being awarded the Best Actress and Best Play categories in AST … Read the rest »