REVIEW: ‘The Little Blue Door’ – Francesca Catlow’s captivating debut novel

REVIEW: ‘The Little Blue Door’ – Francesca Catlow’s captivating debut novel

Francesca Catlow’s debut novel, The Little Blue Door, is a captivating story which, from the opening lines, captures the feelings of the main character completely. The character is so beautifully crafted that we feel as though we know Melodie from the moment we meet her. It is a testament to Francesca Catlow’s immense talent and skill as a writer that we are drawn into her world from the first page. Her vivid imagery and intricate description evokes the enchanting beauty of Greece and immediately transports us to Melodie’s world.

Melodie is such an endearing and engaging character that the reader immediately wants to know more. We live the story through the character and we are by her side as she begins her journey of discovery, joy, and heartbreak. Catlow’s portrayal of Melodie’s loneliness throughout the novel demonstrates her absolute understanding of human nature. Melodie’s feelings, reactions and responses to the world around her create a truth and authenticity which reveals Catlow’s unique sensitivity as a writer.

Catlow creates an initial air of mystery in her main characters which intrigues but, more importantly, keeps us on Melodie’s path. As Melodie learns more about the new people in her life, so do we as the reader. Catlow ensures that we travel this road with Melodie and live her experiences alongside her; we care about her and feel both her sadness and her joy.

As Melodie’s story is gradually revealed to us, we are taken down an unpredictable road which draws us ever closer to the three main characters. She is a likeable and relatable character and we find ourselves caring about her deeply. We experience the growth and self-discovery of Melodie, Anton and Gaia as they develop and face some difficult revelations and realisations about themselves and the people they believed they knew well. Catlow’s characters are real; they are likeable yet flawed. They are real and reflect the human condition.

The Little Blue Door is a truly beautiful debut novel. Francesca Catlow is an intelligent and perceptive writer who understands how to make the reader feel as though they are an intricate part of the lives of her characters. I became absolutely invested in Melodie’s story and I look forward to reading about the next phase of her life in Behind the Olive Trees.

The Little Blue Door by Francesca Catlow

Thanks to Alex Shewan for the FAB review

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The Soldiers – Platinum Jubilee Tribute Song 2022

The Soldiers – Platinum Jubilee Tribute Song 2022

Music Infinity announces a new single from the best-selling group THE SOLDIERS entitled Her Majesty the Queen Platinum Jubilee Tribute Song 2022. The song is THE SOLDIERS way of showing their gratitude to the service Queen Elizabeth II has given this country and the Commonwealth over the last 70 years. Profits from sales will be going to charities supported by the Royal Family.

With over 70 years of combined service between them, Captain Gary Chilton, Lance Corporal Ryan Idzi (veteran) and Warrant Officer Richie Maddocks have served their country with honour in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.
They have dedicated their working lives to Her Majesty the Queen, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces.  
THE SOLDIERS were the first ever group of serving British servicemen to tackle the pop charts, with their 2009 debut album Coming Home reaching the Top 5 – outselling Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson! It remained on the charts for some 3 months, eventually receiving double-platinum status. The guys have raised over £400,000 for Army charities.

 The Soldiers Sizzle Reel –
Now, after a 10-year hiatus, they have reformed purely to record their heart-felt tribute which celebrates the Platinum Jubilee, marking the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s service to the nation and Commonwealth.
Captain Gary Chilton said, “Once we heard the song and saw the lyrics, we knew we wanted this to be our part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.”
The track has been produced by multi award-winning producer Nick Patrick. Nick has had 6 #1 UK albums, 1 #1 UK single, 13 Top 5 Albums and a total of 17 Top 10 Albums in the last 6 years. He has been nominated for 3 GRAMMY™? awards and has won 8 Album of the Year Classic BRIT Awards.
His recent projects have included: Johnny Cash, Dame Shirley Bassey, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley “If I Can Dream” and “The Wonder of You”, Roy Orbison, The Carpenters, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Placido Domingo, Sting, Seal, Ball and Boe (3 x UK #1 Albums), Il Divo, and The Gypsy Kings.
The Royal Corps of Army Music

Captain Chilton enlisted into the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps in 1984. He has since served in The Band of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, OP GRANBY, The Band of the Dragoon Guards and The Kings Division Waterloo Band.
In 2006 Captain Chilton joined the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band as Band Quartermaster Sergeant, and was subsequently promoted to the rank of WO2, assuming the position of Band Sergeant Major.

Formally the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards

Ryan joined up in the December 2003 and started his basic 12 week training in Winchester.  In 2004 he joined the phase 2 part of training down in Bovington, Dorset, where he learned the tactics and skill in how to operate a tank around the battlefield. Once he had finished phase 2 he transferred to Germany where he would be based for the remainder of his army career (10 years). During 2004-2005 he was deployed in Iraq (Op Telic 5) on the Um Qasr port.
Late 2005-2006 he was deployed back to Iraq (Op Telic 8) to Basra and Baghdad. 2007 he was deployed to Afghanistan.  Ryan left the Army in April 2013 and now lives in South Wales. Ryan is now employed as a Mechanical Fitter for Biffa Waste and is now the No1 Goalkeeper for Trethomas Bluebirds AFC.

The Royal Corps of Army Music
Richie joined the Army in 1988 aged 16. During this time, he has been deployed throughout the world including, Iraq, Bosnia, Pakistan, and Canada. He then went on to become an Instructor at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, Twickenham, spend 2 years as a trainer, training the next generation of military musicians.
2011 Richie was posted to the Band of the Grenadier Guards in London as a Colour Sergeant and spent the next few years taking part in world famous events such as Trooping the Colour, Changing of the Guard, Remembrance at the Cenotaph, The Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and even took part in the 2012 Olympics.   Since 2012 Richie has been Band Sergeant Major with the Royal Artillery Band, The Band of Coldstream Guards and The British Army Band, Colchester.  Richie is due to the leave the service in the Summer of 2022 for new adventures with his family.


Rock Choir: Platinum Jubilee Windsor Castle Performance – Marking 70 Years of Her Majesty’s Reign

Rock Choir: Platinum Jubilee Windsor Castle Performance – Marking 70 Years of Her Majesty’s Reign

Thousands of Rock Choir Members to Dance and Sing on the Streets To Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with 70 Flash Mobs in 70 Locations raising money for 70 different charities!Plus official performance invitation involving 300 +  ‘Rockies’ at Windsor Castle Long Walk on Sunday, 5th June.

As Jubilee fever starts to grip the nation, Rock Choir has now stepped forward with their own unique way of marking the once in a lifetime celebration by doing what they do best – singing in the community but with a surprise Jubilee twist! Their 33,000 members across the UK intend to take part in 70 top secret flash mobs, in which they will perform iconic feel-good hits such as ‘Dancing in the Street’ and Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, aimed to get the Great British Public up and joining in and celebrating in the joyous occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The unsuspecting public will see the choir unexpectedly burst into song as the flash mob members reveal themselves and explode into song in all different locations from high streets, to shopping centres, markets, parks and of course the many organised Jubilee Street parties that will be happening around the country. In each location the local Rock Choir members will be fundraising for different charities, aiming to make sure as many organisations in need are supported in their local communities.

The biggest Rock Choir performance of the celebrations will culminate in a huge official performance on Sunday 5th June, when over 300 Rock Choir members have been invited to perform on the ‘Long Walk‘at Windsor Castle.

Rock Choir is already well known for performing the largest flash mob in London where 10,000 Rock Choir Members unveiled themselves in the crowd at the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Proms in the Park in Hyde Park.

The Rock Choir members come from all walks of life and from all different backgrounds and professions. They represent the diverse and passionate Great British Public including key workers, NHS staff, carers, service providers, students and the retired.

As a much-loved British household brand and the original and leading contemporary choir in the UK, Rock Choir is thrilled to help the UK celebrate this historic milestone of the Platinum Jubilee with its 70 flash mob events. The experience will not only provide an opportunity for the Rock Choir members to celebrate and take part, but it will also provide music, joy and entertainment for the public, helping to create the ultimate feel-good vibe to help the nation get up and ‘dance in the street’ with them.

Caroline Redman Lusher, Creator and Creative Director of Rock Choir comments:
“We are delighted to take part in the celebrations doing what we do best, bringing communities together, performing, singing and marking this significant and joyous occasion with the ultimate feel-good performance of a flash mob! It’s an exhilarating experience for the members to take part in and it will create special memories which will last a lifetime. It also brings the Great British Public together who are invited to support and share in the fun with us.

As a nation we need to come together as one and celebrate the amazing achievement of Her Majesty the Queen and Rock Choir promises to bring the party to the Jubilee Celebrations!”

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