Book review – A Henchman’s Honor, by Dennis M Young


12208677_858811600901862_7183188653730796681_nWow. Seriously. It’s rare that a book will make that much of an impression on me that it prompts me to write a review such as this. “A Henchman’s Honor” by Dennis M Young, based on his true story, is on a different level.

I have just finished the last chapter; my heart is pounding from the emotional stress, my eyes are puffy from the tears, and my head is reeling from trying to process the implications of what I’ve just learned. I am overwhelmed and just don’t know what to say. I am completely drained. I think I need to go and lie down in a dark room somewhere and really reflect on the many things I’d previously been told were a part of reality and that I’d been led to believe were true.

That may sound crazy, over the top even, and I know I’m prone to drama on occasion, but even I had no idea of the power that Dennis’ words would have, or their effect on my psyche. Given the subject matter it’s not something that I would naturally be interested in. Quite by accident  Dennis and I became friends on social media, and I discovered that he’d written a book, so immediately downloaded it on to my Kindle. Having never previously read anything with a military background I wasn’t too sure how I’d find it, but by the end of the first page it’d had such a profound effect on me that I had to put it down and take it in – the truly shocking beginning, and the fact that it was about someone I’d conversed with surprised me with the inability to come to terms with what ‘could’ have happened. From that point on I knew I was in for a revealing discovery, not only of Dennis’ mindset during the many years that his book covers, but of the often distressing situations he found himself in, and of the knowledge revealed towards the end.

From his early life on a farm in Canada to his time in Bosnia, and everything in between, the depth of Dennis’ book means you will be riveted from start to finish. His ability to write honestly and openly, and often with much humour, keeps the story flowing from one experience to the next. I cannot stress enough how passionate I am about it – his story needs to be told. There are two books I’ve read that have actually made a difference to me. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is one of them. A Henchman’s Honor is the other. Dennis, it is MY honour to know something of you, in however limited a capacity. Thank you, sincerely, for your bravery and resolve, in the past and for the future.

Ludorati Café – Fun & Games in Nottingham

HomePagePhoto_1If you’re looking for something to do with the kids and you’re in the Nottinghamshire area check out this new boardgame café on Maid Marian Way, it’s fantastic! It’s really modern and fresh-looking, and there’s a whole floor to ceiling wall full of boardgames to choose from – over 700 apparently. You can play all sorts from the well-known, such as Game of Life or Monopoly (every version you can think of), to three-player chess and more complicated strategy games. The staff are on-hand to help out with the rules if you need them to, which is really handy for me as three pages into a rulebook and my eyes start to glaze over! And if you really like any of the games and want to take one, or two, home there’s also a retail section.

Busy4As well as the games there’s a great range of food too, from paninis and sandwiches to salads, carrot sticks, crisps, cookies and cakes. I tried the Lemon Poppy Seed muffin, full of runny lemon curd in the middle – yummy! Then there’s the coffee, hot chocolate, amazing milk-shakes and frappes, and, BONUS, they serve alcohol for the big people too – wine, beer, cider & prosecco.

Connect4The kids will love it and I highly recommend it, so switch off those ipads and TVs and go and test your grey matter – it’s a most enjoyable way to spend an afternoon!

Visit Ludorati Café’s website at, or Facebook page.



home_wallpaper_standard_5My goodness – 8  years on and I’m sure there must still be some pregnancy hormones floating around as I was an embarrassing emotional wreck while watching this film! An animated children’s movie that gives you a lump in the throat and makes you all teary eyed – how on earth is that possible? Home, that’s how!

I took the twins to see this movie during the Easter break and enjoyed it so much that I never took my eyes off the screen, revelling in the child-like fantasy of it all. This feel-good movie is made by those clever people at Dreamworks Studio – they must have the best job in the world!

Anyway, the story is about a six-legged, colour changing little guy called Oh who arrives on earth with his fellow aliens, collectively called the Boov, in search of a new home, having run away from their enemy, the Gorg. These cute characters, who fly around inside bubble saucers, have rather a habit of running away from their fears instead of facing them and initially take much pride in that fact. As the Boov arrive on earth they go about ‘re-homing’ the humans – except for one, Tip, who they miss because she has a cat called Pig on her head when the transporter hovers by (never mind – you’ll get it when you see it!). Her mum isn’t so lucky and they end up being parted.  The story follows Tip’s search for her mum, aided and abetted along the way by Oh. I won’t give anything away about how they meet or what they get up to, but straightforward it certainly is not, and there’s one thing that Oh has done that could put the whole planet in peril. Their adventure also shows both Oh and Tip the true meaning of home.

This very funny movie is about courage, friendship, love, standing out from the crowd and being proud of who you are, celebrating uniqueness and being different. The soundtrack, which we had to buy a couple of days later, is also fantastic and features music by Rhianna and JLo.

A brilliant, colourful and lively movie. With a happy ending, of course! Don’t forget the hankies.


Daily Mail article

We’re in the Daily Mail today!

“Greatest gift of all from the bank of mum and dad: It’s a VERY modern trend – the parents who help fund the cost of their own IVF grandchildren

  • At 33, Tru Spencer wanted to start a family with her husband, James, 41 

  • Unfortunately they found out that James’ sperm count was too low

  • Tru’s parents, Pat and Alex, paid half of the £15,000 bill for Tru’s IVF”

Click on the photo below to read the article by Alice Smellie!



Twin Stars reviewed by a medical professional

Twins and multiple births

A very short note to say I am thrilled to receive a fab review by Dr Carol Cooper – author of Twins & Multiple Births: The Essential Parenting Guide from Pregnancy to Adulthood, medical journalist, TV & radio medical expert. Here’s what she says:

“This lovely book spans nearly four years, during which Tru Spencer and her husband put normal life on hold in their quest for parenthood.

Most of their bumpy IVF journey is written as a diary, so it’s a detailed personal account of their ups and downs, some of which are frankly harrowing. While assisted fertility is routine for those providing it, it’s anything but to those going through treatment. If you read this book, you soon realise you’re not alone in having to cope with stress, hope, despair, spiralling expense, the effect on the rest of the family (including your own parents), the impact on your work, and above all the helplessness that comes with the process.

Making babies is a gamble for anyone, but especially for those having fertility treatment. By the time they get to IVF, most people are well-established in their careers and used to being in control. It’s hard to lose this and face the unknown, as the author explains so well.

This book would be most useful for anyone having fertility treatment. In fact they should probably know something about the emotional fallout before they embark on treatment. As a doctor, I think it would also be a useful resource for health care professionals and medical students.

It’s not a medical book but there are a few helpful references. Just one note of caution: don’t assume that everything Tru went through will happen to you (though it may, because life’s like that).

One minor quibble: Tru glosses over the difficulties of moving house at 15 weeks. I always found it an ordeal, even when not pregnant. Maybe I should use her removal company next time.

Like the rest of the book, the end is hair-raising but left me with a warm glow. I love a happy ending!”

So a huge thank you to Dr Cooper. Getting a review like that gives me a warm glow too!
Click to read this review on Amazon