YouTube Reading and a YouTube recipe

Hi everyone

I hope you are all well and surviving the lock down. I must be honest, if it wasn’t for the economic impact on the world of this staying at home thing, I could be a really happy person. No interruptions, no coffee breaks, internal meetings where I can do my fondant while diligently listening instead of doodling all over a piece of paper. I can never keep my hands and fingers still during meetings and I often bit my nails. I find doing my fondant art while listening very calming.

It could be the perfect life except that a lot of things have stopped and that isn’t good for the world at large.

Anyhow, I have posted another Sir Chocolate free PDF audio book reading to my YouTube site today. I am reading The Marzipan Witch and the golden swan. You can download the illustrated PDF here:


The golden swan

I have also posted a recipe video for the Buffalo Coconut buns from Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook.


The fondant five


#Bookreview – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

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What Amazon says

Secrets of the Galapagos Kindle Edition

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

My review

I reviewed this book in my capacity as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you would like your book reviewed, you can contact Rosie Amber here:

This is an entertaining murder mystery with a large dollop of romance. The story is set on a cruise ship which is travelling around the idyllic islands of the Galapogos. The author weaves some lovely and interesting information about these island, the conservation programmes they have in place as well as the amazing wildlife that is found there, into the story which I really enjoyed.

Giovanna has recently had some bad experiences. She lost all the money raised from investors to build her dream non-profit veterinary clinic to a clever con artist and, as a result, her fiancee and business partner, Tim, has broken off their engagement. To make matters even worse, her best friend, Connie, is married to the conman, and helped entice her into his trap. Giovanna’s youthful looking grandmother, Michelle, talks her into going on a cruise to help her recover from these losses and move on with her life. Giavanna decides on the Galapagos as a destination because she has learned, via Facebook, that this is where Connie and the conman have gone and she hopes to somehow get an opportunity to confront him and get the stolen money back.

Giovanna is in for some more hard knocks. While snorkeling with her new friend, Laurel, the pair get separated from the group and Giovanna is nearly left behind by the boat. Laurel disappears and no-one will acknowledge it except for Michelle and a few other guests who notice she is missing. Other unusual things are also happening on board the ship: Michelle gets hit over the head in the ship’s library, a memory stick with photographs of animals on it belonging to Laurel goes missing and one of the guides turns up dead in the swimming pool. Giavanna is determined to get to the bottom of it all and also to confront the conman if the opportunity presents itself.

Into this whole mix enters a gorgeous local policeman, Victor, who is investigating the murder, the disappearance of Laurel and who is interested in Giavanna.

This is a fast paced book with lots of action and some romance. I found it a bit hard to follow in a few parts because there was just so much happening and so many different sub-plots but on the whole this is an entertaining and interesting read.

Purchase Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

Here we are – a poem


Here we are

all staying at home

Gone is any concept

of spending time alone.


The room where we previously

gathered to eat

Is covered in school books

and far from neat.


I’ve discovered new attributes

my husband kept concealed

His grizzly bear side

has now been revealed.


Who would have thought

a teacher I’d become

To ensure my boys years of learning

do not quickly come undone.


The pain in my back

is now here to stay

my physiotherapy’s been postponed

to another distant day.


From my OCD son

I’ve had to hide the soap

Even the old fashioned one

that hangs from a rope.


We are all in this together

all in the same proverbial boat

Remember that when you feel grumpy

We all need to keep going and afloat.

By Robbie Cheadle



Sir Chocolate has a YouTube Channel

Hi everyone

I hope you are all well and managing with the lock-down many of us are caught up in. As part of our outreach and community service, the boys and I have created a YouTube Channel where we will be posting video’s of how to make certain simple recipes for children and some readings of our stories too.

First up is my older son, Gregory, reading our free book, Sir Chocolate Saves Easter

You can download a PDF of the book with colour illustrations here:

You will meet Yum and Tum:


as well as Sylvia Honeylegs



Meet children’s author and poet, Victoria Zigler and a book review

Poet and children’s book author, Victoria Zigler, is my March Treasuring Poetry guest and has shared her favourite poem and poet. I have also shared a review of her poetry book, Waves of Broken Dreams and Other Poems. Thank you Kaye Lynne Booth for hosting us.

Writing to be Read

thumbnail_Treasuring Poetry Treasuring Poetry

Today, I have talented children’s author and poet, Victoria (Tori) Zigler, visiting Writing to be Read to tell us about her favourite poem and poet.

What is your favourite poem?

As I’ve often said, I always struggle with picking favourites, and the fact my favourites will generally change depending on my mood doesn’t help.  My three favourite poets are Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, and Dylan Thomas, with Emily Dickenson and Edward Leer right behind them – the latter especially when I want something light-hearted.  But as for a favourite poem… Now, that’s a little more difficult.  Like I said, that changes constantly.  However, this poem by Emily Dickenson entitled “There Is No Frigate Like A Book” is definitely among my favourites:

“There is no Frigate like a Book

To take us Lands away,

Nor any Coursers like a Page

Of prancing Poetry –

This Traverse may the poorest take

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