Wednesday, 29 June 2011


About the Product:

This non greasy lightly scented after sun lotion is formulated to soothe the skin and will help prolong your tan without peeling.

What I first noticed upon opening the bottle was the gorgeous smell!  It is so unlike all the other After Sun lotions I've used, which usually have no smell, and I loved it straightaway.

I took it on holiday recently and used it every day after I'd been in the sun.

The white lotion is a good thick consistency and I had to rub it in for a while longer than my usual After Sun until it had soaked completely into my skin......afterwards it cooled my skin and made it feel lovely and soft.

I was really happy overall with this lotion and would recommend it if you're looking for an organic After Sun Lotion.

It is available from mypure at a price of £8.99 for a 125ml bottle.

Everything sold by mypure is sulfate free (sodium lauryl sulfate SLS, sodium laureth sulfate SLES, ammonium laureth sulfate ALES), paraben free & phthalate free. 

To see all the Beauty Care Product Reviews I've done for please click here

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Genre:  Fiction/Magical Realism
Published by:  Windmill Books  (Feb 2011)
Pages:  292  (Paperback)
Source:  Received from the Publisher
My Rating:  8/10

About the Book: 

On the eve of her 9th birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the slice. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother – her cheerful, can-do mother – tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes perilous. Anything can be revealed at any meal.

Rose’s gift forces her to confront the secret knowledge all families keep hidden – truths about her mother's life outside the home, her father's strange detachment and her brother's clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up, she realises there are some secrets that even her taste buds cannot discern.

Take one dysfunctional family, sprinkle some magic dust, a few slices of depression, loneliness, sadness and mystery, stir in a pinch of family secrets and you’ll have the most unusual tale of a young girl with the most unusual gift of knowing how someone is feeling while they’re cooking a meal just by consuming it.

As I finished that first bite, as that first impression faded, I felt a subtle shift inside, an unexpected seemed that my mouth was also filling with the taste of smallness....of upset, tasting a distance I somehow knew was connected to my mother, tasting a crowded sense of her thinking.

For Rose, every food had a feeling, by the time she was 12 she could identify exactly where it was produced or grown.  As she grew up she found it more palatable to eat food that was produced in a factory, preferably not by human hands.

Her brother Joseph was distant and uncommunicative (and he keeps disappearing and appearing out of nowhere!), her mother was raw with loneliness (but keeps it well hidden) and her father rarely spoke to her (and he has a secret of his own).

This is, basically, a family saga as we follow Rose through her early years, her jobs, her college life, her crush on Joseph’s friend, George, who is the only one who believes her, and, ultimately, as she comes to terms with her gift.

This is a wonderfully written story, full of oddball but memorable characters, which I felt enchanted by.  

My favourite was the secretive and sad Joseph, I wanted to know more about him, how he was feeling, what he was thinking but the book focused mainly on Rose and the other characters were just on the periphery so I didn't feel as if all my questions were answered ......... but perhaps that was what the author intended .......... or perhaps it was just me not seeing the answers!
The writing reminded me of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Saturday, 25 June 2011


 This is a monthly feature where I highlight just a few of the great reads coming out in the UK in the following month.

The Caspian Gates by Harry Sidebottom (4th in the Warrior of Rome series)
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK & USA

AD262 - the imperium is in turmoil after the struggle for the throne. Furthermore, Ephesus, Asia’s metropolis, lies in ruins, shattered by a mighty earthquake. Its citizens live in fear as the mob overwhelms the city, baying for blood to avenge the gods who have punished them.

Yet an even greater threat to the Empire advances from the North. The barbaric Goth tribes sail towards Ephesus, determined to pillage the city. Only Ballista, Warrior of Rome, knows the ways of the barbarians, and only he can defeat them.

The Goths’ appetite for brutality and destruction is limitless and before long Ballista is locked into a deadly bloodfeud, with an enemy that has sworn to destroy him – and the imperium - at all costs.

Harry Sidebottom is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Ancient History at St Benets Hall, Oxford and a Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College.  His website is here


All For You by Sheila O’Flanagan
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK & USA …..... Aug 2011 - South Africa ….... Sept 2011 - Canada

As TV's favourite weather forecaster, Lainey is good at making predictions. But what she doesn't foresee is that her own life is about to hit a stormy patch. With a string of failed relationships behind her, surely history isn't about to repeat itself with her beloved Ken? To add fuel to the fire, her estranged mother announces that she's returning to Dublin. Deanna has always been dismissive of Lainey's choices - particularly in men. And Deanna's lectures are the last thing Lainey needs now.

Yet is there more to her mother than she knows? Uncovering some long-concealed family secrets, Lainey begins to reassess her life. Is the happy-ever-after she's always dreamed of really what she wants after all?

Everything you need to know about Sheila O’Flanagan can be found at her website.

I’ve only read two of Sheila’s books.  Anyone But Him and A Season to Remember.  Both of which I enjoyed.


House of the Hanged by Mark Mills
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK …..... 1 July 2011 - Australia

A riveting and evocative tale of passion and murder, set on the French Riviera in the 1930s, from the No.1 bestselling author of The Savage Garden.
France, 1935: At the poor man’s end of the Riviera sits Le Rayol, a haven for artists, expatriates and refugees. Here, a world away from the rumblings of a continent heading towards war, Tom Nash has rebuilt his life after a turbulent career in the Secret Intelligence Service.
His past, though, is less willing to leave him behind. When a midnight intruder tries to kill him, Tom knows it is just a matter of time before another assassination attempt is made.
Gathered at Le Rayol for the summer months are all those he holds most dear, including his beloved goddaughter Lucy. Reluctantly, Tom comes to believe that one of them must have betrayed him. If he is to live, Tom must draw his enemy out, but at what cost to himself and the people he loves…?

If I read a better novel than House of the Hanged this year I’ll count myself lucky.” says


The Little Village School (6th book in the Dales series) by Gervase Phinn
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK ….......... 1 Nov 2011 - USA

She was wearing red shoes! With silver heels! Elisabeth Devine causes quite a stir on her arrival in the village. No one can     understand why the head of a big inner city school would want to come to sleepy little Barton-in-the-Dale, to a primary with more problems than school dinners. And that's not even counting the challenges the mysterious Elisabeth herself will face: a bitter former head teacher, a grumpy caretaker and a duplicitous chair of governors, to name but a few. Then there's the gossip. After all, a woman who would wear red shoes to an interview is obviously capable of anything ...Warm, funny and poignant, Gervase Phinn's first novel for adults creates a fictional world that's as real as can be. It will delight all his fans, and win him many more.

I remember reading Gervase Phinn’s endearing and funny books recounting his experiences as a schools inspector in the Yorkshire Dales many years ago.
This is his first novel for adults.

His website detailing all his books is here


Agent 6  (3rd book in the Leo Demidov series) by Tom Rob Smith
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK …........ 5 Jan 2012 - USA

How far would you go to solve a crime against your family?

It is 1965. Leo Demidov, a former secret police agent, is forbidden to travel with his wife and daughters from Moscow to New York. They are part of a "Peace Tour," meant to foster closer relations between the two Cold War enemies. On the tour, Leo's family is caught up in a conspiracy and betrayal that ends in tragedy. In the horrible aftermath, Leo demands one thing: that he be allowed to investigate and find the attacker that struck at the heart of his family on foreign soil. From the highest levels of the Soviet government, he is told No, that is impossible. Leo is haunted by the question: what happened in New York? In a surprising, epic story that spans decades and continents-from 1950s Moscow to 1960s America to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s-Leo's long pursuit of justice will force him to confront everything he ever thought he knew about his country, his family, and himself.

To learn more about Tom Rob Smith see his official page on Simon & Schuster’s website.

I have this book to read as well as his 1st in this series ….. Child 44 …........ my review is here


The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff
Published:  12 July 2011 - UK & USA

An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attorneys who find themselves slowly falling for one another while working to defend the brother of a Holocaust hero against allegations of World War II-era war crimes.

The defendant, wealthy financier Roger Dykmans, mysteriously refuses to help in his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies within an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As the narrative moves from Philadelphia to Germany, Poland, and Italy, we are given glimpses of the lives that the anniversary clock has touched over the past century, and learn about the love affair that turned a brother into a traitor.

Rich in historical detail, Jenoff's astonishing new work is a testament to true love under the worst of circumstances.

Pam Jenoff is the author of the international best-selling book The Kommandant’s Girl’ 

To read a fab review of this head on over to Rhapsody in Books


And Then It Happened by Linda Green
Published:  21 July 2011 - UK

Mel Taylor found her Mr Right at age thirteen. Twenty years on they remain blissfully in love. Everything is perfect – she has the man she loves, a gorgeous daughter, a great job and a dream home. But Mel’s happiness is overshadowed by a niggling feeling that it’s all been a bit too easy. Despite her husband Adam’s efforts to reassure her that nothing bad is going to happen, Mel can’t shake the feeling that all good things must come to an end. And then it happens…

According to this article Linda Green’s new novel has been written with help from staff at Daniel Yorath House.


Hotwire by Alex Kava  (9th book in the Maggie O’Dell Series)
Published:  21 July 2011 - UK …......... 12 July 2011 - USA

On a crisp fall evening in western Nebraska, what started as a group of kids filming their drug-fueled party ends in an explosive light show, leaving the victims apparently electrocuted, with odd scorch marks being the only evidence. While Maggie tries to make sense of the different stories, sifting through what is real and what is hallucination, she realizes that the surviving teens are being targeted and systematically eliminated.
Meanwhile on the East Coast, Maggie's FBI partner, R.J. Tully, and Army colonel Benjamin Platt are at the scene of a deadly outbreak, desperate to identify the pathogen that has infected children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the miles that separate them, the two cases collide as Maggie, Tully, and Platt uncover secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the remote Midwest landscape.

According to best-selling author Lisa Gardner “Twisted plots, shocking characters, breakneck pacing.  An Alex Kava thriller is guaranteed to keep you up all night, and you’ll be happy about it!”

The website of Alex Kava can be found here


The House By The Sea by Santa Montefiore
Published:  21 July 2011 - UK & USA

Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa that overlooks the sea just outside her small village. She likes to spy from the crumbling wall into the gardens, and imagine that one day she'll escape her meagre existence and live there.
One day, Dante, the son of the villa's powerful industrialist owner, invites her inside. From that moment on Floriana knows that her destiny is there, with him.
But as they grow up they cross an unseen line, jeopardising the very thing they hold most dear. Decades later and hundreds of miles away, a beautiful old country house hotel on England's Devon coast has fallen on hard times. Its owner, Marina, advertises for an artist-in-residence to stay the summer and teach the guests how to paint. Rafael Santoro is charismatic and wise, and soon begins to pacify the discord in her family. However, Rafa is not who he seems. He has his own agenda. Whether to destroy, to seduce, or to heal, it is certain to affect them all.
Spanning four decades and sweeping from the Italian countryside to the English coast, this new story by Santa Montefiore is a moving and mysterious tale of love, forgiveness and the past revealed.

I have this book to read.   I see from her website that she is a very prolific writer, though I’ve never read any of her books before.  I’m looking forward to this.

Sharon at Jera's Jamboree has recently read this ...... read her brilliant review here .......... I think she enjoyed it!



Friday, 24 June 2011



When Mia discovers some text messages on her boyfriend's phone that suggest that he's having an affair, instead of confronting him, she decides that she's going to find out all she can about his other lover.  She finds that she can be just as deceitful as him as she delves into the other woman's life...........and in doing so she surprises herself by how many lies she can get away with.

I really enjoyed this dark chic lit novel.  Interesting characters, a good build up with some surprises.

According to Louise Candlish, best-selling author of Other People's Secrets:  "Funny, dark and very surprising - a compulsive new breed of chic-lit."

To read more about Lucy Dawson see her website. 


On the eve of Rose's 9th birthday, while taking a bite out of her mother's homemade cake, she realises that she could feel her mother's emotions. From then on, every time she ate any food she knew exactly where the ingredients were made and the feelings of the person who cooked it.

My Review is here

Read what Estella at Estellas Revenge thought about it here



I also started listening to this Audiobook.

Set in Japan in 1799 it is the story of Dutchman Jacob de Zoet who intends to make his fortune in Japan before returning home to marry his fiancee, but when he meets the daughter of a Samurai his life takes a different turn.

I think the narrator, Jonathan Aris, is fabulous, he gives each character a unique and distinct voice, and how he manages to pronounce the difficult Japanese and Dutch names is beyond me!
Paula Wilcox (remember her from the TV series The Liver Birds?) is also excellent.

It is a very complicated plot with lots of different characters which I'm only just getting used to .... but I am enjoying it.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Genre:  Thriller
Published by:  Simon & Schuster  (May 2011)
Pages:  640  (Hardcover)
Source:  Received from the Publisher
My Rating:  9/10

About the Book:

Siberia, 1939. Pregnant with her first child, Lena Orlova plans a daring escape from a brutal Soviet prison camp to the one place she knows is safe: a cave containing the legendary Altar of Bones, hidden behind a frozen waterfall deep in the icy wilderness.
San Francisco, Present Day. Zoe Dmitroff discovers that she is the last in a line of women who have been entrusted with a secret so great many have died preserving it. Propelled into a dangerous quest to discover exactly what she was born to protect, Zoe is soon running for her life from a vicious assassin and an all powerful businessman with chilling plans. Only ex-Special Ops soldier, Ry O'Malley, can help her survive, but with time running out and the web closing in, Zoe will have to make a devastating decision that will transform her forever.
From the frozen wastelands of Russia, to the winding maze of Paris's backstreets, from Washington D.C, through America's mid-west all the way to San Francisco, THE ALTAR OF BONES is a gripping global thriller that spans the generations and unearths the dark secret behind one of the biggest conspiracies of all time.

Think Jack Reacher meets The Russian Sopranos meets Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and that will give you some idea of just what sort of a roller-coaster ride you’re in for.

Ry O’Malley, battle-hardened ex-soldier learns of his father’s death bed confession to ‘the big kill’ and of a film that he took many years ago and which someone is desperate to find.  So desperate that they’ll stop at nothing to find it.  His father wants Ry to find the film or they will kill him.  But who are they and what is on the film?

Then he meets Zoe, a tough and smart lady, who discovers that she’s The Keeper of The Altar of Bones, and the inevitable romance ensues.  But what is the Altar, where is it and what is the connection with the film of ‘the big kill’? 

There are twists galore in this absorbing plot, just when you think ‘how are they going to get out of yet another tight situation with the baddies literally breathing down their necks’ somehow they always manage it!  From hair-raising car chases to machine gun toting men they have to be one step ahead or they're dead.

The main characters of Ry and Zoe were incredibly likeable and the bad guys/girls (of course) were not!

This book has everything you would want in a conspiracy thriller, and I highly recommend it.

Apparently, the author, Philip Carter is the pseudonym of a best-selling international female writer of romance stories.....I have no idea who it is.  Do you?

At the time of writing the publishers have a great competition to win an iPad2 - but you have to read the book to discover the answer!  The link is here.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

BOOK NEWS: TV drama is the new literature, says Salman Rushdie

Television drama has taken the place of film or even the novel as the best way to communicate ideas, Sir Salman Rushdie has said.

Television drama has taken the place of film or even the novel as the best way to communicate ideas, Sir Salman Rushdie has said.

'In television, the 60-minute series, The Wire and Mad Men and so on, the writer is the primary creative artist', said Rusdie Photo: LIONSGATE
The author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses believes that, far from its “dumbed-down” image, television has become the medium for some of the most sophisticated writing today.
Sir Salman, whose accolades include the “Booker of Bookers” award, has switched his attentions from literary fiction to the small screen, currently working on a new science fiction series in America.
Hailing the writing quality in hit US series such as The Wire, The Sopranos and The West Wing, he described television as “the best of both worlds” giving writers the kind of control over plot and characterisation previously enjoyed only by novelists.
“In the movies the writer is just the servant, the employee,” he told The Observer.
“In television, the 60-minute series, The Wire and Mad Men and so on, the writer is the primary creative artist.
“You have control in the way that you never have in the cinema. … if you have that, then what you can do with character and story is not at all unlike what you can do in a novel.” 

His change in focus follows protracted struggles to secure support for a screen adaptation of Midnight’s Children, his magic realism-inspired take on the history of modern India, which is currently being made into a film to be called Winds of Change. 

“[My agents] said to me that what I should really think about is a TV series, because what has happened in America is that the quality – or the writing quality – of movies has gone down the plughole. 

"If you want to make a $300 million special effects movie from a comic book, then fine. 

"But if you want to make a more serious movie… I mean you have no idea how hard it was to raise the money for Midnight's Children." 

To read the full article see

Thursday, 9 June 2011


About the Product:

Alva Crystal Deodorant SENSITIVE Pump Spray is a hypoallergenic natural deodorant for sensitive skin and moderate perspiration.

This neutral unscented aluminium-free and alcohol-free crystal deodorant spray effectively fights odour courtesy of the himalayan crystal salt, whilst underarm wetness is curbed by ammonium alum.

This comes in a neat little blue bottle and has a pump spray.  It is unscented so it doesn’t clash with the perfume you’re wearing.

I am afraid that this is not one of my favourite items from mypure.  

The spray is in a liquid form and it is very watery so the excess dripped down my body after I’d sprayed it under my arm.  Not a very nice feeling!  It also took ages to dry which I didn’t like ….. I’m not the most patient person first thing in the morning and I just want to spray, get dressed and go …... but I was waiting around for it to dry and, eventually I gave up and just put my clothes on while my underarms were still wet - yuck!!

I will not be using this again, I am really disappointed in the product.  Did it work?  Yes, but it was no better than any other deodorant that I’ve used.  

It is available from mypure in a 75ml bottle for £8.75.

To see all my Beauty Care Product reviews from mypure please click here



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