Keeping the bugs away plus giveaway

At this time of year, I find that I can be plagued by mosquitos and other biting insects whether walking through the woods, having a picnic near a lake or just in my own garden, so I was pleased to be offered a selection of natural insect repellent or relief products free to review.

Whilst waiting for them to arrive, I heard that familiar whirring buzz of a mosquito whilst trying to go to sleep. Luckily it didn’t bite, but it brought back memories of tropical holidays pre-kids with citronella candles and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Bug fighting essentials

I received the following four products, although I had been expecting Mosquitan patches rather than spray.

Bug Balm
Zap-It
Vie Mosquito Repellent
Mosquitan Spray

So obviously the first ones to try out were the repellents to ward off the bugs before they got in biting distance. I started with the Vie spray. It is all natural, DEET-free and suitable for all ages including babies. Easy to apply and does the job as no bites. This is available in 100 ml size currently at £7.95 from Vie healthcare.

Bug fighting essentials - Vie anti mosquito spray

Then the next day I tried the Mosquitan spray. This was a very similar product to the Vie spray and equally effective at keeping the bugs away. Also simple to apply. Again it is a natural DEET-free product suitable for all the family. This is available in 100 ml size currently at £8.95 also from Vie healthcare.

Bug fighting essentials - Mosquitan

The Zap-It wasn’t required until I was actually bitten, so I had to take a pause from applying the repellents in order to reluctantly get a bite. This is a small handheld device which you press against a bite, then squeeze the button, which causes it to emit a safe electrical discharge. I found about 2-3 clicks were needed. The idea behind this product is that this inhibits histamine release, which means less itching and swelling.  But I found that you therefore do need to use it asap after being bitten to improve how effective it will be. It is available in several different colours from selected health stores, pharmacies, garden centres, Asda, Lloyds Pharmacy, Superdrug and Amazon, and currently retails from £5.95. One Zap-It is sufficient for up to 1000 bites, based on 5 clicks per bite.

Bug fighting essentials - Zap-It

I didn’t need to try the bug balm until I unfortunately succumbed to another bite, which I didn’t then zap in time. The balm  was easy to apply and soothing for the itchiness, which is great as it is important to try to avoid scratching bites. I did need to reapply over the next couple of days until the swelling disappeared. This product came in a small 30g tin, so a nice size for keeping in your bag and it currently retails at £7.95 from Skinshop. And it is 100% natural, containing a concentrated extract of liquorice root. Suitable for adults and children.

Bug Balm

So in summary, I was very happy with all these products, although I would have liked the opportunity to also try the patches, as I don’t need two sprays. They are definitely all travel essentials with peak holiday season upon us. Also I’m glad that my review is now complete, so that I don’t have to deliberately wait to get bitten. I hadn’t realised quite how dedicated I was to my blog! But at least now I’m ready, if I get bitten again.

Zap It mosquito bite relief

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Zap-It to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your top tips for avoiding or dealing with insect bites.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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More HelloSkin treats

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I reviewed a trio of products from HelloSkin earlier this year. Well I’ve now received a further selection of goodies free to review.

HelloSkin sensitive skin products

HelloSkin is an online store selling skincare products suitable for those people with psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin conditions. The site has been designed so that you can easily shop by need, type or ingredient. Alternatively there is a product finder which is refinable by age group, body part, symptom, need and when to use.

I chose the following three items.
Oilatum Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also for itchy, flaking scalps – 150ml
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Bath and Shower Oil for dry and sensitive skin – 300ml
EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30 – 150ml

Plus I also received a couple of surprise gifts. How nice!
Relivio Dry Skin Body Lotion – 500ml
Relivio Dry Skin Body Cream – 200ml

The first product I tried was the Oilatum Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also for itchy, flaking scalps – 150ml. I frequently get a flare up of flaky scalp. Currently retailing at £9.99 for a 150ml bottle, this was a more expensive brand than the Neutrogena T/Gel 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner that I tested last time. However I would say it was equally effective, no better or no worse, although it didn’t particularly lather up much. With both, I don’t end up scratching my scalp afterwards causing soreness and flakiness like with some less skin-friendly products. On that basis, I continue to prefer the Neutrogena T/Gel product, both on price and on being a combined shampoo and conditioner, which is always my preference. But equally happy with the quality of this product. It does advise you to leave on for 3-5 minutes for best results.

Oilatum anti-dandruff shampoo

Next up is the EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30 – 150ml. This was a real winner for me, as in a mousse format, it was easy to apply, wasn’t sticky and felt nice on my skin. And best of all, it is long-lasting and I didn’t burn. I’ll certainly be buying this again in the future. Of course, the real test will come when I get an opportunity to try it out in a sand and salt environment, as that is when I usually get very itchy and uncomfortable. It currently retails at £16.95 for 150ml. This is also available in SPF 10, 20 and 50 variants, plus a kids version.

EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30

And finally the Aveeno Daily Moisturising Bath and Shower Oil for dry and sensitive skin – 300ml. This smelt nice and worked excellently in the shower on my very dry skin. However I wasn’t convinced. I think this is because I am a shower creme person through and through. I don’t think I want to swap to an oil. For me, oils are reserved for massage. Perhaps I should have opted to try the Aveeno body wash instead. But it does contain oatmeal, which has a high reputation in skincare, so definitely worth a try for those who have a more serious skin condition than myself. This product currently retails at £7.99 for a 300ml bottle.

Aveeno Daily Moisturising bath & shower oil

I will certainly be visiting the HelloSkin website in the future.

Also I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your next purchase at HelloSkin with discount code: “HELLOCLAIRE”. This offer is valid once per customer.

HelloSkin products

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway HelloSkin products to three lucky winners. The first winner drawn will win an EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30 – 150ml. The second winner drawn will win a bottle of Oilatum Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also for itchy, flaking scalps – 150ml. And the third winner drawn will win a bottle of Aveeno Daily Moisturising Bath and Shower Oil for dry and sensitive skin – 300ml.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your top skincare tips.

You can find HelloSkin on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Guest Post: Blind to Succeed by Michael Atkins

My other half recently received a free e-copy of the self-help book “Blind to Succeed” by Michael Atkins

Blind to Succeed by Michael Atkins

Here is the book blurb.

If suddenly you were blind, would you be willing to push yourself to your limits in order to gain your sight back? Would you do whatever it takes to restore your vision? Author, Michael Atkins, examines what it takes to achieve personal success from his own life experiences as a writer and entrepreneur.

He takes a writer’s perspective to look at what gives writers and other artists their “winning-edge”, and to explore why some people are more successful in life than others. Michael Atkins has spent years studying successful writers, and in this inspiring book, he shares what he has learned about what it takes to succeed in writing and in life.

What he has found is that sometimes you have to first become blind before you can achieve great success in life.

“Blind to Succeed” will show you how you can change your perspective and conquer your fears in order to unlock your true potential for greatness. You will learn about:

-Beliefs that stop you from succeeding
-What it means to be brave
-How to change your perspective
-How to win your inner game
-Why the little things matter
-Why you need to sell your heart
-How to demystify the impossible
-How to overcome the obstacles to success
-How to battle fear
-The nature of talent
-Why you must learn to love
-Why you should never give up
-And more

Whether you are already a writer, an author, an artist, an entrepreneur, or you are aspiring to become one, this inspirational book will show you how you can transform your ideas and dreams into tangible success.

And this is what my other half had to say about Blind to Succeed.

The book was fairly short and the better for it!

Each chapter started with a well chosen quote and built well from it.

It encourages the reader – aimed at aspiring creatives – to commit to their art and recognise that it will be a sometimes difficult but worthwhile journey.

It addresses difficulties likely to be experienced along the way and how the author handled them.

My favourite theme was that it is better to live a creative life than a bland life.

Blind to Succeed is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.70 in Kindle format.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book we were sent for free.  All opinions are our own.

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The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer to review.

The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer

Here is the book blurb.

Jacquie Mouhot and Paaku the Lotus-Born are divided by six centuries but linked by a common curse. In medieval Cambodia, Paaku is an orphan whose community believes he may be a reluctant incarnation of a god, causing sectarian turmoil for the kingdom’s leaders. Meanwhile, in 1921, Jacquie follows the footsteps of her grandfather, a famous explorer, to Indochina, where she becomes immersed in the tragedy of Paaku’s history: a story simultaneously unfolding in the intertwined present and past, a story in which she still has a vital role to play.

The book starts with Jacquie’s grandfather Henri, an explorer dying from malaria in Laos in 1861, deliriously talking about The Sea of Milk, before fast forwarding to introduce Jacquie in 1921, who is about to set off from France to follow her grandfather’s footsteps to Indochina by sea, via Singapore and Saigon to Cambodia. We then travel back to The Khmer Empire in 1294 where we meet Paaku and his best friend Jarisi. Paaku heals a monkey that had been bitten by a tiger. The story continues to alternate between 1921 and 1294, interspersed with entries from Henri’s journal. Jacquie experiences several nightmares, including flashbacks to when she was nursing at the Somme.

Back in 1294, the kingdom is ruled by King Jayavarman VIII and religion is divided between Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu and other gods. Paaku and Jarisi head to the festival where Paaku ends up being selected by Queen Devi for the test of bending Balarma’s Spear, which is made of gold. Amazingly he does it easily, a feat that hasn’t been achieved for over 100 years. It is declared a miracle, but fate follows a strange cursed path after that. And somehow Paaku’s story is already known to Jacquie. When present and past collide, what will happen?

The Last Gods of Indochine published by Signal 8 Press is available on Amazon, currently priced at £15 in paperback or £6.31 in Kindle format. A fascinating read of a civilisation I knew nothing about.


About the author

Samuel Ferrer is a double bassist and member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the songwriter and bassist for the acid jazz group Shaolin Fez. He holds degrees from Yale and the University of Southern California, and as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, spent a year in between degrees studying in Paris. He is the only non-Asian to be nominated for Asia’s most prestigious literary award, The Man Asian Literary Prize (“The Booker of Asia”). This is his first novel.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

When fellow blogger Isabella from Notting Hill Yummy Mummy contacted me to ask if I would like to review her debut novel featuring a mummy blogger, I immediately said yes.

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

Here is the book blurb.

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha Mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts ‘The Beta Mum’, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha Mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha Mums?

Sophie, Michael and 3 year old Kaya relocate from Canada to London when Michael is offered a new job. Nursery consultant Edward helps them secure a place for Kaya at exclusive Cherry Blossoms nursery. But shy Sophie feels very isolated away from family and best friend Emma.

So first day of term sees Sophie and Kaya encountering a crowd of beautiful stylish yummy mummies waiting at the nursery gate. Sophie even recognises faces from magazine covers. Sophie plucks up the courage to introduce herself to one of the mums, Kelly but she is totally ignored.

A few weeks on and still Sophie hasn’t managed more than a quick hello with any of the other mums. And Kaya isn’t settling in well either. The nursery assistant suggests that Sophie organise a playdate. When Sophie tells Emma how she is struggling to fit in, Emma suggests that Sophie write a blog about it. And that is how Sophie started her blog The Beta Mum, all about her adventures in Alpha Land. She gets 28 views and a comment on her first post and is hooked on blogging. She keeps all her posts anonymous, but one night accidentally mentions Cherry Blossoms in her post. Her blog goes viral. Will Sophie be able to keep her identity secret from all the Alpha Mums? And who is Cyberdad – a Cherry Blossoms father who read her blog and is now frequently emailing her?

The Beta Mum is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback or £3.99 in Kindle format. I loved this book and could so relate to the storyline. I do hope that there will be a follow-up to The Beta Mum, but in the meantime, do check out some of the posts on Notting Hill Yummy Mummy.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I have received a free advance PDF copy of the book “The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice” by Katarina West  to review. I was looking forward to this, having read Katarina’s previous novel “Absolute Truth For Beginners” back in 2015. To find out more about the author you may visit her website or blog.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

Here is the book blurb.

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.

On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.

In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.

How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven?
What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

This book is set over the course of a fortnight commencing 23 June. It starts with Irene heading to Helsinki for a night out to celebrate her 50th birthday with her best friend Saara after more rudeness from her mother-in-law Horrible Harriet. But Saara doesn’t show, giving an excuse about working late. Irene decides to go to the restaurant alone, but then she spots her husband Henrik, who is supposedly on business in Stockholm. Instead he is having a cosy intimate meal with Saara. Irene rushes out and back to her car, just praying to die, as her life is so unhappy.

Meanwhile up in Little Heaven, prankster punk angel Aaron has already caused havoc that day by pretending he spotted a demon. Now he realises Irene needs help and he says Jump as her car is just about to crash.

At the same time, Hollywood star and model Mimi is enjoying herself on a yacht near the Italian island of Monte Cristo when she hears a voice in her head saying Jump. It makes perfect sense to her, as she jumps into the sea.

And just like that Irene and Mimi swap bodies. But what will happen to Aaron, since angels are not permitted to meddle with humans like that. And how will Irene and Mimi get on in their new lives? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This book is available on Amazon and is currently 99p in Kindle format. I loved this book with its mixture of fantasy and chick-lit. It is the first story in the Angel Aid series, so I’m really looking forward to book 2.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 10 Amazon Kindle copies of The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

13 June, Tuesday

Rocksprings Crafts

14 June, Wednesday

The Cosy Dragon

Creative Misfit

15 June, Thursday

Hall Ways

The Writing Desk

16 June, Friday

Joyful Antidotes

Mademoiselle Women

17 June, Saturday

Linda’s Book Bag

18 June, Sunday

Novel Gossip

19 June, Monday

Yet another blogging mummy!!!

20 June, Tuesday

Sarah Smiles

Leila’s Bookshelf

Kraftireader

22 June, Thursday

Hello Booklover

Katarina West

You can find Katarina West on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson – book 2

Regular readers of my blog may remember that when son1 reviewed the first book in The Embers of Enchantment series in April, I mentioned that we had also received a free copy of the second book. My son has now read this too.

The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson

Here is the book blurb.

Darkness has awoken once again within the shadows. Three unlikely Welsh teenagers and a young dragon fall mysteriously into each other’s lives as destiny is forced to intervene. Dylan and Heulwen discover they have abilities not heard of in centuries. Emyr now has his own personal demon to battle. Seren falls, literally into Dylan’s, Heulwen’s and Emyr’s lives.

Will the legendary prophecy of The Chosen Five come to pass?

We can all only hope.

Without them, creatures of darkness will have the power to destroy us all!

The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson

This is what son1 had to say.

This is the sequel of EMBERS OF ENCHANTMENT. I rated it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It is another good book where Lizzie-Ann discovers the chosen 5:
Dylan, Heulwen, Seren, Emyr and Emyr’s unhatched dragon egg 🐲

Come and get it now 🎁

Once again he has kept it brief, so I’ll add some more details. The first chapter begins with a recap of the last chapter of book 1, but continues to reveal Emyr discovering that his mother was a black witch. Dylan and Heulwen experience a weird mental connection and transfer on the way to see Emyr, that hasn’t been heard of in centuries. They then all become friends with Seren and have another strange magical experience with orbs of light. Heulwen senses danger with regards to a stranger but Seren protects them with a spell. Emyr hating magic, runs off. The others then head to Lizzie Ann’s cottage but are chased by something menacing. Lizzie Ann reveals that they are part of the chosen 5 and conjures up more magical orbs of light which seek out the 5, the 5th being Emyr’s unhatched dragon egg. The next day they commence their magical training with Lizzie-Ann beginning by entering a stone circle and vanishing in thin air.

To be continued. I’m eager to read more, but parts III and IV haven’t been published yet.

The Embers of Enchantment Destinies Entwined Part 2 is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. Both son1 and I enjoyed this book.

And to find out more about the author you may visit his website.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Snappertime

We were invited to take a look at the Snappertime website for fun screen-free activities for the boys to try during the school holiday. And we also received a free welcome pack when we registered on the site.

I registered one joint account for the boys but with hindsight, it would be better to register each child individually. The boys and I had a quick browse around some of the challenges which are spread across five categories, namely Super Science, Great Outdoors, Tasty Tasks, Arty Farty and Super Hero. And they had fun designing their Doodlebot. We then waited for the welcome pack to arrive so that we could get started on challenges, but disappointingly it took ages, over 5 weeks. By this time, the boys had cooled off somewhat.

Snappertime

The welcome pack comprised the following goodies:-
A selection of Snappertime Challenge cards
Stickers
Certificate
Pencil
Fridge Magnet
Snacks

Son1 opted to try the Soap Ships Challenge detailed on one of the cards in the welcome pack. This was very simple. He cut out a small house shape from card, added a cocktail stick mast and a small black sail, since son1 said it was a pirate ship for their pirate Doodlebot. The challenge didn’t say how to fix the mast to the boat, so we used blu-tack. Then he launched his boat in the water tray and was amazed how quickly it sailed with the addition of a drop of washing-up liquid. He did discover that it easily sank when pushed under the water, but if he waited for it to dry, he could then sail it again.

Snappertime Soap Ships Challenge

Meanwhile son2 being a huge Doctor Who fan, chose the Time Lord Challenge. This was to design his very own papier mâché planet. The first step of printing the template sounded simple, but it was not sized to fit a page, so I had to mess around with my print settings to get a copy that son2 was happy with. He then sketched out his design, telling me that pink was sand etc. The challenge suggested using PVA glue when making the papier mâché, but I knew we didn’t have enough, so I showed son2 how to make his own paste from flour and water instead. He loved the messiness of this phase which took several days as we let it dry overnight between layers. And finally he painted it to match his design. He didn’t bother with the suggestion of adding a planetary ring.

Snappertime Doctor Who planet

Both of these are from the Super Science category. Afterwards we uploaded photos of their projects for them to earn a DoodleCoin each. And once you have 8 coins, you can claim a free reward. There is a great selection of rewards to choose from, some of which are worth upto £25, most are for free, although a few request £5 postage.

Snappertime

I would definitely recommend you sign your children up for this fab website with its great freebies. So much fun.

I’d love to hear what screen-free activities your children enjoy.

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Disclosure.  This post mentions some goodies I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the children’s book Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter

Here is the book blurb.

When an accident made Martha’s coat blue, her world turned upside down. She was no longer like the rest of the flock. She stood out and she didn’t like it. She wanted to fit in. But a series of surprising events and the help of an unexpected friend showed Martha that being different could be a blessing, not a curse. Martha, The Blue Sheep is a story about acceptance, tolerance and diversity. It’s a charming story to inspire children not to be just one of the flock, but to celebrate being an individual who brings richness and colour to the world.

My mum had a phrase she used to quote at me as a child when I just wanted to do what other children were doing. I was embarrassed about the idea of being different from the crowd. She would say “All we like sheep” and this story follows that theme.

Martha had been born a white sheep but an accident with a paint pot resulted in her becoming blue. Being shy, she was unhappy to stand out from the flock like this. So she often hid and got quite lonely. Whilst hiding, she heard whimpering and rescued a baby wolf from the path of a tractor. The father wolf was very grateful and uses Martha’s blue coat as a distinguishing feature to tell the other wolves to keep away from attacking Martha’s flock. Finally Martha was pleased with the individuality of her blue coat.

Martha the Blue Sheep is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A beautifully illustrated picture book.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Martha the Blue Sheep to 1 lucky winner. Open to UK and US only.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

I have received a free e-copy of the book Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

Here is the book blurb.

Devil in the Countryside is a story about the most famous werewolf investigation in history, brimming with intrigue and war, love and betrayal, and long-kept vendettas. It’s 1588, the height of the Reformation, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. There are reports that the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg has returned to a once-peaceful land. Heinrich Franz, a cold and calculating investigator, is tasked with finding whomever — or whatever — the killer might be. He’ll need all the help he can get, including that of a strange hunter who’s recently stumbled into town. Though they’re after the same thing, their reasons are worlds apart. And through it all, a priest tries to keep the peace among his frightened townsfolk, while a young woman threatens his most basic beliefs. In a time when life is cheap and secrets run rampant, these four divergent souls find themselves entwined in a treacherous mystery, navigating the volatile political and religious landscape of 16th century Germany, fighting to keep their sanity — and their lives.

This is a fictional story but based on an infamous historical event when a German was tortured, tried and sentenced as a werewolf back in 1589. Spoiler alert – you can read about it on Wikipedia.

The story is set in 1588/89 in Bedburg, Germany, at the height of the Reformation. It starts with Chief Investigator Heinrich Franz inspecting the victim and murder scene, who was discovered by farmer Karl Achterberg. Is it the work of the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg? Under torture, Karl accuses his neighbour Peter Griswold of creeping around at night and black magic and of being a Lutheran. Peter refutes these claims, implying Karl is being petty because he rejected Karl’s proposal for his son Martin to marry Peter’s daughter Sybil.

Catholic Georg Sieghart, a hunter and former soldier is also trying to find the werewolf, but with the sole aim of killing him. Meanwhile young priest Father Dieter Nicolaus finds himself struggling with his pure thoughts after meeting 16 year old Sybil, daughter of Peter Griswold. The victim is identified as Dorothea Gabler, best friend of Sybil and girlfriend of Martin. Another murder is discovered, this time a prostitute Josephine whom Georg was keen on.

More characters keep getting thrown into the mix. Different classes of society. Catholics and Protestants. Someone is arrested, but then there is another murder. There’s certainly lots going on in the town of Bedburg.

Devil in the Countryside is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.21 in paperback or 99p in Kindle format. An interesting read with plenty of twists and turns which got me thinking. The author is currently writing a sequel, so I’m wondering which of the characters it will be following.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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